Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Hamburger Mary's? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Hamburger Mary's is a bar located in Houston, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, authorities conducted four separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it's 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 contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of a violation, 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 Hamburger Mary's for criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Hamburger Mary's Between 2017 and 2018
Houston - 2409 Grant St Suite A
On 02/13/2017, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar allowed a customer to remove an alcoholic beverage from the premises.
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 05/05/2017.
A staff member contacted the TABC on 04/13/2017, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer. While it might seem strange for a staff member to be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.
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 05/14/2017.
A member of the Houston community reached out to the TABC on 11/03/2017, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a minor, an intoxicated person, and allowed the possession of drugs on the premises.
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 12/23/2017.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 03/22/2018, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to produce sufficient evidence of a violation to take any action. Left with no other option, the TABC closed the case on 03/27/2018.
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.