Following eight deaths of candle factory workers in a tornado in western Kentucky, the surviving factory workers have filed a lawsuit against their employers. The survivors of the tornado say that their employers had a chance of saving the lost lives by allowing the workers to go home early. Instead, the employer is said to have demonstrated indifference, despite having prior knowledge that the tornado was likely to happen.
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The lawsuit accuses the company violated Kentucky occupational safety and health workplace standards. In the suit, they argue that the employee is required by law to let the employees go home in case of a threatening situation, which did not happen. They now want to be compensated by Mayfield Consumer Products for the damages endured.
The lawsuit filled now reveals new information that is contrary to what was issued by the company. A spokesperson for the company said that employees were free to go home hours before the storm. However, the employees say that they were under strict orders to continue working.
While speaking to The Associated Press, one employee of the company said that she was threatened by her supervisor with disciplinary action if she went home.
On the day of the incident, more than 100 people were working on candle orders when the tornado occurred. Initially, it was feared that the number of those dead was higher than the actual one. However, it was later realized that most employees had lost their cell network on their way home. The lack of communication contributed to the panic.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that the state’s workplace safety agency will look into the eight deaths. The kind of investigation that he has called for is routine in cases of deaths at workplaces.
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