Considering A Dram Shop Claim Against Hank's Texas Grill? Here's What You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, my firm has held more irresponsible bars accountable for over-serving alcohol than anyone else in Texas. With hundreds of cases under my belt, I've seen firsthand just how pervasive this practice really is. While the public might hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, rarely does it hear about the role bars that regularly over-serve their customers play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Hank's Texas Grill is a bar and restaurant located in McKinney, Texas. In addition to the popularity it has gained for its southern-inspired menu, it is also a well-known venue for country and rock music concerts. However, not all of the attention it has received has been for its food and entertainment offerings. Over just a three year period, TABC agents investigated Hank's Texas Grill on five separate occasions for allegations of liquor law violations.
In my experience, it's uncommon 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've sued was already on the authorities' radar. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day contribute to 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 Hank's Texas Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Hank's Texas Grill Between 2016 and 2018
McKinney - 1310 N Central Expressway
On 04/09/2016, TABC received a complaint from law enforcement alleging that staff sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Authorities looked into the matter, but after over a month of inquiry, they failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing. Finding sufficient proof is often a difficult task; in order to issue a citation for a liquor law violation, TABC needs either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents. On 05/20/2016, investigators decided to close the case.
The next complaint came from an unnamed source on 11/02/2017. This time, the claim was that a member of staff was drinking on the job. An allegation of this type is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Part of the staff's duty is to look out for signs of intoxication in guests and to stop serving alcohol to those who exhibit them.
TABC launched an investigation into the claim, but again could not locate sufficient evidence that a violation had occurred. On 12/05/2017, this case concluded without further action.
On 02/02/2018, another complaint from an unnamed source accused staff of drinking on the job.
The subsequent investigation was no more successful at turning up evidence of a violation than the previous one. With no other course of action available, authorities ended their efforts and closed this case on 03/16/2018.
Law enforcement filed the next complaint, which TABC received on 07/11/2018. It alleged that staff delivered alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.
As is frequently the case, authorities had difficulty uncovering enough evidence of wrongdoing to issue a violation. Unable to take further action, they decided to shut this case on 09/07/2018.
A nameless source contacted TABC on 12/28/2018, charging that staff both sold drugs on the premises and sold alcohol to a minor.
TABC agents investigated the claims, but there was not enough evidence available to prove that a violation had occurred. On 01/24/2019, the case concluded without further action.
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.