(AP) — A Florida judge has given gave initial approval to a settlement of more than $1 billion to families who lost loved ones in the collapse last year of a Florida beachfront condominium building in which 98 people died.

The quick settlement Saturday of the unprecedented collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building means that potentially years of court battles will be avoided.

The agreement had been announced on Friday and had been awaiting Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman’s approval.

Hanzman said it was the best possible outcome given the loss of life and property in the June 2021 disaster.