KISS Sued Because of Roadie’s Covid Death
KISS live in 2014 - KISS / Youtube
A somber cloud hangs over the legendary rock band Kiss as they find themselves entangled in a lawsuit filed by the family of Fran Stueber, a dedicated member of their crew who tragically succumbed to COVID-19 during their 2021 tour. Stueber, who had faithfully served as Paul Stanley’s guitar tech for two decades, was found lifeless in a Chicago hotel room where he had been quarantined for two days.
His passing on October 17 left the band and the entire crew in shock.
Paul Stanley, deeply affected by Stueber’s demise, expressed his grief, stating”
“Both on and offstage I depended on him for so much. My family loved him as did I. He was so proud of his wife and three boys, as they were of him.”
Stanley’s heartfelt words captured the essence of the bond shared with the dearly departed crew member.
However, as the news of Stueber’s death reverberated, concerns emerged regarding the adequacy of health security measures during Kiss’ tour. Rolling Stone reported crew members voicing distress about the minimal health protocols in place. One crew member questioned the adequacy, remarking,
“Did we super spread this, did we spread this thing from city to city? Is this going to be the normal, to stick someone in a hotel, and if somebody dies, ‘Oh, well, off to the next guy’?”
Amidst the mounting frustrations, protocols seemed to lean towards the minimal end of the scale, and the band had opted against having a dedicated COVID compliance officer on tour.
Several workers noted Stueber’s deteriorating health, emphasizing that tour management seemed reluctant to conduct necessary tests to avoid complications.
Kiss and their production manager, Robert Long, defended their actions, asserting that those testing positive were promptly sent into mandatory quarantine, funded by the band. They stated, “Medical care was offered at every step of the way,” emphasizing that their protocols adhered to or exceeded federal, state, and local guidelines. Despite these efforts, they acknowledged the inherent risks associated with touring during a global pandemic.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles and reported by Rolling Stone, implicates Kiss, manager Doc McGhee, promoter Live Nation, and hotel chain Marriott International.
The family’s legal action alleges negligence and wrongful death, underscoring the gravity of the situation. Stueber, according to the lawsuit, was tragically “abandoned in Detroit,” left alone for two days while feeling seriously ill. Despite commitments from McGhee to send medical personnel, no timely assistance arrived, leading to a heart-wrenching outcome.
The tragic loss of Fran Stueber emphasizes the need for stringent safety measures and vigilant care for all crew members, underscoring the human toll amid the complexities of touring in these unprecedented times. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly reverberate throughout the industry, prompting a necessary reevaluation of safety protocols and responsibilities, ensuring that the well-being of all involved remains paramount.