Too Many Calories in Your Candy? That’s a Lawsuit!

Reason covers food-based class-action suits like the Subway ‘footlong’ settlement.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported that an area man had sued eminent Chicago-based candy maker Wrigley, alleging the packaging of the company’s Starburst candies deceived him.

Plaintiff Artur Tyksinski alleges the front of the company’s Starburst package he allegedly purchased claims the candy contains ten fewer calories per piece (130) than the FDA-mandated “Nutrition Facts” panel on the back of the package says it actually contains (140).

One of those federal lawsuits that faced quite a “skeptical view” recently in federal court in Chicago concerns sandwich maker Subway, in a suit I first wrote about in a 2013 column. In that lawsuit, Subway faced claims the chain’s signature “footlong” subs were not twelve-inches long.

“That may seem like hairsplitting—especially given the fact that dictionaries define the word ‘footlong’ not as ‘exactly 12.00 inches’ but, rather, as ‘approximately one foot in length,'” I wrote at the time. Nevertheless, Subway reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in 2016. But the settlement was thrown out last month by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which determined the agreement provided a windfall to the plaintiffs’ lawyers but little if any value to the plaintiffs themselves.

The settlement was dismissed thanks to the intervention of Ted Frank of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness. Frank filed an objection “to the settlement on grounds that while the lawyers were ‘handsomely compensated’ the class received ‘negligible to no relief.'”

Read the full article at Reason.