Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Texas South? Here's What You Need To Know
I've sued more reckless bars for failing to adhere to liquor laws than anyone else in the state of Texas. With three decades of experience and hundreds of cases behind me, I have seen just how frequently bars put profit before safety and over-serve alcohol, in spite of their legal obligation to serve responsibly. While people might see or hear of drunk driving accidents from time to time, they don't tend to hear as much about the role that irresponsible bars play in those accidents. In order to raise more awareness of this topic, I spend a portion of my time researching the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint database and writing about my findings here on my website. If you think you might have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim, don't hesitate to call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Texas South is a dance hall located in Pleasanton, Texas. Though it is a popular destination for locals looking for a night out, it has also been the site of at least one serious incident, when in 2016, a brawl broke out that left one man dead. Additionally, the TABC has visited the club on multiple occasions in recent years, due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2019, authorities conducted four separate investigations into alcohol service practices at Texas South.
In my three decades of legal practice, rarely have I seen bar end up involved in a wrongful death or injury case that didn't have a history of complaints on file with TABC. Almost every bar I've ever sued was already on the authorities radar, so when I see a bar that has been investigated several times over a short period, it raises my concern that it could one day play a part in an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence, 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 Texas South for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Texas South Between 2016 and 2019
Pleasanton - 1933 W Oaklawn
On 11/01/2016, law enforcement contacted the TABC, alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred and that the bar failed to report it.
Authorities looked into the matter and uncovered enough evidence to support both allegations. After handing down unspecified penalties for the violations, TABC agents closed the case on 04/11/2017.
A concerned citizen filed a complaint on 08/01/2018, charging that the bar permitted the possession of drugs and allowed staff to sell drugs on the premises.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. For most allegations of wrongdoing, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. In this particular instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 09/24/2018.
A member of the Pleasanton community reached out to the TABC on 01/23/2019, claiming again that the bar permitted the possession of drugs and allowed staff to sell drugs on the premises.
Due to a lack of video evidence, the ensuing investigation did not manage to uncover any evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Unable to take any further action, authorities closed the case on 03/22/2019.
Law enforcement placed a complaint on 11/21/2019, claiming that a breach of the peace occurred.
Authorities launched an investigation and found sufficient evidence to support the claim, but for some reason, they chose not to hand down any punishment. On 02/07/2020, the TABC shut the case.
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.