Dharma P. Agrawal, Plaintiff-Appellant,
University of Cincinnati, Defendant-Appellee.
from the Court of Claims of Ohio Ct. of Cl. No. 2015-00970
Clodfelter & Gutzwiller, and Robert Gutzwiller; McFadden
& Winner, and Mary Jane McFadden, for appellant.
Michael DeWine, Attorney General, Randal W. Knutti, and Emily
Simons Taposci, for appellee.
1} Plaintiff-appellant, Dharma P. Agrawal, appeals a
March 16, 2016 decision of the Court of Claims of Ohio
dismissing his complaint for breach of contract against the
University of Cincinnati ("the University").
Because we agree that the face of his complaint discloses
that his claims were not brought within the statute of
limitations, we affirm the dismissal. Based on there being no
evidence in the record of a collective bargaining agreement,
the Court of Claims could not find that Agrawal's claims
were subject to or affected by a collective bargaining
agreement and thereby dismissing pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(1).
We thus affirm the Court of Claims' decision on grounds
other than stated in its decision. We hold on de novo review
that the court of claims had jurisdiction and could not
dismiss pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(1), but because Agrawal
filed his lawsuit in the Court of Claims after the statute of
limitations had run, he failed to state a claim.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
2} On November 16, 2015, following years of
litigation in both federal and state courts in search of the
proper jurisdiction in which to bring his action, Agrawal
filed suit against the University and the State of Ohio in
the Court of Claims of Ohio. (Nov. 16, 2015 Compl.) The
complaint set forth the parties and jurisdiction and alleged
facts which read in their entirety as follows:
4. Professor Agrawal was appointed and hired, pursuant to a
contract with the University of Cincinnati executed in 1998,
as an educator and researcher. This contract remains in force
to this date. Such contract is appended to this complaint as
Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2.
5.The University did not perform material parts of
Agrawal's 1998 contract, and among other breaches, in
2006, Dean Montemagno, then Dean of the College of
Engineering, and other University officials diverted
approximately $360, 000 of Ohio Board of Regents
("OBR") Ph.D. Enhancement Initiative Funds,
deriving from attached Exhibits 1 and 2, from Agrawal's
control to Montemagno's control and, upon knowledge and
belief, redistributed the money within the College. This
caused Professor Agrawal not to be able to fund various
research projects, students, and post-doctorate fellows as
anticipated, causing irreparable harm to Agrawal's
research, reputation, and professional standing.
6. All breaches of Agrawal's employment contract were
performed by University officials, in their official
capacities, and while acting on behalf of the University.
7. In further breach of Professor Agrawal's employment
contract, the University promised to "encourage"
him to "establish an interdepartmental center for
distributed computing, " such encouragement to take
various forms, including but not limited to providing a
location for the center, two or more support faculty, $1oo,
ooo or more of direct University funding, and additional
matching funds to supplement the OBR funds. Said
"encouragement" was never provided, causing
difficulty and delay in the creation and operation of the
interdepartmental center which resulted in significant damage
to Agrawal's research, reputation, and professional
8. In further breach of Professor Agrawal's employment
contract, the University failed to provide stipends for
various graduate students under Agrawal's tutelage,
requiring Dr. Agrawal to look to outside sources of funding
to support said students, and causing irreparable harm to
Agrawal's research, reputation, and professional
9. In further breach of Professor Agrawal's employment
contract, Dean Montemagno notified Agrawal by letter dated
October 3, 2008, that he was "not suited to hold the
title of OBR Distinguished Professor" and that
"[effective immediately, your title will be Professor of
Computer Science, and you will be held to the workload
requirements of all similarly situated professors in your
department." Said action caused damage and ...