Class Actions

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE of the Short-Subway-Sandwich Settlement

sandwichSubway sandwich (not to scale)

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PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, first, that this is NOT an official court notice regarding the settlement, but rather is a notice you found on a legal-humor website that may to some extent make fun of that settlement, as you would expect, and yet also providing further and additional notice of the same, not in the sense of legal notice but in the general sense, and also providing links to the official settlement website, such as that one right there [now defunct], which is what you should consult for real information about said settlement instead of this legal-humor website.


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that if you bought a qualifying sandwich during the relevant class period, your rights could be affected by the pending settlement of numerous class actions involving said sandwiches, actions in which the plaintiffs, a group that may include but is not necessarily limited to you, claim that the defendant “has marketed Subway® Footlong sandwiches as being 12 inches when they are not in fact 12 inches,” and “make a similar claim about the marketing of Six Inch sandwiches,” SAID CLAIM BEING THAT the “Six Inch sandwiches” are not in fact six inches in length.

They are allegedly shorter sometimes.

The presiding judge has certified a preliminary settlement class, which you are in (if, see above, etc.), and has approved a preliminary settlement, about which you may have questions (people frequently do).


Have Plaintiffs proven Subway did anything wrong? No.

Has Subway admitted it did anything wrong? No.

Has the Court ruled on the merits? No.

Then why is there a settlement? The parties have agreed that settlement will be beneficial because each side will avoid the risks, delay, and costs of trial, and consumers will get benefits.

Will consumers get benefits? No.

No? Well, sort of.

What will I get? Nothing.

Nothing? Not a thing, unless you buy Subway sandwiches of the aforedescribed ilk in the future. This is because under the settlement, Subway has agreed only to change various business practices relating to said sandwiches, including among other things the following:

  • Requiring franchisees to use a “tool for measuring bread” (perhaps including but not limited to that tool sometimes known as a “ruler”) to help ensure the relevant length is attained;
  • Regular inspections;
  • Alteration of all protocols that previously allowed for “a small tolerance” in the length of said sandwiches to require that they be at least the stated length;
  • Display of the following notice in each Subway restaurant: “Due to natural variations in the bread baking process, the size and shape of bread may vary.”

But you said they would all be at least the advertised length from now on. Yes.

So why do I care that “the size and shape of bread may vary?” I guess you don’t.

Okay. Okay.

What if I believed that “footlong” and “six-inch” were approximations in the first place and was, in fact, not displeased by and had no objection to the sandwich or sandwiches that was or were handed to me at all relevant times during the class period? I don’t understand the question.

Do I have lawyers in this case? You sure do.

Are they getting anything? You mean besides very slightly longer sandwiches? Of course.

How much? Half a million bucks, give or take.

That seems like a lot. You’re new to this, aren’t you? Also, that isn’t a question.

Can I object? Sure, if you’re a class member or otherwise have standing. You have to object by December 16, though.

What sense does all this make? Depends who you ask.

I’m asking you. Let me finish. Some people would argue that consumer class actions like this one are reasonable because they are one way to protect consumers from widespread practices that are deceptive or unfair but involve small amounts that don’t give any one person an incentive to sue, and because government doesn’t have the resources to regulate everything. Consumers have benefited, at least in the abstract, and the defendant has had to pay something as a penalty for the alleged wrongdoing. Other people would argue that this approach is inefficient and encourages frivolous lawsuits that benefit only or primarily the attorneys on both sides; these people might also point out that there is another regulatory system out there, namely the market—if the defendant has done something wrong and you make the evidence public, then fewer people will buy from that defendant, so its non-cheating competitors will do better. So, it depends who you ask.

Sorry, I thought I saw a Kardashian. What did you say? Nothing interesting.

So should I object? That’s up to you. Personally, I’d like to see somebody object on the grounds that “six inch” needs to be hyphenated because “six-inch sandwiches” and “six inch sandwiches” mean two totally different things. But I’ll probably have to do that myself.

Maybe I should look at the official notice and not rely on a legal-humor website for information about the settlement. I couldn’t agree more. [But time has now expired. So sorry.]