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WHAT OTHERS SAY: When Subway footlongs come up short

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | 10:45 a.m. CDT

Usually we prefer precise language, but as to the Subway Footlong sandwich, “footish-long” would be acceptable.

The 35,000-store fast-food chain, headquartered in Milford, Conn., reportedly has reached a tentative settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by 11 law firms around the country.

They allege that the footlongs aren’t always a foot long, and that an 11½-inch submarine sandwich constitutes fraud.

Lawsuits like this one undermine legal efforts to redress serious grievances. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but lawyers estimated that shorter sandwiches account for about $142 million of Subway’s $2.85 billion in annual revenues.

The guess here is that the average aggrieved customer will get a coupon and the lawyers will make out like bandits.

Subway’s defense was that its dough starts out as standardized blobs. And anyone who has baked bread will attest, dough sometimes has a mind of its own.

Who could imagine that a crusading reporter from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post would bring a tape measure to lunch, which is how this great legal crusade got started.

Our advice to Subway: Don’t settle. Tell ’em to squish the sandwich down and measure it again.

Copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reprinted with permission.


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