(Houston, TX) Houston personal injury attorney Randy Sorrels of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, filed a dram shop liability lawsuit today against the companies that own the Baker St. Pub & Grill at the Willowbrook Mall, Sherlock’s Willowbrook LLC and Hospitality USA, on behalf of the family of Gabriel Salas. Salas, a 35-year-old machinist and married father of four was killed in a drunk driving crash caused by an intoxicated patron of the Baker St. Pub & Grill.
Under the Texas Dram Shop Act, a bar is liable to those who are injured when the bar’s employees serve patrons who are obviously intoxicated such that they present a clear danger to themselves or others. The lawsuit alleges that the driver of the car, Asif Aejaz, a regular patron of the Baker St. Pub & Grill, had been served alcohol at the Willowbrook bar despite being obviously intoxicated, in violation of Texas’ dram shop laws.
In the early morning hours of November 29, 2012, 41-year-old Aejaz was driving his BMW 535i in the Willowbrook Mall area after drinking at the Baker St. Pub & Grill. He was speeding and lost control of his vehicle. The BMW jumped a curb and crashed into a concrete pillar. The impact of the collision killed one of Aejaz’s two passengers, Gabriel Salas.
Aejaz was charged with intoxication manslaughter following the fatal drunk driving crash and remains in the custody of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Dram shop laws are intended to stop bar owners and their employees from serving intoxicated individuals and protect others from serious and fatal injuries that can occur when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel. If a bar violates the dram shop law, it can be held financially responsible for any property damage, serious injury or wrongful death caused by a drunk patron.
Unfortunately, the Baker St. Pub & Grill and its owner, Hospitality USA, have a long history of violating dram shop prohibitions. A lawsuit was filed last week against the very same Baker St. Pub & Grill involved in Salas’ death. On August 13, 2011, Robert Wilhite died in a single-car accident after he had been served while visibly intoxicated at the pub.
Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub in Clear Lake, also owned by Hospitality USA was sued in November 2012 and in March 2011 for the wrongful deaths of patrons who were overserved and then killed in drunk driving accidents. A week before Salas’ wrongful death, a bartender at the Baker St. Pub & Grill in the Woodlands was arrested by a Montgomery County “Bars and Cars” DWI task force and charged serving alcoholic beverages to an obviously intoxicated patron.
The lawsuit against Baker St. Pub & Grill and its owners was filed in Harris County Civil Court.
Attorney Randall O. Sorrels is the managing partner of the Houston law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. To contact Mr. Sorrels or any of the personal injury attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, call 713-396-3964 or visit us online. .