Amazon is being sued by the family of delivery driver Austin McEwan, who died at the Edwardsville, Illinois, warehouse hit by a tornado last month. CNET reported. The suit alleges that Amazon was negligent, citing the fact that it told people to keep working through extreme weather alerts. It also makes negligence claims against contractors who helped build the warehouse.
McEwan was one of six people killed when the warehouse roof was hit by a tornado and collapsed. Victim Deandre Morrow’s family also hired a lawyer. “Unfortunately, it appears that Amazon has put profits first during this holiday season over the safety of our son and five others,” McEwan’s mother Alice McKewan said in a statement. Press conference.
“Bad weather clocks are common in this part of the country, and while precautions are taken, they are not a reason for most businesses to close,” said Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman. CNET in a statement. “We believe our team did the right thing as soon as a warning was issued.” The company said the warehouse was built four years ago in accordance with building code requirements.
Edwardsville is in a region known as Wind Zone IV, a part of the US with the highest risk of tornadoes. The National Weather Service warned of a tornado threat 36 hours before they hit, and the morning before the storms, warned from the “likely threat” of “harmful winds above 60 mph”.
During the same incident, an Amazon dispatcher pressured a driver to deliver packages amid tornado alarms, threatening her with termination. Amazon said the dispatcher “did not follow standard safety practice” and should have directed the driver to seek shelter. Meanwhile, Democrats have pressed Amazon for details on the warehouse deaths, saying in a letter that the incident “fits a larger pattern” by Amazon putting security at risk “in everyday situations and emergencies”.
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