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Torts And Damages Case Digest: Taylor V.

Manila Electric Railroad And Light trust the ends of the wires into an electric light socket - no result
break the cap with a stone - failed
G.R. No. L-4977 March 22, 1910
opened one of the caps with a knife, and finding that it was filled with a yellowish
Lessons Applicable: substance they got matches
Elements of quasi-delict (Torts and Damages)
David held the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the contents
Good Father of a Family (Torts and Damages)

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,
September 30, 1905 Sunday afternoon: David Taylor, 15 years of age, the son of a
became frightened and started to run away, received a slight cut in the neck
mechanical engineer, more mature than the average boy of his age, and having
considerable aptitude and training in mechanics with a boy named Manuel Claparols, Manuel had his hand burned and wounded
about 12 years of age, crossed the footbridge to the Isla del Provisor, for the purpose
of visiting Murphy, an employee of the defendant, who and promised to make them a David was struck in the face by several particles of the metal capsule, one of which
cylinder for a miniature engine injured his right eye to such an extent as to the necessitate its removal by the
After leaving the power house where they had asked for Mr. Murphy, they walked
across the open space in the neighborhood of the place where the company dumped Trial Court: held Manila Electric Railroad And Light Company liable
in the cinders and ashes from its furnaces
they found some twenty or thirty brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground
1. W/N the elemnents of quasi-delict to make Manila Electric Railroad And Light
These caps are approximately of the size and appearance of small pistol cartridges Company liable - NO
and each has attached to it 2 long thin wires by means of which it may be discharged 2. W/N Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co. sufficiently proved that they employed
by the use of electricity
all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage - NO

They are intended for use in the explosion of blasting charges of dynamite, and have
in themselves a considerable explosive power

the boys picked up all they could find, hung them on stick, of which each took end, HELD: reversing the judgment of the court below
and carried them home

After crossing the footbridge, they met Jessie Adrian, less than 9 years old, and they
went to Manuel's home
ART. 1089 Obligations are created by law, by contracts, by quasi-contracts, and illicit
The boys then made a series of experiments with the caps acts and omissions or by those in which any kind of fault or negligence occurs.
Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for
ART. 1902 A person who by an act or omission causes damage to another when whose acts it must respond, was guilty.
there is fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done.
The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage.

while we hold that the entry upon the property without express invitation or permission
ART. 1903 The obligation imposed by the preceding article is demandable, not only
would not have relieved Manila Electric from responsibility for injuries incurred,
for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of the persons for whom they
without other fault on his part, if such injury were attributable to his negligence, the
should be responsible.
negligence in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause
of the injury received
The father, and on his death or incapacity the mother, is liable for the damages
cutting open the detonating cap and putting match to its contents was the proximate
caused by the minors who live with them.
cause of the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted
xxx xxx xxx
Manila Electric is not civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred
Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for damages
2 years before the accident, David spent 4 months at sea, as a cabin boy on one of
caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter may be
the interisland transports. Later he took up work in his father's office, learning
employed or on account of their duties.
mechanical drawing and mechanical engineering. About a month after his accident he
xxx xxx xxx obtained employment as a mechanical draftsman and continued in that employment
for 6 months at a salary of P2.50 a day; and it appears that he was a boy of more
The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned therein
than average intelligence, taller and more mature both mentally and physically than
prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the
most boys of 15
The series of experiments made by him in his attempt to produce an explosion, as
described by Jessie who even ran away

ART. 1908 The owners shall also be liable for the damage caused
True, he may not have known and probably did not know the precise nature of the

1 By the explosion of machines which may not have been cared for with due 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
diligence, and for kindling of explosive substances which may not have been placed
in a safe and proper place. 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
in order to establish his right to a recovery, must establish by competent evidence:
should be held civilly responsible for injuries incurred by him under such

Damages to the plaintiff circumstances.

The law fixes no arbitrary age at which a minor can be said to have the necessary serious burns at the hospital the next day, while the soldier sustained serious physical
capacity to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of his own acts, injuries and burns.
so as to make it negligence on his part to fail to exercise due care and precaution in
In the decision appealed from, the lower court, after summarizing the evidence,
the commission of such acts; and indeed it would be impracticable and perhaps
concluded that the deceased in his eagerness to beat, so to speak, the oncoming
impossible so to do, for in the very nature of things the question of negligence
locomotive, took the risk and attempted to reach the other side, but unfortunately he
necessarily depends on the ability of the minor to understand the character of his own
became the victim of his own miscalculation.
acts and their consequences

The negligence imputed to MRC was thus ruled out by the lower court, satisfactory
he was sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified him to
proof to that effect, in its opinion, being lacking. Hence this appeal direct to us, the
understand and appreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of caution
amount sought in the concept of damages reaching the sum of P282,065.40.
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 essons Applicable: Pater familias (Torts and Negligence)
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
rule of the Roman law was: Quod quis ex culpa sua damnum sentit, non intelligitur
Feb 21, 1957 near midnight: although the conductor applied the brakes Ralph W.
Corliss' jeep collided with a locomotive of Manila Railroad Company
just thing is that a man should suffer the damage which comes to him through his own
in his eagerness to beat, despite the tooting of the horn and the oncoming locomotive,
fault, and that he can not demand reparation therefor from another
took the risk and attempted to reach the other side, but unfortunately he became the
Negligence is not presumed, but must be proven by him who alleges it. victim of his own miscalculation

Case was filed by Preciolita V. Corliss, 21 year old widow


G.R. No. L-21291

March 28, 1969

HELD: NO. Decision is affirmed
FACTS: Ralph Corliss Jr. was an air police of the Clark Air Force Base. The jeep he
was driving while accompanied with a P.C. soldier, collided with a locomotive of negligence - The failure to observe for the protection of the interests of another
Manila Railroad Company (MRC) close to midnight at the railroad crossing in person that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstance justly
Balibago, Angeles, Pampanga, in front of the Clark Air Force Base. Corliss Jr. died of demand whereby such other person suffers injury.
Negligence is want of the care required by the circumstances. It is a relative or From the convergence of circumstances, we are inclined to believe that the tragic
comparative, not an absolute term and its application depends upon the situation of event was more a product of reckless imprudence than of a malicious intent on
the parties and the degree of care and vigilance which the circumstances reasonably Glenns part. First, as testified to by prosecution rebuttal witness Danilo Olarita, the
require. Where the danger is great, a high degree of care is necessary, and the failure place of the incident was "very dark," as there was no moon. And according to
to observe it is a want of ordinary care under the circumstances. PAGASAs observed weather report within the vicinity of Cagayan de Oro City
covering a radius of 50 kilometers, at the time the event took place, the sky was
The weight of authorities is to the effect that a railroad track is in itself a warning or a
overcast, i.e., there was absolutely no break in the thick clouds covering the celestial
signal of danger to those who go upon it, and that those who, for reasons of their own,
dome globe; hence, there was no way for the moon and stars to be seen. Neither
ignore such warning, do so at their own risk and responsibility
were there lampposts that illuminated the highway. Second, the jogging trainees and
the rear guards were all wearing black T-shirts, black short pants, and black and
Corliss Jr., who undoubtedly had crossed the checkpoint frequently, if not daily, must
have known that locomotive engines and trains usually pass at that particular crossing green combat shoes, which made them hard to make out on that dark and cloudy

where the accident had taken place night. The rear guards had neither reflectorized vests or gloves nor flashlights in
giving hand signals. Third, GLENN was driving on the proper side of the road, the
it was incumbent upon him to avoid a possible accident and this consisted simply right lane. On the other hand, the jogging trainees were occupying the wrong lane, the
in stopping his vehicle before the crossing and allowing the train to move on. A same lane as Glenns vehicle was traversing. Worse, they were facing the same
prudent man under similar circumstances would have acted in this manner direction as Glenns truck such that their backs were turned towards the oncoming
vehicles from behind. Fourth, no convincing evidence was presented to rebut Glenns
People v. Delos Santos
testimony that he had been momentarily blinded by the very bright and glaring lights

