It looks like if you're one of those people who unfortunately have names associated with negative products, events, or descriptions, you're out of luck. A woman in Wisconsin has found that out again and again as she tries to make several search companies liable for negative search results related to her name. Beverly Stayart, CFO and Director of Business Development at Stayart Law Offices, has tried to sue various search engines like Alta Vista, Yahoo, and Google because of these results.
Stayart's name comes up next to various results like Cialis, Levitra, AdultFriendFinder, and more. That's because when you type in "Bev Stayart", search engines direct you to "Bev Stayart Levitra" which is related to male erectile disfunction. Typing in her name also brings up search results for malware packed websites and other harmful websites. She says that these search results are ruining her "wholesome image".
Stayart had sued both Yahoo and Google back in 2011, but she lost both cases. She has been battling search companies for over 2 1/2 years. She had appealed her case against Google, but the end-results didn't change. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the same decision made by the district court back in August 2011. Reuters stated that appeals court panel believed, "Google's alleged improper use of Stayrat's name fell within the 'public interest' and 'incidental use' exceptions to Wisconsin's misappropriation laws, either of which would doom the lawsuit." The court also believed the evidence was more incidental rather than substantial.
While it's unfortunate that Beverly Stayart's name appears next to embarrassing drugs or AdultFriendFinder's search engine, her continuous effort to battle Google, Yahoo, and all of the other search engines isn't doing anything to help her case either. Doing a search of her name or her abbreviated name will not only bring up AdultFriendFinder (as the top result), but it will also bring up her various lawsuits (and losses) against these companies. Not something potential clients would want to see when they're searching for her law offices.