Couple sues over bug infestation, says exterminators damaged artwork
A couple in a ritzy lower Manhattan building say their apartment has a nasty “bug infestation” — that has cost them more than $70,000 worth of artwork and designer furniture, according to a new lawsuit.
Leonard and Darrell Morse claim the critters infested their $10,000-a-month New York by Gehry pad — and fumigators then chipped three of their masterpieces while trying to tackle the problem, according to the complaint filed late Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The insect issues began in 2017, when the couple first noticed the unwelcome roommates — which they later identified as drugstore beetles. They discovered the bugs had rooted in their pricey upholstered sofas and chairs.
“A nightmare started over two years ago,” Leonard, a dentist who practices in Park Slope, told The Post on Sunday. “The building [management] stonewalled us and this was coming from another apartment.”
Leonard and his wife were on vacation in Portugal in 2018 when they claim a work crew finally entered their 75th-floor Spruce Street apartment without permission to spray — ripping out wooden window sills in the living room and second bedroom in the process, they claim.
“The crew negligently carelessly and recklessly moved around plaintiff’s furniture and damaged several pieces of valuable artwork,” the complaint alleges.
The Morses accuse the workers of breaking two glass pieces by Peter Aldridge worth $25,000 — including a one-of-a-kind work Aldridge did for Steuben Glass — and one by Martin Rosol. Their “Lady Sculpture” also suffered a fractured leg.
The couple also claims their furniture — including a B&B Italian sofa and a pair of Pierre Paulin Ribbon chairs — was exposed to “dangerous chemicals” because the work crew didn’t use protective coverings.
Leonard said the bugs — which are brown in color and measure 2 to 3.5 mm long — were only identified because he and his wife hired an entomologist.
“We took the bugs to the Museum of Natural History to identify them. They are drugstore beetles,” he explained.
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