Image 01 Image 03

Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Trial Day 6 – What’s a bakery worth?

Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Trial Day 6 – What’s a bakery worth?

The plaintiffs estimate lost revenue in the millions, the college says the bakery is worth a paltry $35,000.

Today was Day 6 of witness testimony in Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College. The events giving rise to the lawsuit have been said to represent “the worst of identity politics.”  You can read about some of the background on this case here.

In what has become a case that is extending far beyond the usual one-week civil torts law trial, the Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College defamation and libel trial had no witnesses before the Ohio jury today, and the jurors were sent home before lunch.

Part of the reason for that is Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John R. Miraldi held a long, private meeting this morning in his chambers with attorneys from both sides regarding some new evidence the Oberlin College defense attorneys want to bring to the case. It involves estimating the economic value of Gibson’s Bakery & Market if it were up for sale.

The judge had previously allowed an economist commissioned by the plaintiffs to estimate what the loss in revenue might be in the present and the future for the company because of it being branded as racist by student protesters in November of 2016. That economic report has not been introduced into evidence yet, but the judge approved it, and sources have said the economic expert places the lost revenue long-term for Gibson’s at “more than” $5 million.

That number is vague in some respects, but includes the estimated value of future earnings, which is always hard to figure with great certainty. National, regional and local trends can move the earnings needle in different directions during different time periods, and economists often do not set in stone the future earnings to account for that.

But it does put the amount — and potential jury damages — in seven-figure country

According to several sources, the Oberlin College side wants to present their own economic report on the small business, and their expert will supposedly testify the business is worth $35,000 if it was up for sale. According to the sources, the judge had indicated that such evidence can be presented, even though it has been brought into play in the middle of the trial.

The small value estimation, according to several sources, is based on the fact that Gibson’s had a few years of slight economic downturn in the years before the 2016 shoplifting case that started this trial. It would have been the time between 2012 and 2016 when the Rust Belt was still in the “Great Recession” economic woes.

A note of caution: the judge did not rule publicly in court on Friday on the defendant’s motion to include the Gibson’s for-sale estimate, and neither Judge Miraldi’s staff nor the clerk’s office of the Lorain County Common Pleas Court office had the defendant’s motion and the plaintiff’s response available to the Legal Insurrection. But expect very differing economic reports from both the plaintiff and defendant sides next week on what the value of the business really.

This huge difference from the economic reports of what Gibson’s might be worth plays a huge role in this case. In order for the jury to figure on monetary damages, they first must determine whether Oberlin College defamed Gibson’s or not. If they find that Oberlin College did so, then the jury must assess the monetary amount Oberlin College must pay for the damage they caused.

There are three major buckets the jury could load up with money for the bakery if they find Oberlin College guilty of defamation. The first is compensatory damages, which would be straight-up economic losses. The second are non-economic damages, which would be figured on such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangibles, such as damaged reputation.

But the third is the key; what are known as “punitive damages” that are sometimes awarded if the defendant’s behavior is found to be especially malicious. Ohio caps punitive damages at two times the amount of compensatory damages. The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate the plaintiff, but rather to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter others from committing a similar offense.

And that is why the ruling to allow evidence from both sides — that the jury hears the business might only be worth $35,000 or have “more than” $5 million in losses —  is so important in this case and why Gibson’s fought introduction of the lower amount. It is basic math: doubling $35,000 is probably something Oberlin College surely could live with; doubling an amount north of $5 million would be a substantial hit and might actually deter future conduct.

The fight next week might not be so much as to whether Oberlin College supported its students in an unlawful way, but how much that support in terms of the punitive penalty might be worth.

Police Records of Shoplifting History at Gibson’s Admissible

The defendants also sought to keep out a City of Oberlin police report that listed the shoplifting cases at Gibson’s from 2011 through 2016. Oberlin College did not want the record to be admissible because the racial makeup of the shoplifter was included. But the Oberlin records coordinator, Sara Gentile, testified this data was public police records that anyone could have access to, and they just responded to a request Gibson’s made immediately after the protests started. Judge Miraldi ruled the police record sorted by crime and date and ethnicity of the perpetrator would be admissible.

The police data is important for the plaintiffs because it does not in any way show that Gibson’s had any propensity for chasing down black thieves more than whites. In fact, whites were far more likely to be arrested for shoplifting than blacks at this century old store on Oberlin town square.

