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torts & damages

INTRODUCTION
NAGUIAT V NLRC (National Organization of
Workingmen and Galang)
269 SCRA 565
PANGANIBAN; March 13, 1997
NATURE
Special civil action in the Supreme Court, certiorari
FACTS
- Clark Field Taxi, Inc. held a concessionaires contract
with the Army Air Force Exchange Services for the
operation of taxi services within Clark Air Base. Sergio
Naguiat was the president of CFTI while Antolin
Naguiat was its vice president.
Like Naguiat
Enterprises, Inc. which was a trading firm, it was also a
family-owned corporation.
- Respondents were employed by the CFTI as taxicab
drivers.
> They were required to pay a daily boundary fee of
US$26.50 (for those on duty from 1AM-12N) or
US$27 (for those on duty from 12N to 12 MN)
> Incidental expenses were maintained by the drivers
(including gasoline expenses).
> Drivers worked 3-4 times a week depending on the
availability of vehicles and earned no less than
US$15.00 a day. In excess of that amount, they had
to make cash deposits to the company which they
could withdraw every fifteen days.
- AAFES was dissolved because of the phase-out of the
military bases in Clark and the services of the
respondents were officially terminated on November
26, 1991.
- AAFES Taxi Drivers Association, the drivers union,
and CFTI held negotiations as regards separation
benefits. They arrived at an agreement that the
separated drivers would be given P500 for ever year as
severance pay. Most of the drivers accepted this but
some refused to do so.
- Those who did not accept the initial severance pay
disaffiliated themselves with drivers union and through
the National Organization of Workingmen, they filed a

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complaint against Sergio Naguiat under the name and


style Naguiat Enterprises, AAFES and AAFES union.
- The labor arbiter ordered the petitioner to pay the
drivers P1,200 for every year of service for
humanitarian consideration, setting aside the earlier
agreement between the CFTI and the drivers union. It
also rejected the idea that the CFTI was forced to close
it business due to great financial losses and lose
opportunity since at the time of its closure it was
profitably earning. The labor arbiter however did not
award separation pay because to impose a monetary
obligation to an employer whose profitable business
was abruptly shot (sic) shot down by force majeur
would be unfair and unjust.
- The NLRC modified the decision of the labor arbiter
after respondents appealed by granting separation pay
to the private respondents. It said that half of the
monthly salary should be US$120 which should be paid
in Philippine pesos. Naguiat Enterprieses should be
joined with Sergio and Antolin Naguiat as jointly and
severally liable.
Petitioners Claim:
- Petitioners claim that the cessation of the business was
due to the great financial losses and lost business
opportunity when Clark Air Base was phased out due to
the expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement
and the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
- They admitted that CFTI had agreed with the drivers
union to grant the taxi drivers separation pay equivalent
to P500 for every year of service.
- They allege that Sergio and Antolin Naguiat were
denied due process beause the petitioners were not
furnished copies of the appeal to the NLRC.
- They also allege that NOWM cannot make legal
representation in behalf of the respondents because the
latter should be bound by the decision of the drivers
union.
Respondents Comments:
- The drivers alleged that they were employees of
Naguiat Enterprises although their individual
applications were approved by CFTI. They claimed to
have been assigned to Naguiat Enterprises after having

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been hired by CFTO and that Naguia Enterprises
managed, controlled and supervised their employment.
- They averred that they should be entitled to separation
pay based on their latest daily earnings or US$15 for
working 16 days a month.
ISSUES
1. WON the NLRC acted in excess of jurisdiction or
with grave abuse of discretion in granting separation
pay
2. WON NOWM was authorized to represent the
private respondents
3. WON Naguiat Enterprieses, Sergio Naguiat and
Antolin Naguiat were liable
4. WON Sergio and Antolin Naguiat were denied due
process
HELD
1. NO, the NLRC did not act in excess of jurisdiction or
with abuse of discretion.
Ratio Findings of fact of administrative bodies and
quasi-judicial bodies are afforded great respect by the
Court and are binding except when there is a showing
of grave abuse of discretion or the decision was arrived
at arbitrarily.
Reasoning
- Respondents showed that their monthly take home pay
amounted to no less than $240 and this was not disputed
by petitioners.
- There is no record or evidence which shows that the
closure of the taxi business was brought about by great
financial losses no thanks to the Pinatubo eruption. It
was rather brought about by the closure of the military
bases.
- Art. 283 of the CC provides that separation pay shall
be equivalent to 1 month pay or at least month pay
for every year of service, whichever is higher. The
NLRC ruling was correct in terms of US$120 as the
computed separation pay.
2. Petitioners can no longer question the authority of
NOWM and are held in estoppel.
Reasoning

torts & damages


- NOWM was already representing the respondents
before the labor arbiter and the petitioners did not assail
their juridical personality then.
- Petitioners also acknowledged before the Court that
the taxi drivers are themselves parties in the case.
3. Naguiat Enterprises is not liable, Antolin Naguiat is
not personally liable whereas Sergio Naguiat is
solidarily liable.
- Re: Naguiat Enterprises liability
Reasoning
- The respondents were regular employees of CFTI who
received wages on a boundary basis. They offered no
evidence that Naguiat Enterprises managed, supervised
and controlled their employment.
They instead
submitted documents which had to do with CFTI, not
Naguiat Enterprises.
- Labor-only contractors are those where 1) the person
supplying workers to the employer does no have
substantial capital or investment in the form of tools or
machinery and 2) the workers recruited and placed by
such person are performing activities which are directly
related to the principal business of the employer.
- Independent contractors are those who exercise
independent employment, contracting to do a piece of
work according to their own methods without being
subject to the control of their employer except as to the
result of their work.
- Sergio Naguiat was a stockholder and director of
Naguiat Enterprises but, in supervising the taxi drivers
and determining their employment terms, he was
carrying out his responsibility as president of CFTI.
- Naguiat Enterprises was in the trading business while
CFTI was in the taxi business.
- The Constitution of the CFTI-AAFES Taxi Drivers
Association states that the members of the union are
employees of CFTI and for collective and bargaining
purposes, the employer is also CFTI.
- Re: Antolin Naguiats liability
Reasoning
- Although he carried the title of general manager, it has
not been shown that he had acted in such capacity.
- No evidence on the extent of his participation in the
management or operation of the business was proferred.

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- Re: Sergio Naguiats liability


Ratio A director or officer may be held solidarly liable
with a corporation by a specific provision of law
because a corporation, being a juridical entity, may act
only through its directors and officers. Obligations
incurred by them, acting as such corporation agents, are
not theirs but the direct accountabilities of the
corporation they represent. In the absence of definite
proof of who clearly are the officers of the corporation,
the assumption falls on the President of the corporation.
Reasoning
- In his capacity as President, Sergio Naguiat cannot be
exonerated.
- An employer is defined to be any person acting in the
interest of an employer, directly or indirectly.
- Case in point is A.C. Ransom Labor Union CCLU vs.
NLRC held that the identified employer A.C. Ransom
Corporation, being an artificial person, must have an
officer and in the absence of proof, the president is
assumed to be the head of the corporation.
- Both CFTI and Naguiat Enterprises were close family
corporations owned by the same family. To the extent
that stockholders are actively engaged in the
management or business affairs of a close corporation,
the stockholders shall be held to strict fiduciary duties
to each other and among themselves. Said stockholders
shall be liable for corporate torts unless the corporation
has obtained reasonably adequate liability insurance.
> Nothing in the records indicate that CFTI obtained
reasonable adequate liability insurance.
> Jurisprudence is wanting in the definition of
corporate tort. Tort essentially consists in the
violation of a right given or the omission of a duty
imposed by law. Tort is a breach of legal duty.
> Art. 238 mandates the employer to grant separation
pay to employees in case of cessation of operations or
closure of the business not due to serious business
losses or financial reverses which is the condition on
this case.
4. There was no denial of due process.
Reasoning
- Even if the individual Naguiats were not impleaded as
parties of the complaint, they could still be held liable
because of jurisprudence (A.C. Ransom case).

- Both also voluntarily submitted themselves to the


jurisdiction of the labor arbiter when they filed a
position paper.
DISPOSITION The petition is partly granted. 1) CFTI
and Sergio Naguiat are ordered to pay jointly and
severally the individual respondents of US$120 for
every year of service and 2) Naguiat Enterprises and
Antolin Naguiat are absolved from liability.
BARREDO V GARCIA
BOCOBO; July 8, 1942
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- from CA, holding Fausto Barredo liable for damages
for death pf Faustino Garcia caused by negligence of
Pedro Fontanilla, a taxi driver employed by Fausto
Barredo
- May 3, 1936 in road between Malabon and Navotas,
head-on collision between taxi of Malate Taxicab and
carretela guided by Pedro Dimapilis thereby causing
overturning of the carretela and the eventual death of
Garcia, 16-yo boy and one of the passengers
- Fontanilla convicted in CFI and affirmed by CA and
separate civil action is reserved
- Parents of Garcia filed action against Barredo as sole
proprietor of Malate Taxicab as employer of Fontanilla
- CFI and CA awarded damages bec Fontanillas
negligence apparent as he was driving on the wrong
side of the road and at a high speed
> no proof he exercised diligence of a good father of the
family as Barredo is careless in employing (selection
and supervision) Fontanilla who had been caught
several times for violation of Automobile Law and
speeding
> CA applied A1903CC that makes inapplicable civil
liability arising from crime bec this is under obligations
arising from wrongful act or negligent acts or omissions
punishable by law
- Barredos defense is that his liability rests on RPC TF
liability only subsidiary and bec no civil action against
Fontanilla TF he too cannot be held responsible

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ISSUE
WON parents of Garcia may bring separate civil action
against Barredo making him primarily liable and
directly responsible under A1903CC as employer of
Fontanilla
HELD
YES
- There are two actions available for parents of Garcia.
One is under the A100RPC wherein the employer is
only subsidiarily liable for the damages arising from the
crime thereby first exhausting the properties of
Fontanilla. The other action is under A1903CC (quasidelict or culpa aquiliana) wherein as the negligent
employer of Fontanilla, Barredo is held primarily liable
subject to proving that he exercising diligence of a good
father of the family. The parents simply took the action
under the Civil Code as it is more practical to get
damages from the employer bec he has more money to
give than Fontanilla who is yet to serve his sentence.
Obiter
Difference bet Crime and Quasi-delict
1) crimes public interest; quasi-delict only private
interest
2) Penal code punishes or corrects criminal acts; Civil
Code by means of indemnification merely repairs the
damage
3) delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts; crimes are
only punished if there is a penal law; quasi-delicts
include any kind of fault or negligence intervenes
NOTE: not all violations of penal law produce civil
responsibility
e.g. contravention of ordinances, violation of game
laws, infraction of rules of traffic when nobody is hurt
4) crime guilt beyond reasonable doubt; civil mere
preponderance of evidence
- Presumptions:
1) injury is caused by servant or employee, there
instantly arises presumption of negligence of master or
employer in selection, in supervision or both
2) presumption is juris tantum not juris et de jure TF
may be rebutted by proving exercise of diligence of a
good father of the family

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- basis of civil law liability: not respondent superior bu


the relationship of pater familias
- motor accidents need of stressing and accentuating
the responsibility of owners of motor vehicles
ELCANO V HILL
77 SCRA 98
BARREDO; May 26, 1977
NATURE
Appeal from an order of the CFI Quezon City
FACTS
- Reginald Hill, a minor yet married at the time of
occurrence, was criminally prosecuted for the killing of
Agapito Elcano (son of Pedro), and was acquitted for
lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake.
- Pedro Elcano filed a complaint for recovery of
damages from Reginald and his father Atty Marvin. CFI
dismissed it.
ISSUES
1. WON the civil action for damages is barred by the
acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case wherein the
action for civil liability was not reversed
2. WON Article 2180 (2nd and last par) of the CC can
be applied against Atty. Hill, notwithstanding the fact
that at the time of the occurrence, Reginald, though a
minor, living with and getting subsistence from his
father, was already legally married
HELD
1. NO
-The acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal case has
not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, hence that
acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against him.
-Barredo v Garcia (dual charactercivil and criminal
of fault or negligence as a source of obligation):
"The above case is pertinent because it shows that the
same act may come under both the Penal Code and the
Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent was
unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could have
been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was
held to be also a proper subject of a civil action under

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article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that
it was the employer and not the employee who was
being sued."
"It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case
could have been prosecuted in a criminal case because
his negligence causing the death of the child was
punishable by the Penal Code. Here is therefore a clear
instance of the same act of negligence being a proper
subject matter either of a criminal action with its
consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an
entirely separate and independent civil action for fault
or negligence under article 1402 of the Civil Code.
Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate individuality of a
cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code
has been fully and clearly recognized, even with regard
to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have
been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case aria
for which, after un a conviction, he could have been
sued for this civil liability arising from his crime.
-Culpa aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in
character or in violation of a penal law, whether
voluntary or negligent.
-ART 1162: "Obligations derived from quasi-delicts
shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title
XVII of this Book, (on quasi-delicts) and by special
laws." More precisely, Article 2177 of the new code
provides:
"ART 277. Responsibility for fault or negligence under
the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct
from the civil liability arising front negligence under the
Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages
twice for the same act or omission of the defendant."
- According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing
provision (Article 2177) through at first sight startling,
is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the
exact nature of criminal and civil negligence. The
former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter
is a 'culpa aquilian' or quasi-delict, of ancient origin,
having always had its own foundation and individuality,
separate from criminal negligence. Such distinction
between criminal negligence and 'culpa extracontractual' or 'cuasi-delito' has been sustained by
decision of the Supreme Court of Spain and maintained
as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, an

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outstanding Spanish jurist. Therefore, under the
proposed Article 2177, acquittal from an accusation of
criminal negligence, whether on reasonable doubt or
not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action, not
for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, but
for damages due to a quasi-delict or 'culpa aquiliana'.
But said article forestalls a double recovery,"
- Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to
literally refer to only acts of negligence, the same
argument of Justice Bacobo about construction that
upholds "the spirit that giveth life" rather than that
which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker
should be observed in applying the same. And
considering that me preliminary chapter on human
relations of the new Civil Code definitely establishes
the separability and independence of liability in a civil
action for acts criminal in character (under Articles 29
to 12) from the civil responsibility arising from crime
fixed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and, in
a sense, the Rules of Court, under Sections 2 and 3 (c),
Rule 111, contemplate also the same separability, its
"more congruent with the spirit of law, equity and
justice, and more in harmony with modern progress", to
hold, as We do hold, that Article 2176, where it refers to
"fault or negligence," covers not only acts "not
punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character,
whether intentional and voluntary or negligent.
- Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the
offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is
criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted,
provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is
actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on
both scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality
only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the
awards made in the two cases vary.
- Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia,
that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent
acts which may be punishable by law.
2. YES (but)
- Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill notwithstanding the
emancipation by marriage of Reginald. (However,
inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of age, as
a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has become
milling, subsidiary to that of his son.)

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- While it is true that parental authority is terminated


upon emancipation of the child (Article 327, Civil
Code), and under Article 397, emancipation takes place
"by the marriage of the minor (child)", it is, however,
also clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation
by marriage of the minor is not really full or
absolute. Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by
voluntary concession shall terminate parental authority
over the child's person. It shall enable the minor to
administer his property as though he was of age, but he
cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber real
property without the consent of his father or mother, or
guardian. He can sue and be sued in court only with the
assistance of his father, mother or guardian."
- Under Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by
article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts
or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom
one is responsible. The father and, in case of his death
or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father
and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
responsible for the damages caused by the minor
children who live in their company."
- In the instant case, it is not controverted that Reginald,
although married, was living with his father and getting
subsistence from him at the time of the occurrence in
question. Factually, therefore, Reginald was still
subservient to and dependent on his father, a situation
which is not unusual.
- It must be borne in mind that, according to Manresa,
the reason behind the joint and solidary liability of
parents with their offending child under Article 2180 is
that is the obligation of the parent to supervise their
minor children in order to prevent them from causing
damage to third persons.
- On the other hand, the clear implication of Article 399,
in providing that a minor emancipated by marriage may
not, nevertheless, sue or be sued without the assistance
of the parents, is that such emancipation does not carry
with it freedom to enter into transactions or do any act
that can give rise to judicial litigation. And surely,
killing someone else invites judicial action.
CINCO V CANONOY
90 SCRA 369

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Melencio-Herrera; May 31, 1979
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- Cinco filed on Feb 25, 19701 a complaint for recovery
of damages on account of a vehicular accident
involving his automobile and a jeepney driven by
Romeo Hilot and operated by Valeriana Pepito and
Carlos Pepito.
- Subsequently, a criminal case was filed against the
driver Romeo Hilot arising from the same accident.
- At the pre-trial in the civil case, counsel for private
respondents moved to suspend the civil action pending
the final determination of the criminal suit.
- The City Court of Mandaue ordered the suspension of
the civil case. Petitioners MFR having been denied, he
elevated the matter on Certiorari to the CFI Cebu.,
which in turn dismissed the petition.
Plaintiffs claims:
- it was the fault r negligence of the driver in the
operation of the jeepney owned by the Pepitos which
caused the collision.
- Damages were sustained by petitioner because of the
collision
- There was a direct causal connection between the
damages he suffered and the fault and negligence of
private respondents.
Respondents Comments:
- They observed due diligence in the selection and
supervision of employees, particularly of Romeo Hilot.
ISSUE
WON there can be an independent civil action for
damage to property during the pendency of the criminal
action
HELD
YES
- Liability being predicated on quasi-delict, the civil
case may proceed as a separate and independent civil
action, as specifically provided for in Art 2177 of the
Civil Code.

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- The separate and independent civil action for quasidelict is also clearly recognized in sec 2, Rule 111 of
the Rules of Court:
Sec 2. Independent civil action. In the cases
prvided for in Articles 31, 32, 33, 34 and 2177 of
the Civil Code f the Philippines, an independent
civil action entirely separate and distinct from the
criminal action, may be brought by the injured
party during the pendency of the criminal case,
provided the right is reserved as required in the
preceding section. Such civil action shall proceed
independently of the criminal prosecution, and
shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
- Petitioners cause of action is based on quasidelict. The concept of quasi-delict, as enunciated in
Art 2176 of the Civil Code, is so broad that in
includes not only injuries to persons but also
damage to property. It makes no distinction
between damage to persons on the one hand and
damage to property on the other. The word
damage is used in two concepts: the harm done
and reparation for the harm done. And with
respect to harm it is plain that it includes both
injuries to person and property since harm is not
limited to personal but also to property injuries.
DISPOSITION Writ of Certiorari granted.
BAKSH V CA (Gonzales)
219 SCRA 115
DAVIDE, JR; Feb.19, 1993
NATURE
Appeal by certiorari to review and set aside the CA
decision which affirmed in toto the RTCs decision
FACTS
- Private respondent Marilou Gonzales (MG)
filed a complaint for damages against
petitioner Gashem Shookat Baksh for the
alleged violation of their agreement to get
married.
**MGs allegations in the complaint:
- That she is a 22 yr. old Filipina, single, of

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good moral character and respected


reputation in her community.
- That Baksh is an Iranian citizen, residing
in Dagupan, and is an exchange student
taking up medicine at the Lyceum in
Dagupan.
- That Baksh later courted and proposed to
marry her. MG accepted his love on the
condition that they would get married. They
later agreed to get married at the end of
the school semester. Petitioner had visited
MGs parents to secure their approval of
the marriage. Baksh later forced MG to live
with him. A week before the filing of the
complaint, petitioner started maltreating
her even threatening to kill her and as a
result of such maltreatment, she sustained
injuries. A day before the filing of the
complaint, Baksh repudiated their marriage
agreement and asked her not to live with
him anymore and that he is already married
to someone in Bacolod. She prayed for
payment for damages amounting to Php
45,000 plus additional costs.
- Baksh answered with a counterclaim,
admitting only the personal circumstances
of the parties in the complaint but denied
the rest of the allegations. He claimed that
he never proposed marriage to or agreed to
be married; neither sought the consent of
her parents nor forced her to live in his
apt.; did not maltreat her but only told her
to stop coming to his place after having
discovered that she stole his money and
passport. He also prayed for 25,000 as
moral damages plus misc. expenses.
- The RTC, applying Art. 21 CC decided in
favor of private respondent. Petitioner was
thus ordered to pay Php 20,000 as moral
damages and 3,000 pesos attys. fees plus
litigation expenses. Petitioner appealed this
decision to respondent CA, contending that
the trial court erred in not dismissing the
case for lack of factual and legal basis and

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in ordering him to pay moral damages,
attys fees, etc.
- Respondent CA promulgated the challenged decision
affirming in toto the trial courts ruling which prompted
Baksh to file this petition for certiorari, raising the
single issue of WON Art. 21 applies to this case.
ISSUE
WON damages may be recovered for a breach of
promise to marry on the basis of Art.21 of the Civil
Code
HELD
1. YES
Ratio In a breach of promise to marry where the
woman is a victim of moral seduction, Art. 21 may be
applied.
Reasoning
- Where a mans promise to marry is in fact the
proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a
woman and his representation to fulfill that promise
becomes the proximate cause of the giving of herself
unto him in sexual congress, proof that he had, in
reality, no intention of marrying her and that the
promise was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device
to entice or inveigle to accept him and to obtain her
consent to the sexual act, could justify the award of
damages pursuant to Art.21 not because of such
promise to marry but because of the fraud and deceit
behind it and the willful injury to her honor and
reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential
however, that such injury should have been committed
in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public
policy.
- In the instant case, respondent Court found that it was
the petitioner's "fraudulent and deceptive protestations
of love for and promise to marry plaintiff that made her
surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live
with him on the honest and sincere belief that he would
keep said promise, and it was likewise these fraud and
deception on appellant's part that made plaintiff's
parents agree to their daughter's living-in with him
preparatory to their supposed marriage. In short, the
private respondent surrendered her virginity, the

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cherished possession of every single Filipina, not
because of lust but because of moral seduction. The
petitioner could not be held liable for criminal seduction
punished under either Art.337 or Art.338 of the RPC
because the private respondent was above 18 years of
age at the time of the seduction.
- Moreover, it is the rule in this jurisdiction that
appellate courts will not disturb the trial court's findings
as to the credibility of witnesses, the latter court having
heard the witnesses and having had the opportunity to
observe closely their deportment and manner of
testifying, unless the trial court had plainly overlooked
facts of substance or value which, if considered, might
affect the result of the case. Petitioner has miserably
failed to convince Us that both the appellate and trial
courts had overlooked any fact of substance or value
which could alter the result of the case.
**Obiter: on Torts and Quasi-delicts
- The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry
per se is not an actionable wrong. Congress deliberately
eliminated from the draft of the New Civil Code the
provisions that would have made it so. The reason
therefor is set forth in the report of the Senate
Committees on the Proposed Civil Code, from which
We quote:
The elimination of this chapter is proposed. That
breach of promise to marry is not actionable has been
definitely decided in the case of De Jesus vs. Syquia.
The history of breach of promise suits in the United
States and in England has shown that no other action
lends itself more readily to abuse by designing women
and unscrupulous men...
- This notwithstanding, the said Code contains a
provision, Article 21, which is designed to expand the
concept of torts or quasi-delict in this jurisdiction by
granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number
of moral wrongs which is impossible for human
foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the
statute books.
- As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report:
But the Code Commission has gone farther than the
sphere of wrongs defined or determined by positive law.
Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the
statutes, which leave so many victims of moral wrongs

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helpless, even though they have actually suffered


material and moral injury, the Commission has deemed
it necessary, in the interest of justice, to incorporate in
the proposed Civil Code the following rule:
Art.21 Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury
to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damage.
An example will illustrate the purview of the
foregoing norm: 'A' seduces the nineteen-year old
daughter of 'X.' A promise of marriage either has not
been made, or can not be proved. The girl becomes
pregnant. Under the present laws, there is no crime, as
the girl is above 18 yrs of age. Neither can any civil
action for breach of promise of marriage be filed.
Therefore, though the grievous moral wrong has been
committed, and although the girl and her family have
suffered incalculable moral damage, she and her parents
cannot bring any action for damages. But under the
proposed article, she and her parents would have such a
right of action.
Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the foregoing
rule is approved, would vouchsafe adequate legal
remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs which
it is impossible for human foresight to provide for
specifically in the statutes.
- Art.2176 CC, which defines a quasi-delict, is limited
to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion
of willfulness or intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish
legal treatises as culpa aquiliana, is a civil law concept
while torts is an Anglo-American or common law
concept. Torts is much broader than culpa aquiliana
because it includes not only negligence, but intentional
criminal acts as well such as assault and battery, false
imprisonment and deceit. In the general scheme of the
Philippine legal system envisioned by the Commission
responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, intentional
and malicious acts, with certain exceptions, are to be
governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent
acts or omissions are to be covered by Art.2176 CC. In
between these opposite spectrums are injurious acts
which, in the absence of Art.21, would have been
beyond redress. Thus, Art.21 fills that vacuum. It is
even postulated that together with Articles 19 and 20 of

prof. casis
the Civil Code, Art.21 has greatly broadened the scope
of the law on civil wrongs; it has become much more
supple and adaptable than the Anglo-American law on
torts.
DISPOSITION finding no reversible error in the
challenged decision, the instant petition is hereby
DENIED
PEOPLE V BALLESTEROS
285 SCRA 438
ROMERO; January 29, 1998
NATURE
An appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court
finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
murder, qualified by treachery.
FACTS
- evening of May 28, 1991, Carmelo Agliam, his halfbrother Eduardo Tolentino, Ronnel Tolentino, Vidal
Agliam, his brother Jerry Agliam, Robert Cacal,
Raymundo Bangi and Marcial Barid converged at a
carinderia owned by Ronnel Tolentino. They proceeded
to attend a dance but did not stay long because they
sensed some hostility from Cesar Galo and his
companions who were giving them dagger looks. In
order to avoid trouble, especially during the festivity,
they decided to head for home instead of reacting to the
perceived provocation of Galo and his companions.
- The group had barely left when their owner jeep was
fired upon from the rear. Vidal Agliam was able to jump
out from the jeep and landed just beside it, scurried to
the side of the road and hid in the ricefield. His
younger brother Jerry also managed to jump out, but
was shot in the stomach and died. HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn2" \o "" Carmelo Agliam,
Robert Cacal and Ronnel Tolentino sustained injuries.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn3" \o "" Eduardo Tolentino
was not even able to move from his seat and was hit
with a bullet which punctured his right kidney which
caused
his
death.
HYPERLINK

torts & damages


"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn4" \o ""
- Based upon the affidavits of Carmelo and Vidal
Agliam, warrants for the arrest of Ballesteros, Galo and
Bulusan were issued. - All pleaded not guilty. Paraffin
tests conducted on Galo and Ballesteros produced
positive results. Bulusan was not tested for nitrates.
- In his testimony, Galo claimed that he did not even
talk to Bulusan or any of his companions. Having been
found with gunpowder residue in his hands, Galo
attempted to exculpate himself from the results by
confessing that he had been a cigarette smoker for the
past ten years and had, in fact, just consumed eight
cigarette sticks prior to the test., and that his hand may
have been contaminated by a nitrogenous compound,
the source of which is urine. Lastly, he said that he was
not even present at the crime scene
- Ballesteros interposed the defense of alibi, that he
went to a nearby store to purchase some cigarettes. He
returned home and cleaned his garlic bulbs before
retiring at 9:00 oclock. The next morning, he busied
himself with some chores, which included fertilizing his
pepper plants with sulfate. He handled the fertilizers
without gloves. He said that he uses his left hand in
lighting cigarettes and he had no motive to kill the
victims.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn6" \o ""
- Bulusan echoed the defense of alibi of Galo and
Ballesteros
- The trial court found the three accused guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of murder, qualified by treachery, and
ordered them to pay jointly and solidarily:
1. The heirs of Jerry Agliam compensatory damages in
the amount of P50,000.00, moral damages in the
amount of P20,000.00, and actual damages in the
amount of P35,755.00, with interest;
2. The heirs of the late Eduardo Tolentino, Sr.,
compensatory damages in the amount of P50,000.00,
moral damages in the amount of P20,000.00, and actual
damages in the total amount of P61,785.00, with
interest;

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3. Carmelo Agliam, actual damages in the amount of


P2,003.40, and moral damages in the amount of
P10,000.00, with interest;
4. Vidal Agliam Jr., Robert Cacal and Ronnel Tolentino,
moral damages in the amount of P5,000.00 each, with
interest.
5. The costs.
ISSUES
1. WON the trial court was correct in finding accusedappellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt
2. WON the Court correctly ruled in finding that the
offense was qualified by treachery
3. WON the Court was correct in the award of damages
to the heirs of the victims
HELD
1. YES
Ratio Absolute certainty of guilt is not demanded by
law to convict a person of a criminal charge. The doubt
to the benefit of which an accused is entitled in a
criminal trial is a reasonable doubt, not a whimsical or
fanciful doubt based on imagined but wholly
improbable possibilities and unsupported by evidence.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn21" \o "" Reasonable doubt
is that engendered by an investigation of the whole
proof and inability, after such investigation, to let the
mind rest easy upon the certainty of guilt.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn22" \o ""
Reasoning
- In their testimonies, Carmelo and Vidal Agliam both
described the area to be well illumined by the
moon. Considering the luminescence of the moon and
the proximity between them, the victims could
distinctly identify their assailants. Also, the constant
interaction between them through the years (in the
buying and selling of cattle and Bulusan was a
classmate of Vidal) would necessarily lead to familiarity
with each other such that, at the very least, one would
have been able to recognize the other easily

prof. casis
- That accused-appellants had no motive in perpetrating
the offense is irrelevant. Motive is the moving power
which impels one to action for a definite result. Intent,
on the other hand, is the purpose to use a particular
means to effect such result. HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn11" \o "" HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn12" \o "" The prosecution
need not prove motive on the part of the accused when
the latter has been positively identified as the author of
the
crime.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn14" \o ""
- on their excuses regarding the source of the
gunpowder traces found on their hands: Experts
confirm the possibility that cigarettes, fertilizers and
urine may leave traces of nitrates, but these are minimal
and, unlike those found in gunpowder, may be washed
off with tap water.
- on the defense of alibi: for the defense of alibi to
prosper, the accused must prove, not only that he was at
some other place at the time of the commission of the
crime, but also that it was physically impossible for him
to be at the locus delicti or within its immediate
vicinity.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn16" \o "" This accusedappellants failed to satisfactorily prove. Positive
identification prevails over denials and alibis.
- None of them attempted to corroborate their alibi
through the testimony of witnesses. In fact, they never
attempted to present as witnesses those who could have
testified to having seen them elsewhere on the night in
question.
2. YES
Ratio The requisites of treachery are twofold: (1) (t)hat
at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position
to defend himself; and (2) that the offender consciously
adopted the particular means, method or form of attack
employed
by
him.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn24" \o ""
Reasoning

torts & damages


- Here, it is obvious that the accused-appellants had
sufficient opportunity to reflect on their heinous plan.
The facts show that the attack was well-planned and not
merely a result of the impulsiveness of the offenders.
Manifestations of their evil designs were already
apparent as early as the time of the dance. They were
well-armed and approached the homebound victims,
totally unaware of their presence, from behind. There
was no opportunity for the latter to defend themselves
3. YES
Ratio Damages may be defined as the pecuniary
compensation, recompense, or satisfaction for an injury
sustained, or as otherwise expressed, the pecuniary
consequences which the law imposes for the breach of
some duty or the violation of some right. HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn27" \o "" Actual or
compensatory damages are those awarded in
satisfaction of, or in recompense for, loss or injury
sustained,
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn28" \o "" whereas moral
damages may be invoked when the complainant has
experienced mental anguish, serious anxiety, physical
suffering, moral shock and so forth, and had
furthermore shown that these were the proximate result
of the offenders wrongful act or omission.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn29" \o ""
Reasoning
- In granting actual or compensatory damages, the party
making a claim for such must present the best evidence
available, viz., receipts, vouchers, and the like,
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn30" \o "" as corroborated
by
his
testimony.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn31" \o "" Here, the claim
for actual damages by the heirs of the victims is not
controverted, the same having been fully substantiated
by receipts accumulated by them and presented to the
court.
HYPERLINK

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"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn32" \o "" Therefore, the
award of actual damages is proper. However, the order
granting compensatory damages to the heirs of Jerry
Agliam and Eduardo Tolentino Sr. must be amended.
Consistent with the policy of this Court, the amount of
P 50,000.00 is given to the heirs of the victims by way
of indemnity, and not as compensatory damages.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn33" \o "" As regards moral
damages, the amount of psychological pain, damage
and injury caused to the heirs of the victims, although
inestimable,
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1998/ja
n1998/120921.htm" \l "_edn34" \o ""
may be
determined by the trial court in its discretion. Hence,
we see no reason to disturb its findings as to this matter.
DISPOSITION The decision appealed from is hereby
AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION.
CUSTODIO V CA (Heirs Of Mabasa)
253 SCRA 483
REGALADO; February 9, 1996
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of CA
FACTS
- The plaintiff-appellee Mabasa owns a parcel of land
with a two-door apartment erected thereon situated at
Interior P. Burgos St., Palingon, Tipas, Tagig, Metro
Manila. As access to P. Burgos Street from plaintiff's
property, there are 2 possible passageways. The first
passageway is approximately one meter wide and is
about 20m distant from Mabasa's residence to P. Burgos
St. Such path is passing in between the row of houses of
defendants. The second passageway is about 3m in
width. In passing thru said passageway, a less than a
meter wide path through the septic tank and with 5-6m
in length, has to be traversed.
- When said property was purchased by Mabasa, there
were tenants occupying the remises and who were
acknowledged by plaintiff Mabasa as tenants. However,

prof. casis
sometime in February, 1982, one of said tenants
vacated the apartment and when plaintiff Mabasa went
to see the premises, he saw that there had been built an
adobe fence in the first passageway making it narrower
in width. Said adobe fence was first constructed by
defendants Santoses along their property which is also
along the first passageway. Defendant Morato
constructed her adobe fence and even extended said
fence in such a way that the entire passageway was
enclosed. And it was then that the remaining tenants of
said apartment vacated the area. Defendant Cristina
Santos testified that she constructed said fence because
there was an incident when her daughter was dragged
by a bicycle pedalled by a son of one of the tenants in
said apartment along the first passageway. She also
mentioned some other inconveniences of having at the
front of her house a pathway such as when some of the
tenants were drunk and would bang their doors and
windows. Some of their footwear were even lost.
- TC ordered (a) defendant-appellants Custodios and
Santoses to give plaintiff permanent access ingress
and egress, to the public street; (b) the plaintiff to pay
defendants Custodios and Santoses P8,000 as indemnity
for the permanent use of the passageway.
- Private respondents, went to CA raising the sole issue
of WON lower court erred in not awarding damages in
their favor. CA affirming TC judgment with
modification, awarding damages to plaintiffs (P65K as
actual damages, P30K as moral damages and P10K as
exemplary damages). Mfr denied. Hence this appeal.
ISSUES
1. WON the grant of right of way to herein private
respondents is proper
2. WON CA erred in awarding damages to plaintiffappellee Mabasa
HELD
1. Ratio Whenever an appeal is taken in a civil case, an
appellee who has not himself appealed may not obtain
from the appellate court any affirmative relief other
than what was granted in the decision of the lower court
Reasoning

torts & damages


- Petitioners are already barred from raising the same.
Petitioners did not appeal from the decision of the court
a quo granting private respondents the right of way,
hence they are presumed to be satisfied with the
adjudication therein. With the finality of the judgment
of the trial court as to petitioners, the issue of propriety
of the grant of right of way has already been laid to rest.
2. YES
Ratio There is no cause of action for acts done by one
person (in this case, upon his own property) in a lawful
and proper manner, although such acts incidentally
cause damage or an unavoidable loss to another, as such
damage or loss is damnum absque injuria.
Reasoning
[1] To warrant the recovery of damages, there must be
both a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by the
defendant, and damage resulting to the plaintiff
therefrom.
[2] Obiter: There is a material distinction between
damages and injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a
legal right; damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which
results from the injury; and damages are the
recompense or compensation awarded for the damage
suffered. Thus, there can be damage without injury in
those instances in which the loss or harm was not the
result of a violation of a legal duty. These situations are
often called damnum absque injuria.
[3] In order that the law will give redress for an act
causing damage, that act must be not only hurtful, but
wrongful. There must be damnum et injuria. The injury
must result from a breach of duty or a legal wrong.
[4] In this case, although there was damage, there was
no legal injury. Contrary to the claim of private
respondents, petitioners could not be said to have
violated the principle of abuse of right (Art.21 CC)
[5] The act of petitioners in constructing a fence within
their lot is a valid exercise of their right as owners,
hence not contrary to morals, good customs or public
policy. The law recognizes in the owner the right to
enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations
than those established by law. It is within the right of
petitioners, as owners, to enclose and fence their
property (See Art.430 CC).

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DISPOSITION The appealed decision of CA is


REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the judgment of the
trial court is REINSTATED.
THE CONCEPT OF QUASI-DELICT
GARCIA V FLORIDO
[CITATION]
ANTONIO; [DATE]
NATURE
Appeal by certiorari from the decision of the Court of
First Instance of Misamis Occidental, dismissing
petitioners' action for damages against respondents,
Mactan Transit Co., Inc. and Pedro Tumala, "without
prejudice to refiling the said civil action after conviction
of the defendants in the criminal case filed by the Chief
of Police of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte", and
from the order of said Court dated January 21, 1972,
denying petitioners' motion for reconsideration.
FACTS
- On August 4, 1971, petitioners, German C. Garcia,
Chief of the Misamis Occidental Hospital, together with
his wife, Luminosa L. Garcia, and Ester Francisco,
bookkeeper of said hospital, hired and boarded a PU car
with plate No. 241-8 G Ozamis 71 owned and operated
by respondent, Marcelino Inesin, and driven by
respondent, Ricardo Vayson, for a roundtrip from
Oroquieta City to Zamboanga City, for the purpose of
attending a conference of chiefs of government
hospitals, hospital administrative officers, and
bookkeepers of Regional Health Office No. 7 at
Zamboanga City.
- At about 9:30 a.m., while the PU car was negotiating a
slight curve on the national highway at kilometer 21 in
Barrio Guisukan, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte,
said car collided with an oncoming passenger bus (No.
25) with plate No. 77-4 W Z.N. 71 owned and operated
by the Mactan Transit Co., Inc. and driven by
defendant, Pedro Tumala. As a result of the aforesaid
collision, petitioners sustained various physical injuries
which necessitated their medical treatment and
hospitalization.

prof. casis
- Alleging that both drivers of the PU car and the
passenger bus were at the time of the accident driving
their respective vehicles at a fast clip, in a reckless,
grossly negligent and imprudent manner in gross
violation of traffic rules and without due regard to the
safety of the passengers aboard the PU car, petitioners,
German C. Garcia, Luminosa L. Garcia, and Ester
Francisco, filed on September 1, 1971 with respondent
Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental an action
for damages (Civil Case No. 2850) against the private
respondents, owners and drivers, respectively, of the PU
car and the passenger bus that figured in the collision,
with prayer for preliminary attachment.
- The principal argument advanced by Mactan Inc. et. al
to in a motion to dismiss was that the petitioners had no
cause of action for on August 11, 1971, or 20 days
before the filing of the present action for damages,
respondent Pedro Tumala was charged in Criminal Case
No. 4960 of the Municipal Court of Sindangan,
Zamboanga del Norte, in a complaint filed by the Chief
of Police and that, with the filing of the aforesaid
criminal case, no civil action could be filed subsequent
thereto unless the criminal case has been finally
adjudicated, pursuant to Sec. 3 of Rule 111 of the Rules
of Court, and, therefore, the filing of the instant civil
action is premature, because the liability of the
employer is merely subsidiary and does not arise until
after final judgment has been rendered finding the
driver, Pedro Tumala, guilty of negligence; that Art. 33
of the New Civil Code, is not applicable because Art 33
applied only to the crimes of physical injuries or
homicide, not to the negligent act or imprudence of the
driver.
- The lower court sustained Mactan Inc. et. Al. and
dismissed the complaint
ISSUES
1. WON the lower court erred in dismissing the
complaint for damages on the ground that since no
express reservation was made by the complainants, the
civil aspect of the criminal case would have to be
determined only after the termination of the criminal
case

torts & damages


2. WON the lower court erred in saying that the action
is not based on quasi-delict since the allegations of the
complaint in culpa aquiliana must not be tainted by any
assertion of violation of law or traffic rules or
regulations and because of the prayer in the complaint
asking the Court to declare the defendants jointly and
severally liable for moral, compensatory and exemplary
damages
.
HELD
1. YES
Ratio
An action based on quasi-delict may be
maintained independently from a criminal action. By
instituting a civil action based on a quasi-delict, a
complainant may be deemed to abandon his/her right to
press recovery for damages in the criminal case.
Reasoning
- In the case at bar, there is no question that petitioners
never intervened in the criminal action instituted by the
Chief of Police against respondent Pedro Tumala, much
less has the said criminal action been terminated either
by conviction or acquittal of said accused.
- It is, therefore, evident that by the institution of the
present civil action for damages, petitioners have in
effect abandoned their right to press recovery for
damages in the criminal case, and have opted instead to
recover them in the present civil case.
- As a result of this action of petitioners the civil
liability of private respondents to the former has ceased
to be involved in the criminal action. Undoubtedly an
offended party loses his right to intervene in the
prosecution of a criminal case, not only when he has
waived the civil action or expressly reserved his right to
institute, but also when he has actually instituted the
civil action. For by either of such actions his interest in
the criminal case has disappeared.
- As we have stated at the outset, the same negligent act
causing damages may produce a civil liability arising
from crime or create an action for quasi-delict or culpa
extracontractual. The former is a violation of the
criminal law, while the latter is a distinct and
independent negligence, having always had its own
foundation and individuality. Some legal writers are of
the view that in accordance with Article 31, the civil

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action based upon quasi-delict may proceed


independently of the criminal proceeding for criminal
negligence and regardless of the result of the latter.
Hence, "the proviso in Section 2 of Rule 111 with
reference to . . . Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code
is contrary to the letter and spirit of the said articles, for
these articles were drafted . . . and are intended to
constitute as exceptions to the general rule stated in
what is now Section 1 of Rule 111. The proviso, which
is procedural, may also be regarded as an unauthorized
amendment of substantive law, Articles 32, 33 and 34 of
the Civil Code, which do not provide for the reservation
required in the proviso."
- But in whatever way We view the institution of the
civil action for recovery of damages under quasi-delict
by petitioners, whether as one that should be governed
by the provisions of Section 2 of Rule 111 of the Rules
which require reservation by the injured party
considering that by the institution of the civil action
even before the commencement of the trial of the
criminal case, petitioners have thereby foreclosed
their right to intervene therein, or one where
reservation to file the civil action need not be made,
for the reason that the law itself (Article 33 of the
Civil Code) already makes the reservation and the
failure of the offended party to do so does not bar him
from bringing the action, under the peculiar
circumstances of the case, We find no legal
justification for respondent court's order of dismissal.
2. YES, because the action in fact satisfies the elements
of quasi-delict.
Ratio An action shall be deemed to be based on a
quasi-delict when all the essential averments under
Articles 2176-2194 of the New Civil Code are present,
namely:
a) act or omission of the private respondents;
b) presence of fault or negligence or the lack of due
care in the operation of the passenger bus No. 25 by
respondent Pedro Tumala resulting in the collision of
the bus with the passenger car;
c) physical injuries and other damages sustained by
petitioners as a result of the collision;

prof. casis
d) existence of direct causal connection between the
damage or prejudice and the fault or negligence of
private respondents; and
e) the absence of pre-existing contractual relations
between the parties.
Reasoning
- The circumstance that the complaint alleged that
respondents violated traffic rules in that the driver drove
the vehicle "at a fast clip in a reckless, grossly negligent
and imprudent manner in violation of traffic rules and
without due regard to the safety of the passengers
aboard the PU car" does not detract from the nature and
character of the action, as one based on culpa aquiliana.
The violation of traffic rules is merely descriptive of the
failure of said driver to observe for the protection of the
interests of others, that degree of care, precaution and
vigilance which the circumstances justly demand,
which failure resulted in the injury on petitioners.
Certainly excessive speed in violation of traffic rules is
a clear indication of negligence. Since the same
negligent act resulted in the filing of the criminal action
by the Chief of Police with the Municipal Court
(Criminal Case No. 4960) and the civil action by
petitioners, it is inevitable that the averments on the
drivers' negligence in both complaints would
substantially be the same. It should be emphasized that
the same negligent act causing damages may produce a
civil liability arising from a crime under Art. 100 of the
Revised Penal Code or create an action for quasi-delict
or culpa extra-contractual under Arts. 2176-2194 of the
New Civil Code. This distinction has been amply
explained in Barredo vs. Garcia, et all (73 Phil. 607,
620-621).
- It is true that under Sec. 2 in relation to Sec. 1 of Rule
111 of the Revised Rules of Court which became
effective on January 1, 1964, in the cases provided for
by Articles 31, 33, 39 and 2177 of the Civil Code, an
independent civil action entirely separate and distinct
from the civil action, may be instituted by the injured
party during the pendency of the criminal case,
provided said party has reserved his right to institute it
separately, but it should be noted, however, that neither
Section 1 nor Section 2 of Rule 111 fixes a time limit
when such reservation shall be made.

torts & damages


SEPARATE OPINION
BARREDO [concur]
- Article 2176 and 2177 definitely create a civil liability
distinct and different from the civil action arising from
the offense of negligence under the Revised Penal
Code. Since Civil Case No. 2850 is predicated on the
above civil code articles and not on the civil liability
imposed by the Revised Penal Code, I cannot see why a
reservation had to be made in the criminal case. As to
the specific mention of Article 2177 in Section 2 of the
Rule 111, it is my considered view that the latter
provision is inoperative, it being substantive in
character and is not within the power of the Supreme
Court to promulgate, and even if it were not substantive
but adjective, it cannot stand because of its
inconsistency with Article 2177, an enactment of the
legislature superseding the Rules of 1940.
- Besides, the actual filing of Civil Case No. 2850
should be deemed as the reservation required, there
being no showing that prejudice could be caused by
doing so.
- Accordingly, I concur in the judgment reversing the
order of dismissal of the trial court in order that Civil
Case No. 2850 may proceed, subject to the limitation
mentioned in the last sentence of Article 2177 of the
Civil Code, which means that of the two possible
judgments, the injured party is entitled exclusively
to the bigger one.
ANDAMO V IAC (Missionaries Of Our Lady Of La
Salette, Inc)
191 SCRA 195
FERNAN; November 6, 1990
NATURE
Petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus
FACTS
- Petitioner spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo
are the owners of a parcel of land situated in Biga
(Biluso) Silang, Cavite which is adjacent to that of

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private respondent, Missionaries of Our Lady of La


Salette, Inc., a religious corporation.
- Within the land of respondent corporation, waterpaths
and contrivances, including an artificial lake, were
constructed, which allegedly inundated and eroded
petitioners' land, caused a young man to drown,
damaged petitioners' crops and plants, washed away
costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioners and
their laborers during rainy and stormy seasons, and
exposed plants and other improvements to destruction.
- In July 1982, petitioners instituted a criminal action
against Efren Musngi, Orlando Sapuay and Rutillo
Mallillin, officers and directors of respondent
corporation, for destruction by means of inundation
under Article 324 of the Revised Penal Code.
- On February 22, 1983, petitioners filed a civil case for
damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction against respondent corporation.
Hearings were conducted including ocular inspections
on the land.
- On April 26, 1984, the trial court issued an order
suspending further hearings in the civil case until after
judgment in the related Criminal Case. And later on
dismissed the Civil Case for lack of jurisdiction, as the
criminal case which was instituted ahead of the civil
case was still unresolved.The decision was based on
Section 3 (a), Rule III of the Rules of Court which
provides that "criminal and civil actions arising from
the same offense may be instituted separately, but after
the criminal action has been commenced the civil action
cannot be instituted until final judgment has been
rendered in the criminal action."
- Petitioners appealed from that order to the
Intermediate Appellate Court.
- On February 17, 1986, respondent Appellate Court
affirmed the order of the trial court. A motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioners was denied by the
Appellate Court .
ISSUE
WON a corporation, which has built through its agents,
waterpaths, water conductors and contrivances within
its land, thereby causing inundation and damage to an
adjacent land, can be held civilly liable for damages

prof. casis
under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on
quasi-delicts such that the resulting civil case can
proceed independently of the criminal case
HELD
Ratio YES. As held in In Azucena vs. Potenciano, in
quasi-delicts, "(t)he civil action is entirely independent
of the criminal case according to Articles 33 and 2177
of the Civil Code. There can be no logical conclusion
than this, for to subordinate the civil action
contemplated in the said articles to the result of the
criminal prosecution whether it be conviction or
acquittal would render meaningless the independent
character of the civil action and the clear injunction in
Article 31, that his action may proceed independently of
the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of
the latter."
Reasoning
- A careful examination of the complaint shows that the
civil action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the
Civil Code on quasi-delicts. All the elements of a quasidelict are present, to wit: (a) damages suffered by the
plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or
some other person for whose acts he must respond; and
(c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault
or negligence of the defendant and the damages
incurred by the plaintiff.
- The waterpaths and contrivances built by respondent
corporation are alleged to have inundated the land of
petitioners. There is therefore, an assertion of a causal
connection between the act of building these waterpaths
and the damage sustained by petitioners. Such action if
proven constitutes fault or negligence which may be the
basis for the recovery of damages.
- In the case of Samson vs. Dionisio, the Court applied
Article 1902, now Article 2176 of the Civil Code and
held that "any person who without due authority
constructs a bank or dike, stopping the flow or
communication between a creek or a lake and a river,
thereby causing loss and damages to a third party who,
like the rest of the residents, is entitled to the use and
enjoyment of the stream or lake, shall be liable to the
payment of an indemnity for loss and damages to the
injured party.

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- While the property involved in the cited case belonged


to the public domain and the property subject of the
instant case is privately owned, the fact remains that
petitioners' complaint sufficiently alleges that
petitioners have sustained and will continue to sustain
damage due to the waterpaths and contrivances built by
respondent corporation. Indeed, the recitals of the
complaint, the alleged presence of damage to the
petitioners, the act or omission of respondent
corporation supposedly constituting fault or negligence,
and the causal connection between the act and the
damage, with no pre-existing contractual obligation
between the parties make a clear case of a quasi delict
or culpa aquiliana.
- It must be stressed that the use of one's property is not
without limitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code
provides that "the owner of a thing cannot make use
thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third
person." SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON
LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have
mutual and reciprocal duties which require that each
must use his own land in a reasonable manner so as not
to infringe upon the rights and interests of others.
Although we recognize the right of an owner to build
structures on his land, such structures must be so
constructed and maintained using all reasonable care so
that they cannot be dangerous to adjoining landowners
and can withstand the usual and expected forces of
nature. If the structures cause injury or damage to an
adjoining landowner or a third person, the latter can
claim indemnification for the injury or damage suffered.
- Article 2176 1of the Civil Code imposes a civil
liability on a person for damage caused by his act or
omission constituting fault or negligence.
- Article 2176, whenever it refers to "fault or
negligence", covers not only acts "not punishable by
law" but also acts criminal in character, whether
intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequently, a
separate civil action lies against the offender in a
criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted
and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the
offended party is not allowed, (if the tortfeasor is

actually charged also criminally), to recover damages


on both scores, and would be entitled in such
eventuality only to the bigger award of the two,
assuming the awards made in the two cases vary.
- The distinctness of quasi-delicta is shown in Article
21772 of the Civil Code. According to the Report of the
Code Commission "the foregoing provision though at
first sight startling, is not so novel or extraordinary
when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil
negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal
law, while the latter is a distinct and independent
negligence, which is a "culpa aquiliana" or quasi-delict,
of ancient origin, having always had its own foundation
and individuality, separate from criminal negligence.
Such distinction between criminal negligence and
"culpa extra-contractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been
sustained by decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain ...
In the case of Castillo vs. Court of Appeals, this Court
held that a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate
legal institution under the Civil Code with a
substantivity all its own, and individuality that is
entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime
a distinction exists between the civil liability arising
from a crime and the responsibility for quasi-delicts or
culpa extra-contractual. The same negligence causing
damages may produce civil liability arising from a
crime under the Penal Code, or create an action for
quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil
Code. Therefore, the acquittal or conviction in the
criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case,
unless, of course, in the event of an acquittal where the
court has declared that the fact from which the civil
action arose did not exist, in which case the extinction
of the criminal liability would carry with it the
extinction of the civil liability.

Article 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and
distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot
recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.

Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence,
is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this chapter.

TAYLOR V MANILA ELECTRIC


16 PHIL 8
CARSON; March 22, 1910
NATURE
2

prof. casis
An action to recover damages for the loss of an eye and
other injuries, instituted by David Taylor, a minor, by
his father, his nearest relative.
FACTS
- The defendant is a foreign corporation engaged in the
operation of a street railway and an electric light system
in the city of Manila. The plaintiff, David Taylor, was at
the time when he received the injuries complained of,
15 years of age, the son of a mechanical engineer, more
mature than the average boy of his age, and having
considerable aptitude and training in mechanics.
- On the 30th of September, 1905, plaintiff, with a boy
named Manuel Claparols, about 12 years of age,
crossed the footbridge to the Isla del Provisor, for the
purpose of visiting one Murphy, an employee of the
defendant, who and promised to make them a cylinder
for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Mr.
Murphy was not in his quarters, the boys, impelled
apparently by youthful curiosity and perhaps by the
unusual interest which both seem to have taken in
machinery, spent some time in wandering about the
company's premises.
- After watching the operation of the travelling crane
used in handling the defendant's coal, they walked
across the open space in the neighborhood of the place
where the company dumped in the cinders and ashes
from its furnaces. Here they found some twenty or
thirty brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground.
They are intended for use in the explosion of blasting
charges of dynamite, and have in themselves a
considerable explosive power. they opened one of the
caps with a knife, and finding that it was filled with a
yellowish substance they got matches, and David held
the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the
contents. An explosion followed, causing more or less
serious injuries to all three. Jessie, who when the boys
proposed putting a match to the contents of the cap,
became frightened and started to run away, received a
slight cut in the neck. Manuel had his hand burned and
wounded, and David was struck in the face by several
particles of the metal capsule, one of which injured his
right eye to such an extent as to the necessitate its

torts & damages


removal by the surgeons who were called in to care for
his wounds.
- The evidence does definitely and conclusively
disclose how the caps came to be on the defendant's
premises, nor how long they had been there when the
boys found them.
- No measures seems to have been adopted by the
defendant company to prohibit or prevent visitors from
entering and walking about its premises unattended,
when they felt disposed so to do.
- The trial court's decision, awarding damages to the
plaintiff, upon the provisions of article 1089 of the Civil
Code read together with articles 1902, 1903, and 1908
of that code.
ART. 1089 Obligations are created by law, by
contracts, by quasi-contracts, and illicit acts and
omissions or by those in which any kind of fault or
negligence occurs.
ART. 1902 A person who by an act or omission
causes damage to another when there is fault or
negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so
done.
ART. 1903 The obligation imposed by the preceding
article is demandable, not only for personal acts and
omissions, but also for those of the persons for whom
they should be responsible.
The father, and on his death or incapacity the mother,
is liable for the damages caused by the minors who
live with them.
Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise
are equally liable for damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the
latter may be employed or on account of their duties.
The liability referred to in this article shall cease
when the persons mentioned therein prove that they
employed all the diligence of a good father of a
family to avoid the damage.
ART. 1908 The owners shall also be liable for the
damage caused
1 By the explosion of machines which may not have
been cared for with due diligence, and for kindling of
explosive substances which may not have been
placed in a safe and proper place.

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- Counsel for the defendant and appellant rests his


appeal strictly upon his contention that the facts proven
at the trial do not established the liability of the
defendant company under the provisions of these
articles.
ISSUE
WON the defendants negligence is the proximate cause
of plaintiff's injuries
HELD
NO
- We are of opinion that under all the circumstances of
this case the negligence of the defendant in leaving the
caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate
cause of the injury received by the plaintiff.
- We agree with counsel for appellant that under the
Civil Code, as under the generally accepted doctrine in
the United States, the plaintiff in an action such as that
under consideration, in order to establish his right to a
recovery, must establish by competent evidence:
(1) Damages to the plaintiff.
(2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant
personally, or some person for whose acts it must
respond, was guilty.
(3) The connection of cause and effect between the
negligence and the damage.
- These proposition are, of course, elementary, and do
not admit of discussion, the real difficulty arising in the
application of these principles to the particular facts
developed in the case under consideration.
- It is clear that the accident could not have happened
and not the fulminating caps been left exposed at the
point where they were found, or if their owner had
exercised due care in keeping them in an appropriate
place; but it is equally clear that plaintiff would not
have been injured had he not, for his own pleasure and
convenience, entered upon the defendant's premises,
and strolled around thereon without the express
permission of the defendant, and had he not picked up
and carried away the property of the defendant which
he found on its premises, and had he not thereafter
deliberately cut open one of the caps and applied a
match to its contents.

prof. casis
- But counsel for plaintiff contends that because of
plaintiff's youth and inexperience, his entry upon
defendant company's premises, and the intervention of
his action between the negligent act of defendant in
leaving the caps exposed on its premises and the
accident which resulted in his injury should not be held
to have contributed in any wise to the accident, which
should be deemed to be the direct result of defendant's
negligence in leaving the caps exposed at the place
where they were found by the plaintiff, and this latter
the proximate cause of the accident which occasioned
the injuries sustained by him.
- In support of his contention, counsel for plaintiff relies
on the doctrine laid down in many of the courts of last
resort in the United States in the cases known as the
"Torpedo" and "Turntable" cases, and the cases based
thereon.
- As laid down in Railroad Co. vs. Stout (17 Wall. (84
U. S.), 657), wherein the principal question was
whether a railroad company was liable for in injury
received by an infant while upon its premises, from idle
curiosity, or for purposes of amusement, if such injury
was, under circumstances, attributable to the negligence
of the company), the principles on which these cases
turn are that "while a railroad company is not bound to
the same degree of care in regard to mere strangers who
are unlawfully upon its premises that it owes to
passengers conveyed by it, it is not exempt from
responsibility to such strangers for injuries arising from
its negligence or from its tortious acts;" and that "the
conduct of an infant of tender years is not to be judged
by the same rule which governs that of adult. While it is
the general rule in regard to an adult that to entitle him
to recover damages for an injury resulting from the fault
or negligence of another he must himself have been free
from fault, such is not the rule in regard to an infant of
tender years. The care and caution required of a child is
according to his maturity and capacity only, and this is
to be determined in each case by the circumstances of
the case."
- The doctrine of the case of Railroad Company vs.
Stout was vigorously controverted and sharply criticized
in several courts. But the doctrine of the case is
controlling in our jurisdiction.

torts & damages


- This conclusion is founded on reason, justice, and
necessity, and neither is contention that a man has a
right to do what will with his own property or that
children should be kept under the care of their parents
or guardians, so as to prevent their entering on the
premises of others is of sufficient weight to put in
doubt.
- But while we hold that the entry of the plaintiff upon
defendant's property without defendant's express
invitation or permission would not have relieved
defendant from responsibility for injuries incurred there
by plaintiff, without other fault on his part, if such
injury were attributable to the negligence of the
defendant, we are of opinion that under all the
circumstances of this case the negligence of the
defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises
was not the proximate cause of the injury received by
the plaintiff, which therefore was not, properly
speaking, "attributable to the negligence of the
defendant," and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that
plaintiffs action in cutting open the detonating cap and
putting match to its contents was the proximate cause of
the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted upon
the plaintiff, and that the defendant, therefore is not
civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred.
Plaintiff contends, upon the authority of the Turntable
and Torpedo cases, that because of plaintiff's youth the
intervention of his action between the negligent act of
the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its
premises and the explosion which resulted in his injury
should not be held to have contributed in any wise to
the accident; and it is because we can not agree with
this proposition, although we accept the doctrine of the
Turntable and Torpedo cases, that we have thought
proper to discuss and to consider that doctrine at length
in this decision.
- In the case at bar, plaintiff at the time of the accident
was a well-grown youth of 15, more mature both
mentally and physically than the average boy of his age;
he had been to sea as a cabin boy; was able to earn
P2.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after
the injury was incurred; and the record discloses
throughout that he was exceptionally well qualified to
take care of himself. The evidence of record leaves no

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room for doubt that, despite his denials on the witness


stand, he well knew the explosive character of the cap
with which he was amusing himself.
- True, he may not have known and probably did not
know the precise nature of the explosion which might
be expected from the ignition of the contents of the cap,
and of course he did not anticipate the resultant injuries
which he incurred; but he well knew that a more or less
dangerous explosion might be expected from his act,
and yet he willfully, recklessly, and knowingly
produced the explosion. It would be going far to say
that "according to his maturity and capacity" he
exercised such and "care and caution" as might
reasonably be required of him, or that defendant or
anyone else should be held civilly responsible for
injuries incurred by him under such circumstances.
We are satisfied that the plaintiff in this case had
sufficient capacity and understanding to be sensible of
the danger to which he exposed himself when he put the
match to the contents of the cap; that he was sui juris in
the sense that his age and his experience qualified him
to understand and appreciate the necessity for the
exercise of that degree of caution which would have
avoided the injury which resulted from his own
deliberate act; and that the injury incurred by him must
be held to have been the direct and immediate result of
his own willful and reckless act, so that while it may be
true that these injuries would not have been incurred but
for the negligence act of the defendant in leaving the
caps exposed on its premises, nevertheless plaintiff's
own act was the proximate and principal cause of the
accident which inflicted the injury.
TAYAG V ALCANTARA
98 SCRA 723
CONCEPCION; July 23, 1980
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari the order of CFI Tarlac
(dismissing petition for damages)
FACTS
- Pedro Tayag was riding a motorcycle when he was
bumped by a Philippine Rabbit Bus, driven by Romeo

prof. casis
Villa, which caused his instantaneous death. Pending
the criminal case against the driver, the heirs of Tayag
instituted a civil action to recover damages from the
company (Phil Rabbit Bus Inc) and the driver. In turn,
the company and driver filed a motion to suspend trial
of the civil case on the ground that the criminal case
was still pending. Judge Alcantara granted this motion.
- In the criminal case, the driver as acquitted based on
reasonable doubt. The company and driver then filed
for dismissal of the civil case on the ground that the
heirs do not have a cause of action because of the
acquittal. Judge Alcantara granted this and dismissed
the civil case.
ISSUE
WON Judge Alcantara correctly dismissed the civil case
on the ground of no cause of action due to the acquittal
of the driver
HELD
1. NO
Ratio The petitioners' cause of action being based on a
quasi-delict, the acquittal of the driver of the crime
charged is not a bar to the prosecution for damages
based on quasi-delict
Reasoning
- Art. 31, NCC provides: When the civil action is
based on an obligation not arising from the act or
omission complained of as a felony, such civil action
may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings
and regardless of the result of the latter
- Evidently, this provision refers to a civil action based
on an obligation arising from quasi-delict. The
complaint itself shows that the claim was based on
quasi-delit, viz:
6. That defendant Philippine Rabbit Bus Lino, Inc., has
failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of its employees,
particularly defendant Romeo Villa y Cunanan.
Otherwise, the accident in question which resulted in
the death of Pedro Tayag, Sr. and damage to his
property would not have occurred;
All the essential averments for a quasi-delictual action
are present:

torts & damages


(1) act or omission constituting fault /negligence on the
part of respondent
(2) damage caused by the said act or omission
(3) direct causal relation between the damage and the
act or omission and
(4) no preexisting contractual relation between the
parties.
Citing Elcano v Hill: a separate civil action lies against
the offender in a criminal act, WON he is criminally
prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that
offended party is not allowed to recover damages on
both scores
DISPOSITION petition granted. Order of CFI Tarlac
set aside, case REMANDED to lower court for further
proceedings.
SEPARATE OPINION
AQUINO [concur]
- I concur because petitioners' action for damages is
based on article 2177 of the Civil Code, under which
according to the Code Commission, "acquittal from an
accusation of criminal negligence, whether on
reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a
subsequent civil action, not for civil liability from
criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasidelict or culpa aquiliana".
Article 33 of the Civil Code also justifies the
petitioners' independent civil action for damages since
the term "physical injuries" therein embraces death
(Dyogi vs. Yatco, 100 Phil. 1095).
- Moreover, the acquittal of Romeo Villa was based on
reasonable doubt. The petitioners, as plaintiffs in the
civil case, can amend their complaint and base their
action also on article 29 NCC which allows an
independent civil action for damages in case of acquittal
on the ground of reasonable doubt.
- The requirement in section 2, Rule III of the Rules of
Court that there should be a reservation in the criminal
cases of the right to institute an independent civil action
is contrary to law.
PEOPLE V LIGON
152 SCRA 419

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YAP; July 29, 1987


NATURE
Appeal from the judgment of the RTC Manila
FACTS
- February 17, 1986, RTC convicted Fernando Gabat, of
Robbery with Homicide and sentencing him to
reclusion perpetua where he robbed and killed Jose
Rosales y Ortiz, a seventeen-year old working student
who was earning his keep as a cigarette vendor. He was
allegedly robbed of his cigarette box containing
cigarettes worth P300.00 more or less.
Rogelio
Ligon,the co-accused, was never apprehended and is
still at large.
- October 23, 1983 - at about 6:10 p.m. Gabat, was
riding in a 1978 Volkswagen Kombi owned by his
father and driven by the other accused, Ligon which
was coming from Espaa Street going towards the
direction of Quiapo. At the intersection of Quezon
Boulevard and Lerma Street before turning left towards
the underpass at C.M. Recto Avenue, they stopped.
While waiting, Gabat beckoned a cigarette vendor,
Rosales to buy some cigarettes from him. Rosales
approached the Kombi and handed Gabat two sticks of
cigarettes. While this transaction was occurring, the
traffic light changed to green, and the Kombi driven by
Rogelio Ligon suddenly moved forward. As to what
precisely happened between Gabat and Rosales at
the crucial moment, and immediately thereafter, is
the subject of conflicting versions by the prosecution
and the defense. It is not controverted, however, that as
the Kombi continued to speed towards Quiapo, Rosales
clung to the window of the Kombi but apparently
lost his grip and fell down on the pavement. Rosales
was rushed by some bystanders to the Philippine
General Hospital, where he was treated for multiple
physical injuries and was confined thereat until his
death on October 30, 1983.
- Following close behind (about 3 meters) the Kombi at
the time of the incident was a taxicab driven by
Castillo. He was traveling on the same lane in a slightly
oblique position. The Kombi did not stop after the
victim fell down on the pavement near the foot of the

prof. casis
underpass, Castillo pursued it as it sped towards Roxas
Boulevard, beeping his horn to make the driver stop.
When they reached the Luneta near the Rizal
monument, Castillo saw an owner-type jeep with two
persons in it. He sought their assistance in chasing the
Kombi, telling them "nakaaksidente ng tao." The two
men in the jeep joined the chase and at the intersection
of Vito Cruz and Roxas Boulevard, Castillo was able to
overtake the Kombi when the traffic light turned red.
He immediately blocked the Kombi while the jeep
pulled up right behind it. The two men on board the
jeep turned out to be police officers, Patrolmen
Leonardo Pugao and Peter Ignacio. They drew their
guns and told the driver, Rogelio Ligon, and his
companion, Fernando Gabat, to alight from the Kombi.
It was found out that there was a third person inside the
Kombi, a certain Rodolfo Primicias who was sleeping
at the rear seat.
- The three were all brought by the police officers to the
Western Police District and turned over to Pfc. Fermin
Payuan. The taxicab driver, Prudencio Castillo, also
went along with them. Payuan also prepared a Traffic
Accident Report, dated October 23, 1983.6 Fernando
Gabat and Rodolfo Primicias were released early
morning the following day, but Rogelio Ligon was
detained and turned over to the City Fiscal's Office for
further investigation.
- December 6, 1983 - Investigating Fiscal Cantos, filed
an information against Rogelio Ligon charging him
with Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence.
- October 31, 1983 - an autopsy was conducted by the
medico-legal officer of NBI which stated the cause of
death of Rosales as "pneumonia hypostatic, bilateral,
secondary to traumatic injuries of the head."
- June 28, 1984 - Assistant Fiscal Cantos filed another
information against Rogelio Ligon and Fernando Gabat
for Robbery with Homicide based on a Supplemental
Affidavit of Prudencio Castillo and a joint affidavit of
Armando Espino and Romeo Castil, cigarette vendors,
who allegedly witnessed the incident . These affidavits
were already prepared and merely sworn to before
Fiscal Cantos on January 17, 1984.
- prosecution tried to establish, through the sole
testimony of the taxicab driver that Gabat grabbed the

torts & damages


box of cigarettes from Rosales and pried loose the
latter's hand from the window of the Kombi, resulting
in the latter falling down and hitting the pavement.
- The trial court gave full credence to the prosecution's
version, stating that there can be no doubt that Gabat
forcibly took or grabbed the cigarette box from Rosales
because, otherwise, there could be no reason for the
latter to run after the Kombi and hang on to its window.
The court also believed Castillo's testimony that Gabat
forcibly removed or pried off the right hand of Rosales
from the windowsill of the Kombi, otherwise, the latter
could not have fallen down, having already been able to
balance himself on the stepboard.
- On the other hand, the trial court dismissed as
incredible the testimony of Gabat that the cigarette
vendor placed the cigarette box on the windowsill of the
Kombi, holding it with his left hand, while he was
trying to get from his pocket the change for the 5peso
bill of Gabat. The court said that it is of common
knowledge that cigarette vendors plying their trade in
the streets do not let go of their cigarette box; no vendor
lets go of his precious box of cigarettes in order to
change a peso bill given by a customer.
ISSUE
WON the prosecutions set of facts should be given
credence
HELD
NO
- a careful review of the record shows that certain
material facts and circumstances had been overlooked
by the trial court which, if taken into account, would
alter the result of the case in that they would introduce
an element of reasonable doubt which would entitle the
accused to acquittal.
- While the prosecution witness, Castillo, may be a
disinterested witness with no motive, according to the
court a quo, "other than to see that justice be done," his
testimony, even if not tainted with bias, is not entirely
free from doubt because his observation of the event
could have been faulty or mistaken. The taxicab which
Castillo was driving was lower in height compared to

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prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

the Kombi in which Gabat was riding-a fact admitted


by Castillo at the trial.
- Judicial notice may also be taken of the fact that the
rear windshield of the 1978 Volkswagon Kombi is on
the upper portion, occupying approximately one-third
(1/3) of the rear end of the vehicle, thus making it
visually difficult for Castillo to observe clearly what
transpired inside the Kombi at the front end where
Gabat was seated. These are circumstances which must
be taken into consideration in evaluating Castillo's
testimony as to what exactly happened between Gabat
and the cigarette vendor during that crucial moment
before the latter fell down. As the taxicab was right
behind the Kombi, following it at a distance of about
three meters, Castillo's line of vision was partially
obstructed by the back part of the Kombi. His testimony
that he saw Gabat grab the cigarette box from Rosales
and forcibly pry loose the latter's hand from the
windowsill of the Kombi is thus subject to a reasonable
doubt, specially considering that this occurrence
happened in just a matter of seconds, and both vehicles
during that time were moving fast in the traffic.
- Considering the above circumstances, the Court is not
convinced with moral certainty that the guilt of the
accused Fernando Gabat has been established beyond
reasonable doubt. In our view, the quantum of proof
necessary to sustain Gabat's conviction of so serious a
crime as robbery with homicide has not been met in this
case. He is therefore entitled to acquittal on reasonable
doubt.
- However, it does not follow that a person who is not
criminally liable is also free from civil liability. While
the guilt of the accused in a criminal prosecution must
be established beyond reasonable doubt, only a
preponderance of evidence is required in a civil action
for damages.
- Article 29 of the Civil Code, which provides that the
acquittal of the accused on the ground that his guilt has
not been proved beyond reasonable doubt does not
necessarily exempt him from civil liability for the same
act or omission, has been explained by the Code
Commission as follows:
"The old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a
criminal case also releases him from civil liability is

one of the most serious flaws in the Philippine legal


system. It has given rise to numberless instances of
miscarriage of justice, where the acquittal was due to a
reasonable doubt in the mind of the court as to the guilt
of the accused. The reasoning followed is that inasmuch
as the civil responsibility is derived from the criminal
offense, when the latter is not proved, civil liability
cannot be demanded.
"This is one of those cases where confused thinking
leads to unfortunate and deplorable consequences. Such
reasoning fails to draw a clear line of demarcation
between criminal liability and civil responsibility, and
to determine the logical result of the distinction. The
two liabilities are separate and distinct from each other,
One affects the social order and the other, private rights.
One is for the punishment or correction of the offender
while the other is for reparation of damages suffered by
the aggrieved party. The two responsibilities are so
different from each other that article 1813 of the present
(Spanish) Civil Code reads thus: "There may be a
compromise upon the civil action arising from a crime;
but the public action for the imposition of the legal
penalty shall not thereby be extinguished." It is just and
proper that, for the purposes of the imprisonment of or
fine upon the accused, the offense should be proved
beyond reasonable doubt. But for the purpose of
indemnifying the complaining party, why should the
offense also be proved beyond reasonable doubt? Is not
the invasion or violation of every private right to be
proved only by a preponderance of evidence? Is the
right of the aggrieved person any less private because
the wrongful act is also punishable by the criminal law?
DISPOSITION Appellant acquitted for the crime of
robbery and homicide, but sentenced to indemnify the
heirs of Jose Rosales y Ortiz.
PADILLA V CA (Vergara)
129 SCRA 558
GUTIERREZ; [date]
NATURE
Petition of rcertiorari to revies the decision of the Court
of Appeals

torts & damages


FACTS
- Petitioners, on or about February 8, 1964, went to the
public market to execute an alleged order of the Mayor
to clear the public market of stalls which were
considered as nuisance per se. The stall of one Antonio
Vergara was demolished pursuant to this order. In the
process however the stock in trade and certain furniture
of Vergara were lost and destroyed.
- The petitioners were found guilty of grave coercion
after trial at the CFI and were sentenced to five months
and one day imprisonment and ordered to pay fines.
- On appeal, the CA reversed the findings of the CFI
and acquitted the appellants based on reasonable doubt
but nonetheless ordered them to pay P9,600.00 as actual
damages. The decision of the CA was based on the fact
that the petitioners were charged with coercion when
they should have been more appropriately charged with
crime against person. Hence, the crime of grave
coercion was not proved in accordance with the law.
- The petitioner filed the appeal to the SC questioning
the grant of actual damages despite a no guilty verdict.
ISSUE
WON the CA committed a reversible error in requiring
the petitioners to pay civil indemnity to the
complainants after acquitting them from the criminal
charge
HELD
NO
- The SC, quoting Section 3 (C) of Rule 111 of the
Rules of Court and various jurisprudence including
PNB vs Catipon, De Guzman vs Alvia, held that
extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the
extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds
from a declaration in the final judgment that the facts
from which the civil action might arise did not exist. In
the case at bar, the judgment of not guilty was based on
reasonable doubt. Since the standard of proof to be used
in civil cases is preponderance of evidence, the court
express a finding that the defendants offenses are civil
in nature.

