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The Struggle Continues: Oberlin College May Not Be Done with Gibson’s Bakery Just Yet

Brian Min

June 18, 2019

Last week, Gibson’s Bakery was awarded $33 million in punitive damages, in addition to the $11 million in compensatory damages in the week prior.


However, this battle has not been completely resolved.

According to Professor William Jacobson at Cornell Law School, in an appeals process, the designated economic losses of David Gibson and Gibson Bros. should not be reduced. In contrast, the money awarded to Allyn Gibson ($3 million) and David Gibson ($4 million) from non-economic losses could be reduced due to Ohio state laws. The law firm Tucker Ellis LLP clarifies the provisions of the Ohio Revised Code that would impact the plaintiffs: “In non-catastrophic injury cases, the cap for non-economic damages is the greater of $250,000 or three times the plaintiff’s economic damages, up to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and $500,000 per occurrence.”

In other words, both Allyn Gibson’s and David Gibson’s non-economic damages could be reduced from $7 million combined to $700,000.

In addition, the money assigned to punitive damages could also be under threat.


Nine million dollars is still certainly a large amount and, as Professor Jacobson already notes, “the jury held accountable an unhinged progressive activist college that lost concern for the lives of working people in its community.”

Nevertheless, a massive reduction in damages awarded could symbolically, at the very least, dampen the victory of classical liberalism and basic common sense over social justice hysteria. At the same time, such a reduction would send a sign to higher education institutions that they would have at least some legal leeway with respect to the weaponization of social justice.

And so the fight goes on.

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