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Oberlin College Pays Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart More Than $36 million in Damages

After years of attempting to overturn a jury decision that the college had defamed the local business, Oberlin College has paid Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart more than $36 million in damages. Back in 2016, it was known that there was a black student who was chased by the owners of the bakery after stealing a bottle of wine way back on November 9, 2016. Also, there were another two students involved. The owners of the bakery accused the three students of shoplifting, but the school sided with the students, accusing the shop as racist.

The deans, students, and other school personnel decided to protest in front of the establishment, handing out accusatory fliers to people and labeling the shop as racist profiling and discrimination, which truly affected the establishment’s run-through business flow. The school also stopped buying food from the bakery. Later, the shop suffered severe consequences.

These events prompt the owners to file a lawsuit against the school, which the jury later upholds, ordering the university to pay for the damages they caused to the shop. It

was believed that the jury originally wanted Oberlin College to pay $44 million for the damages, but somehow they decided to lower it by $36 million (Sabes, 2022).

The three students that were involved in the shoplifting incident were arrested, found guilty of multiple violations ranging from theft to aggravated trespass, and are now suffering the consequences.

After the jury’s decision about the lawsuit, Brandon McHugh, an attorney representing the Gibsons, confirmed that the funds had been received. Oberlin College appealed the case all the way up to the Ohio Supreme Court, which declined to take up the matter again (Johnston & Sanchez, 2022).


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