The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in six cases Sept. 19-20 on a variety of issues.
According to the Colorado Court of Appeals opinion in this case, noise from the Denver International Airport is at issue.
According to the appeals court opinion from the case, in a contract dispute between the City and County of Denver (Denver) and the Board of County Commissioners of Adams County and three Adams County cities (Adams), Denver appealed the trial court’s judgment enforcing the noise monitoring provision and related uncured noise violations under the 1988 intergovernmental agreement between Denver and Adams County.
The IGA documents the parties’ agreements concerning the construction and operation of Denver International Airport, including the noise exposure performance standards connected to aircraft flight operations, the opinion said. Denver contended Adams’ enforcement claims are barred by (1) the statute of limitations; (2) waiver; (3) accord and satisfaction; (4) laches; and (5) claim preclusion, while also asserting the trial court erred in its calculation of prejudgment interest for the liquidated damages arising from the lawsuit, the opinion continued.
The appeals court didn’t find error and unanimously affirmed the court’s judgment.
The question before the Colorado Supreme Court in this case is whether the court of appeals erred in determining that a cause of action for breach of contract doesn’t accrue until the extent of damages is fully ascertainable and there is an “incentive to sue.”
The case is City and County of Denver v. Board of County Commissioners of Adams County et al., case no. 2022SC250.
Sexual Misconduct Investigation
According to an appeals court opinion, John Doe appealed a district court’s summary judgment in favor of the University of Denver, its board of trustees and those responsible for the investigation and adjudication that led to Doe’s expulsion.
The opinion noted the case required the appeals court to decide multiple questions of first impression. The first is: are the University of Denver’s Office of Equal Opportunity Procedures 2015-2016, regarding student sexual misconduct investigations sufficiently definite to be enforceable in the contract? The second question is: what tort duties, if any, does a private educational institution owe its students when investigating and adjudicating claims of sexual misconduct by its students?
The Colorado Court of Appeals held the University of Denver’s OEO procedures regarding student sexual misconduct investigation are sufficiently certain to be enforced under Colorado contract law, while also holding a private educational institution owes a duty, independent of any contractual promises, to adopt fair procedures and implement them with care while investigating and adjudicating claims of sexual misconduct by one student against another. The appeals court also held, however, that a university’s trustees, employees and agents do not owe this tort duty.
The district court’s summary judgment dismissing Doe’s contract claim against the University of Denver was reversed by the appeals court, as was the summary judgment dismissing Doe’s tort claim against the university. The district court’s summary judgment in favor of the university’s trustees, employees and agents was affirmed. The case was remanded for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.
The questions presented before the Colorado Supreme Court include whether a sexual misconduct policy required by federal and Colorado law could constitute a contract between a higher education institution and its students.
Another question is whether a statement in a university’s sexual misconduct policy that student sexual misconduct investigations will be “thorough, impartial and fair” is sufficiently clear to support a claim for breach of contract.
Another question asks “whether a university owes its students a duty in tort to adopt fair policies and procedures for investigating and adjudicating claims of student sexual misconduct and to exercise reasonable care in following those procedures.”
The case is University of Denver v. John Doe, case no. 2022SC499.
To find out about other cases before the Colorado Supreme Court in September, click here.