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Oberlin alumni letter predicts
'lengthy and complex legal process'

Original Article

Posted By: Harlowe, 6/15/2019 1:41:37 PM

Less than 24 hours after a $44 million settlement against the college in favor of Gibson’s Bakery, Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar assured alumni in an email that the punitive damage award will change. In the letter sent to alumni that was obtained by the Chronicle-Telegram, Ambar writes: “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... It will not distract, deter or materially harm our education mission, for today’s students or for generations to come.”


There is a related story at the website reflecting the views of a Case Western Reserve University Law Professor predicting it unlikely the Gibson family will get $44 million from Oberlin College based on law and authority entrusted to judges to undo the jury’s verdict if the judge believes evidence did not support it; that judges have the obligation to look at the evidence after the trial. Also, the professor said “he finds it very unlikely” that Oberlin College intentionally tried to harm Gibson’s Bakery and the Gibson family “without a good-faith basis that what the bakery did was wrong.”

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Harlowe 6/15/2019 1:42:06 PM (No. 98794)
Addendum to OP Comments: The law professor appears to not believe Oberlin College intentionally inflected emotion distress against David and Allyn W. Gibson, which the jury found the college liable for, and that it was a strange outcome akin to intentional infliction of emotional distress on the order of killing somebody’s dog while they watch. The professor doesn’t think that is going to survive the appellate process and that the verdict could have been the jury’s way of “thumbing their nose at a higher education institution ... seen as ‘elitist’ ... or uncaring about a small business in a town that has seen some town-versus-gown controversy in the past.” Yet, the professor concludes his view by saying he would “rather be the plaintiff than Oberlin College at this moment.”
5 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: tsquare 6/15/2019 1:55:39 PM (No. 98807)
I am happy for Oberlin that they are setting new directions and that the award will not detract, deter, or materially harm its educationally mission or its students. Having pled poverty in the damage trial...there are those were celebrating the demise of Oberlin. Past and future jurors can now be relieved that the award size has no material affect on the school.
6 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: earlybird 6/15/2019 1:56:35 PM (No. 98808)
The Gibsons will not get $44 million. That is discussed in this article as well as articles previously posted. There is a cap on punitive damages. They compensatory damages at $11million - punitive damages at twice that, $22million est. Total est. $33million. In no way could they have judged the venom that came out of Oberlin - especially that from Dr. Raimondo (who is also Oberlin’s legal counsel) to be anything less than intentionally inflicted. The radical Raimondo ran a real slash and burn operation against the Gibsons and their business. The Gibsons had to be labelled (libeled) as racists for Oberlin to support its students. That libelous label would stick. The law professor will be found to be wrong, IMO. The dog killing analogy is patently absurd and does not fit the circumstances.
8 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Nevadadad46 6/15/2019 1:57:27 PM (No. 98809)
If you thought Carmen Twilla Ambar sounded a little too affirmative actiony, you were right.
23 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: jj1319 6/15/2019 1:57:28 PM (No. 98810)
The total time the jury spent deliberating, both compensatory and punitive, was less than 8 hours. They knew what they were going to do when they entered the jury room. This should be very troubling to Oberlin College. Cut your losses and pay the damages. Oh, and learn the lesson.
18 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: john56 6/15/2019 2:01:42 PM (No. 98814)
I think if I were Oberlin, I'd call the Gibson's lawyers and say "Here's $15 million dollars. Let's make this go away. And settle for $20 million.
3 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Northcross 6/15/2019 2:03:08 PM (No. 98816)
I appreciate incisive sarcasm, and #2 is a master. Note well that Oberlin's general counsel announced they will not be making any further public comments. This after their office went public in calling the jury stupid before the punitive damage phase of the trial. At least they have learned something.
10 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: earlybird 6/15/2019 2:15:22 PM (No. 98823)
It seems that the Gibsons made an effort to settle before this went to trial. Oberlin (surely its legal counsel Dr. Raimondo) and its insurance company did not respond to the Gibsons settlement overture and decided to take it to court.
