Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
Gibson's Bakery, which was falsely accused of racism by Oberlin College officials and won a multi-million-dollar verdict, has finally received the money it is owed after more than three years of waiting.
Legal Insurrection's William Jacobson confirmed with the bakery's lawyers that the family has finally received its share of the more than $36 million it was awarded by a jury in 2019 after suing Oberlin. Sadly, as Jacobson noted, David Gibson and "Grandpa"
Allyn Gibson died before the money was ever collected.
Oberlin announced in September that it had initiated the $36 million payment to the bakery. Gibson's attorneys told The Daily Wire at the time that the money had been transferred into an account and lawyers were working on dispersing the funds. Those funds have now been dispersed, which means the bakery can continue to operate, as it was quickly running out of money after losing contracts with Oberlin following the legal saga.
As for what the bakery will do with the money, Lorna Gibson, whose husband David died after the trial but before Oberlin had exhausted all of its appeals, told The Daily Wire in October that she has no plans to shut down or move the store and live off of the money.
"This store has been here for over 137 years and is a stable part of this community,"
Lorna said. "My husband gave his life for this store and I'm not about to let it go down."
Lorna told The Daily Wire that because the money had not been dispersed yet, the store was still struggling. She said the "shelves are pretty much empty"
and they were down to just three employees. Students and faculty at Oberlin still avoid the store, and the family detailed the extent of the college's continued campaign against the bakery in one of their earlier court filings.
"The continuing conduct of which the Gibsons have become aware and which has brought the Gibsons to their knees include the following: Oberlin College's authorized new student tour guides are still being heard to say don't shop at Gibsons Bakery when the tours pass in front of the store; neither the College, its administrators, nor its professors have resumed any ordering of the Gibson's products for College events; and notices still denigrating the Gibsons are posted in College buildings for students and their families to see,"
the Gibsons wrote in a motion before Oberlin was forced to pay the damages it owed the family.
But while Oberlin students and employees continue to snub the bakery, Lorna said that alumni and people from the community and around the country have been helping the business survive, while also expressing disappointment in how Oberlin handled the situation.
"We have received amazing and overwhelming support,"
Lorna said, but noted that no current students or faculty have reached out to apologize or offer support.
"It's been tough,"
Lorna said. "Real, real hard. My husband loved his job. He was in the candy store just five days before he died. My father-in-law also loved the store and everyone who walked by would sit down and talk to him. But after everything happened with Oberlin, he would sit out front and no one would talk to him. It was heartbreaking."
According to Legal Insurrection, a jury awarded the Gibsons $25 million plus interest and attorney's fees for a total of nearly $32 million (this was after state caps on damages). Interest accrued at about $4,000 per day following the June 2019 verdict, which put the final total at more than $36 million.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Oberlin has never apologized to the Gibsons for how the college treated the family. In its announcement that it had initiated payment to the family, Oberlin bragged that the damages were merely a drop in the bucket for the school.
"The size of this verdict is significant. However, our careful financial planning, which includes insurance coverage, means that we can satisfy our legal obligation without impacting our academic and student experience,"
the college's press release said.