Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Maribelle's? Here's What You Need To Know
I have been holding bad bars accountable for over-serving alcohol for the last 30 years. With hundreds of cases under my belt, I have seen over and over just how rampant this practice really is. While the public might hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, it doesn't hear much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. With the goal of calling more attention to this issue, I spend some of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Maribelle's is a bar located in Seabrook, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on a number of occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2018, authorities conducted three separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Maribelle's.
In my experience, it is uncommon for a bar that has no previous history of TABC investigations to end up involved in a dram shop case. Almost every bar I've sued was already on the authorities' radar. That's why I pay close attention to bars with multiple recent complaints on record. The more investigations a bar has had, the more concerned I become that it could one day play a part in a wrongful death or injury.
I want to emphasize that an investigation does not mean a bar did anything illegal. At the same time, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of wrongdoing, it does not mean that a bar is necessarily innocent, either. Given the nature of liquor law violations, it can be difficult for authorities to uncover the evidence necessary for a conviction. What follows is simply a list of complaints against Maribelle's obtained from TABC's database.
TABC Investigations of Maribelle's Between 2016 and 2018
Seabrook - 3136 Nasa Parkway 'C'
On 07/14/2016, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen that alleged the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated customer.
Authorities looked into the matter and found sufficient evidence to corroborate the claim, which the TABC classified as an administrative violation. After issuing the bar a violation notice, investigators decided not to hand down any punishment and subsequently closed the case on 07/26/2016.
A member of the Seabrook community reached out to the TABC on 03/14/2017, alleging that staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff is drinking on the job, its ability to determine when to stop serving is impaired, which could result in over-service.
An investigation followed shortly thereafter, but failed to turn up any hard evidence of wrongdoing. 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 any action. Having neither in this particular instance, authorities closed the case on 04/02/2017.
The TABC came back to investigate once again after receiving a second complaint that staff was drinking on the job on 09/17/2018.
The ensuing investigation could not determine the validity of the claim. Unable to take any further action, authorities decided to wrap up their work on the case on 11/02/2018.
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.