Follow Deedee Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Deedee Email
Legal Issues
Jun 7, 2019

Analyzing the Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Tiger Woods, His Bar, and His Girlfriend: A Lawyer’s Perspective

Sponsored Content provided by Deedee Gasch - Attorney, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Just when things seemed to be on the upswing for famous golfer Tiger Woods, he was recently sued in a wrongful death lawsuit. Also named as Defendants are the bar he owns in Florida (The Woods), and his girlfriend, Erica Herman, the bar’s general manager.  
 
According to the lawsuit, Nicholas Immesberger was a bartender at The Woods. His parents allege that he drank heavily after finishing his shift, becoming intoxicated.  He left the bar behind the wheel, and was involved in a one-car accident. His blood alcohol was .256, over three times the legal limit.  Immesberger was killed in the accident.  
 
These “over service” of alcohol cases are dram shop cases: civil lawsuits that attempt to tag a bar or restaurant with liability for over service of alcohol. North Carolina has dram shop laws; Florida, where Woods’ bar is located, does too. Only Florida dram shop laws have an incredibly high standard to show the bar was responsible: the party bringing the suit must prove that the intoxicated person was a “habitual drunkard.” It is the spring break state after all: Florida promotes tourism, and with tourism, comes alcohol sales.
 
In addition to the high legal standard that Immesberger’s parents will have to prove to prevail in the case, there are several other hurdles they face. Perhaps the largest is that this is a first party dram shop case: the person who became intoxicated was the one who was involved in the accident and was killed. This case would be much stronger if an innocent third party encountered Immesberger on the highway that night and was injured or killed. Also, if Immesberger was a “habitual drunkard,” why was he working at a bar? This case screams personal responsibility as a trial theme if it ends up in front of a jury.  
 
As an additional hurdle, there does not seem to be any basis to “pierce the corporate veil” and proceed against Woods and Herman individually. If this case does go to a jury, as opposed to being dismissed by the Court or settled out of Court, I anticipate that it will only be against the bar.  
 
For me personally, from a legal standpoint, the Defendants should prevail in this one.  
 
This does not constitute legal advice. Please seek counsel from a legal professional to assess your specific situation.

Deedee Gasch has over a decade of experience litigating catastrophic claims involving serious injury or death. While Deedee’s practice is primarily focused on the defense of premises liability, trucking and commercial vehicle accidents, and medical malpractice, she also has a wide range of civil litigation experience. She spent approximately half of her career representing injured plaintiffs before returning to her first love of civil litigation defense work. This experience on both sides of a case uniquely situates her in negotiations and at trial if settlement is not possible. Deedee is a third-generation Tar Heel and attorney, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, a North Carolina Resident Superior Court Judge (deceased), and her father, a career trial lawyer. She has dual degrees in Journalism and Political Science and earned her law degree cum laude from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, where she attended on a prestigious merit based scholarship. She is licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and Florida. 
 

Wbj insights revised 0510 121615113531 10218121741
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Fredheadshot 5119113348

How a Custom Garage Can Increase Real Estate Value

Fred Kumpel - Strickland's Home
Alyce 4 april242017

Investors with A Cause Can Put their Money Where their Hearts Are

Alyce Phillips - Old North State Trust LLC
Deedee gasch

Analyzing the Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Tiger Woods, His Bar, and His Girlfriend: A Lawyer’s Perspective

Deedee Gasch - Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Trending News

ILM Aims To Start Parking Study Next Month

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2019

Interest In Solar Brightens

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2019

Chen Puts Final Touches On Ramen Shop

Jenny Callison - Jun 21, 2019

Roof Products Firm Back On Top

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2019

Wilmington To Host Disaster Preparedness Conference On Cancer Treatment

Johanna Cano - Jun 21, 2019

In The Current Issue

Selling Iconic Property On Iconic Island

More than 30 years later, Buzzy Northen and his wife, Ellen Northen, are still in love with Figure Eight Island. “It’s just heaven,” Buzzy N...


Software Firm Codes For Growth

After growing PS Solutions in Pennsylvania, founder Wayne Hippo came to Wilmington with the goal of replicating the company’s growth in the...


Roof Products Firm Back On Top

During Hurricane Florence last year, between 8 to 10 inches of water flooded the GAF Burgaw facility, causing damage to the building, finish...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018