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Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

A. SOURCES OF OBLIGATION UNDER PHILIPPINE LAW Section 1. Ordinary civil actions, basis of. Every ordinary civil action
must be based on a cause of action. (n)

Art. 1156. An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do.


Section 2. Cause of action, defined. A cause of action is the act or
(n)
omission by which a party violates a right of another. (n)

Section 3. One suit for a single cause of action. A party may not
Art. 1162. Obligations derived from quasi-delicts shall be governed by institute more than one suit for a single cause of action. (3a)
the provisions of Chapter 2, Title XVII of this Book, and by special laws.
(1093a)
Section 4. Splitting a single cause of action; effect of. If two or more
suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of action, the filing of
one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a ground
for the dismissal of the others. (4a)
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
Section 5. Joinder of causes of action. A party may in one pleading
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
assert, in the alternative or otherwise, as many causes of action as he
provisions of this Chapter. (1902a)
may have against an opposing party, subject to the following conditions:

(a) The party joining the causes of action shall comply with the rules on
joinder of parties;

CAUSES OF ACTION - RULES OF COURT (b) The joinder shall not include special civil actions or actions governed
by special rules;

(c) Where the causes of action are between the same parties but
RULE 2 pertain to different venues or jurisdictions, the joinder may be allowed
in the Regional Trial Court provided one of the causes of action falls
Cause of Action
within the jurisdiction of said court and the venue lies therein; and
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

(d) Where the claims in all the causes action are principally for recovery
of money, the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction.
(5a)
This is a complete and proper This is not a complete and proper
defense insofar as parents, defense in the selection of
Section 6. Misjoinder of causes of action. Misjoinder of causes of guardians, employees are supervision of employees (Cangco
action is not a ground for dismissal of an action. A misjoined cause of concerned. (Art. 2180, last par, vs. Manila Railroad Corp.)
action may, on motion of a party or on the initiative of the court, be NCC)
severed and proceeded with separately. (n)

QUASI-DELICT vs. BREACH OF CONTRACT


Presumption of Negligence

CULPA AQUILIANA (TORTS) CULPA CONTRACTUAL


There is no presumption of There is a presumption of
(BREACH OF CONTRACT) negligence. The injured party must negligence as long as it can be
prove the negligence of proved that there was a breach of
defendant. (Cangco vs. Manila contract. The defendant must
Nature of Negligence Railroad Corp.) Otherwise, the prove that there was no
complaint of the injured party will negligence in the carrying out of
be dismissed. the terms of the contract.
Negligence is direct, substantive Negligence is merely incidental to
and independent. (Rakes vs. the performance of the
Atlantic) contractual obligation. There is a
pre-existing contract or obligation.
Existence of Pre-Existing Contractual Obligation

Defense of Dilligence of a Good Father of the Family


There may or may not be a There is always a pre-existing
pre-existing contractual
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

obligation. contractual obligation. employees of the railroad company were guilty of negligence in
piling these sacks on the platform in the manner above stated; that
their presence caused the plaintiff to fall as he alighted from the
train; and that they therefore constituted an effective legal cause
of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It necessarily follows that
Governing Law the defendant company is liable for the damage thereby
occasioned unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff's own
contributory negligence. In resolving this problem it is necessary
that each of these conceptions of liability, to-wit, the primary
responsibility of the defendant company and the contributory
Governed by Art. 2176 of NCC Governed by Arts. 1170-1174 negligence of the plaintiff should be separately examined.

It is important to note that 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, if at
all, from the breach of that contract by reason of the failure of
defendant to exercise due care in its performance. That is to say,
its liability is direct and immediate, differing essentially, in legal
viewpoint from that presumptive responsibility for the negligence
of its servants, 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
CASES
obligations arising ex contractu, but only to extra-contractual
obligations or to use the technical form of expression, that article
relates only to culpa aquiliana and not to culpa contractual.

CANGCO VS. MANILA RAILROAD CO.


SPOUSES GUANIO VS. MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL
G.R. NO. 12191 OCTOBER 14, 1918
G.R. NO. 190601 FEBRUARY 7, 2011

Failure to perform a contract cannot be excused upon the


ground that the breach was due to the negligence of a servant of The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision, noting
the obligor, and that the latter exercised due diligence in the that in this case, the obligation was based on a contract, hence, the
selection and control of the servant. It cannot be doubted that the concept of proximate cause has no application.
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

