History repeats itself as another rock slide damages Billings home

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 13:44:56-04

"It sounds like a freight train."

Those are the words of Billings resident Sheri Aamstead-Lee, who rushed outside Tuesday evening upon hearing the sound to find of a massive pile of rock and debris encroaching on her property along Mountain View Boulevard.

Her garage was damaged by the slide and her Chevrolet Suburban was crushed by a large boulder.

The last rock slide that caused major damage to residential property happened in 2010 when a large slide damaged the Granite Avenue home of Jane Deschner and Jon Lodge.

Lodge and Deschner subsequently sued the City of Billings and the State of Montana on the grounds that negligence from both government bodies directly led to the slide that destroyed their home.

In that case there was a specific culvert along Highway 3 that was at the center of the argument made by Lodge and Deschner.

A nine day trial, which concluded in 2015, included testimony from geologists, engineers and hydrologists to establish the legitimacy of the claims that the activity around the culvert directly led to the mass failure.

The result of this trial cleared the state and city of all responsibility.

Calvin Stacey, attorney for the State of Montana, said that residents of the area should be aware that this stuff happens and that it would likely happen again.

At the time he would not speculate as to how the ruling would impact future claims of this nature.

Click here for a video of the slide on Mountain View Boulevard. 

Aamstead-Lee told Q2 that she remembers the 2010 slide and she knew by the sound that this was a similar event. She said that living in that location you expect events of this nature.

Click here to watch an interview with Aamstead-Lee.

Aamstead-Lee plans to wait and see how her insurance will handle the situation before making plans on how she will deal with the fallout from the slide. She did not comment on plans for any type of legal action.

For now,  Aamstead-Lee is focused on taking the positives out of the situation, emphasizing the fact that it was a blessing no people or any of her animals were injured.

RELATED: Large rock slide damages Billings garage, closes road