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- The Court also tackled the provision of Article 29 of


the Civil Code to clarify whether a separate civil action
is required when the accused in a criminal prosecution
is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been
proved beyond reasonable doubt. The SC took the
position that the said provision merely emphasizes that
a civil action for damages is not precluded by an
acquittal for the same criminal act. The acquittal
extinguishes the criminal liability but not the civil
liability particularly if the finding is not guilty based on
reasonable ground.
CRUZ V CA (UMALI)
282 SCRA 188
FRANCISCO; 1997
NATURE
Civil action for damages in a medical malpractice suit.
FACTS
- Rowena Umali De Ocampo accompanied her
mother to the Perpetual Help Clinic and General
Hospital. Prior to March 22, 1991, Lydia was
examined by the petitioner who found a "myoma"
in her uterus, and scheduled her for a
hysterectomy operation on March 23, 1991.
- Rowena and her mother slept in the clinic on the
evening of March 22, 1991 as the latter was to be
operated on the next day at 1:00 o'clock in the
afternoon. According to Rowena, she noticed that
the clinic was untidy and the window and the floor
were very dusty prompting her to ask the attendant
for a rag to wipe the window and the floor with.
Because of the untidy state of the clinic, Rowena
tried to persuade her mother not to proceed with
the operation.
- The following day, Rowena asked the petitioner if
the operation could be postponed. The petitioner
called Lydia into her office and the two had a
conversation. Lydia then informed Rowena that the
petitioner told her that she must be operated on as
scheduled.
- Rowena and her other relatives waited outside
the operating room while Lydia underwent

prof. casis
operation. While they were waiting, Dr. Ercillo went
out of the operating room and instructed them to
buy tagamet ampules which Rowena's sister
immediately bought. About one hour had passed
when Dr. Ercillo came out again this time to ask
them to buy blood for Lydia. They bought type "A"
blood and the same was brought by the attendant
into the operating room.
- After the lapse of a few hours, the petitioner
informed them that the operation was finished. The
operating staff then went inside the petitioner's
clinic to take their snacks. Some thirty minutes
after, Lydia was brought out of the operating room
in a stretcher and the petitioner asked Rowena
and the other relatives to buy additional blood for
Lydia. Unfortunately, they were not able to comply
with petitioner's order as there was no more type
"A" blood available in the blood bank.
- Thereafter, a person arrived to donate blood
which was later transfused to Lydia. Rowena then
noticed her mother, who was attached to an
oxygen tank, gasping for breath. Apparently the
oxygen supply had run out and Rowena's husband
together with the driver of the accused had to go to
the San Pablo District Hospital to get oxygen.
Lydia was given the fresh supply of oxygen as
soon as it arrived.
- At around 10pm, she went into shock and her
blood pressure dropped to 60/50. Lydia's unstable
condition necessitated her transfer to the San
Pablo District Hospital so she could be connected
to a respirator and further examined. The transfer
to the San Pablo City District Hospital was without
the prior consent of Rowena nor of the other
relatives present who found out about the intended
transfer only when an ambulance arrived to take
Lydia to the San Pablo District Hospital. Rowena
and her other relatives then boarded a tricycle and
followed the ambulance.
- Upon Lydia's arrival at the San Pablo District
Hospital, she was wheeled into the operating room
and the petitioner and Dr. Ercillo re-operated on
her because there was blood oozing from the
abdominal incision. The attending physicians

torts & damages


summoned Dr. Bartolome Angeles, head of the
Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the San
Pablo District Hospital. However, when Dr. Angeles
arrived, Lydia was already in shock and possibly
dead as her blood pressure was already 0/0. While
petitioner was closing the abdominal wall, the
patient died. Her death certificate states "shock" as
the immediate cause of death and "Disseminated
Intravascular
Coagulation
(DIC)"
as
the
antecedent cause.
ISSUE
WON the circumstances are sufficient to sustain a
judgment of conviction against the petitioner for
the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in
homicide
HELD
NO
- The elements of reckless imprudence are: (1)
that the offender does or fails to do an act; (2) that
the doing or the failure to do that act is voluntary;
(3) that it be without malice; (4) that material
damage results from the reckless imprudence; and
(5) that there is inexcusable lack of precaution on
the part of the offender, taking into consideration
his employment or occupation, degree of
intelligence, physical condition, and other
circumstances regarding persons, time and place.
- WON has committed an "inexcusable lack of
precaution" in the treatment of his patient is to be
determined according to the standard of care
observed by other members of the profession in
good standing under similar circumstances
bearing in mind the advanced state of the
profession at the time of treatment or the present
state of medical science.
- For whether a physician or surgeon has
exercised the requisite degree of skill and care in
the treatment of his patient is, in the generality of
cases, a matter of expert opinion. The deference
of courts to the expert opinion of qualified
physicians stems from its realization that the latter
possess unusual technical skills which laymen in

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most instances are incapable of intelligently


evaluating. Expert testimony should have been
offered to prove that the circumstances cited by
the courts below are constitutive of conduct falling
below the standard of care employed by other
physicians in good standing when performing the
same operation. It must be remembered that when
the qualifications of a physician are admitted, as in
the instant case, there is an inevitable presumption
that in proper cases he takes the necessary
precaution and employs the best of his knowledge
and skill in attending to his clients, unless the
contrary
is
sufficiently
established.
This
presumption is rebuttable by expert opinion which
is so sadly lacking in the case at bench.
- Even without expert testimony, that petitioner was
recklessly imprudent in the exercise of her duties
as a surgeon, no cogent proof exists that any of
these circumstances caused petitioner's death.
Thus, the absence of the fourth element of
reckless imprudence: that the injury to the person
or property was a consequence of the reckless
imprudence.
- In litigations involving medical negligence, the
plaintiff has the burden of establishing appellant's
negligence and for a reasonable conclusion of
negligence, there must be proof of breach of duty
on the part of the surgeon as well as a casual
connection of such breach and the resulting death
of his patient.
PHIL. RABBIT V PEOPLE
[citation]
PANGANIBAN; April 14, 2004
NATURE
Petition for Review
FACTS
- Napoleon Macadangdang was found guilty and
convicted of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting
to triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and
damage to property and was sentenced to suffer the
penalty of 4 years, 9 months and 11 days to 6 years, and

prof. casis
to pay damages. But in the event the the accused
becoems insolvent, Phil. Rabbit will be held liable for
the civil liabilities. But admittedly, the accused jumped
bail and remained at large.
ISSUE
WON an employer, who dutifully participated in the
defense of its accused-employee, may appeal the
judgment of conviction independently of the accused
HELD
NO
- The accused cannot be accorded the right to appeal
unless they voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the
court or are otherwise arrested within 15 days from
notice of the judgment against them. HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2004/a
pr2004/147703.htm" \l "_ftn15" \o "" While at large,
they cannot seek relief from the court, as they are
deemed to have waived the appeal. In the case before
us, the accused-employee has escaped and refused to
surrender to the proper authorities; thus, he is deemed to
have abandoned his appeal. Consequently, the
judgment against him has become final and executory.
- After a judgment has become final, vested rights are
acquired by the winning party. If the proper losing
party has the right to file an appeal within the
prescribed period, then the former has the correlative
right to enjoy the finality of the resolution of the case.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2004/a
pr2004/147703.htm" \l "_ftn59" \o ""
- In fact, petitioner admits that by helping the accusedemployee, it participated in the proceedings before the
RTC; thus, it cannot be said that the employer was
deprived of due process. It might have lost its right to
appeal, but it was not denied its day in court.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2004/a
pr2004/147703.htm" \l "_ftn60" \o "" In fact, it can be
said that by jumping bail, the accused-employee, not the
court, deprived petitioner of the right to appeal.
- On Subsidiary Liability Upon Finality of Judgment:

torts & damages


- Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code,
employers are subsidiarily liable for the adjudicated
civil liabilities of their employees in the event of the
latters insolvency.
- To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed
in a criminal case would enable them to amend, nullify
or defeat a final judgment rendered by a competent
court.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2004/a
pr2004/147703.htm" \l "_ftn48" \o "" By the same
token, to allow them to appeal the final criminal
conviction of their employees without the latters
consent would also result in improperly amending,
nullifying or defeating the judgment.
- The decision convicting an employee in a criminal
case is binding and conclusive upon the employer not
only with regard to the formers civil liability, but also
with regard to its amount. The liability of an employer
cannot be separated from that of the employee.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2004/a
pr2004/147703.htm" \l "_ftn17" \o ""
DISPOSITION Petition is hereby DENIED, and the
assailed Resolutions AFFIRMED. Costs against
petitioner.
CANGCO V MANILA RAILROAD CO
38 Phil 768
FISHER; October 14, 1918
NATURE
An appeal from a judgment of the Court of First
Instance disallowing the claim of the plaintiff for
P1,000 against the estate of the deceased James P.
McElroy.
FACTS
- Jose Cangco, was employed by Manila Railroad
Company as clerk. He lived in San Mateo, Rizal,
located upon the line of the defendant railroad
company; and in coming daily by train to the company's
office in the city of Manila where he worked, he used a
pass, supplied by the company, which entitled him to
ride upon the company's trains free of charge.

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- January 20, 1915, the plaintiff was returning home by


rail from his daily labors; and as the train drew up to the
station in San Mateo the plaintiff while making his exit
through the door, took his position upon the steps of the
coach.
- On the side of the train where passengers alight at the
San Mateo station there is a cement platform which
begins to rise with a moderate gradient some distance
away from the company's office and extends along in
front of said office for a distance sufficient to cover the
length of several coaches. As the train slowed down
another passenger, Emilio Zuniga, also an employee of
the railroad company, got off the same car, alighting
safely at the point where the platform begins to rise
from the level of the ground. When Jose Cangco
stepped off, one or both of his feet came in contact with
a sack of watermelons with the result that his feet
slipped from under him and he fell violently on the
platform. His body at once rolled from the platform and
was drawn under the moving car, where his right arm
was badly crushed and lacerated. After the plaintiff
alighted from the train the car moved forward possibly
six meters before it came to a full stop.
- The accident occurred on a dark night, and the train
station was lit dimly by a single light located some
distance away, objects on the platform where the
accident occurred were difficult to discern, especially to
a person emerging from a lighted car.
- The sack of melons on the platform is because it was
the customary season for harvesting these melons and a
large lot had been brought to the station for shipment to
the market. This row of sacks was so placed that there
was a space of only about two feet between the sacks of
melons and the edge of the platform; and it is clear that
the fall of the plaintiff was due to the fact that his foot
alighted upon one of these melons at the moment he
stepped upon the platform. His statement that he failed
to see these objects in the darkness is readily to be
credited.
- The plaintiff was drawn from under the car in an
unconscious condition, and with serious injuries. He
was immediately brought to a hospital where an
examination was made and his arm was amputated. The
plaintiff was then carried to another hospital where a

prof. casis
second operation was performed and the member was
again amputated higher up near the shoulder. Expenses
reached the sum of P790.25 in the form of medical and
surgical fees and for other expenses in connection with
the process of his curation.
- August 31, 1915, he instituted this proceeding in the
CFI Manilato recover damages of the defendant
company, founding his action upon the negligence of
the servants and employees of the defendant in placing
the sacks of melons upon the platform and in leaving
them so placed as to be a menace to the security of
passenger alighting from the company's trains. At the
hearing in the CFI, the trial judge, found the facts
substantially as above stated, and although negligence
was attributable to the defendant by reason of the fact
that the sacks of melons were so placed as to obstruct
passengers passing to and from the cars, nevertheless,
the plaintiff himself had failed to use due caution in
alighting from the coach and was therefore precluded
from recovering. Judgment was accordingly entered in
favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff
appealed.
ISSUE
WON there was contributory negligence on the part of
the plaintiff
HELD
NO
Ratio In determining the question of contributory
negligence in performing such act - that is to say,
whether the passenger acted prudently or recklessly the age, sex, and physical condition of the passenger are
circumstances necessarily affecting the safety of the
passenger, and should be considered.
Reasoning
- The employees of the railroad company were guilty of
negligence in piling these sacks on the platform. Their
presence caused the plaintiff to fall as he alighted from
the train; and that they constituted an effective legal
cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It follows
that the defendant company is liable for the damage
unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff's own
contributory negligence.

torts & damages


- The foundation of the legal liability of the defendant is
the contract of carriage, and that the obligation to
respond for the damage which plaintiff has suffered
arises from the breach of that contract by reason of the
failure of defendant to exercise due care in its
performance.
- Its liability is direct and immediate, imposed by
article 1903 of the Civil Code, which can be rebutted by
proof of the exercise of due care in their selection and
supervision. Article 1903 of the Civil Code is not
applicable to obligations arising ex contractu, but only
to extra-contractual obligations
- In commenting upon article 1093, Manresa clearly
points out the difference between "culpa, substantive
and independent, which of itself constitutes the source
of an obligation between persons not formerly
connected by any legal tie" and culpa considered as an
"accident in the performance of an obligation already
existing . . .."
- In the Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. the
court was made to rest squarely upon the proposition
that article 1903 is not applicable to acts of negligence
which constitute the breach of a contract.
- Under the Spanish law, in cases imposed upon
employers with respect to damages due to the
negligence of their employees to persons to whom they
are not bound by contract, such is not based upon the
principle of respondent superior - but upon the principle
announced in article 1902 which imposes upon all
persons who by their fault or negligence, do injury to
another, the obligation of making good the damage
caused.
- The liability arising from extra-contractual culpa is
always based upon a voluntary act or omission which,
without willful intent, but by mere negligence or
inattention, has caused damage to another. A master
who exercises all possible care in the selection of his
servant, taking into consideration the qualifications they
should possess for the discharge of the duties which it is
his purpose to confide to them, and directs them with
equal diligence, thereby performs his duty to third
persons to whom he is bound by no contractual ties, and
he incurs no liability whatever if, by reason of the
negligence of his servants, even within the scope of

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their employment, such third persons suffer damage.


Article 1903 presumes negligence, but that presumption
is refutable.
- In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, an action is brought
upon the theory of the extra-contractual liability of the
defendant to respond for the damage caused by the
carelessness of his employee while acting within the
scope of his employment The Court, after citing the last
paragraph of article 1903 of the Civil Code, said: (1)
That when an injury is caused by the negligence of a
servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption
of law that there was negligence on the part of the
master or employer either in the selection of the servant
or employee, or in supervision over him after the
selection, or both; and (2) that presumption is juris
tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may
be rebutted. It follows necessarily that if the employer
shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection
and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence
of a good father of a family, the presumption is
overcome and he is relieved from liability.
- Every legal obligation must of necessity be extracontractual or contractual. Extra-contractual obligation
has its source in the breach or omission of those mutual
duties which civilized society imposes upon its
members, or which arise from these relations, other than
contractual, of certain members of society to others,
generally embraced in the concept of status. The legal
rights of each member of society constitute the measure
of the corresponding legal duties, which the existence
of those rights imposes upon all other members of
society. The breach of these general duties whether due
to willful intent or to mere inattention, if productive of
injury, gives rise to an obligation to indemnify the
injured party. The fundamental distinction between
obligations of this character and those which arise from
contract, rests upon the fact that in cases of noncontractual obligation it is the wrongful or negligent act
or omission itself which creates the vinculum juris,
whereas in contractual relations the vinculum exists
independently of the breach of the voluntary duty
assumed by the parties when entering into the
contractual relation.

prof. casis
- The railroad company's defense involves the
assumption that even granting that the negligent
conduct of its servants in placing an obstruction upon
the platform was a breach of its contractual obligation
to maintain safe means of approaching and leaving its
trains, the direct and proximate cause of the injury
suffered by plaintiff was his own contributory
negligence in failing to wait until the train had come to
a complete stop before alighting. Under the doctrine of
comparative negligence announced in the Rakes case, if
the accident was caused by plaintiff's own negligence,
no liability is imposed upon defendant, whereas if the
accident was caused by defendant's negligence and
plaintiff's negligence merely contributed to his injury,
the damages should be apportioned. It is, therefore,
important to ascertain if defendant was in fact guilty of
negligence.
- The Court is of the opinion that the correct doctrine
relating to this subject is that expressed in Thompson's
work on Negligence:
"The test by which to determine whether the passenger
has been guilty of negligence in attempting to alight
from a moving railway train, is that of ordinary or
reasonable care. It is to be considered whether an
ordinarily prudent person, of the age, sex and condition
of the passenger, would have acted as the passenger
acted under the circumstances disclosed by the
evidence. This care has been defined to be, not the care
which may or should be used by the prudent man
generally, but the care which a man of ordinary
prudence would use under similar circumstances, to
avoid injury."
- In considering the probability of contributory
negligence on the part of the plaintiff the following
circumstances are to be noted: The company's platform
was constructed upon a level higher than that of the
roadbed and the surrounding ground. The distance from
the steps of the car to the spot where the alighting
passenger would place his feet on the platform was thus
reduced, thereby decreasing the risk incident to stepping
off. The cement platform also assured to the passenger a
stable and even surface on which to alight. The plaintiff
was possessed of the vigor and agility of young
manhood, and it was by no means so risky for him to

torts & damages

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get off while the train was yet moving as the same act
would have been in an aged or feeble person. The place
was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff, as it was his daily
custom to get on and off the train at this station. There
could be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to
the length of the step which he was required to take or
the character of the platform where he was alighting. It
is the Courts conclusion that the conduct of the plaintiff
in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly
under way was not characterized by imprudence and
that therefore he was not guilty of contributory
negligence.
DISPOSITION The decision of the lower court is
reversed, and judgment is hereby rendered plaintiff for
the sum of P3,290.25, and for the costs of both
instances.

speed, the driver lost control thereof, causing it to


swerve and to hit the bridge wall. The accident occurred
on the morning of March 22, 1953. Five of the
passengers were injured, including the respondent who
suffered a fracture of the upper right humerus. He was
taken to the National Orthopedic Hospital for treatment,
and later was subjected to a series of operations; the
first on May 23, 1953, when wire loops were wound
around the broken bones and screwed into place; a
second, effected to insert a metal splint, and a third one
to remove such splint. At the time of the trial, it appears
that respondent had not yet recovered the use of his
right arm.
- The driver was charged with serious physical injuries
through reckless imprudence, and upon interposing a
plea of guilty was sentenced accordingly.

SEPARATE OPINION

ISSUE
WON the defendant is entitled to moral damages

MALCOLM, [dissent]
- With one sentence in the majority decision, we are of
full accord, namely, "It may be admitted that had
plaintiff waited until the train had come to a full stop
before alighting, the particular injury suffered by him
could not have occurred." With the general rule relative
to a passenger's contributory negligence, we are
likewise in full accord, namely, "An attempt to alight
from a moving train is negligence per se." Adding these
two points together, we have the logical result - the
Manila Railroad Co. should be absolved from the
complaint, and judgment affirmed.
FORES V MIRANDA
[citation]
REYES, J.B.L.; March 4, 1959
NATURE
Petition for review of the decision of the Court of
Appeals
FACTS
- Respondent was one of the passengers on a jeepney
driven by Eugenio Luga. While the vehicle was
descending the Sta. Mesa bridge at an excessive rate of

HELD
NO.
Ratio Moral damages are not recoverable in damage
actions predicated on a breach of the contract of
transportation, in view of Articles 2219 and 2220 of the
new Civil Code, which provide as follows:
"ART. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the
following and analogous cases:
(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
xxx
xxx
xxx
ART. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal
ground for awarding moral damages if the court should
find that, under the circumstance, such damages are
justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of contract
where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith."
Reasoning
(a) In case of breach of contract (including one of
transportation) proof of bad faith or fraud (dolus), i.e.,
wanton or deliberately injurious conduct, is essential to
justify an award of moral damages; and
(b) That a breach of contract can not be considered
included in the description term "analogous cases" used
in Art. 2219; not only because Art. 2220 specifically

prof. casis
provides for the damages that are caused by contractual
breach, but because the definition of quasi-delict in Act.
2176 of the Code expressly excludes the cases where
there is a "preexisting contractual relation between the
parties."
"ART. 2176.
Whoever by act or omission caused
damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or
negligence, if there is no pro-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and
is governed by the provision of this Chapter."
- In sum the rule is:
Delict (breach of contract)
Gen. Rule: no moral damages
- Reason: the advantageous position of a party suing a
carrier for breach of the contract of transportation
explains, to some extent, the limitation imposed by the
new Code on the amount of the recovery. The action for
breach of contract imposes on the defendant carrier a
presumption of liability upon mere proof of injury to
the passenger; that latter is relieved from the duty to
establish the fault of the carrier, or of his employees,
and the burden is placed on the carrier to prove the it
was due to an unforeseen event or to force majeure
(Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co., 38 Phil., 768 777).
Moreover, the carrier, unlike in suits for quasi-delict,
may not escape liability by proving that it has exercised
due diligence in the selection and supervision of its
employees
- Exception: with moral damages if:
0 defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith
1 result in the death of a passenger in which case
Article 1764 makes the common carrier expressly
subject to the rule of Art. 2206, that entitles the
spouse, descendants and ascendants of the deceased
passenger to "demand moral damages for mental
anguish by reason of the death of the deceased"
- The difference in conditions, defenses and proof, as
well as the codal concept of quasi-delict as essentially
extra contractual negligence, compel us to differentiate
between action ex contractu, and actions quasi ex
delicto, and prevent us from viewing the action for
breach of contract as simultaneously embodying an
action on tort.

torts & damages


DISPOSITION The decision of the Court of Appeals
is modified by eliminating the award of P5.000.00 by
way of moral damages
M.H. RAKES V THE ATLANTIC, GULF AND
PACIFIC COMPANY
7 Phil 359
TRACEY; January 23, 1907
NATURE
Action for damages
FACTS
- the plaintiff, Rakes, one of a group of 8 AfricanAmerican laborers in the employment of defendant,
Atlantic, was at work transporting iron rails from the
harbor in Manila. The men were hauling the rails on 2
hand cars, some behind or at it sides and some pulling
the cars in the front by a rope. At one point, the track
sagged, the tie broke, the car canted and the rails slid off
and caught the plaintiff who was walking by the cars
side, breaking his leg, which was later amputated at the
knee.
- the plaintiffs witness alleged that a noticeable
depression in the track had appeared after a typhoon.
This was reported to the foreman, Mckenna, but it had
not been proven that Atlantic inspected the track or had
any proper system of inspection. Also, there were no
side guards on the cars to keep the rails from slipping
off.
- However, the companys officers and 3 of the workers
testified that there was a general prohibition frequently
made known to all against walking by the side of cars.
As Rakes was walking along the cars side when the
accident occurred, he was found to have contributed in
some degree to the injury inflicted, although not as the
primary cause.
- Atlantic contends that the remedy for injury through
negligence lies only in a criminal action against the
official directly responsible and that the employer be
held only subsidiarily liable.
ISSUES
1. WON Atlantic is only subsidiarily liable

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- PAGE 77 -

2. WON there was contributory negligence on the part


of petitioner and if so, WON it bars him from recovery
HELD
1. NO
- By virtue of culpa contractual, Atlantic may be held
primarily liable as it failed in its duty to provide safe
appliances for the use of its employees. Petitioner need
not file charges with the foreman to claim damages
from Atlantic; a criminal action is not a requisite for the
enforcement of a civil action.
2. YES
- Petitioner had walked along the side of the car despite
a prohibition to do so by the foreman. However, the
contributory negligence of the party injured will not
defeat the action if it be shown that the defendant
might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence,
have avoided the consequences of the injured party's
negligence. Petitioners negligence contributed only to
his own injury and not to the principal occurrenceit
was merely an element to the damage caused upon him.
Had it been otherwise, parties being mutually in
fault, there can be no appointment of damages. The law
has no scales to determine in such cases whose
wrongdoing weighed most in the compound that
occasioned the mischief (Railroad v Norton). In this
case, petitioner may recover from the defendant, less a
sum deemed suitable equivalent for his own
imprudence.
- Damages are awarded to petitioner at Php5,000,
deducting Php 2,500, the amount fairly attributable to
his own negligence.
SEPARATE OPINION
WILLARD AND CARSON [dissent]
-the negligence of the defendant alone was insufficient
to cause the accidentit also required the negligence of
the plaintiff. Because of this, plaintiff should not be
afforded relief
FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY V CA
241 SCRA 671
VITUG; February 23, 1995

NATURE
Petition for review
FACTS
- In October 1986, Luis A. Luna applied for, and was
accorded, a FAREASTCARD issued by petitioner Far
East Bank and Trust Company ("FEBTC") at its Pasig
Branch. Upon his request, the bank also issued a
supplemental card to Clarita S. Luna.
- In August 1988, Clarita lost her credit card. FEBTC
was forthwith informed. In order to replace the lost
card, Clarita submitted an affidavit of loss. In cases of
this nature, the bank's internal security procedures and
policy would appear to be- to meanwhile so record the
lost card, along with the principal card, as a "Hot Card"
or "Cancelled Card" in its master file.
- On 06 October 1988, Luis tendered a despedida lunch
for a close friend, a Fil-Am, and another guest at the
Bahia Rooftop Restaurant of the Hotel Intercon Manila.
To pay for the lunch, Luis presented his
FAREASTCARD to the attending waiter who promptly
had it verified through a telephone call to the bank's
Credit Card Department. Since the card was not
honored, Luis was forced to pay in cash the bill
amounting to P588.13. Naturally, Luis felt embarrassed
by this incident.
- In a letter, dated 11 Oct. 1988, Luis Luna, through
counsel, demanded from FEBTC the payment of
damages. Adrian V. Festejo, a VP of the bank, expressed
the bank's apologies to Luis in his letter which stated
that: In cases when a card is reported to our office as
lost, FAREASTCARD undertakes the necessary action
to avert its unauthorized use to protect its cardholders.
However, it failed to inform him about its security
policy. Furthermore, an overzealous employee of the
Bank's Credit Card Department did not consider the
possibility that it may have been him who was
presenting the card at that time (for which reason, the
unfortunate incident occurred).
- Festejo also sent a letter to the Manager of the Bahia
Rooftop Restaurant to assure the latter that Luis was a
"very valued clients" of FEBTC. William Anthony
King, F&B Manager of the Intercon, wrote back to say

torts & damages


that the credibility of Luis had never been "in question."
A copy of this reply was sent to Luis by Festejo.
- Still evidently feeling aggrieved, Luis filed a
complaint for damages with the RTC of Pasig against
FEBTC.
- On 30 March 1990, the RTC of Pasig ordered FEBTC
to pay private respondents (a) P300,000.00 moral
damages; (b) P50,000.00 exemplary damages; and (c)
P20,000.00 attorney's fees.
- On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the appellate court
affirmed the decision of the trial court.Its motion for
reconsideration having been denied by the appellate
court, FEBTC has come to this Court with this petition
for review.
ISSUE
WON the petitioner is entitled to moral and exemplary
damages
HELD
NO
- In culpa contractual, moral damages may be
recovered where the defendant is shown to have acted
in bad faith or with malice in the breach of the contract.
The Civil Code provides:
- Art. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal
ground for awarding moral damages if the court should
find that, under the circumstances, such damages are
justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of
contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in
bad faith.
- Bad faith, in this context, includes gross, but not
simple, negligence. Exceptionally, in a contract of
carriage, moral damages are also allowed in case of
death of a passenger attributable to the fault (which is
presumed ) of the common carrier.
- Concededly, the bank was remiss in indeed neglecting
to personally inform Luis of his own card's cancellation.
Nothing in the findings of the trial court and the
appellate court, however, can sufficiently indicate any
deliberate intent on the part of FEBTC to cause harm to
private respondents. Neither could FEBTC's negligence
in failing to give personal notice to Luis be considered
so gross as to amount to malice or bad faith.

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- Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and intentional


design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or
moral obliquity; it is different from the negative idea of
negligence in that malice or bad faith contemplates a
state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design
or ill will.
- Article 21 states:
Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury
to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damage.
- Article 21 of the Code, it should be observed,
contemplates a conscious act to cause harm. Thus, even
if we are to assume that the provision could properly
relate to a breach of contract, its application can be
warranted only when the defendant's disregard of his
contractual obligation is so deliberate as to approximate
a degree of misconduct certainly no less worse than
fraud or bad faith. Most importantly, Article 21 is a
mere declaration of a general principle in human
relations that clearly must, in any case, give way to the
specific provision of Article 2220 of the Civil Code
authorizing the grant of moral damages in culpa
contractual solely when the breach is due to fraud or
bad faith.
- Fores vs. Miranda explained with great clarity the
predominance that we should give to Article 2220 in
contractual relations; we quote:
Anent the moral damages ordered to be paid to the
respondent, the same must be discarded. We have
repeatedly ruled that moral damages are not recoverable
in damage actions predicated on a breach of the contract
of transportation, in view of Articles 2219 and 2220 of
the new Civil Code, which provide as follows:
- Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the
following and analogous cases:
(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
xxx xxx xxx
- Art. 2220. Wilful injury to property may be a legal
ground for awarding moral damages if the court should
find that, under the circumstances, such damages are
justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of

prof. casis
contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in
bad faith.
- By contrasting the provisions of these two articles it
immediately becomes apparent that:
(a) In case of breach of contract (including one of
transportation) proof of bad faith or fraud (dolus), i.e.,
wanton or deliberately injurious conduct, is essential to
justify an award of moral damages; and
(b) That a breach of contract can not be considered
included in the descriptive term "analogous cases" used
in Art. 2219; not only because Art. 2220 specifically
provides for the damages that are caused contractual
breach, but because the definition of quasi-delict in Art.
2176 of the Code expressly excludes the cases where
there is a "preexisitng contractual relations between the
parties."
- Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage
to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to
pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if
there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the
parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.
The exception to the basic rule of damages now under
consideration is a mishap resulting in the death of a
passenger, in which case Article 1764 makes the
common carrier expressly subject to the rule of Art.
2206, that entitles the spouse, descendants and
ascendants of the deceased passenger to "demand moral
damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of
the deceased. But the exceptional rule of Art. 1764
makes it all the more evident that where the injured
passenger does not die, moral damages are not
recoverable unless it is proved that the carrier was
guilty of malice or bad faith. We think it is clear that the
mere carelessness of the carrier's driver does not per se
constitute or justify an inference of malice or bad faith
on the part of the carrier; and in the case at bar there is
no other evidence of such malice to support the award
of moral damages by the Court of Appeals. To award
moral damages for breach of contract, therefore,
without proof of bad faith or malice on the part of the
defendant, as required by Art. 2220, would be to violate
the clear provisions of the law, and constitute
unwarranted judicial legislation.

torts & damages


xxx xxx xxx
- The distinction between fraud, bad faith or malice in
the sense of deliberate or wanton wrong doing and
negligence (as mere carelessness) is too fundamental in
our law to be ignored (Arts. 1170-1172); their
consequences being clearly differentiated by the Code.
- Art. 2201. In contracts and quasi-contracts, the
damages for which the obligor who acted in good faith
is liable shall be those that are the natural and
probable consequences of the breach of the obligation,
and which the parties have foreseen or could have
reasonably foreseen at the time the obligation was
constituted.
- In case of fraud, bad faith, malice or wanton attitude,
the obligor shall be responsible for all damages which
may be reasonably attributed to the non-performance of
the obligation.
- It is to be presumed, in the absence of statutory
provision to the contrary, that this difference was in the
mind of the lawmakers when in Art. 2220 they limited
recovery of moral damages to breaches of contract in
bad faith. It is true that negligence may be occasionally
so gross as to amount to malice; but the fact must be
shown in evidence, and a carrier's bad faith is not to be
lightly inferred from a mere finding that the contract
was breached through negligence of the carrier's
employees.
- The Court has not in the process overlooked another
rule that a quasi-delict can be the cause for breaching a
contract that might thereby permit the application of
applicable principles on tort even where there is a preexisting contract between the plaintiff and the defendant
This doctrine, unfortunately, cannot improve private
respondents' case for it can aptly govern only where the
act or omission complained of would constitute an
actionable tort independently of the contract. The test
(whether a quasi-delict can be deemed to underlie the
breach of a contract) can be stated thusly: Where,
without a pre-existing contract between two parties, an
act or omission can nonetheless amount to an actionable
tort by itself, the fact that the parties are contractually
bound is no bar to the application of quasi-delict
provisions to the case. Here, private respondents'
damage claim is predicated solely on their contractual

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relationship; without such agreement, the act or


omission complained of cannot by itself be held to
stand as a separate cause of action or as an independent
actionable tort.
- Exemplary or corrective damages, in turn, are
intended to serve as an example or as correction for the
public good in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated
or compensatory damages (Art. 2229, Civil Code. In
criminal offenses, exemplary damages are imposed
when the crime is committed with one or more
aggravating circumstances (Art. 2230, Civil Code). In
quasi-delicts, such damages are granted if the defendant
is shown to have been so guilty of gross negligence as
to approximate malice. In contracts and quasicontracts, the court may award exemplary damages if
the defendant is found to have acted in a wanton,
fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner
(Art. 2232, Civil Code).
- Given the above premises and the factual
circumstances here obtaining, it would also be just as
arduous to sustain the exemplary damages granted by
the courts below.
- Nevertheless, the bank's failure, even perhaps
inadvertent, to honor its credit card issued to private
respondent Luis should entitle him to recover a measure
of damages sanctioned under Article 2221 of the Civil
Code providing thusly:
- Art. 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order
that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or
invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or
recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
- Reasonable attorney's fees may be recovered where
the court deems such recovery to be just and equitable
(Art. 2208, Civil Code). We see no issue of sound
discretion on the part of the appellate court in allowing
the award thereof by the trial court.
DISPOSITION The appealed decision is MODIFIED
by deleting the award of moral and exemplary damages
to private respondents; in its stead, petitioner is ordered
to pay private respondent Luis A. Luna an amount of
P5,000.00 by way of nominal damages. In all other
respects, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED.

prof. casis
AIR FRANCE V CA (Carrascoso, Et. Al)
18 SCRA 155
SANCHEZ; September 28, 1966
NATURE
PETITION for review by certiorari of a decision of the
Court of Appeals.
FACTS
- Carrascoso, a civil engineer, left Manila for Lourdes
w/ 48 other Filipino pilgrims. Air France, through PAL,
issued plaintiff a first class round trip airplane ticket
from Manila to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok,
Carrascoso traveled in first class but at Bangkok, the
Manager of the defendant airline forced plaintiff to
vacate the 'first class' seat that he was occupying
because, in the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento,
there was a 'white man', who, the Manager alleged,
had a 'better right' to the seat. When asked to vacate
his 'first class' seat, the plaintiff, as was to be
expected, refused, and told defendant's Manager
that his seat would be taken over his dead body; a
commotion ensued, and, according to said Ernesto G.
Cuento, many of the Filipino passengers got nervous in
the tourist class; when they found out that Mr.
Carrascoso was having a hot discussion with the white
man [manager], they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso
and pacified Mr. Carrascoso to give his seat to the
'white man; and plaintiff reluctantly gave his 'first class'
seat in the plane."
- both TC and CA decided in favor of Carrascoso
ISSUES
Procedural
1. WON the CA failed to make a complete findings of
fact on all the issues properly laid before it, and if such,
WON the Court could review the questions of fact
Substantive
2. WON Carrascoso was entitled to the first class seat
he claims, as proved by written documents (tickets)
3. WON Carrascoso was entitled to moral damages,
when his action is planted upon breach of contract and
thus, there must be an averment of fraud or bad faith
which the CA allegedly failed to find

torts & damages


4. WON moral damages could be recovered from Air
France, granted that their employee was accused of the
tortuous act
5. WON damages are proper in a breach contract
6. WON the transcribed testimony of Carrascoso
regarding the account made by the air-carriers purser is
admissible in evidence as hearsay
7. WON Carrascoso was entitled to exemplary damages
8. WON Carrascoso was entitled to attorneys fees
9. WON the amounts awarded to Carrascoso was
excessive
HELD
1. NO, NO
Ratio A decision is not to be so clogged with details
such that prolixity, if not confusion, may result. So long
as the decision of the Court of Appeals, contains the
necessary facts to warrant its conclusions, it. is no error
for said court to withhold therefrom "any specific
finding of facts with respect to the evidence for the
defense"."The mere failure to specify (in the decision)
the contentions of the appellant and the reasons for
refusing to believe them is not sufficient to hold the
same contrary to the requirements of the provisions of
law and the Constitution"; "only questions of law may
be raised" in an appeal by certiorari from a judgment of
the Court of Appeals.
Obiter.
- Constitution mandates that a judgment determining
the merits of the case shall state "clearly and
distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based"
and that "Every decision of the Court of Appeals
shall contain complete findings of fact on all issues
properly raised before".xxx The law, however, solely
insists that a decision state the "essential ultimate facts"
upon which the court's conclusion is drawn.
- FINDINGS OF FACT: "the written statement of the
ultimate facts as found by the court and essential to
support the decision and judgment rendered thereon".16
They consist of the court's "conclusions with respect to
the determinative facts in issue"
- QUESTION OF LAW: one which does not call for an
examination of the probative value of the evidence
presented by the parties

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2. YES, the plaintiff was issued, and paid for, a first


class ticket without any reservation whatever.
Ratio .A written document speaks a uniform language;
that spoken word could be notoriously unreliable. If
only to achieve stability in the relations between
passenger and air carrier, adherence to the ticket so
issued is desirable.
Reasoning
- Petitioner asserts that said ticket did not represent the
true and complete intent and agreement of the parties;
that said respondent knew that he did not have
confirmed reservations for first class on any specific
flight, although he had tourist class protection; that,
accordingly, the issuance of a first class ticket was no
guarantee that he would have a first class ride, but that
such would depend upon the availability of first class
seats. However, CA held that Air France should know
whether or not the tickets it issues are to be honored or
not. The trial court also accepted as evidence the written
documents submitted by Carrasco and even the
testimony of the air-carriers employees attested that
indeed, Carrasco was issued a first class ticket.
- If, as petitioner underscores, a first-class-ticket holder
is not entitled to a first class seat, notwithstanding the
fact that seat availability in specific flights is therein
confirmed, then an air passenger is placed in the hollow
of the hands of an airline.
-Also, when Carrascoso was asked to confirm his seat
in Bangkok, he was granted the first class seat. If
there had been no seat, and if the white man had a
better right to the seat, then why did they confirm
Carrasco his seat?
3. YES
Ratio. It is (therefore) unnecessary to inquire as to
whether or not there is sufficient averment in the
complaint to justify an award for moral damages.
Deficiency in the complaint, if any, was cured by the
evidence. An amendment thereof to conform to the
evidence is not even required.
Reasoning
- There was a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class
passage covering, amongst others, the BangkokTeheran leg; Second, said contract was breached when

prof. casis
petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at
Bangkok; and Third, there was bad faith when
petitioner's employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his
first class accommodation berth "after he was already
seated" and to take a seat in the tourist class, by reason
of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments
and humiliations, thereby causing him mental anguish,
serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social
humiliation, resulting in moral damages.
- Air France did not present evidence that the white
man made a prior reservation, nor proved that the
white man had better right over the seat; also, if
the managers actions could be justified, they should
have presented the manager to testify in court but they
did not do so
- The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from
enjoying his right to a first class seat; worse, he
imposed his arbitrary will; he forcibly ejected him from
his seat, made him suffer the humiliation of having to
go to the tourist class compartment-just to give way to
another passenger whose right thereto has not been
established. Certainly, this is bad faith. Unless, of
course, bad faith has assumed a meaning different from
what is understood in law. For, "bad faith"
contemplates a "state of mind affirmatively operating
with furtive design or with some motive of self-interest
or ill will or for ulterior purposes
4. YES
- The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act
of its employees need not. be essayed. For the willful
malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his
employer, must answer.
5. YES
- Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso, is one attended
with public duty. The stress of Carrascoso's. action as
we have said, is placed upon his wrongful expulsion.
This is a violation of public duty by the petitioner-air
carrier-a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper.
(note: it was held that it was a case of quasi-delict even
though it was a breach of contract)
Ratio
A contract to transport passengers is quite
different in kind and degree from any other contractual
relation.43 And is, because of the relation which an aircarrier sustains with the public. Its business is mainly

torts & damages


with the travelling public. It invites people to avail of
the comforts and I advantages it offers. The contract of
air carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended
with a public duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the
carrier's employees, naturally, could give ground for an
action for damages.
Reasoning
- Passengers do not contract merely for transportation.
They have a right to be treated by the carrier's
employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due
consideration. They are entitled to be protected against
personal misconduct, injurious language, indignities
and abuses from such employees. So it is, that any rude
or discourteous conduct on the part of employees
towards a passenger gives the latter an action for
damages against the carrier.
6. YES, if forms part of the res gestae
Ratio. Testimony of the entry does not come within the
proscription of the best evidence rule. Such testimony is
admissible.
- alsoFrom a reading of the transcript just quoted,
when the dialogue happened, the impact of the startling
occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The
excitement had not as yet died down. Statements then,
in this environment, are admissible as part of the res
gestae. For, they grow "out of the nervous excitement
and mental and physical condition of the declarant".
Reasoning
- Carrascoso testified that the purser of the air-carrier
made an entry in his notebooks reading "First class
passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against
his will, and that the captain refused to intervene". The
petitioner contents that it should not be admitted as
evidence, as it was only hearsay. However, the subject
of inquiry is not the entry, but the ouster incident. Also,
the said entry was made outside the Philippines and by
an employee of petitioner. It would have been easy for
Air France to contradict Carrascosos testimony if they
had presented the purser.
7. YES
Ratio The Civil Code gives the Court ample power to
grant exemplary damages-in contracts and quasicontracts. The only condition is that defendant should

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have "acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless,


oppressive, or malevolent manner".
Reasoning
- The manner of ejectment of respondent Carrascoso
from his first class seat fits into this legal precept
8. YES
Ratio. The grant of exemplary damages justifies a
similar Judgment for attorneys' fees. The least that can
be said is that the courts below felt that it is but just and
equitable that attorneys' fees be given.\
9. NO
Ratio. The task of fixing these amounts is primarily
with the trial court. The dictates of good sense suggest
that we give our imprimatur thereto. Because, the facts
and circumstances point to the reasonableness thereof.
DISPOSITION
On balance, we, say that the
judgment of the Court of Appeals does not suffer from
'reversible error. We accordingly vote to affirm the
same. Costs against petitioner.
PSBA V CA
[citation]
PADILLA; February 4, 1992
NATURE
Petition to review the decision of Court of Appeals.
FACTS
- A stabbing incident on August 30, 1985 which caused
the death of Carlitos Bautista on the premises of the
Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA)
prompted the parents of the deceased to file suit in the
Manila RTC. It was established that his assailants were
not members of the schools academic community but
were outsiders.
- The suit impleaded PSBA, its President, VP, Treasure,
Chief of Security and Assistant Chief of Security. It
sought to adjudge them liable for the victims death due
to their alleged negligence, recklessness and lack of
security precautions.
- Defendants (now petitioners) sought to have the suit
dismissed alleging that since they are presumably sued
under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, the complaint states
no cause of action against them since academic

prof. casis
institutions, like PSBA, are beyond the ambit of that
rule.
- Respondent Trial court denied the motion to dismiss.
And the MFR was similarly dealt with. Petitioners the
assailed the trial courts dispositions before the
respondent appellate court which affirmed the trial
courts ruling.
ISSUE
WON respondent court is correct in denying dismissal
of the case
HELD
Ratio Although a school may not be liable under Art.
2180 on quasi-delicts, it may still be liable under the
law on contracts.
Reasoning
- The case should be tried on its merits. But respondent
courts premise is incorrect. It is expressly mentioned in
Art. 2180 that the liability arises from acts done by
pupils or students of the institution. In this sense, PSBA
is not liable. But when an academic institution accepts
students for enrollment, the school makes itself
responsible in providing their students with an
atmosphere that is conducive for learning. Certainly, no
student can absorb the intricacies of physics or explore
the realm of arts when bullets are flying or where there
looms around the school premises a constant threat to
life and limb.
DISPOSITION the foregoing premises considered, the
petition is DENIED. The Court of origin is hereby
ordered to continue proceedings consistent wit this
ruling of the Court. Costs against the petitioners.
SYQUIA V CA (Mla Memorial Park)
217 SCRA 624
CAMPOS, JR.; January 27, 1993
NATURE
Petition for review of CA decision dismissing Syquia
familys complaint for damages against Manila
Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc. (Mla Memorial)

torts & damages


FACTS
- Juan SYQUIA, father of the deceased Vicente Syquia,
authorized and instructed the defendant to inter the
remains of deceased.
- After about a month, preparatory to transferring the
remains to a newly purchased family plot also at the
same cemetery, the concrete vault encasing the coffin of
the deceased was removed from its niche underground.
As the concrete vault was being raised to the surface,
the Syquias discovered that the vault had a hole approx
3 in. in diameter near the bottom and it appeared that
water drained out of the hole.
- Pursuant to an authority granted by the Municipal
Court of Paraaque, they caused the opening of the
concrete vault and discovered that:
(a) the interior walls showed evidence of total flooding;
(b) coffin was entirely damaged by water, filth and silt
causing the wooden parts to separate and to crack the
viewing glass panel located directly above the head and
torso of the deceased;
(c) entire lining of coffin, clothing of the deceased, and
the exposed parts of the deceased's remains were
damaged and soiled.
- SYQUIAS base their claim for damages against Mla
Memorial on either: (1) breach of its obligation to
deliver a defect-free concrete vault;
(2) gross negligence in failing to seal the concrete vault
(Art. 2176)
- Whatever kind of negligence it has committed, MLA
MEMORIAL is deemed to be liable for desecrating the
grave of the dead.
Trial Courts Ruling
- Contract between the parties did not guarantee that the
cement vault would be waterproof.
- No quasi-delict because the defendant was not guilty
of any fault or negligence, and because there was a preexisting contractual relation between the Syquias and
Mla Memorial.
- The father himself, Juan Syquia, chose the gravesite
despite knowing that said area had to be constantly
sprinkled with water to keep the grass green and that
water would eventually seep through the vault.
- The act of boring a hole in the vault was necessary so
as to prevent the vault from floating away.

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- PAGE 77 -

- CA affirmed judgment of dismissal; MFR was also


denied.
ISSUES
1. WON Mla Memorial breached its contract with
petitioners,
or alternatively
2. WON it can be liable for culpa aquiliana
HELD
1. NO
Ratio Parties are bound by the terms of their contract,
which is the law between them. A contracting party
cannot incur a liability more than what is expressly
specified in his undertaking. It cannot be extended by
implication, beyond the terms of the contract. (RCBC v
CA)
Reasoning
- They entered into a contract entitled "Deed of Sale
and Certificate of Perpetual Care." Mla Memorial
bound itself to provide the concrete box to be sent in the
interment.
- Rule 17 of the Rules and Regulations of MLA
MEMORIAL provides that: Every earth interment
shall be made enclosed in a concrete box, or in an outer
wall of stone, brick or concrete, the actual installment
of which shall be made by the employees of the
Association. Pursuant to this, a concrete vault was
installed and after the burial, the vault was covered by a
cement lid.
- Syquias claim that there was a breach of contract
because it was stated in the brochures that lot may hold
single or double internment underground in sealed
concrete vault."
- "Sealed" meant "closed." Standard dictionaries define
seal as any of various closures or fastenings that cannot
be opened without rupture and that serve as a check
against tampering or unauthorized opening.
- "Sealed" cannot be equated with "waterproof". When
the terms of the contract are clear and leave no doubt as
to the intention of the contracting parties, then the literal
meaning of the stipulation shall control.
2. NO

Ratio Negligence is defined by law as the "omission of


that diligence which is required by the nature of the
obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of
the persons, of the time and of the place." In the
absence of stipulation or legal provision providing the
contrary, the diligence to be observed in the
performance of the obligation is that which is expected
of a good father of a family.
Reasoning
- Although a pre-existing contractual relation between
the parties does not preclude the existence of a culpa
aquiliana, circumstances of the case do not show
negligence. The reason for the boring of the hole was
explained by Henry Flores, Interment Foreman, who
said that: When the vault was placed on the grave a
hole was placed on the vault so that water could come
into the vault because it was raining heavily then
because the vault has no hole the vault will float and the
grave would be filled with water.
- Private respondent has exercised the diligence of a
good father of a family in preventing the accumulation
of water inside the vault which would have resulted in
the caving in of earth around the grave. Finding no
evidence of negligence, there is no reason to award
damages.
Dispositive CA decision affirmed in toto.
NEGLIGENCE
PICART V SMITH
[citation]
STREET; March 15, 1918
NATURE
Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of La Union
FACTS
- On December 12, 1912, plaintiff was riding on his
pony over the Carlatan Bridge, at San Fernando, La
Union.
- Before he had gotten half way across, the defendant
approached from the opposite direction in an
automobile, going at the rate of about ten or twelve
miles per hour.

torts & damages


- As the defendant neared the bridge he saw the plaintiff
and blew his horn to give warning of his approach.
- He continued his course and after he had taken the
bridge, he gave two more successive blasts, as it
appeared to him that the man on horseback before him
was not observing the rule of the road.
- The plaintiff saw the automobile coming and heard the
warning signals.
- However, given the novelty of the apparition and the
rapidity of the approach, he pulled the pony closely up
against the railing on the right side of the bridge instead
of going to the left.
- He did this because he thought he did not have
sufficient time to get over to the other side.
- As the automobile approached, the defendant guided it
toward his left, that being the proper side of the road for
the machine.
- In so doing the defendant assumed that the horseman
would move to the other side.
- The pony had not as yet exhibited fright, and the rider
had made no sign for the automobile to stop.
- Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, the
defendant, instead of veering to the right while yet some
distance away or slowing down, continued to approach
directly toward the horse without diminution of speed.
- When he had gotten quite near, there being then no
possibility of the horse getting across to the other side,
the defendant quickly turned his car sufficiently to the
right to escape hitting the horse alongside of the railing
where it as then standing; but in so doing the
automobile passed in such close proximity to the animal
that it became frightened and turned its body across the
bridge with its head toward the railing.
- In so doing, it was struck on the hock of the left hind
leg by the flange of the car and the limb was broken.
- The horse fell and its rider was thrown off with some
violence.
- As a result of its injuries the horse died.
- The plaintiff received contusions which caused
temporary unconsciousness and required medical
attention for several days.
- CFI absolved defendant from liability
- Hence, the appeal

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ISSUE
WON the defendant, in maneuvering his car in the
manner above described, was guilty of negligence that
would give rise to a civil obligation to repair the
damage done
HELD
YES
- As the defendant started across the bridge, he had the
right to assume that the horse and the rider would pass
over to the proper side; but as he moved toward the
center of the bridge it was demonstrated to his eyes that
this would not be done; and he must in a moment have
perceived that it was too late for the horse to cross with
safety in front of the moving vehicle.
- In the nature of things this change of situation
occurred while the automobile was yet some distance
away; and from this moment it was no longer within the
power of the plaintiff to escape being run down by
going to a place of greater safety.
- The control of the situation had then passed entirely to
the defendant; and it was his duty either to bring his car
to an immediate stop or, seeing that there were no other
persons on the bridge, to take the other side and pass
sufficiently far away from the horse to avoid the danger
of collision.
- The defendant ran straight on until he was almost
upon the horse. He was, the court thinks, deceived into
doing this by the fact that the horse had not yet
exhibited fright.
- But in view of the known nature of horses, there was
an appreciable risk that, if the animal in question was
unacquainted with automobiles, he might get excited
and jump under the conditions which here confronted
him.
- When the defendant exposed the horse and rider to
this danger, he was, in our opinion, negligent in the
eye of the law.
- The test by which to determine the existence of
negligence in a particular case may be stated as
follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged
negligent act use that reasonable care and caution
which an ordinarily prudent person would have

prof. casis
used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence.
- The law here in effect adopts the standard supposed to
be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet
paterfamilias of the Roman law.
- The existence of negligence in a given case is not
determined by reference to the personal judgment of the
actor in the situation before him. The law considers
what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in
the man of ordinary intelligence and prudence and
determines liability by that.
- The question as to what would constitute the conduct
of a prudent man in a given situation must of course be
always determined in the light of human experience and
in view of the facts involved in the particular case.
Could a prudent man, in the case under
consideration, foresee harm as a result of the course
actually pursued? If so, it was the duty of the actor
to take precautions to guard against that harm.
Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by ignoring
of the suggestion born of this prevision, is always
necessary before negligence can be held to exist.
- Stated in these terms, the proper criterion for
determining the existence of negligence in a given case
is this: Conduct is said to be negligent when a
prudent man in the position of the tortfeasor would
have foreseen that an effect harmful to another was
sufficiently probable to warrant his foregoing
conduct or guarding against its consequences.
- Applying this test to the conduct of the defendant in
the present case, negligence is clearly established. A
prudent man, placed in the position of the defendant,
would have recognized that the course which he was
pursuing was fraught with risk, and would therefore
have foreseen harm to the horse and the rider as
reasonable consequence of that course. Under these
circumstances the law imposed on the defendant the
duty to guard against the threatened harm.
- The plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he
was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself
on the wrong side of the road. It will be noted however,
that the negligent acts of the two parties were not
contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant
succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an

torts & damages


appreciable interval. Under these circumstances the law
is that the person who has the last fair chance to
avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is
chargeable with the consequences, without reference
to the prior negligence of the other party.
DISPOSITION Appealed decision is reversed.
TAYLOR V MANILA RAILROAD
[citation]
CARSON; March 22, 1910
NATURE
An action to recover damages for the loss of an eye and
other injuries, instituted by David Taylor, a minor, by
his father, his nearest relative.
FACTS
- The defendant is a foreign corporation engaged in the
operation of a street railway and an electric light system
in the city of Manila. Its power plant is situated at the
eastern end of a small island in the Pasig River within
the city of Manila, known as the Isla del Provisor. The
power plant may be reached by boat or by crossing a
footbridge, impassable for vehicles, at the westerly end
of the island.
- The plaintiff, David Taylor, was at the same time when
he received the injuries complained of, 15 years of age,
the son of a mechanical engineer, more mature than the
average boy of his age, and having considerable
aptitude and training in mechanics.
- On the 30th of September, 1905, plaintiff, with a boy
named Manuel Claparols, about 12 years of age,
crossed the footbridge of the Isla del Provisor, for the
purpose of visiting one Murphy, an employee of the
defendant, who had promised to make them a cylinder
for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Mr.
Murphy was not in his quarters, the boys, impelled
apparently by youthful curiosity and perhaps by the
unusual interest which both seem to have taken in
machinery, spent some time in wandering about the
company's premises. The visit made on a Sunday
afternoon, and it does not appear that they saw or spoke
to anyone after leaving the power house where they had
asked for Mr. Murphy.

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- After watching the operation of the traveling crane


used in handling the defendant's coal, they walked
across the open space in the neighborhood of the place
where the company dumped the cinders and ashes from
its furnaces. Here they found some twenty or thirty
brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground. These
caps are approximately of the size and appearance of
small pistol cartridges and each has attached to it two
long thin wires by means of which it may be discharged
by the use of electricity. They are intended for use in the
explosion of blasting charges of dynamite, and have in
themselves considerable explosive power. After some
discussion as to the ownership of caps, and their right to
take them, the boys picked up all they could find, hung
them of a stick, of which each took one end, and carried
them home. After crossing the footbridge, they met a
little girl named Jessie Adrian, less than 9 years old, and
all three went to the home of the boy Manuel. The boys
then made a series of experiments with the caps. They
thrust the ends of the wires into an electric light socket
and obtained no result. They next tried to break the cap
with a stone and failed. Manuel looked for a hammer,
but could not find one. They then opened one of the
caps with a knife, and finding that it was filled with a
yellowish substance they got matches, and David held
the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the
contents. An explosion followed, causing more or less
serious injuries to all three. Jessie, who, when the boys
proposed purring a match to the contents of the cap,
became frightened and started to run away, received a
slight cut in the neck. Manuel had his hand burned and
wounded, and David was struck in the face by several
particles of the metal capsule, one of which injured his
right eye to such an extent as to necessitate its removal
by the surgeons who were called in to care for his
wounds.
- The Defendant Companys defense that the caps were
under the duty of independent contractors deserves
scant consideration since these workers have been
under the supervision of one of the companys foremen.
- Plaintiff Taylor appears to have rested his case, as did
the trial judge his decision in plaintiff's favor, upon the
provisions of article 1089 of the Civil Code read

prof. casis
together with articles 1902, 1903, and 1908 of that
Code.
- "ART. 1089.
Obligations are created by law, by
contracts, by quasicontracts, and by illicit acts and
omissions or by those in which any kind of fault or
negligence occurs."
- "ART. 1902.
Any person who by an act or
omission causes damage to another when there is fault
or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so
done.
- "ART. 1903.
The obligation imposed by the
preceding article is demandable, not only for personal
acts and omission, but also for those of the persons for
whom they should be responsible.
- "The father, and on his death or incapacity the mother,
is liable for the damages caused by the minors who
alive with them.
xxx
xxx
xxx
"Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprises
are equally liable for the damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the
latter may be employed or on account of their duties.
xxx
xxx
xxx
"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when
the persons mentioned therein prove that they employed
all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid
the damage."
- "ART. 1908.The owners shall be also be liable for the
damages caused "1.
By
the
explosion
of
machines which may not have been cared for with due
diligence, and for kindling of explosive substance
which may not have been placed in a safe and proper
place."
- In support of his contention, counsel for plaintiff
relied on the doctrine laid down in many of the courts
of last result in the United States in the cases known as
the "Torpedo" and "Turntable" cases, and the cases
based thereon.In the typical cases, the question involved
has been whether a railroad company is liable for an
injury received by an infant of tender years, who from
mere idle curiosity, or for purposes of amusement,
enters upon the railroad company's premises, at a place
where the railroad company's premises, at a place where
the railroad company knew, or had a good reason to

torts & damages


suppose, children who would likely to come, and there
found explosive signal torpedoes left exposed by the
railroad company's employees, one of which when
carried away by the visitor, exploded and injured him;
or where such infant found upon the premises a
dangerous machine, such as a turntable left in such
condition as to make it probable that children in playing
with it would be exposed to accident or injury
therefrom and where the infant did in fact suffer injury
in playing with such machine.
In these, and in a great variety of similar cases, the great
weight of authority holds the owner of the premises
liable.
- As laid down in Railroad Co. vs. Stout ( 17 Wall. (84
U.S.), 657), (wherein the principal question was
whether a railroad company was liable for an injury
received by an infant while upon its premises, from idle
curiosity, or for purposed of amusement, if such injury
was, under the circumstances, attributable to the
negligence of the company), the principles on which
these cases turn are that "while railroad company is not
bound to the same degree of care in regard to mere
strangers who are unlawfully upon its premises that it
owes to passengers conveyed by it, it is not exempt
from responsibility to such strangers for injuries arising
from its negligence or from its tortious acts;" and that
"the conduct of an infant of tender years is not to be
judged by the same rule which governs that of an adult.
While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that to
entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting
from the fault or negligence of another he must himself
have been free from fault, such is not the rule in regard
to an infant of tender years. The care and caution
required of a child is according to his maturity and
capacity only, and this is to be determined in such case
by the circumstances of the case."
- The doctrine of the case of Railroad Company vs.
Stout was vigorously controverted and sharply
criticized in severally state courts, saying that (1) That
the owner of land is not liable to trespassers thereon for
injuries sustained by them, not due to his wanton or
willful acts; (2) that no exception to this rule exists in
favor of children who are injured by dangerous
machinery naturally calculated to attract them to the

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premises; (3) that an invitation of license to cross the


premises of another can not be predicated on the mere
fact that no steps have been taken to interfere with such
practice; (4) that there is no difference between children
and adults of an invitation or a license to enter upon
another's premises. However, after an exhaustive and
critical analysis and review of may of the adjudged
cases, both English and America, formally declared that
it adhered "to the principles announced in the case of
Railroad Co. vs. Stout." Chief Justice Cooley, voicing
the opinion of the supreme court of Michigan, in the
case of Powers vs. Marlow, said that: Children,
wherever they go, must be expected to act upon
childlike instincts and impulses; and others who are
chargeable with a duty of care and caution toward them
must calculate upon this, and take precautions
accordingly. If they leave exposed to the observation of
children anything which would be tempting to them,
and which they in their immature judgment might
naturally suppose they were at liberty to handle or play
with, they should expect that liberty to be taken."
- The owners of premises, therefore, whereon things
attractive to children are exposed, or upon which the
public are expressively or impliedly permitted to enter
to or upon which the owner knows or ought to know
children are likely to roam about for pastime and in
play, "must calculate upon this, and take precautions
accordingly." In such cases the owner of the premises
can not be heard to say that because the child has
entered upon his premises without his express
permission he is a trespasser to whom the owner owes
no duty or obligation whatever. The owner's failure to
take reasonable precautions to prevent the child form
entering premises at a place where he knows or ought to
know that children are accustomed to roam about or to
which their childish instincts and impulses are likely to
attract them is at least equivalent to an implied license
to enter, and where the child does not enter under such
conditions the owner's failure to make reasonable
precaution to guard the child against the injury from
unknown or unseen dangers, placed upon such premises
by the owner, is clearly a breach of duty, a negligent
omission, for which he may and should be held
responsible, if the child is actually injured, without

prof. casis
other fault on its part than that it had entered on the
premises of a stranger without his express invitation or
permission. To hold otherwise would be expose to all
the children in the community to unknown perils and
unnecessary danger at the whim of the owners or
occupants of land upon which they might naturally and
reasonably be expected to enter.
ISSUE
1. WON the defendants negligence was the proximate
cause of the injuries, making the company liable
HELD
1. NO
- Just because the kids trespassed doesnt mean that the
company is not liable for anything bad that might
happen to them. However, we also have to look at the
proximate cause and the maturity of the plaintiff if it
was his negligence that contributed to the principal
occurrence of the tragedy. In the case at bar, the Court
said that it is of the opinion that under all the
circumstances of this case the negligence of the
defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises
was not the proximate cause of the injury received by
the plaintiff, which therefore was not, properly
speaking, "attributable to the negligence of the
defendant," and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that
plaintiff's action in cutting open the detonating cap and
putting a match to its contents was the proximate cause
of the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted
upon the plaintiff, and that the defendant, therefore, is
not civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred.
"While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that
entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting
from the fault or negligence of another he must himself
have been free from fault, such is not the rule in regard
to an infant of tender years. The care and caution
required of a child is according to his maturity and
capacity only, and this is to be determined in each case
by the circumstance of the case."
- As regards the maturity of the child, this has to be
examined on a case-to-case basis. In the case at bar,
plaintiff at the time of the accident was wellgrown
youth of 15, more mature both mentally and physically

torts & damages


than the average boy of his age; he had been to sea as a
cabin boy; was able to earn P2.50 a day as a mechanical
draftsman thirty days after the injury was incurred; and
the record discloses throughout that he was
exceptionally well qualified to take care. The evidence
of record leaves no room for doubt that, despite his
denials on the witness stands, he well knew the
explosive character of the cap with which he was
amusing himself. The series of experiments made by
him in his attempt to produce an explosion, as described
by the little girl who was present, admit of no other
explanation. His attempt to discharge the cap by the use
of electricity, followed by his efforts to explode it with a
stone or a hammer, and the final success of his
endeavors brought about by the applications of a match
to the contents of the cap, show clearly that he knew
what he was about. Nor can there be any reasonable
doubt that he had reason to anticipate that the explosion
might be dangerous, in view of the fact that the little
girl, 9 years of age, who was with him at the time when
he put the match to the contents of the cap, became
frightened and ran away.
- We think it is quite clear that under the doctrine thus
stated, the immediate cause of the explosion , the
accident which resulted in plaintiff's injury, was his own
act of putting a match to the contents of the cap, and
that having "contributed to the principal occurrence, as
one of its determining factors, he can not recover."
DISPOSITION The petition is DISMISSED.
JARCO MARKETING CORP V CA (AGUILAR)
DAVIDE; December 21, 1999
FACTS
- Petitioner Jarco Marketing Corporation is the owner of
Syvel's Department Store, Makati City. Petitioners
Leonardo Kong, Jose Tiope and Elisa Panelo are the
store's branch manager, operations manager, and
supervisor, respectively. Private respondents are
spouses and the parents of Zhieneth Aguilar.
- On May 9, 1983, Criselda and Zhieneth were at the 2 nd
flr or Syvels Dept. Store. Criselda momentarily let go
of her daughters hand to sign her credit card slip at the
payment and verification counter. She suddenly felt a

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gust of wind and heard a loud thud. She looked behind


her and saw her daughter on the floor, pinned by the
gift-wrapping counter. Zhieneth was crying and
screaming for help. Criselda was able to ask people to
help her and bring her daughter to the hospital.
- She was operated on immediately at the hospital.
Gonzales, a former employee of Syvels Dept Store
who helped bring Zhieneth to the hospital, heard her tell
the doctor that she nothing. I did not come near the
counter and the counter just fell on me, when asked
what did you do? She died 14 days later, on the
hospital bed. She was 6 years old. The cause of her
death was attributed to the injuries she sustained.
- After the burial of their daughter, the Aguilars
demanded from the petitioners the reimbursement of
hospital and medical bills, and wake and funeral
expenses. Petitioners refused to pay. So the Aguilars
filed a complaint for damages wherein they sought the
payment of P157,522.86 for actual damages, P300,000
for moral damages, P20,000 for attorney's fees and an
unspecified amount for loss of income and exemplary
damages.
- RTC for Jarco Marketing Corp, et al. RTC mfr for
the Aguilars. CA and CA mfr for the Aguilars.
- Jarco Mktg Corp, et als side:
Criselda
was
negligent in taking care of her daughter for allowing her
to roam freely. Zhieneth was guilty of contributory
negligence because she tried to climb the counter. The
counter was made of sturdy wood with a strong base
and was used without incident for the past 15 years. It
was deliberately placed at a corner to avoid such
accidents. The testimony of two former employees,
Gonzales and Guevarra, should not be believed because
he might have ill feelings towards petitioners. The
testimony of the present employees (that Zhieneth
climbed the counter so it fell) should instead be
believed.
- The Aguilars side:
While in the dept store,
Criselda never let go of her daughter except to sign the
credit card slip. Gonzales testified that the gift wrapping
counter was right beside the verification counter where
Criselda was signing. Both Gonzales and Guevarra
testified to the structural instability and shakiness of the
counter which is in the shape of and inverted L, with

prof. casis
a base smaller than the top. The protruding part of the
counter was at the costumer side. They both had
informed management (while they were still working
there) that the counter should be nailed to the floor. The
management did nothing.
ISSUE
1. WON the incident is accident or attributable to
negligence
2. If negligence, who was negligent?
HELD
1. NEGLIGENCE.
- An accident pertains to an unforeseen event in which
no fault or negligence attaches to the defendant. It is "a
fortuitous circumstance, event or happening; an event
happening without any human agency, or if happening
wholly or partly through human agency, an event which
under the circumstances is unusual or unexpected by the
person to whom it happens."
- On the other hand, negligence is the omission to do
something which a reasonable man, guided by those
considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of
human affairs, would do, or the doing of something
which a prudent and reasonable man would not do.
Negligence is "the failure to observe, for the protection
of the interest of another person, that degree of care,
precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly
demand, whereby such other person suffers injury."
- Accident and negligence are intrinsically
contradictory; one cannot exist with the other. Accident
occurs when the person concerned is exercising
ordinary care, which is not caused by fault of any
person and which could not have been prevented by any
means suggested by common prudence.
- The test in determining the existence of negligence is
enunciated in the landmark case of Picart v. Smith, thus:
Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use
that reasonable care and caution which an ordinary
prudent person would have used in the same situation?
If not, then he is guilty of negligence.
- Gonzales testimony about what Zhieneth said to the
doctor should be accepted because at the time she said
it, she was in so much pain and she answered right

torts & damages


away. This means she wasnt making it up. It is
axiomatic that matters relating to declarations of pain or
suffering and statements made to a physician are
generally considered declarations and admissions. All
that is required for their admissibility as part of the res
gestae is that they be made or uttered under the
influence of a startling event before the declarant had
the time to think and concoct a falsehood as witnessed
by the person who testified in court. Under the
circumstances thus described, it is unthinkable for
ZHIENETH, a child of such tender age and in extreme
pain, to have lied to a doctor whom she trusted with her
life. We therefore accord credence to Gonzales'
testimony on the matter, i.e., ZHIENETH performed no
act that facilitated her tragic death. Sadly, petitioners
did, through their negligence or omission to secure or
make stable the counter's base.
2. JARCO MKTG, ET AL.
- Petitioner Panelo and another store supervisor were
personally informed of the danger posed by the unstable
counter. Yet, neither initiated any concrete action to
remedy the situation nor ensure the safety of the store's
employees and patrons as a reasonable and ordinary
prudent man would have done. Thus, as confronted by
the situation petitioners miserably failed to discharge
the due diligence required of a good father of a family.
No contributory negligence from Zhieneth
- The conclusive presumption favors children below
nine (9) years old in that they are incapable of
contributory negligence. In our jurisdiction, a person
under nine years of age is conclusively presumed to
have acted without discernment, and is, on that account,
exempt from criminal liability. The same presumption
and a like exemption from criminal liability obtains in a
case of a person over nine and under fifteen years of
age, unless it is shown that he has acted with
discernment. Since negligence may be a felony and a
quasi-delict and required discernment as a condition of
liability, either criminal or civil, a child under nine
years of age is, by analogy, conclusively presumed to be
incapable of negligence; and that the presumption of
lack of discernment or incapacity for negligence in the
case of a child over nine but under fifteen years of age
is a rebuttable one, under our law. The rule, therefore, is

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that a child under nine years of age must be


conclusively presumed incapable of contributory
negligence as a matter of law. (Sangco)
- Even if we attribute contributory negligence to
ZHIENETH and assume that she climbed over the
counter, no injury should have occurred if we accept
petitioners' theory that the counter was stable and
sturdy. For if that was the truth, a frail six-year old
could not have caused the counter to collapse. The
physical analysis of the counter by both the trial court
and Court of Appeals and a scrutiny of the evidence on
record reveal that it was not durable after all. Shaped
like an-inverted "L" the counter was heavy, huge, and
its top laden with formica. It protruded towards the
customer waiting area and its base was not secured.
No contributory negligence from Criselda
- CRISELDA too, should be absolved from any
contributory negligence. Initially, ZHIENETH held on
to CRISELDA's waist, later to the latter's hand.
CRISELDA momentarily released the child's hand from
her clutch when she signed her credit card slip. At this
precise moment, it was reasonable and usual for
CRISELDA to let go of her child. Further, at time
ZHIENETH was pinned down by the counter, she was
just a foot away from her mother; and the gift-wrapping
counter was just four meters away from CRISELDA.
The time and distance were both significant.
ZHIENETH was near her mother and did not loiter as
petitioners would want to impress upon us. She even
admitted to the doctor who treated her at the hospital
that she did not do anything; the counter just fell on her.
Disposition The instant petition is DENIED and the
challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby
AFFIRMED
MAGTIBAY V TIANGCO
74 Phil 756
BOCOBO; February 28, 1944
NATURE
Appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance
Batangas
FACTS

prof. casis
- Defendant-appellant Tiangco, a minor under 18 years
of age, pleaded guilty to an information for homicide
through reckless negligence in that he had recklessly
driven an automobile and thereby caused the death of
Magtibay, of whom plaintiffs-appellees are the lawful
heirs. The Court of First Instance (CFI) Batangas found
Tiangco guilty as charged, but as he was under 18 years
of age, the sentence was suspended, and he was
committed to the care and custody of Atty. Abaya, until
Tiangco would reach his majority, subject to the
supervision of the Superintendent of Public Schools of
the Province. Subsequently, Abaya, in view of
Tiangcos good conduct recommended the dismissal of
the case. The CFI dismissed the criminal case, but
reserved such right as the heirs of the deceased might
have to recover damages in a civil action against said
Tiangco. Accordingly, the civil action in the instant case
was filed against defendant-appellant for damages in
the sum of P2,000 for the death of Magtibay. The CFI
gave judgment for plaintiffs for P2,000 as damages.
Hence this appeal.
ISSUE
WON the suspension of the sentence under Art. 80 of
the RPC, after appellant had pleaded guilty, exonerated
him from the crime charged
HELD
NO
- The suspension of the sentence under Art.80 of the
Revised Penal Code, after appellant herein had pleaded
guilty, did not wipe out his guilt, but merely put off the
imposition of the corresponding penalty, in order to
give the delinquent minor a chance to be reformed.
When, therefore, after he had observed good conduct,
the criminal case was dismissed, this did not mean that
he was exonerated from the crime charged, but simply
that he would suffer no penalty. Nor did such dismissal
of the criminal case obliterate his civil liability for
damages. Liability of an infant for his torts is imposed
as a mode, not of punishment, but of compensation. If
property has been destroyed or other loss occasioned by
a wrongful act, it is just that the loss should upon the
estate of the wrongdoer rather than that of a guiltless

torts & damages


person, and that without reference to the question of
moral guilt. Consequently, for every tortuous act of
violence or other pure tort, the infant tort-feasor is liable
in a civil action to the injured person in the same
manner and to the same extent as an adult.
DISPOSITION Judgment affirmed.
DEL ROSARIO V MANILA ELECTRIC CO.
57 PHIL 478
STREET; November 5, 1932
FACTS
***This action was instituted by Julian del Rosario for
the purpose of recovering damages from Meralco for
the death of his son, Alberto, resulting from a shock
from a wire used by the defendant for the transmission
of electricity.
- Aug 4, 1930 2pm: a wire used by the defendant on
Dimas- Alang St for the purpose of conducting
electricity used in lighting the City of Manila and its
suburbs.
- Jose Noguera saw that the wire was burning and its
connections smoking. One of the ends of the wire fell to
the ground among some shrubbery close to the way.
- As soon as Noguera took cognizance of the trouble, he
stepped into a garage which was located nearby and
asked Jose Soco to telephone the Malabon station of
MERALCO that an electrical wire was burning at that
place.
- Soco transmitted the message at 2.25 p.m. and
received answer from the station to the effect that they
would send an inspector.
- At the time that message was sent the wire had not yet
parted, but from the testimony of Demetrio Bingao, one
of the witnesses for the defense, it is clear that the end
of the wire was on the ground shortly after 3 p.m.
- At 4 p. m. the neighborhood school was dismissed and
the children went home.
- Alberto del Rosario, 9 yrs old, who was a few paces
ahead of his classmates, Jose Salvador and Saturnino
Endrina, all members of the second grade in the public
school.
- As the three neared the place where the wire was
down, Saturnino made a motion as if it touch it.

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- Jose, who happened to be the son of an electrician,


knew never to touch a broken electrical wire (as his dad
told him so!)- stopped Saturnino- telling him that the
wire might be charged.
- Saturnino yielded to this admonition and stopped, but
Alberto, who was somewhat ahead, said, I have for
some time been in the habit of touching wires.
- Jose rejoined that he should into touch wires as they
carry a current, but Alberto, no doubt feeling that he
was challenged in the matter, put out his index finger
and touch the wire.
- He immediately fell face downwards, exclaiming "Ay!
madre".
- The end of the wire remained in contact with his body
which fell near the post.
- A crowd soon collected, and some one cut the wire
and disengaged the body. Upon being taken to St.
Luke's Hospital the child was pronounced dead.
- The wire was an ordinary number 6 triple braid
weather proof wire, such as is commonly used by the
defendant company for the purpose of conducting
electricity for lighting.
- The wire was cased in the usual covering, but this had
been burned off for some distance from the point where
the wire parted.
- The engineer of the company says that it was
customary for the company to make a special inspection
of these wires at least once in six months, and that all
of the company's inspectors were required in their
daily rounds to keep a lookout for trouble of this
kind.
- There is nothing in the record indicating any particular
cause for the parting of the wire.l
ISSUE
WON Manila Electric is liable
HELD
YES
Reasoning
- When notice was received at the Malabon station at
2.25 p. m., somebody should have been dispatched to
the scene of the trouble at once, or other measures taken
to guard the point of danger; but more than an 1

prof. casis
hours passed before anyone from MERALCO appeared
on the scene, and in the meantime Alberto had been
claimed as a victim.
- The mere fact that the deceased ignored the caution of
Jose (8 yrs old), doesnt alter the case.
- But even supposing that contributory negligence could
in some measure be properly imputed to the deceased,
such negligence would not be wholly fatal to the right
of action in this case, not having been the determining
cause of the accident. (Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and
Pacific Co., 7 Phil., 359.)
- With respect to the amount of damages recoverable,
Julian is entitled to recover P250 for expenses incurred
in connection with the death and burial of the boy.
- Citing Astudillo vs. Manila Electric Company: Julian
should recover the sum of P1,000 as general damages
for loss of service.
Disposition judgment reversed
SEPARATE OPINION
ABAD SANTOS [concur in part and dissent in part]
- He concurs that MERALCO is held liable for the
death of Alberto, but dissents in so far as the decision
allows the recovery of the father of the sum of P1,250
only as damages. It should be P 2250.
- His reasoning: It is well settled in this jurisdiction that
an action will lie to recover damages for death caused
by the wrongful act. (Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil.,
821.)
- In criminal cases- indemnity to the heirs of the
deceased is equivalent to P1,000
- Whatever may be the reasons for the rule followed in
criminal cases, I am of the opinion that those reasons do
not obtain in fixing the amount of the damages
recoverable in the present case.
- The indemnity allowed in criminal case is merely
incidental to the main object sought, which is the
punishment of the guilty party.
- In a civil action, the principal object is the recovery
of damages for wrongful death; and where, as in this
case, the defendant is a corporation, not subject to
criminal prosecution for the act complained of, the
question assumes a vastly different aspect.

torts & damages


- There should be a distinction between the civil
liability of an ordinary person who, by wrongful act,
has caused the death of another; and the civil liability of
a corporation, organized primarily for profit, which has
caused the death of a person by failure to exercise due
care in the prosecution of its business.
- The liability of such a corporation for damages must
be regarded as a part of the risks which it assumes when
it undertakes to promote its own business; and just as it
is entitled to earn adequate profits from its business, so
it should be made adequately to compensate those who
have suffered damage by its negligence.
YLARDE V AQUINO
[citation]
GANCAYCO; July 29, 1988
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- Soriano was principal.
Aquino was a
teacher.
The school was littered with
concrete blocks.
Teacher Banez started
burying them. Aquino gathered 18 male
pupils to help. He ordered them to dig.
Work was unfinished.
- Ff day, Aquino called 4 of the 18 to
continue. Aquino continued digging while
the pupils remained inside the pit throwing
out the loose soil. Aquino left the children
to level the loose soil and borrowed a key
from Banez. Aquino told the kids not to
touch the stone.
- 3 of the 4 kids jumped into the pit. The
remaining Abaga jumped on the concrete
block causing it to slide down. 2 were able
to escape but student Ylarde sustained
injuries. 3 days later he died.
Parents filed suit against Aquino and
Soriano. Lower court dismissed and CA
affirmed and said child Ylarde was
negligent.

