'Dram shop' suit filed against Crockett Street bars

By David Yates | May 12, 2008

After his daughter was killed while driving drunk, a father is alleging it was the responsibility of the downtown bars she visited to monitor his deceased daughter's actions.

On May 10, 2006, an intoxicated Shannon Seidel climbed into her car after having drinks at Texas Star Bar and Spindletop Seafood & Steak House in the Crockett Street Entertainment District. On her way home, Seidel lost control of her vehicle and collided with a tree. The incident claimed her life.

Two years later, John O. Seidel, Shannon's father, filed suit against the Crockett Street businesses, claiming the popular downtown spots negligently allowed his daughter to drive away "despite her being obviously intoxicated."

John Seidel, also acting as next of friend for Shannon's minor daughter, filed the suit on May 9 in the Jefferson County District Court, under the Texas Alcohol and Beverages Code Annotated �2.02 statute, commonly referred to as the "Dram Shop Statute."

Before she went to the Crockett Street bars, Shannon Seidel had attended a seminar at Lamar University conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The participating students were administered alcohol to learn its effects on the human body, the plaintiffs' original petition stated.

"Shannon Seidel was provided alcohol to the point of being legally intoxicated and had been tested and determined to be legally intoxicated," the suit stated.

"After participating in the program, Shannon Seidel went to the businesses of Defendants, Texas Star Bar and Spindletop, and continued to drink alcoholic beverages.

"Despite being obviously intoxicated and showing obvious signs of intoxication that a reasonable person, especially a provider of alcohol, should recognize, Defendants' employees continued to serve her alcohol."

While driving drunk, Shannon Seidel lost control of her vehicle, drove off of the road and collided with a tree on the side of the road, the suit states.

"Plaintiffs contend that � Defendants Texas Star Bar and Spindletop Seafood & Steak House were a proximate cause to the death of Shannon M. Seidel and, as a result, to the damages suffered by Plaintiffs," the suit says.

"Defendants � are liable for the damages and injuries of the Plaintiffs because Defendants sold alcoholic beverages to Shannon M. Seidel when it was apparent to the establishment that Shannon M. Seidel was obviously intoxicated to the extent that she presented a clear danger to herself and others."

John Seidel is suing for his daughter's medical expenses, funeral costs and mental anguish.

He is also suing for past and future loss of love, affection, society, support, counsel, guidance and contribution.

The plaintiffs are represented by San Antonio attorney Raul A. Rios of The Rios Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District.

Case No. B181-728

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