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Martinez vsBuskirk

[G.R. No. L-5691; December 27, 1910]

PONENTE:Moreland, J.
AUTHOR:Thaddeus Darius V. Talio


1. September 11, 1908 - Plaintiff, Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding in a carromata on Calle Real, district of Ermita,
City of Manila. Along the left-hand side of the street as she was going, a delivery wagon belonging to the defendant,
William Van Buskirk used for the purpose of transportation of fodder by the defendant, and to which was attached a pair
of horses, came along the street in the opposite direction. The driver of the carromata, observing that the defendants
delivery wagon was coming at great speed stopped on the left side of the road to let the delivery wagon pass by. However,
it hit the carromata containing the plaintiff and her son, overturning it. Plaintiff sustained cuts to her head. The carromata
was damaged, as well as the harness of the horses drawing it.
2. The defendant contends that the cochero, who was driving his delivery wagon at the time of the accident, was actually
a good servant and was considered a safe and reliable cochero. He also claims that the cochero was tasked to deliver some
forage at Calle Herran, and for that purpose the defendants employee tied the driving lines of the horses to the front end of
the delivery wagon for the purpose of unloading the forage to be delivered. However, a vehicle passed by the driver and
cracked a whip and made some other noises that frightened the horses causing them to run. The employee failed to
stop the horses since he was thrown inside of the wagon and out through the rear.The defendant was not with the
delivery wagon on the questioned day.

3. Upon these facts the court below found the defendant guilty of negligence and gave judgment against him for
P442.50, with interest thereon at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from October 17, 1908, and for the costs of the action.
ISSUE(S):Whether or not the defendant is liable for the negligence of his cochero?

HELD:No. Van Buskirk is not liable because the evidence does not disclose or prove that his cochero was negligent.
It appears from the undisputed evidence that the horses which caused the damage were gentle and tractable; that the
cochero was experienced and capable; that he had driven one of the horses several years and the other five or six months;
that he hadbeen in the habit, during all that time, of leaving them in the condition in which they were left on the day of the
accident; that they had never run away up to that time and there had been, therefore, no accident due to such practice; that
to leave the horses and assist in unloading the merchandise in the manner described on the day of the accident was the
custom of all cochero who delivered merchandise of the character of that which was being delivered by the cochero of the
defendant on the day in question, which custom was sanctioned by their employers.
The act of defendant's driver in leaving the horses in the manner proved was not unreasonable or imprudent. Acts the
performance of which has not proved destructive or injurious and which have, therefore, been acquiesced in by society for
so long a time that they have ripened into custom, cannot be held to be themselves unreasonable or imprudent. Indeed the
very reason why they have been permitted by society is that they are beneficial rather than prejudicial.Accidents
sometimes happen and injuries result from the most ordinary acts of life. But such are not their natural or customary
results. To hold that, because such an act once resulted in accident or injury, the actor is necessarily negligent is to go far.
The fact that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is sometimes successfully invoked in such a case does not in any sense
militate against the reasoning presented. That maxim at most only creates a prima facie case, and that only in the absence
of proof of the circumstances under which the act complained of was performed. It is something invoked in favor of the
plaintiff before defendant's case showing the conditions and circumstances under which the injury occurred, the creative
reason for the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur disappears.
It is a matter of common knowledge as well as proof that it is the universal practice of merchants to deliver merchandise of
the kind of that being delivered at the time of the injury, in the manner in which that was then being delivered; and that it is
the universal practice to leave the horses in the manner in which they were left at the time of the accident. This is the
custom in all cities. It has not been productive of accidents or injuries. The public, finding itself unprejudiced by such
practice, has acquiesced for years without objection.

[G.R. NO. L-82873; May 28, 1987 ]


