ELYRIA — After nearly two weeks of testimony, the attorneys for Gibson’s Bakery rested their case Thursday morning in the civil trial against Oberlin College.
The testimony wrapped up with the cross-examination of David Gibson, one of the owners of the bakery. Gibson’s testimony started Tuesday, and the case was not in court Wednesday.
Thursday was the 10th day of the civil trial between the two sides. Gibson’s sued the college and Meredith Raimondo, vice president and dean of students of Oberlin College, for libel, interference with business relationships, interference with contracts, intentional infliction of emotional distress and trespass in 2017. The bakery also is suing the college for negligent hiring, retention and supervision.
During cross-examination, Gibson was questioned on whether he’d been present when a flyer was passed out that encouraged people to boycott the bakery and alleged the bakery was a “racist establishment” with a “long history of racial profiling” or whether he was present when the student senate passed a resolution that also said the bakery had a history of racial profiling.
Gibson said he had not been present when either document was created, and he also said he could not say if Raimondo had any part in the creation of either document.
Gibson also was asked whether he had ever asked Raimondo what her opinion was about the information in the flyer or the student senate resolution, which he answered he had. When asked what Raimondo’s response was, Gibson said the dean of students told him she wanted “to put it behind them.”
The rift between the bakery and the college began in 2016 when a student tried to buy alcohol with a fake ID and shoplift from Allyn D. Gibson, who is the son of the bakery’s owner, David Gibson. Allyn D. Gibson followed the student out of the store, and the two got into a physical altercation.
Two other students got involved, and police have said when they arrived the three students were hitting Allyn D. Gibson while he was on the ground.
Allyn D. Gibson is white and the students are black, and the incident escalated. All three students pleaded guilty in August 2017 to misdemeanor charges and read statements into the record acknowledging that Allyn D. Gibson was within his right to detain the shoplifter and that his actions were not racially motivated.
In the two days following the shoplifting incident, Oberlin College students protested in front of the bakery and passed out flyers urging people to boycott the bakery because of the bakery’s history of racial profiling. Oberlin College stopped ordering from the bakery after the protests before resuming in January 2017.
The college once again ceased ordering from Gibson’s after the lawsuit was filed in November 2017.
On Tuesday, David Gibson testified that Raimondo and Oberlin College Chief of Staff Ferdinand Protzman each gave him their business card, with their personal cell phone numbers written on them, and asked him to call them, rather than the police, when an Oberlin College student was caught shoplifting at the bakery.
On Thursday, the attorney for the college tried to get David Gibson to admit he had been given the cards and phone numbers and told to call them “anytime with any questions” he had. David Gibson denied that and reiterated he had been given the cards to call the administrators of the college rather than police.
When attorney Ron Holman told him that Raimondo probably would take the stand next week and refute his testimony, David Gibson said he wouldn’t change his testimony.
The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning with Oberlin College beginning to present its case to the jury.
- Oberlin dean suggests other witnesses provided mistaken accounts of Gibson's protests
- Gibsons unlikely to get $44M from Oberlin College
- Oberlin alumni letter predicts 'lengthy and complex legal process'
- Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: Jury awards more than $33 million punitive damages
- Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: Plaintiffs rest in second day of punitive phase (UPDATED)
- Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: More than $11 million awarded (UPDATED/VIDEO)
- Gibson family says jury award of $33 million in punitive damages is 'clear vindication' (VIDEO)
- Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College closing arguments set for Wednesday (UPDATED)
- Closing arguments next week in Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College
- Oberlin College witness testifies that Gibson's Bakery's losses are 'grossly inflated'
- Former Oberlin College president said he tried to solve Gibson's Bakery issue
- Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: Jury should get case today
- CPA says protests could lead to loss of $5.8 million for Gibson's Bakery
- David Gibson: College VP said college wants to put incident behind us
- Gibson's Bakery gains victories on evidence
- Gibsons' family friend testifies in bakery's trial against Oberlin College
- Gibson family says protest at bakery changed their lives
- Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: Meredith Raimondo testifies she didn't have control over students
- Day 3 of Gibson's v. Oberlin College trial sees former college employee testify for bakery
- Oberlin police chief: Riot team was almost called for Gibson's Bakery protest
- Attorneys say Oberlin College students made 'declaration of war' against Gibson's
- Opening statements could come this afternoon in Gibson's lawsuit against Oberlin College
- Jury selection set to start today in Gibson's suit
- Court filings delay start of Gibson's trial
- Jury selection for Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College suit expected to start Friday
- Oberlin College seeks to exclude items in Gibson's lawsuit
- Gibson's v. Oberlin College to go to trial
- Documents reveal attempts to 'smear the brand' of Gibson's
- Trial date set for Gibson's v. Oberlin College
- Oberlin College president to be installed Oct. 5
- Oberlin College to begin 'good neighbor' service plan for students
- Gibson's Bakery lawsuit stays in Lorain County
- Gibson's Bakery moves to block venue change
- Oberlin College wants lawsuit moved to Cuyahoga County
- Judge denies partial motion to dismiss Gibson's lawsuit against Oberlin College
- Gibson's Bakery responds to Oberlin College's court request
- Body camera footage shows aftermath of arrest at Oberlin business
- Oberlin College files motion to dismiss Gibson's lawsuit
- Gibson's Bakery struggling after loss of Oberlin College business, owner says
- Gibson's sues Oberlin College