The bankruptcy court yesterday handed General Motors (New GM) an enormous victory that may end up shielding the company from up to $10 billion in potential legal liabilities. In his 138-page ruling, Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber held that a 2009 bankruptcy order allowing the sale of the assets of “old” General Motors (Old GM) to New GM shielded New GM from death and injury claims tied to defective ignition switches in older cars. In his ruling, Judge Gerber rejected claims that Old GM had fraudulently failed to disclose in the bankruptcy proceedings its knowledge of defective ignition switches. However, New GM’s victory was not complete — the bankruptcy court also ruled that plaintiffs who claim a loss in the value of their cars can still sue New GM, but only for company actions that happened after it left bankruptcy in July of 2009.

Check back later for a more thorough analysis of Judge Gerber’s ruling.