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Daughter's wrongful death incites suit and political change

The tragic death of a mental health caseworker in another state early last year has spurred the victim's mother to action. Since the murder of the 25-year-old woman, some have questioned the safety of such workplaces in states across the nation, including Ohio. Her mother has been working as an advocate for improvements to workplace safety for all mental health workers in her state.

In addition to working with legislators on the subject, the victim's mother has also filed a wrongful death suit against her daughter's former employer. The mother believes that her daughter's murder could have been prevented if more protections were put in place by the clinic where she worked. Her alleged murderer was a 27-year-old male patient. His case has not yet been completed.

Her mother is working on a new law that she calls "Stephanie's Law." Her daughter's death allowed her to realize how exposed many caseworkers are to danger, particularly women. Several politicians were informed of this woman's fight and showed support by filing legislation that mirrors "Stephanie's Law."

The mother was recently recognized for her efforts at a ceremony held by her home state. The state senator who sponsored her bill nominated her for the award. She and several other women were recognized for the contributions they have made to their communities and organizations by working with legislators to create change.

It is an employer's job to provide a safe working environment for all employees, no matter the circumstances. If someone is injured or killed on the job and it is not his or her fault, the victim or his or her family could be entitled to damages for any pain and suffering.

Source: Peabody Patch, "Mother of Slain Caseworker Honored as 'Unsung Heroine,'" John Castelluccio, May 17, 2012

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