by G. Brown
Tiger Woods is being named in the lawsuit by the parents of one of his former employees. Woods owns a Jupiter Florida restaurant and bar named “The Woods” where 24-year-old Nicholas Immesberger worked. Immesberger died when he crashed his car last December after leaving work. TMZ says the parents claim in their wrongful death suit that their son, “…stayed at the restaurant for hours where he was served alcohol to the point of “severe intoxication” before he was sent out to his car to drive home. Immesberger crashed on his drive home and died in the accident. His blood alcohol level was a .256, more than 3 times the legal limit.” (TMZ)
The parents are reportedly holding Woods personally responsible because they claim the golf legend knew their son and “recruited” him to work there. The recruiter was alleged to have been the restaurant’s general manager and Woods’ girlfriend Erica Herman.
Immesberger’s parents say Woods knew their son had a drinking problem and his co-workers served him drink after drink anyway. They say in the lawsuit that Tiger “was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management … were not over serving its employees/customers.”
The loss of a child is never easy for any parent to accept no matter the age or circumstance. Part of the natural grieving process is to want to blame someone…anyone, other than the victim. Bereavement can take many forms and many stages. Emotions can range from vulnerability, feeling of being unprotected to a type of numbness in trying to cope in a world that no longer seems hopeful, but rather unfair and cruel. The time it takes to mourn such a significant loss, of course, varies with the bereaved but it’s not hard to guess that Immesberger’s parents are still hurting and avoiding some of their feelings and memories by channeling their energies and focus into blaming Tiger. They lost a child and want someone to pay. The obvious choice is the man who recently brought home an $11.5 million dollar purse after winning the 2019 Masters Tournament. Grief may be the motive for the lawsuit, but the parents are mistakenly assuming that money will make their pain go away. It won’t and it won’t bring back their son.
The parents say Tiger knew their son was battling alcoholism and that co-workers still served him drinks. Their son wasn’t an underage minor, but an adult who chose to work in the environment that made him confront his demons daily. It takes a strong will to deal with a problem by touching it, smelling it and seeing others enjoy the effects of it for hours on end every week. But their son accepted the job knowing the pitfalls. Ultimately, he has to bear the responsibility for his choices to drink and keep drinking. As for co-workers sending him to his car to drive home, Immesberger again chose to take his keys to his car and drive. It sounds harsh, but those are the simple facts.
Tiger is a man who is just getting back on his feet after his own battle with alcohol and drugs. The 15-time major-championship winner made headlines two years ago when his mugshot was plastered over every TV and internet news website. The golf superstar was arrested on a DUI but a toxicology report later revealed that he had five different drugs in his system including Xanax(an anxiety drug), a painkiller and traces of marijuana.
Many people celebrated Tiger getting back on top with his recent Master’s win and this lawsuit threatens to loom darkly over his big comeback.
What do you think…is Tiger responsible for the death of his employee? Are the parents right that Tiger’s restaurant should have been more proactive in keeping their employee sober and safe? Or are the parents motivated perhaps by bereavement or greed even?