Naya Rivera’s Family Has Settled Their Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Ventura County

March 1, 2022 / Posted by:

It has been nearly two years since Naya Rivera died at the age of 33 after a tragic boating trip on Lake Pir, in Ventura County, CA. Naya and her then 4-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey chartered a boat on July 8, 2020, and several hours later, Josey was found alone in the boat and Naya was declared a missing person. It was beyond sad, and it ended with Naya’s family filing a lawsuit against Ventura County. Today Naya’s family has confirmed that the lawsuit has been settled.

After Naya’s body was found, the Ventura County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death was accidental drowning. It was suggested that she and Josey got caught in a rip current and struggled to swim back to the boat, with Naya having only enough energy left to save her son. Four months later, a lawsuit was filed against the County of Ventura, United Water Conservation District, and Parks Management Company, on behalf of Josey (who is now 6) through his father and Naya’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, as well as by Naya’s estate. The lawsuit accused Ventura County, water conservation, and the parks department of wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and argued that Naya’s death was entirely preventable. They accused Ventura Country of “negligence,” saying that there was no reason why a physically fit, strong swimmer didn’t make it back to the boat. In the matter of poor Josey, they essentially alleged that he has suffered economic and non-economic damage due to his mother’s death and that he suffered serious emotional distress as a result of being present while his mother drowned.

I’m not a lawyer, but I’m looking at that thinking, yeah, 100% agree. Clearly, the lawyers for Ventura County et al agreed, and they decided to write a check to Josey and effectively put an end to this legal mess. via E! News:

In a statement to E! News, counsel for the estate of Naya as well as her 6-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey confirmed that all parties have entered into a global settlement, which is subject to approval 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 read. “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.”

E! News reports that the settlement was filed on February 24 and that the only thing left is a hearing on March 16, where a judge will sign off on the settlement and close the case for good.

It’s also not known how much they settled for. But if the statement from Naya’s estate is any indication, it’s clearly enough that Josey won’t be financially struggling in the future. Not very long after Naya went missing, her former Glee boss Ryan Murphy and other Glee creators announced that they were setting up a college fund for Josey. About a year later, some people (including Naya’s father) started calling Ryan Murphy out on his promise, and claiming that there is no college fund and there never was. Ryan was forced to hop on Twitter and defend his name, saying that there definitely was a college fund in the works. But that’s the last we’ve heard of that. So something tells me that Ryan should probably protect his neck today. I would hate for him to get whiplash after hearing someone say, “Oh, so Josey’s future will actually be financially secure after all. That’s nice.


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