PIERRE, S.D. — Thirty-five foreign investors who sued South Dakota after sinking a collective $18.5 million into a failed beef processing plant are taking their dispute to the state Supreme Court.

The state won dismissal in July from the lawsuit involving the EB-5 investment-for-visa program. But the Chinese investors, who want the state to remain in the lawsuit, have asked the high court to consider an appeal of the decision before the litigation is resolved, the Rapid City Journal reported .

The Supreme Court is to consider the appeal request on Thursday. At issue is whether state government can be held liable for the investors’ losses.

The lower court’s July decision applied only to the state-government defendants, leaving former program administrator Joop Bollen and two of his business entities as remaining defendants.

Aaron Scheibe, deputy commissioner of the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said in a written statement to the newspaper that the state believes the judge’s decision was “firmly based in the law and opposes the appeal.”

The investors’ lawsuit filed in 2015 seeks to recover the $18.5 million invested into the plant. It claims that Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen did not have adequate financing to generate revenue or support additional financing and was already plagued by years of delays.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com