Tiger Woods and the general manager of Woods’ Florida restaurant face a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of a 24-year-old bartender of the Jupiter establishment.
Nicholas Immesberger had an estimated blood alcohol concentration of 0.28 — more than three times the legal limit — when he died after his 1999 Chevrolet Corvette left the roadway. The lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County on Monday alleges Immesberger was over-served for about three hours after his shift at The Woods concluded, before the fatal crash.
Messages left with Woods' representatives by USA TODAY Sports were not immediately returned Monday.
Immesberger had a history of alcohol abuse, and the lawsuit alleges “Tiger knew, or reasonably should have known, that Immesberger was habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages, and/or was a habitual drunkard.”
While the lawsuit alleges, "Tiger is individually liable in this action because he individually participated in the serving of alcohol," that doesn’t mean Woods served — or was even at The Woods — that day. Woods, under state alcohol laws, potentially could be held liable as an owner of the establishment even if he wasn’t physically at the venue if a foreseeable risk of injury or death occurs due to over-serving somebody with a known history of alcohol abuse issue.
Tiger Woods plays from the fairway on the ninth hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. (Photo: Peter Casey, USA TODAY Sports)
"The employees and management at The Woods had direct knowledge that Immesberger had a habitual problem with alcohol," the lawsuit read. "In fact, employees and managers knew that Immesberger had attended Alcoholic Anonymous meetings prior to the night of his crash and was attempting to treat his disease. Despite this, the employees and management at The Woods continued to serve Immesberger alcohol while he was working as well as after work, while he sat at the bar."
The lawsuit seeks "in excess of" $15,000.
A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
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