Law VERDICT: Jury awards Gibson’s Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College - Your hate hoax isn't "just starting a conversation"

heyitsmike

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
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A choice pull quote from that article:

many Oberlin students believe that Gibson’s is not completely innocent. Some African American students, it is very difficult to know how many, don’t feel comfortable when they walk into the bakery and believe that they are treated differently there. To their minds, the protests weren’t a rush to judgment, but rather a burst of anger at a longstanding situation.
This is why I hate the regressive left and the media. To them people and their reputations are at best collateral damage, at worst intentional targets.

Even though the accusation was proven false, some people will never stop believing Gibson's Bakery is racist. And they'll pass it on to other people as if it were fact.

Until the end of time, people will spread the lie that Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist. And that Donald Trump was controlled by Putin.

It's been almost 150 years and people still believe Mrs. O'Leary was responsible for burning down half of Chicago.

Fuck journalists and the people who enable them.
 

Capsaicin Addict

Just a fellow who loves spicy food.
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Unsurprisingly, Oberlin president Carmen Twillie Ambar is doubling down, with statements that make you wonder if she even read the trial transcripts (Link goes to Legal Insurrection. The linked story also has audio of Mrs. Dindu's interview with NPR).

Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar has staked out an aggressive posture in reaction to the massive $11 million compensatory and $33 million punitive damage verdicts awarded Gibson’s Bakery and its owners against Oberlin College and its Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo.

Those verdicts likely will be reduced under Ohio’s tort reform law, but still likely will be in the 8-figure range, how high in the 8-figures will be one of the major post-trial fights.



As previously covered, immediately after the $33 million punitive damages verdict, Ambar issued a statement via blast email vowing to fight Gibson’s Bakery Verdict:

“Let me be absolutely clear: 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.”
Ambar continued that aggressive approach in another blast email accompanying a Frequently Asked Questions document. Those FAQs repeated the prior false claim that Oberlin College was held liable for student speech.

The claim that Oberlin College was held liable for student speech was the main focus of an NPR Interview today with Ambar. Here is a partial transcription, listen to the whole thing below:

Q. What are your concerns about this judgment?
Ambar: Really, that this is a First Amendment case about whether whether an institution can be held liable for the speech of its students. And the actions of its students. And I think it’s important whether you’re a progressive or a conservative. Whether you are a small business owner or a large employer about whether you can be held responsible for the speech of people who either work for you or are part of your community. So that’s really what this case is about and I think it’s important for us to talk about it in that way even as we can get into some of the disputed facts around this issue.
Ambar went on to claim, as was claimed at trial, that Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo was at the protest only to help ensure the peace, as required by Oberlin College policy. A listener to the interview who was not familiar with the facts would not know that there was testimony by witnesses that Raimondo orchestrated the protest and the handed out of the defamatory flyers. The jury heard conflicting testimony and apparently did not believe Raimondo.


It is clear that Oberlin College has settled on the claim that it is the defender of student free speech as a crisis management theme.

We have explored many times why the assertion that the college was held liable for the speech of students is false. Oberlin College was held liable for the actions of its administrators, including the Senior Vice President and Dean of Students, in spreading the defamatory statements. The college may dispute the facts, but the legal theory of liability cannot be disputed.

There is a separate legal issue as to whether the accusations against Gibson’s were defamatory or constitutionally protected opinion, but that has nothing to do with the erroneous vicarious liability narrative.

Here is what the judge wrote in denying the defendants’ summary judgment motion, and allowing the libel claim to proceed to trial (Order here):

