Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Fish Place? 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.
Fish Place is a seafood restaurant located in La Marque, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, authorities conducted five 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 Fish Place for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Fish Place Between 2018 and 2019
La Marque - 925 Texas Avenue
On 01/02/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor and permitted staff to sell drugs on the premises.
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 03/01/2018.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 02/05/2018, claiming that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.
As mentioned in the previous investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing - even when the source of the complaint is a police officer. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 02/05/2018.
A second law enforcement complaint came on 04/21/2018, this time accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a minor.
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/27/2018.
On 03/26/2019, yet another law enforcement complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once again. This time, the allegations were a breach of the peace and sale of alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but as is so often the case, they were unable to uncover any corroborating evidence. Left with no other option, investigators decided to close the case without further action on 03/29/2019.
A law enforcement complaint, dated 04/03/2019, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
The ensuing investigation was unusually short, lasting only 24 hours, compared to the typical length of a month or two. After establishing that there was insufficient evidence for them to take action, investigators concluded their efforts on 04/04/2019.
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.