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Krueck v. Youngstown State University

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

August 12, 2019

ASHLEY KRUECK Appellant
v.
YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERSITY Appellee

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 18CV195060

          EMILY WHITE and MARC E. DANN, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

          JEFFREY C. MILLER and VICTORIA L. FERRISE, Attorneys at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          HENSAL, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Ashley Krueck appeals from the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. This Court reverses.

         I.

         {¶2} This appeal presents two issues: whether the Court of Common Pleas - as opposed to the Court of Claims - had jurisdiction over Ms. Krueck's claim against Youngstown State University ("YSU") for violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act ("CSPA") and, if so, whether the trial court erred by determining that Ms. Krueck failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. We will begin with a review of the pertinent facts.

         {¶3} According to her complaint, Ms. Krueck enrolled in Lorain County Community College, intending to earn a four-year degree. During her second year, Ms. Krueck began looking for a four-year-degree program that would allow her to complete her education and obtain certification as a nursing home administrator. Ms. Krueck was aware that nursing home administrators are licensed and regulated by the Ohio Board of Executives of Long-Term Services and Supports ("BELTSS"). She was also aware that prospective nursing home administrators had to meet certain educational requirements, and then apply to BELTSS for approval to sit for the state and national licensing exams.

         {¶4} The parties do not dispute that there are two ways to satisfy the BELTSS educational requirements: (1) complete a bachelor's degree in any field, complete an approved "core of knowledge" course, and complete a 1, 500-hour internship; or (2) complete a BELTSS-approved nursing home administrator program, which allows potential candidates to sit for the state and national licensing exams without the "core of knowledge" course or 1, 500-hour internship.

         {¶5} Ms. Krueck reviewed the materials related to YSU's Long Term Care Administrator ("LTCA") program, which included a statement that "[graduates of the LTCA program are eligible to sit for the national and state licensure exams." (Emphasis added.) Another document included statements that:

Licensed graduates of the long term care administration program at [YSU] are eligible to become assistant administrators * * *.
* * *
The primary focus of the long term care administration program at [YSU] is to prepare students to become * * * licensed administrators in nursing and convalescent homes, retirement communities and related healthcare industries.
Graduates receive a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in long term care administration and are eligible to sit for the national and State of Ohio licensing examinations.

(Emphasis added.)

         {¶6} Ms. Krueck understood the foregoing to mean that YSU's program was BELTSS approved, and that completion of the program would allow her to sit for the state and national licensing exams without having to complete the core-of-knowledge course or 1, 500-hour internship. After spending more than one year in the program, Ms. Krueck learned that YSU's program was not BELTSS approved. She sought an exemption from the core-of-knowledge and internship requirements, which BELTSS denied. She then filed suit ...


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