The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Wednesday that the company it has sued to hold it responsible for the deaths of five workers at a sewing machine factory in Virginia was at least partially responsible for three deaths of workers at the facility.
The agency, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, said the factory was located in the town of Fairhaven, Virginia, and was owned by the United States Textile Corporation.
The safety concerns were confirmed by the state of Virginia, which sued in federal court in Virginia in July.
The lawsuit was filed by the Occupation Safety and Wellness Coalition, an advocacy group that works to address workplace hazards, and the U.S. Department of Justice, which represents the textile industry.
The suit alleges that the United Nations agency that supervises the Occupations Department and the State Department and has jurisdiction over the safety of U.N. facilities is at fault for failing to enforce its standards for workplaces, according to a release from the advocacy group.
In July, a jury awarded $3.3 million to the families of the five workers, but the suit is still pending in a federal court.
The agency said in its release that it will seek to have the verdict reversed.
“The fact that the agency was the one that decided to make a decision that could potentially have resulted in these workers’ deaths is extremely disappointing,” the release stated.
The United States has been in a high-stakes dispute with North Korea over its nuclear program since it stopped producing weapons in 2013.
It was then that a North Korean worker died and three others were injured when a blast at the Yongbyon nuclear test site exploded.