Lawsuit against Amazon filed in deadly tornado swarm

The family of an delivery truck driver in Illinois who died in December when a warehouse was destroyed by a swarm of tornadoes that killed six people there, filed a lawsuit against the online retailer on Monday over his death.

The suit, the first against the company stemming from the disaster, was brought in state court by the Chicago firm, Clifford Law Offices, on behalf of the family of driver Austin McEwen, 26. It was filed in Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County, Illinois.

It alleges that the Amazon knew that conditions were “highly unsafe as tornado warnings had been issued,” but company officials “rolled the dice with peoples’ lives to put profit over safety,” attorney Jack J. Casciato said.

“We are seeking damages in excess of multi-millions of dollars,” Mr. Casciato said.

Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, said the warehouse was built in compliance with all codes and that Amazon managers followed the weather conditions closely.

“We believe our team did the right thing as soon as a warning was issued, and they worked to move people to safety as quickly as possible,” Ms. Natel said in a statement to Reuters.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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