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$2B Lawsuit Alleges Chipotle Used Photo Without Permission

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That’s a lot of burritos

Chipotle To Close Restaurants For Few Hours For Food Safety Meeting Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Burrito behemoth Chipotle is the target of yet another massive lawsuit. ABC 10 reports that a woman in Sacramento, California, has filed a lawsuit against the chain, alleging that the company used her image in its interior decorations and marketing without her permission.

Leah Caldwell, who is representing herself, claims in the complaint that in 2006 she was dining at a Chipotle when a photographer Steve Adams was taking shots of the restaurant, according to Denver 7. Caldwell says she was asked to sign a release but declined.

Then in December 2014, she noticed her photo inside a Chipotle in Orlando, Florida and at two restaurants around Sacramento in March 2015. In addition to using her image without her approval, Caldwell claims that Chipotle edited the photo to include an alcoholic beverage.

She’s now seeking $2,237,633,000 — a number she bases on the company’s presumed profits from the photo over a nine year period from 2006 to 2015 — and has requested that additional profits from 2016 be added to that amount. Chipotle’s policy is not to comment on pending legal action.

Chipotle has become a big target for lawsuits. Chipotle settled out of court in September 2016 for an undisclosed amount with 100 people sickened during a series of massive foodborne illness outbreaks in 2015. Last year, the chain was also slapped with a racial discrimination lawsuit and at 10,000-person class action lawsuit alleging wage theft.

Sacramento Woman Sues Chipotle for $2B [ABC 10]

Woman Suing Chipotle for More Than $2 Billion Over Use of Photo [Denver 7]

All Chipotle Coverage [E]

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