Developer deleted emails damaging community garden lawsuit: judges

A real estate developer who allegedly once threatened to throw a port-a-potty in a children’s community garden is said to have deliberately destroyed emails linked to his ongoing court battle over the green space.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Andrea Masley on Wednesday dealt a legal blow to David Marom — who wants to bulldoze part of the Magical Nursery on the Lower East Side — and his company, The Horizon Group.

Since 2014, Marom has been embroiled in a dispute with residents trying to protect the decades-old urban oasis that sits on the corner of Norfolk Street and Stanton Street, including multiple lawsuits.

In the latest salvo in the case, Masley noted that the developer had deleted emails that may have helped local residents prove their allegations that he ordered his workers to “destroy trees and rubble” in the park in April 2019 dispose.

Children play in the garden.

The Children’s Magical Garden has been on the corner of Norfolk and Stanton Streets across from PS 20 for decades. It was meant to be a sanctuary for children.

Children's Magic Garden in Manhattan.

Real estate developer David Marom has been embroiled in a fight since 2014 to take over part of the Children’s Magical Garden on the Lower East Side.

Magic garden for children

A judge ruled Wednesday that Marom destroyed emails that may have been relevant to the Garden’s lawsuit against him.

Photo of a fabric sign that says "More gardens".

The judge said that if the case goes to trial, the jury can reach a negative conclusion against Marom for destroying the emails.

Garden wardens also claimed Marom’s workers dumped “dozens of containers of rotting garbage” onto the property.

Marom had denied ordering the alleged attack on the garden.

The judge found that Marom admitted to indiscriminately deleting emails, including those relating to his property, 157 Norfolk Street, which borders the garden.

fence garden.
The judge ruled in December that Marom had invaded the garden by erecting an encroaching fence around the lawn.
Helayne Seidman

“According to Marom, emails that could contain communications about 157 Norfolk were permanently deleted,” Masley wrote.

Therefore, if the case goes to trial, the jury may “reach a negative conclusion against Marom, particularly against his position that neither he nor his workers were primarily involved in the incident — i.e., dumping trash in the traffic barriers … and chopping down trees and branches” , according to the decision.

The judge also ordered Marom to pay the garden’s attorneys’ fees for the cost of addressing this issue.

David Marom

Locals have accused Marom of ordering his workers to destroy trees and dump rubble in the garden.

David Marom is said to have knocked over a bench in the garden.

They also allege that Marom dumped dozens of containers of rotting garbage onto the property.

The Garden’s President, Kate Temple-West, said they will continue to fight for the spot.

“We will continue to protect this precious sanctuary for the children of our community and hope this ruling sends that message out loud and clear,” Temple-West told The Post.

In December, Masley ruled that Marom had invaded the garden by erecting intruding fences. He is currently appealing this decision.

Marom’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. Developer deleted emails damaging community garden lawsuit: judges


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