Judge tosses woman’s tornado-related suit against Home Depot

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge has tossed out a woman’s lawsuit against Home Depot over the deaths of her husband and two children in the devastating 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Harpool threw out Edie Howard Housel’s wrongful-death lawsuit Thursday at Home Depot’s request.

Housel claimed that the Home Depot in which Russell Howard, his 5-year-old daughter and 19-month-old son sought refuge from the tornado was structurally deficient. The twister ripped off the store’s roof, and many of the building’s walls fell, killing the Howards and five others.

Home Depot argued that the tornado packing 200-mph winds was an act of God and that the lawsuit’s defendants were not liable.

The May 2011 tornado leveled a miles-long swath of Joplin and was blamed for 161 deaths.


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