Source: Bellevue News Democratic

Four Amazon drivers are suing the company after being in the warehouse destructed by a tornado
Out of the four, two said that the warehouse staff threatened to fire them if they went home

Four Amazon drivers are suing Amazon after being caught in the warehouse torn down by a tornado
Source: Business Insider

An Amazon warehouse was partially wrecked by a tornado last year. Four drivers of the company who were inside the warehouse have filed a lawsuit against the retail giant. The concerned warehouse in Edwardsville Illinois was struck by a tornado in December 2021. The warehouse witnessed the collapse of its roof during the tornado, leading to the death of six workers.

The drivers suing Amazon. com Inc are Jamarco Hickman, Jada Williams, Evan Jensen and Deontae Yancey. According to their lawyer, Ben Crump, the four drivers have filed a joint complaint. He specified the details in a press statement on Tuesday, April 19. The complaint stated that both Williams and Jensen had asked to return home on the day of the tornado, However, they received threats by warehouse officials to be fired if they left the premises. Moreover, Yancey was instructed to take shelter in a bathroom at the Edwardsville warehouse. In fact, even he attempted to leave but was directed to stay by the same officials.

Similarly, Hickman received the instructions to shelter in one of the restrooms too when he returned from his route of delivery. One of the six workers killed during the wreck was Larry Virden. His partner gave a statement to the New York Post about what happened on the day of the tornado. She stated that Virden had texted her specifying that the officials would not allow him to leave until the passing of the storm.

“Amazon had numerous warnings and opportunities to put their employees’ safety first, but they chose their bottom line instead,” Ben Crump, an attorney for the drivers, said in his press statement.

The suit essentially accused the retail giant of failing to alter schedules of the workers despite the warning of the storm. It states how the drivers went through ‘devastating physical and emotional injuries’ during the storm by being inside the warehouse. However, the suit did not specify details about any of the injuries sustained.

Simultaneously, the attorney mentioned that he was representing the mother of one of six workers killed, in a new lawsuit against Amazon. Moreover, another driver, named Austin McEwen died during the warehouse wreck. Reportedly, his family accused the retail giant of failure to evacuate the warehouse. In a statement, Amazon stated that the suit ‘misunderstands key facts.’ The company was referring to how much warning about the storm the warehouse had received. The wreck of this Illinois warehouse is the subject of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration probe. Moreover, the House Oversight Committee mentioned that they were going ahead with its own investigation regarding the case.