What applies in the present case is Article 1170 of the Civil Code which
reads:
In absolving the hotel from damages, the Supreme Court noted that:
The appellate court, and even the trial court, observed that petitioners
were remiss in their obligation to inform respondent of the change in
Art. 1170. Those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty
the expected number of guests. The observation is reflected in the
of fraud, negligence or delay, and those who in any manner contravene
records of the case. Petitioners failure to discharge such obligation thus
the tenor thereof, are liable for damages.
excused, as the above-quoted paragraph 4.5 of the parties contract
provide, respondent from liability for any damage or inconvenience
occasioned thereby
RCPI v. Verchez, et al. enlightens: In culpa contractual x x x the mere
proof of the existence of the contract and the failure of its compliance
justify, prima facie, a corresponding right of relief. The law, recognizing
Nevertheless, on grounds of equity, the High Court awarded P50,000.00
the obligatory force of contracts, will not permit a party to be set free
in favour of the complainants and justified it by saying:
from liability for any kind of misperformance of the contractual
undertaking or a contravention of the tenor thereof. A breach upon the
contract confers upon the injured party a valid cause for recovering that
The exculpatory clause notwithstanding, the Court notes that
which may have been lost or suffered.
respondent could have managed the situation better, it being held in
high esteem in the hotel and service industry. Given respondents vast
experience, it is safe to presume that this is not its first encounter with
The remedy serves to preserve the interests of the promissee that may
booked events exceeding the guaranteed cover. It is not audacious to
include his expectation interest , which is his interest in having the
expect that certain measures have been placed in case this predicament
benefit of his bargain by being put in as good a position as he would
crops up. That regardless of these measures, respondent still received
have been in had the contract been performed, or his reliance
complaints as in the present case, does not amuse.
interest ,which is his interest in being reimbursed for loss caused by
reliance on the contract by being put in as good a position as he would
have been in had the contract not been made; or hisrestitution
Respondent admitted that three hotel functions coincided with
interest, which is his interest in having restored to him any benefit that
petitioners reception. To the Court, the delay in service might have
he has conferred on the other party. Indeed, agreements can
been avoided or minimized if respondent exercised prescience in
accomplish little, either for their makers or for society, unless they are
scheduling events. No less than quality service should be delivered
made the basis for action.
especially in events which possibility of repetition is close to nil.
Petitioners are not expected to get married twice in their lifetimes.

The effect of every infraction is to create a new duty, that is, to make
RECOMPENSE to the one who has been injured by the failure of another
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

to observe his contractual obligation unless he can show extenuating ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to
circumstances, like proof of his exercise of due diligence or of the another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or
attendance of fortuitous event to excuse him from his ensuing liability. public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

AIR FRANCE VS. CARRASCOSO In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal percept; and,
held upon the provisions of Article 2219 (10), Civil Code, moral damages
G.R. NO. L-21438 SEPTEMBER 28, 1966
are recoverable.

There was a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering,


Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right
amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg. The said contract was
to be treated by the carriers employees with kindness, respect,
breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at
courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to be protected
Bangkok.
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
The evidence shows that defendant violated its contract of damages against the carrier.
transportation with plaintiff in bad faith, with the aggravating
circumstances that defendants Manager in Bangkok went to the extent
of threatening the plaintiff in the presence of many passengers to have
Thus, Where a steamship company had accepted a passengers check,
him thrown out of the airplane to give the first class seat that he was
it was a breach of contract and tort, giving a right of action for its agent
occupying to, again using the words of witness Ernesto G. Cuento, a
in the presence of third persons to falsely notify her, that the check was
white man whom he (defendants manager) wished to accommodate,
worthless and demand payment under threat of ejection; though the
and the defendant has not proved that this white man had any better
language used was not insulting and she was not ejected. Although the
right to occupy the first class seat that the plaintiff was occupying,
relation of passenger and carrier is contractual both in origin and
duly paid for, and for which the corresponding first class ticket was
nature the act that breaks the contract may also be a tort. And in
issued.
another case, Where a passenger on a rail-road train, when the
conductor came to collect his fare, tendered him the cash fare to a point
where the train was scheduled not to stop, and told him that as soon as
The responsibility of an employer for the act of its employees need not the train reached such point he would pay the cash fare from that point
be essayed. It is well settled in law. For the willful malevolent act of to destination, there was nothing in the conduct of the passenger which
petitioners manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer. Article 21 justified the conductor in using insulting language to him, as by calling
of the Civil Code says: him a lunatic, and the Supreme Court of South Carolina there held the
carrier liable for the mental suffering of said passenger.
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

In view, however, of the facts obtaining in the case at bar, and


considering, particularly, the circumstance, that the wrong done to the
Petitioners contract with Carrascoso, is one attended with public duty.
plaintiff was remedied as soon as the President of the bank realized the
The stress of Carasscosos action as we have said, is placed upon his
mistake he and his subordinate employee had committed, the Court
wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the petitioner-air
finds that an award of nominal damages the amount of which need
carrier-a case of quasi-delict.
not be proven in the sum of P1,000, in addition to attorneys fees in
the sum of P500, would suffice to vindicate plaintiffs rights.

