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Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Defense wants damages reduced to $14.3 million under Ohio tort reform caps

Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Defense wants damages reduced to $14.3 million under Ohio tort reform caps

Gibson’s Bakery says not so fast, proper calculation under Ohio tort reform law nets them $25 million

The massive $11 million compensatory and $33 million punitive damage verdicts in favor of Gibson’s Bakery and its owners have been matched by equally massive media condemnation of Oberlin College’s conduct.

In response, Oberlin College has developed a crisis management talking point that this “is a First Amendment case about whether whether an institution can be held liable for the speech of its students.” It’s a narrative of Oberlin College as victim, not the perpetrator the jury found it to be, and it’s being rolled out by Oberlin College with increasing media focus.

Of course, that’s not at all what the case was about. The case was about the conduct and speech of Oberlin administrators, particularly Senior Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, under standard and well settled principles that an employer is responsible for the tortious actions of employees acting within the scope of their employment. There is nothing novel about that legal principle, and in this case it was applied to Raimondo and other administrators, not to students

[Meredith Raimondo at trial][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

Aside from the attempt to reshape the public narrative, Oberlin College is trying to lower the damages in light of Ohio’s tort reform law. We discussed that law and possible calculations a week ago in Irony: Ultra-liberal Oberlin College will save millions on Gibson’s Bakery verdicts under Republican Tort Reform.

It was always clear that there would be a large haircut on the damage award, and the total of $44 million would not stand. The only issue was how much of a haircut would be given.

I tried my hand at some math in that post, and came up with a worst-case scenario for the plaintiffs of the total compensatory and punitive awards being reduced to $14,223,500 (with a big caution that I’m bad at math). I cautioned, however, that there could be a huge swing depending upon whether the 2X cap on punitive damages applied to the total compensatory awarded, or the compensatory after the compensatory cap was applied:

So, the Gibson’s run the risk of their compensatory damages being :

Gibson Bros economic damages $2,274,500

David Gibson economic damages $1,800,000

David Gibson non-economic damages (cap) $350,000

Allyn Gibson non-economic damages (cap) $350,000

Total Compensatory: 4,774,500

Plux 2X punitive cap $9,549,000

Total: $14,323,500

If the punitive calculation is based on the full compensatory, not the capped compensatory, then that would add to $12,600,000, for a total of $26,923,3500.

It turns out my math wasn’t that far off for the Gibson’s worst-case scenario.

Oberlin College just filed a Motion (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post) to reduce damages. It’s a complicated discussion, but ends up just $300,000 shy of where I ended up (emphasis in original):

Defendants request that the Court apply the statutory caps on Plaintiffs’ compensatory and punitive damages awards. Pursuant to R.C. 2315.18(B)(2), Plaintiffs’ noneconomic damages of $7,000,000 must be capped at $600,000, meaning their compensatory damages award must be reduced from $11,074,500 to $4,674,500. Pursuant to R.C. 2315.21(D)(2)(a), Plaintiffs’ punitive damages of $33,233,500 must be capped at $9,349,000. Thus, Plaintiffs’ total compensatory and punitive damages award of $44,308,000 must be capped at $14,023,500.

The plaintiffs filed their own Brief (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post), and make a nuanced argument based on how the jury detailed damages — something I did not have previously because the signed jury verdict form was not available at the court. Plaintiffs argue that (1) the individual caps on noneconomic damages apply to each claim for which relief was granted, not collectively for the whole case, and (2) the 2X punitive damage cap is based on pre-cap compensatory damages, not compensatory damages after the cap was applied.

Here are the post-cap  compensatory damage charts in the plaintiffs’ brief for the individual plaintiffs:

Here are the post-cap punitive damage charts in the plaintiffs’ brief, including for Gibson Bros.:

I’m not following the Bakery’s (Gibson Bros.) punitive calculation, and why the combined $2,274,500 is not doubled. If someone figures it out, please post in comments.

The bottom line request totals $25,049,000:

Oberlin’s college’s “best case” scenario of just over $14 million is still a whopping judgment.

