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J.C. Penney, Walmart among retailers sued over Bangladesh factory collapse


New York -- The deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry, as reported by The New York Times, has led to finger-pointing and lawsuits aimed at a group of retailers.

On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza, an eight-story garment factory, collapsed in Savar, just outside the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring 2,515. Subsequent investigations revealed that the building, which held factories for about 40 retailers, was substandard and below code. In 2014, charges were filed against the mayor of Savar and factory owners and, now, a lawsuit filed against J.C. Penney, The Children’s Place and Wal-Mart alleges that retailers with products made in the building were aware of the conditions and did nothing.

“Defendants knew, or with the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known, that the Rana Plaza facility was not safe for human habitation,” reads the suit, which was filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The suit also alleges that the building was declared unsafe as recently as one day before the collapse, but was kept open.

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