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CASUAL RELATION BETWEEN ACT OR OMISSION The CA however reversed the decision, on the ground that there is a

presumption of negligence by Jabon because his driver’s license was


TISON et al. vs SPS. POMASIN not one that allowed him to drive vehicles of the nature of trailer
trucks.
Facts:
Issue:
This case is regarding a collision between a Jitney and a Trailer-Truck,
the jitney having been the vehicle of the respondents, and the Trailer WON Petitioners are liable for damages for being negligent.
Truck having been driven by petitioner Jabon.
Ruling:
On the 12th of August, 1994, petitioner Jabon, driving his trailer truck,
Petitioners were not negligent.
was met on the road by the respondent’s jitney driven by Laarni
Pomasin. The two vehicles were driving in opposite directions, on in a As between the consistent testimony of Jabon that he was the one
curve going downhill, and the other going uphill. Which vehicle was ascending the hill and that the respondents car zigzagged and cause
going which way is one of the relevant issues in this case. the collision, against the testimony of Gregorio, which was originally
that they were exiting a curve and going downhill, but had changed
The two vehicles collided, causing the death of several of the
during cross-examination to being that they were the one going uphill,
passengers of the jitney and the injuries of both the trailer truck’s
the testimony of Jabon is more credible. It is then improbable that
passenger and driver.
Jabon was the one over-speeding, for a trailer truck could not possibly
Tison, the owner of the trailer truck, extended financial assistance to go at high speeds when ascending a slope.
the aggrieved family in the amount of P1000.00 per person, as well
The presumption of negligence was also disputed by Petitioners when
as P200,000.00 to Cynthia Pomasin, who signed an affidavit of
they proved that it was the LTO who mistakenly labelled Jabon’s
desistance for such financial assistance. It was however proven that
license as one not authorized to drive trailer truck type vehicles.
Cynthia was not completely aware of the nature of the affidavit she
signed. The issue of the affidavit of desistance is no longer relevant because
petitioners have proven that they were not the ones who were
The respondents filed a case against petitioner for indemnification of
negligent.
heirs, as well as damages.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that there was an OCEAN BUILDERS vs. SPS. CUBACUB
affidavit of desistance, this was however dismissed for lack of merit.
Facts:
The RTC ruled in favor of petitioners, saying Jabon’s testimony was
Bladimir Cubacub was employed as maintenance man by petitioner
more credible and that he had a better opportunity to see the events
company Ocean Builders Construction Corp. One day, Bladimir was
occurring, being the driver, as against Gregorio Pomansin, being only
afflicted with chicken pox. He was thus advised by Hao, the company’s
a passenger in the Jitney.
manager, to rest for three days which he did at the companys barracks
where he lives free of charge. After three (3) days, Bladimir went back
to work and went about his usual chores of manning the gate of the The alleged negligence of Hao cannot be considered as the proximate
company premises and even cleaned the company vehicles. However, cause of the death of Bladimir. Proximate cause is that which, in
he asked a co-worker, Ignacio Silangga, to accompany him to his natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient intervening
house so he could rest. Hao gave Bladimir P1,000.00 and ordered cause, produces injury, and without which, the result would not have
Silangga to instead bring Bladimir to the nearest Caybiga hospital occurred. An injury or damage is proximately caused by an act or
which he did. However, upon the arrival of Bladimir’s parents, he was failure to act, whenever it appears from the evidence in the case
transferred to another hospital where he died. that the act or omission played a substantial part in bringing about or
actually causing the injury or damage, and that the injury or damage
Bladimir’s parents filed a complaint for damages against petitioners on was either a direct result or a reasonably probable consequence of the
the ground that Hao was guilty of negligence which resulted in the
act or omission.
deterioration of Bladimirs condition leading to his death. But
petitioners maintain that Hao exercised the diligence more than what Wherefore, the petition is granted.
FERNANDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CITY OF DAVAO Doctrine of proximate cause
the law requires, hence, they are not liable for damages.

Issue:
Facts:
Whether the Ocean Builders is negligent in not bringing Bladimir to a
An invitation to bid was issued to for a contract involving the-emptying
better-equipped hospital.
of the septic tank in Agdao. One of the bidders was Bertulano and
Ruling: Bascon. But it was Bascon who eventually won the bid and thereafter
signed the purchase order on November 26, 1975. However, before
No. Indeed, Art. 161 of the Labor Code provides that it shall be the such date, bidder Bertulano together with four other companions was
duty of any employer to provide all the necessary assistance to ensure suddenly found dead inside the septic tank.
the adequate and immediate medical and dental attendance and
treatment to an injured or sick employee in case of emergency. The City Engineer's office investigated the case and learned that

In the present case, however, Haos advice for Bladimir to take a 3- the five victims entered the septic tank without clearance and consent
day rest and to later have him brought to the nearest hospital of the market master. The septic tank was found to be almost empty
constituted adequate and immediate medical attendance. Moreover, and the victims were presumed to be the ones who did the re-
Hao may not be expected to have known that Bladimir needed to be emptying. Their cause of death was found out to be because of
brought to a hospital with better facilities than the Caybiga Hospital "asphyxia" which was caused by the diminution of oxygen in the body
because chicken pox is commonly known to be self-limiting. and intake of toxic gas produced from the waste matter inside the
septic tank.
On the other hand, since the present case is one for damages based
on torts, it should be anchored on the following three elements: (1) ISSUE:
duty (2) breach (3) injury and proximate causation.
Whether the City of Davao is guilty of negligence and whether such
negligence is the proximate cause of the death of Bertulano et al.
RULING: them was a Joana Paula passenger bus. In between the two vehicles
was a parked prime mover with a trailer, owned by Liberty Forest, Inc.
No, to be entitled to damages for an injury resulting from the
represented by Jose Ching, their manager. The prime mover suffered
negligence of another, a claimant must establish the relation between
a tire blowout the night before.
the omission and the damage. He must prove that the defendant's
negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury. The driver of the Prime Mover, Limbaga, parked it in the portion of
Proximate cause has been defined as that cause, which, in natural and the national highway, on the lane of the passenger bus. It does not
continuous sequence unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, have reflectorized plates, an early warning device. Limbaga just placed
produces the injury, and without which the result would not have a banana trunk with leaves and kerosene lighted cans on the front
occurred and back. To avoid hitting the parked prime mover, the Jona Paula
bus swerved to the lane of the van. The van driven by Ortiz also
While it may be true that the City of Davao has been remiss in its duty
swerved to avoid the bus. Unfortunately, it hit the front of the
to re-empty the septic tank annually, such negligence was not a
stationary prime mover.
continuing one. Upon learning from the report of the market master
about the need to clean the septic tank of the public toilet in Agdao Ortiz and Catamora only suffered minor injuries, and the van was
Public Market, it immediately responded by issuing invitations to bid inoperable. Dy Teban filed a complaint for damages against Liberty
for such service. It lost no time in taking up remedial measures to Forest and Limbaga. However, the Joana Paula bus was not impleaded
meet the situation. as defendant.

The accident in the case at bar occurred because the victims on their RTC:
own and without authority from the public respondent opened the
The trial court ruled in favor of Dy Teban Trading, Inc. on the grounds
septic tank. Considering the nature of the task of emptying a septic
tank especially one which has not been cleaned for years, an ordinarily that the proximate cause of the three-way vehicular collision was the
improper parking of the prime mover along the national highway and
prudent person should undoubtedly be aware of the attendant risks.
the absence of an early warning device on the vehicle. In other words,
The victims are no exception; more so with Mr. Bertulano, an old hand
it was the recklessness.
in this kind of service, who is presumed to know the hazards of the
job. His failure, therefore, and that of his men to take precautionary
CA:
measures for their safety was the proximate cause of the accident.
Partly Modified the ruling of the Trial Court by absolving the
DY TEBAN TRADING, INC. V JOSE CHING AND/OR defendants siting that the proximate cause of the vehicular collision
LIBERTY FOREST, INC. AND CRESILITO M. LIMBAGA was the failure of the van to give way or yield to the right of way of
the passenger bus.
Facts:
Issue:
Ortiz, with helper Catamora, was driving a Nissan van owned by Dy
Whether the prime mover is liable for the damages suffered by the
Teban Trading, Inc. along the National Highway in Butuan bound to
Nissan Van?
Surigao City to deliver ice. Cruising towards the opposite lane towards
Ruling: the highway must be extra careful. If the Joana Paula bus swerved, it
is because the driver of the bus did not see at a distance the parked
The prime mover is liable for the damages of the van.
prime mover and trailer on the bus proper lane because there was no
Article 2176 of the Civil Code: whoever by act or omission warning signs.
causes damage to another, there being fault or Limbaga also failed to take proper steps to minimize the risk posed by
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such the improperly parked prime mover. He did not immediately inform
fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual his employer of the two tire blowouts and that he could not have them
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict. fixed because he had only one spare tire. Instead of calling for help,
To sustain a claim based on quasi-delict, the following he simply place banana as warning. Worse, he slept on the prime
requisites must concur: mover instead of standing guard beside the vehicle.

(a) damage suffered by plaintiff; He admitted on cross-examination that it was his first time to drive
the prime mover. Liberty Forest was utterly negligent in allowing such.
(b) fault or negligence of defendant; and It required highly specialized driving skills. Liberty failed to properly
supervise.
(c) connection of cause and effect between the fault or
negligence of defendant and the damage incurred by Liberty failed to keep the prime mover in proper condition. The prime
plaintiff. mover had worn out tires. It was only equipped with one spare tire.
Limbaga was negligent in the parking and Liberty is negligent in the The report does not mention lighted tin cans to refer on a
supervision of its employee jurisprudential support. This was also the same contention of the
investigating officer. The presence of the cans was only made during
Limbaga failed to prevent the risks of incoming motorists. Negligence
the examination.
is defined as the failure to observe for the protection of the interests
of another person that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which The negligent skewed parking of the prime mover was the proximate
the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers cause of the collision.
injury. The test to determine negligence are as follows: Did the
defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care Proximate cause is that cause, which, in natural and continuous
and caution which an ordinary person would have used in the same sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the
situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. The test of negligence injury, and without which the result would not have occurred.
is objective. We measure the act or omission of the tortfeasor with There is no exact mathematical formula to determine such. Plaintiff
that of an ordinary reasonable person in the same situation.
must, however, establish a sufficient link between the act or omission
Limbaga was negligent in parking on the side of the national and the damage or injury. That link must not be remote or far-fetched;
highway. The vehicle occupied a substantial portion of the national otherwise, no liability will attach. The damage or injury must be a
road on the lane of the bus. The picture shows that there was ample natural and probable result of the act or omission.
space on the shoulder. It was pitch dark that whoever travels along
Liberty and Limbaga are liable for all damages that resulted from the On 13 September 1952, the deceased, Juan Bataclan, rode Bus No.
skewed parking of the prime mover. Their liability includes those 30, driven by Conrado Saylon and operated by Mariano Medina. On its
damages resulting from precautionary measures taken by other way from Cavite to Pasay, one of the tires burst and the vehicle fell
motorist in trying to avoid collision with the parked prime mover. Ortiz into a canal and turned turtle. Some passengers managed to escape
obviously would not have swerved if not for the passenger bus the bus; others had to be pulled out, while four passengers, including
abruptly occupying his vans lane. The passenger bus, in turn, would Bataclan, could not. There was no evidence to show that there was
not have swerved to the lane of the Nissan van if not for the prime any attempt to rescue the four (4) passengers still trap inside the bus.
mover improperly parked on its lane. The skewed parking is the However, calls and shouts were made in the nearby neighborhood.
proximate cause of the damage to the Nissan van.
Few minutes later, came ten (10) men, one (1) of them carrying a
The proportionate or contributory liability of the passenger bus cannot lighted torched. As they approached the bus, immediately a fire
be ruled upon, because it was not a party to the case; joint tortfeasors started, burning the bus, including the passengers trapped inside it.
are solidarily liable. The torched caught fire due to the gasoline leak.

Due process dictates that the bus must be given an opportunity to The widow, Salud Vda. de Bataclan, in her name and on behalf of her
present its own version of events before it can be held liable. Any five minor children, filed a suit to recover from Medina compensatory,
contributory or proportionate liability of the passenger bus must be moral, and exemplary damages and attorney's fees in the total
litigated in a separate action, barring any defense of prescription or amount of P87,150. The CFI decided in favor of the widow.
laches. Insofar as petitioner is concerned, the proximate cause of the
Both the plaintiff and the defendant appealed to the CA, but the latter
collision was the improper parking of the prime mover.
referred the case to the SC.
Even granting that the passenger bus was at fault, its fault will not
necessarily absolve private respondents from liability. If at fault, the Issue:
passenger bus will be a joint tortfeasor along with private What was the proximate cause of the death of Juan and the other
respondents. The liability of joint tortfeasors is joint and solidary. This passengers?
means that petitioner may hold either of them liable for damages from
the collision. Where their concurring negligence resulted in injury or Ruling:
damage to a third party, they become joint tortfeasors and are
The SC agreed with the trial court that the case involves a breach of
solidarily liable for the resulting damage under Article 2194 of the Civil
contract of transportation for hire, the Medina Transportation having
Code. All told, all the elements of quasi delict have been proven by
undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to his destination. Our New Civil
clear and convincing evidence.
Code amply provides for the responsibility of a common carrier to its
BATACLAN vs MEDINA

Facts:
passengers and their goods, to wit: Article 17331, 17552, 17563, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground
17594 and 17635. to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some
person might probably result therefrom.
The SC also agree that there was negligence on the part of the
defendant, through his agent, the driver Saylon. There was evidence The SC in the case did not hesitate to hold that the proximate cause
to show that at the time of the blow out, the bus was speeding, was the overturning of the bus. The reason is that when the vehicle
according to one of the passengers. turned completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline from the
tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men
There is no question that under the circumstances, the defendant
with a lighted torch was in response to the call for help, and that
carrier is liable. A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found
because it was dark (about 2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to
in Volume 38, pages 695-696 of American jurisprudence, cited by
carry a light with them, and because they are from a rural area where
plaintiffs-appellants in their brief. It is as follows:
lanterns and flashlights were not available. In other words, the coming
. . . that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken of the men with a torch was to be expected and was a natural
by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without sequence of the overturning of the bus, the trapping of some of its
which the result would not have occurred.' And more passengers and the call for outside help.
comprehensively, 'the proximate legal cause is that acting first and
Furthermore, the burning of the bus is also be attributed to the
producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in
negligence of the carrier, through its employee. According to the
motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each
witness, the driver and the conductor were on the road walking back
having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the
and forth. They should and must have known that in that position,
final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural
gasoline could and must have leaked from the tank and soaked the
and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such
area in and around the bus, this aside from the fact that gasoline can
circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should,
be smelt, and yet neither the driver nor the conductor exercised

