Hilton International is not liable for compensation to guests of the Taba Hilton who were injured in a bombing at the entrance to the hotel in October 2004, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled on Monday.
Thirty-one people were killed in the blast, including 11 Israelis, and 159 were wounded, as an explosives-laden truck drove into the lobby of the Taba Hilton and exploded. Ten floors of the hotel collapsed in the explosion.
Two groups of victims filed compensation claims amounting to tens of millions of dollars against the Hilton chain, citing gross negligence in the hotel’s security arrangements in light of its location and the large number of Israeli guests. The two claims were brought jointly before Judge Drora Pilpel.
Hilton International claimed that the security measures taken were adequate and in line with the provisions of the Egyptian Tourist Police.
Pilpel said Egypt was responsible for the prevention of terrorist attacks, and the hotel was entitled to rely on the security measures taken by the authorities. She also said the hotel could not have foreseen the attack, as there were no specific alerts.
The bombing came after a period of seven years in which there were no terror attacks in Egpypt, she noted.
However, Pilpel concluded, setting legal considerations aside, it would be appropriate, “from a moral-humanistic point of view,” for the hotel chain to compensate the injured regardless of the ruling in its favor.