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Leticia Tan, Myrna Medina, Marilou Spooner, Rosalinda Tan, and Mary Jane Tan, et al. v. OMC Carriers Inc and Bonifacio Arambala (2011) Brion, J. Petitioners: House owner Respondents: Truck owner + driver At around 6:15am, Respondent Arambala was driving a truck with a trailer, owned by OMC. Driver noticed that the truck lost its brakes and told his companion to jump out. Both of them did. The truck rammed into the house/tailoring shop of Petitioner Leticia Tan and husband Celedonio Tan. The husband, standing at the doorway, was instantly killed. Petitioners then filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against the owner of the truck + trailer, OMC, and Arambala, the driver. Petitioner argument: o Collision was due to OMCs gross negligence in not properly maintaining the truck; o And to the drivers recklessness when he abandoned the moving truck Petitioners want: o OMC + driver held solidarily liable for the actual damages (i.e., damage to property, funeral expenses of the husband, and his loss of earning capacity) o Moral, exemplary, and atty fees Responedent defense: o Fortuitous event - slippery condition of the road caused by spilled motor oil RTC found OMC + driver solidarily liable to damages based on vicarious liability. o Relied on res ipsa loquitur unusual for a truck to suddenly lose brakes o Truck rammed into house raises presumption of negligence which both failed to refute o Fortuitous defense not well taken driver did not slow down or take any precautionary measure to prevent the skidding; defective brake could have been discovered if there was a more rigid inspection RTC awarded damages: for the death, loss of earning capacity, actual damages, moral, exemplary, atty fee. CA affirmed but reduced award of actual damages, relying on official receipts which supports the claim, deleted loss of earning capacity, reduced exemplary, deleted atty fees bec no discussion of legal basis. On petition for certiorari to CA, petitioners argue: o Want compensation for the damage to the house, tailoring shop, sewing machines, etc. Since the damage refer to the value of the destroyed property and not the cost of repairing, the value cannot be evidenced by receipts o Want actual damages for loss of earning capacity. Since he was a self-employed tailor, no documentary evidence is available. o Entitled to exemplary damages because RTC & CA found gross negligence and there was bad faith when OMC and the driver made up the oil spill story. o Entitled to atty fees bec they are entitled to exemplary damages. SC denied the petition in a resolution. 6 months later, SC issued another resolution reinstating the petition on the basis of an MR.

Issue: Is award of damages proper? Held: Yes. Ratio: Temperate damages: When recoverable Temperate damages in lieu of actual damages o To award actual damages, there must be competent proof of the actual amount of loss, credence can be given only to claims which are duly supported by receipts. o Absent competent proof on actual damages suffered, a party can claim temperate damages. o Temperate damages may be allowed in cases where from the nature of the case, definite proof of pecuniary loss cannot be adduced although the court is convinced that the aggrieved party suffered some pecuniary loss. o Article 2224. Temperate or moderate damages, which are more than nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount can not, from the nature of the case, be proved with certainty. In this case: o Petitioners did not submit any receipt to prove the monetary value of the damge caused = no award of actual damages o Photos shown as evidence show the damages to the house/shop/machines which is undeniably caused by the drivers negligence, but not enough to establish amount with certainty o P200k is found to be a fair and sufficient award by way of temperate damages Temperate damages in lieu of loss of earning capacity o As a rule, documentary evidence should be presented to claim for loss of earning capacity. o Exception: damages for loss of earning capacity may be awarded despite the absence of documentary evidence when:


The deceased is self-employed and earning less than the min wage under current labor laws, in which case, judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the deceased's line of work, no documentary evidence is available; or (2) The deceased is employed as a daily wage worker earning less than the minimum wage under current labor laws. Prior to death, husband earned P156k/year or P13k/month. At the time of his death, the daily min wage was P145 or P3,770.00/month, provided the wage earner had only one rest day per week. Even if SC takes judicial notice that a small tailoring shop normally does not issue receipts, husbands alleged monthly income of P13k exceeded the monthly min wage. Exemption provided does not apply. BUT petitioners-children were minors when petition was filed and relied mainly on their fathers income for their support. Based on these and taking into account the unrebutted earnings, SC says the petitioners are entitled to temperate damages of P300k [or estimated gross income for 2 years] to compensate for loss of the earning capacity


Re: Other damages Reduction of exemplary damages proper since death and destruction was due to gross negligence. Atty fees proper since there was award of exemplary No discussion on moral damages Disposition: Indemnity for the death: P50k Actual damages for funeral expenses: P72k Temperate damages for the damage house, tailoring shop, equipment: P200k Damages for the loss of earning capacity: P300k Moral damages: P500k (as awarded by the RTC) Exemplary damages: P200k Atty fees: 10% of total amt Costs of suit