Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Volcano Room? Here's What You Need To Know
For three decades, I've been holding bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. In the hundreds of cases I've handled, I've seen just how widespread irresponsible alcohol service is, as well as the tragedies that often follow in its wake. While people might see or hear about drunk driving accidents from time to time, rarely do they hear about the role that reckless bars play in those accidents. In order to draw more attention to this issue, I dedicate a portion of my time to investigating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's complaint records and reporting my findings here on my website. If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, please call my office at (855) 326-0000.
Volcano Room is a bar located in Pasadena, Texas. In recent years, it has received a substantial amount of attention from the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. Between 2017 and 2019, authorities conducted four investigations into alcohol service practices at Volcano Room.
In my experience, it's 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 contribute to an accident.
Note: Investigations are not proof of wrongdoing. However, if authorities investigate and fail to find evidence of a violation, 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 Volcano Room for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Volcano Room Between 2017 and 2019
Pasadena - 4650 Nasa Parkway
A concerned citizen reached out to the TABC on 06/13/2017, alleging that the bar permitted the possession of drugs on the premises and 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 08/11/2017.
On 05/01/2018, a citizen complaint brought the TABC back to the bar to investigate the claim that staff was drinking on the job. This type of allegation is more serious than it might appear at first glance. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is intoxicated, its ability to judge when to stop serving is impaired.
As stated previously, the TABC relies heavily on video footage to determine the validity of most claims. Having none in this particular instance, investigators closed the case on 06/25/2018.
Later that year, on 10/11/2018, a member of the Pasadena community filed a complaint, charging the bar with selling alcohol to a drunk patron.
The ensuing investigation failed to turn up any hard evidence of a criminal or administrative violation. Consequently, authorities could not take any action and thus decided to shut the case on 12/21/2018.
On 02/19/2019, a citizen complaint triggered yet another TABC investigation to determine whether the bar sold alcohol during prohibited hours.
Just like in all of the previous investigations, TABC agents did not have access to any video footage to back up the allegation. As a result, they wrapped up their work on the case on 04/13/2019.
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.