When Attorney and former Judge Hon. Dan Robles was hired by the family of a man killed in a single-vehicle drunk driving crash he turned to Grossman Law to formulate and litigate her first-party dram shop claim. Here's the story of how we were able to work together to deliver a $950,000.00 settlement for the victim's family.

Facts of the Case

Date & Location

A popular bar and night club on South Padre Island.

What Happened

Our client's husband was negligently overserved alcohol, which led to a single car crash after he left the bar.

Injuries Suffered

Our client's husband tragically passed away as a result of the crash.

Settlement Amount


...the bartender [who was] pretty young experienced, served them and served them.

My client, the surviving spouse, had been with her husband at a pretty well known nightclub, dancing place, drinking place on South Padre Island. He was there with his coworkers enjoying the evening because they'd such a successful period of time working. He worked with a big company in Houston doing a lot of commercial construction. He was the team lead. The employer basically invited everybody out and said you guys drink, enjoy, you know, we'll take care of it and told the the bartender, you know, run a tab for 'em, whatever these guys want, serve 'em. Well, you know, . And my client consumed till he was way, way, way, beyond the place where he should have been.

Hon. Dan Robles

Tragically, after leaving the bar, the client's husband was involved in a single-car crash in which he lost his life. He left behind his wife and five children.

Why did they keep serving him after he'd reached that point?

He was very inebriated. That's the dram shop claim. So he left the place, shortly thereafter he was involved in one vehicle accident. As a result of that, he died. And so the issue came back to, you know, why did they keep serving him after he'd reached that point? That's exactly why bartenders are trained and, you know, businesses like this that serve people on the island, enjoy themselves, are supposed to keep an eye and monitor how much they drink to avoid this happening. So the family lost their breadwinner. My client has her children, you know, they have nothing, they lost everything when the husband died. So that's, that was the basis of this claim.

Hon. Dan Robles

In Texas, licensed providers of alcohol are legally prohibited from serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated adult recipients. When establishments fail to abide by said law, victims of any resulting injury or death can sue them for damages under the Texas Dram Shop Act.

However, dram shop law is a specialized area of personal injury law, and most personal injury law firms in the state have no experience successfully litigating them. But we do.

So, when attorney Dan Robles was approached by the widow of the man who died, he began searching for a law firm that could help her achieve justice. In this case, that meant finding a law firm that had the chops to litigate a first-party dram shop claim.

...[the case] had been rejected a couple of times by firms that I had worked with in the past.

This was not the first law firm I had sent this case to for review for a potential lawsuit. It had been rejected a couple of times by firms that I had worked with in the past. Coincidentally, I had a received over the Christmas holiday a brochure from [Grossman Law] and I looked at it. This is the first time I'd heard of this law firm. And I kept that brochure on my desk only because, you know, you never know it might come in handy. Well, sure enough. Guess what? When the other law firms didn't take the case, I said, wait a minute. I read about this firm, it's here on my desk. And that's when I called the Grossman Law Firm. And they were very good about, right away, responding to my inquiries and getting me information about how I can get them in touch with my clients and what they do.

Hon. Dan Robles

Shortly thereafter, we met with the client who agreed to retain our firm to handle the claim, and we took the lead.

The first order of business was to get to the bottom of exactly what happened at the South Padre bar where the client's husband was prior to his accident. After establishing the facts and assessing the evidence, we felt confident that the bartender negligently over-served our client's husband, proximately causing the crash which caused his death.

Accordingly, we filed the first party dram shop claim against the bar, demanding compensation for the widow of the man who lost his life because of their negligence.

At this point, the defense attorneys put forth several defenses, each of which we were able to effectively counter.

For instance, the defense claimed that the victim wasn't actually drinking at the bar and he wasn't drunk when he left the bar, and so he must have become drunk by drinking somewhere else.

So whatever the defense brought up, they pretty much were prepared and shut 'em down quickly.

Well, certainly this was where the expertise of the attorneys at the Grossman law firm, uh, was, was ideal because they, they were able to, uh, deal with the issues, the challenge, liability, intoxication, everything else, they, they were prepared for it and they certainly handled it admirably. They, they rose above and, and did what they had to do. So whatever the defenses brought, the defense brought up, they, they pretty much were prepared and shut 'em down quickly. This was all their doing, you know, they needed little help from me.

Hon. Dan Robles

To counter these assertions we obtained GPS and text message data which showed no evidence that the victim had gone anywhere else that evening where he could have been served alcohol. After presenting this evidence, the defense reluctantly admitted that they "did not know" how the victim became intoxicated.

At this point, mediation between the two sides commenced. The defense promptly made a low-ball settlement offer. Despite the fact that the client was anxious to settle the case, we were confident that the facts were on our side. We advised our client to hold out a little longer.

At that point, mediation ended without a resolution, and the defense made another offer. Once again, the offer was not fair, and we advised our client to reject it.

Finally, with a jury trial looming, the defense agreed to our demand. With that, the case was resolved and our client secured a settlement of $950,000.00.

I had heard "these are the negatives, this is where the case gonna fall apart, there's no way it can be overcome"...and this firm proved everybody wrong

I think the true measure of a law firm is, if it's litigation specifically, it's how they deal with the challenges, the defenses – how they legally address those. On that I can only give them the highest mark. I'd give them five stars because they did extraordinarily well. I know for a fact, because I'd researched it myself and from the other firms that had rejected the case I had heard "these are the negatives, this is where the case gonna fall apart, there's no way it can be overcome"...and this firm proved everybody wrong because they met the challenges and, and did extraordinarily well in litigation. And that's the mark of a good law firm and a good team.

Hon. Dan Robles


Texas dram shop case? We can help. Call Grossman Law 24/7 for a free consultation.