Kiss guitar tech Francis Stueber died from COVID in 2021 while quarantining in a hotel room during the band's End Of The Road World Tour. Catherine Stueber, widow of Francis Stueber, is now suing the band over her husband's death.
In a lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone, Catherine Stueber has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, Kiss manager Doc McGhee, tour promoter Live Nation, and hotel chain Marriott International.
Stueber's family alleges that Kiss' "failure to enforce or have adequate COVID-19 policies or procedures caused a COVID-19 outbreak amongst band members and tour personnel." The family also alleges that Stueber was "abandoned in Detroit" to quarantine, and that after being reached out to by Stueber, McGhee said he would send medical personnel to check in on him.
A portion of the suit reads: "As a direct and proximate result of the dangerous condition created by Defendants, 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."
Stueber served as a guitar tech for Kiss since 2002. At the time of his death, Kiss crew members accused the band of not being strict enough with their COVID protocol. One roadie told Rolling Stone that "I couldn't believe how unsafe it was, and that we were still going. We'd been frustrated for weeks, and by the time Fran died, I just thought, 'You have to be fucking kidding me.'"
Kiss responded at the time, saying "We are profoundly heartbroken at the loss of Francis, he was a friend and colleague of 20 years, there is no way to replace him. Millions of people have lost someone special to this horrific virus and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Please protect yourself and your loved ones.
"Our 'End Of The Road' world tour absolutely had COVID safety protocols in place that met, but most often exceeded, federal, state, and local guidelines. But ultimately this is still a global pandemic and there is simply no foolproof way to tour without some element of risk."