Chipotle Settles 100 Customer Complaints Over Food-Borne Illness Outbreaks

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

More than 100 customers who fell ill after dining at Chipotle restaurants last year will receive an undisclosed financial settlement as the fast-casual restaurant continues to put a series of E. coli and listeria outbreaks behind it. 

Chipotle agreed to settle the claims, which involved individuals whose illnesses were verified by medical tests, out of court over the past six months, Reuters reports.

While terms of the settlements will remain confidential, a spokesperson for Chipotle confirmed their existence.

The company “does right by our customers and simply wanted to make things right for people who were affected by any of those incidents,” the spokesperson told Reuters.

Chipotle isn’t the first company to settle customer complaints related to food-borne illnesses privately.

Bill Marler, who represented the Chipotle customers, tells Reuters the decision to do so follows Jack in the Box’s strategy used in the 1990s after a deadly E. coli outbreak.

“The way that Chipotle has been handling the legitimate claims has been textbook appropriate,” Marler said. “They’ve taken responsibility.”

Marler says that while Chipotle has settled the great majority of cases, there is still one customer complaint to resolve.

Still, putting customer complaints behind it is just the tip of the iceberg for Chipotle. The company, which is still struggling to bring back customers after sales have fallen more than 40% in the last 12 months, continues to face a federal criminal investigation into food-safety, and a civil lawsuit filed by investors.

Chipotle settles sick customers’ claims, avoiding court battles [Reuters]

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