Tag Archives: Gibson’s Bakery

Oberlin College posts $36 million bond, appeal to go forward

Oberlin College today posted a $36 million bond to cover the jury award to Gibson’s Bakery, thus allowing the college’s appeal of that verdict to go forward.

The judgement is now stayed about three weeks, until August 19, 2019, during which time Oberlin must submit its appeal. If it does so the stay will be extended another two weeks for responses, with a decision on September 9.

At that point expect further appeals, no matter how the judge rules.

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Judge: Oberlin must post $36 million bond to appeal

The judge in the Gibson’s Bakery vs Oberlin College case has ruled that if Oberlin wants to appeal the judgement against it, it must first post the entire judgement amount, $36.3 million, in a bond.

According to the judge:

The need for such bond is made clear by the College’s own statements about its dire fmancial straits. If the College is to be believed, there is serious concern about its ability to pay this sizeable judgment three years from now. At trial, and in its recent filing, the College represented that there was only $59.1 million of unrestricted endowment funds available to pay any dollar judgment and that $10 million of those funds had already been committed to pay down the College’s existing debt. [Trial Tr., June 12, 2019 at 95:13-21] There remains $190 million of existing debt on the College’s books. [Id.] The College has also testified that it has a significant operating deficit and that its deficit situation is not sustainable…. [Trial Tr., June 12, 2019 atpp. 86:1-6, 88:1-9]

The College also testified at trial that they have experienced a “significant” and “steady” decline of enrollment from 2014 to 2018. [emphasis mine]

The college has seven days to post the bond, or the appeal with be squashed.

It has been very clear since the jury’s decision that Oberlin still intends to fight, and is likely to use every means in its possession, including political action, to either get the judgement dismissed, or likely make it impossible for it to pay. The judge here is telling them that they surely have the right to fight, but not at the expense of Gibson’s Bakery.

The highlighted text could be the poster child for self-unawareness. Oberlin is very aware that its enrollment is dropping, but it is entirely clueless as to why. Maybe the college should consider its own actions as the cause?

Nah. It must be those racist, homophobic, and deplorable whites! Yeah! They are the ones to blame! They’re all ignorant white supremacists! All of them!

This is essentially what the Oberlin administration has been saying during this whole debacle, as well as several years earlier. And it is essentially why students are less willing to enroll. You go to college to learn how to be a discerning educated person, not an anti-white bigot.

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Court reduces Oberlin total judgment by smallest amount

The court in Ohio has reduced the total jury award in the Oberlin slander case against Gibson’s Bakery to $25 million total, but by what looks like the smallest amount possible based on its interpretation of the law.

The jury originally returned a total compensatory verdict of $11 million and punitive verdict of $33 million. In these posts we detailed the arguments of the parties as to how to Ohio’s tort reform caps applied to the calculation:

The key disputes as to how to apply Ohio tort reform caps on noneconomic compensatory damages centered on whether each claim for each plaintiff was separately subject to the cap, or did the cap apply to all claims of each plaintiff. The court appears to have ruled, as plaintiffs argued, that the cap was per claim.

More significantly, the tort reform law limits punitive damages to 2X compensatory, but the issue was whether that applied to pre-cap compensatory damages or post-cap compensatory damages. That was about a $10 million swing. The court appears to have agreed with the plaintiffs argument that under the plain reading of the statute, the 2X cap applied to pre-cap compensatory damages.

Another way to put it is the court has awarded Gibson’s the maximum award possible based on its legal interpretation. To me, this suggests that the court is as offended as everyone else by Oberlin’s refusal to accept the decision while spreading falsehoods about the case and maligning the jury.

They will have a hearing on how much Oberlin will have to pay for Gibson’s attorney’s fees on July 10.

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The culture of theft at Oberlin College

The coming dark age: It appears that the initial shoplifting incident that triggered the Oberlin College lawsuit by Gibson’s Bakery was only part of an overall culture of theft by students at the college, ignored or possibly even condoned by the college administration.

[T]his theft culture influenced the decision making at the college with regard to Gibson’s, as related in the trial. College officials were concerned that backing Gibson’s over shoplifting could “trigger” a negative reaction from students, since the college was “trying to get students to realize that shoplifting was harmful.”

It’s truly astounding that a college would be afraid to support a local store that was the victim of shoplifting. It is deeply depressing that students did not already know that “shoplifting was harmful.”

Remember, the students at Oberlin were paying almost $28,000 in tuition per semester, with additional costs raising this figure to almost $40,000. They might have had to take loans out to pay these costs, but they certainly weren’t poor or starving. In fact, they were required to buy a meal plan by the college.

Thus, this thievery was entirely by choice, and voluntary. It speaks to a complete collapse of morality by the student body, supported by a similar complete moral collapse by the college administration. Worse, Oberlin really is not unique. This same kind of collapse can be seen at most American colleges. If we wish to revive our culture, it seems to me we need to shut these cesspools of immorality down, entirely, and start over.

Above all, parents and children should be thinking very hard about the schools they wish to attend. All past assumptions about which schools are best must be thrown out the window.

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