Horace Cooper

Instead, his family has turned self-responsibility on its head, blaming everyone but Josh and themselves for the cause of this tragedy. And the lawyers are standing by holding their coats. As a result, in this case they’ve filed suit in St. Louis Circuit Court against the bar and restaurant that he last frequented, the tow truck company that he crashed into and the driver of the car whose vehicle was being assisted by the tow truck driver.

Sounding like Captain Renault in the famous movie Casablanca who’s “shocked, shocked to find gambling taking place”, Josh Hancock’s father Dean claimed in a written statement that he had an obligation to represent the family on all issues, "including any legal actions necessary against those who contributed to the untimely and unnecessary death."

Yet a close examination of the filing reveals that neither Josh Hancock nor any family member or close friend is listed as a defendant. Why is this relevant? Because no one close to Josh took advantage of any of the warning signs of alcohol abuse. Not only did he nearly miss a game at the beginning of the season after failing to answer nearly a dozen calls from the St. Louis Cardinals which Josh Hancock blamed on “oversleeping,” but according to the St. Louis Dispatch, the reason that Josh was driving the rental the night he died is because he had wrecked his GMC Denali earlier that week in another likely drunken accident.

Why didn’t the enablers around him take action and why have they now sought to place blame for this tragedy on a host of bystanders – i.e. the restaurant, towing company and the owner of the stalled car. Josh Hancock’s tragic death is only compounded by affixing blame on everyone but Josh and his family.

We may never know exactly why Kathy Hilton prefers to blame the system as unfair “after all the money we spent” on Paris Hilton’s drunk driving case or why Michael Lohan would prefer to urge his ex-wife to seek drug counseling in the wake of their daughter Lindsay Lohan’s recent arrest instead of taking responsibility directly . But it is increasingly clear that too many of the glitterati and their hangers on refuse to be accountable for their actions. And it’s also true that too many members of the legal community gladly aid them.

Isn’t it time we told the glitterati to grow up?


Horace Cooper

Horace Cooper is a legal commentator and a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Liberty.