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Wrongful Death, Alcohol Liability, Summary Judgment

Successfully defended a restaurant on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in an action for wrongful death brought under the Dram Shop Act by the family of a nineteen year old patron who was killed in an automobile accident after being illegally served alcoholic beverages. The defense obtained summary judgment in Superior Court on the grounds of contributory negligence as a matter of law. The plaintiff appealed the determination on the theory that the underage drinking statute was a safety statute. The dismissal of the case was ultimately upheld by both the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court.