1ART. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of 4 ART. 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers
public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods through the negligence or wilful acts of the former's employees, although such employees
and for the safety of the passengers transported by them, according to all the may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of the orders of the
circumstances of each case. common carriers.
Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in articles This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all
1734, 1735, and 1745, Nos. 5, 6, and 7 while the extraordinary diligence for the safety of the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their
the passengers is further set forth in articles 1755 and 1756. employees.
2 ART. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human 5 ART. 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on
care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, account of the wilful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the
with a due regard for all the circumstances. common carrier's employees through the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a
3 ART. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed family could have prevented or stopped the act or omission.
to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755."
caution or taken steps to warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted swinging the galvanized iron sheet without taking any precaution,
torch too near the bus. such as looking back toward the street and at the wire to avoid its
contacting said iron sheet, considering the latter's length of 6 feet. For
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY V REMOQUILLO a better understanding of the rule on remote and proximate cause
with respect to injuries, we find the following citation helpful:
Facts:
"A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of an action if
Efren Magno went to the house of his stepbrother to repair a media
such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give
agua which was located below the third story. Magno received from
rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there
his son thru a window a 3’x6’ galvanized iron sheet to repair the media intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a
agua. Holding the 6-feet iron sheet with both hands and at arms
distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even
length, evidently without looking, and throwing all prudence and though such injury would not have happened but for such condition
discretion to the winds, he turned around swinging his arms with the
or occasion. If no danger existed in the condition except because of
motion of his body, thereby causing electrocution resulting to his the independent cause, such condition was not the proximate cause.
death.
And if an independent negligent act or defective condition sets into
Regulations of the City of Manila required that all wires be kept 3 feet operation the circumstances which result in injury because of the prior
from the building. There was originally a distance of 7 feet and 2.75 defective condition, such subsequent act or condition is the proximate
inches between the wires and the side of the house. The owner of the cause."
building was given a permit to construct a media agua of one meter
DAVID TAYLOR V. THE MANILA ELECTRIC RAILROAD AND
to preserve the 3 feet required by the ordinance. However, the owner LIGHT COMPANY
violated the permit and constructed a meter agua exceeding one
meter which resulted to the violation of the ordinance. The violation Facts:
of the permit for the construction of the media agua was not the direct
cause of the accident. Such fact contributed to the accident. Defendant a foreign corporation engaged in the operation of a street
railway and electric light system in City of Manila. Its power plant,
Issue: situated in a small island called Isla del Provisor, can be reached by
Whether the company was negligent and if such negligence was the boat or by crossing a footbridge.
proximate and principal cause of the accident. David Taylor (15 years old) with Manuel Claparols (12 years old),
Ruling: crossed the footbridge of Isla del Provisor to visit one Murphy, an
employee of the defendant, who promised to make them a cylinder
No. The real cause of the accident was the reckless or negligent act for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Murphy was not in his
of Magno himself. quarters, they spent some time wandering about the company’s
premises.
To us it is clear that the principal and proximate cause of the
electrocution was not the electric wire, evidently a remote cause, but As they were wandering, they found the area where the company
rather the reckless and negligent act of Magno in turning around and would throw their garbage. They found a number of brass fulminating
caps (fulminating caps are pipes that have small explosives and a In Rakes v. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific, Court said that fault or negligence
hammer in them.) The boys took them home. They met Jesse Adrian is the source of obligation when between such negligence and the
and they all went to Manuel’s house where they played with the caps. injury there exists the relation of cause and effect; but if the injury
They opened that cap and lighted the contents with a match. An produced should not be the result of the acts or omissions of a third
explosion happened causing them injuries with David being required party, the latter has no obligation to repair the same, although such
to have his right eye removed. acts or omission were imprudent or unlawful, and much less when it
is shown that the immediate cause of the injury was the negligence
David filed an action to recover damages for the loss of an eye and
of the injured party himself.
other injuries.
Where the negligence of the plaintiff was the immediate cause of the
Issue:
casualty, defendant must be exonerated.
Whether or not the defendant is liable for the injuries suffered by the
Difficulty seems to be apprehended in deciding which acts of the
plaintiff?
injured party shall be considered immediate causes of the accident.
Ruling: The test is simple. Distinction must be made between the accident
and the injury, between the event itself, without which there could
As to legality of entry of the complainants into defendants property have been no accident, and those acts of the victim not entering into
it, independent of it, but contributing to his own proper hurt.
Entry of the plaintiff upon defendant’s property without the latter’s
express invitation or permission would NOT relieve the defendant from In the present case, the immediate cause of the explosion was his
responsibility for injuries incurred by the plaintiff, without fault on the own act, and that having contributed to the principal occurrence, as
latter’s part. one of its determining factors, he cannot recover.
However, under all the circumstances of this case, the negligence of MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION vs. SEBASTIAN M.
the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was NOT BAKING
the proximate cause of the injury received by the plaintiff. It was the
act of cutting open the detonating cap and putting match to its Facts:
contents which was the proximate cause of the explosion and of the
resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff. Sebastian M. Baking went to the clinic of Dr. Cesar Sy for a medical
check-up. On the following day, after undergoing an ECG, blood, and
On Contributory Negligence hematology examinations and urinalysis, Dr. Sy found that
respondent’s blood sugar and triglyceride were above normal levels.
While there does not appear to be anything in the Civil Code which
Dr. Sy then gave respondent two medical prescriptions – Diamicron
expressly lays down the law touching contributory negligence in this
and Benalize.
jurisdiction, nevertheless, the interpretation placed upon its provisions
by the Supreme Court of Spain and by this court in Rakes v. Atlantic, Respondent then proceeded to petitioner Mercury Drug Corporation
Gulf and Pacific, clearly deny the plaintiff the right to recover to buy the prescribed medicines. However, the saleslady misread the
damages, in whole or in part.
prescription for Diamicron as a prescription for Dormicum. Thus, what of care and diligence in selling medicines. Inasmuch as the matter of
was sold to respondent was Dormicum, a potent sleeping tablet. negligence is a question of fact, we defer to the findings of the trial
court affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Unaware that what was given to him was the wrong medicine,
respondent took one pill of Dormicum on three consecutive days. On Obviously, petitioner’s employee was grossly negligent in selling to
the third day he took the medicine, he figured in a vehicular accident. respondent Dormicum, instead of the prescribed Diamicron.
The car he was driving collided with the car of one Josie Peralta. Considering that a fatal mistake could be a matter of life and death
Respondent fell asleep while driving. He could not remember anything for a buying patient, the said employee should have been very
about the collision nor felt its impact. cautious in dispensing medicines. She should have verified whether
the medicine she gave respondent was indeed the one prescribed by
Thus, respondent filed with the RTC a complaint for damages against
his physician. The care required must be commensurate with the
petitioner.
danger involved, and the skill employed must correspond with the
Issue: superior knowledge of the business which the law demands.

Whether petitioner was negligent, and if so, whether such negligence Petitioner contends that the proximate cause of the accident was
was the proximate cause of respondent’s accident respondent’s negligence in driving his car.

Ruling: We disagree.

Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides: Here, the vehicular accident could not have occurred had petitioner’s
employee been careful in reading Dr. Sy’s prescription. Without the
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, potent effects of Dormicum, a sleeping tablet, it was unlikely that
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. respondent would fall asleep while driving his car, resulting in a
Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation collision.
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter. Complementing Article 2176 is Article 2180 of the same Code which
states:
To sustain a claim based on the above provision, the following
requisites must concur: (a) damage suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault ART. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is
or negligence of the defendant; and, (c) connection of cause and demandable not only for one’s own acts or omissions, but
effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
damage incurred by the plaintiff.3 xxx
There is no dispute that respondent suffered damages.
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
It is generally recognized that the drugstore business is imbued with employees and household helpers acting within the scope
public interest. The health and safety of the people will be put into of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not
jeopardy if drugstore employees will not exercise the highest degree engaged in any business or industry. x x x
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the dishonored due to insufficient funds. A penalty amounting P57,000
persons herein mentioned prove that they observed the diligence of a was also debited from his account. The checks were dishonored
good father of a family to prevent damage. despite the assurance by RCBC, the drawee bank that the amount has
been debited from the account of the drawee.
It is thus clear that the employer of a negligent employee is liable for
the damages caused by the latter. When an injury is caused by the On top of this, the bank noted on the checks 'DAIF' (drawn against
negligence of an employee, there instantly arises a presumption of the insufficient fund) and not 'DAUD'' (drawn against uncollected
law that there has been negligence on the part of the employer, either deposit). The bank offered to reverse the penalty but denied Suarez
in the selection of his employee or in the supervision over him, after claim for damages. Suarez rejected this offer hence the case filed for
such selection. The presumption, however, may be rebutted by a clear damages.
showing on the part of the employer that he has exercised the care
The lower court ruled in favor of Suarez and awarded actual, moral,
and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
and exemplary damages. BPI appealed but the Court of Appeals
supervision of his employee. Here, petitioner's failure to prove that it
affirmed the lower court ruling. The CA ruled that the bank was
exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
negligent in handling the accounts of the respondent hence the latter's
and supervision of its employee will make it solidarily liable for
entitlement to damages. Hence this petition.
damages caused by the latter.
Issue:
BPI vs SUAREZ
Whether the petitioner bank is liable for its negligence in handling the
Facts: respondent's account
Reynaldo Suarez is a lawyer who used to maintain both savings and Ruling:
current account with petitioner BPI in its Ermita branch. Sometime in
1997, respondent Suarez had a client who wanted to buy several No, BPI was not negligent because it was justified in dishonoring the
parcels of land in Tagaytay but the latter did not want to deal directly checks for lack of sufficient funds in Suarez account. There was no
with the owners of said land. sufficient evidence to prove that BPI conclusively confirmed the same-
day crediting of the amount of the check to Suarez account. While BPI
Suarez and his client entered into an agreement where the former will has the discretion to disregard the 3-day clearing policy, Suarez failed
be the one to purchase the lands. Both likewise agreed that the client to prove his entitlement to such privilege.
would deposit money in Suarez' BPI account and thereafter, he would
issue the checks for the sellers. The award of actual damages is without basis since BPI is justified in
dishonoring the checks for being drawn against uncollected deposit,
The client deposited a check with BPI branch. Aware that a check has hence BPI can rightfully impose the said penalty charges against
3-days clearing time, Suarez' assistant called the bank which Suarez' account.
confirmed that the said amount had been credited to his account on
that same day. Relying on this confirmation, Suarez issued five (5) The award of moral damages has no basis because Suarez failed to
checks in the name of the sellers. Unfortunately, all checks were prove that his claimed injury was proximately caused by the erroneous
marking of the 'DAIF' on the checks.
Suarez is however entitled to nominal damages due to BPI's failure to C.O.L. Realty appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the
exercise the diligence required as the bank's business is deemed to be view that Aquilino was negligent in crossing, as per Certification of the
affected with public interest. The bank must at all times maintain a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority:
high level of meticulousness and should guard against injury
“…the crossing of vehicles at Katipunan Avenue from Rajah Matanda
attributable to negligence or bad faith on its part. Suarez therefore
Street to Blue Ridge Subdivision, Quezon City has (sic) not allowed
has the right to expect a high level of care and diligence from BPI.
since January 2004 up to the present in view of the ongoing road
LAMBERT S. RAMOS vs. C.O.L. REALTY CORPORATION construction at the area.”

Court of Appeals likewise noted that at the time of the collision,


Facts:
Ramos' vehicle was moving at high speed in a busy area that was then
Vehicular accident took place between a Toyota Altis Sedan, owned the subject of an ongoing construction.
by petitioner C.O.L. Realty Corporation, and driven by Aquilino Larin
Issue:
and a Ford Expedition, owned by Lambert Ramos and driven by Rodel
Ilustrisimo. Whether or not Ramos is solidarily liable with Rodel Ilustrisimo to pay
petitioner C.O.L. Realty Corporation?
A passenger of the sedan, one Estela Maliwat sustained injuries. She
was immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment. Ruling:
C.O.L. Realty averred that its driver, Aquilino, was slowly driving the NO.
Toyota Altis car at a speed of five to ten kilometers per hour when
Ford violently rammed against the car's right rear door and fender. Appellate court's mind that Aquilino's violation of the MMDA
With the force of the impact, the sedan turned 180 degrees towards prohibition against crossing Katipunan Avenue from Rajah Matanda
the direction where it came from. Street was the proximate cause of the accident.

Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City found probable cause to However, it also declared Ramos liable vicariously for
indict Rodel, the driver of the Ford Expedition, for Reckless Rodel's contributory negligence in driving the Ford Expedition at high
Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property. speed along a busy intersection.

Ramos denied liability for damages insisting that it was the negligence Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in natural and
of Aquilino, C.O.L. Realty's driver, which was the proximate cause of continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause,
the accident. He asserted that he exercised the diligence of a good produces the injury, and without which the result would not have
father of a family in the selection and supervision of his driver, Rodel. occurred.

C.O.L. Realty filed a Complaint for Damages based on quasi-delict If Aquilino heeded the MMDA prohibition against crossing Katipunan
before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Metro Manila. Avenue from Rajah Matanda, the accident would not have happened.

MeTc dismissed the case. RTC affirmed. Supreme Court find it unnecessary to delve into the issue of Rodel's
contributory negligence, since it cannot overcome or defeat Aquilino's
recklessness which is the immediate and proximate cause of the the sole negligence of Catubig when he imprudently overtook another
accident. vehicle at a curve and traversed the opposite lane of the road.

