Naya Rivera Wrongful Death Suit Challenged By Ventura County Parks & Recreation, Says She Was Offered A Life Vest But Declined

Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera Wrongful Death Suit Challenged By Ventura County Parks & Recreation, Says She Was Offered A Life Vest But Declined

Ventura County Parks & Recreation officials are responding to a wrongful death lawsuit concerning late Glee actress Naya Rivera. 

As previously reported, Naya Rivera sadly drowned during a boating trip in California’s Lake Piru with her son last July. Josey Dorsey, who was four at the time, was found alive on the boat. Naya Rivera’s body was discovered five days later.

Naya Rivera’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their son, now five. The Ventura County Parks & Recreation has responded.

Naya Rivera, Ryan Dorsey, Josey Dorsey

Officials allege that Naya Rivera was offered a life jacket before she headed out to the water, but said she didn’t want one, according to court documents obtained by The Blast. They filed a motion to strike, shutting down the argument that the boat wasn’t safe because it didn’t have flotation devices. A statement reads,

“Ms. Rivera was offered a life vest by Parks Management Company’s boat rental agent, which Ms. Rivera declined to wear, after which the rental agent put the vest in the rental boat.”

It continues,

“Regardless of whether they [The Family] allege that the boat was not equipped with flotation devices, a life vest was present in the boat at the time of the incident.”

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Naya Rivera

Ryan Dorsey said in his lawsuit that Naya’s tragic passing was “utterly preventable”, claiming the boat was

“not equipped with a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, an anchor, a radio, or any security mechanisms to prevent swimmers from being separated from their boats.”

He added that an inspection proved the boat

“was not even equipped with any flotation or lifesaving devices, in direct violation of California law.”

New court docments read,

“Other than the lack of an anchor, no facts are alleged demonstrating how a lack of any of these things caused [Naya’s] death. The pleading does not allege that Ms. Rivera died while attempting to climb back into the boat, and therefore a lack of a safety ladder did not cause her death. Rather, it is alleged that she had become separated from the boat. The only item missing from the boat which could actually have a casual connection to Ms. Rivera’s death was an anchor.”

What are your thoughts on the officials’ response? Comment and let us know.


Authored by: Char Patterson