Considering A Dram Shop Case Against O'Malley's Club? Here's What You Need To Know
My firm has sued more bars for liquor law violations than any other in Texas. In my over 30 years of experience, I have repeatedly seen just how serious the consequences can be when bars over-serve alcohol. While the public might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, it's much less common to hear about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. One of my goals is to raise awareness about the extent of this problem. To this end, I dedicate some of my time to investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and would like to learn about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
O'Malley's Club is a bar located in Killeen, Texas. In order to purchase alcohol, patrons must first pay a small fee to become a member, but the pool tables, food menu, and soft-drinks are all available to non-members. While most of O'Malley's visitors are locals, the TABC has also been known to come knocking once in a while due to complaints alleging liquor law violations. In 2019 alone, the TABC conducted four 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 O'Malley's Club for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of O'Malley's in 2019
Killeen - 2703 E Veterans Memorial Boulevard
On 04/02/2019, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen alleging that the bar allowed staff to sell drugs, sold alcohol to a drunk patron, served alcohol during prohibited hours, and permitted gambling on the premises.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents before it can take action. Having neither in this particular instance, investigators decided to close the case on 06/05/2019.
A member of the Killeen community reached out to the TABC on 06/24/2019, alleging that the bar permitted the possession of drugs on the premises, delivered alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit, and allowed gambling.
Authorities performed a nearly two-month-long investigation into these claims, but they failed to uncover corroborating evidence. Unable to take further action, TABC agents wrapped up their work on this case on 08/17/2019.
The third citizen complaint of 2019 came on 08/19, and included a whopping nine allegations. These included permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol, selling alcohol to a minor, a breach of the peace (typically a fight), permitting the possession of illegal drugs, allowing staff to sell drugs, selling alcohol to a drunk person, staff drinking on the job, allowing consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours, and permitting a patron to take alcohol off the premises.
As stated in the summary of the first investigation, the TABC essentially relies on video evidence to confirm the veracity of any allegation. On this occasion, authorities did not have access to any; as a result, they could not take any action. On 10/17/2019, the case came to an end.
On 11/12/2019, a citizen complaint charged the bar with failing to report a breach of the peace.
The TABC looked into the matter, but were unable to find any evidence capable of standing up in court. On 11/13/2019, the case ended 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.