Family of man who accidentally drowned after visit to Weslaco sports bar files lawsuit

Jesus Angel Romo (Courtesy: Weslaco Police Department/Facebook)

The family of a man who visited and went missing after visiting a Weslaco sports bar sued the establishment on Friday, claiming they overserved him alcohol.

Jesus Angel Romo, 30, was reported missing on Jan. 17 after eating at Buffalo Wings and Rings, or BWR. His vehicle was found abandoned later that day before his body was found near Donna the next day.

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigators reported Romo accidentally drowned.

“After becoming severely intoxicated at BWR Weslaco, Jesus Romo left the bar and crashed his vehicle into an irrigation canal, approximately five miles from the bar. In an intoxicated and injured state, Jesus Romo drowned in a pool of water near the crash site and died,” the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit claimed Romo’s death was avoidable because he was overserved despite being “obviously intoxicated.”

“This shouldn’t have happened,” Richard Hinojosa, the lawyer representing Romo’s surviving family, said via a news release on Monday. “A good man and a young father lost his life because Buffalo Wings and Rings in Weslaco cannot follow the law. They need to be held accountable.”

The lawsuit was filed against the Buffalo Wings and Rings, or BWR, franchisor in Ohio and franchisee in Weslaco. The family believes the franchisor did not take significant action to bring its Weslaco franchise into compliance after racking up multiple citations for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission violations, or TABC.

“Had BWR properly monitored the acts and omissions of BWR Weslaco, Plaintiff’s life-altering injuries would have been prevented,” the original petition read.

According to the lawsuit, the Weslaco sports bar received numerous violation citations from TABC for driving while intoxicated, public intoxication, intoxicated patrons

possessing unlawful firearms inside the bar and furnishing alcohol to minors offenses.

“BWR never conducted an open compliance check at BWR Weslaco to confirm it was meeting its contractual obligations under the sports bar franchise agreement by complying and adhering to Texas alcohol laws and regulations,” the lawsuit read. “Moreover, BWR never requested nor obtained copies of TABC records that reflect the non-compliance and unsafe practices of BWR Weslaco.”

Romo was survived by two young sons, a wife and his father. The family is seeking just compensation for the damages suffered as a result of Romo’s death.

No response was yet filed by the defendants as of Monday.