The district court in Haifa, Israel awarded millions in damages to plaintiffs and attorneys in a class-action lawsuit under the Israeli anti-spam law.

A company organizing conferences for its clients, which transmitted promotional text messages and emails for its clients to about eight hundred thousand (800,000) individuals who each received, on average, forty-seven (47) messages, was ordered to pay a represented class of plaintiffs about 200 million NIS (approximately US $58 million) in compensatory damages for violation of Article 30(a) of the Israeli Communications Law (Telecom and Broadcasts), known as the “Spam Law”.

The court awarded the lead plaintiffs 400,000 NIS (approximately US $115,000), and the lead attorneys in the class-action suit were awarded attorney fees in the amount of 2,340,000 NIS (approximately US $675,000). The district court in Haifa held that the term “ad communication” under the Spam Law is interpreted broadly to include any communication whose purposes it to encourage the recipient to engage in a business relationship with the sender, or any other third party whose business and services are directly or indirectly promoted by the communication.

The court found that the messages sent by the defendant constitute ad communications under the Spam Law because their purpose was to encourage the receivers to spend money by exposing them to the sponsors of the conferences. The court held that the Spam Law applies not only to the entity with whom the business deal is to be made but also to those whose business and financial goals are promoted by the ad communication.

CLICK HERE for the full decision of the Haifa district court (in Hebrew).