VALLACAR TRANSIT, INC., vs JOCELYN CATUBIG RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner that the respondents’ husband is
the reckless and negligent driver and not the driver of the petitioner.
Facts: Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. But, the appellate court
held that both Catubig and Cabanilla were negligent in driving their
Petitioner is engaged in the business of transportation and the
respective vehicles. Thus, the CA modified the RTC’s decision ruling
franchise owner of a Ceres Bulilit bus. Quirino C. Cabanilla (Cabanilla)
that both petitioner and respondent are equally liable for the accident
is employed as a regular bus driver of petitioner. in question and hereby award to the heirs of Catubig the amount of
On January 27, 1994, respondents husband, Quintin Catubig, Jr. P250,000.00 as full compensation for the death of the latter.
(Catubig), was on his way home from Dumaguete City riding in
Petitioner denies any vicarious or imputed liability under Article 2180,
tandem on a motorcycle with his employee, Teddy Emperado in relation to Article 2176, of the Civil Code. According to petitioner,
(Emperado). Catubig was the one driving the motorcycle. While
respondent failed to prove the culpability of Cabanilla, the employee
approaching a curve, Catubig tried to overtake a slow moving ten- driver of petitioner. Petitioner additionally argues, without conceding
wheeler cargo truck by crossing-over to the opposite lane, which was any fault or liability, that the award by the Court of Appeals in
then being traversed by the Ceres Bulilit bus driven by Cabanilla,
respondent’s favor of the lump sum amount of P250,000.00 as total
headed for the opposite direction. When the two vehicles collided, death indemnity lacks factual and legal basis.
Catubig and Emperado were thrown from the motorcycle. Both
Catubig and Emperado died. Issue:

Then, Cabanilla was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in Whether petitioner is liable for the death of Catubig and Emperado?
double homicide. The MCTC issued a Resolution dismissing the
Ruling:
criminal charge because there was no negligence, not even
contributory, on Cabanilla’s part. The petition is meritorious.
Thereafter, respondent filed before the RTC a Complaint for Damages There is merit in the argument of the petitioner that Article 2180 of
against petitioner, seeking actual, moral, and exemplary damages, in the Civil Code imputing fault or negligence on the part of the employer
the total amount of P484,000.00, for the death of her husband based for the fault or negligence of its employee does not apply to petitioner
on Article 2180, in relation to Article 2176, of the Civil since the fault or negligence of its employee driver, Cabanilla, which
Code. Respondent alleged that petitioner is civilly liable because the would have made the latter liable for quasi-delict under Article 2176
latter’s employee driver, Cabanilla, was reckless and negligent in of the Civil Code, has never been established by respondent. To the
driving the bus which collided with Catubig’s motorcycle. Petitioner, in contrary, the totality of the evidence presented during trial shows that
its Answer, contended that the proximate cause of the vehicular the proximate cause of the collision of the bus and motorcycle is
collision, which resulted in the deaths of Catubig and Emperado, was attributable solely to the negligence of the driver of the motorcycle,
Catubig.
Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in natural and fault or negligence on Cabanillas part, then such presumption of fault
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, or negligence on the part of petitioner, as Cabanillas employer, does
produces the injury, and without which the result would not have not even arise. Thus, it is not even necessary to delve into the defense
occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is of petitioner that it exercised due diligence in the selection and
that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by supervision of Cabanilla as its employee driver.
setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and
Doctrine of Imputed Negligence
continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection
with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain CAEDO VS. YU KHE THAI
immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of
the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person Facts:
responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and
intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment Around 5:30AM, Marcial Caedo was driving his Mercury car on his way
of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably from home to the airport to send off his son who has a flight bound
result therefrom. to Mindoro. With him in the car were Mrs. Caedo and 3 daughters.
Coming from the opposite direction of the road was the Cadillac car
As the RTC noted, Cadimas and PO2 Elnas both pointed out that the by Rafael Bernardo taking Yu Khe Thai, his employer, to Wack2x for
motorcycle encroached the lane of the bus when it tried to overtake, his regular round of golf. The 2 cars travelling on opposite sides were
while nearing a curve, a truck ahead of it, consistent with the fact that travelling in fair moderate speeds. Ahead of the Cadillac car was a
the point of impact actually happened within the lane traversed by the carretela guided by Pedro Bautista. The carretela was towing another
bus. It would be more reasonable to assume then that it was Catubig horse guided by Pedro’s son.
who was driving his motorcycle at high speed because to overtake the
truck ahead of him, he necessarily had to drive faster than the Bernardo was almost upon the rig when he saw the carretela in front
truck. Catubig should have also avoided overtaking the vehicle ahead of him, only eight meters away. The Mercury car was coming on its
of him as the curvature on the road could have obstructed his vision own lane from the opposite direction. Bernardo, instead of slowing
of the oncoming vehicles from the opposite lane. down or stopping altogether behind the carretela, he veered to the
left in order to pass. Caedo saw the Cadillac and so he slackened his
The evidence shows that the driver of the bus, Cabanilla, was driving speed. However, the clearance Bernardo gave for his car’s right side
his vehicle along the proper lane, while the driver of the motorcycle, was insufficient and that its rear bumper caught the wheel of the
Catubig, had overtaken a vehicle ahead of him as he was approaching carretela and wrenched it loose. Caedo confronted with the
a curvature on the road, in disregard of the provision of the law on unexpected situation, tried to avoid the collision by going farther right,
reckless driving, at the risk of his life and that of his employee, but it was unsuccessful. And so, the unfortunate incident happened.
Emperado.
Caedo et al. filed a suit for recovery of damages against Bernardo and
The presumption that employers are negligent under Article 2180 of Yu Khe Thai. RTC ruled in their favor and held the defendants solidarily
the Civil Code flows from the negligence of their employees. Having liable for the damages.
adjudged that the immediate and proximate cause of the collision
resulting in Catubigs death was his own negligence, and there was no Issues:
1. Who was responsible of the accident? meters behind it, but then his failure to see it earlier did not constitute
2. If it be Bernardo, will Yu Khe Thai be solidarily liable? negligence, for he was not himself at the wheel. And even when he
did see it at the distance, he could not have anticipated his Bernardo’s
Ruling: sudden decision to pass the carretela on its left side in spite of the
fact that another car was approaching from the opposite direction.
1. Bernardo is liable for being negligent.
There was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the
Rafael Bernardo testified that he was almost upon the rig when he risks involved and warn the driver accordingly.
saw the carretela in front of him, only eight meters away. The The test of imputed negligence under Article 2184 of the Civil Code is
carretela was provided with two lights, one on each side, and they necessarily subjective. Car owners are not held to a uniform and
should have given him sufficient warning to take the necessary inflexible standard of diligence as are professional drivers. In many
precautions. And even if he did not notice the lights, the carretela cases they refrain from driving their own cars and instead hire other
should anyway have been visible to him from afar if he had been persons to drive for them precisely because they do not know how to
careful, as it must have been in the beam of his headlights for a drive or not endowed with sufficient discernment to know the rules of
considerable while. traffic or to appreciate the relative dangers posed by the different
2. No, Yu Khe Thai will not be solidarily liable. situations that are continually encountered on the road.

The law does not require that a person must possess a certain
Art. 2184 of CC states that:
measure of skill or proficiency either in the mechanics of driving or in
"ART. 2184.In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is the observance of traffic rules before he may own a motor vehicle.
solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in the The test of his negligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his
vehicle, could have, by the use of due diligence, prevented omission to do that which the evidence of his own senses tells him he
the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that driver was should do in order to avoid the accident.
negligent, if he has been found guilty of reckless driving or
Therefore, the imputation of liability to Yu Khe Thai that he is solidarily
violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next
liable with Bernardo, is an error.
preceding two months."
Add Notes: Damages
Under the foregoing provision, if the causative factor was the driver's
negligence, the owner of the vehicle who was present is likewise held Actual damages to be compensable, it must be proven. The actual
liable if he could have prevented the mishap by the exercise of due damages suffered by Caedo et al., other than expenses for medical
diligence. (Relationship of pater familias) treatment, has not been shown by the evidence. Therefore, they can
only be entitled to actual damages that were substantiated with
In this case, the car was running at a fairly moderate speed. The road
evidence.
was wide and open, and devoid of traffic that early morning. There
was no reason for Yu Khe Thai to be in any special state of alert. He Pain and suffering are not capable of pecuniary estimation and may
had reason to rely on the skill and experience of Bernardo. He became be a ground of granting moral and not actual damages. In this case,
aware of the presence of the carretela when his car was only twelve
considering the nature and extent of injuries suffered by Caedo et al, complainants presented no evidence to support their allegation of
the amounts of moral damages is not excessive. petitioners negligence.

KAPALARAN BUS LINE vs CORONADO CA:

Respondents appealed. While the appellate court agreed that Soriano


-- Gonzaga, Nigel
was negligent, it also found Macasasa negligent for speeding, such that
MENDOZA vs SORIANO he was unable to avoid hitting the victim. It observed that Sorianos own
negligence did not preclude recovery of damages
Facts: from Macasasas negligence. It further held that since petitioner failed
to present evidence to the contrary, and conformably with Article
Sonny Soriano, while crossing Commonwealth Avenue was hit by a 2180[8] of the Civil Code, the presumption of negligence of the employer
speeding Tamaraw FX driven by Lomer Macasasa. Soriano was thrown in the selection and supervision of employees stood.
five meters away, while the vehicle only stopped some 25 meters from
the point of impact. Gerard Villaspin, one of Sorianos companions, Issue:
asked Macasasa to bring Soriano to the hospital, but after checking
Was there sufficient legal basis to award damages?
out the scene of the incident, Macasasa returned to the FX, only to
flee. A school bus brought Soriano to the hospital where he later Ruling:
died. Subsequently, the Quezon City Prosecutor recommended the
filing of a criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide The records show that Macasasa violated two traffic rules under the
against Macasasa. Land Transportation and Traffic Code. First, he failed to maintain a
safe speed to avoid endangering lives. The records show also
Respondents Mutya Soriano and Julie Ann Soriano, Sorianos wife and that Soriano was thrown five meters away after he was hit. Moreover,
daughter, respectively, filed a complaint for damages against Macasasa the vehicle stopped only some 25 meters from the point of impact.
and petitioner Flordeliza Mendoza, the registered owner of the vehicle. Both circumstances support the conclusion that the FX vehicle driven
by Macasasa was overspeeding.
In her answer, petitioner Mendoza maintained that she was not liable
since as owner of the vehicle, she had exercised the diligence of a Second, Macasasa, the vehicle driver, did not aid Soriano, the accident
good father of a family over her employee, Macasasa. victim, in violation of Section 55, Article V of the Land Transportation
and Traffic Code. While Macasasa at first agreed to bring Soriano to the
RTC:
hospital, he fled the scene in a hurry. Under Article 2185 of the Civil
After trial, the trial court also dismissed the complaint against Code, a person driving a motor vehicle is presumed negligent if at the
petitioner. It found Soriano negligent for crossing Commonwealth time of the mishap, he was violating traffic regulations.
Avenue by using a small gap in the islands fencing rather than the
While respondents could recover damages from Macasasa in a criminal
pedestrian overpass. The lower court also ruled that petitioner was
case and petitioner could become subsidiarily liable, still petitioner, as
not negligent in the selection and supervision of Macasasa since
owner and employer, is directly and separately civilly liable for her
failure to exercise due diligence in supervising Macasasa. The SC
emphasized that this damage suit is for the quasi-delictof petitioner, brother. Añonuevo was in the course of making a left turn towards
as owner and employer, and not for the delict of Macasasa, as driver Libertad Street when the collision occurred. Villagracia sustained
and employee. serious injuries and had to undergo four operations.

Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, employers are liable for the Villagracia instituted an action for damages against P&G Phils., Inc.
damages caused by their employees acting within the scope of their and Añonuevo before the RTC. He had also filed a criminal complaint
assigned tasks. The liability arises due to the presumed negligence of against Añonuevo before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Mandaluyong,
the employers in supervising their employees unless they prove that but the latter was subsequently acquitted of the criminal charge.
they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent Añonuevo claims that Villagracia violated traffic regulations when he
the damage. failed to register his bicycle or install safety gadgets. He posits that
Article 2185 of the Civil Code applies by analogy.
In this case, we hold petitioner primarily and solidarily liable for the
damages caused by Macasasa. Respondents could recover directly from Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that
petitioner since petitioner failed to prove that she exercised the a person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of
diligence of a good father of a family in supervising Macasasa. the mishap he was violating any traffic regulation.

Lastly, the SC agree that the Court of Appeals did not err in ruling Issue:
that Soriano was guilty of contributory negligence for not using the
1. W/N Art. 2185 of the New Civil Code should apply to non-
pedestrian overpass while crossing Commonwealth Avenue. We even
note that the respondents now admit this point, and concede that the motorized vehicles, making Villagracia presumptively
appellate court had properly reduced by 20% the amount of damages negligent.
it awarded. The reduction of the amount earlier awarded was based on 2. W/N Villagracia was negligent for failure to comply with traffic
Article 2179 of the Civil Code which reads: regulations.
3. W/N Villagracia is guilty of contributory negligence.
When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate
cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence Ruling:
was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the
injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover 1. NO. There is pertinent basis for segregating between
damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. motorized and non-motorized vehicles. A motorized vehicle,
unimpeded by the limitations in physical exertion. is capable
JONAS AÑONUEVO vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and of greater speeds and acceleration than non-motorized
JEROME VILLAGRACIA
vehicles. At the same time, motorized vehicles are more
capable in inflicting greater injury or damage in the event of
Facts:
an accident or collision. This is due to a combination of factors
Villagracia was traveling along Boni Ave. on his bicycle, while peculiar to the motor vehicle, such as the greater speed, its
Añonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving a Lancer car relative greater bulk of mass, and greater combustibility due
owned by Procter and Gamble Inc., the employer of Añonuevo’s to the use of fuel.
members of the cast of Woman of the Year, namely Annabel Vilches
2. No. The existence of negligence in a given case is not (Annabel) and Jerome Macuja joined Teresa Elena in the Galant
determined by the personal judgment of the actor in a given Sigma.
situation, but rather, it is the law which determines what
Around 11:30 p.m., while travelling, the Galant Sigma collided with
would be reckless or negligent. Añonuevo asserts that the shuttle bus owned by petitioner and driven by Alfredo S. Mejia
Villagracia was negligent as the latter had transgressed traffic (Mejia), an employee of petitioner. The Galant Sigma was dragged
regulations. However, Añonuevo was speeding as he made about 12 meters from the point of impact, where the Galant Sigma
the left turn, and such negligent act was the proximate cause burst into flames and burned to death beyond recognition all four
of the accident. Even assuming that Añonuevo had failed to occupants of the car.
see Villagracia because the bicycle was not equipped with
A criminal charge for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to
headlights, such lapse on the cyclist’s part would not have
property with multiple homicide was brought against Mejia, which was
acquitted the driver of his duty to slow down as he proceeded
decided in favor of Mejia. The family of Annabel filed a civil case
to make the left turn.
against petitioner and Mejia. Wilfredo and Carmina, joined by their
minor children, also filed separate actions for damages against
3. No. As between Añonuevo and Villagracia, the lower courts petitioner and Mejia. The said cases were eventually consolidated.
adjudged Añonuevo as solely responsible for the accident.
The petition does not demonstrate why this finding should be RTC:
reversed. It is hard to imagine that the same result would not In favor of respondents
have occurred even if Villagracia’s bicycle had been equipped
with safety equipment. CA:

Affirmed RTC
FILIPINAS SYNTHETIC FIBER CORPORATION VS.
WILFREDO DE LOS SANTOS, BENITO JOSE DE LOS PETITIONER’S ARGUMENTS:
SANTOS, MARIA ELENA DE LOS SANTOS AND
CARMINA VDA. DE LOS SANTOS CA is incorrect in ruling that Mejia was negligent. This conclusion was
not derived from the evidence during the trial. RTC admitted that De
los Santos made a turn without exercising the necessary care which
Facts:
would have prevented the accident from happening. The sudden turn
Teresa Elena, the wife of respondent Wilfredo de los Santos, of the vehicle used by the victims should also be considered as
performed at the Rizal Theater in Manila as a member of the cast for negligence on the part of the driver of that same vehicle, thus,
the musical play, Woman of the Year. mitigating, if not absolving petitioner's liability.

