Judge: Plaintiff Can Try to Prove Claim About Subway's Tuna

Chain slams 'meritless' suit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2022 6:50 PM CDT
Judge Says Subway Tuna Lawsuit Can Proceed
Subway says DNA tests of its tuna sandwiches cited in the lawsuit revealed problems with the test, not the tuna.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A lawsuit alleging that there's something fishy—or not fishy enough—about the tuna subs at Subway can proceed, a federal judge in San Francisco has decided. US District Judge Jon Tigar ruled that the chain can be sued over claims that its tuna sandwiches are not "100% tuna" as advertised, NBC reports. An update to a lawsuit filed last year claimed that samples of sandwiches from outlets in Southern California found chicken, beef, and pork DNA but "no detectable tuna DNA sequence." Subway has said that any non-tuna DNA detected must be the result of eggs in mayonnaise or possible cross-contamination for ingredients in other sandwiches.

"Although it is possible that Subway’s explanations are the correct ones, it is also possible that these allegations refer to ingredients that a reasonable consumer would not reasonably expect to find in a tuna product," Tigar said, per Reuters. The judge dismissed one plaintiff from the case but said Alameda County resident Nilima Amin could try to prove that there's no tuna in Subway's tuna. The judge said, however, that it was a "fact of life" that people would reasonably expect some things that aren't tuna to be in a tuna sub, including mayonnaise—and bread.

Subway, which has called the lawsuit "reckless and improper," said it was confident it would prevail in court. "There is no question that the lawsuit is completely meritless and the evidence will bear that out," the chain said in a statement. "Our position has not changed—we serve 100% real, wild-caught tuna." (Read more Subway stories.)

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