It’s a lot more than Oberlin College was willing to pay to settle the case, according to a press call given by Oberlin College’s president, Carmen Twillie Ambar, to local media (we were not invited), as Morning Journal reports:

In response to questions, Ambar said that the last, highest [sic] settlement amount the Gibsons had sought was between $15 million and $20 million while the college’s last offer was less than $5 million.

“Honestly, not because we believe this case should be valued at that level, but we thought in the interest of trying to resolve it that that was worth that level of offer,” she said.

In that call, Ambar repeated the ludicrous talking point about being held responsible for student speech:

Ambar claimed in the conference call that the college didn’t defame or libel anyone, which stands in stark contrast with the jury’s ruling that both the institution and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo did defame the Gibsons.

She echoed many of the same talking points the college’s attorneys had brought up during the month-long trial including that Raimondo was present at the protests in order to keep both the students and the public safe, that Raimondo had only used a bullhorn at the demonstration to keep the students off the public rights of way and highlighting the fact no property was damaged and none of the protesters were arrested…

Ambar disputed testimony given in the trial about how the college attempted to mitigate the conflict with the bakery and blamed the “media” for disseminating bad information….

She says the case was really about free speech….

Ambar said the college has been held “vicariously liable for the students’ speech because of its efforts to de-escalate the protest,” and that this ruling “would have a profound chilling effect on free speech.”

“It would require colleges and universities and other institutions similarly situated to censor people who are connected to it to ensure that the publication of those items or that language was perfectly correct and accurate,” she said. “It would put a burden on institutions that would be unsustainable and would not create what for 50 years of caselaw has been the notion of breathing space.”

According to Ambar, this case should be concerning to both progressives and conservatives.

I smell crisis management consultants here. The media rollout trying to create a narrative that Oberlin College was held liable for student speech is too focused and too repetitive.

The jury didn’t buy it. Whether Oberlin College can sell it to donors and prospective students remains to be seen.

UPDATE 6-28-2019

Plaintiffs have filed their opposition to the motion to reduce the verdict, Plaintiff’s Opposition to Post-Trial Motion to Cap Damages (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post).The Brief focuses on statutory construction, and argues that under the plain terms of the statute, the “compensatory damages” that are subject to doubling are the pre-cap compensatory damages (strikethrough in original):

In their Motion, Defendants completely ignore the primary rule of statutory construction (i.e. apply the words as written) and instead plow headlong into legislative materials discussing the passage of the noneconomic and punitive damages caps. However, these materials have no bearing on this case because the statute is clear and unambiguous and must be applied as written. See, Jacobson at 1 8. See also, R.C. 1.49 [ emphasis added] (“If a statute is ambiguous, the court, in determining the intention of the legislature, may consider among other matters: … (C) The legislative history”).

And make no mistake – Defendants are asking the Court to rewrite R.C. 2315.21(D)(2)(a) to say: “The court shall not enter judgment for punitive or exemplary damages in excess of two times the amount of the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff from that defendant, as determined pursuant to division (B)(2) or (3) of this section RC. 2315.18.” The Ohio Legislature chose to calculate the punitive damages cap based upon the jury award, not the amount after the Court applies the noneconomic caps. If they had wanted to calculate the punitive damages caps based on the damage award after the Court applies the noneconomic caps, they could have made reference to that separate statute and the Court’s post-cap award. The General Assembly chose not to do so and as a result, Defendants’ arguments must be rejected.

[Featured Image: Four generations of Gibsons after Jury Verdict, Photo Credit Legal Insurrection Foundation]

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Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Defense Post-Trial Motion to Cap Compensatory and Punitive Damages by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College – Plaintiffs’ Post-Trial Bench Brief Re Damages Caps – Redacted by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College – Plaintiff's Opposition to Post-Trial Motion to Cap Damages by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Comments

C’mon little SJW snowflakes … cough it up. Maybe Twillie out to have a new course for the fall … SJW 101.

What? They didn’t try for $35,000?

    AlexanderYpsilantis in reply to RodFC. | June 25, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    If Ambar thought she could get away with it she would. I’m sure they’ve seen in the media the zeitgeist is strongly against them. They’re fighting for their careers and continued employment at this point.

    AlexanderYpsilantis in reply to RodFC. | June 25, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    If Ambar thought she could get away with it she would. I’m sure they’ve seen in the media the zeitgeist is strongly against them. They’re fighting for their careers and continued employment at this point.

On top of rabid diversity, social justice, and self-deception, Oberlin can’t count.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to n.n. | June 25, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    WHAT???????????

    You expect College Administrators to be able to count????
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    They’re too busy spending ever greater amounts of your taxpayer dollars!!!!!!

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | June 25, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Psst…..

      BTW lots of colleges know to be “easy marks” among supplies.

      For example, how about a firm selling a multi-campus institution stand alone speakers for all the new computers the school just bought from another company?

      Only problem……those computers were purchased with no sound cards…….

Except my client honors every claim. They do, Mr. Bates. Every single legitimate claim, up to the limit of their liability, which is $100,000 per accident, in the case of this man’s policy. And this is one claim. According to your description, “He hit my five guys”. The guy insured by my client had one accident. One, one, one. Losing control of the car and hitting five motorcyclists.

From their point of view, five things happened.

Well, look, Bob. May I? Bob?

“Jim.”

If I go bowling and I throw a strike, one thing happened. 10 things didn’t happen.

– Bridge of Spies (2015), Tom Hanks explaining

    irv in reply to rhhardin. | June 25, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Insurance companies often write the definition of an “event” into a policy for exactly this reason. It is exactly the kind of question that often comes up for judges. Do we make the sentences consecutive or concurrent? Is it one harm or 10?

    That’s why going back to the text of the jury verdict was a smart move for the plaintiffs. They can show that the people who heard the evidence didn’t think it was just one thing.

    BUT, the law might override that or the judge might think it does. No matter how the ruling comes down, someone will find grounds for an appeal.

Publius_2020 | June 25, 2019 at 3:19 pm

“I’m not following the Bakery’s (Gibson Bros.) punitive calculation, and why the combined $2,274,500 is not doubled. If someone figures it out, please post in comments.”

The answer is that the jury explicitly found the requisite “malice” for punitive damages qualification only as to the libel cause of action for the Bakery. P.12 of the Gibson’s filing.

I’m unsure of the strategy. OC argues for about $14M. Gibsons argues for about $25M. Assume OC wins, and the total amount is $14M.

Does OC intend to pay the $14M [plus legal fees], or are they arguing that point now because they intend to fight it and want to provide bond against $14M? After all, Twillie said this would be a long battle.

Any ballpark idea of plaintiff’s legal fees to date?

    Publius_2020 in reply to walls. | June 25, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    The legal fees issue is going to come down to whether the case is on a contingent fee basis (likely), and whether the trial judge gives the lawyers a contingent fee bonus in the computation. On a straight time basis, I would wild-a** guess the number is between $750,000 and $1.25 million, which isn’t going to move the needle if Gibson’s gets the $25 million total it is seeking.

    But with a contingent fee bonus in the award, you might see a $3-4 million figure. (I’m going to guess $2.5 million, just for fun.)

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Publius_2020. | June 25, 2019 at 7:54 pm

      IANAL, Are the legal fee’s part of the Gibsons Damages or is that a seperate check that has to be written?

        ecreegan in reply to Gremlin1974. | June 25, 2019 at 11:06 pm

        The jury voted to award legal fees in addition to the damages; however, the judge gets to decide what that means, and may not award the full amount the Gibsons will have to pay their lawyers. (Essentially, the judge can order Oberlin to pay the attorneys their negotiated presumably contingency fee, or he can get a number of hours worked and give them an hourly award and the rest is on the Gibsons, or he can do something else entirely.)

I’m not following the Bakery’s (Gibson Bros.) punitive calculation, and why the combined $2,274,500 is not doubled. If someone figures it out, please post in comments.
____________________

The jury did not award the Bakery any punitive damages on the tortious interference w/business relationships claim. They awarded the Bakery punitives only on the libel claim.

The compensatory damages for the Bakery’s libel claim were $1,137,250. That amount was doubled to get the (capped) punitive damages award of $2,274,500 for the Bakery.

Publius_2020 | June 25, 2019 at 3:36 pm

I’m a little surprised that Gibson’s accepted the punitive damages cap on its face, instead of arguing for an exception to the cap. I suppose that they felt that $19.8 million was enough in view of the fact that they have to win the argument about the cap applying to the original jury computation. However, it seems that their case citations on that issue are solid.

