Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Fat Grass Restaurant? 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.
Fat Grass Restaurant is located in Bay City, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a significant amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted six separate investigations into the restaurant'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 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 Fat Grass Restaurant for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Fat Grass Restaurant Between 2015 and 2019
Bay City - 1717 7th Street
On 03/04/2015, a concerned citizen reached out to the TABC and alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. 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. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 05/14/2015.
A staff member contacted the TABC on 04/17/2017, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already intoxicated. While it might seem strange that a staff member would be the source of a TABC complaint, employees have a legal obligation to report any violations they see in the workplace.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/06/2017.
A member of the Bay City community reached out to the TABC on 06/25/2018, claiming that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to a minor, permitted the possession of drugs on the premises, and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.
TABC agents conducted an inquiry, but due to a lack of video evidence, they could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, investigators could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 08/21/2018.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 08/06/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Within 24 hours, the TABC had conducted an investigation, but agents failed to turn up any corroborating evidence. Left with no other course of action, authorities decided to close the case on 08/07/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 09/18/2018, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person.
Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before taking action. Since investigators had none on this occasion, they had no choice but to close the case, which they did on 11/06/2018.
Yet another citizen complaint, filed on 11/04/2019, accused the bar of selling alcohol to a minor.
After over two months of investigation, authorities still had not uncovered any evidence to support the allegation. Consequently, the TABC chose to end its work on the case on 01/08/2020.
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.