Shooting Victim Sues Google Over Search Results On His Name

from the good-luck-with-that dept

sinsi alerts us to a bizarre lawsuit in Australia where shooting victim Michael Trkulja is suing Google, claiming the search engine has some liability for his getting shot. The reasoning? Apparently searches on his name would take you to pages suggesting that Trkulja was involved in organized crime operations. It doesn't appear that he has any other info linking his shooting to this particular webpage or to the fact that the shooter may have done a Google search. It also does not appear (at least from the article here) that the guy is blaming the website in question -- just Google for leading people to it. Not sure what sorts of laws there are in Australia concerning such liability, but it's hard to think of a scenario under which this lawsuit should make sense under any legal system.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 8:54am

    "but it's hard to think of a scenario under which this lawsuit should make sense under any legal system."

    Google has money. And it makes perfect 100% sense in the Legal System of the Entitled.

     

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  2.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 8:56am

    Really?

    "... it's hard to think of a scenario under which this lawsuit should make sense under any legal system."

    We have torrent trackers being sued out of operation for 'copyright violations,' Google execs in legal jeopardy for a youtube video, etc. Is it really hard to think of a scenario where this guy prevails?

     

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  3.  
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    Michael, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Can I sue Google?

    I burned my tongue on some soup today.

    The soup was from Campbells. I bought it at Stop & Shop. I heated up the soup in a microwave made by Kenmore. The unit was purchased at Sears. I drove to both Stop & Shop and Sears in my truck made by Toyota. I bought the fuel for the truck at Cumberland Farms.

    I am able to search on all of those terms on Google and get search results that say nothing about burning my tongue. They need to remedy this situation before someone else is seriously injured.

     

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    Richard Corsale, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 9:23am

    how does he know they didn't use Ask or Yahoo or ...... Also how does he know that they shot him because these sites insinuate that hes involved in organized crime?

    If my company was sued in a foreign country over something like this, and they won.. I would simply stop serving that country. They don't deserve technology.

     

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  5.  
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    Vic, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Re: Can I sue Google?

    I wanna be your lawyer! I'll only take 30%.

     

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  6.  
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    JohnForDummies (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 9:42am

    That's what he gets...

    "Apparently searches on his name would take you to pages suggesting that Trkulja was involved in organized crime operations."

    That's what he gets for playing Mafia Wars on Facebook and leaving his profile public. [insert laughs here]

     

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  7.  
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    Derek Reed (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re: Really?

    We have torrent trackers being sued out of operation for 'copyright violations,' Google execs in legal jeopardy for a youtube video, etc. Is it really hard to think of a scenario where this guy prevails?

    Excellent point, it apparently is making sense under a lot of legal systems, but it really shouldn't make sense if anyone involved cared about the implications of such nonsense.

     

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  8.  
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    Derek Reed (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Re: Can I sue Google?

    Maybe not Google, but you may have a good case against Stop&Shop, Kenmore, Sears, Toyota and Cumberland Farms. I mean aren't they all responsible for enabling your burnt tongue? Who cares who actually burned it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    There must be some mistake...

    ... it's nearly impossible for an Australian to legally possess a firearm. Maybe he was stabbed or bludgeoned?

     

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  10.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    @michael:
    i hit google with:
    "burned my tongue" +soup +michael

    turns out you and your singed tongue come up in as the second link...

     

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  11.  
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    Niall (profile), Dec 1st, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    harbingerofdoom's comment is #1 now :)

    How long before a) someone turns Michael burning his tongue into a news story or b) some clueless lawyer actually offers him legal help? :)

     

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  12.  
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    vyvyan, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    under kangaroo law

     

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  13.  
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    signalsnatcher, Dec 1st, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Gotnick versus Dow Jones.

    Joseph Gutnick sued Dow Jones in relation to statements made by Dow Jones in the web version of its publication Barron's Digest. Gutnick chose to sue in the Australian state of Victoria, the jurisdiction in which he does business.

    Dow Jones challenged the appropriateness of the case being heard in Victoria. The Victorian Supreme Court (the commercial court) found that the case could be heard in Victoria. Dow Jones appealled to the High Court of Australia (= US Supreme Court)who found against Dow Jones.

    Gutnick was allowed to sue for defamation and since the laws agaisnt libel and slander in Australia are very different from those in the US (and there is no First Ammendment or nay other guarantee of free expression) he won substantial dmaages.

    The case has potentially very serious implications for freedom of expression, and for the freedom of access to information.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    "turns out you and your singed tongue come up in as the second link..."

    It's the first, now. :D

     

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  15.  
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    Xander C (profile), Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    How ironic that the news of him suing Google will only place him on the spotlight he was trying to avoid.

    (ie, What a strange game, the only winning move is not to play)

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:25am

    i want to sue google because they said tht oritsť williams is gay and hes not!

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    google called someone gay and they clearly arent so hopefully they wont call anyone gay but themselves!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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