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An American company’s $30 million settlement to families of Mexican maquiladora workers who were killed in a bus crash should make U.S. firms more careful about worker safety outside the plant, some international lawyers say.

But it remains to be seen whether the suit will serve as a blueprint for countless Mexican workplace suits to be filed in Texas courts, as defense lawyers argued in their bitter fight over the forum of the case before settling on Aug. 16. After the plaintiffs rested their case in a Maverick County district court, insurers for New York-based clothing marketer and manufacturer Salant Corp. agreed to pay $30 million to families of 14 maquiladora workers who were killed in a 1997 crash in a bus that was carrying them to work at a blue jean clothing factory in Mexico.

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