Saturday, June 8, 2019

A victory over violent anti white racism at Oberlin College


Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: More than $11 million awarded (UPDATED/VIDEO)

ELYRIA — A Lorain County jury on Friday awarded the owners of Gibson’s Bakery more than $11 million from Oberlin College in finding that the college inflicted emotional distress, interfered with business relationships and libeled the family-owned bakery in downtown Oberlin.
The jury also found that Meredith Raimondo, the college’s vice president and dean of students, libeled the family and business.
“All the Gibsons ever wanted was for the truth to come out,” Lee Plakas, lead attorney for the Gibson family, said afterward. “All they ever asked from the beginning, from Oberlin College, was to use its power and influence and might to tell the truth, and that letter never came. But the jury sent the letter that was louder and more visible and more public. I think the Gibson family is grateful for that and grateful for the jury to have the courage to be able to send a letter that no one else would send for the last almost three years.”
The jury ruled for Allyn W. Gibson and his son, David Gibson, as well as the bakery itself — awarding $5.8 million for David, $3 million for Allyn and $2.2 million for the bakery.
The jury found in favor of David Gibson on both counts of libel against the college and Raimondo. The jurors blamed only the college for intentional infliction of emotional distress to David Gibson, clearing Raimondo on that count.
The jurors ruled in the same manner for the libel and infliction of emotional distress involving Allyn W. Gibson.
The jury also found for the bakery on counts of libel against both the college and Raimondo. Raimondo was held responsible for interference of business relationships while the college was cleared.
The attorneys for Oberlin College and Scott Wargo, Oberlin College director of communications, declined to comment after the verdict.
But members of the Oberlin College Alumni Association did receive an email from Donica Thomas Varner, vice president, general counsel and secretary of Oberlin College. The email — obtained by The Chronicle-Telegram — updated members on the verdict.
“We are disappointed with the verdict and regret that the jury did not agree with the clear evidence our team presented,” Varner wrote. “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.”
Varner thanked the jury for its attention and dedication during the trial. Varner said in the letter that “Our team will review the jury’s verdict and determine how to move forward.”
In Wednesday’s closing remarks, Plakas said the world would be watching the result of the trial, which would decide what institutions like Oberlin College would do. Owen Rarric, another attorney representing the bakery, said the verdicts sent a powerful message to the rest of the outside world.
“I think part of what we did here today is answer the question as to, ‘What are we going to tolerate in our society?’ “ he said. “We’re hopeful that this is a sign that not only Oberlin College but in the future, powerful institutions will hesitate before trying to crush the little guy.”
The lawsuit

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