Both where and when Chris Farley died is the basis of Trek Bicycle Corporation’s defense in a $10 million lawsuit filed against them by the late comedian’s family.
As The Blast previously reported, Trek was sued by Make Him Smile, Inc. (which is headed up by Farley’s brother Kevin) claiming the bicycle company was capitalizing off of Farley’s name by giving one of their “fat bikes” the name “Farley.”
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Trek is looking to have a judge toss out the case, claiming Make Him Smile does not have the rights to Farley’s name.
As part of their defense, Trek argues that under California Law, the only way that Make Him Smile can inherit Farley’s rights is if he was living in California at the time of his death. But Trek says that court documents filed after Farley passed away say he was living in Illinois then (he passed away in Chicago).
Not only that, but Illinois law does not grant Make Him Smile the rights to Farley’s name either because he passed away in 1997 and the law granting post-mortem rights to descendants did not exist in 1997 (it was passed in 1999 and does not apply retroactively).
A judge has yet to rule. The two sides are due in court next month.