Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Bearcat Sports Bar? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Bearcat Sports Bar is located in Willow Park, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2017, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence, it doesn't necessarily mean an establishment is innocent, either. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Bearcat Sports Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Bearcat Sports Bar Between 2015 and 2017
Willow Park - 5080 Ih 20 East
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 08/24/2015, alleging the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 10/22/2015.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 01/12/2016, this time alleging multiple violations, including: staff drinking on the job, selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, and a breach of the peace (typically a fight) which went unreported (a separate violation in itself).
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most allegations of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they were unable to take any action. As a result, they concluded their efforts on 02/27/2016.
For the third time in the course of a year, the TABC returned to investigate the bar on 04/04/2016 after receiving a complaint from law enforcement that accused the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
After nearly a month and a half of investigation, authorities still had not found any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. With no other course of action available, the TABC closed the case on 05/15/2016.
The TABC received another law enforcement complaint on 03/24/2017, claiming a breach of the peace occurred and that staff was drinking on the job.
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claims and could thus take no action. On 05/07/2017, authorities decided to bring the case to a close.
On 09/19/2017, law enforcement placed a complaint, alleging that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace.
Upon investigation, TABC agents were able to find evidence to support the claim, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, authorities closed the case on 10/01/2017.
Texas Law Says Accident Victims Can Sue Bad Bars
If you would like to learn more about Texas dram shop law (i.e. lawsuits against bars who play a role in injurious or fatal accidents), please visit our Texas Dram Shop Law Info Page.