Damages are proper. Exemplary damages are well awarded. The Civil
Code gives the Court ample to power to grant exemplary damages-in
PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION VS. COURT
contracts and quasi-contracts. The only condition is that defendant
OF APPEALS
should have acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or
malevolent manner. The manner of ejectment of respondent G.R. NO. 84698 FEBRUARY 4, 1992
Carrascoso from his first class seat fits into this legal precept. And this is
in addition to moral damages.
Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides that pupils or students of the
educational institution should have caused the damage.
SINGSON VS. BPI

G.R. NO. L-24387 JUNE 27, 1968


Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code,
establishes the rule of in loco parentis. This Court discussed this
doctrine in the cases of Exconde, Mendoza, Palisoc, and more recently,
"The existence of a contract between the parties does not bar the
in Amadora vs. CA.
commission of a tort by the one against the order and the consequent
recovery of damages therefore. Indeed, this view has been, in effect,
reiterated in a comparatively recent case. Thus, in Air France vs.
In all such cases, it had been stressed that Article 2180 plainly provides
Carrascoso, involving an airplane passenger who, despite his first-class
that it is the students who must have caused the damage before the
ticket, had been illegally ousted from his first-class accommodation and
educational institution can be held liable for quasi-delict. In the case
compelled to take a seat in the tourist compartment, was held entitled
at bar, the assailants were not students or pupils of PSBA but were
to recover damages from the air-carrier, upon the ground of tort on the
elements from outside the school.
latters part, for, although the relation between a passenger and a
carrier is contractual both in origin and nature the act that breaks
the contract may also be a tort.
Hence, PSBA and its school authorities cannot be held liable under
Article 2180.
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

that the relation of passenger and carrier is contractual both in origin


and nature, nevertheless the act that breaks the contract may be also
The circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation
a tort. In both sources of obligation, the existence of negligence of
between PSBA and Carlitos Bautista since they entered into a contract
petitioners must be determined. In this case, Cabil drove his bus
the moment Bautista enrolled in the school.
negligently, while his employer, the Fabres, who owned the bus, failed
to exercise the diligence of a good father of the family in the selection
and supervision of their employee is fully supported by the evidence on
There being a contract, the rules on quasi-delict do not really govern. record. Pursuant to Arts. 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code his negligence
gave rise to the presumption that his employers, the Fabres, were
However, should the act which breaches the contract be done in bad
themselves negligent in the selection and supervision of their employee.
faith and be violative of Article 21 as ruled in the Air France case, then
Thus, the finding of the Court that petitioners are liable under Arts.
there is a cause to view the act as constituting quasi-delict.
2176 and 2180 for quasi delict fully justify that they are guilty of breach
of contract of carriage under Arts. 1733, 1755 and 1759 of the Civil
Code.
In the case at bar however, there is, as yet, no finding that the contract
between the school and Bautista had been breached thru the former's
negligence in providing security measures.
LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY VS. NAVIDAD

G.R. NO. 145804 FEBRUARY 6, 2003


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. In other words, a contractual relation is a Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both from the
condition sine qua non to the school's liability. The negligence of the nature of its business and for reasons of public policy, is burdened with
school cannot exist independently on the contract, unless the the duty of exercising utmost diligence in ensuring the safety of
negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in Article 21. passengers.

FABRE VS. COURT OF APPEALS The foundation of LRTAs liability is the contract of carriage and its
obligation to indemnify the victim arises from the breach of that
G.R. NO. 111127 JULY 26, 1996
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
The Court ruled that damages should be awarded based on the theory employees or avail itself of the services of an outsider or an
that petitioners are liable for breach of contract of carriage or culpa independent firm to undertake the task. In either case, the common
contractual or on the theory of quasi delict or culpa aquiliana holding
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

carrier is not relieved of its responsibilities under the contract of


carriage.

QUASI DELICT VS. DELICTS


Prudents liability, If any, could only be for tort under the provisions of
Article 2176 and related provisions, in conjunction with Article 2180, of
the Civil Code.

DELICT OR CRIME CULPA AQUILIIANA OR CULPA


A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the same act EX-CONTRACTU
or omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the
other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 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
Legal Basis of Liability
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.
There can be no crime unless There can be a quasi-delict as long
there is a clear law punishing the as there is fault or negligence
However, the Court is concluded by the factual finding of the Court of act. resulting in damage or injury to
Appeals that "there is nothing to link (Prudent) to the death of Nicanor another.
(Navidad), for the reason that the negligence of its employee, Escartin,
has not been duly proven x x x." This finding of the appellate court is not
without substantial justification in our own review of the records of the
case.
Criminal Intent

There being no showing that Rodolfo Roman himself is guilty of any


culpable act or omission, he must also be absolved from liability.
Needless to say, the contractual tie between the LRT and Navidad is not
itself a juridical relation between the latter and Roman; thus, Roman Criminal intent is essential for Not necessary for quasi-delict to
can be made liable only for his own fault or negligence. criminal liability to exist. exist. Fault or negligence without
Torts and Damages Notes

By: Salto, Dianne D.

intent will suffice.

Proofs Needed

Nature of Right Violated

The guilt of the accused must be Proof of fault or negligence


proved beyond reasonable doubt. requires only preponderance of
evidence.
Right violated is a public one. Right violated is a private right. It
Crime is a wrong againts the state. is a wrongful act against an
individual.

Sanction of Penalty

Liability Punishment is either Reparation or indemnification of


imprisonment, fine or both; the injury or damage.
sometimes other accessory
penalties are imposed.

Includes both criminal and civil Civil liability only.


liability.
Every quasi-delict gives rise to
Some crimes (like contempt, illegal liability for damages.
possession of firearm) do not give
Employers liability is only
rise to damages.
subsidiary.
As to the employers liability
under Art. 2180, it is direct and
primary.