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G.R. No. L-4089
January 12 1909
responden Marcelo Lauron



summary Petitioner doctor filed this case against the defendants to collect his

professional fees for the childbirth of the defendants daughter-in-law.

According to the SC, since the obligation to give support falls upon the husband
by express provision of law, then absent any contract agreed upon, the
defendants cannot be held liable.

facts of the case


Pelayo, a doctor, filed a complaint on November 1906, stating that at about October of
1906, defendants requested medical assistance from him for their daughter-in-law who
was about to give birth. By consultation, it was agreed upon to remove the fetus as well as
the afterbirth. He estimated his services cost around P500 which the defendants in this
case refuse to pay.
Defendants on the other hand denied everything and alleged as a special defense that the
daughter-in-law died because of the childbirth, that said daughter in law was living apart
from them ogether with her husband, and that her stay at their house on the day of
childbirth was merely accidental.
The lower court held for the defendants on account of lack of sufficient evidence to
establish a right of action.
Hence, this case before the SC. According to the SC, the only important issue to answer
here is


Who is bound to pay for Pelayos bill?


The court laid down the sequence of its reasoning. First, the court cited the general law on
obligations under Article 1089 (obligations are created by law, by contracts, by quasicontracts, and by illicit acts and omissions or by those in which any kind og negligence
By express provision of law, the rendering of medical assistance in case of illness is one of
the mutual obligations the spouses are obliged by way of mutual support . In this case
therefore, if the dead daughter-in-law could not pay for her childbirth expenses, then the
burden will fall on the husband. The party bound to furnish support is therefore liable for
all expenses, including the fees of the medical expert for his professional services.
It is only the husband, and not his parents, who are bound to give support. The fact that it
wasnt the husband who asked for help from Mr Pelayo is of no moment. The husband is
still the person obliged to give support and likewise pay for the expenses of such support.
Since there was no contract agreed upon that the defendants will pay for the expenses,
then they are not liable. Within the meaning of the law, the father and mother-in-law are
strangers with respect to the obligation that falls upon the husband to give support.