Leftist college loses big in court for slandering local bakery


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Lawfare: A jury has awarded a local bakery $11 million against Oberlin College, a haven for modern leftist fascist thinking, for labeling the bakery racist because they called the police on three shoplifters.

In this case, a wholly innocent 5th-generation bakery was falsely accused of being racist and having a history racial profiling after stopping three black Oberlin College students from shoplifting. The students eventually pleaded guilty, but not before large protests and boycotts intended to destroy the bakery and defame the owners. The jury appears to have accepted that Oberlin College facilitated the wrongful conduct against the bakery.

I should have reported this when it happened last week but better late than never.

The trial is not over. The jury is now considering punitive damages, which could triple the total award.

Meanwhile, enrollment at Oberlin College has plummeted, likely due to its devotion to leftist bigoted agendas rather than educating its students. I hope the college goes out of business.

This legal case is similar to the defamation suits brought by Kentucky teenager Nick Sandman against the Washington Post, CNN, and NBC/MSNBC totaling more than 3/4 of a billion dollars. As in the Oberlin case, the left decided it had the right to slander Sandman, calling him a racist based on no evidence and in fact contrary to the obvious evidence available, merely for the sake of advancing its leftist agenda.

And like this case, I am hopeful the Post, CNN, and NBC/MSNBC will pay heavily. Someone has to make it clear to these people that such behavior is unacceptable in a civilized society, and if it will take lawsuits to do it, so be it.

Update: Oberlin College has asked for a mistrial so that the judgement of the jury would be dismissed.

Why would anyone send their kids to this school?

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14 comments

  • Edward

    From the article in the second link:
    The Court has rejected plaintiffs’ request to use the mass email sent by Oberlin College’s Vice President and General Counsel, Donica Thomas Varner, to the Oberlin community criticizing the jury. The plaintiffs subpoenaed her to testify, and the defense filed a motion to quash the subpoena.

    The Judge ruled: ‘this was a letter sent by the Oberlin general counsel after the verdict. We are talking about the actions of the defendants that demonstrated malice. What we will use is only what was litigated in court.’

    and from the article’s author’s blog linked in that second article:
    ‘from the start of this case I have questioned the aggressive and demeaning attacks on the Gibsons as a defense strategy,’ and ‘I’m still shaking my head at the tone-deafness of the defense in belittling this family business.’ … Substantively, the email is infuriating to anyone who has followed the case. Oberlin College and Raimondo were not ‘held liable for the independent actions of their students.’ Rather, the defendants were held liable for their own conduct in aiding and abetting the publication of libelous documents, interference with business, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Let me repeat, it was the college’s and Raimondo’s own conduct that was at issue before the jury. That the General Counsel of Oberlin College doesn’t understand that — even if she disagrees with the jury conclusion — tells me something went very wrong with the way this case was handled internally at Oberlin College.
    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/06/oberlin-college-mass-email-criticizing-jurors-could-influence-punitive-damages-hearing-in-gibsons-bakery-case/

    It is clear that Oberlin and its General Counsel has not learned the lesson sent by the jury, but the judge is not going to let that lack of IQ points be allowed in the punishment phase. They still do not understand that they were in the wrong. Clearly, such a lack of education of these educators would heavily influence the jury into emphasizing their lesson.

    Robert wrote: “Someone has to make it clear to these people that such behavior is unacceptable in a civilized society, and if it will take lawsuits to do it, so be it.

    How is the left going to learn to be civilized through lawsuits when they clearly do not learn from these lawsuits?

  • Edward: Be aware that Oberlin has asked that a mistrial be declared and the judgment dismissed.

    It is very clear they have learned nothing. As I said, they should go out of business.

  • Edward

    Robert,
    That is hardly surprising. This does not suggest to me that the college learned nothing. It would be a poor attorney who didn’t try everything he could to save his client from such a large judgment against him.

    That the college does not realize that they were in any way wrong says far more. I suspect that if there was evidence in the first part of the trial that showed that the college hindered certain (right-leaning) voices yet aided these (left-leaning) voices, then there is evidence that the college is biased and that they may have been malicious against the business rather than just wrong to support their thieving students.

    If it takes the insolvency of left-leaning businesses in order for America to return to liberty then maybe that is what it takes, and maybe it takes a bunch of these lawsuits to bankrupt them. However, it would be so much better for We the People to favor liberty in the first place than to have to relearn the lessons already understood by the original 13 colonies.

    Then again, this college clearly does not wish its students to understand the plight of the original colonies and why we are the United States rather than royal subjects.

