A Columbia Records executive says he wasn’t able to live in his posh $2.3 million East Village apartment for six months after he was sickened by “toxic dust” in the unit, new court papers show.
Julian Swirsky said he bought the two-bedroom unit in February last year in the new 32 East 1st Street building that touted its luxury amenities including a spa, sauna, steam room and state-of-the-art gym replete with Peloton equipment, according to his Manhattan Supreme Court from Friday.
But Swirsky’s 1,089-square-foot pad was uninhabitable “because of construction defects that poisoned the air with carcinogens and toxic dust,” the suit says.
Swirsky — who last month was hired as a senior vice president at the record label, Variety reported — had to do the necessary remediation and repairs to the apartment in December in order to move in because building management, the co-op and co-op sponsor failed to do so, the court papers say.
But soon after he started living in the unit, his health took a turn for the worse, the suit says.
Swirsky began experiencing “severe respiratory problems and skin irritation, including swelling and ugly red blotches” when using the air conditioner, the suit says. The conditions subsided whenever he was traveling and reemerged when he came home, the filing alleges.
He hired an inspector — after the building intentionally suppressed the findings of its own investigation — and discovered that “massive amounts” of construction debris and dust had been left in the HVAC system ducts including lead, gypsum, minerals and known lung cancer causing mineral quartz, the suit claims.
In fact, the quartz levels were eight times higher than normal in one of his rooms and 10 times higher in another, the filing alleges.
The lawsuit claims there are other problems in the building as well, including “persistent leaks,” mold in other units, defective flooring, and “a failure to complete the supposedly first-class amenities, including the spa.”
“Having had success in his career, Swirsky was looking to take some of his hard-earned money and buy an apartment in one of the high-end newly constructed buildings in New York City with luxury owner amenities, believing that would be the best fit for his lifestyle, which includes lots of client entertainment and travel,” the suit explains.
Swirsky says there was a “massive cover-up” at the building — which was “faced with a rash of similar complaints from other unit owners” — instead of addressing the problems, the suit claims.
Swirsky eventually mitigated the issues at his own cost and he’s now asking a judge to force the co-op and management company to pay him back $150,000 for the work, doctors fees and other costs, plus another $200,000 in damages.
He also wants the building to fix the underlying problem so that the issue doesn’t come back.
Swirsky’s lawyer Jeffrey Mitchell told The Post, “You buy an apartment like this in the city and you have a right to expect it’s in livable condition when you move in.
“After much effort to try to get the developer to fix the problems Mr. Swirsky did it himself.”
“He’s now fixed everything and removed the contaminated materials but he can’t get reimbursed,” Mitchell said.
The management company did not immediately return a request for comment. The co-op and its sponsor could not immediately be reached for comment.