Naya Rivera’s family just scored a huge win in court, after a judge refused to dismiss their ability to collect punitive damages in their ongoing lawsuit from the Ventura County Parks and Recreation.
According to new legal documents, obtained by The Blast, the government agency was hoping to limit the amount of damages to be collected if they are found liable or partially responsible for the ‘Glee’ actresses death. In a stunning blow, the judge in the case not only denied their request but agreed there might be “despicable conduct” on the part of the officials.
In the order, the judge writes, “The allegations of specific statutory violations regarding safety equipment and noncompliance with the conditional use permit regarding signage, as well as allegations that defendant knew of the dangers of the lake, and had received complaints from other patrons, that over two dozen individuals had died in the lake, that Parks and Recreation failed to instruct Ms. Rivera to wear her life vest, failed to outfit the boat with a flotation device, and failed to outfit the boat with an anchor which could have prevented Ms.Rivera from being separated from her boat and ultimately drowning.”
Naya Rivera’s Family Scores Huge Win In Ongoing Lawsuit
The continued, the lawsuit’s argument is “sufficient for purposes of pleading to (arguably) reflect “despicable conduct” with a “willful and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others.”
Adding, “The allegations include that it was the officers and directors of Parks & Recreation Management who received the complaints and “decided to ignore” them.”
In other words, the court is giving Naya’s family the opportunity to continue their lawsuit and go over a large amount of money.
As we reported, Rivera’s ex-husband — Ryan Dorsey — filed a complaint on behalf of the former couple’s young son claiming her death was “utterly preventable” after saying the pontoon boat she rented at Lake Piru 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.”
County Officials Claim Naya Rivera Chose Not To Wear A Life Jacket
They continued, “later inspection revealed that the boat was not even equipped with any flotation or lifesaving devices, in direct violation of California law, which requires all pontoons longer than 16 feet be equipped with flotation devices.”
As we reported, Naya Rivera drowned after becoming separated from the boat she was riding in with her young son. He was found hours later asleep on the vessel.
It should be noted, Ventura County officials have been fighting the lawsuit claiming Naya was offered a life jacket before departing on the trip, and she ultimately decided not to wear it. According to the documents, County officials say, “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’.”
The ‘Glee’ Star’s Lawsuit Rages On…
Adding, “Regardless of whether the (The Family) alleges that the boat was not equipped with flotation devices, a life vest was present in the boat at the time of the incident.”
At this point, the decision doesn’t guarantee Naya’s family victory in the ongoing case, but it opens the door for a much larger amount of money to be won if they are successful in their lawsuit.
The case is ongoing…