WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) — The family of a man who they say was inebriated when he was killed in a car crash is suing Tiger Woods.
Nicholas Immesberger, 24, had a blood alcohol level of 0.28 in the December 2018 crash, three times the legal limit, according to attorneys representing his family.
Immesberger worked as a bartender at Woods’ The Woods Restaurant in Jupiter and on the day of the fatal crash, he stayed at the restaurant several hours after his shift to drink.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Monday claims Immesberger was over served alcohol by his coworkers on the day of the fatal accident.
According to the family’s lawyer, Woods and his girlfriend/restaurant general manager Erica Herman knew Immesberger suffered from alcoholism and they consistently fueled his addiction by allowing his co-workers to over serve him during his work shifts and after.
“We know that the bartenders at the time were serving a young man that they knew had a clear problem,” said the family’s attorney. “We know that he was there for at least three hours after his shift, drinking.”
The family’s attorney said Immesberger was involved in an unreported DUI car accident which he told employees at the restaurant about. But the attorney said the restaurant workers and owners didn’t help Immesberger even after finding out this information.
The family’s attorney said there is evidence that both Woods and Herman were there several nights before the deadly crash, witnessing Immesberger’s addiction firsthand.
“Both Erica and Tiger were sitting at the bar with Nick while he was drinking. That night, just nights before, Nick had to be picked up by his own sister from the bar because he could barely walk,” said the attorney. “While he was stumbling out of that bar, behind Erica and Tiger himself, he knocked over an entire tray of glasses in the kitchen. “So, yes, both Erica and Tiger are responsible because they had knowledge.”
The family’s attorney said Herman hired young people as managers to run the restaurant when she wasn’t there and that established the excessive drinking culture of the bar.
There were several instances where Immesberger had to be picked up from the bar by his parents, his sister and even his girlfriend because he was too drunk to drive, said the attorney.
“Just a simple phone call to us, to go pick him up, could’ve, you know, but they just served him until he basically couldn’t walk,” said Katherine Belowsky, Immesberger’s mother. “I feel that they failed me, he referred to The Woods as his family and as his friends and when he needed them they kind of just looked the other way.”
The family and their attorney said they plan to let a jury decide the case and have requested no specific demands from the defendants.
They also will be requesting that the court take possession of the surveillance computer at The Woods to be examined by forensics.