Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sorry You Anti SJW Assholes. The Verdict in Gibson v. Oberlin College is Fragile, if not D.O.A.

Gibson v. Oberlin Verdict can Not Be Allowed to Stand.

I have been fascinated with this story, since I first learned about it.  In sum, a local bakery/store near Oberlin College was boycotted and picketed by students, after some students got caught shoplifting.  Part of the complaint about the business was that they were racists, and had a history of racial profiling.  That kinda shit.  Now, for awhile, the school stopped doing business with the bakery.  But then they started doing business with them again.  Then the bakery sued the school.  And that is one of the most important parts of the story that often gets left out.  The real reason Gibson's no longer has any of the college's business, is because they sued the college, and the college cut off the spigot.

The essay I have linked here is a good fact based argument as to why the verdict should not be allowed to stand.  And here, I will say why I believe the first appellate court and the following one or ones  (I don't know shit about Ohio's judiciary) should throw out the verdict.  As the writer of that essay  says, this verdict leaves all colleges and universities open to suit for what is really student conduct.  (In Ohio at least.  The case is only precedent in Ohio.  And there they have a weird but not perhaps unique allowance to sue based on aiding and abetting  defamation.) 

And who would be most at risk in Ohio if this ruling is allowed to stand?  Why that would be the people of the Great State of Ohio!  The University System of Ohio has over 500,000 students these days.  So will the appellate courts  leave the State open to suits like that? I don't think so.  An unofficial part of the job of being a judge in the state system is,"Thou shalt not cause the state to lose money if it can be avoided."  And let us describe the nightmare scenario.  Not only can butt sore townies sue, or invited speakers to campus, but in the age of the Internet, anyone, anywhere could file a suit against The University System of Ohio, if they say they were defamed and some student used school property to allegedly do so (like the servers that connect to the Internet) in their protest, or boycott, whatnot.  And that is a lot of exposure for the State.

But wait, there's more.  There is the other downside to letting the verdict stand. The University System of Ohio would have to crack down on students' 1st Amendment protected speech.  So that means exposure to more lawsuits that way too!

I am sure the trial judge and the jury felt sorry for the Gibsons.  But I fully expect the higher courts to say, sorry kids, you don't get a penny.  It's not that appellate courts do not care about individuals.  But it is not their job to give a fuck about that shit;  their job is to view things from the institutional level.  And a precedent that leaves The University System of Ohio, and all other Ohio colleges with their cheeks spread wide open is something that must be overruled, from the institutional view.

Now there is some other tangent I will only mention.  And that is the Anti SJW crowd loves the verdict here, because  they love the idea of sticking to those people.  And the college administrators  might have been assholish here.  But that by itself is not a tort.

And now I will make my last point.  At minimum I expect a higher court to void the damages award.  They should, truth be told, rule that the trial judge erred in not granting summary judgment on all counts, before letting this shitty case go to a jury.  But at minimum, the argument for damages was ass backwards.

Oberlin College aided and abetted some of it's students defamation of the Gibsons.  And then for a while, based on the defamation Oberlin College aided and abetted in, Gibsons lost money they should have earned from continuing to do business with Oberlin College.  Never mind the fact that Oberlin College later resumed doing business with the Gibsons. Oberlin College finally stopped doing business with the Gibsons after we, the Gibsons  sued them.  So give us millions of dollars.


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