So why pass up a shot at $14 million in further punitives? Probably the generalized sense that appearing not to “reach” would increase the chances of getting the trial court and the appellate court to accept their numbers. The total of $25 million is still more than double the full jury compensatory award, so it is certainly a great result. And the restraint is probably the right decision in the end.

    Tom Servo in reply to Publius_2020. | June 25, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    This is the very first time I recall in this case where *both* sides are finally acting rationally and doing what I would expect real lawyers to do. Now I direct that mainly at Oberlin – Gibson’s legal team has obviously done stellar work, and outplayed the Oberlin team at every juncture. As to why they are agreeing to the reduced amount – it’s clear that the award is going to be reduced somewhat, because of the Ohio State Law limitations, and $25 million is still an order of magnitude more than Gibson’s thought they could possibly have been awarded when this all started.

    On Oberlin’s side, this is the very 1st time they’ve admitted that damages might just be a little bit more than $35,000. Astounding to see a little bit of reality seeping into their thinking.

      paracelsus in reply to Tom Servo. | June 26, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      Perhaps a good judge would disregard the caps law and multiply the punitive damages by 10 “pour encourager les autres.”

AlexanderYpsilantis | June 25, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Anyway you slice it Oberlin is going to pay a BIG settlement. With that in mind, the Gibsons need to insist on full exoneration-an apology is long overdue.

I know, in light of the financial settlement this probably seems trivial to some of you. But Gibson’s good name will be around long after the terms of the settlement are no longer news and are forgotten.

    OC will claim the apology was offered under duress, Coming from the administration of OC, it is worthless because thy don’t believe it. We are talking leadership that will equate an apology with slavery and white “something”. Remember to them “whitey” won.

    It’s not trivial at all. It’s vital to making the Gibsons whole. The Gibsons’ attorneys argued at trial, and the jury found to be true, that they were still being damaged by the college’s defamation of them years after the robbery that ignited the protests.

    There used to be a waiting list for apartments in a building that they owned. Now Oberlin students won’t rent from them. Not all Oberlin students believe the narrative that the college (not the students, the official Oberlin College narrative) is pushing. That the Gibsons are racist and that a member of the Gibson family assaulted a black student, to hear them tell it, for no reason whatsoever.

    But the students who don’t buy it fear retaliation.

    Every year, according to court filings that the jury also found to be true, when prospective students and their parents visit Oberlin to evaluate it volunteers take them on a tour of the campus and its environs. These volunteers are trained by the college. They are therefore acting as Oberlin college’s agents. When they pass by Gibson’s bakery they tell the prospective students and their parents not to patronize Gibson’s because the family is racist and that they profile and assault black Oberlin students.

    I doubt that Oberlin administrators will continue to train their agents to repeat this language. But that isn’t enough. They need to publicly apologize, in the course of that apology they need to declare that the Gibsons are not racists, that they do not do racial profiling, and none of the Gibsons have ever assaulted any minority student.

    And the volunteers need to include that spiel while conducting their tours as they pass by Gibson’s bakery. “You may have read or heard rumors that the Gibson family are racists. This is not true. That is false and defamatory. They are not at all racist.”

    Regarding the financial settlement, it would be a huge mistake for the judge to award anything other than the maximum financial penalty. As Valerie pointed out on the NPR interview thread it would be extraordinary for the judge to allow Carmen Twillie Ambar’s comments to be entered into the court record. But I believe this is just the kind of extraordinary circumstance where that would be the only appropriate course of action.

    She is already misrepresenting this as a First Amendment case where the jury WRONGLY held Oberlin accountable for the speech of their students. That the jury in essence victimized Oberlin College which was, in her false narrative, an innocent third party.

    Yet in court during the punitive damages phase she and Raimondo took the stand and both said that they understood the message the jury was sending and that they respected the jury’s decision.

    This was part of their lead attorney’s strategy of arguing that punitive damages should not be so high as to financially ruin the defendants (hence they argued the college was already in such a precarious position financially that the maximum the jury could award might prove fatal to the institution). The punitive damages should only be high enough to teach the defendants their lesson and, the attorney argued, the president and senior vice president have testified they have already learned their lesson. So the jury should go easy on the college.

