‘Glee’ actress Naya Rivera’s family reaches settlement in wrongful death claim 

The lawsuit against Ventura County, California, was filed by Ryan Dorsey, Rivera's ex-husband, on behalf of their son Josey.

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The family of former Glee actress Naya Rivera has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Ventura County, California, after the 33-year-old star drowned there in July 2020. 

The suit was filed by Ryan Dorsey — Rivera’s ex-husband on behalf of the couple’s 6-year-old son Josey

In a statement to PEOPLE, Amjad M. Khan — the family’s attorney said, “Through this settlement, Josey will receive just compensation for having to endure the drowning of his beloved mother at Lake Piru.” 

Naya Rivera thegrio.com
Naya Rivera attends the LA premiere of Roadside Attraction’s “Judy” at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on September 19, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Kahn added, “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.”

According to People, the lawsuit alleged that the pontoon boat Rivera rented to go out on the lake did not have the proper features and equipment necessary to comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards.

Additionally, they alleged that even though there have been more than two dozen drownings at Lake Piru since 1959, there wasn’t “a single sign anywhere — not at the entrance, at the dock, at the popular swimming area of Diablo Cove, not anywhere — warning of 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.”

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Actress Naya Rivera attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Hangover Part 3” at Westwood Village Theater on May 20, 2013, in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Blast was the first to report on the lawsuit settlement and noted that the lawsuit included damages for Josey, with the family saying he has “suffered substantial economic and non-economic damages as a result of Naya’s death, including financial support that Naya would have contributed to Josey, her only child.” They also sued for funeral and burial expenses. 

Rivera and her son rented a pontoon boat at the lake on July 8, 2020, and staff became alarmed when she did not return after the three-hour rental. The boat was later discovered with Josey sleeping on board. On July 9, Rivera was presumed dead and her body was recovered days later.

She was laid to rest on July 24, 2020. 

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