Four Amazon drivers are suing the company after they were caught in the warehouse wrecked by a tornado. Two say warehouse staff threatened to fire them if they went home.
Amazondrivers who were inside a warehousewhen it was hit by a tornadoare suing the company.
- The roof of the
Edwardsville, Illinoiswarehouse collapsed when a tornado hit it in December.
Four drivers who were inside an Amazon warehouse when it was partially destroyed by a tornado have filed a lawsuit against the company.
Amazon's warehouse in Edwardsville Illinois was struck by a tornado on December 10. The tornado caused the warehouse roof to
Amazon drivers Jamarco Hickman, Evan Jensen, Jada Williams, and Deontae Yancey filed a joint complaint, their attorney Ben Crump said in a press statement Tuesday.
A draft of the complaint viewed by Insider says both Jensen and Williams asked to return home but were threatened with termination by warehouse officials if they left.
Yancey was directed to shelter in a bathroom at the warehouse and tried to leave but was told to stay by warehouse officials, the suit states.
Hickman was also directed to shelter in the warehouse's restrooms once he returned from his delivery route, the lawsuit says.
The partner of Larry Virden, one of the workers killed in the collapse, told The New York Post that Virden had texted her saying Amazon wouldn't let him leave until the storm had passed.
The drivers' suit accuses Amazon of failing to change workers' schedules despite having forewarning of the storm.
The lawsuit says the drivers suffered "devastating physical and emotional injuries" from being inside the warehouse when the tornado hit, but does not give detail about their injuries.
"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.
Crump simultaneously announced he was representing the mother of one of the workers killed in the collapse in a new lawsuit against the company.
Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider about the drivers' lawsuit.
The family of Austin McEwen, a driver who died in the collapse, also filed a lawsuit against Amazon in January.
McEwen's family accused Amazon of failing to evacuate the warehouse. In a statement given to Insider at the time, Amazon said the lawsuit "misunderstands key facts" about how much warning the facility had about the storm.
The collapse of the Edwardsville warehouse is the subject of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration probe, and the House Oversight Committee announced earlier this month that it was launching its own investigation into the incident.
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