VICTORIA, Texas - We reported back in March of the death of Rajolei Pickens when his body was discovered outside a downtown business. Now his family continues to search for answers.
On March 21st, Victoria Police responded to the corner of Constitution and Liberty in downtown Victoria. On the patio of Downtown Bar & Grill, Raj was found lifeless, having last been seen drinking at the same bar.
Raj often performed at downtown, and never refused a chance to play various benefits and events.
Raj was a fan favorite as a musician, and regular act at the bar, but now Raj's family is filing a lawsuit against them due to negligence they believe caused his death.
Filed on June 24th, on behalf of the Pickens family, the lawsuit offers a timeline of events on the night of March 21st. According to the family's lawyer, Matthew Marzak out of Houston, the lawsuit states:
"The Downtown Bar & Grill served Rajolei with exorbitant amounts of alcohol.. Rajolei became visibly intoxicated, to the point he presented a clear danger to himself and others, yet the Downtown Grill continued to serve him alcohol."
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission [TABC], who oversees any public facility that serves alcohol, and who requires anyone who serves alcohol in Texas to be licensed, does have strict guidelines when it comes to over serving. According to their website:
"A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence sells an alcoholic beverage to an intoxicated person--"
Negligence in this case can be punishable with a fine of up to $1000 or a year in jail.
Bartenders look for signs of intoxication, such as impaired speaking, difficulty walking or standing, or the inability to stay awake, and can deny further service.
The lawsuit against Downtown Bar & Grill also states:
"A medical examination and autopsy determined Rajolei's cause of death to be complications from acute alcohol intoxication.."
Newscenter 25 visited the business, however found the doors closed for the day.
The business is still operating, but has not released any statement in regard to the lawsuit which alleges criminal negligence and responsibility for the death of Raj.
Though we were unable to speak with either party involved in the lawsuit, we will continue to update viewers on new developments as they are revealed.
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