Oberlin College has finally paid out a 25 million dollar judgement to an Ohio bakery that won a libel lawsuit against the school following a shop lifting incident that involved three black students.
Allyn Gibson and his son, David Gibson were the store owners who decided to sue Oberlin College in 2017.
The claim was that they had been libeled by the school and consequently their business had been harmed after protests over the shoplifting.
Both father and son have died before the settlement was able to be reached.
Gibson and his son had stated at the time that the allegations had pushed their store to closure.
The legal fight, which lasted a year, involved a school and town known for its liberal sentiment and flared into a dispute over racism, free speech and political correctness.
A Lorain County jury in 2019 awarded the Gibsons $44 million in damages, which a judge later reduced to $25 million.
in August, the Ohio Supreme Court said that it would not appeal the judgement.
Brandon McHugh, attorney for the Gibsons, told WKYC-TV in Cleveland on Thursday, all of the money has been paid.
Oberlin College paid more than 11 million in attorney fees and interest in addition to the 25 million dollar judgement.
The lawsuit was filed subsequently after Gibson’s son had chased and tackled a black male student of whom he suspected was responsible for stealing a bottle of wine in 2016.
Along with the black male student were two black female students who tried to intervene.
All three were arrested and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
Protests were triggered by the arrests of the three black students.
Flyers accusing the Gibsons of being racist were handed out outside of their Bakery by an Oberlin College vice president and dean of students.
Oberlin’s student senate devised a resolution condemning the Gibsons and emailed it to all students, then displayed in the students display case at the schools student center allowing it to remain there for a year.
Oberlin College released a statement earlier this fall saying that it hoped the end of the litigation would result in the beginning of healing for the community.
The two original owners who brought the suit have since died. David Gibson died in November 2019 at age 65.
Allyn Gibson died in February. He was 93.
In an opinion article just last week, Lorna Gibson, widow of the former bakery owner, said the ‘shelves are bare’, it now only has a trickle of customers, staff has been laid off and the family — which is white — is deep in debt.
‘Calling us racists wasn’t just wrong, it was deeply painful to our core.’
The boycott effectively continues to this day and freshmen nowadays are ‘brainwashed to hate us’ she added.
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