Monday, May 12, 2003
Frazier looking for $7M in compensation
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Joe Frazier is appealing a federal judge's
ruling that he cannot sue the Oneida Indian Nation over the
unauthorized use of his photograph in a fight promotion.
Frazier sued the Oneida Nation in February 2002, claiming the
tribe used his picture without permission to promote a boxing match
at its Turning Stone Casino between his daughter, Jacqui
Frazier-Lyde, and the daughter of Muhammad Ali. Laila Ali won the
June 8, 2001, bout.
In March, U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin concluded that
the upstate New York Indian tribe was immune from the lawsuit
because of its sovereign status. He also dismissed the casino,
Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter and former casino
marketing manager Dwayne Spitzer as defendants, saying they were
acting as agents of the tribe.
Frazier's attorney, H. Todd Bullard, said he is asking the 2nd
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Scullin's decision, or at
least let the lawsuit continue against Halbritter and Spitzer as
The Oneida Indian Nation does not comment on pending litigation,
spokesman Mark Emery said.
Frazier's lawsuit seeks $7 million in compensatory damages and
$9 million in punitive damages, saying he suffered "extreme
emotional damage'' from the photos.