Golfer Tiger Woods and his girlfriend were named in a recent wrongful death lawsuit. The suit was brought by the family of a bartender who worked at The Woods, which is owned by Woods and managed by his girlfriend.
According to news reports, the 24-year-old employee was overserved alcoholic drinks at the restaurant bar for three hours before he left the restaurant and bar, got behind the wheel of his Corvette and subsequently died at the scene of the crash in Jupiter, Florida on December 10. His alcohol level at the time of death was .256, which is over three times the legal limit. The suit seeks the maximum of $15,000 allowed under the jurisdiction of the local court.
The suit alleges that Woods, the girlfriend/manager and the staff all knew that the deceased had a drinking problem. Nevertheless, the bartender was served drinks during and after his shift and then allowed to drive. The golfer is listed on the lawsuit as the owner of the restaurant, although he was not at the establishment on the day of the bartender’s death. This is commonplace because Florida law, like Connecticut’s Dram Shop Liability, enables lawsuits to be brought against owners of bars and restaurants who knowingly overserve the injured or deceased.
“The employees and management at The Woods had direct knowledge that [the employee] had a habitual problem with alcohol,” the lawsuit read. “In fact, employees and managers knew that [the employee] had attended Alcoholic Anonymous meetings prior to the night of his crash and was attempting to treat his disease. Despite this, the employees and management at The Woods continued to serve [the employee] alcohol while he was working as well as after work, while he sat at the bar.”
Cases like this are common
Tiger Woods is one of the world’s most famous athletes, but any restaurant or bar can face Dram Shop Liability lawsuits if they are not careful about how much they serve customers and staff.
Family members of the injured or deceased victims overserved are advised to consult with a personal injury attorney before the one-year statute of limitation from the time of injury expires. These legal professionals can help determine the likelihood of a successful suit and then guide victims and family members through the process. It is important to note that damage limits are much higher in Connecticut and can usually help cover the cost of funerals, medical treatment, property damage, as well as the loss of current and future income.