The family of “Glee” star Naya Rivera filed a wrongful-death suit, alleging that officials in Ventura County, California, failed to warn swimmers about the dangers of the lake where the actress drowned in July.
On July 8, Rivera, 33, and her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, rented a pontoon boat at the lake. A search ensued after the boy was found alone on the boat hours later, and Rivera’s body was discovered on July 13. The Ventura County medical examiner ruled Rivera’s death as an accidental drowning.
Ryan Dorsey, Rivera’s ex-husband and the child’s father and guardian, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Ventura County on behalf of the boy, the Los Angeles Times reported. The complaint alleges the United Water Conservation District, which operates the lake; Ventura County; and the boat rental company failed to properly warn against the dangers of swimming in the lake and to provide adequate safety equipment on the rented pontoon boat.
Rivera’s estate and the late actress’ business manager also joined in the lawsuit, the newspaper reported. According to CBS News, the complaint states that the pontoon rented to Rivera “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.”
The lawsuit also alleges that water district officials and others failed to adequately warn Rivera to the “deadly history” of the lake, where more than two dozen people have drowned, the Times reported.
“Josey has suffered substantial economic and noneconomic damages as a result of Naya’s death,” the complaint alleges.
Court documents also allege the boy suffered “serious emotional distress” as a result of being at the scene where his mother drowned, E! Online reported.
County and water district officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the newspaper reported.