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ISSUE
WON Aquino and Soriano can be held liable for
damages
HELD
- Principal Soriano cannot be held liable, being head of
academic school and not school of arts and trades, in
line with Amadora case and Art 2180 of Civil Code. It
is only the teacher who should answer for torts
committed by their students. Besides, Soriano did not
order the digging.
- Based on Article 2180, Aquino can be held liable.
However, petition is based on Article 2176. Did the
acts/omissions of Aquino cause the death of Ylarde?
Yes. He is liable for damages. The work required adult
laborers. He required the children to remain in the pit
after they finished digging. He ordered them to level
the soil when a huge stone was at brink of falling. He
went to another place and left the kids.
- Left by themselves, IT WAS BUT NATURAL FOR
THE CHILDREN TO PLAY AROUND. IN RULING
THAT YLARDE WAS IMPRUDENT, THE LOWER
COURT DID NOT CONSIDER HIS AGE AND
MATURITY. A MINOR SHOULD NOT BE HELD
TO THE SAME DEGREE OF CARE AS AN ADULT.
- Aquino also said the digging was part of Work
Education.
This is unacceptable.
Work is too
dangerous and it was not even in the lesson plan.
CULION ICE, FISH AND ELECTRIC CO V
PHILIPPINE MOTORS CORPORATION
[citation]
STREET; November 3, 1930
NATURE
Appeal from decision of the CFI
FACTS
- Cranston was the representative of the plaintiff in
Manila and plaintiff was the registered owner of the
motor schooner Gwendoline.
- Cranston decided to have the engine on the
Gwendoline changed from a gasoline consumer to a

prof. casis
crude oil burner. He had a conference with Quest, Phil.
Motors manager, who agreed to do the job, with the
understanding that payment should be made upon
completion of the work.
- The work was begun and conducted under the
supervision of Quest, chiefly by a mechanic whom
Quest took with him to the boat. Quest had the
assistance of the members of the crew of the
Gwendoline, who had been directed by Cranston to
place themselves under Quest's directions.
- Upon preliminary inspection of the engine, Quest
concluded that a new carburetor was needed and thus
installed a Zenith carburetor. The engine was tried with
gasoline and the result was satisfactory. The next
problem was to introduce into the carburetor the baser
fuel, consisting of a low grade of oil mixed with
distillate. A temporary tank to contain the mixture was
placed on deck above and at a short distance from the
compartment covering the engine. This tank was
connected with the carburetor by a piece of tubing,
which was apparently not well fitted at the point where
it was connected with the tank. The fuel mixture leaked
from the tank and dripped sown into the engine
compartment. The new fuel line and that already in use
between the gasoline tank and carburetor were so fixed
that it was possible to change from the gasoline fuel to
the mixed fuel. This arrangement enables the operator
to start the engine on gasoline and then, after the engine
had been operating for a few moments, to switch to the
new fuel supply.
- It was observed that the carburetor was flooding, and
that the gasoline, or other fuel, was trickling freely from
the lower part to the carburetor to the floor. This fact
was called to Quest's attention, but he said that, when
the engine had gotten to running well, the flooding
would disappear.
- The boat was taken out into the bay for a trial run. The
engine stopped a few times during the first part of the
course, owing to the use of an improper mixture of fuel.
In the course of the trial, Quest remained outside of the
engine compartment and occupied himself with making
distillate, with a view to ascertaining what proportion of
the two elements would give best results in the engine.

torts & damages


- As the boat was coming in from this run, the engine
stopped, and connection again had to be made with the
gasoline line to get a new start. After this had been done
the mechanic, or engineer, switched to the tube
connecting with the new mixture. A moment later a
back fire occurred in the cylinder chamber. This caused
a flame to shoot back into the carburetor, and instantly
the carburetor and adjacent parts were covered with a
mass of flames, which the members of the crew were
unable to subdue. The salvage from, the wreck, when
sold, brought only the sum of P150. The value of the
boat, before the accident occured, as the court found,
was P10,000.
- CFI gave judgment in favor of the plaintiff to recover
of the defendant the sum of P9,850, with interest at 6
per centum per annum from the date of the filing of the
complaint, until satisfaction of the judgment, with costs.
ISSUE
WON the loss of the boat is chargeable to the
negligence and lack of skill of Quest
HELD
YES
Ratio When a person holds himself out as being
competent to do things requiring professional skill, he
will be held liable for negligence if he fails to exhibit
the care and skill of one ordinarily skilled in the
particular work which he attempts to do.
Reasoning
- The temporary tank in which the mixture was
prepared was apparently at too great an elevation from
the carburetor, so that when the fuel line was opened,
the hydrostatic pressure in the carburetor was greater
than the delicate parts of the carburetor could sustain.
This was the cause of the flooding of the carburetor;
and the result was that; when the back fire occurred, the
external parts of the carburetor, already saturated with
gasoline, burst into flames, whence the fire was quickly
communicated to the highly inflammable material nearby. The leak along the pipe line and the flooding of the
carburetor had created a dangerous situation, which a
prudent mechanic, versed in repairs of this nature,
would have taken precautions to avoid. The back fire

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may have been due either to the fact that the spark was
too advanced or the fuel improperly mixed.
- Proof shows that Quest had had ample experience in
fixing the engines of automobiles and tractors, but it
does not appear that he was experienced in the doing of
similar work on boats. Possibly the dripping of the
mixture form the tank on deck and the flooding of the
carburetor did not convey to his mind an adequate
impression of the danger of fire. Quest did not use the
skill that would have been exhibited by one ordinarily
expert in repairing gasoline engines on boats. There was
here, on the part of Quest, a blameworthy antecedent
inadvertence to possible harm, and this constitutes
negligence. The burning of the Gwendoline may be said
to have resulted from accident, but this accident was in
no sense an unavoidable accident. It would not have
occured but for Quest's carelessness or lack of skill. The
test of liability is not whether the injury was accidental
in a sense, but whether Quest was free from blame.
- The trial judge seems to have proceeded on the idea
that, inasmuch as Quest had control of the Gwendoline
during the experimental run, the defendant corporation
was in the position of a bailee and that, as a
consequence, the burden of proof was on the defendant
to exculpate itself from responsibility by proving that
the accident was not due to the fault of Quest. As a rule
workmen who make repairs on a ship in its owner's
yard, or a mechanic who repairs a coach without taking
it to his shop, are not bailees, and their rights and
liabilities are determined by the general rules of law,
under their contract. The true bailee acquires possession
and what is usually spoken of as special property in the
chattel bailed. As a consequence of such possession and
special property, the bailee is given a lien for his
compensation. These ideas seem to be incompatible
with the situation now under consideration.
- This action was instituted about two years after the
accident had occured, and after Quest had ceased to be
manager and had gone back to the US. Upon these
facts, the defendant bases the contention that the action
should be considered stale. It is sufficient reply to say
that the action was brought within the period limited by
the statute of limitations and the situation is not one
where the defense of laches can be properly invoked.

prof. casis
DISPOSITION Judgment appealed from affirmed.
UNITED STATES V PINEDA
37 Phil 456
MALCOLM; January 22, 1918
NATURE
Appeal requiring a construction and an application, for
the first time, of the penal provisions of the Pharmacy
Law.
FACTS
- Santiago Pineda is a registered pharmacist of long
standing and the owner of a drug store located at Calle
Santo Cristo, Manila. Feliciano Santos, having some
sick horses, presented a copy of a prescription obtained
from Dr. Richardson, and which on other occasions
Santos had given to his horses with good results, at
Pineda's drug store for filling. The prescription read:
"clorato de potasa - 120 gramos - en seis papelitos de
20 gramos, para caballo." Under the supervision of
Pineda, the prescription was prepared and returned to
Santos in the form of six papers marked, "Botica Pineda
- Clorato potasa - 120.00 - en seis papeles - Para
caballo- Sto. Cristo , Binondo, Manila." Santos, under
the belief that he had purchased the potassium chlorate
which he had asked for, put two of the packages in
water and gave the doses to two of his sick horses.
Another package was mixed with water for another
horse, but was not used. The two horses, to which had
been given the preparation, died shortly afterwards.
Santos, thereupon, took the three remaining packages to
the Bureau of Science for examination. Drs. Pea and
Darjuan, of the Bureau of Science, found that the
packages contained not potassium chlorate but barium
chlorate. At the instance of Santos, the two chemists
also went to the drug store of the defendant and bought
potassium chlorate, which when analyzed was found to
be barium chlorate. (Barium chlorate, it should be
noted, is a poison; potassium chlorate is not.) Dr.
Buencamino, a veterinarian, performed an autopsy on
the horses, and found that death was the result of
poisoning.

torts & damages


ISSUES
1. WON the lower court erred in admitting the
testimony of the chemist Pea and Darjuan as to their
purchase of potassium chlorate at the drug store of the
accused, which proved to be barium chlorate
2. WON the lower court erred in finding that the
substance sold by the accused to Feliciano Santos was
barium chlorate and not potassium chlorate
3. WON the lower court erred in finding that the
accused has been proved guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt of an infraction of the Pharmacy Law, Act No.
597, section 17, as amended
HELD
1. NO
Ratio On the trial of a criminal case where the question
relates to the tendency of certain testimony to throw
light upon a particular fact, or to explain the conduct of
a particular person, there is a certain discretion on the
part of the trial judge which a court of errors will not
interfere with, unless it manifestly appear that the
testimony has no legitimate bearing upon the question
at issue, and is calculated to prejudice the accused.
Reasoning
- What appellant is relying on is the maxim res inter
alios acta. As a general rule, the evidence of other
offenses committed by a defendant is inadmissible. But
appellant has confused this maxim and this rule with
certain exceptions thereto. The effort is not to convict
the accused of a second offense. Nor is there an
attempt to draw the mind away from the point at issue
and thus to prejudice defendant's case. The purpose is
to ascertain defendant's knowledge and intent, and to
fix his negligence. If the defendant has on more than
one occasion performed similar acts, accident in good
faith is possibly excluded, negligence is intensified and
fraudulent intent may even be established. It has been
said that there is no better evidence of negligence than
the frequency of accidents.
2. NO
Reasoning The proof demonstrates the contrary.
3. NO

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Ratio In view of the tremendous and imminent danger


to the public from the careless sale of poisons and
medicines, we do not deem it too rigid a rule to hold
that the law penalizes any druggist who shall sell one
drug for another whether it be through negligence or
mistake.
Reasoning
- The care required must be commensurate with the
danger involved, and the skill employed must
correspond with the superior knowledge of the business
which the law demands.
- Turning to the law, certain points therein as bearing on
our present facts must be admitted. Thus, defendant is a
pharmacist. As a pharmacist, he is made responsible for
the quality of all drugs and poisons which he sells. And
finally it is provided that it shall be unlawful for him to
sell any drug or poison under any "fraudulent name." It
is the word "fraudulent" which has given the court
trouble. What did the Legislature intend to convey by
this restrictive adjective?
- Were we to adhere to the technical definition of fraud
it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convict any
druggist of a violation of the law. The prosecution
would have to prove to a reasonable degree of certainty
that the druggist made a material representation; that it
was false; that when he made it he knew that it was
false or made it recklessly without any knowledge of its
truth and as a positive assertion; that he made it with the
intention that it should be acted upon by the purchaser;
that the purchaser acted in reliance upon it, and that the
purchaser suffered injury. Such a construction with a
literal following of well-known principles on the
subject of fraud would strip the law of at least much of
its force. It would leave the innocent purchaser of
drugs, who must blindly trust in the good faith and
vigilance of the pharmacist, at the mercy of any
unscrupulous vendor. We should not, therefore, without
good reason so devitalize the law.
- The rule of caveat emptor cannot apply to the
purchase and sale of drugs. The vendor and the vendee
do not stand at arms length as in ordinary transactions.
An imperative duty is on the druggist to take
precautions to prevent death or serious injury to anyone
who relies on his absolute honesty and peculiar

prof. casis
learning. The nature of drugs is such that examination
would not avail the purchaser any thing. It would be
idle mockery for the customer to make an examination
of a compound of which he can know nothing.
Consequently, it must be that the druggist warrants that
he will deliver the drug called for.
- Remembering particularly the care and skill which are
expected of druggists, that in some jurisdictions they
are liable even for their mistake and in others have the
burden placed upon them to establish that they were not
negligent, it cannot be that the Philippine Legislature
intended to use the word "fraudulent" in all its
strictness. A plea of accident and mistake cannot excuse
for they cannot take place unless there be wanton and
criminal carelessness and neglect. How the misfortune
occurs is unimportant, if under all the circumstances the
fact of occurrence is attributable to the druggist as a
legal fault. Rather considering the responsibility for the
quality of drugs which the law imposes on druggists
and the position of the word "fraudulent" in
juxtaposition to "name," what is made unlawful is the
giving of a false name to the drug asked for. This view
is borne out by the Spanish translation, which we are
permitted to consult to explain the English text. In the
Spanish "supuesto" is used, and this word is certainly
not synonymous with "fraudulent." The usual badges of
fraud, falsity, deception, and injury must be present but not scienter.
Dispositive Judgment of the lower court, sentencing the
defendant to pay a fine of P100, with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the
costs, is affirmed with the costs of this instance against
the appellant, without prejudice to any civil action
which may be instituted.
BPI V CA
216 SCRA 51
GUTIERREZ; November 26, 1992
FACTS
- In the afternoon of October 9, 1981, a person
purporting to be Eligia G. Fernando, who had a money
market placement as evidenced by a promissory note
with a maturity date of November 11, 1981 and a

torts & damages


maturity value of P2,462,243.19, called BPI's Money
Market Department. The caller wanted to preterminate
the placement, but Reginaldo Eustaquio, Dealer Trainee
in BPI's Money Market Department, told her "trading
time" was over for the day, which was a Friday, and
suggested that she call again the following week. The
promissory note the caller wanted to preterminate was a
roll-over of an earlier 50-day money market placement
that had matured on September 24, 1981.
- Later that afternoon, Eustaquio conveyed the request
for pretermination to the officer who before had
handled Eligia G. Fernando's account, Penelope Bulan,
but Eustaquio was left to attend to the pretermination
process.
- On October 12, 1981, the caller of the previous Friday
followed up with Eustaquio, merely by phone again, on
the pretermination of the placement. Although not
familiar with the voice of the real Eligia G. Fernando,
Eustaquio "made certain" that the caller was the real
Eligia G. Fernando by "verifying" that the details the
caller gave about the placement tallied with the details
in "the ledger/folder" of the account. Eustaquio knew
the real Eligia G. Fernando to be the Treasurer of
Philippine American Life Insurance Company
(Philamlife) since he was handling Philamlife's
corporate money market account. But neither Eustaquio
nor Bulan who originally handled Fernando's account,
nor anybody else at BPI, bothered to call up Fernando
at her Philamlife office to verify the request for
pretermination.
- Informed that the placement would yield less than the
maturity value because of its pretermination, the caller
insisted on the pretermination just the same and asked
that two checks be issued for the proceeds, one for
P1,800,000.00 and the second for the balance, and that
the checks be delivered to her office at Philamlife.
Eustaquio, thus, proceeded to prepare the "purchase
order slip" for the requested pretermination as required
by office procedure, and from his desk, the papers,
following the processing route, passed through the
position analyst, securities clerk, verifier clerk and
documentation clerk, before the two cashier's checks,
nos. 021759 and 021760 for P1,800,000.00 and
P613,215.16, respectively, both payable to Eligia G.

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- PAGE 77 -

Fernando, covering the preterminated placement, were


prepared. The two cashier's checks, together with the
papers consisting of the money market placement was
to be preterminated and the promissory note (No.
35623) to be preterminated, were sent to Gerlanda E. de
Castro and Celestino Sampiton, Jr., Manager and
Administrative Assistant, respectively, in BPI's Treasury
Operations Department, both authorized signatories for
BPI, who signed the two checks that very morning.
Thereafter, the checks went to the dispatcher for
delivery.
- Later in the same morning, however, the same caller
changed the delivery instructions; instead of the checks
being delivered to her office at Philamlife, she would
herself pick up the checks or send her niece, Rosemarie
Fernando, to pick them up. Eustaquio then told her that
if it were her niece who was going to get the checks, her
niece would have to being a written authorization from
her to pick up the checks. This telephone conversation
ended with the caller's statement that "definitely" it
would be her niece, Rosemarie Fernando, who would
pick up the checks. Thus, Eustaquio had to hurriedly go
to the dispatcher, Bernardo Laderas, to tell him of the
new delivery instructions for the checks; in fact, he
changed the delivery instruction on the purchase order
slip, writing thereon "Rosemarie Fernando release only
with authority to pick up.
- It was, in fact Rosemarie Fernando who got the two
checks from the dispatcher, as shown by the delivery
receipt. As it turned out, the same person impersonated
both Eligia G. Fernando and Rosemarie Fernando.
Although the checks represented the termination
proceeds of Eligia G. Fernando's placement, not just a
roll-over of the placement, the dispatcher failed to get
or to require the surrender of the promissory note
evidencing the placement. There is also no showing that
Eligia G. Fernando's purported signature on the letter
requesting the pretermination and the latter authorizing
Rosemarie Fernando to pick up the two checks, both of
which letters were presumably handed to the dispatcher
by Rosemarie Fernando, was compared or verified with
Eligia G. Fernando's signature in BPI's file. Such
purported signature has been established to be forged
although it has a "close similarity" to the real signature

prof. casis
of Eligia G. Fernando. In the afternoon of October 13,
1981, a woman who represented herself to be Eligia G.
Fernando applied at China Banking Corporation's Head
Office for the opening of a current account. She was
accompanied and introduced to Emily Sylianco Cuaso,
Cash Supervisor, by Antonio Concepcion whom Cuaso
knew to have opened, earlier that year, an account upon
the introduction of Valentin Co, a long-standing "valued
client" of CBC. What Cuaso indicated in the application
form, however, was that the new client was introduced
by Valentin Co, and with her initials on the form
signifying her approval, she referred the application to
the New Accounts Section for processing. As finally
proceeds, the application form shows the signature of
"Eligia G. Fernando", "her" date of birth, sex, civil
status, nationality, occupation ("business woman"), tax
account number, and initial deposit of P10,000.00. This
final approval of the new current account is indicated
on the application form by the initials of Regina G. Dy,
Cashier, who did not interview the new client but
affixed her initials on the application form after
reviewing it.
- On October 14, 1981, the woman holding herself out
as Eligia G. Fernando deposited the two checks in
controversy with Current Account No. 126310-3. Her
endorsement on the two checks was found to conform
with the depositor's specimen signature. CBC's guaranty
of prior endorsements and/or lack of endorsement was
then stamped on the two checks, which CBC forthwith
sent to clearing and which BPI cleared on the same day.
- Two days after, withdrawals began on Current
Account No. 26310-3: On October 16, 1981, by means
of Check No. 240005 dated the same day for
P1,000,000.00, payable to "cash", which the woman
holding herself out as Eligia G. Fernando encashed over
the counter, and Check No. 240003 dated October 15,
1981 for P48,500.00, payable to "cash" which was
received through clearing from PNB Pasay Branch; on
October 19, 1981, by means of Check No. 240006 dated
the same day for P1,000,000.00, payable to "cash,"
which the woman identifying herself as Eligia G.
Fernando encashed over the counter; on October 22,
1981, by means of Check No. 240007 dated the same
day for P370,000.00, payable to "cash" which the

torts & damages


woman herself also encashed over the counter; and on
November 4, 1981, by means of Check No. 240001
dated November 3, 1981 for P4,100.00, payable to
"cash," which was received through clearing from Far
East Bank. The last withdrawal on November 4, 1981
left Current Account No. 26310-3 with a balance of
only P571.61.
- On November 11, 1981, the maturity date of Eligia G.
Fernado's money market placement with BPI, the real
Eligia G. Fernando went to BPI for the roll-over of her
placement. She disclaimed having preterminated her
placement on October 12, 1981. She executed an
affidavit stating that while she was the payee of the two
checks in controversy, she never received nor endorsed
them and that her purported signature on the back of the
checks was not hers but forged. With her surrender of
the original of the promissory note (No. 35623 with
maturity value of P2,462,243.19) evidencing the
placement which matured that day, BPI issued her a
new promissory note (No. 40314 with maturity date of
December 23, 1981 and maturity value of
P2,500.266.77) to evidence a roll-over of the
placement.
- On November 12, 1981, supported by Eligia G.
Fernando's affidavit, BPI returned the two checks in
controversy to CBC for the reason "Payee's
endorsement forged". CBC, in turn, returned the checks
for reason "Beyond Clearing Time". These incidents led
to the filing of this case with the Arbitration Committee.
- The Arbitration Committee ruled in favor of BPI and
ordered CBC to pay the former the amount of
P1,206,607.58 with interest thereon at 12% per annum
from August 12, 1983.
- However, upon CBCs motion for reconsideration, the
Board of Directors of the PCHC reversed the
Arbitration Committee's decision and dismissed the
complaint of BPI while ordering it to pay CBC the sum
of P1,206,607.58.
- BPI then filed a petition for review with the Regional
Trial Court of Makati who dismissed said petition but
modified the award by including a provision for
attorneys fees in favor of CBC, among others.
- The court of appeals affirmed the trial courts
decision.

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- PAGE 77 -

ISSUES
1. WON the collecting bank has absolute liability on a
warranty of the validity of all prior endorsements
stamped at the back of the checks
2. In the event that the payee's signature is forged,
WON the drawer/drawee bank (in this case BPI) may
claim reimbursement from the collecting bank which
earlier paid the proceeds of the checks after the same
checks were cleared
HELD
1. NO
- BPI contends that respondent CBC's clear warranty
that "all prior endorsements and/or lack of
endorsements guaranteed" stamped at the back of the
checks was an unrestrictive clearing guaranty that all
prior endorsements in the checks are genuine. Under
this premise petitioner BPI asserts that the presenting or
collecting bank, respondent CBC, had an unquestioned
liability when it turned out that the payee's signature on
the checks were forged. With these circumstances,
petitioner BPI maintains that considerations of relative
negligence become totally irrelevant.
- In presenting the checks for clearing and for payment,
the collecting bank made an express guarantee on the
validity of "all prior endorsements." Thus, stamped at
the back of the checks are the clear warranty: ALL
PRIOR ENDORSEMENTS AND/OR LACK OF
ENDORSEMENTS GUARANTEED. Without such
warranty, the drawee bank would not have paid on the
checks. No amount of legal jargon can reverse the clear
meaning of the warranty. As the warranty has proven to
be false and inaccurate, the defendant is liable for any
damage arising out of the falsity of its representation.
- Apropos the matter of forgery in endorsements, this
Court has emphasized that the collecting bank or last
endorser generally suffers the loss because it has the
duty to ascertain the genuineness of all prior
endorsements considering that the act of presenting the
check for payment to the drawee is an assertion that the
party making the presentment has done its duty to
ascertain the genuineness of the endorsements. If the
drawee-bank discovers that the signature of the payee

prof. casis
was forged after it has paid the amount of the check to
the holder thereof, it can recover the amount paid from
the collecting bank. However, the point that comes
uppermost is whether the drawee bank was negligent in
failing to discover the alteration or the forgery.
- The general rule under Section 23 of the Negotiable
Instruments Law is to the effect that a forged signature
is "wholly inoperative", and payment made "through or
under such signature" is ineffectual or does not
discharge the instrument. The exception to this rule is
when the party relying in the forgery is "precluded from
setting up the forgery or want of authority. In this
jurisdiction we recognize negligence of the party
invoking forgery as an exception to the general rule.
- In the present petition the payee's names in the checks
were forged. Following the general rule, the checks are
"wholly inoperative" and of no effect. However, the
underlying circumstances of the case show that the
general rule on forgery is not applicable. The issue as to
who between the parties should bear the loss in the
payment of the forged checks necessities the
determination of the rights and liabilities of the parties
involved in the controversy in relation to the forged
checks.
- The records show that petitioner BPI as drawee bank
and respondent CBC as representing or collecting bank
were both negligent resulting in the encashment of the
forged checks.
- The Arbitration Committee in its decision analyzed the
negligence of the employees of petitioner BPI involved
in the processing of the pre-termination of Eligia G.
Fernando's money market placement and in the issuance
and delivery of the subject checks in this wise: a) The
impostor could have been readily unmasked by a mere
telephone call, which nobody in BPI bothered to make
to Eligia G. Fernando, a vice-president of Philamlife; b)
The officer who used to handle Eligia G. Fernando's
account did not do anything about the account's pretermination; c) Again no verification appears to have
been made on Eligia G. Fernando's purported signature
on the letter requesting the pre-termination and the
letter authorizing her niece to pick-up the checks, yet,
her signature was in BPI's file; and d) Another step that
could have foiled the fraud, but which BPI neglected to

torts & damages


take, was requiring before the two checks in
controversy were delivered, the surrender of the
promissory note evidencing the money market
placement that was supposedly pre-terminated. The
Arbitration Committee, however, belittled petitioner
BPI's negligence compared to that of respondent CBC
which it declared as graver and the proximate cause of
the loss of the subject checks to the impostor who
impersonated Eligia G. Fernando.
- The PCHC Board of Directors, however, stated that
these withdrawals, without any further showing that
the CBC employees had actual knowledge of the
infirmity or defect, or knowledge of such facts (Sec.
56, Negotiable Instruments Law) that their action in
accepting their checks for deposit and allowing the
withdrawals against the same amounted to bad faith
cannot be considered as basis for holding CBC liable.
- Banks handle daily transactions involving millions of
pesos. By the very nature of their work the degree of
responsibility, care and trustworthiness expected of
their employees and officials is far greater than those of
ordinary clerks and employees. For obvious reasons, the
banks are expected to exercise the highest degree of
diligence in the selection and supervision of their
employees.
- In the present case, there is no question that the banks
were negligent in the selection and supervision of their
employees. The Arbitration Committee, the PCHC
Board of Directors and the lower court, however
disagree in the evaluation of the degree of negligence of
the banks. While the Arbitration Committee declared
the negligence of respondent CBC graver, the PCHC
Board of Directors and the lower courts declared that
petitioner BPI's negligence was graver. To the extent
that the degree of negligence is equated to the
proximate cause of the loss, we rule that the issue as to
whose negligence is graver is relevant. No matter how
many justifications both banks present to avoid
responsibility, they cannot erase the fact that they were
both guilty in not exercising extraordinary diligence in
the selection and supervision of their employees.
2. NO
- The next issue hinges on whose negligence was the
proximate cause of the payment of the forged checks by

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- PAGE 77 -

an impostor. Petitioner BPI insists that the doctrine of


last clear chance should have been applied considering
the circumstances of this case. Under this doctrine,
where both parties were negligent and such negligence
were not contemporaneous, the person who has the last
fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do
so is chargeable with the consequences, without
reference to the prior negligence of the other party.
- Applying these principles, petitioner BPI's reliance on
the doctrine of last clear chance to clear it from liability
is not well-taken. CBC had no prior notice of the fraud
perpetrated by BPI's employees on the pretermination
of Eligia G. Fernando's money market placement.
Moreover, Fernando is not a depositor of CBC. Hence,
a comparison of the signature of Eligia G. Fernando
with that of the impostor Eligia G. Fernando, which
respondent CBC did, could not have resulted in the
discovery of the fraud. Hence, respondent CBC had no
way to discover the fraud at all. In fact the records fail
to show that respondent CBC had knowledge, actual or
implied, of the fraud perpetrated by the impostor and
the employees of BPI.
- BPI further argues that the acts and omissions of
respondent CBC are the cause "that set into motion the
actual and continuous sequence of events that produced
the injury and without which the result would not have
occurred." Petitioner BPI anchors its argument on its
stance that there was "a gap, a hiatus, an interval
between the issuance and delivery of said checks by
petitioner BPI to the impostor and their actual payment
of CBC to the impostor. Petitioner BPI points out that
the gap of one (1) day that elapsed from its issuance and
delivery of the checks to the impostor is material on the
issue of proximate cause. At this stage, according to
petitioner BPI, there was yet no loss and the impostor
could have decided to desist from completing the same
plan and could have held to the checks without
negotiating them.
- Petitioner BPI's contention that CBC alone should
bear the loss must fail. The gap of one (1) day between
the issuance and delivery of the checks bearing the
impostor's name as payee and the impostor's negotiating
the said forged checks by opening an account and
depositing the same with respondent CBC is not

prof. casis
controlling. It is not unnatural or unexpected that after
taking the risk of impersonating Eligia G. Fernando
with the connivance of BPI's employees, the impostor
would complete her deception by encashing the forged
checks. There is therefore, greater reason to rule that the
proximate cause of the payment of the forged checks by
an impostor was due to the negligence of petitioner BPI.
This finding, notwithstanding, we are not inclined to
rule that petitioner BPI must solely bear the loss of
P2,413,215.16, the total amount of the two (2) forged
checks. Due care on the part of CBC could have
prevented any loss.
- The Court cannot ignore the fact that the CBC
employees closed their eyes to the suspicious
circumstances of huge over-the-counter withdrawals
made immediately after the account was opened. The
opening of the account itself was accompanied by
inexplicable acts clearly showing negligence. And while
we do not apply the last clear chance doctrine as
controlling in this case, still the CBC employees had
ample opportunity to avoid the harm which befell both
CBC and BPI. They let the opportunity slip by when the
ordinary prudence expected of bank employees would
have sufficed to seize it.
- Both banks were negligent in the selection and
supervision of their employees resulting in the
encashment of the forged checks by an impostor. Both
banks were not able to overcome the presumption of
negligence in the selection and supervision of their
employees. It was the gross negligence of the
employees of both banks which resulted in the fraud
and the subsequent loss. While it is true that petitioner
BPI's negligence may have been the proximate cause of
the loss, respondent CBC's negligence contributed
equally to the success of the impostor in encashing the
proceeds of the forged checks. Under these
circumstances, we apply Article 2179 of the Civil Code
to the effect that while respondent CBC may recover its
losses, such losses are subject to mitigation by the
courts.
Disposition The questioned Decision and Resolution
are MODIFIED. BPI shall be responsible for 60% while
CBC shall share 40% of the loss of P2,413,215.16

torts & damages


E.M. WRIGHT V MANILA ELECTRIC R.R. &
LIGHT CO.
28 Phil 122
MORELAND; October 1, 1914
NATURE
An action to recover damages for injuries sustained in
an accident
FACTS
- Defendant Manila Electric is a corporation engaged in
operating an electric street railway
- Plaintiffs residence in Caloocan fronts on the street
along which defendants tracks run. To enter his
premises from the street, plaintiff must cross
defendants tracks.
- One night, plaintiff drove home in a calesa and, in
crossing the tracks to enter his premises, the horse
stumbled, leaped forward, and fell, throwing the
plaintiff from the vehicle and causing injuries
- At the point where plaintiff crossed the tracks, the
rails were above-gruond, and the ties upon which the
rails rested projected from one-third to one-half of their
depth out of the ground, making the tops of the rails
some 5 or 6 inches or more above the level of the street.
- It is admitted that the defendant was negligent in
maintaining its tracks, but defendant claims the plaintiff
was also negligent in that he was so intoxicated, and
such intoxication was the primary cause of the accident
- Trial court held that both parties were negligent, but
that plaintiffs negligence was not as great as
defendants, awarded plaintiff P1,000.
ISSUE
WON the negligence of plaintiff contributed to the
principal occurrence or only to his own injury. (If
the former, he cannot recover; if the latter, the trial court
was correct in apportioning damages)
HELD
NO
Ratio
Intoxication in itself is not
negligence. It is but a circumstance to be
considered with the other evidence tending

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- PAGE 77 -

to prove negligence.
Reasoning
- Intoxication in itself is not negligence, and no facts,
other than the fact that Wright was intoxicated, are
stated which warrant the conclusion that the plaintiff
was negligent. The conclusion that if he had been sober
he would not have been injured is not warranted by the
facts as found. It is impossible to say that a sober man
would not have fallen from the vehicle under the
conditions described.
- A horse crossing the railroad tracks with not only the
rails but a portion of the ties themselves aboveground,
stumbling by reason of the unsure footing and falling,
the vehicle crashing against the rails with such force as
to break a wheel, might be sufficient to throw a person
from the vehicle no matter what his condition; and to
conclude that, under such circumstances, a sober man
would not have fallen while a drunken man did, is to
draw a conclusion which enters the realm of speculation
and guesswork.
DISPOSITION Plaintiff not negligent. No facts to
merit a higher award of damages to plaintiff.
US V BAGGAY
20 PHIL 142
TORRES; September 1, 1911
NATURE
Appeal by the defendant from the judgment rendered on
April 28, 1910, whereby he was declared exempt from
criminal liability but was obliged to indemnify the heirs
if the murdered woman, Bil-liingan, in the sum of
P1,000, to pay the costs in the case and to be confined
in an institution for the insane until further order of the
court.
FACTS
- About the 4th of October, 1909, several persons were
assembled in the defendant's house in the township of
Penarrubia, Abra, Province of Ilocos Sur, for the
purpose of holding a song service called "buni"
according to the Tinguian custom, when he, the nonChristian Baggay, without provocation suddenly
attacked the woman Bil-liingan with a bolo, inflicting a

prof. casis
serious wound on her head from which she expired
immediately; and with the same bolo he like wise
inflicted various wounds on the women named
Calabayan, Agueng, Quisamay, Calapini, and on his
own mother, named Dioalan.
- For this reason the provincial fiscal filed a complaint
in the court of Ilocos Sur, dated February 15, charging
the non-Christian Baggay, jr., with murder, because of
the violent death of the woman Bil-liingan. This cause
was instituted separately from the other, No. 1109, for
lesiones. After trial and proof that the defendant was
suffering from mental aberration, the judge on April 28
rendered the judgment cited above, whereupon the
defendant's counsel appealed to this court.
ISSUE
WON an insane person, exempt from criminal liability
can still be civilly liable
HELD
YES
Ratio Civil liability accompanies criminal liability,
because every person liable criminally for a crime or
misdemeanor is also liable for reparation of damage and
for indemnification of the harm done, but there may be
civil liability because of acts ordinarily punishable,
although the law has declared their perpetrators exempt
from criminal liability.
Reasoning
- Such is the case of a lunatic or insane person who, in
spite of his irresponsibility on account of the deplorable
condition of his deranged mind, is still reasonably and
justly liable with his property for the consequences of
his acts, even though they be performed unwittingly, for
the reason that his fellows ought not to suffer for the
disastrous results of his harmful acts more than is
necessary, in spite of his unfortunate condition. Law
and society are under obligation to protect him during
his illness and so when he is declared to be liable with
his property for reparation and indemnification, he is
still entitled to the benefit of what is necessary for his
decent maintenance, but this protection does not
exclude liability for damage caused to those who may

torts & damages


have the misfortune to suffer the consequences of his
acts.
- Article 17 of the Penal Code states:
Every person criminally liable for a crime or
misdemeanor is also civilly liable.
- Article 18 of the same code says:
The exemption from criminal liability declared in
Nos. 1, 2, 3, 7, and 10 of article 8 does not include
exemption from civil liability, which shall be
enforced, subject to the following:
(1) In cases 1, 2, and 3, the persons who are civilly
liable for acts committed by a lunatic or imbecile, or
a person under 9 years of age, or over this age and
under 15, who has not acted with the exercise of
judgment, are those who have them under their
authority, legal guardianship or power, unless they
prove that there was no blame or negligence on their
part.
Should there be no person having them under his
authority, legal guardian, or power, if such person be
insolvent, the said lunatics, imbeciles, or minors shall
answer with their own property, excepting that part
which is exempted for their support in accordance
with the civil law.
DISPOSITION Therefore, the judgment appealed
from being in accordance with law, affirmation thereof
is proper, and it is hereby affirmed, with costs against
the appellant.
AMEDO V RIO
[citation]
CONCEPCION; May 24, 1954
FACTS
- This case was instituted on October 18, 1950. In her
original complaint, plaintiff Elena Amedo sought to
collect from defendant Rio y Olabarrieta, Inc., the sum
of P2,038.40 as compensation for the death of her son,
Filomeno Managuit, who worked for the defendant as a
seaman of the M/S Pilar II. The main allegation of said
original complaint was:
That on May 27, 1949 at about 11:30 o'clock in the
morning, while the deceased Filomeno Managuit was
on board M/S "Pilar II" as such seaman, he jumped into

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the water to retrieve a 2-peso bill belonging to him, and


as a consequence of which, he was drowned.
- this however was dismissed due to lack of a cause of
action which defendant filed stating that the allegation
does not show that the death of plaintiff's son was due
to an "accident arising out of and in the course of
employment,".
- she was allowed to file an amended complaint which
was remanded to the trial court.
- her amended complaint stated: That on May 27,
1949, at or about 11:30 o'clock in the morning while the
said Filomeno Managuit was in the course of his
employment, performing his duties as such ordinary
seaman on defendant's M/S "Pilar II", which was
anchored then about 1 1/2 miles from the seashore of
Arceli Dumarang, Palawan, his two-peso bill was
blown by the breeze into the sea and in his effort to
retrieve the same from the waters he was drowned.
ISSUE
WON Amedo could claim compensation from employer
Rio
HELD
NO
- Plaintiffs basis for appeal is the Workmens
Compensation Act. Sections 2 and 4 of which:
Sec. 2. Grounds for compensation. When any
employee receives a personal injury from any accident
arising out of and in the course of the employment, or
contracts any illness directly caused by such
employment, or the result of the nature of such
employment, his employer shall pay compensation in
the sums and to the persons hereinafter specified.
Sec. 4. Injuries not covered. Compensation shall not
be allowed for injuries caused (1) by the voluntary
intent of the employee to inflict such injury upon
himself or another person; (2) by drunkenness on the
part of the laborer who had the accident; (3) by
notorious negligence of the same.
- from these provisions three conditions are essential to
hold an employer liable. These are: (1) the accident
must arise out of the employment; (2) it must happen in
the course of the employment; and (3) it must not be
caused by the "notorious negligence" of the employee.

prof. casis
Point in question is whether the accident was committed
under these 3 conditions
- "The words "arising out of" refer to the origin or cause
of the accident and are descriptive of its character,
while the words `in the course of' refer to the time,
place, and circumstances under which the accident takes
place
- it may be conceded that the death of Filomeno took
place "in the course of" his employment, in that it
happened at the "time" when, and at the "place" whereaccording to the amended complaint-he was working.
However, the accident which produced this tragic result
did not "arise out of" his employment. The blowing of
his 2-peso bill may have grown out of, or arisen from,
his employment. It was the result of a risk peculiar to
his work as a seaman or incidental to such work. But,
his death was the consequence of his decision to jump
into the water to retrieve said bill. The hazardous nature
of this act was not due specially to the nature of his
employment. It was a risk to which any person on board
the M/S Pilar II, such as a passenger thereof or an
ordinary visitor, would have been exposed had he,
likewise, jumped into the sea, as Filomeno had.
- was the accident caused by Filomenos notorious
negligence?
- "notorious negligence" has been held to be tantamount
to "gross negligence", which, in turn, has been defined
as follows:
- By gross negligence is meant "such entire want of care
as to raise a presumption that the person in fault is
conscious of the probable consequences of carelessness,
and is indifferent, or worse, to the danger of injury to
person or property of others." (Wall vs. Cameron [1882]
6 Colo., 275; see, also, The Law Governing Labor
Disputes in the Philippines by Francisco, 2nd ed., p.
877.)
- It cannot be denied that in jumping into the sea, one
mile and a half from the seashore of Arceli, Dumarang,
Palawan, Filomeno failed to exercise "even slight care
and diligence," that he displayed a "reckless disregard
of the safety" of his person, that he could not have been
but conscious of the probable consequences" of his
carelessness and that he was "indifferent, or worse, to
the danger of injury.

torts & damages


- case provides for other jurisprudence which describe
instances of gross negligence attributable to employee
(see case).
- this is distinguishable from cases wherein the act done
is not dangerous per se such as when an employee drops
a cigarette on the pavement and picks it up. So, also, if,
while Filomeno Managuit was working, his 2-peso bill
merely fell from his pocket, and as he picked up the bill
from the floor something accidentally fell upon him and
injured him, he would surely be entitled to
compensation, his act being obviously innocent.
- since the act done by Filomeno was dangerous, his
accident could be attributed to his gross negligence.
MARINDUQUE IRON MINES AGENTS V
WORKMENS COMPENSATION COMMISSION
99 PHIL 48
BENGZON; June 30, 1956
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari of
a decision of the WCC
FACTS
- A truck driven by Procopio Macunat,
belonging to Marinduque, turned over
and hit a coconut tree resulting in
the death of Pedro Mamador and injury
to the other laborers.
- Macunat was prosecuted, convicted
and was sentenced to indemnify the
heirs of the deceased. He has paid
nothing, however, to the latter.
Deceaseds
wife
now
seeks
compensation by Marinduque as the
employer.
ISSUE
1.
WON Mamador has a right to
compensation by Marinduque
2.
WON
there
was
notorious
negligence by the deceased for having
violated the employers prohibition
to ride haulage trucks

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HELD
1. YES
Petitioner
alleges
that
the
criminal case sentencing Macunat to
indemnify the heirs of the deceased
was a suit for damages against a
third person, thereby having the
effect of releasing the employer from
liability.
- The criminal case, however, was not
a suit for damages against third
persons because the heirs did not
intervene therein and they have not
received the indemnity ordered by the
court.
- At any rate, even if the case was
against a third person, the court
already decided in Nava vs. Inchausti
that
criminal
prosection
of
the
"other person" does not affect the
liability of the employer.
- Petitioner also contends that the
amicable settlement entered into by
Mamador's widow and Macunat barred
the
widow's
claim
against
the
employer because she has already
elected one of the remedies.
- This contention cannot be sustained
because what the widow waived was the
offender's criminal proscution and
not all civil action for damages.
2. NO
- Mere riding on a haulage truck or
stealing
a
ride
thereon
is
not
negligence, ordinarily. It couldn't
be, because transportation by truck
is not dangerous per se.
- Although the employer prohibited
its employees to ride the haulage
trucks,
its
violation
does
not

prof. casis
constitute negligence per se, but it
may be an evidence of negligence.
- Under the circumstance, however, it
cannot be declared negligence because
the proibition had nothing to do with
the personal safety of the riders.
- Notorious negligence means the same
as gross negligence which implies
"conscious
indifferenece
to
consequences", "pursuing a course of
conduct which would naturally and
probably result in injury".
Disposition
Award for compensation
by WCC affirmed
LAYUGAN V IAC
167 SCRA 363
SARMIENTO; November 14, 1968
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari of IAC decision
FACTS
- Plaintiff Pedro Layugan testified that while in
Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, he and a companion were
repairing the tire of their cargo truck which was parked
along the right side of the National Highway.
Defendant's truck driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano
bumped the plaintiff, that as a result, plaintiff was
injured and hospitalized. Due to said injuries, his left
leg was amputated so he had to use crutches to walk.
- Defendant Godofredo Isidro admitted his ownership
of the vehicle involved in the accident driven by Daniel
Serrano. Defendant said that the plaintiff was merely a
bystander, not a truck helper being a brother-in-law law
of the driver of said truck; that the truck allegedly being
repaired was parked, occupying almost half of the right
lane towards Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, right after the
curve; that the proximate cause of the incident was the
failure of the driver of the parked truck in installing the
early warning device,
- Daniel Serrano, defendant driver, said that he knew
the responsibilities of a driver; that before leaving, he
checked the truck. The truck owner used to instruct him
to be careful in driving. He bumped the truck being

torts & damages


repaired by Pedro Layugan, plaintiff, while the same
was at a stop position. From the evidence presented, it
has been established clearly that the injuries sustained
by the plaintiff was caused by defendant's driver, Daniel
Serrano. Serrano also testified that, When I was a few
meters away, I saw the truck which was loaded with
round logs. I stepped on my foot brakes but it did not
function with my many attempts. I have (sic) found out
later that the fluid pipe on the rear right was cut that's
why the breaks did not function.
- Plaintiff points to the negligence of the defendant
driver while Isidro points to the driver of parked truck
as negligent, and says that absent such proof of care, it
would, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, evoke the
presumption of negligence on the part of the driver of
the parked cargo truck as well as his helper, the
petitioner herein, who was fixing the flat tire of the said
truck.
ISSUES
1. WON defendant driver Serrano was negligent
2. WON the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies in this
case
HELD
1 NO
- (Procedural) Ratio Findings of fact are entitled to
great respect and will not ordinarily be disturbed by this
Court unless it falls down under the exceptions
provided by the Court to merit review of the facts.
Reasoning
- This is a question of fact. But this case is an exception
since: 1) the finding are grounded entirely on
speculation, surmise, or conjecture; 2) the inference
made is manifestly mistaken, 3) the judgment is based
on misapprehension of facts; 4) CA findings are
contrary to those of the trial court; 5) the said findings
of fact are conclusions without citation of specific
evidence on which they are based; and 6) when the
findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on
the absence of evidence and are contradicted on record.
Hence, SC entertained review of the factual question.
- (Substantive) Ratio The test by which to determine the
existence of negligence in a particular case may be

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stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged


negligent act use that reasonable care and caution
which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in
the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence.
Reasoning
[1] Negligence defined. Negligence is the omission to
do something which a reasonable man, guided by those
considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of
human affairs, would do, or the doing of something
which a prudent and reasonable man would not do
[2] Applying the definition and the test, it is clear that
the absence or want of care of Daniel Serrano has been
established by clear and convincing evidence. Whether
cargo truck was parked along the road or on half the
shoulder of the road is immaterial taking into account
the warning device consisting of the lighted kerosene
lamp placed 3-4m from the back of the truck. But
despite this warning, the Isuzu truck driven by Serrano,
still bumped the rear of the parked cargo truck. As a
direct consequence of such accident Layugan sustained
injuries on his left forearm and left foot.
2. NO
Note that for our purposes this was not raised as an
issue in this case. Therefore this only Obiter Dicta. But
as far as were concerned and relevant to our discussion
in the outline, I formulated it in an issue-type. This is
what the Court actually said in the case to prove its just
obiter, and its relevant to the main issue on negligence:
At this juncture, it may be enlightening and helpful in
the proper resolution of the issue of negligence to
examine the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur.
Obiter
[1] What is the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur? Two
ways to put it:
(a) This doctrine is stated thus: "Where the thing which
causes injury is shown to be under the management of
the defendant, and the accident is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not happen if those who
have the management use proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation
by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of
care, and

prof. casis
(b) According to Blacks Law dictionary, Res ipsa
loquitur. The thing speaks for itself Rebuttable
presumption or inference that defendant was negligent,
which arises upon proof that instrumentality causing
injury was in defendant's exclusive control, and that the
accident was one which ordinarily does not happen in
absence of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is rule of
evidence whereby negligence of alleged wrongdoer
may be inferred from mere fact that accident happened
provided character of accident and circumstances
attending it lead reasonably to belief that in absence of
negligence it would not have occurred and that thing
which caused injury is shown to have been under
management and control of alleged wrongdoer.
[2] In our jurisdiction, and the way we apply it in cases,
particularly in the law of negligence: Res ipsa loquitur
as a rule of evidence is peculiar to the law of negligence
which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be
established without direct proof and furnishes a
substitute for specific proof of negligence. The doctrine
is not a rule of substantive law but merely a mode of
proof or a mere procedural convenience. The doctrine
merely determines and regulates what shall be prima
facie evidence thereof and facilitates the burden of
plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due care.
The doctrine can be invoked when and only when,
under the circumstances involved, direct evidence is
absent and not readily available. So, it is inapplicable
where plaintiff has knowledge and testifies or presents
evidence as to the specific act of negligence which is
the cause of the injury, or where theres direct evidence
as to the precise cause of the accident and all the facts
and circumstances attendant on the occurrence clearly
appear. And once the actual cause of injury is
established beyond controversy, no presumptions will
be involved and the doctrine becomes inapplicable
when the circumstances show that no inference of
defendant's liability can reasonably be made, whatever
the source of the evidence.
In this case it is inapplicable because it was established
by clear and convincing evidence the negligence of the
defendant driver.
Disposition Petition GRANTED with costs against
private respondents.

torts & damages


RAMOS V CA
[citation]
KAPUNAN; December 29, 1999
NATURE
Petition For Certiorari
FACTS
- In the case at bar, the Court is called upon to rule
whether a surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a hospital
should be made liable for the unfortunate comatose
condition of a patient scheduled for cholecystectomy.
- Plaintiff Erlinda Ramos was a robust woman except
for occasional complaints of discomfort due to pains
allegedly caused by the presence of a stone in her gall
bladder she was as normal as any other woman.
Because the discomforts somehow interfered with her
normal ways, she sought professional advice. She was
advised to undergo an operation for the removal of a
stone in her gall bladdershe underwent a series of
examinations which included blood and urine tests
which indicated she was fit for surgery. She and her
husband Rogelio met for the first time Dr. Orlino
Hozaka, one of the defendants in this case, on June 10,
1985. They agreed that their date at the operating table
at the De Los Santos Medical Center, would be on June
17, 1985 at 9:00 A.M.. Dr. Hosaka decided that she
should undergo a cholecystectomy operation after
examining the documents presented to him. Rogelio E.
Ramos, however, asked Dr. Hosaka to look for a good
anesthesiologist. Dr. Hosaka, in turn, assured Rogelio
that he will get a good anesthesiologist. She was
admitted in the hospital and was with her sister-in-law,
Herminda Cruz, who was the Dean of the College of
Nursing at the Capitol Medical Center, was also there
for moral support. After praying, she was given
injections. At the operating room, Herminda saw about
two or three nurses and Dr. Perfecta Gutierrez, the other
defendant, who was to administer anesthesia. Although
not a member of the hospital staff, Herminda introduced
herself as Dean of the College of Nursing at the Capitol
Medical Center who was to provide moral support to
the patient, to them. Herminda was allowed to stay

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inside the operating room.


- Hours later at about 12:15 P.M., Herminda Cruz, who
was inside the operating room with the patient, heard
somebody say that Dr. Hosaka is already here. She
then saw people inside the operating room moving,
doing this and that, [and] preparing the patient for the
operation. As she held the hand of Erlinda Ramos, she
then saw Dr. Gutierrez intubating the hapless patient.
She thereafter heard Dr. Gutierrez say, ang hirap maintubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki
ang tiyan (id., p. 17). Because of the remarks of Dra.
Gutierrez, she focused her attention on what Dr.
Gutierrez was doing. She thereafter noticed bluish
discoloration of the nailbeds of the left hand of the
hapless Erlinda even as Dr. Hosaka approached her.
She then heard Dr. Hosaka issue an order for someone
to call Dr. Calderon, another anesthesiologist. After Dr.
Calderon arrived at the operating room, she saw this
anesthesiologist trying to intubate the patient. The
patients nailbed became bluish and the patient was
placed in a trendelenburg position. Immediately
thereafter, she went out of the operating room, and she
told Rogelio E. Ramos that something wrong was x x
x happening. Dr. Calderon was then able to intubate
the patient.
- Herminda Cruz immediately rushed back, and saw
that the patient was still in trendelenburg position. At
almost 3:00 P.M. of that fateful day, she saw the patient
taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
- Doctors Gutierrez and Hosaka were also asked by the
hospital to explain what happened to the patient. The
doctors explained that the patient had bronchospasm.
Erlinda Ramos stayed for about four months in the
hospital, she incurred hospital bills amounting to
P93,542.25. She has been in a comatose condition.
After being discharged from the hospital, she has been
staying in their residence, still needing constant medical
attention, with her husband Rogelio incurring a monthly
expense ranging from P8,000.00 to P10,000.00. She
was also diagnosed to be suffering from diffuse
cerebral parenchymal damage.
- Petitioners filed a civil case for damages with the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City against herein
private respondents alleging negligence in the

prof. casis
management and care of Erlinda Ramos.
- During the trial, both parties presented evidence as to
the possible cause of Erlindas injury.
Plaintiff
presented the testimonies of Dean Herminda Cruz and
Dr. Mariano Gavino to prove that the damage sustained
by Erlinda was due to lack of oxygen in her brain
caused by the faulty management of her airway by
private respondents during the anesthesia phase. On the
other hand, private respondents primarily relied on the
expert testimony of Dr. Eduardo Jamora, a
pulmonologist, to the effect that the cause of brain
damage was Erlindas allergic reaction to the anesthetic
agent, Thiopental Sodium (Pentothal).
- Regional Trial Court rendered judgment in favor of
petitioners. Court of Appeals reversed.
- The decision of the Court of Appeals was received on
9 June 1995 by petitioner Rogelio Ramos who was
mistakenly addressed as Atty. Rogelio Ramos. No
copy of the decision, however, was sent nor received by
the Coronel Law Office, then counsel on record of
petitioners. Rogelio referred the decision of the
appellate court to a new lawyer, Atty. Ligsay, only on
20 June 1995, or four (4) days before the expiration of
the reglementary period for filing a motion for
reconsideration. On the same day, Atty. Ligsay, filed
with the appellate court a motion for extension of time
to file a motion for reconsideration. The motion for
reconsideration was submitted on 4 July 1995.
However, the appellate court denied the motion for
extension of time in its Resolution dated 25 July 1995.
Meanwhile petitioners engaged the services of another
counsel, Atty. Sillano, to replace Atty. Ligsay. Atty.
Sillano filed on 7 August 1995 a motion to admit the
motion for reconsideration contending that the period to
file the appropriate pleading on the assailed decision
had not yet commenced to run as the Division Clerk of
Court of the Court of Appeals had not yet served a copy
thereof to the counsel on record.
Despite this
explanation, the appellate court still denied the motion
to admit the motion for reconsideration of petitioners in
its Resolution, dated 29 March 1996, primarily on the
ground that the fifteen-day (15) period for filing a
motion for reconsideration had already expired.
- A copy of the above resolution was received by Atty.

torts & damages


Sillano on 11 April 1996. The next day, or on 12 April
1996, Atty. Sillano filed before this Court a motion for
extension of time to file the present petition for
certiorari under Rule 45. The Court granted the motion
for extension of time and gave petitioners additional
thirty (30) days after the expiration of the fifteen-day
(15) period counted from the receipt of the resolution of
the Court of Appeals within which to submit the
petition. The due date fell on 27 May 1996. The
petition was filed on 9 May 1996, well within the
extended period given by the Court.
ISSUES
1. WON it should be dismissed for being filed later than
allowable 15 day period for the filing of the Motion for
Reconsideration
2. WON the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable
3. WON the Court of Appeals erred in finding that
private respondents were not negligent in the care of
Erlinda during the anesthesia phase of the operation
and, if in the affirmative, whether the alleged
negligence was the proximate cause of Erlindas
comatose condition. Corollary thereto, we shall also
determine if the Court of Appeals erred in relying on the
testimonies of the witnesses for the private respondents
4. What is the cost for the damages
HELD
1. NO
- A careful review of the records reveals that the reason
behind the delay in filing the motion for reconsideration
is attributable to the fact that the decision of the Court
of Appeals was not sent to then counsel on record of
petitioners, the Coronel Law Office. In fact, a copy of
the decision of the appellate court was instead sent to
and received by petitioner Rogelio Ramos on 9 June
1995 wherein he was mistakenly addressed as Atty.
Rogelio Ramos. Based on the other communications
received by petitioner Rogelio Ramos, the appellate
court apparently mistook him for the counsel on record.
Thus, no copy of the decision of the appellate court was
furnished to the counsel on record. Petitioner, not being
a lawyer and unaware of the prescriptive period for
filing a motion for reconsideration, referred the same to

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a legal counsel only on 20 June 1995.


- It is elementary that when a party is represented by
counsel, all notices should be sent to the partys lawyer
at his given address. With a few exceptions, notice to a
litigant without notice to his counsel on record is no
notice at all. In the present case, since a copy of the
decision of the appellate court was not sent to the
counsel on record of petitioner, there can be no
sufficient notice to speak of. Hence, the delay in the
filing of the motion for reconsideration cannot be taken
against petitioner. Moreover, since the Court of
Appeals already issued a second Resolution, dated 29
March 1996, which superseded the earlier resolution
issued on 25 July 1995, and denied the motion for
reconsideration of petitioner, we believe that the receipt
of the former should be considered in determining the
timeliness of the filing of the present petition. Based on
this, the petition before us was submitted on time.
2. YES
- We find the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur appropriate in
the case at bar. As will hereinafter be explained, the
damage sustained by Erlinda in her brain prior to a
scheduled gall bladder operation presents a case for the
application of res ipsa loquitur.
- Considering that a sound and unaffected member of
the body (the brain) is injured or destroyed while the
patient is unconscious and under the immediate and
exclusive control of the physicians, we hold that a
practical administration of justice dictates the
application of res ipsa loquitur. Upon these facts and
under these circumstances the Court would be able to
say, as a matter of common knowledge and observation,
if negligence attended the management and care of the
patient. Moreover, the liability of the physicians and
the hospital in this case is not predicated upon an
alleged failure to secure the desired results of an
operation nor on an alleged lack of skill in the diagnosis
or treatment as in fact no operation or treatment was
ever performed on Erlinda. Thus, upon all these initial
determination a case is made out for the application of
the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.
- Nonetheless, in holding that res ipsa loquitur is
available to the present case we are not saying that the
doctrine is applicable in any and all cases where injury

prof. casis
occurs to a patient while under anesthesia, or to any and
all anesthesia cases. Each case must be viewed in its
own light and scrutinized in order to be within the res
ipsa loquitur coverage.
- Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase which literally
means the thing or the transaction speaks for itself.
The phrase res ipsa loquitur is a maxim for the rule
that the fact of the occurrence of an injury, taken with
the surrounding circumstances, may permit an inference
or raise a presumption of negligence, or make out a
plaintiffs prima facie case, and present a question of
fact for defendant to meet with an explanation. Where
the thing which caused the injury complained of is
shown to be under the management of the defendant or
his servants and the accident is such as in ordinary
course of things does not happen if those who have its
management or control use proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence, in the absence of explanation by
the defendant, that the accident arose from or was
caused by the defendants want of care.
- The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is simply a
recognition of the postulate that, as a matter of common
knowledge and experience, the very nature of certain
types of occurrences may justify an inference of
negligence on the part of the person who controls the
instrumentality causing the injury in the absence of
some explanation by the defendant who is charged with
negligence. It is grounded in the superior logic of
ordinary human experience and on the basis of such
experience or common knowledge, negligence may be
deduced from the mere occurrence of the accident itself.
Hence, res ipsa loquitur is applied in conjunction with
the doctrine of common knowledge.
- However, much has been said that res ipsa loquitur is
not a rule of substantive law and, as such, does not
create or constitute an independent or separate ground
of liability. Instead, it is considered as merely
evidentiary or in the nature of a procedural rule. It is
regarded as a mode of proof, or a mere procedural
convenience since it furnishes a substitute for, and
relieves a plaintiff of, the burden of producing specific
proof of negligence. In other words, mere invocation
and application of the doctrine does not dispense with
the requirement of proof of negligence. It is simply a

torts & damages


step in the process of such proof, permitting the plaintiff
to present along with the proof of the accident, enough
of the attending circumstances to invoke the doctrine,
creating an inference or presumption of negligence, and
to thereby place on the defendant the burden of going
forward with the proof. Still, before resort to the
doctrine may be allowed, the following requisites must
be satisfactorily shown:
1. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not
occur in the absence of someones negligence;
2. It is caused by an instrumentality within the
exclusive control of the defendant or defendants; and
3. The possibility of contributing conduct which
would make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated.
- In the above requisites, the fundamental element is the
control of the instrumentality which caused the
damage. Such element of control must be shown to be
within the dominion of the defendant. In order to have
the benefit of the rule, a plaintiff, in addition to proving
injury or damage, must show a situation where it is
applicable, and must establish that the essential
elements of the doctrine were present in a particular
incident.
- In cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the
court is permitted to find a physician negligent upon
proper proof of injury to the patient, without the aid of
expert testimony, where the court from its fund of
common knowledge can determine the proper standard
of care. Where common knowledge and experience
teach that a resulting injury would not have occurred to
the patient if due care had been exercised, an inference
of negligence may be drawn giving rise to an
application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur without
medical evidence, which is ordinarily required to show
not only what occurred but how and why it occurred.
When the doctrine is appropriate, all that the patient
must do is prove a nexus between the particular act or
omission complained of and the injury sustained while
under the custody and management of the defendant
without need to produce expert medical testimony to
establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa
loquitur is allowed because there is no other way, under
usual and ordinary conditions, by which the patient can
obtain redress for injury suffered by him.

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- It does not automatically apply to all cases of medical


negligence as to mechanically shift the burden of proof
to the defendant to show that he is not guilty of the
ascribed negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is not a rigid or
ordinary doctrine to be perfunctorily used but a rule to
be cautiously applied, depending upon the
circumstances of each case. It is generally restricted to
situations in malpractice cases where a layman is able
to say, as a matter of common knowledge and
observation, that the consequences of professional care
were not as such as would ordinarily have followed if
due care had been exercised. A distinction must be
made between the failure to secure results, and the
occurrence of something more unusual and not
ordinarily found if the service or treatment rendered
followed the usual procedure of those skilled in that
particular practice. It must be conceded that the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no application in
a suit against a physician or surgeon which involves the
merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment. The
physician or surgeon is not required at his peril to
explain why any particular diagnosis was not correct, or
why any particular scientific treatment did not produce
the desired result. Thus, res ipsa loquitur is not
available in a malpractice suit if the only showing is
that the desired result of an operation or treatment was
not accomplished. The real question, therefore, is
whether or not in the process of the operation any
extraordinary incident or unusual event outside of the
routine performance occurred which is beyond the
regular scope of customary professional activity in such
operations, which, if unexplained would themselves
reasonably speak to the average man as the negligent
cause or causes of the untoward consequence. If there
was such extraneous interventions, the doctrine of res
ipsa loquitur may be utilized and the defendant is called
upon to explain the matter, by evidence of exculpation,
if he could.
3. YES
- The CA commited a reversible error. Private
respondents were unable to disprove the presumption of
negligence on their part in the care of Erlinda and their
negligence was the proximate cause of her piteous
condition.

prof. casis
- Dra. Gutierrez failed to properly intubate the patient.
In the case at bar, respondent Dra. Gutierrez admitted
that she saw Erlinda for the first time on the day of the
operation itself, on 17 June 1985. Before this date, no
prior consultations with, or pre-operative evaluation of
Erlinda was done by her. Until the day of the operation,
respondent Dra. Gutierrez was unaware of the
physiological make-up and needs of Erlinda. She was
likewise not properly informed of the possible
difficulties she would face during the administration of
anesthesia to Erlinda. Respondent Dra. Gutierrez act
of seeing her patient for the first time only an hour
before the scheduled operative procedure was,
therefore, an act of exceptional negligence and
professional irresponsibility. The measures cautioning
prudence and vigilance in dealing with human lives lie
at the core of the physicians centuries-old Hippocratic
Oath. Her failure to follow this medical procedure is,
therefore, a clear indicia of her negligence.
- Private respondents repeatedly hammered the view
that the cerebral anoxia which led to Erlindas coma
was due to bronchospasm mediated by her allergic
response to the drug, Thiopental Sodium, introduced
into her system. Towards this end, they presented Dr.
Jamora, a Fellow of the Philippine College of
Physicians and Diplomate of the Philippine Specialty
Board of Internal Medicine, who advanced private
respondents' theory that the oxygen deprivation which
led to anoxic encephalopathy, was due to an
unpredictable drug reaction to the short-acting
barbiturate. We find the theory of private respondents
unacceptable.
- First of all, Dr. Jamora cannot be considered an
authority in the field of anesthesiology simply because
he is not an anesthesiologist. Since Dr. Jamora is a
pulmonologist, he could not have been capable of
properly enlightening the court about anesthesia
practice and procedure and their complications. Dr.
Jamora is likewise not an allergologist and could not
therefore properly advance expert opinion on allergicmediated processes.
Moreover, he is not a
pharmacologist and, as such, could not have been
capable, as an expert would, of explaining to the court
the pharmacologic and toxic effects of the supposed

torts & damages


culprit, Thiopental Sodium (Pentothal).
- An anesthetic accident caused by a rare drug-induced
bronchospasm properly falls within the fields of
anesthesia, internal medicine-allergy, and clinical
pharmacology. The resulting anoxic encephalopathy
belongs to the field of neurology. On the basis of the
foregoing transcript, in which the pulmonologist
himself admitted that he could not testify about the drug
with medical authority, it is clear that the appellate court
erred in giving weight to Dr. Jamoras testimony as an
expert in the administration of Thiopental Sodium.
- Proximate cause has been defined as that which, in
natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces injury, and without
which the result would not have occurred. An injury or
damage is proximately caused by an act or a failure to
act, whenever it appears from the evidence in the case,
that the act or omission played a substantial part in
bringing about or actually causing the injury or damage;
and that the injury or damage was either a direct result
or a reasonably probable consequence of the act or
omission. It is the dominant, moving or producing
cause.
- Respondent Dr. Hosakas negligence can be found in
his failure to exercise the proper authority (as the
captain of the operative team) in not determining if
his anesthesiologist observed proper anesthesia
protocols. In fact, no evidence on record exists to show
that respondent Dr. Hosaka verified if respondent Dra.
Gutierrez properly intubated the patient. Furthermore,
it does not escape us that respondent Dr. Hosaka had
scheduled another procedure in a different hospital at
the same time as Erlindas cholecystectomy, and was in
fact over three hours late for the latters operation.
Because of this, he had little or no time to confer with
his anesthesiologist regarding the anesthesia delivery.
This indicates that he was remiss in his professional
duties towards his patient. Thus, he shares equal
responsibility for the events which resulted in Erlindas
condition.
- We now discuss the responsibility of the hospital in
this particular incident. The unique practice (among
private hospitals) of filling up specialist staff with
attending and visiting consultants, who are allegedly

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not hospital employees, presents problems in


apportioning responsibility for negligence in medical
malpractice cases. However, the difficulty is only more
apparent than real.
- In the first place, hospitals exercise significant control
in the hiring and firing of consultants and in the conduct
of their work within the hospital premises. Doctors
who apply for consultant slots, visiting or attending,
are required to submit proof of completion of residency,
their educational qualifications; generally, evidence of
accreditation by the appropriate board (diplomate),
evidence of fellowship in most cases, and references.
These requirements are carefully scrutinized by
members of the hospital administration or by a review
committee set up by the hospital who either accept or
reject the application. This is particularly true with
respondent hospital.
- After a physician is accepted, either as a visiting or
attending consultant, he is normally required to attend
clinico-pathological conferences, conduct bedside
rounds for clerks, interns and residents, moderate grand
rounds and patient audits and perform other tasks and
responsibilities, for the privilege of being able to
maintain a clinic in the hospital, and/or for the privilege
of admitting patients into the hospital. In addition to
these, the physicians performance as a specialist is
generally evaluated by a peer review committee on the
basis of mortality and morbidity statistics, and feedback
from patients, nurses, interns and residents.
A
consultant remiss in his duties, or a consultant who
regularly falls short of the minimum standards
acceptable to the hospital or its peer review committee,
is normally politely terminated.
- In other words, private hospitals, hire, fire and
exercise real control over their attending and visiting
consultant staff.
While consultants are not,
technically employees, a point which respondent
hospital asserts in denying all responsibility for the
patients condition, the control exercised, the hiring, and
the right to terminate consultants all fulfill the important
hallmarks of an employer-employee relationship, with
the exception of the payment of wages. In assessing
whether such a relationship in fact exists, the control
test is determining. Accordingly, on the basis of the

prof. casis
foregoing, we rule that for the purpose of allocating
responsibility in medical negligence cases, an
employer-employee relationship in effect exists
between hospitals and their attending and visiting
physicians. This being the case, the question now arises
as to whether or not respondent hospital is solidarily
liable with respondent doctors for petitioners condition.
- The basis for holding an employer solidarily
responsible for the negligence of its employee is found
in Article 2180 of the Civil Code which considers a
person accountable not only for his own acts but also
for those of others based on the formers responsibility
under a relationship of patria potestas. Such
responsibility ceases when the persons or entity
concerned prove that they have observed the diligence
of a good father of the family to prevent damage. In
other words, while the burden of proving negligence
rests on the plaintiffs, once negligence is shown, the
burden shifts to the respondents (parent, guardian,
teacher or employer) who should prove that they
observed the diligence of a good father of a family to
prevent damage.
- In the instant case, respondent hospital, apart from a
general denial of its responsibility over respondent
physicians, failed to adduce evidence showing that it
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
the hiring and supervision of the latter. It failed to
adduce evidence with regard to the degree of
supervision which it exercised over its physicians. In
neglecting to offer such proof, or proof of a similar
nature, respondent hospital thereby failed to discharge
its burden under the last paragraph of Article 2180.
Having failed to do this, respondent hospital is
consequently solidarily responsible with its physicians
for Erlindas condition.
- Upon these disquisitions we hold that private
respondents are solidarily liable for damages under
Article 2176 of the Civil Code.
4. Given these considerations, the amount of actual
damages recoverable in suits arising from negligence
should at least reflect the correct minimum cost of
proper care, not the cost of the care the family is usually
compelled to undertake at home to avoid bankruptcy.

torts & damages


- Art. 2199. - Except as provided by law or by
stipulation, one is entitled to an adequate compensation
only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has
duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual
or compensatory damages.
- Our rules on actual or compensatory damages
generally assume that at the time of litigation, the injury
suffered as a consequence of an act of negligence has
been completed and that the cost can be liquidated.
However, these provisions neglect to take into account
those situations, as in this case, where the resulting
injury might be continuing and possible future
complications directly arising from the injury, while
certain to occur, are difficult to predict.
- In these cases, the amount of damages which should
be awarded, if they are to adequately and correctly
respond to the injury caused, should be one which
compensates for pecuniary loss incurred and proved, up
to the time of trial; and one which would meet
pecuniary loss certain to be suffered but which could
not, from the nature of the case, be made with certainty.
In other words, temperate damages can and should be
awarded on top of actual or compensatory damages in
instances where the injury is chronic and continuing.
And because of the unique nature of such cases, no
incompatibility arises when both actual and temperate
damages are provided for. The reason is that these
damages cover two distinct phases.
- As it would not be equitable - and certainly not in the
best interests of the administration of justice - for the
victim in such cases to constantly come before the
courts and invoke their aid in seeking adjustments to the
compensatory damages previously awarded - temperate
damages are appropriate.
The amount given as
temperate damages, though to a certain extent
speculative, should take into account the cost of proper
care.
- In the instant case, petitioners were able to provide
only home-based nursing care for a comatose patient
who has remained in that condition for over a decade.
Having premised our award for compensatory damages
on the amount provided by petitioners at the onset of
litigation, it would be now much more in step with the
interests of justice if the value awarded for temperate

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damages would allow petitioners to provide optimal


care for their loved one in a facility which generally
specializes in such care. They should not be compelled
by dire circumstances to provide substandard care at
home without the aid of professionals, for anything less
would be grossly inadequate. Under the circumstances,
an award of P1,500,000.00 in temperate damages would
therefore be reasonable.
- Meanwhile, the actual physical, emotional and
financial cost of the care of petitioner would be
virtually impossible to quantify. Even the temperate
damages herein awarded would be inadequate if
petitioners condition remains unchanged for the next
ten years.
- The husband and the children, all petitioners in this
case, will have to live with the day to day uncertainty of
the patients illness, knowing any hope of recovery is
close to nil. They have fashioned their daily lives
around the nursing care of petitioner, altering their long
term goals to take into account their life with a
comatose patient. They, not the respondents, are
charged with the moral responsibility of the care of the
victim. The familys moral injury and suffering in this
case is clearly a real one. For the foregoing reasons, an
award of P2,000,000.00 in moral damages would be
appropriate.
- Finally, by way of example, exemplary damages in the
amount of P100,000.00 are hereby awarded.
Considering the length and nature of the instant suit we
are of the opinion that attorneys fees valued at
P100,000.00 are likewise proper.
DISPOSITION the decision and resolution of the
appellate court appealed from are hereby modified so as
to award in favor of petitioners, and solidarily against
private respondents the following: 1) P1,352,000.00 as
actual damages computed as of the date of
promulgation of this decision plus a monthly payment
of P8,000.00 up to the time that petitioner Erlinda
Ramos expires or miraculously survives; 2)
P2,000,000.00 as moral damages, 3) P1,500,000.00 as
temperate damages; 4) P100,000.00 each as exemplary
damages and attorneys fees; and, 5) the costs of the
suit.

prof. casis
BATIQUIN V CA (Villegas)
258 SCRA 334
DAVIDE; July 5, 1996
NATURE
Petition for review of the decision of the Court of
Appeals
FACTS
- Mrs. Villegas submitted to Dr. Batiquin for prenatal
care as the latter's private patient sometime before
September 21, 1988. In the morning of September 21,
1988 Dr. Batiquin, along with other physicians and
nurses, performed a caesarian operation on Mrs.
Villegas and successfully delivered the latters baby.
- After leaving the hospital, Mrs. Villegas began to
suffer abdominal pains and complained of being
feverish. She also gradually lost her appetite, so she
consulted Dr. Batiquin at the latter's polyclinic who
prescribed for her certain medicines. However, the
pains still kept recurring. She then consulted Dr. Ma.
Salud Kho. After examining her, Dr Kho suggested that
Mrs. Villegas submit to another surgery.
- When Dr. Kho opened the abdomen of Mrs. Villegas
she found whitish-yellow discharge inside, an ovarian
cyst on each of the left and right ovaries which gave out
pus, dirt and pus behind the uterus, and a piece of
rubber material on the right side of the uterus,
embedded on the ovarian cyst. The piece of rubber
appeared to be a part of a rubber glove. This was the
cause of all of the infection of the ovaries and
consequently of all the discomfort suffered by Mrs.
Villegas
- The piece of rubber allegedly found was not presented
in court, and Dr. Kho testified that she sent it to a
pathologist in Cebu City for examination. Aside from
Dr. Kho's testimony, the evidence which mentioned the
piece of rubber are a Medical Certificate, HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1996/j
ul1996/118231.htm" \l "_edn10" \o "" a Progress
Record,
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1996/j
ul1996/118231.htm" \l "_edn11" \o "" an Anesthesia
Record,
HYPERLINK

torts & damages


"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1996/j
ul1996/118231.htm" \l "_edn12" \o "" a Nurse's
Record,
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1996/j
ul1996/118231.htm" \l "_edn13" \o "" and a Physician's
Discharge Summary. The trial court, however, regarded
these documentary evidence as mere hearsay, "there
being no showing that the person or persons who
prepared them are deceased or unable to testify on the
facts therein stated
- There was also doubts as to the whereabouts of the
piece of rubber, as 2 versions arose from Dr. Khos
testimony: 1) that it was sent to the Pathologist in Cebu
as testified to in Court by Dr. Kho and (2) that Dr. Kho
threw it away as told by her to Defendant. The failure of
the Plaintiffs to reconcile these two different versions
served only to weaken their claim against Defendant
Batiquin. The trial court ruled in favor of the
defendants. The CA reversed the decision.

ISSUES
Procedural
WON the court can review questions of fact
Substantive
WON Dr. Batiquin is liable
HELD
Procedural
YES
- While the rule is that only questions of law may be
raised in a petition for review on certiorari, there are
exceptions, among which are when the factual findings
of the trial court and the appellate court conflict, when
the appealed decision is clearly contradicted by the
evidence on record, or when the appellate court
misapprehended the facts
Substantive
- The focal point of the appeal is Dr. Khos testimony.
There were inconsistencies within her own testimony,
which led to the different decision of the RTC and CA.
The CA was correct in saying that the trial court erred
when it isolated the disputed portion of Dr. Khos

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prof. casis

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testimony and did not consider it with other portions of


Dr. Khos testimony. Also, the phrase relied upon by the
trial court does not negate the fact that Dr. Kho saw a
piece of rubber in private respondent Villegas'
abdomen, and that she sent it to a laboratory and then to
Cebu City for examination by a pathologist.
Furthermore, Dr. Kho's knowledge of the piece of
rubber could not be based on other than first hand
knowledge for, as she asserted before the trial court.
- It is also worth noting that the trial court paid heed to
Dr. Batiquins testimony, that there was neither any tear
on Dr. Batiquin's gloves after the operation nor blood
smears on her hands upon removing her gloves. But the
trial court failed to recognized that these were mere
denials or negative testimonies. Well-settled is the rule
that positive testimony is stronger than negative
testimony.
- While the petitioners claim that contradictions and
falsities punctured Dr. Kho's testimony, a reading of the
said testimony reveals no such infirmity and establishes
Dr. Kho as a credible witness. Dr. Kho was frank
throughout her turn on the witness stand. Furthermore,
no motive to state any untruth was ever imputed against
Dr. Kho, leaving her trustworthiness unimpaired.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1996/j
ul1996/118231.htm" \l "_edn34" \o "" The trial court's
following declaration shows that while it was critical of
the lack of care with which Dr. Kho handled the piece
of rubber, it was not prepared to doubt Dr. Kho's
credibility, thus only supporting out appraisal of Dr.
Kho's trustworthiness.
- Considering that we have assessed Dr. Kho to be a
credible witness, her positive testimony prevails over
the negative testimony in favor of the petitioners. As
such, the rule of res ipsa loquitur comes to fore.
- This doctrine is stated thus: "Where the thing which
causes injury is shown to be under the management of
the defendant, and the accident is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not happen if those who
have the management use proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation
by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of
care."

