Waffle House sign

Waffle House sign (Wikimedia Commons)

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal civil rights lawsuit says a manager at an Atlanta-area Waffle House used racial epithets to refer to customers of Mexican descent.

The lawsuit filed Monday says the alleged discrimination happened in February 2017 at a restaurant in Doraville.

The lawsuit says Pabla Martinez, a U.S. citizen, went to the restaurant with her young daughter and then-husband. It says the cook and restaurant manager, a white man, used a racial slur to refer to them and muttered "Why don't they deport you to Mexico?"

The lawsuit says the family later discovered the food in their to-go order was strewn with garbage and not cooked properly.

Waffle House issued a statement Tuesday saying it is reviewing the case, does not tolerate discrimination and will respond through the legal process.

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This story has been corrected to show Martinez's first name is spelled Pabla not Paola.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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