In a historic first, the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday ordered four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay ¥13.32 trillion ($97 billion) to the company for damage caused by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, which led to three reactor meltdowns.

The amount is believed to be the largest ever awarded by a court for a civil lawsuit.

Presiding Judge Yoshihide Asakura ruled the four failed in their duty as Tepco directors to promptly order minimum tsunami countermeasures at the Fukushima No.1 plant. He said the possibility of a major tsunami-related accident could have been avoided if measures to prevent flooding had been taken in the plant’s main buildings and critical equipment rooms.