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Thread: 'Worthless' Subway 'Footlong' sandwich settlement is thrown out

  1. #1
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    'Worthless' Subway 'Footlong' sandwich settlement is thrown out

    (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a class-action settlement intended to resolve claims that the Subway sandwich chain deceived customers by selling “Footlong” subs that were less than a foot long.

    The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago called the settlement “utterly worthless,” and said the customers’ lawyers were not entitled to attorney’s fees for convincing Subway it was better to make the case go away than fight.

    “A class action that seeks only worthless benefits for the class and yields only fees for class counsel is no better than a racket and should be dismissed out of hand,” Circuit Judge Diane Sykes wrote for a three-judge panel. “That’s an apt description of this case.”

    Lawyers at DeNittis Osefchen and Zimmerman Law Offices, which represented the customers, did not immediately respond to requests for comment....
    There's an old, tasteless joke that starts with the question, Why do women have such a hard time with math? The answer is, Because men keep telling them that this (holding thumb and forefinger about three inches apart) is six inches.

    Here, trouble began for Subway after "Australian teenager Matt Corby in January 2013 posted a Facebook photo showing a Footlong sandwich he bought was only 11 inches long, not 12."

    Kudos to this judge for tossing this legal shakedown. The numbers weren't enormous, by class action standards:
    $520,000 to the customers’ lawyers, plus $5,000 of “incentive” awards to 10 plaintiffs
    but the lawyers' bite of it, 99%, was a bit much to swallow. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

    “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,” Sykes wrote.
    The weight of the contents in the sandwich did not vary with the variations in the length of the bun.

    “Contempt as a remedy to enforce a worthless settlement is itself worthless,” she added. “Zero plus zero equals zero.”

    [....]

    "This is exactly the opinion we were hoping for," Frank said in an interview. "It affirms the principle that when attorneys bring class actions to benefit only themselves, it's an abuse of the system, and courts should not tolerate it."
    Exactly so.

    Tom Lifson/American Thinker

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    Next up: a lawsuit against McDonald's when some idiot discovers that the Quarter Pounder doesn't weigh 4 ounces? Who doesn't know that things like "foot long" and "quarter pound" are pre-cooking measurements?

    Lawyers who take cases like this are a disgrace to the profession. There are times when you take a case that looks legit and later learn that your client is not the victim s/he seemed. This is not that kind of case.

    Mass tort lawyers have done great good vindicating the rights of small plaintiffs who otherwise have no recourse, and sometimes, in doing that and preventing further abuse by large defendants, the attorneys do get the lion's share of the monetary award - precisely because each plaintiff's damages were too small to make an individual suit practical.

    There are, however, vipers' nests of so-called "class action lawyers" who specialize in the kind of frivolous suits the OP exemplifies. I have personally encountered one such firm. Slimy little pricks out of SoCal who had the brass to sue a former employer of mine, me, and our client (plaintiff's former employer), claiming damage to their named plaintiff and others like him because we sent him a demand for restitution of ... employee theft he committed and admitted to! And our client paid a substantial settlement, ENTIRELY to the attorneys, because their named plaintiff ended up not being representative of the putative class!
    No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This offer VALID in 35 34 33 32 31 26 20 17 15 14 13 ALL 50 states.

    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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