Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College


Having a Beer while the world burns!
PREMO Member
Ohio jury dings Oberlin College for $33 million in punitive damages over anti-bakery protests

An Ohio jury awarded Thursday a maximum $33 million in punitive damages to a local bakery targeted by Oberlin College protesters, triple the $11 million in compensatory damages announced in last week’s verdict.



PREMO Member
Legal Insurrection: Oberlin College ‘basically begged for mercy’ after being hit with $11 million verdict

Oberlin College — where students accuse the cafeteria of selling them culturally “disrespectful” food, demand black-only “safe spaces,” and have classes canceled after a student wrapped in a blanket was confused for a Klansman — was begging for mercy in court after it was ordered to pay $11 million in damages to a local family business that students tried to destroy.

The College that said Gibson's Bakery was ONLY Worth the COST 1/2 Semester @ Oberlin


Power with Control
So I followed the article link about the list of demands a student group sent to the college. Had this gem in there....

This institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy.
Yet here you are, dumping tens of thousands of dollar into it........

All this makes we wonder if theres room in the market for a "Universtiy of Hard Knocks".

"Parents? Worried about spending 20-30K for the first year of Timmys Fine Arts degree only to find out he really couldnt give a poo past the first semester? Our Pass or GTFO policy ensures he wont waste more than one semester of your money. Lack of attendance or grades below XX means it's Keep Up or Get Out here at Ol' UHK. More worried he'll spend 50-80K of your money or tax money and actualy get that Fine Arts degree and never pay it back? Not here, we dont offer degrees in any field of endeavor that doesnt show a decent chance of gainful employment in field. We've replaced those with trades courses that have high employment chances. First year requirements include a series of general llife skills that expose the students to Lessons for Life (tm) that teaches finiacial responsibility, basic automotive knoweldge and repair, home repair, shopping skills and sundry. All modules may be tested out of by students whose parents actually pepared them for life away from home. Every job on campus other than instructional ones are open to student employees which brings a tuition discount"


PREMO Member
Oberlin denied a new trial in the Gibson’s Bakery case

In the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case, the judgment for the plaintiffs amounted to almost $32 million in damages and defendants were required to post a $36 million bond to secure the judgment pending appeal.

Before appealing, Oberlin College filed two post-trial motions, a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict (pdf.) and Motion for a New Trial (pdf.), as explained in our post, Oberlin College Seeks New Trial in Gibson’s Bakery Case.

Gibson’s Bakery responded with an Opposition to the Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict (pdf.), and Opposition to the Motion for a New Trial (pdf.), as explained in our post, Gibson’s Bakery: Oberlin College’s request for a new trial is “baseless”.

Judge John Miraldi has ruled, denying both motions. The Order Denying Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict (pdf.) and Order Denying Motion for New Trial (pdf.) are embedded at the bottom of the post.

In the JNOV Order, the Court ruled in pertinent part:
Judgment notwithstanding the verdict is only appropriate where, when the evidence is construed most strongly in favor of the nonmoving party, reasonable minds can come to one conclusion, and that conclusion is adverse to the non-moving party. See McMichael v. Akron General Medical Center, 2017-Ohio-7594, ,r 1 O (Ohio Ct. App. 9th Dist.); see a/so Goodrich, at ¶ 11.
The Court has reviewed and considered the parties’ respective briefs and applicable precedent and, after construing the evidence most strongly in Plaintiff’s favor, the Court does not find that the Defendants are entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Accordingly, Defendants’ Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict is denied.


PREMO Member
A protest against racism, and a $31.5 million defamation award

Nathan Carpenter, editor-in-chief of the college paper, the Oberlin Review, said, "I think for me, when I'm looking at this as somebody who's been covering it since the lawsuit was filed, the questions at hand are no longer about shoplifting and no longer about whether students shoplifted. It's about whether students were, you know, in the right to say what they said during the initial protests, and whether the college is on the hook [for it]."

That is precisely the point; and last June a local jury found Oberlin College on the hook for $44 million in damages. The court has since reduced the award to $31.5 million, and Oberlin College has appealed that judgment.

So, the fundamental questions remain: Were the students justified in exercising their freedom of speech? And why is Oberlin responsible for what they said?

"I think the response to that is, let students be students, but don't aid and abet, support or encourage them when they're clearly doing something reckless," said Lee Plakas, who is lead attorney in the Gibsons' lawsuit against Oberlin. If he and his clients ever collect, $6.5 million has been allocated to legal costs.

"They tried to characterize this as a protest," Plakas said. "I think they turned it into a party to appease the students. They ordered pizza, used college funds to order pizza for the demonstrators. They used college funds for food and drinks and refreshments. They used college funds to buy gloves to make sure that the protesters' hands wouldn't get cold."

Koppel asked Carmen Twilley Ambar, who was not then, but is now President of Oberlin College: "Maybe what was before the jury was that the college administration did nothing to ameliorate the demonstration, did nothing to calm the students down? If anything, they appeared to be supportive of the demonstration without at that time knowing the facts."

"I don't think that's factually accurate," said Ambar.

"Well, did they know the facts at the time?"

"The college didn't know the facts. But it's not true that the college supported the demonstration."


PREMO Member
Despite $44M Libel Verdict, Oberlin College Still Saying Gibson’s Bakery Had A Pattern Of Racist Behavior

As Legal Insurrection’s Prof. William Jacobson points out, Oberlin may have lost in court, but they’re determined to win in the court of public opinion. They tried to get one of the bakery’s employee’s Facebook posts unsealed, ostensibly to prove that he was motivated by racial animus (it failed), they’ve appealed the jury verdict claiming their own “free speech” was violated when they lost the libel trial and were relieved of nearly $50 million. They agreed to the interview with CBS, perhaps believing the mainstream media network might take their side.

The school’s president ended up suggesting that Oberlin has done nothing wrong because the bakery has a history of discrimination (emphasis added).

KOPPEL: …. But to this day, the president of Oberlin makes allusions to a pattern of racist behavior, if not the specific incident that set things off three years ago.
AMBAR: Well, the students pled guilty to the shoplifting. Um, there has been some debate about whether it was shoplifting or false ID.
KOPPEL: It was both.
AMBAR: Right. Well, I think that, that one of the things that the college has always said is that the college has not, doesn’t condone shoplifting, doesn’t condone bad behavior by its students in any way, shape or form. But what led up to the protest, and I think that’s sort of kind of the core issue here, was some series of things that happened before. Some perspectives about people’s experiences in the store.
KOPPEL: Tell me about, tell me about those then. And be specific. What specific incidents are you referring to that happened before?
AMBAR: Right, well, I think that the specific incidents would be, the perception by faculty and students and staff and other people in the town that there had been disparate treatment with respect to people of color in the store. The way I would phrase it, kind of different lived experiences.


Power with Control
Right, so by "specific incidents", I really mean some crap I think or feel but can in no way prove. You want "lived experiences" to stand up in court, you better document the crap out of them, not just pretend they happened years ago after you get your pecker shoved in the grinder.