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Family of man killed when tornado hit Amazon warehouse to file lawsuit | Headline News St. Louis


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – The family of a 26-year-old delivery driver who was killed when a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville is filing a lawsuit.

Filmed as a devastating tornado tore through the Edwardsville Amazon Warehouse, family, friends, and others across the St. Louis gathered together to honor six lives.

A lawsuit will be filed on behalf of Austin McEwen’s family on Monday, attorneys announced Sunday afternoon. McEwen drives for a company contracted by Amazon to deliver. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon management knew unsafe conditions due to a tornado warning had been issued, but ordered employees to continue working instead of sending them to evacuate.

The suit also alleges that the warehouse did not have a basement even though it was located in a tornado-prone area; The family also accused the company of having an inadequate safety plan.

Jack Casciato, an attorney at the Clifford Law Firm who represents the McEwen family, said he believes Amazon is responsible for Austin McEwen’s death.

“One of the interesting facts to consider is whether Amazon is putting profit above safety here,” said Casciato, whose law office is based in Chicago.

An OSHA investigation of this facility could take six months.

Clayton Cope, Kevin Dickey, Etheria Hebb, Deandre Morrow, Larry Virden and McEwen died when the tornado hit on December 10. An 84-year-old woman was killed that same night when a tornado hit the county. St. Charles.

An attorney for the McEwen family and McEwen’s mother will hold a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss the lawsuit. News 4 has been sent to Amazon for comment and is awaiting a response.

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