, , , , , , ,

The Gibson Family and legal team
credit: legal insurrection

I last wrote on the Gibson’s case in The Gibson’s Case: Good: 2; Evil: 0 in April of 2022.  To find every article in that case, enter “the gibson’s case” in the SMM home page search bar.  As the case then stood, the Gibsons had won on every count, but the communist scum running Oberlin College were trying to drag out the payment of a $36 million dollar verdict against them as long as possible by appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court.  It was part of a plan to deny the Gibsons the damages due them, and to ultimately run them out of business.  A part of this plan, that can be described no other way than evil, was withholding the jury’s award to deny it to David and Grandpa Gibson, both of who died without ever seeing a cent of the jury’s award.  David died of pancreatic cancer–Oberlin Administrators knew he was dying–and Grandpa died at the age of 93.

I ended that article thus:

The Gibsons did more than anyone could or should to resolve the matter peacefully and quietly, but they were repeatedly pushed into a corner, and fought back against woke insanity and cruelty before it became fashionable, and thus far, have won.  Despite pleading poverty, Oberlin continues to waste millions trying to harm the Gibsons.  Having careers as a police officer and teacher, I know all too well few situations are black and white, but this one is as close as it comes.  The Gibsons were entirely innocent and blameless–they did nothing wrong–and Oberlin and its Marxist ‘leaders’ are without question, evil.  I’ll keep reporting as the situation requires, but for now, the good guys have, at least temporarily, won.  The score: Good: 2; evil: 0.

As Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection reports, there is another win in the Gibson’s column:

The Ohio Supreme Court just refused to accept jurisdiction over Oberlin College’s appeal (the Court also refused to hear the Gibsons’ appeal seeking to reinstate the full punitive damages award). It was a 4-3 decision, and it means the Gibsons now can collect approximately $36 million.

Maybe.  The Gibson’s lawyers had this to say:

On behalf of the Gibson family and the trial team, Truth Still Matters, David can still overcome Goliath.

We and the Gibson family are gratified that all judges on the court of appeals and the majority of the Ohio Supreme Court recognized the rights of individuals rather than the bullying tactics of the big institutions.

We received quotes from the Gibsons and the trial team:

‘Oberlin tried to frame this case with claims and issues that weren’t on trial. This has never been a case about a student’s first amendment rights. Individuals’ reputations should never be sacrificed at a false altar of free speech. The Gibsons and the entire State of Ohio should appreciate that the jury, a unanimous Ninth District Court of Appeals, and a majority of the Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court recognized that the deplorable conduct of Oberlin College could not be camouflaged by misleading claims of free speech.’

‘The jury recognized Oberlin College’s bullying tactics. The students admitted their misconduct, but Oberlin College could never admit that they were wrong. They presumed that they could bring the Gibsons to their knees. The power of truth has enabled the Gibson family to survive Oberlin’s onslaught.’

It will surprise no one to learn Oberlin has not responded to LI’s request for comment.

Several commenters mention Oberlin College going to federal court. That is a long, long, long shot. The appeal would be from the Ohio Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. The likelihood the U.S. Supreme Court would agree to hear a case the Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear is not zero, but it’s approaching zero. I would not be shocked if they tried, but they would have to obtain another stay of enforcement of the judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court, another major hurdle that has little likelihood of success.

Oberlin is still playing a deceptive PR game:

We still have not received a response from the college, but it did provide this statement to the local newspaper:

‘Oberlin is disappointed that the Ohio Supreme Court has chosen not to hear our appeal of the Gibson’s Bakery judgment against the college,’ the college said. ‘The issues raised by this case have been challenging, not only for the parties involved, but for the entire Oberlin community.’

‘We remain committed to strengthening the partnership between the College, the City of Oberlin and its residents, and the downtown business community. We will continue in that important work while remaining focused on our core educational mission,’ the college said.

Let’s see just how strong that commitment is.  Lorna Gibson explains:

…the school proposed a deal where, in the future, if a student were caught shoplifting, we’d call the dean instead of the police. My husband and his dad believe firmly that everyone should be treated equally, so they refused. Eventually, in 2017, we felt that we had no choice other than filing a lawsuit against Oberlin (for libel, among other things) because David’s 89-year-old father, who had dedicated his life to the business, did not want to die being falsely branded a racist.

By the time the trial started, things were falling apart. We couldn’t make payroll, so we had to let go of half of our employees and cut our operating hours way back. My father-in-law, who made bagel deliveries to the college into his eighties, loved to sit outside the store all day and talk to whomever went by. He was a fixture in the community. Since word about the business with the college had spread, he’d sit outside for hours and hours, but no one would talk to him. It broke his heart, and mine. Calling us racists wasn’t just wrong, it was deeply painful to our core.

During the months leading up to the trial, my husband receded from my view. We didn’t really talk like we used to, and we took to co-existing in our home. He was so worried about the trial, and he didn’t want to worry me. I had a lot on my plate, too. My mother, who was suffering from dementia, was living with us. One of our bakers, his wife (an Oberlin graduate), and their two-year-old had moved into our living room because his wife was dying of ALS. After my father-in-law got badly injured, he moved in with us, too.

