As the trend of private label among distributors grows, it's important to recognize the legal risks associated with this strategy. If products are sourced from overseas, as many are, wholesalers may end up carrying the ultimate blame or responsibility in a number of situations.
The information provided here is from a National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors legal brief. The brief can be found at NAW's Web site, www.naw.org.
In the U.S., any seller of a private-label or manufacturer-branded product is liable for losses, injury or damage caused by the defective product under strict tort liability.
Normally, a wholesaler-distributor in a U.S. suit will bring the manufacturer of a defective product into the case ...