Contract Terminated! Iconic MLM Distributor Fights Industry Giant
ST. PETERSBURG — “This is gonna be insane!” Burke Hedges says with excitement from behind his desk, surrounded by wall hangings, photos of his family, a map and a sign that reads No Whining.
Hedges, of course, is talking about the MLM Civil Trial of the Century, Burke Hedges vs. LifeVantage (LFVN). A suit to take place in Salt Lake City, Utah the week after next that alleges he is the victim of unjust termination, lost revenue and defamation at the hands of the anti-aging supplement giant.
Hedges is a successful, lifelong network marketing professional who has made his living in multilevel marketing as a distributor and coach. His breakthrough novel, Who Stole the American Dream: The Book Your Boss Doesn’t Want You to Read, has sold over a half-million copies in print alone.
He Wrote the Book to Expose the Truth
Hedges firmly believes the average person can be empowered through hard work and network marketing to make a living for themselves. He affirms in his writing, MLMs are not a scam and has the lifestyle to prove it.
His success proving the merits of network marketing only fans the flames of his determination as he takes on the company, LifeVantage, who he says took that dream away from him. In true Burke Hedges fashion, exposing the truth is exactly what he believes he’ll do by taking LFVN to trial.
Hedges Says It’s Bigger Than Him
From his perspective, the heart of this case is Distributor Rights. According to the widely accepted Bill of Rights for MLM Distributors, “Distributors’ personal business relationships shall be honored and protected. Distributors’ downlines that are personally sponsored and personal retail customers are part of the distributor’s business.”
This is one of the many rights Hedges believes LFVN has violated. He claims much of his downline infrastructure remains intact at LFVN churning out multi-millions of dollars each year, but he’s not seeing any residual income.
If a company can sever a distributor from their downline with no repercussion, then what else are they capable of doing to the very people who build them up?
But the irony is the wealth, notoriety and knowledge Hedges has gained teaching people to trust the MLM process and unlock the American dream, is exactly the reason he can stand up for himself and Distributor Rights in a legal battle that’s already cost him upwards of $1 million dollars.
As the Trial Approaches
Here’s What You Need to Know:
- In May 2010, Hedges approaches the Company via email asking for a positive payment adjustment of a March commission. This is to fix what he believed was an accounting error at the time.
- A couple of days later he received a backdated letter, informing him that he was being investigated for misconduct.
- Hedges vehemently denied all charges against him and asked for specific instances of the conduct in question. During the next several weeks he received no reply to his response, and business went on as usual.
- 6 weeks later, he received a response that the investigation was underway.
- On August 2nd, Hedges was suspended on the general allegations of misconduct, his request for more information on specific instances of misconduct allegedly went largely unanswered.
- On August 27th, Hedges received a letter that he was being terminated due to misconduct.
- In October 2011, Hedges’ wrongful termination lawsuit was officially filed. The suit alleges wrongful termination, defamation and tortious interference of business practices.
- An initial ruling on the case was issued in favor of Hedges, but in an unpredictable move the judge reversed the decision after damages were assessed in the multi-millions.
- The reason for the reversal was allegedly that Hedges caused the initial material breach of contract, not with misconduct but under new allegations by the defendant that he used a proprietary training tool without permission. A claim that Hedges denies.
- A trial is scheduled for Monday, November 27th to bring to light the truth of this case.
At the end of it all, Hedges still firmly believes that MLMs are proof that the American Dream still exists, and he plans to fight for it. Will he win over the jury or lose big? Find out here after Monday’s trial.