Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Gilbert's? 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.
Gilbert's is a bar located in Rosenberg, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than five 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 Gilbert's for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Gilbert's Between 2018 and 2019
Rosenberg - 1101 Ave H
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/25/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already intoxicated.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 03/03/2018.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 05/17/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff is drinking, its ability to judge when to cut off service is impaired.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified penalty, the TABC closed the case on 07/17/2018.
On 01/22/2019, law enforcement reached out to the TABC and once more accused the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
As mentioned in the first 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 03/23/2019.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 04/10/2019, accused the bar again of selling alcohol to a drunk customer.
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/11/2019.
On 06/26/2019, a fifth law enforcement complaint alleged that the bar allowed a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
As is so often the case, TABC agents conducted an inquiry into the matter, but they were ultimately unable to take any action for lack of evidence. On 09/13/2019, investigators brought their work to a close.
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.