Geluz v. CA • • • • • Trial court – judgment in favor of the plaintiff C.A. – affirmed the decision/award by 3/5 majority vote S.C.

reversed decision Nita Villanueva (appellee’s wife) met the defendant in 1948 through her aunt She was already pregnant prior the marriage with the appellee, Oscar Lazo and to conceal the pregnancy from her parents, she followed the advice of her aunt to have the child aborted by the herein appellant She again became pregnant after the marriage but found the pregnancy inconvenient and burdensome to her work, she being a COMELEC employee, thus had another abortion performed by the defendant In Feb. 21, 1995, she once again had an abortion for the 3rd time, a 2-month old fetus, without the consent and knowledge of her husband – this final act of abortion constitutes the plaintiff’s basis in filing this action and award of damages Trial court and C.A. : Php 3,000.00 as damage ERROR : Minimum award of 3,000.00 for the death of a person does not cover the case of an unborn fetus not endowed with personality (being incapable of having rights and obligations) Action of pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains to the one injured : No damage = unborn Cause of action -> extinguished by pre-natal death -> no transmission to anyone can take place because it lacked JURIDICAL PERSONALITY (or JURIDICAL CAPACITY)

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Art.40 limits provisional personality based on the condition : “provided it be born later with the condition specified in the following article” In this case, child was dead when separated from the mother’s womb , recovery cannot be had for the death of an unborn child For the parents to be entitled to damages, damages must be those directly inflicted upon them (i.e. moral damages – distress, anguish due to loss,

even in the 3rd abortion. exemplary damages – if the circumstances may warrant) • NO BASIS FOR MORAL DAMAGES : Indifference to the previous abortions (aware of the 2nd abortion but failed to investigate cause and secure punishment of the accused. without medical necessity. husband seems disinterested in the administrative and criminal aspect) ONLY CONCERN : Obtaining from the doctor a large amount of money as indemnity w/c appears to be exaggerated The act of abortion itself.disappointment of their parental expectations. is indeed a reprehensible act and consent to it is not enough to absolve one of liability but the immorality or illegality does not justify award of damage with no factual or legal basis • .

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