The family of those killed in an Amazon store collapse in the US are suing the company for negligence

The family of a delivery man who died last month when a tornado brought down the Amazon facility in Illinois state filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company on Monday.

The family of Austin McEwen, 26, has launched legal proceedings to sue the multinational for failing to warn employees about the dangerous weather or provide them with safe and adequate shelter while the area was hit by a tornado that eventually caused five more deaths, in addition to that of the young man.

McEwen’s parents claimed that the company knew about the adverse weather conditions but had no emergency plan or evacuated warehouse workers, collects the American chain ABC.

The family of those killed in an Amazon store collapse in the US are suing the company for negligence
The family of those killed in an Amazon store collapse in the US are suing the company for negligence

It is estimated that these are the first legal steps that victims’ relatives have taken against Amazon in a quest for accountability for the incident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the incident.

“Unfortunately, it appears that this holiday season, Amazon has put profits ahead of the safety of our son and the other five (deceased),” McEwen’s mother, Alice, said at a news conference on Monday.

The lawsuit states that the company “recklessly required people (…) to continue working until just before the tornado” and that it “improperly” ordered McEwen and the rest of the deceased workers to flee to a bathroom.

Family attorney Jack Casciato has looked into the matter, accusing Amazon of making its employees work “to the point of no return.”

For her part, Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel has issued a statement responding to the lawsuit, criticizing that she “misunderstands” some of the facts that are “key” to understanding what happened, including the differences between the alerts for temporary and the condition and security of the building.

“It was a new building less than four years old and built with all applicable building codes and the local teams were closely monitoring the weather conditions,” Nantel defended, adding that these types of warnings in this part of the United States ” common” are states and this does not usually lead to the closure of most companies. “We think our team did the right thing,” he remarked.

Based on that lawsuit, McEwen’s family is seeking more than $50,000 in damages from each of the four defendants, including Amazon, the facility’s construction company and the project’s developer.

In conclusion, Nantel assured that while the company will defend itself against this lawsuit, it will remain focused on “supporting” its “employees and partners, the families who have lost loved ones, the neighboring community and everyone affected by The Hurricanes” .

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