For woke warriors, the lives of an honest family matter not at all.  Things got worse, because Oberlin did everything it could to make them worse:

To add onto everything else, six months before the trial began, my husband David was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. He was still working from seven in the morning to eleven at night, but the cancer treatments were brutal. Once the trial started, David decided to pause the treatments so he could be as strong as possible in court. It was important to him that the jury not find out that he was sick. He wanted the case to be decided on the basis of the facts alone.

When the jury found in our favor—they ruled that we were owed $44 million in damages (which was later reduced to $31 million)—relief washed over me. I thought we’d finally be able to move past this and get back to work.

But after the verdict was handed down, David and I left Oberlin to seek treatment for his cancer at bigger hospitals in the South and in New York. We found out that the cancer had spread during the trial, and that we had no recourse. Before he died in 2019, David asked me to keep the store going. ‘Just keep the doors open, no matter what,’ he said. He gave his life for the store, and I promised him that I would do everything I could to honor his final wish.

David Gibson and his family are Normal Americans, honest people who woke hard, play by the rules, provide genuine service and value to their community, and harm no one.  Oberlin—that’s another story:

I still haven’t seen a penny from the school. In 2019, Oberlin appealed to have the jury verdict overturned. Ohio’s Ninth District Court of Appeals rejected Oberlin’s claims and upheld the jury’s verdict. But in May of 2022, Oberlin appealed again to the Ohio Supreme Court to try to avoid the jury’s decision. Thankfully, earlier this week, the Ohio Supreme Court denied Oberlin’s appeal and ruled that the school must pay us $36 million. But even with this most recent ruling, the college, which has about a billion dollars’ worth of assets at its disposal, still refuses to pay.

I’ve called Oberlin evil.  Think I’m exaggerating?

We hoped that, with time, the kids who started all this would graduate, and that new students would come in and that the whole drama would fade. But I’m told that freshmen are still told to boycott us. Parents who come in tell me that their kids have been brainwashed to hate us.

David (L) and Grandpa (R) RIP

I was with my father-in-law, Allyn Sr., when he died several months ago, at the age of 93. We laughed a lot during his last days. He loved his stories, and he was telling them until the end. Most of them revolved around the bakery, like when Stevie Wonder came in. Allyn Sr.’s last words to my son, a few days before he died, were: Do good, honest work.

That’s what I’ve tried to do. Like my husband and his parents, and their parents, and their parents, I open the store every day (except Christmas) at 8 a.m. I start by bringing down products from the kitchen, stocking shelves, and then ordering ingredients, and cleaning the store. Allyn Jr. and his wife, Erin, take care of our tech—our e-commerce business, and payroll— and hand dip our chocolates. At night, I pay bills and do the paperwork, which is endless. My house is quiet now. The family and friends I took care of are all gone.

During the week, my girlfriends come in to have coffee and snacks. We have some locals and people from the surrounding towns who support us, but it’s not enough. Our shelves are bare because there’s no foot traffic anymore, so we don’t bother stocking them. Before, there was a constant stream of people coming into the shop. Now, we might have one or two customers throughout the whole morning. We still sell our whole wheat donuts, and apple fritters, chocolates and candies with homemade caramels, but far fewer of them.

This is heart-rending:  

If I got the money from the college, I wouldn’t buy a house, or go on vacation, or leave Ohio. I would replace the compressors for the refrigerators and replace the fryers and proofers that we use for our dough. I would pay off the mortgages on my properties that I’ve taken out in the past few years. I’d hire back employees and ramp up production. While the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent decision has made us hopeful, if the money doesn’t come through within the next couple months, I’ll be forced to declare bankruptcy and shut the doors of Gibson’s for good.

This, gentle readers, is the difference between good and evil: 

A couple of months ago, a young girl came into the bakery. She told me she was thinking of coming to the school, and that she’d heard horrible things about our store, that we were racist, and that we should be boycotted. She knew our story, the real story, and said that all the negativity directed toward us was a turn off for her. I said that she should make her own decision. That’s what college is for.

Then I told her that I’d love to see her come to school here. And I’d like to see her come into the bakery if she does. I hope we’ll still be here.

Take the link and read Lorna’s entire story.  

The Gibson family remains in limbo.  Oberlin was forced to obtain a bond for the full amount of the judgment, which is gaining in interest daily and now stands in the $36 million range.  One would think this a problem for them, but the Marxist demons have an endowment in the one billion dollar range.  Decent, reasonable people would simply admit the game is up and drop it.  However, they are neither decent nor reasonable.

Their last chance is an appeal to the Supreme Court.  As Prof. Jacobson said, there’s virtually no chance the Supreme Court would grant cert.  They do that only for cases that present major constitutional issues, such as when two circuits differ, or abortion, affirmative action, that sort of thing.  This is an essentially run of the mill civil suit, Ohio state law is clear, there is no constitutional issue, and Oberlin has lost at every level.  But they are more than sufficiently evil to appeal it, wasting millions more on legal fees, in the hope of bankrupting the bakery, and doing additional harm to the Gibson family.  they would surely see destroying a more than century old local business as a great woke victory.

I will, of course, continue to report on the case, but have faith that sociopathic “people” like this will ultimately be judged by a Judge far higher than the Supreme Court, who knows evil when He sees it and deals with it as only He can.  People like Oberlin’s administrators and faculty imagine they are morally and intellectually superior, thus the ultimate power.  They’re horribly wrong.