1 800 Vending Inc. Sues Grow Franchise Group For Defamation

by Staff Reporter
Posted On: 10/10/2014

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TAGS: vending, vending biz op, vending lawsuit, 1 800 Vending Inc., vending franchise business, HealthyYOU Vending, Grow Franchise Group. Christopher Wyland, Christopher Wyland, 1.800. Vending v. Wyland et al, Sprout Healthy Vending, Grow Healthy

SALT LAKE CITY -- After several years of being the target of allegedly false, misleading and slanderous accusations at consumer complaint websites, 1 800 Vending Inc. said it is taking legal action against one of its competitors.

One 800 Vending, parent of HealthyYOU Vending, a vending business-opportunity firm, has accused Grow Franchise Group LLC and one its owners, Christopher Wyland, of posting bogus statements about 1 800 Vending and one of its owners, Jeff Marsh. It has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking monetary and injunctive relief on account of defamation, unfair competition and Lanham Act violations. (The Lanham Act, passed in 1946, prohibits trademark infringement and dilution, as well as false advertising.) The lawsuit, which is demanding a jury, was filed on Oct. 3 in the Utah District Court Northern Division.

Nearly all of the bogus postings, made anonymously or under pseudonyms, were fabricated by people pretending to be customers of Kaysville, UT-based 1 800 Vending and HealthyYOU Vending, the lawsuit charges. Over time, the postings allegedly become viler, the suit claims. In February 2014, for example, one posting claimed that the company is "a complete scam ran by crooks and pedophiles" and "their owner Jeff Marsh has been indicted for lewd acts with children." Further, the post stated, "I am sure they are under investigation by the government for stealing money from people."

Through its own investigation, 1 800 Vending found that this particular defamatory post was made by someone posing as a HealthyYOU Vending distributor from Salt Lake City. The post originated from the residential address of Christopher Wyland in Multnomah County, OR, 1 800 Vending said.

In a press release, 1 800 Vending said it believes that other phony posts critical of the company and its healthy vending division were also authored by Wyland and others acting in concert with him, or on his behalf.

"It is regrettable that one of our competitors feels the need to make fraudulent postings to damage our company's reputation and cost our company millions of dollars in lost revenue," Marsh said. "And it is outrageous that Mr. Wyland needs to resort to such appalling attacks against me personally, which as a father and grandfather make me sick."

Grow Franchise Group, which includes Grow Healthy Inc. and Sprout Healthy Vending LLC, has offices in Irving, CA, and Portland, OR.