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Michael Phelan
Michael Phelan
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Stupid Lawsuit of the Month: Subway Shrinkage

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Two New Jersey men sued Subway this week, claiming the world's biggest fast-food chain has been shorting them by selling so-called footlong sandwiches that measure a bit less than 12 inches.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Superior Court in Mount Holly, may be the first legal filing aimed at the sandwich shops after an embarrassment went viral last week when someone posted a photo of a footlong and a ruler on the company's Facebook page to show that the sandwich was not as long as advertised.

At the time, the company issued a statement saying that the sandwich length can vary a bit when franchises do not bake to the exact corporate standards.

Stephen DeNittis, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the New Jersey suit, said he's seeking class-action status and is also preparing to file a similar suit in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia.

I have to admit that I am partial to Subway because it is located in my home town of Milford, CT. I grew up going to the original Subway, and can remember when they served sandwiches on round rolls. I have many great memories from hanging out at that place. Having said that, this lawsuit filed in New Jersey and the class action being contemplated are bogus. I wonder if Subway will blame it on the cold water used to bake the bread!

Who the hell is damaged by a sub that is 11 1/2 inches rather than 12 inches? In my opinion, the only person who stands to make any money from this publicity stunt is Mr. DeNittis, the lawyer contemplating filing the class action. In the unlikely event that this frivolous lawsuit is not dismissed, each member of the class would get some minimal award for the value of that missing half inch, but the lawer would stand to be paid a percentage of the entire award to all class members. In legitimate class actions, this financial arrangement makes perfect sense. This case, however, provides fodder to the enemies of the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. The tort reformers, who would like to limit individual citizens' access to the courts, will have a heyday with this case.

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    This is the exact type of stuff that clouds the public’s view of trial attorneys. Thanks for sharing this with us all Mike. Hopefully, counsel will realize the lawsuit shouldn’t be pursued.