Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Medusa? Here's What You Need To Know
I have sued more bars for irresponsible alcohol service in the last thirty years than anyone else in Texas. Having handled hundreds of cases, I can attest to just how widespread the practice of over-serving customers is. 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 the interest of helping the general public see the real extent of this problem, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's record of complaints and posting about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.
Medusa is a live music venue located in Dallas, Texas. It hosts artists spanning genres such as latin, R&B, pop, and country music. With five bars and a large dance floor, it has been drawing huge crowds since it opened in 2013. In addition to all the concert-goers, Medusa has also had a number of visits from the authorities for claims of liquor law violations. Over a span of just three years, the TABC visited on at least five separate occasions.
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 contribute to 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 liquor law violations, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to obtain. The purpose of this article is simply to relay publicly-available information about incidents where the TABC has investigated Medusa for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Medusa Between 2016 and 2019
Dallas - 1930 Pacific Avenue
On 07/12/2016, law enforcement filed a complaint alleging a breach of the peace (typically a fight), a failure to report that breach of the peace (itself a violation), and sale of alcohol to an intoxicated customer. TABC subsequently launched an investigation into the claim.
Authorities were only able to turn up sufficient evidence to corroborate the claim that Medusa failed to report a breach of the peace, which they classified as an administrative violation. TABC handed down an unspecified penalty and closed the case on 09/07/2016.
The following month, on 10/24/2016, TABC received yet another complaint. This time, it came from staff, who claimed that there was yet another breach of the peace that was not reported.
The ensuing investigation was not as successful as the previous one. After nearly two months of work, authorities failed to turn up any hard evidence of a violation. Unable to take further action, they closed the case on 12/15/2016.
For nearly two years, Medusa managed to avoid another run-in with TABC, but after a law enforcement complaint on 10/12/2018, it found itself under investigation once again. The complaint alleged two violations: an aggravated breach of the peace and sale of alcohol to a drunk patron.
TABC worked on this case for over a month, but it could not locate enough proof of wrongdoing to issue a citation. With no other course of action available, it ended its work on on 11/13/2018.
On 04/08/2019, TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen who alleged that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol.
The complaint triggered an over five-week-long inquiry, but authorities could not uncover any evidence to back up the claim. For many alcohol service violations, 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 particular case, authorities concluded their efforts on 05/19/2019.
A concerned member of the Dallas community filed a complaint with TABC on 09/11/2019, claiming that staff served alcohol to a minor.
Once again, the investigation that followed could not corroborate the charge due to a lack of video evidence. Left with no alternative, authorities shut the case on 11/16/2019.
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.