Lawsuit filed against Chipotle, 2 managers after hidden camera found in women's restroom

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor

MISSOURI CITY, Texas - A lawsuit has been filed against the Chipotle at 6245 Highway 6 and two of its managers in Missouri City.

The lawsuit claims Joanny Castillo, 18, repeatedly installed a video-recording spy camera in the woman's restroom at the restaurant, according to the lawsuit. A woman and her 5-year-old daughter were recorded undressing and using the restroom. The lawsuit says the recordings were to be sold.

On Feb. 24, one of the restaurant's employees noticed a partially hidden video camera in the women's restroom. The camera was aimed at the employee while she was using the restroom, according to the lawsuit.

The employee removed the camera after using the restroom. She said she noticed one of the managers, Castillo, had volunteered to clean the women's restroom that night, the lawsuit says.

When the employee left the restroom with the camera, Castillo went into the restroom, according to the lawsuit.

When Castillo walked out of the restroom, the employee said he was frantically running around the restaurant, telling employees that a customer had called and claimed to have left a small recording device in the restroom, according to the lawsuit.

The employee handed over the camera only after Castillo said it had a GPS tracker, according to the lawsuit.

Castillo ran out of the store and claimed to have returned the camera to the customer.

Three days later, the employee found the same camera in the restroom. This time, the employee said the camera was discreetly placed under the restroom sink, according to the lawsuit.

The employee handed the device over to the general manager who was on duty. Instead of turning the device over to authorities, the general manager took the camera home, the lawsuit says.

The employee called authorities, and the camera and SIM card was given to police, the lawsuit says.

Castillo was charged with invasive visual recording by Fort Bend County authorities.

The lawsuit states Chipotle attempted to cover up the incident in a number of ways.

Here are some of those ways, according to the lawsuit:

  • Attempting to blame customers for planting the recording device
  • Destroying SIM cards that contained images of women and children undressing and using the restroom
  • Mandating that no Chipotle managers or employees with knowledge of the recordings notify anyone, including law enforcement
  • The general manager allowed another member of management to take the video recorder home in an attempt to destroy evidence
  • By continuing to allow the general manager who was involved in the cover-up to continue working in a managerial capacity for over two months after the video recording scandal was uncovered
  • By removing incriminating emails
  • By refusing to notify employees or customers of the video-recording scandal

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Chipotle released the following statement on the lawsuit:

"We were shocked and appalled to learn that one of our employees may have been involved in this incident. When it was brought to our attention, we took swift and decisive action to terminate that employee, and pledged our full cooperation with the law enforcement investigation and prosecution of the individual who is allegedly involved. It has always been our aim to work with individuals who may have been impacted by this issue to see that it is resolved, and that continues to be our focus. We maintain zero-tolerance policies for behaviors that compromise the safety and well-being of our customers or employees, and will continue to enforce those policies if ever they are violated."

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