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Oberlin College Seeks New Trial After Order To Pay $25 Million

In this Nov. 22, 2017 photo, pedestrians pass the storefront of Gibson's Food Mart & Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio.
Dake Kang
/
Associated Press

Oberlin College is seeking a new trial after being ordered to pay $25 million to the owners of a market who accused the Ohio school of ruining their business by encouraging protests and branding them racists after a shoplifting incident involving black students.

Oberlin alleges a variety of legal and procedural errors, including the court not moving the trial from Lorain County and the jury awarding "excessive damages." The college says those errors led to "wildly excessive verdicts influenced by passion and prejudice."

The Gibsons' lawyers oppose the retrial request, calling it "baseless."

A jury this summer awarded Gibson's and its owners $44 million. A judge cut the total because of a cap on damages but added $6.5 million in attorney fees.