Bonnie L. Jones



Claimant appeared in person and by counsel, Gloria M. Stephens, Attorney at Law.

Robert D. Williams, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of West Virginia.


An application of the claimant, Bonnie L. Jones, for an award under the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Act, was filed December 9, 2003. The report of the Claim Investigator, filed June 10, 2004, recommended that an award of $125.00 be granted, to which the claimant filed a response in disagreement. An Order was issued on August 6, 2004, upholding the Investigator's recommendation, in response to which the claimant's request for hearing was filed September 12, 2004. This matter came on for hearing November 9, 2004, claimant appearing in person and by counsel, Gloria M. Stephens, and the State of West Virginia by counsel, Robert D. Williams, Assistant Attorney General.
On April 24, 2003, the 32-year-old claimant was the victim of criminally injurious conduct in Gary, McDowell County. The claimant was assaulted by the offender, Curt Watts, who later was found guilty of assault and battery.
It is undisputed that the claimant was an innocent victim of crime. She was treated for head and facial injuries, incurring unreimbursed medical expenses of $125.00. Those expenses were paid by Order of this Court dated August 6, 2004. The claimant appealed on the basis of lost wages. At the hearing on November 9, 2004, counsel for the claimant and for the Crime Victims Fund agreed to a continuance of the matter pending receipt of an affidavit from the claimant's employer regarding her work loss and leave records. Said affidavit was received on December 2, 2004, and made part of the record in this claim.
As a result of her injuries, the claimant missed 6.5 days of work. She had 4.5 days of sick leave available to her, leaving a balance of 2 days of work loss. In a memo to this Court dated November 17, 2004, the Claim Investigator recommended that the claimant be reimbursed $92.28 in net work loss for those two days.
At issue is the question of whether "sick leave" is in fact a "collateral source" within the definition of the Crime Victims Compensation Act, defined in W.Va. Code §14-2A-3(b) to include "wage continuation programs of any employer." The claimant herein did not lose wages for 4.5 of the 6.5 days she was absent because her sick leave was available in that amount. Therefore, it is the finding of this Court that sick leave is a collateral source and so not compensable within the meaning of the statute.
Based on the foregoing, an award in the sum of $92.28 is hereby granted as set out below. Should the claimant later submit documentation of any additional unreimbursed allowable expenses relating to this incident, they will be reviewed by the Court at that time.

Bonnie L. Jones
P.O. Box 295
Gary WV 24836

ENTER: _____________________________________________