Two New Jersey men sued Subway this week, claiming the world’s biggest fast-food chain has been shorting them by selling so-called footlong sandwiches that measure a bit less than 12 inches.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Superior Court in Mount Holly, may be the first legal filing aimed at the sandwich shops after an embarrassment went viral last week when someone posted a photo of a footlong sandwich and a ruler on the company’s Facebook page to show that the sandwich was not as long as advertised.
At the time, the company issued a statement saying that the sandwich length can vary a bit when franchises do not bake to the exact corporate standards.
Stephen DeNittis, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the New Jersey suit, said he’s seeking class-action status and is also preparing to file a similar suit in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia.
He said he’s had sandwiches from 17 shops measured — and every one came up short.
‘‘The case is about holding companies to deliver what they’ve promised,’’ he said.
Even though the alleged short of a half-inch or so of bread is relatively small, it adds up, he said. Subway has 38,000 stores around the world, nearly all owned by franchisees and its $5 footlong specials have been a mainstay of the company’s ads for five years.
DeNittis is asking for compensatory damages for his client and a change in Subway’s practices.
The Milford, Conn.-based firm should either make sure its sandwiches measure a full foot or stop advertising them as such, he said.
He points to how McDonald’s quarter-pounders are advertised as being that weight before they are cooked.
Subway did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press on Wednesday.