The household of a supply driver who died final month when a twister collapsed the central Illinois Amazon facility the place he labored filed a wrongful dyinglawsuitMonday in Madison County.
The motion on behalf of Austin McEwen, 26, claims that Amazon did not warn workers of harmful climate or present protected shelter earlier than a twister slammed the Edwardsville facility Dec. 10, killing McEwen and 5 others.
It’s believed to be the primary authorized motion taken in response to the deaths. The Occupational Security and Well being Administration has opened an investigation.
McEwen’s mother and father, Randy and Alice McEwen, allege that Amazon directors knew extreme climate was imminent however had no emergency plan nor evacuated workers from the success heart.
“Sadly, it seems that Amazon positioned earnings first throughout this vacation season as a substitute of the protection of our son and the opposite 5,” Alice McEwen stated at a information convention Monday.
Amazon “carelessly required people … to proceed working up till the moments earlier than the twister struck,” thelawsuitsays, and “improperly directed” McEwen and colleagues to shelter in a bathroom, which it says the corporate knew or ought to have identified wasn’t protected.
“That they had individuals working as much as the purpose of no return,” stated Jack Casciato, the McEwens’ lawyer who’s a associate of Clifford Legislation Places of work.
Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel launched a press release that countered that thelawsuit”misunderstands key info” together with the variations amongst extreme climate alerts and the situation and security of the constructing.
“This was a brand new constructing lower than 4 years outdated, inbuilt compliance with all relevant constructing codes, and the native groups have been following the climate circumstances carefully,” Nantel stated. “Extreme climate watches are frequent on this a part of the nation and, whereas precautions are taken, aren’t trigger for many companies to shut down. We imagine our crew did the correct factor as quickly as a warning was issued.”
Thelawsuitseeks greater than $50,000 from every of the 4 defendants named within the swimsuit, which incorporates Amazon.com, the development firm that constructed the power and the venture’s developer.
Nantel stated the corporate would defend itself in opposition to thelawsuitbut would proceed to concentrate on “supporting our workers and companions, the households who misplaced family members, the encircling neighborhood, and all these affected by the tornadoes.”
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