The Ex-Husband Of Naya Rivera Has Filed A Wrongful Death Lawsuit On Their Son’s Behalf
Updated November18, 2020.
Nearly five months have passed since authorities confirmed the death of “Glee” star Naya Rivera. The actress passed away in a tragic drowning accident wherein authorities determined she died fighting to save the life of her own 4-year-old son Josey after they’d been swimming at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Various fans, friends, and members of the “Glee” cast have publicly mourned her death as a result.
Speaking about her death, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub explained during a News Conference that Rivera’s son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” he added. “We believe it was midafternoon when she disappeared. The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back into the boat, but not enough to save herself.”
Now, Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on their 5-year-old son Josey’s behalf.
The court documents, which were filed on Tuesday, obtained by People show that Josey is suing Ventura County, California. This is the location where Rivera met her death while accidentally drowned during a boating trip with her son at Lake Piru in July. The county’s Parks and Recreation Management, and the United Water Conservation District are being involved in the lawsuit for “wrongful death” and “negligent infliction of emotional distress.”
The lawsuit claims that Rivera’s death was preventable. It also makes an accusation that states the boat Rivera and Josey rented from Lake Piru failed to comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards.
“[The boat] was not equipped with a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, an anchor, a radio or any security mechanisms to prevent swimmers from being separated from their boats,” the complaint states. “Disturbingly, later inspection revealed that the boat was not even equipped with any flotation or lifesaving devices, in direct violation of California law, which requires that all pontoons longer than 16 feet be equipped with flotation devices.”
Heartbreaking details of Rivera’s were released two months after her death by the Ventura County Medical Examiner.
According to the investigative report, Rivera’s 4-year-old son Josey said that before her disappearance they had counted to three and jumped off of the pontoon boat they were using at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California together. Josey said that soon after getting into the water his mother told him to get back on the boat.
“She helped him onto the boat and then he then heard [Naya] yell ‘help’ and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water,” states the investigative report.
According to People, “Officials also noted in the investigative report that while Rivera was in good health, she had a history of vertigo ‘that would get worse when she was in the water.'”
Rivera’s body was buried in July at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
According to BuzzFeed, Twenty-five people, including some of Rivera’s “Glee” cast members, attended a small service to say ‘goodbye.’
Soon after her disappearance and recovery, Rivera’s family put out a statement but the star’s younger sister Nickayla Rivera had yet to speak out.
In a post to her Instagram page, the 25-year-old model shared a heartbreaking tribute to her sister writing “there are no words.”
In an image shared to her Instagram page, Nickayla showed a black and white image of her giving Naya a kiss on the cheek. It’s the first public social media post shared by Nickayla since her sister went missing on July 8.
“Sister, There are no words to describe my love for you,” she wrote. “Side by side or miles apart, our connection is infinite. Our bond is unbreakable. We were complete opposites, yet simultaneously the same. The yin to my yang. I never knew that by losing you, I would find so much of you in myself.”
“I’ve never known a life without you in it & still can’t imagine it. My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still,” she continued. “I’ll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young. My shmaya, I’ll love you for eternity & miss you every second of my life.”
Tributes to Naya have not waned in recent weeks.
On Saturday, Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, also shared an emotional message about her death on Instagram calling it “unfair.”
“This is so unfair… there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts,” he captioned a photo of Naya Rivera holding their son. “I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it. You were just here… We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn’t fair.”
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