Jul 12, 2022 - Economy

Subway can be sued over tuna claims, judge says

Subway tuna sandwich

Subway has said it's tuna is made from 100% tuna. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

A federal judge in California said Subway can be sued over claims that it is misleading customers when it says its tuna products are "100% tuna."

Driving the news: Ahead of Subway's 1 million sandwich giveaway Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco called it premature to accept the chain's argument that non-tuna DNA could be from eggs in mayonnaise or cross-contact with other ingredients, Reuters reported Monday.

Flashback: A lawsuit was filed in January 2021 by California residents Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that alleged Subway's tuna was a "mixture of various concoctions."

Meanwhile, Subway has called the complaint "reckless" on its tuna facts website and notes the lawsuit was originally dismissed in October 2021 before an amended complaint was filed.

  • The amended lawsuit alleges the tuna products "partially or wholly lack" tuna as an ingredient, and that "they contain other fish species, animal products, or miscellaneous products aside from tuna."

What they're saying: "Subway serves 100% tuna. We are disappointed the Court felt it couldn't dismiss the plaintiffs' reckless and improper lawsuit at this stage," a Subway spokesperson said in a statement to Axios Tuesday.

  • "However, we are confident that Subway will prevail when the Court has an opportunity to consider all the evidence," the spokesperson said.
  • "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 in the July 7 ruling.

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