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Family of tornado victim sues Amazon over collapse of warehouse

Amazon Warehouse tornado lawsuit
Posted at 10:47 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 13:47:21-05

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The family of a delivery driver who died last month when a tornado collapsed the Amazon warehouse in central Illinois where he worked has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The action Monday on behalf of 26-year-old Austin McEwen claims that Amazon failed to warn employees of dangerous weather or provide safe shelter before a tornado slammed the Edwardsville facility Dec. 10, killing McEwen and five others.

McEwen’s parents, Randy and Alice McEwen, allege that Amazon administrators knew severe weather was imminent but had no emergency plan nor evacuated employees from the fulfillment center.

“Sadly, it appears that Amazon placed profits first during this holiday season instead of the safety of our son and the other five,” Alice McEwen said at a news conference Monday.

The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit seeks $50,000 from each of the four defendants named in the suit, including Amazon, the construction company that built the facility and the developer of the project.

Last month, workers at a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, sued the facility's owners, alleging that management threatened employees who left work during the tornadoes with termination.