VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College

#1
Punitive damage phase to start next Tuesday, which could increase the damages to $33 million.



The Jury in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case has reached a verdict.

According to our reporter in the Courtroom, the jury awarded $11 million. Here are the details: Allyn W. Gibson awarded $5.8 million, David Gibson #3 million, Gibson Bros. $2,274,500. Next Tuesday there will be a separate punitive damages which could be a double award (meaning tripling the $11 million to $33 million).

According to Dan, Meredith Raimondo was held liable on the libel but not the other counts. We are still sorting out what that means in terms of damages against her.

We will have interviews and video later. We will update this post as more information becomes available.
BACKGROUND
For background on the case, see here.
The plaintiffs are Gibson Bros. Inc. (the Bakery), 90-year-0ld Allyn W. Gibson, and his son, David B. Gibson. The defendants are Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.
Here are the counts that went to the jury:
Count 1: Libel
Count 3: Tortious Interference with Business Relationships
Count 4: Tortious Interference with Contracts
Count 6: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

These are the jury interrogatories the jury had to follow to reach a verdict:

Gibson Bros Inc. Jury Interrogatories

Allyn W. Gibson Jury Interrogatories

David R. Gibson Jury Interrogatories

The short version of this story is that the day after the 2016 election victory by Donald Trump, a black male Oberlin College student was stopped for shoplifting wine at Gibson’s Bakery and Market in downtown Oberlin, OH. Gibson’s had been in existence since 1885, was frequented by students, and also provided baked goods to the college dining halls. A scuffle ensued that was joined by two black female Oberlin College students accompanying the male shoplifter and apparently acting in concert with him. All three eventually would plead guilty to shoplifting and aggravated trespassing, and would avow that Gibson’s was not engaged in racial profiling.

But before those guilty pleas, students at the college immediately declared that Gibson’s was guilty of racial profiling, and large protests were organized outside the bakery. Flyers were passed out claiming Gibson’s was “racist” and had “a long account of racial profiling and discrimination.” The Oberlin College Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo allegedly participated in handing out the flyers in front of the bakery. The Oberlin College Student Senate also passed a resolution claiming Gibson’s “has a long history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment of students and residents alike.” The college administration allegedly helped spread this student senate resolution.
Students started a boycott of the bakery, initially joined in by the college. The college eventually resumed business with the bakery, but then terminated that business after the lawsuit was filed.

Gibson’s and its owners sued the college and Raimondo for libel, tortious interference with business relationships and contracts, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and trespass. Gibson’s alleged long-term damage to its business and reputation for the allegedly defamatory accusations and other torts. The plaintiffs in closing argument asked the jury to award $12.8 million in compensatory damages.
Here are our some of our posts when the protests against Gibson’s started, along with the early litigation history:
Link

Other posts about the trial at link
 
#2
Longer version of the back story:



D'dn (left) Du (Centre) Nuffin (Right)

In August, the three students, Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence, and Cecelia Whettstone, pleaded guilty to amended misdemeanor charges of attempted theft and aggravated trespassing in county Common Pleas Court. Aladin also pleaded guilty to underage purchase of alcohol. Aladin initially was charged with robbery, a felony.

According to police, Aladin tried to buy a bottle of wine with a fake ID that Allyn Gibson refused to sell it to him. Gibson then confronted Aladin about two bottles of wine the student had hidden under his shirt.

The police report said Allyn Gibson told Aladin he was calling the police and not to leave and Gibson then took out his phone to take a photo of Aladin. That's when Allyn Gibson said Aladin slapped the phone from his hand and the device hit Gibson in the face. Police have said Aladin then ran from the store, dropping the two bottles of wine to the floor.

Allyn Gibson chased after Aladin, and the two men got into a physical confrontation outside. When police arrived, they reported seeing Allyn Gibson on the ground with Aladin, Lawrence and Whettstone hitting him.


Bodycam of them being arrested:
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
#3
good but they are lucky the judgement is against the school and not dependent on the gibmedats.
 

Saikotic

Scraping a dull blade across your tender eyeball
Donator
#4
What's great is that the punitive damages can skyrocket. Fuck that sjw college.
 
#6
So, the dumbass school, who knew the student was underage and trying to buy alcohol, backed him up and cried racism. Brilliant

Sink that fucking school
 
#7
Jury tampering... brill...

Dear Members of the Oberlin Community:

I am writing to update you on the lawsuit that Gibson Bros., Inc. filed against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas in November 2017.

Following a trial that spanned almost a full month, the jury found for the plaintiffs earlier today.

We are disappointed with the verdict and regret that the jury did not agree with the clear evidence our team presented.

Neither Oberlin College nor Dean Meredith Raimondo defamed a local business or its owners, and they never endorsed statements made by others. Rather, the College and Dr. Raimondo worked to ensure that students’ freedom of speech was protected and that the student demonstrations were safe and lawful, and they attempted to help the plaintiffs repair any harm caused by the student protests.

As we have stated, colleges cannot be held liable for the independent actions of their students. Institutions of higher education are obligated to protect freedom of speech on their campuses and respect their students’ decision to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Oberlin College acted in accordance with these obligations.

While we are disappointed with the outcome, Oberlin College wishes to thank the members of the jury for their attention and dedication during this lengthy trial. They contributed a great deal of time and effort to this case, and we appreciate their commitment.

Our team will review the jury’s verdict and determine how to move forward. As they are poopoo heads...

