Widow of KISS Guitar Tech Sues Band for Wrongful Death
The family claims that Stueber's death in 2021 after he had contracted COVID-19 amid the band's ongoing farewell trek, the "End of the Road World Tour," was a "direct and proximate result of the dangerous condition created by defendants," the lawsuit states.
The defendants named in the suit, in addition to founding KISS members Stanley and fellow co-vocalist Gene Simmons, include the band's manager Doc McGhee, the tour's promoter Live Nation, and the hotel chain Marriott, as Rolling Stone reported this week.
A Rolling Stone investigation in 2021 claimed that several KISS roadies alleged that lax COVID protocols on the tour contributed to Stueber's death.
Stueber's widow, Catherine Stueber, and several other of her family members filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles on Wednesday (Oct. 11).
Fran's family claims that a "failure to enforce or have adequate COVID-19 policies or procedures caused a COVID-19 outbreak amongst band members and tour personnel" led to his death. They are seeking unspecified special damages, plus other damages related to lost income and medical expenses.
"Decedent suffered fatal injuries, and Plaintiffs suffered damages, including, but not limited to funeral and burial expenses, the permanent deprivation of the love companionship, affection solace, society, comfort, assistance, services and financial contributions, and moral support of Decedent in an amount according to proof at trial," the suit says.
KISS postponed a number of shows in 2021 after both Stanley and Simmons tested positive for COVID.
At the time of Fran's death, KISS refuted that they had inadequate COVID protocols on the road. "KISS and their crew have operated in a bubble independently to safeguard everyone as much as possible at each show and in between shows," the band said in a statement that year.
"The tour also has a COVID safety protocol officer on staff full-time that is ensuring everyone is closely following all CDC guidelines," they added.
In a personal tribute on Oct. 17, 2021, Stanley wrote, "My dear friend, buddy and guitar tech for 20 years, Fran Stueber died yesterday suddenly of COVID. 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 3 boys as they were of him. I’m numb."
The End of the Road tour is set to conclude at the end of this year. It was first announced in 2018 and at one point scheduled to wrap in 2021. Eying their final scheduled show in December, Simmons recently said KISS is really calling it quits this time, while they're "on top." See KISS dates below.
KISS 2023 Tour Dates
Sept. 1, 2023 – Crandon, Wis. @ Int'l Raceway
Oct. 7, 2023 – Sydney, Australia @ Accor Stadium
Oct. 13, 2023 – Dubai, UAE @ Coca-Cola Arena
Oct. 19, 2023 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Heritage Arena
Oct. 20, 2023 – Detroit, Mich. @ Little Caesar's Arena
Oct. 22, 2023 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Rocket Fieldhouse
Oct. 23, 2023 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Bridgestone
Oct. 25, 2023 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Enterprise Ctr
Oct. 27, 2023 – Ft. Worth, Texas @ Dickies Arena
Oct. 29, 2023 – Austin, Texas @ Moody Center
Nov. 1, 2023 – Palm Springs, Calif. @ Acrisure Arena
Nov. 3, 2023 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hollywood Bowl
Nov. 6, 2023 – Seattle, Wash. @ Climate Pledge
Nov. 8, 2023 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Rogers Arena
Nov. 10, 2023 – Edmonton, Alberta @ Rogers Place
Nov. 12, 2023 – Calgary, Alberta @ Saddledome
Nov. 13, 2023 – Saskatoon, Sask. @ SaskTel Ctr
Nov. 15, 2023 – Winnipeg, Manitoba @ CanadaLife
Nov. 18, 2023 – Montreal, Quebec @ Centre Bell
Nov. 19, 2023 – Quebec, Quebec @ Videotron Ctr
Nov. 21, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Canadian Tire Ctr
Nov. 22, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario @ Scotiabank
Nov. 24, 2023 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Boling Arena
Nov. 25, 2023 – Indianapolis. Ind. @ Fieldhouse
Nov. 27, 2023 – Rosemont, Ill. @ Allstate Arena
Nov. 29, 2023 – Baltimore, Md. @ CFG Arena
Dec. 1, 2023 – New York, N.Y. @ MSG
Dec. 2, 2023 – New York, N.Y. @ MSG
Rockers We've Lost in 2023
Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff
Rockers We've Lost in 2022
Gallery Credit: Todd Fooks