Restaurant Owner Says ‘Sabotaged’ Google Maps Listing Ruined His Business

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Blame Google. Photo: Serbian Crown/Facebook

Lion, kangaroo, bear, and other exotic game meats were all served at Serbian Crown a suburban-Virginia restaurant that soldiered on for 40 years until it experienced a sudden slump in business  75 percent down, overall in 2012. The restaurant closed shortly thereafter, and then proprietor Rene Bertagna, who says he'd "heard of" the internet, was informed that Serbian Crown's Google Maps listing had been mistakenly instructing customers that the place was closed on Saturdays and Sundays, once its busiest business days.

Now Bertagna has filed a suit alleging that a competitor maliciously sabotaged its Google Places data, but the internet giant's legal team insists maybe Bertagna should have taken a closer look at his own borscht and bear steaks in consideration of Serbian Crown's demise. "Rather than accept that restaurants, even longstanding ones, sometimes fail," its attorneys write, "the owner of this particular restaurant looked around for someone to blame. Who did he settle on? Google."

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will [Wired]