Author Topic: EXCLUSIVE: Oberlin College insurer likely to reject coverage for Gibson Bakery  (Read 7950 times)

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Offline Muddling 2

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 $11 million verdict>

Oh, my.

"A jury has awarded Gibson’s Bakery and its owners $11 million in compensatory damages against Oberlin College, for libel, intentional interference with business, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The punitive damage hearing next week could add another $22 million, bringing the total to $33 million.


There will be post-trial motions to set aside the jury verdict and/or reduce the dollar amounts, and then appeals. So while the Gibson family won a major victory, it is not over.

An obvious question, and one a lot of people have been asking, is whether the college has liability insurance to cover the verdict.

Based on court filings obtained by Legal Insurrection Foundation, it appears that the insurer, Lexington Insurance Company, is likely to disclaim coverage for the intentional torts which gave rise to the verdict.

The likelihood of refusal to cover the verdict was revealed in a May 1, 2019, Motion to Intervene (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post) filed by Lexington Insurance Company.

The purpose of the motion, according to Lexington, was “for the limited purpose of submitting interrogatories to the jury in order to determine facts at issue in this action that would impact coverage under its policy.”

Here is an excerpt from Lexington’s motion setting forth the nature of the insurance coverage (emphasis added):

Lexington issued a Commercial Umbrella Liability policy that potentially provides coverage to defendants Oberlin College aka Oberlin College and Conservatory (“Oberlin”) and Meredith Raimondo for certain damages in this action. Lexington seeks intervention in this action for the limited purpose of submitting interrogatories to the jury in order to determine facts at issue in this action that would impact coverage under its policy.

The Lexington policy does not provide coverage for “bodily injury” or “property damage” intentionally caused by defendants. While the Lexington policy potentially provides coverage in relation to “personal and advertising injury,” defined to include defamation and/or disparagement in certain circumstances, the Lexington policy excludes any such coverage if “personal and advertising injury” is caused “with the knowledge that the act would violate the rights of another … ,” or if the insured published material it knew to be false. Further, the Lexington policy provides coverage for punitive damages insurable by law, but only where the corresponding award of compensatory damages is also covered by the Lexington policy. In this action, plaintiffs Gibson Bros., Inc., Allyn Gibson, and David Gibson allege that defendants Oberlin and Ms. Raimondo published material that falsely characterized the bakery owned by plaintiffs (“Gibson’s”) as being a racist establishment. While such allegations potentially implicate “personal and advertising injury,” plaintiffs also alleged that the statements were published with malice, were intended to injure plaintiffs’ business reputation, and were part of a purported campaign to harm plaintiffs. If it is established that the defendants knew the alleged statements were false, or if the defendants knew their alleged acts would violate plaintiffs’ rights, the Lexington policy would exclude coverage for any resultant damage. Thus, Lexington seeks to intervene in order to submit jury interrogatories to determine the extent of the defendants’ knowledge in relation to the alleged publications.

Further, the Lexington policy provides coverage for punitive damages only when the punitive damages are assessed relative to covered compensatory damages. Here, plaintiffs seek punitive damages for the claims of libel, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and trespass. Only the libel claim is potentially embraced by the Lexington policy. Thus, Lexington seeks to intervene in order to submit jury interrogatories and instructions to determine what punitive damages, if any, correspond to each cause of action."

Balance of article at the link:
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Offline SVPete

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In addition to the policy terms excluding paying for judgments for tortious behavior, state law may also forbid insurance covering such behavior.

Oberlin needs to have its endowment diminished if it slanders/libels people.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 08:03:44 AM by SVPete »
Facts don't matter to DUpipo

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Offline Ptarmigan

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What got Oberlin College sued.

COPS AND COURTS Oberlin police chief: Riot team was almost called for Gibson's Bakery protest

ELYRIA — As the November 2016 protests outside of Gibson’s Bakery by Oberlin College students continued to escalate, Oberlin police considered calling in the county’s riot team to break up the crowd, a former Oberlin police sergeant testified.

Victor Ortiz, who was with Oberlin police at the time of the protests, said he and other officers were at the scene of the protests to try to maintain order. As a sergeant, Ortiz said other officers from the department were coming to him for direction.

“The officers would come to me and say, ‘Hey, this is really disorderly; we should make arrests,’ and I said, ‘Absolutely not,’” Ortiz testified. “We were so far outnumbered; there was no way. That would have been like putting gasoline on a fire.”

Here is an interesting part.
The incident became racially charged because Allyn Gibson is white and the students are black. All three students pleaded guilty in August to misdemeanor charges and read statements into the record acknowledging that Allyn Gibson was within his right to detain the shoplifter and that his actions were not racially motivated.

Henry Wallace, who retired from the Oberlin Police Department in December after years of serving as a community service officer, said he was in Gibson’s Bakery “basically daily.”

Wallace, who is black, said he’s never felt a hint of racism while at the bakery.

Oberlin College fined $11M in bakery racial profiling case

An Ohio jury on Friday slapped Oberlin College with an $11.2 million damages penalty for siding with three black students who had claimed they were victims of racial profiling after they were caught shoplifting in 2016, a report said.

The liberal arts college must pay the massive compensatory damages award to the family-owned Gibson’s Bakery, where the three students had been arrested for attempting to steal or buy alcohol with a false ID.

The arrests were met with massive protests by students and faculty at the school.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 10:37:01 AM by Ptarmigan »
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Offline harry12

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I think this is amazing, The Oberlin (Institution) departed it's declaed purpose as an
educational institution, to become a racist tainted, crowd mongering political institution.
Any moneys awarded the defendants in this action should come directly out of the
Colleges funds, not Lexington (which is what lexington in inferring).  Should the
award cause damage to the colleges ability to operate at it's current level, should
be sufficient reason for the Trustee's to dismiss the educators (communist rable rousers).
Oh!  with prejudice
"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery"