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Attorney for Gibson's Bakery Expects Oberlin College to Fight Jury Decision

Historic Oberlin College Building
A Lorain County jury ruled against Oberlin College and ordered it to pay Gibson's Bakery $44 million in damages.

The attorney who represented an Oberlin merchant in a successful lawsuit against Oberlin College expects the school to fight a $44 million dollar jury award. 

Lee Plakas sued the college on behalf of the Gibson family, which owns Gibson’s Bakery

Gibson’s argued that Oberlin College defamed the business after a shoplifting incident in 2016 involving a black student. Plakas says Oberlin College refuses to admit its role in implicating Gibson’s as racist.

“The great majority of people that are viewing this case, recognizes that they have been wrong, they are mistaken. And, they have not yet come to the point where they will accept the lessons that the jury tried to teach them.”

Oberlin College did not return a call for comment. The school has maintained that college officials got involved in protests following the incident only to keep the peace and support students.

Attorneys Lee Plakas and Owen Rarric spoke more about the implications of the verdict in this video. 


Phillip was born in Cleveland but raised in Kent. He is an undergraduate student at Kent State majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications and will be graduating in Spring 2020. Currently, he is an intern at WKSU working to enhance and diversify his journalistic skills. Phillip plans on using both TV and radio platforms to not only analyze and discuss sports but also help bring people from all walks of life together to bridge the gap between sports and society.
A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.