    Yet everything Ambar has said publicly since then shows that she and Raimondo didn’t mean a word of what they said under oath. In her blast email she said the jury was wrong, that it is a First Amendment case, that Oberlin College is not a perpetrator but the innocent victim, that the jury’s decision was not the final word on the matter. The implication was that they would ultimately be vindicated.

    This is clearly the PR strategy Oberlin intends to pursue in order to reverse the drop in enrollments and keep alumni donations rolling in. The judge needs to torpedo this PR strategy amidships and blow it out of the water. That’s why Ambar’s public comments are relevant. The judge should say that the President of Oberlin College, despite her testimony to the contrary, continues to misrepresent the basis of the verdict against Oberlin. Only the maximum penalty will do to undermine the false narrative she is pushing in public and teach her the lesson that despite her testimony under oath to the contrary she and the administration clearly did not learn.

      randian in reply to Arminius. | June 25, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      “and, the attorney argued, the president and senior vice president have testified they have already learned their lesson”

      Since they aren’t personally liable to pay damages, what lesson would that be?

        Arminius in reply to randian. | June 26, 2019 at 12:31 am

        For one, this is not a First Amendment case. Defamatory speech is not protected under the First Amendment. Not even when the self-anointed “intellectual and moral betters” defame the dullard unenlightened lower orders in the name of social justice. Second, that the college is being held to account for their own actions and their own defamatory speech. Not the actions or speech of their students.

        In a way, I’m glad the self-entitled, self-absorbed cabal running the place haven’t learned these lessons. Multi-million dollar settlements for local businesses as far as the eye can see! Or at least until their endowment runs dry.

      “Yet in court during the punitive damages phase she and Raimondo took the stand and both said that they understood the message the jury was sending and that they respected the jury’s decision.” Could they be charged with Perjury for false statements under oath?

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Arminius. | June 26, 2019 at 8:27 am

      The court should order Oberlin College to pay 20% of student rent for 10 years to Gibsons. That would be a funny and appropriate remedy.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | June 25, 2019 at 4:57 pm

Professor,
Given your evident math skills, I think you have the makings of an excellent engineer!!

Thank you and your team for the Platinum level reporting and doggediness on this story!

Professor, you and your crew have done a great job on the Gibson case!

I, too, am “bad at math” but this is not math. It is just arithmetic.

As Homer Simpson put it, “a lie requires two people. One to tell it and another to believe it.” Oberlin has the first part covered, now they are looking for the second group.

I just did a quick count and the parking area behind Gibsons has 84 spots. A google search shows that a parking spot in central Manhattan just sold for $225,000. If I were Gibsons, I would offer Oberlin a settlement, $18.9M and they will throw in the parking lot. That way the administration can tell the alumni that they didn’t libel a business, but that they did just pick up some additional parking at slightly above market price (without of course disclosing what market).

    Silvertree in reply to MajorWood. | June 26, 2019 at 9:50 am

    From this obituary for the man who founded “Oberlin Off-Street Parking, Inc.” (which is the company Mr. David Gibson now partly owns, according to the various news sources), it sounds like the parking lot is a crucial fixture for downtown businesses, since there is not that much parking out on the street. Keeping Manhattan-level parking fees at bay…..

    *****

    [Glenn I. ‘Jim’] Molyneaux and his wife, Barbara, worked side by side every day but Sunday at the hardware store. They modernized an old store that had struggled through the 1930s Depression and 1940s war years. With the help of their three children, they transformed Watson Hardware into one of the town’s primary businesses, outlasting the two other hardware stores on Main Street.

    Molyneaux lived most of his life within a few blocks of the house in which he was born on Cedar Street in Oberlin, and he was proud to be a small-town businessman.

    “A man needs just as much smarts to run a company with $200,000 in sales as one with $10 million,” he once said, “and the small-town guy doesn’t have all those vice presidents to help him.”

    In the 1960s and 1970s, when many small-town business districts across the nation were dying and losing their customers to shopping centers, Molyneaux helped keep downtown Oberlin alive by founding an organization to provide off-street parking.