Facts: of the oncoming vehicle at the opposite direction as his truck rounded the curve. He
must have been still reeling from the blinding effect of the lights coming from the other
On the early morning of October 5, 1995, at the Maitum Highway in Cagayan de Oro vehicle when he plowed into the group of police trainees. Indeed, as pointed out by
City, a team of PNP members undergoing a Special Training Course were performing appellant, instinct tells one to stop or swerve to a safe place the moment he sees a
an Endurance Run. They were jogging at the right side of the lane. A speeding Isuzu cow, dog, or cat on the road, in order to avoid bumping or killing the same"; and more
Elf ran into them, resulting to deaths and injuries. The accused surrendered to the so if the one on the road is a person. It would therefore be inconceivable for GLENN,
Governor, and was eventually convicted of Multiple Murder, Multiple Frustrated then a young college graduate with a pregnant wife and three very young children
Murder, and Multiple Attempted Murder. He was sentenced to death by the Trial who were dependent on him for support, to have deliberately hit the group with his
Court. Hence, this automatic review. truck.

Issue: We are convinced that the incident, tragic though it was in light of the number of
persons killed and seriously injured, was an accident and not an intentional felony. It
Whether there was intentional killing or attempt to kill the policemen, or a mere
is significant to note that there is no shred of evidence that GLENN had an axe to
reckless imprudence
grind against the police trainees that would drive him into deliberately hitting them
Held: with intent to kill. Glenns offense is in failing to apply the brakes, or to swerve his
vehicle to the left or to a safe place the movement he heard and felt the first bumping
thuds. Had he done so, many trainees would have been spared.
The test for determining whether a person is negligent in doing an act whereby injury MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION v. SEBASTIAN BAKING
or damage results to the person or property of another is this: Could a prudent man,
2007 / Sandoval-Gutierrez / Petition for review on certiorari of CA decision and
in the position of the person to whom negligence is attributed, foresee harm to the
person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course actually pursued? If so,
the law imposes a duty on the actor to refrain from that course or to take precautions
The cause > Different categories > Proximate
to guard against its mischievous results, and the failure to do so constitutes
negligence. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of the admonition Sebastian Baking went to Dr. Cesar Sys clinic for a medical check-up. The next day,
born of this prevision, is always necessary before negligence can be held to exist. after undergoing several tests, Dr. Sy found that Bakings blood sugar and triglyceride
levels were above normal, so he gave him 2 medical prescriptionsDiamicron (blood
GLENN showed an inexcusable lack of precaution. Article 365 of the Revised Penal
sugar) and Benalize (triglyceride). Baking went to Mercury Drug Alabang branch to
Code states that reckless imprudence consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing buy the medicines. However, the saleslady misread the prescription as Dormicum, a
or failing to do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable potent sleeping tablet, so that was what was sold to Baking. Unaware that he was
lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to perform such act,
given the wrong medicine, Baking took one Dormicum pill a day for 3 days.
taking into consideration (1) his employment or occupation; (2) his degree of
intelligence; (4) his physical condition; and (3) other circumstances regarding On the 3rdday of taking the medicine, Baking figured in a vehicular accident, as his
persons, time and place. car collided with Josie Peraltas car. Baking fell asleep while driving, and he could not
remember anything about the collision nor felt its impact. Suspecting that the tablet he
GLENN, being then a young college graduate and an experienced driver, should have took may have a bearing on his state at the time of the collision, he returned to Dr. Sy,
known to apply the brakes or swerve to a safe place immediately upon hearing the
who was shocked to find that what was sold to Baking was Dormicum.
first bumping thuds to avoid further hitting the other trainees. By his own testimony, it
was established that the road was slippery and slightly going downward; and, worse, Baking filed a complaint for damages against Mercury Drug. RTC rendered its
the place of the incident was foggy and dark. He should have observed due care in decision in favor of Baking. CA affirmed RTC.
accordance with the conduct of a reasonably prudent man, such as by slackening his
speed, applying his brakes, or turning to the left side even if it would mean entering
the opposite lane (there being no evidence that a vehicle was coming from the To sustain a claim based on NCC 2176, the following requisites must concur:
opposite direction). It is highly probable that he was driving at high speed at the time.
And even if he was driving within the speed limits, this did not mean that he was Damage suffered by plaintiff
exercising due care under the existing circumstances and conditions at the time.
Fault or negligence of defendant
Considering that the incident was not a product of a malicious intent but rather the
Connection of cause and effect between A & B
result of a single act of reckless driving, GLENN should be held guilty of the complex
crime of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide with serious physical The drugstore business is imbued with public interest. The health and safety of the
injuries and less serious physical injuries. people will be put into jeopardy if drugstore employees will not exercise the highest
degree of care and diligence in selling medicines. The care required must be
Mercury Drug v. Baking
commensurate with the danger involved, and the skill employed must correspond with
the superior knowledge of the business which the law demands.
Considering that a fatal mistake could be a matter of life and death for a The National Coconut Corporation (NACOCO, for short) was chartered as a non-profit
buying patient, the employee should have been very cautious in dispensing governmental organization on avowedly for the protection, preservation and
medicines. She should have verified WON the medicine she gave was what was development of the coconut industry in the Philippines. On August 1, 1946,
prescribed by Dr. Sy. NACOCO's charter was amended [Republic Act 5] to grant that corporation the
express power to buy and sell copra. The charter amendment was enacted to
stabilize copra prices, to serve coconut producers by securing advantageous prices

It failed to prove that it exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family in the for them, to cut down to a minimum, if not altogether eliminate, the margin of

selection and supervision of the employee middlemen, mostly aliens. General manager and board chairman was Maximo M.
Kalaw; defendants Juan Bocar and Casimiro Garcia were members of the Board;
PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT NEGLIGENCE OF DRUGSTORE defendant Leonor Moll became director only on December 22, 1947. NACOCO, after
EMPLOYEE the passage of Republic Act 5, embarked on copra trading activities.

Proximate cause any cause that produces injury in a natural and continuous
An unhappy chain of events conspired to deter NACOCO from fulfilling the contracts it
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, such that the result would not
entered into. Nature supervened. Four devastating typhoons visited the Philippines in
have occurred otherwise; determined from the facts of each case, upon a combined
1947. When it became clear that the contracts would be unprofitable, Kalaw
consideration of logic, common sense, policy and precedent
submitted them to the board for approval. It was not until December 22, 1947 when

Vehicular accident could not have occurred had the drugstore employee been careful the membership was completed. Defendant Moll took her oath on that date. A

in reading the prescription; without the potent effects of Dormicum, a sleeping tablet, it meeting was then held. Kalaw made a full disclosure of the situation, apprised the

was unlikely that Baking would fall asleep while driving his car, resulting in a collision board of the impending heavy losses. No action was first taken on the contracts but
not long thereafter, that is, on January 30, 1948, the board met again with Kalaw,
AWARD 50k moral damages, 25k exemplary damages Bocar, Garcia and Moll in attendance. They unanimously approved the contracts
hereinbefore enumerated.

