Already have an account?
Get back to the

Naya Rivera’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit Nearly 2 Years After Death: ‘We Are Very Pleased’

Naya Rivera Family Is Pleased With Monetary Settlement in Wrongful Death Suit
Naya RiveraMediapunch/Shutterstock

Nearly two years after the tragic death of Naya Rivera, the Glee alum’s family has settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Ventura County, Us Weekly can confirm.

Related: Naya Rivera Through the Years: ‘Glee,’ Motherhood and More

Rivera’s estate and Ryan Dorsey — the father of the late actress’ son, Josey — filed the legal paperwork against the county and the United Water Conservation District and Parks and Recreation Management on behalf of the now 6-year-old. Josey was 4 when Rivera drowned at Lake Piru during their mother-son outing in July 2020.

“Through this settlement, Josey will receive just compensation for having to endure the drowning of his beloved mother at Lake Piru,” the Rivera family’s lawyer, Amjad M. Khan, said in a statement to Us on Monday, February 28. “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.”

Khan added that the settlement is “subject to approval by the Ventura Superior Court on March 16.”

Related: Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths of All Time

Us Weekly previously confirmed that Rivera’s ex-husband’s complaint alleged that her death was preventable as the boat they rented wasn’t up to speed with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards. The suit also referenced the lake’s “deadly history” as “more than two dozen people have drowned in Lake Piru since 1959.” Rivera’s “strong” swimming abilities and a lack of warnings about “the lake’s strong currents, low visibility, high winds, changing water depths, underwater caves, ledges and drop offs, or the trees, brush and other debris that congest its waters due to the vastly changing water levels and winds” were also cited in the documents. (Ventura County officials subsequently claimed that Rivera “declined” a chance to wear a life vest.)

According to the documents, Josey “managed to get back on the boat by his own volition” after 21 miles per hour winds caused the boat to “be carried away” on that fateful afternoon.

“Josey knew Naya was still in the water and heard her cry, ‘Help! Help!’ in her struggle to get back to the boat and avoid drowning. Josey searched in vain for a rope to help his mother get back on the boat,” the docs read. “Josey then looked back at the water for his mother and saw that Naya had disappeared. Josey yelled for help and cried alone in the boat until he was found more than an hour later by a PMC boat leasing agent.”

Related: Ryan Dorsey’s Sweetest Moments With His and Naya Rivera’s Son

While Dorsey has yet to speak out about the settlement, he penned a social media tribute on his ex-wife’s birthday last month.

Naya Rivera Family Is Pleased With Monetary Settlement in Wrongful Death Suit Ryan Dorsey and Josy
Ryan Dorsey and Josy Courtesy of Ryan Dorsey/Instagram

“Made the visit today to see you, to spend some time. Up the hill I went, memories flashing through my mind as I drive… The end is inevitable for all of our lives, passing other people doing the same, I see some wiping tears out of their eyes…” he wrote via Instagram in January. “Approaching where you rest, bouquet of daisies and baby breath. Trying to hold it together, feeling all I feel, eyes getting wet still can’t believe it’s real… Step by step walking by each marker it’s all so surreal, Getting closer gritting my teeth trying to keep it together… I look up in the sky and notice the weather… I suppose trying to distract my mind but reality comes back quick nobody knows why. Why you had to leave us behind…”

He concluded: “I hope it gets easier as time goes by, but forever is forever, and I’ll never know why. You would’ve been XXXV.”

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!