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In Re: Christian M. Langwasser

January 27, 2011

IN RE: CHRISTIAN M. LANGWASSER CHRISTIAN M. LANGWASSER APPLICANT


Cite as In re Langwasser,

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:

Karl C. Kerschner Susan G. Sheridan

OPINION OF A TWO-COMMISSIONER PANEL

{¶1} The appeal presently before this panel involves the issue of work loss, and whether the loss of an ROTC scholarship which included a stipend should be reimbursed. After thoughtful consideration, this panel has determined the applicant has presented insufficient evidence to equate the loss of the stipend with work loss. The stipend was a part of the scholarship, and a scholarship does not constitute work loss within the meaning of R.C. 2743.51(G). Accordingly, this panel affirms the

Attorney General's denial of the applicant's claim for work loss.

I. Procedural History

{¶2} On September 24, 2008, the applicant, Christian Langwasser, filed a compensation application as the result of an assault which occurred on August 15, 2008. On April 7, 2009, the Attorney General issued a finding of fact and decision determining the applicant met the necessary jurisdictional requirements to receive an award of reparations and granting an award in the amount of $2,428.89. The award reimbursed medical providers and compensated the applicant for mileage expenses. However, expenses incurred for services rendered at Grady Memorial Hospital were not reimbursed since they are subject to the Hospital Care Assurance Program. The applicant's claim for crime scene clean-up was denied due to his failure to submit documentation of expenses incurred. Finally, the applicant's request for tuition and scholarship expenses was denied since such items did not qualify as allowable expenses pursuant to R.C. 2743.51(F)(1).

{¶3} On May 5, 2009, the applicant submitted a request for reconsideration. The applicant sought reimbursement of clothing taken by the police at the hospital and additional medical expenses incurred as the result of the assault. The applicant also requested that the loss of his scholarship be considered as a reimbursable work loss.

{¶4} On October 23, 2009, the Attorney General rendered a Final Decision granting the applicant an additional award in the amount of $711.00, of which $605.00 was paid directly to Oral and Facial Surgeons of Ohio and $106.00 was paid to the applicant for an evidence replacement expense. However, the Attorney General found no reason to modify its decision concerning work loss and crime scene clean-up.

{¶5} On November 12, 2009, the applicant filed a notice of appeal from the October 23, 2009 Final Decision of the Attorney General. The appeal hearing was held before this panel of commissioners on September 1, 2010 at 10:55 A.M.

II. Applicant's Position

{¶6} The applicant, Christian Langwasser, his attorney Michael Falleur, and Assistant Attorney General David Lockshaw attended the hearing and presented testimony and oral arguments for the panel's consideration.

{¶7} The applicant asserted that the only issue before this panel is the annual stipend Christian Langwasser lost due to the injuries he sustained from the criminally injurious conduct. The stipend amounted to $3,000.00 per year and was part of an ROTC scholarship he was awarded in conjunction with his admission to the University of Kentucky. The applicant asserts the stipend was for work Christian would have done in the classroom and in the field for the United States Army. However, due to the injuries sustained from the criminally injurious conduct, he was unable to enroll at the University of Kentucky and he lost this stipend. The applicant contends the stipend constitutes a work loss pursuant to R.C. 2743.51(G).

III. Attorney General's Position

{¶8} Conversely, the Attorney General contended that the stipend is not work loss as defined in R.C. 2743.51(G). Furthermore, the receipt of the stipend was speculative since additional testing was required before the applicant became eligible to received the ROTC scholarship.

IV. Witness Testimony and Argument

{¶9} The applicant, Christian Langwasser was called as a witness. Mr. Langwasser related how he became aware of the ROTC program and why the University of Kentucky (UK) met his academic needs. The applicant stated if he participated in the ROTC program at UK he would receive a waiver of out-of-state tuition, room and board, a book allowance, and an annual stipend of $3,000.00. The total benefits of the ROTC program at UK amounted to $25,971.00 per year. To receive the room and board allowance he was required to write an essay and the annual stipend would be based on satisfying certain criteria related to academic and physical achievements. The applicant stated he believed he could have passed the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), since he played both football and baseball at Olentangy High School and travel baseball prior to his prospective freshman year in college. Mr. Langwasser also stated it was his understanding that even if an individual initially failed the APFT, ROTC would work with the person to insure the APFT was passed.

{¶10} Mr. Langwasser then described the injuries he sustained as a result of the assault: a broken jaw, broken wrist, broken nose, and two of his bottom teeth were shattered. Due to the injuries he sustained he could not pass the APFT, nor was he able to pass the APFT within 60 days as was required by ROTC. Failure to pass the APFT would have made him ineligible to receive benefits from ROTC including the stipend. Consequently, Christian chose to enroll in the Orange branch of The Ohio State University. Approximately eight months after he sustained his injuries he jointed the Ohio National Guard and was able to pass the physical fitness requirements.

{ΒΆ11} Finally, Christian testified that if he were able to attend the ROTC program at UK he would not have been required to attend boot camp. However, other recruits who were not enrolled in the ROTC program would be required to ...


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