Music

Naya Rivera’s family settles wrongful death lawsuit after she tragically drowned

Naya Rivera's ex-husband Ryan Dorsey filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ventura County in November 2020.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of their six-year-old son Josey and, almost two years from the Glee actress' death, a settlement has been reached between the family and Ventura County.

In a statement to PEOPLE, the family lawyer, Amjad M Khan, said: "Through this settlement, Josey will receive just compensation for having to endure the drowning of his beloved mother at Lake Piru.

"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."

However, the settlement remains subject to approval by the Ventura Superior Court on March 16, Khan explained.

Ventura County, California, the county's Parks and Recreation Management and the United Water Conservation District were sued for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit was filed following Rivera's death in July 2020, where she accidentally drowned during a boat trip with her son at Lake Piru.

It was argued that her death was preventable and the documents stated that the boat rented did not have the necessary features and equipment to comply with the US Coast Guard safety standards.

When the lawsuit was submitted, court documents referenced the "deadly history" at the lake, citing that people have died at the site before.

It was also claimed that there were no signs to warn of the strong currents, low visibility, high winds, changing water depths, underwater caves, ledges and drop offs, or the trees, brush and other debris.

The documents claimed that Rivera was among "more than two dozen people who have drowned in Lake Piru" since 1959.

The tragedy rocked the family after the star had rented a boat at the lake with her son, with staff at the lake finding it with her son sleeping aboard.

A search-and-rescue operation was launched, but the following day it was announced that she was presumed dead.

After multiple days, her body was found in the lake and an autopsy ruled the cause of death as an accidental drowning, with police determining that she likely saved her son and put him back on the boat before she died.

At the time, tributes poured in from her family, her fellow Glee actors and fans.

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