Chris Farley’s family sues bicycle company
Chris Farley was born and raised in Madison, about 30 miles from Waterloo, where Trek is based.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported Tuesday that the lawsuit originated in California last year but a judge on Friday ordered that it be heard instead in federal court in Madison because that is closer to all of the parties involved.
Trek has responded that much of the case rests on whether Farley was a resident of California at the time of his death, making his name and image subject to a California law that governs deceased celebrities’ right of publicity. Trek’s lawyers argue that Farley was a resident of Illinois when he died in 1997 in Chicago from a drug overdose.
The lawsuit alleges Trek’s executives consciously chose the name Farley “to immediately associate defendant Trek’s fat bikes with one of their favorite ‘fat’ and ‘loud’ comedians.’’