ALBENSON vs. COURT OF APPEALSFACTS:
Albenson Ent. delivered mild steel plates to Guaranteed Industries Inc. A Pacific BankingCorporation Check was paid and drawn against the account of EL Woodworks. Check waslater dishonored for the reason “Account Closed.” Company traced source of check and laterdiscovered that the signature belonged to one Eugenio Baltao. Albenson made anextrajudical demand upon Baltao but latter denied that he issued the check or that thesignature was his. Company filed a complaint against Baltao for violation of BP 22. It waslater discovered that private respondent had son: Eugene Baltao III, who manages thebusiness establishment, EL Woodworks. No effort from the father to inform Albenson of suchinformation. Rather the father filed complaint for damages against Albenson.
Whether there is indeed cause for the damages against Albenson Enterprise.
Based on Art 19, 20, 21 of the civil code, petitioners didn’t have the intent to cause damageto the respondent or enrich themselves but just to collect what was due to them.
There wasno abuse of right on the part of Albenson on accusing Baltao of BP 22.Albenson Corp. honestly believed that it was private respondent who issued check based onff inquiries:
SEC records showed that president to Guaranteed was Eugene Baltao
Bank said signature belonged to EB
EB did not do his part in clarifying that there were in fact 3 Ebs, Jr., Sr. and theIII.
There was no malicious prosecution on the part of Albenson: there must be proof that:
the prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex and humiliate aperson and
that damages was initiated deliberately by defendant knowing that his chargeswere false and groundlessElements of abuse of right under Article 19:
there is a legal right or duty2.exercised in bad faith3.for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring anotherElements under Article 21: contra bonus mores:1.there is an act which is legal2.but which is contrary to morals, good custom, public order or public policy3.it is done with intent to injureA person who has not been paid an obligation owed to him will naturally seek ways tocompel the debtor to pay him. It was normal for petitioners to find means to make the issuerof the check pay the amount thereof. In the absence of a wrongful act or omission or of fraud or bad faith, moral damages cannot be awarded and that the adverse result of anaction does not
make the action wrongful and subject the actor to the payment of damages, for the law could not have meant to impose a penalty on the right to litigate.