Obvious Restraint

So the family of the Cardinals pitcher who died while driving while intoxicated have announced its lawsuit pantheon:

The suit seeks unspecified damages “over $25,000” from Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood, the owner and driver of a parked tow truck that Hancock hit, and the driver of a car the wrecker had stopped to help.

Over at Overlawyered.com, David Nieporent does my schtick and helpfully identifies some other lawsuit targets:

* The cell phone manufacturer; Hancock couldn’t have been talking on the phone if they hadn’t been so negligent as to invent it, or if they had placed warnings on the side of the phone about not using it while driving.
* Hancock’s girlfriend — she was on the other end of the phone. Plus, he was driving to meet her.
* The owners of the bar he was driving to in order to meet his girlfriend. If they had been closed, he wouldn’t have been driving there; if they were easier to find, he wouldn’t have had to give his girlfriend directions.
* The car rental company; Hancock was driving a rented SUV… because he had just had an accident in his own car. If they hadn’t rented him the SUV, he couldn’t have been driving it.
* Anheuser-Busch, it goes without saying; no alcohol, no accident.
* The Cardinals, for not trading him to another team; if he hadn’t been in St. Louis, he couldn’t have crashed.

Leaving aside that Mr. Nieporent missed some of the obvious big laffs (Missouri Department of Transportation, for building/maintaining the road, and the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower, for passing the Interstate thing in the first place), I am not going to participate.

For although the family and their helpful attorneys deserve all the scorn and ridicule we can muster, one suspects that their threshold for slander–at least enough to threaten a lawsuit–is probably very low indeed.

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