An Ohio jury ordered Oberlin College to pay $11.2 million in compensatory damages to a family bakery smeared by the university as racist.
Back in November of 2016, three Oberlin students were caught attempting to steal bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery, which has been part of the small community of 8,300 since 1885.
According to a CBS News report published in December of 2017, the three young men were arrested for “kicking and punching” the owner’s son, Allyn Gibson, and eventually “pleaded guilty in August to attempted theft and aggravated trespassing.”
Seems fairly cut and dried, no?
After all, what you have here is a small business in a small college town that has had a good relationship with its community for more than a century. What’s more, Gibson’s also had a business relationship with the university.
So after three students try to steal from the bakery and then plead guilty that should be that, no?
Well, nothing is cut and dried when it comes to the fascist left, and Oberlin college is an infamous hotbed of far-left lunacy. So things quickly went off the rails for one reason and one reason alone: the perpetrators are black, the bakery proprietors are white, and the extreme leftists who attend and staff the university are unhinged social justice warriors.
Well, maybe two reasons: the arrests occurred the day after Donald Trump was elected president, so the Oberlin loons were probably looking to take their frustrations out on someone.
Although the three perps would eventually admit in their plea agreements that the bakery staff was not motivated by race in their attempt to detain them until police arrives, Oberlin College students and staff still went out looking for mob justice.
According to the defamation suit filed by the Gibson’s, “hundreds of copies” of a flier falsely accusing the bakery of racism were handed out in the small town by Oberlin Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and other college staffers.
The flier said, “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”
The flier also listed ten other bakeries to patronize.
The university then cut its business ties with Gibson’s. The bakery had been providing baked goods to the school.
The lawsuit points out that the school went so far as to suspend classes so students could smear the bakery, not only by distributing those fliers, but protesting. According to CBS, “hundreds of students protested outside the bakery” the day after the arrests. The lawsuit says the school provided those demonstrators with free food and drink.
As a result, the bakery was forced to lay off almost all of its employees and nearly filed bankruptcy.
Just as outrageous is that Oberlin College apparently sees itself as above the law and proved it (according to the suit) by making the outrageous demand the bakery stop filing criminal charges against first-time offenders — as though it’s the bakery’s job to discern who is and is not a first offender, as though attending Oberlin gives you special rights the rest of us do not have.
CBS News again [emphasis added]:
Dave Gibson, the bakery’s owner, says the lawsuit is about standing up for his right to crack down on shoplifting without being branded as a racist. The suit says Oberlin demanded that he stop pushing criminal charges on first-time shoplifters and call school deans instead.
“I have not taken a paycheck since this happened more than a year ago,” Gibson said in an email. “Sometimes you have to stand up to a large institution. Powerful institutions — including Oberlin College — and their members must follow the same laws as the rest of us.”
Well, after two long years of hell, Gibson’s Bakery won some justice in a court of law Friday when a jury found the college guilty of defamation, intentional interference in a business, inflicting emotional distress on the owner, David Gibson, and the deliberate infliction of emotional distress on his son, Allyn.
The $11 million is only the beginning.
The New York Post reports the eventual award could triple to $33 million after a hearing next week to assess the punitive damages.
Legal Insurrection’s been covering the case since the beginning and reports that Oberlin’s insurance company will probably not cover the school’s losses and that the school’s arrogance bled into the courtroom with the absurd claim the bakery was only worth $35,000.