Back in 2013 a picture of a Subway sandwich measuring closer to 11 inches than 12 inches went viral, and soon afterwards, the lawsuits (filed by a New Jersey resident under our state’s Consumer Fraud Act of course) began to fly.
Fast forward to today. All those lawsuits have been consolidated and settled. As members of the class, NJCJI staff were pretty interested to see what reward we were going to reap from this legal saga. Money? Free sandwiches for life? The possibilities were endless. But it turns out all we get is the death of the $5 Footlong.
The named plaintiffs get $500 a piece, the attorneys get $525,000, but we and all the other Joe Schmoe plaintiffs just get assurances that Subway will improve its quality control program. This is such a joke. Subway already weighs all the dough before it bakes it, so even if your bread is 11 inches long, you still get the same amount of bread as the 12 inch folks, it’s just thicker. You also get the same amount of toppings since that is standardized by Subway.
We’re struggling to see what the point of this litigation was once it was determined that consumers were all getting the same amount of food despite the difference in sandwich length. Nobody was being ripped off by Subway, but we sure do feel like we’re getting ripped off now.
We’re not the only one who think this settlement is a bad deal. It is currently being challenged by the Center for Class Action Fairness. During oral arguments over the challenge of the settlement, Judge Diane Sykes said the case did not pass the “laugh test.”
Hopefully the court is convinced that the class deserves a better deal, but we doubt they can get us what I really want – the return of the $5 Footlong. Perhaps a suitable consolation prize would be a ruling that limits future ridiculous lawsuits like this.