Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Itasca Foods? 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.
Itasca Foods is convenience store located in Itasca, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2016, authorities conducted three separate investigations into the store's alcohol sales 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 Itasca Foods for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Itasca Foods Between 2015 and 2016
Itasca - 208 S Hill Street
On 10/22/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that staff was drinking on the job and permitted the consumption of alcohol on 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 12/03/2015.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/15/2016, accusing the store of selling alcohol to a minor.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm the allegation, which they classified as both an administrative and criminal violation. After handing down unspecified penalties, the TABC closed the case on 03/08/2016.
A member of the Itasca community reached out to the TABC on 06/24/2016, claiming that the store sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.
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 08/18/2016.
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.