In a Thursday order, a Northern District of California judge has rejected an amended complaint filed by Subway consumers against the sandwich chain. The suit originally alleged that Subway misrepresented the quality of its tuna. .
The basis for the motion to dismiss did not reach the truth of Subway’s advertising, which touted the purity and geographic origin of its tuna. The judge wrote that the complaint failed the plaintiffs’ case with particularity, citing a heightened standard of pleading required for cases that are “grounded in fraud.” Applying this standard, the judge held that “Plaintiffs still need to describe the specific statements they saw and relied upon, when they saw the statements, and where the statements appeared.”
The court also rejected the application of an exemption to this requirement for consumers that have been subjected to long-running and pervasive advertising campaigns; they said that the plaintiffs did not allege that they had even read the alleged misrepresentations at issue in the complaint, and did not plead the scope of the campaign.