Is $7000 Enough of a Fine for a Young Girl’s Murder?

OSHA workplace safety officials have fined the organization that runs a Revere group home, where a Peabody mental health worker was stabbed in January, for not having adequate safety measures in place despite high probability of an incident occurring.

The Revere mental health clinic where Peabody caseworker Stephanie Moulton was stabbed in January as fined $7000.00 by OSHA for not having adequate safeguards against violence in place for employees at the clinic. OSHA cited the facility for “a serious violation of [OSHA’s] ‘general duty clause’ for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or death.” 

Moulton, 24, died from her stab wound inflicted by a patient, 27-year-old Deshawn Chappell, after he fled the group home, taking her with him and then dumping her body behind a church in Lynn. Chappell, who had a history of violent behavior, attacked Moulton during a counseling session.

The fine is a piddling amount, but the damage done by the fine is much worse. Because the organization was directly fines by OSHA, that gives the victim’s family solid grounds for a lawsuit for negligence, and they can quote OSHA, that they “failed to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause injury or death”.

It will be interesting to see if a lawsuit develops, and if the organization puts stricter controls in place to protect staff members.

OSHA and the Joint Commission have reported for several years that violence against healthcare workers has steadily increased, and the Joint Commission even issued a Sentinel Event about the increase in violence.