Oberlin College hit with maximum PUNITIVE DAMAGES (capped at $22 million by law) in Gibson’s Bakery case

Update 11:40 a.m. – Closing statements and jury instructions over. Jury starts deliberations.

In closing argument, Gibson’s lawyer Lee Plakas argued

“Why is the country watching you. Because the country agrees that what happened to the Gibsons should not happen to anyone, but could happen to everyone.”

” Colleges are watching us and you. Because they all know the way colleges are run will be affected, and by your decisions, they will be”

Plakas ended by reading to the jury the poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Defense attorney Rachelle Kuznicki argued:

“We cannot change the past, we can learn from it.”

“This will impact people who had nothing to do with the protest …, it also means less students who are not able to afford a college education will be able to do so.”

EARLIER

When we get the punitive damages verdict later today, that’s all anyone is going to want to talk about.

So I wanted to slip in a couple of radio interviews I had with Lars Larson and Howie Carr about the case and the compensatory verdict.

[David Gibson and Allyn W. Gibson at trial][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

[Allyn W. Gibson at trial][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

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

 

[Attorney Lee Plakas at trial][Photo credit Bob Perkoski for Legal Insurrection Foundation]

Lars Larson

(You can listen here if player doesn’t load)

“The administrators at a lot of colleges are scared to death of the students. That if the administration had tried to argue, let’s take a wait and see, we don’t know all the fact yet, that the police are investigating, let’s not rush to judgment, guess what, they would have been accused of being racist, they would have been accused of being white supremacists and working within the white supremacist system, etc., etc., etc. So I think it’s a bad combination of factors, but they should have been the adults in the room… Instead, the Dean of Students according to witnesses was there with a bullhorn, and was there passing out flyers and helping students pass out flyers…. If all they had done is step back from it and let the students do what the students do, I don’t think there would have been any claim against them. But it was that active participation, or at least they alleged active participation, and the jury obviously believed that, that led to the liability.”

Howie Carr

You can listen here or below.

 

We will update this post if there are any developments during this morning or afternoon. And will have a separate Verdict post as soon as it happens.

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