Santos (Armando), husband of respondent Carmina Vda. de los Petitioner asserts they exercised the diligence of a good father of a
Santos, went to the Rizal Theater to fetch Teresa Elena after her family in the selection and supervision of its employees by presenting
performance. He drove a 1980 Mitsubishi Galant Sigma. Two other documents showing Mejia's proficiency and physical examinations, as
well as his NBI clearances. The Employee Staff Head of the Human To suggest that De los Santos was equally negligent based on that
Resource Division of the petitioner also testified that Mejia was sole statement of the RTC is erroneous. The entire evidence presented
constantly under supervision and was given daily operational must be considered as a whole. A closer study of the Police Accident
briefings. Report, Investigation Report and the sketch of the accident would
reveal nothing but that the shuttle bus was traveling at such a reckless
Damages awarded were mainly based on respondents’ assertions as
speed that it collided with the car bearing the deceased. The excessive
to the amount of salary being received by the two deceased at the
speed employed by Mejia was the proximate cause of the collision that
time of their deaths and not based on evidence on record.
led to the sudden death of Teresa Elena and Armando.
Issues:
If the defendants-appellants truly believe that the accident was
Whether CA erred in finding Mejia negligent caused by the negligence of the driver of the Galant Sigma, they
should have presented Mejia to the witness stand. Being the driver,
Whether petitioner exercised due diligence of a good father of family Mejia would have been in the best position to establish their thesis
in the selection and supervision of its employees that he was negligent when the mishap happened. Under the RULES
OF EVIDENCE (Section 3[e], Rule 131), such suppression gives rise to
Whether damages awarded was correct
the presumption that his testimony would have been adverse, if
Ruling: presented. It must be stressed further that Mejia left the scene, not
reporting the fatal accident to the authorities neither did he wait for
NO. It was well established that Mejia was driving beyond the rate of the police to arrive. He only resurfaced on the day after the incident.
speed required by Sec. 35 of RA 4136. Given the circumstances, the This is a clear transgression of Section 55 of RA 4136-A which
allowed rate of speed for Mejia's vehicle was 50 kilometers per hour, provides:
while the records show that he was driving at the speed of 70
kilometers per hour. SEC. 55. Duty of driver in case of accident. — In the
[event] that any accident should occur as a result of the
Under the New Civil Code, unless there is proof to the contrary, it is operation of a motor vehicle upon a highway, the driver
presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if shall stop immediately, and, if requested by any person
at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. present, shall show his driver's license, give his true
Apparently, in the present case, Mejia's violation of the traffic rules name and address and also the true name and address
does not erase the presumption that he was the one negligent at the of the owner of the motor vehicle. No driver of a motor
time of the collision. Even apart from statutory regulations as to vehicle concerned in a vehicular accident shall leave the
speed, a motorist is nevertheless expected to exercise ordinary care scene of the accident without aiding the victim, except
and drive at a reasonable rate of speed commensurate with all the under any of the following circumstances:
condition's encountered which will enable him to keep the vehicle
under control and, whenever necessary, to put the vehicle to a full If he is in imminent danger of being seriously harmed
stop to avoid injury to others using the highway. by any person or persons by reason of the accident;
If he reports the accident to the nearest officer of the The records show that the CA did not err in awarding the said
law; or amounts, nor was there any mistake in its computation. The
respondents were able to establish their case by a preponderance of
If he has to summon a physician or nurse to aid the evidence. However, the petitioner is correct when it stated that the
victim. award of P100,000.00 as moral damages is excessive. Jurisprudence
NO. In the present case, Filsyn merely presented evidence on the has set the amount to P50,000.00.
alleged care it took in the selection or hiring of Mejia way back in 1974
Res Ipsa Loquitor
or ten years before the fatal accident. Neither did Filsyn present any
proof of the existence of the rules and regulations governing the MA-AO SUGAR CENTRAL CO., INC. and GUILLERMO
conduct of its employees. It is significant to note that in employing ARANETA, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and
Mejia, who is not a high school graduate, Filsyn waived its HERMINIA FAMOSO, respondents.
longstanding policy requirement of hiring only high school graduates.
It insufficiently failed to explain the reason for such waiver other than
their allegation of Mejia's maturity and skill for the job. Facts:

As revealed by the testimony of another employee, Filsyn admitted On March 22, 1980, Famoso was riding with a co-employee in the
that their shuttle buses were used to ferry Filsyn's employees for three caboose or "carbonera" of Plymouth No. 12, a cargo train of the
shifts. It failed to show whether or not Mejia was on duty driving buses petitioner, when the locomotive was suddenly derailed. He and his
for all three shifts. On the other hand, the trial court found that Mejia, companion jumped off to escape injury, but the train fell on its side,
by the different shifts would have been on the job for more than eight caught his legs by its wheels and pinned him down. He was declared
hours. Filsyn did not even sufficiently prove that it exercised the dead on the spot.
required supervision of Mejia by ensuring rest periods, particularly for
The claims for death and other benefits having been denied by the
its night shift drivers who are working on a time when most of us are
petitioner, the herein private respondent filed suit in the Regional Trial
usually taking rest. As correctly argued by the plaintiffs-appellees, this
Court of Bago City. Judge Marietta Hobilla-Alinio ruled in her favor but
is significant because the accident happened at 11:30 p.m., when the
deducted from the total damages awarded thereof for the decedent's
shuttle bus was under the control of a driver having no passenger at
contributory negligence. The widow appealed, claiming that the
all. Despite, the lateness of the hour and the darkness of the
deductions were illegal. So did the petitioner, but on the ground that
surrounding area, the bus was travelling at a speed of 70 kilometers
it was not negligent and therefore not liable at all.
per hour.
In its own decision, the Court of Appeals sustained the rulings of the
In view of the absence of sufficient proof of its exercise of due
trial court except as to the contributory negligence of the deceased
diligence, Filsyn cannot escape its solidary liability as the owner of the
and disallowed the deductions
wayward bus and the employer of the negligent driver of the wayward
bus. Issue:
Whether petitioner guilty of negligence notwithstanding its defense of The record shows it was in fact lax in requiring them to exercise the
due diligence under Article 2176 necessary vigilance in maintaining the rails in good condition to
prevent the derailments that sometimes happened "every hour."
Ruling:
Obviously, merely ordering the brakemen and conductors to fill out
Res ipsa Loquitor prescribed forms reporting derailments — which reports have not
been acted upon as shown by the hourly derailments — is not the kind
Investigation of the accident revealed that the derailment of the of supervision envisioned by the Civil Code.
locomotive was caused by protruding rails which had come loose
because they were not connected and fixed in place by fish plates. Contributory negligence
Fish plates are described as strips of iron 8" to 12" long and 3 1/2"
We also do not see how the decedent can be held guilty of
thick which are attached to the rails by 4 bolts, two on each side, to
contributory negligence from the mere fact that he was not at his
keep the rails aligned. Although they could be removed only with
assigned station when the train was derailed. That might have been a
special equipment, the fish plates that should have kept the rails
violation of company rules but could not have directly contributed to
aligned could not be found at the scene of the accident.
his injury, as the petitioner suggests. It is pure speculation to suppose
There is no question that the maintenance of the rails, for the that he would not have been injured if he had stayed in the front car
purpose inter alia of preventing derailments, was the responsibility of rather than at the back and that he had been killed because he chose
the petitioner, and that this responsibility was not discharged to ride in the caboose.

At any rate, the absence of the fish plates — whatever the cause or Contributory negligence has been defined as "the act or omission
reason — is by itself alone proof of the negligence of the amounting to want of ordinary care on the part of the person injured
petitioner. Res ipsa loquitur. The doctrine was described recently which, concurring with the defendant's negligence, is the proximate
in Layugan v. Intermediate Appellate Court, thus: cause of the injury." 5 It has been held that "to hold a person as
having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that he performed
Where the thing which causes injury is shown to be under the an act that brought about his injuries in disregard of warnings or signs
management of the defendant, and the accident is such as in the of an impending danger to health and body." There is no showing
ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the that the caboose where Famoso was riding was a dangerous place
management use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the and that he recklessly dared to stay there despite warnings or signs
absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose of impending danger.
from want of care.
FF CRUZ & CO vs CA

Due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees Facts:

The petitioner also disclaims liability on the ground of Article 2176 of Petitioner has a furniture manufacturing shop that was situated
the Civil Code, contending it has exercised due diligence in the adjacent to the residence of private respondents. Around August
selection and supervision of its employees. The Court cannot agree. 1971, private respondent Gregorio Mable first approached the
petitioner's plant manager to request that a firewall be constructed The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur may be stated as follows: “Where the
between the shop and private respondents' residence. The request thing which caused the injury complained of is shown to be under the
was repeated several times but they fell on deaf ears. In the early management of the defendant or his servants and the accident is such
morning of September 6, 1974, fire broke out in petitioner's shop. as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have
Both the shop and the house were razed to the ground. The cause its management or control use proper care, it affords reasonable
was never discovered. Subsequently, private respondents collected evidence, in the absence of explanation by the defendant, that the
P35,000.00 on the insurance on their house and the contents thereof. accident arose from want of care.”

Court of First Instance The facts of the case call for the application of the doctrine,
considering that in the normal course of operations of a furniture
Private respondents, then plaintiffs, filed an action for damages
manufacturing shop, combustible material such as wood chips,
against petitioner. The court rendered judgment in favor of private
sawdust, paint, varnish and fuel and lubricants for machinery may be
respondents and ordered the petitioner, then defendant, to pay the
found thereon. Moreover, petitioner's failure to construct a firewall in
amount of P80,000.00 for damages suffered by private respondents
accordance with city ordinances would suffice to support a finding of
for the loss of their house.
negligence. The failure to comply with an ordinance providing for
CA: safety regulations had been ruled by the Court as an act of negligence.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court As to the issue of damages:
but reduced the award of damages P70,000.00 for the house.
Both the CFI and the CA, were in agreement as to the value of private
Petitioner’s Argument: respondents' furniture and fixtures and personal effects lost in the fire.
With regard to the house, the CA reduced the award to P70,000.00
Court of Appeals erred (1) in applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur from P80,000.00. The Court finds that petitioner is liable for damages
to the facts of the instant case; (2) in awarding excessive and/or to private respondents as found by the Court of Appeals. However,
unproved damages; and (3) in not deducting the sum of P35,000.00, the Court holds that in accordance with Article 2207 of the Civil Code
which private respondents recovered on the insurance on their house, the amount of P35,000.00 should be deducted from the amount
from the award of damages. awarded as damages. Under the law, if the amount paid by the
insurance company does not fully cover the injury or loss, the
Issue:
aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the deficiency from the
Whether the CA was correct in applying the common law doctrine of person causing the loss or injury. Having been indemnified by their
res ipsa loquitur, the issue of damages being merely consequential. insurer, private respondents are only entitled to recover the deficiency
from petitioner which is P35,000.00.
Ruling:
THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARIANO
As to the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur: CRAME, Defendant-Appellant.
The CA had more than adequate basis to find petitioner liable for the
loss sustained by private respondents. Facts:
The accused, Mariano Crame was driving an automobile. At the same Issue:
time there were two automobiles on the way, the one driven by Stuart
Whether Crame was negligent in driving, thus liable for the injuries
was a modern Cadillac with high-powered electric lights. The accused
sustained by Coombs.
states that this fact, added to the other fact that he was near the
Damas Bridge at the time, induced him to reduce the speed of the Ruling:
automobile at that point so that he was, at the time of the accident,
going only about 10 miles an hour. He asserts that he suddenly saw We are satisfied from an examination of the record that the
the form of a man, who is George Coombs, in front of his automobile conclusions of the trial court are more than sustained. The accused
and that, on seeing him, he altered the course of the machine as much did not see the soldier whom he ran down until it was too late,
as possible in order to avoid a collision; but that he was unable to do although the street at that point was brilliantly lighted; he did not
so, the right side of the machine hitting the man and knocking him to sound his horn or give notice of his approach in any other manner; he
the ground. He asserts that, at the time it struck the man, the machine did not apply the brake or make any effort whatever to stop; he was
was almost at a standstill, it coming to a complete stop within about traveling on the wrong side of the street at the time of the collision.
6 feet of where the injured man lay.
The fact that the accused did not see the soldier until the machine
As a result of the blow Coombs was rendered unconscious and has was very close to him is strong evidence of inattention to duty. The
since remained in a state of great mental debility, with severe pains street at the place where the accident occurred is wide and
in the head, almost complete loss of memory, being unable to unobstructed. There is no building on either side of the street. Under
remember anything that occurred during the accident and, at times, such circumstances there is no reason why the accused did not see
forgetting the names and countenances of his most intimate friends. the soldier long before he had reached the position in the street where
He cannot be left alone and requires continual attendance. He is he was struck down.
described by the physician who examined and treated him as an
incurable and hopeless imbecile. There is no evidence in the case which shows negligence on the part
of the injured soldier. The mere fact that he was run down by an
The trial court convicted the accused on the following grounds: automobile does not signify that he was negligent. At the time he was
struck he was on the right-hand side of the street where he had a
right to be and where the law fully protected him from vehicles
First, in that [before the occurrence] the accused, having seen the
traveling in the direction in which the accused was driving at the time
soldier Coombs crossing the street at a certain distance in front of the
of the injury.
automobile, did not reduce the speed of the automobile sufficiently,
nor attempt to stop the machinery entirely, if that was necessary, to We regard it as clear from the record that the accused was driving
avoid an accident. Second, in that it does not appear that the accused much faster than he claims he was or else he was negligent in not
sounded his horn or whistle or used his voice to call the attention of watching the street for foot passengers, or in the handling of his
the person who was crossing the street or notify him that he should automobile. It is a matter of common knowledge that an automobile
stop and avoid being struck by the automobile. Third and last, in that being driven at 10 miles an hour can be stopped, if necessity requires
the accused was driving in the center, or rather, a little to the right of it, within 10 or 15 feet at the most. That rate of speed is extremely
the center of the street instead of on the left side thereof.
low for an automobile and, with such a speed, it can be stopped income. Thus, Layugan filed an action for damages against Isidro. The
almost instantly. If, therefore, the accused was going at the rate of latter in turn filed a third-party complaint against his Insurer,
10 miles an hour only and saw the soldier 20 feet ahead of him, he Traveller’s Multi-Indemnity Corporation (TMIC)
could, without difficulty, have stopped the automobile and avoided the
accident. As a necessary consequence, the accused was either driving
Isidro’s Contention:
at a rate of speed much higher than that stated or else he was The truck allegedly being repaired by Layugan was parked right after
negligent in not stopping his car. Furthermore, if he did not see the the curve, occupying almost half of the right lane towards Solano,
soldier until too late to stop, the burden is on him to show why he did, Nueva Vizcaya.
not. There is something wrong when a chauffeur runs over a man who
is in plain view of the automobile for a long distance before the point The proximate cause of the incident was the failure of the driver of
of the accident is reached. No negligence on the part of the injured the parked truck in installing the early warning device, hence the
person has been shown. Whichever way the case is looked at, whether driver of the parked car should be liable for damages sustained by the
from the viewpoint of the failure to see the soldier in time to avoid the truck of Isidro.
accident or failure to stop or give warning by horn or whistle, it is clear
As to the Third-Party Complaint, Isidro claims that TMIC is liable to
that the learned trial court was right when it held that the accused
him for contribution, indemnity and subrogation by virtue of their
was guilty of negligence.
Contract of Insurance, which covers the insurer's liability for damages
arising from death, bodily injuries and damage to property.
The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against
the Appellant. So ordered. RTC:
AFRICA vs CALTEX Ruled in favor of Layugan and ordered Isidro to indemnify the former
for the damages sustained. As to the Third-party complaint, the RTC
-- Mali, Nurbaith order TMIC to indemnify Isidro.

