Venus Williams was sued on Friday by the family of a Florida man who died after being involved in a two-vehicle crash that police say was the fault of the world’s former top-ranked tennis player.
A civil complaint filed Friday, days before the revered Wimbledon tournament, claims that Williams was negligent in the June 9 crash near her Florida residence in Palm Beach Gardens. A passenger in a small sedan that collided with Williams’ larger SUV, Jerome Barson, 78, died June 22, according to the suit and, separately, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s office.
While Williams was not given a citation by police for the crash, she was found at fault for failing to yield the right of way, according to a police report filed by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.
The Barson’s lawsuit for wrongful death comes just days before Williams is scheduled to begin play at tennis’ most prestigious event, Wimbledon, and casts a cloud over her involvement in the tournament, where she is slated to play on Monday against Belgian Elise Mertens.
Williams, 37, has won the tournament five times, although her last title there came in 2008.
Jerome Barson’s wife of 33 years, Linda Barson, who was driving the sedan, survived but, the suit says, sustained multiple injuries.