MONTREAL – After a controversial media report and a failed trial, anyone who bought a chicken sandwich from Subway – at least in Quebec, over the course of three years – will get definitive answers on what they actually ate.
The Quebec Court of Appeal has cleared a new class action lawsuit in the province against the fast food chain, which has been accused of distorting the contents of its chicken sandwiches.
The Superior Court of the province initially refused, in 2019, to give the green light to the class action. But in a decision released earlier this month, the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial can go through all stages leading up to trial.
The trial will represent all those who bought a chicken sandwich in a metro in Quebec between February 24, 2014 and December 31, 2017.
Subway is accused of falsely representing his sandwiches as “chicken”. This claim is based on a CBC Marketplace report that reported the results of a DNA analysis performed by a researcher in a laboratory at Trent University.
According to this research, the chicken pieces found in Subway sandwiches only contain about 50% chicken DNA, with the rest being soy.
Subway denies these allegations and the allegations have yet to be tested in court.
The company challenged the class action claim on several grounds. The company claims that the DNA analysis report in question lacks rigor, claiming that it is neither dated nor signed and does not indicate where the analyzed sandwiches came from, other than that they were purchased from franchises in Ontario.
Subway also claims that its recipes contain less than 1% soy protein, according to the Court of Appeal ruling.
However, all of these questions will be thoroughly tested at trial – a judge will need to determine whether Subway has properly represented its chicken sandwiches to its customers.
If the company loses its case, it will be asked to reimburse the cost of the sandwiches to everyone who purchased them within the three-year period, in addition to punitive damages.
Subway had previously sued CBC for libel for its report, but the lawsuit was dismissed last year in an Ontario court and Subway was ordered in February to pay the broadcaster $ 500,000 in damages.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 16, 2020.
–With files from CTV News