TA pub target of planned NIS 20m. suit for illegal smoking

Jerusalem lawyer Amos Hausner: It's the biggest ever suit of its kind.

public smoking 224 88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
public smoking 224 88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Jerusalem lawyer and anti-tobacco activist Amos Hausner has asked the Central District Court to certify a NIS 20 million class-action suit against a north Tel Aviv pub and club, for failure to enforce no-smoking laws in the establishment. The pub, Mandy's on Rehov Rokah, is named for Mandy Rice Davis, who was involved in the Profumo Affair that discredited the Conservative government of British prime minister Harold Macmillan in 1963, and subsequently converted to Judaism and settled in Israel. Davis and her husband, Rafi Shauli, are not official owners of the pub, but they are involved in the business, according to Internet news reports. Hausner, head of the Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking, said it would be the largest class-action case against a pub or club; a previous anti-smoking class action suit against a shopping mall in Netanya ended with a compromise that required the owners to donate NIS 100,000 to the Israel Cancer Association. Hausner calculated the NIS 20m. by adding NIS 1,000 for each of the many hundreds of non-smokers who visited Mandy's over 15 months. The six owners of the pub would be the defendants in the class-action suit. Hausner was prompted by complaints from a non-smoking couple named Eli and Gal who went to Mandy's to celebrate the anniversary of their meeting and were overwhelmed by smoke. The couple said all their attempts to get the staff to stop the smoking were fruitless. Hausner then found 19 photos on the Internet used to promote the place. All the photos showed smokers and the lighting up of cigarettes throughout the pub, even though smoking in pubs is illegal except in completely separate and ventilated smoking rooms. One of the owners, Yitzhak Hengel, told The Jerusalem Post he had not yet received any papers from the court or from Hausner. Hengel said he "had no idea" what the suit was about, adding that the pub "does enforce no-smoking laws." "About 200 to 250 customers come on any given night. I will comment when I find out what this is about," he said.