Where should I begin on understanding the liability issues of starting a subscription service for healthy products?
I'm considering starting a monthly subscription service for healthy products. Distribution similar to a wine club or vegetable boxes that one can get on a monthly basis. It would include pulling together products from many manufacturers and distributing to those who pay for the service.
Mr. Roth is correct. In addition, you should look at your local state law to see what law applies to products liability. Products liability law varies from state-to-state, with some state laws being more business-friendly than others.
Also, you should check to see that the manufacturers of products you are interested in allow distribution by folks like yourself, or whether they have exclusive distribution agreements. I represented a Wellness Center that received a cease and desist letter from a manufacturer of health food products because they did not have a distribution agreement with the manufacturer.
Your liability comes from any representations made by you as to the products, their use, quality and safety. You are by saying the products are healthy are in essence representing if used as intended they will enhance your health in some way. Your liability will be similar to a health food store.
If a product is defective as a distributor you will have some liability for selling the product so long as you did not knowing sell a defective product. If you knowingly sell a defective product your liability will be far greater than even the manufacturer for any damages incurred.
Likewise there is the more commercial issues such as timely delivery, undamaged delivery and quality of goods.