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Who will be compensated, by how much and especially when? Civil Law from the Mount Meron Disaster - Walla! Of money


Following the disaster on Mount Meron, a wave of lawsuits is expected from the victims. Why is liability in such a case no different from medical and engineering negligence and what is the accepted procedure?

  • Of money

Who will be compensated, by how much and especially when?

Civil law from the Mount Meron disaster

Following the disaster on Mount Meron, a wave of lawsuits is expected from the victims.

Why is liability in such a case no different from medical and engineering negligence and what is the accepted procedure?

How long will they be able to do this and for what amounts?

Adv. Rita Shulman and Adv. Elior Rosenwasser with the answers to all the burning questions


  • The disaster of Mount Meron

Adv. Rita Shulman and Adv. Elior Rosenwasser

Monday, 03 May 2021, 14:15 Updated: 15:25

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Following the severe disaster on Mount Meron in which 45 people perished and many were injured, many civil lawsuits are expected to be filed against the state and against all parties involved.

In a 1985 ruling by Gordon v. Jerusalem Municipality - the Supreme Court ruled that, "the good time of Israeli law was when the state's special immunity from tort claims was revoked." The ruling stated that public bodies should not be released from liability for negligence for governmental actions carried out in the field of public law. "Clerical" or "bureaucratic" negligence should be examined according to the same criteria as "medical" or "engineering" or other negligence.

The lawsuits that are expected to be filed in courts across the country are based primarily on proving the tort of negligence under the Torts Ordinance. The plaintiffs will have to prove that it was possible and necessary, as a matter of policy, to anticipate the occurrence of the disaster and in addition,Will have to prove that possible reasonable measures could have been taken to prevent the damage to all involved.

More on Walla!

Disaster history shows: there is a long way to go for compensation

To the full article

Was the event of the revelry disaster on Mount Meron expected?

In the reports of the State Comptroller in the years 2008-2011, it was determined that there are serious safety deficiencies in the tombs of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) in Meron. These reports stated explicitly that the place is not prepared to absorb tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of people.

Israeli government decision No. 3886 of November, 2011 on the regulation of infrastructure on the site of the Holy Sepulcher charged the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety to establish a permanent infrastructure through a government including parking lots, lighting, Fencing and demarcating the site is for the benefit of its arrangement for receiving visitors and for the purpose of holding the annual Rashbi celebration.

The decision stipulates that it should be carried out between the years 2012-2014 and will even be budgeted at about NIS 28 million, which will be equally funded between the Ministries of Finance, Interior, Transport and Road Safety, Tourism and the Israel Lands Administration. The government's decisions also imposed on the Ministry of Internal Security to maintain public order in the Rashbi tomb complex and a police station will be established there.

In this case, for the expected tests there is no need to go back a decade.

An Israeli police source told the media that they imagined an incident exactly as it happened.

In the week before the celebration, the police carried out "war games" that simulated collapses, pressure, fire and other extreme situations.

Factors seem to have realized that disaster is imminent anyway, given the dilapidated infrastructure and the only question is what is the magnitude of the disaster and how do people manage to save.

It is clear to all that this is not an inevitable natural disaster.

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Farthest from a natural disaster.

DIP investigators at the Meron arena (Photo: Eli Ashkenazi)

What could have been done to prevent the disaster?

In a multi-participant event - where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive, the state, the local authority and all the authorities involved in organizing the event must take all possible reasonable measures to prevent a disaster.

Many questions arise around the disaster: Is the outline on which the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Internal Security, the Minister of Transport, the Commissioner of Police, Projector Corona and others agreed on 20.4.21 that there will be no restrictions on the number of worshipers reasonable? The pressure fences "set by the police is a sufficient means?

The plaintiffs will claim that the guidelines of the Israel Police state that the number of people in the lighting compound will be limited to 10,000 people.

As part of the safety managers, entry will be allowed for a short period of time.

Was it really done?

Were the measures taken to prevent the disaster reasonable?

If an entire country could be shut down for months to prevent the spread of the corona and the deaths of people, would it not be possible to limit the amount of people who come to the revelry to save their lives in light of the clear knowledge that disaster can occur at any moment?

Moreover: was the planning of access and exit routes in relation to the number of people arriving reasonable?

Was the person who approved the safety of the place, his decision was reasonable?

Is a passage made of a metal surface standard?

Was there a body that centralized the whole issue of safety and approvals?

Was there an appropriate reference to all the warnings and "red flags" that were there as soon as they saw that the situation was out of control and there was a fear of the "crash" event?

What is the significance of the investigations we are now hearing about in the media?

