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Judge rejects dismissal request for suit against Grill

By Staff | May 14, 2009

A civil lawsuit against Cape Coral City Councilmember Eric Grill will proceed after a motion to dismiss the suit, filed by his lawyer, was rejected Wednesday.
Lisa Johnson, owner of Tropical Twisters Gymnastics, filed suit against Grill in January, alleging he took $50,000 to build a new gym but never did the work.
Attorney William Merchant’s dismissal request alleged that Johnson’s complaint is not explicit and unfairly charges Grill personally, instead of his company, Grand Cape Construction.
Circuit Court Judge Michael T. McHugh disagreed.
“It was a good day. The judge felt we had enough evidence and a reasonable cause to go forward,” Johnson said.
Grill has 20 days to respond to Johnson’s complaint.
He has consistently declined to comment on the case publicly, saying only that he “intended to honor the contract.”
Merchant did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
McHugh also ruled that attorneys for Johnson will be able to depose Grill.
Johnson said she is hoping to discover when Grill is questioned where the money for the gym went.
“I want to find out where is the money, where are the receipts, what did you spend it on,” she said.
Johnson estimated Wednesday that a date for the deposition will be set in the next six weeks.
Meanwhile, she is pressing ahead with her new 7,000-square-foot facility. After firing Grill in December, Johnson contracted with Hammer Construction to build the gym.
Now, 18 months after she originally contracted with Grand Cape Construction to build the gym, the project is ready to move forward.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at 307 S.W. Seventh Place.
“On what used to be dirt, we actually have progress now,” Johnson said.
A criminal investigation into Johnson’s complaint, originally filed in December with the Cape police department, is being conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.