JURY awards former Koch Petroleum worker $8 million in asbestos case

Wednesday, May 16th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A jury has awarded $8 million to a former Koch Petroleum Group worker and his family who argued that asbestos at the company's Rosemount refinery caused his cancer.

Joseph Akin, 70, was awarded $4 million in damages. His wife was awarded $4 million for future loss of companionship in what his attorney's described as the state's largest asbestos award.

The jury found that A.P.I. Inc. of St. Paul negligently sold asbestos products to the Koch refinery without adequate warnings, which caused Akin's health problems. Akin developed mesothelioma, a rare cancer usually associated with asbestos.

The jury found A.P.I. to be 60 percent responsible for Akin's injuries, while Koch and Hickory Insulation, now out-of-business, were each 20 percent responsible.

A.P.I. attorney Bill Beadie said the company is planning an appeal.