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Ohio Bakery Awarded $33M in Damages in Libel Case Against Oberlin College

An Ohio jury on Thursday awarded Gibson’s Bakery $33 million in punitive damages in a libel suit against Oberlin College, Cleveland.com reports. The total amount of damages in the case stands at $40 million after the jury found the university and VP Meredith Raimondo were liable for defamation and other charges last Friday. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2017, stemmed from 2016 student protests in which the bakery owners were called racist for their handling of an altercation involving three black students. The bakery accused Oberlin professors of participating in the demonstrations, with Raimondo accused of handing out flyers labeling the bakery owners as racist. The three black students who were involved in the confrontation with the bakery's white employee over the use of a fake ID later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and read a statement saying the incident was not “racially motivated.” “The jury recognized what happened to the Gibsons should not have happened to anyone, but could happen to everyone if truth no longer matters in America,” Lee Plakas, an attorney for the bakery, said.