Oberlin College to appeal $31.5M award to business owners

State News

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) — Oberlin College says it will appeal a $31.5 million award made to business owners who accused the school in court of ruining their business by encouraging protests against them and branding them racists.

The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria reports Oberlin’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to appeal. A school statement said it needs to protect free speech rights and that serious errors were made during the trial and by the jury.

Lorain County Judge John Miraldi previously rejected the school’s motions for summary judgment and a new trial. Miraldi in June cut the jury’s original $44 million damage award to $25 million, later adding $6.5 million for David and Allyn Gibson’s attorneys.

An attorney for the Gibsons says the appeal wasn’t surprising, but he added there are no exemptions for defamation.

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Information from: The Chronicle-Telegram, http://www.chronicletelegram.com

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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