Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Scully's? 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.
Scully's is a sports bar and grill located in Port Lavaca, Texas. Positioned right on the waterfront, it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. While many visitors might come for the view, the TABC has also paid a number of visits in recent years due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted three separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Scully's.
In my experience, it's uncommon for a bar without a history of TABC investigations to end up on the hook for a wrongful death or injury. Virtually all of the bars I've sued were 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 Scully's for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Scully's Between 2016 and 2019
Port Lavaca - 802 Fulton Street
On 07/09/2016, the TABC received a complaint alleging that the bar allowed patrons to consume alcohol during prohibited hours.
TABC agents followed up with an investigation, and while they did not find any evidence to corroborate the allegation, they did find proof of other unrelated administrative violations. These included the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person and permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol. After handing down unspecified penalties, authorities closed the case on 09/04/2016.
Law enforcement reached out to the TABC on 01/03/2019, charging the bar with selling alcohol to a drunk patron.
The ensuing investigation found enough evidence to back up the claim, which the TABC classified as an administrative violation. For some reason, authorities decided not to hand out any punishment, instead choosing to close the case on 02/02/2019.
Another law enforcement complaint, filed on 11/20/2019, accused the bar of selling alcohol to an inebriated person.
After a quick, five-day investigation, authorities found enough evidence to support the allegation. Though the bar was cited for both a criminal and administrative violation, TABC agents chose not to hand down any penalty. On 11/25/2019, the case came to a close.
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.