Legal Expert: Wrongful Death Case Against Tiger Woods Has ‘a Lot of Merit’

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The family of a Florida man is bringing a wrongful death suit against Tiger Woods, the restaurant he owns, and the general manager of that restaurant. It states Nicholas Immesberger was a bartender at The Woods Jupiter restaurant and after one of his shifts, Immesberger was served alcohol at the restaurant’s bar and died three hours later in a single-car incident. Immesberger’s family is accusing the restaurant of promoting alcohol consumption by its employees, on and off the job, and is responsible for his death. One prominent legal expert in Florida believes the case could be winnable for the plaintiffs.

Mark Eiglarsh, a Florida criminal defense attorney, told Law&Crime that if what is alleged can be proven then this lawsuit “has a lot of merit.”

“We’re all very sad that Nick passed away,” Woods said on Tuesday. “It was a terrible night, a terrible ending. And we feel bad for him and his entire family. It’s very sad.”

The complaint states that Erica Herman, the general manager at The Woods Jupiter, personally recruited Immesberger to work at the bar and was “well aware” of his abuse of alcohol. Other employees, as well as Herman, knew that Immesberger attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. It also states that Herman, who is Woods’ girlfriend, also told Woods of Immesberger’s alcohol problems. “The employees, management and owners of THE WOODS 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 to drive home.” The suit says that Immesberger’s blood alcohol level was .256 at the time of his death, three times the legal limit.

This was not Immesberger’s only incident with alcohol at The Woods Jupiter. The complaint says that on “numerous occasions” Immesberger was given so much alcohol that “he was unable to function properly” and had to be driven home. The complaint also alleges that his coworkers and bosses were aware that just one month prior to his death, Immesberger crashed a car after being served too much alcohol at work. The Immesberger’s family is asking for damages in excess of $15,000.

“Based upon the knowledge of the deceased’s history, the restaurant should not have served him the amount of alcohol that they did,” Eiglarsh said. Eiglarsh, a local Florida attorney also added: “In a case like this, assuming it’s not resolved before trial, a jury would determine how much liability does each party have. It’s not an all or nothing proposition.”

[Image via Andrew Redington/Getty Images]

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