Moses v. Diocese of Colorado

In Moses v. Diocese of Colorado, 863 P.2d 310, 313-14 (Colo. 1993) the plaintiff sued a priest, a bishop, and the diocese after the priest, from whom she had sought counseling, entered into a sexual relationship with her. She alleged torts of negligent hiring and supervision against the diocese and the bishop. Id. at 314. After a jury verdict in plaintiff's favor, the diocese and the bishop asserted on appeal that the First Amendment precluded recovery on the claims. Id. The court disagreed. The court recognized that it could not become involved in a dispute concerning a religious organization where it would have to interpret church doctrine. Id. 863 P.2d at 320. The court concluded, however, that the case did not require interpreting or weighing church doctrine but could be resolved by applying neutral principles. Id. at 320-21. The court found that claims of breach of fiduciary duty, negligent hiring and supervision, and vicarious liability were actionable if supported by competent evidence. Id. at 321.