Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Cafe Gecko? 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.
Cafe Gecko is a chain of restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With its laid-back atmosphere and a menu inspired by the cuisine of the Yucatan Peninsula, the chain has had tremendous success in its three decades of business. In recent years, however, Cafe Gecko has also managed to attract a good deal of attention from the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between just 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into alcohol service practices at three of the chain's locations.
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 Cafe Gecko for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Cafe Gecko Between 2018 and 2019
Plano - 6145 Windhaven Parkway Suite 100
A law enforcement complaint, filed on 02/01/2018, alleged that this location sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
The TABC followed up soon thereafter 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 03/07/2018.
On 07/03/2019, The TABC received a complaint from law enforcement, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place and that the bar failed to report it (itself a separate violation). It also alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a customer who was already over the limit.
Out of the three allegations, authorities were only able to determine that the restaurant failed to report a breach of the peace. Classifying it as an administrative violation, TABC agents issued a written warning, after which they closed the case on 07/28/2019.
A concerned citizen contacted the TABC on 10/03/2019, charging the bar with selling alcohol to a drunk person.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but, lacking video evidence, they were unable to take any action. On 11/14/2019, they decided to close the case.
Addison - 5290 Belt Line Road Suite 118
On 04/24/2018, an anonymous source claimed that this location sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Authorities followed up soon thereafter with an investigation. As mentioned previously, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to substantiate most allegations. Since they had none on this occasion, agents were unable to to determine the veracity of the claim. Consequently, the investigation came to a close without further action on 06/14/2018.
Richardson - 1381 W Campbell Road
An unnamed source contacted the TABC on 04/02/2018 and alleged that this location permitted gambling on the premises, sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer, and that an employee was drinking on the job.
TABC agents looked into the claims, but due to a lack of video evidence, they were unable to take any action. As a result, this case concluded on 05/11/2018.
On 05/09/2019, a member of the Richardson community lodged a complaint with TABC, alleging that this location sold alcohol to a minor.
Just as in the previous investigation, there was no video evidence available. With no other course of action available, authorities closed the case on 06/15/2019.
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.