Expect to wait a little longer before we know if General Motors could face damages in many lawsuits dealing with its ignition switch recall. The federal bankruptcy judge responsible for some of the legal disputes has put them all on hold until the US Court of Appeals has decided whether to support his ruling in the case.

In April, Judge Robert Gerber upheld the distinction between the so-called "New GM" and pre-bankruptcy "Old GM" in these ignition switch-related lawsuits, according to The Detroit News. Under his decision, the current automaker would only hear cases involving vehicles made after the company's 2009 reorganization – potentially wiping away billions in damages. Some of these claims are for lost resale value following the recall.

Understanding the gravity of the decision, Gerber has now placed a hold on the cases and cleared the way for the plaintiffs to take their argument directly to the appeals court to challenge his judgment. "This is a matter of considerable public importance," he said in his ruling, according to The Detroit News. The judge's verdict has been a major question about the legal effects of GM's ignition switch cases since last year.

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