Boarding school for ‘troubled teens’ is sued over student’s death after weeks of ‘crippling pain’

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

The parent of a 17-year-old girl who died at a treatment facility is suing the academy after the teenager collapsed and died at the premises.

Taylor Goodridge became ill and collapsed at the Diamond Ranch Academy in Hurricane, Utah on 20 December, according to ABC4.

The lawsuit put forward by Dean Goodridge against the “therapeutic” facility for troubled teenagers in Washington County was filed on 30 December and alleges that members of staff didn’t get Taylor help when she requested it.

The academy has been put on probation by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services pending investigation.

ABC4 reported that staff performed CPR on Taylor until the arrival of emergency personnel, but she passed away not long after.

Diamond Ranch Academy told ABC4 in a statement that “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,” the academy said.

The lawsuit states that Taylor arrived at the academy in “very good health” but in November of last year, she started to have abdominal pain.

It is claimed that employees didn’t step in despite numerous requests for help and that Taylor once collapsed in her own vomit.

The legal filing alleges that employees told the teenager that she was faking her condition, that she must “suck it up,” and suggested she drink water and take aspirin to deal with high levels of pain.

The lawsuit states that facility officials told Taylor’s parents that she died of a heart attack, but that the cause of death is believed to have been sepsis.

The lawsuit argues that the academy violated the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act and the court filing is asking for three relief claims – negligence or knowing and reckless indifference, breach of fiduciary duty, and premises liability, according to ABC4.

On the day following Taylor’s death, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services placed the facility on probation.

The Office of Licensing, within the state health department, said in a Notice of Agency Action on 22 December that the academy’s licenses have been put on conditional status with immediate effect until a full investigation of rule compliance has been completed.

The notice also says that the academy has to make its clients and their guardians aware of this news within five business days of receiving the letter and must wait to take on new clients until state authorities say in a written notice that they can do so.

The licensing office is also set to perform increased monitoring inspections of the facility to ensure rule compliance.

Police and the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner are working on determining the teenager’s cause of death.