Tiger Woods, who is being sued by the parents of a drunken driver who died in a car crash last year after working at the golfer’s restaurant, has called the former employee’s death a “terrible ending.”
The lawsuit, filed in Palm Beach County on Monday, says employees, managers and owners of The Woods Jupiter allowed Nicholas Immesberger to be over-served after his bartending shift ended, even though they were aware of his alcoholism.
Woods, who is in Farmingdale, New York, for this week’s PGA Championship, was named in the lawsuit along with his girlfriend Erica Herman, who is the general manager at the former World No.1’s flagship restaurant in Jupiter, Florida.
It was not clear if Woods or Herman were at the restaurant on the day of the accident but the lawsuit alleges the pair were drinking with Immesberger a few nights before the fatal crash.
“Well, we’re all very sad that Nick passed away,” Woods told a pre-tournament news conference.
“It was a terrible night, a terrible ending, and just — we feel bad for him and his entire family. It’s very sad.”
According to the lawsuit Immesberger, 24, had a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit in Florida when he lost control of his vehicle.
According to TMZ, Immesberger finished his shift on December 10 but stayed at The Woods to drink at the restaurant and was allegedly served to the point of “severe intoxication” before being sent out to his car.
The family claims Woods and Herman knew Immesberger had a habitual problem with alcohol but allowed him to be served anyway.
Immesberger’s parents sued Woods directly claiming he “was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management … were not over serving its employees/customers”, according to the report.
Woods snapped an 11-year major win drought by winning the Masters last month and seeks his 16th career major title this week.
He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last week at a White House ceremony.