IL for www.theindianalawyer.com
An Indiana judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle’s ex-wife, which alleged that the fast-food chain continued promoting Fogle as its spokesman even though it knew of his sexual interest in children.
Boone County Judge Matthew Kincaid dismissed Kathleen McLaughlin’s suit Tuesday, citing a “lack of personal jurisdiction.” His order states that each of the Subway entities she had sued have principal business operations outside Indiana and were formed in Connecticut and Florida.
The judge heard arguments last month in Subway’s bid to have the suit dismissed.
McLaughlin alleged that Subway received at least three reports indicating Fogle had a sexual interest in children, but failed to take proper action and continued promoting him as its spokesman. Fogle pleaded guilty in 2015 to trading in child pornography and paying for sex with underage girls. He’s serving a 15-year sentence at a federal prison in Colorado.
McLaughlin and Fogle, who have two children, divorced in 2015 after he agreed to plead guilty to the charges.
The 40-year-old Fogle became Subway’s spokesman after losing 200 pounds as a college student, partly by eating Subway sandwiches. The company ended its relationship with Fogle after authorities raided his suburban Indianapolis home in July 2015.
Kincaid wrote in his order that McLaughlin’s suit argued that Subway had used her marriage to Fogle “to ‘ground’ their valuable pitchman” and that the company then “created a campaign depicting a wholesome narrative of Mr. Fogle’s life and emergence as a family man.”
“The problem is that all of those things, if they happened, took place outside of Indiana,” the judge wrote.
A message seeking comment on the suit’s dismissal was left Wednesday for McLaughlin’s attorney.