Wisconsin Supreme Court: Menards founder’s ex-fiancee doesn’t deserve ownership

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MADISON — The Wisconsin Supreme Court says the founder of the Menards building supply stores doesn’t owe his former fiancee an ownership interest in the company.

Debra Sands filed a lawsuit in 2008, alleging that John Menard promised her an ownership share in exchange for her work at the company while they were involved in a romantic relationship and during their engagement.

A state appeals court ruled in 2016 that Sands didn’t deserve an ownership share in the company or damages. The Supreme Court upheld that decision Friday, ruling that Sands and Menard weren’t engaged in a joint enterprise. The court also says Sands failed to show her contributions increased Menard’s assets.

The attorney for John Menard’s former fiancée says he’s disappointed with a Wisconsin Supreme Court finding that she doesn’t deserve an ownership share in his home improvement store chain.

Sands’ attorney, Daniel Shulman, says he disagree with the ruling. He says plenty of evidence shows she worked “day and night” for Menard’s business ventures and took care of his personal life.

According to Forbes, Menards is the nation’s third-largest home improvement chain.