Tiger Woods and the Wrongful Death Suit

Tiger Woods Lawsuit

There’s a story in the news about Tiger Woods and his involvement in the death of Nicholas Immesberger I find interesting. Woods owns a restaurant in Jupiter, Florida called The Woods Jupiter, and Immesberger worked there. He was drinking during his shift and afterwards and died when his car overturned later that night. His blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when he died.

At issue is the Florida statute which holds a person liable for damages if they knowingly serve someone who is habitually addicted to alcohol. Immesberger attended Alcoholic Anonymous meetings in the past and had crashed his car previously while drunk. The people who worked with Immesberger knew of this and thus are potentially liable for the harm caused.

Woods owns the establishment and his girlfriend, who is the general manager of the bar and restaurant, drank with Immesberger a few nights before the fatal accident. Therefore, the lawsuit seeks to hold them accountable for the death even though neither of them actually served drinks to Immesberger the night of his death.

Many states have laws fairly similar to Florida in that it is illegal to serve someone who is a known alcoholic or who is obviously quite intoxicated. I personally agree doing so is not a particularly kind thing. If a person is stumbling drunk, she or he probably shouldn’t be served any more alcohol. If a person is an alcoholic, it would be somewhat of a service to refuse to provide drinks to her or him. That being said, I don’t think either action should be a matter for the state to adjudicate.

There are many problems with the law but the first and foremost from this Libertarian’s perspective is that it largely absolves the drunkard from responsibility. If a person chooses to drink to the point of intoxication and then hurts or kills someone else, or themselves, in an accident; that is completely the responsibility of said person. The statute seeks to put accountability on the server.

Another enormous issue is the law, by its very nature, is going to be applied unevenly and can easily be used by the state to persecute perceived enemies. It is quite certain people habitually addicted to alcohol are served in such establishments every minute of every day. Oftentimes it is quite well known the person has a problem. Basically, prosecutors get to choose when and if they are going to use the law.

The purpose of the law is an attempt to get people to stop serving alcoholics. A noble resolve but a clear attempt at social engineering. Good intentions are often the precursors of bad laws. Immesberger is dead because he chose to drink and drive.

If you think the lawsuit is egregious and without merit then you necessarily think the law is such. The letter of the law indicates at least the bartenders are liable if not Woods and the general manager.

I certainly think the employees of The Woods Jupiter should not have served him so much alcohol over the course of the day and evening. They should not have stood by while he drove off. That’s a moral failing, not a legal one.

Tom Liberman

Tiger Woods Wins … for the most Stories Written about a Golfer

Tiger WoodsThe golf season is upon us and that’s good news if you’re me. The fact that golf is now in the news means that we’re seeing a lot of stories about Tiger Woods despite the fact that he hasn’t come close to winning a tournament this year. Why so many stories?

It’s an interesting phenomenon that I think brings up an interesting paradox. More on that in a moment.

A few years back Tiger ended a spectacular run of golf when he won the 2008 U.S. Open Championship with a badly injured leg. In 2009 his extra-marital affairs became public knowledge and his wife divorced him.

This was a turning point in the trajectory of his popularity. Up until then he had his detractors but was far and away the most popular playing professional golfer in the world. Certainly Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus still have legions of fans but both are no longer playing the game professionally. When the news of his despicable behavior came to light there arose a large group of people who do not like Woods and aren’t shy about saying so in the comment section of news articles.

Tiger is off to a poor start this year and yet almost every article about a golf tournament has at least a mention of Woods and he is often the focus of such articles. Those who dislike Woods complain vociferously about this. They accuse the media of glorifying Woods as someone who can do no wrong. They use as evidence the plethora of stories about a golfer who isn’t performing well.

If you find any story about Woods and you read the comments you will find that it’s about 80% filled with negative comments about him, his fans, and the writer of the article.

That’s what I find interesting. It seems very clear to me that the reason there are so many articles about Woods is because so many people click on those articles and write comments. Not nearly as many people feel compelled to comment on a wonderful tournament win for Russell Henley in an exciting four-man playoff.

Because there is so much interest, mostly negative, in Woods we get more stories about him.

Thus the people doing the complaining about the veritable cornucopia of stories about Tiger Woods are actually the ones guilty of causing the stories to be written! The paradox.

My advice? If you don’t want to read more and more stories about Tiger Woods, then don’t click on the ones that are there. Don’t write comments.

This isn’t just about Woods though. This is an important idea in life. If something is making you angry, if something is driving you crazy, or if something is bothering you so much that you are enraged. Get away from it!

It does you no good to immerse yourself in that which you hate. You are hurting yourself. The old saying is that life is short. I disagree. Life is long and longer yet if you insist on spending your time hating everything. Find what you enjoy in life and try to maximize the time you spend doing it.

I like writing blogs and novels. I don’t much like going out to bars and mingling. I like quiet evenings with a few friends (or none at all) not loud nights with a bunch of strangers. You might be the opposite. That’s great.

If you hate something, avoid it. If a particular topic makes you angry, don’t read about it. Don’t talk about it. You might find that your life becomes a little better every time you avoid that which angers you.

In writing this blog I’ve been doing exactly that. Doing something I love before I move onto something I don’t like as much. Proofing my new novel, The Broken Throne. I don’t like proofing but it is something I have to do if I want to finish my novel. Ah, life.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne

Tiger Woods – Ball Moved Rule

Tiger Woods Ball MoveProfessional Golf has a lot of rules and, prior to cameras being pointed at virtually every shot, it was largely up to players to report violations on their own.