Board of Liquidators v Kalaw (Torts) As was to be expected, NACOCO but partially performed the contracts. The buyers
threatened damage suits, some of which were settled. But one buyer, Louis Dreyfus &
Go. (Overseas) Ltd., did in fact sue before the Court of First Instance of Manila. The
cases culminated in an out-of- court amicable settlement when the Kalaw
BOARD OF LIQUIDATORS V KALAW G.R. No. L-18805 August 14, 1967 THE
management was already out.
With particular reference to the Dreyfus claims, NACOCO put up the defenses that:
(1) the contracts were void because Louis Dreyfus & Co. (Overseas) Ltd. did not have
MOLL, defendants-appellees.
license to do business here; and
(2) failure to deliver was due to force majeure, the typhoons. All the settlements sum
up to P1,343,274.52.
In this suit started in February, 1949, NACOCO seeks to recover the above sum of
P1,343,274.52 from general manager and board chairman Maximo M. Kalaw, and appoint a receiver to collect such assets and pay the debts of the corporation;
directors Juan Bocar, Casimiro Garcia and Leonor Moll. It charges Kalaw with 2. Corporate existence is terminated - "shall nevertheless be continued as a body
negligence under Article 1902 of the old Civil Code (now Article 2176, new Civil corporate for three years after the time when it would have been so dissolved, for the
Code); and defendant board members, including Kalaw, with bad faith and/or breach purpose of prosecuting and defending suits by or against it and of enabling it
of trust for having approved the contracts. By Executive Order 372, dated November gradually to settle and close its affairs, to dispose of and convey its property and to
24, 1950, NACOCO, together with other government-owned corporations, was divide its capital stock, but not for the purpose of continuing the business for which it
abolished, and the Board of Liquidators was entrusted with the function of settling and was established;"
closing its affairs. 3. corporation, within the three year period just mentioned, "is authorized and
empowered to convey all of its property to trustees for the benefit of members,
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS: stockholders, creditors, and others interested
1. CFI-Manila: dismissed the complaint. Plaintiff was ordered to pay the heirs of Corpus Juris Secundum likewise is authority for the statement that "[t]he dissolution of
Maximo Kalaw the sum of P2,601.94 for unpaid salaries and cash deposit due the a corporation ends its existence so that there must be statutory authority for
deceased Kalaw from NACOCO. prolongation of its life even for purposes of pending litigation
Board of Liquidators escapes from the operation thereof for the reason that
ISSUE: "[o]bviously, the complete loss of plaintiff's corporate existence after the expiration of
1. Whether plaintiff Board of Liquidators has lost its legal personality to continue with the period of three (3) years for the settlement of its affairs is what impelled the
this suit since the three year period has elapsed, the Board of Liquidators may not President to create a Board of Liquidators, to continue the management of such
now continue with, and prosecute, the present case to its conclusion matters as may then be pending."
2. Whether the action is unenforceable against Kalaw The Board of Liquidators thus became the trustee on behalf of the government. It was
3. whether the case at bar is to be taken out of the general concept of the powers of a an express trust. The legal interest became vested in the trustee the Board of
general manager, given the cited provision of the NACOCO by-laws requiring prior Liquidators. The beneficial interest remained with the sole stockholder the
directorate approval of NACOCO contracts. government. At no time had the government withdrawn the property, or the authority
4. Whether damages should be awarded to continue the present suit, from the Board of Liquidators. If for this reason alone, we
cannot stay the hand of the Board of Liquidators from prosecuting this case to its final
RULING: conclusion. The provisions of Section 78 of the Corporation Law the third method
1. No, the provision should be read not as an isolated provision but in conjunction with of winding up corporate affairs find application.
the whole. So reading, it will be readily observed that no time limit has been tacked to
the existence of the Board of Liquidators and its function of closing the affairs of the 2. Action against the Kalaw heirs and, for the matter, against the Estate of Casimiro
various government owned corporations, including NACOCO. Garcia survives.
The President thought it best to do away with the boards of directors of the defunct
corporations; at the same time, however, the President had chosen to see to it that
claims that are barred if not filed in the estate settlement proceedings(Rule 87, sec. 5)
the Board of Liquidators step into the vacuum. And nowhere in the executive order
> actions that are abated by death are:
was there any mention of the lifespan of the Board of Liquidators.
3 methods by which corporation may wind up it its affairs:
1. Voluntary dissolution, "such disposition of its assets as justice requires, and may
(1) claims for funeral expenses and those for the last sickness of the decedent; If the by-laws were to be literally followed, the board should give its stamp of prior
(2) judgments for money; and approval on all corporate contracts. But that board itself, by its acts and through
(3) "all claims for money against the decedent, arising from contract express or acquiescence, practically laid aside the by-law requirement of prior approval.
implied." Under the given circumstances, the Kalaw contracts are valid corporate acts. Bad
faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence; it imports a dishonest
it is not enough that the claim against the deceased party be for money, but it must
purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of wrong; it means breach of a
arise from "contract express or implied"
known duty thru some motive or interest or ill will; it partakes of the nature of fraud.
Applying this precept to the given facts herein, we find that there was no "dishonest
actions that survive and may be prosecuted against the executor or administrator
purpose," or "some moral obliquity," or "conscious doing of wrong," or "breach of a
(Rule 88, sec. 1)
known duty," or "Some motive or interest or ill will" that "partakes of the nature of
> 1. actions for damages caused by tortious conduct of a defendant (as in the case at
bar) survive the death of the latter.

4. No. This is a case of damnum absque injuria. Conjunction of damage and wrong is
actions that survive against a decedent's executors or administrators, and they are:
(1) actions to recover real and personal property from the estate; (2) actions to here absent. There cannot be an actionable wrong if either one or the other is

enforce a lien thereon; and wanting. Of course, Kalaw could not have been an insurer of profits. He could not be
expected to predict the coming of unpredictable typhoons. And even as typhoons
(3) actions to recover damages for an injury to person or property. supervened Kalaw was not remissed in his duty. He exerted efforts to stave off
losses. That Kalaw cannot be tagged with crassa negligentia or as much as simple
negligence, would seem to be supported by the fact that even as the contracts were
3. The movement of the market requires that sales agreements be entered into, even
being questioned in Congress and in the NACOCO board itself, President Roxas
though the goods are not yet in the hands of the seller. Known in business parlance
defended the actuations of Kalaw.
as forward sales, it is concededly the practice of the trade. Above all, NACOCO's
It is a well known rule of law that questions of policy of management are left solely to
limited funds necessitated a quick turnover. Copra contracts then had to be executed
the honest decision of officers and directors of a corporation, and the court is without
on short notice at times within twenty-four hours. To be appreciated then is the
authority to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the board of directors; the
difficulty of calling a formal meeting of the board
board is the business manager of the corporation, and so long as it acts in good faith
So pleased was NACOCO's board of directors that, on December 5, 1946, in Kalaw's
its orders are not reviewable by the courts."
absence, it voted to grant him aspecial bonus "in recognition of the signal
achievement rendered by him in putting the Corporation's business on a self-sufficient
basis within a few months after assuming office, despite numerous handicaps and
Amado Picart vs Frank Smith, Jr.
These previous contract it should be stressed, were signed by Kalaw without prior
September 7, 2011
authority from the board. Existence of such authority is established, by proof of the
course of business, the usage and practices of the company and by No comments
theknowledge which the board of directors has, or must be presumed to have, of acts
and doings of its subordinates in and about the affairs of the corporation.
Twitter Gan vs CA

Pinterest Hedy Gan y Yu vs CA

No. L-44264. 19 Sept 1988.