  • wayne

    Hoppewave
    “Absurdistan” The Music Video
    June 2018
    https://youtu.be/8CvbDOJT1ro
    4:33

  • Chris

    Punishments for these slanderous events by media companies need to include MANDATORY training of employees AND the production of full-hour DOCUMENTARY of the crime. Both to be approved by the judge and the plaintiff.
    The documentary would air in prime time and have adequate advertising
    This is not an incursion of Freedom of the Press as this is a civil remedy.

  • wayne

    “The Times They Are A-Changing”
    Social Justice: The Musical
    Chris Raygun 2016
    https://youtu.be/5MGhgGDhnWg
    3:24

  • wayne

    Greg Gutfeld
    “Oberlin College losing $11 million to a bakery”
    (The Five, excerpt June 11, 2019)
    https://youtu.be/Valn7BEu9io
    6:14

  • Cotour

    “Punishments for these slanderous events by media companies need to include MANDATORY training of employees AND the production of full-hour DOCUMENTARY of the crime. Both to be approved by the judge and the plaintiff.”

    The Constitution and our legal system that emanates from it provides the parameters that reasonable people need to work within, the rules of operation. A professional news operation or a University knows, or should know, the proper limits of their rights and their duties related to their profession and their free speech.

    There should be no “Mandatory” video to be viewed, just a judgement by our legal system as to whether the professional news organization or the University has operated outside of their Constitutional rights and have they harmed anyone while doing so.

    Thats it.

    Don’t like it? Then appeal it.

    Would you require everyone who wanted to open a news service or University take a test?

    (Written by whom? As you can plainly see your solution is an offence to the First Amendment and several other amendments)

  • Chris

    Cotour
    I understand your comment on my remedies. I understand the issue of the First Amendment. It’s dangerous. However, let us review:

    The Washington Post, CNN and NBC/MSNBC severely defamed Mr Sandman in the most egregious manner using a narrative that the media outlets know would do him harm in both the arena of public opinion and also affect his future ( college applications, job applications would be compromised among many other things including his reputation)
    The damages to Mr Sandman were clearly in the in the area of the media affecting his reputation. Mr Sandman has no power whatsoever in the media. The media has all the power in that arena.
    The media defendants were clearly negligent in reporting the incident, or quite possibly their stories were released with malice – to make an example of MAGA hat wearers who question the Pro-choice narrative?
    Mr Sandman being 16 was not even a full citizen at the time of the incident. He was not a known politician, media celebrity or other publicly known figure. Regardless of the settlement in monetary award, the damage to him and his reputation remains without remedy – in the media. It is permanent.
    If a remedy in the area where Nick Sandman is not awarded the damage remains.
    The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos. He can easily pay the $250M award and the damage will remain.
    The true story here is also very clear and available (full video showing full context). There is no opinion to be debated. Nick Sandman was incorrectly portrayed by these outlets while the companies has full knowledge of the truth.
    The court may order a retraction in these cases. However, as has been seen in many other cases, media retractions are often very brief at the end of newscasts or on inner pages and “below the fold”. Mr Sandman’s story was “front page news” and a breaking media sensation with many other media outlets picking up and repeating the story. A true remedy would require the same level of coverage.
    Tobacco companies were required to label their own product and produce ads warning of the danger of tobacco use. Retractions have been ordered but as noted are not as well publicized as the original hit story. To try to undo the damage, the same level of coverage needs to be attempted. Who better to require the production of the true story than those who did the original damage?

  • Cotour

    There is really only objective truth in mathematics and science, and by evidence often identified here on BTB, even science is subject to subjective and self interested interpretation. Mathematics not so much, everything else is more an issue of shades of gray and must be determined.

    The government, even though you may have listed several offences perpetrated unjustly by a privately owned media organization against an individual has no standing to require that their be a test be taken to satisfy “THEIR” standards (Who exactly is “They”?) as to how someone or a company or a University can express themselves. Its their free choice.

    Everyone has their First Amendment rights and they can be used as it pleases whom ever wants to exercise them. But that does not mean that there will be no consequences for how they are exercised. The news organizations that you list now must defend their actions that from the plaintiff’s point of view has damaged them, and that will take place in a court of law, as it should. This is our system and its a good one. This threat of legal entanglements in doing their jobs is what tempers the medias actions. Or should temper their actions.

    What you propose is Fascistic, even Stalinist and I know that you genuinely are seeking to solve a problem with your suggestion. Look at what is going on in Hong Kong right now, that is what would result in America from your well meaning proposal that government require a test be taken to “their” satisfaction IMO.

