KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of Kansas City jazz star Ronald McFadden filed a lawsuit against a downtown hotel and several others, blaming them for his death.
Ronald McFadden, one half of the McFadden Brothers, died unexpectedly in February at the age of 66. Ronald and Lonnie McFadden had just finished a performance at the Loews Hotel as part of a JPMorgan Chase & Co. conference.
Now, Ronald McFadden’s widow Angela McFadden has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hotel, JPMorgan and three companies involved in the production: Experience Events Group, Vista Productions and Harvest Productions.
The lawsuit argues the stage layout for the performance didn’t meet terms laid out in the contract, causing McFadden to slip and fall.
Angela McFadden’s lawsuit says the two men had to exit the stage on a slippery steel ramp with no handrails. The brothers, both popular tap dancers and jazz performers, were wearing tap shoes that night, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, Ronald McFadden left the stage after the performance and slipped and fell. His brother also nearly fell while attempting to walk down the ramp, McFadden’s wife said.
An autopsy determined Ronald McFadden died from cardiac arrest due to the impact of his saxophone to his chest. The lawsuit says when the 66-year-old fell, he landed on his instrument.
The lawsuit argues the companies failed to make the stage safe or warn about its condition, leading to the jazz legend’s death.
Angela McFadden is requesting a jury trial, calling for damages for herself and on behalf of her two children.