A Chicago couple suing the stars of hit show "Windy City Rehab" now want to add HGTV's parent company to the suit.
The Chicago Tribune reports a motion was filed in court to amend the complaint by James and Anna Morrissey to include Discovery, Inc. No decision was made on the motion but another hearing is slated for February, the publication reports.
The Morrisseys purchased a luxury home spotlighted on the HGTV show “Windy City Rehab” but now allege a series of problems with the $1.36 million property.
Their lawsuit named Alison Gramenos, who also goes by Alison Victoria, along with her co-star Donovan Eckhardt and his company Greymark Development Group on Dec. 30 in Cook County Circuit Court.
The couple's attorney, Nicole Daniel at Dinsmore & Sholh, said in a statement the Morrisseys "allege that Discovery violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by endorsing, sponsoring or promoting Gramenos and Eckhardt as competent real estate developers when they were the exact opposite."
"The Morrisseys are asking for Discovery to cover the damages they suffered as a result of the numerous defects at their property and a permanent injunction prohibiting Discovery from continuing to misrepresent Gramenos and Eckhardt on their television networks or media platforms," the statement read.
But an attorney for Gramenos called the move "strange."
"The Morrissey’s don’t claim to have learned anything that would explain why they didn’t include Discovery, Inc. in the first place, so that’s strange," attorney Daniel Lynch said in a statement Friday. "Also, they are complaining about home repair issues. Why would Discovery, Inc. be liable for that? For putting pictures of the house on the show? If so, why not blame the cable companies that carry the show or the TV set makers on which the Morrissey’s viewed the show."
The suit alleges the Chicago couple first noticed issues in the Lincoln Square home they purchased one day after closing on the property last March. They noted an upstairs hallway bathroom leaked and drained through the kitchen ceiling whenever it was used.
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A few days later, the couple said “a substantial amount of water” started leaking through the exterior masonry and windows at the property. In the months following, the couple said water began pooling on the property, impacting their neighbor’s lot as well, and larges areas of mortar on the exterior walls “were deteriorating or completely missing.”
According to the suit, the pair were told repairs would ultimately be made on the home and the costs would be covered.
Still, in December, the couple said several issues remained.
In a voicemail in November, Gramenos told the couple she only designed the space but was “not surprised” by the construction issues, the suit states.
The couple later received a check from Alison Victoria Interiors and a second from Greymark Development to pay for the cost of some of the estimated roof repairs. Victoria’s check ultimately cleared, but the check form Greymark Development “was returned and dishonored for insufficient funds,” the suit states.
In a text message sent a few days later, Gramenos told the couple she would cover Eckhardt’s portion if she has to because she does “not want him to f--- with my life or business any more than he already has,” the suit shows.
The couple said they still have not received the remaining $15,625.15 for roof and masonry work on the home. They also claim interior window frames damaged from the leaks have not been repaired and the bathroom continues to leak water and “remains unusable.”
Their suit alleges the stars’ “unfair and deceptive practices” and “shoddy” construction were a breach of contract, breach of warranty and fraud.
The couple said they want their contract rescinded as well as additional money for upgrades they paid for and the cost of landscaping. They are also asking for looking for an unspecified amount in damages.
Gramenos, Eckhardt and HGTV did not respond to NBC 5’s requests for comment on the matter, but Daniel said Gramenos and Alison Victoria Interiors, Inc. have reported to media outlets that they would like to purchase the property back.
"Neither has responded to Plaintiffs’ requests for this to be done," however, Daniel said.
The suit is not the first hiccup to hit the show and its stars in Chicago.
Last year, Chicago officials suspended permit privileges for both Gramenos and Eckhardt following problems with some of their construction projects.
At the time, HGTV said in a statement that issues related to the show were “carefully reviewed” and “appropriate parties are in communication with local building officials and working to resolve any outstanding issues.”
Gramenos later wrote on social media that she had “new general contractors” and was working closely with the city to “repair and amend any and all permits.”
“"The building department says they are pleased with our efforts and we will continue to work closely together to move in the right direction,” her Instagram post read.
Gramenos is currently filming the second season of “Windy City Rehab,” which HGTV said debuted as one of its highest-rated freshman series in more than a year. The show garnered more than 9.3 million viewers within a month of its January premiere last year.
Gramenos, who previously hosted “Kitchen Crashers” on HGTV, called it her “dream to flip houses” in her hometown.