homepage logo

Woman suing Grill to amend, add to claims

By Staff | Mar 14, 2009

A Cape Coral woman suing Councilmember Eric Grill over work she says his company never did will likely amend and add to her claims next week, her lawyer said Friday.
Lisa Johnson, owner of Tropical Twisters Gymnastics, contracted with Grill’s company, Grand Cape Construction, in November 2007 to build a 7,000-square-foot gymnasium in north Cape Coral. She said she made an initial $2,500 payment and took out a $46,500 loan from Partners Bank in June to pay Grand Cape.
Johnson said Grill stopped returning her phone calls in August and failed to pay Honc Construction $20,000 for clearing and fill work done on the site. Honc subsequently placed a $20,000 lien on the property.
In December she fired Grill and hired a new contractor, and filed a criminal complaint with the Cape Coral Police Department, which was eventually passed to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Johnson followed up with a civil suit in February. The criminal investigation is ongoing; no charges have been filed.
Grill’s attorney, Bill Merchant, responded by filing a motion to dismiss on March 6, stating Johnson’s claims were convoluted, unclear, and unfounded.
Johnson’s attorney, Brian Hurt, said they will alter the original claims in response to the motion to dismiss.
“We’re going to amend the complaint and probably get it filed next week. It will probably contain more counts and more complaints,” Hurt said. He did not elaborate on the specifics as the details are still being drafted. Hurt said he anticipates a second motion to dismiss in response to the amended claims.
Grill has said he intended to honor his contracts with Johnson but has consistently declined to comment further on the case. Merchant could not be reached this week for comment.
If a second motion to dismiss is filed as Hurt foresees, it will fall upon Circuit Court Judge Michael McHugh to decide whether to dismiss the claim, send the case to court, or order mediation between the two parties.
Johnson said she anticipates the case will be sent to mediation.
“We’re pretty confident the judge is not going to allow the motion to dismiss and we’ll move on to mediation,” Johnson said.