LAYUGAN VS IAC IAC:

Facts: Reversed the RTC’s decision and dismissed both the complaint and
the third-party complaint.
On May 15, 1979 while at Baretbet, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, the
Layugan and a companion were repairing the tire of their cargo truck Issue:
which was parked along the right side of the National Highway. Whether Layugan is negligent, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur,
Suddenly, Isidro’s Isuzu truck driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano in not installing a warning device beside the parked cargo truck.
bumped the parked cargo truck. The collision dislodged the jack from
the parked truck and pinned layugan to the ground. As such, layugan Ruling:
sustained injuries on his left forearm and left foot. His left leg from
NO, Layugan is not negligent. There was indeed a warning device
below the knee was later on amputated when gangrene had set in,
installed.
thereby rendering him incapacitated for work depriving him of his
The evidence on record discloses that three or four meters from the completely eludicated that no inference of defendant's liability can
rear of the parked truck, a lighted kerosene lamp was placed. reasonably be made, whatever the source of the evidence, as in this
case.
Whether the cargo truck was parked along the road or on half the
shoulder of the right side of the road would be of no moment taking PERLA COMPANIA DE SEGUROS vs SPS. SARANGAYA
into account the warning device consisting of the lighted kerosene
lamp placed three or four meters from the back of the truck. But -- Montor, Shericka
despite this warning which we rule as sufficient, the Isuzu truck driven
by Daniel Serrano, an employee of the private respondent, still OSCAR DEL CARMEN , JR., v. GERONIMO BACOY
bumped the rear of the parked cargo truck. As a direct consequence
Facts:
of such accident the petitioner sustained injuries on his left forearm
and left foot. His left leg was later amputated from below the knee At dawn on New Year’s Day of 1993, the Monsaluds (Husband, Wife
when gangrene had set in. and daughter) were on their way home from a party when they were
It is clear from the foregoing disquisition that the absence or want of run over by a passenger jeep driven by Allan Maglasang. The jeep was
care of Daniel Serrano has been established by clear and convincing registered in the name of petitioner Oscar del Carmen, Jr. and was
evidence. It follows that in stamping its imprimatur upon the used as a public utility vehicle.
invocation by respondent Isidro of the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur to A criminal case for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Multiple
escape liability for the negligence of his employee, the respondent Homicide was filed against Allan before the RTC. Allan was declared
court committed reversible error. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged.
The Doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur is stated thus: "Where the thing Geronimo Bacoy (father of the wife who died) filed a civil case in behalf
which causes injury is shown to be under the management of the of the six minor children of the Monsaluds; an independent civil action
defendant, and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things for damages based on culpa aquiliana. Parties additionally impleaded
does not happen if those who have the management use proper care, were, the Spouses del Carmen and the registered owner, the son,
it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by Oscar Jr. Geronimo. Bacoy prayed for reimbursement of funeral and
the defendant, that the accident arose from want of care.” burial expenses, as well as attorney’s fees, moral and exemplary
The doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is peculiar to damages and loss of net income earnings of Emilia (wife) who was
the law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence employed as a public school teacher.
may be established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for Defendants refused to assume civil liability for the deaths, the Spouses
specific proof of negligence…… The doctrine can be invoked when and Del Carmen averred that there was no cause of action against them.
only when, under the circumstances involved, direct evidence is
absent and not readily available…… Finally, once the actual cause of Oscar, Jr., on the other hand, claimed to be a victim himself. He
injury is established beyond controversy, whether by the plaintiff or alleged that Allan and his friends stole the jeep while it was
by the defendant, no presumptions will be involved and the doctrine parked beside his drivers’ rented house to take it for a joyride. Both
becomes inapplicable when the circumstances have been so he and a vehicle mechanic testified that the subject jeep can easily be
started by mere pushing sans the ignition key. The vehicles engine requires the existence of employer-employee relationship and that the
shall then run but without any headlights on. Oscar Jr. even filed employee was acting within the scope of his employment when the
before the same trial court a carnapping case against Allan and his tort occurred. He stressed that even assuming that Allan was his
companions. The case was, however, dismissed for insufficiency of employee; he was hired not as a driver but as a conductor. Hence,
evidence. Allan acted beyond the scope of his employment when he drove the
jeep. MR was granted, Oscar Jr. was absolved from civil liability. It
Oscar Jr. clarified that Allan was his jeep conductor and that it was
cited Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code which provides that for an
the latter’s brother, Rodrigo Maglasang (Rodrigo), who was employed
employer to be subsidiarily liable for the criminal acts of his employee,
as the driver. In any event, Allan’s employment as conductor was the latter should have committed the same in the discharge of his
already severed before the mishap. Oscar Jr. likewise testified that it
duties. The court agreed with Oscar Jr. that this condition is wanting
was routinary that after a day’s trip, the jeep would be parked beside in Allan’s case as he was not acting in the discharge of his duties as a
Rodrigo’s rented house.
conductor when he drove the jeep. The court also declared the
RTC: doctrine of res ipsa loquitur inapplicable since the property owner
cannot be made responsible for the damages caused by his property
Exculpated the Spouses del Carmen from civil liability for insufficiency by reason of the criminal acts of another.
of evidence. However, their son Oscar, Jr. was held civilly liable in a
subsidiary capacity. RTC anchored its ruling primarily on the principle Geronimo appealed.
of res ipsa loquitur: that a presumption of negligence on the part of a
CA:
defendant may be inferred if the thing that caused an injury is shown
to be under his management and that in the ordinary course of things, Granted the appeal- the CA first determined the preliminary issue of
the accident would not have happened had there been an exercise of whether there was an employer-employee relationship between Oscar
care. Jr. and Allan at the time of the accident, it ruled in the affirmative.

Said court ratiocinated that Oscar Jr., as the registered owner of the CA adjudged Oscar Jr. liable to the heirs of the victims based on the
jeep, managed and controlled the same through his driver Rodrigo, in principle that the registered owner of a vehicle is directly and primarily
whose house the jeep was usually parked. Since both Oscar Jr. and responsible for the injuries or death of third parties caused by the
Rodrigo were well aware that the jeep could easily be started by a operation of such vehicle. It disbelieved Oscar Jr.’s defense that the
mere push even without the ignition key, they should have taken the jeep was stolen not only because the carnapping case filed against
necessary precaution to prevent the vehicle from being used by Allan and his companions was dismissed but also because, given the
unauthorized persons like Allan. The RTC thus concluded that such circumstances, Oscar Jr. is deemed to have given Allan the implied
lack of proper precaution, due care and foresight constitute negligence permission to use the subject vehicle. To support its conclusion, the
making the registered owner of the vehicle civilly liable for the damage CA cited the following circumstances: siblings Rodrigo and Allan were
caused by the same. both employees assigned to the said jeep; after a day’s work, said
vehicle would be parked just beside Rodrigo’s house where Allan also
Oscar Jr. moved for reconsideration contending that the provision on
lived; the jeep could easily be started even without the use of an
vicarious liability of the employer under Article 2180 of the Civil Code
ignition key; the said parking area was not fenced or secured to
prevent the unauthorized use of the vehicle which can be started even 3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action
without the ignition key or contribution on the part of the person injured.

Oscar Jr., comes to the Supreme Court, arguing that the presumption The above requisites are all present in this case. First, no person just
of negligence under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (literally, the thing walking along the road would suddenly be sideswiped and run over
speaks for itself) should not have been applied because he was vigilant by an on-rushing vehicle unless the one in charge of the said vehicle
in securing his vehicle. He claims that the jeep was parked in a well had been negligent. Second, the jeep which caused the injury was
secured area not remote to the watchful senses of its driver Rodrigo. under the exclusive control of Oscar Jr. as its owner. When Oscar Jr.
entrusted the ignition key to Rodrigo, he had the power to instruct
Issue:
him with regard to the specific restrictions of the jeeps use, including
Whether the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should apply to Oscar, Jr, who or who may not drive it. As he is aware that the jeep may run
thereby making him civilly liable for the deaths of the Monsaluds without the ignition key, he also has the responsibility to park it safely
and securely and to instruct his driver Rodrigo to observe the same
Ruling: precaution. Lastly, there was no showing that the death of the victims
was due to any voluntary action or contribution on their part.
Under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, where the thing that caused
the injury complained of is shown to be under the management of the The aforementioned requisites having been met, there now arises a
defendant or his servants; and the accident, in the ordinary course of presumption of negligence against Oscar Jr. which he could have
things, would not happen if those who had management or control overcome by evidence that he exercised due care and diligence in
used proper care, it affords reasonable evidence in the absence of a preventing strangers from using his jeep. Unfortunately, he failed to
sufficient, reasonable and logical explanation by defendant that the do so.
accident arose from or was caused by the defendants want of care.
Res ipsa loquitur is merely evidentiary, a mode of proof, or a mere What this Court instead finds worthy of credence is the CAs conclusion
procedural convenience, since it furnishes a substitute for, and that Oscar Jr. gave his implied permission for Allan to use the jeep.
relieves a plaintiff of, the burden of producing a specific proof of This is in view of Oscar Jr’s failure to provide solid proof that he
negligence. It recognizes that parties may establish prima facie ensured that the parking area is well secured and that he had
negligence without direct proof, thus, it allows the principle to expressly imposed restrictions as to the use of the jeep when he
substitute for specific proof of negligence. entrusted the same to his driver Rodrigo. As fittingly inferred by the
CA, the jeep could have been endorsed to Allan by his brother Rodrigo
The requisites of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as established by since as already mentioned, Oscar Jr. did not give Rodrigo any specific
jurisprudence are as follows: and strict instructions on matters regarding its use. Rodrigo therefore
is deemed to have been given the absolute discretion as to the
1) the accident is of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless
vehicles operation, including the discretion to allow his brother Allan
someone is negligent;
to use it.
2) the cause of the injury was under the exclusive control of the
Absent the circumstance of unauthorized use or that the subject
person in charge and
vehicle was stolen which are valid defenses available to a registered
owner, Oscar Jr. cannot escape liability for quasi-delict resulting from negligence, GERALD ALBERT GERCAYO suffered a cardiac arrest and
his jeep’s use. consequently a defect called hypoxic encephalopathy meaning
insufficient oxygen supply in the brain, thereby rendering said GERALD
DR. FERNANDO P. SOLIDUM, Petitioner, vs. ALBERT GERCAYO incapable of moving his body, seeing, speaking or
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
hearing, to his damage and prejudice.

Facts: The case was initially filed in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila,
but was transferred to the RTC pursuant to Section 5 of Republic Act
Gerald Albert Gercayo (Gerald) was born on June 2, 1992 with an
No. 8369 (The Family Courts Act of 1997).
imperforate anus. Two days after his birth, Gerald underwent
colostomy, a surgical procedure to bring one end of the large intestine Judgment of the RTC:
out through the abdominal wall, enabling him to excrete through a
colostomy bag attached to the side of his body. The RTC found Dr. Solidum guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless
imprudence resulting to serious physical injuries and was sentenced
When Gerald was three years old, he was admitted at the Ospital ng to suffer the indeterminate penalty of TWO (2) MONTHS and ONE (1)
Maynila for a pull-through operation. Dr. Leandro Resurreccion, the DAY of arresto mayor as minimum to ONE (1) YEAR, ONE (1) MONTH
head of the surgical team, was assisted by Dr. Joselito Luceño, Dr. and TEN (10) DAYS of prision correccional as maximum and to
Donatella Valeña and Dr. Joseph Tibio. The anesthesiologists included indemnify, jointly and severally with the Ospital ng Maynila, private
Dr. Marichu Abella, Dr. Arnel Razon and petitioner Dr. Fernando complainant Luz Gercayo, the amount of ₱500,000.00 as moral
Solidum (Dr. Solidum). During the operation, Gerald experienced damages and ₱100,000.00 as exemplary damages.
bradycardia, and went into a coma. His coma lasted for two weeks
and regained consciousness only after a month. However, he could no Decision of the CA:
longer see, hear or move. The CA affirmed the conviction of Dr. Solidum stating that the case
Gerald's mother, Ma. Luz Gercayo (Luz) lodged a complaint for appears to be a textbook example of res ipsa loquitur.
reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries with the City Prior to the operation, the child was evaluated and found fit to
Prosecutor’s Office of Manila against the physicians. undergo a major operation. The accused himself testified that pre-
The City Prosecutor’s Office filed an information solely against Dr. operation tests were conducted to ensure that the child could
Solidum, alleging: – withstand the surgery. Except for his imperforate anus, the child was
healthy. There was not a hint that the nature of the operation itself
That the said accused, being then an anesthesiologist at the Ospital was a causative factor in the events that finally led to hypoxia.
ng Maynila, Malate, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously fail and neglect
to use the care and diligence as the best of his judgment would dictate The lower court has been left with no reasonable hypothesis except
under said circumstance, by failing to monitor and regulate properly to attribute the accident to a failure in the proper administration of
the levels of anesthesia administered to said GERALD ALBERT anesthesia, the gravamen of the charge in this case.
GERCAYO and using 100% halothane and other anesthetic In cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the court is
medications, and as a consequence of his said carelessness and permitted to find a physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to
the patient, without the aid of expert testimony, where the court from that he has deviated from the standard medical procedure, when the
its fund of common knowledge can determine the proper standard of doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the need for
care. expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the injury itself
provides the proof of negligence.
Issues:
The reason is that the general rule on the necessity of expert
(a) Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur was applicable; testimony applies only to such matters clearly within the domain of
(b) Whether or not Dr. Solidum was liable for criminal negligence. medical science, and not to matters that are within the common
knowledge of mankind which may be testified to by anyone familiar
Ruling: with the facts. Ordinarily, only physicians and surgeons of skill and
experience are competent to testify as to whether a patient has been
(a) Applicability of the Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur
treated or operated upon with a reasonable degree of skill and care.
The doctrine res ipsa loquitur means that "where the thing which However, testimony as to the statements and acts of physicians and
causes injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, surgeons, external appearances, and manifest conditions which are
and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not observable by any one may be given by non-expert witnesses. Hence,
happen if those who have the management use proper care, it affords in cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the court is permitted
reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the to find a physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to the patient,
defendant, that the accident arose from want of care." It is grounded without the aid of expert testimony, where the court from its fund of
in the superior logic of ordinary human experience and on the basis common knowledge can determine the proper standard of care.
of such experience or common knowledge, negligence may be
When the doctrine is appropriate, all that the patient must do is prove
deduced from the mere occurrence of the accident itself.
a nexus between the particular act or omission complained of and the
The doctrine, when applicable to the facts and circumstances of a injury sustained while under the custody and management of the
given case, is not meant to and does not dispense with the defendant without need to produce expert medical testimony to
requirement of proof of culpable negligence against the party charged. establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa loquitur is allowed
It merely determines and regulates what shall be prima facie evidence because there is no other way, under usual and ordinary conditions,
thereof, and helps the plaintiff in proving a breach of the duty. by which the patient can obtain redress for injury suffered by him.

