Did Tiger Woods's Restaurant Destroy Vital Video Evidence?

When investigating a dram shop case, investigators will consider factors like:

  • Was the customer visibly intoxicated?
  • Was the bartender providing free drinks?
  • Was the bartender making the drinks too strong?

As such, video evidence is vital to a case involving bartender liability. This is why The Woods Jupiter, owned by Tiger Woods, is in hot water for allegedly destroying video evidence at play in a lawsuit involving a drunk driving crash.

In this video, attorney Allegra Carpenter explains why destroying evidence is such a big deal.

Video Transcript:

Hi my name is Allegra Carpenter and I've been asked to comment on the current litigation between the Immesberger family and The Woods Jupiter restaurant in Florida that is owned by Tiger Woods. What happened in the underlying litigation is that Mr. Immesberger died after he lost control of his vehicle. He had been drinking for three hours at the Woods Jupiter restaurant and bar where he was also an employee. He'd gotten off his shift and drank for three hours there at the bar, was allowed to get in his car, and ended up dying as and it's a tragic, tragic death. It's devastating to his family. It could have been even worse if he did hit another car or person or a family. So litigation is is correctly exploring whether or not the Woods Jupiter has any role in his death. The lawyer for the plaintiffs has just discovered that the restaurant the very evening of the crash destroyed surveillance video that was available there in the restaurant and then also destroyed it off of their servers.

This is a shocking development and really at odds with the aims of the law which is to discover the truth. That video could have shown how much he was drinking, whether he was being offered free drinks as opposed to having to pay for his drinks, how strong they were, if anyone was discouraging him from drinking or encouraging him to drink, and if anyone took any effort whatsoever to prevent him from getting in a car. That was highly relevant information. The law does not tolerate people destroying evidence and so not only was it immoral for the restaurant to do that, if that's what happened, it should open up a world of sanctions for the plaintiffs attorneys and and for the family to come in and get not only broader discovery against the restaurant, but to get sanctions or perhaps or an inference that the destruction of the evidence reflects the liability of the restaurant. And so the takeaway here for everybody is not only is destroying evidence the wrong thing to do, but it's counterproductive and just shouldn't do it.

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