Report: Chipotle to shell out undisclosed amount to avoid court battle with sick customers

Chipotle has reached financial settlements with more than 100 customers who got sick last year after eating at its restaurants.

staff photo
Chipotle will try its hand at burgers, first in Lancaster, Ohio. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

A Chipotle location. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Chipotle has reached financial settlements with more than 100 customers who got sick last year after eating at its restaurants.

The deals should avoid drawn out, public court battles for the Denver-based Mexican restaurant chain that’s trying to restore its sales and reputation, Reuters reported Thursday.

It’s unclear how much customers will get from Chipotle Mexican Grill. A Chipotle spokesman told Reuters the company “does right by our customers and simply wanted to make things right for people who were affected by any of those incidents.”

By “those incidents,” the spokesman means 64 customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin were infected with salmonella in August 2015 after being served bad tomatoes at 22 restaurants.

Also in August, 243 customers in California were sickened by a norovirus outbreak. Another 143 customers in Boston caught the virus during December.

Chipotle blames both of those outbreaks on employees who violated company policies and worked while sick.

The restaurant chain was reportedly unable to detect the source of E. Coli outbreaks that caused 60 customers in 11 states to become sick during October and November.

In response to the outbreaks, Chipotle implemented new food safety procedures. The company started the first half of the year with revenue down about $454 million or 20 percent from the first six months of 2015.

Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here. Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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