The police report finds there were 40 arrested for shoplifting at Gibson’s in that 2011-2016 time period, and 33 of those were college students. Of the 40 arrested, 32 were white (80%), six were African-American (15%), and two were Asian (5%).

According to the 2010 U.S. Census numbers, those arrest numbers were not much different from the Oberlin’s overall racial makeup: the city was 73.0% white, 14.8% African-American, and 4.0% Asian.

A key data point from that police report, however, is the large percentage of shoplifting arrests that were Oberlin College students (82.5%). “The Grape,” a student-written monthly school magazine, explored the student shoplifting dilemma in Oberlin called “The Culture of Theft” in the December 2017 issue. They found that shoplifting was down significantly in the summer months at businesses in Oberlin because the students were mostly gone. The magazine has not been listed as evidence, and is merely included here because of it seems to have hit the mark pretty well.

One student, anonymously quoted in the story,  described stealing pasta noodles from Gibson’s twice. “It wasn’t expensive and I felt like it … I just preferred not paying for it but I could have.”

Krista Long, owner of a Ben Franklin’s store (books and other student needs) on the town square near Gibson’s, told the writer of the story that she was losing about $10,000 a year in shoplifting theft each year.

“While it may be tempting to think that the owners of local stores are pocketing tons of wealth, this simply isn’t true. Every day presents challenges … Theft is demoralizing to us, making us feel that we should suspect the very customers we want to serve.”

And if you want to know how bad the shoplifting issue is in Oberlin, just read what the student author, Jake Bernstein, wrote in his closing paragraph about the Oberlin student theft problem: “I myself have stolen from the very people I interviewed for this story.”

The case resumes Monday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court. The defense will continue calling their witnesses.

Daniel McGraw is a freelance writer and author in Lakewood, Ohio. Follow him on Twitter @danmcgraw1


WAJ NOTE: Our trial coverage is a project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation. Your support helps make this type of coverage possible.

Donate Now!


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


The Friendly Grizzly | May 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm

$35,000 wouldn’t even cover the stock on the shelves.

    I’d bet that that is without the stock, the branding or any of the ongoing contracts, basically just the building. Even then, I’d find it hard to believe you could get a storefront for just 35k in that proximity to a university.

    I wonder if it is just the value of the building sans the land price? I.e. what they would lose by bulldozing the building empty and selling the land?

    That would be what a bankruptcy sale would get for the fixtures. The used display cases, the ovens, power vents, pans, moulds, prep tables and so forth.
    The building would still be there after the bakery closed so isn’t included.

    Terence G. Gain in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | May 18, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Agreed and since the bakery is not for sale, it’s completely irrelevant. I do not know why the Judge would allow this evidence.

      Milhouse in reply to Terence G. Gain. | May 21, 2019 at 1:20 am

      It is very relevant. By definition the damage to the business can’t be greater than the pre-defamation value of the entire business if it were to be sold as a going concern. The worst that could be done to the business would reduce its value to zero.

      The true figure, whatever it is, would obviously not include the property, since that would remain after the business closed. And bakeries don’t typically have all that much in the way of inventory, since everything has to be fresh. It would reflect the expected profits, not gross sales, over the long term. And $35K seems rather low.

Meh, too bad this isn’t a dispute between co-owners of a business. The uni is definitely low-balling the worth of the business, in an owners dispute they’d have to worry about a ruling they’d have to sell their interest under the cap the ridiculously low value price they want to set for the business.

I kinda hope they do get to enter their estimate into evidence – only to have a much much higher counter estimate with better foundation entered as well. Properly presented, the jury would walk away with the understanding that the uni estimate was basically a lie, and once one side is known to the jury to be lying to them in one thing, their credibility is crap.

    Voyager in reply to BobM. | May 17, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Or even calling the one who calculated it onto the stand as a witness to explain how they came to that number. I’m now rather curious how they got there and if it was done by an external expert to a set of highly limiting parameters, the external expert would have little reason to conceal it. And, if it was done by Oberlin staff, if Oberlin is found to have acted with malice against Gibson, why should the jury trust their numbers?

      Tom Servo in reply to Voyager. | May 17, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      Oberlin is going to claim that since there was a boycott, profits have turned to losses and the business isn’t worth much anymore. Therefore they shouldn’t have to pay many damages.

