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Subway 11-inch sandwiches settlement only benefited lawyers, judge rules

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Case reached court thanks to ‘minor social media sensation’

A judge has ruled that a settlement reached between Subway and angry customers regarding some of its footlongs measuring 11 inches was “no better than a racket” and totally worthless to sandwich lovers. “Zero plus zero equals zero,” concluded Judge Diane Sykes.

Sykes — who reportedly has a fan in Donald Trump, and could well be his next Supreme Court pick — heard the case alongside two fellow judges in the United States Court of Appeals.

The case reached these dizzy judicial heights thanks to “minor social media sensation” Matt Corby. As Sykes explained:

In January 2013 Matt Corby, an Australian teenager, purchased a Subway footlong sandwich and, for reasons unknown, decided to measure it. The sandwich was only 11 inches long. He took a photo of the sandwich next to a tape measure and posted the photo on his Facebook page.

Sandwich measuring became a “fleeting social media meme”, which eventually resulted in a class action lawsuit against the food chain.

A screenshot of Matt Corby’s viral Facebook post

“Proof of injury was nigh impossible,” the 59-year-old judge explained, “because no customer whose sandwich roll actually failed to measure up received any less food because of the shortfall.” This is because Subway’s unbaked bread sticks are uniform, and the minor and unpreventable variations that do occur are because of the baking process.

Eventually, Subway agreed to a number of conditions to ensure that its rolls are at least a foot in length. These included using “tools” to measure sandwiches and inspecting bread ovens.

Done and dusted? Enter Ted Frank, an attorney who founded the Center for Class Action Fairness. He objected to these conditions, arguing that they didn’t benefit the class in any meaningful way and were therefore worthless. The lower courts disagreed and approved the settlement, to which Frank appealed.

And, perhaps surprisingly, Sykes and her colleagues agreed. She said:

The injunctive relief approved by the district judge is utterly worthless… Here, the procedures required by the settlement do not benefit the class in any meaningful way. The settlement acknowledges as much when it says that uniformity in bread length is impossible due to the natural variability of the bread-baking process. Contempt as a remedy to enforce a worthless settlement is itself worthless. Zero plus zero equals zero.

But it wasn’t zero for the suing attorneys, who collected $520,000 (£404,000) in fees for the case. This Subway legal battle only really benefited them, Sykes concluded. But at least we can sleep sound tonight knowing this vital nugget of information:

No class member, regardless of bread length, was cheated on the amount of ham or turkey, provolone or pepper jack.

Read the judgment in full below:

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24 Comments

Jason

I find an extra inch can make all the difference.

(13)(1)

Katie's wannabe lover

I hope Katie doesn’t agree

(4)(0)

Diane Abbott

Nothing beats a full footlong.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Diane, asking for a friend. How many inches are in a foot?

(15)(1)

Diane Abbott

Well, it depends on what sort of foot you’re… If I had a sandwich is certainly want it to be a foot… 84 million, no wait one moment please, it’s interesting you see… Yes, we believe that a foot is 340 million…

(26)(2)

Jeremy Corbyn

Thanks Diane. See you tonight.

(8)(1)

Owen Jones

Demonisation is the ideological backbone of an unequal society. As are misrepresented bread lengths.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

What is “enough” for KK?

A) Full foot long
B) 11 inches
C) 11 cm
D) 11 men

(13)(2)

Gopher

Funny how feet and inches, Miles and yards remain the official unit of measurement of length in this country when we’ve gone metric for nearly everything else.

(6)(3)

Anonymous

Neek.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Side splitting hilarious! I’ve never thought about this before and now I can barely breath.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Could have been worse. For about ten years (1995-2005 roughly) Irish distance signs were in KM while speed limits were in MPH!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

@10:40

You can barely write in English.

(0)(0)

Pedant

Actually, under the Weights and Measures Act 1985 both metric and imperial have equal validity in the UK.

An EC directive mandates that most things be sold in metric but there’s nothing unlawful about putting an imperial price or label too- it’s just most shops/products don’t bother.

That’s why all jam jars are 454g- it’s actuall 1lb.

(0)(0)

TheGreatGunnerB

          “That’s why all jam jars are 454g- it’s actuall 1lb”
How can you claim to be a pedant when:
A]
Not ALL jam jars are 454g
AND
B]
There is no such English word as “actuall”
[the penultimate word you meant to write is actually “actually”, unless you are no pedant, but actually a neologist…]

(1)(1)

Thomas Connelly

You’ll be seeing my 11 incher later, Katie.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Noses don’t count…

(4)(2)

Anonymous

You’re a prick Connelly. It’s not the 70s.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

You’re banterless, just like the 1970’s

(2)(0)

Coco the Killer Clown

How many inches will be left of young wee Jonnie Coyne after tonight??

🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣🤡🤣

(2)(0)

Matt's mum

“In January 2013 Matt Corby, an Australian teenager, purchased a Subway footlong sandwich and, for reasons unknown, decided to measure it. The sandwich was only 11 inches long. He took a photo of the sandwich next to a tape measure and posted the photo on his Facebook page.”

Correction… Matt Corby RE POSTED a picture already on Subways page…. but if it’s on Facebook it’s true right?

(0)(1)

Pedant

“subway’s page”

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Every inch counts.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

If it was 13 inches would it be a “baker’s foot”?

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.