Naya Rivera died at only 33 years old due to a drowning accident at Ventura County's Lake Piru. She is survived by her son, 4-year-old Josey, who was with her at the time. Her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey and the estate have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ventura County, the Parks Management Company and United Water Conservation District.
According to CNN, the lawsuit states, “Rivera drowned because the boat she rented lacked adequate safety equipment and there were no signs warning of the dangerous conditions on Lake Piru.”
The lawsuit also says wind gusts were 21 mph that afternoon and pushed the boat away from them while they were swimming.
"Josey, who was closer, managed to get back on the boat on his own volition and braced himself on the boat, which was rocking back and forth forcefully in the current and wind. 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," the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit continues, "Josey searched in vain for 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.”
Additionally, court documents obtained by CNN claim “the pontoon Rivera rented from Parks Management Company did not have a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, anchor, radio, or security mechanisms to prevent swimmers from being separated from the watercraft.”
The suit alleges there were no flotation or life-saving devices on the boat, which is reportedly a violation of California law.
Rivera was first reported missing on July 8.
After her boat was overdue for return following its three-hour rental, staff went out to Lake Piru to search for the boat. They found it on the north side of the lake, a staff member saw Josey Dorsey wearing a life jacket sleeping alone on board and Rivera nowhere to be found.
Reports say, Josey told investigators with the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office that before his mom disappeared into the water, they counted "1, 2, 3" and jumped off the pontoon boat together at Lake Piru.