Plaintiffs suing Amazon and its construction team over the fatal partial collapse of an Illinois warehouse hit by a tornado last year have agreed to drop their case against architecture and engineering firms they accused of negligence and wrongful death. The lawsuits are continuing against Amazon, builder Contegra Construction Co. and others involved in the building’s construction.

The claims against Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers Inc. and Gray Design Group Inc. were both voluntarily dismissed, court records show. Both companies were named in suits related to the collapse of the 1.1-million-sq-ft Amazon fulfillment center in Edwardsville, after it was hit by an EF3 tornado on Dec. 10, 2021. Six people were killed when two walls and a section of roof collapsed under winds of 150 mph or more.

Attorneys for Stock, Gray and the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to inquiries about the dismissals. 

In September, the Illinois Supreme Court ordered that five St. Clair County cases and three Madison County cases related to the collapse be consolidated under Judge Sarah Smith in Madison County circuit court, records show.

Jack Casciato, an attorney for the family of Austin McEwen, a 26-year-old delivery contractor killed in the collapse, wrote in a court filing that he expects to file an amended complaint. The plaintiffs are still “in the midst of investigation,” Casciato wrote.

Earlier, Casciato had highlighted questions about the warehouse design and construction from a fire marshal’s report prepared in the wake of the collapse to support his argument of negligence on the part of the firms involved in building the warehouse.

As ENR previously reported, Contegra disputed the report’s conclusions and suggested the fire marshal may have misunderstood what he was seeing in the debris. An Amazon spokesperson has also said it is “misleading to suggest there were any structural issues.”

In April, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration completed its investigation into the collapse. OSHA did not issue any citations, but opted to issue hazard letters to Amazon and the delivery contractors with recommendations for severe weather safety procedures. Amazon’s plans met federal storm sheltering safety guidelines, officials noted.

The property owner, Realty Income Illinois Properties 4 LLC, is rebuilding the damaged portion of the building, city records show.