- The spouse and children of Austin McEwan, who died in an Amazon warehouse collapse, is suing the corporation.
- Law firm, Jack Casciato, alleges that the Amazon warehouse was not securely hooked up to the ground.
- He also slammed Jeff Bezos for not visiting the scene, “Thanks for the tweet, but which is not adequate.”
Amazon is facing a wrongful loss of life lawsuit from a single of the family members bereaved in the December 10 warehouse collapse in Illinois, which transpired when a twister, which reached wind speeds of up to 150 mph, devastated the creating and killed 6 employees.
The law firm symbolizing the bereaved loved ones of Austin McEwen, 26, who died in an Illinois warehouse collapse, alleges that the warehouse was not adequately connected to the floor.
The McEwen household and lawyer Jack Casciato, husband or wife at Chicago’s Clifford Regulation Offices, are suing Amazon, as perfectly as Contegra and Tristor, two progress corporations accountable for the warehouse construction, on 4 counts of wrongful death, together with carelessness rates.
Telling Insider about the depth of the lawsuit, submitted January 18 at Madison County State Courtroom, Casciato explained that a crew informs it of climatologists, security professionals, and structural engineers, all working to fully grasp how the Amazon warehouse collapsed.
Casciato also explained to Insider that the investigation had uncovered that the columns holding up the warehouse may well not have been effectively fastened into the ground — and just “pegged” in — allowing them to be blown up and out of the ground, killing the six victims of the collapse.
He extra that the employees ended up not run by means of twister basic safety drills, making the warehouse collapse a “chaotic scene.”
Casciato famous the absence of acceptable storm shelters in the warehouse, highlighting that Amazon sells such shelters.
“How can you have a 1 million sq. foot warehouse without suitable shelters. [Amazon is] the richest company in the globe. How can they not have a warehouse with ideal shelters?
“Amazon even sells FEMA (Federal Unexpected emergency Administration Administration) compliant storm shelters on your internet site, but you are unable to use them to protect your employees,” he mentioned to Insider.
The McEwen household — who is the first of the bereaved households to file a lawsuit — say that “we hope, together with the other people who shed cherished ones, to get the responses we should have. We know those people responses will only occur by filing a lawsuit.”
Family ‘disappointed’ by Jeff Bezos ‘placing gain more than safety’
Casciato told Insider that the family is “dissatisfied” that Jeff Bezos was “able to go to Space, but not equipped to consider his corporate private jet and fly to Edwardsville and at minimum fulfill the persons who missing their beloved ones, the folks who work for you and aid advance your corporation.”
—Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) December 12, 2021
“Many thanks for the tweet, but which is not adequate,” Casciato added in his dialogue with Insider.
Casciato also told Insider that the simple fact that McEwen, as properly as other personnel that day, have been forced to get the job done through a twister was a indication of “revenue taking precedence in excess of security.”
Casciato additional that Amazon tried to give the McEwen relatives revenue right away soon after their son’s loss of life. It was rejected as the corporation seeking to “butter up” the bereaved.
In a statement, Alice and Randy McEwen — parents of Austin McEwen — reported that “it appears that Amazon placed gains very first for the duration of this holiday break period instead of the security of our son and the other five families who lost liked types. Our condolences go out to the other families. We know with endurance we will receive the responses and justice our son justifies.”
Talking at a video press conference on Monday, Austin McEwen’s relatives recounted the everyday living of their late son, stating the Amazon shipping driver was set to get married to his long-term girlfriend.
Austin’s mom, Alice McEwen, explained her son as a “pretty loved person” with a “appreciate for existence.” He invested his spare time searching, taking part in baseball, hockey, and traveling with his girlfriend of five years.
An Amazon spokesperson told Insider the company would defend versus the lawsuit.
“We believe our crew did the suitable factor as quickly as a warning was issued, and they worked to shift men and women to security as immediately as doable. We will protect in opposition to this lawsuit, but our emphasis carries on to be on supporting our workers and companions, the families who missing cherished kinds, the bordering group, and all individuals influenced by the tornadoes,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel stated in a assertion sent to Insider.
She additional that the lawsuit “misunderstands essential details, these kinds of as the variation in between different styles of critical temperature and twister alerts, as perfectly as the ailment and basic safety of the constructing.”
“The truth is that this was a new setting up considerably less than four a long time previous, created in compliance with all applicable setting up codes, and the community teams were subsequent the climate ailments intently. Serious weather conditions watches are frequent in this section of the country and, though precautions are taken, are not result in for most companies to close down,” claimed Nantel.
Concerns on how the disaster happened have also been asked by a large-profile team of US lawmakers, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They despatched a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and Founder Jeff Bezos on December 20 demanding solutions about the collapse.