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Cariaga vs Laguna Tayabas Bus Company

Dec. 29, 1960

Facts:
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At about 1:00 pm, June 18, 1952, Bus No. 133 of the Laguna Tayabas Bus Company (LTB)
bound for Lilio Laguna (departing from Azcarriaga St., Manila) collided with the engine of a
train then passing by the national railroad tracks of the poblacion of Bay, Laguna.
One of the injured: Edgardo Cariaga
o 4th year medical student (UST).
o Sustained grave injuries; He was unconscious for 35 days, and his right forehead was
fractured in such a way that it necessitated the removal of practically all of the right
frontal lobe of his brain. Under the testimony of Dr. Fernandez (psychiatrist),
Cariagas mental capacity has been reduced to that he can no longer finish his studies.
Right frontal bone of his head was replaced by a tantalum plate that when pressed in
or dented in (the brain), could cause Cariagas death. The gist of it is that he became
an invalid after the accident.
o LTB paid for the expenses in the hospitalization of Cariaga.
Cariaga (plus parents) filed a case against LTB and the Manila Railroad Company (MRR Co.)
for the recovery of P312,000.00 worth of actual, compensatory, moral and exemplary
damages.
o Lower Court: Negligence of the bus driver that caused the accident; sentenced LTB
to pay Cariaga P10,490.00.
Both the Cariaga and the LTB appealed.
o Cariaga: for awarding only P10K+ in compensatory damages and not awarding them
actual and moral damages
o LTB: the fault should not have been bore by them alone; MRR Co. should be
included (collision: both because of MRR Co. and bus driver).

Issues/Held:
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Regarding LTBs appeal:


o Untenable; all the witnesses on both side (LTB and MRR Co.) swore that they heard
the train whistle sometime before the collision, but that it was the Bus that refused to
slow down.
o LTB was unable to discredit MRR Co.s witness that effect!
Regarding the Cariagas appeal:
o Compensatory damages of P10K+ is too low considering the effects (and the
evidence thereof) of said accident.
o LTB: Under A. 2201 of the CC, the damages for which the obligor, guilty of a breach
of contract but who acted in good faith, is liable shall be for those that are the natural
and probable consequences of the breach and which the parties had forseen or could
have reasonably forseen at the time the obligation was constituted, provided such
damages, according to A. 2199 of the same code, have been duly proved.
Only the hospital expenses of P17,719.75 has been duly proved
o SC: The income of Cariaga had he finished his medical studies should be considered
too; could have been reasonably forseen by the parties at the time Cariaga boarded
the bus.

o
o

Upon consideration of all facts, compensatory damages should be increased to P25K.


Moral damage and attys fees cannot be awarded:
Current case not one of those contemplated in Art. 2219 that enumerated the
instances such damage can be awarded; cannot come under par. 2 thereon
because the present action is not one quasi-delict (due to the pre-existing
contractual relation between Cariaga and LTB).
Neither can LTB be held accountable for moral damages under A. 2220 of
the CC because LTB did not act fraudulently or in bad faith and that LTB
exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of its buses in
connection with the discharge of their duties.
Cachero vs Manila Yellow Taxi Cab:
Not a liability arising from crime, because the one who committed
the offense is the driver.
Liability = as a result of a breach of contract.
Quasi-delict = for those obligations which do not arise from law,
contracts, quasi-contracts or criminal offenses.