CHICAGO (CBS) — In a landmark decision, a federal appeals court has decided the Chicago Fire Department has to hire 111 black firefighters, and the city will have to pay tens of millions in damages over an entrance exam given 16 years ago.

Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, the case goes back to 1995, when the fire department gave a test that didn’t measure a potential firefighter’s ability to do the job.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser Reports

It was much more likely that white candidates would score better than black candidates.

The city established a cutoff score and hired the mostly white group that scored better.

“We’re very happy,” said Josh Karsh, who is a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “It’s been a very long time coming. I hope that this is the ultimate last chapter. The court of appeals said that very shortly a hundred and eleven African Americans should be hired into the Chicago Fire Department.”

The city will also have to pay about $30 million in damages.