Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Cellarman's Pub & Brewery? 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.
Cellarman's Pub & Brewery is located in Sherman, Texas. Known for producing a wide variety of craft beers, it has established a strong local following. In recent years, it has also managed to attract the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to a number of allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into alcohol service practices at Cellarman's Pub & Brewery.
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 Cellarman's Pub & Brewery for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Cellarman's Pub & Brewery Between 2016 and 2019
Sherman - 2130 Texoma Parkway
On 10/07/2016, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 10/22/2016.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 03/22/2017, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and failed to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).
Upon investigation, authorities only found enough evidence to corroborate the claim that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace. After handing down an unspecified penalty, TABC agents closed the case on 04/01/2017.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 01/03/2018, again accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
The ensuing investigation was not successful at turning up any proof of a violation. With no further course of action available, authorities wrapped up their work on the case on 02/18/2018.
On 05/01/2018, law enforcement reached out to the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor, in addition to allowing the minor to possess or consume the beverage.
The TABC launched an inquiry, but failed to uncover any corroborating evidence. As a result, authorities ended their work on the case on 06/10/2018.
A citizen complaint, filed on 07/24/2018, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an underage patron in addition to permitting the possession of drugs on the premises.
After nearly two months of investigation, authorities were able to substantiate the claim that the bar sold alcohol to a minor. Though the TABC classified this as both a criminal and administrative violation, it declined to hand down any punishment. On 09/15/2018, the investigation concluded.
An unnamed source lodged a complaint with the TABC on 03/28/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the veracity of this claim. Unable to take any action, investigators closed the case on 05/24/2019.
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.