    Glenn I. ‘Jim’ Molyneaux, ran Watson Hardware in Oberlin
    cleveland.com
    https://www.cleveland.com/obituaries/2009/03/glenn_i_jim_molyneaux_ran_wats.html

Gremlin1974 | June 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm

I know they have to follow the law, but it would do my heart good to have the judge say; “I see no reason to decrease the Juries Awards.

Maybe it is time for colleges to accept responsibility for the behavior of students, when the activity is clearly organized. Students today are often violent criminals, justified by social desire, and never punished for clearly criminal behavior or rules violations. All it would take is expelling malfits.

    MNCPO in reply to puhiawa. | June 26, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I would love to see speakers (Lara Loomer, Milo, Ann Coulter, Sabastian Gorba etc) sue the universities they were prevented from speaking at AFTER they were invited, security fees paid, halls reserved and RSVP’s were accepted.

    All of them were halted by violence from students. We all know it was coordinated on campus, in class rooms, cafeterias,or study rooms. Supported by the Administration.

    After this ruling you would think one of them would look at an option of a lawsuit. Precedent means something.

Gremlin1974 | June 25, 2019 at 7:56 pm

My question is what have the Board of Trustees been doing this whole time? I can’t see how they can just sit by and let this administration make the school look so bad and do nothing.

    Silvertree in reply to Gremlin1974. | June 25, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Perhaps this explains it:

    (from a comment below Michelle Malkin’s article in the Daily Signal)

    “Not mentioned much about the Gibson’s/OC story is that the Chair of the Board of Trustees, a rather large group, is Chris Canavan. Mr. Canavan, a 1990’s graduate of Oberlin, has been employed since 2010 at the Soros Fund Management as Director of Global Policy Development. Prior to that he worked for 13 years at Goldman Sachs.”

    I’m an Oberlin Graduate. They Had It Coming.
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/06/19/im-an-oberlin-graduate-they-had-it-coming/I

      Tom Servo in reply to Silvertree. | June 26, 2019 at 10:18 am

      WOW – that does explain a WHOLE lot. No wonder Ambar was hired as President, no wonder Raimondo can do anything she wants with impunity, no wonder the Trustees will do nothing to change anything at Oberlin.

      So Oberlin is now, and has been, a George Soros, Inc., operation. They’re not going to change a thing. They need to lose their students and just fade away into history.

        MajorWood in reply to Tom Servo. | June 26, 2019 at 11:00 am

        Add in that the entire Obama era allowed them to get really sloppy with hiding their cover. Inside the bubble they really weren’t aware that it was no longer business as usual.

        From the start this entire incident had significance, because not only was it the first time in nearly a decade that any SJW type was being held accountable for their actions, but it was also at an established hotbed of activism gone wild. Oberlin simply saw themselves as invincible in that tiny arena.

        The irony is that they sought to ruin Gibsons brand, and it is their brand which has been permanently tarnished, and completely by their own hands. All future causes are tainted because they allowed themselves to be taken down by a bakery that they didn’t need to be in a fight with in the first place. And since they have lost all reason along the way, their refusal to acknowledge the screw-up has them digging deeper and deeper. They are the academic version of the alcoholic who is going to drink himself out of the current jackpot. As my buddy Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that working out for you, Oberlin?”

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Silvertree. | June 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      The connection to Soros is damning.

    Silvertree in reply to Gremlin1974. | June 25, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Perhaps this explains it:

    (from a comment below Michelle Malkin’s article in the Daily Signal)

    “Not mentioned much about the Gibson’s/OC story is that the Chair of the Board of Trustees, a rather large group, is Chris Canavan. Mr. Canavan, a 1990’s graduate of Oberlin, has been employed since 2010 at the Soros Fund Management as Director of Global Policy Development. Prior to that he worked for 13 years at Goldman Sachs.”

    I’m an Oberlin Graduate. They Had It Coming.
    https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/06/19/im-an-oberlin-graduate-they-had-it-coming/I

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Gibson’s get the full amount or the full amount with the cap applied.
the actions and speech of Oberlin college is just too adversarial, to me, for the court/jury to reduce it much.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to PapaGuns. | June 26, 2019 at 10:35 am

    I don’t remember where, but I saw something which allowed those caps to be overridden in extreme cases, and Oberlin College’s conduct was blatant and intentional.