- In the instant case, all the requisites for recourse to the


doctrine are present. First, the entire proceedings of the
cesarean section were under the exclusive control of Dr.
Batiquin. In this light, the private respondents were
bereft of direct evidence as to the actual culprit or the
exact cause of the foreign object finding its way into
private respondent Villegas' body, which, needless to
say, does not occur unless through the intervention of
negligence. Second, since aside from the cesarean
section, private respondent Villegas underwent no other
operation which could have caused the offending piece
of rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to reason that
such could only have been a by-product of the cesarean
section performed by Dr. Batiquin. The petitioners, in
this regard, failed to overcome the presumption of
negligence arising from resort to the doctrine of res
ipsa loquitur. Dr. Batiquin is therefore liable for
negligently leaving behind a piece of rubber in private
respondent Villegas' abdomen and for all the adverse
effects thereof
DISPOSITION Decision affirmed
D.M. CONSUNJI V CA
KAPUNAN; April 20, 2001
NATURE
Appeal from CA affirming decision of RTC ordering
defendant D.M. Consunji, Inc. to pay damages to
plaintiff Maria J. Juego
FACTS
- At around 1:30 p.m., November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a
construction worker of D. M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14
floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his
death. Investigation disclosed that while victim Jose A.
Juego together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso Destajo
were performing their work on board a steel platform
with plywood flooring and cable wires attached to its
four corners and hooked at the 5 ton chain block, when
suddenly, the bolt or pin which was merely inserted to
connect the chain block with the platform came loose
causing the whole platform assembly and the victim to
fall down to the basement of the elevator core of the

torts & damages


building under construction, save his 2 companions who
luckily jumped out for safety.
- On May 9, 1991, Jose Juegos widow, Maria, filed in
the RTC of Pasig a complaint for damages against D.M.
Consunji, Inc. The employer raised, among other
defenses, the widows prior availment of the benefits
from the State Insurance Fund. After trial, the RTC
rendered a decision in favor of the widow. On appeal by
D. M. Consunji, the CA affirmed the decision of the
RTC in toto.
ISSUES
1. WON the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable
to prove petitioners negligence
2. WON respondent is precluded from recovering
damages under the Civil Code
HELD
1. YES
Ratio As a rule of evidence, the doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur is peculiar to the law of negligence which
recognizes that prima facie negligence may be
established without direct proof and furnishes a
substitute for specific proof of negligence. It is based in
part upon the theory that the defendant in charge of the
instrumentality which causes the injury either knows
the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of
ascertaining it and that the plaintiff has no such
knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege
negligence in general terms and to rely upon the proof
of the happening of the accident in order to establish
negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of necessity and
it applies where evidence is absent or not readily
available, provided the following requisites are present:
(1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily
occur unless someone is negligent;
(2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the
injury was under the exclusive control of the person
charged with negligence; and
(3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any
voluntary action or contribution on the part of the
person injured.
No worker is going to fall from the 14th floor of a
building to the basement while performing work in a

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construction site unless someone is negligent; thus, the


first requisite is present. As explained earlier, the
construction site with all its paraphernalia and human
resources that likely caused the injury is under the
exclusive control and management of appellant; thus,
the second requisite is also present. No contributory
negligence was attributed to the appellees deceased
husband; thus, the last requisite is also present. A
reasonable presumption or inference of appellants
negligence arises. Regrettably, petitioner does not cite
any evidence to rebut the inference or presumption of
negligence arising from the application of res ipsa
loquitur, or to establish any defense relating to the
incident.
2. NO
Ratio Claimants may invoke either the Workmens
Compensation Act or the provisions of the Civil Code,
subject to the consequence that the choice of one
remedy will exclude the other and that the acceptance
of compensation under the remedy chosen will preclude
a claim for additional benefits under the other remedy.
The exception is where a claimant who has already
been paid under the Workmens Compensation Act may
still sue for damages under the Civil Code on the basis
of supervening facts or developments occurring after he
opted for the first remedy. The choice of a party
between inconsistent remedies results in a waiver by
election. Waiver requires a knowledge of the facts basic
to the exercise of the right waived, with an awareness of
its consequences. That a waiver is made knowingly and
intelligently must be illustrated on the record or by the
evidence. There is no showing that private respondent
knew of the remedies available to her when the claim
before the ECC was filed. On the contrary, private
respondent testified that she was not aware of her rights.
DISPOSITION The case is REMANDED to the
Regional Trial Court of Pasig City to determine whether
the award decreed in its decision is more than that of
the ECC, whereupon payments already made to private
respondent pursuant to the Labor Code shall be
deducted therefrom. In all other respects, the Decision
of the CA is AFFIRMED.
MANILA ELECTRIC CO. V REMONQUILLO

prof. casis
99 PHIL 117
MONTEMAYOR; May 18, 1956
NATURE
Petition for review by certiorari of a decision of the
Court of Appeals.
FACTS
- August 22, 1950: Efren Magno went to the house of
Antonio Pealoza, hid stepbrother, on Rodriguez
Lanuza St, Manila, to repair a leaking media agua.
The media agua was just below the window of the
third story.
- Standing on said media agua, Magno received from
his son thru the window a 3x6 galvanized iron sheet to
cover the leaking portion. The lower end of the iron
sheet came into contact with the electric wire of the
Manila Electric Company parallel to the media agua
and 2 feet from it, causing his death by electrocution.
- his widow and children filed suit to recover damages
from the company. Trial court rendered judgment in
their favor. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
- The electric wire in question was an exposed,
uninsulated primary wire stretched between poles pm
the street and carrying a charge of 3600 volts. It was
installed there some two years ago before Pealozas
house was constructed. During the construction of said
house a similar incident took place, with less tragic
consequences. The owner of the house complained to
defendant about the danger which the wire presented,
and defendant moved one end of the wire farther from
the house by means of a brace, but left the other end
where it was.
- Regulations of the City required that all wires be kept
three feet from the building.
- There was no insulation that could have rendered it
safe, because there is no insulation material in
commercial use for such kind of wire (according to
appellant, and this was not refuted).
Petitioners Claim
- Owner of the house exceeded the limit for the
construction of the media agua (17% more).
Respondents Comment

torts & damages


Owner was given final permit despite the excess of the
media agua.
ISSUE
WON Manila Electric is guilty of negligence.
HELD
NO
- It was the victim who was guilty of negligence
Ratio the liability of electric companies for damages or
personal injury is governed by the rules of negligence,
nevertheless such companies are not insurers of the
safety of the public.
Reasoning
- The death of Magno was primarily caused by his own
negligence, and in some measure by the too close
proximity of the media agua to the electric wire of the
company by reason of the violation of the original
permit given by the city and the subsequent approval of
said illegal construction of the media agua. Had the
house owner followed the terms of the permit given him
by the city for the construction of his
media agua, the distance from the wires to the edge of
said media agua would have been 3ft and 11 3/8
inches.
- The company cannot be expected to be always on the
lookout for any illegal construction which reduces the
distance between its wires and said construction, and to
change the installation of its wires so as to preserve said
distance.
- The violation of the permit for the construction was
not the direct cause of the accident. It merely
contributed to it. The real cause of the accident or death
was the reckless or negligent act of Magno himself. It is
to be presumed that due to his age and experience he
was qualified to do so. He had training and experience
for the job. He could not have been entirely a stranger
to electric wires and the danger lurking in them.
- To hold the defendant liable in damages for the death
of Magno, such supposed negligence of the company
must have been the proximate and principal cause of the
accident.

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Disposition The appealed decision of the CA is


reversed, and complaint against the Company
dismissed.
BERNARDO V LEGASPI
29 Phil 12
MORELAND; December 23, 1914
NATURE
Appeal from a judgment of CFI Manila
dismissing the complaint on the merits filed
in an action to recover damages for injuries
FACTS
- Due to a collision between the respective
automobiles of Bernardo and Legaspi, the
former filed an action to recover damages
for injuries sustained by his car which he
alleged were by reason of Legaspi's
negligence in causing said collision.
Legaspi, on the other hand, filed a crosscomplaint alleging it was Bernardo's fault.
He also asks for damages.
- The lower court found upon the evidence
that both the plaintiff and the defendant
were
negligent
in
handling
their
automobiles and that said negligence was of
such a character and extent on the part of
both as to prevent either from recovering.
ISSUE
WON the parties may recover damages
HELD
1. NO
- Where two automobiles, going in opposite
directions, collide on turning a street
corner, and it appears from the evidence
and is found by the trial court that the
drivers thereof were equally negligent and
contributed equally to the principal
occurrence as determining causes thereof,
neither can recover of the other for
damages suffered.

prof. casis
BERNAL V HOUSE
54 PHIL 327
MALCOLM; January 30, 1930
FACTS
0 Fortunata Enverso with her daughter Purificacion
Bernal went to Tacloban, Leyte to attend the procession
of Holy Friday.
1 After the procession, they, accompanied by two other
persons, passed along a public street named Gran
Capitan.
2 The little girl was allowed to get a short distance in
advance of her mother and her friends.
3 While in front of the offices of the Tacloban Electric
& Ice Plant, Ltd., an automobile appeared on which
frightened the child. She turned to run, but fell into the
street gutter. At that time there was hot water in this
gutter or ditch coming from the Electric Ice Plant of J.V.
House.
4 When the mother and her companions reached the
child, they found her face downward in the hot water.
5 The girl was taken to the provincial hospital. Despite
his efforts, the child died that same night.
6 It was certified that the cause of death was "Burns,
3rd Degree, whole Body", and that the contributory
causes were "Congestion of the Brain and visceras of
the chest & abdomen.
7 The defense was that the hot water was permitted to
flow down the side of the street Gran Captain with the
knowledge and consent of the authorities; that the cause
of death was other than the hot water; and that in the
death the plaintiffs contributed by their own fault and
negligence.
8 The trial judge, however, after examination of the
evidence presented by the defendants, failed to sustain
their theory of the case, except as to the last mentioned
special defense. He nevertheless was led to order the
dismissal of the action because of the contributory
negligence of the plaintiffs.
ISSUE
WON the action should be dismissed due to the
contributory negligence of the plaintiffs

torts & damages

HELD
NO
- The death of the child was the result of fault and
negligence in permitting hot water to flow through the
public streets, there to endanger the lives of passers-by
who were unfortunately enough to fall into it
- The mother and her child had a perfect right to be on
the principal street of Tacloban, Leyte, on the evening
when the religious procession was held.
- There was nothing abnormal in allowing the child to
run along a few paces in advance of the mother. No one
could foresee the coincidence of an automobile
appearing and of a frightened child running and falling
into a ditch filled with hot water.
- The doctrines announced in the much debated case of
Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. ([1907], 7 Phil.,
359), still rule. Article 1902 of the Civil Code must
again be enforced. The contributory negligence of the
child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a
bar to recovery, but in its strictest sense could only
result in reduction of the damages.
DISPOSITION Judgment appealed from was in part be
reversed and in the court of origin another judgment
was issued in favor of Fortunata Enverso and against
J.V. House for the amount of P1,000, and for the costs
of both instances.
SEPARATE OPINION
ROMUALDEZ [dissent]
- Even taking the finding that the defendant by its
negligence helped to bring about the accident which
resulted in the death of the child Purificacion Bernal,
plaintiff, by negligence, contributed to that most
regrettable result.
- Judgment appealed from should be affirmed.
GOTESCO INVESTMENT CORPORATION V
CHATTO
210 SCRA 18
DAVIDE JR.; June 16, 1992

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FACTS
- Plaintiff Gloria E. Chatto, and her 15-year old
daughter, Lina Delza E. Chatto went to see the movie
"Mother Dear" at Superama I theater, owned by
defendant Gotesco Investment Corporation.
- Hardly ten (10) minutes after entering the theater, the
ceiling of its balcony collapsed. The theater was
plunged into darkness and pandemonium ensued.
- Shocked and hurt, plaintiffs managed to crawl under
the fallen ceiling. As soon as they were able to get out
to the street they walked the nearby FEU Hospital
where they were confined and treated for one (1) day.
- The next day, they transferred to the UST hospital.
Plaintiff Gloria Chatto was treated in said hospital from
June 5 to June 19 and plaintiff Lina Delza Chatto from
June 5 to 11.
- Due to continuing pain in the neck, headache and
dizziness, plaintiff went to Illinois, USA in July 1982
for further treatment. She was treated at the Cook
County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She stayed in the
U.S. for about three (3) months during which time she
had to return to the Cook County Hospital five (5) or,
six (6) times.
- Defendant tried to avoid liability by alleging that the
collapse of the ceiling of its theater was done due to
force majeure. It maintained that its theater did not
suffer from any structural or construction defect.
- The trial court awarded actual or compensatory and
moral damages and attorney's fees to the plaintiffs.
- Respondent Court found the appeal later filed to be
without merit.
- Its motion for reconsideration of the decision having
been denied by the respondent Court, petitioner filed
the petition in the SC.
ISSUE
WON the collapse of the ceiling was caused by force
majeur
HELD
NO
- Petitioner's claim that the collapse of the ceiling of the
theater's balcony was due to force majeure is not even

prof. casis
founded on facts because its own witness, Mr. Jesus
Lim Ong, admitted that "he could not give any reason
why the ceiling collapsed." Having interposed it as a
defense, it had the burden to prove that the collapse was
indeed caused by force majeure. That Mr. Ong could
not offer any explanation does not imply force majeure.
- Definitions of force majeure as cited in Pons y
Compaia vs. La Compaia Maritima:
1. Blackstone, in his Commentaries on English Law:
Inevitable accident or casualty; an accident produced by
any physical cause which is irresistible; such as
lightning. tempest, perils of the sea, inundation, or
earthquake; the sudden illness or death of a person.
2. Escriche, in his Diccionario de Legislacion y
Jurisprudenci,:
The event which we could neither foresee nor resist; as
for example, the lightning stroke, hail, inundation,
hurricane, public enemy, attack by robbers; Vis major
est, says Cayo, ea quae consilio humano neque
provideri neque vitari potest. Accident and mitigating
circumstances.
3. Bouvier: Any accident due to natural cause, directly
exclusively without human intervention, such as could
not have been prevented by any kind of oversight, pains
and care reasonably to have been expected.
4. Corkburn, chief justice, in a well considered English
case, said that were a captain uses all the known means
to which prudent and experienced captains ordinarily
have recourse, he does all that can be reasonably
required of him; and if, under such circumstances, he is
overpowered by storm or other natural agency, he is
within the rule which gives immunity from the effects
of such vis major. The term generally applies, broadly
speaking, to natural accidents, such as those caused by
lightning, earthquake, tempests, public enemy ,etc.
-The real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain the
cause or reason is that either he did not actually conduct
the investigation or that he isincompetent. He is not an
engineer, but an architect who had not even passed the
government's examination.
- Verily, post-incident investigation cannot be
considered as material to the present proceedings. What
is significant is the finding of the trial court, affirmed
by the respondent Court, that the collapse was due to

torts & damages


construction defects. There was no evidence offered to
overturn this finding.
- The building was constructed barely 4 years prior to
the accident in question. It was not shown that any of
the causes denominates as force majeure obtained
immediately before or at the time of the collapse of the
ceiling. Such defects could have been easily discovered
if only petitioner exercised due diligence and care in
keeping and maintaining the premises. But as disclosed
by the testimony of Mr. Ong, there was no adequate
inspection of the premises before the date of the
accident.
- That the structural designs and plans of the building
were duly approved by the City Engineer and the
building permits and certificate of occupancy were
issued do not at all prove that there were no defects in
the construction, especially as regards the ceiling,
considering that no testimony was offered to prove that
it was ever inspected at all.
- It is settled that:
The owner or proprietor of a place of public
amusement impliedly warrants that the premises,
appliances and amusement devices are safe for the
purpose for which they are designed, the doctrine
being subject to no other exception or qualification
than that he does not contract against unknown
defects not discoverable by ordinary or reasonable
means.
- This implied warranty has given rise to the rule that:
Where a patron of a theater or other place of public
amusement is injured, and the thing that caused the
injury is wholly and exclusively under the control
and management of the defendant, and the accident
is such as in the ordinary course of events would
not have happened if proper care had been
exercised, its occurrence raises a presumption or
permits of an inference of negligence on the part of
the defendant.
- That presumption or inference was not overcome by
the petitioner.
- Even assuming that the cause of the collapse was due
to force majeure, petitioner would still be liable because
it was guilty of negligence, which the trial court
denominated as gross. As gleaned from Bouvier's

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definition of and Cockburn's elucidation on force


majeure for one to be exempt from any liability because
of it, he must have exercised care, i.e., he should not
have been guilty of negligence.
Disposition Judgment was denying the instant petition
with costs against petitioner.
PLDT V CA (SPS ESTEBAN)
REGALADO; September 29, 1989
[CITATION]
NATURE
Petition for certiorari to review the resolution of the
Court of Appeals.
FACTS
- July 30, 1968 Jeep of Esteban spouses ran over a
mound of earth and fell into an open trench, an
excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT for the
installation of its underground conduit system. The
complaint alleged that respondent Antonio Esteban
failed to notice the open trench which was left
uncovered because of the creeping darkness and the
lack of any warning light or signs.
- Gloria Esteban allegedly sustained injuries on her
arms, legs and face, leaving a permanent scar on her
cheek, while the respondent husband suffered cut lips.
In addition, the windshield of the jeep was shattered.
- PLDT, in its answer, denies liability on the contention
that the injuries sustained by respondent spouses were
the result of their own negligence and that the entity
which should be held responsible, if at all, is L.R. Barte
and Company, an independent contractor which
undertook the said construction work.
- TC ruled in favor of Esteban spouses whereas the CA
reversed the ruling.
ISSUE
WON the Esteban spouses can claim damages from
PLDT
HELD
NO

prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

Ratio A person claiming damages for the negligence of


another has the burden of proving the existence of such
fault or negligence causative thereof. The facts
constitutive of negligence must be affirmatively
established by competent evidence.
Reasoning
- The accident was due to the lack of diligence of
respondent Antonio Esteban and was not imputable to
negligent omission on the part of petitioner PLDT.
> Jeep was running along the inside lane of Lacson
Street. If it had remained on that inside lane, it would
not have hit the accident mound
> That plaintiffs jeep was on the inside lane before it
swerved to hit the ACCIDENT MOUND could have
been corroborated by a picture showing Lacson Street
to the south of the ACCIDEN MOUND.
> Plaintiffs jeep was not running at 25 kilometers an
hour as plaintiff husband claimed. At that speed, he
could have braked the vehicle the moment it struck
the ACCIDENT MOUND.
> If the accident did not happen because the jeep was
running quite fast on the inside lane and for some
reason or other it had to swerve suddenly to the right
and had to climb over the ACCIDENT MOUND,
then plaintiff husband had not exercised the deligence
of a good father of a family to avoid the accident.
- The above findings clearly show that the negligence of
respondent Antonio Esteban was not only contributory
to his injuries and those of his wife but goes to the very
cause of the occurrence of the accident, as one of its
determining factors, and thereby precludes their right to
recover damages.
Disposition resolutions of respondent CA, dated March
11, 1990 and September 3, 1980, are hereby SET
ASIDE, Its original decision, promulgated on
September 25, 1979, is hereby REINSTATED and
AFFIRMED.
GENOBIAGON V CA (PEOPLE OF THE PHILS)
178 SCRA 422
GRIO-AQUINO; October 22, 1957
NATURE

torts & damages


Petition for review of the CAs decision affirming the
conviction of the petitioner of the crime of homicide
thru reckless imprudence.
FACTS
- On Dec 31, 1959, at about 7:30 PM, a rig driven by
Genobiagon bumped an old woman who was crossing
the street. The appellant's rig was following another at a
distance of two meters. The old woman started to cross
when the first rig was approaching her, but as
appellant's vehicle was going so fast not only because
of the steep down-grade of the road, but also because he
was trying to overtake the rig ahead of him, the
appellant's rig bumped the old woman, who fell at the
middle of the road. The appellant continued to drive on,
but a by-stander Mangyao saw the incident and shouted
at the appellant to stop. He ran after appellant when the
latter refused to stop. Overtaking the appellant,
Mangyao asked him why he bumped the old woman
and his answer was, 'it was the old woman that bumped
him.' The appellant went back to the place where the
old woman was struck by his rig. The old woman was
unconscious. She was then loaded in a jeep and brought
to the hospital where she died 3 hours later.
- Genobiagon was convicted of homicide thru reckless
imprudence. CA affirmed
- Genobiagon claims CA erred in not finding that the
reckless negligence of the victim was the proximate
cause of the accident which led to her death
ISSUES
WON contributory negligence can be used as defense
by Genobiagon
HELD
NO
- The alleged contributory negligence of the victim, if
any, does not exonerate the accused.
- "The defense of contributory negligence does not
apply in criminal cases committed through reckless
imprudence, since one cannot allege the negligence of
another to evade the effects of his own negligence
(People vs. Orbeta, CA-G.R. No. 321, March 29,
1947)." (People vs. Quiones, 44 O.G. 1520)

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Disposition the appealed decision is affirmed with


modification as to the civil liability of the petitioner
which is hereby increased to P30,000. Costs against
petitioner.
RAKES V ATLANTIC
[CITATION]
[PONENTE]
NATURE
Action for damages
FACTS
- The plaintiff, Rakes, one of a group of 8 AfricanAmerican laborers in the employment of defendant,
Atlantic, was at work transporting iron rails from the
harbor in Manila. The men were hauling the rails on 2
hand cars, some behind or at it sides and some pulling
the cars in the front by a rope. At one point, the track
sagged, the tie broke, the car canted and the rails slid off
and caught the plaintiff who was walking by the cars
side, breaking his leg, which was later amputated at the
knee.
- The plaintiffs witness alleged that a noticeable
depression in the track had appeared after a typhoon.
This was reported to the foreman, Mckenna, but it had
not been proven that Atlantic inspected the track or had
any proper system of inspection. Also, there were no
side guards on the cars to keep the rails from slipping
off.
- However, the companys officers and 3 of the workers
testified that there was a general prohibition frequently
made known to all against walking by the side of cars.
As Rakes was walking along the cars side when the
accident occurred, he was found to have contributed in
some degree to the injury inflicted, although not as the
primary cause.
- Atlantic contends that the remedy for injury through
negligence lies only in a criminal action against the
official directly responsible and that the employer be
held only subsidiarily liable.
ISSUE

prof. casis
WON there was contributory negligence on the part of
petitioner
HELD
YES
- Petitioner had walked along the side of the car despite
a prohibition to do so by the foreman.
-The negligence of the injured person contributing to
his injury but not being one of the determining causes
of the principal accident, does not operate as a bar to
recovery, but only in reduction of his damages. Each
party is chargeable with damages in proportion to his
fault.
- Trial court assessed that damages to plaintiff amount
to PhP5,000. SC deducted PhP2,500, the amount fairly
attributable to his own negligence.
SEPARATE OPINION
WILLARD AND CARSON [dissent]
- the negligence of the defendant alone was insufficient
to cause the accidentit also required the negligence of
the plaintiff. Because of this, plaintiff should not be
afforded relief
PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMERCE V CA
(ROMMELS MARKETING CORP.)
269 SCRA 695
HERMOSISIMA JR; March 14, 1997
NATURE
Petition for review challenging the CA decision
affirming the RTC decision in a civil case
FACTS
- the case stems from a complaint filed by Rommels
Marketing Corporation (RMC) to recover from the
former Philippine Bank of Commerce (PBC) the sum of
P304,979.74 representing various deposits it had made
in its current account with the bank but which were not
credited, and were instead deposited to the account of
one Bienvenido Cotas, allegedly due to the gross and
inexcusable negligence of the petitioner bank.

torts & damages


ISSUE
What is the proximate cause of the loss, to the tune of
P304,979.74, suffered by the private respondent RMC
petitioner bank's negligence or that of private
respondent's?
HELD
- The proximate cause of the loss was the negligent act
of the bank, thru its teller Ms. Azucena Mabayad, in
validating the deposit slips, both original and duplicate,
presented by Ms. Yabut to Ms. Mabayad,
notwithstanding the fact that one of the deposit slips
was not completely accomplished.
Ratio Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes
damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or
negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and
is governed by the provisions of this Chapter
Reasoning
- There are three elements of a quasi-delict: (a) damages
suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the
defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must
respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect
between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the
damages incurred by the plaintiff.
- In the case at bench, there is no dispute as to the
damage suffered by the private respondent. Negligence
is the omission to do something which a reasonable
man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily
regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the
doing of something which a prudent and reasonable
man would do.
- Test by which to determine the existence of negligence
in a particular case: Did the defendant in doing the
alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and
caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have
used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence. The law here in effect adopts the standard
supposed to be supplied by the imaginary conduct of
the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law. The
existence of negligence in a given case is not
determined by reference to the personal judgment of the
actor in the situation before him. The law considers

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what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in


the man of ordinary intelligence and prudence and
determines liability by that.
- Applying the above test, it appears that the bank's
teller, Ms. Azucena Mabayad, was negligent in
validating, officially stamping and signing all the
deposit slips prepared and presented by Ms. Yabut,
despite the glaring fact that the duplicate copy was not
completely accomplished contrary to the self-imposed
procedure of the bank with respect to the proper
validation of deposit slips, original or duplicate, as
testified to by Ms. Mabayad herself.
- The fact that the duplicate slip was not compulsorily
required by the bank in accepting deposits should not
relieve the petitioner bank of responsibility. The odd
circumstance alone that such duplicate copy lacked one
vital information that of the name of the account
holder should have already put Ms. Mabayad on
guard. Rather than readily validating the incomplete
duplicate copy, she should have proceeded more
cautiously by being more probing as to the true reason
why the name of the account holder in the duplicate slip
was left blank while that in the original was filled up.
She should not have been so naive in accepting hook,
line and sinker the too shallow excuse of Ms. Irene
Yabut to the effect that since the duplicate copy was
only for her personal record, she would simply fill up
the blank space later on. 11 A "reasonable man of
ordinary prudence" 12 would not have given credence to
such explanation and would have insisted that the space
left blank be filled up as a condition for validation.
Unfortunately, this was not how bank teller Mabayad
proceeded thus resulting in huge losses to the private
respondent.
- Negligence here lies not only on the part of Ms.
Mabayad but also on the part of the bank itself in its
lackadaisical selection and supervision of Ms.
Mabayad. In the testimony of Mr. Romeo Bonifacio,
then Manager of the Pasig Branch of the petitioner, to
the effect that, while he ordered the investigation of the
incident, he never came to know that blank deposit slips
were validated in total disregard of the bank's validation
procedures.

prof. casis
- It was in fact only when he testified in this case in
February, 1983, or after the lapse of more than seven (7)
years counted from the period when the funds in
question were deposited in plaintiff's accounts (May,
1975 to July, 1976) that bank manager Bonifacio
admittedly became aware of the practice of his teller
Mabayad of validating blank deposit slips.
Undoubtedly, this is gross, wanton, and inexcusable
negligence in the appellant bank's supervision of its
employees.
- It was this negligence of Ms. Azucena Mabayad,
coupled by the negligence of the petitioner bank in the
selection and supervision of its bank teller, which was
the proximate cause of the loss suffered by the private
respondent, and not the latter's act of entrusting cash to
a dishonest employee, as insisted by the petitioners.
- Proximate cause is determined on the facts of each
case upon mixed considerations of logic, common
sense, policy and precedent. Bank of the Phil. Islands v.
Court of Appeals, 17 defines proximate cause as "that
cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence,
unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces
the injury, and without which the result would not have
occurred. . . ." In this case, absent the act of Ms.
Mabayad in negligently validating the incomplete
duplicate copy of the deposit slip, Ms. Irene Yabut
would not have the facility with which to perpetrate her
fraudulent scheme with impunity.
- LAST CLEAR CHANCE: under the doctrine of "last
clear chance" (also referred to, at times as "supervening
negligence" or as "discovered peril"), petitioner bank
was indeed the culpable party. This doctrine, in essence,
states that where both parties are negligent, but the
negligent act of one is appreciably later in time than that
of the other, or when it is impossible to determine
whose fault or negligence should be attributed to the
incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to
avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is
chargeable with the consequences thereof. The rule
would also mean that an antecedent negligence of a
person does not preclude the recovery of damages for
the supervening negligence of, or bar a defense against
liability sought by another, if the latter, who had the last
fair chance, could have avoided the impending harm by

torts & damages


the exercise of due diligence. Here, assuming that
private respondent RMC was negligent in entrusting
cash to a dishonest employee, thus providing the latter
with the opportunity to defraud the company, as
advanced by the petitioner, yet it cannot be denied that
the petitioner bank, thru its teller, had the last clear
opportunity to avert the injury incurred by its client,
simply by faithfully observing their self-imposed
validation procedure.
- In the case of banks, the degree of diligence required
is more than that of a good father of a family.
Considering the fiduciary nature of their relationship
with their depositors, banks are duty bound to treat the
accounts of their clients with the highest degree of care.
- The foregoing notwithstanding, it cannot be denied
that, indeed, private respondent was likewise negligent
in not checking its monthly statements of account. Had
it done so, the company would have been alerted to the
series of frauds being committed against RMC by its
secretary. The damage would definitely not have
ballooned to such an amount if only RMC, particularly
Romeo Lipana, had exercised even a little vigilance in
their financial affairs. This omission by RMC amounts
to contributory negligence which shall mitigate the
damages that may be awarded to the private respondent
23
under A2179 CC, to wit:
. . . When the plaintiff's own negligence was the
immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was
only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause
of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care,
the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts
shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.
In view of this, we believe that the demands of
substantial justice are satisfied by allocating the damage
on a 60-40 ratio. Thus, 40% of the damage awarded by
the respondent appellate court, except the award of
P25,000.00 attorney's fees, shall be borne by private
respondent RMC; only the balance of 60% needs to be
paid by the petitioners. The award of attorney's fees
shall be borne exclusively by the petitioner.
Disposition the decision of the respondent Court of
Appeals is modified by reducing the amount of actual
damages private respondent is entitled to by 40%.

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Petitioners may recover from Ms. Azucena Mabayad


the amount they would pay the private respondent.
Private respondent shall have recourse against Ms. Irene
Yabut. In all other respects, the appellate court's
decision is AFFIRMED.
SEPARATE OPINION
PADILLA [dissent]
- It seems that an innocent bank teller is being unduly
burdened with what should fall on Ms. Irene Yabut,
RMC's own employee, who should have been charged
with estafa or estafa through falsification of private
document. Why is RMC insulating Ms. Irene Yabut
from liability when in fact she orchestrated the entire
fraud on RMC, her employer?
- Going back to Yabut's modus operandi, it is not
disputed that each time Yabut would transact business
with PBC's tellers, she would accomplish two (2) copies
of the current account deposit slip. PBC's deposit slip,
as issued in 1975, had two parts. The upper part was
called the depositor's stub and the lower part was called
the bank copy. Both parts were detachable from each
other. The deposit slip was prepared and signed by the
depositor or his representative, who indicated therein
the current account number to which the deposit was to
be credited, the name of the depositor or current
account holder, the date of the deposit, and the amount
of the deposit either in cash or in checks.
- Since Yabut deposited money in cash, the usual bank
procedure then was for the teller to count whether the
cash deposit tallied with the amount written down by
the depositor in the deposit slip. If it did, then the teller
proceeded to verify whether the current account number
matched with the current account name as written in the
deposit slip.
- In the earlier days before the age of full
computerization, a bank normally maintained a ledger
which served as a repository of accounts to which
debits and credits resulting from transactions with the
bank were posted from books of original entry. Thus, it
was only after the transaction was posted in the ledger
that the teller proceeded to machine validate the deposit
slip and then affix his signature or initial to serve as
proof of the completed transaction.

prof. casis
- It should be noted that the teller validated the
depositor's stub in the upper portion and the bank copy
on the lower portion on both the original and duplicate
copies of the deposit slips presented by Yabut. The
teller, however, detached the validated depositor's stub
on the original deposit slip and allowed Yabut to retain
the whole validated duplicate deposit slip that bore the
same account number as the original deposit slip, but
with the account name purposely left blank by Yabut,
on the assumption that it would serve no other purpose
but for a personal record to complement the original
validated depositor's stub.
- Thus, when Yabut wrote the name of RMC on the
blank account name on the validated duplicate copy of
the deposit slip, tampered with its account number, and
superimposed RMC's account number, said act only
served to cover-up the loss already caused by her to
RMC, or after the deposit slip was validated by the
teller in favor of Yabut's husband. Stated otherwise,
when there is a clear evidence of tampering with any of
the material entries in a deposit slip, the genuineness
and due execution of the document become an issue in
resolving whether or not the transaction had been fair
and regular and whether the ordinary course of business
had been followed by the bank.
- The legal or proximate cause of RMC's loss was when
Yabut, its employee, deposited the money of RMC in
her husband's name and account number instead of that
of RMC, the rightful owner of such deposited funds.
Precisely, it was the criminal act of Yabut that directly
caused damage to RMC, her employer, not the
validation of the deposit slip by the teller as the deposit
slip was made out by Yabut in her husband's name and
to his account.
- LAST CLEAR CHANCE: As for the doctrine of "last
clear chance," it is my considered view that the doctrine
assumes that the negligence of the defendant was
subsequent to the negligence of the plaintiff and the
same must be the proximate cause of the injury. In
short, there must be a last and a clear chance, not a last
possible chance, to avoid the accident or injury. It must
have been a chance as would have enabled a reasonably
prudent man in like position to have acted effectively to
avoid the injury and the resulting damage to himself.

torts & damages


- In the case at bar, the bank was not remiss in its duty
of sending monthly bank statements to private
respondent RMC so that any error or discrepancy in the
entries therein could be brought to the bank's attention
at the earliest opportunity. Private respondent failed to
examine these bank statements not because it was
prevented by some cause in not doing so, but because it
was purposely negligent as it admitted that it does not
normally check bank statements given by banks.
- It was private respondent who had the last and clear
chance to prevent any further misappropriation by
Yabut had it only reviewed the status of its current
accounts on the bank statements sent to it monthly or
regularly. Since a sizable amount of cash was entrusted
to Yabut, private respondent should, at least, have taken
ordinary care of its concerns, as what the law presumes.
Its negligence, therefore, is not contributory but the
immediate and proximate cause of its injury.
JUNTILLA V FONTANAR
136 SCRA 624
GUITERREZ JR; May 31, 1985
NATURE
Petition to review the decision of CFI of Cebu
FACTS
- Petitioner Roberto Juntilla was sitting a the front seat
of a jeepney (driven by one Berfol Camoro, registered
under the franchise of Clemente Fontanar, but actually
owned by Fernando Banzon) when its right rear tire
exploded causing it to turn turtle. Plaintiff was thrown
out of the vehicle and lost consciousness upon landing
on the ground. When he came back to his senses, he
found that he had a lacerated wound on his right palm,
injuries on his left arm, right thigh and on his back and
also found this Omega wrist watch was lost. He went
to Danao city and upon arrival there he entered the City
Hospital to attend to his injuries and asked his father-inlaw to go to site of the accident to look for his watch
but the watch was nowhere to be found.
- Petitioner then filed a civil case for breach of contract
with damages before the City Court of Cebu against
Fontanar, Banzon, and Camoro, who filed their answer,

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alleging that the accident was beyond their control


taking into account that the tire that exploded was
newly bought and slightly used at the time it blew up.
- City Court rendered judgment in favor of petitioner.
The respondents then appealed to the CFI of Cebu,
which reversed the judgment upon a finding that the
accident in question was due to a fortuitous event.
Petitioners MFR was denied, hence this appeal.
ISSUES
1. WON the CFI erred in absolving the carrier from any
liability upon a finding that the tire blow out is a
fortuitous event
2. WON the accident was due to a fortuitous event
HELD
1. YES
- The CFI relied on the ruling of the CA in Rodriguez v
Red Line Transportation Co., that a tire blow-out does
not constitute negligence unless the tire was already old
and should not have been used at all. This conclusion
is based on a misapprehension of overall facts. In La
Mallorca and Pampanga Bus Co. v De Jesus, et al, We
held that, not only are the rulings of the CA in
Rodriguez v Red Line Trans. Co. not binding on this
Court but they were also based on considerations quite
different from those that obtain in the case at bar. In
the case at bar, there are specific acts of negligence on
the part of the respondents. The records show that the
passenger jeepney turned turtle and jumped into a ditch
immediately after its right rear tire exploded. The
evidence shows that the passenger jeepney was running
at a very fast speed before the accident. We agree with
the observation of the petitioner that a public utility jeep
running at a regular and safe speed will not jump into a
ditch when its right rear tire blows up. There is also
evidence to show that the passenger jeepney was
overloaded at the time of the accident. The petitioner
stated that there were 3 passengers in the front seat and
14 in the rear.
- While it may be true that the tire that blew-up was still
good because the grooves of the tire were still visible,
this fact alone does not make the explosion of the tire a
fortuitous event. No evidence was presented to show

prof. casis
that the accident was due to adverse road conditions or
that precautions were taken by the jeepney driver to
compensate for any conditions liable to cause accidents.
The sudden blowing-up, therefore, could have been
caused by too much air pressure injected into the tire
coupled by the fact that the jeepney was overloaded and
speeding at the time of the accident.
2. NO
Ratio A caso fortuito (fortuitous event) presents the
following essential characteristics:
1. The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected
occurrence, or of the failure of the debtor to comply
with his obligation, must be independent of the human
will
2. It must be impossible to foresee the even which
constitutes the caso fortuito, or if it can be foreseen, it
must be impossible to avoid
3. The occurrence must be such as to render it
impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a
normal manner
4. The obligor (debtor) must be free from any
participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to
the creditor
Reasoning
- In the case at bar, the cause of the unforeseen and
unexpected occurrence was not independent of the
human will. The accident was caused either through the
negligence of the driver or because of mechanical
defects in the tire. Common carriers should teach their
drivers not to overload their vehicles not to exceed safe
and legal speed limits and to know the correct measures
to take when a tire blows up thus insuring the safety of
passengers at all times.
- Relative to the contingency of mechanical defects, we
held in Necesito, et al. v. Paras, et al, that: The
preponderance of authority is in favor of the doctrine
that a passenger is entitled to recover damages from a
carrier for an injury resulting from a defect in an
appliance purchased from a manufacturer, whenever it
appears that the defect would have been discovered by
the carrier if it had exercised the degree of care which
under the circumstances was incumbent upon it. with
regard to inspection and application of the necessary
tests. For the purposes of this doctrine, the manufacturer

torts & damages


is considered as being in law the agent or servant of the
carrier, as far as regards the work of constructing the
appliance. According to this theory, the good repute of
the manufacturer will not relieve the carrier from
liability.
- It is sufficient to reiterate that the source of a common
carrier's legal liability is the contract of carriage, and by
entering into the said contract, it binds itself to carry the
passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can
provide, using the utmost diligence of a very cautious
person, with a due regard for all the circumstances. The
records show that this obligation was not met by the
respondents.
Disposition Decision appealed from is REVERSED and
SET ASIDE. Decision of City Court is REINSTATED
HERNANDEZ V COMMISSION ON AUDIT
179 SCRA 39
CRUZ; November 6, 1989
NATURE
A petition to reverse Commission on Audits denial of
relief
FACTS
- Teodoro M. Hernandez was the officer-in-charge and
special disbursing officer of the Ternate Beach Project
of the Philippine Tourism Authority in Cavite. He went
to the main office in Manila to encash 2 checks
covering the wages of the employees and the operating
expenses of the Project. He estimated that the money
would be available by 10am and that he would be back
in Ternate by about 2pm of the same day. However, the
processing of the checks was completed only at 3pm.
The petitioner decided nevertheless to encash them
because the Project employees would be waiting for
their pay the following day. And so, he collected the
cash value of the checks. The petitioner had two
choices: (1) return to Cavite that same afternoon and
arrive there in the early evening; or (2) take the money
with him to his house in Marilao, Bulacan, spend the
night there, and leave for Ternate the following
morning. He opted for the second, thinking it the safer
one. He took a passenger jeep bound for his house in

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Bulacan. It was while the vehicle was along EDSA that


two persons with knives boarded and forcibly took the
money he was carrying. Hernandez, after the initial
shock, immediately followed in desperate pursuit. He
caught up with Virgilio Alvarez and overcame him after
a scuffle. Alvarez was subsequently charged with
robbery and pleaded guilty. But the hold-upper who
escaped is still at large and the stolen money he took
with him has not been recovered.
- the petitioner, invoking the foregoing facts, filed a
request for relief from money accountability under
Section 638 of the Revised Administrative Code.3
- however, the Commission on Audit, through then
Chairman Francisco S. Tantuico, jr. denied the
petitioner's request, observing inter alia:
In the instant case, the loss of the P10,175.00 under the
accountability of Mr. Hernandez can be attributed to
his negligence because had he brought the cash
proceeds of the checks (replenishment fund) to the
Beach Park in Ternate immediately after encashment
for safekeeping in his office, which is the normal
procedure in the handling of public funds, the loss of
said cash thru robbery could have been aborted.
- In the petition at bar, Hernandez claims that the
respondent COA acted with grave abuse of discretion in
denying him relief and in holding him negligent for the
loss of the stolen money. He avers he has done only
what any reasonable man would have done and should
not be held accountable for a fortuitous event over
which he had no control.
- On his decision to take the money home that afternoon
instead of returning directly to Ternate, he says that the
first course was more prudent as he saw it, if only
because his home in Marilao was much nearer than his
office in Ternate; that the likelihood of robbery during
the time in question was stronger in Ternate than in
Marilao; that what happened was a fortuitous event that
3

Section 638. Credit for loss occurring in transit or due to casualty Notice to Auditor. When a loss
of government funds or property occurs while the same is in transit or is caused by fire, theft, or other
casualty, the officer accountable therefor or having custody thereof shall immediately notify the Auditor
General, or the provincial auditor, according as a matter is within the original jurisdiction of the one or
the other, and within thirty days or such longer period as the Auditor, or provincial auditor, may in the
particular case allow, shall present his application for relief, with the available evidence in support
thereof. An officer who fails to comply with this requirement shall not be relieved of liability or allowed
credit for any such loss in the settlement of his accounts.

prof. casis
could not have reasonably been foreseen, especially on
that busy highway.
- then Solicitor-General argued that Hernandez was
negligent in the safekeeping of the stolen funds. Later,
however, his successor sided with the petitioner,
agreeing that Hernandez had not committed any
negligence or, assuming he was guilty of contributory
negligence, had made up for it with his efforts to
retrieve the money and his capture of one of the
robbers, who was eventually convicted.
- COA insists that the petitioner should not be relieved
from his money accountability because it was his own
negligence that led to the loss of the cash he had sought
to take not to Ternate but to Marilao. Its contention is
that the petitioner should not have encashed the checks
as the hour was already late and he knew he could not
return to Ternate before nightfall. The memo concludes
that in deciding to take the money with him to Marilao
after imprudently withdrawing it from the main office,
the petitioner was assuming a risk from which he
cannot now be excused after the loss of the money as a
result of the robbery to which it was unreasonably
exposed.

ISSUE
WON petitioners acts are so tainted with negligence or
recklessness as to justify the denial of the petitioner's
request for relief from accountability for the stolen
money
HELD
NO
- This was undoubtedly a fortuitous event covered by
the said provisions, something that could not have been
reasonably foreseen although it could have happened,
and did. For most of us, all we can rely on is a reasoned
conjecture of what might happen, based on common
sense and our own experiences, or our intuition, if you
will, and without any mystic ability to peer into the
future. So it was with the petitioner.

torts & damages


- It is true that the petitioner miscalculated, but the
Court feels he should not be blamed for that. The
decision he made seemed logical at that time and was
one that could be expected of a reasonable and prudent
person.
Disposition The petitioner is entitled to be relieved
from accountability for the money forcibly taken from
him. ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED.
GOTESCO INVESTMENT CORPORATION V
CHATTO
210 SCRA 18
DAVIDE JR; June 16, 1992
NATURE
Petition for Review
FACTS
- In the afternoon of June 4, 1982 Gloria E. Chatto, and
her 15-year old daughter, Lina Delza E. Chatto went to
see the movie "Mother Dear" at Superama I theater,
owned by defendant Gotesco Investment Corporation.
They bought balcony tickets but even then were unable
to find seats considering the number of people
patronizing the movie. Hardly ten (10) minutes after
entering the theater, the ceiling of its balcony collapsed.
The theater was plunged into darkness and
pandemonium ensued. Shocked and hurt, plaintiffs
managed to crawl under the fallen ceiling. As soon as
they were able to get out to the street they walked the
nearby FEU Hospital where they were confined and
treated for one (1) day.
- The next day, they transferred to the UST hospital.
Plaintiff Gloria Chatto was treated in said hospital from
June 5 to June 19 and plaintiff Lina Delza Chatto from
June 5 to 11. Per Medico Legal Certificate (Exh, "C")
issued by Dr. Ernesto G. Brion, plaintiff Lina Delza
Chatto suffered the following injuries:
- Defendant tried to avoid liability by alleging that the
collapse of the ceiling of its theater was done due to
force majeure. It maintained that its theater did not
suffer from any structural or construction defect.
ISSUES

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1. WON Jesus Lim Ongs investigation maybe given


weight in the trial
2. WON the collapse was due to force majeure
HELD
1. NO
- there was no authoritative investigation conducted by
impartial civil and structural engineers on the cause of
the collapse of the theater's ceiling, Jesus Lim Ong is
not an engineer, He is a graduate of architecture from
the St. Louie University in Baguio City. It does not
appear he has passed the government examination for
architects. In fine, the ignorance of Mr. Ong about the
cause of the collapse of the ceiling of their theater
cannot be equated, as an act, of God. To sustain that
proposition is to introduce sacrilege in our
jurisprudence.
2. NO
- Petitioner's claim that the collapse of the ceiling of the
theater's balcony was due to force majeure is not even
founded on facts because its own witness, Mr. Jesus
Lim Ong, admitted that "he could not give any reason
why the ceiling collapsed." Having interposed it as a
defense, it had the burden to prove that the collapse was
indeed caused by force majeure. It could not have
collapsed without a cause. That Mr. Ong could not offer
any explanation does not imply force majeure.
Petitioner could have easily discovered the cause of the
collapse if indeed it were due to force majeure. To Our
mind, the real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain
the cause or reason is that either he did not actually
conduct the investigation or that he is, as the respondent
Court impliedly held, incompetent. He is not an
engineer, but an architect who had not even passed the
government's examination. Verily, post-incident
investigation cannot be considered as material to the
present proceedings. What is significant is the finding
of the trial court, affirmed by the respondent Court, that
the collapse was due to construction defects. There was
no evidence offered to overturn this finding. The
building was constructed barely four (4) years prior to
the accident in question. It was not shown that any of
the causes denominates as force majeure obtained
immediately before or at the time of the collapse of the

prof. casis
ceiling. Such defects could have been easily discovered
if only petitioner exercised due diligence and care in
keeping and maintaining the premises. But as disclosed
by the testimony of Mr. Ong, there was no adequate
inspection of the premises before the date of the
accident. His answers to the leading questions on
inspection disclosed neither the exact dates of said.
inspection nor the nature and extent of the same. That
the structural designs and plans of the building were
duly approved by the City Engineer and the building
permits and certificate of occupancy were issued do not
at all prove that there were no defects in the
construction, especially as regards the ceiling,
considering that no testimony was offered to prove that
it was ever inspected at all.
- It is settled that - The owner or proprietor of a place of
public amusement impliedly warrants that the premises,
appliances and amusement devices are safe for the
purpose for which they are designed, the doctrine being
subject to no other exception or qualification than that
he does not contract against unknown defects not
discoverable by ordinary or reasonable means.
- This implied warranty has given rise to the rule that Where a patron of a theater or other place of public
amusement is injured, and the thing that caused the
injury is wholly and exclusively under the control and
management of the defendant, and the accident is such
as in the ordinary course of events would not have
happened if proper care had been exercised, its
occurrence raises a presumption or permits of an
inference of negligence on the part of the defendant.
Disposition judgment is hereby rendered DENYING
the instant petition with costs against petitioner.
SERVANDO V PHILIPPINE STEAM
NAVIGATION CO
117 SCRA 832
ESCOLIN; 1982
NATURE
This appeal, originally brought to the Court of Appeals,
seeks to set aside the decision of the Court of First
Instance of Negros Occidental in Civil Cases Nos. 7354
and 7428, declaring appellant Philippine Steam

torts & damages


Navigation liable for damages for the loss of the
appellees' cargoes as a result of a fire which gutted the
Bureau of Customs' warehouse in Pulupandan, Negros
Occidental.
FACTS
- On November 6, 1963, appellees Clara Uy Bico and
Amparo Servando loaded on board the appellant's
vessel for carriage from Manila to Pulupandan, Negros
Occidental several cargoes (cavans of rice, colored
papers, toys etc) as evidenced by the corresponding
bills of lading issued by the appellant. Upon arrival of
the vessel at Pulupandan, in the morning of November
18, 1963, the cargoes were discharged, complete and in
good order, unto the warehouse of the Bureau of
Customs. At about 2:00 in the afternoon of the same
day, said warehouse was razed by a fire of unknown
origin, destroying appellees' cargoes. Before the fire,
however, appellee Uy Bico was able to take delivery of
907 cavans of rice Appellees' claims for the value of
said goods were rejected by the appellant.
- On the bases of the foregoing facts, the lower court
rendered a decision, ordering Philippine Steam to pay
for damages. The court a quo held that the delivery of
the shipment in question to the warehouse of the Bureau
of Customs is not the delivery contemplated by Article
1736; and since the burning of the warehouse occurred
before actual or constructive delivery of the goods to
the appellees, the loss is chargeable against the
appellant.
Philippine Steam on the other hand relies on the
following:
Clause 14. Carrier shall not be responsible for loss or
damage to shipments billed 'owner's risk' unless such
loss or damage is due to negligence of carrier. Nor
shall carrier be responsible for loss or damage caused
by force majeure, dangers or accidents of the sea or
other waters; war; public enemies; . . . fire . ...
ISSUE
WON the above stipulation validly limits the liability of
the shipowner in this case
HELD

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YES
Ratio The parties may stipulate anything in the contract
for so long as the stipulation is not contrary to law,
morals, public policy. The stipulation which merely
iterates the principle of caso fortuito is for all intents
and purposes valid.
Reasoning
- We sustain the validity of the above stipulation; there
is nothing therein that is contrary to law, morals or
public policy.
- Appellees would contend that the above stipulation
does not bind them because it was printed in fine letters
on the back-of the bills of lading; and that they did not
sign the same. This argument overlooks the
pronouncement of this Court in Ong Yiu vs. Court of
Appeals, promulgated June 29, 1979, 3 where the Court
held that while it may be true that petitioner had not
signed the plane ticket , he is nevertheless bound by the
provisions thereof. 'Such provisions have been held to
be a part of the contract of carriage, and valid and
binding upon the passenger regardless of the latter's
lack of knowledge or assent to the regulation'. It is what
is known as a contract of 'adhesion', in regards which it
has been said that contracts of adhesion wherein one
party imposes a ready made form of contract on the
other, as the plane ticket in the case at bar, are contracts
not entirely prohibited. The one who adheres to the
contract is in reality free to reject it entirely; if he
adheres, he gives his consent." (Tolentino, Civil Code,
Vol. IV, 1962 Ed., p. 462, citing Mr. Justice J.B.L.
Reyes, Lawyer's Journal, Jan. 31, 1951, p. 49).
- Besides, the agreement contained in the above quoted
Clause 14 is a mere iteration of the basic principle of
law written in Article 1 1 7 4 of the Civil Code 4 Thus,
where fortuitous event or force majeure is the
immediate and proximate cause of the loss, the obligor
is exempt from liability for non-performance. The
Partidas, the antecedent of Article 1174 of the Civil
Code, defines 'caso fortuito' as 'an event that takes place
by accident and could not have been foreseen.
4

Article 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is otherwise declared by
stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be
responsible for those events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable.

prof. casis
Examples of this are destruction of houses, unexpected
fire, shipwreck, violence of robbers.'
- In its dissertation of the phrase 'caso fortuito' the
Enciclopedia Juridicada Espanola 5 says: "In a legal
sense and, consequently, also in relation to contracts, a
'caso fortuito' presents the following essential
characteristics: (1) the cause of the unforeseen and
unexpected occurrence, or of the failure of the debtor to
comply with his obligation, must be independent of the
human will; (2) it must be impossible to foresee the
event which constitutes the 'caso fortuito', or if it can be
foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid; (3) the
occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for
the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner;
and (4) the obligor must be free from any participation
in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the
creditor." In the case at bar, the burning of the customs
warehouse was an extraordinary event which happened
independently of the will of the appellant. The latter
could not have foreseen the event.
- There is nothing in the record to show that appellant
carrier ,incurred in delay in the performance of its
obligation. It appears that appellant had not only
notified appellees of the arrival of their shipment, but
had demanded that the same be withdrawn. In fact,
pursuant to such demand, appellee Uy Bico had taken
delivery of 907 cavans of rice before the burning of the
warehouse.
Nor can the appellant or its employees be charged with
negligence. The storage of the goods in the Customs
warehouse pending withdrawal thereof by the appellees
was undoubtedly made with their knowledge and
consent. Since the warehouse belonged to and was
maintained by the government, it would be unfair to
impute negligence to the appellant, the latter having no
control whatsoever over the same.
Disposition judgment appealed from is hereby set
aside.
SEPARATE OPINION
AQUINO [concur]
- I concur. Under article 1738 of the Civil Code "the
extraordinary liability of the common carrier continues

torts & damages


to be operative even during the time the goods are
stored in the warehouse of the carrier at the place of
destination, until the consignee has been advised of the
arrival of the goods and has had reasonable opportunity
thereafter to remove them or otherwise dispose of
them".
- From the time the goods in question were deposited in
the Bureau of Customs' warehouse in the morning of
their arrival up to two o' clock in the afternoon of the
same day, when the warehouse was burned, Amparo C.
Servando and Clara Uy Bico, the consignees, had
reasonable opportunity to remove the goods. Clara had
removed more than one-half of the rice consigned to
her. Moreover, the shipping company had no more
control and responsibility over the goods after they
were deposited in the customs warehouse by the arrastre
and stevedoring operator. No amount of extraordinary
diligence on the part of the carrier could have prevented
the loss of the goods by fire which was of accidental
origin.
NATIONAL POWER CORP V CA (RAYO ET AL)
DAVIDE JR; May 21, 1993
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Revised Rules of Court
FACTS
- When the water level in the Angat dam went beyond
the allowable limit at the height of typhoon Kading
NPC opened three of the dams spillways to release the
excess water in the dam. This however caused the
inundation of the banks of the Angat river which caused
persons and animals to drown and properties to be
washed away.
- The flooding was purportedly caused by the negligent
release by the defendants of water through the spillways
of the Angst Dam (Hydroelectric Plant).
Plaintiffs claim:
- NPC operated and maintained a multi-purpose
hydroelectric plant in the Angat River

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- despite the defendants' knowledge of the impending


entry of typhoon "Kading," they failed to exercise due
diligence in monitoring the water level at the dam
- when the said water level went beyond the maximum
allowable limit at the height of the typhoon, the
defendants suddenly, negligently and recklessly opened
three (3) of the dam's spillways, thereby releasing a
large amount of water which inundated the banks of the
Angat River causing the death of members of the
household of the plaintiffs, together with their animals
Respondents comments:
- NPC exercised due care, diligence and prudence in the
operation and maintenance of the hydroelectric plant
- NPC exercised the diligence of a good father in the
selection of its employees
- written notices were sent to the different
municipalities of Bulacan warning the residents therein
about the impending release of a large volume of water
with the onset of typhoon "Kading" and advising them
to take the necessary Precautions
- the water released during the typhoon was needed to
prevent the collapse of the dam and avoid greater
damage to people and property
- in spite of the precautions undertaken and the
diligence exercised, they could still not contain or
control the flood that resulted
- the damages incurred by the private respondents were
caused by a fortuitous event or force majeure and are in
the nature and character of damnum absque injuria.
ISSUES
1. WON NPC was guilty of negligence
2. WON (applying the ruling of NAkpil & Sons v. CA)
NPC is liable given that the inundation was caused by
force majeure
HELD
1. YES
- A similar case entitled National Power Corporation, et
al. vs, Court of Appeals, et al.," involving the very same
incident subject of the instant petition. The court there
declared that the proximate cause of the loss and
damage sustained by the plaintiffs therein--who were
similarly situated as the private respondents herein-was
the negligence of the petitioners,

prof. casis
- on the basis of its meticulous analysis and evaluation
of the evidence a dduced by the parties in the cases
subject of CA-G.R. CV Nos. 27290-93, public
respondent found as conclusively established that
indeed, the petitioners were guilty of "patent gross and
evident lack of foresight, imprudence and negligence in
the management and operation of Angat Dam," and that
"the extent of the opening of the spillways, and the
magnitude of the water released, are all but products of
defendants-appellees headlessness, slovenliness, and
carelessness."and that the 24 October 1978 'early
warning notice" supposedly sent to the affected
municipalities, the same notice involved in the case at
bar, was insufficient.
2. YES
- given that NPC is guilty of negligence. Juan F. Nakipil
& Sons vs. Court of Appeals is still good law as far as
the concurrent liability of an obligor in the case of force
majeure is concerned.
- In the Nakpil case it was held that "To exempt the
obligor from liability under Article 1174 of the Civil
Code, for a breach of an obligation due to an 'act of
God,' the following must concur: (a) the cause of the
breach of the obligation must be independent of the will
of the debtor, (b) the event must be either unforeseeable
or unavoidable; (c) the event must be such as to render
it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a
normal manner; and (d) the debtor must be free from
any participation in, or aggravation of the injury to the
creditor. Thus, if upon the happening of a fortuitous
event or an act of God, there concurs a corresponding
fraud, negligence, delay or violation or contravention in
any manner of the tenor of the obligation as provided
for in Article 1170 of the Civil Code, which results in
loss or damage, the obligor cannot escape liability.
- The principle embodied in the act of God doctrine
strictly requires that the act must be one occasioned
exclusively by the violence of nature and all human
agencies are, to be excluded from creating or entering
into the cause of the mischief. When the effect, the
cause of which is to be considered, is found to be in part
the result of the participation of man whether it be from
active intervention or neglect, or failure to act, the
whole occurrence is thereby humanized, as it were, and

torts & damages


removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. (1
Corpus Juris, pp. 1174-1175).
Disposition Petition dismissed.
SOUTHEASTERN COLLEGE V CA
PURISIMA; July 10, 1998
NATURE
Petition for review seeking to set aside the
Decision promulgated on July 31, 1996, and
Resolution dated September 12, 1996 of the Court
of Appeals in Juanita de Jesus vda. de Dimaano,
et al. vs. Southeastern College, Inc., which
reduced the moral damages awarded below from
P1,000,000.00 to P200,000.00. The Resolution
under attack denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration.
FACTS
- Private respondents are owners of a house at
326 College Road, Pasay City, while petitioner
owns a four-storey school building along the same
College Road. On October 11, 1989, at about 6:30
in the morning, a powerful typhoon Saling hit
Metro Manila. Buffeted by very strong winds, the
roof of petitioners building was partly ripped off
and blown away, landing on and destroying
portions of the roofing of private respondents
house. After the typhoon had passed, an ocular
inspection of the destroyed buildings was
conducted by a team of engineers headed by the
city building official, Engr. Jesus L. Reyna.
Pertinent aspects of the latters Report i[5] dated
October 18, 1989 stated, as follows:
5. One of the factors that may have led to this
calamitous event is the formation of the buildings in
the area and the general direction of the wind.
Situated in the peripheral lot is an almost U-shaped
formation of 4-storey building. Thus, with the strong
winds having a westerly direction, the general
formation of the buildings becomes a big funnel-like
structure, the one situated along College Road,
receiving the heaviest impact of the strong winds.
Hence, there are portions of the roofing, those

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located on both ends of the building, which remained


intact after the storm.
6. Another factor and perhaps the most likely reason
for the dislodging of the roofings structural trusses is
the improper anchorage of the said trusses to the roof
beams. The 1/2 diameter steel bars embedded on
the concrete roof beams which serve as truss
anchorage are not bolted nor nailed to the trusses.
Still, there are other steel bars which were not even
bent to the trusses, thus, those trusses are not
anchored at all to the roof beams.
- It then recommended that to avoid any further
loss and damage to lives, limbs and property of
persons living in the vicinity, the fourth floor of
subject school building be declared as a
structural hazard.
- In their Complaintii[6] before the Regional Trial
Court of Pasay City, Branch 117, for damages
based on culpa aquiliana, private respondents
alleged that the damage to their house rendered
the same uninhabitable, forcing them to stay
temporarily in others houses. And so they sought
to recover from petitioner P117,116.00, as actual
damages, P1,000,000.00, as moral damages,
P300,000.00, as exemplary damages and
P100,000.00, for and as attorneys fees; plus
costs.
- In its Answer, petitioner averred that subject
school building had withstood several devastating
typhoons and other calamities in the past, without
its roofing or any portion thereof giving way; that it
has not been remiss in its responsibility to see to it
that said school building, which houses school
children, faculty members, and employees, is in
tip-top condition; and furthermore, typhoon
Saling was an act of God and therefore beyond
human control such that petitioner cannot be
answerable for the damages wrought thereby,
absent any negligence on its part.
- The Trial Court and the Court of Appeals gave
credence to the ocular inspection made by the city
engineer. Thus, this appeal.
ISSUES

prof. casis
WON the damage on the roof of the building of
private respondents resulting from the impact of
the falling portions of the school buildings roof
ripped off by the strong winds of typhoon Saling,
was, within legal contemplation, due to fortuitous
event
HELD
YES
- Petitioner cannot be held liable for the damages
suffered by the private respondents. This
conclusion finds support in Article 1174 of the Civil
Code, which provides:
Art 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the
law, or when it is otherwise declared by stipulation,
or when the nature of the obligation requires the
assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for
those events which could not be foreseen, or which,
though foreseen, were inevitable.
- The antecedent of fortuitous event or caso
fortuito is found in the Partidas which defines it as
an event which takes place by accident and could
not have been foreseen.iii[9] Escriche elaborates it
as an unexpected event or act of God which could
neither be foreseen nor resisted. Civilist Arturo M.
Tolentino adds that [f]ortuitous events may be
produced by two general causes: (1) by nature,
such as earthquakes, storms, floods, epidemics,
fires, etc. and (2) by the act of man, such as an
armed invasion, attack by bandits, governmental
prohibitions, robbery, etc.iv
- In order that a fortuitous event may exempt a
person from liability, it is necessary that he be free
from any previous negligence or misconduct by
reason of which the loss may have been
occasioned.. An act of God cannot be invoked for
the protection of a person who has been guilty of
gross negligence in not trying to forestall its
possible adverse consequences. When a persons
negligence concurs with an act of God in
producing damage or injury to another, such
person is not exempt from liability by showing that
the immediate or proximate cause of the damage
or injury was a fortuitous event. When the effect is
found to be partly the result of the participation of

torts & damages


man whether it be from active intervention, or
neglect, or failure to act the whole occurrence is
hereby humanized, and removed from the rules
applicable to acts of God.
- After a thorough study and evaluation of the
evidence on record, this Court believes otherwise,
notwithstanding the general rule that factual
findings by the trial court, especially when affirmed
by the appellate court, are binding and conclusive
upon this Court. After a careful scrutiny of the
records and the pleadings submitted by the
parties, we find exception to this rule and hold that
the lower courts misappreciated the evidence
proffered.
- There is no question that a typhoon or storm is a
fortuitous event, a natural occurrence which may
be foreseen but is unavoidable despite any
amount of foresight, diligence or care. In order to
be exempt from liability arising from any adverse
consequence engendered thereby, there should
have been no human participation amounting to a
negligent act. In other words, the person seeking
exoneration from liability must not be guilty of
negligence.
Negligence,
as
commonly
understood, is conduct which naturally or
reasonably creates undue risk or harm to others.
It may be the failure to observe that degree of
care, precaution, and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand,v[17] or the omission to
do something which a prudent and reasonable
man, guided by considerations which ordinarily
regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do.
From these premises, we proceed to determine
whether petitioner was negligent, such that if it
were not, the damage caused to private
respondents house could have been avoided?
- At the outset, it bears emphasizing that a person
claiming damages for the negligence of another
has the burden of proving the existence of fault or
negligence causative of his injury or loss. The
facts constitutive of negligence must be
affirmatively established by competent evidence, vi
[19]
not merely by presumptions and conclusions
without basis in fact. Private respondents, in

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- PAGE 77 -

establishing the culpability of petitioner, merely


relied on the aforementioned report submitted by a
team which made an ocular inspection of
petitioners school building after the typhoon. As
the term imparts, an ocular inspection is one by
means of actual sight or viewing. vii[20] What is visual
to the eye though, is not always reflective of the
real cause behind. For instance, one who hears a
gunshot and then sees a wounded person, cannot
always definitely conclude that a third person shot
the victim. It could have been self-inflicted or
caused accidentally by a stray bullet.
The
relationship of cause and effect must be clearly
shown.
- In the present case, other than the said ocular
inspection, no investigation was conducted to
determine the real cause of the partial unroofing of
petitioners school building. Private respondents
did not even show that the plans, specifications
and design of said school building were deficient
and defective.
Neither did they prove any
substantial deviation from the approved plans and
specifications.
Nor
did they conclusively
establish that the construction of such building was
basically flawed.
- Moreover, the city building official, who has been
in the city government service since 1974,
admitted in open court that no complaint regarding
any defect on the same structure has ever been
lodged before his office prior to the institution of
the case at bench. It is a matter of judicial notice
that typhoons are common occurrences in this
country. If subject school buildings roofing was
not firmly anchored to its trusses, obviously, it
could not have withstood long years and several
typhoons even stronger than Saling.
- In light of the foregoing, we find no clear and
convincing evidence to sustain the judgment of the
appellate court. We thus hold that petitioner has
not been shown negligent or at fault regarding the
construction and maintenance of its school
building in question and that typhoon Saling was
the proximate cause of the damage suffered by
private respondents house.

AFIALDA V HISOLE
85 Phil 67
REYES; November 29, 1949
NATURE
Appeal from judgment of CFI Iloilo
FACTS
- This is an action for damages arising from injury
caused by an animal. Loreto Afialda was the caretaker
of the carabaos of spouses Hisole. While tending the
animals, he was gored by one of them and later died as
consequence of his injuries. The action was filed by
the sister of Loreto, and contended that the mishap was
due neither to Loretos own fault nor to force majeure.
- She uses Art.1905, CC (now Art.2183 5) as ground for
the liability:
The possessor of an animal, or the one who uses the
same, is liable for any damages it may cause, even if
such animal should escape from him or stray away.
This liability shall cease only in case the damage
should arise from force majeure or from the fault of
the person who may have suffered it.
- Spouses moved for dismissal for lack of cause of
action, which the CFI granted. Hence, the appeal.
ISSUE
WON the owner of the animal is liable when the
damage is caused to its caretaker (as opposed to a
stranger)
HELD
1. NO
Ratio It was the caretaker's business to try to prevent
the animal from causing injury or damage to anyone,
including himself. And being injured by the animal
under those circumstances was one of the risks of the
occupation which he had voluntarily assumed and for
which he must take the consequences.
Reasoning
5

Art. 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is responsible for the
damage which it may cause, although it may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in
case the damage should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who has suffered
damage.

torts & damages


- The lower court took the view that under the
abovequoted provision of the CC, the owner of an
animal is answerable only for damages caused to a
stranger, and that for damage caused to the caretaker of
the animal the owner would be liable of fault under
article 1902 only if he had been negligent or at the same
code.
- Claiming that the lower court was in error, plaintiff
contends that art. 1905 does not distinguish between
damage caused to a stranger and damage caused to the
caretaker and makes the owner liable whether or not he
has been negligent or at fault.
- The distinction (between stranger and caretaker) is
important. For the statute names the possessor or user of
the animal as the person liable for any damages it may
cause and this for the obvious reason that the possessor
or user has the custody and control of the animal and is
therefore the one in a position to prevent it from causing
damage.
- In the present case, the animal was in the custody and
under the control of the caretaker, who was paid for his
work as such. Obviously, it was the caretaker's business
to try to prevent the animal from causing injury or
damage to anyone, including himself. And being injured
by the animal under those circumstances was one of the
risks of the occupation which he had voluntarily
assumed and for which he must take the consequences.
- On the other hand, if action is to be based on Art.
1902, it is essential that there be fault or negligence on
the part of the defendants as owners of the animal that
caused the damage. But the complaint contains no
allegation on those points.
- In a decision of the Spanish SC, cited by Manresa, the
death of an employee who was bitten by a feline which
his master had asked him to take to his establishment
was by said tribunal declared to be a veritable accident
of labor which should come under the labor laws
rather than under article 1905, CC. The present action,
however, is not brought under labor laws in effect, but
under Art.1905.
Disposition Judgment AFFIRMED.
ILOCOS NORTE ELECTRIC COMPANY V CA
(LUIS ET AL)

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179 SCRA 5
PARAS; November 6, 1989
FACTS
- 5- 6AM June 29, 1967 - strong typhoon "Gening" in
Ilocos Norte brought floods and heavy rain. Isabel Lao
Juan, (Nana Belen) went to her store, Five Sisters
Emporium, to look after the merchandise to see if they
were damaged. Wading in waist-deep flood, Juan
suddenly screamed "Ay" and quickly sank into the
water. Her companions, two girls (sales girlls)
attempted to help, but were afraid because they saw an
electric wire dangling from a post and moving in snakelike fashion in the water. Yabes, the son-in law, upon
hearing the electrocution of his mother-in-law, passed
by the City Hall of Laoag to request the police to ask
Ilocos Norte Electric Company or INELCO to cut off
the electric current. The body was recovered about two
meters from an electric post.
- 4AM June 29, 1967- Engineer Juan, Power Plant
Engineer of NPC at the Laoag Diesel-Electric Plant,
noticed certain fluctuations in their electric meter which
indicated such abnormalities as grounded or shortcircuited lines.
- 6-6:30AM June 29, 1967- he set out of the Laoag NPC
Compound on an inspection and saw grounded and
disconnected lines. Electric lines were hanging from the
posts to the ground. When he went to INELCO office,
he could not see any INELCO lineman.
- Engr. Juan attempted to resuscitate Nana Belen but his
efforts proved futile. Rigor mortis was setting in. On the
left palm of the deceased, there was a hollow wound. In
the afternoon, the dangling wire was no longer there.
- Dr. Castro examined the body and noted that the skin
was grayish or cyanotic, which indicated death by
electrocution. On the left palm, the doctor found an
"electrically charged wound" or a first degree burn.
About the base of the thumb on the left hand was a
burned wound. The cause of' death was ,'circulatory
shock electrocution"
- In defense and exculpation, INELCO presented the
testimonies of its officers and employees, which sought
to prove that (1) on and even before June 29, 1967 the
electric service system of the INELCO in the whole

prof. casis
franchise area did not suffer from any defect that might
constitute a hazard to life and property. (2) The service
lines and devices had been newly-installed prior to the
date in question. (3) Also, safety devices were installed
to prevent and avoid injuries to persons and damage to
property in case of natural calamities such as floods,
typhoons, fire and others. (4) 12 linesmen are charged
with the duty of making a round-the-clock check-up of
the areas respectively assigned to them. (5) They also
presented own medical expert and said that cyanosis
could not have been the noted 3 hours after the death
because it is only manifest in live persons. (6) Lastly,
the deceased could have died simply either by drowning
or by electrocution due to negligence attributable only
to herself and not to INELCO because of the
installation of a burglar deterrent by connecting a wire
from the main house to the iron gate and fence of steel
matting, thus, charging the latter with electric current
whenever the switch is on. The switch must have been
left on, hence, causing the deceased's electrocution
when she tried to open her gate that early morning of
June 29, 1967
- CFI: awarded P25,000 moral damages; P45,000 attys
fees
- CA: P30,229.45 in actual damages (i.e., P12,000 for
the victim's death and P18,229.45 for funeral expenses);
P50,000 in compensatory damages, computed in
accordance with the formula set in the Villa-Rey Transit
case (31 SCRA 511) with the base of P15,000 as
average annual income of the deceased; P10,000 in
exemplary damages; P3,000 attorney's fees
ISSUE
WON the legal principle of "assumption of risk" bars
private respondents from collecting damages from
INELCO
HELD
NO
Ratio The maxim "volenti non fit injuria" relied upon
by petitioner finds no application in the case at bar. It is
imperative to note the surrounding circumstances which
impelled the deceased to leave the comforts of a roof
and brave the subsiding typhoon. As testified by the

torts & damages


salesgirls, the deceased went to the Five Star Emporium
"to see to it that the goods were not flooded." As such,
shall We punish her for exercising her right to protect
her property from the floods by imputing upon her the
unfavorable presumption that she assumed the risk of
personal injury? Definitely not. For it has been held that
a person is excused from the force of the rule, that when
he voluntarily assents to a known danger he must abide
by the consequences, if an emergency is found to exist
or if the life or property of another is in peril, or when
he seeks to rescue his endangered property. Clearly, an
emergency was at hand as the deceased's property, a
source of her livelihood, was faced with an impending
loss. Furthermore, the deceased, at the time the fatal
incident occurred, was at a place where she had a right
to be without regard to INELCOs consent as she was
on her way to protect her merchandise. Hence, private
respondents, as heirs, may not be barred from
recovering damages as a result of the death caused by
INELCOs negligence
Reasoning
- INELCO can be exonerated from liability since
typhoons and floods are fortuitous events. While it is
true that typhoons and floods are considered Acts of
God for which no person may be held responsible, it
was not said eventuality which directly caused the
victim's death. It was through the intervention of
petitioner's negligence that death took place.
- In times of calamities such as the one which occurred
in Laoag City on the night of June 28 until the early
hours of June 29, 1967, extraordinary diligence requires
a supplier of electricity to be in constant vigil to prevent
or avoid any probable incident that might imperil life or
limb. The evidence does not show that defendant did
that. On the contrary, evidence discloses that there were
no men (linemen or otherwise) policing the area, nor
even manning its office.
- INELCO was negligent in seeing that no harm is done
to the general public"... considering that electricity is an
agency, subtle and deadly, the measure of care required
of electric companies must be commensurate with or
proportionate to the danger. The duty of exercising this
high degree of diligence and care extends to every place
where persons have a right to be" The negligence of

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petitioner having been shown, it may not now absolve


itself from liability by arguing that the victim's death
was solely due to a fortuitous event. "When an act of
God combines or concurs with the negligence of the
defendant to produce an injury, the defendant is liable if
the injury would not have resulted but for his own
negligent conduct or omission"
Disposition
CA decision, except for the slight
modification that actual damages be increased to
P48,229.45, is AFFIRMED.
RAMOS V PEPSI COLA
19 SCRA 289
1967
NATURE
Appeal from a CA decision
FACTS
- The facts with regard the accident that Andres
Bonifacio caused is not in the case. The Court limited
its ruling on the decision of the CA to absolve defendant
Pepsi Cola from liability under Article 2180 6 of the
Civil Code. There was, however, a finding that
Bonifacio was in fact negligent.
- The petiton for appeal questioned the testimony of one
Anasco with regard the process and procedures
followed by Pepsi in the hiring and supervision of its
drivers. The SC ruled that the issue brought before it
with regard the credibility of Anasco is one of fact and
not of law. It went on to stay that the CA is a better
judge of the facts.
ISSUE
WON Pepsi Cola is liable under the doctrine of
vicarious liability
HELD
6

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- PAGE 77 -

Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible,

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or
industry.

The responsibility treated of this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.

NO
- The Court ruled that based on the evidence and
testimonies presented during the trial, Pepsi Cola
exercised the due diligence of a good father in the
hiring and supervision of its drivers. This being the
case, the Company is relieved of any responsibility
from the accident.
Reasoning
- In its ruling, the court citing its ruling on Bahia as
follows:
From this article (2180) two things are apparent:
(1) that when an injury is caused by the negligence of
a
servant or employee there instantly arise a
presumption of law that there was negligence on the
part of the employer or master either n the selection
of the servant or employee, or in the supervision over
him after the selection, or both, and
(2) that they presumption is juris tantum ( so much or
so little of law) and not juris et de jure (of law and
from law), and consequently may be rebutted .
- It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the
satisfaction of the court that in the selection and
supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a
good father of the family, the presumption is overcome
and he is relieved from liability.
- It was shown in this case that Pesi Cola did not merely
satisfy itself that Bonifacio possessed a drivers license.
A background check was done and he was required to
submit various clearances, previous experience, and
medical records. He was also made to undergo both
theoretical and practical driving tests prior to being
hired as driver. In terms of the aspect of supervision,
the petitioners raised no questions. Given this, the
proof called for under Article 2180 to show diligence of
a good father of a family has been met.
Disposition Decision of the CA is affirmed.
METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORP V CA
(CUSTODIA)
223 SCRA 521
REGALADO; June 21, 1993
FACTS

torts & damages


- At about six o'clock in the morning of August 28,
1979, plaintiff-appellant Nenita Custodio boarded as a
paying passenger a public utility jeepney, then driven
by defendant Agudo Calebag and owned by his codefendant Victorino Lamayo, bound for her work,
where she then worked as a machine operator earning
P16.25 a day.
- While the jeepney was travelling at a fast clip along
DBP Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, another fast moving
vehicle, a Metro Manila Transit Corp. (MMTC) bus
driven by defendant Godofredo C. Leonardo was
negotiating Honeydew Road, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro
Manila bound for its terminal at Bicutan.
- As both vehicles approached the intersection of DBP
Avenue and Honeydew Road they failed to slow down
and slacken their speed; neither did they blow their
horns to warn approaching vehicles. As a consequence,
a collision between them occurred, the passenger
jeepney ramming the left side portion of the MMTC
bus. The collision impact caused plaintiff-appellant
Nenita Custodio to hit the front windshield of the
passenger jeepney and (she) was thrown out therefrom,
falling onto the pavement unconscious with serious
physical injuries.
- She was brought to the Medical City Hospital where
she regained consciousness only after one (1) week.
Thereat, she was confined for twenty-four (24) days,
and as a consequence, she was unable to work for three
and one half months (31/2).
- A complaint for damages was filed by herein private
respondent, who being then a minor was assisted by her
parents, against all of therein named defendants
following their refusal to pay the expenses incurred by
the former as a result of the collision.
- Said defendants denied all the material allegations in
the complaint and pointed an accusing finger at each
other as being the party at fault. Further, herein
petitioner MMTC, a government-owned corporation
and one of the defendants in the court a quo, along with
its driver, Godofredo Leonardo, contrarily averred in its
answer with cross-claim and counterclaim that the
MMTC bus was driven in a prudent and careful manner
by driver Leonardo and that it was the passenger
jeepney which was driven recklessly considering that it

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hit the left middle portion of the MMTC bus, and that it
was defendant Lamayo, the owner of the jeepney and
employer of driver Calebag, who failed to exercise due
diligence in the selection and supervision of employees
and should thus be held solidarily liable for damages
caused to the MMTC bus through the fault and
negligence of its employees.
- Defendant Victorino Lamayo alleged that the damages
suffered by therein plaintiff should be borne by
defendants MMTC and its driver, Godofredo Leonardo,
because the latter's negligence was the sole and
proximate cause of the accident and that MMTC failed
to exercise due diligence in the selection and
supervision of its employees.
ISSUES
1. WON the oral testimonies of witnesses even without
the presentation documentary evidence, prove that
driver Leonardo had complied with all the hiring and
clearance requirements and had undergone all trainings,
tests and examinations preparatory to actual
employment, and that said positive testimonies spell out
the rigid procedure for screening of job applicants and
the supervision of its employees in the field
2. WON petitioner exercised due diligence in the
selection and supervision of its employees
HELD
1. While there is no rule which requires that testimonial
evidence, to hold sway, must be corroborated by
documentary evidence, or even subject evidence for that
matter, inasmuch as the witnesses' testimonies dwelt on
mere generalities, we cannot consider the same as
sufficiently persuasive proof that there was observance
of due diligence in the selection and supervision of
employees.
- Petitioner's attempt to prove its diligentissimi patris
familias in the selection and supervision of employees
through oral evidence must fail as it was unable to
buttress the same with any other evidence, object or
documentary, which might obviate the apparent biased
nature of the testimony.
- It is procedurally required for each party in a case to
prove his own affirmative assertion by the degree of

prof. casis
evidence required by law. The party, whether plaintiff or
defendant, who asserts the affirmative of the issue has
the burden of presenting at the trial such amount of
evidence required by law to obtain a favorable
judgment. It is entirely within each of the parties
discretion, consonant with the theory of the case it or he
seeks to advance and subject to such procedural strategy
followed thereby, to present all available evidence at its
or his disposal in the manner which may be deemed
necessary and beneficial to prove its or his position,
provided only that the same shall measure up to the
quantum of evidence required by law. In making proof
in its or his case, it is paramount that the best and most
complete evidence be formally entered.
- Whether or not the diligence of a good father of a
family has been observed by petitioner is a matter of
proof which under the circumstances in the case at bar
has not been clearly established. It is not felt by the
Court that there is enough evidence on record as would
overturn the presumption of negligence, and for failure
to submit all evidence within its control, assuming the
putative existence thereof, petitioner MMTC must
suffer the consequences of its own inaction and
indifference.
2. In any event, we do not find the evidence presented
by petitioner sufficiently convincing to prove the
diligence of a good father of a family, which for an
employer doctrinally translates into its observance of
due diligence in the selection and supervision of its
employees but which mandate, to use an oft-quoted
phrase, is more often honored in the breach than in the
observance.
- Petitioner attempted to essay in detail the company's
procedure for screening job applicants and supervising
its employees in the field, through the testimonies of
Milagros Garbo, as its training officer, and Christian
Bautista, as its transport supervisor, both of whom
naturally and expectedly testified for MMTC.
- Their statements strike us as both presumptuous and in
the nature of petitio principii, couched in generalities
and shorn of any supporting evidence to boost their
verity.
- The case at bar is clearly within the coverage of
Article 2176 and 2177, in relation to Article 2180, of

torts & damages


the Civil Code provisions on quasi-delicts as all the
elements thereof are present, to wit: (1) damages
suffered by the plaintiff, (2) fault or negligence of the
defendant or some other person for whose act he must
respond, and (3) the connection of cause and effect
between fault or negligence of the defendant and the
damages incurred by plaintiff. It is to be noted that
petitioner was originally sued as employer of driver
Leonardo under Article 2180.
- Article 2180 applicable only where there is an
employer-employee relationship, although it is not
necessary that the employer be engaged in business or
industry. Employer is liable for torts committed by his
employees within the scope of their assigned tasks. But,
it is necessary first to establish the employment
relationship. Once this is done, the plaintiff must show,
to hold the employer liable, that the employee was
acting within the scope of his assigned task when the
tort complained of was committed. It is only then that
the defendant, as employer, may find it necessary to
interpose the defense of due diligence in the selection
and supervision of employees. The diligence of a good
father of a family required to be observed by employers
to prevent damages under Article 2180 refers to due
diligence in the selection and supervision of employees
in order to protect the public.
- With the allegation and subsequent proof of
negligence against the defendant driver and of an
employer-employee relation between him and his codefendant MMTC in this instance, the case in
undoubtedly based on a quasi-delict under Article 2180.
When the employee causes damage due to his own
negligence while performing his own duties, there
arises the juris tantum presumption that the employer is
negligent, rebuttable only by proof of observance of the
diligence of a good father of a family. For failure to
rebut such legal presumption of negligence in the
selection and supervision of employees, the employer is
likewise responsible for damages, the basis of the
liability being the relationship of pater familias or on
the employer's own negligence.
- Due diligence in the supervision of employees
includes the formulation of suitable rules and
regulations for the guidance of employees and the

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prof. casis

issuance of proper instructions intended for the


protection of the public and persons with whom the
employer has relations through his or its employees and
the imposition of necessary disciplinary measures upon
employees in case of breach or as may be warranted to
ensure the performance of acts indispensable to the
business of and beneficial to their employer.
- In order that the defense of due diligence in the
selection and supervision of employees may be deemed
sufficient and plausible, it is not enough to emptily
invoke the existence of said company guidelines and
policies on hiring and supervision. As the negligence of
the employee gives rise to the presumption of
negligence on the part of the employer, the latter has the
burden of proving that it has been diligent not only in
the selection of employees but also in the actual
supervision of their work.
- Finally, we believe that respondent court acted in the
exercise of sound discretion when it affirmed the trial
court's award, without requiring the payment of interest
thereon as an item of damages just because of delay in
the determination thereof, especially since private
respondent did not specifically pray therefor in her
complaint. Article 2211 of the Civil Code provides that
in quasi-delicts, interest as a part of the damages may
be awarded in the discretion of the court, and not as a
matter of right.

employees of Trans-Asia. The Kramers instituted a


Complaint for damages against the private respondent
before Branch 117 of the Regional Trial Court in Pasay
City. Trans-Asia filed a motion seeking the dismissal of
the Complaint on the ground of prescription. He argued
that under Article 1146 of the Civil Code, the
prescriptive period for instituting a Complaint for
damages arising from a quasi-delict like a maritime
collision is four years. He maintained that the
petitioners should have filed their Complaint within
four years from the date when their cause of action
accrued, i.e., from April 8, 1976 when the maritime
collision took place, and that accordingly, the
Complaint filed on May 30, 1985 was instituted beyond
the four-year prescriptive period.
Petitioners claim:
- that maritime collisions have peculiarities and
characteristics which only persons with special skill,
training and experience like the members of the Board
of Marine Inquiry can properly analyze and resolve
- that the running of the prescriptive period was tolled
by the filing of the marine protest and that their cause of
action accrued only on April 29, 1982, the date when
the Decision ascertaining the negligence of the crew of
the M/V Asia Philippines had become final, and that the
four-year prescriptive period under Article 1146 of the
Civil Code should be computed from the said date.