Res ipsa loquitur has been applied when the circumstances attendant Nevertheless, it does not automatically apply to all cases of medical
upon the harm justify an inference of negligence as the cause of that negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule to be cautiously applied,
harm. The application of res ipsa loquitur in medical negligence cases depending upon the circumstances of each case. It is generally
presents a question of law since it is a judicial function to determine restricted to situations in malpractice cases where a layman is able to
whether a certain set of circumstances does, as a matter of law, say, as a matter of common knowledge and observation, that the
permit a given inference. consequences of professional care were not as such as would
ordinarily have followed if due care had been exercised.
Although generally, expert medical testimony is relied upon in
malpractice suits to prove that a physician has done a negligent act or
Res ipsa loquitur is not available in a malpractice suit if the only the administration of anesthesia to the patient, but such fact alone did
showing is that the desired result of an operation or treatment was not prove that the negligence of any of his attending physicians,
not accomplished. The real question is whether or not in the process including the anesthesiologists, had caused the injury. In fact, the
of the operation any extraordinary incident or unusual event outside anesthesiologists attending to him had sensed in the course of the
of the routine performance occurred which is beyond the regular operation that the lack of oxygen could have been triggered by the
scope of customary professional activity in such operations, which, if vago-vagal reflex, prompting them to administer atropine to the
unexplained would themselves reasonably speak to the average man patient.
as the negligent cause or causes of the untoward consequence. If
there was such extraneous intervention, the doctrine of res ipsa "The fact that the injury rarely occurs does not in itself prove that the
injury was probably caused by someone's negligence." ( Mason v.
loquitur may be utilized and the defendant is called upon to explain
the matter, by evidence of exculpation, if he could. Ellsworth)

"Nor is a bad result by itself enough to warrant the application of the


Requisites of Res Ipsa Loquitur:
doctrine." (Nelson v. Murphy)
(1) the accident was of a kind that does not ordinarily occur unless
someone is negligent; (b) Negligence of Dr. Solidum

Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the protection of


(2) the instrumentality or agency that caused the injury was under the
the interests of another person that degree of care, precaution, and
exclusive control of the person charged; and
vigilance that the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other
(3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action person suffers injury. Reckless imprudence, on the other hand,
or contribution of the person injured. consists of voluntarily doing or failing to do, without malice, an act
from which material damage results by reason of an inexcusable lack
The application here of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur inappropriate.
of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to
Although the second and third elements were present, considering
perform such act.
that the anesthetic agent and the instruments were exclusively within
the control of Dr. Solidum, and that the patient, being then Dr. Solidum’s conviction by the RTC was primarily based on his failure
unconscious during the operation, could not have been guilty of to monitor and properly regulate the level of anesthetic agent
contributory negligence, the first element was undeniably wanting. administered on Gerald by overdosing at 100% halothane. In affirming
the conviction, the CA observed:
Luz delivered Gerald to the care, custody and control of his physicians
for a pull-through operation. Except for the imperforate anus, Gerald On the witness stand, Dr. Vertido affirmed the findings and
was then of sound body and mind at the time of his submission to the conclusions in his report except for an observation which, to all intents
physicians. Yet, he experienced bradycardia during the operation, and purposes, has become the storm center of this dispute. He wanted
causing loss of his senses and rendering him immobile. Hypoxia, or to correct one piece of information regarding the dosage of the
the insufficiency of oxygen supply to the brain that caused the slowing anesthetic agent administered to the child. He declared that he made
of the heart rate, scientifically termed as bradycardia, would not a mistake in reporting a 100% halothane and said that based on the
ordinarily occur in the process of a pull-through operation, or during records it should have been 100% oxygen.
The clinical abstract (record admitted into evidence) show that Abella whose initial MA in the record should be enough to show that
approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes through the operation, patient she assisted in the operation and was therefore conversant of the
was noted to have bradycardia and ATSO4 0.2 mg was immediately things that happened. She revealed that they were using a machine
administered. However, the bradycardia persisted, the inhalational that closely monitored the concentration of the agent during the
agent was shut off, and the patient was ventilated with 100% oxygen operation.
and another dose of ATSO4 0.2 mg was given. However, the patient
Dr. Solidum, in his affidavit in the interpretation of the anesthesia
did not respond and the surgeons were immediately told to stop the
record, mentions – the concentration of halothane as reflected in the
operation. The patient was put on a supine position and CPR was
initiated. Patient was given 1 amp of epinephrine initially while anesthesia record is only one percent (1%) – The numbers indicated
in 15 minute increments for halothane is an indication that only 1%
continuously doing cardiac massage – still with no cardiac rate
appreciated; another ampule of epinephrine was given and after 45 halothane is being delivered to the patient Gerard Gercayo for his
entire operation; The amount of halothane delivered in this case which
secs, patient’s vital signs returned to normal. The entire resuscitation
is only one percent cannot be summated because halothane is
lasted approximately 3-5 mins.
constantly being rapidly eliminated by the body during the entire
There are no clues in the clinical abstract on the quantity of the operation.
anesthetic agent used. It only contains the information that the
The court observed that Dr. Vertido had described the condition of the
anesthetic plan was to put the patient under general anesthesia using
a nonrebreathing system with halothane as the sole anesthetic agent child as hypoxia which is deprivation of oxygen, a diagnosis supported
by the results of the CT Scan. All the symptoms attributed to a failing
and that 1 hour and 45 minutes after the operation began, bradycardia
central nervous system such as stupor, loss of consciousness,
occurred after which the inhalational agent was shut off and the
decrease in heart rate, loss of usual acuity and abnormal motor
patient administered with 100% oxygen. It would be apparent that
function, are manifestations of this condition or syndrome. But why
the 100% oxygen that Dr. Vertido said should be read in lieu of 100%
would there be deprivation of oxygen if 100% oxygen to 1%
halothane was the pure oxygen introduced after something went
halothane was used? Ultimately, to the court, whether oxygen or
amiss in the operation and the halothane itself was reduced or shut
halothane was the object of mistake, the detrimental effects of the
off.
operation are incontestable, and they can only be led to one
The key question remains – what was the quantity of halothane used conclusion – if the application of anesthesia was really closely
before bradycardia set in? monitored, the event could not have happened.

The implication of Dr. Vertido’s admission is that there was no The Prosecution did not prove the elements of reckless imprudence
overdose of the anesthetic agent, and the accused Dr. Solidum stakes beyond reasonable doubt because the circumstances cited by the CA
his liberty and reputation on this conclusion. He made the assurance were insufficient to establish that Dr. Solidum had been guilty of
that he gave his patient the utmost medical care, never leaving the inexcusable lack of precaution in monitoring the administration of the
operating room except for a few minutes to answer the call of nature anesthetic agent to Gerald. The Court aptly explained in Cruz v. Court
but leaving behind the other members of his team Drs. Abella and of Appealsthat:
Razon to monitor the operation. He insisted that he administered only
a point 1% not 100% halothane, receiving corroboration from Dr.
Whether or not a physician has committed an "inexcusable lack of Because most medical malpractice cases are highly technical,
precaution" in the treatment of his patient is to be determined witnesses with special medical qualifications must provide guidance
according to the standard of care observed by other members of the by giving the knowledge necessary to render a fair and just verdict.
profession in good standing under similar circumstances bearing in As a result, the standard of medical care of a prudent physician must
mind the advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment or be determined from expert testimony in most cases; and in the case
the present state of medical science. of a specialist (like an anesthesiologist), the standard of care by which
the specialist is judged is the care and skill commonly possessed and
In accepting a case, a doctor in effect represents that, having the
exercised by similar specialists under similar circumstances. The
needed training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons specialty standard of care may be higher than that required of the
practicing in the same field, he will employ such training, care and skill
general practitioner.
in the treatment of his patients. He therefore has a duty to use at least
the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor In the case at bar, the Prosecution presented no witnesses with special
would use to treat a condition under the same circumstances. It is in medical qualifications in anesthesia to provide guidance to the trial
this aspect of medical malpractice that expert testimony is essential court on what standard of care was applicable. It would consequently
to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but also be truly difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the first three
that the physician's conduct in the treatment and care falls below such elements of a negligence and malpractice action were attendant.
standard.
Although the Prosecution presented Dr. Benigno Sulit, Jr., an
In litigations involving medical negligence, the plaintiff has the burden anesthesiologist himself who served as the Chairman of the
of establishing appellant's negligence and for a reasonable conclusion Committee on Ethics and Malpractice of the Philippine Society of
of negligence, there must be proof of breach of duty on the part of Anesthesiologists that investigated the complaint against Dr. Solidum,
the surgeon as well as a causal connection of such breach and the his testimony mainly focused on how his Committee had conducted
resulting death of his patient. The negligence must be the proximate the investigation. Even then, the report of his Committee was
cause (natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient favorable to Dr. Solidum.
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result
At his cross-examination, Dr. Vertido maintained that Gerald’s
would not have occurred) of the injury complained of.
operation for his imperforate anus, considered a major operation, had
An action upon medical negligence – whether criminal, civil or exposed him to the risk of suffering the same condition. He then
administrative – calls for the plaintiff to prove by competent evidence corrected his earlier finding that 100% halothane had been
each of the following four elements, namely: (a) the duty owed by the administered on Gerald by saying that it should be 100% oxygen.
physician to the patient, as created by the physician-patient
Dr. Vertido’s findings did not preclude the probability that other factors
relationship, to act in accordance with the specific norms or standards
related to Gerald’s major operation, which could or could not
established by his profession; (b) the breach of the duty by the
physician’s failing to act in accordance with the applicable standard of necessarily be attributed to the administration of the anesthesia, had
caused the hypoxia and had then led Gerald to experience
care; (3) the causation, i.e., there must be a reasonably close and
bradycardia. Dr. Vertido revealingly concluded in his report, instead,
causal connection between the negligent act or omission and the
that "although the anesthesiologist followed the normal routine and
resulting injury; and (4) the damages suffered by the patient.
precautionary procedures, still hypoxia and its corresponding side industry means any department or branch of art, occupation or
effects did occur." business, especially one that employs labor and capital, and is
engaged in industry. However, Ospital ng Maynila, being a public
The existence of the probability about other factors causing the
hospital, was not engaged in industry conducted for profit but purely
hypoxia has engendered in the mind of the Court a reasonable doubt
in charitable and humanitarian work.
as to Dr. Solidum’s guilt, and moves us to acquit him of the crime of
reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical injuries. Secondly, assuming that Ospital ng Maynila was engaged in industry
for profit, Dr. Solidum must be shown to be an employee of Ospital
The acquittal of Dr. Solidum would not immediately exempt him from
ng Maynila acting in the discharge of his duties during the operation
civil liability. However, there was no firm and competent showing how
on Gerald. Yet, he definitely was not such employee but a consultant
the injury to Gerard had been caused. That meant that the manner of
of the hospital.
administration of the anesthesia by Dr. Solidum was not necessarily
the cause of the hypoxia that caused the bradycardia experienced by And, thirdly, assuming that civil liability was adjudged against Dr.
Gerard. Consequently, to adjudge Dr. Solidum civilly liable would be Solidum as an employee (which did not happen here), the execution
to speculate on the cause of the hypoxia. We are not allowed to do against him was unsatisfied due to his being insolvent.
so, for civil liability must not rest on speculation but on competent
Petition is reversed and Dr. Solidum is acquitted.
evidence.

Liability of Ospital ng Maynila ROSIT VS DAVAO DOCTORS HOSPITAL

In criminal prosecutions, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability Facts:
that is deemed instituted with the criminal action refers only to that
Petitoner Rosit figured in a motorcycle accident. The X-ray taken at
arising from the offense charged. The lower courts acted capriciously
and whimsically when it rendered their judgment against Ospital ng Davao Doctors Hospital (DDh) showed that he fractured his jaw. He
was then reffered to Dr. Gestuvo, a specialist in mandibular injuries
Maynila.
who then operated him.
Ospital ng Maynila was not at all a party in the proceedings. Its
fundamental right to be heard was not respected from the outset. No The operation required the smallest titanium screws available only in
Manila but Dr. Gestuvo thinking that Rosit would not be able to afford
person can be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or
the same just cut the screw he had in hand to make them smaller and
proceeding in which he was not made a party. Such a rule would
enforce the constitutional guarantee of due process of law. attached it to Rosit’s jaws without informing him.