      Kinda like the guy who killed his parents and asked the Judge for mercy on account of he was an orphan.

Oberlin is going to present this before a jury of locals? Astonishing.

    pst314 in reply to John M. | May 17, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Oberlin tried to get a change of venue but the judge rejected that.

      John M in reply to pst314. | May 17, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      Yes, I know. And so I am astonished that they are presenting such a valuation before the jury they have. It seems like a suicide wish, or at least a tin ear. Maybe an iron ear. What are they thinking?

        pst314 in reply to John M. | May 17, 2019 at 9:11 pm

        Agreed. From my not-a-legal-expert point of view it is very puzzling. Maybe things will become more clear later.

        artichoke in reply to John M. | May 18, 2019 at 1:49 am

        Pure arrogance. They’re used to bullying to get their way and quite un-used to their statements being scrutinized beyond a humble inquiry without follow-up.

        Now they need to be held to full account for their false statements. It will shock them, they’ll think it isn’t real but a few years in, they’ll see this is their life now and it’s real.

          pst314 in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 7:55 am

          “Pure arrogance”

          You could be right: did you see the recently posted video of the college student who was astonished that the police could arrest her for stealing a peaceful anti-abortion protester’s sign? However, I then remember that one of a lawyer’s responsibilities is to advise clients, and wonder what their lawyers are thinking.

          Tom Servo in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 7:57 am

          I agree completely – unbelievable arrogance. It’s rare to see one side do so remarkably badly in big trial like this but it does happen from time to time, and it’s always quite entertaining to watch. From Raimondo’s testimony, to Ben Jones shocking testimony, where he basically admitted that everything that Gibson’s claimed was true, and said “so what? We’d do it all again!” and now, to where Oberlin’s out of town east coast “experts” telling them that they should tell the jury that all of the land and businesses in their town are worthless pieces of crap.

          this is a rare spectacle – without even bothering about the facts of the case, Oberlin is doing every single thing they can to piss off that jury.

          pst314 in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 8:16 am

          A side-comment about arrogance:
          Oberlin is a very small town, not exactly Manhattan.
          In my personal experience, and from things I have read, town-gown hostility is very common. College students especially, but also some professors and administrators, despise “townies” while local people may resent the arrogant college people.
          At the college I graduated from such contempt was common, casually expressed, and entirely accepted (I never heard anyone object to it.)
          Possibly relevant?

      Arminius in reply to pst314. | May 19, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      But when they didn’t get the change of venue the smart thing to do would have been to settle the case. Unless the administrators are so afraid of their students they knew their students would turn on them instead of/in addition to Gibson’s.

      But whose fault is that for creating these monsters?

      The fact that they couldn’t do the smart thing and settle out of (apparently) their own fear of the SJW mob that roams their campus seems to be prima facie evidence the college is complicit.

      Now they’re going before a local jury and they’re going to lowball the valuation of the bakery like that. The defendants and their attorneys might as well make this kamikaze run on the court complete and just walk up to the jurors and spit in their faces.

    artichoke in reply to John M. | May 18, 2019 at 1:51 am

    So town-gown relations are less than 100%? Who’d have known that in rural Ohio they don’t love crazed lefties!?

“While it may be tempting to think that the owners of local stores are pocketing tons of wealth, this simply isn’t true.”

Most of the Oberlin professors probably do say the stores are fat cats overcharging students and exploiting their employees.

    BobM in reply to pst314. | May 17, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    The “fat cats” meme is the standard Leftie excuse for shoplifting by minorities in other-minority-owned neighborhood stores. Or to be more clear, used to excuse and protect black and Hispanic stealing from Korean and other Asian owned neighborhood stores.

    “But, but, the prices are higher so they must be over-charging and making a fortune!”

    Yes, the prices ARE higher when you want to stay in business in a neighborhood where clerks get assaulted and robbed and your inventory walks out the door more often. duh.

If Gibsons is a $35000 store the college is a 2 bit waste of space.

Yearly sales and profits are needed in the value, plus location-locatin-location. “Good will” value earned over a LONG time was being destroyed by the College. Also, by openly picking sides despite the true issues of shoplifting and assault and battery, the college also promoted NOT shopping at their store. The real value to me is what proportion of value was and would continue to be lost by them… take that percentage and apply it to value of college… if Gibson’s lost 50 percent of their value… the college should lose 50% of its value in this attempt at economic warfare.