    The Constitution is a simple document and every time that good intentions are applied to try to change its nature in the pursuit of solving problems the results can become catastrophic related to those intents.

    If you want to propose that a warning label be applied to all news organizations headers, I may not disagree with that. They can certainly be as deadly to our collective American freedoms as smoking is to an individual. But a test administered for and by the government? In a word, NO.

    But if you do propose that labeling solution warning the public about the contents they are about to consume, let the idea be tested in a court of law and the merits of the idea be strongly argued by all interested parties and then let it go to the Congress and the Senate for ratification and then the president to be signed into law with all of the resulting political consequences that will come along with it.

  • wayne

    “Tell The Truth, or At Least Don’t Lie”
    Jordan Peterson/ Akira the Don
    2018
    https://youtu.be/iA8n9JTTM38?t=86

  • Cotour

    To my point, going on right now in of all places, the state government of Texas.

    https://www.thecollegefix.com/texas-is-about-to-make-sex-jokes-on-campus-a-criminal-offense/

    “Oh, I was so offended that I felt threatened by the words that came out of his mouth”. Now arrest the perpetrator for speaking their “free speech”!

    Everyone is loosing their minds, over thinking things to the point of paranoia that it becomes a threat to our system of freedom, I.E. the Constitution.

    I hear that flipping someone the bird can result in 10 years in prison in San Francisco, “If the person that was targeted was offended to some degree to be determined by the government”.

    Except if you are a street crapping homeless tent urchin. Then you are given a life time basic income.

    Whats up is down and what was good is now bad. All a part of the attempt at “Fundamental change”.

  • Chris

    Hi Cotour

    We agree:
    Sandman is a minor and not a public figure. Malice is not an issue in this defamation.
    Mr Sandman was and will be damaged by this defamation.
    The media knew the full story as they had the tapes and chose to run the story in an abbreviated fashion thereby defaming Mr Sandman.
    The media companies have the power in the media. Mr Sandman does not.
    Retractions and corrections in the media usually have a much smaller impact if are noticed at all (think the little retraction box in on the editorial page).
    Our Constitutional system IS a great system (disagree on it being simple).
    The courts are able to provide wide ranging remedies under that system.
    Courts have issued wide ranging remedies in civil cases. Defendants have the right to appeal those rulings.
    Agree on these?

    Areas where we disagree:
    The mandate/order/ruling of a court to require a company to remedy a wrong through the use of the media is a First Amendment violation. I point to the tobacco rulings that required years of advertisements, banning of advertisements on certain media and even requiring the labeling of the very packaging or the companies’ product.
    The FDA routinely denies companies from advertising anything they do not approve.
    Financial Advisors may not provide specific predictions of future returns of stocks or other instruments….etc.
    Do you disagree on these?

    I am not asking for a general order in any case that media come with a warning label or any other general order. I am asking for a remedy in an particular case with particular overwhelming damage in a particular area (media) be remedied within the same area -the media by the perpetrators. The victim here has no defense or influence in the media. The perpetrators have all the influence in the media.

    I am not asking for general speech codes where one individual is prevented from offending another in an open area, on line, over the phone …etc. The Sandman case is where media power was exercised and directed at a defenseless minor. In the case of theWashington Post it is media owned by a $137B net worth Jeff Bezos. Any award in $Millions may or may not cause problems in the Post. It most likely will not inform the majority of public of Mr Sandman’s innocence or these specific wrongs of the media.

    I agree that this is dangerous. third sentence in my second post. It is on the edge. However, it is also dangerous to allow the damage to Sandman to remain when it is clear the media knew the story was not close to an honest representation.

    Perhaps Nick Sandman can ask that a true, well broadcast retraction can lower any award.

  • Cotour

    Nick Sandman will in the end have no problem paying for his schooling, among everything else in his life, don’t worry about him he will be fine.

    The FDA may require certain wording or warnings on certain products that come under their purview for cause. The FDA however is not in the business of regulating speech, which is what you proposed in your zeal to somehow make things right.

    Lets keep the government out of the free speech business other than respecting it and keep them filling pot holes, collecting garbage, protecting our borders, keeping our military a force that no one wants to square off with and stop spending other peoples money with wild abandon.

    We certainly agree about more than we disagree on, I am certain of that. But these well meaning justifications to give government powers that they should not have, are forbidden to have, like specifying a “test” of “their” design related to speech (Again, who is they?) to qualify to become a private news organization and / or a journalist in America is a bridge too far in attempting to solve a problem that will be solved in the courts if and when necessary. And that is as it should be.

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