Ethan Allen Tour Boat

New York's top court has rejected damages claims against state inspectors who continually recertified a tour boat for 48-passenger capacity before it overturned on an Adirondack lake in 2005, drowning 20 people during a leaf-peeping tour.

The Court of Appeals said Thursday that the state generally isn't liable for "the negligent performance" of government functions unless it has some "special duty" to those hurt.