Chiptole. Photo via Wikipedia Commons
Chiptole. Photo via Wikipedia Commons

In a scene straight out of the old “Seinfeld” TV comedy, three consumers are suing Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., alleging the restaurant chain’s menu misrepresents the nutritional value of its food products and provides more calories than advertised.

The lawsuit cites the company’s chorizo burrito that is described as having 300 calories, but an “excessively full” plaintiff contends the burrito “couldn’t have been just 300 calories.”

One of the best-remembered episodes of “Seinfeld” centered around a yogurt shop that sidekick-neighbor Kramer invested in because the product tasted so good but was supposedly non-fat and unlikely to add weight. As Seinfeld and the other stars began eating copious amounts of the yogurt, they gained unexpected weight, despite the “non-fat” label in the 1993 episode.

The proposed class-action lawsuit against Chipotle was brought in Los Angeles Superior Court by David Desmond, Edward Gurevich and Young Hoon Kim and would cover all people who bought food at Chipotle for four years leading up to the filing of the complaint. All three plaintiffs bought chorizo burritos at three different Chipotle locations this month.

A Chipotle representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit filed Tuesday. The legal action alleges breach of warranty and violations of the state’s Business and Professions Code.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and an injunction preventing Chipotle from putting allegedly misleading information about the nutritional value of its products on its menu boards, website and marketing campaigns.

The suit alleges Chipotle’s menu contains false nutritional information in which “consumers are lulled into a false belief that the items they are eating are healthier than they really are,” though the chain bills itself as a provider of “food with integrity,” organic fare and “responsibility raised” meat as part of its promotion of a “healthy eating mantra.”

Based on its menu board, Desmond bought a chorizo burrito at the Chipotle restaurant on San Vicente Boulevard in Los Angeles on Nov. 3 believing that it contained 300 calories, the suit states. But after consuming the product, Desmond “felt excessively full and realized that the burrito couldn’t have been just 300 calories,” according to the complaint.

Two days later, Gurevich bought a chorizo burrito at the Chipotle location on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake and similarly realized after eating it that had more than the 300 calories advertised, the suit says.

On Monday, Kim ate a chorizo burrito at the Chipotle restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles and came to the same conclusions as the other plaintiffs that the 300-calories that the menu board stated the item contained was untrue, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit further alleges that information on Chipotle’s website also contains misleading information about the calories in a chorizo burrito and other products.

–City News Service 

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