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What’s In A Foot? NJ Men Sue Subway Over Footlong Sandwich Scandal

Suit Alleges 'Footlong' Claim Doesn't Measure Up
A 'fan' uploaded this picture of a Subway footlong with a ruler on top of it to Subway's Facebook page, showing the sandwich falls short of being 12 inches (credit: facebook.com/subway)

A ‘fan’ uploaded this picture of a Subway footlong with a ruler on top of it to Subway’s Facebook page, showing the sandwich falls short of being 12 inches (credit: facebook.com/subway)

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MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two New Jersey men have sued the sandwich chain Subway, claiming the world’s biggest fast-food chain has been cheating them on its ‘footlong’ sandwiches.

John Farley of Evesham and Charles Noah Pendrack of Ocean City filed suit in Mount Holly Superior Court on Tuesday and are seeking compensatory damages from the company and a change in practices.

The lawyer for the two men said the company should either ensure their sandwiches are 12 inches long or stop advertising them as footlongs.

Lawyer Stephen DeNittis said he’s measured sandwiches from 17 area shops and not one has been 12 inches long. DeNittis said he is seeking class-action status and is preparing to file a similar suit in Pennsylvania state court.

“Any person who purchased a footlong in New Jersey over the last six years, and so that would stand to be potentially thousands,” DeNittis told WCBS 880.

“The case is about holding companies to deliver what they’ve promised,” he said.

DeNittis noted that McDonald’s quarter-pounders are so named because that is the weight of the patty before it is cooked.

“The sandwiches are about an inch shorter than they should be. It’s about 45 cents per sandwich that people are being short-changed,” DeNittis told WCBS 880. “We want Subway to either one, going forward, keep their promise and make the sandwiches a foot long or give a disclaimer similar to what McDonald’s does with their quarter-pounder.”

The issue got widespread attention last week when a man posted a photo of a sandwich and a ruler on the company’s Facebook page seeking an explanation for why his footlong was only 11 inches long.

That initial post has since spawned dozens of other pictures of rulers next to the famous sandwiches.

At the time, the sandwich chain issued a statement saying the length of the sandwich can vary if individual franchises do not bake the bread exactly to corporate standards.

Subway has more than 38,600 franchises around the world and has promoted its $5 footlong special for several years.

Milford, Conn.-based Subway released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“Unfortunately, because this is regarding pending or ongoing legal action, we are not able to provide comment. However, I can share our most recent statement regarding the bread length.

‘For 47 years, customer satisfaction has been our top priority. We regret any instance where we did not fully deliver on our promise to our customers. We freshly bake our bread throughout the day in our more than 38,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide, and we have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve. Our commitment remains steadfast to ensure that every SUBWAY® Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide.’”

Have you noticed a shrinking sandwich? Sound off in the comments section below…

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)