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In Re: Shaquille A. Yates

January 27, 2011

IN RE: SHAQUILLE A. YATES SHAQUILLE A. YATES APPLICANT.


Cite as In re Yates,

The Ohio Judicial Center 65 South Front Street, Fourth Floor Columbus, OH 43215 614.387.9860 or 1.800.824.8263 www.cco.state.oh.us

Commissioners:

Lloyd Pierre-Louis, Presiding Gregory P. Barwell Susan G. Sheridan

ORDER OF A THREE-COMMISSIONER PANEL

{¶1} On October 15, 2009, the applicant filed a compensation application as the result of being shot during a robbery. On February 8, 2010, the Attorney General issued a finding of fact and decision denying the applicant's claim for an award of reparations based upon the fact the applicant engaged in substantial contributory misconduct at the time of the incident. Specifically, the applicant was shot during an illegal drug transaction. On February 18 and 26, 2010 the applicant submitted requests for reconsideration. On April 20, 2010, the Attorney General rendered a Final Decision finding no reason to modify the initial decision. On May 11, 2010, the applicant filed a notice of appeal from the April 20, 2010 Final Decision of the Attorney General. Hence, a hearing was held before this panel of commissioners on November 4, 2010 at 11:35 A.M.

{¶2} The applicant and his attorney Michael Falleur appeared at the hearing, while Assistant Attorney General David Lockshaw represented the state of Ohio.

{¶3} The sole issue in this case is whether the applicant engaged in substantial contributory misconduct at the time of his injury. The Attorney General asserts that the applicant made admissions against interest to hospital personnel that he was engaged in a marijuana transaction at the time he was shot.

{¶4} The Attorney General called Dodie Allen, a licensed social worker who worked at Nationwide Children's Hospital to testify. She stated she spoke with Shaquille Yates on the day of the incident and she recorded what was said. The Attorney General presented the witness with State's Exhibit A, a medical record dated July 23, 2009 which also contained notes prepared by Ms. Allen. Ms. Allen was directed to read the second paragraph of the document handed to her. She read the following:

{¶5} "Patient admitted he had 'a lot of cash' on him. First stated he had $2000, then said he had $1000. Initially told officer 1480 that he worked at Speedway on College and Livingston and just likes to save his money. Later admitted that he 'bought 2 bags from my dude' outside Kim's store. Patient denied smoking anything but noted he was about to (smiling). States he had walked back to his car and he heard a guy say, 'Keal Bro', then heard gun clicked (thought it was a high point 9.) States one dude was behind him and the other walked around him and told him not to try to run. Patient reportedly had THC in his pants pocket."

{¶6} She related she heard Mr. Yates make these statements and would not have recorded them if they had not been made.

{¶7} Upon cross-examination, Ms. Allen admitted she made notes about what was said and after the document was prepared the notes were destroyed. She admitted to taking notes from questions that she as well as the police asked the applicant. Ms. Allen stated she could not explain the inconsistencies between her notes and the report filed by the Columbus Police Department. Whereupon, Ms. Allen's testimony was concluded.

{¶8} The applicant called Bertl Yates, the applicant's mother, to testify. In the summer in which Shaquille was injured he was attending Life Skills, a preparatory course for high school graduation, and was also working at a Speedway gas station. She stated Shaquille was saving his money and desired to open a bank account. On the day of the incident he intended to open a bank account and his friend was going to give him a ride to the bank. She related after she learned her son was shot she went to the hospital. Ms. Yates recollected the events surrounding the hospital treatment.

{¶9} Upon cross-examination, Ms. Yates admitted she was not at the scene of the shooting. Whereupon, her testimony was concluded.

{¶10} The applicant then called Brandon Cox to the witness stand. Brandon Cox stated he was a friend of the applicant. On the day of the incident, Mr. Cox was supposed to take Shaquille to his bank to cash Shaquille's check and then take Shaquille to the Fifth/Third Bank near Shaquille's work to open a bank account. However, Mr. Cox was not able to do this since he had to pick up his son from school. Whereupon, Mr. Cox's testimony was concluded.

{¶11} Shaquille Yates was then called to testify. Mr. Yates related he is currently employed with Buckeye Steel where he works ten hour days six days a week. Mr. Yates was shown paycheck stubs from Speedway and his enrollment papers at Life Skills, Applicant's Exhibit 1. Mr. Yates testified that he was saving his earnings for a car, since his family did not own a vehicle.

{ΒΆ12} On the day of the incident Brandon Cox was going to take him to a bank to cash his check then to another bank to open an account. When he learned that Brandon could not give him a ride he went to a store on the corner of Frebis and Fairwood to cash his check. He then returned home, but still wanted to go to the bank to open an account. He saw people he knew and inquired whether ...


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