ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge has drastically reduced multimillion-dollar jury awards for business owners who accused Oberlin College officials of ruining their livelihoods by encouraging protests against them and branding them as racists.
A Lorain County judge ruled Thursday that David Gibson should receive $14 million in compensatory and punitive damages, his father and family patriarch Allyn Gibson $6.5 million, and their Oberlin business, Gibson's Bakery, $4.5 million.
The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports Oberlin College officials told alumni Thursday the school can pay the judgment amount but hopes it will be reduced further. The school was originally ordered to pay $44 million.
The Gibsons' attorney argued Ohio's punitive damage caps are unconstitutional in this case.
The protests occurred after three black students were arrested for assaulting David Gibson's son, who is white, after he caught one of them shoplifting.
Information from: The Chronicle-Telegram, http://www.chronicletelegram.com