Is Oberlin College Stalling on Paying Family Bakery Millions in Punitive Damages for Branding the Owners Racists?

Oberlin College in Ohio owes Gibson’s Bakery over $30 million, but it seems as though the leftist institution is stalling on payment.

It all began when a black Oberlin student tried to buy wine with a stolen ID. The store clerk, Allyn D. Gibson, the son and grandson of owners David Gibson and Allyn W. Gibson, noticed two more bottles of wine hidden in the student’s jacket. Gibson took out his phone to take a photo and call the police. The student knocked the phone out of his hand, hitting him in the face. Gibson ran down the thief. Outside the store, the thief’s two friends, also college students, joined the tussle. The students were beating Gibson when the police arrived. They arrested the students, who all confessed to their crimes.

The students also said they didn’t believe Gibson’s actions were motivated by race. But none of that stopped Oberlin students from branding the owners racists. They accused them of racially profiling the thieving student.

Needless to say, the negative attention impacted the family-owned bakery, which began in 1885. The school stopped using the bakery but later resumed business. In the meantime, business suffered. The Gibsons filed a lawsuit on the grounds that Oberlin College defamed the bakery and interfered with its relationships and contracts in the county. The college, the owners claimed, supported the protests, and in fact, professors attended them and gave students course credit for attending.

Meredith Raimondo, former vice president and dean of students, was also named in the lawsuit. Though she denied it, she protested the bakery along with the students. She claimed she was there to supervise, not to protest, but she handed out flyers designed to damage the bakery’s reputation.

Again, all of this was happening after the students admitted their part in the theft and assault.

The school actually claimed that the protests were the bakery’s fault, that its “archaic chase-and-detain policy regarding suspected shoplifters was the catalyst for the protests. The guilt or innocence of the students is irrelevant to both the root cause of the protests and this litigation.”

The jury didn’t buy it and slapped Oberlin College with a $33 million punitive-damages judgment and ordered it to pay the Gibsons $6.5 million in attorney’s fees.

Oberlin has paid not one cent of that judgment. The college appealed the verdict. After appeals by both sides, a panel of the Ninth Ohio District Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s verdict that Oberlin defamed the baker, inflicted distress, and interfered with its business.

Oberlin College has delayed paying by filing yet another appeal. Each day Oberlin avoids paying what it owes to Gibson’s Bakery, it is accruing around $4,300 in interest.

David Gibson died in 2019 and Allyn W. Gibson in February 2022.

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One comment

  1. I am hoping that Gibson’s Bakery is filing liens against the properties of the college and the nutjobs involved in the protest debacle.
    I’m all for Gibson’s Bakery owning that obvious fraud of a “institution of higher learning”. Then selling it off to the highest bidder to recoup the settlement.