Oberlin needs to introduce a mandatory firearms training class because shooting themselves in the foot, repeatedly, seems to be a big problem for them.

    alaskabob in reply to MajorWood. | May 17, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    I’d let social Darwinism cull the herd.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to MajorWood. | May 17, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Merchants should all arm themselves, students should have a class about how they can get themselves shot, meanwhile, Oberlin’s disreputable administrators should all be shot, that is the only way to fix the school’s culture.

    Massinsanity in reply to MajorWood. | May 18, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Hoping Oberlin follows the path of Hampshire to complete self destruction but it’s unlikely given an endowment approaching $900M.

Oberlin is a disgrace.

When I was accepted at Oberlin College I received a brochure that said that Oberlin would “make me a better person.” The article “The Culture of Theft” is an eye-opener: apparently better people these days are unrepentant thieves. What makes the article even more shocking is that the author is upset that a store would actually try to catch and prosecute shoplifters.

    PostLiberal in reply to slither. | May 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    What makes the article even more shocking is that the author is upset that a store would actually try to catch and prosecute shoplifters.

    In discussing what different stores did to deal with shoplifters, the article stated that Gibson’s assaulted and arrested shoplifters. Arresting is correct. Assaulting is not. From what I have read, the assaulting was done by shoplifters or their supporters, not by employees of Gibson’s.

      slither in reply to PostLiberal. | May 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm

      The students’ initial claim, which apparently Oberlin students still believe, was that the one kid was peacefully standing in line to pay for his purchases when the shopkeeper charged out, shouting accusations and grabbed the poor student. The student then broke away, ran outside the store, chased by the shopkeeper who managed to tackle him. The student’s friends saw him and tried to help their friend, but the Gibson family all have superhuman strength and all three of them couldn’t manage to break the hold of the evil shopkeeper.


      Especially given the fact that all three admitted that they were guilty.

      But the students stick together, no matter what.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to slither. | May 17, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Former students should sue the university for degrading the institution’s reputation, and thereby devaluing degrees.

$35,000? Oberlin charges $52,762 a year to attend that sh-thole!

What chutzpah, huh?

Social justice anywhere is injustice everywhere.

“the economic expert places the lost revenue long-term for Gibson’s at ‘more than’ $5 million.”

An earlier post on this blog said “The accounting expert will testify that Gibson’s will lose ‘more than $5 million’ over a 30 year period because of the school’s involvement in the protest.”

It seems likely that the school’s involvement will not end with the trial: Regardless of its outcome numerous people at Oberlin–students, professors and administrators–will continue to defame Gibson’s, albeit more quietly.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to pst314. | May 17, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    That would be cause to sue them again.

      It would indeed, but I think that given the social and cultural realities it would be very difficult to successfully sue them, especially since the defamation would be done unofficially, by individuals, by word of mouth, when Gibson’s supporters are unlikely to be present, and most frequently by insinuation.

    artichoke in reply to pst314. | May 18, 2019 at 1:02 am

    The judge should direct monitoring and cultural changes at Oberlin to stop that. Oberlin will be forced to “include” Gibson’s and support Gibson’s “outcomes”.

    This could get delicious, watching this getting shoved down Oberlin’s throat (won’t taste so good to Oberlin), all of it richly deserved.

      pst314 in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 7:32 am

      Sort of like how certain Southern states had civil rights election oversight for decades? I like the cut of your jib, sir, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. 😀

      Milhouse in reply to artichoke. | May 21, 2019 at 1:37 am

      The problem is that college can’t be held responsible for what staff and students say or do. If they continue to boycott the bakery, and to tell each other to do so, the college can’t make them stop, and can’t be ordered to do so, or penalized for not doing so.

actually the bakery might be worth quite a bit more, there is something I think is called ‘good will’, that might not be the correct term, but the bakery has been there quite a while and is well known in the community, so the actual cost if they would sell right now would be well over the 35k the college mention, and the 5m might be a low ball estimate of the worth of the bakery, you would need to talk to a financial expert to actually determine what Orberlin college did to the bakery’s reputation

    artichoke in reply to ronk. | May 18, 2019 at 12:54 am

    What you describe is its value as a “going concern”, which can be analyzed from cash flows over a long enough period that recurrent capital expenses are included. The building may be worth very little, but this is a (now) world famous business with a history over 100 years, experienced management and employees …

    Oberlin’s efforts to reduce its customer traffic, by letting new students know that going there just isn’t done, will have cratered the business’ cash flows. Since fixed costs won’t change and value is based on profits, a reduction in revenues can make the value look vastly lower. But Gibson’s should argue that pre-2016 numbers should be used, once this is over and Oberlin is forced to stop dissing that business and maybe even directed to take corrective actions.

