Chipotle is facing a $2.2 billion lawsuit—its earnings over the last nine
years—after a California woman noticed a photo of herself hanging in one of
the chain’s Orlando locations.
The woman claims she did not give permission for the fast-food chain to use
her likeness when a photographer snapped her pic at a Denver location 10
Leah Caldwell says she refused to sign the photographer’s release, but that
didn’t stop Chipotle from slapping her picture up in several of its burrito
Further, Caldwell alleges that the company doctored the image to give her
hair more texture. Someone, she says, also put some beer bottles in the
foreground. In the lawsuit, she claims that choice cast a “false light upon
her character associated with consuming alcoholic beverages.”
The logic behind the whopping sum she’s seeking? The company obviously used
her photo to make a profit, so she should be entitled to said profits—all
$2.2 billion that it made between 2006 and 2015.
Keep your cool in a crisis with these tips.]
Though you might think the lawsuit is extreme, PR and marketing pros would
do wise to heed a lesson from this: Always source the images you use (and
realize the risks you take if you don’t know from where one comes).
What do you think, PR Daily readers? Does Caldwell deserve the
whole burrito, or should she feel lucky if she even gets guacamole out of