Family to appeal Oberlin College jury award reduction

Ohio

The business' award in a lawsuit against Oberlin College was cut significantly by a judge

FILE – In this Nov. 22, 2017 file photo, pedestrians pass the storefront of Gibson’s Food Mart & Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio. A jury has awarded $11 million to a father and son who claimed Ohio’s Oberlin College and an administrator hurt their business and libeled them during a dispute that triggered protests and allegations of racism following a shoplifting incident. (AP Photo/Dake Kang, File)

OBERLIN, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio business owners whose $44 million jury award in a lawsuit against Oberlin College was cut by a judge to $31.5 million plans to appeal the reduction.

The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria reports an attorney for David Gibson and his father, Allyn Gibson, said this summer that caps on damage awards for libel or slander are unconstitutional.

The owners of Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin were awarded $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in June.

Their lawsuit claimed that college officials ruined their business by encouraging protests against them and branding them racists after a shoplifting incident involving three black students.

The school filed its own notice of appeal earlier this month saying it needs to protect free speech rights and that serious errors were made during trial.

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