    “Goodwill” is something else. It’s what happens if my business buys your business. If your book value is 100,000 but I have to pay 300,000 because that’s what your business is really worth and otherwise you won’t sell it to me, then I bring your balance sheet onto mine (net value 100,000) and account for the additional 200,000 I paid with an asset called “goodwill”. And if I continue in business for another 100 years, that 200,000 goodwill asset still still be sitting there on my balance sheet, long after everyone’s probably forgotten how it got there.

      rdm in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 7:01 am

      Seems a bit like the eminent domain case is served on a jury for, where the government argued they shouldn’t have to pay the full current value of the property because once they took it and rezoned it for the road they wanted to build it would no longer be worth as much as it was now.

counsel4pay | May 17, 2019 at 10:44 pm

The judge should allow in the LATE PROFFERED defense opinion as to valuation–so as to DENY possible grounds for reversal or a new trial. What’s great is $35k is no insanely low as to be offensive! Thus, the “expert valuation” is revealed as “bought and paid for garbage”.

The shoplifting historical data helps out the LIABILITY issue. I expect more testimony and documentary evidence to show the college was not an impartial party, but rather contributed to student disruption. We’ve already seen clear and convincing evidence in the Day 3 testimony of Trey James:

“But James said he saw [Dean of Students] Raimondo ‘“standing directly in front of the store with a megaphone, orchestrating some of the activities of the students. It appeared she was the voice of authority. She was telling the kids what to do, where to go. Where to get water, use the restrooms, where to make copies.’”

Two other college witnesses also gave powerful proof of the college’s ill will and acts/omission to enhance student misconduct: [quote below from Day 3]

“The level of “participation” in the protest grew to higher levels with the last two witnesses. Two employees who worked in the school’s music conservancy offices (just down the street from the Gibson’s store) said students were allowed to use the conference room in their offices, make copies of the flyers that said Gibson’s was racist, use the restrooms of these offices, and were brought in pizza and beverages by the music conservancy administrators that had been ordered by the school.”

In golf, they say, “you drive for show and you put for dough”. In this kind of trial, “damages” evidence is “showy” but LIABILITY is needed before you even get to the jury to get your damages. Gibson’s has positive proof of college misconduct PLUS damning contradictions between their claim of “neutrality”, and unbelievable claims of attempts at “deescalation”.

Gibson’s should not be worried if the judge seems to give the defense exceptional leeway. I learned this lesson in an early trial. I thought we were doing well and the trial judge started to reject every objection I made to what seemed to me to be improper evidence. My mentor took me aside and said, “Don’t be worried, this is great. The judge wants to make sure there are no possible grounds for an appeal.” He was right. We won the trial and the appeal was a slam dunk.

Gibson’s counsel appears to be experienced, well prepared, and passionate. The trial goes well for Gibson’s–and that is good for America. The zeitgeist, or “mood of society” is swinging away from the SJW madness which threatens everyone’s freedoms and public peace. This is an important case, and this jury can strike a blow for honor and liberty by finding in favor of Gibson’s and awarding meaningful damages. I pray the jury can separate truth from deceit.

    pst314 in reply to counsel4pay. | May 18, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Thank you for your continuing comments. Facts reasoning are much more helpful than snark, although I know how tempting the latter can be.

    “Two employees who worked in the school’s music conservancy offices…”

    I had been wondering/worrying if Raimondo would be the only college employee against whom evidence would be presented, in which case I worried that the college could claim in their defense that she did it as an individual not as an employee, and without any assistance from the college, and without the knowledge of the college administration–and that this could persuade the jury that the college was less culpable and thus lessen the damages awarded. But what the music conservatory did is pretty damning. Now if only Gibson’s could find out who ordered the pizzas, to see if the involvement extends beyond the music conservatory….

