Chipotle has filed a lawsuit against Sweetgreen for trademark infringement, alleging that the salad chain's "Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl" menu item copies the name and branding of Chipotle's burrito bowls. The complaint, which was filed in a California federal court, claims that Sweetgreen's use of the word "Chipotle" in its advertising and the dish's name is likely to cause consumer confusion. Chipotle alleges that Sweetgreen has used the word "Chipotle" as a source-identifying trademark and that Instagram users have associated the two companies. In addition, a restaurant industry news article has noted that Sweetgreen's new dish "veers directly into arch-rival Chipotle Mexican Grill's territory." Chipotle had contacted Sweetgreen about branding concerns and recommended that the chain rename the dish to use "chipotle" in lowercase, but Sweetgreen did not respond, according to the complaint. The Mexican food chain owns five federal trademark registrations for the word "Chipotle." Sweetgreen has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
Law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is opposing an attempt by two US health insurers to review certain internal records as the firm prepares to seek $185m in legal fees from a $3.7bn settlement with the US government. The dispute comes after a court struck down the $185m award in January, with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit saying the lower court had not "adequately" justified the amount. The health insurers have suggested about $8m in fees would be appropriate. In a statement, surprising no one, Quinn Emanuel's Adam Wolfson said the fee agreement the class members agreed to "should stand."
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that unionized workers who sue for violations of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) are pre-empted if the worker is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with a broad management rights clause. Instead, the dispute resolution process set out in the union contract must be used, which typically involves grievance arbitration. The ruling is part of a surge in litigation under Illinois' biometric privacy law, which requires companies to disclose the purpose of collecting the information, obtain permission, and publish data retention or destruction policies. Such violations can be expensive, with a $228m judgment awarded against BNSF Railway Co. truck drivers for collecting employee fingerprints without consent. Arbitrators are responsible for deciding disputes over whether biometric privacy claims must go through a collective bargaining agreement’s dispute resolution process but it remains unclear what happens to such allegations in arbitration. Unions are expected to negotiate for strong biometric privacy protections in future contracts as a result of the ruling.
The US Department of Justice has agreed to a $144.5 million settlement with survivors and families of the victims of the 2017 mass shooting at a Texas church that killed 26 people, for which a judge found the Air Force primarily responsible. The settlement with more than 75 plaintiffs requires approval by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez in San Antonio. It would end the government's appeal of Rodriguez's order that it pay approximately $230 million over the November 5, 2017 massacre by former Air Force airman Devin Patrick Kelley at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Kelley had used firearms he should not have been allowed to buy after admitting in a 2012 court martial to domestic violence. In July 2021, Rodriguez found the Air Force 60% responsible over its failure to enter Kelley's plea in a database used for background checks prior to firearms purchases. Though finding Kelley 40% responsible, Rodriguez said not even Kelley's parents knew as much as the government about their son's capacity for violence. The settlement ends a painful chapter for the victims of the crime.