RAPID CITY, S.D. — Currently there are 2 lawsuits in place, one filed by Fitzgerald Law Firm, and the other was filed by the residents of Hideaway Hills.
John Fitzgerald, Attorney for Hideaway Hills homeowners said “there’s ours and ours is a what’s called a mass tort. It’s a lot of different clients and a lot of different claims and different defense. The other one is a class action lawsuit and that is pending a motion to dismiss and its has a ways to go I think. “
The lawsuit is under appeal after a judge removed Meade County from the suit. While the Fitzgerald Law Firm awaits a ruling on its appeal it will also be filing suit in federal court.
“Just because our case is on appeal we can still file in federal court, we just can’t include Meade county, yet.”
The sinkhole is just one of the problems that some homeowners in Hideaway Hills have had to face. There is also a sewage lagoon that residents and the EPA says has contaminated the soil making a bad situation worse for some homeowners.
Sheila Drown is a resident of Hideaway Hills and said “we’ve all been through so many emotions last year you know. We’ve had anger we’ve had tears and this being the year anniversary we’re just wanting to get together and support each other and give each other hope. Hope that there is gonna be a light at the end of the tunnel.”
To help those in need on the financial side, Catholic Social Services has a disaster committee that is made of people throughout the Black Hills region. The committee allocated over $300,000 to families in 2020. $20 thousand of which went to 12 displaced families.
Executive Director for Catholic Social Services, Jim Kinyon said “we do have a disaster fund here if people are interested in contributing to that. It gives us a chance to pay forward but if we receive monies for a specific disaster that money needs to be allocated to assist those families in that particular disaster.”
The next step is to wait for the appeals process to conclude. In the meantime the Fitzgerald Law Firm will be filing their federal lawsuit on May 27th.