KRAMER VS CA (TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING


LINES)
178 SCRA 289
GANCAYCO; October 13, 1989

ISSUE
WON a Complaint for damages instituted by the
petitioners against the private respondent arising from a
marine collision is barred by presciption

FACTS
- The F/B Marjolea, a fishing boat owned by Ernesto
Kramer, Jr. and Marta Kramer, was navigating its way
from Marinduque to Manila. Somewhere near
Maricabon Island and Cape Santiago, the boat figured
in a collision with an inter-island vessel, the M/V Asia
Philippines owned byTrans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc.
As a consequence of the collision, the F/B Marjolea
sank, taking with it its fish catch.
- The Board concluded that the loss of the F/B Marjolea
and its fish catch was due to the negligence of the

HELD
YES
- Under A1146 CC, an action based upon a quasidelict must be instituted within four (4) years. The
prescriptive period begins from the day the quasi-delict
is committed. In Paulan vs. Sarabia, this Court ruled
that in an action for damages arising from the collision
of two (2) trucks, the action being based on a quasidelict, the four (4) year prescriptive period must be
counted from the day of the collision.

torts & damages


- In Espanol vs. Chairman, Philippine Veterans
Administration, this Court held: The right of action
accrues when there exists a cause of action, which
consists of 3 elements, namely: a) a right in favor of the
plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it
arises or is created; b) an obligation on the part of
defendant to respect such right; and c) an act or
omission on the part of such defendant violative of the
right of the plaintiff ... It is only when the last element
occurs or takes place that it can be said in law that a
cause of action has arisen. From the foregoing ruling, it
is clear that the prescriptive period must be counted
when the last element occurs or takes place, that is, the
time of the commission of an act or omission violative
of the right of the plaintiff, which is the time when the
cause of action arises. It is therefore clear that in this
action for damages arising from the collision of 2
vessels the 4 year prescriptive period must be counted
from the day of the collision. The aggrieved party need
not wait for a determination by an administrative body
like a Board of Marine Inquiry, that the collision was
caused by the fault or negligence of the other party
before he can file an action for damages. Immediately
after the collision the aggrieved party can seek relief
from the courts by alleging such negligence or fault of
the owners, agents or personnel of the other vessel.
Thus, the respondent court correctly found that the
action of petitioner has prescribed. The collision
occurred on April 8, 1976. The complaint for damages
was filed in court only on May 30, 1 985, was beyond
the 4 year prescriptive period.
Disposition petition is dismissed.
ALLIED BANKING V CA (YUJUICO)
178 SCRA 526
GANCAYCO; October 13, 1989
NATURE
Petition seeking the reversal of the decision of CA in
"Joselito Z. Yujuico vs. Hon. Domingo D. Panis, RTC
Judge of Manila and Allied Banking Corp.,"1 and the
resolution
denying
petitioner's
motion
for
reconsideration of the said decision.

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- PAGE 77 -

FACTS
- Mar 25, 1977 - Respondent Yujuico, a ranking officer
in General Bank and Trust Company (GENBANK) and
a member of the family owning control of the said
bank, obtained a loan from the said institution in the
amount of 500K. Private respondent issued a
promissory note in favor of GENBANK.
- March 25, 1977 the Monetary Board of the Central
Bank issued a resolution forbidding GENBANK from
doing business in the Phil. It was followed by another
resolution ordering the liquidation of GENBANK.
- In the Memorandum of Agreement between Allied
Banking Corp (Allied) and Amulfo Aurellano as
liquidator of GENBANK, Allied acquired all the assets
and assumed the liabilityies of GENBANK, including
the receivable due from Yujuico.
- Yujuico failed to comply with his obligation
prompting Allied to file a complaint for the
collection of a sum of money before the CFI
Manila (now RTC).
- First case: CA affirmed RTC decision in a
special
proceeding
finding
that
the
liquidation of GENBANK was made in bad
faith. This decision declared as null and
void the liquidation of GENBANK. It was
then that Yujuico filed the third party
complaint to transfer liability for the default
imputed against him by the petitioner to the
proposed third-party7 defendants because
of their tortious acts which prevented him
from performing his obligations.
- Second and current proceeding (1987) Yujuico filed
a motion to admit Ammended/Supplemental Answer
and a Third Party Complaint to impead the Central
Bank and Aurellano as third-party defendants. The
complaint alleged that by reason of the tortuous
interference by the CB with the affairs of GENBANK,
he was prevented from performing his obligation such
that he should not be held liable thereon. RTC Judge
Mintu denied the third-party complaint but admitted the
7

A third-party complaint is a procedural device whereby a "third-party" who is neither a party nor privy
to the act or deed complained of by the plaintiff, may be brought into the case with leave of court, by the
defendant, who acts as third-party plaintiff to enforce against such third-party defendant a right for
contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other relief, in respect of the plaintiffs claim. The third party
complaint is independent of, separate and distinct from the plaintiffs complaint.

prof. casis
amended/supplemental answer. The case was re-raffled
where presiding Judge Panis reiterated the order made
by Judge Mintu. Both parties filed for motions of partial
reconsideration, which were both denied.
- CA, in a petition for certiorari questioning the denied
motions, rendered a decision nullifying the RTC order.
The RTC judge was found to be in grave abuse of
discretion and was ordered to admit the third-party
complaint.
- Petitioner claims that the cause of action alleged in the
third-party complaint has already prescribed. Being
founded on what was termed as "tortious interference,"
petitioner asserts that under the CC on quasi-delict" the
action against third-party defendants should have been
filed within four (4) years from the date the cause of
action accrued. On the theory that the cause of action
accrued on March 25, 1977, the date when the
Monetary Board ordered GENBANK to desist from
doing business in the Philippines, petitioner maintains
that the claim should have been filed at the latest on
March 25, 1981. On the other hand, private respondent
relies on the "Doctrine of Relations" or "Relations Back
Doctrine" to support his claim that the cause of action
as against the proposed third-party defendant accrued
only on December 12,1986 when the decision in CA
(first case)became final and executory. It is contended
that while the third party complaint was filed only on
June 17,1987, it must be deemed to have been instituted
on February 7, 1979 when the complaint in the case was
filed.
ISSUE
1. WON there was ground to admit the third-party
complaint
2. WON the cause of action under the third-party
complaint prescribed
HELD
1. YES
- The first instance is allowable and should be allowed
if it will help in clarifying in a single proceeding the
multifarious issues involved arising from a single
transaction.

torts & damages


- The judgment of the CA in its first decision is the
substantive basis of private respondent's proposed thirdparty complaint. There is merit in private respondent's
position that if held liable on the promissory note, they
are seeking, by means of the third-party complaint, to
transfer unto the third-party defendants liability on the
note by reason of the illegal liquidation of GENBANK
which was the basis for the assignment of the
promissory note. If there was any confusion at all on the
ground/s alleged in the third-party complaint, it was the
claim of third-party plaintiff for other damages in
addition to any amount which he may be called upon to
pay under the original complaint. While these
allegations in the proposed third-party complaint may
cause delay in the disposition of the main suit, it cannot
be outrightly asserted that it would not serve any
purpose.
- The tests to determine whether the claim for indemnity
in a third-party claim is "in respect of plaintiff 's claim"
are: (a) whether it arises out of the same transaction on
which the plaintiff's claim is based, or whether the
third-party's claim, although arising out of another or
different contract or transaction, is connected with the
plaintiffs claim; (b) whether the third-party defendant
would be liable to the plaintiff or to the defendant for all
or part of the plaintiffs claim against the original
defendant, although the third-party defendant's liability
arises out of another transaction; or (c) whether the
third-party defendant may assert any defense which the
third-party plaintiff has, or may have against plaintiffs
claim. (Capayas v CFI Albay)
The claim of third-party plaintiff, private respondent
herein, can be accommodated under tests (a) and (b)
abovementioned.
2. YES
- The action for damages instituted by private
respondent arising from the quasidelict or alleged
"tortious interference" should be filed within four 4
years from the day the cause of action accrued.
- It is from the date of the act or omission violative of
the right of a party when the cause of action arises and
it is from this date that the prescriptive period must be
reckoned. (Espaol vs. Chairman, Philippine Veterans
Admistration)

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- PAGE 77 -

- While the third party complaint in this case may be


admitted as above discussed, since the cause of action
accrued on March 25, 1980 when the Monetary Board
ordered the GENBANK to desist from doing business
in the Philippines while the third party complaint was
filed only on June 17, 1987, consequently, the action
has prescribed. The third party complaint should not be
admitted.
Disposition petition is GRANTED. The decision of
CA denying the motion for reconsideration filed by
petitioner are hereby reversed and set aside and
declared null and void, and another judgment is hereby
rendered sustaining the orders of the RTC denying the
admission of the third party complaint
CAUSATION
BATACLAN V MEDINA
102 PHIL 181
MONTEMAYOR; October 22, 1957
FACTS
- Juan Bataclan rode Bus No. 30 of the Medina
Transportation, driven by Saylon, shortly after
midnight. While the bus was running very fast on a
highway, one of the front tires burst. The bus fell into a
canal and turned turtle. Four passengers could not get
out, including Bataclan. It appeared that gasoline began
to leak from the overturned bus. Ten men came to help.
One of them carried a torch and when he approached
the bus, a fierce fire started, burning the four passengers
trapped inside.
- The trial court was of the opinion that the proximate
cause of the death of Bataclan was not the overturning
of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus,
including himself and his co-passengers who were
unable to leave it; that at the time the fire started,
Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical
injuries, perhaps serious, was still alive, and so damages
were awarded, not for his death, but for the physical
injuries suffered by him.
ISSUES

prof. casis
What is the proximate cause of death of the four
passengers?
HELD
The proximate cause of death is the overturning of the
bus.
- see definition of proximate cause under A1
- It may be that ordinarily, when a passenger bus
overturns, and pins down a passenger, merely causing
him physical injuries, "If through some event,
unexpected and extraordinary, the overturned bus is set
on fire, say, by lightning, or if some highwaymen after
looting the vehicle sets it on fire, and the passenger is
burned to death, one might still contend that the
proximate cause of his death was the fire and not the
overturning of the vehicle. But in the present case and
under the circumstances obtaining in the same, we do
not hesitate to hold that the proximate cause of the
death of Bataclan was the overturning of the bus, this
for the reason that when the vehicle turned not only on
'Its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the
gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected;
that the coming of the men with a lighted torch was in
response to the call for help, made not only by the
passengers, but most probably, by the driver and the
conductor themselves, and that because it was very dark
(about 2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to carry a
light with them; and coming as they did from a rural
area where lanterns and flashlights were not available,
they had to use a torch, the most handy and available;
and what was more natural than that said rescuers
should innocently approach the overturned vehicle to
extend the aid and effect the rescue requested from
them. In other words, the coming of the men with the
torch was to be expected and was a natural sequence of
the overturning of the bus, the trapping of some of its
passengers and the call for outside help. What is more,
the burning of the bus can also in part be attributed to
the negligence of the carrier, through its driver and its
conductor. According to the witnesses, the driver and
the conductor were on the road walking back and forth.
They, or at least, the driver should and must have
known that in the position in which the overturned bus
was, gasoline could and must have leaked from the

torts & damages


gasoline tank and soaked the area in and around the bus,
this aside from the fact that gasoline when spilled,
specially over a large area, can be smelt and detected
-even from a distance, and yet neither the driver nor the
conductor would appear to have cautioned or taken
steps to warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted torch
too near the bus.
-(I guess this case says, if not for the overturning of the
bus then the leak and the fire wouldnt have
happened)
FERNANDO V CA (City of Davao)
208 SCRA 714
MEDIALDEA; May 8, 1992
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- Bibiano Morta, market master of the Agdao Public
Market filed a requisition request with the Chief of
Property for the re-emptying of the septic tank of
Agdao. Invitations to bid for cleaning out the tanks
were issued, which was won by Bascon. However,
before the date they were to work, one of the bidders,
Bertulano, and four other companions including an
Alberto Fernando were found dead inside the septic
tank. The City Engineers office, upon investigation,
found that the men entered without clearance or consent
of the market master. They apparently did the reemptying as the tank was nearly empty. The autopsy
showed that the victims died of asphyxia caused by lack
of oxygen supply in the body. Their lungs had burst due
to their intake of toxic sulfide gas produced from the
waste matter in said tank.
*Di nakalagay sa case, pero mukhang kinasuhan ni
Sofia Fernando yung Davao City for negligence in a
previous case dahil namatay yung asawa nya
- Upon dismissal of the case by the TC, petitioners
appealed to then IAC (now CA) which set aside the
judgment and rendered a new one, granting the families
of the deceased men P30k each in compensatory
damages, P20k each as moral damages and P10k for
attorneys fees.

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- PAGE 77 -

- Both parties filed their separate MFRs; the CA


rendered an amended decision granting Davao Citys
MFR, dismissing the case. Hence this petition.
ISSUES
1. WON Davao City is guilty of negligence
2. WON such negligence is the proximate cause of the
deaths of the victims
HELD
1. NO
- Although public respondent had been remiss in its
duty to re-empty the tank annually (for almost 20
years), such negligence was not a continuing one. Upon
learning from the market master about the need to clean
said tank, it immediately responded by issuing
invitations to bid for such service. Public respondent
lost no time in taking up remedial measures to meet the
situation. Also, public respondents failure to empty the
tank had not caused any sanitary accidents despite its
proximity to several homes and the public market as it
was covered in lead and was air-tight. In fact, the public
toilet connected to it was used several times daily all
those years, and all those people have remained
unscathed which is ironically evidenced by the
petitioners witnesses. The only indication that the tank
was full was when water began to leak, and even then
no reports of casualties from gas poising emerged.
- Petitioners in fussing over the lack of ventilation in the
tanks backfired as their witnesses were no experts.
Neither did they present competent evidence to
corroborate their testimonies and rebut the city
government engineer Alindadas testimony that safety
requirements for the tank had been complied with.
- The Court also does not agree with petitioners
contention that warning signs of noxious gas should be
placed around the area of the toilets and septic tank. As
defined in Art 694 of the NCC, they are not nuisances
per se which would necessitate warning signs for the
protection of the public.
- Petitioners contention that the market master should
have been supervising the area of the tank is also
untenable. Work on the tank was still forthcoming since
the awarding to the winning bidder was yet to be made

prof. casis
by the Committee on Awardshence, there was
nothing to supervise.
2. NO
- Proximate cause is defined as that cause which in
natural and continuous sequence unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred. To
be entitled to damages, one must prove under Art 2179
of the NCC that the defendants negligence was the
proximate cause of the injury. A test for such a
relationship is given in Taylor v Manila Electric
Railroad and Light Co. which states that a distinction
must be made between the accident and the injury,
between the event itself, without which there could
have been no accident, and those acts of the victim not
entering into it, independent of it, but contributing to his
own proper hurt.
- A toxic gas leakage could only have happened by
opening the tanks cover. The accident is thus of the
victims own doingan ordinarily prudent person
should be aware of the attended risks of cleaning out the
tank. This was especially true for the victim, Bertulano,
since he was an old hand to septic services and is
expected to know the hazards of the job. The victims
failure to take precautionary measures for their safety
was the proximate cause of the accident.
- When a person holds himself out as being competent
to do things requiring professional skill, he will be held
liable for negligence if he fails to exhibit the care and
skill required in what he attempts to do. As the CA
observed, the victims would not have died, had they not
opened the tank which they were not authorized to open
in the first place. They find it illogical that the septic
tank which had been around since the 50s would be the
proximate cause of an accident which occurred only 20
years later, especially since no other deaths or injuries
related to the tank had ever occurred.
Disposition
amended decision of the CA is
AFFIRMED
URBANO V IAC
157 SCRA 1
GUTIERREZ JR; January 7, 1988

torts & damages


NATURE
Petition to review the decision of the then IAC
FACTS
ON oct. 23, 1980, Marcelo Javier was hacked by the
Filomeno Urbano using a bolo. As a result of which,
Javier suffered a 2-inch incised wound on his right
palm.
On November 14, 1981, which was the 22nd day after
the incident, Javier was rushed to the hospital in a very
serious condition. When admitted to the hospital, Javier
had lockjaw and was having convulsions. Dr. Edmundo
Exconde who personally attended to Javier found that
the latter's serious condition was caused by tetanus
toxin. He noticed the presence of a healing wound in
Javier's palm which could have been infected by
tetanus. On November 15, 1980, Javier died in the
hospital.
- In an information, Urbano was charged with the
crime of homicide before the then Circuit Criminal
Court of Dagupan City.
- The trial court found Urbano guilty as charged. The
lower courts held that Javier's death was the natural and
logical consequence of Urbano's unlawful act. He was
sentenced accordingly.
- The then IAC affirmed the conviction of Urbano on
appeal.
- Appellant alleges that the proximate cause of the
victim's death was due to his own negligence in going
back to work without his wound being properly healed,
and that he went to catch fish in dirty irrigation canals
in the first week of November, 1980. He states that the
proximate cause of the death of Marcelo Javier was due
to his own negligence, that Dr. Mario Meneses found no
tetanus in the injury, and that Javier got infected with
tetanus when after two weeks he returned to his farm
and tended his tobacco plants with his bare hands
exposing the wound to harmful elements like tetanus
germs.
ISSUE
WON there was an efficient intervening cause from the
time Javier was wounded until his death which would
exculpate Urbano from any liability for Javier's death
HELD

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YES.
- The case involves the application of Article 4 of the
Revised Penal Code which provides that "Criminal
liability shall be incurred: (1) By any person
committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act
done be different from that which he intended ..."
Pursuant to this provision "an accused is criminally
responsible for acts committed by him in violation of
law and for all the natural and logical consequences
resulting therefrom."
- The record is clear that - The evidence on record
does not clearly show that the wound inflicted by
Urbano was infected with tetanus at the time of the
infliction of the wound. The evidence merely confirms
that the wound, which was already healing at the time
Javier suffered the symptoms of the fatal ailment,
somehow got infected with tetanus However, as to
when the wound was infected is not clear from the
record.
- PROXIMATE CAUSE "that cause, which, in natural
and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without
which the result would not have occurred."And more
comprehensively, "the proximate legal cause is that
acting first and producing the injury, either immediately
or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a
natural and continuous chain of events, each having a
close causal connection with its immediate predecessor,
the final event in the chain immediately effecting the
injury as a natural and probable result of the cause
which first acted, under such circumstances that the
person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have
reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or
default that an injury to some person might probably
result therefrom."
- The incubation period of tetanus, i.e., the time
between injury and the appearance of unmistakable
symptoms, ranges from 2 to 56 days. However, over 80
percent of patients become symptomatic within 14 days.
A short incubation period indicates severe disease, and
when symptoms occur within 2 or 3 days of injury the
mortality rate approaches 100 percent.

prof. casis
- Non-specific premonitory symptoms such as
restlessness, irritability, and headache are encountered
occasionally, but the commonest presenting complaints
are pain and stiffness in the jaw, abdomen, or back and
difficulty swallowing. As the progresses, stiffness gives
way to rigidity, and patients often complain of difficulty
opening their mouths. In fact, trismus in the commonest
manifestation of tetanus and is responsible for the
familiar descriptive name of lockjaw. As more muscles
are involved, rigidity becomes generalized, and
sustained contractions called risus sardonicus. The
intensity and sequence of muscle involvement is quite
variable. In a small proportion of patients, only local
signs and symptoms develop in the region of the injury.
In the vast majority, however, most muscles are
involved to some degree, and the signs and symptoms
encountered depend upon the major muscle groups
affected.
- Reflex spasm usually occur within 24 to 72 hours of
the first symptom, an interval referred to as the onset
time. As in the case of the incubation period, a short
onset time is associated with a poor prognosis. Spasms
are caused by sudden intensification of afferent stimuli
arising in the periphery, which increases rigidity and
causes simultaneous and excessive contraction of
muscles and their antagonists. Spasms may be both
painful and dangerous. As the disease progresses,
minimal or inapparent stimuli produce more intense and
longer lasting spasms with increasing frequency.
Respiration may be impaired by laryngospasm or tonic
contraction of respiratory muscles which prevent
adequate ventilation. Hypoxia may then lead to
irreversible central nervous system damage and death.
Mild tetanus is characterized by an incubation period
of at least 14 days and an onset time of more than 6
days. Trismus is usually present, but dysphagia is
absent and generalized spasms are brief and mild.
Moderately severe tetanus has a somewhat shorter
incubation period and onset time; trismus is marked,
dysphagia and generalized rigidity are present, but
ventilation remains adequate even during spasms. The
criteria for severe tetanus include a short incubation
time, and an onset time of 72 hrs., or less, severe
trismus, dysphagia and rigidity and frequent prolonged,

torts & damages


generalized convulsive spasms. (Harrison's Principle of
Internal Medicine, 1983 Edition, pp. 1004-1005;
Emphasis supplied)
- Therefore, medically speaking, the reaction to tetanus
found inside a man's body depends on the incubation
period of the disease.
- In the case at bar, Javier suffered a 2-inch incised
wound on his right palm when he parried the bolo
which Urbano used in hacking him. This incident took
place on October 23, 1980. After 22 days, or on
November 14, 1980, he suffered the symptoms of
tetanus, like lockjaw and muscle spasms. The following
day, November 15, 1980, he died.
If, therefore, the wound of Javier inflicted by the
appellant was already infected by tetanus germs at the
time, it is more medically probable that Javier should
have been infected with only a mild cause of tetanus
because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd
day after the hacking incident or more than 14 days
after the infliction of the wound. Therefore, the onset
time should have been more than six days. Javier,
however, died on the second day from the onset time.
The more credible conclusion is that at the time Javier's
wound was inflicted by the appellant, the severe form of
tetanus that killed him was not yet present.
Consequently, Javier's wound could have been infected
with tetanus after the hacking incident. Considering the
circumstance surrounding Javier's death, his wound
could have been infected by tetanus 2 or 3 or a few but
not 20 to 22 days before he died.
The rule is that the death of the victim must be the
direct, natural, and logical consequence of the wounds
inflicted upon him by the accused. And since we are
dealing with a criminal conviction, the proof that the
accused caused the victim's death must convince a
rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. The medical
findings, however, lead us to a distinct possibility that
the infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient
intervening cause later or between the time Javier was
wounded to the time of his death. The infection was,
therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime.
- Doubts are present. There is a likelihood that the
wound was but the remote cause and its subsequent
infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with

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- PAGE 77 -

tetanus may have been the proximate cause of Javier's


death with which the petitioner had nothing to do.
- A prior and remote cause cannot be made the be of an
action if such remote cause did nothing more than
furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by
which the injury was made possible, if there intervened
between such prior or remote cause and the injury a
distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the
injury, even though such injury would not have
happened but for such condition or occasion. If no
danger existed in the condition except because of the
independent cause, such condition was not the
proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or
defective condition sets into operation the instances
which result in injury because of the prior defective
condition, such subsequent act or condition is the
proximate cause
DISPOSITION :. The petitioner is ACQUITTED of
the crime of homicide.
PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION, INC. (CARBONEL)
VS. IAC (DIONISIO)
148 SCRA 353
FELICIANO, MARCH 10, 1987
NATURE
Petition for review
FACTS
-About 1:30 am, Leonardo Dionisio (DIONISIO) was
driving home (he lived in Bangkal, Makati) from
cocktails/dinner meeting with his boss where he had
taken a shot or two of liquor. He had just crossed the
intersection of General Lacuna and General Santos Sts.
At Bangkal, Makati (not far from his home) and was
proceeding down General Lacuna Street without
headlights when he hit a dump truck owned by Phoenix
Construction Inc. (PHOENIX), which was parked on
the right hand side of General Lacuna Street
(DIONISIOs lane). The dump truck was parked askew
in such a manner as to stick out onto the street, partly
blocking the way of oncoming traffic. There were no
lights nor any so-called "early warning" reflector
devices set anywhere near the dump truck, front or rear.

prof. casis
The dump truck had earlier that evening been driven
home by petitioner Armando U. Carbonel
(CARBONEL), its regular driver, with the permission
of his employer PHOENIX, in view of work scheduled
to be carried out early the following morning,
DIONISIO claimed that he tried to avoid a collision by
swerving his car to the left but it was too late and his
car smashed into the dump truck. As a result of the
collision, DIONISIO suffered some physical injuries
including some permanent facial scars, a "nervous
breakdown" and loss of two gold bridge dentures.
DIONISIOs claim: the legal and proximate cause of his
injuries was the negligent manner in which Carbonel
had parked the dump truck entrusted to him by his
employer Phoenix
PHOENIX + CARBONELs claim: the proximate cause
of Dionisio's injuries was his own recklessness in
driving fast at the time of the accident, while under the
influence of liquor, without his headlights on and
without a curfew pass; if there was negligence in the
manner in which the dump truck was parked, that
negligence was merely a "passive and static condition"
and that private respondent Dionisio's recklessness
constituted an intervening, efficient cause determinative
of the accident and the injuries he sustained.
TC: in favor of Dionisio, awarded damages in favor of
Dionisio
IAC: in favor of Dionisio, reduced the damages
awarded
ISSUES
Factual issues: (court discussed this to administer
substantial justice without remanding the case to the
lower court since both TC and IAC did not consider
defenses set by petitioners)
1. WON private respondent Dionisio had a curfew pass
valid and effective for that eventful night
2. WON Dionisio was driving fast or speeding just
before the collision with the dump truck;
3. WON Dionisio had purposely turned off his car's
headlights before contact with the dump truck
4. WON Dionisio was intoxicated at the time of the
accident.
Substantial Issues:

torts & damages


5. WON the legal and proximate cause of the accident
and of Dionisio's injuries was the wrongful or negligent
manner in which the dump truck was parked
a. WON the drivers negligence was merely a "passive
and static condition" and that Dionisio's negligence
was an "efficient intervening cause," and that
consequently Dionisio's negligence must be regarded
as the legal and proximate cause of the accident
rather than the earlier negligence of Carbonel
b. WON the court, based on the last clear chance
doctrine, should hold Dionisio alone responsible for
his accident
6. WON Phoenix has successfully proven that they
exercised due care in the selection and supervision of
the dump truck driver
7. WON the amount of damages awarded should be
modified
HELD
FACTUAL
1. NO. none was found with Dionisio. He was not able
to produce any curfew pass during the trial. (It is
important to determine if he had a curfew pass to shed
light to the 2nd and 3rd factual issues)
-Testimony of Patrolman Cuyno who had taken
DIONISIO to Makati Med testified that none was found
with Dionisio. Although Dionisio offered a certification
attesting that he did have a valid curfew pass, the
certification did not specify any serial number or date or
period of effectivity of the supposed curfew pass.
2. YES. Testimony of Patrolman Cuyno attesting that
people gathered at the scene of the accident told him
that Dionisios Car was MOVING FAST and that he
DID NOT have its HEADLIGTS ON.
Ratio. The testimony of Patrolman Cuyno is admissible
not under the official records exception to the hearsay
rule but rather as part of the res gestae. Testimonial
evidence under this exception to the hearsay rule
consists of excited utterances made on the occasion of
an occurrence or event sufficiently startling in nature so
as to render inoperative the normal reflective thought
processes of the observer and hence made as a
spontaneous reaction to the occurrence or event, and not
the result of reflective thought.

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- PAGE 77 -

-Dionisio claimed that he was traveling at 30kph and


had just crossed the intersection of General Santos and
General Lacuna Streets and had started to accelerate
when his headlights failed just before the collision took
place. He also asserts that Patrolman Cuynos testimony
was hearsay and did not fall within any of the
recognized exceptions to the hearsay rule since the facts
he testified to were not acquired by him through official
information and had not been given by the informants
pursuant to any duty to do so.
-BUT: an automobile speeding down a street and
suddenly smashing into a stationary object in the dead
of night is a sufficiently startling event as to evoke
spontaneous, rather than reflective, reactions from
observers who happened to be around at that time. The
testimony of Patrolman Cuyno was therefore admissible
as part of the res gestae and should have been
considered by the trial court. Clearly, substantial weight
should have been ascribed to such testimony, even
though it did not, as it could not, have purported to
describe quantitatively the precise velocity at which
Dionisio was travelling just before impact with the
Phoenix dump truck.
3. YES. Phoenixs theory more credible than Dionisios.
DIONISIO S CLAIM: he had his headlights on but that,
at the crucial moment, these had in some mysterious if
convenient way malfunctioned and gone off, although
he succeeded in switching his lights on again at "bright"
split seconds before contact with the dump truck
PHOENIXs CLAIM: Dionisio purposely shut off his
headlights even before he reached the intersection so as
not to be detected by the police in the police precinct
which he (being a resident in the area) knew was not far
away from the intersection (less than 200m away).
4. NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONCLUDE
ANYTHING.
EVIDENCE PRESENTED: Patrolman Cuyno attested
that Dionisio smelled of liquor at the time he was taken
to Makati med + Dionisio admitted he had taken a shot
or two
- not enough evidence to show how much liquor
Dionisio had in fact taken and the effects of that upon
his physical faculties or upon his judgment or mental

prof. casis
alertness. "One shot or two" of hard liquor may affect
different people differently.
SUBSTANTIAL
5. YES. The collision of Dionisio's car with the dump
track was a natural and foreseeable consequence of the
truck driver's negligence. Private respondent Dionisio's
negligence was "only contributory," that the "immediate
and proximate cause" of the injury remained the truck
driver's "lack of due care" and that consequently
respondent Dionisio may recover damages though such
damages are subject to mitigation by the courts
a. NO. Besides, this argument had no validity under our
jurisdiction and even in the United States, the
distinctions between" cause" and "condition" have
already been "almost entirely discredited.
- the truck driver's negligence far from being a "passive
and static condition" was rather an indispensable and
efficient cause; Dionisio's negligence, although later in
point of time than the truck driver's negligence and
therefore closer to the accident, was not an efficient
intervening or independent cause. The petitioner
truck driver owed a duty to private respondent Dionisio
and others similarly situated not to impose upon them
the very risk the truck driver had created. Dionisio's
negligence was not of an independent and
overpowering nature as to cut, as it were, the chain of
causation in fact between the improper parking of the
dump truck and the accident, nor to sever the juris
vinculum of liability.
FROM PROF. PROSSER AND KEETON: "Cause and
condition. Many courts have sought to distinguish
between the active "cause" of the harm and the
existing "conditions" upon which that cause operated
If the defendant has created only a passive static
condition which made the damage possible, the
defendant is said not to be liable. But so far as the fact
of causation is concerned, in the sense of necessary
antecedents which have played an important part in
producing the result, it is quite impossible to distinguish
between active forces and passive situations,
particularly since, as is invariably the case the latter
am the result of other active forces which have gone
before. The defendant who spills gasoline about the

torts & damages


premises creates a "condition," but the act may be
culpable because of the danger of fire. When a spark
ignites the gasoline, the condition has done quite as
much to bring about the fire as the spark; and since that
is the very risk which the defendant has created, the
defendant will not escape responsibility. Even the lapse
of a considerable time during which the "condition"
remains static will not necessarily affect liability; one
who digs a trench in the highway may still be liable to
another who falls into it a month afterward. "Cause"
and "condition" still find occasional mention in the
decisions; but the distinction is now almost entirely
discredited So far as it has any validity at all, it must
refer to the type of case where the forces set in
operation by the defendant have come to rest in a
position of apparent safety. and some new force
intervenes. But even in such cases, it is not the
distinction between "cause" and "condition" which
is important, but the nature of the risk and the
character of the intervening cause."
"Foreseeable Intervening Causes. If the intervening
cause is one which in ordinary human experience is
reasonably to be anticipated, or one which the
defendant has reason to anticipate under the particular
circumstances, the defendant may be negligent, among
other reasons, because of failure to guard against it; or
the defendant may be negligent only for that reason
Thus one who sets a fire may be required to foresee that
an ordinary, usual and customary wind arising later will
spread it beyond the defendant's own property, and
therefore to take precautions to prevent that event. The
person who leaves the combustible or explosive
material exposed in a public place may foresee the risk
of fire from some independent source. x x x In all of
these cases there is an intervening cause combining
with the defendant's conduct to produce the result and
in each case the defendant's negligence consists in
failure to protect the plaintiff against that very risk.
Obviously the defendant cannot be relieved from
liability by the fact that the risk or a substantial and
important part of the risk, to which the defendant has
subjected the plaintiff has indeed come to pass.
Foreseeable intervening forces are within the scope of

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the original risk, and hence of the defendant's


negligence. The courts are quite generally agreed that
intervening causes which fall fairly in this category will
not supersede the defendant's responsibility.
Thus it has been held that a defendant will be required
to anticipate the usual weather of the vicinity, including
all ordinary forces of nature such as usual wind or rain,
or snow or frost or fog or even lightning; that one who
leaves an obstruction on the road or a railroad track
should foresee that a vehicle or a train will run into it; x
x x.
The risk created by the defendant may include the
intervention of the foreseeable negligence of others. x x
x [T]he standard of reasonable conduct may require
the defendant to protect the plaintiff against 'that
occasional negligence which is one of the ordinary
incidents of human life, and therefore to be
anticipated.' Thus, a defendant who blocks the
sidewalk and forces the plaintiff to walk in a street
where the plaintiff will be exposed to the risks of heavy
traffic becomes liable when the plaintiff is run down by
a car, even though the car is negligently driven; and one
who parks an automobile on the highway without lights
at night is not relieved of responsibility when another
negligently drives into it - - "
b. NO. The last clear chance doctrine of the common
law was imported into our jurisdiction by Picart vs.
Smith but it is a matter for debate whether, or to what
extent, it has found its way into the Civil Code of the
Philippines. Accordingly, it is difficult to see what role,
if any, the common law last clear chance doctrine has
to play in a jurisdiction where the common law
concept of contributory negligence as an absolute bar
to recovery by the plaintiff, has itself been rejected, as
it has been in Article 2179 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines.
-The relative location in the continuum of time of the
plaintiff's and the defendant's negligent acts or
omissions, is only one of the relevant factors that may
be taken into account. Of more fundamental importance
are the nature of the negligent act or omission of each
party and the character and gravity of the risks created
by such act or omission for the rest of the community.

prof. casis
ON LAST CLEAR CHANCE DOCTRINE: The
historical function of that doctrine in the common law
was to mitigate the harshness of another common law
doctrine or rule-that of contributory negligence. The
common law rule of contributory negligence prevented
any recovery at all by a plaintiff who was also
negligent, even if the plaintiff's negligence was
relatively minor as compared with the wrongful act or
omission of the defendant. The common law notion of
last clear chance permitted courts to grant recovery to a
plaintiff who had also been negligent provided that the
defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the casualty
and failed to do so.
6. NO. The circumstance that Phoenix had allowed its
track driver to bring the dump truck to his home
whenever there was work to be done early the following
morning, when coupled with the failure to show any
effort on the part of Phoenix to supervise the manner in
which the dump truck is parked when away from
company premises, is an affirmative showing of culpa
in vigilando on the part of Phoenix.
7. YES. Taking into account the comparative
negligence ot DIONISIO and the petitioners, the
demands of substantial justice are satisfied by
allocating most of the damages on a 20-80 ratio. As
to the other awards of damages, sustain.
20% of the damages awarded by the respondent
appellate court, except the award of P10,000.00 as
exemplary damages and P4,500.00 as attorney's fees
and costs, shall be home by private respondent
Dionisio; only the balance of 800% needs to be paid by
petitioners Carbonel and Phoenix who shall be
solidarily liable therefor to the former. The award of
exemplary damages and attorney's fees and costs
shall be home exclusively by the petitioners. Phoenix
is of course entitled to reimbursement from
Carbonel.
Disposition. WHEREFORE, the decision of the
respondent appellate court is modified by reducing the
aggregate amount of compensatory damages, loss of
expected income and moral damages private respondent

torts & damages


Dionisio is entitled to by 20% of such amount. Costs
against the petitioners.
SO ORDERED.
PILIPINAS BANK V CA (REYES)
234 SCRA 435
PUNO; July 25, 1994
NATURE
- Petition for review of CA decision
FACTS
- FLORENCIO REYES issued two postdated checks.
These are for WINNER INDUSTRIAL CORP. in
amount of P21T due Oct.10, 1979 and for Vicente TUI
in amount of P11.4T due Oct.12.
- To cover the face value of the checks, he requested
PCIB Money Shop's manager to effect the withdrawal
of P32T from his savings account and have it deposited
with his current account with PILIPINAS BANK.
- PILIPINAS BANKS Current Account Bookkeeper
made an error in depositing the amount: he thought it
was for a certain FLORENCIO AMADOR. He, thus,
posted the deposit in the latter's account not noticing
that the depositor's surname in the deposit slip was
REYES.
- On Oct.11, the Oct.10 check in favor of WINNER
INDUSTRIAL was presented for payment. Since the
ledger of Florencio REYES indicated that his account
had only a balance of P4,078.43, it was dishonored and
the payee was advised to try it for next clearing.
- It was redeposited but was again dishonored. The
same thing happened to the Oct.12 check. The payee
then demanded a cash payment of the checks face
value which REYES did if only to save his name.
- Furious, he immediately proceeded to the bank and
urged an immediate verification of his account. That
was only when they noticed the error.
RTC: ordered petitioner to pay P200T compensatory
damages, P100T moral damages, P25T attorneys fees,
as well as costs of suit.
CA: modified amount to just P50T moral damages and
P25T attorneys fees and costs of suit.

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ISSUE
WON Art.21798 of NCC is applicable
HELD
NO
- For it to apply, it must be established that private
respondent's own negligence was the immediate and
proximate cause of his injury.
Definition of Proximate Cause: "any cause which, in
natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the result
complained of and without which would not have
occurred and from which it ought to have been foreseen
or reasonably anticipated by a person of ordinary case
that the injury complained of or some similar injury,
would result therefrom as a natural and probable
consequence."
Reasoning The proximate cause of the injury is the
negligence of petitioner's employee in erroneously
posting the cash deposit of private respondent in the
name of another depositor who had a similar first
name.
- The bank employee is deemed to have failed to
exercise the degree of care required in the performance
of his duties.
Dispositive Petition denied.
QUEZON CITY V DACARA
PANGANIBAN; JUNE 15, 2005
NATURE
Petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals
FACTS
-On February 28, 1988 at about 1:00 A.M., Fulgencio
Dacara, Jr., owner of 87 Toyota Corolla 4-door Sedan,
while driving the said vehicle, rammed into a pile of
earth/street diggings found at Matahimik St., Quezon
City, which was then being repaired by the Quezon City
government.
8

Art. 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury,
he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the
courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.

prof. casis
-As a result, Dacara, Jr. allegedly sustained bodily
injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damage for it
turned turtle when it hit the pile of earth.
-Indemnification was sought from the city government,
which however, yielded negative results.
-Fulgencio P. Dacara, for and in behalf of his minor son,
filed a Complaint for damages against Quezon City and
Engr. Ramir Tiamzon.
-Defendants admitted the occurrence of the incident but
alleged that the subject diggings was provided with a
mound of soil and barricaded with reflectorized traffic
paint with sticks placed before or after it which was
visible during the incident.
-In short, defendants claimed that they exercised due
care by providing the area of the diggings all necessary
measures to avoid accident, and that the reason why
Fulgencio Dacara, Jr. fell into the diggings was
precisely because of the latters negligence and failure
to exercise due care.
-RTC ruled in favor of Dacara, ordering the defendants
to indemnify the plaintiff the sum of twenty thousand
pesos as actual/compensatory damages, P10,000.00 as
moral damages, P5,000.00 as exemplary damages,
P10,000.00 as attorneys fees and other costs of suit.
-Upon appeal, CA agreed with the RTCs finding that
petitioners negligence was the proximate cause of the
damage suffered by respondent.
-Hence, this Petition
ISSUES
1. WON petitioners negligence is the
proximate cause of the incident
2. WON moral damages are recoverable
3. WON exemplary damages and attorneys
fees are recoverable
HELD
1. Yes.
-Proximate cause is defined as any cause that
produces injury in a natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening
cause, such that the result would not have occurred
otherwise. Proximate cause is determined from the

torts & damages


facts of each case, upon a combined consideration of
logic, common sense, policy and precedent.
-What really caused the subject vehicle to turn turtle is a
factual issue that this Court cannot pass upon, absent
any whimsical or capricious exercise of judgment by
the lower courts or an ample showing that they lacked
any basis for their conclusions.
-The unanimity of the CA and the trial court in their
factual ascertainment that petitioners negligence was
the proximate cause of the accident bars us from
supplanting their findings and substituting these with
our own.
-That the negligence of petitioners was the proximate
cause of the accident was aptly discussed in the lower
courts finding:
Facts obtaining in this case are crystal clear that the
accident of February 28, 1988 which caused almost the
life and limb of Fulgencio Dacara, Jr. when his car
turned turtle was the existence of a pile of earth from a
digging done relative to the base failure at Matahimik
Street nary a lighting device or a reflectorized barricade
or sign perhaps which could have served as an adequate
warning to motorists especially during the thick of the
night where darkness is pervasive. Contrary to the
testimony of the witnesses for the defense that there
were signs, gasera which was buried so that its light
could not be blown off by the wind and barricade, none
was ever presented to stress the point that sufficient and
adequate precautionary signs were placed. If indeed
signs were placed thereat, how then could it be
explained that according to the report even of the
policeman, none was found at the scene of the accident.
-The provisions of Article 21899 of the New Civil
Code capsulizes the responsibility of the city
government relative to the maintenance of roads and
bridges since it exercises the control and supervision
over the same. Failure of the defendant to comply with
the statutory provision is tantamount to negligence
which renders the City government liable
-Petitioners belatedly point out that Fulgencio Jr. was
driving at the speed of 60 kilometers per hour (kph)
when he met the accident. This speed was allegedly
9

. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered
by, any person by reason of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and
other public works under their control or supervision.

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well above the maximum limit of 30 kph allowed on


city streets with light traffic, as provided under the
Land Transportation and Traffic Code Thus, petitioners
assert that Fulgencio Jr., having violated a traffic
regulation, should be presumed negligent pursuant to
Article 2185 of the Civil Code.
-These matters were, however, not raised by petitioners
at any time during the trial. It is evident from the
records that they brought up for the first time in their
Motion for Reconsideration.
-It is too late in the day for them to raise this new issue.
To consider their belatedly raised arguments at this
stage of the proceedings would trample on the basic
principles of fair play, justice, and due process.
-Indeed, both the trial and the appellate courts findings,
which are amply substantiated by the evidence on
record, clearly point to petitioners negligence as the
proximate cause of the damages suffered by
respondents car. No adequate reason has been given to
overturn this factual conclusion.
2. No.
-To award moral damages, a court must be satisfied
with proof of the following requisites: (1) an injury-whether physical, mental, or psychological--clearly
sustained by the claimant; (2) a culpable act or omission
factually established; (3) a wrongful act or omission of
the defendant as the proximate cause of the injury
sustained by the claimant; and (4) the award of damages
predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219.
-Article 2219(2) specifically allows moral damages to
be recovered for quasi-delicts, provided that the act or
omission caused physical injuries. There can be no
recovery of moral damages unless the quasi-delict
resulted in physical injury.
-In the present case, the Complaint alleged that
respondents son Fulgencio Jr. sustained physical
injuries.
-It is apparent from the Decisions of the trial and the
appellate courts, however, that no other evidence (such
as a medical certificate or proof of medical expenses)
was presented to prove Fulgencio Jr.s bare assertion of
physical injury. Thus, there was no credible proof that
would justify an award of moral damages based on
Article 2219(2) of the Civil Code.

prof. casis
-Moral damages are not punitive in nature, but are
designed to compensate and alleviate in some way the
physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious
anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings,
moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury
unjustly inflicted on a person.
-Well-settled is the rule that moral damages cannot be
awarded in the absence of proof of physical suffering,
mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social
humiliation, or similar injury. The award of moral
damages must be solidly anchored on a definite
showing that respondent actually experienced
emotional and mental sufferings.
3. Yes.
-Exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a matter of
right; they can be awarded only after claimants have
shown their entitlement to moral, temperate or
compensatory damages.
-In the case before us, respondent sufficiently proved
before the courts a quo that petitioners negligence was
the proximate cause of the incident, thereby establishing
his right to actual or compensatory damages. He has
adduced adequate proof to justify his claim for the
damages caused his car.
-Article 2231 of the Civil Code mandates that in cases
of quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be recovered
if the defendant acted with gross negligence.
-Gross negligence means such utter want of care as to
raise a presumption that the persons at fault must have
been conscious of the probable consequences of their
carelessness, and that they must have nevertheless been
indifferent (or worse) to the danger of injury to the
person or property of others. The negligence must
amount to a reckless disregard for the safety of persons
or property.
-Such a circumstance obtains in the instant case.
-The facts of the case show a complete disregard by
petitioners of any adverse consequence of their failure
to install even a single warning device at the area under
renovation.
-Article 2229 of the Civil Code provides that exemplary
damages may be imposed by way of example or
correction for the public good. The award of these

torts & damages


damages is meant to be a deterrent to socially
deleterious actions.
Dispositive
The Decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed, with
the modification that the award of moral damages is
deleted.
GABETO V. ARANETA
42 Phil 252. October 17, 1921 Street
Facts:
Basilio Ilano and Proceso Gayetano took a
carromata near Plaza Gay, in the City of Iloilo, with a
view to going to a cockpit on Calle Ledesma in the
same City. When the driver of the carromata had turned
his horse and started in the direction indicated, the
defendant, Agaton Araneta, stepped out into the street,
and laying his hands on the reins, stopped the horse, at
the same time protesting to the driver that he himself
had called this carromata first. The driver, one Julio
Pagnaya, replied to the effect that he had not heard or
seen the call of Araneta, and that he had taken up the
two passengers then in the carromata as the first who
had offered employment. At or about the same time
Pagnaya pulled on the reins of the bridle to free the
horse from the control of Agaton Araneta, in order that
the vehicle might pass on. Owing, however, to the
looseness of the bridle on the horse's head or to the
rottenness of the material of which it was made, the bit
came out of the horse's mouth; and it became necessary
for the driver to get out, which he did, in order to fix the
bridle. The horse was then pulled over to near the curb,
by one or the other it makes no difference which
and Pagnaya tried to fix the bridle.
While he was thus engaged, the horse, being
free from the control of the bit, became disturbed and
moved forward, in doing which he pulled one of the
wheels of the carromata up on the sidewalk and pushed
Julio Pagnaya over. After going a few yards further the
side of the carromata struck a police telephone box
which was fixed to a post on the sidewalk, upon which
the box came down with a crash and frightened the

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prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

horse to such an extent that he set out at full speed up


the street.
Meanwhile one of the passengers, to wit.
Basilio Ilano, had alighted while the carromata was as
yet alongside the sidewalk; but the other, Proceso
Gayetano, had unfortunately retained his seat, and after
the runaway horse had proceeded up the street to a point
in front of the Mission Hospital, the said Gayetano
jumped or fell from the rig, and in so doing received
injuries from which he soon died.
This action was brought by Consolacion
Gabeto, in her own right as widow of Proceso
Gayetano, and as guardian ad litem of the three
children, Conchita Gayetano, Rosita Gayetano, and
Fermin Gayetano, for the purpose of recovering
damages incurred by the plaintiff as a result of the death
of the said Proceso Gayetano, supposedly caused by the
wrongful act of the defendant Agaton Araneta.
Judge awarded damages to the widow to which
decision Araneta appealed.
Issue: WON the stopping of the rig by Agaton Araneta
in the middle of the street was too remote from the
accident that presently ensued to be considered the legal
or proximate cause thereof
Held: NO. The evidence indicates that the bridle was
old, and the leather of which it was made was probably
so weak as to be easily broken. it was Julio who jerked
the rein, thereby causing the bit to come out of the
horse's mouth; and Julio, after alighting, led the horse
over to the curb, and proceeded to fix the bridle; and
that in so doing the bridle was slipped entirely off,
when the horse, feeling himself free from control,
started to go away.
Disposition: Judgment is REVERSED.
URBANO
V
IAC
(PEOPLE
PHILIPPINES)
157 SCRA 1
GUTIERREZ; January 7, 1988

OF

THE

Nature : This is a petition to review the decision of the


then Intermediate Appellate Court
Facts:When Filomeno Urbano found the place where
he stored his palay flooded with water coming from the
irrigation canal nearby which had overflowed he went
to see what happened and there he saw Marcelo Javier
admitted that he was the one responsible for what
happened. Urbano then got angry and demanded that
Javier pay for his soaked palay. A quarrel between them
ensued. Urbano hacked Javier hitting him on the right
palm of his hand . Javier who was then unarmed ran
away from Urbano but was overtaken by Urbano who
hacked him again hitting Javier on the left leg with the
back portion of said bolo, causing a swelling on said
leg.
On November 14,1980, Javier was rushed to the
Nazareth General Hospital in a very serious condition.
Javier had lockjaw and was having convulsions. Dr.
Edmundo Exconde who personally attended to Javier
found that the latter's serious condition was caused by
tetanus toxin. He noticed the presence of a healing
wound in Javier's palm which could have been infected
by tetanus.
On November 15, 1980 Javier died in the hospital.
Appellants claim:
-there was an efficient cause which supervened from the
time the deceased was wounded to the time of his death
-the proximate cause of the victim's death was due to
his own negligence in going back to work without his
wound being properly healed, and lately, that he went to
catch fish in dirty irrigation canals in the first week of
November, 1980
- Javier got infected with tetanus when after two weeks
he returned to his farm and tended his tobacco plants
with his bare hands exposing the wound to harmful
elements like tetanus germs.
ISSUE:
WON there was an efficient intervening cause from the
time Javier was wounded until his death which would
exculpate Urbano from any liability for Javier's death
HELD:

torts & damages


Yes. The medical findings lead us to a distinct
possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus
was an efficient intervening cause later or between the
time Javier was wounded to the time of his death. The
infection was, therefore, distinct and foreign to the
crime.
Reasoning:
-The case involves the application of Article 4 10 of the
Revised Penal Code.
-The evidence on record does not clearly show that the
wound inflicted by Urbano was infected with tetanus at
the time of the infliction of the wound. The evidence
merely confirms that the wound, which was already
healing at the time Javier suffered the symptoms of the
fatal ailment, somehow got infected with tetanus
However, as to when the wound was infected is not
clear from the record.
-In Vda. de Bataclan, et al. v. Medina (102 Phil. 1181),
we adopted the following definition of proximate cause:
"x x x A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is
found in Volume 38, pages 695-696 of American
Jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffsappellants in their
brief. It is as follows:
"x x x 'that cause, which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause,
produces the injury, and without which the result would
not have occurred.' And more comprehensively, the
proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing
the injury, either immediately or by setting other events
in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous
chain of events, each having a close causal connection
with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the
chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and
probable result of the cause which first acted, under
such circumstances that the person responsible for the
first event should, as an ordinarily prudent and
intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at
the moment of his act or default that an injury to some
person might probably result therefrom.' (at pp. 185186)
10

Art. 4. Criminal liability shall be incurred: (1) By any person committing a felony (delito) although the
wrongful act done be different from that which he intended x x x." Pursuant to this provision "an
accused is criminally responsible for acts committed by him in violation of law and for all the natural and
logical consequences resulting therefrom

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-The court looked into the nature of tetanus to


determine the cause
-Medically speaking, the reaction to tetanus found
inside a man's body depends on the incubation period of
the disease.
- Javier suffered a 2-inch incised wound on his right
palm when he parried the bolo which Urbano used in
hacking him. This incident took place on October 23,
1980. After 22 days, or on November 14, 1980, he
suffered the symptoms of tetanus, like lockjaw and
muscle spasms. The following day, November 15, 1980,
he died.
If,therefore,the wound of Javier inflicted by the
appellant was already infected by tetanus germs at the
time, it is more medically probable that Javier should
have been infected with only a mild cause of tetanus
because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd
day after the hacking incident or more than 14 days
after the infliction of the wound.
-Therefore, the onset time should have been more than
six days. Javier, however, died on the second day from
the onset time. The more credible conclusion is that at
the time Javier's wound was inflicted by the appellant,
the severe form of tetanus that killed him was not yet
present. Consequently, Javier's wound could have been
infected with tetanus after the hacking incident.
Considering the circumstance surrounding Javier's
death, his wound could have been infected by tetanus 2
or 3 or a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died. The
medical findings lead us to a distinct possibility that the
infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient
intervening cause later or between the time Javier was
wounded to the time of his death. The infection was,
therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime.
The rule is that the death of the victim must be the
direct, natural, and logical consequence of the wounds
inflicted upon him by the accused. (People v. Cardenas,
supra)
As we ruled in Manila Electric Co. v. Remaquillo, et al.
(99 Phil. 118).
"'A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of
an action if such remote cause did nothing more than
furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by
which the injury was made possible, if there intervened

prof. casis
between such prior or remote cause and the injury a
distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the
injury, even though such injury would not have
happened but for such condition or occasion. If no
danger existed in the condition except because of the
independent cause, such condition was not the
proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or
defective condition sets into operation the
circumstances, which result in injury because of the
prior defective condition, such subsequent act or
condition is the proximate cause. '(45 C.J. pp. 931932)." (at p. 125)
FAR EAST SHIPPING CO V CA (PPA)
297 SCRA 30
REGALADO; October 1, 1998
NATURE
Review on certiorari the CA decision affirming TC
decision holding FESC and Gavino solidarily liable
FACTS
- On June 20, 1980, the M/V PAVLODAR, flying under
the flagship of the USSR, owned and operated by the
Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESC), arrived at the
Port of Manila from Vancouver, British Columbia at
about 7:00 o'clock in the morning. The vessel was
assigned Berth 4 of the Manila International Port, as its
berthing space. Captain Roberto Abellana was tasked by
the Philippine Port Authority to supervise the berthing
of the vessel. Appellant Senen Gavino was assigned by
the Appellant Manila Pilots' Association (MPA) to
conduct docking maneuvers for the safe berthing of the
vessel to Berth No. 4.
- Gavino boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage
and stationed himself in the bridge, with the master of
the vessel, Victor Kavankov, beside him. After a
briefing of Gavino by Kavankov of the particulars of
the vessel and its cargo, the vessel lifted anchor from
the quarantine anchorage and proceeded to the Manila
International Port. The sea was calm and the wind was
ideal for docking maneuvers.
- When the vessel reached the landmark (the big church
by the Tondo North Harbor) one-half mile from the pier,

torts & damages


Gavino ordered the engine stopped. When the vessel
was already about 2,000 feet from the pier, Gavino
ordered the anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the
orders to the crew of the vessel on the bow. The left
anchor, with 2 shackles, were dropped. However, the
anchor did not take hold as expected. The speed of the
vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued between
the crew members. A brief conference ensued between
Kavankov and the crew members. When Gavino
inquired what was all the commotion about, Kavankov
assured Gavino that there was nothing to it.
- After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not take hold,
he ordered the engines half-astern. Abellana, who was
then on the pier apron noticed that the vessel was
approaching the pier fast. Kavankov likewise noticed
that the anchor did not take hold. Gavino thereafter
gave the "full-astern" code. Before the right anchor and
additional shackles could be dropped, the bow of the
vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing
considerable damage to the pier. The vessel sustained
damage too. Kavankov filed his sea protest. Gavino
submitted his report to the Chief Pilot who referred the
report to the Philippine Ports Authority. Abellana
likewise submitted his report of the incident.
- The rehabilitation of the damaged pier cost the
Philippine Ports Authority the
amount
of
P1,126,132.25.
PERTINENT RULES on PILOTAGE
- The Port of Manila is within the Manila Pilotage
District which is under compulsory pilotage pursuant to
Section 8, Article III of Philippine Ports Authority
Administrative Order No. 03-85:
SEC. 8. Compulsory Pilotage Service. For
entering a harbor and anchoring thereat, or passing
through rivers or straits within a pilotage district, as
well as docking and undocking at any pier/wharf, or
shifting from one berth or another, every vessel
engaged in coastwise and foreign trade shall be under
compulsory pilotage.
- In case of compulsory pilotage, the respective duties
and responsibilities of the compulsory pilot and the
master have been specified by the same regulation:
SEC. 11. Control of vessels and liability for
damage. On compulsory pilotage grounds, the

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Harbor Pilot providing the service to a vessel shall be


responsible for the damage caused to a vessel or to
life and property at ports due to his negligence or
fault. He can only be absolved from liability if the
accident is caused by force majeure or natural
calamities provided he has exercised prudence and
extra diligence to prevent or minimize damage.
The Master shall retain overall command of the
vessel even on pilotage grounds whereby he can
countermand or overrule the order or command of the
Harbor Pilot on board. In such event, any damage
caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports by
reason of the fault or negligence of the Master shall
be the responsibility and liability of the registered
owner of the vessel concerned without prejudice to
recourse against said Master
Such liability of the owner or Master of the vessel
or its pilots shall be determined by competent
authority in appropriate proceedings in the light of
the facts and circumstances of each particular case.
SEC. 32. Duties and responsibilities of the Pilot or
Pilots' Association. The duties and responsibilities
of the Harbor Pilot shall be as follows:
xxx
xxx
xxx
f) a pilot shall be held responsible for the direction
of a vessel from the time he assumes his work as a
pilot thereof until he leaves it anchored or berthed
safely; Provided, however, that his responsibility
shall cease at the moment the Master neglects or
refuses to carry out his order.
- Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 issued
twenty years earlier likewise provided in Chapter I
thereof for the responsibilities of pilots:
Par. XXXIX. A Pilot shall be held responsible
for the direction of a vessel from the time he assumes
control thereof until he leaves it anchored free from
shoal; Provided, That his responsibility shall cease at
the moment the master neglects or refuses to carry
out his instructions.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Par. XLIV. Pilots shall properly and safely
secure or anchor vessels under their control when
requested to do so by the master of such vessels.

prof. casis
ISSUE
WON both the pilot and the master were negligent
HELD
YES.
- The SC started by saying that in a collision between a
stationary object and a moving object, there is a
presumption of fault against the moving object (based
on common sense and logic). It then went on to
determine who between the pilot and the master was
negligent.
PILOT
- A pilot, in maritime law, is a person duly qualified,
and licensed, to conduct a vessel into or out of ports, or
in certain waters. He is an expert whos supposed to
know the seabed, etc. that a master of a ship may not
know because the pilot is familiar with the port. He is
charged to perform his duties with extraordinary care
because the safety of people and property on the vessel
and on the dock are at stake.
- Capt. Gavino was found to be negligent. The court
found that his reaction time (4 minutes) to the anchor
not holding ground and the vessel still going too fast
was too slow. As an expert he shouldve been reacting
quickly to any such happenings.
MASTER
- In compulsory pilotage, the pilot momentarily
becomes the master of the vessel. The master, however
may intervene or countermand the pilot if he deems
there is danger to the vessel because of the
incompetence of the pilot or if the pilot is drunk.
- Based on Capt. Kavankovs testimony, he never
sensed the any danger even when the anchor didnt hold
and they were approaching the dock too fast. He blindly
trusted the pilot. This is negligence on his part. He was
right beside the pilot during the docking, so he could
see and hear everything that the pilot was seeing and
hearing.
- The masters negligence translates to unseaworthiness
of the vessel, and in turn means negligence on the part
of FESC.
CONCURRENT TORTFEASORS
- As a general rule, that negligence in order to render a
person liable need not be the sole cause of an injury. It

torts & damages


is sufficient that his negligence, concurring with one or
more efficient causes other than plaintiff's, is the
proximate cause of the injury. Accordingly, where
several causes combine to produce injuries, person is
not relieved from liability because he is responsible for
only one of them, it being sufficient that the negligence
of the person charged with injury is an efficient cause
without which the injury would not have resulted to as
great an extent, and that such cause is not attributable to
the person injured. It is no defense to one of the
concurrent tortfeasors that the injury would not have
resulted from his negligence alone, without the
negligence or wrongful acts of the other concurrent
tortfeasor. Where several causes producing an injury are
concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which
the injury would not have happened, the injury may be
attributed to all or any of the causes and recovery may
be had against any or all of the responsible persons
although under the circumstances of the case, it may
appear that one of them was more culpable, and that the
duty owed by them to the injured person was not the
same. No actor's negligence ceases to be a proximate
cause merely because it does not exceed the negligence
of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the
entire result and is liable as though his acts were the
sole cause of the injury.
- There is no contribution between joint tortfeasors
whose liability is solidary since both of them are liable
for the total damage. Where the concurrent or
successive negligent acts or omissions of two or more
persons, although acting independently, are in
combination the direct and proximate cause of a single
injury to a third person, it is impossible to determine in
what proportion each contributed to the injury and
either of them is responsible for the whole injury.
Where their concurring negligence resulted in injury or
damage to a third party, they become joint tortfeasors
and are solidarily liable for the resulting damage under
Article 2194 of the Civil Code.
Disposition Petition denied. CA affirmed. Capt. Gavino
and FESC are solidarily liable.
SABIDO AND LAGUNDA V CUSTODIO, ET AL
17 SCRA 1088

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CONCEPCION; August 31, 1966


NATURE
Petition for review by certiorari of a decision of the
Court of Appeals
FACTS
In Barrio Halang, , two trucks, one driven by Mudales
and belonging to Laguna-Tayabas Bus Company, and
the other driven by Lagunda and owned by Prospero
Sabido, going in opposite directions met each other in a
road curve. Custodia, LTB bus passenger who was
riding on the running board as truck was full of
passengers, was sideswiped by the truck driven by
Lagunda. As a result, Custodio was injured and died.
To avoid any liability, Lagunda and Sabido throw all the
blame on Mudales. However, Makabuhay, widoy of
Custodio, testified that the 6 x 6 truck was running fast
when it met the LTB Bus. And Lagunda had time and
opportunity to avoid the mishap if he had been
sufficiently careful and cautious because the two trucks
never collided with each other. By simply swerving to
the right side of the road, the 6 x 6 truck could have
avoided hitting Custodio.
The sideswiping of the deceased and his two fellow
passengers took place on broad daylight at about 9:30 in
the morning of June 9, 1955 when the LTB bus with full
load to passengers was negotiating a sharp curve of a
bumpy and sliding downward a slope, whereas the six
by six truck was climbing up with no cargoes or
passengers on board but for three helpers, owner Sabido
and driver Lagunda (tsn. 308-309, Mendoza). LTB
passengers had testified to the effect that the 6 x 6 cargo
truck was running at a fast rate of speed. Driver
Lagunda admitted that three passengers rode on the
running board of the bus when his vehicle was still at a
distance of 5 or 7 meters from the bus. Despite the
presence of a shallow canal on the right side of the road
which he could pass over with ease, Lagunda did not
avert the accident simply because to use his own
language the canal "is not a passage of trucks.

prof. casis
Based upon these facts, the Court of First Instance of
Laguna and the Court of Appeals concluded that the
Laguna-Tayabas Bus Co. hereinafter referred to as
the carrier and its driver Mudales (none of whom has
appealed), had violated the contract of carriage with
Agripino Custodio, whereas petitioners Sabido and
Lagunda were guilty of a quasi delict, by reason of
which all of them were held solidarity liable.
ISSUES
1. WON petitioners were guilty of negligence
2. WON petitioners should be held solidarily liable with
the carrier and its driver
HELD
1. YES. The views of the Court of Appeals on the speed
of the truck and its location at the time of the accident
are in the nature of findings of fact, which we cannot
disturb in a petition for review by certiorari, such as the
one at bar. At any rate, the correctness of said findings
is borne out by the very testimony of petitioner
Lagunda to the effect that he saw the passengers riding
on the running board of the bus while the same was still
five or seven meters away from the truck driven by him.
Indeed, the distance between the two vehicles was such
that he could have avoided sideswiping said passengers
if his truck were not running at a great speed.
Although the negligence of the carrier and its driver is
independent, in its execution, of the negligence of the
truck driver and its owner, both acts of negligence are
the proximate cause of the death of Agripino Custodio.
In fact, the negligence of the first two would not have
produced this result without the negligence of
petitioners' herein. What is more, petitioners' negligence
was the last, in point of time, for Custodio was on the
running board of the carrier's bus sometime before
petitioners' truck came from the opposite direction, so
that, in this sense, petitioners' truck had the last clear
chance.
2. YES. Where the carrier bus and its driver were
clearly guilty of contributory negligence for having
allowed a passenger to ride on the running board of the

torts & damages


bus, and where the driver of the other vehicle was also
guilty of contributory negligence, because that vehicle
was running at a considerable speed despite the fact that
it was negotiating a sharp curve, and, instead of being
close to its right side of the road, it was driven on its
middle portion thereof and so near the passenger bus
coming from the opposite as to sideswipe a passenger
on its running board, the owners of the two vehicles are
liable solidarily for the death of the passenger, although
the liability of one arises from a breach of contract,
whereas that of the other springs from a quasi-delict.
Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or
omission of two or more persons, although acting
independently of each other, are, in combination, the
direct and proximate cause of a single injury to a third
person, and it is impossible to determine in what
proportion each contributed to the injury, either is
responsible for the whole injury, even though his act
alone might not have caused the entire injury, or the
same damage might have resulted from the acts of the
other tort-feasor.
Dispositive Judgment affirmed.
VDA. DE BATACLAN VS. MEDINA
102 PHIL 181
MONTEMAYOR; October 22, 1957
NATURE
Appeal from the decision of the CFI of Cavite
FACTS
- Shortly after midnight, a bus of the Medina
Transportation, operated by its owner defendant
Mariano Medina under a certificate of public
convenience, left the town of Amadeo, Cavite, on its
way to Pasay City, driven by its regular chauffeur,
Conrado Saylon. There were about 18 passengers,
including the driver and conductor.
- At about 2am, while the bus was running within the
jurisdiction of Imus, Cavite, one of the front tires burst
and the vehicle began to zig-zag until it fell into a canal
or ditch on the right side of the road and turned turtle.

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- the three passengers Bataclan, Lara and the Visayan


and the woman behind them named Natalia Villanueva,
could not get out of the overturned bus.
- Some of the passengers, after they had clambered up
to the road, heard groans and moans from inside the
bus. Calls or shouts for help were made to the houses in
the neighborhood. After half an hour, came about ten
men, one of them carrying a lighted torch made of
bamboo with a wick on one end, evidently fueled with
petroleum. These men presumably approach the
overturned bus, and almost immediately, a fierce fire
started, burning and all but consuming the bus,
including the 4 passengers trapped inside it. It would
appear that as the bus overturned, gasoline began to
leak and escape from the gasoline tank.
- That same day, the charred bodies of the four deemed
passengers inside the bus were removed and duly
identified that of Bataclan. His widow, Salud Villanueva
brought the present suit to recover from Mariano
Medina compensatory, moral, and exemplary damages
and attorney's fees in the total amount of P87,150.
- the CFI awarded P1,000 plus P600 as attorney's fee,
plus P100, the value of the merchandise being carried
by Bataclan
ISSUES
1. WON there was negligence on the part of the
defendant, through his agent, the driver Saylon, thus
making him liable.
2. WON the the proximate cause of the death of
Bataclan was not the overturning of the bus, but rather,
the fire that burned the bus.
HELD
1. NO.
Ratio There is evidence to show that at the time of the
blow out, the bus was speeding, as testified to by one of
the passengers, and as shown by the fact that according
to the testimony of the witnesses, including that of the
defense, from the point where one of the front tires
burst up to the canal where the bus overturned after zigzaging, there was a distance of about 150 meters. The
chauffeur, after the blow-out, must have applied the
brakes in order to stop the bus, but because of the

velocity at which the bus must have been running, its


momentum carried it over a distance of 150 meters
before it fell into the canal and turned turtle.
Reasoning Our new Civil Code amply provides for the
responsibility of common carrier to its passengers and
their goods.11
2. YES
Ratio Tthe proximate legal cause is that acting first and
producing the injury, either immediately or by setting
other events in motion, all constituting a natural and
continuous chain of events, each having a close causal
connection with its immediate predecessor, the final
event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a
natural and probable result of the cause which first
acted, under such circumstances that the person
responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary
prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground
to expect at the moment of his act or default that an
injury to some person might probably result therefrom.
Reasoning under the circumstances obtaining in the
case, we do not hesitate to hold that the proximate cause
was the overturning of the bus, this for the reason that
when the vehicle turned not only on its side but
completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline from
the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the
coming of the men with a lighted torch was in response
to the call for help, made not only by the passengers,
but most probably, by the driver and the conductor
themselves, and that because it was dark (about 2:30 in
the morning), the rescuers had to carry a light with
them, and coming as they did from a rural area where
lanterns and flashlights were not available; and what
was more natural than that said rescuers should
innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and
effect the rescue requested from them. Neither the
driver nor the conductor would appear to have
cautioned or taken steps to warn the rescuers not to
bring the lighted torch too near the bus.
- According to the evidence, one of the passengers who,
because of the injuries suffered by her, was
hospitalized, and while in the hospital, she was visited
11

ART. 1733
ART. 1755
ART. 1759
ART. 1763

torts & damages


by the defendant Mariano Medina, and in the course of
his visit, she overheard him speaking to one of his bus
inspectors, telling said inspector to have the tires of the
bus changed immediately because they were already
old, and that as a matter of fact, he had been telling the
driver to change the said tires, but that the driver did not
follow his instructions. If this be true, it goes to prove
that the driver had not been diligent and had not taken
the necessary precautions to insure the safety of his
passengers
- The trial court was of the opinion that the proximate
cause of the death of Bataclan was not the overturning
of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus,
including himself and his co-passengers who were
unable to leave it; that at the time the fire started,
Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical
injuries, perhaps serious, was still alive, and so
damages were awarded, not for his death, but for the
physical injuries suffered by him.
- In the public interest the prosecution of said erring
driver should be pursued, this, not only as a matter of
justice, but for the promotion of the safety of
passengers on public utility buses.
Note: This case was under the heading but for. I
dont know if the italicized phrases are pertinent,
but these were the only ones that contained but
for.
DISPOSITION
In view of the foregoing, with the modification that the
damages awarded by the trial court are increased to
P6,000 and P800, for the death of Bataclan and for the
attorney's fees, respectively.
PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC v. IAC &
CASIANO PASCUA, ET AL.,
189 SCRA 158
MEDIALDEA/August 30, 1990
NATURE: CERTIORARI
FACTS:
- This case is for recovery of damages for the 3 jeepney
passengers who died as a result of the collision between

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the Phil. Rabbits bus driven by Tomas delos Reyes and


the jeepney driven by Tranquilino Manalo.
- Other passengers of the jeepney sustained physical
injuries.
- It was said that upon reaching a certain barrio, the
jeepneys right rear wheel detached which caused it to
run in an unbalanced position.
-Manalo stepped on the brake, as a result of which, the
jeepney which was then running on the eastern lane (its
right of way) made a U-turn, invading and eventually
stopping on the western lane of the road in such a
manner that the jeepney's front faced the south (from
where it came) and its rear faced the north (towards
where it was going).
-The jeepney practically occupied and blocked the
greater portion of the western lane, which is the right of
way of vehicles coming from the north, among which
was Bus No. 753 of Rabbit
- Almost at the time when the jeepney made a sudden
U-turn and encroached on the western lane of the
highway, or after stopping for a couple of minutes, the
bus bumped from behind the right rear portion of the
jeepney which resulted in the said deaths and injuries.
- At the time and in the vicinity of the accident, there
were no vehicles following the jeepney, neither were
there oncoming vehicles except the bus. The weather
condition of that day was fair.
- A criminal complaint against the two drivers for
Multiple Homicide.
- Manalo was eventually convicted and was imprisoned.
The case against delos Reyes was dismissed for lack of
sufficient evidence.
***As regards the damages.
- Three cases were filed and in all 3 the spouses
(owners of the jeepney) Mangune and Carreon,
(jeepney driver)Manalo, Rabbit and (Rabbits
driver)delos Reyes were all impleaded as defendants.
- Plaintiffs anchored their suits against spouses
Mangune and Carreon and Manalo on their contractual
liability.
- As against Rabbit and delos Reyes, plaintiffs based
their suits on their culpability for a quasi-delict.

prof. casis
- Filriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation, Inc. (the
insurer of the jeepney) was also impleaded as additional
defendant in the civil case filed by the Pascuas.
- Damages sought to be claimed in the 3 cases were for
medical expenses, burial expenses, loss of wages, for
exemplary damages, moral damages and attorney's fees
and expenses of litigation.
- Rabbit filed a cross-claim for attorney's fees and
expenses of litigation.
- On the other hand, spouses Mangune and Carreon
filed a cross-claim for the repair of the jeepney and for
its non-use during the period of repairs.
- TC: found the couple and Manalo to be NEGLIGENT
and held that there was a breach of the contract of
carriage with their passengers; ordered them to pay the
damages. Filriters was jointly and severally liable as it
was the jeepneys insurer. Rabbit was to be paid by the
jeepney party for actual damages.
- IAC reversed this ruling in the sense that it found
delos Reyes to be negligent; ordered to pay jointly
and severally with Rabbit the plaintiffs; Applied
primarily (1) the doctrine of last clear chance, (2)
the presumption that drivers who bump the rear of
another vehicle guilty and the cause of the
accident unless contradicted by other evidence,
and (3) the substantial factor test to conclude that
delos Reyes was negligent.
ISSUE: WON THE JEEPNEY OWNERS AND ITS
DRIVER ARE LIABLE FOR THE INJURIES AND
DEATH SUFFERED BY THE PASSENGERS OF THE
JEEPNEY
HELD: YES. BUT ONLY THE SPOUSES AND
FILRITERS ARE LIABLE.
REASONING:
TC WAS CORRECT IN APPRECIATING THE FF
FACTS
CONCERNING
MANALOS
NEGLIGENCE.
(1) That the unrebutted testimony of his passenger
Caridad Pascua that the Mangune jeepney was
"running fast" that his passengers cautioned driver
Manalo to slow down but did not heed the warning

torts & damages


(2) The likewise unrebutted testimony of Police
Investigator Tacpal of the San Manuel (Tarlac)
Police who found that the tracks of the jeepney ran
on the Eastern shoulder (outside the concrete
paved road) until it returned to the concrete road at
a sharp angle, crossing the Eastern lane and the
(imaginary) center line and encroaching fully into
the western lane where the collision took place as
evidenced by the point of impact;
(3) The observation of witness Police Corporal
Cacalda also of the San Manuel Police that the
path of the jeepney they found on the road \was
shown by skid marks which he described as
"scratches on the road caused by the iron of the
jeep, after its wheel was removed;"
(4) His conviction for the crime of Multiple
Homicide and Multiple Serious Physical Injuries
with Damage to Property thru Reckless
Imprudence by the CFI of Tarlac, as a result of the
collision, and his commitment to prison and
service of his sentence
(5) The application of the doctrine of res-ipsa
loquitar attesting to the circumstance that the
collision occured on the right of way of the Phil.
Rabbit Bus.
SC:
-The principle about "the last clear" chance would
call for application in a suit between the owners
and drivers of the two colliding vehicles. It does not
arise where a passenger demands responsibility
from the carrier to enforce its contractual
obligations. For it would be inequitable to exempt
the negligent driver of the jeepney and its owners
on the ground that the other driver was likewise
guilty of negligence. (Anuran, et al. v. Buo et al.)
-On the presumption that drivers who bump the
rear of another vehicle guilty and the cause of the
accident, unless contradicted by other evidence:
would have been correct were it not for the
undisputed fact that the U-turn made by the
jeepney was abrupt. Delos Reyes could not have
anticipated the sudden U-turn executed by
Manalo.

