Considering A Dram Shop Case Against 777 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.
777 Club is a bar located in Richardson, Texas. As a private club, only members can purchase alcohol, but all patrons can enjoy a variety of entertainment options such as karaoke, dancing, pool, darts, and shuffleboard. In recent years, the bar has had several encounters with the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into alcohol service practices at 777 Club.
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 777 Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of 777 Club Between 2017 and 2019
Richardson - 777 S Central Expressway #2D
On 04/06/2017, a citizen complaint alleged that the bar allowed gambling on the premises.
Authorities subsequently looked into the matter, but they failed to find any corroborating evidence. Unable to take any further action, they decided to close the case on 05/02/2017.
An anonymous complaint, filed on 08/08/2017, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron and allowing gambling on the premises.
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 10/05/2017.
The next complaint came from an unnamed source on 04/11/2018, claiming three violations took place: selling alcohol to a drunk person, staff drinking on the job, and gambling on the premises. The second allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If the staff itself is drinking, its ability to judge when to stop serving is compromised.
After a month and a half of investigation, authorities were unable to find any evidence to support the claims. Consequently, they decided to shut this case on 05/24/2018.
On 11/16/2018, a member of the Richardson community reached out to the TABC and alleged that staff was drinking on the job and permitted gambling on the premises.
As mentioned previously, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to confirm the validity of most claims. Since it had none on this occasion, authorities had no choice but to close this case without taking any action on 01/06/2019.
Almost a year later, on 10/23/2019, the TABC received a citizen complaint charging that staff were drinking on the job and permitting gambling on the premises.
Though investigators could not prove the alleged violations took place, they were able to prove that others did occur. Authorities issued two citations for selling alcohol to an intoxicated person and one for selling alcohol to a non-member. However, the complaint summary does not mention any punishment for the violations. On 12/17/2019, the case concluded.
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.