Categorized | Univera, Univera LifeSciences

Univera Lawsuit: Company Sued By Former Top Distributors

Univera DENVER, June 25 /PRNewswire/ — It's a lawsuit that may help determine "who owns who" in the world of multi-level marketing. According to John Terhune, one of the plaintiffs who filed suit in state court in Volusia County, Florida, today, "The last thing we wanted to do was get involved in litigation. All we wanted to do was build businesses and help others do the same."

Terhune, along with former Univera leaders Marshall Douglas and Joe Land, are former distributors of Univera who have joined together in a lawsuit alleging the company has bullied its associates with threats of litigation and economic ruin if their sales networks move to a competitor. The filing comes on the heels of two actions Univera filed against them in Seattle earlier this year.

Terhune and his fellow plaintiffs spent years building their multi-level marketing network into a thriving family business. As a distributor of Univera products, Terhune, Douglas, and Land managed a vast network of associates, many of whom they personally recruited. For several years all three enjoyed a great relationship with Washington state-based Univera, a company known for its popular dietary supplements. Univera recognized Terhune as its Associate of the Year in 2007 and bestowed the Yun Ho Lee Award, Univera's most prestigious leadership and sales award, on Terhune in 2008.

But in 2007, poor management decisions destroyed what had been a promising business opportunity. Univera sacked its flagship product, Ageless Xtra, and replaced it with a "fizzy" liquid supplement called Xperia. The new product, quickly developed a reputation for "exploding" in its packaging and arriving in "soaked boxes." During the same time, the company swapped out its computer platform with great fanfare. It turned out to be a disaster. The new internet applications failed and a flood of customer complaints soon overwhelmed the Univera system. Customers, associates, and profits began to disappear.

In the span of just a few months, Univera squandered years of its associates' hard work and goodwill. Terhune, Douglas and Land had had enough. They transferred their remaining Univera business to their spouses, and began building a new network with another company.

Univera retaliated, accusing them of "getting rich" by "stealing" other people's groups. The company threatened to sue its associates if they followed the departing leaders into their new business venture, even though Univera's policies do not prohibit their associates from choosing to pursue a new business opportunity. Ironically, Univera has used the very same tactics it now decries. Terhune, Douglas and Land and other former Univera associates had previously built thriving networks with Amway. Univera aggressively recruited Land and others from Amway, along with key members of or their entire MLM networks, which is precisely the behavior it now criticizes.

Now, faced with Univera's threats of crushing litigation, Terhune and others are pushing back, making a stand for free markets and fair competition. Terhune and his fellow plaintiffs have brought claims for breach of contract, tortious interference with business relations, defamation, unfair competition, and inequitable retention of plaintiffs' businesses.

A copy of the complaint can be obtained by contacting plaintiffs' counsel, D.J. Poyfair, at (303) 764-4099 or by contacting the Clerk of the Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Volusia County, Florida.

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29 Responses to “Univera Lawsuit: Company Sued By Former Top Distributors”

  1. Matt Sterba says:

    Instead of listening to it's top associates with decades of experience, Univera hired a consulting firm who knew absolutely nothing and they drove Univera LifeSciences off of a cliff. If this was almost any other company they would have completely gone under. The only thing that saved Univera is that it's owner (Bill Lee) is a multi-Billionaire (one of the richest men in South Korea). Their product Xperia was one of the worst things that I have ever tasted. They do however, have a great compensation plan, but what does that matter if the rest of your business cannot function. They are doing less volume now than they were four years ago.

  2. i total agree with the action's of john Terhune,marshall Douglas and joe Land. why stay with company that dosent care about its ibo's. and the company almost crashed. thay total screwed the pay plan,products and team website. they did a good job of shutting down the team website.the product and pay was always late. you had nothing to work with. i wish much success to john Terhune, marshall Douglas and joe Land. build it big…

  3. Annon says:

    So why did it take Terhune, Douglas and Land two years to figure this out?

    Was Univera paying them extra money to stay before?

  4. pimpgamers@gmail.com says:

    Obviously, this description sounds bias and is posted to discredit Univera. I'm not doubting that some of the events happened. I would just like to hear the facts from both sides.

  5. Shaun says:

    I’ve met and spoken with these three men and have a
    great deal of respect for each of them, though I would doubt they’d remember me. To make their argument stronger, they have left out several key elements. In the beginning there was John Terhune, who had a consulting company, and made efforts to sell his tools to Univera/Oasis. He was in communication with a distributor / associate from the company and was so impressed by the science and direction the company was heading in that he came on board( bringing in Marshal and Joe). True, the company did have growing pains, (to say the least) like all companies do. Unfortunately, once the damage was done, it was too late. What you won’t here John say is that the company took it upon itself to match every distributor / associates monthly bonus check for three consecutive months, everyone’s, in an attempt to right a wrong. Since then the company has also brought in for consultation purposes a group of top associates known at the Field Leadership Commission to work hand in hand with corporate in order to do what is best for the associates and the customers. They’ve also turned a good compensation plan in the best comp plan I’ve been able to research to date. One last thing, John ( so I’ve been told) was offered a large 5-digit monthly contract to move over to a new company. Unfortunately, some will do whatever it takes to make the almighty buck. Many friendships were broke, many lies told, I hope John, Marshall and Joe realize what they gave up.

