The source of this article is a Legal Insurrection post of August 5th. The article is about the lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College charging that the college had engaged in false accusations of racism against the bakery. When a black Oberlin College student was caught attempting to steal wine from the Bakery, the bakery clerk who tried to stop him was assaulted by the thief and two of his friends. The students were arrested and plead guilty to the charges against them. At that point, students at the college erupted in protests, citing racial profiling. When the case came to trial, it was reported that the jury found that the former dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, attended the protests and handed out a flyer that said, “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”
I hate to be difficult here, but if the thief and his friends were found guilty, how can you claim racial profiling? They did the crime. What difference did it make what color they were?
The article at Legal Insurrection reports:
The historically liberal Oberlin College, located in Oberlin, Ohio, is still refusing to pay up for defaming Gibson’s Bakery as racist in 2016.
The college, which is financially underwater, has now asked the Ohio Supreme Court to halt the multi-million dollar judgment while it appeals the decision for the second time. Earlier this year, the Ninth Ohio District Court of Appeals upheld a jury’s finding that Oberlin committed libel, slander, and interference with business relationships against Gibson’s after it encouraged student protests over a bakery employee’s pursuit of a black student who had shoplifted.
For delaying making the payment, Oberlin has added on $4 million in interest to the original judgment of $32 million, raising the cost to $36 million. Handing over the $36 million will have enormous ramifications for the financially struggling institution, which had a deficit of $44.7 million in 2020 and whose monetary woes stem back years. The college also had a deficit in 2017, which forced it to institute a rescue plan.
The president of Oberlin, Carmen Twillie Ambar, has been defiant in the face of the judgment and has continued to deny any fault on the part of Oberlin. Unwilling to accept the jury’s decision, Ambar said in 2019, “This is not the final outcome. This is, in fact, just one step along the way of what may turn out to be a lengthy and complex legal process.”
I believe the strategy here is to delay the payment until the bakery goes out of business and there is no one left to collect the payment. Hopefully someone in the legal or law enforcement community will step forward and prevent this from happening.