HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) – A franchise company that operates Applebee restaurants is facing a lawsuit from a man who claims a bartender served him alcohol beyond the limits set by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
According to court documents, a County Hidalgo man was at Applebee’s in Edinburgh on January 17, 2020, when he became intoxicated after consuming alcoholic beverages at the restaurant.
The man continued to drink alcohol in the establishment until the bartender’s “last call”.
After leaving the restaurant, the man collided with an 18-wheeler on Trenton Road in Edinburgh, less than a mile from the Applebee. The accident almost decapitated the man, according to court documents
Police at the scene said the man had a blood alcohol level of 0.25, more than three times the legal limit for driving a vehicle.
The man suffered brain damage in the accident, according to court documents. He filed a lawsuit in May 2021 against RMH Franchise Corporation, which operates more than a dozen Applebee locations in Texas, and the bartender.
In the lawsuit, the man accuses the defendants of having continued to serve him alcohol while he was intoxicated, in violation of the rules and regulations of the TABC. He also blames them for not calling him a rideshare vehicle or the police to take him home.
The Hidalgo County man is seeking more than $1 million in the lawsuit for physical pain and impairment, mental anguish, lost wages and medical expenses, among other reasons.
RMH Franchise Corporation and the bartender responded to the lawsuit and denied claims that they violated TABC regulations. Instead, they place the blame on the man for the accident.
The case continued through 2022, with a hearing taking place on Thursday for all parties to discuss issues in the case as it moves forward. No other date has been scheduled so far in the case.