INTERNET SEARCH GIANT Google has been hit with $200,000 in damages in a lawsuit that saw it being accused of linking an innocent man with gangsters.
The court case was in Australia and involved Melbourne based Michael Trkulja. Trkulja found that he was associated with local gangsters in Google search results, despite his only involvement with them being that he was shot in the back while dining at a restaurant.
He sued Google for defamation and won after it failed to remove links between him and the gangsters. Google, said the court, should have done more to distance the innocent man from the underworld downunder.
As a result Google has been assessed $200,000 in damages, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Google would not comment on the case when we asked about it before, and so far has not commented on the damage award. It did supply us with a response though.
"Google's search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the web," it said. "The sites in Google's search results are controlled by those sites' webmasters, not by Google."
Trkulja is probably very happy, though, since he is about $500,000 up on the whole ordeal, having already got over $200,000 out of Google rival Yahoo.
"I feel great... I feel vindicated. It was a David and Goliath battle, a single man standing against a giant using all money and power available to them to squash an innocent person," he said last week.
"I wouldn't wish to my worst enemy what I went through." µ