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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Sue Ellen's? Here's What You Need To Know

During my more than three decades of legal practice, I have sued hundreds of bad bars for the part they played in accidents that resulted in a wrongful death or injury. When you've seen as many cases involving bars that over-served alcohol as I have, the scope of the issue is painfully clear. Part of my mission is to increase the public's awareness of the subject. To do this, I spend a portion of my time investigating Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission complaint records and reporting what I find here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and are interested in learning about how to proceed, please call me at (855) 326-0000.

Sue Ellen's is a bar and lounge located in Dallas, Texas. Since its founding in 1989, it has managed to build a steady clientele that has only grown since it relocated in 2008. After recently undergoing renovations, the bar is more popular than ever, thanks to the addition of a second floor, private lounges, and a patio area. However, not all of the attention Sue Ellen's has received has been for its new look; the TABC has also been a regular visitor over the last couple years as a result of several complaints it received alleging liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2019, authorities conducted no fewer than six investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.

In my experience, it's very rare for a bar to be involved in a dram shop case without already having a history of complaints with the TABC. That's why I pay close attention when I see an establishment attracting a lot of attention for liquor law violations. The more investigations a bar has had, the greater my concern is that it could one day cause 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 this kind of violation, that proof can often be difficult for authorities to find. This article simply aims to relay publicly-available information about complaints made against Sue Ellen's to TABC.

TABC Investigations of Sue Ellen's Between 2018 and 2019


Dallas - 3014 Throckmorton

Allegations:

On 09/12/2018, an unnamed source contacted TABC, claiming that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.

TABC agents looked into the matter, but they failed to find any evidence of a violation. For most liquor law violations, TABC needs either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take legal action. Having neither in this particular instance, agents decided to close the case on 11/08/2018.

A member of the Dallas community filed a complaint with TABC on 01/24/2019 and alleged the bar committed three violations: selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron, staff drinking on the job, and permitting the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours.

Authorities could not determine the veracity of the claims, most likely due to a lack of video evidence. For this reason, they chose to close the case on 03/06/2019.

TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen on 02/21/2019, charging the bar with allowing a patron to take alcohol off the premises.

After nearly a month of inquiry, investigators were not able to find any evidence of wrongdoing. As a result, on 03/15/2019, the case came to a close.

Another citizen complaint, received by TABC on 04/08/2019, alleged that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.

As in the previous cases, authorities could not find sufficient proof of a violation to issue a citation. Having no other course of action available, they decided to close the case on 05/22/2019.

On 07/12/2019, a further citizen complaint charged that staff sold alcohol to a patron who was already over the limit.

The subsequent investigation was unable to determine the veracity of the claim. Consequently, on 08/06/2019, the case concluded without any further action.

Less than a month later, a citizen filed a complaint with TABC and alleged that the bar permitted a minor to possess or consume alcohol, allowed a patron to remove alcohol from the premises, sold alcohol to a drunk patron, and permitted a staff member to sell or possess drugs.

TABC looked into the matter, but as in all of the previous cases, was unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing. On 08/30/2019, authorities brought their work on the investigation 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.