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***With regard to the substantial factor test:


- The IAC held that
. . . It is the rule under the substantial
factor test that if the actor's conduct is a
substantial factor in bringing about harm to
another, the fact that the actor neither foresaw
nor should have foreseen the extent of the
harm or the manner in which it occurred does
not prevent him from being liable (Restatement,
Torts, 2d).
Here, We find defendant bus running at a
fast speed when the accident occurred and did not
even make the slightest effort to avoid the
accident, . . . . The bus driver's conduct is thus a
substantial factor in bringing about harm to the
passengers of the jeepney, not only because he
was driving fast and did not even attempt to avoid
the mishap but also because it was the bus which
was the physical force which brought about the
injury and death to the passengers of the jeepney.
-The speed of the bus was even calculated by the
IAC. But the SC was not convinced. It cannot be
said that the bus was travelling at a fast speed
when the accident occurred because the speed of
80 to 90 kilometers per hour, assuming such
calculation to be correct, is yet within the speed
limit allowed in highways.
- Delos Reyes cannot be faulted for not having
avoided the collision because as was shown, the
jeepney left a skid mark of about 45 meters,
measured from the time its right rear wheel was
detached up to the point of collision.
- Delos Reyes admitted that he was running more
or less 50 kph at the time of the accident. Using
this speed, delos Reyes covered the distance of
45 meters in 3.24 seconds. If We adopt the speed
of 80 kilometers per hour, delos Reyes would have
covered that distance in only 2.025 seconds.
Verily, he had little time to react to the situation.
- To require delos Reyes to avoid the collision is to
ask too much from him. Aside from the time
element involved, there were no options available
to him.

prof. casis
- Also, It was shown by the pictures that driver
delos Reyes veered his Rabbit bus to the right
attempt to avoid hitting the Mangune's jeepney.
That it was not successful in fully clearing the
Mangune jeepney as its (Rabbit's) left front hit said
jeepney must have been due to limitations of
space and time.
- That delos Reyes of the Rabbit bus could also
have swerved to its left (eastern lane) to avoid
bumping the Mangune jeepney which was then on
the western lane: Under such a situation, he would
run the greater risk of running smack in the
Mangune jeepney either head on or broadside as
the jeepney then was abruptly making a U-turn.
-SC: The proximate cause of the accident was
the negligence of Manalo and spouses
Mangune and Carreon. They all failed to
exercise the precautions that are needed
precisely pro hac vice.
- In culpa contractual, the moment a passenger
dies or is injured, the carrier is presumed to have
been at fault or to have acted negligently, and this
disputable presumption may only be overcome by
evidence that he had observed extra-ordinary
diligence as prescribed in Articles 1733, 1755 and
1756 of the New Civil Code 2 or that the death or
injury of the passenger was due to a fortuitous
event 3 (Lasam v. Smith, Jr., 45 Phil. 657).
- To escape liability, defendants Mangune and
Carreon offered to show thru their witness Natalio
Navarro, an alleged mechanic, that he periodically
checks and maintains the jeepney of said
defendants, the last on Dec. 23, the day before the
collision, which included the tightening of the bolts.
This notwithstanding the right rear wheel of the
vehicle was detached while in transit. As to the
cause thereof no evidence was offered. Said
defendant did not even attempt to explain, much
less establish, it to be one caused by a caso
fortuito. . . .
-In any event, "[i]n an action for damages against
the carrier for his failure to safely carry his
passenger to his destination, an accident caused
either by defects in the automobile or through the

torts & damages

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negligence of its driver, is not a caso fortuito which


would avoid the carriers liability for damages (Son
v. Cebu Autobus Company, 94 Phil. 892 citing
Lasam, et al. v. Smith, Jr., 45 Phil. 657; Necesito,
etc. v. Paras, et al., 104 Phil. 75).
***On the sole liability of the Jeepney Owners
(excluding Manalo)
-the contract of carriage is between the carrier and
the passenger, and in the event of contractual
liability, the carrier is exclusively responsible
therefore to the passenger, even if such breach be
due to the negligence of his driver (Viluan v. CA, et
al., April 29, 1966, 16 SCRA 742).
- if the driver is to be held jointly and severally
liable with the carrier, that would make the carrier's
liability personal, contradictory to the explicit
provision of A 2181 of the NCC.
DISPOSITION:
TC
S
DECISION
WAS
REINSTATED
and
AFFIRMED
BUT
MODIFICATION THAT ONLY THE COUPLE AND
THE FILRITERS GUARANTY ASSURANCE CORP.
INC WERE LIABLE. AFFIRMED TOO THE
AMOUNT OF DAMAGES BUT MODIFIED THE
INDEMNITY FOR LOSS OF LIFE FROM 3K (AS
PER A1746 TO A2206 NCC) TO 30K.
PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION
(DIONISIO)
148 SCRA 353
FELICIANO; Mar 10, 1987

INC

IAC

Nature:
Petition to review the decision of the IAC
Facts:
0 at about 1:30 am on November 15 1975, Leonardo
Dionisio was on his way home from a cocktails-anddinner meeting with his boss. Dionisio had taken "a
shot or two" of liquor.
1 Dionisio was driving his Volkswagen car and had just
crossed an intersection when his car headlights (in his

- PAGE 77 -

allegation) suddenly failed. He switched his


headlights on "bright" and saw a Ford dump truck
about 21/2meters away from his car.
2 The dump truck, owned by and registered in the name
of Phoenix Construction Inc. ("Phoenix"), was parked
on the right hand side of the street (i.e., on the right
hand side of a person facing in the same direction
toward which Dionisio's car was proceeding), facing
the oncoming traffic. It was parked askew (not
parallel to the street curb) in such a manner as to stick
out onto the street, partly blocking the way of
oncoming traffic. There were no lights or any socalled "early warning" reflector devices set anywhere
near the dump truck, front or rear.
3 The dump truck had earlier that evening been driven
home by petitioner Armando U. Carbonel, its regular
driver, with the permission of his employer Phoenix,
in view of work scheduled to be carried out early the
following morning.
4 Dionisio claimed that he tried to avoid a collision by
swerving his car to the left but it was too late and his
car smashed into the dump truck.
5 As a result of the collision, Dionisio suffered some
physical injuries including some permanent facial
scars, a "nervous breakdown" and loss of two gold
bridge dentures.
6 Trial court ruled in favor of Dionisio. IAC affirmed
the lower courts ruling, with modification on award
of damages.
Petitionerscomments
7 the proximate cause of Dionisio's injuries was his
own recklessness in driving fast at the time of the
accident, while under the influence of liquor, without
his headlights on and without a curfew pass.
8 if there was negligence in the manner in which the
dump truck was parked, that negligence was merely a
"passive and static condition" and that private
respondent Dionisio's recklessness constituted an
intervening, efficient cause determinative of the
accident and the injuries he sustained. (NOTE: this
was the contention of petitioners which SC noted in is
decision)
Private respondents comments

prof. casis
9 the legal and proximate cause of his injuries was the
negligent manner in which Carbonel had parked the
dump truck entrusted to him by his employer Phoenix
Issue:
WON the proximate cause of the accident was
Dionisios negligence (driving faster than he should
have, and without headlights) or the negligence of the
driver in parking the truck.
Held:
10
it is the drivers negligence. (see previous
digest)
11
ON CAUSE v CONDITION (under IV A 3c,
page 5 of outline)
12
petitioners' arguments are drawn from a
reading of some of the older cases in various
jurisdictions in the United States. These arguments,
however, do not have any validity in this jurisdiction.
13
Even in the United States, the distinctions
between" cause" and "condition" have already been
"almost entirely discredited." Professors Prosser and
Keeton make this quite clear:
Many courts have sought to distinguish
between the active "cause" of the harm and the
existing "conditions" upon which that cause
operated. If the defendant has created only a
passive static condition which made the
damage possible, the defendant is said not to
be liable. But so far as the fact of causation is
concerned, in the sense of necessary
antecedents which have played an important
part in producing the result, it is quite
impossible to distinguish between active forces
and passive situations, particularly since, as is
invariably the case the latter (is) the result of
other active forces which have gone before.
The defendant who spills gasoline about the
premises creates a "condition," but the act may
be culpable because of the danger of fire.
When a spark ignites the gasoline, the
condition has done quite as much to bring
about the fire as the spark; and since that is the
very risk which the defendant has created, the

torts & damages


defendant will not escape responsibility. Even
the lapse of a considerable time during which
the "condition" remains static will not
necessarily affect liability; one who digs a
trench in the highway may still be liable to
another who falls into it a month afterward.
"Cause" and "condition" still find occasional
mention in the decisions; but the distinction is
now almost entirely discredited. So far as it
has any validity at all, it must refer to the type
of case where the forces set in operation by the
defendant have come to rest in a position of
apparent safety, and some new force
intervenes. But even in such cases, it is not the
distinction between "cause" and "condition"
which is important, but the nature of the risk
and the character of the intervening cause."
14
the truck driver's negligence, far from being a
"passive and static condition", was an indispensable
and efficient cause. The collision would not have
occurred had the dump truck not been parked askew
without any warning lights or reflector devices. The
improper parking of the dump truck created an
unreasonable risk of injury for anyone driving down
that street and for having so created this risk, the
truck driver must be held responsible.
Dionisio's negligence, although later in point of time
than the truck driver's negligence and therefore closer to
the accident, was not an efficient intervening or
independent cause. What the petitioners describe as an
"intervening cause" was only a foreseeable consequence
of the risk created by the truck drivers negligence
MANILA ELECTRIC v REMOQUILLO
99 PHIL 117
MONTEMAYOR; May 18, 1956
NATURE
Review by certiorari of a CA decision
FACTS
- Efren Magno went to his stepbrothers 3-story house
to fix a leaking media agua, (downspout). He climbed
up to the media agua which was just below the 3rd floor

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window and stood on it to receive a galvanized iron


sheet through the said window. After grabbing hold of
the sheet, he turned around and a portion of the iron
sheet he was holding came into contact with an electric
wire of Manila Electric Company (the Company) strung
2.5 ft parallel to the edge of the media agua,
electrocuting him and killing him.
- His widow and children filed a suit to recover
damages from the company and the TC rendered
judgment in their favor. The Company appealed to the
CA, which affirmed the judgment. It is this CA decision
the Company now seeks to appeal.
ISSUE
WON the Companys negligence in the installation and
maintenance of its wires was the proximate cause of the
death
HELD
No. It merely provided the condition from which the
cause arose (it set the stage for the cause of the injury to
occur).
Ratio A prior and remote cause (which furnishes the
condition or gives rise to the occasion by which an
injury was made possible) cannot be the basis of an
action if a distinct, successive, unrelated and efficient
cause of the injury intervenes between such prior and
remote cause and the injury.
If no danger existed in the condition except because
of the independent cause, such condition was not the
proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or
defective condition sets into operation the
circumstances which result in injury because of the
prior defective condition, such subsequent act or
condition is the proximate cause.
Reasoning We fail to see how the Company could be
held guilty of negligence or as lacking in due diligence.
To us it is clear that the principal and proximate cause
of the electrocution was not the electric wire, evidently
a remote cause, but rather the reckless and negligent act
of Magno in turning around and swinging the
galvanized iron sheet without taking any precaution,
such as looking back toward the street and at the wire to

prof. casis
avoid its contacting said iron sheet, considering the
latter's length of 6 feet.
- The real cause of the accident or death was the
reckless or negligent act of Magno himself. When he
was called by his stepbrother to repair the media agua
just below the third story window, it is to be presumed
that due to his age and experience he was qualified to
do so. Perhaps he was a tinsmith or carpenter and had
had training and experience for the job. So, he could not
have been entirely a stranger to electric wires and the
danger lurking in them. But unfortunately, in the instant
case, his training and experience failed him, and
forgetting where he was standing, holding the 6-ft iron
sheet with both hands and at arms length, evidently
without looking, and throwing all prudence and
discretion to the winds, he turned around swinging his
arms with the motion of his body, thereby causing his
own electrocution.
Disposition CA decision reversed. Complaint against
company dismissed
RODRIGUEZA
V.
MANILA
COMPANY
STREET; November 19, 1921

RAILROAD

NATURE
Appeal from judgment of CFI
FACTS
Rodrigueza et al seek damages fr fire
kindled by sparks fr a locomotive engine.
The fire was communicated to four houses
nearby. All of these houses were of light
construction, except that of Rodrigueza
which was of strong materials. Plaintiffs
say that the company failed to supervise
their employees properly and was negligent
in allowing locomotive to operate without
smokestack protection for arresting sparks.
They also say that the sparks were
produced by an inferior fuel used by the
company Bataan coal.
Defense said Rodiguezas house stood
partly within limits of land owned by

torts & damages


company.
Rodrigueza didnt mind the
warnings from the company. His houses
materials included nipa and cogon, this
indicates contributory negligence on his
part.
Trial
judge
decided
against
Manila
Railroad, which appealed.
ISSUE
WON damage was caused by Rodriguezas contributory
negligence
HELD
Yes.
- Manila Railroads defense is not a bar to recovery by
the other plaintiffs.
- There was no proof that Rodrigueza unlawfully
intruded upon companys property. His house was there
before the railroad companys property. He may be at
risk for fire, but should not bear loss if the fire resulted
from the companys negligence.
- The PROXIMATE AND ONLY CAUSE of the
damage was the negligent act of the company. That
Rodriguezas house was near was an ANTECEDENT
CONDITION but that cant be imputed to him as
CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE because that
condition was not created by himself and because his
house remained by the toleration and consent of
company and because even if the house was improperly
there, company had no right to negligently destroy it.
The company could have removed the house through its
power of eminent domain.
MCKEE v IAC, TAYAG
211 SCRA 517
DAVIDE; July 16, 1992
NATURE
Appeal from decision of the IAC
FACTS
- A head-on-collision took place between a cargo truck
owned by private respondents, and driven by Ruben
Galang, and a Ford Escort car driven by Jose Koh. The

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collision resulted in the deaths of Jose Koh, Kim Koh


McKee and Loida Bondoc, and physical injuries to
George Koh McKee, Christopher Koh McKee and
Araceli Koh McKee, all passengers of the Ford Escort.
- When the northbound Ford Escort was about 10
meters away from the southern approach of the bridge,
two boys suddenly darted from the right side of the road
and into the lane of the car. Jose Koh blew the horn of
the car, swerved to the left and entered the lane of the
truck; he then switched on the headlights of the car,
applied the brakes and thereafter attempted to return to
his lane. Before he could do so, his car collided with the
truck. The collision occurred in the lane of the truck,
which was the opposite lane, on the said bridge.
- Two civil cases were filed on Jan 31, 1977.
- On 1 March 1977, an Information charging Ruben
Galang with the crime of "Reckless Imprudence
Resulting in Multiple Homicide and Physical Injuries
and Damage to Property" was filed with the trial court.
- Judge Capulong found Galang guilty of the criminal
charge and ordered him to pay damages. Galang
appealed to IAC. IAC affirmed decision.
- Judge Castaneda dismissed the 2 civil cases and
awarded private respondents moral damages and
exemplary damages, and attorneys fee. Petitioners
appealed to IAC. In its consolidated decision of the civil
cases, it reversed the ruling of the trial court and
ordered the defendants to pay damages. The decision is
anchored principally on the findings that it was
Galang's inattentiveness or reckless imprudence which
caused the accident. The appellate court further said that
the law presumes negligence on the part of the
defendants, as employers of Galang, in the selection and
supervision of the latter; it was further asserted that
these defendants did not allege in their Answers the
defense of having exercised the diligence of a good
father of a family in selecting and supervising the said
employee.
- In an MFR, the decision for the consolidated civil
cases was reversed. Hence this petition.
ISSUES

prof. casis
WON respondent Court's findings in its challenged
resolution are supported by evidence or are based on
mere speculations, conjectures and presumptions.
HELD
YES
- Findings of facts of the trial courts and the Court of
Appeals may be set aside when such findings are not
supported by the evidence or when the trial court failed
to consider the material facts which would have led to a
conclusion different from what was stated in its
judgment.
- The respondent Court held that the fact that the car
improperly invaded the lane of the truck and that the
collision occurred in said lane gave rise to the
presumption that the driver of the car, Jose Koh, was
negligent. On the basis of this presumed negligence,
IAC immediately concluded that it was Jose Koh's
negligence that was the immediate and proximate cause
of the collision. This is an unwarranted deduction as the
evidence for the petitioners convincingly shows that the
car swerved into the truck's lane because as it
approached the southern end of the bridge, two boys
darted across the road from the right sidewalk into the
lane of the car.
- Negligence is the omission to do something which a
reasonable man, guided by those considerations which
ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would
do, or the doing of something which a prudent and
reasonable man would not do
- The test by which to determine the existence of
negligence in a particular case: Did the defendant in
doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care
and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would
have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty
of negligence.
- Using the test, no negligence can be imputed to Jose
Koh. Any reasonable and ordinary prudent man would
have tried to avoid running over the two boys by
swerving the car away from where they were even if
this would mean entering the opposite lane.
- Moreover, under what is known as the emergency
rule, "one who suddenly finds himself in a place of
danger, and is required to act without time to consider

torts & damages


the best means that may be adopted to avoid the
impending danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails
to adopt what subsequently and upon reflection may
appear to have been a better method, unless the
emergency in which he finds himself is brought about
by his own negligence.
- Assuming, arguendo that Jose Koh is negligent, it
cannot be said that his negligence was the proximate
cause of the collision. Proximate cause has been defined
as: that cause, which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause,
produces the injury, and without which the result would
not have occurred; the proximate legal cause is that
acting first and producing the injury, either immediately
or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a
natural and continuous chain of events, each having a
close causal connection with its immediate predecessor,
the final event in the chain immediately effecting the
injury as a natural and probable result of the cause
which first acted, under such circumstances that the
person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable
ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that
an injury to some person might probably result
therefrom.
- Although it may be said that the act of Jose Koh, if at
all negligent, was the initial act in the chain of events, it
cannot be said that the same caused the eventual
injuries and deaths because of the occurrence of a
sufficient intervening event, the negligent act of the
truck driver, which was the actual cause of the tragedy.
The entry of the car into the lane of the truck would not
have resulted in the collision had the latter heeded the
emergency signals given by the former to slow down
and give the car an opportunity to go back into its
proper lane. Instead of slowing down and swerving to
the far right of the road, which was the proper
precautionary measure under the given circumstances,
the truck driver continued at full speed towards the car.
- The truck driver's negligence is apparent in the
records. He himself said that his truck was running at
30 miles (48 km) per hour along the bridge while the
maximum speed allowed by law on a bridge is only 30
kph. Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, a person

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driving a vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of


the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation.
- Even if Jose Koh was indeed negligent, the doctrine of
last clear chance finds application here. Last clear
chance is a doctrine in the law of torts which states that
the contributory negligence of the party injured will not
defeat the claim for damages if it is shown that the
defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and
prudence, have avoided the consequences of the
negligence of the injured party. In such cases, the
person who had the last clear chance to avoid the
mishap is considered in law solely responsible for the
consequences thereof.
- Last clear chance: The doctrine is that the negligence
of the plaintiff does not preclude a recovery for the
negligence of the defendant where it appears that the
defendant, by exercising reasonable care and prudence,
might have avoided injurious consequences to the
plaintiff notwithstanding the plaintiff's negligence. The
doctrine of last clear chance means that even though a
person's own acts may have placed him in a position of
peril, and an injury results, the injured person is entitled
to recovery. a person who has the last clear chance or
opportunity of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding
the negligent acts of his opponent or that of a third
person imputed to the opponent is considered in law
solely responsible for the consequences of the accident.
The practical import of the doctrine is that a negligent
defendant is held liable to a negligent plaintiff, or even
to a plaintiff who has been grossly negligent in placing
himself in peril, if he, aware of the plaintiff's peril, or
according to some authorities, should have been aware
of it in the reasonable exercise of due care, had in fact
an opportunity later than that of the plaintiff to avoid an
accident.
- As employers of the truck driver, the private
respondents are, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code,
directly and primarily liable for the resulting damages.
The presumption that they are negligent flows from the
negligence of their employee. That presumption,
however, is only juris tantum, not juris et de jure. Their
only possible defense is that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
damage. The answers of the private respondents in the

prof. casis
civil cases did not interpose this defense. Neither did
they attempt to prove it.
On the separate civil and criminal actions
- The civil cases, which were for the recovery of civil
liability arising from a quasi-delict under Article 2176
in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code, were filed
ahead of criminal case. They were eventually
consolidated for joint trial. The records do not indicate
any attempt on the part of the parties, and it may
therefore be reasonably concluded that none was made,
to consolidate criminal case with the civil cases, or
vice-versa.
- Section 1, Rule 31 of the Rules of Court, which seeks
to avoid a multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression
and abuse, prevent delays, clear congested dockets to
simplify the work of the trial court, or in short, attain
justice with the least expense to the parties litigants,
would have easily sustained a consolidation, thereby
preventing the unseeming, if no ludicrous, spectacle of
two judges appreciating, according to their respective
orientation, perception and perhaps even prejudice, the
same facts differently, and thereafter rendering
conflicting decisions. Such was what happened in this
case.
- The responsibility arising from fault or negligence in a
quasi-delict is entirely separate and distinct from the
civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal
Code. In the case of independent civil actions under the
new Civil Code, the result of the criminal case, whether
acquittal or conviction, would be entirely irrelevant to
the civil action. What remains to be the most important
consideration as to why the decision in the criminal
case should not be considered in this appeal is the fact
that private respondents were not parties therein.
Dispositive Petition granted. Assailed decision set aside
while its original is REINSTATED, subject to the
modification that the indemnity for death is increased
from P12,000.00 to P50,000.00 each for the death of
Jose Koh and Kim Koh McKee
TEAGUE VS. FERNANDEZ
51 SCRA 181
MAKALINTAL; June 4, 1973

torts & damages


FACTS
- The Realistic Institute, owned and operated by
Mercedes M. Teague, was a vocational school for hair
and beauty culture situated on the second floor of the
Gil-Armi Building, a two-storey, semi-concrete edifice
located at the comer of Quezon Boulevard and Soler
Street, Quiapo, Manila. The second floor was
unpartitioned, had a total area of about 400 square
meters, and although it had only one stairway, of about
1.50 meters in width, it had eight windows, each of
which was provided with two fire-escape ladders, and
the presence of each of the fire exits was indicated on
the wall.
- In the afternoon of October 24, 1955, a fire broke out
in a store for surplus materials located about ten meters
away from the institute. Soler Street lay between that
store and the institute. Upon seeing the fire, some of the
students in the Realistic Institute shouted 'Fire! Fire!'
and thereafter, a panic ensued. Four instructresses and
six assistant instructresses of the institute were present
and they, together with the registrar, tried to calm down
the students, who numbered about 180 at the time,
telling them not to be afraid because the Gil-Armi
Building would not get burned as it is made of concrete,
and that the fire was anyway, across the street. They
told the students not to rush out but just to go down the
stairway two by two, or to use the fire-escapes. The
panic, however, could not be subdued and the students
kept on rushing and pushing their way through the
stairs, thereby causing stampede. No part of the GilArmi Building caught fire. But, after the panic was
over, four students, including Lourdes Fernandez, sister
of plaintiffs, were found dead and several others injured
on account of the stampede.
- The CFI of Manila found for the defendant and
dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed to the CA,
which by a divided vote of 3 to 2 (a special division of
five members having been constituted) rendered a
judgment of reversal and sentenced the defendant to pay
damages to the plaintiffs in the sum of P11,000, plus
interest at the legal rate from the date the complaint was
filed.
- The CA declared that Teague was negligent and that
such negligence was the proximate cause of the death of

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Lourdes Fernandez. This finding of negligence is based


primarily on the fact that the provision of Section 491
of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Manila had not
been complied with in connection with the construction
and use of the Gil-Armi building. This provision reads
as follows:
"Sec. 491. Fireproof partitions, exits and stairways - All
buildings and separate sections of buildings or buildings
otherwise known as accessorias having less than three
stories, having one or more persons domiciled therein
either temporarily or permanently, and all public or
quasipublic buildings having less than three stories,
such as hospitals, sanitarium, schools, reformatories,
places of human detention, assembly halls, clubs,
restaurants or panciterias, and the like, shall be provided
with at least two unobstructed stairways of not less than
one meter and twenty centimeters in width and an
inclination of not less than forty degrees from the
perpendicular, in case of large buildings more than two
stairways shall likewise be provided when required by
the chief of the fire department, said stairways shall be
placed as far apart as possible."
The alleged violation of the ordinance consisted is that
the second storey of the building had only one
stairway, 1.5 meters wide, instead of two of at least 1.2
meters each, although at the time of the fire the owner
of the building had a second stairway under
construction.
ISSUES
1. WON Section 491 of the Revised Ordinances of the
City of Manila refers only to public buildings and hence
did not apply to the Gil-Armi building which was of
private ownership
2. WON the ordinance devolved upon the owners of the
building and therefore it is they and not the petitioner,
who is a mere lessee, who should be liable for the
violation
3. WON the failure to comply with the requirement of
the ordinance was the proximate cause of the death of
Lourdes Fernandez
HELD
1. NO.

prof. casis
Ratio it is not ownership which determines the
character of buildings subject to its requirements, but
rather the use or the purpose for which a particular
building, is utilized.
Reasoning Thus the same may be privately owned, but
if it is devoted to any one of the purposes mentioned in
the ordinance - for instance as a school, which the
Realistic Institute precisely was - then the building is
within the coverage of the ordinance. Indeed the
requirement that such a building should have two (2)
separate stairways instead of only one (1) has no
relevance or reasonable relation to the fact of
ownership, but does have such relation to the use or
purpose for which the building is devoted.
2. NO.
Reasoning It was the use of the building for school
purposes which brought the same within the coverage
of the ordinance; and it was the petitioner and not the
owners who were responsible for such use.
3. YES.
Ratio The violation of a statute or ordinance is not
rendered remote as the cause of an injury by the
intervention of another agency if the occurrence of the
accident, in the manner in which it happened, was the
very thing which the statute or ordinance was intended
to prevent.
Reasoning The proximate legal cause is that acting first
and producing the injury, either immediately or by
settling other events in motion, all constituting a natural
and continuous chain of events, each having a close
causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the
final event in the chain immediately affecting the injury
as a natural and probable result of the cause which first
acted, under such circumstances that the person
responsible for the first event should, as an ordinarily
prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground
to expect at the moment of his act or default that an
injury to some person might probably result there from.
[Citing Bataclan v Medina]
- The petitioner relates the chain of events that resulted
in the death of Lourdes Fernandez as follows: (1)
violation of ordinance; (2) fire at a neighboring place;
(3) shouts of "Fire!, Fire!"; (4) panic in the Institute; (5)
stampede; and (6) injuries and death. The violation of

torts & damages


the ordinance, it is argued, was only a remote cause,
and cannot be the basis of liability since there
intervened a number of independent causes which
produced the injury complained of.
- A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of
an action if such remote cause did nothing more than
furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by
which the injury was made possible, if there intervened
between such prior or remote cause and the injury a
distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the
injury, even though such injury would not have
happened but for such condition or occasion. If no
danger existed in the condition except because of the
independent cause, such condition was not the
proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or
defective condition sets into operation the
circumstances which result in injury because of the
prior defective condition, such subsequent act or
condition is the proximate cause. [Citing MERALCO v
Remoquillo]
- According to the petitioner "the events of fire, panic
and stampede were independent causes with no causal
connection at all with the violation of the ordinance."
The weakness in the argument springs from a faulty
juxtaposition of the events which formed a chain and
resulted in the injury. It is true that the petitioner's noncompliance with the ordinance in question was ahead of
and prior to the other events in point of time, in the
sense that it was coetaneous with its occupancy of the
building. But the violation was a continuing one, since
the ordinance was a measure of safety designed to
prevent a specific situation which would pose a danger
to the occupants of the building. That situation was
undue overcrowding in case it should become necessary
to evacuate the building, which, it could be reasonably
foreseen, was bound to happen under emergency
conditions if there was only one stairway available. It is
true that in this particular case there would have been
no overcrowding in the single stairway if there had not
been a fire in the neighborhood which caused the
students to panic and rush headlong for the stairs in
order to go down. But it was precisely such
contingencies or events that the authors of the ordinance

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had in mind, for under normal conditions one stairway


would be adequate for the occupants of the building.
- To consider the violation of the ordinance as the
proximate cause of the injury does not portray the
situation in its true perspective; it would be more
accurate to say that the overcrowding at the stairway
was the proximate cause and that it was precisely what
the ordinance intended to prevent by requiring that there
be two stairways instead of only one. Under the
doctrine of the cases cited by the respondents, the
principle of proximate cause applies to such violation.
Dispositive Decision appealed from is affirmed.
PICART V SMITH
STREET; March 15, 1918
NATURE
Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of La Union
FACTS
0 On December 12, 1912, plaintiff was riding on
his pony over the Carlatan Bridge, at San
Fernando, La Union.
1 Before he had gotten half way across, the
defendant approached from the opposite direction
in an automobile, going at the rate of about ten or
twelve miles per hour.
2 As the defendant neared the bridge he saw the
plaintiff and blew his horn to give warning of his
approach.
3 He continued his course and after he had taken
the bridge, he gave two more successive blasts, as
it appeared to him that the man on horseback
before him was not observing the rule of the road.
4 The plaintiff saw the automobile coming and
heard the warning signals.
5
However, given the novelty of the apparition
and the rapidity of the approach, he pulled the pony
closely up against the railing on the right side of
the bridge instead of going to the left.
6 He did this because he thought he did not have
sufficient time to get over to the other side.

prof. casis
7 As the automobile approached, the defendant
guided it toward his left, that being the proper side
of the road for the machine.
8 In so doing the defendant assumed that the
horseman would move to the other side.
9 The pony had not as yet exhibited fright, and
the rider had made no sign for the automobile to
stop.
10 Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, the
defendant, instead of veering to the right while yet
some distance away or slowing down, continued to
approach directly toward the horse without
diminution of speed.
11 When he had gotten quite near, there being
then no possibility of the horse getting across to the
other side, the defendant quickly turned his car
sufficiently to the right to escape hitting the horse
alongside of the railing where it as then standing;
but in so doing the automobile passed in such close
proximity to the animal that it became frightened
and turned its body across the bridge with its head
toward the railing.
12 In so doing, it was struck on the hock of the
left hind leg by the flange of the car and the limb
was broken.
13 The horse fell and its rider was thrown off with
some violence.
14 As a result of its injuries the horse died.
15 The plaintiff received contusions which caused
temporary unconsciousness and required medical
attention for several days.
16 CFI absolved defendant from liability
17 Hence, the appeal
ISSUE
WON the defendant, in maneuvering his car in the
manner above described, was guilty of negligence that
would give rise to a civil obligation to repair the
damage done
Ratio: The person who has the last fair chance to
avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is
chargeable with the consequences, without reference
to the prior negligence of the other part.

torts & damages


HELD
Yes.
As the defendant started across the bridge, he
had the right to assume that the horse and the rider
would pass over to the proper side; but as he
moved toward the center of the bridge it was
demonstrated to his eyes that this would not be
done; and he must in a moment have perceived that
it was too late for the horse to cross with safety in
front of the moving vehicle.
In the nature of things this change of situation
occurred while the automobile was yet some
distance away; and from this moment it was no
longer within the power of the plaintiff to escape
being run down by going to a place of greater
safety.
The control of the situation had then passed
entirely to the defendant; and it was his duty either
to bring his car to an immediate stop or, seeing that
there were no other persons on the bridge, to take
the other side and pass sufficiently far away from
the horse to avoid the danger of collision.
The defendant ran straight on until he was
almost upon the horse. He was, the court thinks,
deceived into doing this by the fact that the horse
had not yet exhibited fright.
But in view of the known nature of horses,
there was an appreciable risk that, if the animal in
question was unacquainted with automobiles, he
might get excited and jump under the conditions
which here confronted him.
When the defendant exposed the horse and
rider to this danger, he was, in our opinion,
negligent in the eye of the law.
The test by which to determine the existence
of negligence in a particular case may be stated
as follows: Did the defendant in doing the
alleged negligent act use that reasonable care
and caution which an ordinarily prudent person
would have used in the same situation? If not,
then he is guilty of negligence.

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The law here in effect adopts the standard


supposed to be supplied by the imaginary conduct
of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law.
The existence of negligence in a given case is
not determined by reference to the personal
judgment of the actor in the situation before him.
The law considers what would be reckless,
blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary
intelligence and prudence and determines liability
by that.
The question as to what would constitute the
conduct of a prudent man in a given situation must
of course be always determined in the light of
human experience and in view of the facts involved
in the particular case. Could a prudent man, in the
case under consideration, foresee harm as a result
of the course actually pursued? If so, it was the
duty of the actor to take precautions to guard
against that harm. Reasonable foresight of harm,
followed by ignoring of the suggestion born of this
prevision, is always necessary before negligence
can be held to exist.
Stated in these terms, the proper criterion for
determining the existence of negligence in a given
case is this: Conduct is said to be negligent when a
prudent man in the position of the tortfeasor would
have foreseen that an effect harmful to another was
sufficiently probable to warrant his foregoing
conduct or guarding against its consequences.
Applying this test to the conduct of the
defendant in the present case, negligence is clearly
established. A prudent man, placed in the position
of the defendant, would have recognized that the
course which he was pursuing was fraught with
risk, and would therefore have foreseen harm to the
horse and the rider as reasonable consequence of
that course. Under these circumstances the law
imposed on the defendant the duty to guard against
the threatened harm.
The plaintiff himself was not free from fault,
for he was guilty of antecedent negligence in
planting himself on the wrong side of the road. It
will be noted however, that the negligent acts of the
two parties were not contemporaneous, since the

prof. casis
negligence of the defendant succeeded the
negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable
interval. Under these circumstances the law is that
the person who has the last fair chance to avoid the
impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable
with the consequences, without reference to the
prior negligence of the other party.
Dispositive: Appealed decision is reversed.
BUSTAMANTE V CA (DEL
MONTESIANO)
193 SCRA 603
MEDIALDEA; February 6, 1991

PILAR

AND

NATURE: petition for certiorari to review decision of


CA
FACTS: a truck and a passenger bus sideswept each
other, causing the deaths of the passengers of the bus.
This is the way the collision happened:
The bus, driven by Susulin, was traversing an inclined
road when the driver saw from 30 meters away an
approaching truck (driven by Montesiano), going very
fast and the front wheels wiggling. The bus driver also
observed that the truck was heading towards his lane.
Not minding this circumstance due to his belief that the
truck driver was merely joking, Susulin shifted from 4th
to 3rd gear in order to give more power and speed to the
bus, which was ascending the inclined part of the road,
in order to overtake a Kubota hand tractor being pushed
by a person along the shoulder of the highway. While
the bus was in the process of overtaking or passing the
hand tractor and the truck was approaching the bus, the
two vehicles sideswiped each other at each other's left
side.
The heirs of the victims filed for damages. The RTC
awarded damages, saying that the negligent acts of both
drivers were the cause of the accident, thus their
liability must be solidary. The driver and owner of the
truck appealed to the CA, which was denied at first, but
was granted on MFR, absolving the defendants based
on the doctrine of last clear chance, saying that the bus
driver had the last clear chance to avoid the accident,

torts & damages


and that his negligence was the proximate cause of the
same.
ISSUES:
1. WON the CA was correct in absolving the driver and
owner of the truck (answered by WON CA correctly
applied the doctrine of last clear chance)
HELD:
1. NO
Ratio: The doctrine of last clear chance applies only
between the negligent parties. It does not apply in a
case wherein a victim (who is an outsider to the cause
of the accident) demands liability from the negligent
parties.
Reasoning: The doctrine of last clear chance, stated
broadly, is that the negligence of the plaintiff does not
preclude a recovery for the negligence of the defendant
where it appears that the defendant, by exercising
reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided
injurious consequences to the plaintiff notwithstanding
the plaintiffs negligence. In other words, the doctrine
of last clear chance means that even though a person's
own acts may have placed him in a position of peril,
and an injury results, the injured person is entitled to
recovery. As the doctrine is usually stated, a person who
has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an
accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his
opponent or that of a third person imputed to the
opponent is considered in law solely responsible for the
consequences of the accident (Sangco).
A negligent defendant is held liable to a negligent
plaintiff, or even to a plaintiff who has been grossly
negligent in placing himself in peril, if he, aware of the
plaintiff's peril, or according to some authorities, should
have been aware of it in the reasonable exercise of due
case, had in fact an opportunity later than that of the
plaintiff to avoid an accident (Am. Jur).
As against 3rd persons, a negligent actor cant defend by
saying that another had negligently failed to take action
which would have avoided injury.

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prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

Disposition: Petition GRANTED. Defendants Del Pilar


and Montesiano ordered to pay damages with other
defendants
PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION INC V
(DIONISIO)
148 SCRA 353
FELICIANO; March 10, 1987
NATURE
PETITION for review of the decision of the IAC

sought to establish that it had exercised due care in the


selection and supervision of the dump truck driver.
- CFI: in favor of Dionisio
- IAC: affirmed TC but modified amounts

IAC

FACTS
- 130AM 15 November 1975 - Leonardo Dionisio,
driving his Volkswagen car, was on his way home to
Makati from a cocktails-and-dinner meeting with his
boss where had taken "a shot or two" of liquor.
Crossing the intersection of General Lacuna and
General Santos Streets at Bangkal, Makati, not far from
his home, when his car headlights (in his allegation)
suddenly failed. He switched his headlights on "bright"
and thereupon he saw a Ford dump truck looming some
21/2meters away from his car. The dump truck, owned
and registered by Phoenix Construction Inc. was parked
askew (partly blocking the way of oncoming traffic) on
the right hand side of General Lacuna Street facing the
oncoming traffic. There were no lights nor any so-called
"early warning" reflector devices set anywhere near the
dump truck. The dump truck had earlier that evening
been driven home by Carbonel, its regular driver.
Dionisio claimed that he tried to avoid a collision by
swerving his car to the left but it was too late and his
car smashed into the dump truck. As a result of the
collision, Dionisio suffered some physical injuries
including some permanent facial scars, a "nervous
breakdown" and loss of two gold bridge dentures.
- Dionisio commenced an action for damages claiming
that the legal and proximate cause of his injuries was
the negligent manner in which Carbonel had parked the
dump truck. Phoenix and Carbonel countered that the
proximate cause of Dionisio's injuries was his own
recklessness in driving fast at the time of the accident,
while under the influence of liquor, without his
headlights on and without a curfew pass. Phoenix also

ISSUE
(obiter) WON last clear chance doctrine should be
applied therefore exculpating Phoenix from paying any
damages
HELD
NO
- We hold that private respondent Dionisio's negligence
was "only contributory," that the "immediate and
proximate cause" of the injury remained the truck
driver's "lack of due care" and that consequently
respondent Dionisio may recover damages though such
damages are subject to mitigation by the courts (Article
2179, Civil Code of the Philippines).
Obiter
- Phoenix and Carbonel also ask us to apply what they
refer to as the "last clear chance" doctrine. The theory
here of petitioners is that while the petitioner truck
driver was negligent, private respondent Dionisio had
the "last clear chance" of avoiding the accident and
hence his injuries, and that Dionisio having failed to
take that "last clear chance" must bear his own injuries
alone. The last clear chance doctrine of the common
law was imported into our jurisdiction by Picart vs.
Smith but it is a matter for debate whether, or to what
extent, it has found its way into the Civil Code of the
Philippines. The historical function of that doctrine in
the common law was to mitigate the harshness of
another common law doctrine or rule-that of
contributory negligence. The common law rule of
contributory negligence prevented any recovery at all
by a plaintiff who was also negligent, even if the
plaintiff's negligence was relatively minor as compared
with the wrongful act or omission of the defendant. The
common law notion of last clear chance permitted
courts to grant recovery to a plaintiff who had also been
negligent provided that the defendant had the last clear
chance to avoid the casualty and failed to do so.
Accordingly, it is difficult to see what role, if any, the

torts & damages


common law last clear chance doctrine has to play in a
jurisdiction where the common law concept of
contributory negligence as an absolute bar to recovery
by the plaintiff, has itself been rejected, as it has been in
A2179 CC
- Is there perhaps a general concept of "last clear
chance" that may be extracted from its common law
matrix and utilized as a general rule in negligence cases
in a civil law jurisdiction like ours? We do not believe
so. Under A2179, the task of a court, in technical terms,
is to determine whose negligence-the plaintiff's or the
defendant's-was the legal or proximate cause of the
injury. That task is not simply or even primarily an
exercise in chronology or physics, as the petitioners
seem to imply by the use of terms like "last" or
"intervening" or "immediate." The relative location in
the continuum of time of the plaintiff's and the
defendant's negligent acts or omissions, is only one of
the relevant factors that may be taken into account. Of
more fundamental importance are the nature of the
negligent act or omission of each party and the
character and gravity of the risks created by such act or
omission for the rest of the community. The petitioners
urge that the truck driver (and therefore his employer)
should be absolved from responsibility for his own prior
negligence because the unfortunate plaintiff failed to act
with that increased diligence which had become
necessary to avoid the peril precisely created by the
truck driver's own wrongful act or omission, To accept
this proposition is to come too close to wiping out the
fundamental principle of law that a man must respond
for the forseeable consequences of his own negligent
act or omission. Our law on quasi-delicts seeks to
reduce the risks and burdens of living in society and to
allocate them among the members of society. To accept
the petitioners' proposition must tend to weaken the
very bonds of society.
Disposition CA decision is modified by reducing the
aggregate amount of compensatory damages, loss of
expected income and moral damages Dionisio is
entitled to by 20% of such amount
PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMERCE v CA
(LIPANA)

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269 SCRA 695


HERMOSISIMA; March 14, 1997
Nature:
Petition to review decision of CA
Facts:
- Rommel's Marketing Corporation (RMC), represented
by its President and General Manager Romeo Lipana,
filed a complaint to recover from the former Philippine
Bank of Commerce (PBC), now absorbed by the
Philippine Commercial International Bank, P304,
979.74 representing various deposits RMC made in its
current account with said bank. The amount was not
credited to RMCs account but was instead deposited to
the account of one Bienvenido Cotas.
- RMC maintained two separate current accounts with
the Pasig Branch of PBC in connection with its business
of selling appliances.
- From May 5, 1975 to July 16, 1976, petitioner Romeo
Lipana claims to have entrusted RMC funds in the form
of cash totalling P304,979.74 to his secretary, Irene
Yabut, for the purpose of depositing said funds in the
current accounts of RMC with PBC. It turned out,
however, that these deposits, on all occasions, were not
credited to RMC's account but were instead deposited
to Account No. 53-01734-7 of Yabut's husband,
Bienvenido Cotas who likewise maintains an account
with the same bank.
- During this period, petitioner bank had been regularly
furnishing private respondent with monthly statements
showing its current accounts balances. Unfortunately, it
had never been the practice of Romeo Lipana to check
these monthly statements of account reposing complete
trust and confidence on petitioner bank.
-Irene Yabut would accomplish two copies of the
deposit slip, an original and a duplicate. The original
showed the name of her husband as depositor and his
current account number. On the duplicate copy was
written the account number of her husband but the
name of the account holder was left blank. PBC's teller,
Azucena Mabayad, would, however, validate and stamp
both the original and the duplicate of these deposit slips
retaining only the original copy despite the lack of

prof. casis
information on the duplicate slip. The second copy was
kept by Irene Yabut allegedly for record purposes. After
validation, Yabut would then fill up the name of RMC
in the space left blank in the duplicate copy and change
the account number written thereon, which is that of her
husband's, and make it appear to be RMC's account
number. With the daily remittance records also prepared
by Ms. Yabut and submitted to private respondent RMC
together with the validated duplicate slips with the
latter's name and account number, she made her
company believe that all the while the amounts she
deposited were being credited to its account when, in
truth and in fact, they were being deposited by her and
credited by the petitioner bank in the account of Cotas.
- Upon discovery of the loss of its funds, RMC
demanded from petitioner bank the return of its money,
but as its demand went unheeded, it filed a collection
suit before RTC Pasig, which found petitioner bank
negligent and ordered the bank and Mabayad to pay
RMC jointly and severally P304,979.72, plus damages,
attornets fees and costs of suit.
- CA affirmed, but modified the award of damages.
Issue:
Whether the proximate cause of the loss, to the tune of
P304,979.74, suffered by the private respondent RMC
is petitioner bank's negligence or that of private
respondent's.
Held:
It was the negligence of Ms. Azucena Mabayad,
coupled by the negligence of the petitioner bank in the
selection and supervision of its bank teller, which was
the proximate cause of the loss suffered by the private
respondent.
- There are three elements of a quasi-delict: (a)
damages suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or
negligence of the defendant, or some other person for
whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of
cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the
defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff.
- Negligence is the omission to do something which a
reasonable man, guided by those considerations which
ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would

torts & damages


do, or the doing of something which a prudent and
reasonable man would do.
- Picart v. Smith. The test by which to determine the
existence of negligence in a particular case: Did the
defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that
reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent
person would have used in the same situation? If not,
then he is guilty of negligence. The law here in effect
adopts the standard supposed to be supplied by the
imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the
Roman law. The existence of negligence in a given case
is not determined by reference to the personal judgment
of the actor in the situation before him. The law
considers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or
negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and
prudence and determines liability by that.
- the bank's teller, Ms. Azucena Mabayad, was negligent
in validating, officially stamping and signing all the
deposit slips prepared and presented by Ms. Yabut,
despite the glaring fact that the duplicate copy was not
completely accomplished contrary to the self-imposed
procedure of the bank with respect to the proper
validation of deposit slips, original or duplicate.
- Negligence here lies not only on the part of Ms.
Mabayad but also on the part of the bank itself in its
lackadaisical selection and supervision of Ms.
Mabayad.
- Proximate cause is determined on the facts of each
case upon mixed considerations of logic, common
sense, policy and precedent. Proximate cause is "that
cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence,
unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces
the injury, and without which the result would not have
occurred. . . ." In this case, absent the act of Ms.
Mabayad in negligently validating the incomplete
duplicate copy of the deposit slip, Ms. Irene Yabut
would not have the facility with which to perpetrate her
fraudulent scheme with impunity.
- Furthermore, under the doctrine of "last clear
chance" (also referred to, at times as "supervening
negligence" or as "discovered peril"), petitioner bank
was indeed the culpable party. This doctrine, in essence,
states that where both parties are negligent, but the
negligent act of one is appreciably later in time than that

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of the other, or when it is impossible to determine


whose fault or negligence should be attributed to the
incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to
avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is
chargeable with the consequences thereof. Stated
differently, the rule would also mean that an antecedent
negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery
of damages for the supervening negligence of, or bar a
defense against liability sought by another, if the latter,
who had the last fair chance, could have avoided the
impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. Here,
assuming that private respondent RMC was negligent in
entrusting cash to a dishonest employee, thus providing
the latter with the opportunity to defraud the company,
as advanced by the petitioner, yet it cannot be denied
that the petitioner bank, thru its teller, had the last clear
opportunity to avert the injury incurred by its client,
simply by faithfully observing their self-imposed
validation
procedure.
- While it is true that had private respondent checked
the monthly statements of account sent by the petitioner
bank to RMC, the latter would have discovered the loss
early on, such cannot be used by the petitioners to
escape liability. This omission on the part of the private
respondent does not change the fact that were it not for
the wanton and reckless negligence of the petitioners'
employee in validating the incomplete duplicate deposit
slips presented by Ms. Irene Yabut, the loss would not
have occurred. Considering, however, that the fraud
was committed in a span of more than one (1) year
covering various deposits, common human experience
dictates that the same would not have been possible
without any form of collusion between Ms. Yabut and
bank teller Mabayad. Ms. Mabayad was negligent in the
performance of her duties as bank teller nonetheless.
- it cannot be denied that private respondent was
likewise negligent in not checking its monthly
statements of account. Had it done so, the company
would have been alerted to the series of frauds being
committed against RMC by its secretary. The damage
would definitely not have ballooned to such an amount
if only RMC, particularly Romeo Lipana, had exercised
even a little vigilance in their financial affairs. This
omission by RMC amounts to contributory negligence

prof. casis
which shall mitigate the damages that may be awarded
to the private respondent under Article 2179 of the New
Civil Code
Disposition CA decision modified. The demands of
substantial justice are satisfied by allocating the damage
on a 60-40 ratio. Thus, 40% of the damage awarded by
the respondent appellate court, except the award of
P25,000.00 attorney's fees, shall be borne by private
respondent RMC; only the balance of 60% needs to be
paid by the petitioners. The award of attorney's fees
shall be borne exclusively by the petitioners.
PADILLA [dissent]
- the doctrine of "last clear chance" assumes that the
negligence of the defendant was subsequent to the
negligence of the plaintiff and the same must be the
proximate cause of the injury. In short, there must be a
last and a clear chance, not a last possible chance, to
avoid the accident or injury. It must have been a chance
as would have enabled a reasonably prudent man in like
position to have acted effectively to avoid the injury
and the resulting damage to himself.
- the bank was not remiss in its duty of sending monthly
bank statements to private respondent RMC so that any
error or discrepancy in the entries therein could be
brought to the bank's attention at the earliest
opportunity. Private respondent failed to examine these
bank statements not because it was prevented by some
cause in not doing so, but because it was purposely
negligent as it admitted that it does not normally check
bank statements given by banks. It was private
respondent who had the last and clear chance to prevent
any further misappropriation by Yabut had it only
reviewed the status of its current accounts on the bank
statement sent to it monthly or regularly. Since a sizable
amount of cash was entrusted to Yabut, private
respondent should, at least, have taken care of its
concerns, as what the law presumes. Its negligence,
therefore, is not contributory but the immediate and
proximate cause of its injury.
GLAN PEOPLES LUMBER AND HARDWARE V
IAC (VDA. DE CALIBO and kids)

torts & damages


GR No.70493
NARVASA; May 18, 1989
NATURE
Petition for certiorari praying for a reversal of the
judgment of the Intermediate Appellate Court which, it
is claimed, ignored or ran counter to the established
facts.
FACTS
- Engineer Orlando T. Calibo, Agripino Roranes, and
Maximo Patos were on the jeep owned by the Bacnotan
Consolidated Industries, Inc., with Calibo at the wheel,
as it approached from the South Lizada Bridge going
towards the direction of Davao City at about 1:45 in the
afternoon of July 4,1979. At about that time, the cargo
track, loaded with cement bags, GI sheets, plywood,
driven by defendant Paul Zacarias y Infants, coming
from the opposite direction of Davao City and bound
for Glan, South Cotabato, had just crossed said bridge.
At about 59 yards after crossing the bridge, the cargo
truck and the jeep collided as a consequence of which
Engineer Calibo died while Roranes and Patos
sustained physical injuries. Zacarias was unhurt. As a
result of the impact, the left side of the truck was
slightly damaged while the left side of the jeep,
including its fender and hood, was extensively
damaged. After the impact, the jeep fell and rested on
its right side on the asphalted road a few meters to the
rear of the truck, while the truck stopped on its wheels
on the road.
- On November 27, 1979, the instant case for damages
was filed by the surviving spouse and children of the
late Engineer Calibo who are residents of Tagbilaran
City against the driver and owners of the cargo truck.
- Trial Court dismissed the complaint (and
defendants' counterclaim) "for insufficiency of
evidence." The circumstances leading to the conclusion
just mentioned:
1. Moments before its collission with the truck being
operated by Zacarias, the jeep of the deceased Calibo
was "zigzagging."
2. Unlike Zacarias who readily submitted himself to
investigation by the police, Calibo's companions who

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suffered injuries on account of the collision, refused to


be so investigated or give statements to the police
officers. This, plus Roranes' waiver of the right to
institute criminal proceedings against Zacarias, and the
fact that indeed no criminal case was ever instituted in
Court against Zacarias, were "telling indications that
they did not attribute the happening to defendant
Zacarias' negligence or fault."
3. Roranes' testimony, given in plaintiffs' behalf, was
"not as clear and detailed as that of Zacarias," and was
"uncertain and even contradicted by the physical facts
and the police investigators Dimaano and Esparcia."
4. That there were skid marks left by the truck's tires at
the scene, and none by the jeep, demonstrates that the
driver of the truck had applied the brakes and the jeep's
driver had not; and that the jeep had on impact fallen on
its right side is indication that it was running at high
speed.
5. Even if it be considered that there was some
antecedent negligence on the part of Zacarias shortly
before the collision, in that he had caused his truck to
run some 25 centimeters to the left of the center of the
road, Engr. Calibo had the last clear chance of avoiding
the accident because he still had ample room in his own
lane to steer clear of the truck, or he could simply have
braked to a full stop.
- IAC reversed TC. It found Zacarias to be negligent
on the basis of the following circumstances, to wit:
1) "the truck driven by defendant Zacarias occupied the
lane of the jeep when the collision occurred,' and
although Zacarias saw the jeep from a distance of about
150 meters, he "did not drive his truck back to his lane
in order to avoid collision with the oncoming jeep . . .;"
what is worse, "the truck driver suddenly applied his
brakes even as he knew that he was still within the lane
of the jeep;" had both vehicles stayed in their respective
lanes, the collision would never have occurred, they
would have passed "along side each other safely;"
2) Zacarias had no license at the time; what he handed
to Pfc. Esparcia, on the latter's demand, was the 'driver's
license of his co-driver Leonardo Baricuatro;"
3) the waiver of the right to file criminal charges against
Zacarias should not be taken against "plaintiffs"

prof. casis
Roranes and Patos who had the right, under the law, to
opt merely to bring a civil suit.
ISSUES
WON respondent court is correct in reversing the
decision of trial court.
HELD
NO.
Ratio The doctrine of the last clear chance provides as
valid and complete a defense to accident liability.
(Picart v Smith)
Reasoning Both drivers, as the Appellate Court found,
had had a full view of each other's vehicle from a
distance of one hundred fifty meters. Both vehicles
were travelling at a speed of approximately thirty
kilometers per hour. The private respondents have
admitted that the truck was already at a full stop when
the jeep plowed into it. And they have not seen fit to
deny or impugn petitioners' imputation that they also
admitted the truck had been brought to a stop while the
jeep was still thirty meters away. From these facts the
logical conclusion emerges that the driver of the jeep
had what judicial doctrine has appropriately called
the last clear chance to avoid the accident, while still
at that distance of thirty meters from the truck, by
stopping in his turn or swerving his jeep away from the
truck, either of which he had sufficient time to do while
running at a speed of only thirty kilometers per hour. In
those circumstances, his duty was to seize that
opportunity of avoidance, not merely rely on a
supposed right to expect, as the Appellate Court would
have it, the truck to swerve and leave him a clear path.
-Picart v Smith:
The plaintiff was riding a pony on a bridge. Seeing an
automobile ahead he improperly pulled his horse over
to the railing on the right. The driver of the automobile,
however guided his car toward the plaintiff without
diminution of speed until he was only few feet away.
He then turned to the right but passed so closely to the
horse that the latter being frightened, jumped around
and was killed by the passing car. . . . .
It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not
free from fault, for he was guilty of antecedent
negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the

torts & damages


road. But as we have already stated, the defendant was
also negligent; and in such case the problem always is
to discover which agent is immediately and directly
responsible. It will be noted that the negligent acts of
the two parties were not contemporaneous, since the
negligence of the defendant succeeded the negligence
of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. Under these
circumstances the law is that the person who has the last
fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do
so is chargeable with the consequences, without
reference to the prior negligence of the other party.
Dispositive WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment of
the Intermediate Appellate Court is hereby
REVERSED, and the complaint against herein
petitioners in Civil Case No. 3283 of the Court of First
Instance of Bohol, Branch IV, is DISMISSED. No
pronouncement as to costs.
Voting Cruz, Gancayco, Grio-Aquino and Medialdea,
JJ., concur.
PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC v CAR
BASCOS BAESA
179 SCRA 384
CORTES J.: November 1989
FACTS:
At about 7:00 o'clock in the morning of June 12, 1981,
the spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their
children Harold Jim, Marceline and Maricar, together
with spouses David Ico and Fe O. Ico with their son
Erwin Ico and seven other persons, were aboard a
passenger jeepney on their way to a picnic at Malalam
River, Ilagan, Isabela, to celebrate the fifth wedding
anniversary of Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa.
Upon reaching the highway, the jeepney turned right
and proceeded to MaIalam, River at a speed of about 20
kph. While they were proceeding towards Malalam
River, a speeding PANTRANCO bus from Aparri, on its
regular route to Manila, encroached on the jeepney's
lane while negotiating a curve, and collided with it.
- David Ico, spouses Ceasar Baesa and Marilyn Baesa
and their children, Harold Jim and Marcelino Baesa,
died while the rest of the passengers suffered injuries.

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The jeepney was extensively damaged. After the


accident the driver of the PANTRANCO Bus, Ambrosio
Ramirez, boarded a car and proceeded to Santiago,
Isabela. From that time on up to the present, Ramirez
has never been seen and has apparently remained in
hiding.
- Maricar Baesa through her guardian Francisca O.
Bascos and Fe O. Ico for herself and for her minor
children, filed separate actions for damages arising from
quasi-delict against PANTRANCO. Other victims
settled with Bus Company.
-PANTRANCO, aside from pointing to the late David
Ico's alleged negligence as the proximate cause of the
accident, invoked the defense of due diligence in the
selection and supervision of its driver, Ambrosio
Ramirez
-TC ruled against PANTRANCO and ordered them to
pay damages.
-Pantranco appealed the decision. Appeal dismissed for
lack of merit
ISSUE:
WON PANTRANCO is liable for damages.
HELD: YES
-Petitioner claims that under the circumstances of the
case, it was the driver of the passenger jeepney who had
the last clear chance to avoid the collision and was
therefore negligent in failing to utilize with reasonable
care and competence his then existing opportunity to
avoid the harm.
-petitioner claims that the original negligence of its
driver was not the proximate cause of the accident and
that the sole proximate cause was the supervening
negligence of the jeepney driver David Ico in failing to
avoid the accident
- The doctrine of the last clear chance simply, means
that the negligence of a claimant does not preclude a
recovery for the negligence of defendant where it
appears that the latter, by exercising reasonable care and
prudence, might have avoided injurious consequences
to claimant notwithstanding his negligence.
-The doctrine applies only in a situation where the
plaintiff was guilty of prior or antecedent negligence
but the defendant, who had the last fair chance to avoid
the impending harm and failed to do so, is made liable

prof. casis
for all the consequences of the accident notwithstanding
the prior negligence of the plaintiff
- The above contention of petitioner is manifestly
devoid of merit. Contrary to the petitioner's contention,
the doctrine of "last clear chance" finds no application
in this case
- Contrary to the petitioner's contention, the doctrine of
"last clear chance" finds no application in this case. For
the doctrine to be applicable, it is necessary to show
that the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to
avert the accident was aware of the existence of the
peril or should, with exercise of due care, have been
aware of it
- In this case, there is nothing to show that the jeepney
driver David Ico knew of the impending danger. When
he saw at a distance that the approaching bus was
encroaching on his lane, he did not immediately swerve
the jeepney to the dirt shoulder on his right since he
must have assumed that the bus driver will return the
bus to its own lane upon seeing the jeepney
approaching from the opposite direction.
- Moreover, both the trial court and the Court of
Appeals found that at the time of the accident the
Pantranco bus was speeding towards Manila. At the
time David Ico must have realized that the bus was not
returning to its own lane, it was already too late to
swerve the jeepney to his right to prevent an accident.
- This Court has held that the last clear chance doctrine
"can never apply where the party charged is required to
act instantaneously, and if the injury cannot be avoided
by the application of all means at hand after the peril is
or should have been discovered"
- Petitioner likewise insists that David Ico was negligent
in failing to observe Section 43 (c), Article III Chapter
IV of Republic Act No. 4136** which provides that the
driver of a vehicle entering a through highway or a stop
intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles
approaching in either direction on such through
highway.
-Petitioner's misplaced reliance on the aforesaid law is
readily apparent in this case. The cited law itself
provides that it applies only to vehicles entering a
through highway or a stop intersection. At the time of

torts & damages


the accident, the jeepney had already crossed the
intersection and was on its way to Malalam River
-On the issue of its liability as an employer, petitioner
claims that it had observed the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage, conformably to
the last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code
-When an injury is caused by the negligence of an
employee, there instantly arises a presumption that the
employer has been negligent either in the selection of
his employees or in the supervision over their acts.
Although this presumption is only a disputable
presumption which could be overcome by proof of
diligence of a good father of a family, this Court
believes that the evidence submitted by the defendant to
show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family iti the case of Ramirez, as a company driver is
far from sufficient
ANURAN V BUO
17 SCRA 224
BENGZON, May 20, 1966
NATURE: Petition for Review by certiorari of CA
decision.
FACTS
- On January 12, 1958, a passenger jeepney was parked
on the road to Taal, Batangas. Buo, driver of said
jeepney stopped his vehicle in order to allow one of his
passengers to alight. But he parked his jeepney in such
a way that of its width (the left wheels) was on the
asphalted pavement of the road and the other half, on
the right shoulder of the said road. A motor truck
speeding along, negligently bumped it from behind,
which such violence that three of its passengers died,
even as 2 other passengers suffered injuries that
required their confinement at the Provincial Hospital for
many days.
- Suits were instituted by the representatives of the dead
and the injured, to recover consequently damages
against the drivers and the owners of the trucks and also
against the driver and the owners of the jeepney.
- CFI Batangas absolved the driver of the jeepney and
its owners, but it required the truck driver and the
owners o make compensation. Plaintiffs appealed to the

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CA insisting that the driver and the owners of the


jeepney should also be made liable for damages.
ISSUE
WON the driver and owners of the jeepney should also
be made liable.
HELD
YES. An error of law was committed in releasing the
jeepney from liability. It must be remembered that the
obligation of the carrier to transport its passengers
safely is such that the New Civil Code requires utmost
diligence from the carriers (Art. 1755) who are
presumed to have been at fault or to have acted
negligently, unless they prove that they have observed
extraordinary diligence (Art. 1756). In this instance,
this legal presumption of negligence is confirmed by the
CAs finding that jeepney driver in question was at fault
in parking the vehicle improperly. It must follow that
the driver and the owners of the jeepney must
answer for injuries to its passengers.
Obiter on Application of Principle of Last Clear
Chance: The principle about the last clear chance
applies in a suit between the owners and drivers of the
two colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a
passenger demands responsibility from the carrier to
enforce its contractual obligations. For it would be
inequitable to exempt the negligent driver of the
jeepney and its owners on the ground that the other
driver was likewise guilty of negligence. This principle
does not apply in this case.
DISPOSITION: Judgment modified.
CANLAS V, CA
Purisima; February 28, 2000
Nature
Petition for Review on Certiorari
Facts
-Sometime in August, 1982, Osmundo S. Canlas, and
Vicente Maosca, decided to venture in business and to
raise the capital needed therefor. The former then
executed a Special Power of Attorney authorizing the
latter to mortgage two parcels of land situated in San
Dionisio, (BF Homes) Paranaque, Metro Manila, each

prof. casis
lot with semi-concrete residential house in the name of
the SPS Canlas. Osmundo Canlas agreed to sell the said
parcels of land to Vicente Maosca, for and in
consideration of P850,000.00, P500,000.00 of which
payable within one week, and the balance of
P350,000.00 to serve as his (Osmundo's) investment in
the business. Thus, Osmundo Canlas delivered to
Vicente Maosca the transfer certificates of title of the
parcels of land involved. Vicente Maosca, as his part
of the transaction, issued two postdated checks in favor
of Osmundo Canlas in the amounts of P40,000.00 and
P460,000.00, respectively, but it turned out that the
check covering the bigger amount was not sufficiently
funded.
-On September 3, 1982, Vicente Maosca was able to
mortgage the same parcels of land for P100,000.00 to a
certain Attorney Manuel Magno, with the help of
impostors who misrepresented themselves as the
spouses, Osmundo Canlas and Angelina Canlas. On
September 29, 1982, private respondent Vicente
Maosca was granted a loan by the respondent Asian
Savings Bank (ASB) in the amount of P500,000.00,
with the use of subject parcels of land as security, and
with the involvement of the same impostors who again
introduced themselves as the Canlas spouses. When the
loan it extended was not paid, respondent bank
extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage.
-On January 15, 1983, Osmundo Canlas wrote a letter
informing the respondent bank that the execution of
subject mortgage over the two parcels of land in
question was without their (Canlas spouses) authority,
and request that steps be taken to annul and/or revoke
the questioned mortgage. On January 18, 1983,
petitioner Osmundo Canlas also wrote the office of
Sheriff Maximo O. Contreras, asking that the auction
sale scheduled on February 3, 1983 be cancelled or held
in abeyance. But respondents Maximo C. Contreras and
Asian Savings Bank refused to heed petitioner Canlas'
stance and proceeded with the scheduled auction sale.
-Consequently, on February 3, 1983 the herein
petitioners instituted the present case for annulment of
deed of real estate mortgage with prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction; and on
May 23, 1983, the trial court issued an Order restraining

torts & damages


the respondent sheriff from issuing the corresponding
Certificate of Sheriff's Sale.For failure to file his
answer, despite several motions for extension of time
for the filing thereof, Vicente Maosca was declared in
default. Lower court a quo came out with a decision
annulling subject deed of mortgage and disposing.
Asian Savings Bank appealed to the Court of Appeals
and CA reversed the lower court decision.
Issue/s and Held
WON CA erred in holding that the mortgage is valid
Settled is the rule that a contract of mortgage must
be constituted only by the absolute owner on the
property mortgaged; a mortgage, constituted by an
impostor is void. Considering that it was established
indubitably that the contract of mortgage sued upon
was entered into and signed by impostors who
misrepresented themselves as the spouses Osmundo
Canlas and Angelina Canlas, the Court is of the
ineluctible conclusion and finding that subject
contract of mortgage is a complete nullity.
WON ASB must incur the resulting loss
Yes. The doctrine of last clear chance is applicable,
the respondent bank must suffer the resulting loss.
In essence, the doctrine of last clear chance is to the
effect that where both parties are negligent but the
negligent act of one is appreciably later in point of
time than that of the other, or where it is impossible
to determine whose fault or negligence brought
about the occurrence of the incident, the one who
had the last clear opportunity to avoid the
impending harm but failed to do so, is chargeable
with the consequences arising therefrom. Stated
differently, the rule is that the antecedent negligence
of a person does not preclude recovery of damages
caused by the supervening negligence of the latter,
who had the last fair chance to prevent the
impending harm by the exercise of due diligence.
In the case under consideration, from the evidence on
hand it can be gleaned unerringly that respondent bank
did not observe the requisite diligence in ascertaining or
verifying the real identity of the couple who introduced

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themselves as the spouses Osmundo Canlas and


Angelina Canlas. It is worthy to note that not even a
single identification card was exhibited by the said
impostors to show their true identity; and yet, the bank
acted on their representations simply on the basis of the
residence certificates bearing signatures which tended
to match the signatures affixed on a previous deed of
mortgage to a certain Atty. Magno, covering the same
parcels of land in question.
Applying Art. 1173 It could be said that the degree of
diligence required of banks is more than that of a good
father of a family in keeping with their responsibility to
exercise the necessary care and prudence in dealing
even on a registered or titled property. The business of a
bank is affected with public interest, holding in trust the
money of the depositors, which bank deposits the bank
should guard against loss due to negligence or bad faith,
by reason of which the bank would be denied the
protective mantle of the land registration law, accorded
only to purchasers or mortgagees for value and in good
faith.
Evidently, the efforts exerted by the bank to verify the
identity of the couple posing as Osmundo Canlas and
Angelina Canlas fell short of the responsibility of the
bank to observe more than the diligence of a good
father of a family. The negligence of respondent bank
was magnified by the fact that the previous deed of
mortgage (which was used as the basis for checking the
genuineness of the signatures of the supposed Canlas
spouses) did not bear the tax account number of the
spouses, as well as the Community Tax Certificate of
Angelina Canlas. But such fact notwithstanding, the
bank did not require the impostors to submit additional
proof of their true identity.
For not observing the degree of diligence required of
banking institutions, whose business is impressed with
public interest, respondent Asian Savings Bank has to
bear the loss sued upon.
Disposition
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED and the
Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated September 30,
1993, in CA-G.R. CV No. 25242 SET ASIDE. The

prof. casis
Decision of Branch 59 of the Regional Trial Court of
Makati City in Civil Case No. M-028 is hereby
REINSTATED. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.1wphi1.nt
CONSOLIDATED BANK V CA (L.C.DIAZ AND
CO.)
GR No. 138569
CARPIO; September 11, 2003
NATURE
Review of the decision of the CA
FACTS
- LC Diaz is a professional partnership engaged in
accounting. On 14 August 1991, LC diaz, thru its
cashier, instructed their messenger, Calapre, to deposit
money in Solidbank. Calapre then deposited in
Solidbank. Since the transaction took time and Calapre
had to make another deposit for L.C. Diaz with Allied
Bank, he left the passbook with Solidbank. When he
came back, the teller told him that somebody else got
the passbook. The next day, it was learned that 300k
was withdrawn from the account.
- An information for estafa was filed against one of their
messengers (Ilagan) and one Roscoe Verdazola. LC
Diaz demanded SolidBank the return of their money.
The latter refused and a case for recovery of a sum of
money was filed against them
- TC applied rules on savings account written on the
passbook. The rules state that possession of this book
shall raise the presumption of ownership and any
payment or payments made by the bank upon the
production of the said book and entry therein of the
withdrawal shall have the same effect as if made to the
depositor
personally.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/s
ep2003/138569.htm" \l "_ftn9" \o "" Also, they applied
the rule that the holder of the passport is presumed the
owner. It was also held that Solidbank did not have any
participation in the custody and care of the passbook
and as such, their act was not the proximate cause of the
loss. The proximate cause was LC Diaz negligence.

torts & damages


- CA revered. It ruled that Solidbanks negligence was
the proximate cause. It applied the provision on the CC
on quasi delicts and found that the requisite elements
were present. They found that the teller made no inquiry
upon the withdrawal of 300k. The teller could have
called up LC Diaz since the amount being drawn was
significant. The appellate court ruled that while L.C.
Diaz was also negligent in entrusting its deposits to its
messenger and its messenger in leaving the passbook
with the teller, Solidbank could not escape liability
because of the doctrine of last clear chance.
Solidbank could have averted the injury suffered by
L.C. Diaz had it called up L.C. Diaz to verify the
withdrawal.
ISSUES
WON Solidbank was liable
HELD
- For breach of the savings deposit agreement due to
negligence, or culpa contractual, the bank is liable to its
depositor.
- When the passbook is in the possession of Solidbanks
tellers during withdrawals, the law imposes on
Solidbank and its tellers an even higher degree of
diligence in safeguarding the passbook. Likewise,
Solidbanks tellers must exercise a high degree of
diligence in insuring that they return the passbook only
to the depositor or his authorized representative
- In culpa contractual, once the plaintiff proves a
breach of contract, there is a presumption that the
defendant was at fault or negligent. The burden is on
the defendant to prove that he was not at fault or
negligent. Solidbank failed to discharge this burden.
(they could have presented the teller to whom the
passbook was left, but they didnt)
- L.C. Diaz was not at fault that the passbook landed in
the hands of the impostor. Solidbank was in possession
of the passbook while it was processing the deposit.
After completion of the transaction, Solidbank had the
contractual obligation to return the passbook only to
Calapre, the authorized representative of L.C. Diaz.
SolidBanks negligence in returning the passbook was
the proximate cause.

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- The doctrine of last clear chance states that where both


parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is
appreciably later than that of the other, or where it is
impossible to determine whose fault or negligence
caused the loss, the one who had the last clear
opportunity to avoid the loss but failed to do so, is
chargeable
with
the
loss.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/s
ep2003/138569.htm" \l "_ftn29" \o ""
Stated
differently, the antecedent negligence of the plaintiff
does not preclude him from recovering damages caused
by the supervening negligence of the defendant, who
had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm
by the exercise of due diligence. HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/s
ep2003/138569.htm" \l "_ftn30" \o ""
- We do not apply the doctrine of last clear chance to
the present case. Solidbank is liable for breach of
contract due to negligence in the performance of its
contractual obligation to L.C. Diaz. This is a case of
culpa contractual, where neither the contributory
negligence of the plaintiff nor his last clear chance to
avoid the loss, would exonerate the defendant from
liability.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/s
ep2003/138569.htm" \l "_ftn31" \o ""
Such
contributory negligence or last clear chance by the
plaintiff merely serves to reduce the recovery of
damages by the plaintiff but does not exculpate the
defendant from his breach of contract.
DISPOSITIVE
Decision affirmed, modification only to damages
ENGADA V CA
QUISUMBING, J.: June 20, 2003
NATURE
Petition for review seeking the reversal of the decision
HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/j
un2003/140698.htm" \l "_ftn1" \o "" of the CA which
affirmed with modification the judgment HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/j

prof. casis
un2003/140698.htm" \l "_ftn2" \o "" of the RTC of
Iloilo City
FACTS
- On November 29, 1989, at about 1:30 in the
afternoon, Edwin Iran was driving a blue Toyota
Tamaraw jeepney bound for Iloilo City. On board was
Sheila Seyan, the registered owner of the Tamaraw. The
Tamaraw passengers allegedly saw from the opposite
direction a speeding Isuzu pick-up, driven by petitioner
Rogelio Engada. When it was just a few meters away
from the Tamaraw, the Isuzu pick-ups right signal light
flashed, at the same time, it swerved to its left,
encroaching upon the lane of the Tamaraw and headed
towards a head-on collision course with it. Seyan
shouted at Iran to avoid the pick-up. Iran swerved to his
left but the pick-up also swerved to its right. Thus, the
pick-up collided with the Tamaraw, hitting the latter at
its right front passenger side. The impact caused the
head and chassis of the Tamaraw to separate from its
body. Seyan was thrown out of the Tamaraw and
landed on a ricefield. Seyan incurred P130,000 in
medical expenses. The Toyota Tamaraw jeepney ended
up in the junk heap. Its total loss was computed at
P80,000.
ISSUES
1. WON petitioners negligence was the proximate
cause of the accident
HELD
1. YES. Ratio It is a settled rule that a driver
abandoning his proper lane for the purpose of
overtaking another vehicle in an ordinary situation has
the duty to see to it that the road is clear and he should
not proceed if he cannot do so in safety. For failing to
observe the duty of diligence and care imposed on
drivers of vehicles abandoning their lane, petitioner
must be held liable. Iran could not be faulted when in
his attempt to avoid the pick-up, he swerved to his left.
Petitioners acts had put Iran in an emergency situation
which forced him to act quickly. An individual who
suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is
required to act without much time to consider the best

torts & damages


means that may be adopted to avoid the impending
danger, is not guilty of negligence if he fails to
undertake what subsequently and upon reflection may
appear to be a better solution, unless the emergency was
brought by his own negligence.
Reasoning The doctrine of last clear chance states that a
person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of
avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts
of his opponent, is considered in law solely responsible
for the consequences of the accident. HYPERLINK
"http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2003/j
un2003/140698.htm" \l "_ftn19" \o "" But what has
been shown is the presence of an emergency and the
proper application of the emergency rule. There was no
clear chance to speak of. Iran swerved to the left only to
avoid petitioners pick-up, which was already on a head
to head position going against Irans Tamaraw jeepney
immediately before the vehicles collided. No
convincing proof was adduced by petitioner that Iran
could have avoided a head-on collision.