11 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: earlybird 6/15/2019 2:19:59 PM (No. 98826)
(hit submit too soon) As for the amount of time the jury spent deliberating the punitive damage phase, it turned on whether Oberlin acted with malice (intentionally) or not. The judge reportedly spent a fair amount of time schooling the jury on that aspect. They had already decided that the actions took place (in the compensatory phase). This was just the matter of whether the actions were intentional or not. It does not take a genius to review the actions of Dr. Raimondo and the Oberlin officials that they were out to intentionally damage the Gibsons and their business in the community.
12 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: earlybird 6/15/2019 2:27:29 PM (No. 98830)
Correcting bad editing in #9: It does not take a genius to review the actions of Dr. Raimondo and the Oberlin officials and conclude that they were out to intentionally damage the Gibsons and their business in the community.
6 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: bad-hair 6/15/2019 2:34:44 PM (No. 98836)
When all else fails (miserably), pay more lawyers.
4 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: lakerman1 6/15/2019 2:36:51 PM (No. 98838)
If the leaders of Oberlin College had a lick of sense, they would apologize to Gibson's Bakery owners. As to the final cost to Oberlin, they have now told everyone that they are going to string this out forever. In the end, they will pay the full amount plus compound interest. Appeals courts are hesitant to re-try the facts of the case, unless the outcome was outrageous. This was not an outrageous outcome, in my opinion.(arbitrator's awards can be appealed, but hardly ever will an award be reversed. And in 3 decades as an arbitrator, just two cases were appealed - one to county court, and my award was upheld, and one to federal court, finally appealed to the federal court of appeals, and my award was upheld. I realize that a jury decision is easier to reverse than an arbitration award, but still, Oberlin has a tough row to hoe. They seemed not to have learned anything in this situation. That is bad leadership. Oberlin is stinking up Higher Ed.
14 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: PostAway 6/15/2019 2:37:07 PM (No. 98839)
A once highly respected school can’t compete with the myriad other small private liberal arts colleges in more desirable locations throughout the country. Instead of insistence on ethical and moral behavior from students, Oberlin not only began accepting less scholastically gifted students but also thuggish ones. Now, even the townspeople are hostile. Way to go, Oberlin.
16 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: Vesicant 6/15/2019 2:38:29 PM (No. 98840)
"Lengthy" as defined by the time it takes to find a leftist appeal judge appointed by scumbama.
7 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: M2 6/15/2019 2:43:15 PM (No. 98844)
Twillie Ambar is a black woman who cried racism. We won’t forget.
16 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: msjena 6/15/2019 3:46:54 PM (No. 98868)
There will likely be a settlement, soon. This is a PR nightmare for the college.
3 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: gramma b 6/15/2019 4:02:12 PM (No. 98875)
The person who wrote this article is a moron. It wasn’t a “settlement” and it wasn’t $44 million.
4 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: earlybird 6/15/2019 4:41:20 PM (No. 98892)
The original award was for $11+million in compensatory damages. The punitive damage award came in at $33million. Total: $44million. We were also advised that the punitive damages in this case cannot exceed $22million, double the compensatory damages. Even if modified after the fact, the jury awards did total $44million.
6 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: Jethro bo 6/15/2019 4:43:19 PM (No. 98893)
Hey colleges and univeristies that coddle spoiled snowflakes, your next. The adults that make up juries are tired of the crazies running the institutions of lower learning.
5 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: Philipsonh 6/15/2019 6:15:57 PM (No. 98939)
It was a legal matter which had NOTHING to do with the college. They got involved because they wanted to destory the bakery's business. If a college student robs a bank, does the college get involved. How about a student committing murder ? The college's involvement was based on racism.
6 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: udanja99 6/15/2019 7:27:22 PM (No. 98962)
Let the idiots turn it into a lengthy process. By the time they are done and are forced to pay the $44 million, they will have spent more than that in legal fees.
4 people like this.

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