Ex Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer Sued For Wrongful Death

11 July 2024 | 8:52 am | Mary Varvaris

Klinghoffer is “cooperating” with police, and his attorney described the incident as a “tragic accident.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers with Josh Klinghoffer

Red Hot Chili Peppers with Josh Klinghoffer (Credit: Steve Keros)

More Red Hot Chili Peppers More Red Hot Chili Peppers

Josh Klinghoffer, known as the former guitarist for Red Hot Chili Peppers from 2009 until 2019, has been sued for wrongful death and negligence.

Pitchfork reports that the guitarist – who’s been a touring and session member of Pearl Jam since 2021 and Jane’s Addiction since last year – has been sued after he allegedly ran over and subsequently killed a pedestrian crossing the road in Alhambra, California, on 18 March 2024. The family of Israel Sanchez, the 47-year-old man who was hit by Klinghoffer’s car, has filed the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit seen by Variety, the guitarist was allegedly on his phone while making a left turn, striking Sanchez and leading to blunt-force trauma to the head. Sanchez died from his injuries hours later. The lawsuit states that no arrest was made following the incident.

In a statement, Klinghoffer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, said to TMZ, “It was a tragic accident. After Josh struck this pedestrian in the intersection, he immediately pulled over, stopped the car, called 911 and waited until police and the ambulance arrived.” Brettler added that Klinghoffer is “cooperating” with police and described the incident as a “tragic accident.”

The attorney suing Klinghoffer, Nick Rowley, told Variety that the guitarist should be “arrested and prosecuted for homicide” and the lawsuit contains “video of him on his cell phone” when the incident occurred.

“Israel Sanchez was on his way to the grocery store to make soup for his family and never came home,” Rowley said. “He did everything right, looking for oncoming traffic and abiding by pedestrian signage, but tragically, Mr Klinghoffer, in a rush and on his phone, hit him fatally from behind with a large SUV. The loss and grief that the Sanchez family now faces is immense. We will not stop until there is accountability and justice for Mr. Sanchez and his family.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

In December 2019, Kinghoffer's ten-year run with Red Hot Chili Peppers ended as the band welcomed back former guitarist John Frusciante.

Klinghoffer revealed he was told the news at bassist Flea's house, which he said was “a complete shock but not a surprise.”

“They just said, ‘We’ll get right to it. We’ve decided to ask John to come back to the band.’ And I just sat there quiet for a second, and I said, ‘I’m not surprised,'” Klinghoffer said.

Klinghoffer added, “It’s absolutely John’s place to be in that band”.