Defendants argue that Plaintiffs have presented no evidence that either Oberlin College or Meredith Raimondo published the flyer. Under Ohio law, publication constitutes “[a]ny act by which the defamatory matter is communicated to a third party […].” Gilbert, at 743 (quoting Hecht v. Levin, 66 Ohio St.3d 458, 460 (Ohio 1993)).
“As a general rule, all persons who cause or participate in the publication of libelous or slanderous matter are responsible for such publication. Hence, one who requests, procures, or aids or abets, another to publish defamatory matter is liable as well as the publisher.” Cooke v. United Dairy Farmers, Inc., 2003-0hio-3118, K 25 (Ohio Ct. App. 10th Dist.) (citing Scott v. Huff (1970), 22 Ohio App.2d 141, 144, 259 N.E.2d 160 and 53 Corpus Juris Secundum 231, Libel and Slander, Section 148). “Thus, liability to respond in damages for the publication of defamation must be predicated on a positive act.” Id. “Nonfeasance, on the other hand, is not a predicate for liability. Mere knowledge of the acts of another is insufficient to support liability.” Id.
Here, it is undisputed that Meredith Raimondo presented at least one individual, Jason Hawk, with a copy of the protest flyer. The remaining evidence surrounding the distribution of the flyer, and the explanations for doing so, are in dispute. But Plaintiffs have presented testimony from individuals who say they observed Raimondo and other Oberlin College employees handing out flyers at the protest. Further, Plaintiffs offered evidence that Defendants permitted the protesters to make copies of the flyer on the Oberlin College Conservatory’s Office’s copy machine during the protests and provided protesters with refreshments and gloves for use during the protests. Weighing all of this evidence in Plaintiffs’ favor, the Court finds there are genuine issues of material fact regarding whether Defendants published the flyer.
It’s clear that the theory of liability was not vicarious based on student or even faculty speech but was based on the actions of Raimondo and other administrators.

There is nothing novel in a corporation being held liable for the actions of its employees, particularly senior employees and officers, acting within the scope of their employment. It’s not even clear the college raised this as a defense—it may have, I haven’t reviewed all the hundreds of papers filed, but it wasn’t addressed by the judge when the college sought summary judgment dismissing the case.

The crisis management strategy of falsely claiming Oberlin College was held libel for student speech is another indication that the current college administration is ill-prepared to salvage Oberlin College from becoming the next Antioch College, as the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette warned, Oberlin run amok: After student crimes, college attacks the victims:

Oberlin is at a crossroads. It must take stock and correct course — no more political correctness for the sake of appearances or image, no more defense of student misbehavior. The college must admit that it erred and that the owners of the bakery acted as any business owners would under similar circumstances. More shenanigans like this could put Oberlin out of business at a time when so many liberal-arts schools are struggling to fill their classrooms.
That’s what happened to Antioch College, also once a distinguished Ohio liberal arts school. It was overcome with unthinking and fashionable leftist radicalism and it made itself a joke. Now it is a pale shadow of its former self. Is this the route Oberlin would like to go?
For Oberlin College, “sorry” seems to be the hardest word.
I grant that Oberlin has few options at this point, but holy shit this silly bitch seems to be completely oblivious to what was presented at trial. Raimondo was caught practically red-handed helping organize the protest, and the flyers being printed on official Oberlin College copiers (presumably on paper supplied by the college) means yes, yes they ARE giving material support.
 

Capsaicin Addict

Just a fellow who loves spicy food.
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tfw you win a $33 million lawsuit, and the University just takes it out of their pocket, hands it to you and walks away.

I don't see this causing even a scratch in the hull of that machine. Universities are so loaded its really abysmal.
That would be the wisest option. Hell, they could've settled well before this, for less money.

But see, you make the mistake so many of us do; assuming that SJWs think in logical, rational terms and analyze situations while at least trying to hold back their prejudices.

They can't take that 'L' no matter how smart it might be to cut their losses.
 

AnOminous

FIST FUCK
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I grant that Oberlin has few options at this point, but holy shit this silly bitch seems to be completely oblivious to what was presented at trial. Raimondo was caught practically red-handed helping organize the protest, and the flyers being printed on official Oberlin College copiers (presumably on paper supplied by the college) means yes, yes they ARE giving material support.
I'd say she actually was caught red-handed, except in the strict literal sense she didn't have actual blood dripping from her hands. She was personally handing out the specific defamatory material to reporters while physically participating in the protest. That isn't approving from afar or abstractly supporting the free speech of the students. She was an active collaborator and personally involved in the actionable behavior while acting as an employee, agent and officer of the school itself.

That's why it's the school on the hook, because that kind of bullshit is completely unacceptable.

tfw you win a $33 million lawsuit, and the University just takes it out of their pocket, hands it to you and walks away.

