Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Naya Rivera's Family
Four months have passed since Naya Rivera died tragically at Lake Piru in California, and now her family has moved past mourning to demanding justice. Rivera’s former husband and her estate are now filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Ventura County, where Lake Piru is located.
Deadline reports that Ryan Dorsey, Rivera’s ex-husband, has sued Ventura County, Parks and Recreation Management, and United Water Conservation District as defendants in the case. The lawsuit claims that swimmers were not given enough warnings about the dangers of Lake Piru.
The suit says 26 other people have died in Lake Piru since it was opened as a recreational venue to the public. It also accuses United Water Conservation District of providing Rivera with a boat that did not have enough safety equipment on it, such as flotation devices.
Another detail that the lawsuit brings up is the alleged lack of signage at Lake Piru’s Diablo Cove swimming area. The area is known to have changing water depths, strong winds, low visibility, as well as strong currents, and debris that could prove dangerous even to experienced swimmers.
CBS News points out that the rescue team that conducted the search for Rivera said as much. The outlet quotes a rescue diver as saying the lake had sticks and shrubbery that they had to work through while looking for Rivera’s body.
But perhaps the most chilling detail shared in the filing is a description of how the 33-year-old actress died in the lake. According to the suit, the boat began floating away from Rivera and her son Josey. Since he was closer, Josey was able to climb back on the boat on his own. However, the boat's lack of rescue equipment meant that he could not help his mother as she drowned.
Josey now lives with his father, Ryan Dorsey, who recently moved in with Rivera’s 25-year-old sister, Nickayla. Dorsey and the younger Rivera are reportedly going to raise Josey and have moved into a three-bedroom house to help each other out.
Rivera’s death back in July caused an outpouring of support from her fans and co-workers, who paid tribute to her on social media.
For instance, Glee producers Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy have pooled resources to start a Josey college fund. The trio also described Rivera as a triple threat with undeniable star quality.
Jenna Ushkowitz, who co-starred with Rivera on Glee, said that she would keep Rivera’s legacy of “talent, humor, light and loyalty” alive.
Actor and author Chris Colfer, another Glee co-star, remembered 10 years of friendship with Rivera and said summing it up in a few words would be hard.