(Photo: Stock image via Pixabay)

RALEIGH, N.C. – The estate of a woman who died after a night of heavy drinking while celebrating with her husband at a hotel restaurant cannot successfully sue the owners because her actions contributed to her death, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Friday.

In a 4-3 ruling, the justices reversed a state Court of Appeals ruling that found operators of the Crowne Plaza Tennis & Golf Resort in Asheville had violated their duty to stop serving Lisa Mary Davis in October 2012 when she became visibly intoxicated. That court decided that Davis’ husband – the estate’s administrator – could seek monetary damages under a so-called “dram shop” claim.

But the majority of justices agreed the factual allegations in the complaint establish his wife’s contributory negligence, which essentially canceled out any liability by the owners and operators of the resort and Milligan’s restaurant.