*When Allison Brown went to Subway to order a flatbread pizza, she got more than she expected. An insensitive restaurant worker wrote a tasteless fat jab on her flatbread pizza order, and it reduced her to tears.
On Friday, with her attorney present, she told the Daily News that she plans to file a lawsuit demanding, not money, but sensitivity training. She insists the training be a part of the chain’s franchise agreements.
Brown said she was mortified when she pulled her order out of her bag on March 27 and saw the words “Big Mama” scrawled on her box in black marker.
“I just broke down crying. I couldn’t eat it. I kept thinking, ‘Big Mama’ doesn’t need to eat. It started really messing with me. I started thinking, ‘Maybe I need surgery. Do I really look that bad? What’s wrong with me?'”
Brown, 45, is a nursing assistant from Murrieta, California. She said when she contacted the shop’s owner, immediately following the incident, she was told the employee admitted to writing the cruel remark, but countered that he only wrote it on one of her boxes, not all the items in her family’s order.
“The owner said the employee didn’t know better, that he just didn’t get it,” Brown told The News. “He begged me not to go to the media, so I tried to work with him, but then nobody was calling me back. It’s not right. This really hurt me.”
Brown said she called Subway’s corporate office the next day and cried through a message that was never returned. She felt the issue was getting swept under the mat, she said.
Eventually she had a lawyer send a letter demanding sensitivity training. She turned down an offer of $5,000 for a confidentiality agreement and now plans to file a lawsuit under California’s unfair business practices law, her lawyer Daniel Gilleon told The News.
“This isn’t about money,” she said Friday. “This breaks my heart. Here Subway promotes itself as a place for people who need help eating better, then this happens. What if the wrong person got a box like mine? What if they saw that and tried to commit suicide?”
Gilleon said a letter sent by Subway’s corporate office this week refused to take any responsibility for the issue. He now plans to file the lawsuit in the next few weeks, he said.
“We’re going to do it for sure, unless they comply with our demand,” Gileon said, explaining that he took Brown’s case pro bono.
“They need to make sure all employees take training. And it’s something they should have done already. It should be in their franchise agreements,” he said. “If they can dictate how thinly the onions on the sandwiches are sliced, they can and should do this.”
“I’m never going to eat at another Subway again,” Brown vowed Friday. “They don’t deserve my money,” says Brown.
See the news report below.
Read what the restaurant owner told the NY Daily News.