California Woman Sues Chipotle for $2.2 Billion Over Using Her Photograph

Jan 09, 2017

A California woman is suing Chipotle for $2.2 billion, equivalent to the company’s profits over a 9-year period, for allegedly using a photograph of her for marketing purposes without her permission.

According to the lawsuit filed in California District Court, Leah Caldwell refused to sign a release given to her by a photographer after he snapped pictures of her at the chain's Denver-area restaurant in 2006. She was floored to find her picture at an Orlando restaurant 8 years later in 2014, as well as in other California outlets of the burrito chain.

Caldwell alleges that the image has been edited to add texture to her hair, people in the background and bottles to the foreground— which she claims has put a "false light upon her character associated with consuming alcoholic beverages."

The California-resident additionally claims that the company used the photo to make profits and she should therefore be entitled to those funds, of approximately $2.2 billion— which equals the company profits for 2006 to 2015, according to the lawsuit.

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