The Chicago-based home renovation hit Windy City Rehab has millions of fans who've been following not just the show, but the myriad of lawsuits brought against the show's hosts, Donovan Eckhardt and Alison Victoria, and the various companies they own / operate. Viewers watched in Season 2 as all of the legal troubles helped to bring down the partnership between Eckhardt and Victoria, and now one of those suits against the show's former contractor has led to Eckhardt having to pay up, as Victoria is set to film new episodes for Season 2.
There are still a number of legal cases pending against both Donovan Eckhardt and Alison Victoria because of several of the builds they completed for Windy City Rehab's first two seasons. While fans have been wondering if all of the legal activity would stop the show from moving forward, Victoria will be back with an additional set of nine episodes later this year. But, in September, plumbing supply company Crawford Supply Group, filed suit against Eckhardt alone. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the business sued for nonpayment, and a judge recently ordered Eckhardt to pay up to the tune of $11,858.69, and also pay for attorney fees of nearly $4,000.
Lawyer Michael D. Weis, who represented Crawford Supply Group in the proceedings, said that several attempts were made at giving Donovan Eckhardt notice of the lawsuit in person, but to no avail. Finally, they left a copy of the filing on his doorstep, and sent another through the mail in an effort to make sure he was aware of the lawsuit. But, Eckhardt never responded before the court dates and didn't come to any of the virtual hearings, so the judge issued a default judgement ordering him to pay up.
According to Weis, after the ruling was delivered he received a voicemail message from Eckhardt about the case, and is now playing phone tag with him. As long as Eckhardt acts within 30 days of the judgement, he can ask to have it vacated. This would make the ruling legally void and lead to new court proceedings, but, this is usually dependent on the party seeking the vacated judgement providing solid evidence as to why they skipped any previous hearings.
As noted previously, Donovan Eckhardt is likely overwhelmed with legal proceedings right now. On top of the many suits which were brought against him, his company and Alison Victoria over the work they did for Windy City Rehab, Eckhardt filed a suit of his own in January 2021. The contractor, who left the show during Season 2 when it appeared that he'd misappropriated funds, filed suit against HGTV's parent company, as well as the production company for the series, Big Table Media, for defamation and emotional distress, and is looking for a settlement of at least $2.2 million.
Per Donovan Eckhardt's filing, he's claiming that all of the legal troubles from the show go back to the "aggressive filming and production deadlines" for the series, which "led to a theme of constant crisis management" as he and his workers tried to finish several construction projects. He's also alleging that Windy City Rehab making it look like he stole money and having Alison Victoria seem like an "unknowing, innocent victim" are incorrect, and says she was "intimately involved in the creation of every budget” and the “procurement of every loan."
He did not list Victoria as a defendant in the case, however.
As all of the legal issues with the series continue, fans will be glad to know that HGTV has ordered an additional nine episodes of Windy City Rehab as an extension of Season 2, and will show Alison Victoria picking up the pieces of her business after her split from Donovan Eckhardt. The new episodes are set to debut sometime toward the end of this year.