Naya Rivera’s 5-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, and her estate filed a lawsuit against the County of Ventura, United Water Conservation District and Parks and Recreation Management, otherwise known as Parks Management Company (PMC), in California’s Ventura Superior Court on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Josey’s father and legal guardian Ryan Dorsey filed the suit on the child’s behalf.
Josey asserted two causes of action in the lawsuit: wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In regard to the first cause of action, court documents claimed, “Josey has suffered substantial economic and noneconomic damages as a result of Naya’s death.”
For the second cause of action in the lawsuit, the documents alleged Josey suffered “serious emotional distress” as a result of being at the scene where his mother drowned.
Through personal representative Justin Stiegemeyer, the estate also asserted a survival cause of action in the lawsuit. According to the court documents, he brought this claim to “recover the loss or damage that Naya sustained or incurred before death, including any penalties or punitive exemplary damages that Naya would have been entitled to had she lived.”
According to the paperwork, the plaintiffs are requesting a jury trial. It also said they’re seeking “actual, compensatory, consequential and punitive damages in amounts to be fixed at trial,” “reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs as available by law,” “pre-judgment and post-judgment interest,” and any “further relief as the Court deems appropriate.”
Recall that Naya, 33, was found dead on July 13, five days after she took her son biati g at Lake Peru. According to the lawsuit, her body was recovered in an “area where the water is 25-30 feet deep with an underwater shelf nearby that was 65-70 feet deep, and is congested with heavy debris and trees that rise up nearly 20 feet from the lakebed.”
The documents filed by Naya’s estate noted “there is not a single sign anywhere…warning of the lake’s strong currents, low visibility high winds, changing water depths, underwater caves, ledges, and drop offs, or the trees, brush and other debris that congest its waters due to vastly changing water levels and winds.”
The paperwork also stated “there are no signs warning visitors about the dangers of swimming in the lake, to wear life vests when swimming or boating, or that dozens of others have drowned in Lake Piru,” noting that “at least 26 other people” have drowned in the lake since its recreational facilities opened.