Lawyers on Monday filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Madison County, Illinois against online retailer Amazon and two other companies on behalf of the family of delivery driver Austin McEwen, who was killed Dec. 10, 2021, when a tornado struck the Amazon fulfillment center where he was working.LitigationLiability
The tornado, with top winds estimated at 155 miles per hour, ripped the roof off the facility just after 8:30 p.m. and caused the building to collapse on itself. McEwen was one of six people killed.
The other fives victims are 28-year-old Deandre S. Morrow of St. Louis; 62-year-old Kevin D. Dickey of Carlyle, Illinois; 29-year-old Clayton Lynn Cope of Alton, Illinois; 34-year-old Etheria S. Hebb of St. Louis; and 46-year-old Larry E. Virden of Collinsville, Illinois.
Forty-five Amazon workers were able to get out of the warehouse safely, with one airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
The lawsuit accuses Amazon of forcing McEwen and others to work when management knew conditions were unsafe after tornado warnings had been issued.