I don't see this causing even a scratch in the hull of that machine. Universities are so loaded its really abysmal.
They're also going to lose a huge amount of future students, endowments, donors will pull out, alumni who have had their degrees turn to radioactive shit overnight won't be interested in donating in the future, those really mega rich guys won't want a building named after them on campus, etc.

The actual verdict is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage to the brand.
 

Leibowitz

Devious in his Sanity
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Capsaicin Addict

Just a fellow who loves spicy food.
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The case was finally closed today with the plaintiffs being awarded $6.5 million in attorney's fees. This is on top of the $25 million judgement in compensatory and punitive damages entered late last month.

Think this will have repercussions in other cases (notably, Meyer vs Waid, Mignogna vs Funimation et. al., or Sandmann vs the entire fuckin' MSM)?

I kinda hope so :biggrin:
 

HeyYou

seriousposter
True & Honest Fan
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Think this will have repercussions in other cases (notably, Meyer vs Waid, Mignogna vs Funimation et. al., or Sandmann vs the entire fuckin' MSM)?

I kinda hope so :biggrin:
This specific one won't because civil conspiracy and defamation are well documented. LawTwitter is just autistic and thinks that defamation is somehow rare and hard to prove.
 

Arctic Fox

Does it have to be so cold?
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The case was finally closed today with the plaintiffs being awarded $6.5 million in attorney's fees. This is on top of the $25 million judgement in compensatory and punitive damages entered late last month.

Amazing. The college has been thoroughly ass-raped by the Ohio government, and the owners of the bakery have made more money in a couple months than their shop likely would have in a decade or more.
That just tied itself up in a nice little bow, didn't it?
 

Spunt

bwup
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tfw you win a $33 million lawsuit, and the University just takes it out of their pocket, hands it to you and walks away.

I don't see this causing even a scratch in the hull of that machine. Universities are so loaded its really abysmal.
Looking at it another way though, we can be safe in the knowledge that every time an SJW university does something this stupid (let's face it, they don't ever learn, so they will), the victims can get millions. Over and over again.

In fact the huge wealth of these places acts to their disadvantage, especially after this verdict. Anyone fucked over by these idiots knows that they can sue, they can win, and they can make millions, which the college can't pretend it can't afford to pay. Gibsmedat, indeed.
 

Alec Benson Leary

Creator of Asperchu
Christorical Figure
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Looking at it another way though, we can be safe in the knowledge that every time an SJW university does something this stupid (let's face it, they don't ever learn, so they will), the victims can get millions. Over and over again.

In fact the huge wealth of these places acts to their disadvantage, especially after this verdict. Anyone fucked over by these idiots knows that they can sue, they can win, and they can make millions, which the college can't pretend it can't afford to pay. Gibsmedat, indeed.
In a way it's the welfare gibs system they always claim they wanted. Oppressed victims of a violent, hateful institutional power being awarded free money.
 

Alec Benson Leary

Creator of Asperchu
Christorical Figure
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Yet they'll fight the law tooth and nail to keep their millions.
Hypocrisy annoys me more than anything else. And the Left is nothing less than infested with hypocrites.
It's amazing to me that there are still people who can't see that when they want racial discrimination enshrined into law so that you get a different kind of justice depending on how brown you are.
 

Arctic Fox

Does it have to be so cold?
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It's amazing to me that there are still people who can't see that when they want racial discrimination enshrined into law so that you get a different kind of justice depending on how brown you are.
Some do, and just don't care. Lot of non white people will hate white people despite never meeting them, and vice versa. Humans are hardwired to be tribalistic. It's a sad reality, but one that must be recognized before progress can be made.
 

Recoil

Tactical Autism Response Division
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Could this be a precedent or trendsetting case? I wonder if a TI ruling here could affect Vic's case.
 

Save the Loli

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Could this be a precedent or trendsetting case? I wonder if a TI ruling here could affect Vic's case.
This is under Ohio law, Vic's case is under Texas law which has a differently written TI statute than Ohio. Now, say, if Clawshrimpy (blobfish pedo from Toledo OH) started going on a defamation/harassment spree against some business, then this case would have precedence.
 
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