Civil action filed in New Mexico swastika branding

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Relatives of a developmentally disabled Navajo man who was branded with a heated swastika have filed a civil lawsuit against McDonald's Corp. and the owner of a New Mexico restaurant.

The action was filed Thursday on behalf of the victim, whose arm was branded using a heated metal coat hanger shaped into a swastika last spring.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in state District Court in Santa Fe, alleges a McDonald's franchise owner in Farmington, N.M., hired employees in violation of corporate policies requiring a safe environment for customers.

Neither McDonald's officials nor the local owner immediately returned messages seeking comment.

Three men face federal criminal charges under a law that makes it easier for the government to prosecute people for hate crimes.