Utah boarding school ignored teen’s sickness complaints before she died, ex-staff say

Jan 26, 2023, 6:33 PM
Taylor Goodridge...
Taylor Goodridge, 17, collapsed at Diamond Ranch Academy in Hurricane, Utah, on Dec. 20. (NBC News/Goodridge family)
(NBC News/Goodridge family)

Taylor Goodridge, 17, collapsed at Diamond Ranch Academy in Hurricane, Utah, on Dec. 20. While an official cause of death has not yet been determined, her family said in a lawsuit that they believe she died of sepsis, a life-threatening condition that arises from a body’s response to infection.

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services placed Diamond Ranch Academy’s license on “conditional status,” allowing it to remain open while the agency and the Hurricane Police Department investigate Taylor’s death. The Health and Human Services Department said the academy is “actively collaborating with investigators.”

Dean Goodridge, Taylor’s father, sued Diamond Ranch Academy in federal court on Dec. 30, alleging that the school knew his daughter was severely ill but told her to “suck it up” and take aspirin.

An attorney for Diamond Ranch said the facility has “substantial disagreement with many aspects” of the lawsuit and allegations by former staff, but could not respond in detail because of federal privacy law governing education and medical records.

“One thing we have agreement on, it’s a tragic circumstance,” said Bill Frazier, the school’s attorney. “Any time you have a 17-year-old die, it’s horrendous and we’re crestfallen by it.”

NBC News spoke to seven former staff members of Diamond Ranch Academy, including five who said Taylor was ill on different occasions in the three months before her death but was not taken off campus to be evaluated. Four spoke on the condition of anonymity because they fear retaliation by the academy’s leadership. Their accounts echoed the claims made in Goodridge’s lawsuit.

“There would be nights she would throw up and staff didn’t care to do anything,” said Tianamarie Govan, who supervised girls during night shifts at Diamond Ranch Academy until Oct. 20, adding that Taylor was complaining of severe stomach and lower back pains at that time. “There were times I’d have to stay in her room to make sure she was OK. She had a really high fever one night, but the [supervisory] staff refused to allow me to use a thermometer to check it.”

Read the complete NBC News story here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Police lights...
Cassidy Wixom, KSL.com 

Utah man dies in small-airplane crash in rural Wyoming

A Cache County man has been identified as the person killed in a plane crash that happened outside of Casper, Wyoming, earlier this week.
1 day ago
Three people died in this Kane County crash...
Andrew Adams

Family remembers two loved ones killed in crash near Kanab

Family members on Thursday remembered loved ones killed in a triple-fatal crash in Kane County.
1 day ago
SNOTEL snow survey...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah will likely set historic snow record Friday

Thursday was on track to make history in Utah, with the snowpack ready to inch past a 40-year-old record. It all came down to a tenth of an inch.
1 day ago
Granite District K9...
Matt Rascon, Eliza Pace, and Lauren Steinbrecher

KSL+: Guns at schools and what’s being done about it?

Amid an increase in gun threats and incidents at some Utah schools, one school district is taking matters into its own hands to try and keep students safe.
1 day ago
Lamont Dorrity...
Ayanna Likens

How exercise helps with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's disease is affecting more and more people across the nation. While there is no cure, one thing is showing promise in improving symptoms.
1 day ago
Clearing Little Cottonwood Creek...
Jed Boal

Creek clearing is underway in Salt Lake to minimize threat of flooding

Many Utah communities are working proactively to minimize flooding that may happen when the snowmelt runoff really gets going in the next couple of months.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Utah boarding school ignored teen’s sickness complaints before she died, ex-staff say