Sacramento woman sues Chipotle for $2B
A Sacramento woman is suing the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain, claiming it used her image in promotional materials without her permission.
Leah Caldwell, who is representing herself in the action, filed a petition in federal court last month against the chain, the photographer she said shot the unauthorized photo of her and another person.
Caldwell said in her petition that Adams approached her in 2006 as she was leaving a Chipotle restaurant in Denver and asked her to sign a release for some photos he had taken. She refused. In 2014, Caldwell saw her photo on the wall of a Chipotle in Orlando, Fla., and in March 2015, she said she saw the photos on display again in Chipotle locations in Sacramento and Roseville.
"At each location, the plaintiff recognized the iconic picture, her distinct photographic image and likeness even with apparent editing," the petition said.
Caldwell said her appearance had been distorted, and beer bottles had been placed on the table near her, which "put a false light upon her character associated with consuming alcoholic beverages."
The $2.2 billion in damages is an estimate of the profits allegedly derived from the unauthorized use of Caldwell's "iconic picture" according to the petition.
Chipotle policy is to decline comment on pending litigation.