The girl died of an “easily treatable” infection at the Utah Juvenile Treatment Center, having “begged for help,” the attorney says

Taylor Goodridge’s infection led to sepsis, according to her family’s attorney.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Diamond Ranch Academy in Hurricane on Jan. 11, 2023. A 17-year-old girl who died at the facility in December suffered from an infection that is usually “easily treated,” the Her family’s attorney with Friday, April 21, 2023, citing autopsy records.

A 17-year-old girl who died at Diamond Ranch Academy in December suffered from an infection that is usually “easily treated,” her family’s attorney said Friday, citing autopsy records.

But although the girl had had symptoms of infection for days, managers at the southern Utah youth residential treatment center declined her medical treatment, the attorney said in a statement Friday.

Taylor Goodridge died on December 20, 2022 at the Hurricane facility from peritonitis – an infection of abdominal tissue, according to an excerpt from the girl’s autopsy report released by her family’s attorney. The first symptoms of peritonitis are typically vomiting and a swollen abdomen, which Goodridge suffered from for over a week before she died.

Typically, the infection is “easily treated with antibiotics,” the family attorney said. But when Goodridge “requested help several times,” her pleas increased “Penalty,” the statement said. The family attorney said Diamond Ranch Academy staff also “begged management” to take Goodridge to a hospital “for days before she died,” but she was never taken, the statement said.

A Diamond Ranch Academy attorney declined to comment Friday afternoon.

Diamond Ranch Academy is a 108-bed Hurricane teen treatment program that describes itself on its website as a “world-class residential treatment center and therapeutic boarding school for teens.”

According to her family’s attorney, the Utah Department of Health determined that Goodridge developed symptoms as early as December 9. Despite vomiting multiple times, her calls for help were “completely ignored” by the academy, and the facility also canceled Goodridge’s weekly phone calls with her parents before her death, the family’s attorney said.

Goodridge eventually developed sepsis, the Utah Medical Examiner’s office found, which spread to all of her vital organs and caused “complete organ failure,” the family attorney said in a statement.

“We are devastated to learn that had Diamond Ranch Academy cared for her, Taylor’s death would have been entirely preventable,” Dean Goodridge and AmberLynn Wigtion – Goodridge’s parents – said in a statement provided by her attorney.

The parents added that they “intend to continue to use every avenue to hold Diamond Ranch Academy accountable for her death to ensure this does not happen to other innocent teens and their families.”

Goodridge’s parents filed a lawsuit against the youth treatment center on December 30. The facility filed a motion to dismiss the case on March 10. and the parents filed a motion against that motion on Friday.

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Justin Scaccy

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