I will stick with my original prediction: ultimately Oberlin will not have to pay a dime. If the jury rules against Oberlin, a state or Federal court (probably with no jurisdiction whatsoever) will ride to Oberlin’s rescue and nullify any judgement. Too much power is at stake for the Comminists to suddenly start obeying the law.

As we saw today when the 4th Circuit declared DACA the law of the land (even though it was never passed by Congress and signed into law), a substantial portion of the judicial system is an open sewer of favoritism and corruption. I don’t think the current judicial system can be salvaged any more than the Nazi Party or KKK can be reformed. Burn it to the ground, jail the current sleazebags who were responsible for DACA, Obamacare, affirmative action, homosexual “marriage”, etc., and start fresh.

Part of me wonders if Oberlin still believes that their actions this week will make them appear more edgy, and thus, they will come out on top with more SJW students wanting to go there as a result. But another part of me sees them as Raoul Duke, blindfolded, standing in front of an Iranian firing squad saying “and that’s my final offer!”

What’s Oberlin College worth? About $25. At least after this trial is over.

    rdm in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 7:03 am

    I think appropriate punishment should be about the value of their endowment- so the valuation needs to be a third of Oberlin’s endowment so that can happen.

Reading “The Culture of Theft” — now I think Oberlin students are largely the scum of the earth, and I would not want to hire one or admit one to my graduate program.

There are probably some good people — but I could go elsewhere and find a much higher percentage of good people.

    pst314 in reply to artichoke. | May 18, 2019 at 7:37 am

    In my personal experience, progressive college professors and administrators are indeed the scum of the Earth…and they work hard to turn naive students into clones of themselves.

This is just hash. They’re trying to baffle the jury with bullshit.

. . . and sources have said the economic expert places the lost revenue long-term for Gibson’s at “more than” $5 million.

. . .

According to several sources, the Oberlin College side wants to present their own economic report on the small business, and their expert will supposedly testify the business is worth $35,000 if it was up for sale

These estimates can both be reasonably accurate, because they’re entirely unrelated things. The only common factor is that dollars are involved. What could be “for sale” would be physical plant, patents (in general—not likely in this case), licenses, and possibly (depending on the industry and accounting whim) inventory. None of which has anything to do with revenue. I expect attorneys on both sides are expecting the jury to know not much more about business accounting than, say, animal husbandry or magnetohydrodynamics.

Gibson’s might well be worth more than $35,000, but it could also be worth a lot less than many people might think.

Until they sued the college, a “significant” portion (we don’t know exactly how much) of Gibson’s revenue came from providing dessert and breakfast items in bulk to the college on a daily basis, which the school purchased in connection with the meal plan they require almost all students to be on each semester. A much smaller but still significant portion of Gibson’s business involved providing cookies, donuts, and so forth for college meetings and gatherings.

There is no breach-of-contract claim against the school for ending their longstanding business relationship with Gibson’s, since this apparently wasn’t a contractual arrangement. For better or worse, in the absence of a contract the school is within its legal rights to do as much or little business as they choose with any merchant or service provider.

Unlike the in-store revenue Gibson’s can claim it lost due to defamation by the college, it can’t hold the school liable for taking its institutional business elsewhere. Gibson’s therefore won’t be able to factor this lost revenue into the loses for which they can hold the college responsible. Nor can they include it in either the valuation of their business,or in the lost valuation they ascribe to any finding of libel.

The revenue and profits from the school’s patronage may well have dwarfed that of Gibson’s in-store business. To the extent that Gibson’s profits and the valuation of their business were significantly reliant on providing breakfast and dessert items on a daily basis for the nearly 3,000 students on Oberlin’s required meal plan, the store could be looking at a Pyrrhic victory. The school and its Dean might not turn out to be the only parties to this case who have shot themselves in the foot or worse.

They must be certain they are going to lose and are trying to minimize the damage assessed.

That is the kind of facially flawed Expert testimony that can sink you. It cement the impression that Oberlin is acting in bad faith.

It is a gold mine for cross examination. For Example Ms. Expert, why then did the bank give Gibson’s a line of credit of XXX,XXX? “Ms Expert, XYZ Corporation lost 1 Billion last year, why is their market value 200 Billion?”

One student, anonymously quoted in the story, described stealing pasta noodles from Gibson’s twice. “It wasn’t expensive and I felt like it … I just preferred not paying for it but I could have.”

