MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Survivors of a tornado that leveled a Kentucky candle factory, killing eight workers, have filed a lawsuit claiming their employer demonstrated “flagrant indifference” by refusing to allow the employees to go home early.
The lawsuit filed in state court seeks compensatory and punitive damages from Mayfield Consumer Products. A company spokesman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.
The lawsuit claims the factory had “up to three and half hours before the tornado hit its place of business to allow its employees to leave its worksite as safety precautions.” The factory showed “flagrant indifference to the rights” of the workers by refusing to do so, the lawsuit said.
An employee of the factory told The Associated Press that a supervisor threatened her with written disciplinary action if she went home early because storms were approaching.
The lawsuit was filed less than a week after the storms that began Friday night destroyed lives and property from Arkansas to Illinois and in parts of neighboring states, carving a more than 200-mile (320-kilometer) path through Kentucky alone.
The civil complaint can be read below: