Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Palmer Club? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has handled more liquor liability (dram shop) cases than anyone else in Texas. With over 30 years of practice behind me, I can attest to just how many bars regularly fail to adhere to alcohol service laws, particularly when it comes to their obligation to refuse service to patrons who are already drunk. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it is much less common for it to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to increase people's awareness of this problem, I dedicate a portion of my time to researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Palmer Club is a bar located in Texas City, Texas. In recent years it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than seven 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 Palmer Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Palmer Club Between 2015 and 2019
Texas City - 1112 N 34th Street
On 10/09/2015, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
The TABC launched an inquiry into the allegation, but after nearly a month of work, agents still had not found any proof of wrongdoing. Unable to take any further action, they closed the case on 11/04/2015.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/16/2016, claiming that a breach of the peace took place and that the bar served alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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 02/10/2016.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 04/01/2016, accusing the bar of permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, and a breach of the peace the went unreported.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had none in this investigation, they shut the case without further action on 06/30/2016.
Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 12/20/2016, alleged that a breach of the peace occurred and that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already drunk.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the veracity of the claim. With no other course of action available, they ended their work on the case on 01/24/2017.
A staff member filed a complaint with the TABC on 11/03/2017, alleging a breach of the peace occurred. While it might seem strange that a staff member would be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.
TABC agents investigated, but once again, there was no video evidence available. Unable to establish the claim's validity, authorities closed the case on 12/23/2017.
Another staff member complaint came on 03/13/2018, alleging that a breach of the peace occurred.
As per usual, authorities did not have any corroborating evidence to aid their investigation. Unable to take any further action, they ended their work on 03/21/2018.
On 06/24/2019, a member of the Texas City community filed a complaint that alleged the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
The ensuing investigation lasted a month and a half, but did not manage to uncover any evidence to support the claim. Consequently, authorities concluded their investigation on 08/10/2019.
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.