A2010

- Theness developed hydrophobia, a symptom of rabies,


as a result of the dog bites, and second, that asphyxia
broncho-pneumonia, which ultimately caused her death,
was a complication of rabies
- Seven months later, the Uys sued for damages,
alleging that the Vestils were liable to them as the
possessors of "Andoy," the dog that bit and eventually
killed their daughter.
- Judge Jose R. Ramolete of the Court of First Instance
of Cebu sustained the defendants. IAC found that the
Vestils were in possession of the house and the dog and
so should be responsible under Article 2183 of the Civil
Code for the injuries caused by the dog.
- On the strength of the foregoing testimony, the Court
finds that the link between the dog bites and the
certified cause of death has been satisfactorily
established.

STRICT LIABILITY

Petitioners Claim
The Vestils are liable for the death of Theness, since
they own the dog that bit her.
Respondents Comments
The dog belonged to the deceased Vicente Miranda, that
it was a tame animal, and that in any case no one had
witnessed it bite Theness.

VESTIL V IAC (UY)


179 SCRA 47
CRUZ; December 6, 1989

ISSUE
WON the Vestils are liable for the damage caused by
the dog.

NATURE
Petition to reinstate the decision of the Appellate Court.

HELD
Ratio The obligation imposed by Article 2183 of the
Civil Code is not based on the negligence or on the
presumed lack of vigilance of the possessor or user of
the animal causing the damage. It is based on natural
equity and on the principle of social interest that he who
possesses animals for his utility, pleasure or service
must answer for the damage which such animal may
cause.
Reasoning
ART. 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever
may make use of the same is responsible for the damage
which it may cause, although it may escape or be lost.
This responsibility shall cease only in case the damage

Dispositive
The appealed decision is AFFIRMED.

FACTS
- July 29, 1975: Theness was bitten by a dog while she
was playing with a child of the petitioners in the house
of the late Vicente Miranda, the father of Purita Vestil.
She was rushed to the Cebu General Hospital, where
she was treated for "multiple lacerated wounds on the
forehead. She was discharged after nine days but was
re-admitted one week later due to "vomiting of saliva."
The following day, on August 15, 1975, the child died.
The cause of death was certified as broncho-pneumonia.

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- PAGE 77 -

should come from force majeure or from the fault of the


person who has suffered damage.
- While it is true that she is not really the owner of the
house, which was still part of Vicente Miranda's estate,
there is no doubt that she and her husband were its
possessors at the time of the incident in question.
- There is evidence showing that she and her family
regularly went to the house, once or twice weekly.
- Theness developed hydrophobia, a symptom of rabies,
as a result of the dog bites, and second, that asphyxia
broncho-pneumonia, which ultimately caused her death,
was a complication of rabies. The Court finds that the
link between the dog bites and the certified cause of
death has been satisfactorily established.
- It does not matter that the dog was tame and was
merely provoked by the child into biting her. The law
does not speak only of vicious animals but covers even
tame ones as long as they cause injury. As for the
alleged provocation, the petitioners forget that Theness
was only three years old at the time she was attacked
and can hardly be faulted for whatever she might have
done to the animal.
- Obligation imposed by Article 2183 of the Civil Code
is not based on the negligence or on the presumed lack
of vigilance of the possessor or user of the animal
causing the damage. It is based on natural equity and on
the principle of social interest that he who possesses
animals for his utility, pleasure or service must answer
for the damage which such animal may cause.
DISPOSITION
The Court approves the time.
DINGCONG vs. KANAAN
72 Phil. 14; G.R. No. L-47033
AVANCEA; April 25, 1941
NATURE
Petition for certiorari assailing the decision
of the CA
FACTS
-The brothers Loreto and Jose Dingcong
rented the house of Emilia Saenz (in Jose

torts & damages


Ma. Basa Street of the City of Iloilo) and
established the Central Hotel. Among the
hotel's guests is Francisco Echevarria,
paying P30 a month, and occupying room
no. 10 of said hotel. Kanaan, on the other
hand, occupies the ground floor of the hotel
and established his "American Bazaar"
dedicated to the purchase and sale of
articles and merchandise.
-Around 11pm of 19 September 1933,
Echevarria, when retiring to bed, carelessly
left the faucet open that with only an
ordinary basin without drainage. That time,
the pipes of the hotel were under repair;
the water run off the pipes and spilled to
the ground, wetting the articles and
merchandise of the "American Bazaar,"
causing a loss which the CFI sets at
P1,089.61.
-The Kanaans (Halim, Nasri and Michael),
representing the establishment "American
Bazaar," thereafter filed this complaint for
damages against Loreto Dingcong, Jose
Dingcong and Francisco Echevarria.
-CFI held Francisco Echevarria liable, and
acquitted Jose Dingcong. CA reversed and
declared
Jose
Dingcong
responsible,
sentencing him to pay the plaintiffs
damages.
ISSUE
WON
Jose
Dingcong
and Francisco
Echevarria are liable for damages
HELD
YES.
-Francisco Echevarria, the hotel guest, is
liable for being the one who directly, by his
negligence in leaving open the faucet,
caused the water to spill to the ground and
wet the articles and merchandise of the
plaintiffs.
-Jose Dingcong, being a co-renter and
manager of the hotel, with complete

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- PAGE 77 -

possession of the house, must also be


responsible for the damages caused. He
failed to exercise the diligence of a good
father of the family to prevent these
damages, despite his power and authority
to cause the repair of the pipes.
Disposition Appealed decision is affirmed,
with the costs against apellant.
AFABLE V SINGER
COMPANY
58 PHIL 14
VICKERS; March 6, 1933

SEWING

MACHINE

NATURE
Appeal from a decision of the CFI of Manila
FACTS
- Leopoldo Madlangbayan was a collector for the
Singer Sewing Machine Company in the district of San
Francisco del Monte, outside of the limits of the City of
Manila, and he was supposed to be residing in his
district according to the records of the company.
- One Sunday afternoon, Leopoldo Madlangbayan
while riding a bicycle was run over and fatally injured
at the corner of O'Donnel and Zurbaran streets in the
City of Manila by a truck driven by Vitaliano Sumoay.
- It appears that Madlangbayan had moved to Teodora
Alonso St. in Manila without notifying the company,
and that at the time of his death he was returning home
after making some collections in San Francisco del
Monte.
- According to the practice of the company, if collectors
made collections on Sunday they were required to
deliver the amount collected to the company the next
morning.
- The widow and children of Leopoldo Madlangbayan
brought an action to recover from the defendant
corporation under Act No. 3428, as amended by Act.
No. 3812, P100 for burial expenses and P1,745.12 for
compensation.
- Plaintiffs' complaint was subsequently amended, and
they sought to recover under sections 8 and 10 of Act

No. 3428 fifty per cent of P16.78 for 208 weeks of


P1,745.12 plus P100 for burial expenses.
- Defendant as special defenses alleged that Leopoldo
Madlangbayan at the time that he sustained the injuries
resulting in his death was violating an ordinance of the
City of Manila which prohibits work on Sunday; and
that Act No. 3428, as amended, is unconstitutional and
void because it denies the defendant the equal
protection of the law, and impairs the obligation of the
contract between the defendant and Leopoldo
Madlangbayan, and deprives the Courts of First
Instance of their probate jurisdiction over the estate of
deceased persons and nullifies Chapters XXIX, XXX,
XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, and XXXIV of the Civil Code
Procedure and related articles of the Civil Code.
ISSUE
WON the employer is liable to pay the employees
heirs.
RULING
NO.
- As the deceased Leopoldo Madlangbayan was killed
on November 16, 1930 and Act No. 3812 was not
approved until December 8, 1930, it is apparent that the
law which is applicable is Act No. 3428, section 23 of
which reads as follows:
When any employee receives a personal injury
from any accident due to in the pursuance of the
employment, or contracts any illness directly
caused by such employment or the result of the
nature of such employment, his employer shall pay
compensation in the sums and to the persons
hereinafter specified.
- The accident which caused the death of the employee
was not due to and in pursuance of his employment.
- At the time that he was over by the truck Leopoldo
Madlangbayan was not in the pursuance of his
employment with the defendant corporation, but was on
his way home after he had finished his work for the day
and had left the territory where he was authorized to
take collections for the defendant.
- The employer is not an insurer "against all accidental
injuries which might happen to an employee while in

torts & damages


the course of the employment", and as a general rule an
employee is not entitled to recover from personal
injuries resulting from an accident that befalls him
while going to or returning from his place of
employment, because such an accident does no arise out
of and in the course of his employment.
- The phrase "due to and in the pursuance of" used in
section 2 of Act No. 3428 was changed in Act No. 3812
to "arising out of and in the course of". Discussing this
phrase, the Supreme Court of Illinois in the case of
Mueller Construction Co. vs. Industrial Board, said:
The words "arising out of" refer to the origin or
cause of the accident, and are descriptive of its
character, while the words "in the course of" refer
to the time, place, and circumstances under which
the accident takes place. By the use of these words
it was not the intention of the legislature to make
the employer an insurer against all accidental
injuries which might happen to an employee while
in the course of the employment, but only for such
injuries arising from or growing out of the risks
peculiar to the nature of the work in the scope of
the workman's employment of incidental to such
employment, and accidents in which it is possible
to trace the injury to some risk or hazard to which
the employee is exposed in a special degree by
reason of such employment. Risks to which all
persons similarly situated are equally exposed and
not traceable in some special degree to the
particular employment are excluded.
- If the deceased had been killed while going from
house to house in San Francisco del Monte in the
pursuance of his employment, the plaintiffs would
undoubtedly have the right, prima facie, to recover.
- In the case at bar the deceased was going from work in
his own conveyance.
- Furthermore, it appears that the deceased had never
notified the defendant corporation of his removal from
San Francisco del Monte of Manila, and that the
company did not know that he was living in Manila on
the day of the accident; that the defendant company did
not require its employees to work on Sunday, or furnish
or require its agents to use bicycles.

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prof. casis

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- These are additional reasons for holding that the


accident was not due to and pursuance of the
employment of the deceased. If the deceased saw fit to
change his residence from San Francisco del Monte to
Manila and to make use a bicycle in going back and
forth, he did so at his own risk, as the defendant
company did not furnish him a bicycle or require him to
use one; and if he made collections on Sunday, he did
not do so in pursuance of his employment, and his
employer is not liable for any injury sustained by him.
DISPOSITION The decision appealed from was
affirmed, with the costs against the appellants.
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS
(GERONIMO)
227 SCRA 292
DAVIDE, JR.; October 18, 1993

PHILS

CA

NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the
Court of Appeals
FACTS
- Lydia Geronimo was engaged in the business of
selling food and drinks to children in the Kindergarten
Wonderland Canteen located in Dagupan.
- August 12, 1989 - A group of parents complained that
they found fibrous material in the bottles of Coke and
Sprite that their children bought from Geronimos store.
Geronimo examined her stock of softdrinks and found
that there were indeed fibrous materials in the unopened
soda bottles. She brought the bottles to the Department
of Health office in their region and was informed that
the soda samples she sent were adulterated.
- Because of this, Geronimos sales plummeted with her
regular sales of 10 cases day dwindling to about 2 or 3
cases. Her losses amounted to P200 to P300 a day
which later on forced her to close down her business on
December 12, 1989.
- She demanded payment of damages from plaintiff
Coca-Cola but the latter did not accede to her demands.
- The trial court ruled in favor of Coca-Cola, stating that
the complaint was based on a contract and not a quasi-

delict because of pre-existing relation between the


parties. Thus the complaint should have been filed
within 6 months from the delivery of the thing sold.
- The trial court however annulled the questioned orders
of the RTC and directed it to conduct further
proceedings in the civil case. According to the CA:
the allegations in the complaint plainly show that it is
an action for damages arising from respondents act of
recklessly and negligently manufacturing adulterated
food items intended to be sol for public consumption.
It also noted that the availability of an action for breach
of warranty does not bar an action for torts in a sale of
defective goods.
Petitioners Claim:
- Coca-Cola moved to dismiss the complaint on the
grounds of failure to exhaust administrative remedies
and prescription.
- Since the complaint is for breach of warranty (under
A1561, CC), it should have been brought within 6
months from the delivery of the goods.
Respondents Comments:
- Geronimo alleges that her complaint is one for
damages which does not involve an administrative
action.
- Her cause of action is based on an injury to plaintiffs
right which can be brought within 4 years (based on
A1146, CC).
ISSUE
WON the complaint is founded on a quasi-delict and
pursuant to A1146(12), CC, the action prescribes in 4
years
HELD
YES
Reasoning
- The vendees remedies against a vendor with respect
to the warranties against hidden defects or
encumbrances upon the thing sold are not limited to
those prescribed in A1567. The vendee may also ask
for the annulment of the contract upon proof of error or
fraud in which case the ordinary rule on obligations
shall be applicable.

torts & damages


- Under American law, the liabilities of the
manufacturer or seller of injury-causing products may
be based on negligence, breach of warranty, tort or
other grounds.
DISPOSITION The instant petition is denied for lack
of merit.
GILCHRIST v CUDDY
29 Phil 542
TRENT; February 18, 1915

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requires as a condition precedent to the liability of the


tortfeasor that he must know the identity of a person to
whom he causes damage. No such knowledge is
required in order that the injured party may recover for
the damages suffered.

- Tek Hua filed an injunction and an action for


nullification of the contracts between Trendsetter and
DC Chuan. The lower Court ruled in favor of Tek Hua.
The CA, on appeal, upheld the trial court. Both the trial
court and the CA awarded legal fees only.

DISPOSITION Judgment affirmed

ISSUE
- WON So Ping Bun was guilty of tortuous interference
of contract

SON PING BUN vs CA (Tek Hua)


GR No. 120554
Quisumbing; September 21, 1999

NATURE
Appeal from the decision of the CFI
FACTS
-Cuddy was the owner of the film Zigomar. Gilchrist
was the owner of a theatre in Iloilo. They entered into a
contract whereby Cuddy leased to Gilchrist the
Zigomar for exhibition in his theatre for a week for
P125.
- Cuddy returned the money already paid by Gilchrist
days before the delivery date so that he can lease the
film to Espejo and Zaldarriaga instead and receive P350
for the film for the same period.
- Gilchrist filed a case for specific performance against
Cuddy, Espejo and Zaldarriaga. He also prayed for
damages against Espejo and Zaldarriaga for interfering
with the contract between Gilchrist and Cuddy.
ISSUE
WON Espejo and Zaldarriaga is liable for interfering
with the contract between Gilchrist and Cuddy, they not
knowing at the time the identity of the parties
HELD
YES
- Appellants have the legal liability for interfering with
the contract and causing its breach. This liability arises
from unlawful acts and not from contractual obligations
to induce Cuddy to violate his contract with Gilchrist.
- Article 1902 of the Civil Code provides that a person
who, by act or omission causes damage to another when
there is fault or negligence, shall be obliged to pay for
the damage done. There is nothing in this article which

prof. casis

NATURE
Appeal on certiorari for review of CA decision
FACTS
- In 1963, Tek hua Trading, through its Managing
Director So Pek Giok, entered into a lease agreement
with D.C. Chuan covering four stalls in Binondo. The
contracts were initially for one year but after expiry of
the same, they continued on a month to month basis. In
1976, Tek Hua was dissolved with the original members
forming a new corporation, Tek Hua Enterprises with
Manuel Tiong as one of the incorporators.
- So Ping Bun, on the death of his grandfather, So Pek
Giok, occupied the same stalls under the business name,
Trendsetter Marketing.
- In 1989, the lessor, DC Chuan sent a letter to Tek Hua
advising it of a 25% increase in rent effective
September 1, 1989. A further rent increase of 30%
effective January 1, 1990 was implemented. Enclosed
in both letters were new lease contracts for signing.
While the letters contained a statement that the leases
will be terminated if the contracts were not signed, the
same were not rescinded.
- In 1991, Tiong wrote a letter to So Ping Bun asking
him to vacate the four stalls as the same were going to
be used by them. Instead of vacating the stalls, So was
able to secure lease agreements from DC Chuan.

HELD- Yes. A duty which the law on torts is concerned with is


respect for the property of others, and a cause of action
ex delicto may be predicated upon an unlawful
interference by one party of the enjoyment of the other
of his private property. In the case at bar, petitioner,
Trendsetter asked DC Chuan to execute lease contracts
in its favor, and as a result petitioner deprived
respondent of the latters property right.
Reasoning- Damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from
injury, and damges are the recompense or compensation
awarded for the damage suffered. One becomes liable in
an action for damages for a nontrespassory invasion of
anothers interest in the private use and enjoyment of
asset if
a) the other has property rights and privileges
with respect to the use or enjoyment interfered with;
b) the invasion is substantial;
c) the defendants conduct is a legal cause of
the invasion;
d) the invasion is either intentional and
unreasonable or unintentional and actionable under the
general negligence
rules.
- On the other hand, the elemts of tort interference are
a) existence of a valid contract
b) knowledge on the part of the third party of
its existence

torts & damages


c) interference of the third party is without
legal justification or
excuse
- Since there were existing lease contracts between Tek
Hua and DC Chuan, Tek Hua in fact had property rights
over the leased stalls. The action of Trendsetter in
asking DC Chuan to execute the contracts in their favor
was unlawful interference.
- The SC handled the question of whether the
interference may be justified considering that So acted
solely for the purpose of furthering his own financial or
economic interest. It stated that it is sufficient that the
impetus of his conduct lies in a proper business interest
rather than in wrongful motives to conclude that So was
not a malicious interferer. Nothing on the record
imputes deliberate wrongful motives or malice on the
part of So. Hence the lack of malice precludes the
award of damages.
- The provision in the Civil Code with regard tortuous
interference is Article 1314 which states that any third
party who induces another to violate his contract shall
be liable for damages to the other contracting party.
The Court ratiocinated that the recovery of legal fees is
in the concept of actual or compensatory damages as
provided in Article 2208 of the Civil Code. In this
casse, due to defendants action of interference, plaintiff
was forced to seek relief through the Court snd thereby
incur expenses to protect his interests. The Court,
however, found the award exorbitant. It was reduced to
Pesos 100,000.00
Disposition
Petition denied. CA decision affirmed subject to the
modified award of attorneys fees.
GUILATCO v CITY OF DAGUPAN
171 SCRA 382
SARMIENTO; Mar 21, 1989
Nature:
Petition for Certiorari to review the decision of CA

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Facts:
0 on July 25, 1978, Florentina Guilatco, a court
interpreter, accidentally fell into a manhole while she
was about to board a motorized tricycle at a sidewalk
at Perez Blvd. Her right leg was fractured, due to
which she was hospitalized, operated on, and
confined.
1 She averred that she suffered mental and physical
pain, and that she has difficulty in locomotion. She
has not yet reported for duty as court interpreter (at
the time of filing of complaint) and thus lost income.
She also lost weight, and she is no longer her former
jovial self. Moreover, she has been unable to perform
her religious, social, and other activities which she
used to do prior to the incident.
2 Police confirmed existence of the manhole, which
was partially covered by a concrete flower pot by
leaving a gaping hole about 2 ft long by 1 feet wide
or 42 cm wide by 75 cm long by 150 cm deep.
3 City Engineer of Dagupan Alfredo Tangco admitted
that the manhole is owned by the National
Government and the sidewalk on which they are
found along Perez Blvd. are also owned by the
National Government. He said that he supervises the
maintenance of said manholes and sees to it that they
are properly covered, and the job is specifically done
by his subordinates.
4 Trial court ordered the city to pay Guilatco actual,
moral and exemplary damages, plus attorneys fees.
CA reversed the lower courts ruling on the ground
that no evidence was presented to prove that City of
Dagupan had control or supervision over Perez Blvd.
5 City contends that Perez Blvd is a national road that
is not under the control or supervision of the City of
Dagupan. Hence, no liability should attach to the city.
Issue
WON control or supervision over a national road by the
City of Dagupan exists, in effect binding the city to
answer for damages in accordance with article 2189
CC.
Held

prof. casis
YES
6 The liability of private corporations for damages
arising from injuries suffered by pedestrians from the
defective condition of roads is expressed in the Civil
Code as follows:
Article
2189.
Provinces,
cities
and
municipalities shall be liable for damages for
the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person
by reason of the defective condition of roads,
streets, bridges, public buildings, and other
public works under their control or
supervision.
7 It is not even necessary for the defective road or
street to belong to the province, city or municipality
for liability to attach. The article only requires that
either control or supervision is exercised over the
defective road or street.
8 In this case, control or supervision is provided for in
the charter of Dagupan and is exercised through the
City Engineer.
9 The charter only lays down general rules regulating
that liability of the city. On the other hand, article
2189 applies in particular to the liability arising from
defective streets, public buildings and other public
works.
On Damages awarded
10
Actual damages of P10000 reduced to proven
expenses of P8053.65. The trial court should not have
rounded off the amount. The court can not rely on
speculation, conjecture or guess work as to the
amount.
11
Moral damages of P150000 is excessive and is
reduced to P20000. Guilatcos handicap was not
permanent and disabled her only during her treatment
which lasted for one year.
12
Exemplary damages of P50000 reduced to
P10000.
13
Award of P7420 as lost income for one year,
plus P450 bonus remain the same
14
P3000 as attorneys fees remain the same
Disposition Petition granted. CA decision reversed and
set aside, decision of trial court reinstated with
modification.

torts & damages


PERSONS LIABLE
WORCESTER v OCAMPO
22 PHIL 42
Johnson; Feb. 27, 1912
NATURE
Appeal from judgment of CFI
FACTS
- Plaintiff Dean Worcester, member of the Civil
Commission of the Philippines and Secretary of the
Interior of the Insular Government commenced an
action against defendants Ocampo, Kalaw, Santos,
Reyes, Aguilar, Liquete, Palma, Arellano, Jose,
Lichauco, Barretto and Cansipit (owners, directors,
writers, editors and administrators of a certain
newspaper known as El Renacimiento or Muling
Pagsilang) for the purpose of recovering damages
resulting from an alleged libelous publication.
- The editorial Birds of Prey was alleged to have
incited the Filipino people into believing that plaintiff
was a vile despot and a corrupt person, unworthy of the
position which he held. The said editorial alluded to
him as an eagle that surprises and devours, a vulture
that gorges himself on dead and rotten meat, an owl that
affects a petulant omniscience, and a vampire that sucks
the blood of the victim until he leaves it bloodless.
- After hearing the evidence adduced during trial, the
judge of the CFI rendered judgment in favor of
petitioner, holding all the defendants (except for Reyes,
Aguilar and Liquete who were found to be editors but in
a subordinate position and found to have merely acted
under the direction of their superiors) liable jointly and
severally for sustained damages on account of
petitioners wounded feelings, mental suffering and
injuries to his standing and reputation in the sum of
P35,000 as well as P25,000 as punitive damages.
- This judgment prompted defendants to appeal to the
SC, claiming that the CFI committed several errors in
rendering said judgment among which was that the
lower court committed an error in rendering a judgment
jointly and severally against the defendants.

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ISSUE
WON the defendants, regardless of their participation in
the commission of the actual tort, may be held jointly
and severally liable as joint tortfeasors
HELD
YES.
Ratio Joint tortfeasors 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.
Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the
tort which they commit. They are each liable as
principals, to the same extent and in the same manner as
if they had performed the wrongful act themselves.
***If several persons jointly commit a tort, the plaintiff
or person injured, has his election to sue all or some of
the parties jointly, or one of them separately, because
tort is in its nature a separate act of each individual.
Reasoning Defendants fail to recognize that the basis of
the present action is a tort. They fail to recognize the
universal doctrine that each joint tortfeasor is not only
individually liable for the tort in which he participates,
but is also jointly liable with his tortfeasors. The
defendants might have been sued separately for the
commission of the tort. They might have sued jointly
and severally, as they were. It is not necessary that the
cooperation should be a direct, corporeal act. **note:
Ponente used examples of torts as held under common
law** (In a case of assault and battery committed by
various persons, under the common law, all are
principals). So also is the person who counsels, aids, or
assists in any way the commission of a wrong. Under
the common law, he who aided, assisted or counseled,
in any way the commission of a crime, was as much a
principal as he who inflicted or committed the actual
tort.
- Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the
tort which they commit. The person injured may sue all
of them, or any number less than all. Each is liable for
the whole damage caused by all, and altogether jointly
liable for the whole damage. It is no defense for one

prof. casis
sued alone, that the others who participated in the
wrongful act are not joined with him as defendants; nor
is it any excuse for him that his participation in the tort
was insignificant as compared with that of the others.
- The courts during the trial may find that some of the
alleged joint tortfeasors are liable and that others are not
liable. The courts may release some for lack of evidence
while condemning others of the alleged tort. And this is
true even though they are charged jointly and severally.
However, in this case, the lower court, committed no
error in rendering a joint and several judgment against
the defendants. As recognized by Section 6 of Act 277
of the Philippine Commission: Every author, editor, or
proprietor * * * is chargeable with the publication of
any words in any part * * * or number of each
newspaper, as fully as if he were the author of the same.
Disposition Judgment of the lower court modified.
Ocampo, Kalaw, Palma, Arellano, Jose, Lichauco,
Barretto, and Cansipit held jointly and severally liable
for the sum of P25, 000 with interest at 6%. Santos
absolved from any liability.
ARELLANO, C.J. and MAPA, J. [concurring]
- We concur, except with reference to the liability
imposed upon Lichauco. The real owner and founder,
Ocampo, explicitly stated that the other so-called
founders subscribed and paid sums of money to aid the
paper but as to Lichauco, he offered to contribute, but
did not carry out his offer and in fact paid nothing. It is
incomprehensible how one could claim the right or title
to share the earnings or profits of a company when he
had put no capital into it, neither is it comprehensible
how one could share in the losses thereof, and still less
incur liability for damages on account of some act of
the said company, an unrestricted liability to the extent
of all his property, as though he were a regular general
partner when he was not such.
TORRES [dissenting in part]
- I concur in regard to the defendants Ocampo and
Kalaw, but dissent as regards Palma, Arellano, Jose,
Lichauco, Barretto, and Cansipit for they had neither
direct nor indirect participation in the act that gave rise
to the present suit for damages, nor were they owners or

torts & damages


proprietors of the newspaper, its press or other
equipment. They were donors who merely contributed a
sum of money, as a genuine gift, for the purpose of
founding, editing, and issuing the said newspaper, it is
improper to deduce that the contributors formed a
company of either a civil or commercial nature.
- After Ocampo had accepted the various amounts
proffered, the donors ceased to be the owners of and
surrendered all right to the money donated and to the
objects that were acquired therewith. Therefore they can
not incur, jointly and severally with the director and
manager.
CHAPMAN V UNDERWOOD
27 Phil 374
MORELAND; March 28, 1914
NATURE
Appeal from the judgment of trial court finding for the
defendant
FACTS
- The plaintiff-appellant, Chapman, desired to board a
certain "San Marcelino" car coming from Sta. Ana and
bound for Manila. Being told by his friend that the car
was approaching, he immediately, and somewhat
hurriedly, passed into the street for the purpose of
signaling and boarding the car. The car was a closed
one, the entrance being from the front or the rear
platform. Plaintiff attempted to board the front platform
but, seeing that he could not reach it without extra
exertion, stopped beside the car, facing toward the rear
platform, and waited for it to come abreast of him in
order to board. While in this position he was struck
from behind and run over by the defendant's
(Underwood) automobile.
- The defendant entered Calle Herran at Calle
Peafrancia in his automobile driven by his chauffeur, a
competent driver. A street car bound from Manila to
Sta. Ana being immediately in front of him, he followed
along behind it. Just before reaching the scene of the
accident the street car which was following took the
switch (there was a single-track street-car line running
along Calle Herran, with occasional switches to allow

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cars to meet and pass each other)- that is, went off the
main line to the left upon the switch lying alongside of
the main track. Thereupon the defendant either kept
straight ahead on the main street-car track or a bit to the
right. The car which the plaintiff intended to board was
on the main line and bound in an opposite direction to
that in which the defendant was going. When the front
of the "San Marcelino" car was almost in front of the
defendant's automobile, defendant's driver suddenly
went to the right and struck and ran over the plaintiff.
- The judgment of the trial court was for defendant.
ISSUE
WON Underwood is responsible for the negligence of
his driver.
HELD
NO.
Ratio An owner who sits in his automobile or other
vehicle, and permits his driver to continue in a violation
of the law by the performance of negligent acts, after he
has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to
direct that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself
responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the
driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the
owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the
act or its continuance, injures a person or violates the
criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although
present herein at5 the time the act was committed, is not
responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefore. The
act complained of must be continued in the presence or
the owner for such a length of time that the owner by
his acquiescence, makes his drivers act his own.
Reasoning Defendant's driver was guilty of negligence
in running upon and over the plaintiff. He was passing
an oncoming car upon the wrong side.
- The plaintiff needed only to watch for cars coming
from his right, as they were the only ones under the law
permitted to pass upon that side of the street car.
- in the case of Johnson vs. David, the driver does not
fall within the list of persons in Art.1903 of the Civil
Code for whose acts the defendant would be
responsible.

Although in the David case the owner of the vehicle


was not present at the time the alleged negligent acts
were committed by the driver, the same rule applies
where the owner is present, unless the negligent act of
the driver are continued for such a length of time as to
give the owner a reasonable opportunity to observe
them and to direct his driver to desist therefrom.
- it appears with fair clearness that the interval between
the turning out to meet and pass the street car and the
happening of the accident was so small as not to be
sufficient to charge defendant with the negligence of the
driver.
DISPOSITION
The judgment appealed from is affirmed.
CAEDO V YU KHE THAI
GR NO. L-20392
MAKALINTAL; December 18, 1968
NATURE
Petition for review of the decision of the CFI of Iloilo
FACTS
- Bernardo is the driver of Yu Khe Thai. He was driving
the latters Cadillac along highway 54. On the other
side of the road, Caedo was driving his Mercury car. He
was with his family.
- A carretela was in front of the Cadillac. Bernardo did
not see the carretela from afar. When he approached the
carritela, he decided to overtake it even though he had
already seen the car of the Caedos approaching from
the opposite lane. As he did so the curved end of his
car's right rear bumper caught the forward rim of the
rig's left wheel, wrenching it off and carrying it along as
the car skidded obliquely to the other lane, where it
collided with the oncoming vehicle.
- The Caedos were injured. They filed a suit for
recovery of damages against Bernardo and Yu Khe
Thai. The CFI ruled in favor of the Caedos and held
Bernardo and Yu solidarily liable.
ISSUES

torts & damages


WON Yu Khe Thai should be held solidarily liable as
Bernardos employer
HELD
No.
- Bernardo had no record of any traffic violation. No
negligence of having employed him maybe imputed to
his master.
- Negligence on the employers part, if any, must be
sought in the immediate setting,, that is, in his failure to
detain the driver from pursuing a course which not only
gave him clear notice of the danger but also sufficient
time to act upon it.
- No negligence can be imputed. The car was running at
a reasonable speed. The road was wide and open. There
was no reason for Yu to be specially alert. He had
reason to rely on the skill of his driver. The time
element was such that there was no reasonable
opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the risks involved
and warn the driver accordingly.
- The law does not require that a person must possess a
certain measure of skill or proficiency either in the
mechanics of driving or in the observance of traffic
rules before he may own a motor vehicle. The test of his
intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his
omission to do that which the evidence of his own
senses tells him he should do in order to avoid the
accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a
minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that
appears to be fraught with danger to one passenger may
appear to be entirely safe and commonplace to another
DISPOSITIVE
Decision modified. Yu Khe Thai is free from liability
CAEDO v. YU KHE THAI
GR No. L-20392
MAKALINTAL; December 18, 1968
FACTS
- Marcial was driving his Mercury car on his way from
his home in Quezon City to the airport, where his son
Ephraim was scheduled to take a plane for Mindoro.
With them in the car were Mrs. Caedo and three

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daughters. Coming from the opposite direction was the


Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with his driver Rafael
Bernardo at the wheel, taking the owner from his
Paraaque home to Wack Wack.
- The two cars were traveling at fairly moderate speeds,
considering the condition of the road and the absence of
traffic the Mercury at 40 to 50 kilometers per hour,
and the Cadillac at approximately 48 to 56 kilometers.
Their headlights were mutually noticeable from a
distance. Ahead of the Cadillac, going in the same
direction, was a caretella owned by a certain Pedro
Bautista. The carretela was towing another horse by
means of a short rope coiled around the rig's vertical
post on the right side and held at the other end by
Pedro's son, Julian Bautista.
- Rafael Bernardo testified that he was almost upon the
rig when he saw it in front of him, only eight meters
away. This is the first clear indication of his negligence.
The carretela was provided with two lights, one on
each side, and they should have given him sufficient
warning to take the necessary precautions. And even if
he did not notice the lights, as he claimed later on at the
trial, the carretela should anyway have been visible to
him from afar if he had been careful, as it must have
been in the beam of his headlights for a considerable
while.
- In the meantime the Mercury was coming on its own
lane from the opposite direction. Bernardo, instead of
slowing down or stopping altogether behind the
carretela until that lane was clear, veered to the left in
order to pass. As he did so the curved end of his car's
right rear bumper caught the forward rim of the rig's left
wheel, wrenching it off and carrying it along as the car
skidded obliquely to the other lane, where it collided
with the oncoming vehicle. On his part Caedo had seen
the Cadillac on its own lane; he slackened his speed,
judged the distances in relation to the carretela and
concluded that the Cadillac would wait behind.
Bernardo, however, decided to take a gamble beat
the Mercury to the point where it would be in line with
the carretela, or else squeeze in between them in any
case. It was a risky maneuver either way, and the risk
should have been quite obvious.

prof. casis
- It was already too late to apply the brakes when
Bernardo saw the carretela only eight meters in front of
him, and so he had to swerve to the left in spite of the
presence of the oncoming car on the opposite lane. As it
was, the clearance Bernardo gave for his car's right side
was insufficient. Its rear bumper, as already stated,
caught the wheel of the carretela and wrenched it loose.
Caedo, confronted with the unexpected situation, tried
to avoid the collision at the last moment by going
farther to the right, but was unsuccessful. The
photographs taken at the scene show that the right
wheels of his car were on the unpaved shoulder of the
road at the moment of impact.
ISSUE
1. WON defendant Rafael Bernardo is liable for the
accident.
2. If YES, WON his employer, defendant Yu Khe Thai,
is solidarily liable with him.
HELD
1. YES. There is no doubt at all that the collision was
directly traceable to Rafael Bernardo's negligence and
that he must be held liable for the damages suffered by
the plaintiffs.
2. NO. If the causative factor was the driver's
negligence, the owner of the vehicle who was present is
likewise held liable if he could have prevented the
mishap by the exercise of due diligence.
- The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not
respondent superior but rather the relationship of
paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately the
negligence of the servant, if known to the master and
susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own
negligence if he fails to correct it in order to prevent
injury or damage.
- The test of imputed negligence under Article 2184 of
the Civil Code is, to a great degree, necessarily
subjective. Car owners are not held to a uniform and
inflexible standard of diligence as are professional
drivers.
- The law does not require that a person must possess a
certain measure of skill or proficiency either in the

torts & damages


mechanics of driving or in the observance of traffic
rules before he may own a motor vehicle. The test of his
intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his
omission to do that which the evidence of his own
senses tells him he should do in order to avoid the
accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a
minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that
appears to be fraught with danger to one passenger may
appear to be entirely safe and commonplace to another.
Were the law to require a uniform standard of
perceptiveness, employment of professional drivers by
car owners who, by -their very inadequacies, have real
need of drivers' services, would be effectively
proscribed.
- Rafael Bernardo had no record of violation of traffic
laws and regulations. No negligence for having
employed him at all may be imputed to his master.
Negligence on the part of the latter, if any, must be
sought in the immediate setting and circumstances of
the accident, that is, in his failure to detain the driver
from pursuing a course which not only gave him clear
notice of the danger but also sufficient time to act upon
it. We do not see that such negligence may be imputed.
The car was not running at an unreasonable speed. The
road was wide and open, and devoid of traffic that early
morning. There was no reason for the car owner to be in
any special state of alert. He had reason to rely on the
skill and experience of his driver. The time element was
such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu
Khe Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the
driver accordingly.
DISPOSITION Judgment appealed from is modified
in the sense of declaring defendant-appellant Yu Khe
Thai free from liability, and is otherwise affirmed with
respect to defendant Rafael Bernardo, with costs against
the latter.
SABINA EXCONDE vs. DELFIN CAPUNO and
DANTE CAPUNO
G.R. No. L-10068-70 June 29, 1957
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:
FACTS

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Dante Capuno, son of Delfin Capuno, was accused of


double homicide through reckless imprudence for the
death of Isidoro Caperia and Amado Ticzon on March
31, 1949 in the Court of First Instance of Laguna.
During the trial, Sabina Exconde, as mother of the
deceased Isidoro Caperia, reserved her right to bring a
separate civil action for damages against the accused.
After trial, Dante Capuno was found guilty of the crime
charged and, on appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision. Dante Capuno was only fifteen (15) years
old when he committed the crime.
In line with her reservation, Sabina Exconde filed the
present action against Delfin Capuno and his son Dante
Capuno asking for damages in the aggregate amount of
P2,959.00 for the death of her son Isidoro Caperia.
Defendants set up the defense that if any one should be
held liable for the death of Isidoro Caperia, he is Dante
Capuno and not his father Delfin because at the time of
the accident, the former was not under the control,
supervision and custody of the latter. This defense was
sustained by the lower court and, as a consequence, it
only convicted Dante Capuno to pay the damages
claimed in the complaint. From this decision, plaintiff
appealed to the Court of Appeals but the case was
certified to the Supreme Court on the ground that the
appeal only involves questions of law.
It appears that Dante Capuno was a member of the Boy
Scouts Organization and a student of the Balintawak
Elementary School situated in a barrio in the City of
San Pablo and on March 31, 1949 he attended a parade
in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal in said city upon instruction
of the city school's supervisor. From the school Dante,
with other students, boarded a jeep and when the same
started to run, he took hold of the wheel and drove it
while the driver sat on his left side. They have not gone
far when the jeep turned turtle and two of its
passengers, Amado Ticzon and Isidoro Caperia, died
as a consequence. It further appears that Delfin Capuno,
father of Dante, was not with his son at the time of the
accident, nor did he know that his son was going to
attend a parade. He only came to know it when his son

told him after the accident that he attended the parade


upon instruction of his teacher.
Plaintiff contends that defendant Delfin Capuno is liable
for the damages in question jointly and severally with
his son Dante because at the time the latter committed
the negligent act which resulted in the death of the
victim, he was a minor and was then living with his
father, and inasmuch as these facts are not disputed, the
civil liability of the father is evident. And so, plaintiff
contends, the lower court erred in relieving the father
from liability.
ISSUE
Whether defendant Delfin Capuno can be held civilly
liable, jointly and severally with his son Dante, for
damages resulting from the death of Isidoro Caperia
caused by the negligent act of minor Dante Capuno.
RULING
YES.12
RATIO
Parents shall be liable for the tortious conduct of their
minor children living with them although at the time of
the tort, the children were under the direct control or
supervision of an academic institution. (THIS IS A
LANDMARK DOCTRINE, WHICH WAS LATER
MODIFIED BY J CRUZ IN AMADORA VS. COURT
OF APPEALS)
REASONING
The provision Teachers or directors of arts and
trades are liable for any damages caused by their
pupils or apprentices while they are under their
12

The case involves an interpretation of Article 1903 of the Spanish Civil Code, paragraph 1 and 5,
(schools liability versus parental liability) which provides:
"ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next preceding articles is enforceable not only for personal
acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is responsible.
The father, and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are liable for any damages caused by the
minor children who live with them.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Finally, teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or
apprentices while they are under their custody."

torts & damages


custody", only applies to an institution of arts and
trades and not to any academic educational institution.
Dante Capuno was then a student of the Balintawak
Elementary School and as part of his extra-curricular
activity, he attended the parade in honor of Dr. Jose
Rizal upon instruction of the city school's supervisor.
And it was in connection with that parade that Dante
boarded a jeep with some companions and while
driving it, the accident occurred. In the circumstances, it
is clear that neither the head of that school, nor the city
school's supervisor, could be held liable for the
negligent act of Dante because he was not then a
student of an institution of arts and trades as provided
for by law.
The civil liability which the law impose upon the father,
and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, for
any damages that may be caused by the minor children
who live with them, is obvious. This is a necessary
consequence of the parental authority they exercise over
them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of
supporting them, keeping them in their company,
educating them and instructing them in proportion to
their means", while, on the other hand, gives them the
"right to correct and punish them in moderation"
(Articles 154 and 155, Spanish Civil Code). The only
way by which they can relieve themselves of this
liability is if they prove that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
damage (Article 1903, last paragraph, Spanish Civil
Code). This defendants failed to prove.
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is modified in
the sense that defendants Delfin Capuno and Dante
Capuno shall pay to plaintiff, jointly and severally, the
sum of P2,959.00 as damages, and the costs of action.

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substantial difference is there between them in so far as


concerns the proper supervision and vigilance over their
pupils? It cannot be seriously contended that an
academic teacher is exempt from the duty of watching
that his pupils do not commit a tort to the detriment of
third persons, so long as they are in a position to
exercise authority and supervision over the pupil. In my
opinion, in the phrase "teachers or heads of
establishments of arts and trades" used in Art. 1903 of
the old Civil Code, the words "arts and trades" does not
qualify "teachers" but only "heads of establishments".
The phrase is only an updated version of the equivalent
terms "preceptores y artesanos" used in the Italian and
French Civil Codes.
If, as conceded by all commentators, the basis of the
presumption of negligence of Art. 1903 in some culpa
in vigilando that the parents, teachers, etc. are supposed
to have incurred in the exercise of their authority, it
would seem clear that where the parent places the child
under the effective authority of the teacher, the latter,
and not the parent, should be the one answerable for the
torts committed while under his custody, for the very
reason that the parent is not supposed to interfere with
the discipline of the school nor with the authority and
supervision of the teacher while the child is under
instruction. And if there is no authority, there can be no
responsibility.
I submit that the father should not be held liable for a
tort that he was in no way able to prevent, and which he
had every right to assume the school authorities would
avoid. Having proved that he entrusted his child to the
custody of school authorities that were competent to
exercise vigilance over him, the father has rebutted the
presumption of Art. 1903 and the burden of proof
shifted to the claimant to show actual negligence on the
part of the parent in order to render him liable.

REYES, J.B.L., J., dissenting:


Padilla and Reyes, A., JJ., concur.
I believe we should affirm the judgment relieving the
father of liability. I can see no sound reason for
limiting Art. 1903 of the old Civil Code to teachers of
arts and trades and not to academic ones. What

SALEN V. BALCE
FUELLAS V. CADANO

prof. casis
Nature: Appeal from the Decision of the Trial Court
making defendant therein, now appellant Agapito
Fuellas, the father of the minor who caused the injuries
to Pepito Cadano, also a minor, liable under Art. 2180
of the new Civil Code for damages.
Facts: Pepito Cadano and Rico Fuellas, son of
defendant-appellant Agapito Fuellas, were both 13
years old, on September 16, 1954. They were
classmates at St. Mary's High School, Dansalan City.
They had a quarrel that lead to Pepitos injury, his right
arm was broken after Rico pushed him on the ground.
It is contended that in the decision of the Court
of Appeals, the petitioner-appellant was ordered to pay
damages for the deliberate injury caused by his son; that
the said court held the petitioner liable pursuant to par.
2 of Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, in connection with Art.
2176 of the same Code; that according to the last
article, the act of the minor must be one wherein "fault
or negligence" is present; and that there being no fault
or negligence on the part of petitioner-appellant's minor
son, but deliberate intent, the above mentioned articles
are not applicable, for the existence of deliberate intent
in the commission of an act negatives the presence of
fault or negligence in its commission. Appellant,
therefore, submits that the appellate Court erred in
holding him liable for damages for the deliberate
criminal act of his minor son.
Issue: WON the father is liable civilly for the criminal
act of his son?
Held: Yes. In an earlier case (Exconde vs. Capuno, et
al., G.R. No. L-10132, prom. June 29, 1957), holding
the defendants jointly and severally liable with his
minor son Dante for damages, arising from the criminal
act committed by the latter, this tribunal gave the
following reasons for the rule:
The civil liability which the law imposes
upon the father and, in case of his death or
incapacity, the mother, for any damages that
may be caused by the minor children who
live with them, is obvious. This is a
necessary consequence of the parental
authority they exercise over them which

torts & damages

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imposes upon the parents the "duty of


supporting them, keeping them in their
company, educating them in proportion to
their means", while on the other hand, gives
them the "right to correct and punish them
in moderation" (Arts. 134 and 135, Spanish
Civil Code). The only way by which they
can relieve themselves of this liability is if
they prove that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family to
prevent the damage (Art. 1903, last
paragraph, Spanish Civil Code). This,
defendants failed to prove.
In another case, Salen and Salbanera vs. Jose Balce, the
defendant Balce was the father of a minor Gumersindo
Balce, below 18 years of age who was living with him.
Gumersindo was found guilty of homicide for having
killed Carlos Salen, minor son of plaintiffs. The trial
court rendered judgment dismissing the case, stating
that the civil liability of the minor son of defendant
arising from his criminal liability must be determined
under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code and not
under Art. 2180 of the new Civil Code. In reversing the
decision, this tribunal held:
It is true that under Art. 101 of the Revised
Penal Code, a father is made civilly liable for
the acts committed by his son only if the latter
is an imbecile, an insane, under 9 years of age,
or over 9 but under 15 years of age, who acts
without discernment, unless it appears that
there is no fault or negligence on his part. This
is because a son who commits the act under
any of those conditions is by law exempt from
criminal liability (Article 12, subdivisions 1, 2
and 3, Revised Penal Code). The idea is not to
leave the act entirely unpunished but to attach
certain civil liability to the person who has the
delinquent minor under his legal authority or
control. But a minor over 15 who acts with
discernment is not exempt from criminal
liability, for which reason the Code is silent as
to the subsidiary liability of his parents should
he stand convicted. In that case, resort should

be had to the general law which is our Civil


Code.
The particular law that governs this case is
Article 2180, the pertinent portion of which
provides: "The father and, in case of his
death or incapacity, the mother, are
responsible for damages caused by the
minor children who live in their company."
To hold that this provision does not apply to
the instant case because it only covers
obligations which arise from quasi-delicts
and not obligations which arise from
criminal offenses, would result in the
absurdity that while for an act where mere
negligence intervenes the father or mother
may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage
caused by his or her son, no liability would
attach if the damage is caused with criminal
intent. Verily, the void apparently exists in
the Revised Penal Code is subserved by this
particular provision of our Civil Code, as
may be gleaned from some recent decisions
of this Court which cover equal or identical
cases.

prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

Moreover, the case at bar was decided by the Court of


Appeals on the basis of the evidence submitted therein
by both parties, independently of the criminal case. And
responsibility for fault or negligence under Article 2176
upon which the action in the present case was instituted,
is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability
arising from fault of negligence under the Penal Code
(Art. 2177), and having in mind the reasons behind the
law as heretofore stated, any discussion as to the
minor's criminal responsibility is of no moment.
IN VIEW HEREOF, the petition is dismissed, the
decision appealed from is affirmed
GUTIERREZ VS GUTIERREZ
MALCOLM; September 23, 1931
Nature:
an action brought by the plaintiff in the Court of First
Instance of Manila against the five defendants, to

recover damages in the amount of P10,000, for physical


injuries suffered as a result of an automobile accident.
Facts:
A passenger truck and an automobile of private
ownership collided while attempting to pass each other
on the Talon bridge on the Manila South Road in the
municipality of Las Pias, Province of Rizal. The truck
was driven by the chauffeur Abelardo Velasco, and was
owned by Saturnino Cortez. The automobile was being
operated by Bonifacio Gutierrez, a lad 18 years of age,
and was owned by Bonifacio's father and mother, Mr.
and Mrs. Manuel Gutierrez. At the time of the collision,
the father was not in the car, but the mother, together
will several other members of the Gutierrez family,
seven in all, were accommodated therein. Narcisso
Gutierrez was a passenger of the bus. He had a fracture
on his right leg.
It was conceded that the collision was caused
by negligence pure and simple. But, Narcisso Gutierrez
blames both the bus and the car while the truck blames
the car and the car in turn blames the truck.
the youth Bonifacio was in incompetent
chauffeur, that he was driving at an excessive rate of
speed, and that, on approaching the bridge and the
truck, he lost his head and so contributed by his
negligence to the accident. The guaranty given by the
father at the time the son was granted a license to
operate motor vehicles made the father responsible for
the acts of his son. Based on these facts, pursuant to the
provisions of article 1903 of the Civil Code, the father
alone and not the minor or the mother, would be liable
for the damages caused by the minor.
Issue:
0
1

WON the father of Bonifacio (car) is liable.


WON the owner of the truck is liable.

Held:
0
Yes. In the United States, it is uniformly held
that the head of a house, the owner of an automobile,
who maintains it for the general use of his family is
liable for its negligent operation by one of his children,
whom he designates or permits to run it, where the car

torts & damages


is occupied and being used at the time of the injury for
the pleasure of other members of the owner's family
than the child driving it. The theory of the law is that
the running of the machine by a child to carry other
members of the family is within the scope of the
owner's business, so that he is liable for the negligence
of the child because of the relationship of master and
servant.
1
Yes. The liability of Saturnino Cortez, the
owner of the truck, and of his chauffeur Abelardo
Velasco rests on a different basis, namely, that of
contract. The reason for this conclusion reaches to the
findings of the trial court concerning the position of the
truck on the bridge, the speed in operating the machine,
and the lack of care employed by the chauffeur. In its
broader aspects, the case is one of two drivers
approaching a narrow bridge from opposite directions,
with neither being willing to slow up and give the right
of way to the other, with the inevitable result of a
collision and an accident
Disposition
In consonance with the foregoing rulings, the judgment
appealed from will be modified, and the plaintiff will
have judgment in his favor against the defendants
Manuel Gutierrez, Abelardo Velasco, and Saturnino
Cortez, jointly and severally, for the sum of P5,000, and
the costs of both instances.
RODRIGUEZ-LUNA V IAC (DELA ROSA)
135 SCRA 242
ABAD SANTOS; February 28, 1985

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interest from date of the decision, and attorneys fees of


P50,000 (no interest mentioned). (Note: father and son
solidarily liable for damages.)
The Dela Rosas appealed in the CA, which affirmed in
toto the RTC. In a MFR filed by the Dela Rosas, the CA
modified the decision, this time reducing the unearned
income to P450,000. Both parties filed separate
petitions for review in the SC.
Petition of the Dela Rosas was denied for lack of merit.
The instant petition is the one filed by Lunas,
contending that the CA erred in reducing the award for
unearned income, and that the award for attys fees
should include legal interest.
Pending the decision, the SC came out with a resolution
ordering the Dela Rosas, in the interest of justice (since
the death took place in 1970, and 15 years after the
process of litigation is still not over), to pay the Lunas
P450,000 for unearned net earnings, P12,000
compensatory damages, P50,000 for loss of
companionship, all with legal interest, and attys fees of
P50,000, within 30 days.
The Dela Rosas failed to pay the amounts, saying that
they had no cash money. The writ of execution
produced only a nominal amount. In the meantime, Luis
is already of age, married, with 2 kids, and living in
Spain but only causally employed (His compensation
is hardly enough to support his family. He has no assets
of his own as yet).
ISSUES:
1. WON the CA erred in reducing the unearned income
2. WON the award for attys fees should have legal
interest

In coming out with the life expectancy, RTC considered


the age and health of the deceased. However, the CA
modified this by factoring in the engagement of Luna
in car racing, thus lowering the life expectancy to only
10 years.
WRT to the gross income, RTC considered the various
positions the deceased held at the time of his death, and
the trend of his earnings over the span of his last few
years, thus coming up with a potential gross income of
P75,000. However, the CA increased the annual
personal expenses to P30,000, due to the escalating
gasoline expenses, thus lowering the net annual
unearned income to P45,000.
CA erred in ruling that the engagement with car racing
reduced the life expectancy. There is nothing on record
that supports the claim that the car racing was a
dangerous and risky activity tending to shorten his life
expectancy. That Luna was engaged in go-kart racing
is the correct statement but then go-kart racing cannot
be categorized as a dangerous sport for go-karts are
extremely low slung, low powered vehicles, only
slightly larger than foot-pedaled four wheeled
conveyances. It was error on the part of the CA to have
disturbed the determination of the RTC which it had
previously affirmed.
Also, it was an error to increase the expenses without
increasing the gross income. It stands to reason that if
his annual personal expenses should increase because of
the escalating price of gas which is a key expenditure
in Roberto R. Luna's social standing [a statement
which lacks complete basis], it would not be
unreasonable to suppose that his income would also
increase considering the manifold sources thereof

NATURE: Petition to review a decision of CA


FACTS: Roberto Luna, a businessman, was killed in a
vehicular collision (between Luna, driving a gokart, and
Luis dela Rosa, 13 years old, driving a Toyota car
without a license) at a gokart practice area.
Heirs of Luna brought a suit for damages against Luis
and his father, which the CFI ruled in favor of the
Lunas, awarding P1,650,000 as unearned net earnings
of Luna, P12,000 compensatory damages, and P50,000
for loss of his companionship (come on!!), with legal

HELD:
1. YES
Ratio: The reduction of the award of net unearned
earnings had no basis, thus is void.
Reasoning: the RTC based its computation of the net
unearned earnings on 2 factors: life expectancy of the
deceased of another 30 years, and an annual net income
of P55,000 (P75,000 gross income less P20,000
personal expenses).

2. YES
Ratio: The attorney's fees were awarded in the concept
of damages in a quasi-delict case and under the
circumstances, interest as part thereof may be
adjudicated at the discretion of the court.
(The attys fees should accrue interest from the date of
filing of the compliant.)
Obiter:

torts & damages


The Dela Rosas invoke the ruling in Elcano v Hilll,
where the court held that A2180 applied to Atty. Hill
nothwithstanding the emancipation by marriage of his
son, but since the son had attained majority, as a matter
of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill became merely
subsidiarily to that of his son. The Dela Rosas now
invoke that the father should also be held only
subsidiarily.
To this contention, the court is unwilling to apply
equity instead of strict law because to do so will not
serve the ends of justice. Luis is abroad and beyond the
reach of Philippine Courts. Also, he has no property in
the Phils or elsewhere.
Disposition: resolution of CA SET ASIDE, reinstating
the earlier decision with slight modification regarding
the award of attys fees.
LIBI V INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
(SPS GOTIONG)
214 SCRA 16
REGALADO; September 18,1992
NATURE
Petition for review of the decision of the then
Intermediate Appellate Court.
FACTS
- respondent spouses are the legitimate parents of Julie
Ann Gotiong who, at the time of the deplorable incident
which took place and from which she died on January
14,1979, was an 18-year old first year commerce
student of the University of San Carlos, Cebu City;
while petitioners are the parents of Wendell Libi, then a
minor between 18 and 19 years of age living with his
aforesaid parents, and who also died in the same event
on the same date.
- More than 2 years before their deaths, Julie Ann
Gotiong and Wendell Libi were sweethearts until
December, 1978 when Julie Ann broke up with Wendell
after she found him to be sadistic and irresponsible.
- January, 1979 - Wendell kept pestering Julie Ann with
demands for reconciliation but the Julie refused,
prompting him to resort to threats against her. In order

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to avoid him, Julie Ann stayed in the house of her best


friend, Malou Alfonso
- January 14,1979 - Julie and Wendell died from a
single gunshot wound inflicted with the same firearm
licensed under Cresencio Libi, father of Wendell
- both set of parents came up with versions of the story
Gotiongs:
> Wendell caused her death by shooting her and
thereafter turning the gun on himself to commit suicide
Libis:
> an unknown third party, whom Wendell may have
displeased or antagonized by reason of his work as a
narcotics informer of the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics
Unit (CANU), must have caused Wendell's death and
then shot Julie Ann to eliminate any witness and
thereby avoid identification
- CFI Cebu: Gotiongs filed civil case against the
parents of Wendell to recover damages arising from the
latter's vicarious liability under A2180 CC. CFI
dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of the
evidence.
- IAC: CFI decision set aside and found Libis
subsidiarily liable
ISSUE
WON A2180 CC is applicable in making Libis liable
for vicarious liability
HELD
YES
Ratio The diligence of a good father of a family
required by law in a parent and child relationship
consists, to a large extent, of the instruction and
supervision of the child. Had the defendants-appellees
been diligent in supervising the activities of their son,
Wendell, and in keeping said gun from his reach, they
could have prevented Wendell from killing Julie Ann
Gotiong. Therefore, appellants are liable under A2180
CC.
Reasoning
- undue emphasis was placed by the lower court on the
absence of gunpowder or tattooing around the wound at
the point of entry of the bullet. It should be emphasized,
however, that this is not the only circumstance to be

prof. casis
taken into account in the determination of whether it
was suicide or not as the body was cleaned already in
the funeral parlor
- Amelita Libi, mother of Wendell, testified that her
husband, Cresencio Libi, owns a gun which he kept in a
safety deposit box inside a drawer in their bedroom.
Each of these petitioners holds a key to the safety
deposit box and Amelita's key is always in her bag, all
of which facts were known to Wendell. They have never
seen their son Wendell taking or using the gun. She
admitted, however, that on that fateful night the gun
was no longer in the safety deposit box. We,
accordingly, cannot but entertain serious doubts that
petitioner spouses had really been exercising the
diligence of a good father of a family by safely locking
the fatal gun away. Wendell could not have gotten hold
thereof unless one of the keys to the safety deposit box
was negligently left lying around or he had free access
to the bag of his mother where the other key was.
- A2180': The subsidiary liability of parents for
damages caused by their minor children imposed by
A2180 CC covers obligations wising from both quasidelicts and criminal offenses.'
- BUT Liability is not subsidiary BUT primary
> if the liability of the parents for crimes and QDs of
their minor children is subsidiary, they they can neither
invoke nor be absolved of civil liability on the defense
that they acted with the diligence of a good father of the
family to prevent damages. But if the liability id direct
and primary, the diligence would constitute a valid
substantial defense. HENCE, LIABILITY OF
PARENTS FOR QDS OF THEIR MINOR KIDS AS
CONTEMPLATED IN A2180 ID PRIMARY NOT
SUBSIDIARY
> applying A2194 (solidary liability of joint tortfeasors)
the parent is also solidarily liable with the child. THE
LIABILITY OF PARENTS FOR FELONIES IS
LIKEWISE PRIMARY NOT SUBSIDIARY. A101
RPC SAYS SO
> RULES:
+ for civil liability from crimes committed by minors
under the legal authority and control or who live in the
company of the parents: PRIMARY

torts & damages


= premised on A101 RPC fot damages ex delicto by
kids 9 or under or 9-15 but without discernment
= premised on A2180 CC for kids 9-15 with
discernment or 15-21 (now 18)
+ liability effected against father or mother? BOTH
PARENTS AND THOSE WHO EXERCISE
PARENTAL AUHTORITY OVER THE MINOR
= youth welfare code
= FC: responsibility of parents
+ for civil liability arising from QDs committed by
minors: same rules in A2180 and A2182
Disposition Instant petition is DENIED and the
assailed judgment of respondent Court of Appeals is
hereby AFFIRMED
TAMARGO vs CA (Rubio, Bundoc)
209 SCRA 518
Feliciano, J; 1992
NATURE
Appeal for review of CA decision
FACTS
- On October 20, 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, then aged
ten, shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle causing
injuries which resulted in her death. He was charged
with reckless imprudence resulting to homicide but was
acquitted and exempted from criminal liability ob the
ground that he had acted without discernment. The
adopting and natural parents of Jennifer filed a civil
complaint for damages against the parents of Bundoc.
- The parents of Adelberto claimed that they are not the
indispensable party in the action as their son adopted by
the spouses Rapisura on November 18, 1982 via an
adoption decree granted by the CFI of Ilocos Sur. The
trial Court agreed with the respondents and dismissed
the complaint.
- The case contained procedural questions which were
raised in the appeal. The SC however decided to hear
the appeal based on substantial justice.

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ISSUE
- WON the spouses Bundoc were indispensable party to
the tort action under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
HELD- Yes. The Court held that parental authority did not
retroactively transfer to and vested in the adopting
parents at the time the shooting incident occurred. The
adopting parents had no actual or physical custody of
Adelberto at the time of the incident as they were then
in the US were they live. To do so and hold them liable
for the tortious act when be unfair and unconscionable.
Reasoning- The act of Adelberto gave rise to a cause of action on
quasi-delict against him under Article 2176. However,
because of his minority, the provision of Article 2180
would be applicable. Article 2180 reads the obligation
imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for
ones own acts or omissions, but also for those of
persons for whom one is responsible The father and,
incase of his death or incapacity, the mother are
responsible for the damages caused by the children who
live in their company The responsibility treated of in
this Article shall cease when the person herein
mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of
a good father of a family to prevent damage.
- The principle of parental liability is designated as
vicarious liability or the doctrine of imputed liability
under the Anglo-American tort law. Thus, under this
doctrine, a person is not only liable for torts committed
by him also torts committed by others with whom he
has a certain relationship and for whom he is
responsibility. Thus parental liability is made a natural
or logical consequence of the duties and responsibilities
of the parents which include the instructing, controlling,
and disciplining of the child. The presumption under
law is that when a child under their care commits a
tortuous act the parents were negligent in the
performance of these duties and responsibilities. As
stated, sufficient proof can be presented to overcome
this presumption.

prof. casis
Disposition
Petition granted. Decision set aside.
MERCADO v. COURT OF APPEALS AND
QUISUMBING
L-14342
LABRADOR; May 30, 1960
NATURE
This is a petition to review a decision of the Court of
Appeals
FACTS
- Plaintiff-appellant Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. is the son
of his co-plaintiff-appellants Ana Pineda and Manuel L.
Quisumbing, while Augusto Mercado is the son of
defendant-appellee Ciriaco L. Mercado, Manuel
Quisumbing, Jr. and Augusto Mercado were classmates
in the Lourdes Catholic School on Kanlaon, Quezon
City.
- A "pitogo", which figures prominently in this case,
may be described as an empty nutshell used by children
as a piggy bank. On February 22, 1956, Augusto
Mercado and Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. quarrelled over a
"pitogo". As a result, Augusto wounded Manuel, Jr. on
the right cheek with a piece of razor.
ISSUES
1. WON the teacher or head of the school should be
held responsible instead of the of the father since the
incident of the inflicting of the wound on respondent
occurred in a Catholic School (during recess time)
2. WON the moral damages fixed at P2,000 are
excessive.
HELD
1. NO. The last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil
Code, upon which petitioner rests his claim that the
school where his son was studying should be made
liable, is as follows:
ART. 2180. . . .
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of
arts and trades shall be liable for damages
caused by their pupils and students or

torts & damages


apprentices, so long as they remain in their
custody.
- It would be seem that the clause "so long as they
remain in their custody," contemplates a situation where
the pupil lives and boards with the teacher, such that the
control, direction and influence on the pupil supersedes
those of the parents. In these circumstances the control
or influence over the conduct and actions of the pupil
would pass from the father and mother to the teacher;
and so would the responsibility for the torts of the pupil.
- Such a situation does not appear in the case at bar; the
pupils appear to go to school during school hours and
go back to their homes with their parents after school is
over. The situation contemplated in the last paragraph of
Article 2180 does not apply, nor does paragraph 2 of
said article, which makes father or mother responsible
for the damages caused by their minor children.
2. YES. It is possible that the Court of Appeals may
have considered Augusto Mercado responsible for or
guilty, of a quasi-delict causing physical injuries, within
the meaning of paragraph 2 of Article 2219. Even if we
assume that said court considered Mercado guilty of a
quasi-delict when it imposed the moral damages, yet the
facts found by said court indicate that Augusto's
resentment, which motivated the assault, was
occasioned by the fact that Manuel, Jr. had tried to
intervene in or interfere with the attempt of Mercado to
get "his pitogo from Renato." It is, therefore, apparent
that the proximate cause of the injury caused to
Quisumbing was Quisumbing's own fault or negligence
for having interfered with Mercado while trying to get
the pitogo from another boy. (Art. 2179, Civil Code.)
After considering all the facts as found by the Court of
Appeals, we find that none of the cases mentioned in
Article 2219 of the Civil Code, which authorizes the
grant of moral damages, was shown to have existed.
Consequently, the grant of moral damages is not
justified.
PALISOC VS. BRILLANTES
41 SCRA 548
TEEHANKEE; October 4, 1971

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NATURE
An appeal in forma pauperis on pure questions of law
from a decision of the CFI Manila.
FACTS
- Palisoc spouses as parents of their 16-year old son,
Dominador Palisoc, and a student in automotive
mechanics at the Manila Technical Institute filed the
action below for damages arising from the death of their
son at the hands of a fellow student, defendant Virgilio
L. Daffon, at the laboratory room of the said Institute.
- the deceased Dominador Palisoc and the defendant
Virgilio L. Daffon were classmates, and one afternoon,
they, together with another classmate Desiderio Cruz
were in the laboratory room located on the ground floor.
At that time the classes were in recess. Desiderio Cruz
and Virgilio L. Daffon were working on a machine
while Dominador Palisoc was merely looking on at
them. Daffon made a remark to the effect that Palisoc
was acting like a foreman. Because of this remark
Palisoc slapped slightly Daffon on the face. Daffon, in
retaliation, gave Palisoc a strong flat blow on the face,
which was followed by other fist blows on the stomach.
Palisoc retreated apparently to avoid the fist blows, but
Daffon followed him and both exchanged blows until
Palisoc stumbled on an engine block which caused him
to fall face downward. Palisoc became pale and fainted.
First aid was administered to him but he was not
revived, so he was immediately taken to a hospital. He
never regained consciousness; finally he died.
- Defendants were: Antonio C. Brillantes, at the time
when the incident occurred was a member of the Board
of Directors of the institute; Teodosio Valenton, the
president thereof; Santiago M. Quibulue, instructor of
the class to which the deceased belonged; and Virgilio
L. Daffon, a fellow student of the deceased.
- At the beginning the Manila Technical Institute was a
single proprietorship, but lately, it was duly
incorporated.
- the trial court found defendant Daffon liable for the
quasi delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code.
- The trial court, however, absolved from liability the
three other defendants-officials of the Manila Technical
Institute, in this wise:

prof. casis
In the opinion of the Court, this article(art.2180) of the
Code is not applicable to the case at bar, since this
contemplates the situation where the control or
influence of the teachers and heads of school
establishments over the conduct and actions by the
pupil supersedes those of the parents...The clause "so
long as they remain in their custody" contemplated a
situation where the pupil lives and boards with the
teacher, such that the control or influence on the pupil
supersedes those of the parents...There is no evidence
that the accused Daffon lived and boarded with his
teacher or the other defendant officials of the school.
ISSUE
WON the school officials are jointly and severally
liable as tortfeasors with Daffon.
HELD
a. YES (head and teacher of the Manila Technical
Institute, Valenton and Quibulue, respectively)
Ratio The rationale of such liability of school heads and
teachers for the tortious acts of their pupils and
students, so long as they remain in their custody, is that
they stand, to a certain extent, as to their pupils and
students, in loco parentis and are called upon to
"exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of the
child." In the law of torts, the governing principle is that
the protective custody of the school heads and teachers
is mandatorily substituted for that of the parents, and
hence, it becomes their obligation as well as that of the
school itself to provide proper supervision of the
students' activities during the whole time that they are at
attendance in the school, including recess time, as well
as to take the necessary precautions to protect the
students in their custody from dangers and hazards that
would reasonably be anticipated, including injuries that
some student themselves may inflict willfully or
through negligence on their fellow students.
Reasoning
- The lower court based its legal conclusion expressly
on the Court's dictum in Mercado vs. Court of Appeals,
that "(I)t would seem that the clause "so long as they
remain in their custody," contemplates a situation where
the pupil lives and boards with the teacher, such that the

torts & damages


control, direction and influence. It is true that under the
law abovequoted, teachers or directors of arts and trades
are liable for any damage caused by their pupils or
apprentices while they are under their custody, but this
provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades
and not to any academic educational institution"
- phrase used in the cited article "so long as (the
students) remain in their custody" means the protective
and supervisory custody that the school and its heads
and teachers exercise over the pupils and students for as
long as they are at attendance in the school, including
recess time. There is nothing in the law that requires
that for such liability to attach the pupil or student who
commits the tortious act must live and board in the
school, as erroneously held by the lower court, and the
dicta in Mercado on which it relied, must now be
deemed to have been set aside by the present decision.
- At any rate, the law holds them liable unless they
relieve themselves of such liability, in compliance with
the last paragraph of Article 2180, Civil Code, by
"(proving) that they observed all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage." In the light of the
factual findings of the lower court's decision, said
defendants failed to prove such exemption from
liability.
b. NO (Brillantes as a mere member of the school's
board of directors and the school) itself cannot be held
similarly liable, since it has not been properly
impleaded as party defendant
- the school had been incorporated since and therefore
the school itself, as thus incorporated, should have been
brought in as party defendant.
DISPOSITION
The judgment appealed from is modified so as to
provide as follows: .
1. Sentencing the Daffon, Valenton and Quibulue jointly
and severally to pay plaintiffs as heirs of the deceased
Dominador Palisoc (a) P12,000.00 for the death of
Dominador Palisoc; (b) P3,375.00 for actual and
compensatory expenses; (c) P5,000.00 for moral,
damages; (d) P10,000.00 for loss of earning power and
(e) P2,000.00 f

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or attorney's fee, plus the costs of this action in both


instances; 2. absolving defendant Antonio C. Brillantes
from the complaint; and 3. dismissing defendants'
counterclaims. .
REYES, J.B.L., J., concurring:
-I would like to clarify that the argument of the
dissenting opinion of the effect that the responsibility of
teachers and school officers under Articles 2180 should
be limited to pupils who are minors is not in accord
with the plain text of the law.
- Examination of the article shows that where the
responsibility prescribed therein is limited to illegal acts
during minority, the article expressly so provides, as in
the case of the parents and of the guardians. It is natural
to expect that if the law had intended to similarly
restrict the civil responsibility of the other categories of
persons enumerated in the article, it would have
expressly so stated. The fact that it has not done so
indicates an intent that the liability be not restricted to
the case of persons under age. Further, it is not without
significance that
- finally, that while in the case of parents and guardians,
their authority and supervision over the children and
wards end by law upon the latter reaching majority age,
the authority and custodial supervision over pupils exist
regardless of the age of the latter.
MAKALINTAL, J., dissenting:
- I see no reason to depart from the doctrine laid down
by this Court in Mercado v. Court of Appeals. I think it
is highly unrealistic and conducive to unjust results,
considering the size of the enrollment in many of our
educational institutions, academic and non-academic, as
well as the temper, attitudes and often destructive
activism of the students, to hold their teachers and/or
the administrative heads of the schools directly liable
for torts committed by them.
- It would demand responsibility without commensurate
authority, rendering teachers and school heads open to
damage suits for causes beyond their power to control.
- one other factor constrains me to dissent. The opinion
of the majority states: "Here, the parents of the student
at fault, defendant Daffon, are not involved, since

Daffon was already of age at the time of the tragic


incident." Note that for parental responsibility to arise
the children must be minors who live in their
company...it stands to reason that (1) the clause "so long
as they remain in their custody" as used in reference to
teachers and school heads should be equated with the
phrase "who live in their company" as used in reference
to parents; and (2) that just as parents are not
responsible for damages caused by their children who
are no longer minors, so should teachers and school
heads be exempt from liability for the tortious acts of
their students in the same age category.
AMADORA VS CA (COLLEGIO DE SAN JOSERECOLLETOS)
160 SCRA 315
CRUZ; April 15, 1988
Facts:
It was summer of 1972 Alfredo Amadora about to
graduate at the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletes. Alfredo
went to the school to submit his Report in Physic.
While they were in the auditorium of their school,
hewas shot to death by his classmate Pablito Daffon.
ISSUE:
WON Art 2180 is applicable.
Held:
Yes. Art 2180 NCC applies to all schools, academic or
non-academic. Teachers are liable for acts of their
student except where the school is technical in nature
(arts and trade establishment) in which case the head
thereof shall be answerable.
There is really no substantial difference distinction
between the academic and non-academic schools in so
far as torts committed by their students are concerned.
The same vigilance is expected from the teacher over
the student under their control and supervision,
whatever the nature of the school where he is teaching.
x x x x The distinction no longer obtains at present. x
xx

torts & damages


The student is in the custody of the school authorities as
long as he is under the control and influence of the
school and within its premises, whether the semester
has not ended, or has ended or has not yet begun. The
term custody signifies that the student is within the
control and influence of the school authorities. The
teacher in charge is the one designated by the dean,
principal, or other administrative superior to exercise
supervision over the pupils or students in the specific
classes or sections to which they are assigned. It is not
necessary that at the time of the injury, the teacher is
physically present and in a position to prevent it.
Thus, for injuries caused by the student, the teacher and
not the parent shall be held responsible if the tort was
committed within the premises of the school at any time
when its authority could be validly exercised over him.
In any event, the school may be held to answer for the
acts of its teacher or the head thereof under the general
principle of respondent superior, but it may exculpate
itself from liability by proof that it had exercised the
diligence of a bonus paterfamilias. Such defense they
had taken necessary precautions to prevent the injury
complained of and thus be exonerated from liability
imposed by Art 2180.
Basis of teachers vicarious liability is, as such, they
acting in Loco Parentis (in place of parents). However
teachers are not expected to have the same measure of
responsibility as that imposed on parent for their
influence over the child is not equal in degree. x x x
The parent can instill more lasting discipline more
lasting disciple on the child than the teacher and so
should be held to a greater accountability than the
teacher or the head for the tort committed by the child.
As the teacher was not shown to have been negligent
nor the school remised in the discharged of their duties,
they were exonerated of liability.
(Note the court view on increasing students activism
likely causing violence resulting to injuries, in or out of
the school premises J. Guttierez, Jr concurringly said

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many student x x x view some teachers as part of the


bourgeois and or reactionary group whose advice on
behavior deportment and other non-academic matters is
not only resented but actively rejected. It seems most
unfair to hold teacher liable on a presumption juris
tantum of negligence for acts of students even under
circumstances where strictly speaking there could be no
in loco parentis relationship.
The provision of Art 2180 NCC involved in this case
has outlived its purpose. The court cannot make law, it
can only apply the law with its imperfections. However
the court can suggest that such a law should be
amended or repealed.
PASCO V CFI (ARANETA UNIVERSITY)
160 SCRA 785
PARAS; April 25, 1988
NATURE
Petition for certiorari under RA5440 praying that
judgment be rendered setting aside the questioned order
dismissing the complaint as against the respondent
school and denying the reconsideration of the
questioned order of dismissal.
FACTS
- A group of students walking inside Araneta University
were accosted and mauled by a group of Muslim
students led by Abdul Karin Madidis alias Teng.
Petitioner (Reynaldo) was subsequently stabbed by
Teng requiring him to be hospitalized and to undergo
surgery.
- Petitioner filed a complaint for damages against Teng
and Arante University based on Art 2190 CC
- Respondent school filed a MTD claiming that the
provision only applies to vocational schools and not to
academic institutions. They also claim that the civil
liability in this case arose from a crime, which they did
not commit. Since it was a civil case, respondent school
claims that a demand should have been made by the
plaintiff rendering it premature to bring an action for
damages against respondent school. MTD was granted
by the CA.

- Petitioner mover to reconsider the Order of Dismissal.


Motion was denied due to insufficient justification to
disturb ruling.
ISSUE
WON the Art 2180 CC13 applies to academic
institutions
HELD
It is unnecessary to answer the issue. What the
petitioner wants to know is WON the school or the
university itself is liable. The answer is no since the
provision speaks of teachers or heads
Dispositive
WHEREFORE, this Petition is DISMISSED for lack of
merit.
YLARDE
vs.
GANCAYCO; 1988 July 29

AQUINO

NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
Private respondent Mariano Soriano was the principal
of the Gabaldon Primary School and private respondent
Edgardo Aquino was a teacher therein. At that time, the
school was littered with several concrete blocks which
were remnants of the old school shop that was
destroyed in World War II. Realizing that the huge
stones were serious hazards to the schoolchildren,
another teacher by the name of Sergio Banez stated
burying them all by himself.
Deciding to help his colleague, private respondent
Edgardo Aquino gathered eighteen of his male pupils,
aged ten to eleven. Being their teacher-in-charge, he
ordered them to dig beside a one-ton concrete block in
order to make a hole wherein the stone can be buried.
The work was left unfinished. The following day, also
after classes, private respondent Aquino called four of
the original eighteen pupils to continue the digging.
13

"Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused
by their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody."

torts & damages


These four pupils ---- Reynaldo Alonso, Fransico
Alcantara, Ismael Abaga and Novelito Ylarde, dug until
the excavation was one meter and forty centimeters
deep. At this point, private respondent Aquino alone
continued digging while the pupils remained inside the
pit throwing out the loose soil that was brought about
by the digging.
When the depth was right enough to accommodate the
concrete block, private respondent Aquino and his four
pupils got out of the hole. Then, said private respondent
left the children to level the loose soil around the open
hole while he went to see Banez who was about thirty
meters away. Private respondent wanted to borrow from
Banez the key to the school workroom where he could
get some rope. Before leaving, private respondent
Aquino allegedly told the children "not to touch the
stone."

