Amazon Hit With More Lawsuits Over Warehouse Collapse

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Angela Lang/CNET

Two lawsuits have been filed against Amazon after a tornado in December caused the collapse of its warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. They allege Amazon failed to protect its employees through negligence.

The lawsuits were filed by the mother of one of the employees killed in the collapse, DeAndre Morrow, and four drivers who survived but suffered harm as a result: Jamarco Hickman, Evan Jensen, Jada Williams and Deontae Yancey.

The complaints allege the four drivers had tried to leave the warehouse to seek shelter at home but were threatened with having their employment terminated.

Morrow was called in to work an extra shift on his day off, despite Amazon receiving multiple tornado warnings, the attorneys said.

“Amazon had numerous warnings and opportunities to put their employees’ safety first, but they chose their bottom line instead,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “As a result, six people needlessly lost their lives and many others suffered injury and mental anguish that will likely last a lifetime. Amazon required their employees to work just moments before the tornado destroyed the fulfillment center, despite their pleas to seek shelter at home with their loved ones.”

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amazon has also been sued by the family of a delivery driver who was killed during the collapse, Austin McEwen. That lawsuit, filed in January, also alleges negligence by Amazon.

Amazon is facing an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform over the collapse.

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