HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) — The parent of a teen who died at Diamond Ranch Academy, a “therapeutic” treatment facility for troubled teens in Washington County, filed a lawsuit against the facility on Friday, Dec. 30, claiming staff members have neglected to get her help when she asked for it.
The Utah Department of Health and Human Services has also placed the facility on probation pending an investigation.
On Dec. 20, Taylor Goodridge, 17, reportedly fell sick and collapsed at the academy. Staff was performing CPR on the girl when first responders arrived at the scene, but she died shortly after. The teen’s identity has been confirmed to ABC4 by family members.
A lawsuit only tells one side of a story. ABC4 reached out to Diamond Ranch for a statement:
“We are cooperating fully and transparently with the State of Utah as they investigate this tragedy. The safety of the students is our number one priority and we are continually striving to provide the best care possible to our students and families. It is the policy of Diamond Ranch Academy to not publicly comment on pending litigation.”Dr. Ephraim Hanks, Psy.D., LMFT, LCSW
According to the suit, Goodridge entered the academy in “very good health” but started experiencing extreme abdominal pain in November 2022. The staff at the facility allegedly ignored her repeated cries for help. At one point, Goodridge allegedly collapsed in her vomit.
The court document states that staff members told Goodridge that she was faking it and needed to “suck it up.” They reportedly told her to drink water and take aspirin even when she was experiencing excruciating pain.
Officials at Diamond Ranch told Goodridge’s parents that she had suffered a heart attack. However, it is believed that she died of sepsis, the lawsuit states.
The parent is accusing Diamond Ranch of violating the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act. The lawsuit is asking for three claims of relief including negligence or knowing and reckless indifference, breach of fiduciary duty, and premises liability.
The lawsuit can be read in its entirety below:
A day after Goodridge died, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services put the academy on probation. The department’s Office of Licensing stated in a Notice of Agency Action on Dec. 22 that the facility’s licenses have been placed on conditional status effective immediately until compliance with rules is fully investigated.
The notice further states that the facility must notify its clients and their legal guardians about the news no later than five business days from receipt of the letter. The academy is also not allowed to accept new clients until state officials express in writing stating otherwise.
The licensing office will also be conducting increased monitoring inspections on the academy to make sure it is complying with all the rules.
Police are working with the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner to determine Goodrich’s cause of death.