Judgment reached in Hideaway Hills subdivision civil suit

STURGIS, S.D.(KBHB) – Citing substantial evidence of irrevocable and wanton damage to their property by the state, a summary judgment for inverse condemnation has been filed on behalf of class action members of the Hideaway Hills subdivision in Black Hawk, S.D.

The case dates to April 2020, when a sinkhole opened up in the neighborhood, revealing an abandoned state-operated gypsum mine.

Attorney Kathleen Barrow, representing the Hideaway Hills homeowners, says it’s time for a resolution and the state has done nothing to protect or compensate the Hideaway Hills families.

Earlier this year the court overseeing the class action took the unusual step of reopening the case. An additional 100 homeowners have since joined the litigation which seeks more than $60 million in total damages. The class now represents a reported 164 plaintiffs, including 12 homes in an evacuation zone and 158 more homes threatened by potential collapse.

Geotechnical testing on soils in the neighborhood has shown high concentrations of water-soluble gypsum in the fill dirt the state used to reclaim the acreage on which the subdivision was built. Testing indicates that the soils used by the state for mine reclamation contain an average of about 50 percent pulverized gypsum, with a high of 80 percent, leaving it prone to disintegration when exposed to moisture.

The case is set for trial later this year in the Meade County 4th Judicial District.