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Kiss sued over death of guitar tech

The family of a long-serving Kiss guitar tech who died after contracting Covid-19 while on tour have launched a lawsuit against the band, alleging negligence and wrongful death.

Francis Stueber, 53, who had worked with the group for more than two decades, passed away in hospital in October 2021 after being quarantined in a hotel room in Detroit, US for two days.

The lawsuit names Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, their manager Doc McGhee, promoter Live Nation and hotel chain Marriott International as defendants, according to documents seen by Rolling Stone.

“The failure to enforce or have adequate Covid-19 policies or procedures caused a Covid-19 outbreak amongst band members and tour personnel,” claims the suit.

“As a direct and proximate result of the dangerous condition created by defendants, decedent suffered fatal injuries and plaintiffs suffered damages.

“Defendants… breached their duty to plaintiffs by their negligent production, operation, inspection, supervision, management and control”

“Defendants… breached their duty to plaintiffs by their negligent production, operation, inspection, supervision, management and control over The End of the Road Tour that ultimately resulted in the death of decedent.”

The band, Live Nation and Marriott are yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit.

Speaking to RS at the time, three crew members alleged The End of the World Tour’s Covid-safe measures were insufficient. “Every day during the shows, we weren’t tested,” claimed one roadie. “It’s horrible that Fran passed, and it’s horrible if this is our protocol just for us to tour.”

Kiss, who said they were “profoundly heartbroken” by Stueber’s death, issued a statement denying the claims, insisting their safety protocols “met, but most often exceeded, federal, state, and local guidelines”.

“Ultimately this is still a global pandemic and there is simply no foolproof way to tour without some element of risk,” the statement added. “If certain crew chose to go out to dinner on a day off, or have beers at a local bar after the show, and did so without a mask or without following protocols, there is little that anyone can do to stop that. Particularly when many of our tour markets did not have any state or local mask mandates in place.”


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