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National Sandwich Day: Get a Great Deal, Celebrate a Big Consumer Win

Today is once again National Sandwich Day. All across the country, Americans can get a great deal and celebrate this humble yet indispensable staple of so many lunchtime meals. Yet there’s one more aspect of National Sandwich Day to appreciate this year—the big win for consumers in a spoiled class action settlement deal against sandwich maker Subway.

In an affront to sandwich eaters everywhere, class action lawyers had tried to make off with a bundle of cash—a fee award and payments to class representatives totaling $525,000—by claiming that Subway’s advertised “footlong” sandwiches sometimes fell slightly short of 12 inches. No one disputed the fact that the actual weight of the dough and the amount of ingredients were uniform for each sandwich. As many sandwich connoisseurs have no doubt noticed, some hunks of dough bake to shorter, different shapes of bread than others.

Even the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit conceded that slight differences in bread length wouldn’t stand in the way of their future Subway sandwich purchases.

But the other problem with the nonsensical lawsuit was that the vast majority of actual class members (Subway customers) got nothing—not so much as an extra pickle. Prior to the litigation, Subway had already taken steps to monitor minor disparities in the length of its bread rolls during baking.  

Though plaintiffs’ lawyers initially got court approval for the aforementioned half a million dollars, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior attorney and Subway sandwich customer Ted Frank stepped in to challenge that unjust settlement deal.

Starting in 2015, the court challenge took a while. But, finally, the first serving of good news came on August 25, 2017, when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the lawyer-enriching settlement deal. “By rejecting this class action settlement, the Seventh Circuit recognized it as part of the ‘racket’ plaintiffs’ attorneys use to extract fees for themselves while providing class members with nothing,” Frank said in response to the consumer win.

The second serving of good news came in late October 2017, when, in the wake of that court ruling, the plaintiffs in the case decided not to continue to pursue the claims. Thus ends the saga of the too-short Subway sandwich lawsuit. Now, sandwich eaters nationwide can relish their National Sandwich Day deals in peace.

Read more about the Subway Footlong Sandwich Marketing And Sales Practices Litigation.