Months after dropping her lawsuit against Tiger Woods, Erica Herman has now filed a 53-page brief in a Florida state appeals court to revive it. It's pertinent to note that the original public lawsuit filed against Woods by Herman was dismissed in May.
Now, Herman’s attorney submitted a document arguing that the trial court erred by deciding to push the dispute out of public court and into private arbitration. The attempt to revive the lawsuit saw the brief claiming that the case should not be compelled to resolve the dispute in private arbitration, as Herman was subject to sexual harassment from the defendant.
According to the brief, a recently enacted federal law invalidates non-disclosure agreements as well as forced arbitration in cases of sexual assault or harassment. Herman, a former employee at Tiger Woods’ restaurant in Florida, is now calling for the reopening of the case, where she seeks $30 million in damages.
The brief from Erica Herman’s attorney, Benjamin Hodas read, as quoted by Golfweek:
“Congress recently passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, precisely to prevent a plaintiff like Ms. Herman from being forced into arbitration by a former boss and sexual partner related to her employment and sexual relationship.”
The Erica Herman-Tiger Woods NDA fight
It's noteworthy that Herman had previously argued that Tiger Woods pursued a sexual relationship with her while she was an employee at his restaurant.
She claimed that the legendary golfer forced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement about it and was threatened with being fired from her job if she did not. The brief filed in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal read:
“No one should be forced out of court and into arbitration without proof that they agreed to arbitrate. But that happened here. The trial court allowed the Appellee (Tiger Woods) to force the Appellant (Erica Herman) out of court without even threshold evidence that he and she agreed to arbitrate. The burden was not high for the Appellee, but he failed to meet it.”
It's pertinent to note that Tiger Woods' legal team disclosed correspondence with Herman from 2017 during the May court hearing. The purported NDA between the two parties required her to resolve disputes in private arbitration.
The emails submitted by the golfer’s attorney proved that Herman agreed to the agreement. However, Herman dismissed the validity of the NDA and claimed to not recall signing it.