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Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Vernon Parts Sports Grill?

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.

Vernon Parts Sports Grill is located in Vernon, 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 2019 alone, 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 Vernon Parts Sports Grill for possible criminal or administrative violations.

TABC Investigations of Vernon Parts Sports Grill Between 2018 and 2019


Vernon - 1701 Marshall Street

Allegations:

On 04/06/2018, an anonymous complaint to the TABC alleged that the bar sold alochol to a minor, an intoxicated patron, and during prohibited hours, in addition to failing to report a breach of the peace (typically a fight).

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 05/15/2018.

Law enforcement contacted the TABC on 05/23/2018, alleging a breach of the peace took place and that the bar failed to report it (a violation in itself).

Upon investigation, authorities found evidence to support the claim, which it classified as an administrative violation. After issuing the bar a written warning, the TABC closed the case on 06/26/2018.

A member of the Vernon community reached out to the TABC on 09/27/2018, claiming that staff was drinking on the job, in addition to allowing customers to both purchase and consume alcohol during prohibited hours.

The ensuing investigation found evidence that the bar sold alcohol to a drunk patron and during prohibited hours, which authorities classified as an administrative and criminal violation, respectively. After handing down an unspecified penalty, investigators closed the case on 10/13/2018.

An unnamed source filed a TABC complaint on 11/05/2018, accusing the bar of selling alcohol to a drunk patron.

After well over a month of investigation, authorities were unable to find any corroborating evidence. With no other course of action available, the TABC shut this case on 12/13/2018.

On 10/23/2019, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to investigate once again. This time, it alleged the bar sold alcohol to a minor and an intoxicated patron.

Due to a lack of video evidence, authorities could not determine the veracity of the claims. Unable to take any further action, they were forced to end their work on the case on 12/20/2019.

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.