In recent years fans carefully watching ever-present video have taken to calling in what they perceive as violations. That has happened again to Tiger Woods for moving a ball while removing a loose impediment. The rule is here.

I’m not against the enforcement of rules via video replay and I think making a correct decision is paramount. What I am against is overly picky enforcement of rules against what is not clearly a violation. I think the benefit of the doubt generally needs to be that no violation has occurred unless it clearly has happened.

I’m also against enforcement of rules against one player or team when the same is not done for everyone in the game. In this case Woods is clearly subject to more scrutiny because of both his popularity and unpopularity. The camera is on every single shot he makes whereas other players are not subject to the same level of observation.

In the incident in question the ball seems to wiggle but not actually change position. The rule states that if a ball moves it must be replaced in its original position. To my way of thinking, and I could be wrong about this interpretation, if the ball can’t be moved back to its starting spot because it’s already there, then perhaps the ball hasn’t really moved at all.

I suppose it could be argued that if a ball rolled several inches and then rolled back to its original location it clearly moved although hasn’t changed position. I would actually argue that the ball hasn’t really moved even under those circumstances. No harm, no foul. It’s in the original spot and hasn’t given the player any advantage.

That being said, my big problem here is the uneven application of video to golfers in a tournament. Popular, or unpopular, players are subject to more scrutiny and that in itself is unfair. Imagine if a baseball game involving my both hugely popular and much hated St. Louis Cardinals had video replay while a game involving the lowly Chicago Cubs did not. Say a similar event happens in both games but the Cardinals are punished because of replay whereas the Cubs are not.

The rules have to apply equally to all contestants otherwise they are not really rules at all. In this case Tiger is being singled out because of the large number of people who want to see his every shot.

I fully understand the desire to get the call right and I support that idea … to a point. When the violation is questionable, when the ruling comes long after an incident which was not ruled a problem at the time, when the player or team is subject to a far higher bar than other players or teams, well, I think this insistence on the letter of the law is petty.

Let them play!

Tell me what you think in the poll!

Tom Liberman

Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Sword of Water ($2.99 for a full length eBook)
Upcoming Release: The Spear of the Hunt

Tiger Woods never come from Behind to Win?

Tiger Woods*** UPDATE ****

Having won the 2019 Masters Championship after starting the day behind the leader this argument is no longer valid … or is it? Haters will find something new. Tiger never won a Major Championship when not starting in the last group!

**** END UPDATE ***

I’m a pretty big fan of golf having worked in the industry for a number of years in my youth. I’m also a proponent of good critical thinking skills and the two have come together in a way that gives me an opportunity to illustrate my point.

If you watch golf with any regularity, or follow it in the news, you have seen the following or something similar to it many times in the last few years:

Tiger has never come from behind to win a major tournament.

This statement bothers me like you cannot imagine. Every time I hear it I want to break a 9-iron. First, some background.

Tiger Woods is a pretty good golfer and he had a huge number of fans at one point in his career. He turned professional in 1996 after a sterling amateur career that included three U.S. Junior Amateur wins, three U.S. Amateur wins, and two NCAA golf titles. Once he turned professional he started winning tournaments and what are called Major Tournaments with regularity.

He has so far won on the regular PGA Tour 78 times, second most all-time, and 39 times on the European Tour which is third all-time. He also won fourteen of the so-called Major Championships which include the Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open, and the PGA Championship.

Until November of 2009 he was widely admired and universally considered the best golfer in the world. Shortly thereafter a series of incidents led to him admitting multiple incidents of marital infidelity.

Since that time Tiger has not won a Major Tournament and many of his legion of followers became a legion of haters. They don’t like what he did to his wife and they root against him. It is from this group you will hear the statement mentioned above the most.

I’m no Tiger fan. I think what he did was reprehensible and if his former wife Elin is looking for a date I am available. That being said; I choose to look at his professional career objectively.

He is no longer the dominant player he was prior to his awful behavior, that cannot be denied. He has won no major championships but he has won seven times on the PGA tour and once on the European tour since then. Only a few have done better over the same time frame. He is currently ranked #1 in the world.

But now let’s get back to my point and examine the idea that Tiger has never come back to win a Major title in his career.

A golf tournament consists of 72 holes broken down into four eighteen hole rounds. Tiger has come back to win Major Tournaments after being behind after the 1st round, the 2nd round, midway through the third round, and at different points in the 4th and final round including being behind after 71 holes at the 2008 U.S. Open. The only set of circumstances he has not come from behind to win is when he was not ahead at the conclusion of the 3rd round, or 54 holes.

This sort of selective logic bothers me greatly. I think it’s fine to dislike Tiger Woods, to root against him. You can certainly say that his play has slipped since 2009 using many factual arguments. The claim that he has never come from behind to win a Major Championship is ludicrous. When you say that to people you are passing along a lie.

This sort of thinking is the kind of logic I see all too often. I want something to be true and I find any narrow factual circumstance where the thing is true and use that to support my belief. I ignore other pertinent facts because I want to believe something so badly. This kind of thinking is dangerous because you can actually convince yourself that something is true that is actually false. This will lead you to erroneous conclusions, bad decisions.

Bad decisions hurt everyone involved; you, your family, your business. Don’t strive for them. Strive to avoid them!

Think clearly, find facts, make informed, logical decisions. You’ll find your life improves even if it means there are fewer bad things to say about Tiger Woods.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Sword of Water ($2.99 – Buy it! Seriously, I could use the money)
Upcoming Release: The Spear of the Hunt