Ospital ng Maynila could be held civilly liable only when subsidiary After the procedure, Rosit could not properly open and close his mouth
and was in pain. 2 days after operation, X-rays shows that the fracture
liability would be properly enforceable pursuant to Article 103 of the
Revised Penal Code. The conditions for subsidiary liability to attach to in his jaw was aligned but the screws used touched his molar. Dr.
Gestuvo referred him to a Dentist and the latter advised him that it is
Ospital ng Maynila should first be complied with. Firstly, pursuant to
Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, Ospital ng Maynila must be necessary to undergo another operation and that is to be performed
shown to be a corporation "engaged in any kind of industry." The term in Cebu.
Rosit went back to Dr. Gestuvo for the improperly done operation and First element, the accident was of a kind that dies not ordinarily occur
demanded loan to defray the cost of additional operation and unless someone is negligent. Rosit proved that one of the screws
expenses to the trip to Cebu. Dr. Gestuvo gave him P4,500. In cebu, struck his molar through the affidavit of Pangan presented by Gestuvo
Dr. Pangan removed the plate and screw and installed smaller ones. himself. An average man of common intelligence would know that
ROsit was able to eat and speak well and normally however the entire striking a tooth with any foreign object much less a screw would cause
operation costs him P140,000, hence when Rosit came back to Davao severe pain.
he asked reimbursement from Dr. Gestuvo plus the additional P50,000
Second element, the instrumentality or agency that caused the injury
that Rosit would have to pay for the removal of the plate and screws
that Dr. Pangan installed. Dr. Gestuvo refused to pay. Thus Rosit filed was under the exclusive control of the person charged. It is sufficient
that the operation which resulted to the screw hitting Rosit’s molar
a civil case for damages and attorney’s fees with the RTC.
was performed by Dr. Gestuvo.
RTC Decision:
Third element, the injury suffered must not have been due to any
Held Dr. Gestuvo liable and applied res ipsa loquitor principle and held voluntary action or contribution of the person injured. It was not
that the need for expert, medical testimony may be dispensed with shown that Rosit’s lung disease could have contributed to the pain.
because injury itself provides the proof of negligence. What was clear was the pain was due to screws installed by Dr.
Gestuvo.
CA Decision:
Thus, when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor is availed by the plaintiff,
Reversed the decision of RTC on the ground that the elements of res
the need for expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the
ipsa loquitor are absent. injury itself provides the proof of negligence. The reason is that the
Issue: general rule on the necessity of expert testimony applies only to such
matters clearly within the domain of medical science and not to
W/N Res ipsa loquitor applies in the said case? matters that are within the common knowledge of mankind which may
be testified to by anyone familiar with the facts.
Ruling:
Doctrine of common knowledge
Yes. The act was tortious. Dr. Gestuvo’s negligence is clearly
demonstrable by the doctrines of res ipsa loquitor and informed CARLOS BORROMEO, Petitioner, vs.
consent. As a general rule, to establish medical negligence, expert FAMILY CARE HOSPITAL, INC. and RAMON S. INSO,
testimony is generally required to define the standard of behavior by M.D., Respondents.
which the court may determine whether the physician has properly
performed the requisite duty toward the patient. However; the same
admits of an exception wherein the court may dispense with such Facts:
expert testimony if the application of res ipsa loquitor is warrated.
The petitioner, Carlos Borromeo, was the husband of the late Lilian V.
In the case at hand, all the elements are present: Borromeo (Lilian). Lilian was a patient of the respondent Family Care
Hospital, Inc. (Family Care) under the care of respondent Dr. Ramon for the death of their patients when they exercised diligence and did
Inso (Dr. Inso). everything to save the patient.

Petitioner brought his wife to the Family Care Hospital because she RTC:
had been complaining of acute pain at the lower stomach area.
The RTC relied on Dr. Avila’s opinion and gave more weight to Dr.
Dr. Inso decided to conduct an exploratory laparotomy on Lilian. Reyes’ findings regarding the cause of Lilian’s death. It held that Dr.
Exploratory laparotomy is a surgical procedure involving a large Inso was negligent in using a single suture on the repair site causing
incision on the abdominal wall that would enable Dr. Inso to examine Lilian’s death by internal hemorrhage. It applied the doctrine of res
the abdominal cavity and identify the cause of Lilian’s symptoms. After ipsa loquitur, holding that a patient’s death does not ordinarily occur
explaining the situation, Dr. Inso obtained the patient’s consent to the during an appendectomy.
laparotomy.
CA:
During the operation, Dr. Inso confirmed that Lilian was suffering from
The CA reversed the RTC’s decision and dismissed the complaint.
acute appendicitis. He proceeded to remove her appendix which was
already infected and congested with pus. The CA denied the applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa
Roughly six hours after the operation, Dr. Inso noticed that her
loquitur because the element of causation between the instrumentality
under the control and management of Dr. Inso and the injury that
condition was worsening and requested that Lillian be transferred to
caused Lilian’s death was absent; the respondents sufficiently
another hospital. But during the transfer, she died.
established that the cause of Lilian’s death was DIC.
Petitioner’s arguments:
Issue:
The petitioner argues: (1) that Dr. Inso and Family Care were
Whether or not Dr. Inso and Family Care Hospital were negligent.
negligent in caring for Lilian before, during, and after her
appendectomy and were responsible for her death; and (2) that the Whether or not the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur is applicable in this
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable to this case. case.
Respondent’s arguments: Ruling:
Respondents counter: (1) that the issues raised by the petitioner are We join and affirm the ruling of the CA.
not pure questions of law; (2) that they exercised utmost care and
diligence in the treatment of Lilian; (3) that Dr. Inso did not deviate Whoever alleges a fact has the burden of proving it. This is a basic
from the standard of care observed under similar circumstances by legal principle that equally applies to civil and criminal cases. In a
other members of the profession in good standing; (4) that res ipsa medical malpractice case, the plaintiff has the duty of proving its
loquitur is not applicable because direct evidence as to the cause of elements, namely: (1) a duty of the defendant to his patient; (2) the
Lilian’s death and the presence/absence of negligence is available; and defendant’s breach of this duty; (3) injury to the patient; and
(5) that doctors are not guarantors of care and cannot be held liable (4) proximate causation between the breach and the injury
suffered. In civil cases, the plaintiff must prove these elements by a a surgeon at the Veterans Memorial Center hospital. He was certified
preponderance of evidence. as a surgeon in 1985. He also holds a master’s degree in Hospital
Administration from the Ateneo de Manila University.
The petitioner failed to present an expert witness. Dr. Reyes appears
to have inflated his qualifications during his direct testimony. First, his Dr. Hernandez affirmed that Dr. Inso did not deviate from the usual
"extensive training during [his] residency" was neither extensive surgical procedure. Both experts agreed that Lilian could not have died
actual training, nor part of medical residency. His assignment to the from bleeding of the appendical vessel. They identified Lilian’s cause
V. Luna Hospital was not as an on-the-job trainee but as a of death as massive blood loss resulting from Disseminated
mere observer. This assignment was also before he Intravascular Coagulation.
was actually licensed as a doctor. Petitioner’s counsel even admitted
The petitioner’s failure to present expert witnesses resulted in his
that Dr. Reyes was not an expert witness even when he was presented
failure to prove the respondents’ negligence. The preponderance of
to the court as such.
evidence clearly tilts in favor of the respondents.
Dr. Reyes is not an expert witness who could prove Dr. Inso’s alleged
negligence. His testimony could not have established the standard of
Res ipsa loquitur is not applicable when the failure to observe due care
care that Dr. Inso was expected to observe nor assessed Dr. Inso’s is not immediately apparent to the layman.
failure to observe this standard. The application of this rule requires: (1) that the accident was of a
kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent; (2)
The testimony of Dr. Avila also has no probative value in determining
that the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under
whether Dr. Inso was at fault. Dr. Avila testified in his capacity as an
the exclusive control of the person charged with negligence; and (3)
expert in medical jurisprudence, not as an expert in medicine, surgery,
that the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary
or pathology. His testimony fails to shed any light on the actual cause
of Lilian’s death. action or contribution from the injured person. The concurrence of
these elements creates a presumption of negligence that, if
To our mind, the testimonies of expert witnesses Dr. Hernandez and unrebutted, overcomes the plaintiff’s burden of proof.
Dr. Ramos carry far greater weight than that of Dr. Reyes.
The rule is not applicable in cases such as the present one where the
Dr. Ramos was an associate professor in pathology at the Perpetual defendant’s alleged failure to observe due care is not immediately
Help Medical School in Biñan, Laguna, and at the De La Salle University apparent to a layman. These instances require expert opinion to
in Dasmariñas, Cavite. He was the head of the Batangas General establish the culpability of the defendant doctor. It is also not
Hospital Teaching and Training Hospital where he also headed the applicable to cases where the actual cause of the injury had been
Pathology Department. He also headed the Perpetual Help General identified or established.
Hospital Pathology department.
The petitioner failed to present sufficient convincing evidence to
Dr. Hernandez at that time was a General Surgeon with 27 years of establish: (1) the standard of care expected of the respondent and (2)
experience as a General Practitioner and 20 years of experience as a the fact that Dr. Inso fell short of this expected standard. Considering
General Surgeon. He obtained his medical degree from the University further that the respondents established that the cause of Lilian’s
of Santo Tomas before undergoing five years of residency training as uncontrollable bleeding (and, ultimately, her death) was a medical
disorder – Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation – we find no After securing a Certificate from the NBI, a medical team performed
reversible errors in the CA’s dismissal of the complaint on appeal. and completed the transplant operation. Lugmoso's cadaver was then
taken to La Funeraria Oro.
Burden of proof
Several days later, NKI issued a press release announcing its
ALANO V ZENAIDA MAGUD-LOGMAO successful organ transplantation. One of Arnelito's relatives heard the
news in television that the donor was an 18 year old boy whose name
Facts:
sounded like Arnelito Logmao. They went to the La Funeraria Oro
On March 1, 1988, Arnelito Logmao was brought to East Avenue where they saw Arnelito inside a cheap casket.
Medical Center (EAMC) by sidewalk vendors who allegedly saw the
A complaint for damages was filed by Arnelito's mother, Zenaida
former fall from the overpass. The patient's data sheet identified him Logmao, against Dr. Alano and the medical team who performed the
as Angelito Lugmoso. He was conscious and coherent at first, however
transplantation.
his condition progressively deteriorated that admission to the ICU and
mechanical ventilator became necessary. Since there was no available RTC found Dr. Alano liable for quasi delict and was ordered to pay
ventilator units in EAMC, Lugmoso was transferred to NKI. damages. CA affirmed.

As Lugmoso had no relatives around, Jennifer Misa, a Transplant Issue:


Coordinator in NKI, tried to locate the patient's family by enlisting
WoN Dr. Alano should be liable for his alleged negligence in
police and media assistance. Certifications were issued by the media
authorizing the removal of Arnelito's internal organs
and the policd attesting that the request made by NKI to air its appeal
to locate the family and relatives of Angelito Lugmoso was Ruling:
accommodated.
NO. A careful reading of the Memorandum shows that petitioner
On March 3, 1988, Lugmoso was pronounced brain dead. Upon instructed his subordinates to "make certain" that "all reasonable
learning that Lugmoso was a suitable organ donor and that some NKI efforts" are exerted to locate the patient's next of kin, even
patients awaiting organ donation had blood and tissue types enumerating ways in which to ensure that notices of the death of the
compatible with Lugmoso, Dr. Ona inquired whether relatives of patient would reach said relatives. It also clearly stated that
Lugmosos had been located so that consent for organ donation could permission or authorization to retrieve and remove the internal organs
be obtained. As the extended search for the relatives of Lugmoso of the deceased was being given ONLY IF the provisions of the
yielded no positive result and time being of the essence in the success applicable law had been complied with. Such instructions reveal that
of organ transplantation, Dr. Ona requested Dr. Alano, the Director of petitioner acted prudently by directing his subordinates to exhaust all
NKI, to authorize removal of specific organs from the body of Lugmoso reasonable means of locating the relatives of the deceased.
for transplantation purposes.
Furthermore, from the records of the case, the doctors and NKI
Dr. Alano issued a Memorandum authorizing the removal of specific disseminated notices of the death of respondent's son to the media
organs from the body of Lugmoso provided that all reasonable efforts and sought assistance of the appropriate police authorities as early as
to locate the relatives were exerted and that the NBI has been notified. March 2, 1988, even before petitioner issued the Memorandum.
NKI could also not be faulted when the notices did not properly state The plaintiffs insisted that the accident happened because the
the name or identity of the deceased. The NKI could not have obtained construction company did not provide adequate lighting on the site.
the information about his name from the patient because Arnelito was The construction company countered that the fatal accident was
already unconscious by the time he was brought to NKI. caused by the negligence of the motorcycle rider himself (as confirmed
by the police investigation report that stated, among others, that
In civil cases, the party making the allegations has the burden of
Balbino was not wearing any helmet at that time, and the accident
proving them by a preponderance of evidence. The parties must rely
occurred while Balbino was overtaking another motorcycle) and that
on the strength of their own evidence and not upon the weakness of
it had installed warning signs and lights along the highway and on the
the defense offered by the opponent barricades of the project.
In this case, there is no proof that the period of 24 hours from the
The trial court decided in favor of the construction company, but the
time notices were disseminated cannot be considered reasonable
CA reversed the decision and ruled for the plaintiffs.
under the circumstances. They failed to present any expert witness to
prove that given the medical technology and knowledge in the 1980's, Issue:
the doctors could or should have waited longer before harvesting the
internal organs for transplantation. Whose negligence was the proximate cause of the death of Balbino?

Ruling:
Petitioner also cannot be liable for damages. It must be emphasized
that the internal organs of the deceased were removed only after he Negligence of Balbino.
had been declared brain dead; thus, the emotional pain suffered by
respondent due to the death of her son cannot in any way be The question as to what would constitute the conduct of a prudent
attributed to petitioner. Neither can the Court find evidence on record man in a given situation must of course be always determined in the
to show that respondent's emotional suffering at the sight of the pitiful light of human experience and in view of the facts involved in the
state in which she found her son's lifeless body can be categorically particular case. Abstract speculation cannot here be of much value but
attributed to petitioner's conduct. this much can be profitably said: Reasonable men govern their
conduct by the circumstances which are before them or known to
BJDC CONSTRUCTION VS. LANUZO them. They are not, and are not supposed to be, omniscient of the
future. Hence they can be expected to take care only when there is
Facts: 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
This case involves a claim for damages arising from the death of a
course actually pursued? If so, it was the duty of the actor to take
motorcycle rider Balbino in a nighttime accident (Balbino's Honda
precautions to guard against that harm. Reasonable foresight of harm,
motorcycle sideswiped the road barricade placed by the company in
followed by the ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is
the right lane portion of the road, causing him to lose control of his
always necessary before negligence can be held to exist. Stated in
motorcycle and to crash on the newly cemented road, resulting in his
these terms, the proper criterion for determining the existence of
instant death).
negligence in a given case is this: Conduct is said to be negligent when
a prudent man in the position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen
that an effect harmful to another was sufficiently probable to warrant its installation of the necessary warning signs and lights in the project
his foregoing the conduct or guarding against its consequences. site. In that context, the fatal accident was not caused by any
instrumentality within the exclusive control of the company. In
contrast, Balbino had the exclusive control of how he operated and
In our view, the RTC properly gave more weight to the testimonies of
managed his motorcycle. The records disclose that he himself did not
Zamora and SPO1 Corporal than to those of the witnesses for the
take the necessary precautions. As Zamora declared, Balbino overtook
Lanuzo heirs. There was justification for doing so, because the greater
another motorcycle rider at a fast speed, and in the process could not
probability pertained to the former. Moreover, the trial court’s
avoid hitting a barricade at the site, causing him to be thrown off his
assessment of the credibility of the witnesses and of their testimonies motorcycle onto the newly cemented road. SPO1 Corporal’s
is preferred to that of the appellate court’s because of the trial court’s
investigation report corroborated Zamora’s declaration. This causation
unique first–hand opportunity to observe the witnesses and their of the fatal injury went uncontroverted by the Lanuzo heirs.
demeanor as such.
According to Dr. Abilay, the cause of death of Balbino was the fatal
depressed fracture at the back of his head, an injury that Dr. Abilay
The Court observes, too, that SPO1 Corporal, a veteran police officer
opined to be attributable to his head landing on the cemented road
detailed for more than 17 years at the Pili Police Station, enjoyed the
after being thrown off his motorcycle. Considering that it was shown
presumption of regularity in the performance of his official duties. The
that Balbino was not wearing any protective head gear or helmet at
presumption, although rebuttable, stands because the Lanuzo heirs the time of the accident, he was guilty of negligence in that respect.
did not adduce evidence to show any deficiency or irregularity in the
Had he worn the protective head gear or helmet, his untimely death
performance of his official duty as the police investigator of the
would not have occurred.
accident. They also did not show that he was impelled by any ill motive
or bias to testify falsely.
The plaintiff must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not
upon the weakness of the defendant’s. Upon a review of the records,
Thirdly, the CA unreasonably branded the testimonies of Zamora and
the Court affirms the findings of the RTC, and rules that the Lanuzo
SPO1 Corporal as “self–serving.” They were not. Self–serving evidence
heirs, the parties carrying the burden of proof, did not establish by
refers to out–of–court statements that favor the declarant’s interest; it
preponderance of evidence that the negligence on the part of the
is disfavored mainly because the adverse party is given no opportunity company was the proximate cause of the fatal accident of Balbino.
to dispute the statement and their admission would encourage
fabrication of testimony. But court declarations are not self–serving The RTC was correct on its conclusions and findings that the company
considering that the adverse party is accorded the opportunity to test was not negligent in ensuring safety at the project site. All the
the veracity of the declarations by cross–examination and other established circumstances showed that the proximate and immediate
methods. cause of the death of Balbino was his own negligence. Hence, the
Lanuzo heirs could not recover damages.

