Kiss’ guitar tech Fran Steuber passed away in 2021, after contracting Covid on the band’s End of the Road Tour. Now Rolling Stone has revealed that Steuber’s family have filed a lawsuit against Kiss for wrongful death.
The suit has been filed on behalf of Steuber’s wife, Catherine and Rolling Stone –which previously investigated the circumstances around Steuber’s death – has shared selected quotes from the filing.
“As a direct and proximate result of the dangerous condition created by Defendants,” says the suit.
“[Stueber] suffered fatal injuries and Plaintiffs [i.e. his family] 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 defendants in the trial include Kiss’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the band’s manager Doc McGhee, tour promoters Live Nation, and Marriott International.
Steuber reportedly passed away after he and numerous other members of the touring party contracted Covid. Steuber then isolated at the Four Points Hotel By Sheraton in Detroit (part of a chain owned by Marriott International), in accordance with the tour’s Covid policy.
The suit alleges Steuber later contacted McGhee to request help as his condition worsened and was told a health worker would be sent to check on him.
The suit alleges that McGhee then sent another crew member (as opposed to a medical professional) to the hotel, who ultimately called the police when he could not reach Steuber. The guitar tech was found dead when the police entered the room.
As the suit puts it: “Defendants, and each of them, whether through acts and/or omission to act, 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.”
At the time of Rolling Stone’s initial investigation, Kiss commented to the publication that they had met and often exceeded standards when it came to required safety protocols.
“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,” the band wrote. “But ultimately this is still a global pandemic and there is simply no foolproof way to tour without some element of risk.”
The band also alleged in turn that some of the touring party may have faked evidence of Covid vaccination.
“We are now aware there were crew members who attempted to conceal signs of illness, and when it was discovered, refused medical attention…” reads the statement.
“Furthermore, it has recently been brought to our attention that certain crew members may have provided fake vaccination cards which, if true, we find morally reprehensible (as well as illegal), putting the entire tour in harm’s way.”