Monday, July 30, 2007

Hancock Lawsuit Dropped

The attorney representing Josh Hancock's family has dropped the lawsuit that was filed against the restaurant where Hancock had his final drams and the drivers of the tow truck and the disabled vehicle into which Hancock smashed. It could be refiled, but that doesn't appear likely.

A fact that folks in St. Louis may have known but that those of us in the rest of the country did not was that the restaurant which was sued was Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood, which is owned by Cardinals' broadcaster Mike Shannon. Restaurant manager Pat Shannon Van Matre -- who I presume is a relative of Mike's -- was also sued and is now dismissed.

Mike Shannon's wife died of brain cancer on Saturday. Given what the Shannon family must have been going through prior to her death I am guessing that the lawsuit seemed like nothing more than a petty annoyance. Still, I'm sure they're happy to have it go away.

Something else that has likely gone away is the shock and anger that prompted Josh Hancock's Dad to file a lawsuit so quickly after the accident back in May. I know nothing about the man or the attorney who filed the case, but I can easily imagine a situation in which emotions got the better of everyone involved, which led to a ready-fire-aim approach to this whole mess. One thing I try to tell my clients is that while statutes of limitation are designed to protect defendants, they serve a purpose for plaintiffs as well, and that is the establishment of an informal cooling-off period. People need to think before they fire, especially in emotionally-charged matters such as these. While reason came along a bit late in the game in this instance, it's good to see it come along all the same.

And now, finally, may Josh Hancock rest in peace.

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