A German court has deferred until October investor lawsuits seeking EUR2.15bn (US$2.8 bn) in damages from Porsche SE after the lawyer for the plaintiffs fell ill.

Presiding judge Stefan Puhle said Braunschweig court will decide on 19 June whether a third case seeking EUR2bn in damages will be assigned to a court specialising on cartel matters.

Some German and US investors say that throughout 2008 Porsche's holding company camouflaged its plans to acquire much-bigger Volkswagen and instead secretly piled up its holding in Europe's largest automaker.

In March 2008 Porsche SE dismissed as "speculation" talk that it intended to take over VW. Reuters noted seven months later Porsche SE said it controlled 42.6% of VW's common shares and held options for another 31.5% of the stock it had not disclosed previously.

Porsche's statement caused VW shares to surge to EUR1,005 within days, briefly making the Wolfsburg-based carmaker the world's most valuable company as short-sellers raced to buy back stock they had borrowed to bet that VW shares would drop.