Black Hawk sinkhole lawsuit against state of South Dakota clears legal hurdle
RAPID CITY, S.D. – A court decision has enabled Black Hawk residents to continue with their lawsuit against the state of South Dakota.
The lawsuit claims the state is responsible for damages after sinkholes started opening in the Hideaway Hills subdivision, revealing an abandoned gypsum mine and forcing more than a dozen families to evacuate.
A state court judge on May 14 rejected the argument made by the state of South Dakota that the homeowners lack legal standing to seek damages.
The court’s ruling means the lawsuit, brought following the 2020 collapse of ground in the Hideaway Hills neighborhood will proceed.
“The named Plaintiffs have demonstrated that their injuries likely will be redressed by a favorable decision – i.e., an award of damages, based on their constitutional right to individually bring an inverse condemnation case against the State,” wrote Circuit Court Judge Kevin Krull in the ruling.
Hideaway Hills homeowners are seeking class-action status so all affected residents may be compensated for the loss of their homes, said attorney Kathleen Barrow of the Fox Rothschild law firm, who along with Terence Quinn of Rapid City’s The Quinn Law Firm, is representing the homeowners.