Widow Files Lawsuit Alleging KISS Responsibility in Guitar Tech’s COVID-19 Death

by Madonna

LOS ANGELES (KABC) – The widow of a guitar technician who toured with the iconic rock band KISS has filed a lawsuit against the group, asserting that her husband’s COVID-19 infection, contracted during the band’s tour, ultimately led to his demise.

For two decades, Fran Stueber was an integral part of KISS’s global touring entourage, serving as the trusted guitar tech for the band’s frontman, Paul Stanley.


“Fran’s job was to make Paul look good, sound good, and feel safe at all times,” explained Cathey Stueber, the wife of Fran Stueber. “Every guitar had to be just right, tuned precisely. He adored what he did and cherished being on the stage. He took his role very seriously.”


Despite being aware of the COVID-19 risks associated with touring in 2021, the 53-year-old continued to pursue his passion. He entrusted the band’s management to ensure his safety.


Exactly two years ago, Fran Stueber passed away in his hotel room in Detroit, Michigan, on a night when the band was scheduled to perform. An autopsy revealed that COVID-19 played a contributing role in his death.

In response, a lawsuit has been filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, naming band manager Doc McGhee, Live Nation, and band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as defendants. The lawsuit contends that Fran Stueber’s death was avoidable.

“He told me that they were sending him and four other crew members to the hotel to quarantine,” Cathey Stueber recalled. “I asked him about going to the hospital, and he said they would send someone to escort him there. Unfortunately, throughout the day, that hadn’t happened.”

Family members assert that Fran had expressed concerns regarding the lack of COVID-19 protocols, particularly in light of an outbreak that had persisted within the tour crew for weeks.

“The parties responsible for overseeing the situation essentially left Fran to fend for himself,” stated Shant Karnikian, the attorney representing the Stueber family. “Regrettably, but unsurprisingly, this approach did not yield positive results. Fran was placed in a position where he had to signal when he needed assistance, which, in our view, is not equitable. Given his dedication and loyalty to the group, it’s unrealistic to expect someone like Fran to simply step aside.”

Eyewitness News reached out to all the defendants named in the lawsuit; however, as of now, no responses have been received.

“I would venture to say that if one of the band members had fallen ill and was quarantining in a hotel room, they would receive far more attention than what Fran received,” Karnikian emphasized. “They would have received a visit from a doctor and immediate medical care, but that’s not what happened in Fran’s case.”

Cathey Stueber concluded, “I have three children. My youngest was 12 at the time. They shared a strong bond with their dad, and he was my childhood sweetheart, so it’s been an arduous journey.”


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