nashvillepost1NASHVILLE, TN (NASHVILLE POST) BY E. THOMAS WOOD Four Nashville residents have filed suit against search-engine giant Google Inc., accusing its Street View service of clandestinely tapping into the wireless internet networks in their homes. The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, are Lilla Marigza, Wesley Hartline, David Binkley and Blake Carter.

Marigza is a former reporter for WKRN-Channel 2, and Hartline recently served as field director for the campaign of his father, Jeff Hartline, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination to run for the Fifth District Congressional seat now held by Democrat Jim Cooper.

The complaint arises from a controversy that first surfaced in June of this year. Google revealed that the cars that traverse the country taking photos of streetscapes as part of its mapping service were equipped with software and hardware capable of detecting and sometimes intercepting wireless signals within homes.

Google has maintained that the data “sniffing” was inadvertent, the result of a coding error.

Claiming the company violated the National Wiretap Act, the lawsuit asks for “statutory damages of whichever is the greater of $100 a day for each day f violation per class members or $10,000 per class member.” It also seeks other statutory and punitive damages.

Kathryn Barnett and Kenny Byrd, from the Nashville office of national class-action firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, are local counsel on the case along with Brian Manookian of Gideon, Cooper & Essary. Elizabeth Cabraser and Michael Sobol of Lieff’s San Francisco office are lead counsel. They filed the lawsuit on Friday in the U.S. District Court of San Jose, Calif.