Farmer's ex-wife loses case against the farm's accountant
Judith Zwerk sued Walter Don Zehnder in Saginaw Circuit Court after Zehnder removed her name from the farm's corporate books, eliminating her ownership of stock. After a number of complicated rulings, the jury ruled that Zehnder had committed a form of silent fraud by not disclosing his "succession plan" maneuvering to Zwerk, but that Zwerk had suffered no damages as a result: it appears that the jury determined that Zwerk's damages had been fully compensated by adjustments to the marital estate in her divorce.
Zwerk appealed but the jury's decision was upheld. The Court held that the lower court did not err in allowing Zehnder to testify that he thought Zwerk knew about his actions and approved. It also held that the trial judge did not err in admitting the pleadings from the divorce action.