For nearly a full two years, former Windy City Rehab co-hosts Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt have been embroiled in a number of lawsuits regarding homes they worked on for the HGTV hit. While some of the legal action taken against them has been resolved, a total resolution has yet to be achieved, and a new decision by a judge has led to their problems piling up.
Even for fans of Windy City Rehab, the number of lawsuits filed against Alison Victoria and / or Donovan Eckhardt has likely been difficult to keep up with since mid-July of 2019. Each of them have dealt with numerous court filings, appointments and hearings by now, but things have come to a standstill, seeing as how a judge has delayed a decision in an important matter to their cases.
According to the Chicago Tribune, on June 9, Eckhardt had his attorney file an emergency motion for “immediate action” so that the former partners could secure a receiver to “manage and wind down” everything to do with Alovan, the company they own together so they could renovate homes as a unit. The motion came about because of the suit brought against Victoria and Eckhardt in June of 2020 by Michael Ward Jr., his brother Thomas Ward, and their father Michael Ward Sr., who alleged that their investments to the company were actually part of "a deliberate and fraudulent scheme to misappropriate funds," among other things.
This receiver would be a person with no stake in the outcome of the case, who'd be appointed by the judge to take over Alovan's property and assets until a decision in the Ward's case can be made. But, Judge Allen Price Walker delayed a decision in appointing a receiver, setting July 9 as the date to revisit the motion, noting that the parties involved should be close to resolving the case by then, or not.
While it might not seem like a big deal to have to wait what amounts to a few days for the judge to decide about the receiver, it led attorneys for all parties to quite a discussion on the matter in court. The Ward family attorney called the motion itself “unnecessary and, frankly, unfounded,” because they and Eckhardt had, apparently, already been engaged "in good-faith settlement discussions," and worried about the family now having to incur even more legal fees because of the delay.
Meanwhile, one of Eckhardt's lawyers said the motion was only filed because one of the attorneys for Alison Victoria threatened to file a third-party complaint against Eckhardt in the matter. Apparently, such a filing would have complicated and further slowed the negotiations between Eckhardt and the Wards, and he filed the motion for a receiver to avoid that.
The new date for the decision was set because that's also the date for the one other case against Alison Victoria and Donovan Eckhardt's joint business venture which still stands, a fraud suit filed by James and Anna Morrissey in January 2020. That lawsuit claims that the duo is guilty of consumer fraud, and breach of warranty and contract, along with "defective and shoddy work," and is looking for roughly $65,000 in damages because of additional money the couple had to spend to fix problems caused by Victoria and Eckhardt's renovation.
There will likely be a lot more to come with regards to the Windy City Rehab legal trouble for Donovan Eckhardt and Alison Victoria, and we'll keep you posted on the latest.