Taco Bell ordered to pay $42M

January 26, 2009 1:22:08 PM PST
A federal appeals court has ordered Taco Bell Corp. to pay the creators of the fast-food chain's popular Chihuahua sales mascot $42 million.

A Michigan jury in 2003 found that Irvine-based Taco Bell didn't properly pay the dog's creators when it launched its $500 million advertising blitz in the 1990s that popularized the phrase "Yo quiero Taco Bell!" After the verdict, Taco Bell blamed advertising agency TBWA Chiat/Day for stiffing the dog's creators. Taco Bell sued the ad agency over responsibility for the $42 million judgment.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court's ruling ordering Taco Bell to make the payment.

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands Inc., a quick-service restaurant company based in Louisville, Ky.