In a lawsuit filed Friday, Subway Restaurants Inc said plaintiffs had not produced any facts in support of their “frivolous” claim that the products did not contain “100% sustainably caught bonito and yellowfin tuna” or tuna “of anything less than healthy” might have included stocks such as Albacore and Tongol. “
Subway also said the plaintiffs’ attorneys should be sanctioned and called their behavior “frankly, outrageous”.
These lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
The lawsuit filed in January by Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin stated that Subway’s tuna products were “completely free of tuna” and “designed to mimic the appearance of tuna” so that Subway could charge top prices.
An amended complaint dated June 7th removed the “no tuna” claim, but alleged that Subways were “malicious” labeling, marketing and advertising of its tuna products false and misleading.
In Friday’s filing, Subway said negative media attention from the lawsuit hurt thousands of franchisees by depressing sales of a best-selling product.
“While Subway has provided plaintiffs and their attorneys with a graceful escape from the morass they created by simply rejecting their allegations with prejudice and publicly apologizing, they have instead redoubled their destructive behavior with new, equally untenable claims.” Subway said.
Subway recently had more than 37,500 locations worldwide, including more than 24,600 in the United States and Canada.
The proposed class action lawsuit involves California buyers of Subway tuna products after January 20, 2017.
In a June 20 article, the New York Times said a laboratory analysis of Subway tuna purchased in Los Angeles failed to determine a species of fish, which means the contents were heavily processed or did not contain tuna.
Subway revamped its menu this month but made no changes to its tuna as it doesn’t need an upgrade.