What You Should Know If You Are Considering a Dram Shop Case against Tom Thumb
When it comes to suing bars and restaurants for irresponsible alcohol service, nobody else in Texas has as much experience as I have. In my over three decades of practice, I have had seen firsthand just how prevalent this problem is, as well as the tragedies that so often come in its wake. Since most people don't do what I do for a living, it isn't likely that they will have the same awareness of the issue. With this in mind, I sometimes look through the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and publish what I find here on my website. My hope is that these efforts will help the general public to see how often these violations occur without their knowledge before they result in an accident. If you believe you may have a dram shop (liquor liability) case, I encourage you to contact me at (855) 326-0000.
Friends Robert Cullum and J.R. Bost founded the first chain of Tom Thumb grocery stores back in 1948 in Dallas, Texas. Their small operation of just six stores quickly picked up steam, and by 1956, they had 20 locations across the city. Innovators of the then relatively new supermarket trend, they grew their business by combining grocery stores with pharmacies and selling home care items in addition to food. The brand has changed hands a few times throughout its fairly long history, being acquired most recently by Albertsons in 2015. It is currently headquartered in Roanoke, Texas, and operates a total of 57 stores that primarily serve the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
It's not just bars that have a duty to be responsible when selling alcohol; even grocery stores can violate TABC regulations if they aren't careful. It surprises many people to learn just how many dram shop cases I've litigated where the business that violated the law wasn't a bar, but a liquor store, convenient store, or even a grocery store.
Before going any further, it's important to understand that an investigation is not proof of wrongdoing. When authorities investigate, it only means they think the evidence deserves a closer look. However, unless a court rules otherwise, we must presume the establishment in question is innocent. On the other hand, if authorities investigate a business but take no further action, it could indicate either innocence or just a lack of the kind of evidence needed for a conviction. What follows is a list of recent TABC inquiries into Tom Thumb.
TABC Investigations of Tom Thumb from 2017 to 2018
Dallas - 10455 N Central Expressway #115
On 02/23/2017, TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen that alleged this location had sold alcohol to an intoxicated shopper. The ensuing investigation did not turn up sufficient evidence for a conviction, so authorities shut the case on 04/12/2017 without pursuing further action.
Trophy Club - 101 Trophy Lake Drive
A member of the Trophy Club community reported this location for allegedly allowing a minor to purchase alcohol. TABC attempted to verify this claim, but could not find anything capable of making the charge hold up in court. After nearly two months of inquiry, the case concluded on 11/10/2017.
Southlake - 100 W Southlake Boulevard Suite 200
A law enforcement agent filed a complaint with TABC on 4/30/2018, claiming that this location had sold alcohol to a minor.
Investigators looked into the matter and within two weeks had found enough evidence to prove an administrative violation had occurred. The store was hit with a civil penalty for its actions, and on 05/15/2018, the case concluded.
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.