State of South Dakota, Meade County are being sued by 119 homeowners
Black hawk, S.D. – As NewsCenter1 first reported Sunday night, 119 homeowners in Black Hawk’s sinkhole subdivision are suing the parties involved in approving the project.
119 plaintiffs suing 40 named defendants in what their lawyer says is a case of ‘negligence.’
“It’s going to be hard to keep it just to negligence because on its surface, it’s a somewhat gross negligent thing I think I’m pretty safe to say,” said John Fitzgerald, the Attorney for the Hideaway Hills residents.
Being sued for failure to reclaim the mine is the State of South Dakota. In 1994, the State of South Dakota sold the property, taking ownership after the mines closed.
Fitzgerald says the State knew the state of the land before selling to Larry Fuss, the owner when the development was built.
“It’s evident of course that they did nothing more than to blow it shut and not reclaim or do any of the reclamation on the property which they needed to do up until 23 years after the time the mine stopped,” Fitzgerald said.
The state allegedly maintained mineral rights or ownership of any natural resources found on the land. Though there has been talk of a Statute of Limitation on the civil suit, Fitzgerald says it doesn’t suit the case. He argues negligence in standard of care.
“This is not general standard of care home building, this is not building a home on top of dirt, this is building a home on top of a gypsum mine,” Fitzgerald said.
Contractors, developers, title companies, engineers and real estate agents, among others, are all named in the suit. The case filed in Fourth Judicial Court was submitted Sunday, May 24, but will not be on the docket until Tuesday, May 26.
Because the paperwork was submitted over the holiday weekend, there has been no reaction yet from any of the defendents. You can view the lawsuit below.