Ben Crump, other attorneys file lawsuit on behalf of victims in Amazon warehouse collapse

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the...
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the deadly collapse at the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville.
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 4:55 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Ben Crump and several other civil rights attorneys have filed two lawsuits on behalf of victims in the Edwardsville Amazon warehouse collapse.

Crump, Bob Hilliard, Patrick King and William Miller are suing on behalf of Amazon drivers Jamarco Hickman, Evan Jensen, Jada Williams and Deontae Yancey, all who survived the collapse, and Deon January, the mother of DeAndre Morrow, who died. Six people died when a tornado hit the facility on December 10.

The lawsuit alleges Amazon did not allow employees to leave facility until the storm passed. Morrow was working an extra shift that day, but was at the facility after the shift was scheduled to end, the lawsuit says. Jensen, Williams and Yancey all attempted to leave the building and seek shelter at home, but were told they would be fired if they did, the lawsuit says.

The lawyers also contend that Amazon was warned of possible tornadoes 36 hours ahead of time and when an additional tornado warning was issued between 8:06 p.m. and 8:16 p.m., only some of the employees were warned and instructed to go into the bathrooms for safety. The lawsuit adds that the plaintiffs were located in the warehouse “against their will” when a tornado hit at 8:20 p.m.

A lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of Austin McEwen, who also died in the collapse. OSHA is investigating the collapse; Illinois lawmakers have expressed interest in changing building codes in light of the collapse.

The construction company that built the warehouse has defended its work. News 4 has reached out to Amazon for comment and are waiting to hear back.