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May 12, 2011 10:41 PM by Stephanie Collins

Man sues Chipotle, alleging discrimination

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Mexican man who claims he was the victim of racial and national discrimination at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Eden Prairie is suing the company.

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.

Valadez's attorney, Bruce Nestor, says his client would like a commitment from Denver-based Chipotle to change its policies. Minnesota Public Radio reports the lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County, doesn't specify the financial damages Valadez wants. But it seeks a maximum of $25,000 in punitive damages.

Chipotle says it does not comment on pending litigation but plans a vigorous defense.

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