ABA Journal, February 2017 — In January 2013, Australian teen Matt Corby posted a photo on Facebook of a Subway “foot-long” sandwich he’d bought next to a ruler that showed it was an inch short. The post went viral—and within weeks, people across the United States began to file lawsuits, claiming they’d been shorted by Subway, too.
These disappointed sandwich eaters weren’t simply suing to get money for themselves, however. They wanted their lawsuits certified as class actions, arguing that millions of Subway customers weren’t getting what they paid for.
As this litigation made headlines, it became the latest flashpoint in the debate about whether class action is an important tool for consumers to guard their rights or a way for lawyers to shake down corporations. Like many class action lawsuits in the news, this litigation involves fast-food restaurants.