Pearl Jam and RHCP Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer Sued for Wrongful Death

Guitarist faces legal battle after tragic vehicular incident.

by Nouman Rasool
Pearl Jam and RHCP Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer Sued for Wrongful Death
© Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Josh Klinghoffer -- who's played with rock bands like Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction, and Red Hot Chili Peppers over the years -- is in deep trouble... he apparently has a dead body on his hands. The suit, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, blames Klinghoffer for the wrongful death of 47-year-old Israel Sanchez who was struck and killed while crossing a street.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of March 18, according to court documents. Israel Sanchez, on his way to a neighborhood food market, walked across an intersection with lines. That is where Klinghoffer, said to be on his phone and driving a 2022 GMC Yukon, slammed into Sanchez.

Klinghoffer reportedly struck Sanchez from behind as the latter was turning left, resulting in fatal injuries.

Klinghoffer's Immediate Response

The lawsuit hammers the depth of Klinghoffer's distraction and negligence at during the crash.

Klinghoffer's lawyer, Andrew Brettler, described the guitarist's reaction to the crash moments after it happened. Josh pulled over immediately when he hit the pedestrian, came to a full stop, dialed 911, and waited for police/ambulance.

He is fully cooperating with the traffic investigation," Brettler said in a statement to NBC News. During the hearing, Nick Rowley - attorney for the Sanchez family in their JOINT case against Remmers, expressed a more severe view of what took place on Tuesday from both an action and legal perspective.

"Klinghoffer deserves to be arrested and tried for murder," Rowley concluded, Wondering about the severity of these charges that Klinghoffer was met with. Israel Sanchez was pronounced dead two and a half hours after the collision at an area hospital.

The swift and catastrophic nature of what happened has driven Ashley Sanchez, Israel's only child, to push for a jury trial that would seek damages commensurate with the enormity of her loss. This case positions Klinghoffer at the heart of a major legal and moral discussion on culpability in car crashes with pedestrians.

This case serves as a tragic reminder of how impactful distracted driving, even if just for an instant, can be and why it could not be more important to stay focused behind the wheel.