Chipotle has had its share if bad press in recent memory, mostly concerning their unsatisfactory food standards. A Sacramento woman is taking that to the next level and is now suing the chain for an outrageous amount of money.

Leah Campbell is suing Chipotle after the restaurant chain allegedly used a photo of her eating Chipotle without permission back in 2006 and has used it in their advertisements. Campbell is representing herself (which is always a GREAT idea) and is suing the photographer who took the photo (because of course).

Campbell claims she has seen photos of her at Chipotle locations in Orlando, Florida and Sacramento, California.

In Campbell’s petition, it states, “At each location, the plaintiff recognized the iconic picture, her distinct photographic image and likeness even with apparent editing.”

As far as damages, Campbell is asking for $2.2 billion as it is an estimated amount of profit Chipotle earned because of her “iconic picture.”

I’m trying very hard to take this lawsuit seriously because a corporation stealing somebody’s likeness is terrible and she has every right to sue, but this lawsuit is just clearly over the top. First off, don’t call this an “iconic picture.” It’s an ad for Chipotle and not soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima or the man stopping the tanks at Tiananmen Square. Calling a Chipotle ad “iconic” really cheapens the word.

Also, $2.2 billion!? Okay, Chipotle is a rich corporation but how exactly is she entitled to Chipotle’s profits? It’s like Dr. Evil was advising her on how to negotiate.

If Chipotle actually used Campbell’s image without permission, she certainly has a case and is at least entitled to something. Definitely not $2.2 billion but something. But given she’s asking for a lot, representing herself and is referring to the ad as an “iconic picture,” this has the makings of a get rich frivolous lawsuit.

[ABC 10]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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