Chipotle Restaurant Violated Disability Law

July 28, 2010

An appeals court has ruled that two Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in San Diego have violated a federal law protecting the rights of the disabled.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that customers in wheelchairs are denied the “Chipotle experience” of watching their food being prepared because the restaurants’ 45-inch counters are too high.

The company now faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

The unanimous three-judge ruling overturned a trial court decision pointing to Chipotle’s willingness to prepare a disabled customer’s order elsewhere. The appeals court said that is still unfair.

The ruling was issued on the 20th anniversary of passage of the American with Disabilities Act.

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