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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against J's Corner Tavern? Here's What You Need To Know

For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.

J's Corner Tavern is located in Wharton, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, authorities conducted five separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.

In my experience, it's 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 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 J's Corner Tavern for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of J's Corner Tavern Between 2019 and 2020


Wharton - 5035 Farm to Market Rd 1301

Allegations:

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/09/2019, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.

Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, 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 01/29/2019.

A concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC on 05/21/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.

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 07/16/2019.

The TABC received an anonymous complaint on 08/08/2019, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to both a minor and an intoxicated person.

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 10/01/2019.

A second law enforcement complaint reached the TABC on 11/05/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk customer and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred.

An investigation ensued, but authorities were ultimately unable to turn up any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Left with no other option, the TABC closed the case on 01/08/2020.

Yet another law enforcement complaint, filed on 01/08/2020, alleged that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person, allowed customers to drink during prohibited hours, and failed to report a breach of the peace.

While the investigation that followed failed to turn up any evidence to support the initial allegations, it did manage to determine that the bar sold alcohol to a minor, which authorities classified as both a criminal and administrative violation. After deciding not to hand down any punishment, the TABC closed the case on 02/26/2020.

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.