A recent Lod District Court decision approved the service of a third-party notice filed against the Cessna Aircraft Company (a US company) through Kamor Aviation Ltd (its representative in Israel), under Regulation 482 of the Civil Regulations.(1)

Background

The decision relates to a claim filed by the estate of Itay and Aviram Pasternak and their families against the Civil Aviation Authority, FN Aviation and others, following the 2008 crash of a Cessna aircraft which resulted in the death of the pilot and the three passengers on board. FN Aviation filed a third-party notice against the aircraft manufacturers, Cessna.

Cessna has an exclusive representative in Israel (Kamor) and the third-party notice was served on Kamor. Approximately three months after the notice was served, Kamor argued that it was not authorised to receive court documents on behalf of Cessna. As a result, FN Aviation filed a motion requesting the court to declare that Kamor is Cessna's representative in Israel, in accordance with Regulation 482 of the Civil Regulations

Kamor objected to the motion. After a court hearing, during which Kamor's chief executive officer was cross-examined and the parties filed summations, the court accepted the motion that Kamor was authorised to accept court documents on behalf of Cessna in Israel.

Decision

The regular way to serve court documents on a foreign defendant is to file a motion for leave to serve court documents outside Israeli jurisdiction based on Regulation 500 of the Civil Regulation.

Regulation 500 details several options based on which court will grant the leave. The order will be given ex parte and the foreign defendant has the right to file a motion to revoke the leave. However, Israeli law provides a quicker way to serve court documents to foreign defendants that have a representative in Israel.

The court referred to the Supreme Court precedent in General Electric(2) and other cases(3) in which it was decided that an authorised representative is a person or entity with a relationship with the foreign defendant of sufficient depth that the Israeli representative will forward the court documents to the foreign defendant.

Based on the evidence provided, the court concluded that the level of intensity of the relationship between Kamor and Cessna complied with the requirements set by the Supreme Court. The court based its decision on the authorised sales representative agreement signed by Kamor and Cessna under which Kamor was obliged to advance the sales of Cessna aircraft and to participate in and organise trade shows.

According to the court, the fact that Kamor executed only a limited number of sales of Cessna aircraft did not necessarily indicate that the relationship between the two companies was tenuous.

The court was convinced that the relationship between Kamor and Cessna was of sufficient depth to assume that Kamor would forward court documents to Cessna.

For further information on this topic please contact Moshe Abady or Keren Marco at Levitan, Sharon & Co by telephone (+972 3 688 6768) or email (moshea@levitansharon.co.il or kerenm@levitansharon.co.il). The Levitan, Sharon & Co website can be accessed at www.israelinsurancelaw.com.

Endnotes

(1) CF 43044-10-10 Pasternak and Others v the State of Israel.

(2) PCA 39/89 General Electric v Migdal Insurance Co PDI 42 (2) 624 (1989).

(3) PCA 11822/05 Philip Morris USA Inc v El Roy, PCA 8957/09 Uzan v Kayobi.

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