The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has granted the defendants’ motion for centralization in litigation involving allegations that Subway Sandwich Shops, Inc., and Doctor’s Associates, Inc., “engaged in a false or misleading advertising campaign regarding the size of the Subway Footlong sandwich.” In Re: Subway Footlong Sandwich Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., MDL No. 2439 (JPML, decided June 10, 2013). According to the order, the seven actions addressed by JPML involve common factual questions, with plaintiffs alleging “that defendants have uniform standards and practices with respect to the manufacturing process and franchisee training which result in the actual length of the sandwich being materially shorter than advertised in violation of state consumer protection laws.”

JPML has therefore chosen to centralize the actions in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which provides “a geographically central forum for this nationwide litigation, and will be convenient and accessible for the parties and witnesses.” The defendants had originally moved to transfer the litigation to the Northern District of Illinois. Additional details about the Subway Footlong sandwich complaints appear in Issue 463 of this Update.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.