Ohio baker rolling in dough explains why $36M Oberlin College payout is ‘bittersweet’

The owner of a bakery in Ohio who, after a battle that lasted years, just received a whopping $36 million payout from Oberlin College for falsely accusing the establishment of racially profiling black students, says the victory is “bittersweet.”

Speaking with “Fox & Friends” on Sunday, Lorna Gibson noted that both her father and her husband had sadly passed away before the settlement could be reached.

(Video: Fox News)

“I wish they were both here to see it,” Gibson said.

As BizPac Review reported, Allyn Gibson and his son, David Gibson, sued Oberlin in 2017, after David Gibson’s son tackled a black student as he tried to run out of the store with a stolen bottle of wine. Three arrests were ultimately made in the case, but Oberlin College facilitated protests against the family-owned bakery, which has been operating in the community for more than 100 years, claiming the owners racially profiled the thief, an allegation the Gibsons said was libelous.

In 2019, the court agreed with the Gibsons, with jurors awarding the family, which was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy as a result of the protests, $44 million. That amount was later reduced to $25 million, but, still, the college refused to fork over the settlement, opting instead to appeal.

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected the college’s case, and, in September, Oberlin finally began making payments.


“We can confirm that all funds have been disbursed and that the family is continuing with the process of rebuilding Gibson’s Bakery for the next generations,” attorney Brandon McHugh, who represents the Gibsons, told WKYC.

“We are disappointed by the Court’s decision,” said Oberlin in a statement. “However, this does not diminish our respect for the law and the integrity of our legal system.”

“This matter has been painful for everyone,” it continued. “We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.”

Lee Plakas, another of the Gibsons’ attorneys who joined Lorna on Fox, said “the college still doesn’t get it.”

“You know, this should have really been a teaching moment for the college,” he said. “And the students learned, they admitted their guilt. They learned and apologized and went forward. But as you can see from the statement, the college still doesn’t get it. This should have been a teaching moment. The teachers refused to be taught or accept the lesson.”

According to Gibson, the ordeal took a huge toll on the family.

“Well, it took a tremendous toll. A lot of stress. A lot of financial toll,” she said. “It definitely, it definitely hit us hard.”

When asked what she hopes will be learned from the saga, Gibson said, “Well, I just hope that, if incidents occur, that people step back and try to find out what really happened and not jump to conclusions or listen to just a few to escalate something when it truly was not true.”


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