The Eighth Civil Chamber of Mexico City, by a majority, considered that Google Inc. is responsible for allowing the creation and dissemination of a blog that damages the patrimonial rights of citizen Ulrich Richter Morales and forced him to cover a compensation close to the 250 million dollars. The company reported that it will appeal the sentence.
A Mexican court sentenced Google Inc. to pay 5,000 million pesos (about 250 million dollars) to citizen Ulrich Richter Morales for moral damages. The court determined that Google is responsible for allowing the creation and dissemination of a blog on the Blogger platform, owned by the company, which harms the rights to personality and honor of Richter Morales.
The ruling reached on June 13 by the Eighth Civil Chamber of Mexico City is a new stage in an old legal battle between Richter Morales and Google Inc. that began in 2015 when Richter denounced the US company, it’s subsidiary in Mexico, and the author of the blog and demanded compensation for moral damages and punitive damages.
Richter reproached the company for allowing the creation and dissemination of the blog entitled “Ulrich Richter Morales and his chingaderas a la patria”, in which he is linked without sources or documentary support to alleged crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and forgery of documents. .
In addition, publications were made on the blog with the alleged authorship of Richter in which it is stated that the lawyer taught his wife to “falsify documents and come out clean”, accompanied by photographs of Richter and his family and graphic alterations of the cover. from one of his books.
Richter Morales is a Mexican lawyer who has represented TV Azteca, the magazine Proceso and the PRI politician Humberto Moreira Valdez, former governor of Coahuila, and is taking a legal case in favor of the recreational use of marijuana.
The blog is hosted —and is still available online— on Google Inc.’s Blogger platform, a digital service that allows any Internet user to create and publish a website for free.
On March 4, 2021, Judge Judith Cova Castillo determined that Google Inc. was responsible for “tolerating and allowing unjustified worldwide illicit advertising and dissemination of the contents of the illicit blog” and forced the company to pay 2 billion pesos for non-pecuniary damage.
Google appealed Judge Cova’s decision before the Eighth Civil Chamber of Mexico City and lost. The new sentence, judicially called of the second instance, raises the amount of compensation to 5 billion pesos for Richter Morales, his wife, and their company.
Judges Manlio Castillo Colmenares and Álvaro Augusto Pérez Juárez voted in favor of the resolution of June 13 of the Eighth Civil Chamber; Judge Marfa Albarrán Montaño voted against.
The Chamber confirmed that the author of the blog is Alejandro Gutiérrez Torres and that Google Inc. is responsible for having tolerated and allowed the blog to spread. Google Mexico was released because this subsidiary is not responsible for the operation of the Blogger service.
“The punitive damages are based on the economic capacity of the offender and must be exemplary, therefore, any amount that is set in the case of Google according to the parameters indicated by the doctrine and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation is important, since that we are in the presence of one of the five richest companies in the world,” Richter Morales consulted for this article, said today.
A Google spokesman considered that the new sentence is “arbitrary, excessive and without any basis” and announced that the company “will defend itself to the last resort.”
The ruling “attacks freedom of expression and other fundamental principles and we trust that the federal courts will act in strict accordance with the law,” said the spokesman in a Google position sent to El Economista.
“This must have been taken into account by the tech giant when they were asked to take down the blog, which they overlooked and now there are the legal consequences. At the end of the road, the Supreme Court will finally and definitively decide the amount” of the sanction, Richter added.