The Oberlin Review

College’s Appeal in Gibson’s Case Misguided, Avoidable

David Marwil OC ’70

November 8, 2019

 I urge the College to refrain from appealing the Gibson’s case. Instead, Oberlin must turn inward and reflect on what led to this unfortunate state of affairs in the first place. The behavior of the College, by which I mean students and administrators alike, revolves around the false premise that Gibson’s was a racist institution. The College’s actions towards Gibson’s were arrogant and mean-spirited throughout. My sense is that Gibson’s would not have filed suit if the College had treated them well, even if they had already suffered some losses. My experience as a physician is that, in most cases, patients do not sue unless they are disgruntled, even if the physician makes a mistake. Certainly, Gibson’s had...

Gibson’s Bakery Files Cross-Appeal

Gibson’s Bakery Files Cross-Appeal

November 1, 2019

Gibson’s Bakery has filed a cross-appeal in the ongoing lawsuit that the bakery’s owners brought against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. This cross-appeal comes after the College’s Oct. 8 decision to appeal the June jury verdict finding the College and Raimondo responsible for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress related to a series of 2016 student protests against the bakery. The jury initially awarded the Gibsons $11 million in compens...

Gibson’s Verdict Appeal Filed

Anisa Curry Vietze, News Editor

October 11, 2019

On Tuesday, Oberlin College announced it would appeal the June jury verdict that sided with Gibson’s Bakery and against the College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. The appeal comes after the College was denied a retrial at the county level last month. The College currently faces a $25 million judgment after a Lorain County jury found the College and Raimondo responsible for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress following a student-led protest against the bakery in November 2016. To represent them at the appellate level, the College has hired a legal team that includes Washington, D.C. First Amendment attorneys Lee Levine and Seth Berlin, as well as Cleveland appellate a...

Property Records Reveal Gibson Family Holdings

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 20, 2019

Property records obtained through the Lorain County Auditor’s office reveal that the Gibson family, who recently won a $25 million judgement in the lawsuit they filed against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, own property within Oberlin city limits worth approximately $1.7 million, a sum figure not previously discussed in the media. The value assessments are calculated by the auditor’s office using tax information and in-person assessments. The figure does not include properties owned outside of Oberlin or controlled through Off Street Parking, Inc. — a corporation in which David Gibson owns a majority stake. While the Gibson family’s property ownership was not a key element...

College, Raimondo Denied New Trial in Gibson’s Case

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 13, 2019

Judge John Miraldi of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas ruled Tuesday that Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo would not be granted a new trial in the lawsuit filed against the College and Raimondo by Gibson’s Bakery. In June, a Lorain County jury ruled in favor of Gibson’s, initially awarding $44 million in damages. This figure was later capped at $25 million under Ohio law. The College and Raimondo requested a new trial or remittitur in the same court where the initial verdict was made. A remittitur is a ruling by a judge to lower the amount of damages awarded by a jury; in this case, the College alleged that the level of damages awarded in June were “excessive.” I...

Media Coverage of Gibson’s Verdict Misses the Mark

Editorial Board

June 18, 2019

Editor's note: Due to the scope of national media attention, the Review took the extraordinary step of covering the Gibson's verdict outside of normal publication dates. Because of limited staff capacity, the Review does not moderate comments during the summer, and letters to the editors in response to any article will be reviewed for publication in the fall. Please direct any questions to [email protected] Earlier this month, a jury awarded Gibson’s Bakery $11 million following a month-long trial stemming from the bakery’s lawsuit against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo. Then, last Thursday, it added $33 million in punitive damages. This stunning decision ...

Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages

Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages

June 14, 2019

Editor's note: Due to the scope of national media attention, the Review took the extraordinary step of covering the Gibson's verdict outside of normal publication dates. Because of limited staff capacity, the Review does not moderate comments during the summer, and letters to the editors in response to any article will be reviewed for publication in the fall. Please direct any questions to [email protected] The Lorain County jury overseeing the trial between Gibson’s Bakery and Ob...

Gibson’s Lawsuit Will Go To Trial

Gibson’s Lawsuit Will Go To Trial

April 26, 2019

After 18 months of negotiation and discovery research, the lawsuit that Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart brought against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo could go to trial early next month, unless a settlement is reached in the next week. Gibson’s filed the suit in November 2017, accusing the College and Raimondo of libel, slander, interference with business relationships, intentional interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of...

Perspective Important in Gibson’s Case

Kevin Adler, OC ’84

December 8, 2017

To the Editors: I’m writing to disagree with almost everything in Booker C. Peek’s recent opinion column, “Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court” (The Oberlin Review, Dec. 1, 2017). I laughed at Peek’s opening comment that the lawsuit “has the potential to be earth-shattering.” Really? Let’s maintain some perspective here. This is a tempest in a teapot, a tiny incident at a small college. Potentially earth-shattering would be President Trump’s brinksmanship with North Korea, or the increasing severity of tropical storms fueled by global climate change. Those are earth-shattering issues that Oberlin and its students should be addressing. Peek also writes about the damage of a financial settlement. Ma...

Gibson’s Links Black People to Anti-Semitism

Booker C. Peek, Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

December 1, 2017

To the Editors: As the founding fathers of Oberlin College and Arthur Tappan, whose name Tappan Square bears because of his much-needed financial support of the College, would have wanted, Oberlin remains America’s most luminous beacon for a more just, peaceful, and humane world. As much as the Founding Fathers of our nation will always have our admiration, they showed a serious human weakness in their subjugation of women and willingness to enslave Blacks. As women throughout America need us all to step up to fight against sexism, so do Blacks need all Americans to help us fight against racism. But the middle-aged white men who feel hurt and abandoned — a disproportionate number of whom commit suicide — also need our f...

Oberlin, Gibson’s Should Settle Out-of-Court

Booker C. Peek, Contributing Writer

November 17, 2017

We should all root for a quick out-of-court resolution between Gibson’s Bakery and Oberlin College. It can be exciting for us to root for our favorite teams; that is what sports are all about. We may debate who the greatest composer is, the finest painter, or the best dancer. Having all those options is what we enjoy in America, along with the right not to take part at all. But there are times when the outcome of a matter affects us quite profoundly. This lawsuit is not a sporting event; its outcome has the potential to be earth-shattering. The founders of the College settled in a wilderness in the 19th century, a site where there were no humans at all. In the intervening period — more than 150 years — we have...

Gibson’s Files Lawsuit Against College, Raimondo

Gibson’s Files Lawsuit Against College, Raimondo

November 10, 2017

David and Allyn Gibson, the father and son co-owners of Gibson’s Bakery in downtown Oberlin, filed a lawsuit against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday. The lawsuit stems from a series of protests and boycotts directed at Gibson’s after an alleged incident of racial profiling and student shoplifting. The Gibsons allege eight counts against the defendants, including accusations of libel, intentional infliction...

Established 1874.