Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Warehouse? Here's What You Need To Know
I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion 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, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Warehouse is a bar and grill located in Seguin, Texas. With live music, games, and the largest restaurant patio in the city, it has established as solid reputation with locals. In recent years, however, Warehouse has also attracted the attention of the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019, authorities conducted three separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
In my experience, it is 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, 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 Warehouse for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Warehouse Between 2018 and 2019
Seguin - 108 S Austin Street
On 03/22/2018, the TABC received a complaint from law enforcement, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, in addition to selling alcohol to an intoxicated person and during prohibited hours. The first of the three allegations is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is drinking, its ability to determine when customers have had enough is impaired, which could result in over-serving.
After two months of investigation, authorities had enough evidence to back up the first allegation, which they classified as an administrative violation. After handing down an unspecified civil penalty, investigators closed the case on 05/23/2018.
Law enforcement filed a second complaint on 09/05/2018, alleging that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to a minor, delivered alcohol to a drunk patron, and that the bar employed a person under 18 to handle alcohol.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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 10/31/2018.
A member of the Seguin community reached out to the TABC on 12/17/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Due to a lack of video evidence, the ensuing investigation was not successful at proving any wrongdoing. Unable to take any action, authorities decided to close the case on 02/16/2019.
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.