Thinking About Filing A Dram Shop Lawsuit Against Chili's? There Are A Few Things You Should Know
My firm has sued more negligent bars for over-service of alcohol than anyone else in Texas, so I'm well aware of just how serious this problem is for our state. But it seems as though not everyone understands the devastating consequences that negligent alcohol providers, including major chains like Chili's can cause when they violate their legal obligations. To help raise awareness, I've taken the time to look through the public records of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and share what I find. If you would like to talk about a possible Dram Shop case, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Chili's is a Tex-Mex bar & grill that is headquartered in Dallas, TX. There are approximately 1700 Chili's locations worldwide, and 283 are located in Texas. Chili's parent company, Brinker International, boasts an annual revenue of roughly $3.2 billion.
The TABC or Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has conducted 21 investigations into allegations of improper service or handling of alcohol at various Chili's locations since the start of 2017.
Chili's is a worldwide brand that has been a part of the American restaurant culture for more than 40 years. That doesn't intimidate Michael Grossman and our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices. When there is Dram Shop case in Texas, we're one of the leaders that our clients look to to hold restaurants and bars that engage in irresponsible alcohol service responsible.
Just because a Chili's location was investigated and TABC investigators did not find sufficient evidence that the alleged violations occurred does not mean that Chili's did not irresponsibly serve alcohol. Conversely, simply because a Chili's location has been investigated, it also does not mean that the allegations against them were true. Simply put, a complaint and investigation does not equal nefarious activities by Chili's staff or management. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that proving, through irrefutable evidence, that an alcohol service violation occurred can be difficult.
Chili's Locations that Have Been Investigated Since 2017
Alvin - 134 North Bypass 35
On 9/14/2017, this location was alleged to have possession of an alcoholic beverage unfit for human consumption. This could mean that conditions were such that the beverage product was contaminated in some way.
About three weeks later on October 8th, TABC investigators determined that they had enough evidence to confirm that there was indeed alcohol products that were unfit for human consumption and issued a written warning on 8/27/2017.
Later we find that this same location was reported to the TABC just prior to the end of the first investigation for selling alcohol to an intoxicated person on 10/06/2017.
TABC investigators found that they did not have sufficient evidence and closed the investigation on 11/10/2017.
Angleton - 2517 N Velasco Street
On 05/16/2017, a member of the community contacted the TABC in regards a marketing practice violation.
TABC investigators took a look at the allegations and did not uncover enough evidence in order to warrant further action and closed this investigation on 5/30/2017.
Cleburne - 1653 W Henderson
This location is alleged to have possessed distilled spirits without a valid ID stamp on 2/15/2017.
TABC investigators didn't find enough evidence to support the allegations and closed the investigation on 03/08/2017.
On 02/01/2018, one of the folks in Cleburne contacted the TABC alleging that there had been a minor served at this location.
It appears that TABC investigators weren't able to find enough evidence in order to support the allegations and shut down the investigation on 03/15/2018.
Denton - 1000 Hwy 377 East
A law enforcement agency alleged on 4/12/2017 that this location had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC investigators were unable to find enough support evidence and closed the investigation on 5/14/2017.
Granbury - 1000 Hwy 377 East
This location was reported by a member of the community on 2/23/2018 alleging the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC investigators closed the case on 3/30/2018 after not finding enough evidence to move further in the matter.
Kilgore - 1212 US Hwy 259 N
On 01/08/2018, a private citizen brought forth allegations that this Kilgore locations had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC investigators were dispatched and did not find enough evidence of wrongdoing and closed the case on 3/10/2018.
Lake Jackson - 100 Hwy 332 East
On 2/16/2017, this Chili's location was reported to TABC authorities by a community member for the sale of a an alcoholic beverage to a minor.
Investigators checked out the allegations and on 4/1/2017 they closed their investigation failing to find enough evidence of criminal or administrative violations.
Lindale - 3210 S Main Street
On 2/26/2018, it was alleged that this particular location served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person.
The investigation was closed on 4/14/2018 after investigators were unable to find enough evidence to move forward with further action.
Marshall - 1305 E End Boulevard
On 2/6/2018, a law enforcement agency alleged that alcohol was sold to an intoxicated person.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigators found the bar had failed to invalidate ID stamps and gave this location a written warning on 4/2/2018.
McKinney - 7675 S Custer Road
This location in 3/15/2017 was alleged by a private citizen to have committed three separate violations, each of which was referred to the TABC for further investigation. The first violation was permitting a minor to posses or consume alcohol. The second alleged violation was serving alcohol to a minor, and, the third was selling alcohol to an intoxicated person. All three of these violations could be referring to either separate unrelated occurrences, or to a single incident in which a minor consumed alcohol and was continued to be served alcohol even after they were intoxicated.
On 5/4/2017 TABC investigators, even though there were three alleged violations, found that there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove any of the allegations for investigators to recommend corrective action.
Nacogdoches - 1911 N Street
On 2/5/2018, a member of the Nacogdoches community got in touch with TABC officials alleging that the bar and grill had served alcohol to someone under the age of 21.
A few weeks later, on 2/24/2018, investigators had not uncovered enough evidence and closed the case.
Pinehurst - 292 Strickland Drive
On 3/21/2017, this location was alleged to have served alcohol during prohibited hours. Time restrictions for alcohol are common, but Texas has a few unique twists on traditional serving hours. Beer and wine can be sold from 7:00 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. til 1:00 on Saturday, and from noon to midnight on Sunday.
Despite the allegations, the TABC closed down their investigation on 3/23/2017 because they hadn't found enough evidence to support the allegations.
Plainview - 1515 IH 27 North
On 03/06/2018, an investigation was launched by TABC investigators regarding an allegation that Chili's had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC investigators completed their investigation on 4/16/2018, unable to find corroborating evidence that the alleged sale had occurred.
Rio Grande City - 4805 Hwy 83 East
On 12/19/2017, a law enforcement agency notified the TABC alleging that this location had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Upon completion of their investigation, TABC officials found that this locations had failed to report a breach of the peace. They were fined $600. This location was also fined $1200 in 2011 for selling alcohol to a minor. The investigation was closed on 2/28/2018.
Silsbee - 1010 Hwy 96 North
On 1/31/2018, a member of the community alleged that Chili's was selling alcohol to a person already intoxicated.
TABC officials closed the investigation on 2/16/2018 after not finding enough evidence that this location did indeed sell alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Silsbee - 1010 Hwy 96 North
On 3/28/2017, a member of the community alleged that Chili's was selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
TABC officials closed the investigation on 4/22/2017 after not finding enough evidence that there was a sale to a minor.
Sulphur Springs - 128 E Shannon Road
On 10/02/2017, a member of the community alleged that this location had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
After not finding enough evidence of wrongdoing, the investigators closed the investigation on 11/6/2017.
Waxahachie - 998 Hwy 287 W Bypass
On 01/23/2017, a member of the community alleged that this location had sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
On 02/23/2017, after not finding enough evidence of wrongdoing, the investigators closed the investigation.
Texas Law Says Accident Victims Can Sue Bad Bars
If you would like to learn more about Texas dram shop law (i.e. liqour liability law / lawsuits against bars who play a role in injurious or fatal accidents), please visit our Texas Dram Shop Law Info Page.