Oberlin College attempt to fight $25M judgment backfires big time

Gibson's Bakery sued the school after it allegedly defamed the local shop.

Oberlin College asked the court for a stay of judgment in a lawsuit involving a local bakery.

A judge approved the college's request, given that it pays a $36 million bond.

Oberlin College in Ohio has asked for a stay of execution after a judge ruled in favor of a local bakery that sued the school for defamation.

But the college’s request to delay paying the $25 million judgment backfired when the judge granted the request on the condition that the college post bond in the amount of the original judgment, plus an additional $11 million.  

In November 2016, Gibson’s Bakery reported three Oberlin students for attempting to shoplift wine. The arrests sparked outrage among Oberlin faculty and students who believed the incident to be racially motivated, resulting in protests and boycotts.  

After it was reported that many Oberlin faculty members attended said protests, passing out fliers accusing the bakery of being “racist” and of racially profiling and discriminating against community members, the bakery sued the school. 

[RELATED: Cornell law prof: Oberlin bakery onslaught an ‘example of the mob not waiting for facts’]

The school was ordered to pay $25 million in damages and $6.5 million in legal expenses, but Oberlin has now asked for a stay of execution of said judgment in order to allow the school time to appeal. 

The judge approved Oberlin’s request, but has required a $36 million bond demanded by the bakery to insure the judgment during the appeals process. The bond comes as a result of Gibson’s concern that the school would not be able to pay the full judgement. 

Oberlin had made a point to note at trial that there were only $59.1 million in unrestricted endowment funds available to comply with any judgment on the bakery case and that $10 million of that $59.1 million has already been earmarked for other purposes, according to Legal Insurrection. If that is correct, that means Oberlin College has $49.1 million in unrestricted endowment funds to help pay the judgment. During the same trial, Oberlin made a point to note that its enrollment was declining.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Gibson’s Bakery lawyer accuses Oberlin College of pushing ‘alternative facts’]

Campus Reform reached out to Oberlin for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

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