College falsely shouts racism, now wants OTHERS to pay $36 million

August 8, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Oberlin College, an enclave of extreme liberalism whose leaders staged a years-long attack falsely alleging racism against the innocent owners of a nearby bakery, lost big time in court.

WND reported last year when the school was shamed into paying the $36.5 million it owed the bakery owners for a years-long defamatory war against them.

The essence of the dispute was that Oberlin officials falsely claimed, over and over for years, that the owners of Gibson's bakery, which is near the campus, were racist when they were not.

Now the school is demanding its insurers pay back what it spent on the damages, as well as all of its legal costs.

The Chronicle-Telegram said the school is in Lorain County Common Pleas Court to force four companies to pay it back for the multi-million-dollar judgment, as well as its lawyers' fees.

The companies named are Lexington Insurance Company of New York; United Educators Insurance of Bethesda, Maryland; Mount Hawley Insurance Company of Peoria, Illinois; and StarStone Specialty Insurance Company of Cincinnati.

The school claims the insurance companies didn't "honor promises they made in their respective policies to protect the interests of Oberlin College" and its officials, including ex-dean of students Meredith Raimondo.

Oberlin, during its long attack on the Gibson family that owns the bakery, said it had insurance for "at least $75 million" in coverage. It said that was "more than enough" to pay the judgment and defense costs.

The policies were described as $25 million in commercial umbrella liability coverage from Lexington; $10 million from Mount Hawley; $5 million from StarStone; and $25 million in overlapping educators' legal liability coverage from United Educators.

Now the school is accusing the insurers of engaging in "a systematic, multi-year effort to avoid their coverage obligations."

The college claims the insurers could have settled for less than $10 million before trial, and urged them to do so, but they refused.

The report explained the verdict and damages "stemmed from the aftermath of student protests over the arrest of Oberlin College student Jonathan Aladin in November 2016. Aladin tried to buy wine from the bakery with a fake ID, was chased out of the store, and assaulted clerk Allyn Gibson — the son and grandson of its owners."

A jury gave the family owners $44 million in damages, reduced to $25 million by a law setting caps on monetary damages. It then rose to $36 million because of the interest during the time the college refused to pay the judgment.

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley noted the school "needlessly" spent millions on litigation "rather than admit that the college was wrong."

He pointed out that Raimondo "reportedly joined the massive protests and even handed out a flier denouncing the bakery as a racist business. When some pointed out that the students admitted they were guilty, special assistant to the president for community and government relations Tita Reed (who also reportedly participated in the protests) wrote that it did not change a 'damn thing.'"

He explained, "[The school president] and her board may have assumed that they could just treat this as someone else’s costs — the insurance companies, the alumni, the students. A denial of coverage could force the school to internalize the costs of this colossal failure of leadership. Since the leadership was unmoved by appeals to decency and fairness for years, a financial deterrent may be just what the college needs to change its conduct."

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