A2010

WON whether or not under Article 2176 and Article


2180 of the Civil Code, both private respondents can be
held liable for damages.
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides:
"Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage
to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to
pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if
there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the
parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter."
On the other hand, the applicable provision of Article
2180 states:
"Art. 2180. . . .
xxx

A few minutes after private respondent Aquino left,


three of the four kids, Alonso, Alcantara and Ylarde,
playfully jumped into the pit. Then, without any
warning at all, the remaining Abaga jumped on top of
the concrete block causing it to slide down towards the
opening. Alonso and Alcantara were able to scramble
out of the excavation on time but unfortunately for
Ylarde, the concrete block caught him before he could
get out, pinning him to the wall in a standing position.
As a result thereof, Ylarde sustained injuries and died
three (3) days later.
Ylarde's parents, petitioners in this case, filed a suit for
damages against both private respondents Aquino and
Soriano. The lower court dismissed the complaint on
the following grounds: (1) that the digging done by the
pupils is in line with their course called Work
Education; (2) that Aquino exercised the utmost
diligence of a very cautious person; and (3) that the
demise of Ylarde was due to his own reckless
imprudence.
ISSUE

xxx

prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

xxx

"Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and


trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils
and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in
their custody."
HELD
Only Aquino, the teacher, is liable.
Ratio: As regards the principal, We hold that he cannot
be made responsible for the death of the child Ylarde,
he being the head of an academic school and not a
school of arts and trades.
Reasoning:
This is in line with the Courts ruling in Amadora vs.
Court of Appeals, wherein this Court thoroughly
discussed the doctrine that under Article 2180 of the
Civil Code, it is only the teacher and not the head of an
academic school who should be answerable for torts
committed by their students. This Court went on to say
that in a school of arts and trades, it is only the head of
the school who can be held liable.
Ratio: Private respondent Aquino can be held liable
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code as the teacher-incharge of the children for being negligent in his
supervision over them and his failure to take the

necessary precautions to prevent any injury on their


persons.
Reasoning:
(1) failed to avail himself of services of adult manual
laborers and instead utilized his pupils aged ten to
eleven to make an excavation near the one-ton concrete
stone which he knew to be a very hazardous task;
(2) required the children to remain inside the pit even
after they had finished digging, knowing that the huge
block was lying nearby and could be easily pushed or
kicked aside by any pupil who by chance may go to the
perilous area;
(3) ordered them to level the soil around the excavation
when it was so apparent that the huge stone was at the
brink of falling;
(4) went to a place where he would not be able to check
on the children's safety; and (5) left the children close to
the excavation, an obviously attractive nuisance.
(6) In ruling that the child Ylarde was imprudent, it is
evident that the lower court did not consider his age and
maturity. This should not be the case. The degree of
care required to be exercised must vary with the
capacity of the person endangered to care for himself. A
minor should not be held to the same degree of care as
an adult, but his conduct should be judged according to
the average conduct of persons of his age and
experience. The standard of conduct to which a child
must conform for his own protection is that degree of
care ordinarily exercised by children of the same age,
capacity, discretion, knowledge and experience under
the same or similar circumstances. Bearing this in
mind, We cannot charge the child Ylarde with reckless
imprudence.
DISPOSITION
Granted.
SALVOSA v. IAC (CASTRO)
166 SCRA 274
PADILLA, J.: October 5, 1988
FACTS
Jimmy Abon, a commerce student of Baguio Colleges
Foundation (BCF) and a duly appointed armorer of the

torts & damages


BCF ROTC (under the control of AFP) was convicted
of the crime of Homicide for shooting Napoleon Castro,
a student of the University of Baguio on 3 March 1977,
at around 8:00 p.m., in the parking space of BCF. BCF
is both an academic and arts and trade Union and the
ROTC Unit was under the control of AFP.
Subsequently, the heirs of Napoleon Castro sued for
damages, impleading Jimmy B. Abon, Roberto C.
Ungos (ROTC Commandant Benjamin Salvosa
(President and Chairman of the Board of BCF), Jesus
Salvosa (Executive Vice President of BCF), Libertad D.
Quetolio (Dean of the College of Education and
Executive Trustee of BCF) and the Baguio Colleges
Foundation Inc. as party defendants.
After hearing, the Trial Court rendered a decision, (1)
sentencing defendants Jimmy B. Abon, Benjamin
Salvosa and Baguio Colleges Foundation, Inc., jointly
and severally, to pay private respondents, as heirs of
Napoleon Castro; (2) absolving the other defendants;
and (3) dismissing the defendants' counterclaim for lack
of
merit.
ISSUE
WON petitioners can be held solidarity liable with
Jimmy B. Abon for damages under Article 2180 of the
Civil Code, as a consequence of the tortious act of
Jimmy B. Abon.
HELD
NO. Jimmy B. Abon cannot be considered to have been
"at attendance in the school," or in the custody of BCF,
when he shot Napoleon Castro. Logically, therefore,
petitioners cannot under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code be
held solidarity liable with Jimmy B. Abon for damages
resulting from his acts.
Ratio:
Under the penultimate paragraph of Art. 2180 of the
Civil Code, teachers or heads of establishments of arts
and trades are hable for "damages caused by their pupils
and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in
their custody." The rationale of such liability is that so
long as the student remains in the custody of a teacher,
the latter "stands, to a certain extent, in loco parentis [as
to the student] and [is] called upon to exercise

A2010

prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

reasonable supervision over the conduct of the


[student]." Likewise, "the phrase used in [Art. 2180
'so long as (the students) remain in their custody means
the protective and supervisory custody that the school
and its heads and teachers exercise over the pupils and
students for as long as they are at attendance in the
school, including recess time."
Reasoning:
a. The SC hold a contrary view to that espoused by the
CA. According to the CA, while it is true that Abon
was not attending any class or school function at the
time of the shooting incident, which was at about 8
o'clock in the evening; but considering that Abon was
employed as an armorer and property custodian of the
BCF ROTC unit, he must have been attending night
classes and therefore that hour in the evening was just
about dismissal time for him or soon thereafter. The
time interval is safely within the "recess time" that the
trial court spoke of and envisioned by the Palisoc case,
supra. In line with the case of Palisoc, 17 a student not
"at attendance in the school" cannot be in "recess"
thereat. A "recess," as the concept is embraced in the
phrase "at attendance in the school," contemplates a
situation of temporary adjournment of school activities
where the student still remains within call of his mentor
and is not permitted to leave the school premises, or the
area within which the school activity is conducted.
Recess by its nature does not include dismissal.
Likewise, the mere fact of being enrolled or being in the
premises of a school without more does not constitute
"attending school" or being in the "protective and
supervisory custody' of the school, as contemplated in
the law.
b. Jimmy B. Abon was supposed to be working in the
armory with definite instructions from his superior, the
ROTC Commandant, when he shot Napoleon Castro.
ST.
FRANCIS
CA(Castillo/Cadiz)
194 SCRA 340
Paras, J.: Feb. 25, 1991

HIGH

SCHOOL

NATURE
Petition for review of the decision of the CA

FACTS
-Ferdinand Castillo, then a freshman student at St.
Francis HS wanted to join a school picnic at Talaan
Beach, Quezon. His parents didnt allow him to go due
to short notice but directed him to bring food to the
teachers for the picnic and go straight home. However,
he was persuaded by his teachers to go and later
drowned in an attempt to rescue a drowning teacher.
-his parents filed a complaint against St. Francis HS,
represented by its principal, Illumin, and several
teachers for damages incurred from the death of their
son, contending that it occurred due to petitioners
failure to exercise proper diligence of a good father of
the family. The TC found against the teachers as they
had failed to exercise diligence by not testing the waters
in which the children (12-13 yrs old) were to swim.
Also, the male teachers who were to watch over the
kids were not even in the area as they went off drinking.
The TC dismissed the case against the principal and the
teacher Cadorna as the former had not consented to the
picnic which was not school sanctioned, and as the
latter had her own class to supervise then and was not
actually invited.
-Both parties appealed to the CA. On the issue of the
liability of St. Francis HS and the Illumin, the CA held
that both are liable under Article 2176 taken together
with the 1st, 4th, and 5th paragraphs of Article 2180. They
cannot escape liability simply because it wasnt an
extra-curricular activity of the HS. From the
evidence, it was shown that the principal had known of
the picnic from its planning stage and merely
acquiesced to the holding of the event. As such, under
Article 2180, both are jointly and severally liable w/ the
teachers for the damages incurred as the negligence of
the employees (teachers) gives rise to the presumption
of negligence on the part of the owner/manager (St.
Francis and the principal). Petitioners contend that the
victims parents failed to prove by evidence that they
didnt give their son consent to join the picnic. The
Court finds this immaterial to the determination of the
existence of their liability. Also, 2 of the teachers who
arrived after the drowning were absolved from liability
as they had satisfactorily explained their lateness and

torts & damages


thus could not be said to have participated in the
negligence attributed to the other teachers. Hence this
petition.
ISSUE
(1) WON there was negligence attributable to the
defendants
(2) WON Art. 2180, in relation to 2176 is applicable
(3) WON the award of exemplary and moral damages is
proper
HELD
(1) NO. Petitioners are neither guilty of their own
negligence or the negligence of people under them. At
the outset, it should be noted that the victims parents
allowed their son to join the picnic as evidenced by a
mental and physical cross examination.
-Mere knowledge by Illumin of the planning of the
picnic does not show acquiescence or consent to it. If
the CAs findings are to be upheld, employers will be
forever exposed to the risk and danger of being hailed
to Court to answer for the misdeeds or omissions of
their employees even if such acts or omissions are
committed while they are not in the performance of
their duties.
-No negligence can be attributable to the teachers as the
presumption is overthrown by proof that they exercised
diligence of a good father of the family. In fact, 2 P.E.
teachers were invited as they were scout masters and
had knowledge in First Aid and swimming. Life savers
were brought in the event of such an accident. The
records also show that the 2 P.E. teachers did all that
was humanly possible to save the victim.
(2) NO. The CA erred in applying Art. 2180,
particularly par 4. For an employer to be held liable for
the negligence of his employee, the act or omission
which caused damage or prejudice must have occurred
while an employee was in the performance of his
assigned task. In the case at bar, the teachers were not in
actual performance of their duties as the picnic was a
purely private affair and not a school sanctioned
activity.
(3) Since petitioners were able to prove that they had
exercised the diligence required of them, no moral or

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- PAGE 77 -

exemplary damages under Art. 2177 may be awarded in


favor of respondent spouses.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the questioned decision
is SET ASIDE
PSBA v CA (BENITEZ/BAUTISTA)
205 SCRA 729
Padilla, J.: Feb. 4, 1992
FACTS
-Carlitos Bautista, enrolled in the 3 rd year commerce
course of PSBA, was stabbed and killed while on
campus by assailants who were from outside the
schools academic community. This prompted his
parents to file suit with the RTC of Manila w/ Judge
Ordonez-Benitez presiding for damages against PSBA
and its corporate officers, alleging negligence,
recklessness and lack of security precautions, means
and methods before, during and after the attack of the
victim.
-PSBA sought to dismiss the case, alleging that since
they were presumably sued under Art 2180, there was
no cause of action since academic institutions are not
subject to the said provision.
-A motion to dismiss and a subsequent MFR were
denied by the TC, yielding the same results upon appeal
with the CA. Hence this petition.
ISSUES
(1) WON PSBA may be held liable under articles 2176
and 2180
HELD
(1) NO. Because the circumstances of the present case
evince a contractual relation between the parties, the
rules on quasi-delict do not really govern; but the court
has repeatedly held that the liability for a tort may still
exist even when there is a contract.
-Quoting Cangco v Manila Railroad: the mere fact
that a person is bound to another by contract does not
relieve him from extra-contractual liability to such
person. When such a contractual relation exists the
obligor may break the contract under such conditions
that the same act which constitutes a breach of the

prof. casis
contract would have constituted the source of an extracontractual obligation had no contract existed between
the parties
-Using the test in Cangco, a contractual relation is a
condition sine qua non to PSBAs liability; hence, any
finding of negligence would generally give rise to a
breach of contractual obligation only.
-When an academic institution accepts a student for
enrollment, a contract is established between them,
resulting in a bilateral obligation. The school is obliged
to provide the student with an education, along with a
safe atmosphere that promotes the undertaking of
imparting knowledge. In turn, the student abides by the
schools academic requirements and observes its rules
and regulations. However, a school cannot be an insurer
for its students against all risks; one can only expect it
to employ the degree of diligence required by the nature
of the obligation and corresponding to the
circumstances of persons, time and place.
- In the case at bar a finding is yet to be made as to
whether the contract was breached due to PSBAs
negligence in providing proper security measures. At
this stage, the proceedings have yet to commence on the
substance of the private respondents complaint and the
record is bereft of all material facts which only the TC
can determine.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Court of
origin is hereby ordered to continue proceedings
consistent with this ruling of the Court. Costs against
the petitioners.
SOLIMAN, JR. V JUDGE TUAZON
209 SCAR 47
FELICIANO, J; May 18, 1992
NATURE
Civil complaint for damages
FACTS
- On August 13, 1982, while the plaintiff Maximo
Soliman, Jr., a student of the defendant Republic
Central Colleges (RCC), was in the campus premises
thereof, the defendant, Jimmy Solomon, who was then
in the premises of said school performing his duties as
security guard under the employment of defendant R.L.

torts & damages


Security Agency, Inc., without any provocation, shot the
plaintiff on the abdomen. The plaintiff was confined in
a hospital, and as per doctor's opinion, he may not be
able to attend to his regular classes and will be
incapacitated in the performance of his usual work for a
duration of from three to four months. Petitioner,
represented by his guardian, filed a civil complaint for
damages against RCC, RL Security Agency and
Solomon,
- RCC filed a motion to dismiss, contending that the
complaint stated no cause of action against it. It argued
that it is free from any liability for the injuries sustained
by petitioner student for the reason that it was not the
employer of the security guard Solomon, and hence was
not responsible for any wrongful act of Solomon. It
further argued that Article 2180, 7th paragraph, of the
Civil Code did not apply, since said paragraph holds
teachers and heads of establishment of arts and trades
liable for damages caused by their pupils and students
or apprentices, while security guard Jimmy Solomon
was not a pupil, student or apprentice of the school.
- Resspondent Judge Ramon Tuazon granted RCCs
motion to dismiss. Petitioners MFR was denied,
Hence, this appeal.
ISSUES
1. WON RCC is liable for damages under Articles
2180, as well as those of Articles 349, 350 and 352 of
the Civil Code
2. WON RCC could be held liable upon any other basis
in law, for the injury sustained by petitioner
HELD
1. NO
- Under Art. 2180, the obligation to respond for
damage inflicted by one against another by fault or
negligence exists not only for one's own act or
omission, but also for acts or omissions of a person for
whom one is by law responsible. Among the persons
held vicariously responsible for acts or omissions of
another person are the following:
xxx
xxx
xxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by
their employees and household helper, acting within the
scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former
are not engaged in any business or industry.

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- PAGE 77 -

xxx
xxx
xxx
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and
trades shall be liable for damages caused by their
pupils, their students or apprentices, so long as they
remain in their custody.
- The first paragraph quoted above offers no basis for
holding RCC liable for the alleged wrongful acts the of
security guard Solomon inflicted upon Soliman, Jr.
RCC was not the employer of Solomon. The employer
of Solomon was the R.L. Security Agency Inc., while
the school was the client of the latter. It is settled that
where the security agency, as here, recruits, hires and
assigns the work of its watchmen or security guards, the
agency is the employer of such guards or watchmen.
Liability for illegal or harmful acts committed by the
security guards attaches to the employer agency, and
not to the clients of such agency. There being no
employer-employee relationship between RCC and
Solomon, petitioner cannot impose vicarious liability
upon the RCC for the acts of Solomon.
- Since there is no question that Solomon was not a
pupil or student or an apprentice of the Colleges, he
being in fact an employee of the R.L. Security Agency
Inc., the other above-quoted paragraph of Article 2180
of the Civil Code is similarly not available for imposing
liability upon the RCC for the acts of Solomon.
- The relevant portions of the other Articles of the Civil
Code invoked by petitioner are as follows:
Art. 349.
The following persons shall exercise
substitute parental authority:
xxx
xxx
xxx
(2) Teachers and professors;
xxx
xxx
xxx
(4) Directors of trade establishments with regard to
apprentices;
xxx
xxx
xxx
Art. 350. The persons named in the preceding article
shall exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct
of the child.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Art. 352.
The relations between teacher and pupil,
professor and student are fixed by government
regulations and those of each school or institution. In no
case shall corporal punishment be countenanced. The

prof. casis
teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities
of the heart and mind of the pupil or student."
- In Palisoc v. Brillantes, the Court held the owner and
president of a school of arts and trades known as the
Manila Technical Institute responsible in damages for
the death of Palisoc, a student of that Institute, which
resulted from fist blows delivered by Daffon, another
student of the Institute. It will be seen that the facts of
Palisoc v. Brillantes brought it expressly within the 7th
paragraph of Article 2180, quoted above; but those facts
are entirely different from the facts existing in the
instant case.
- Persons exercising substitute parental authority are
made responsible for damage inflicted upon a third
person by the child or person subject to such substitute
parental authority. In the instant case, Solomon who
committed allegedly tortious acts resulting in injury to
petitioner, was not a pupil, student or apprentice of the
Republic Central Colleges; the school had no substitute
parental authority over Solomon.
2. YES
- In the case of PSBA v CA, the Court held that Article
2180 of the Civil Code was not applicable where a
student had been injured by one who was an outsider or
by one over whom the school did not exercise any
custody or control or supervision. At the same time,
however, the court stressed that an implied contract may
be held to be established between a school which
accepts students for enrollment, on the one hand, and
the students who are enrolled, on the other hand, which
contract results in obligations for both parties. It held:
When an academic institution accepts students for
enrollment, there is established a contract between
them, resulting in bilateral obligations which parties
are bound to comply with. For its part, the school
undertakes to provide the student with an education
that would presumably suffice to equip him with the
necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or
a profession. On the other hand, the student covenants
to abide by the school's academic requirements and
observe its rules and regulations.Institutions of learning
must also meet the implicit or 'built-in' obligation of
providing their students with an atmosphere that
promotes or assists in attaining its primary undertaking

torts & damages


of imparting knowledge. Certainly, no student can
absorb the intricacies of physics or higher mathematics
or explore the realm of the arts and other sciences when
bullets are flying or grenades exploding in the air or
where there looms around the school premises a
constant threat to life and limb. Necessarily, the school
must ensure that adequate steps are taken to maintain
peace and order within the campus premises and to
prevent the breakdown thereof.
- It was also pointed out in said case that: "In the
circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however,
there is, as yet, no finding that the contract between
school and Bautista had been breached thru the former's
negligence in providing proper security measures. This
would be for the trial court to determine. And, even if
there be a finding of negligence, the same could give
rise generally to a breach of contractual obligation only.
Using the test of Cangco, supra, the negligence of the
school would not be relevant absent a contract. In fact,
that negligence becomes material only because of the
contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista. In
other words, a contractual relation is a condition sine
qua non to the school's liability. The negligence of the
school cannot exist independently of the contract,
unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances
set out in Article 21 of the Civil Code.
- In the PSBA case, the trial court had denied the
school's motion to dismiss the complaint against it, and
both the CA and this Court affirmed the trial court's
order. In the case at bar, the court a quo granted the
motion to dismiss filed by RCC, upon the assumption
that petitioner's cause of action was based, and could
have been based, only on Art. 2180 of the Civil Code.
As PSBA, however, states, acts which are tortious or
allegedly tortious in character may at the same time
constitute breach of a contractual or other legal
obligation. Respondent trial judge was in serious error
when he supposed that petitioner could have no cause
of action other than one based on Article 2180 of the
Civil Code. Respondent trial judge should not have
granted the motion to dismiss but rather should have, in
the interest of justice, allowed petitioner to prove acts
constituting breach of an obligation ex contractu or ex
lege on the part of RCC.

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- PAGE 77 -

Disposition GRANT DUE COURSE to the Petition, to


treat the comment of respondent Colleges as its answer,
and to REVERSE and SET ASIDE the Order granting
the motion to dismiss the case.This case is
REMANDED to the court a quo for further
proceedings.
ST. MARYS ACADEMY VS. CARPITANOS
PARDO, February 6, 2002
NATURE
Appeal via certiorari from CA deci and resolution
denying MFR
FACTS
(this case was already assigned in PFR)
-Sherwin Carpitanos, together with James Daniel II
(then 15, driving the jeep) and Ched Villanueva (then in
possession and was driving the jeep, Grandson of
Vivencio Villanueva - the owner of the jeep) and other
companions were on their way to an enrollment drive
for the Petitioner school when the vehicle turned turtle.
It was found out that the steering wheel guide was
detached. Carpitanos sued the school, James Daniel II,
his parents, and Vivencio Villanueva.
-TC: absolved Villanueva and James Daniel II, held
parents and school liable
-CA: school liable under A218 and 219, FC, finding
that school was negligent in letting a minor drive the
vehicle without a teacher accompanying them.
ISSUE (regarding liability of St. Marys Academy)
WON St. Marys Academy should be held liable for
death of Sherwin Carpitanos, and therefore, liable for
damages
HELD
NO. The negligence of petitioner St. Marys Academy
was only a remote cause of the accident. Between the
remote cause and the injury, there intervened the
negligence of the minors parents or the detachment of
the steering wheel guide of the jeep.
Ratio. For the school to be liable, it must be shown that
the injury for which recovery is sought must be the

prof. casis
legitimate consequence of the wrong done; the
connection between the negligence and the injury must
be a direct and natural sequence of events, unbroken by
intervening efficient causes.
Reasoning. The Carpitanos failed to prove that the
negligence of the school was the proximate cause of the
death of the victim.
-The cause of the accident was not the recklessness of
James Daniel II but the mechanical defect in the jeep of
Vivencio Villanueva.
-Respondents did not present any evidence to show that
the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence
of the school authorities, or the reckless driving of
James Daniel II so reliance on A219 is unfounded.
-There was no evidence that petitioner school allowed
the minor James Daniel II to drive the jeep of
respondent Vivencio Villanueva. It was Ched
Villanueva was in possession and in control of the jeep,
and was in fact the one who allowed James Daniel II to
drive the jeep.
-Liability for the accident, whether caused by the
negligence of the minor driver or mechanical
detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep,
must be pinned on the minors parents primarily. The
negligence of petitioner St. Marys Academy was only a
remote cause of the accident. Between the remote cause
and the injury, there intervened the negligence of the
minors parents or the detachment of the steering wheel
guide of the jeep.Considering that the negligence of the
minor driver or the detachment of the steering wheel
guide of the jeep owned by respondent Villanueva was
an event over which petitioner St. Marys Academy had
no control, and which was the proximate cause of the
accident, petitioner may not be held liable for the death
resulting from such accident.
- It is not the school, but the registered owner of the
vehicle who shall be held responsible for damages for
the death of Sherwin Carpitanos.
Disposition. WHEREFORE, the Court REVERSES and
SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals[18]
and that of the trial court.[19] The Court remands the
case to the trial court for determination of the liability
of defendants, excluding petitioner St. Marys
Academy, Dipolog City. No costs. SO ORDERED.

torts & damages

A2010

prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

(this is a novel and unprecedented legal issue!)


PHIL RABBIT BUS
FORWARDERS
63 SCRA 231
AQUINO; March 25, 1975

LINES

driven by defendant Manilhig was being pushed by


some persons in order to start its engine.
-The Magsaysay Blvd. runs perpendicular to Gomez St.
and the said Philtranco bus 4025 was heading in the
general direction of the said Gomez Street.
-As the bus was pushed, its engine started thereby the
bus continued on its running motion and it occurred at
the time when Ramon A. Acuesta who was still riding
on his bicycle was directly in front of the said bus.
-As the engine of the Philtranco bus started abruptly
and suddenly, its running motion was also enhanced by
the said functioning engine, thereby the subject bus
bumped on the victim Ramon A. Acuesta who, as a
result thereof fell and, thereafter, was run over by the
said bus.
Petitioners Version
-Manilhig, in preparation for his trip back to Pasay City,
warmed up the engine of the bus and made a few
rounds within the city proper of Calbayog.
-While the bus was slowly and moderately cruising
along Gomez Street, the victim, who was biking
towards the same direction as the bus, suddenly
overtook two tricycles and swerved left to the center of
the road.
-The swerving was abrupt and so sudden that even as
Manilhig applied the brakes and blew the bus horn, the
victim was bumped from behind and run over by the
bus.
-Petitioners alleged that Philtranco exercised the
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
and supervision of its employees, including petitioner
Manilhig who had excellent record as a driver and had
undergone months of rigid training before he was hired.
-Petitioners further claimed that it was the negligence of
the victim in overtaking two tricycles, without taking
precautions such as seeing first that the road was clear,
which caused the death of the victim
**Trial Court ruled in favor of private respondents
-Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial
court, and denied MFR
-Hence, this appeal

PHIL-AM

NATURE
Petition for review of CFI Tarlac decision
FACTS
- PHIL RABBIT Bus Lines, Inc. and Felix
PANGALANGAN filed a complaint for damages in an
action based on quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana against
PHIL-AMERICAN FORWARDERS, Inc., its manager
BALINGIT and the driver, PINEDA.
- It was alleged that Pineda drove recklessly a freight
TRUCK, owned by Phil-Am, along the natl highway at
Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. The truck bumped the BUS
driven by Pangalangan, owned by Phil Rabbit.
Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus was damaged
and could not be used for 79 days. This deprived the
company of earnings of about P8,600.
- Among the defenses interposed by the defendants was
that Balingit was not Pineda's employer. Balingit
moved that the complaint against him be dismissed on
the ground that the bus company and the bus driver had
no cause of action against him.
- CFI dismissed their complaint against BALINGIT on
the ground that he was not the manager of an
establishment contemplated in Art.2180 CC.
- In the appeal, the bus company also argued that PhilAm is merely a business conduit of Balingit because out
of its capital stock with a par value of P41,200, Balingit
and his wife had subscribed P40T. This implied that the
veil of corporate fiction should be pierced and that PhilAm and Balingit and his wife should be treated as one
and the same civil personality. But this was not alleged
in their complaint.*
ISSUE
WON the terms "employers" and "owners and
managers of an establishment or enterprise" used in Art.
2180 NCC (Art.1903 OCC) embrace the manager of a
corporation owning a truck

HELD
NO
Vicarious Liability of Owners and Managers of
Establishments: Art.2180 uses the term "manager"
("director" in the Spanish version) to mean
"employer.
- Hence, under the allegations of the complaint, no
tortious or quasi-delictual liability can be fastened on
Balingit as manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.,
in connection with the vehicular accident because he
himself may be regarded as an employee or dependiente
of his employer, Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.
* This issue was not raised in the lower court so it
would be unfair to allow them to do so now. The case
has to be decided on the basis of the pleadings filed in
the trial court where it was assumed that Phil-Am has a
personality separate and distinct from that of the
Balingit spouses.
Dispositive
Lower courts order of dismissal is
AFFIRMED.
PHILTRANCO V CA (HEIRS OF ACUESTA)
273 SCRA 562
DAVIDE; June 17, 1997
NATURE
Appeal by certiorari from a decision of the CA
FACTS
-Civil Case No. 373 was an action against herein
petitioners for damages instituted by the heirs of Ramon
A. Acuesta
-Private respondents alleged that the petitioners were
guilty of gross negligence, recklessness, violation of
traffic rules and regulations, abandonment of victim,
and attempt to escape from a crime
Private Respondents Version
-In the early morning of March 24, 1990, about 6:00
oclock, the victim Ramon A. Acuesta was riding in his
easy rider bicycle along the Gomez Street
-On the Magsaysay Blvd., defendant Philtranco Service
Enterprises, Inc. (Philtranco for brevity) Bus No. 4025

ISSUE
(limited to that involved in the outline)

torts & damages


WON petitioner Philtranco is solidarily liable with
Manilhig for damages
HELD
Yes.
-Civil Case No. 373 is an action for damages based on
quasi-delict under Article 217614 and 218015 of the Civil
Code against petitioner Manilhig and his employer,
petitioner Philtranco, respectively.
-We have consistently held that the liability of the
registered owner of a public service vehicle, like
petitioner Philtranco, for damages arising from the
tortious acts of the driver is primary, direct, and joint
and several or solidary with the driver. As to
solidarity, Article 2194 expressly provides: the
responsibility of two or more persons who are liable
for a quasi-delict is solidary.
-Since the employer's liability is primary, direct and
solidary, its only recourse if the judgment for damages
is satisfied by it is to recover what it has paid from its
employee who committed the fault or negligence which
gave rise to the action based on quasi-delict. Article
2181 of the Civil Code provides: Whoever pays for the
damage caused by his dependents or employees may
recover from the latter what he has paid or delivered in
satisfaction of the claim.
Disposition
Appealed decision is affirmed. (with regard to this
issue)
CASTILEX V. VASQUEZ
14

Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter

15

Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
xxxxxxxxx
The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the
occasion of their functions.
xxxxxxxxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or
industry.
xxxxxxxxx
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that
they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage

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Dec. 21, 1999. Davide


Facts: At around 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning, Romeo
So Vasquez, was driving a Honda motorcycle around
Fuente Osmea Rotunda. He was traveling counterclockwise, (the normal flow of traffic in a rotunda) but
without any protective helmet or goggles. He was also
only carrying a Student's Permit to Drive at the time.
Upon the other hand, Benjamin Abad [was a] manager
of Appellant Castilex Industrial Corporation, registered
owner [of] a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up with plate no.
GBW-794. On the same date and time, Abad drove the
said company car out of a parking lot but instead of
going around the Osmea rotunda he made a short cut
against [the] flow of the traffic in proceeding to his
route to General Maxilom St. or to Belvic St.
In the process, the motorcycle of Vasquez and
the pick-up of Abad collided with each other causing
severe injuries to the former. Abad stopped his vehicle
and brought Vasquez to the Southern Islands Hospital
and later to the Cebu Doctor's Hospital. Vasquez died at
the Cebu Doctor's Hospital. It was there that Abad
signed an acknowledgment of Responsible Party
(Exhibit K) wherein he agreed to pay whatever hospital
bills, professional fees and other incidental charges
Vasquez may incur.
After the police authorities had conducted the
investigation of the accident, a Criminal Case was filed
against Abad but which was subsequently dismissed for
failure to prosecute. So, the present action for damages
was commenced by Vicente Vasquez, Jr. and Luisa So
Vasquez, parents of the deceased Romeo So Vasquez,
against Jose Benjamin Abad and Castilex Industrial
Corporation. In the same action, Cebu Doctor's Hospital
intervened to collect unpaid balance for the medical
expense given to Romeo So Vasquez.
Issue: WON an employer may be held vicariously
liable for the death resulting from the negligent
operation by a managerial employee of a companyissued vehicle.
Held: Castilez is absolved from any liability. The
negligence of ABAD is not an issue at this instance.

prof. casis
Petitioner CASTILEX presumes said negligence but
claims that it is not vicariously liable for the injuries
and subsequent death caused by ABAD.
Petitioner contends that the fifth paragraph of Article
2180 of the Civil Code should only apply to instances
where the employer is not engaged in business or
industry. Since it is engaged in the business of
manufacturing and selling furniture it is therefore not
covered by said provision. Instead, the fourth paragraph
should apply. Petitioner's interpretation of the fifth
paragraph is not accurate. The phrase "even though the
former are not engaged in any business or industry"
found in the fifth paragraph should be interpreted to
mean that it is not necessary for the employer to be
engaged in any business or industry to be liable for the
negligence of his employee who is acting within the
scope of his assigned task.
A distinction must be made between the two
provisions to determine what is applicable. Both
provisions apply to employers: the fourth paragraph, to
owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise;
and the fifth paragraph, to employers in general,
whether or not engaged in any business or industry. The
fourth paragraph covers negligent acts of employees
committed either in the service of the branches or on the
occasion of their functions, while the fifth paragraph
encompasses negligent acts of employees acting within
the scope of their assigned task. The latter is an
expansion of the former in both employer coverage and
acts included. Negligent acts of employees, whether or
not the employer is engaged in a business or industry,
are covered so long as they were acting within the scope
of their assigned task, even though committed neither in
the service of the branches nor on the occasion of their
functions. For, admittedly, employees oftentimes wear
different hats. They perform functions which are
beyond their office, title or designation but which,
nevertheless, are still within the call of duty.This court
has applied the fifth paragraph to cases where the
employer was engaged in a business or industry such as
truck operators and banks. The Court of Appeals
cannot, therefore, be faulted in applying the said
paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code to this case.
Under the fifth paragraph of Article 2180, whether or

torts & damages


not engaged in any business or industry, an employer is
liable for the torts committed by employees within the
scope of his assigned tasks. But it is necessary to
establish the employer-employee relationship; once this
is done, the plaintiff must show, to hold the employer
liable, that the employee was acting within the scope of
his assigned task when the tort complained of was
committed. It is only then that the employer may find it
necessary to interpose the defense of due diligence in
the selection and supervision of the employee.
It is undisputed that ABAD was a Production
Manager of petitioner CASTILEX at the time of the tort
occurrence. As to whether he was acting within the
scope of his assigned task is a question of fact, which
the court a quo and the Court of Appeals resolved in the
affirmative.
Well-entrenched in our jurisprudence is the
rule that the factual findings of the Court of Appeals are
entitled to great respect, and even finality at times. This
rule is, however, subject to exceptions such as when the
conclusion is grounded on speculations, surmises, or
conjectures. Such exception obtain in the present case
to warrant review by this Court of the finding of the
Court of Appeals that since ABAD was driving
petitioner's vehicle he was acting within the scope of his
duties as a manager.
On the issue of whether the private
respondents have sufficiently established that ABAD
was acting within the scope of his assigned tasks,
ABAD, who was presented as a hostile witness,
testified that at the time of the incident, he was driving a
company-issued vehicle, registered under the name of
petitioner. He was then leaving the restaurant where he
had some snacks and had a chat with his friends after
having done overtime work for the petitioner. No
absolutely hard and fast rule can be stated which will
furnish the complete answer to the problem of whether
at a given moment, an employee is engaged in his
employer's business in the operation of a motor vehicle,
so as to fix liability upon the employer because of the
employee's action or inaction; but rather, the result
varies with each state of facts. The court a quo and the
Court of Appeals were one in holding that the driving
by a manager of a company-issued vehicle is within the

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scope of his assigned tasks regardless of the time and


circumstances. The SC does not agree. The mere fact
that ABAD was using a service vehicle at the time of
the injurious incident is not of itself sufficient to charge
petitioner with liability for the negligent operation of
said vehicle unless it appears that he was operating the
vehicle within the course or scope of his employment. It
used the principles in American Jurisprudence on the
employer's liability for the injuries inflicted by the
negligence of an employee in the use of an employer's
motor vehicle:
I.
Operation of Employer's Motor
Vehicle in Going to or from Meals
It has been held that an employee who uses his
employer's vehicle in going from his work to a place
where he intends to eat or in returning to work from a
meal is not ordinarily acting within the scope of his
employment in the absence of evidence of some special
business benefit to the employer. Evidence that by using
the employer's vehicle to go to and from meals, an
employee is enabled to reduce his time-off and so
devote more time to the performance of his duties
supports the findings that an employee is acting within
the scope of his employment while so driving the
vehicle.
II.
Operation of Employer's Vehicle in
Going to or from Work
In the same vein, traveling to and from the
place of work is ordinarily a personal problem or
concern of the employee, and not a part of his services
to his employer. Hence, in the absence of some special
benefit to the employer other than the mere
performance of the services available at the place where
he is needed, the employee is not acting within the
scope of his employment even though he uses his
employer's motor vehicle. 14 cda
The employer may, however, be liable where
he derives some special benefit from having the
employee drive home in the employer's vehicle as when
the employer benefits from having the employee at
work earlier and, presumably, spending more time at his
actual duties. Where the employee's duties require him
to circulate in a general area with no fixed place or
hours of work, or to go to and from his home to various

prof. casis
outside places of work, and his employer furnishes him
with a vehicle to use in his work, the courts have
frequently applied what has been called the "special
errand" or "roving commission" rule, under which it can
be found that the employee continues in the service of
his employer until he actually reaches home. However,
even if the employee be deemed to be acting within the
scope of his employment in going to or from work in
his employer's vehicle, the employer is not liable for his
negligence where at the time of the accident, the
employee has left the direct route to his work or back
home and is pursuing a personal errand of his own.
III.
Use of Employer's Vehicle Outside
Regular Working Hours
An employer who loans his motor vehicle to
an employee for the latter's personal use outside of
regular working hours is generally not liable for the
employee's negligent operation of the vehicle during the
period of permissive use, even where the employer
contemplates that a regularly assigned motor vehicle
will be used by the employee for personal as well as
business purposes and there is some incidental benefit
to the employer. Even where the employee's personal
purpose in using the vehicle has been accomplished and
he has started the return trip to his house where the
vehicle is normally kept, it has been held that he has not
resumed his employment, and the employer is not liable
for the employee's negligent operation of the vehicle
during the return trip.
The foregoing principles and jurisprudence are
applicable in our jurisdiction albeit based on the
doctrine of respondeat superior, not on the principle of
bonus pater familias as in ours. Whether the fault or
negligence of the employee is conclusive on his
employer as in American law or jurisprudence, or
merely gives rise to the presumption juris tantum of
negligence on the part of the employer as in ours, it is
indispensable that the employee was acting in his
employer's business or within the scope of his assigned
task. ABAD was engaged in affairs of his own or was
carrying out a personal purpose not in line with his
duties at the time he figured in a vehicular accident. It
was then about 2:00 a.m., way beyond the normal
working hours. ABAD's working day had ended; his

torts & damages


overtime work had already been completed. His being
at a place which, as petitioner put it, was known as a
"haven for prostitutes, pimps, and drug pushers and
addicts," had no connection to petitioner's business;
neither had it any relation to his duties as a manager.
Rather, using his service vehicle even for personal
purposes was a form of a fringe benefit or one of the
perks attached to his position.
FILAMER V IAC
212 SCRA 637
GUTIERREZ SR; August 17, 1992
NATURE
Motion for Reconsideration
FACTS
- Funtecha is a scholar of FCI. He is also employed as a
janitor. The president of FCI is Agustin Masa. Agustin
has a son, Allan, who is the school bus (bus na jeepney)
driver. Allan lives with his dad. Funtecha also lives in
the presidents house free of charge while a student at
FCI.
- It is the practice of the driver (Allan) after classes to
bring the kids home, then go back to the school, then go
home in the school jeep. He is allowed to bring home
the jeep because in the morning hes supposed to fetch
the kids and bring them to school.
- One night, Funtecha wanted to drive home. He has a
student license. After a dangerous curb, and seeing that
the road was clear, Allan let Funtecha drive. Then there
was a fast moving truck (opposite direction) with
glaring lights. Funtecha swerved right and hit the
pedestrian Kapunan. Kapunan was walking in his lane
in the direction against vehicular traffic (I think ito yung
tamang lane and direction ng pedestrians). The jeep had
only one functioning headlight that night.
- TC and CA ruled in favor of Kapunan. SC reversed,
saying that FCI is not liable for the injuries caused by
Funtecha on the grounds that the latter was not an
authorized driver for whose acts the petitioner shall be
directly and primarily answerable.
ISSUE

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WON the employer of the janitor driving the school


jeep can be held liable
HELD
YES
- Driving the vehicle to and from the house of the
school president where both Allan and Funtecha reside
is an act in furtherance of the interest of the
petitioner-school. Allan's job demands that he drive
home the school jeep so he can use it to fetch students
in the morning of the next school day.
- It is indubitable under the circumstances that the
school president had knowledge that the jeep was
routinely driven home for the said purpose. Moreover, it
is not improbable that the school president also had
knowledge of Funtecha's possession of a student
driver's license and his desire to undergo driving lessons
during the time that he was not in his classrooms.
- In learning how to drive while taking the vehicle home
in the direction of Allan's house, Funtecha definitely
was not, having a joy ride Funtecha was not driving for
the purpose of his enjoyment or for a "frolic of his own"
but ultimately, for the service for which the jeep was
intended by the petitioner school. The act of Funtecha
in taking over the steering wheel was one done for and
in behalf of his employer for which act the petitionerschool cannot deny any responsibility by arguing that it
was done beyond the scope of his janitorial duties. The
clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" for
purposes of raising the presumption of liability of an
employer, includes any act done by an employee, in
furtherance of the interests of the employer or for the
account of the employer at the time of the infliction of
the injury or damage. Even if somehow, the employee
driving the vehicle derived some benefit from the act,
the existence of a presumptive liability of the employer
is determined by answering the question of whether or
not the servant was at the time of the accident
performing any act in furtherance of his master's
business.
- Funtecha is an employee of petitioner FCI. He need
not have an official appointment for a driver's position
in order that the petitioner may be held responsible for
his grossly negligent act, it being sufficient that the act

prof. casis
of driving at the time of the incident was for the benefit
of the petitioner. Hence, the fact that Funtecha was not
the school driver or was not acting with the scope of his
janitorial duties does not relieve the petitioner of the
burden of rebutting the presumption juris tantum that
there was negligence on its part either in the selection of
a servant or employee, or in the supervision over him.
The petitioner has failed to show proof of its having
exercised the required diligence of a good father of a
family over its employees Funtecha and Allan. There
were no rules and regulations prohibiting the use of the
school jeep by persons other than the driver. There was
thus no supervision on the part of FCI over its
employees with regard to the use of the jeep.
- The petitioner, thus, has an obligation to pay damages
for injury arising from the unskilled manner by which
Funtecha drove the vehicle. In the absence of evidence
that the petitioner had exercised the diligence of a good
father of a family in the supervision of its employees,
the law imposes upon it the vicarious liability for acts or
omissions of its employees. The liability of the
employer is, under Article 2180, primary and solidary.
However, the employer shall have recourse against the
negligent employee for whatever damages are paid to
the heirs of the plaintiff.
NPC v CA (PHESCO INC.)
294 CRA 209
ROMERO; August 14, 1998
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- On July 22, 1979, a convoy of four dump trucks
owned by the National Power Corporation (NPC) left
Marawi City bound for Iligan City. Unfortunately,
enroute to its destination, one of the trucks driven by
Gavino Ilumba figured in a head-on-collision with a
Toyota Tamaraw. The incident resulted in the death of
three persons riding in the Toyota Tamaraw, as well as
physical injuries to seventeen other passengers.
- The heirs of the victims filed a complaint for damages
against NPC and PHESCO Incorporated (PHESCO is a

torts & damages


contractor of NPC with the main duty of supplying
workers and technicians for the latter's projects, but in
this case it was alleged that they own the dump trucks).
- The trial court rendered a decision absolving NPC of
any liability. PHESCO appealed to the Court of
Appeals, which reversed the trial court's judgment
absolving PHESCO and sentencing NPC to pay
damages.
ISSUE
WON NPC is the employer of Ilumba, driver of the
dump truck, which should be solidarily liable for the
damages to the victims
HELD
YES
- In the provisions of the "Memorandum of
Understanding" entered into by PHESCO and NPC, we
are convinced that PHESCO was engaged in "labor
only" contracting. In a "labor only" contract, the person
acting as contractor is considered merely as an agent or
intermediary of the principal who is responsible to the
workers in the same manner and to the same extent as if
they had been directly employed by him. Finding that a
contractor was a "labor-only" contractor is equivalent to
a finding that an employer-employee relationship
existed between the owner (principal contractor) and
the "labor-only" contractor, including the latter's
workers.
- Article 2180 of the Civil Code explicitly provides:
"Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by
their employees and household helpers acting within the
scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former
are not engaged in any business or industry."
- In this regard, NPC's liability is direct, primary and
solidary with PHESCO and the driver. Of course, NPC,
if the judgment for damages is satisfied by it, shall have
recourse against PHESCO and the driver who
committed the negligence which gave rise to the action.
DISPOSITION Assailed decision affirmed.
LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY & RODOLFO
ROMAN vs MARJORIE NAVIDAD, Heirs of the

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prof. casis

- PAGE 77 -

Late NICANOR NAVIDAD


SECURITY AGENCY
VITUG, J/February 6, 2003
397 SCRA 75

&

PRUDENT

NATURE: APPEAL from CAs DECISION


- 14 Oct 1993, about 730pm, Nicanor Navidad,
then drunk, entered the EDSA LRT station after
purchasing a "token" (representing payment of the
fare).
- While Navidad was standing on the platform near
the LRT tracks, Junelito Escartin, the security
guard assigned to the area approached Navidad.
- A misunderstanding or an altercation between the
two apparently ensued that led to a fist fight.
- No evidence, however, was adduced to indicate
how the fight started or who, between the two,
delivered the first blow or how Navidad later fell on
the LRT tracks.
- At the exact moment that Navidad fell, an LRT
train, operated by petitioner Rodolfo Roman, was
coming in. Navidad was struck by the moving train,
and he was killed instantaneously.
- Marjorie Navidad (Nicanors widow), along with
their children, filed a complaint for damages
against Junelito Escartin, Rodolfo Roman, the
LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc. (Metro
Transit), and Prudent for the death of her husband.
- LRTA and Roman filed a counterclaim against
Navidad and a cross-claim against Escartin and
Prudent. Prudent, in its answer, denied liability and
averred that it had exercised due diligence in the
selection and supervision of its security guards.
- The LRTA and Roman presented their evidence
while Prudent and Escartin, instead of presenting
evidence, filed a demurrer contending that
Navidad had failed to prove that Escartin was
negligent in his assigned task.
- TC: Rendered in favor of the Navidads and
against the Prudent Security and Junelito Escartin
ordered the latter to pay jointly and severally the
plaintiffs the following:
"a) 1) Actual damages of P44,830.00; 2)
Compensatory damages of P443,520.00; 3)

Indemnity for the death of Nicanor Navidad in the


sum of P50,000.00; b) Moral damages of
P50,000.00; c) Attorneys fees of P20,000; d)
Costs of suit.
- TC: dismissed complaint against defendants
LRTA and Rodolfo Roman for lack of merit.
-Prudent appealed to the Court of Appeals.
- CA: exonerated Prudent from any liability for the
death of Nicanor Navidad and, instead, holding the
LRTA and Roman jointly and severally liable for
the following amounts:
a) P44,830.00 as actual damages; b) P50,000.00
as nominal damages; c) P50,000.00 as moral
damages; d) P50,000.00 as indemnity for the
death of the deceased; and e) P20,000.00 as and
for attorneys fees.
-CA ratiocinated that while the deceased might not
have then as yet boarded the train, a contract of
carriage theretofore had already existed when the
victim entered the place where passengers were
supposed to be after paying the fare and getting
the corresponding token therefor. In exempting
Prudent from liability, the court stressed that there
was nothing to link the security agency to the
death of Navidad. It said that Navidad failed to
show that Escartin inflicted fist blows upon the
victim and the evidence merely established the
fact of death of Navidad by reason of his having
been hit by the train owned and managed by the
LRTA and operated at the time by Roman. The
appellate court faulted petitioners for their failure to
present expert evidence to establish the fact that
the application of emergency brakes could not
have stopped the train.
- CA denied petitioners motion for reconsideration
in its resolution of 10 October 2000.
ISSUES:
WON CA ERRED IN FINDING THAT LRTA IS
LIABLE FOR THE DEATH OF NICANOR
NAVIDAD, JR.
WON ERRED CA ERRED IN FINDING THAT
RODOLFO ROMAN IS AN EMPLOYEE OF LRTA

torts & damages


AND ALSO LIABLE FOR THE DEATH OF
NAVIDAD
LRTAs CLAIMS:
-Escartins assault upon Navidad, which caused
the latter to fall on the tracks, was an act of a
stranger that could not have been foreseen or
prevented.
- NO employer-employee relationship between
Roman and LRTA because Roman himself had
testified being an employee of Metro Transit and
not of the LRTA.
Navidads Contention:
- A contract of carriage was deemed created from
the moment Navidad paid the fare at the LRT
station and entered the premises of the latter,
entitling Navidad to all the rights and protection
under a contractual relation, and that the appellate
court had correctly held LRTA and Roman liable
for the death of Navidad in failing to exercise
extraordinary diligence imposed upon a common
carrier.
HELD:
1. NO. The foundation of LRTAs liability is the
contract of carriage and its obligation to indemnify
the victim arises from the breach of that contract
by reason of its failure to exercise the high
diligence required of the common carrier. In the
discharge of its commitment to ensure the safety
of passengers, a carrier may choose to hire its
own employees or avail itself of the services of an
outsider or an independent firm to undertake the
task. In either case, the common carrier is not
relieved of its responsibilities under the contract of
carriage.
- PRUDENT could also be held liable but only for
tort under the provisions of Article 2176
HYPERLINK
"http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/feb2003/gr
_145804_2003.html" \l "fnt12#fnt12" 12 and related
provisions, in conjunction with Article 2180,
HYPERLINK
"http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/feb2003/gr

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_145804_2003.html" \l "fnt13#fnt13" of the Civil


Code. (But there wasnt any evidence shown that
linking Prudent to the death of Navidad in this
case- SC) The premise, however, for the
employers liability is negligence or fault on the
part of the employee.
- Once such fault is established, the employer can
then be made liable on the basis of the
presumption juris tantum that the employer failed
to exercise diligentissimi patris families in the
selection and supervision of its employees. The
liability is primary and can only be negated by
showing due diligence in the selection and
supervision of the employee, a factual matter that
has not been shown.
- A contractual obligation can be breached by tort
and when the same act or omission causes the
injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the
other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 HYPERLINK
"http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/feb2003/gr
_145804_2003.html" \l "fnt14#fnt14" 14 of the Civil
Code can well apply.
- In fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a
contract, where tort is that which breaches the
contract. Stated differently, when an act which
constitutes a breach of contract would have itself
constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability
had no contract existed between the parties, the
contract can be said to have been breached by
tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply.
2. YES.
There is no showing that Rodolfo Roman himself is
guilty of any culpable act or omission, he must
also be absolved from liability as Prudent is.
Needless to say, the contractual tie between the
LRT and Navidad is not itself a juridical relation
between the latter and Roman; thus, Roman can
be made liable only for his own fault or negligence.
REASONING:
- Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common
carrier, both from the nature of its business and for
reasons of public policy, is burdened with the duty

prof. casis
of exercising utmost diligence in ensuring the
safety of passengers.
- The Civil Code, governing the liability of a
common carrier for death of or injury to its
passengers, provides:
"Article 1755. A common carrier is bound
to carry the passengers safely as far as human
care and foresight can provide, using the utmost
diligence of very cautious persons, with a due
regard for all the circumstances.
"Article 1756. In case of death of or
injuries to passengers, common carriers are
presumed to have been at fault or to have acted
negligently, unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles
1733 and 1755."
"Article 1759. Common carriers are liable
for the death of or injuries to passengers through
the negligence or willful acts of the formers
employees, although such employees may have
acted beyond the scope of their authority or in
violation of the orders of the common carriers.
"This liability of the common carriers does
not cease upon proof that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of their employees."
"Article 1763. A common carrier is
responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on
account of the willful acts or negligence of other
passengers or of strangers, if the common
carriers employees through the exercise of the
diligence of a good father of a family could have
prevented or stopped the act or omission."
-The law requires common carriers to carry
passengers safely using the utmost diligence of
very cautious persons with due regard for all
circumstances.
- Such duty of a common carrier to provide safety
to its passengers so obligates it not only during the
course of the trip but for so long as the passengers
are within its premises and where they ought to be
in pursuance to the contract of carriage

torts & damages


- The statutory provisions render a common carrier
liable for death of or injury to passengers (a)
through the negligence or wilful acts of its
employees or b) on account of wilful acts or
negligence of other passengers or of strangers if
the common carriers employees through the
exercise of due diligence could have prevented or
stopped the act or omission.
- In case of such death or injury, a carrier is
presumed to have been at fault or been negligent,
and by simple proof of injury, the passenger is
relieved of the duty to still establish the fault or
negligence of the carrier or of its employees and
the burden shifts upon the carrier to prove that the
injury is due to an unforeseen event or to force
majeure. In the absence of satisfactory explanation
by the carrier on how the accident occurred, which
LRTA and Roman, according to the CA, have
failed to show, the presumption would be that it
has been at fault, an exception from the general
rule that negligence must be proved.
DISPOSITION: CAS DECISION AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION but only in that (a) the award of
nominal damages is DELETED and (b) petitioner
Rodolfo Roman is absolved from liability. No costs.
______________
HYPERLINK
"http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/feb2003/gr
_145804_2003.html" \l "rnt12#rnt12" Art. 2176.
Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged
to pay for the damage done. Such fault or
negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is called a quasidelict and is governed by the provisions of this
Chapter.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/feb2003/gr
_145804_2003.html" \l "rnt13#rnt13" 13 Art. 2180.
The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is
demandable not only for ones own acts or
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom
one is responsible.

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The father and, in case of his death or incapacity,


the mother, are responsible for the damages
caused by the minor children who live in their
company.
Guardians are liable for damages caused by the
minors or incapacitated persons who are under
their authority and live in their company.
The owners and managers of an establishment or
enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the
branches in which the latter are employed or on
the occasion of their functions.
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused
by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
though the former are not engaged in any
business or industry.
The State is responsible in like manner when it
acts through a special agent, but not when the
damage has been caused by the official to whom
the task done properly pertains, in which case
what is provided in article 2176 shall be applicable.
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts
and trades shall be liable for damages caused by
their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as
they remain in their custody.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall
cease when the persons herein mentioned prove
that they observed all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage.
HYPERLINK
"http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2003/feb2003/gr
_145804_2003.html" \l "rnt14#rnt14" Art. 2194.
The responsibility of two or more persons who are
liable for a quasi-delict is solidary.
MCKEE V IAC (TAYAG & MANALO)
221 SCRA 517
Davide, Jr.; July 16, 1992
NATURE
- Petition to review the resolution of the CA
FACTS

prof. casis
- On January 8, 1977, in Pulong Pulo Bridge along
MacArthur Highway, Pampanga, a head-on-collision
took place between an International cargo truck,
Loadstar, owned by private respondents, Jaime Tayag
and Rosalina Manalo, and driven by Ruben Galang, and
a Ford Escort car driven by Jose Koh. The collision
resulted in the deaths of Jose Koh, Kim McKee and
Loida Bondoc, and physical injuries to George McKee,
Christopher McKee and Araceli McKee, all passengers
of the Ford Escort.
- Immediately before the collision, the cargo truck,
which was loaded with 200 cavans of rice weighing
about 10,000 kilos, was traveling southward from
Angeles City to San Fernando Pampanga, and was
bound for Manila. The Ford Escort, on the other hand,
was on its way to Angeles City from San Fernando.
When the northbound car was about 10 meters away
from the southern approach of the bridge, 2 boys
suddenly darted from the right side of the road and into
the lane of the car. The boys were moving back and
forth, unsure of whether to cross all the way to the other
side or turn back. Jose Koh blew the horn of the car,
swerved to the left and entered the lane of the truck; he
then switched on the headlights of the car, applied the
brakes and thereafter attempted to return to his lane.
Before he could do so, his car collided with the truck.
The collision occurred in the lane of the truck, which
was the opposite lane, on the said bridge.
- Please see first Mckee digest for details on the
collision.
- Civil cases for damages based on quasi-delict were
filed as a result of a vehicular accident.
ISSUE
WON the owners of the cargo truck (Tayag and
Manalo) are liable for the resulting damages
HELD
YES
- The Court rules that it was the truck driver's
negligence in failing to exert ordinary care to avoid the
collision which was, in law, the proximate cause of the
collision. As employers of the truck driver, Manalo and
Tayag are, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code,
directly and primarily liable for the resulting damages.
The presumption that they are negligent flows from the

torts & damages


negligence of their employee. That presumption,
however, is only juris tantum, not juris et de jure. Their
only possible defense is that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
damage. Article 2180 reads as follows:
The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable
not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for
those of persons for whom one is responsible.
xxx xxx xxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by
their employees and household helpers acting within
the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the
former are not engaged in any business or industry.
xxx xxx xxx
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family
to prevent damage.
The diligence of a good father referred to means the
diligence in the selection and supervision of employees.
- The answers of the private respondents in Civil Cases
Nos. 4477 and 4478 did not interpose this defense.
Neither did they attempt to prove it.
VALENZUELA v CA (LI and ALEXANDER
COMMERCIAL, INC.)
253 SCRA 303
KAPUNAN; February 7, 1996
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
- Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving when she
realized she had a flat tire. She parked along the
sidewalk of Aurora Blvd., put on her emergency lights,
alighted from the car, and went to the rear to open the
trunk. She was standing at the left side of the rear of her
car pointing to the tools to a man who will help her fix
the tire when she was suddenly bumped by a car driven
by defendant Richard Li and registered in the name of
defendant Alexander Commercial, Inc.
- Because of the impact plaintiff was thrown against the
windshield of the car of the defendant, which was

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destroyed, and then fell to the ground. She was pulled


out from under defendant's car. Plaintiff's left leg was
severed up to the middle of her thigh, with only some
skin and sucle connected to the rest of the body. She
was confined in the hospital for twenty (20) days and
was eventually fitted with an artificial leg. She filed a
claim for damages against defendant.
- Lis alibi was that he was driving at 55kph when he
was suddenly confronted with a speeding car coming
from the opposite direction. He instinctively swerved to
the right to avoid colliding with the oncoming vehicle,
and bumped plaintiff's car, which he did not see because
it was midnight blue in color, with no parking lights or
early warning device, and the area was poorly lighted.
Defendants counterclaimed for damages, alleging that
plaintiff was the one who was reckless or negligent.
-RTC found Li and Alexander solidarily liable. CA
absolved Alexander.
ISSUE
1. WON Li was grossly negligent in driving the
company issued car
2. WON Valenzuela was guilty of contributory
negligence
3. WON Alexander Commercial is liable as Lis
employer
HELD
1. YES
- The average motorist alert to road conditions will have
no difficulty applying the brakes to a car traveling at the
speed claimed by Li. Given a light rainfall, the visibility
of the street, and the road conditions on a principal
metropolitan thoroughfare like Aurora Boulevard, Li
would have had ample time to react to the changing
conditions of the road if he were alert as every driver
should be to those conditions. Driving exacts a more
than usual toll on the senses. Physiological "fight or
flight"
mechanisms are at work, provided such
mechanisms were not dulled by drugs, alcohol,
exhaustion, drowsiness, etc. Li's failure to react in a
manner which would have avoided the accident could
therefore have been only due to either or both of the
two factors: 1) that he was driving at a "very fast" speed

prof. casis
as testified by one of the witneses; and 2) that he was
under the influence of alcohol. Either factor working
independently
would
have
diminished
his
responsiveness to road conditions, since normally he
would have slowed down prior to reaching Valenzuela's
car, rather than be in a situation forcing him to suddenly
apply his brakes.
- Li was, therefore, negligent in driving his companyissued Mitsubishi Lancer
2. NO
- Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the
injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm
he has suffered, which falls below the standard to which
he is required to conform for his own protection. Under
the "emergency rule" adopted by this Court in Gan vs.
Court of Appeals, an individual who suddenly finds
himself in a situation of danger and is required to act
without much time to consider the best means that may
be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty
of negligence if he fails to undertake what subsequently
and upon reflection may appear to be a better solution,
unless the emergency was brought by his own
negligence.
- While the emergency rule applies to those cases in
which reflective thought or the opportunity to
adequately weigh a threatening situation is absent, the
conduct which is required of an individual in such cases
is dictated not exclusively by the suddenness of the
event which absolutely negates thoroughful care, but by
the over-all nature of the circumstances. A woman
driving a vehicle suddenly crippled by a flat tire on a
rainy night will not be faulted for stopping at a point
which is both convenient for her to do so and which is
not a hazard to other motorists. She is not expected to
run the entire boulevard in search for a parking zone or
turn on a dark street or alley where she would likely
find no one to help her.
- Negligence, as it is commonly understood is conduct
which creates an undue risk of harm to others. It is the
failure to observe that degree of care, precaution, and
vigilance which the circumstances justly demand,
whereby such other person suffers injury.
3. YES

torts & damages


- Since important business transactions and decisions
may occur at all hours in all sorts of situations and
under all kinds of guises, the provision for the unlimited
use of a company car therefore principally serves the
business and goodwill of a company and only
incidentally the private purposes of the individual who
actually uses the car, the managerial employee or
company sales agent. As such, in providing for a
company car for business use and/or for the purpose of
furthering the company's image, a company owes a
responsibility to the public to see to it that the
managerial or other employees to whom it entrusts
virtually unlimited use of a company issued car are able
to use the company issue capably and responsibly.
In fine, Alexander Commercial, inc. has not
demonstrated, to our satisfaction, that it exercised the
care and diligence of a good father of the family in
entrusting its company car to Li. No allegations were
made as to whether or not the company took the steps
necessary to determine or ascertain the driving
proficiency and history of Li, to whom it gave full and
unlimited use of a company car. Not having been able
to overcome the burden of demonstrating that it should
be absolved of liability for entrusting its company car to
Li, said company, based on the principle of bonus pater
familias, ought to be jointly and severally liable with
the former for the injuries sustained by Ma. Lourdes
Valenzuela during the accident.
DISPOSITION Judgment of RTC reinstated.
MERRITT v GOVERNMENT
34 Phil 311
TRENT; March 31, 1916
NATURE
Appeal from decision of the CFI
FACTS
- E. Merritt, riding on a motorcycle, was hit by the
General Hospital ambulance, which turned suddenly
and unexpectedly to Taft Avenue without sounding any
whistle or horn, in contravention of an ordinance and
the Motor Vehicle Act.

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- Plaintiff was so severely injured. His leg showed a


contraction of an inch and a half and a curvature that
made his leg very weak and painful at the point of the
fracture. Examination of his head revealed a notable
readjustment of the functions of the brain and nerves.
The patient apparently was slightly deaf, had a light
weakness in his eyes and in his mental condition. This
latter weakness was always noticed when the plaintiff
had to do any difficult mental labor, especially when he
attempted to use his money for mathematical
calculations.
- Witnesses testified that plaintiffs physical and mental
condition before the accident was excellent. He was one
of the best contractors of wooden buildings. He could
not now earn even a half of the income that he had
secured for his work because he had lost 50 per cent of
his efficiency. He had to dissolve a partnership that he
had with an engineer and give up a contract for the
construction of a building.
- Trial court held that the collision was due solely on the
negligence of the chauffeur and awarded the plaintiff
the sum of P14, 741.
- Act No. 2457 was enacted. It states that E. Merritt is
hereby authorized to bring suit in the Court of First
Instance of the city of Manila against the Government
of the Philippine Islands in order to fix the
responsibility for the collision between his motorcycle
and the ambulance of the General Hospital, and to
determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which
Mr. E. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision,
and the Attorney-General of the Philippine Islands is
hereby authorized and directed to appear at the trial on
the behalf of the Government of said Islands, to
defendant said Government at the same.
ISSUES
WON the government is liable for the damages
resulting from a tort committed by an agent or
employee of the government
HELD
NO

prof. casis
Ratio The State is only liable for the acts of its agents,
officers and employees when they act as special agents
within the meaning of paragraph 5 of article 1903.
Reasoning
- In the United States the rule is that the state is not
liable for the torts committed by its officers or agents
whom it employs, except when expressly made so by
legislative enactment. The Government does not
undertake to guarantee to any person the fidelity of the
officers or agents whom it employs, since that would
involve it in all its operations in endless
embarrassments, difficulties and losses, which would be
subversive of the public interest.
- As to the scope of legislative enactments permitting
individuals to sue the state where the cause of action
arises out of either fort or contract, the rule is stated in
36 Cyc., 915, thus:
By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its
immunity from suit. It does not thereby concede its
liability to plaintiff, or create any cause of action in
his favor, or extend its liability to any cause not
previously recognized. It merely gives a remedy to
enforce a preexisting liability and submits itself to
the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right to
interpose any lawful defense.
- Paragraph 5 of article 1903 of the Civil Code reads:
The state is liable in this sense when it acts through
a special agent, but not when the damage should
have been caused by the official to whom properly
it pertained to do the act performed, in which case
the provisions of the preceding article shall be
applicable.
- The obligation to indemnify for damages which a third
person causes to another by his fault or negligence is
based, as is evidenced by the same Law 3, Title 15,
Partida 7, on that the person obligated, by his own fault
or negligence, takes part in the act or omission of the
third party who caused the damage. It follows therefrom
that the state, by virtue of such provisions of law, is not
responsible for the damages suffered by private
individuals in consequence of acts performed by its
employees in the discharge of the functions pertaining
to their office, because neither fault nor even negligence
can be presumed on the part of the state in the

torts & damages


organization of branches of public service and in the
appointment of its agents; on the contrary, we must
presuppose all foresight humanly possible on its part in
order that each branch of service serves the general
weal an that of private persons interested in its
operation. Between these latter and the state, therefore,
no relations of a private nature governed by the civil
law can arise except in a case where the state acts as a
judicial person capable of acquiring rights and
contracting obligations.
- The Civil Code in chap 2, title 16, book 4, regulates
the obligations which arise out of fault or negligence;
and whereas in the first article thereof. No. 1902, where
the general principle is laid down that where a person
who by an act or omission causes damage to another
through fault or negligence, shall be obliged to repair
the damage so done, reference is made to acts or
omissions of the persons who directly or indirectly
cause the damage, the following articles refers to this
persons and imposes an identical obligation upon those
who maintain fixed relations of authority and
superiority over the authors of the damage, because the
law presumes that in consequence of such relations the
evil caused by their own fault or negligence is
imputable to them. This legal presumption gives way to
proof, however, because, as held in the last paragraph of
article 1903, responsibility for acts of third persons
ceases when the persons mentioned in said article prove
that they employed all the diligence of a good father of
a family to avoid the damage, and among these persons,
called upon to answer in a direct and not a subsidiary
manner, are found, in addition to the mother or the
father in a proper case, guardians and owners or
directors of an establishment or enterprise, the state, but
not always, except when it acts through the agency of a
special agent, doubtless because and only in this case,
the fault or negligence, which is the original basis of
this kind of objections, must be presumed to lie with the
state.
- Although in some cases the state might by virtue of
the general principle set forth in article 1902 respond
for all the damage that is occasioned to private parties
by orders or resolutions which by fault or negligence
are made by branches of the central administration

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acting in the name and representation of the state itself


and as an external expression of its sovereignty in the
exercise of its executive powers, yet said article is not
applicable in the case of damages said to have been
occasioned to the petitioners by an executive official,
acting in the exercise of his powers, in proceedings to
enforce the collections of certain property taxes owing
by the owner of the property which they hold in
sublease.
- The responsibility of the state is limited by article
1903 to the case wherein it acts through a special agent
(one who receives a definite and fixed order or
commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his
office if he is a special official) so that in representation
of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof,
he executes the trust confided to him. This concept does
not apply to any executive agent who is an employee of
the acting administration and who on his own
responsibility performs the functions which are inherent
in and naturally pertain to his office and which are
regulated by law and the regulations.
- The responsibility of the state is limited to that which
it contracts through a special agent, duly empowered by
a definite order or commission to perform some act or
charged with some definite purpose which gives rise to
the claim, and not where the claim is based on acts or
omissions imputable to a public official charged with
some administrative or technical office who can be held
to the proper responsibility in the manner laid down by
the law of civil responsibility.
- The chauffeur of the ambulance of the General
Hospital was not such an agent within the meaning of
paragraph 5 of article 1903
On the computation of damages
The two items which constitute a part of the P14,741
and which are drawn in question by the plaintiff are (a)
P5,000, the award awarded for permanent injuries, and
(b) the P2,666, the amount allowed for the loss of
wages during the time the plaintiff was incapacitated
from pursuing his occupation. We find nothing in the
record which would justify us in increasing the amount
of the first. As to the second, the record shows, and the
trial court so found, that the plaintiff's services as a
contractor were worth P1,000 per month. The court,

prof. casis
however, limited the time to 2months and 21 days,
which the plaintiff was actually confined in the hospital.
In this we think there was error, because it was clearly
established that the plaintiff was wholly incapacitated
for a period of 6 months. The mere fact that he
remained in the hospital only 2 months and 21 days
while the remainder of the 6 months was spent in his
home, would not prevent recovery for the whole time.
We, therefore, find that the amount of damages
sustained by the plaintiff, without any fault on his part,
is P18,075.
Dispositive Judgment appealed from reversed. Whether
the Government intends to make itself legally liable for
the amount of damages above set forth, which the
plaintiff has sustained by reason of the negligent acts of
one of its employees, by legislative enactment and by
appropriating sufficient funds therefor, we are not called
upon to determine. This matter rests solely with the
Legislature and not with the courts.
ROSETE v AUDITOR GENERAL
81 Phil 453
FERIA; August 31, 1948
NATURE
Appeal from the decision of the Insular Auditor
FACTS
- Jose Panlilio ignited his lighter near a drum into which
gasoline was being drained causing fire in the
warehouse of Emergency Control Administration (ECA,
a government agency).
- The fire destroyed the building owned by the
petitioner, thereby giving rise to this claim for damages
against Panlilio for his negligence and the officers of
ECA for storing gasoline in said warehouse contrary to
the provisions of ordinances of the City of Manila
(ordinance requires a license for storing flammable
substances, which ECA didnt have).
- Insular Auditor dismissed the claim hence this appeal.
ISSUE
WON the government is liable for the damages

torts & damages


HELD
NO
- Art. 1903 of the Civil Code reads:
Art. 1903. The obligation imposed in the
preceding article is enforceable not only for
personal acts and omission but also for those
persons for whom another is responsible.
xx
The state is liable in this sense when it acts
through a special agent, but not when the
damage should have been caused by the
official to whom it properly pertained to do the
act performed, in which case the provisions of
the preceding article shall be applicable.
- In the case of Merritt v. Government, the court held
the following:
The state is not responsible for
the damage suffered by private individuals in
consequence of acts performed by its
employees in the discharge of the functions
pertaining to their office n relations of a
private nature governed by the civil law can
arise except in a case where the state acts as a
juridical person capable of acquiring rights and
contracting obligations.
xx
That the responsibility of the state
is limited by article 1903 to the case wherein it
acts through a special agent (and a special
agent, in the sense in which these words are
employed, is one who receives a definite and
fixed order by the commission, foreign to the
exercise of duties of his office if he is a special
official) so that in representation of the state
and being bound to act as an agent thereof, he
executes the trust confided to him.
- There being no showing that whatever negligence may
be imputed to the ECA or its officers, was done by a

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special agent, because the officers of the ECA did not


act as special agents of the government within the
above defined meaning of that wod in Article 1903 of
the Civil Code in storing gasoline in the warehouse of
ECA, the government is not responsible for damages
caused through such negligence.
- Although there is an act (Act No. 327) authorizing the
filing of claims against the government with the Insular
Auditor, and appeal by private persons or entities from
the latters decision to the Supreme Court, it does not
make any and all claims against the government
allowable, and the latter responsible for all claims.
DISPOSITION Decision appealed from is affirmed.
MENDOZA V. DE LEON
FONTANILLA V MALIAMAN and NATIONAL
IRRIGATION ADMINSITRATION
194 SCRA 486
PARAS; February 27, 1991
NATURE
Resolution
FACTS
0
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA)
maintains that it does not perform solely and primarily
proprietary functions, but is an agency of the
government tasked with governmental functions, and is
therefore not liable for the tortuous act of its driver
Garcia, who was not its special agent.
0
NIA believes this bases this on:
0
PD 552 amended some provisions
of RA 3601 (the law which created the NIA)
1
The case of Angat River Irrigation
System v. Angat River Workers Union
1
Angat Case: Although the majority opinion
declares that the Angat System, like the NIA, exercised
a governmental function because the nature of its
powers and functions does not show that it was
intended to bring to the Government any special
corporate benefit or pecuniary profit, a strong
dissenting opinion held that Angat River system is a

prof. casis
government entity exercising proprietary functions.
2
The Angat dissenting opinion:
3
Alegre protested the announced termination of
his employment. He argued that although his contract
did stipulate that the same would terminate on July 17,
1976, since his services were necessary and desirable
in the usual business of his employer, and his
employment had lasted for five years, he had acquired
the status of regular employee and could not be
removed except for valid cause.
4
The employment contract of 1971 was
executed when the Labor Code of the Philippines had
not yet been promulgated, which came into effect some
3 years after the perfection of the contract.
ISSUE
WON the NIR is a government agency with a juridical
personality separate and distinct from the government,
thereby opening it up to the possibility that it may be
held liable for the damages caused by its driver, who
was not its special agent
HELD YES
Reasoning the functions of government have been
classified into governmental or constituent and
proprietary or ministrant. The former involves the
exercise of sovereignty and considered as compulsory;
the latter connotes merely the exercise of proprietary
functions and thus considered as optional.
The National Irrigation Administration was not created
for purposes of local government. While it may be true
that the NIA was essentially a service agency of the
government aimed at promoting public interest and
public welfare, such fact does not make the NIA
essentially and purely a "government-function"
corporation. NIA was created for the purpose of
"constructing,
improving,
rehabilitating,
and
administering all national irrigation systems in the
Philippines, including all communal and pump
irrigation projects." Certainly, the state and the
community as a whole are largely benefited by the
services the agency renders, but these functions are only

torts & damages


incidental to the principal aim of the agency, which is
the irrigation of lands.
NIA is a government agency invested with a corporate
personality separate and distinct from the government,
thus is governed by the Corporation Law. Section 1 of
Republic Act No. 3601 provides:
Sec. 1. Name and Domicile A body corporate is
hereby created which shall be known as the National
Irrigation Administration. . . . which shall be organized
immediately after the approval of this Act. It shall have
its principal seat of business in the City of Manila and
shall have representatives in all provinces, for the
proper conduct of its business. (Emphasis for
emphasis).
Besides, Section 2, subsection b of P.D. 552 provides
that:
(b) To charge and collect from the beneficiaries of the
water from all irrigation systems constructed by or
under its administration, such fees or administration
charges as may be necessary to cover the cost of
operation, maintenance and insurance, and to recover
the cost of construction within a reasonable period of
time to the extent consistent with government policy; to
recover funds or portions thereof expended for the
construction and/or rehabilitation of communal
irrigation systems which funds shall accrue to a special
fund for irrigation development under section 2 hereof;
Unpaid irrigation fees or administration charges shall be
preferred liens first, upon the land benefited, and then
on the crops raised thereon, which liens shall have
preference over all other liens except for taxes on the
land, and such preferred liens shall not be removed until
all fees or administration charges are paid or the
property is levied upon and sold by the National
Irrigation Administration for the satisfaction thereof. . . .
The same section also provides that NIA may sue and
be sued in court.
It has its own assets and liabilities. It also has corporate
powers to be exercised by a Board of Directors. Section
2, subsection (f):
(f) . . . and to transact such business, as are directly or
indirectly necessary, incidental or conducive to the
attainment of the above powers and objectives,
including the power to establish and maintain

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subsidiaries, and in general, to exercise all the powers


of a corporation under the Corporation Law, insofar as
they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
DISPOSITION
We conclude that the National
Irrigation Administration is a government agency with a
juridical personality separate and distinct from the
government. It is not a mere agency of the government
but a corporate body performing proprietary functions.
Therefore, it may be held liable for the damages caused
by the negligent act of its driver who was not its special
agent.
ACCORDINGLY, the Motion for Reconsideration dated
January 26, 1990 is DENIED WITH FINALITY. The
decision of this Court in G.R. No. 55963 and G.R. No.
61045 dated December 1, 1989 is hereby AFFIRMED.
DISSENTING: PADILLA: to say that NIA has opened
itself to suit is one thing; to say that it is liable for
damages arising from tort committed by its employees,
is still another thing.
The state or a government agency performing
governmental functions may be held liable for tort
committed by its employees only when it acts through a
special agent.
CITY OF MANILA V TEOTICA
22 SCRA 267
CONCEPCION; January 29, 1968
NATURE
Appeal by certiorari from a decision of the Court of
Appeals.
FACTS
- Genaro N. Teotico, an accountant, was at the corner of
the Old Luneta and P. Burgos Avenue, Manila, waiting
for a jeep. After waiting 5 mins, he hailed a jeep that
came to a stop. As he stepped down from the curb to
board the jeep, and took a few steps, he fell inside a
manhole on P. Burgos Avenue. Due to the fall, his head
hit the rim of the manhole breaking his eyeglasses and
causing broken pieces thereof to pierce his left eyelid.
As blood flowed therefrom, impairing his vision,
several persons came to his assistance and pulled him
out of the manhole. One of them brought Teotico to the

prof. casis
Philippine General Hospital, where his injuries were
treated, after which he was taken home. In addition to
the lacerated wound in his left upper eyelid, Teotico
suffered contusions on the left thigh, the left upper arm,
the right leg and the upper lip apart from an abrasion on
the right infra-patella region. These injuries and the
allergic eruption caused by anti-tetanus injections
administered to him in the hospital, required further
medical treatment by a private practitioner.
- Teotico filed with CFI Manila, a complaint which was,
subsequently, amended for damages against the City of
Manila, its mayor, city engineer, city health officer, city
treasurer and chief of police.
- Defense pointed out that because of the lucrative scrap
iron business then prevailing, stealing of iron catchbasin
covers was rampant; that the Office of the City
Engineer has filed complaints in court resulting from
theft of said iron covers; that in order to prevent such
thefts, the city government has changed the position and
layout of catchbasins in the City by constructing them
under the sidewalks with concrete cement covers and
openings on the side of the gutter; and that these
changes had been undertaken by the city from time to
time whenever funds were available.
- CFI Manila sustained the theory of the defendants
and dismissed the amended complaint, without costs.
- This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals,
except insofar as the City of Manila is concerned,
which was sentenced to pay damages in the
aggregate sum of P6,750.00. Hence, this appeal by the
City of Manila.
- The first issue raised by the Manila is whether the
present case is governed by Section 4 of RA 409
(Charter of the City of Manila) reading:
The city shall not be liable or held for damages or
injuries to persons or property arising from the failure
of the Mayor, the Municipal Board, or any other city
officer, to enforce the provisions of this chapter, or any
other law or ordinance, or from negligence of said
Mayor, Municipal Board, or other officers while
enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions.
or by Article 2189 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines which provides:

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Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable


for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any
person by reason of defective conditions of road,
streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public
works under their control or supervision.
- Manila maintains that the former provision should
prevail over the latter, because RA 409, is a special law,
intended exclusively for the City of Manila, whereas the
Civil Code is a general law, applicable to the entire
Philippines.

Dispositive WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from


should be as it is hereby affirmed, with costs against the
City of Manila.
Voting Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P.,
Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro, Angeles and Fernando, JJ.,
concur.

ISSUES
WON City of Manila should be held liable for the
damages suffered by Teotica.

FACTS:
-An employee of the Ace ADVERTISING Company
was sent to the States to pursue studies in
television. When asked about the expenses of the
trip, respondent answered that these were not
shouldered by the company and instead by other
parties
-while abroad, he continued to receive his salaries
in the form of vouchers ordered and signed by
respondent Joya. The petitioner signed three of
these checks. The others were signed by either
the respondent, or Vicente Aran