(11)Filipinas Broadcasting Network, Inc vs. Ago Medical And Educational Center(AMEC) G.R. No. 141994.

January 17, 2005 Facts: AMEC filed a complaint for libel against Rima and Alegre, the program hosts of “Exposé” of DZRC-AM and its owner Filipinas Broadcasting Network, Inc. (“FBNI”) alleging that the plaintiffs’ “transmitted malicious imputations, and as such, destroyed plaintiffs’ reputation.” AMEC included FBNI as defendant for allegedly failing to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees, particularly Rima and Alegre. Issues: a. Whether AMEC is entitled to moral damages b. Whether FBNI is solidarily liable with Rima and Alegre for moral damages? Held: a. Yes. AMEC’s claim for moral damages falls under item 7 of Article 2219 of the Civil Code which authorizes corporation the recovery of moral damages in cases of libel, slander or any other form of defamation. Article 2219 does not qualify whether the plaintiff is a natural or juridical person. Therefore, a juridical person such as a corporation can validly complain for libel or any other form of defamation and claim for moral damages. b. Yes. The basis of the present action is a tort. Joint tort feasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which they commit. Joint tort feasors are all the persons who command, instigate, promote, encourage, advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort, or who approve of it after it is done, if done for their benefit. Thus, AMEC correctly anchored its cause of action against FBNI on Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. As operator of DZRC-AM and employer of Rima and Alegre, FBNI is solidarily liable to pay for damages arising from the libelous broadcasts. An employer and employee are solidarily liable for a defamatory statement by the employee within the course and scope of his or her employment, at least when the employer authorizes or ratifies the defamation. Rima and Alegre were clearly performing their official duties as hosts of FBNI’s radio program Exposé when they aired the broadcasts. FBNI neither alleged nor proved that Rima and Alegre went beyond the scope of their work at that time. There was likewise no showing that FBNI did not authorize and ratify the defamatory broadcasts.
Sheila G.Dolipas

(12)Citytrust Banking Corporation vs. Villanueva G.R. No. 141011 July 19, 2001 Facts: VILLANUEVA filed a complaint for actual and moral damages against CITYTRUST BANKING alleging that the BANK breached its contractual obligation due to its repeated dishonor of his valid and well-funded check. The breach arose when the BANK supplied the wrong account number for his checking account. The BANK answered that VILLANUEVA suffered no actionable injury nor damage, considering his blatant irresponsibility in not remembering his current account number and in failing to bring his checkbook re-order slip form when he requested the new set of checks. His negligence in verifying the account number of the new set of checks also contributed to the dishonor of his check. It further asserted that VILLANUEVA’s negligence was the proximate cause of his self-proclaimed injury. The RTC dismissed the complaint. The CA reversed. Issue: Whether or not Villanueva is entitled to moral damages? Held: No. The requisites for the award of moral damages, are; (1) there must be an injury, whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; (2) there must be a culpable act or omission factually established; (3) the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant; and (4) the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. The alleged embarrassment or inconvenience caused to VILLANUEVA as a result of the incident was timely and adequately contained, corrected, mitigated, if not entirely eradicated. None of the circumstances mentioned in Article 2219 exists to sanction the award for moral damages. There is no need to deliberate on the dispute as to whether it was the BANK’s or VILLANUEVA’s negligence which was the proximate cause of the latter’s injury because, in the first place, he did not sustain any compensable injury. If any damage had been suffered at all, it could be equivalent to damnum absque injuria, i.e., damage without injury or damage or injury inflicted without injustice, or loss or damage without violation of a legal right, or a wrong done to a man for which the law provides no remedy.

Torts and Damages

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