A federal judge overseeing lawsuits stemming from a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people endorsed a $176 million settlement Thursday, bringing survivors and victims’ relatives closer to receiving money and moving years of legal wrangling toward a final resolution.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux also authorized the creation of a trust fund to hold the settlement money for the more than 300 people affected by the 2003 fire at The Station nightclub.