  6. Ty Tribble says:

    Shaun, I was the fastest Platinum in the history or Univera. Univera had growing pains? They had a virtual meltdown from a corporate perspective. I could not sponsor a single person or enroll a customer for six months because I had no idea if they would even get products. If Univera had their act together, no one (including me) would have left.

  7. This is certainly an amazing industry we are in. And it does say alot about planning ahead. You can not build a $800,000 like you do a $1,000,000 company and you can not build a $100,000,000 million dollar company in like fashion.
    Pays to keep an eye on how they start going from CEO to putting boards in place etc,etc.

    Daniel

  8. Scott says:

    I Think there are many half truths when I read the comments from many leaders in the industry I agree with both Shaun and to a lesser degree what Ty said to about Univera and the question that keeps coming up is when I had the chance to talk to both John , Marshall and Derek Hall how they were so convincing that Univera was the most life changing company they had the privilage to be part of in there entire mlm careers. Which they stated before and after the corporate hiccup and then decided to jump ship again I guess if we take and look at peoples track record how many companies have they actually been loyal to and how many times they make changes. it paints a picture for the value of thier words and honesty. i worked for a company in the mid 80′s that i was told would never survive and i should jump ship I was actually bagging apples and potatoes when i first started working for them and when i left 15 years later they were the most successful wharehouse chain in there industry many of my friends are 30 year employees today and Costco have over 500 stores worls wide today. loyalty does payoff and i believe it is something missing in the mlm industry.One thing i will say about Univera from the owner to corporate they are Honest and Honorable and take accountabilty for their mistakes and make sure they learn from them to make sure it will not happen again. Which is why they growing so fast in this economy.

  9. Ty Tribble says:

    Univera hasn’t even sniffed the volume that they were doing before they imploded. Costco is a well run company. Univera is run by the idea of the month. Big difference.

  10. Taylor says:

    Univera is the most amazing company I have EVER come across. I have never been involved in a company that treats their associates and employees in the reputable way Univera does. No company is going to be perfect but like Scott said, they are honest and honorable and take accountability for their mistakes and make sure they learn from them so they will not happen again. The comp plan is incredible and more importantly the products are absolutely life changing. It is a privilege to be a part of what Bill Lee and Univera are doing for this world. Lets look forward…..

  11. Ty Tribble says:

    Univera’s volume today is a fraction of what they used to be…all a result of corporate mis-management that includes Bill Lee. Most if their products contain Sodium Benzoate, a preservative that Coca-Cola has stopped using because of the controversy behind it. They were not honest and upfront about the problems and they basically did not answer the phone for nearly 6 months. The company is literally 40 minutes from my home and I wouldn’t touch them for a million bucks.

  12. debbi fultz says:

    i understand if someone wants to leave a company, and $ is the reason, but why do you insist on slamming the product line. i’ve been an associate/ customer since i was 1st introduced to the company BY marshall douglas and john terhune the weekend they decided this was going to be the LAST mlm business they developed. i suffered from depression and had for years tried to find something other than a script to help me. the univera product agelessXtra was my savings grace. as soon as the new product, Xperia, came out i started taking it. its wonderful and diffentely not a fizzy drink. i will consume that product as well as many other univera products for as long as i live. so if you have a beef w/ univera’s business decissions so be it. just stop trying to decredit the products as unworthy. i’ve listened to my old upline, and i was 2 levels below marshall, bad mouth univera, the product line and everyone in management. i believe im seeing their true colors. it’s about $ has always been about $ and if their new mlm business doesn’t produce the $ they expect they will once again be off looking for another mlm. which means they will bad mouth this 1.

  13. Craig Seaton says:

    What a bunch of cry baby’s,so you sound like you grew up in the corporate world and you all went to Harvard.No It sounds like you made it out of the Projects,got out of Dr.Drew’s detox found a MLM that has Products that have changed lives.
    No you have the Great American dream down pat.Who can I sue Today.Just think how much money you would have Today if you were really smart.But no you stood strong because of false pride,hurt ego’s and no spiritual principals.
    When it’s all said and done you will end up with two things,regret and resentment.Instead of looking at the flip side you would have got the whole pie.Have fun with the crumbs.
    I thank GOD for “one truth’ Univera.It saved my life then gave me a life worth living.

  14. UniveraAssociate says:

    Has anyone noticed how Univera’s web site is consistently having problems still, for years now? It’s often entirely unavailable. Forget this, just go to Amway.com!

