A Jewish California resident who claims to be a vegetarian has filed a putative class action against Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., alleging that the company failed to adequately warn consumers that its pinto beans are prepared with or contain bacon or pork. Shenkman v. Chipotle Mex. Grill, Inc., No. BC467980 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles County, Cent. Dist., filed August 19, 2011). According to the complaint, the company does not disclose in its in-store menus that pinto beans contain pork, and, when specifically asked, employees informed the plaintiff that the pinto beans did not contain bacon or pork. Relying on these representations, the plaintiff purportedly purchased and ate the beans to his detriment, financial and otherwise.
The plaintiff seeks to certify a class of California residents who “abstain from consuming bacon or pork” for “ethical, religious, moral, cultural philosophical, or health-related reasons” and purchased the pinto beans from any Chipotle restaurant in California in the preceding four years. He alleges intentional and negligent misrepresentation, fraud and violations of California’s False Advertising and Unfair Business Practices acts. The plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, disgorgement and restitution, injunctive relief, payment to a cy pres fund, a corrective advertising campaign, an apology, attorney’s fees, and costs.