Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sumerian Enterprise? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations than any other in Texas. In my over 30 years of experience, I have repeatedly seen just how serious the consequences can be when bars over-serve alcohol. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it's much less common to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to raise awareness about the extent of this problem. To this end, I dedicate some of my time to investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and would like to learn about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Sumerian Enterprise is a bar located in El Paso, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than five 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 Sumerian Enterprise for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Sumerian Enterprise Between 2019 and 2020
El Paso - 1441 N Zaragoza Road, Unit C8-C11
On 01/09/2019, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
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 02/26/2019.
A member of the El Paso community reached out to the TABC on 03/06/2019, alleging that the bar again permitted an underage patron to possess or consume alcohol.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. As authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they were unable to take any action. As a result, the case came to a close on 05/06/2019.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 09/18/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person. Additionally, they claimed a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.
The ensuing investigation found evidence to support the second and third allegations, as well as two counts of disorderly conduct. After handing down two unspecified penalties for administrative violations, the TABC ended its work on the case on 10/22/2019.
A second law enforcement complaint, filed on 11/17/2019, claimed that a breach of the peace occurred.
Even when a police officer is the source of a complaint, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before taking action. Since investigators did not have any proof, they decided to end their work on the case on 01/02/2020.
On 01/10/2020, law enforcement contacted the TABC once again, alleging that the bar allowed a minor to both purchase and consume alcohol, in addition to failing to report a breach of the peace.
After nearly two months of investigation, TABC agents still had not managed to find any evidence to support the allegations. Since they could not take any further action, the case came to a close on 03/04/2020.
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.