Email Ponente: Fernan, C.J.:

ADVERTISEMENTS Facts: In the morning of 4 July 1972, the accused Hedy Gan was driving along North
Bay Boulevard, Tondo, Manila. There were two vehicles parked on one side of the
road, one following the other. As the car driven by Gan approached the place where
the two vehicles were parked, there was a vehicle coming from the opposite direction,
followed by another which tried to overtake the one in front of it thereby encroaching
37 Phil 809 Civil Law Torts and Damages Doctrine of Last Clear Chance
the lane of the car driven by Gan. To avoid a head-on collision, Gan swerved to the

In December 1912, Amado Picart was riding his horse and while they were on a 75 right and as a consequence, hit an old man who was about to cross the street,

meter long bridge, he saw Frank Smith Jr.s car approaching. Smith blew his horn pinning him against the rear of one of the parked vehicles. The force of the impact

thrice while he was still at a distance away because Picart and his horse were on caused the parked vehicle to move forward hitting the other parked vehicle in front of

Smiths lane. But Picart did not move his horse to the other lane, instead he moved it. The pedestrian was injured, Gan's car and the two parked vehicle suffered

his horse closer to the railing. Smith continued driving towards Picart without slowing damages. The pedestrian was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

down and when he was already so near the horse he swerved to the other lane. But Gan was convicted of Homicide thru reckless imprudence. On appeal, CA modified

the horse got scared so it turned its body across the bridge; the horse struck the car the trial court's decision convicting Gan of Homicide thru simple imprudence.

and its limb got broken. Picart suffered injuries which required several days of medical
attention while the horse eventually died. Issue: WON CA erred in convicting petitioner Gan for Homicide thru simple
ISSUE: Whether or not Smith is negligent.
Ruling: SC reversed CA's decision, acquitting petitioner.
HELD: Yes. And so was Picart for planting himself on the wrong side of the road. But
Under the emergency rule, one who suddenly fonds himself in a place of danger, and
Smiths negligence succeeded that of Picart. Smith saw at a distance when he blew
is required to act w/o tme to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid
his horn that Picart and his horse did not move to the other lane so he should have
the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what
steered his car to the other lane at that point instead of swerving at the last minute.
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a better method, unless
He therefore had the last clear chance to avoid the unfortunate incident. When
the emergency in which he finds himself is brought about by his own negligence.
Smiths car has approached the horse at such proximity it left no chance for Picart
Applying the above test to the case at bar, the SC finds the petitioner not guilty of the
extricate himself and vigilance on his part will not avert injury. Picart can therefore
crime of simple imprudence resulting in Homicide.
recover damages from Smith but such should be proportioned by reason of his
contributory negligence. Civil Aeronautics Administration v. CA

on 12:57 PM in Case Digests, Civil Law

0 Airport.

G.R. No. L-51806, November 8, 1988

Responsibility of CAA

The SC held that pursuant to Art. 1173, "the fault or negligence of the obligor consists
in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and
TORTS: What constitutes "Negligence"; "Contributory Negligence" defined corresponds with the circumstances of the person, of the time, and of the place."
Here, the obligation of the CAA in maintaining the viewing deck, a facility open to the
public, requires that CAA insure the safety of the viewers using it. As these people
come to look to where the planes and the incoming passengers are and not to look
down on the floor or pavement of the viewing deck, the CAA should have thus made
Ernest E. Simke, a naturalized Filipino citizen, was Honorary Consul General of Israel
sure that no dangerous obstructions or elevations exist on the floor of the deck to
in the Philippines. He went to Manila International Airport to meet his future son-in-
prevent any undue harm to the public.
law. As the plane was landing, he and his companions went to the viewing deck to
watch the arrival of the plane. While walking, Simke slipped on an elevation 4 inches
Contributory Negligence
high and fell on his back, breaking his thigh bone in the process. He underwent a 3-
hour operation and after recovery he filed a claim for damages against the Civil
Under Art. 2179, contributory negligence contemplates a negligent act or omission on
Aeronautics Administration (CAA), which was the government entity in charge of the
the part of the plaintiff, which although not the proximate cause of his injury,
CONTRIBUTED to his own damage. The Court found no contributory negligence on
the part of the plaintiff, considering the following test formulated in the early case of
Picart v. Smith, 37 Phil. 809 (1918):

The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case may

Whether or not CAA was negligent be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that
reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent man would have used in the
same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. The law here in effect adopts
HELD: the standard supposed to be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet
paterfamilias of the Roman law. The existence of the negligence in a given case is not
CAA contended that the elevation in question "had a legitimate purpose for being on determined by reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation before
the terrace and was never intended to trip down people and injure them. It was there him. The law considers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man
for no other purpose but to drain water on the floor area of the terrace." of ordinary intelligence and prudence and determines liability by that.

But upon ocular inspection by the trial court, it was found that the terrace was in poor The question as to what would constitute the conduct of a prudent man in a given
condition. Under RA 776, the CAA is charged with the duty of planning, designing, situation must of course be always determined in the light of human experience and in
constructing, equipping, expanding, maintenance...etc. of the Manila International view of the facts involved in the particular case. Abstract speculations cannot be here
of much value but this much can be profitably said: Reasonable men-overn their parked along the sidewalk about 1 1/2 feet away, place her emergency lights and
conduct by the circumstances which are before them or known to them. They are not, seeked help
and are not supposed to be omniscient of the future. Hence they can be expected to
She was with her companion Cecilia Ramon
take care only when there is something before them to suggest or warn of danger.
Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result of the
While she was pointing her tools to the man who will help her fixed the tires, she was
course actually pursued' If so, it was the duty of the actor to take precautions to guard suddenly hit by another Mitsubishi Lancer driven by Richard Li who was intoxicated
against that harm. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of the and she slammed accross his windshield and fell to the ground
suggestion born of this prevision, is always necessary before negligence can be held
to exist.... [Picart v. Smith, supra, p. 813] She was sent to UERM where she stayed for 20 days and her leg was amputated and
was replaced with an artificial one.
The private respondent, who was the plaintiff in the case before the lower court, could
Her expenses totalled 147, 000 [120,000 php (confinement) + 27, 000 (aritificial leg)]
not have reasonably foreseen the harm that would befall him, considering the
attendant factual circumstances. Even if the private respondent had been looking RTC: Richard Li guilty of gross negligence and liable for damages under Article 2176
where he was going, the step in question could not easily be noticed because of its of the Civil Code. Alexander Commercial, Inc., Lis employer, jointly and severally
construction. liable for damages pursuant to Article 2180 P41,840 actual
damages, P37,500 unrealized profits because of the stoppage of plaintiffs Bistro La
"WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error, the Petition for review on certiorari is Conga restaurant 3 weeks after the accident on June 24, 1990, P20,000 a month as
DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 51172-R is unrealized profits of Bistro La Conga restaurant, from August, 1990 until the date of
AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED." this judgment, P30,000.00, a month, for unrealized profits in 2 Beauty
salons, P1,000,000 in moral damages, P50,000, as exemplary damages, P60,000, as
reasonable attorneys fees and costs.
Torts And Damages Case Digest: Valenzuela V. CA (1996)
CA: there was ample evidence that the car was parked at the side but absolved Li's
G.R.No. 115024 February 7, 1996 employer
Lessons Applicable:
Li: 55 kph - self serving and uncorraborated
Calculation of Risk (Torts and Damages)
Rogelio Rodriguez, the owner-operator of an establishment located just across the
Factors in Determining Amount (Torts and Damages) scene of the accident: Valenzuelas car parked parallel and very near the sidewalk
and Li was driving on a very fast speed and there was only a drizzle (NOT heavy rain)

