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In re Cannon

Court of Claims of Ohio

March 11, 2016

IN RE: ALAN CANNON, ALAN CANNON Applicant

          Sent to S.C. Reporter 5/23/17

          DECISION OF THE MAGISTRATE

          Daniel R. Borchert Magistrate JUDGE.

         {¶1} On March 16, 2015, applicant, Alan Cannon, filed a compensation application as the result of an assault which occurred on December 20, 2014. On June 15, 2015, the Attorney General issued a finding of fact and decision determining that applicant qualified as a victim of criminally injurious conduct pursuant to R.C. 2743.51(C)(1). Applicant was granted an award in the amount of $50.49 for work loss and mileage expenses incurred. Applicant's claim for replacement services loss was denied.

         {¶2} On June 25, 2015, applicant submitted a request for reconsideration contending he incurred additional work loss. On August 21, 2015, the Attorney General rendered a Final Decision finding no reason to modify his initial decision since applicant failed to submit documentation to prove additional work loss was incurred. On September 15, 2015, applicant filed a notice of appeal from the August 21, 2015 Final Decision of the Attorney General.

         {¶3} Hence, a hearing was held before this magistrate on January 11, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

         {¶4} Applicant, Alan Cannon, appeared via telephone while his attorney, Matthew Shaughnessy appeared in person. The state of Ohio was represented by Assistant Attorney General Yan Chen and Associate Assistant Attorney General Lauren Angell.

         {¶5} Initially, it was noted that two motions were pending and arguments were requested concerning those motions. The first motion concerning applicant, Alan Cannon, being allowed to appear and testify via telephone and the second motion would allow applicant's witness Aleshondo Ellis to testify via telephone. The Attorney General filed a motion contra to applicant's motion stating that Aleshondo Ellis, applicant's cousin "does not have the credentials to testify to the nature and extent of the applicant's injuries or to their effect on his ability to work."

         {¶6} Applicant stated Aleshondo Ellis will testify to Alan Cannon's physical abilities after the criminal incident. While Mr. Ellis is not an expert, he can offer his observations of the applicant's physical condition. The Attorney General objected since the uncorroborated statements of an applicant are insufficient to prove an element of the claim. The same rationale should apply to the testimony of Mr. Ellis since he is related to applicant, his testimony would be bias, and he has no background to testify concerning applicant's limitations.

         {¶7} Applicant's first motion to allow the telephone appearance and testimony of the applicant is granted.

         {¶8} The rules of evidence do not apply to proceedings before this court. Hearsay may be presented and it will be given weight based on its probative value. In re Grow, 7 Ohio Misc.2d 26, 454 N.E.2d 618 (Ct. of Cl. 1983). Accordingly, I grant applicant's motion to allow Mr. Ellis to testify via telephone and will give the testimony the weight it deserves. Attorney General's motion contra is denied.

         {¶9} The Attorney General made a motion to submit additional medical documentation received after the transmission of the file. Applicant had no objection and the additional records were submitted into evidence.

         {¶10} Applicant made a motion to submit general information concerning rib fractures into evidence. The Attorney General objected since the medical documentation did not reveal applicant suffered fractures to his ribs. Applicant's motion to introduce general rib fracture information was granted with the caveat that applicant must prove Mr. Cannon suffered a rib fracture or the information is not relevant.

         {¶11} Applicant related this appeal concerns Mr. Cannon's claim for work loss. He was granted work loss for three days of missed work while he contended he missed between five to six weeks of work. However, applicant pointed out that Mr. Cannon was injured on a Friday and was only granted work loss for that Monday. Applicant contended that Mr. Cannon's injuries were serious, however, due to lack of health insurance he was unable to go to a doctor to establish he incurred additional work loss. Applicant contended rib injuries take between five to six weeks to heal so it would be reasonable to grant Mr. Cannon additional work loss.

         {¶12} The Attorney General countered that Mr. Cannon's injuries consisted of rib contusion and x-rays confirmed there were no fractures. The Attorney General awarded three days of work loss, the amount of time that can be taken off without a doctor's excuse. However, since the first two days fell on a Saturday and Sunday, work loss was only awarded for that Monday. The Attorney General countered that Mr. Cannon could have followed up with additional medical care since he was eligible to receive ...


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