1. Five brothers and sisters inherited in equal pro indiviso shares a parcel of land
2. On March 15,1963, Celestino Padua, transferred his undivided share of the herein petitioners for the sum P550
(absolute sale) and after a year, Eustaquia Padua sold her own share to the same vendees for the sum of P440
3. After the said sales, the petitioners occupied 2/5 of the area of the said land and enclosed it in a fence, representing
the portions sold to them
4. Their son, Eduardo Alonzo, and his wife built a semi concrete house on a part of the enclosed area
5. On February, 1976, Mariano Padua, one of the 5 heirs, sought to redeem the area sold to the spouses Alonzo, but his
complaint was dismissed when it appeared that he was an American citizen.
6. The following year, Tecla Padua, another co-heir, filed her own complaint invoking the same right of redemption
claimed by her brother.
7. The trial court also dismissed the complaint on the ground that the right of redemption had lapsed, not having been
exercised within thirty days from notice of the sales in 1963 and 1964. Although there was no written notice, it was
held that actual knowledge of the sales y the co-heirs satisfied the requirement of the law.
8. The other co-heirs, including Tecla Padua, lived on the same lot and Eustaquia herself was staying in the same house
with her sister Tecla. Also, the petitioners and respondents were neighbors. Therefore, it is highly improbable that
the other co-heirs were unaware of the sales and that the said land was alleged to be mortgaged by Celestino and
9. Respondent court declared that the notice required by the said article was written notice and that actual notice would
not suffice

ISSUE(S): WON said case should be based on the strict letter of the law
1. Law and justice are inseparable. The court interprets and applies the law not independently of but in consonance
with justice. We do not and must not unfeelingly apply the law as it is worded, yielding like robots to the literal
command without regard to its cause and consequence.
2. In requiring written notice, Article 1088 seeks to ensure that the redemptioner is properly notified of the sale. The
purpose is clear enough: to make sure that the redemptioners are duly notified. We are satisfied that in this case the
other brothers and sisters were actually informed although not in writing, of the sales and that such notice was
3. With this conclusion, the court is deviating from the strict letter of Art. 1088 NCC on giving written notice to co-
heirs of the sale of an heirs share. This deviation from the strict letters is not being abandoned. The ruling here is
deemed an exception due to the peculiar circumstances of this case.
4. Also, the court rules that when Tecla Padua filed her complaint, the right of redemption had already been
extinguished because the period for its exercise had already expired.
5. We interpret the law in a way that will render justice, presuming that it was the intention of the lawmaker.
6. Petition is granted

Art. 1088
Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be
subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period
of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor


D.M. Consunji, Inc. v. CA
[G.R. NO. 137873; April 220010, ]
PONENTE: Kapunan, J.

NOTES: (if applicable)


1. Jose Juego, a construction worker of D.M. Consunji, Inc. fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower
2. P03 Rogelio Villanueva investigated the tragedy and filed a report stating that:
the victim was rushed to the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig where he was pronounced dead on arrival
Juego with his co-workers are performing their work as caroenters at the elevator core of the 14
floor of
Tower D on board a platform made of channel beam with a platform attached, when suddenly, the bolt or pin
which was merely inserted (without a safety lock) to connect the chain block with the platform, got loose
causing the whole platform assembly and the victim to fall down the basement of the elevator core. The victim
was crushed to death while his 2 co-workers jumped out for safety
3. Juegos widow, Maria, filed in the RTC of Pasig a complaint for damages against the employer. However, the
employer raised the widows prior availment of the benefits from the State Insurance Fund
4. RTC ruled in favor of Maria Juego. On appeal, the CA affirmed RTCs decision
5. D.M. Consunji seeks reversal of the CA. The petitioner argues that private respondet had previously availed f death
benefits provided under the Labor Code and is, therefore, precluded from claiming from the deceaseds employer
damages under the Civil Code.
ISSUE: WON the injured employee or his heirs in case of death have a right of selection or choice of action between
availing themselves of the workers right under the Workmens Compensation Act
Waiver is a defense, and it was not incumbent upon private respondent, as plaintiff, to allege in her complaint that
she had availed of benefits from ECC. Thus, it is erroneous for the petitioner to burden private respondent with
raising waiver as an issue.
It bears stressing that what negates waiver is lack of knowledge or a mistake of fact. In this case, the fact that
served as a basis for nullifying the waiver is the negligence of the petitioners employees, of which private
respondent purportedly learned only after the prosecutor issued a resolution stating that there may be civil liability.
Ignorance or mistake of fact nullifies the waiver has been misapplied in the case at bar.
There is no proof that private respondent knew that her husband died in the elevator crash when she accomplished
her application for benefits from the ECC. There is also no showing that private respondent knew of the remedies
available to her when the claim before the ECC was filed
Accordingly, her ignorance thereof cannot be held against her.
Court modifies the affirmance of the award of damages
Decision of CA is affirmed