Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Green Elephant? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. 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 order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
The Green Elephant is a music venue and bar located in Dallas, Texas. Locals know it for the wide variety of entrainment options it offers, including live shows, DJ sets, and drum nights. The TABC, on the other hand, knows it for a number of complaints it has received in recent years alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities conducted five investigations into alcohol service practices at The Green Elephant.
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 The Green Elephant for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Green Elephant Between 2015 and 2019
Dallas - 5627 Dyer Street
On 04/22/2015, the TABC received a law enforcement complaint alleging that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred and that the bar failed to report it (itself a violation).
TABC agents launched an investigation but failed to find any corroborating evidence. Unable to take any action, authorities decided to end their work on the case on 06/20/2015.
An unnamed source filed a complaint on 09/14/2017, alleging that the bar permitted a minor to consume alcohol and permitted the possession of drugs on the premises.
For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of their agents in order to take action. In this particular instance, it had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 10/17/2017.
A second anonymous complaint, filed on 11/17/2017, charging that the bar again both served alcohol to a patron under the age of 21 and allowed people to possess illegal drugs.
Much like in the previous investigation, authorities lacked sufficient evidence of a criminal or administrative violation to issue a citation. Having no other option available, they closed this case on 11/20/2017.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 10/30/2018, claiming that staff dispensed alcohol to an underage patron.
Once again, there is little the TABC can do without video evidence to back up an allegation. After a month and a half of inquiry, authorities came up empty-handed, opting to end work on this case on 12/19/2018.
A law enforcement complaint, dated 08/20/2019, alleged that a breach of the peace took place and that it was not reported.
The ensuing investigation found evidence to support both claims, which it classified as administrative violations. After issuing two written warnings, authorities wrapped up their work on 10/26/2019.
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.