Naya Rivera‘s family has reached a settlement for the wrongful death lawsuit they filed against Ventura County, California.
On February 24, a settlement was filed and it will be followed by a March 16 hearing in front of a judge when matters of the settlement will be heard, online court records obtained by E! News show.
Naya Rivera’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Was Filed on Behalf of Her 6-Year-Old Son.
Counsel for Naya Rivera’s estate, including her 6-year old son Josey Hollis Dorsey, released a statement confirming that all parties have entered into a global settlement. The details of it will need to be approved by the Ventura Superior Court.
“Through this settlement, Josey will receive just compensation for having to endure the drowning of his beloved mother at Lake Piru,” the statement reads. “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.”
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, Rivera went missing on July 8, 2020, following a boating trip she took with her son to Lake Piru. Her son was found alone on a boat which triggered a search for the missing actor. The search continued for days until Rivera’s body was finally discovered by emergency responders on July 13.
Shortly after her body was recovered from Lake Piru, the Ventura County Medical Examine determined the cause of death to be drowning and its manner an accident.
In November 2020, Naya’s estate filed a lawsuit against the County of Ventura, United Water Conservation District, and Parks and Recreation Management.
Josey’s father and legal guardian, Ryan Dorsey asserted two causes of action in the lawsuit: wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
“Josey has suffered substantial economic and non-economic damages as a result of Naya’s death,” the first cause of action states. The second cause of action alleged that Josey underwent “serious emotional distress” because he was at the scene of his mother’s death.
The court documents also alleged that Rivera’s drowning was “utterly preventable,” also claiming that the defendants’ “negligence was a substantial factor in causing Naya’s death by drowning.”
“Given Naya’s exceptional physical fitness, relative youth, strong swimming skills, and powerful love for Josey, she surely struggled mightly to make it back to the boat and succumbed to exhaustion over at least a few minutes,” the plaintiffs also claimed.
“During those minutes, Naya may not have known whether Josey made it back to the boat—as, despite Defendants’ inaccurate media reports, Naya did not boost Josey back onto the boat—but she surely knew that she was dying and would not make it back to her son,” the lawsuit also alleged.
After almost two years of a legal battle, we hope that the settlement brings some sense of closure to those who survive Rivera.
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