Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sports City Cafe? Here's What You Need To Know
In the 30 years that I've been suing reckless bars for over-serving alcohol, I've handled hundreds of cases. My experience has shown me time and again just how many bars consistently fail to follow alcohol service regulations. While people might see or hear of a drunk driving accident now and then, it is less common for them to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to increase the public's awareness of this issue. With that in mind, I dedicate some 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Sports City Cafe is a bar and grill located in Mesquite, Texas. Founded in 1997, it has been successful with many locals who come to enjoy the regular viewing parties of Cowboys' games and other sporting events. In recent years, however, the bar has also managed to attract a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into alcohol service practices at Sports City Cafe.
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 cause 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 Sports City Cafe for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sports City Cafe Between 2015 and 2019
Mesquite - 3808 Towne Crossing Boulevard
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 12/17/2015, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
Authorities looked into the matter, but the investigation did not turn up any evidence of a violation; even a police officer's word is not considered sufficient proof of wrongdoing for the TABC to issue a citation. Unable to take any action, TABC agents closed the case on 02/12/2016.
On 05/06/2016, another law enforcement complaint claimed that a breach of the peace occurred.
As in the previous investigation, TABC agents were not able to locate any proof to back up the claim. As a result, the case came to a close on 05/06/2016.
A complaint from an unnamed source, filed on 07/29/2016, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
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. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 12/08/2016.
A member of the Mesquite community reached out to the TABC on 06/14/2017 and alleged that the bar both employed a person under 18 to sell alcohol and served alcohol to a minor.
Due to a lack of video evidence, the ensuing investigation failed to uncover any evidence of wrongdoing. With no other course of action available, authorities closed the case on 06/27/2017.
Almost exactly one year later, on 06/01/2018, a law enforcement complaint alleged that the bar employed a person under 18 to handle alcohol, sold alcohol to an intoxicated person, and that a breach of the peace took place.
As stated earlier, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to corroborate most of the complaints it receives. Having none on this occasion, agents could not determine the claims' validity. Thus, the investigation ended without any further action on 07/24/2018.
On 06/26/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a person who was already over the limit.
The subsequent investigation was not successful at substantiating the claim. As a result, the case concluded on 08/22/2019.
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.