Father suing boarding school after daughter is neglected, collapses to death

A father is suing a boarding school in Utah after his 17-year-old daughter died. 

The family attorney says the school neglected her and failed to give her the care she needed after she had complained about stomach pains for weeks. 

Taylor Goodridge, a member of the Stillaguamish tribe, collapsed just days before Christmas. 

Her father Dean Jeffries Goodridge is mourning her loss pleading for answers. 

"She was just she was so amazing and had so much life still in her and it was cut short," Goodridge said. 

The 17-year-old was sent to Diamon Ranch Academy, a boarding school in Hurricane Utah in October 2021. 

She was about to graduate at the end of January, her life was cut short after she started complaining of stomach pains in November, according to the lawsuit. 

"I thought I sent her somewhere safe to get help and my daughter got sent home in a box," Goodridge said in tears. 

Taylor collapsed December 20 after vomiting for 5 straight days. 

She died from sepsis according to her family’s attorney, Alan Mortensen, who says the school neglected to listen to her complaints. 

"I'm thinking in this is some nightmare that I'm going to wake up and she's going to be home, and it’s just not going to happen," Goodridge said.  

He got a call that morning saying Taylor was going to the hospital because she wasn’t feeling well. 

A few minutes later he got a call from who he says identified themselves as a social working asking him how soon he could be in Washington County, a mix-up considering he lives an hour south of Canada. 

The father says a few minutes later he gets another call saying his daughter was gone. 

"I was upset, frustrated, destroyed," Goodridge said. "I thought I sent her somewhere safe to get help and my daughter got sent home in a box." 

He was devastated by her sudden death after he says he spoke with her a couple of days prior and told him she wasn’t feeling well but never imagined it would cost him, his only daughter. 

Goodridge filed a lawsuit against DRA, after he says Taylor a cheerleader and volleyball player, was healthy the last time he saw her in early November. 

According to the lawsuit, Taylor begged the DRA staff for help after having excruciating pain and collapsing in her own vomit. 

Her stomach became distended noticeable to others. 

Her complaints, reportedly ignored by staff, the lawsuit says she was told she was faking it and she needed to "suck it up". 

"Negligence, straight up negligence," Goodridge said. "I think the hardest part is the fact that she was alone, nobody was there because we were told way too late," Goodridge said. 

"In following, directions it ultimately probably cost her life," Mortensen said. 

We reached out to the school regarding the allegations, and they sent us this 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." 

Attorney Alan Mortensen says Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services placed the school on probation – prohibiting them from admitting new students. 

However, he says Taylor’s death is not the only negligence case at DRA. 

His firm has sued the school before after a child committed suicide and another was allegedly beaten by staff and suffers from facial paralysis. 

"I don't ever want to see Diamond Ranch ever open again," Goodridge said. "I want the person held responsible 100%. This is something that could have been taken care of and she would still be here." 

The father broke down realizing he will never be able to see his only daughter graduate from high school, go to college, get married, or have children. 

His hope is to shut down the boarding school and prevent another family from suffering loss. 

"She was my first princess, and she always will be, nothing in this world will ever replace her, ever," Goodridge said. 

Taylor’s remains arrived in Arlington Saturday; her services are pending but she will be laid to rest next to family in Stanwood.