Subway sandwich chain must pay the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. more than half a million dollars in fees after its libel lawsuit against CBC was rejected.
As iMediaEthics previously reported, Subway sued the CBC for $210 million in 2017 over a report that found some of Subway’s chicken products were 50% or less chicken. Subway argued the CBC claims were “false and misleading.”
The lawsuit was dismissed in 2019, with Ontario Superior Court Justice Ed Morgan finding it was in the public interest.
CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson told iMediaEthics, “We’re happy with both outcomes and not at all surprised with either of them. Our journalism on this story was thorough, fair and balanced.” iMediaEthics has written to Subway.
“The Marketplace investigation met the “‘public interest’ test,” was an example of investigative journalism, and therefore is protected under Section 137.1(3) of the Ontario Courts of Justice Act, Justice E.M. Morgan said in his ruling,” CBC reported.
Morgan also ruled that the report “raised a quintessential consumer protection issue” and “satisfied its burden.”
Morgan ruled Subway’s legal “motion turned into a massive undertaking to which CBC, as moving party, was compelled to reply.” CBC ended up spending $800,000 in legal costs fighting the lawsuit, according to the CBC.
Now, Subway has to pay $500,000 for legal costs and $178,000 in fees.
The ruling in the defamation case is here.