So, this reprobate represents at least some of the Oberlin student population — lawless, immature, self-entitled and unabashedly obnoxious brats, totally non-plussed about stealing from a small business.


    PODKen in reply to guyjones. | May 18, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    When I had a business I had to deal with a small amount of theft. There was not one single time that the perp didn’t blame it on me … that I was the reason he was in trouble with the cops rather than themselves … that I was the cause of their problem because I cashed their bum check. Sometimes these people would even show up during business hours or after closing and act like a tough guy, make threats and want to fight. I certainly didn’t want to loose the money … but the worst was my growing distrust in the character of people this led to.

My grandfather got twice as much in 1959 when his slum neighborhood grocery store was urban-renewed out of existence. What is 70k in 1959 dollars worth today?

“The Culture of Theft” started for this generation with their parents started stealing music using Napster and the like. This generation has discovered that they can steal anything that is offered in a digital format without consequence. From there the victim culture took over and anyone with less deserved more for free!(I personally refuse to use the word deserve and always substitute earned!)

Maybe it really started in the Oral Office…Thanks Clinton’s!

    pst314 in reply to Merlin01. | May 18, 2019 at 8:44 am

    And in the 60’s cassette tapes served the same purpose, albeit not as easily: Some people would tape albums and give copies to their friends. In the 80’s I knew someone who made a little money on the side copying movies he rented from local video stores. There are many ways to rationalize this, of course. “Information wants to be free” is only the most recent slogan I’m familiar with.

    slither in reply to Merlin01. | May 18, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Honestly, I think this is an Oberlin-specific thing, not general. Yes, students and other young people shoplift more frequently, but this level of entitlement about it seems exceptional. For example, last year Oberlin student Kam Dunbar wrote the following article in the Oberlin student newspaper:

    Essentially, so many students steal from Oberlin’s own campus store that Oberlin decided to spend the money to buy receipt printers and hire security guards. Kam is really upset by this. Not by the stealing. No. He is upset by the attempt to stop student thieves. Apparently, trying to capture shoplifters is racist, according to him.

      artichoke in reply to slither. | May 20, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      So things got so bad at the Oberlin cafe that students were required to keep their receipts, they could be interrogated at random, and if they were found with an item from the cafe and no receipt, they could be referred to discipline.

      Who would apply to Oberlin, knowing that sort of thing is going on at their campus cafe?

LeftWingLock | May 18, 2019 at 10:51 am

If the Chinese took over America’s colleges with the goal of destroying our higher education system, what would they do differently than our current group of administrators?

Richard Aubrey | May 18, 2019 at 11:01 am

Said it before; Settle. Discovery. Pick one. These idiots didn’t think discovery would make them look bad. Or cost them at trial. Maybe they’re so disconnected from the real world they think this kind of thing is a good look for a woke institution.

the valuation is fairly straight forward

it is the present value of the future cash flows (with an appropriate adjustment for risk)

Since the company has been around 100+ years, you have good historical data. Therefore, there should be a fairly narrow range that most experts will agree as to the value. Based on my experience ( A cpa with experience valuing businesses for estate & gift tax and for divorce purposes), the oberlin expert / and report should not be admitted due to the failure to meet the daubert standard.

    artichoke in reply to Joe-dallas. | May 20, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    So, that there’s a big gap between the data available and the conclusion drawn by the expert.

    Seems a reasonable idea.

While I routinely qualify my comments as a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess), the $35K number is pure WAG from my perspective. It would be like an insurance company saying that they should only pay $35K for a burnt out $1M house, because it is now only worth $35K. I honestly do not see a case where Gibson’s will ever be made whole again. The fact that Oberlin is still sticking to their guns even at this late date is a sign to me of an institutional administrative cancer that may well be beyond that addressed by traditional means. On a plus note, I suspect that because this screw-up will be so monumental, that they will now be ostracized from progressive circles as an embarrassment to the cause. We have seen if before from others who decided to push a little too far (or punch above their weight) and the result was banishment. Given the choice between humility and humiliation, it seems that they decided on the latter.

    Terence G. Gain in reply to MajorWood. | May 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    I have yet to see an embarrassed liberal. In my experience they double down when exposed.

      artichoke in reply to Terence G. Gain. | May 20, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      50 or even 30 years ago it was not this way. The current lemming-like procession of utter lunatics is, in my experience, a recent phenomenon.