Considering A Dram Shop Case Against El Karma Bar? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
El Karma Bar is located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is uncommon for a bar without a history of run-ins with the TABC to end up on the hook for contributing to a wrongful death or injury. Virtually every bar I have ever sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with several recent complaints against them. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day cause 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 El Karma Bar for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of El Karma Bar Between 2019 and 2020
Houston - 5708 S Gessner Road
On 02/01/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person, permitted staff to possess or sell drugs, and sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
Upon investigation, authorities found evidence that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol, permitted patrons to drink during prohibited hours, and failed to invalidate ID stamps on used liquor bottles, all of which they classified as administrative violations. After handing down unspecified penalties for the first two violations and a warning for the third, the TABC closed the case on 04/08/2019.
A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 05/16/2019, claiming that the bar allowed customers to drink during prohibited hours.
After looking into the matter, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 05/17/2019.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 05/21/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor and during prohibited hours.
Authorities looked into the allegations 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 05/21/2019.
Yet another citizen complaint, filed on 06/17/2019, brought the TABC back to investigate an allegation that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 12/18/2019.
The next citizen complaint to reach the TABC came on 02/20/2020, claiming that the bar sold alcohol without a permit and during prohibited hours.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 04/21/2020.
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.