    Aside from sticking it to Oberlin College financially, every administrator, professor or student who was involved should be held accountable.

      I had a similar question a few days ago in that the “harm” caused by Oberlin was intentional and might allow overriding the cap. A person who seemed to know the Ohio law responded that it would be unusual to go over the cap but if it is allowed, it would likely involve cases where criminal charges are also involved.

        JusticeDelivered in reply to SHV. | June 26, 2019 at 1:03 pm

        Oberlin College was extorting local businesses to allow students a free pass to steal, can that be prosecuted?

Inside scoop at the bakery! Nice little local news piece tonight, with video of folks coming in to congratulate the family on their verdict, and some commentary from the Gibsons.

Branded as racists, Gibson family took on Oberlin College to rewrite obituary
https://youtu.be/hXnaa33ChA4

Re: Oberlin’s talking point that “we’re not responsible for the students’ free speech”:

Besides the obvious fact that the case was actually about what Oberlin/Raimundo *did* (like acts of tortious interference) and not on what the students *said*, a little thought exercise here (and perhaps someone could ask the Oberlin admin this):

Oberlin has the right to discipline its students for improper conduct. For instance, if an Oberlin student falsely and maliciously accused a professor of being a child molester, or falsely and maliciously stated that college administrator was embezzling college funds, would Oberlin just say, “well, that’s free speech and we don’t want to chill it.” Of course not — as any first year law student could tell you, that’s conduct, not protected speech, and giving a pass to it (1) just encourages more such behavior, and (2) teaches students exactly the wrong life lesson, as in the real world such behavior has real consequences.

Ergo, accepting for the moment Oberlin’s talking point that “it was the students who defamed Gibsons, not us,” then why didn’t Oberlin take *any* disciplinary action against the students responsible for these acts of defamation? It clearly had the power to do so.

The likely reason is because, in fact, Oberlin had no problem whatsoever with anything the students did, and indeed celebrated and encouraged their activities. (The evidence at trial certainly supports this rationale.)

I get the impression of eels trying to slither back under any convenient rock.
Nah! I take it back. In comparison eels are clean, pleasant creatures.

The Donald at Reddit has been quarantined. I’ll be checking to see if y’all are still here, from time to time.

Another horrible article by Evan Gerstmann over at Forbes.
He is actually accusing the jury of illegal behavior in awarding such high damages! He basically accuses them in his article of criminal misconduct!

But actually the jury was not allowed to know the legal caps and limits, before they made their damage awards, right? Someone please help me with this question, before I throw all my fruit loops on the floor and stomp them to bits.

Could Mr. Gerstmann be opening himself up to a lawsuit by a member of the jury? It is just outrageous behavior on his part to smear them in this way on a national stage.

    Silvertree in reply to Silvertree. | June 27, 2019 at 11:14 am

    fruit loops in smithereens….

    He also writes:
    “This out of control verdict is a threat to colleges all over the country. There are a lot of schools with ‘town/gown’ tensions and plenty of juries willing to sock it to colleges that are perceived as politically correct, smug, privileged, etc.”

    Well, Mr. Gerstmann, I wonder why these perceptions have arisen?? Did you forget to study the very case at hand? Who is dripping with arrogance now, not even able to say sorry at this very instant? Oh yes, how terrible: soon perhaps every single one of these colleges and their students “all over the country” will have to work harder to do some very good things for the towns wherein they find themselves, and cultivate some goodwill!! (That does not include destroying things in those towns, by the way.) Perhaps they will even have to go above and beyond in their efforts to be well-thought-of! Perhaps these colleges will even need to teach their own students (teach them?) how to respect and serve their communities, and rein in the excesses of youth!

    Oberlin College, how about a little gratitude for your town, where apparently you pay not a cent of property tax? How about cracking down on your own students’ shoplifting, to give all those small businesses downtown a little breathing room? Just as a big corporation will do all sorts of good things for the town where its headquarters is, so too must these colleges earn the respect of the local people. They could start by simply meeting normal expectations for civil behavior!

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