Denny's Hit With New Lawsuit

On the same day the Denny's restaurant chain launched an unprecedented TV ad campaign about racism, the company was hit by yet another race discrimination lawsuit, this one in San Jose, California.CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports.

"I think their image does need cleaning up. I think it's great they are doing that and making this effort. But in the situation my client is in, it's not soon enough and not enough," said Richard Critchlow the plaintiff's lawyer.

Denny's has admitted to problems in the past. It paid more than $45 million to settle a suit filed by black Secret Service agents five years ago who claimed they were refused service by the chain.

But Denny's says it has changed. It says it has increased the number of its minority restaurant owners and poured $2 million into creating and airing the television spots.

But for construction worker George Sotello, one of a group of Hispanic customers who filed suit on Tuesday against Denny's, the company line doesn't square with the company's actions.

Sotello claims that when he and his family went into the San Jose Denny's for breakfast, an employee refused to seat them because they were Hispanic.

"The guy walked out from the back and looked up and down from us and said this is (bleep) and walked back," says George Sotello.

No disciplinary action has been taken against the manager or workers at the San Jose restaurant. Denny's parent company says if any employees are found guilty of discrimination they'll be fired immediately.

Reported By Sandra Hughes
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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