Interested In Filing a Dram Shop Claim Against Foundation Lounge? Here's What You Need To Know
Bars that recklessly over-serve alcohol to their patrons share a piece of the blame when those customers go on to cause an accident. Over the last 30 years, my firm has sued more bars for this kind of irresponsible behavior than anyone else in Texas. With hundreds of cases worth of experience under my belt, the pervasiveness of the problem, as well as the tragedies that follow in its wake, are never far from my mind. While the public might hear about an accident from time to time, rarely do they see the history of complaints and violations that led up to it. With articles like this, I try to provide that missing background with data obtained by researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, don't hesitate to contact me at (855) 326-0000.
Foundations Lounge is a bar located in College Station, Texas. Primarily popular with the college crowd, it also has received a tremendous amount of attention from the TABC in the recent past. Since 2015, it has had nine separate investigations into allegations of failing to adhere to state liquor laws.
It's quite rare for a bar without prior TABC complaints 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. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day cause an accident.
Note: Investigations are not evidence that a bar has broken the law. Investigators must have sufficient proof that there was a violation of TABC regulations in order to take legal action. Owing to the nature of this kind of violation, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to find. This article simply aims to relay publicly-available information about complaints made against Foundation Lounge to TABC.
TABC Investigations of Foundation Lounge Since 2015
College Station - 108 College Main
On 05/02/2015, law enforcement filed the first complaint on this list, claiming multiple violations occurred: permitting a minor to consume alcohol, selling alcohol to a minor, and allowing staff to either sell or possess drugs.
TABC looked into the matter but could not uncover sufficient proof of a criminal or administrative violation. On 06/24/2015, authorities concluded their investigation without further action.
Staff at this bar lodged a second complaint with TABC on 06/25/2015. This time, the list of allegations was even longer. The report claims two counts each of the bar selling alcohol to a minor, allowing a minor to possess or consume alcohol, and selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
TABC's investigation found enough evidence to issue five citations for criminal violations and one citation for an administrative violation. Punishment for all of the violations was either dismissed, deferred, or restrained. Authorities subsequently shut the case on 07/30/2015.
Law enforcement filed the next complaint on 08/04/2015. The report alleged that this bar sold alcohol to a minor and to a drunk patron.
Though the complaint listed only two allegations, authorities found sufficient proof to cite the bar for three violations: a criminal violation for allowing a minor to consume alcohol, an administrative violation for permitting a minor to possess alcohol, and an administrative violation for permitting the possession of drugs on the premises. Punishment for the criminal violation was deferred, while no punishment was indicated for the administrative violations. On 10/23/2015, the investigation came to an end.
The fourth complaint of 2015 came on 09/15. Law enforcement informed TABC that a breach of the peace occurred and the bar failed to report it (a separate violation in itself).
An investigation ensued, but authorities came up empty-handed. Unable to prove any wrongdoing, investigators concluded their efforts on 10/31/2015.
A law enforcement complaint on 11/03/2015 alerted the TABC of two more alleged violations. Both suggested that the bar allowed a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
During the investigation, authorities were able to substantiate the claim and issued a citation for an administrative violation. The bar was then hit with an unspecified civil penalty. The case concluded on 11/11/2015.
On 04/13/2017, a concerned citizen contacted TABC alleging that staff sold alcohol to a minor and sold drugs on the premises.
Authorities were able to substantiate the claim that the bar made alcohol available to a minor, but could not find evidence to back up the other allegation. They issued one citation for a criminal violation, however, no punishment appears in the report. TABC ended its investigation on 05/30/2017.
A law enforcement complaint dating back to 01/09/2019 mentions only unspecified felony charges against this bar. TABC did not have luck finding evidence, so it shut the case on 01/26/2019.
On the same day as the above complaint, yet another law enforcement report alleged three violations occurred: a breach of the peace, permitting the possession of drugs on the premises, and a staff member who was drinking on the job.
TABC launched an inquiry into these charges and found evidence of an administrative violation for the breach of the peace. The punishment listed in the report was an unspecified civil penalty. On 01/31/2019, the case concluded.
Law enforcement filed a complaint on 10/10/2019, alleging that the bar failed to report a breach of the peace (most likely a fight).
TABC investigated and found sufficient evidence to issue a written warning. With this, the case concluded on 11/19/2019.
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.