Considering A Dram Shop Case Against Wild Pitch? Here's What's You Need To Know
Over the last 30 years, I've worked to hold reckless bars accountable for over-serving alcohol. My experience handling hundreds of cases has opened my eyes to just how many bars consistently fail to follow alcohol service regulations. 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 irresponsible bars play in those accidents. Since most people don't do what I do for a living, I make an effort to share my insights in hopes of calling more attention to this issue. One way I do this is by periodically reviewing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 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, please call me at (855) 326-0000.
Wild Pitch is a sports bar and grill with locations in both Frisco and Fort Worth, Texas. Though it has built a strong following with a menu featuring everything from sushi to wings, it has also recently attracted a good deal of attention from the TABC due to a number of complaints alleging liquor law violations. In 2019 alone, authorities conducted no fewer than five investigations into alcohol service practices at Wild Pitch.
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 Wild Pitch for possible criminal or administrative violations.
TABC Investigations of Wild Pitch in 2019
Fort Worth - 4701 E City Lake Boulevard
On 01/08/2019, the TABC received a complaint from a concerned citizen who claimed that the bar sold alcohol to an intoxicated person and allowed gambling on the premises.
Authorities followed up shortly thereafter with an investigation, but they failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing. 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 on this particular occasion, authorities closed the case on 02/15/2019.
A citizen complaint on 02/25/2019 charged that staff were drinking on the job and permitted the possession of drugs and gambling on the premises.
The ensuing investigation failed to uncover any corroborating evidence. Unable to take any further action, the TABC ended its work on the case on 04/13/2019.
An anonymous complaint, dated 06/03/2019, charged that staff was intoxicated and selling drugs on the premises. The first allegation is more serious than it might appear on the surface. Staff has a legal obligation to stop serving alcohol to patrons who exhibit signs of being dangerously intoxicated. If staff itself is intoxicated, the likelihood that a customer could end up being over-served is higher.
As stated previously, the TABC relies heavily on video evidence to determine the veracity of most allegations. Since there was none available in this particular instance, authorities could not take any action. As a result, the case came to a close on 07/27/2019.
On 10/29/2019, a member of the Fort Worth community contacted the TABC and alleged that the bar permitted gambling on the premises.
Once again, authorities failed to turn up sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to issue a citation. Consequently, the investigation concluded on 12/21/2019.
Frisco - 2390 Parkwood Boulevard
A citizen complaint, filed on 01/29/2019, charged that a breach of the peace (typically a fight) occurred at this location.
The subsequent investigation found that the bar failed to report the breach of the peace, which it classified as an administrative violation. After issuing a written warning, TABC agents closed this case on 03/07/2019.
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.