  15. Amanda says:

    I just started using Universa 4 months ago. I am always sick with every flu known to man… and it knocks me out for days. Since taking univera, i have not been sick once.. i had a bit of a cold that kept me feeling a little yucky for the weekend but thats it. I understand there could be some past concerns about the way the company is run but for me, its been a godsent… im so greatful i finally have a product that works. Sick and tired of all the crap on the market today that does nothing…. its good stuff :) Thank you Univera

  16. If someone can show me a natural product line that has over 177 Patents and clinically proven with a 90 days money back guaranty like Univera does.
    please let me know and then that might be a competitor …. until then univera is the best and safest bet for you buck to take care of your well being.
    and as soon as the marketing and management in corporate get a grip and help to take us to momentum we will change the world to be an aware place and enjoy health , purpose and wealth…

  17. If someone can show me a natural product line that has over 177 Patents & clinically proven with a 90 days money back guaranty like Univera does, please let me know and then that might be a competitor …. until then Univera rank on the top as the safest and more efficient way to take care of your well being.
    and as soon as the marketing and management team in corporate get a grip and help us to take the company to momentum, we will change the world to be a better place, healthier and consciously aware.
    Get on board to enjoy health , purpose and wealth….

  18. Ty Tribble says:

    Shaklee has over 100 peer reviewed published papers on their products. Univera has good products, but the corporate leadership is lacking.

  19. Ty Tribble says:

    Shaklee has more science than Univera…flat out more published clinicals and they have a real management team.

  20. I enrolled in Univera Septemeber 2007. I think that’s about the time products were backordered? Since, I’ve received my CP on time every time and couldn’t be more excited about my results. My doctor is also excited about the improvement year after year in my blood work. I’ve recently decided to start building the business. The web site works, the products are excellent and I’m ready to launch. All companies experience growing pains, so I’ll consider Univera’s growing pains as part of normal and or explosive growth. I’ve been loyal to the products because they work and most importantly, at the foundation of Univera there’s a solid mission. I’m going to stick around to see what “I” can make happen.

    David Misenheimer
    Charlotte, NC
    USA

  21. jared says:

    so how’s univera today july 2012?

    are they back on track to their past glory days??

  22. Matt says:

    Univera is growing by leaps and bounds. From the new website to individual websites for the associates with tons of useful tools, to new diet and metabolic makeover programs proven through science and the results that you can see, feel and measure . . . Amway, Shaklee and all of the many MLM’s suffered their own trilas and tribulations, some similar to Univera’s, others different. Most importantly is the fact that it does not matter if we fall, we all fall, we all stumble. What matters is if we rise, how we rise, what we learn from the experience and how we grow from it. Univera has been doing an exemplary job of rising and growing. Look for yourself, but do so with an open mind, unless you have NEVER falllen or stumbled.

  23. BEWARE….GREED is the only driver!! SHAME on you, Univera!! Dishonest & unethical from introduction through all corporate interaction. Do not believe in any 100% product guarantees. All contact with the representative and corporate was unethical and was purposely mis-leading. Univera does not have any interest in building customer loyalty or honestly conducting business. How much is your integrity worth?

  24. Taimay Jones says:

    Why do they include synthetic ingredients and preservatives such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate? Are they really that "natural"?

  25. Taimay Jones Check out FAQ under http://www.univerascience.com. Mother Nature uses those preservatives in peaches and other fruits. Yes, they are natural and the human body knows exactly how to process them. 68, no meds, perfect blood numbers, everything works!

  26. Univera made two terrible mistakes in 2007. Since then, Bill Lee has renewed his commitment, replaced the corporate management team, twice, and found a winner in CEO/Pres Randy Bancino. The computer and products have been rock solid. No glitches at all in the last 3 years! Randy ran the Amway computer system for over 10 years as CIO, so he knows how to hire the right people to keep the back end up and running. He also knows how important IT is to today’s MLM business model. Univera is absolutely the best place to be in 2013 and going forward. I am very glad I stayed with Univera. Joe Land has moved on and now has his own MLM. All three: Terhune, Marshall, and Land are honorable men. They are also REDS and did what they had to do under the circumstances of the moment to protect their families and downline. Joe Land is still highly regarded amongst his Univera Diamond Associates. Joe was my sponsor and I know him better than most. We are still friends, but I chose to stay with Univera. Bill Lee will take Univera forward and help untold hundreds of thousands of people to realize their true potential. Unique to Univera is the strong crossline support and culture to serve.

    Ty Tribble has given his life to MLM and I was thrilled when he came on board. Unfortunately, our meltdown occurred shortly after he came on board. Ty did not have time to absorb the whole culture. Ty is a good man and I respect him a great deal. He has helped countless thousands achieve success in Direct Sales. I am sorry you were so disappointed. I wish you well, Ty! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do to help all of us to carry our Dreams to Success!

  27. Helpy Helperton says:

    I had my arm cut off in a farming accident. Since taking Univera products for the last 2 months, my arm has grown back!

    If it sounds too good to be true, it’s B.S.

  28. Where are your scientific studies and the peer reviewed publications. Does the American Medical Association recommend this product?

  29. Univera says:

    is defined as an adult under 60 years old, experiencing good health, dealing with little to no stress, no medical problems, not on medication,
    eating a balanced diet of 2000 calories per day, with good digestion and at an
    ideal body weight. Also the company convinces you
    that “everyone” is your prospects, but the only result that is going to give
    you is lots of rejections. Obviously, not everyone can afford to pay
    that out of pocket.

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