1. W/N Li was driving at 55 kph - NO
June 24, 1990 2 am: While driving from her restaurant at Araneta avenue towards the
2. W/N Valenzuela was guilty of contributory negligence - NO
direction of Manila, Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela noticed that she had a flat tire so she
3. W/N Alexander Commercial, Inc. as Li's employer should be held liable - YES She stopped at a lighted place where there were people, to verify whether she had a
4. W/N the awarding of damages is proper. - YES. flat tire and to solicit help if needed

she parked along the sidewalk, about 1 feet away, behind a Toyota Corona Car

3. YES.
HELD: CA modified with reinstating the RTC decision
Not the principle of respondeat superior, which holds the master liable for acts of the
servant (must be in the course of business), but that of pater familias, in which the
liability ultimately falls upon the employer, for his failure to exercise the diligence of a
good father of the family in the selection and supervision of his employees
1. NO
Ordinarily, evidence demonstrating that the employer has exercised diligent
If Li was running at only about 55 kph then despite the wet and slippery road, he
supervision of its employee during the performance of the latters assigned tasks
could have avoided hitting the Valenzuela by the mere expedient or applying his
would be enough to relieve him of the liability imposed by Article 2180 in relation to
brakes at the proper time and distance
Article 2176 of the Civil Code.

it was not even necessary for him to swerve a little to the right in order to safely avoid
situation is of a different character, involving a practice utilized by large companies
a collision with the on-coming car since there is plenty of space for both cars,
with either their employees of managerial rank or their representatives.
since Valenzuela car was running at the right lane going towards Manila and the on-
coming car was also on its right lane going to Cubao Moreover, Lis claim that he happened to be on the road on the night of the accident
because he was coming from a social visit with an officemate in Paraaque was a
2. NO.
bare allegation which was never corroborated in the court below. It was obviously

Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured party, contributing as a self-serving. Assuming he really came from his officemates place, the same could

legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which falls below the standard to which he is give rise to speculation that he and his officemate had just been from a work-related

required to conform for his own protection function, or they were together to discuss sales and other work related strategies.

emergency rule 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
an individual who suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to act company car to Li
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 4. YES.

subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a better solution, unless the
As the amount of moral damages are subject to this Courts discretion, we are of the
emergency was brought by his own negligence
opinion that the amount of P1,000,000.00 granted by the trial court is in greater
accord with the extent and nature of the injury -. physical and psychological - suffered
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 by Valenzuela as a result of Lis grossly negligent driving of his Mitsubishi Lancer in
the early morning hours of the accident.
the damage done to her would not only be permanent and lasting, it would also be ISSUES:
permanently changing and adjusting to the physiologic changes which her body would (1) Is the pilot of a commercial vessel, under compulsory pilotage, solely liable for the
normally undergo through the years. The replacements, changes, and adjustments damage caused by the vessel to the pier, at the port of destination, for his
will require corresponding adjustive physical and occupational therapy. All of these negligence?;
adjustments, it has been documented, are painful. (2) Would the owner of the vessel be liable likewise if the damage is caused by the
concurrent negligence of the master of the vessel and the pilot under a compulsory


(1) Generally speaking, the pilot supersedes the master for the time being in the
G.R. No. 130150; October, 1998
command and navigation of the ship, and his orders must be obeyed in all matters

FACTS: connected with her navigation. He becomes the master pro hac vice and should give
all directions as to speed, course, stopping and reversing anchoring, towing and the
M/V PAVLODAR, owned and operated by the Far Eastern Shipping Company
(FESC), arrived at the Port of Manila and was assigned Berth 4 of the Manila like. And when a licensed pilot is employed in a place where pilotage is compulsory, it

International Port, as its berthing space. Gavino, who was assigned by the Appellant is his duty to insist on having effective control of the vessel, or to decline to act as
pilot. Under certain systems of foreign law, the pilot does not take entire charge of the
Manila Pilots' Association to conduct the docking maneuvers for the safe berthing,
boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage and stationed himself in the bridge, vessel, but is deemed merely the adviser of the master, who retains command and

with the master of the vessel, Victor Kavankov, beside him. After a briefing of Gavino control of the navigation even in localities where pilotage is compulsory. It is quite

by Kavankov of the particulars of the vessel and its cargo, the vessel lifted anchor common for states and localities to provide for compulsory pilotage, and safety laws

from the quarantine anchorage and proceeded to the Manila International Port. The have been enacted requiring vessels approaching their ports, with certain exceptions,
to take on board pilots duly licensed under local law. The purpose of these laws is to
sea was calm and the wind was ideal for docking maneuvers. When the vessel
reached the landmark, one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered the engine create a body of seamen thoroughly acquainted with the harbor, to pilot vessels

stopped. When the vessel was already about 2,000 feet from the pier, Gavino ordered seeking to enter or depart, and thus protect life and property from the dangers of
navigation. Upon assuming such office as compulsory pilot, Capt. Gavino is held to
the anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the
bow. The left anchor, with two (2) shackles, were dropped. However, the anchor did the universally accepted high standards of care and diligence required of a pilot,

not take hold as expected. The speed of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion whereby he assumes to have skill and knowledge in respect to navigation in the
particular waters over which his license extends superior to and more to be trusted
ensued between the crew members. After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not
take hold, he ordered the engines half-astern. Abellana, who was then on the pier than that of the master. He is not held to the highest possible degree of skill and care,

apron, noticed that the vessel was approaching the pier fast. Kavankov likewise but must have and exercise the ordinary skill and care demanded by the

noticed that the anchor did not take hold. Gavino thereafter gave the "full-astern" circumstances, and usually shown by an expert in his profession. Under extraordinary

