Bakery owner speaks out after Oberlin College was ordered to pay him $36 million over a false racial profiling allegation


Ohio bakery owner speaks out after her business tumbled $36 million following a court order asking Oberlin College to compensate her family business for a false accusation of racial profiling during of shoplifting.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Gibson’s Bakery owner Lorna Gibson told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday.

“It was very expensive [on my family]. Lots of stress, lots of financial toll. It definitely hit us hard.”

The incident occurred in November 2016 when Allyn Gibson, the son of Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart owners David Gibson and Allyn Gibson, chased and attacked a black student suspected of steal a bottle of wine on November 9 of this year. Two Oberlin College students, also black and friends of the student who stole the bottle, were involved in the incident, which turned physical.

OBERLIN COLLEGE PAYS BAKERY HE CALLED ‘RACIST’ MORE THAN $36 MILLION AFTER YEAR-LONG DEFAMATION LAWSUIT

A student on a bicycle on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The three students were arrested and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, according to court documents.

OHIO BAKERY CELEBRATES DEFAMATION VICTORY AGAINST OBERLIN AND COMMITS TO REBUILDING WHAT FALSE RACISM ACCUSATIONS DESTROYED

In 2017, the owners of Gibson’s Bakery and Food Mart sued Oberlin College, alleging the school defamed them and harmed their business.

Oberlin College students protested outside the bakery following the shoplifting incident. During a protest, former Oberlin College Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo handed out flyers declaring the bakery a “RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION,” according to court documents.

College resources were also used to print flyers and buy food and other supplies to support the protesters. The school also stopped buying food from the bakery.

Pedestrians walk past the storefront of Gibson's Food Mart and Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio on November 22, 2017.

Pedestrians walk past the storefront of Gibson’s Food Mart and Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio on November 22, 2017.
(AP Photo/Dake Kang, File)

The years-long case ended earlier this year when the college’s attempts to overturn a jury’s decision that they defamed the bakery resulted in a massive $36 million payout.

The attorney representing Brandon McHugh and a spokesperson for Oberlin College confirmed the payment earlier this year.

Compensation should cover damages awarded, legal fees and accrued interest.

Lee Plakas, an attorney representing the bakery, who joined “Fox & Friends Weekend” alongside Gibson, said Sunday that the “unfortunate takeaway” from the case is that Oberlin refuses to take on its role in the destruction of Gibson’s business.

Gibson's Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio. The bakery received $36.6 million from Oberlin College after a court ordered the institution to pay for losses suffered after the college falsely accused the bakery of racial profiling in 2016.

Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio. The bakery received $36.6 million from Oberlin College after a court ordered the institution to pay for losses suffered after the college falsely accused the bakery of racial profiling in 2016.
(FoxNews)

“It really should have been a teaching moment for the college … and the students learned, they admitted their guilt, they apologized and moved on,” he told the co. -host Rachel Campos-Duffy.

Responding to a Sept. 8 statement from Oberlin, Plakas added that “the college still doesn’t get it…the teachers refused to be taught or accept the lesson.”

OHIO COLLEGE RACES MILLIONS IN INTEREST ON MONEY OWED TO BAKERY OVER FALSE RACISM ALLEGATIONS

Gibson said she hopes similar incidents will call into question what really happened before people jumped to conclusions or clung to a perspective.

She also added that the bakery’s plan is to remain open for the foreseeable future.

Oberlin College, responding to the court order in the Sept. 8 statement, said it was “disappointed” with the decision but hoped it could signal healing for the community.

“We are disappointed with the Court’s decision. However, this does not detract from our respect for the law and the integrity of our justice system,” the statement said. “This case has been painful for everyone. We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.”

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Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.


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