Members of the United States House of Representatives have accused Amazon of impeding an ongoing warehouse collapse probe.
Six Killed in Illinois
On June 2, 2022, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy alleging that the company failed to produce materials requested as part of an investigation into a partial collapse at a fulfillment center last year.
On December 10, 2021, an EF-3 tornado struck an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, IL. The force of the impact caused the building’s roof to collapse and its walls to cave in.
The collapse killed six workers and critically injured another. Personal injury attorneys have already filed at least one wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members of a deceased employee.
“Key Categories of Documents” Missing
The House Oversite Committee launched its warehouse collapse probe on March 31, 2022. At that time, the Committee told Amazon to hand over a list of requested materials by mid-April.
But according to a letter signed by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, who chairs the Committee, Rep. Cori Bush, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amazon “still has not produced any of the key categories of documents identified by Committee staff, let alone the full set of materials the Committee requested in March.
“Unfortunately, Amazon has failed to meaningfully comply with the Committee’s requests, obstructing the Committee’s investigation,” the letter continued, adding that the company has only released “an incomplete set of policies and procedures.”
The letter further asserted that Amazon has not produced any internal communications about the tornado that would be relevant to the warehouse collapse probe. The Oversight Committee is also seeking documents showing how the company has managed its workforce during other natural disasters, such as the California wildfires in 2018.
OSHA Conducted Its Own Warehouse Collapse Probe
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said that the company was “surprised” to receive the letter accusing it of impeding the warehouse collapse probe. She claimed that Amazon began providing materials to the Oversite Committee two weeks after it received the initial request and has produced more than 1,500 pages of information overall.
“As we have done from the start, we will continue to work with Committee staff on further document production — which includes the most recent materials we shared on June 1,” Nantel said.
Amazon’s labor policies for extreme weather events have come under increased regulatory scrutiny since the tragedy in Edwardsville.
In March 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) completed its own warehouse collapse probe, concluding that Amazon had met the minimum federal safety requirements for storm sheltering. Nevertheless, OSHA investigators also uncovered safety risks at Amazon fulfillment centers and called upon the company to improve its procedures.
Are You the Victim of a Structural Collapse?
Each year, there are approximately eight structural collapse disasters worldwide, resulting in an average of 343 deaths. Even non-fatal collapses can inflict punishing injuries that may require a lifetime of financially devastating care.
If you are the victim of a structural collapse and want to make sure that you receive the most compensation possible from the responsible parties, consider doing what so many others have done before you and reach out to the personal injury attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys have the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation you need to help get you and your family the justice you deserve.
Contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.