Subway to ensure sandwiches measure up after 'Footlong' lawsuit

NEW YORK -- Subway customers can finally rest assured that their "Footlong" sandwiches will be as long as promised.

A judge last week granted final approval to a settlement of a class-action suit filed against Subway after an Australian teenager in 2013 posted an image of his sandwich on Facebook that was only 11 inches.

See Full Article

The image garnered international media attention, with The New York Post writing that it found four out of seven Footlongs it purchased in New York "measured only 11 or 11.5 inches."

A judge had given preliminary approval in October to a settlement between Subway's parent company Doctor's Associates and plaintiffs' attorneys. Final approval was granted on Feb. 25.

A representative for Subway did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As part of the settlement, Subway agreed to institute practices for at least four years to ensure its bread is at least 12 inches long. The judge approved $520,000 in attorney fees and $500 for each of the 10 individuals who were representatives of the class, but no monetary claims were awarded to potential members of the class.

"It was difficult to prove monetary damages, because everybody ate the evidence," said Thomas Zimmerman, who was co-lead attorney for the class. Zimmerman said the attorney fees are being split among 10 law firms.

Lynn Adelman, a judge for the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, wrote in the final approval that the plaintiffs' attorneys realized their claims "were quite weak" after an initial mediation session. Instead of trying to get class certification for monetary damages, he said plaintiffs decided to focus on injunctive relief requiring Doctor's Associates to ensure its sandwiches are at least 12 inches long.

Adelman wrote that the plaintiffs' attorneys learned Subway makes its bread with "dough sticks" that weigh the same when they arrive at stores frozen. The dough is then thawed and stretched before baking, a process that can lead to variability in the size and shape of the resulting bread.

While the dough may have different shapes, it still has the same quantity of ingredients, Adelman wrote. The amount of meat and cheese is also standardized, but it's possible that a shorter bread loaf might lead to a slightly less toppings. For instance, "a sandwich that was 1/4-inch shorter than advertised might be missing a few shreds of lettuce or a gram or two of mayonnaise," the judge wrote.

But Adelman also noted that sandwiches are made in front of the customer, who can ask for more toppings.

"Thus, the plaintiffs learned that, as a practical matter, the length of the bread does not affect the quantity of food the customer receives," Adelman wrote.

Still, Subway agreed as part of the settlement to take steps to ensure its bread is at least 12 inches long, including requiring franchisees to "use a tool for measuring bread."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • PepsiCo makes biggest public pre-order of Tesla Semis: 100 trucks

    Economic CBC News
    PepsiCo Inc. has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc.'s new electric Semi trucks, the largest known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday. Source
  • MTY Food Group signs deal to buy Imvescor Restaurant Group for $248 million

    Economic CBC News
    MTY Food Group Inc. is growing beyond the shopping mall food court with a $248-million stock-and-cash deal to buy Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. and its full-service restaurant and grocery products businesses. The friendly deal will bring together such MTY banners as Thai Express, Vanellis and Manchu Wok with Imvescor's Baton Rouge, Pizza Delight and Scores restaurants to create a company with a portfolio of over 5,700 stores under 75 brands. Source
  • Iceland closes gender gap but violence against women remains

    Economic CTV News
    REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- For nine years in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Iceland as having the world's smallest gender-equality gap, and for about as long gender studies professor Gyda Margret Petursdottir has been asked how the Nordic island nation became such a paradise for women. Source
  • Lyft ride-hailing app arrives in Toronto, marking its first expansion outside U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ride-hailing service Lyft will be available in Toronto starting today. Torontonians can download the Lyft app to being ordering rides in the city. The company's arrival in Toronto marks the first time it has expanded outside the US. Source
  • Bombardier signs deal to sell Aventra trains in U.K.

    Economic CTV News
    BERLIN - Bombardier Transportation (TSX:BBD.B) has signed a deal to supply 333 new rail cars, along with a contract for maintenance work, with a U.K. rail company. Corelink Rail Infrastructure and West Midlands Trains will receive 333 new Bombardier Aventra vehicles for use on the United Kingdom's West Midlands Trains franchise. Source
  • Ride-hailing service Lyft expands outside U.S. for 1st time to take on Uber in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    Starting today, Torontonians will have another option to get around the city. Lyft has launched outside the U.S. for the first time, putting pressure on Uber for a share of the ride-hailing market. Other Canadian cities are in Lyft's sight as the company, Uber's main rival in the U.S. Source
  • Cost of child care up by 20% in some cities since 2014, report finds

    Economic CBC News
    The cost of child care is rising quickly in Canada, in some cities increasing by as much as 20 per cent from three years ago and more than 10 per cent in most of Canada. Source
  • Toronto leads country in child-care fees, but costs rising almost everywhere

    Economic CBC News
    The cost of child care is rising quickly in Canada, in some cities increasing by as much as 20 per cent from three years ago and more than 10 per cent in most of Canada. Source
  • World shares retreat ahead of Fed interest rate decision

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Shares were mostly lower in Europe and Asia on Tuesday as investors retreated ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 0.2 per cent to 13,099.40 and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.5 per cent to 5,362.83. Source
  • Health care and materials lead the way on Toronto market, loonie lower

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The health care and materials sectors helped boost Canada's main stock index in late-morning trading as the loonie lost ground. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.83 points to 16,128.34, after 90 minutes of trading. Source