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Lawyers Deprived of Fees in Unjustified Lawsuit


Judge Diane Sykes of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a $525,000 settlement to cover plaintiff's legal fees allowed by a lower court in a class-action suit against the Subway chain. At issue was a contention that some "foot-long" sandwiches were only 11 inches from end-to-end.

Judge Sykes characterized the lawsuit as "utterly worthless" and served only to enrich lawyers who filed the case. Nine customers in the class received $500 each in settlement.

Sykes invoked "common sense" avowing that a company cannot guarantee that every roll is exactly 12 inches in length but customers receive the same quantity of ingredients on their sandwiches.

Regrettably, members of the tort bar ("slip and trip shops") are taking their cue from the "oldest profession" and are constantly searching for plaintiffs to initiate shakedown lawsuits against food manufacturers and restaurants claiming spurious damages or alleging deceptive promotion. Hopefully the case law established by this judgement will avert future litigation.

(SMS 1,416-17 September 1st 2017)