VANCOUVER - Dozens of passengers who scrambled off the Queen of the North as the ferry sank in waters off the northern B.C. coast will have $140,000 to split between them under the terms of a court settlement.

The passengers' lawyer has filed a motion asking the B.C. Supreme Court to approve the class-action settlement of $354,000, but the document, obtained by The Canadian Press, says $213,000 of that will be used to pay legal costs.

A court hearing is set for Thursday to approve the settlement and outline exactly how it will be distributed.

The Queen of the North struck Gil Island south of Prince Rupert in March 2006, sinking and taking two passengers down with it. The bodies of Gerald Foisy and Shirley Rosette were never recovered and they were presumed drowned.

Their families have already settled lawsuits with BC Ferries, but a class-action suit -- involving about 50 passengers of the 99 people who made it off the ship -- is finally nearing an end after winding its way through the courts for years.

The lawsuit initially targeted BC Ferries and three of the ship's officers, but the crew members were dropped from the case last year.

BC Ferries has admitted liability.

The survivors also abandoned their claims for punitive damages, meaning the only substantial issue that was still outstanding was the size of the award and who is entitled to receive it.

Three passengers have already received settlements.

Last fall, a judge awarded $14,000 to a commercial fisherman who says he's now afraid of the water and $7,500 to a man whose depression was aggravated by the sinking. Another man saw his claim for psychological damages rejected by the court, but he received $500 for a minor back injury.

Two other passengers received nothing, but they are appealing.

The passengers' lawyer, James Hanson, declined to comment before Thursday's hearing. A spokeswoman for BC Ferries said the company wouldn't comment on the lawsuit while it was still before the courts.

Foisy's two daughters settled their case against BC Ferries last year for $200,000 after their lawyer said legal costs were making it impossible to proceed to trial. Rosette's family has also settled, although the terms of the settlement have never been made public.

The latest legal settlement doesn't spell the end of the story.

This past spring, the Queen of the North's navigating officer, Karl Lilgert, was charged with criminal negligence causing death. He has pleaded not guilty.

Lilgert's lawyer has said his client admits his responsibility for the sinking, but he insists it was a tragic mistake, not a crime.

The Transportation Safety Board released its report into the sinking in 2008, concluding that two crew members on the bridge failed to make a crucial course correction, allowing the ship to run aground.

The report said Lilgert and quartermaster Karen Bricker had recently ended a relationship and were engaged in a personal conversation while the ship was on its collision course. The day of the sailing was their first shift alone together on watch since the break-up.

Bricker and Lilgert, along with Second Officer Keven Hilton, who was on a scheduled lunch break at the time of the collision, were all fired.