The family of an alcoholic employee who was killed in a drunk-driving crash has named Tiger Woods in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed on Monday in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The suit claims that Nicholas Immesberger, who worked as a bartender at The Woods Jupiter, wrecked his Corvette and died after allegedly being over-served at the golfer’s flagship restaurant and sports bar, Golfworld reported. Woods’ girlfriend Erica Herman, along with employees at The Woods, are also named in the suit.
A police report showed that Immesberger’s blood alcohol limit was .256, more than three times the legal limit, at the time of his death.
The 24-year-old Immesberger left the restaurant at about 6 p.m. following his Dec. 10 shift. He was reportedly headed home when the accident occurred near Port Salem, about 20 miles from the restaurant.
The family is seeking damages of more than $15,000, according to NBC News.
Why are Woods and Herman named in the lawsuit?
Immesberger’s parents have charged in their lawsuit that Woods and Herman, general manager of the restaurant, “not only were aware of [Immesberger’s] alcoholism, but that the employees, staff, and owners of the restaurant knowingly fueled his addiction by regularly over-serving him during and after his work shifts,” according to Yahoo! Sports.
“Despite this, they [Woods and Herman] were drinking with Immesberger at The Woods bar only a few nights before the fatal crash,” the suit claims.
It also claims that the restaurant’s owners, management and employees were all aware of Immesberger’s alcoholism but ignored his “disease” when they over-served him drinks.
They “not only ignored Immesberger’s disease, they fueled it by over-serving him alcohol to the point of severe intoxication and then sending him out to his car,” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit also accuses The Woods of encouraging drinking on the job and claims that Immesberger was driven home on several occasions after he was “served so much alcohol that he was unable to function properly.”
A month earlier, Immesberger crashed another vehicle after drinking too much, the suit said.
It’s unclear whether or not Herman or Woods were at the restaurant on the day of the man’s death.
Could Woods be held liable?
Under Florida alcohol laws Woods could potentially be held liable as the proprietor of the establishment even if he wasn’t present on the day Immesberger served.
A person who sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person of lawful drinking age shall not thereby become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such person, except that a person who willfully and unlawfully sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age or who knowingly serves a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person.
What did Woods say?
Woods spoke to the media on Tuesday from Farmingdale, N.Y., where he’s preparing for the PGA Championship, which starts Thursday.
“We’re all very sad that Nick passed away,” Woods said. “It was a terrible night, a terrible ending, and just — we feel bad for him and his entire family. It’s very sad.”