Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Tricia's Rock House? 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.
Tricia's Rock House is a bar located in Sansom Park, Texas. In recent years, it has attracted the attention of the TABC on multiple occasions due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2015 and 2019, authorities have conducted no fewer than five investigations into alcohol service practices at Tricia's Rock House.
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 Tricia's Rock House for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Tricia's Rock House Between 2015 and 2019
Sansom Park - 5137 Azel Avenue
On 02/09/2015, law enforcement filed a complaint with the TABC, alleging a litany of violations, including: selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, staff drinking on the job, selling alcohol during prohibited hours, allowing the consumption of alcohol during prohibited hours, possession of an alcoholic beverage obtained at another retailer, and possession of an unauthorized alcoholic beverage.
TABC agents looked into the matter, but they only succeeded at finding evidence to support the last allegation. Authorities decided not to hand down any punishment, but did issue a written warning for an administrative violation. On 03/21/2015, the case came to a close.
A second law enforcement complaint, filed on 03/06/2017, alleged that the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
Authorities followed up soon after with an investigation. 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 instance, authorities had neither. As a result, the case came to a close on 04/26/2017.
The next complaint came from an unnamed source on 01/12/2018, and alleged multiple violations. Among them were a breach of the peace (typically a fight), staff selling drugs, drinking on the job, selling alcohol to a drunk patron and during prohibited hours, and the presence of an alcoholic beverage acquired at another retailer.
Out of all the accusations, authorities were only able to find proof that staff was drinking on the job. As punishment, the bar had to forfeit its performance bond, which was replaced and suspended, in addition to being hit with an unspecified civil penalty. On 02/17/2018, investigators brought the case to a close.
On 11/29/2018, the TABC received a complaint from a member of the Sansom Park community, alleging that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk person and that staff was drinking on the job.
As stated in an earlier investigation summary, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to determine the veracity of most allegations of wrongdoing. In this investigation, agents did not encounter any such evidence and thus could take no action. On 01/10/2019, they decided to wrap up their work on the case.
A citizen complaint, placed on 03/29/2019, claimed that the bar sold alcohol to a minor, permitted staff to sell drugs on the premises, and that staff was drinking on the job.
Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the validity of the claims. Consequently, they decided to end their work on the case on 05/11/2019.
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.