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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against The Shade Tree Saloon and Grill? Here's What You Need To Know

I've been suing irresponsible bars for over-serving alcohol for 30 years. My experience handling hundreds of cases has repeatedly shown me just how many bars fail to follow alcohol service regulations, as well as the tragedies that all too often result. While people might see or hear about a drunk driving accident from time to time, they don't tend to hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to call more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you think you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) claim and have questions about how to proceed, don't hesitate to call me at (855) 326-0000.

The Shade Tree Saloon and Grill is located in Spring Branch, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the TABC's attention on a number of occasions due to allegations of liquor law violations. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, authorities conducted three separate investigations into the bar's alcohol service practices.

In my experience, it is 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 cause 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 Shade Tree Saloon and Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of The Shade Tree Saloon and Grill Between 2016 and 2017


Spring Branch - 13430 Hwy 281 North

Allegations:

On 10/20/2016, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen that alleged staff was drinking on the job and sold alcohol to a drunk customer.

Authorities followed up with an investigation 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. In this particular case, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 12/22/2016.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 01/20/2017, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.

TABC agents looked into the matter, but failed to turn up any hard evidence of a violation. Even when the source of a complaint is a police officer, the TABC needs corroborating evidence before it can take action. Consequently, investigators decided to close the case on 06/16/2017.

Another law enforcement complaint came on 08/06/2017, claiming once again that the bar sold alcohol to a customer who was over the limit.

This time, the investigation was successful at substantiating the claim, which the TABC classified as an administrative violation. For some reason, authorities decided not to hand down any punishment, choosing instead to close the case on 11/11/2017.

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.