Merrill Lynch, one of the biggest brokerage firms on Wall Street, has agreed to pay $160 million to settle a racial bias lawsuit that wound through the federal courts for eight years, including two appeals to the United States Supreme Court.

The payout in the suit, which was filed on behalf of 700 black brokers who worked for Merrill, would be the largest sum ever distributed to plaintiffs in a racial discrimination suit against an American employer. Merrill, which was acquired by Bank of America after the suit was filed, also agreed to take advice from black employees on how to improve their chances of succeeding as brokers.

Read about the case in The New York Times