A top-ranked Tucson resort is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit from an Indiana woman who says her husband died as a result of being over-served at the bar, documents show.
On Nov. 19, 2014, Gregory Shipley was staying at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort and Spa during a business trip, according to a lawsuit filed in Pima County Superior Court.
Shipley’s wife, Sherry, says that her husband was drinking at one of the resort’s bars, and was obviously intoxicated. “Upon information and belief, (Shipley) had been slurring his words and falling asleep at the bar,” the lawsuit says.
After Shipley left the bar to go back to his room, he fell and injured himself, and hotel workers helped bandage his wounds and get him back to his room, according to the lawsuit.
Shipley fell again when he got back to his room, striking the back of his head against the wall and losing consciousness. His body was found the next day, the lawsuit says. “Shipley was found lying in the same place and position where he had struck the wall with his head,” the suit says.
An autopsy revealed that Shipley’s blood alcohol was 0.294, nearly four times the legal limit.
Sherry Shipley’s lawsuit says the hotel employees had reason to know that her husband was “extremely and obviously intoxicated” before he left the bar, and failed to stop serving him alcohol.
The staff’s recklessness caused the injuries and “resulting harm” to Shipley, and by continuing to serve him while he was obviously intoxicated, the staff violated state law, the suit says.
The lawsuit alleges that the staff failed to protect Shipley and after he injured himself, “abandoned him during his time of need.”
Sherry Shipley is requesting general and punitive damages, reimbursement for funeral and burial costs and Gregory Shipley’s future loss of income.
A spokesperson for Marriott International did not return calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.