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What led to the death of Naya Rivera? Wrongful Death lawsuit filed on behalf of Glee actor’s son

Naya Rivera Drowning
Image Source: The New York Times

Naya Rivera, a famous actress, singer and model who got famed for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee, died tragically on July 8, 2020. Recently, her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey. The lawsuit claims that the boat lacks safety measures, and also, there were no warning signs around California Lake, where she died tragically by drowning.

Details of the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Naya Rivera Drowning

Image Source: People

The suit was filed on Tuesday against Ventura County and managers of Lake Piru at the lake northwest of Los Angeles. The lawsuit said that the pontoon boat lacked a safely accessible ladder, radio, rope, anchor or other types of equipment. Moreover, it also lacks lifesaving devices. The suit also claims that there were no warning signs in the area despite atleast 26 people drowning in the lake since its opening in 1959.

According to the lawsuit: “While Naya and Josey were swimming, the boat started to be carried away – likely by the current and wind, which gusted up to 21mph (34km/h) that afternoon,”

The suit stated that Rivera may not have known that the boy was back abroad on the boat, “but she surely knew that she was dying and would not make it back to her son.”

How and What Happened?

Naya Rivera Drowning

Image Source: BuzzFeed News

On July 2020, Rivera rented a pontoon boat on the lake. Josey, her son, who was four years old at that time, was later found asleep and alone on the ship at around 5 pm, and Naya went missing underwater. At the time, Josey told investigators that her mother jumped into the water but didn’t return.

Her body was found five days later floating on the lake’s surface. The officers at the time believed that her body might have been tangled in thick vegetarian, which resulted in concealing her from divers during the initial investigation.

After her body was discovered, a postmortem was conducted by Ventura County Medical Examiner, who stated that her death was an accidental drowning.

“We believe that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said after discovering her body.

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