Oberlin College Can't Get Insurance Companies to Reimburse It for Libel Payout

(AP Photo/Dake Kang)

It all began in 2016 when the son of the owner of Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio stopped three black Oberlin College students, one of whom was stealing wine bottles from the store.


Oberlin, one of the most radical left colleges in the United States, exploded. “Racial profiling!” “White supremacy!” You know the drill.

Students at Oberlin demonstrated against the bakery, including the Oberlin College Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, who enthusiastically got behind the smear that Gibson’s bakery was racist.

The black students pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2017 and said the actions of Allyn Gibson, the owner’s son, were not racially motivated.

In 2019 a Lorain County judge awarded Gibson’s a staggering $40 million in punitive and compensatory damage. That sum was later reduced to $25 million plus interest and plus legal fees.

Get woke, go incredibly broke.

But the story isn’t over. Apparently, the four insurance companies that were supposed to reimburse Oberlin for the payout are stiffing the college for more than $35 million.


The school filed the suit in Lorain County Common Pleas Court in April accusing the companies of wrongfully refusing to “to honor promises they made in their respective policies to protect the interests of Oberlin College” and the school’s former vice president and dean of students, Meredith Raimondo.

The college had $25 million in commercial umbrella liability coverage from Lexington and another $10 million from Mount Hawley. The school had an additional $5 million from StarStone and $25 million in overlapping educators legal liability coverage from United Educators, according to the lawsuit.


“These policies were intended to provide seamless coverage for lawsuits like the Gibson litigation,” the complaint says. “Unfortunately, the defendant insurers have failed to pay a penny toward the $36,590,572.48 sum that Oberlin paid the Gibson plaintiffs. They also have failed to pay for the full cost of Oberlin’s appeals, which were pursued at the behest of the insurers in order to reduce their collective exposure.”

Oh my. Schadenfreude is such a beyotch.  “Not a penny” is so delicious. The radical left hoisted by its own petard.

Oberlin says the insurers promised them “some, if not all, of the damages” would be covered. It’s sort of a relief to know that a large institution like Oberlin is treated the same way by insurance companies as the rest of us plebes are treated.

The lawsuit alleges Lexington and United Educators allegedly “engaged in a systematic, multi-year effort to avoid their coverage obligations by attempting to shift responsibility from the Gibson lawsuit to each other,” other insurance companies or the college.

Lexington and United Educators “both had numerous pretrial opportunities to resolve the underlying litigation for a small fraction of the eventual verdict” and could have settled the case for for less than $10 million before the trial, the school alleges. The college claims it even told the insurance companies to do so.


It appears that both Lexington and United Educators never had any intention of paying out anything — even a settlement. Bill Jacobson of Legal Insurrection discovered a “Motion to Intervene” in 2019 that strongly indicated that was their plan.

Oberlin won’t go under as a result of this huge payout. The school has a $1.2 billion endowment it can always tap into if it needs the cash. But at least, this could be a lesson in humility for the arrogant radicals.


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