(Montreal) A Quebec Superior Court judge has ordered Google to pay a Montrealer $500,000 after the tech company reinstated a link to an online article falsely accusing him of being a pedophile.
The man, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, first found the defamatory article in 2006 when he used Google to search for his name.
The man managed to get the link removed from search results that appear on Google’s Canadian site, but the company later reinstated the link.
The man, who is described as a prominent businessman in court documents, argued that the defamatory message had damaged his career and personal relationships.
Google, headquartered in California, argued that Quebec defamation laws did not apply to the case and that under US law it was not required to remove the link. .
Judge Azimuddin Hussain ruled late last month that Quebec law applies and that while Google is not required to monitor the links to which its search engine links, it must act when informed that facilitated access to illegal content.