Jury Awards Millions to Willmar Company 30 Nov 13

A Kandiyohi County jury awarded Relco LLC, of Willmar, a total of $22.78 million, finding that two former employees took trade secrets from the dairy and food processing equipment company and used the information at a competitive Wisconsin company.

In a verdict returned October 25th, the West Central Tribune reports the jury found that former Relco employees Roger Ochsner and Troy Gascoigne and the company they went to work for, Cheese Systems Inc. and Custom Fabricating and Repair, of Marshfield, Wis., took and used Relco’s trade secrets for equipment to concentrate and dry dairy permeate and lactose to compete with the Willmar-based company.

The jury also found that Ochsner and Gascoigne breached their non-compete contracts with Relco by taking confidential computer files and that Cheese Systems and Custom Fabricating interfered with Relco’s current or prospective contracts with customers.