In the midst of a chaotic year, one of the most tragic stories in entertainment has been the death of Naya Rivera. Shortly after Independence Day, she rented a boat for herself and her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey. While attempting to rescue her son from the waters of Lake Piru in California, she drowned. Now, her family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California.
On behalf of her four-year-old son, Ryan Dorsey, Rivera’s estate and Rivera’s business manager have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ventura County. The lawsuit alleges that the county, United Water Conservation District and Parks and Recreation Management failed to warn Rivera of the lake’s dangers. Furthermore, the family claims that the boat Rivera rented was not equipped with proper safety equipment. In addition to wrongful death, the family is suing for survival and negligent infliction of emotional distress complaints.
“While Naya and Josey were swimming, the boat started to be carried away — likely by the current and wind, which gusted up to 21 miles per hour that afternoon. Josey, who was closer, managed to get back on the boat by his own volition and braced himself on the boat, which was rocking back and forth forcefully in the current and wind,” the lawsuit states.
“Josey knew Naya was still in the water and heard her cry, ‘Help! Help!’ in her struggle to get back to the boat and avoid drowning. Josey searched in vain for a rope to help his mother get back on the boat. Josey then looked back at the water for his mother and saw that Naya had disappeared. Josey yelled for help and cried alone in the boat until he was found more than an hour later by a PMC boat leasing agent.”
The family is currently seeking a trial by jury.