Naya Rivera’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Behalf of Her Son

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Nearly two years after the tragic death of actress Naya Rivera (Glee), her family has settled the wrongful death lawsuit they filed on behalf of her now-6-year-old son, Josey.

Rivera’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey filed the lawsuit in November 2020, four months after Rivera drowned in Lake Piru northwest of Los Angeles. The lawsuit claimed that Ventura County, the United Water Conservation District, and Parks and Recreation Management failed to sufficiently warn people of the dangers of going onto the lake and for not providing the necessary equipment for its boats. According to court documents, “more than two dozen people have drowned in Lake Piru since 1959.”

“Through this settlement, Josey will receive just compensation for having to endure the drowning of his beloved mother at Lake Piru,” Amjad M. Khan, the Rivera family’s lawyer, said in a statement. “Though the tragic loss of Josey’s mother can never truly be overcome, we are very pleased that the monetary settlement will significantly assist Josey with his life beyond this tragedy.”

Details of the settlement amount were not released. Khan added that the settlement is “subject to approval by the Ventura Superior Court on March 16.”

On July 8, 2020, Rivera rented a pontoon boat for her and Josey, then four years old, to go out onto the lake. Josey was found sleeping on the boat later that evening by another boater. He told investigators that he and his mother had gone swimming, but she never got back into the boat. Josey was found wearing a life vest. An adult life vest was also found on the boat.

Naya Rivera’s body was discovered on July 13. Authorities ruled her death an accidental drowning and determined that she was able to save her son’s life by getting him back on the boat.