code. Before the right anchor and additional shackles could be dropped, the bow of circumstances, a pilot must exercise extraordinary care. In this case, Capt. Gavino
failed to measure up to such strict standard of care and diligence required of pilots in
the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing considerable damage to the pier
as well as the vessel. the performance of their duties. As pilot, he should have made sure that his directions
were promptly and strictly followed.
(2) The negligence on the part of Capt. Gavino is evident; but Capt. Kabancov is no Thereafter, Dr. Marlyn Rico indorse Jorge Reyes to Dr. Marvie Blanes.
less responsible for the allision. The master is still in command of the vessel
Suspecting that that Jorge had typhoid fever, Dr. Marvie Blanes ordered that Jorge be
notwithstanding the presence of a pilot. A perusal of Capt. Kabankov's testimony
tested for compatibility with chloromycetin, an antibiotic. Such test was conducted by
makes it apparent that he was remiss in the discharge of his duties as master of the
Nurse Pagente.
ship, leaving the entire docking procedure up to the pilot, instead of maintaining
watchful vigilance over this risky maneuver. The owners of a vessel are not personally As there was no adverse reaction, Dr. Blanes administered 500 mg of the antibiotic.
liable for the negligent acts of a compulsory pilot, but by admiralty law, the fault or Another dose was given 3 hours later.
negligence of a compulsory pilot is imputable to the vessel and it may be held liable
therefor in rem. Where, however, by the provisions of the statute the pilot is Subsequently, Jorge Reyes developed high fever and experienced vomiting and
compulsory only in the sense that his fee must be paid, and is not in compulsory convulsions. He then turned blue due to deficiency in oxygen cyanosis and died.
charge of the vessel, there is no exemption from liability. Even though the pilot is The cause of death was stated to be ventricular arrhythmia secondary to
compulsory, if his negligence was not the sole cause of the injury, but the negligence hyperpyrexia and typhoid fever.
of the master or crew contributed thereto, the owners are liable. But the liability of the
The heirs of Reyes filed with the RTC a complaint for damages against Sisters of
ship in rem does not release the pilot from the consequences of his own negligence.
Mercy, Sister Rose Palacio, Dr. Blanes, Dr. Rico and Mercy Community Clinic
The master is not entirely absolved of responsibility with respect to navigation when a
contending that the death of Jorge was due to the wrongful administration of
compulsory pilot is in charge. Except insofar as their liability is limited or exempted by
chloromycetin. (NOTE: Petitioners action is for medical malpractice.)
statute, the vessel or her owners are liable for all damages caused by the negligence
or other wrongs of the owners or those in charge of the vessel. As a general rule, the RTC ruled in favor of the respondents. The CA affirmed in toto the RTC decision.
owners or those in possession and control of a vessel and the vessel are liable for all Hence, this appeal.
natural and proximate damages caused to persons or property by reason of her
negligent management or navigation. Petitioners contend that:

Dr. Marlyn Rico hastily and erroneously relied upon the Widal test, diagnosed Jorges
illness as typhoid fever, and immediately prescribed the administration of the
Reyes Vs. Sisters Of Mercy antibiotic chloromycetin

Socialize Us Dr. Marvie Blanes erred in ordering the administration of the second dose of 500
milligrams of chloromycetin barely 3 hours after the first was given.

Testimony presented: That of Dr. Apolinar Vacalares, (Chief Pathologist of the

Jorge Reyes has been suffering from recurring fever with chills for around days.
Northern Mindanao Training Hospital) who performed an autopsy on the body Dr.
Home medication afforded him no relief so he went to Mercy Community Clinic. He Vacalares testified that Reyes did not die of typhoid fever but of shock undetermined,
was then attended by Dr. Marlyn Rico. which could be due to allergic reaction or chloromycetin overdose.

Since typhoid fever was common at that time, the Widal test was performed and he
was found positive for typhoid.
Issue: WON there was medical malpractice. NO Respondents also presented the testimony of Dr. Ibarra T. Panopio who is a member
of the Philippine and American Board of Pathology, an examiner of the Philippine
Board of Pathology, and chief pathologist at the MetroCebu Community Hospital,

Held: Perpetual Succor Hospital, and the Andres Soriano Jr. Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Apolinar Vacalares is not a specialist of typhoid fever and he is thus not qualified He stated that, as a clinical pathologist, he recognized that the Widal test is used for

to prove that Dr. Marlyn Rico erred in her diagnosis. typhoid patients, although he did not encourage its use because a single test would
only give a presumption necessitating that the test be repeated, becoming more
While petitioners presented Dr. Apolinar Vacalares as an expert witness, we do not conclusive at the second and third weeks of the disease.
find him to be so as he is not a specialist on infectious diseases like typhoid fever.
Furthermore, although he may have had extensive experience in performing
autopsies, he admitted that he had yet to do one on the body of a typhoid victim at the
He corroborated Dr. Gotiongs testimony that the danger with typhoid fever is really
time he conducted the postmortem on Jorge Reyes. It is also plain from his testimony
the possible complications which could develop like perforation, hemorrhage, as well
that he has treated only about three cases of typhoid fever.
as liver and cerebral complications.

The two doctors presented by respondents clearly were experts on the subject
Dr. Rico was not negligent in administering the 2 doses of 500 g of chloromycetin

They vouched for the correctness of Dr. Marlyn Ricos diagnosis. Dr. Peter Gotiong, a
The chloromycetin was likewise a proper prescription is best established by medical
diplomate whose specialization is infectious diseases and microbiology and an
authority. Even if the deceased suffered from an anaphylactic shock, this, of itself,
associate professor at the Southwestern University College of Medicine and the
would not yet establish the negligence of the appellee-physicians for all that the law
Gullas College of Medicine, testified that he has already treated over a thousand
requires of them is that they perform the standard tests and perform standard
cases of typhoid fever.
procedures. The law cannot require them to predict every possible reaction to all
drugs administered.

According to him, when a case of typhoid fever is suspected, the Widal test is
normally used, and if the 1:320 results of the Widal test on Jorge Reyes had been
The practice of medicine requires the highest degree of diligence
presented to him along with the patients history, his impression would also be that
the patient was suffering from typhoid fever. As to the treatment of the disease, he The practice of medicine is a profession engaged in only by qualified individuals. It is
stated that chloromycetin was the drug of choice. He also explained that despite the a right earned through years of education, training, and by first obtaining a license
measures taken by respondent doctors and the intravenous administration of two from the state through professional board examinations. Such license may, at any
doses of chloromycetin, complications of the disease could not be discounted. time and for cause, be revoked by the government. In addition to state regulation, the
conduct of doctors is also strictly governed by the Hippocratic Oath, an ancient code Was there a physician-patient relationship between the respondent doctors and Jorge
of discipline and ethical rules which doctors have imposed upon themselves in Reyes? Yes.
recognition and acceptance of their great responsibility to society. Given these
Respondents were thus duty-bound to use at least the same level of care that any
safeguards, there is no need to expressly require of doctors the observance of
reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same
extraordinary diligence.
circumstances. It is breach of this duty which constitutes actionable malpractice.

As it is now, the practice of medicine is already conditioned upon the highest degree
As to this aspect of medical malpractice, the determination of the reasonable level of
of diligence. And, as we have already noted, the standard contemplated for doctors is
care and the breach thereof, expert testimony is essential. Inasmuch as the causes of
simply the reasonable average merit among ordinarily good physicians. That is
the injuries involved in malpractice actions are determinable only in the light of
reasonable diligence for doctors or, as the Court of Appeals called it, the reasonable
scientific knowledge, it has been recognized that expert testimony is usually
skill and competence . . . that a physician in the same or similar locality . . . should
necessary to support the conclusion as to causation.

