Ohio Supreme Court declines to take up Oberlin’s appeal, college will now have to pay Gibson’s Bakery

Source: Hot Air

The shoplifting and subsequent protest of Gibson’s bakery happened way back in 2016. It took years for the Gibson’s defamation case to make its way through the courts but finally in 2019 they won a massive award. The award (initially $44 million later reduced to $25 million) was appealed by Oberlin and in April of this year the school lost that appeal. By that point the full judgment plus the cost of attorneys fees had risen to $31 million.

But Oberlin appealed the case to the Ohio Supreme Court and also asked that it not be forced to pay the Gibson’s Bakery until that appeal was resolved. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to the latter request earlier this month. However, today it looks like this case might finally be over. The Ohio Supreme Court has refused to consider Oberlin’s appeal.

The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would not take up an appeal of a $25 million judgment against Oberlin College in a business’ lawsuit claiming it was libeled by the school after a shoplifting incident involving three Black students…

Oberlin College in a statement said officials are disappointed the Supreme Court did not hear the school’s appeal.

“The issues raised by this case have been challenging, not only for the parties involved, but for the entire Oberlin community,” the statement said.

The issues in this case have not been challenging. They have been clear cut from the beginning and despite that, Oberlin has dragged this process out for years. This has gone on so long that two members of the Gibson family have died waiting for this judgment to be paid out: “David Gibson died in November 2019 at age 65. Allyn Gibson died in February. He was 93.” So it’s hard to have sympathy for Oberlin at this point. In my view, the school lied about its involvement in the protests and then came up with dubious legal claims to try to paying for its involvement.

Legal Insurrection, which has had the best coverage of this story for years, got a statement from the Gibson family. It reads in part:

“The jury recognized Oberlin College’s bullying tactics. The students admitted their misconduct, but Oberlin College could never admit that they were wrong. They presumed that they could bring the Gibsons to their knees. The power of truth has enabled the Gibson family to survive Oberlin’s onslaught.”

Legal Insurrection founder William Jacobson notes that while it’s not impossible for Oberlin to appeal this loss to the Supreme Court it’s extremely unlikely SCOTUS would take up a case which the Ohio Supreme Court decline to review. So this is almost certainly over except for the crying in the Oberlin administration building.

The moral of the story here is that falsely accusing someone of (or some institution) of racism can still cost you dearly even if you’re a very woke college used to stuffing the curriculum with such material. Hopefully other colleges are getting the message.