Judge Rules Subway Can Be Sued For Saying Tuna Sandwiches Are '100% Tuna'

Mason Joseph Zimmer
Subway tuna sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and hot peppers
instagram | @limeandpinksalt

A federal judge recently ruled that Subway's tuna sandwiches — which the chain claims are made with "100% tuna" — can open the company up to lawsuits suggesting that's not all that's been mixed in there.

Over the past year, Subway has had to deal with a persistent and embarrassing PR headache after a lawsuit alleged that their tuna sandwiches don't actually have tuna in them. This came after the sandwich chain was already facing backlash for the additive they're believed to put in their bread products, but the tuna lawsuit has become prominent enough to attract some humorous celebrity voices.

Yet while that bad press would obviously compel Subway to try and quash the suit as soon as possible, it turns out this won't be quite as easy as they likely hoped.

Back in 2021, a California resident named Nilima Amin filed a lawsuit against Subway alleging that the chain's tuna products "partially or wholly lack tuna as an ingredient."

foot-long Subway tuna sandwicxh with vegatables and melted cheese
instagram | @leonardovalerius

According to People, Amin's suspicions that these products "contain other fish species, animal products, or miscellaneous products aside from tuna" were apparently confirmed by testing at a UCLA marine biology laboratory.

In response to these allegations, Subway has maintained that the tuna in their sandwiches is precisely what it is advertised as.

Subway sandiwches wrapped next to each other on table
instagram | @dazzling.day_with_hwajini

In a statement on their website, Subway claimed their restaurants use wild-caught skipjack tuna and further stated that the testing done simply failed to recognize the cooked tuna, rather than detecting that there wasn't any tuna in their products.

They further stated to NBC News that if any non-tuna products found their way into the tuna mash, this was likely the result of cross-contact from employees who were making other sandwiches.

However, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar (not pictured) ruled that while this explanation could be true, it is not sufficient grounds for Subway to prove their sandwiches contain "100% tuna."

Donald Sutherland raising finger as a judge in Reign Over Me
youtube | Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As Tigar put it, "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."

As such, Tigar expects Amin and her attorneys to return with an amended complaint, at which point her lawsuit will be allowed to move forward.

Needless to say, Subway was less than satisfied with this ruling and doubled down further in another statement.

Subway tuna sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and hot peppers
instagram | @limeandpinksalt

In the words of their representative, "Subway serves 100% tuna. We are disappointed the Court felt it couldn't dismiss the plaintiffs' reckless and improper lawsuit at this stage. However, we are confident that Subway will prevail when the Court has an opportunity to consider all the evidence."

For now, time will simply have to tell on whether their evidence will pass the court's standards.

h/t: People, NBC News