Another day, another lawsuit for “Windy City” Rehab host Alison Victoria Gramenos.
A Wicker Park couple is suing Gramenos, her former contractors Donovan Eckhardt and Ermin Pajazetovic and HGTV for fraud over work performed at their $1.3 million home.
The lawsuit centers around a garage that homeowners Shane Jones and Samantha Mostaccio say they paid Gramenos extra for during their home renovation. According to the lawsuit, the couple said Gramenos initially quoted them $15,000 to convert the garage into a workout studio, but increased the price to $37,000. They say the work wasn’t completed on time, and it caused water damage in the garage, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Jones and Mostaccio also say Gramenos and her contractors didn’t obtain the proper permits when it began demolishing the garage, and a stop-work order was issued. Because the roof remained open, the garage door no longer works and the gas lines rusted, the lawsuit claims. They accused Pajazetovic of painting over the rust to hide it from a city inspector. The garage failed inspection anyway.
In a statement to the Tribune, Gramenos’ attorney said the dispute centers on the garage project and not Gramenos’ original design of the house. However, the homeowners told the newspaper that 10 days after closing in April 2019 rainwater damaged the home and caused mold and cracked concrete columns.
Jones and Mostaccio want to exchange the home at 1700 W. Wabansia Ave. and be reimbursed for repairs and attorney fees. They claim they lost $4,000 a month in income because Mostaccio, a personal trainer and Pilates instructor, was not able to use the studio.
The suit is just the latest legal action swirling around the popular HGTV program. Gramenos and Eckhardt are no longer working together following a bombshell lawsuit from a Lincoln Park couple to claim that their $1.36 million house was plagued by leaks and shoddy workmanship.
Eckhardt is also embroiled in a lawsuit with Pajazetovic, who claims he was not paid for completed work. Gramenos is also suing a notary public whom she claims forged her signature on loan documents, operating agreements and lien waivers.
Chicago’s Department of Buildings also issued numerous stop-work orders that have prevented Gramenos and her new team from taking on new projects. In a conversation with a podcast host last week, Gramenos said she was concerned about Covid-19’s potential impact on business.
The second season of “Windy City Rehab” is expected to premiere in July. [Tribune] — James Kleimann