Naya Rivera's Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Nearly 2 Years After 'Glee' Star's 'Tragic' Drowning

Naya Rivera's ex-husband Ryan Dorsey filed the lawsuit on behalf of their son Josey in November 2020, arguing that the actress' death was preventable

Naya Rivera's family has settled the wrongful death lawsuit they filed against Ventura County.

A settlement was reached in the lawsuit, which had been filed by the Glee star's ex-husband Ryan Dorsey in November 2020 on behalf of their 6-year-old son Josey.

"Through this settlement, Josey will receive just compensation for having to endure the drowning of his beloved mother at Lake Piru," the Rivera family's lawyer, Amjad M. Khan of Brown Neri Smith & Khan, said in a statement, which was obtained by PEOPLE on Monday.

"Though the tragic loss of Josey's mother can never truly be overcome, we are very pleased that the monetary settlement will significantly assist Josey with his life beyond this tragedy," Khan added.

The settlement is "subject to approval by the Ventura Superior Court on March 16," according to Khan.

The Blast was the first to report the news.

Reps for the Rivera family and Dorsey did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

Dorsey, 38, and Rivera's estate sued Ventura County, California — where Rivera accidentally drowned during a boat excursion with her son at Lake Piru the previous July — the county's Parks and Recreation Management, and the United Water Conservation District for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit argued that Rivera's death was preventable and stated that the boat she and her son rented from Lake Piru did not have the proper features and equipment necessary to comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards.

Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera. David Livingston/Getty Images

The court documents also cited the lake's "deadly history" and claimed that there wasn't "a single sign anywhere — not at the entrance, at the dock, at the popular swimming area of Diablo Cove, not 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 the vastly changing water levels and winds."

Rivera, who had "strong" swimming skills, was among "more than two dozen people have drowned in Lake Piru since 1959," according to the documents. (Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Donoghue previously confirmed to PEOPLE that there have been prior drownings at the lake.)

The actress, who was beloved for playing Santana Lopez on Glee, was confirmed dead at age 33 on July 13, 2020 — five days after she disappeared during a trip to the Southern California lake.

Rivera rented a pontoon boat at the lake with Josey on July 8. When the boat became overdue for return after its three-hour rental, the staff at the lake found it at the north side of the water with the star's sleeping son aboard. A search-and-rescue operation was immediately undertaken in the area. On July 9, authorities announced that Rivera was presumed dead as the search shifted from a rescue mission to a recovery one.

After an extensive, multiple-day search, her body was found in the lake. An autopsy later ruled the cause of death as an accidental drowning, and authorities determined that she likely saved Josey by putting him back on board the boat before she died.

Rivera was then laid to rest on July 24, 2020.

Ryan Dorsey and Naya Rivera
(L-R) Naya Rivera, Ryan Dorsey, son Josey. Ryan Dorsey/Instagram

Rivera and Dorsey were married from 2014 to 2018. The actor broke his silence about his ex's death with a heartbreaking post on Instagram days after the accident, writing in part, "This is so unfair... there's not enough words to express the hole left in everyone's hearts."

"I can't believe this is life now. I don't know if I'll ever believe it," he wrote at the time. "You were just here...We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn't fair."

Recently, Dorsey marked what would've been Rivera's 35th birthday in an emotional post on Instagram.

"Made the visit today to see you, to spend some time. Up the hill I went, memories flashing through my mind as I drive," Dorsey wrote in part, in January. "Approaching where you rest, bouquet of daisies and baby breath. Trying to hold it together, feeling all I feel, eyes getting wet still can't believe it's real…"

"Nobody knows…why. Why you had to leave us behind. I hope it gets easier as time goes by, but forever is forever, and I'll never know why," he added. "Able to finally look at a couple videos today, I guess you can say I'm doing better…but better is just a better word for forever sad, this s— is unbelievable forever."

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