Donica Thomas Varner
Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
 

mascan42

Registered User
#9
I'm not sure that publicly bashing the jurors while the trial is still ongoing is the smartest legal strategy.


These fuckers will be lucky if the bill comes in under $100M.
 

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
Donator
#10
I'm not sure that publicly bashing the jurors while the trial is still ongoing is the smartest legal strategy.


These fuckers will be lucky if the bill comes in under $100M.
Don't they teach that like on Day 1 of law school? And on graduation day? And every day in between? If you're the defense counsel, and the case is still ongoing, then you SHUT THE FUCK UP. Right? Isn't that like Lawyerin' 101?

I can't understand how a lawyer could be so stu...



Oh, nevermind.
 

Saikotic

Scraping a dull blade across your tender eyeball
Donator
#13
I've never seen an entire college play the victim card....
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
#15
I've never seen an entire college play the victim card....
Even back in the late 80’s when my friends were shopping college “oberlan” popped up, and even the most “pot smoking hippies” I hung with said that obelin was “too liberal” for them
 

domelogic

Registered User
#16
These fuckers will be lucky if the bill comes in under $100M.

I heard the most it can be is 3 times the original amount in punitive damages. Let’s hope that happens. Colleges need a wake up call and money is the best way to get that done
 

HandPanzer

Shantih Shantih Shantih
#17
I came in here curious as to why it always seems that bakers are at the forefront of our political battles lately and then it dawned on me, bakers haven't just been at the forefront of our political battles lately, they've been there throughout history--Trimalchio's dinner party, Juvenal's bread and circuses, Jonathan Swift's modest proposal, Marie Antoinette's cake, the Soviet Law of Spikelets! It's the bakers! It's always been the bakers!
 

Saikotic

Scraping a dull blade across your tender eyeball
Donator
#18
I came in here curious as to why it always seems that bakers are at the forefront of our political battles lately and then it dawned on me, bakers haven't just been at the forefront of our political battles lately, they've been there throughout history--Trimalchio's dinner party, Juvenal's bread and circuses, Jonathan Swift's modest proposal, Marie Antoinette's cake, the Soviet Law of Spikelets! It's the bakers! It's always been the bakers!
Marie Antoinette never said "Let them eat cake."
 

Saikotic

Scraping a dull blade across your tender eyeball
Donator
#20
Don't fuck me and my baker thing, man.
Well, bakers were part of the reason we started to adopt standardized measurements and ...package counts I guess. Bakers used to rip off their customers by shortchanging them on product, maybe packing in one less of an item or not quite measuring something out to the precise weight etc. Harsh laws were enacted, IIRC say if a baker sold doughnuts by the dozen and there were only 11 in the box, he could lose a finger. Take this with a huge grain of salt as I read this years back, but this is why a baker's dozen is actually 13. They started giving a little extra so their necks wouldn't literally be on the line.
 
#21
Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Punitive Damages VERDICT WATCH

We will have updates during the day and the verdict when it comes down



Update 11:40 a.m. – Closing statements and jury instructions over. Jury starts deliberations.

EARLIER
When we get the punitive damages verdict later today, that’s all anyone is going to want to talk about.

“The administrators at a lot of colleges are scared to death of the students. That if the administration had tried to argue, let’s take a wait and see, we don’t know all the fact yet, that the police are investigating, let’s not rush to judgment, guess what, they would have been accused of being racist, they would have been accused of being white supremacists and working within the white supremacist system, etc., etc., etc. So I think it’s a bad combination of factors, but they should have been the adults in the room… Instead, the Dean of Students according to witnesses was there with a bullhorn, and was there passing out flyers and helping students pass out flyers…. If all they had done is step back from it and let the students do what the students do, I don’t think there would have been any claim against them. But it was that active participation, or at least they alleged active participation, and the jury obviously believed that, that led to the liability.”
Link

And:

Oberlin College to Jury: We’re cash poor and big punitive award to Gibson’s Bakery will hurt students

I will have a complete update later, but here is the essence of Oberlin College’s defense today:

Gibson’s lawyers spent considerable time going over Oberlin College’s IRS Form 990, showing over $1 billion in assets and numerous employees earning over $100,000, They also got the Vice President and General Counsel of the college to admit to some of the content of the blast email she sent out soon after the compensatory verdict, including that she felt the jury disregarded the “clear evidence,” though they were not permitted to show the jury the letter itself under a prior court ruling.

The defense then argued that notwithstanding the Form 990, the college had cash flow and liquidity issues that would make a large punitive award difficult for the college. The defense compared the relatively poor financial condition of Oberlin College to other colleges and universities in Ohio. The defense argued that students would be harmed by a large verdict because the college might have to cut back on grants given to students.

Closing argument will start at 10 a.m. tomorrow, followed by jury instruction, and then the jury gets the case.
Link

Well I guess you will have to sell off some of those assets that total a billion dollars...

Oh and:


The college has more than $1 billion in funds and net assets according to the latest IRS 990 form, an endowment fund that had grown from $440 million to $887 million in the last 20 years, and because of its non-profit status, pays no taxes on any property it owns.

It also had 18 members of their administration making more than $100,00 a year. The president and chief financial officer of the school were both making more than $500,000 a year.
 
Last edited:
#23
Defense attorney Rachelle Kuznicki argued:
“We cannot change the past, we can learn from it.”
“This will impact people who had nothing to do with the protest …, it also means less students who are not able to afford a college education will be able to do so.”​
Go fuck yourself... you assholes charge 52k a year in tuition...
 
Top