Jul 14, 2020

The Liability Issue at the Heart of Naya Rivera’s Untimely Death


A Terrible Tragedy on The Water.

Unfortunately, the story of Naya Rivera ended far too soon. The 33-year-old actress was confirmed dead after a probable boating accident in California. The former Glee star was believed dead after going missing on a boating trip with her son. There is still much info still to be released. However, it appears that the boat may have tipped over. Rivera's son was found alone in the craft. Unfortunately, on Sunday, authorities found a body. On Monday, it was confirmed to be the former Glee star.

Risk at the Lake.

The 33-year-old tied as part of her boating expedition. Only her 4-year-old son survived. He said that his mother and he went swimming, yet she did not return to the boat. The accident occurred at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. Authorities originally had issues during the search due to poor water visibility and objects under the water. Over 80 people were involved with the search originally. The lake is known for its whirlpools-- which caused other deaths in the past.

The local officials did not take proper action to protect boaters and swimmers. For the untrained, Lake Piru is a major challenge. This also makes it a significant injury and drowning risk. If authorities did nothing and knew of the risk, they could be liable. Local residents requested signs put up around the lake. However, that as of yet hasn't happened. Furthermore, Rivera's death was not the first at the site. In addition, the risk inherent at the site was ignored.

These factors all come together as a possible case of civic negligence. Local or county officials likely knew of a potentially deadly issue and, for whatever reason, did not act upon it. Perhaps it was due to time. Maybe it was due to money. Perhaps it was due to willful negligence.

Regardless of the immediate cause, another life was extinguished, at least in part, due to their inaction. The case is still unfolding, and I plan to cover it extensively. I've already written an op-ed about the risk of watercraft and possible child endangerment for the unprepared. I'll keep on it-- and you can reach me through other articles on the site or at michael@ehlinelaw.com. God Bless Naya Rivera's family and let us all pray that something like this never happens at Lake Piru again.