Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Railhouse? 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.
The Railhouse is a bar located in Kyle, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2018 and 2020, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.
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 The Railhouse for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of The Railhouse Between 2018 and 2020
Kyle - 107 E Center Street
On 02/24/2018, a concerned citizen filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a patron who was already intoxicated.
Authorities looked into the matter shortly thereafter. For most liquor law violations, the TABC requires either video footage of the incident or eyewitness testimony from one of its agents in order to take action. Having neither in this investigation, authorities decided to close the case on 04/24/2018.
A member of the Kyle community reached out to the TABC on 05/03/2018, claiming that staff was drinking on the job, sold alcohol to a drunk customer, and that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) took place.
Upon investigation, authorities were able to confirm that a breach of the peace occurred and that the bar failed to report it, which they classified as administrative violations. After handing down unspecified penalties, the TABC closed the case on 06/29/2018.
The TABC received a citizen complaint on 06/21/2018, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a minor.
As mentioned in the first investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to back up most claims of wrongdoing. Since authorities had no such evidence in this investigation, they could not take any action, leading to their decision to close the case on 08/09/2018.
The next citizen complaint reached the TABC on 04/10/2019, claiming that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated patron.
Due to a lack of video evidence, investigators could not determine the veracity of the claim. As a result, they could not take any further action, leading to their decision to close the case on 06/05/2019.
Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/03/2020, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person.
Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC still requires corroborating evidence before taking any action. As authorities had none in this investigation, they were left with no choice but to close the case, which they did on 03/07/2020.
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.