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Feb. 26 — An injunctive-relief class settlement requiring Subway restaurants to institute measures ensuring that “Footlongs” and “Six-inch” sandwiches live up to their advertised lengths has won final endorsement.
Judge Lynn Adelman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Feb. 25 approved the deal between plaintiffs and Doctor's Associates, the franchisor for Subway. The plaintiffs filed consumer suits after an Australian teenager posted Facebook photos of a Footlong sandwich that was only 11 inches long.
The suits were consolidated before Adelman in federal multidistrict litigation.
The agreement also calls for attorneys' fees of $520,000 and incentive awards of $500 to each of the 10 named plaintiffs.
The deal drew four objectors—including Theodore H. Frank, director of the Center for Class Action Fairness—but especially given the relative weakness of the case, the total value ($525,000 plus the value of the injunction) is reasonable, the court said.
Testing showed that the length of the bread didn't affect the amount of food a customer received. The dough sticks used to make the bread were all the same weight, and the amount of meat and cheese included in each sandwich was standardized.
Frank objected, in part, to the entire allocation of the monetary component going to the named plaintiffs and class counsel. But the court said it would be highly impractical to distribute a settlement as small as $520,000 to a class composed of many millions of consumers.
DeNittis Osefchen, P.C. and Zimmerman Law Offices represented the plaintiffs.
Wiggin & Dana LLP and others represented Doctor's Associates.
Adam E Schulman Competitive Enterprise Institute represented Frank.
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The opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/In_Re_Subway_Footlong_Sandwich_Marketing_and_Sales_Practices_Liti.
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