Naya Rivera's Family Reaches Wrongful Death Suit Settlement Nearly Two Years After Drowning

The family of the "Glee" star has finally reached a settlement on the wrongful death suit filed on behalf of her son Josey.

Nearly two years after her accidental drowning, Naya Rivera’s family has settled the wrongful death lawsuit they filed against Ventura County.

The lawsuit was filed back in November 2020 by the “Glee” alum’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey on behalf of their 6-year-old son Josey.

According to a statement from the Rivera Family’s lawyer, Amjad M. Khan of Brown Neri Smith & Khan, the settlement is still “subject to approval by the Ventura Superior Court on March 16.”

The statement read, “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,” Khan continued.

Ryan Dorsey 'Forever Sad' As He Visits Naya Rivera's Grave on Her Birthday

Rivera’s family sued Ventura County along with the county’s Parks and Recreation Management and the United Water Conservation District for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The late 33-year-old actress had accidentally drowned while boating with her son at Lake Piru back in July 2020.

The suit argued that her death would have been preventable if the boat was properly equipped with the features and equipment necessary to comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards.

On July 8, Naya rented a pontoon boat for a lake excursion with her son Josey. When the boat was never returned after its three-hour rental, the lake staff found it along with Rivera’s son on the north side of the lake.

After an unsuccessful 24-hour rescue mission, the “Step Up” actress was presumed dead on July 9 and after an extensive search over the course of multiple days, her body was found.

An autopsy officially ruled her cause of death as an accidental drowning and officials concluded that she had pushed Josey back aboard the boat, saving his life before she died.

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On the one-year anniversary of her death, Dorsey took to Instagram to share an open letter he had written to his ex-wife on the status of their son Josey.

In the heartbreakingly sweet post, Ryan shared an image of Josey with a smile and giving a thumbs up, a gesture deep with meaning for Naya and Josey’s relationship.

Alongside that image are two smaller images of son and mother together in earlier years. “Today…A year ago we laid you to rest. I still can’t believe it,” Ryan captioned the image. “The year has flown by, so fast that it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year at all.”

He continued to speak to his late ex-wife about how Josey has been doing this past year, telling her, “Our boy has grown so much. He’s such an explorer, so inquisitive. He’s sweet, so funny, and his laugh always lights up the room. He’s an intuitive soul to say the least. To know him is to love him, everyone that meets him is always smiling.”

He assures Naya that Josey is “doing okay,” telling her that “he’s such a strong resillient kid.”


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