Amazon sued over tornado-hit warehouse deaths — Analysis
Amazon is accused of making employees work up to the point that disaster strikes, killing six
Amazon’s family is suing the company for wrongful death after a driver was struck by lightning in Illinois. The family claims that Amazon has placed profits above people.
26-year-old Austin McEwan – along with five others – died after a tornado hit the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois on December 10, 2021. Workers were allegedly forbidden from exiting the warehouse by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is investigating.
McEwan’s family filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Monday, alleging that the company failed to sufficiently warn employees or provide a safe place for them to take cover.
“Sadly, it appears that Amazon placed profits first during this holiday season instead of the safety of our son and the other five,” said Austin’s mother Alice McEwen during a press conference.
Amazon is accused of having been involved in the lawsuit “carelessly required individuals”To “continue working up until the moments before the tornado struck,”Before directing workers to cover themselves in rooms that did not offer sufficient protection, Amazon was accused by Jack Casciato (an attorney representing McEwans), of making its employees work recklessly “up to the point of no return.”
Amazon has however accused McEwans’ of misunderstanding “key facts,”Arguments that “severe weather watches are common in this part of the country and, while precautions are taken, are not cause for most businesses to close down.”
“We believe our team did the right thing as soon as a warning was issued,”Kelly Nantel, spokesperson for Amazon said.
Following the catastrophe, Amazon came under fire from many people including Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor of the United States.
“Amazon knew it was dangerous to force workers to show up on Friday, and yet the company did it anyway – while preventing employees from having access to potentially life-saving weather alerts on their phones,”Twitter Reich; he added “Corporate greed is deadly.”
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