The doctrine of res ipsa loquitor is not applicable in the case at bar
There are thus four elements involved in medical negligence cases, namely: duty,
breach, injury, and proximate causation
Though expert testimony is usually needed to prove malpractice, where common
knowledge and experience teach that the injury would not have occurred if due care
Petitioners action is for medical malpractice. This is a particular form of negligence
had been exercised, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can be invoked to establish
which consists in the failure of a physician or surgeon to apply to his practice of
medicine that degree of care and skill which is ordinarily employed by the profession
generally, under similar conditions, and in like surrounding circumstances.

Hence, 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
In order to successfully pursue such a claim, a patient must prove that the physician
expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common knowledge can determine
or surgeon either failed to do something which a reasonably prudent physician or
the proper standard of care. Where common knowledge and experience teach that a
surgeon would have done, or that he or she did something that a reasonably prudent
resulting injury would not have occurred to the patient if due care had been exercised,
physician or surgeon would not have done, and that the failure or action caused injury
an inference of negligence may be drawn giving rise to an application of the doctrine
to the patient.
of res ipsa loquitur without medical evidence, which is ordinarily required to show not
only what occurred but how and why it occurred.

The doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor is not applicable in this case.

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.

Medical malpractice suit type of claim which a victim has available to him/her to
redress a wrong committed by a medical professional which has caused bodily harm;
There is nothing unusual about the death of Jorge Reyes (absence of 1st requisite most often brought as a civil action for damages under NCC 2176 or a criminal case
that the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is under RPC 365, with which a civil action for damages is impliedly instituted.
Lydia Umali was examined by Dr. Cruz who found a myoma [benign tumor] in her
In this case, while it is true that the patient died just a few hours after professional uterus, and scheduled her for a hysterectomy operation [removal of uterus] on 23 Mar
medical assistance was rendered, there is really nothing unusual or extraordinary 1991. Rowena Umali de Ocampo accompanied her mother to the hospital a day
about his death. before the operation, and they spent the night there. Rowena noticed that the clinic
was untidy, so she tried to persuade her mother not to proceed with the operation.
The following day, Rowena asked Dr. Cruz if the operation could be postponed, but

Prior to his admission, the patient already had recurring fevers and chills for five days Lydia told her daughter that Dr. Cruz said that the operation must go on as

unrelieved by the analgesic, antipyretic, and antibiotics given him by his wife. This scheduled.

shows that he had been suffering from a serious illness and professional medical help
While Lydias relatives were waiting, Dr. Ercillo (anesthesiologist) told them to
came too late for him.
buy tagamet ampules, and Rowenas sister went out to buy some. An hour later, Dr.
Ercillo asked them to buy blood for Lydia, so they did. A few hours later, the operation
was finished, but later, Dr. Cruz asked the family to buy additional blood, but there
It must be conceded that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no application in a was no more type A blood available in the blood bank. A person arrived to donate
suit against a physician or a surgeon which involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a blood which was later transfused to Lydia. Rowena noticed that her mother
scientific treatment. The physician or surgeon is not required at his peril to explain was gasping for breathapparently, the oxygen supply had run out, so the family went
why any particular diagnosis was not correct, or why any particular scientific treatment out to buy oxygen. Later in the evening, she went into shock and her blood pressure
did not produce the desired result. dropped. She was then transferred to another hospital so she could be connected to a
respirator and further examined. However, this transfer was without the consent of the
relatives, who only found out about it when an ambulance came to take Lydia to the

Cruz v. CA other hospital.

Dr. Ninevetch Cruz v. CA and Lydia Umali In the new hospital, she was re-operated upon by Dr. Cruz and Dr. Ercillo because
blood was oozing out from her incision. They summoned Dr. Angeles, Ob-Gyne head
1997 / Francisco / Petition for review on certiorari of a CA decision of the new hospital, but when he arrived, Lydia was already in shock and possibly
dead (BP: 0/0). Dr. Angeles told Drs. Cruz and Ercillo that there was nothing he could
Standard of conduct > Experts > Medical professionals
do. Lydia died while Dr. Cruz was closing her abdominal wall. Immediate cause of 5. There is inexcusable lack of precaution, taking into consideration offenders
death is shock; disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) as antecedent cause. employment, degree of intelligence, physical condition, other circumstances re:
persons, time, place
Dr. Cruz and Dr. Ercillo were charged with reckless imprudence and negligence
resulting in homicide of Lydia Umali. The Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) found Standard of care
Dr. Ercillo not guilty for insufficiency of evidence against her, but held Dr. Cruz
Standard of care observed by other members of the profession in good standing
responsible for Umalis death. RTC and CA affirmed MTCC.
under similar circumstances, bearing in mind the advanced state of the profession at
Manifestation of negligence the time of treatment or the present state of medical science

untidiness of clinic When the physicians qualifications are admitted, there is an

inevitable presumption that in proper cases, he takes the necessary precaution and
lack of provision of supplies
employs the best of his knowledge and skill in attending to his clients, unless the

the fact that the transfer was needed meant that there was something wrong in the contrary is sufficiently established by expert testimony.

way Dr. Cruz conducted operation

Expert testimony

no showing that pre-surgery procedure (clearance, blood typing/tests) was conducted

Expert testimony is essential to establish standard of care of the profession, as well
as that the physicians conduct in the treatment and care falls below such standard. It
is also usually necessary to support the conclusion as to causation. There is
WON the circumstances are sufficient to sustain a judgment of conviction against Dr. an absence of any expert testimony re: standard of care in the case records. NBI
Cruz for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. NO. DR. CRUZ IS ACQUITTED, doctors presented by the prosecution only testified as to the possible cause of death.
BUT SHE IS STILL CIVILLY LIABLE (50K civil liability; 100k moral damages, 50k
exemplary damages). While it may be true that the circumstances pointed out by the lower courts
constitute reckless imprudence, this conclusion is still best arrived not through the
RATIO educated surmises nor conjectures of laymen, including judges, but by the
unquestionable knowledge of expert witnesses. The deference of courts to the expert
Elements of reckless imprudence
opinion of qualified physicians stems from the realization that the latter

1. Offender does / fails to do an act possess unusual technical skills which laymen are incapable of intelligently
2. Doing / failure to do act is voluntary
Burden of establishing medical negligence on plaintiff
3. Without malice
Plaintiff has the burden to establish this, and for a reasonable conclusion of
4. Material damage results from reckless imprudence negligence, there must be proof of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon, as well
as a causal connection of such breach and the resulting death of patient. Negligence
cannot create a right of action unless it is the proximate cause of the injury
complained of (Chan Lugay v. St. Lukes Hospital, Inc.). In this case, no cogent proof The Ronquillo spouses filed a complaint against Dr. Ilao-Oreta and the St.
exists that the circumstances caused Lydias death, so the 4th element of reckless Lukes Medical Center for breach of professional and service contract and for
imprudence is missing. damages before the Regional Trial Court of Batangas City. They prayed for the award
of actual damages including alleged loss of income of Noel while accompanying his
The testimonies of the doctors presented by the prosecution establish hemorrhage
wife to the hospital, moral damages, exemplary damages, costs of litigation,
/ hemorrhagic shock as the cause of death, which may be caused by several different
attorneys fees, and other available reliefs and remedies. The RTC decided in favor of
factors. Autopsy did not reveal any untied cut blood vessel, nor was there a tie of a
Ronquillo spouses and awarded Eva Marie actual damages but ruled that the failure
cut blood vessel that became loose. The findings of the doctors do not preclude the
of the doctor to arrive on time was not intentional. It found no adequate proof that
probability that a clotting defect (DIC) caused the hemorrhage and consequently,
Noel had been deprived of any job contract while attending to his wife in the hospital.
Lydias death.
The spouses appealed to the Court of Appeals and found that Dr. Ilao-Oreta grossly

The Court has no recourse but to rely on the expert testimonies that substantiate Dr. negligent.

