Man sues Chipotle, claiming discriminationby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Mexican man who claims he was the victim of racial and national discrimination at a Chipotle restaurant in Eden Prairie is suing the company in Hennepin County District Court.
Laurencio Valadez is seeking damages for mental anguish and suffering. In July 2009, Valadez tried to buy a beer at the restaurant. The 39-year-old Valadez was asked for an ID. He presented his Mexican passport but was told it was unacceptable, although Minnesota law says foreign passports are sufficient proof of age.
"Mr. Valadez has always wanted the same relief, maybe beginning with an apology, the commitment by Chipotle to change its policies that we believe led to this happening, as well as compensation," said Bruce Nestor, Valadez's attorney. "I will say that when this happened, other than people working at the restaurant, Mr. Valadez was the only Latino in the restaurant."
The lawsuit doesn't specify the financial damages Valadez wants. But it seeks a maximum of $25,000 in punitive damages.
Chipotle said it does not comment on pending litigation but plans a vigorous defense.