(Reuters) – 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, on Tuesday 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 number one’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.
Woods, who has not competed since collecting his 15th major championship at last month’s Masters, is scheduled to tee off on Thursday at 8:24 a.m. ET (1224 GMT).
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Bernadette Baum)