Cruz allegation that the cause of Lydias death was DIC, which cannot be attributed
to Dr. Cruz fault or negligence. This probability was unrebutted during trial.
Whether or not Dr. Ilao-Oreta is guilty of gross negligence for her failure to arrive at
the scheduled time for the procedure


It bears noting that when she was scheduling the date of her performance of the
Respondent spouses Eva Marie Ronquillo and Noel Benedicto Ronquillo
procedure, Dr. Ilao-Oreta had just gotten married and was preparing for her
had not been blessed with a child despite several years of marriage. They thus
honeymoon, and it is of common human knowledge that excitement attends its
consulted petitioner Dr. Concepcion Ilao-Oreta, an obstetrician-gynecologist-
preparations. Her negligence could then be partly attributed to human frailty which
consultant and chief of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Section at the
rules out its characterization as gross.
St. Lukes Medical Center. Dr. Ilao-Oreta advised Eva Marie to undergo a
laparoscopic procedure whereby a laparascope would be inserted through the Dr. Ilao-Oretas negligence not being gross, Ronquillo spouses are not entitled to
patients abdominal wall to get a direct viewof her internal reproductive organ in order recover moral damages. Neither are the spouses entitled to recover exemplary
to determine the real cause of her infertility. damages in the absence of a showing that Dr. Ilao-Oreta acted in a
wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner, nor to award of
The procedure was scheduled on April 5, 1999 at 2:00 p.m. to be
attorneys fees as, contrary to the finding of the CA that the spouses were compelled
performed by Dr. Ilao-Oreta. Eva Marie, accompanied by Noel, checked in at the St.
to litigate and incur expenses to protect their interest, the records show that they did
Lukes Medical Center and underwent pre-operative procedures including the
not exert enough efforts to settle the matter before going to court.
administration of intravenous fluid and enema. However, Dr. Ilao-Oreta did not arrive
at the scheduled time for the procedure and no prior notice of its cancellation SPOUSES PACIS VS. MORALES
was received. It turned out that the doctor was on a return flight from Hawaii to, and G.R. No. 169467
arrived at 10:00 p.m. of April 5, 1999 in, Manila. February 25, 2010
FACTS: petitioners filed with the trial court a civil case for damages against YES
respondent Morales.
This case for damages arose out of the accidental shooting of petitioners son. Under
Petitioners are the parents of Alfred Pacis, a 17-year old student who died in a Article 1161 of the Civil Code, petitioners may enforce their claim for damages based
shooting incident inside the Top Gun Firearms and Ammunitions Store in Baguio City. on the civil liability arising from the crime under Article 100 of the RPC or they may
Morales is the owner of the gun store. opt to file an independent civil action for damages under the Civil Code. In this case,
instead of enforcing their claim for damages in the homicide case filed against
On the fateful day, Alfred was in the gun store, with Matibag and Herbolario as sales
Matibag, petitioners opted to file an independent civil action for damages against
agents and caretakers of the store while owner Morales was in Manila. The gun which
respondent whom they alleged was Matibags employer. Petitioners based their claim
killed Alfred is a gun owned by a store customer which was left with Morales for
for damages under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code.
repairs, which he placed inside a drawer. Since Morales would be going to Manila, he
left the keys to the store with the caretakers. It appears that the caretakers took the **
gun from the drawer and placed it on top of a table. Attracted by the sight of the gun, Unlike the subsidiary liability of the employer under Article 103 of the RPC, the liability
the young Alfred got hold of the same. Matibag asked Alfred to return the gun. The of the employer, or any person for that matter, under Article 2176 of the Civil Code is
latter followed and handed the gun to Matibag. It went off, the bullet hitting the young primary and direct, based on a persons own negligence. Article 2176 states:
Alfred in the head.
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or
A criminal case for homicide was filed against Matibag. Matibag, however, was negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is
acquitted of the charge against him because of the exempting circumstance of no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called quasi-delict and is
accident under Art. 12, par. 4 of the RPC. governed by the provisions of this Chapter.

By agreement of the parties, the evidence adduced in the criminal case for homicide This case involves the accidental discharge of a firearm inside a gun store. Under
against Matibag was reproduced and adopted by them as part of their evidence in the PNP Circular No. 9, entitled the Policy on Firearms and Ammunition
instant case. Dealership/Repair, a person who is in the business of purchasing and selling of
firearms and ammunition must maintain basic security and safety requirements of a
The trial court rendered its decision in favor of petitioners, ordering the defendant to
gun dealer, otherwise his License to Operate Dealership will be suspended or
pay plaintiffs indemnity for the death of Alfred, actual damages for the hospitalization
and burial, expenses incurred by the plaintiffs, compensatory damages, MD and AF.
Respondent appealed to the CA, which reversed the trial courts Decision and Indeed, a higher degree of care is required of someone who has in his possession or
absolved respondent from civil liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. MR under his control an instrumentality extremely dangerous in character, such as
denied, hence this petition. dangerous weapons or substances. Such person in possession or control of
dangerous instrumentalities has the duty to take exceptional precautions to prevent
ISSUE: Was Morales negligent?
any injury being done thereby. Unlike the ordinary affairs of life or business which

HELD: Petition granted. The CA decision is set aside and the trial courts Decision involve little or no risk, a business dealing with dangerous weapons requires the
exercise of a higher degree of care.
As a gun store owner, respondent is presumed to be knowledgeable about firearms
safety and should have known never to keep a loaded weapon in his store to avoid
unreasonable risk of harm or injury to others. Respondent has the duty to ensure that
all the guns in his store are not loaded. Firearms should be stored unloaded and
separate from ammunition when the firearms are not needed for ready-access
defensive use. With more reason, guns accepted by the store for repair should not be
loaded precisely because they are defective and may cause an accidental discharge
such as what happened in this case. Respondent was clearly negligent when he
accepted the gun for repair and placed it inside the drawer without ensuring first that it
was not loaded. In the first place, the defective gun should have been stored in a
vault. Before accepting the defective gun for repair, respondent should have made
sure that it was not loaded to prevent any untoward accident. Indeed, respondent
should never accept a firearm from another person, until the cylinder or action is open
and he has personally checked that the weapon is completely unloaded. For failing to
insure that the gun was not loaded, respondent himself was negligent. Furthermore, it
was not shown in this case whether respondent had a License to Repair which
authorizes him to repair defective firearms to restore its original composition or
enhance or upgrade firearms.

Clearly, respondent did not exercise the degree of care and diligence required of a
good father of a family, much less the degree of care required of someone dealing
with dangerous weapons, as would exempt him from liability in this case.