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit instructed the Department of Police Investigations to begin an investigation to determine whether criminal suspicions arise from police officers in the event of the disaster and if so, indictments will be filed accordingly. The rule is that the findings and conclusions of a final criminal judgment of the court convicting the defendants will be admissible in civil law as prima facie evidence. We hope that in view of the magnitude of the difficult incident and the many factors involved, a state commission of inquiry will be established as has been done in the past. At this point, the Minister of Justice applied for an order to establish a state commission of inquiry.

This committee is charged with investigating a matter of "vital public importance." Such a committee shall be chaired by an acting or retired judge appointed by a Supreme Court judge. The committee has the authority to compel any witness it wishes to summon to testify before it and to compel any entity to produce documents necessary to clarify the matter. The most important principle of the committee is the principle of publicity, except in matters relating to the maintenance of state security. Also, the government cannot ignore the conclusions of the committee, even if it has the right not to comply with its recommendations in full.

In the past, committees have been set up to investigate the Yom Kippur War, the events of suffering and planting in the Lebanon War, the assassination of Rabin and the events of October 2000 after the disengagement. In 2001, a committee of inquiry was set up for the Versailles event hall disaster, in which the event hall floor collapsed during a wedding, killing 23 people and injuring about 400 people. In addition, following the disaster, the Knesset enacted the Aid for the Victims of the Floor in Versailles Halls Law, which provides for the establishment of a special committee on the treatment of victims of the disaster and compensation. In 2017, compensation worth NIS 70 million was given by the Jerusalem Municipality to the victims of the incident. It is possible that in this case, too, a compensation mechanism will be established, as for the victims of Versailles.

If a state commission of inquiry is set up in this case, the plaintiffs will, of course, be able to use its conclusions in the lawsuits. The committee's conclusions will have broad implications regarding the identity of those responsible and the extent of their responsibility for the disaster. At the same time, the work of the committee can take years and therefore it is not certain that the plaintiffs should wait for its conclusions.

It is important to note that liability for damages is jointly and severally, so there is no obligation on the plaintiff to sue all parties involved immediately.

Law following the disaster.

Evacuation of Versailles Halls in 2001 (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

The legal process

Filing a personal injury claim requires a medical opinion detailing the physical and mental damages caused as a result of the disaster.

The claim is for compensation for medical expenses, home help, loss of earnings, pain and suffering.

It is also clear that people who have been at the scene and have been exposed to the terrible disaster that has taken place before their eyes, have experienced shock and severe mental shock, so they may be entitled to compensation as victims of trauma.

Regarding the amount of compensation that is awarded to the victims, it depends on the age of the person who perished, the composition of his family, his profession and, of course, the judge who is hearing the case.

The parents of the children and family members who perished can sue on behalf of the estate for the loss of earnings "in the lost years", shortening the life expectancy, pain and great suffering caused to their children in the last minutes of their lives and burial expenses and condition.

For example, in the case of the Arad Festival disaster that occurred in July 1995. There, three teenagers were crushed to death.

The director of the ticket office, the police chief and other elements were convicted of crimes and as a result the Jerusalem District Court accepted the compensation claim filed by the parents of the youth.

Compensation of about NIS 2 million was awarded to each of the families who lost their loved ones.

NIS 90 million or more

Adv. Elior Rosenwasser (Photo: Yachz)

Adv. Rita Shulman (Photo: Yachz)

In addition, it is important to check whether the claim meets the conditions for receiving compensation for mental damages caused by injury to relatives. The conditions are: first-degree family closeness, direct impression of the harmful event. The last condition is the existence of actual mental harm, beyond a clear human response of grief and a psychiatric medical opinion is required.

In terms of statute of limitations, the claim must be filed within 7 years from the date of the events and death and if it is the minors' damages, then a 7-year statute of limitations race only begins when they reach the age of 18 (ie up to the age of 25).

The economic theory of tort law, puts the main goal of tort law as a means of reducing the cost of accidents.

The responsibility for the fatal consequences of accidents will be placed on the person who is able to effectively prevent the accident and its consequences.

In the case of the Meron disaster, the court will decide whether the conduct of the parties responsible for approving and organizing the merriment on Mount Meron was reasonable with respect to the costs of preventing the damage compared to the damage itself.

The compensation for the deaths of 45 people alone is expected to reach NIS 90 million, even more.

The amount of compensation for a young person who was seriously injured can reach NIS 8 million, and as will be recalled in the Meron disaster, many people were injured to varying degrees.

To this is added the compensation for the mental damage of the relatives of the victims and participants in the event.

The compensation of all the injured in this case will undoubtedly exceed NIS 100 million.

The authors own a law firm that has been dealing with malpractice and personal injury claims for many years.

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Source: walla

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