A Washington DC area restaurant that became famous for serving lion and bear meat, has closed it's doors after someone apparently edited their Google Places listing to show that they weren't open during the weekends.
But these days, Bertagna isn’t serving so much as a whisker. It began in early 2012, when he experienced a sudden 75 percent drop off in customers on the weekend, the time he normally did most of his business. The slump continued for months, for no apparent reason. Bertagna’s profits plummeted, he was forced to lay off some of his staff, and he struggled to understand what was happening. Only later did Bertagna come to suspect that he was the victim of a gaping vulnerability that made his Google listings open to manipulation.
Now the former owners are sueing Google for allowing this to happen.
Bertagna puts the blame for his restaurant’s collapse on Google, and he’s suing the company in federal court in Virginia. His lawyer’s theory is that a competing restaurant sabotaged the Google Places listing to drive away the Serbian Crown’s customers, and he argues that Google turns a blind eye to such shenanigans. Google’s lawyers scoff at the lawsuit. “The Serbian Crown should not be permitted to vex Google or this Court with such meritless claims,” they wrote in a filing last month. (Google didn’t respond to repeated inquiries for this story)