Fourthly, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur had no application here. DEFENSES
Based on the evidence adduced by the Lanuzo heirs, negligence Complete defenses
cannot be fairly ascribed to the company considering that it has shown
Plaintiff’s own negligence it is contended that the action of appellants as not yet prescribed if
the period of four years should be counted from the date the main
PAULAN vs SARABIA action was filed against them by the plaintiffs, which is April 19,1955,
because their amended third-party complaint was filed against
Facts:
appellee only on December 20,1955. This is so, they contend, because
On July 25, 1951, a truck owned and operated by Zacarias Sarabia the purpose of their action is only to ask reimbursement.
and driven by Emilio Celeste fell into a creek after it collided with
The law ordinarily provides that the period during which an action may
another truck of the Mary Lim Line. As a result of the collision,
be brought shall be computed from the time the right of action accrues
Gaudencio Basco who was one of the passengers of Sarabia’s truck
(Art. 1144 & 1149) but nothing is provided in this respect with regard
died.
to an action based on a quasi-delict for Art. 1146 simply provides that
On April 19, 1955, Basco’s widow and heirs filed a complaint against
the action shall be instituted within four years
Sarabia and Celeste for compensation and damages.
There being no provision as to when shall the period of four years
On July 11, 1955, defendants filed a third-party complaint against
commence to run, the provision of Art. 1150 shall apply, which
Juan Candungon, driver of the Mary Lim Line truck, and one Quintin
provides that it shall be counted from the day they may be brought.
Lim as owner and operator which complaint was later amended on
December 30, 1955, stating that the owner of the truck driven by Evidently, the day referred to is that of the day of the collision, for an
Candungon was Maria Lim. action based on a quasi-delict can be brought now independently of
the criminal action and even regardless of the outcome of the latter.
Maria Lim filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds (1) that there is
There can therefore be no dispute that the action of appellants against
not cause of action against her, and (2) that the action, being a quasi-
appellee should have been brought within the period of four years
delict, has already prescribed.
counted from July 25, 1951.
The motion to dismiss was sustained on the ground of prescription
and the complaint against Maria Lim was dismissed.
FE CAYAO-LASAM vs. SPOUSES CLARO and EDITHA
Hence this appeal. RAMOLETE

Issue: Facts:

Whether the action based on quasi-delict has already prescribed 3 months pregnant Respondent EDITHA RAMOLETE was brought to
Ruling: the Lorma Medical Center (LMC) due to vaginal bleeding. Upon
advice of petitioner DR. LASAM relayed via telephone, EDITHA was
There is no merit in this appeal. The action which appellants desire to
admitted to the LMC on the same day. A pelvic sonogram was then
press against appellee is really one based on a quasi-delict which
conducted which revealed the fetus’ weak cardiac pulsation. The
prescribes in four years, and this period having already expired when
the action was taken, it is obvious that the action has prescribed. But
following day, EDITHA’s repeat pelvic sonogram showed that aside
from the fetus’ weak cardiac pulsation, no fetal movement was also
appreciated. Due to persistent and profuse vaginal bleeding, She denied the allegations of negligence and incompetence with the
petitioner advised EDITHA to undergo a Dilatation and Curettage following explanations:
Procedure (D&C) or “raspa”.
Upon EDITHA’s confirmation that she would seek admission at the
Subsequently, DR. LASAM performed the said procedure and EDITHA LMC, she (petitioner) immediately called the hospital to anticipate
was discharged from the hospital the following day. the arrival of EDITHA and ordered through telephone the medicines
EDITHA needed to take, which the nurses carried out;
Almost two months after, EDITHA was once again brought at the
LMC, as she was suffering from vomiting and severe abdominal pains. She visited EDITHA on the morning when EDITHA was first admitted
She was attended by several doctors. DR. MAYO (One of the doctors) in LMC, during her rounds;
allegedly informed her that there was a dead fetus in her womb.
The day before she performed the procedure, she performed an
After, EDITHA underwent laparotomy. She was found to have a
internal examination on EDITHA and she discovered that her cervix
massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage and a ruptured uterus. Thus,
was already open, thus, she discussed the possible D&C procedure,
EDITHA had to undergo a procedure for hysterectomy and asa result,
should the bleeding become more profuse;
she has no more chance to bear a child.
On the day of the procedure, she conduced another internal
Thereafter, EDITHA and her husband CLARO RAMOLETE filed a
examination on EDITHA, which revealed that her cervix was still
Complaint for Gross Negligence and Malpractice against DR. LASAM
open;
before the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).
EDITHA persistently complained of her vaginal bleeding and bowel
Respondents’ (Sps. Ramolete) Arguments:
movement; thus, she advised her to undergo D&C procedure which
EDITHA’s hysterectomy was caused by petitioner’s unmitigated SPS. RAMOLETE consented to;
negligence and professional incompetence in conducting the D&C
She (DR. LASAM) was very vocal in the operating room about not
procedure and her failure to remove the fetus inside EDITHA’s womb.
being able to see an abortus;
Allegations of Negligence:
Taking the words of EDITHA to mean that she was passing out some
DR. LASAM’s failure to check up, visit or administer medication on meaty mass and clotted blood, she assumed that the abortus must
EDITHA during her first day of confinement at the LMC; have been expelled in the process of bleeding;

She recommended that a D&C procedure instead of closely It was EDITHA who insisted that she wanted to be discharged; She
monitoring the state of pregnancy of EDITHA. agreed, but she advised EDITHA to return for check-up a few days
after, which she failed to do.
Petitioner’s (Fe Calao-Lasam) Answer:
Contentions: Issue:

She contended that it was EDITHA’s gross negligence and/or omission Whether DR. LASAM committed gross negligence in performing the
in insisting to be discharged against the doctor’s advice and her D&C procedure on EDITHA
unjustified failure to return for check-up as directed that contributed
Ruling:
to her life-threatening condition;
NO. Medical malpractice is a particular form of negligence which
EDITHA’s hysterectomy was brought about by her very abnormal
consists in the failure of a physician or surgeon to apply to his practice
pregnancy known as placenta increta, which was an extremely rare
of medicine that degree of care and skill which is ordinarily employed
and very unusal case of abdominal placental implantation;
by the profession generally, under similar conditions, and in like
She argued that whether or not a D&C procedure was done by her or surrounding circumstances.
any other doctor, there would be no difference at all because at any
In order to successfully pursue such a claim, a patient must prove that
stage of gestation before term, the uterus would rupture just the
the physician or surgeon either failed to do something which a
same.
reasonably prudent physician or surgeon would not have done, and
Ruling of the Board of Medicine (of the PRC): that failure or action caused injury to the patient.

Rendered a decision exonerating DR. LASAM from the charges filed Four elements involved in medical negligence:
against her
Duty
When EDITHA was admitted at LMC, an ultra-sound was performed
Breach
upon her and the result of the Sonogram Test reveals a morbid fetus
but did not specify where the fetus was located. Obstetricians will Injury
assume that the pregnancy is within the uterus unless so specified by
the Sonologist who conducted the ultrasound. Proximate causation

DR. LASAM cannot be faulted if she was not able to determine that Applying the four elements in the present case:
complainant EDITHA is having an ectopic pregnancy interstitial. The DUTY – Duty is established
D&C conducted on EDITHA is necessary considering that her cervix is
already open and so as to stop the profuse bleeding. A physican-patient relationship was created when EDITHA employed
the services of DR. LASAM. As EDITHA’s physician, DR. LASAM was
Ruling of the PRC (On Appeal by Sps. Ramolete): duty-bound to use at least the same level of care that any reasonably
Reversed the findings of the Board and revoking DR. LASAM’s competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same
authority or license to practice her profession as a physician circumstances.
BREACH – No breach of duty consequences especially so if the patient herself did not exercise the
proper diligence required to avoid the injury.
The breach of these professional duties of skill and care, or their
improper performance by a physician surgeon, whereby the patient WHEREFORE, THE DECISION OF THE BOARD OF MEDICINE
is injured in body or in health, constitutes actionable malpractice. EXONERATING THE PETITIONER IS AFFIRMED.

In the present case, it is clear that the D&C procedure was conducted
in accordance with the standard practice, with the same level of care Exception: Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance
that any reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition
HIDALGO ENTERPRISES, INC. vs BALANDAN
under the same circumstances, and that there was nothing irregular
in the way the petitioner dealt with EDITHA. Facts:
INJURY – Not the doctor’s fault This case is an appeal for cetiorari from the dicision of of CA requiring
Hidalgo Enterprise to pay spouses Balandan damages for the death of
In the present case, it is undisputed that EDITHA did not return for a
their son Mario.
follow-up evaluation, in defiance of DR. LASAM’s advice. EDITHA
omitted the diligence required by the circumstances which could Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc. was the owner of an ice plant factory in the
have avoided the injury. City of San Pablo, Laguna, in whose premises were installed two tanks
full of water, nine feet deep, for cooling purposes of its engine.
PROXIMATE CAUSATION – Editha’s omission is the proximate cause
While the factory compound was surrounded with fence, the tanks
of her own injury
themselves were not provided with any kind of fence or top covers.
The omission in not returning for a follow-up evaluation played a The edges of the tank were barely a foot high from the surface of the
substantial part in bringing about EDITHA’s own injury. Had EDITHA ground.
returned, DR. LASAM could have conducted the proper medical tests Through the wide gate entrance which is continually open for those
and procedure necessary to determine EDITHA’s health condition who wish to buy, any one could easily enter the said factory, as he
and applied the corresponding treatment which could have pleased. There was no guard assigned in the gate.
prevented the rupture of EDITHA’s uterus. The D&C procedure
April 16, 1948, plaintiffs' son, Mario Balandan, a boy barely 8 years
having been conducted in accordance with the standard medical old, while playing with and in company of other boys of his age,
practice, it is clear that EDITHA’s omission was the proximate cause entered the factory premises through the gate, to take a bath in one
of her own injury and not merely a contributory negligence on her of said tanks. While thus bathing, Mario sank to the bottom of the
part. tank, only to be threshed out later, already a cadaver, having died of
'asphyxia secondary to drowning'.
All told, doctors are protected by a special rule of law. They are not
guarantors of care. They are not insurers against mishaps or unusual
RTC of Laguna and CA applied the doctrine of attractive nuisance, took MARGARITA AFIALDA VS. BASILIO HISOLE AND
the view that the petitioner maintained an attractive nuisance (the FRANCISCO HISOLE
tanks), and neglected to adopt the necessary precautions to avoid
accident to persons entering its premises Facts:

Issue: Plaintiff's argument:


Whether or not CA erred on its decision The deceased, Loreto Afialda, a caretaker of carabaos at a fixed
Ruling: compensation was gored by one of them and later died as a
consequence of his injuries. The mishap was due neither to his own
One who maintains on his premises dangerous instrumentalities or fault nor to force majeure. The plaintiff is his elder sister and heir
appliances of a character likely to attract children in play, and who depending upon him for support.
fails to exercise ordinary care to prevent children from playing
therewith or resorting thereto, is liable to a child of tender years who Afialda seeks to hold the owners liable under article 1905 of the Civil
is injured thereby, even if the child is technically a trespasser in the Code that the possessor of an animal, or the one who uses the same,
premises. The reason of the doctrine is that the condition or appliance is liable for any damages it may cause, even if such animal should
in question although its danger is apparent to those of age, is so escape from him or stray away. This liability shall cease only in case,
enticing or alluring to children of tender years as to induce them to the damage should arise from force majeure or from the fault of the
approach, get on or use it, and this attractiveness is an implied person who may have suffered it.
invitation to such children. Defendants’ argument:
However, the attractive nuisance doctrine generally is not applicable The Hisole spouses as owners of the carabaos moved for the dismissal
to bodies of water, artificial as well as natural, in the absence of some of the complaint for lack of a cause of action.
unusual condition or artificial feature other than the mere water and
its location. Foreign jurisprudence lucidly explained, Indiana CA;
RTC:
"Nature has created streams, lakes and pools which attract children.
Lurking in their waters is always the danger of drowning. Against this The lower court granted the motion of the owners. It decided based
danger children are early instructed so that they are sufficiently on article 1902 of the Civil Code that the owner of an animal is
presumed to know the danger; and if the owner of private property answerable only for damages caused to a stranger, and that for
creates an artificial pool on his own property, merely duplicating the damage caused to the caretaker of the animal the owner would be
work of nature without adding any new danger, . . (he) is not liable liable only if he had been negligent or at fault.
because of having created an 'attractive nuisance.' Anderson vs. Reith-
CA:
Riley Const. Co., N. E., 2nd, 184, 185; 184, 185; 112 Ind. App., 170.
The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision.
Assumption of Risk
Issue:
Whether the owners of the animal are liable when damage is caused Wading in a waist-deep flood, the deceased was followed by Aida
to its caretaker. Bulong and Linda Alonzo Estavillo, who walked side by side at between
5 and 6 meters behind the deceased. Suddenly, the deceased
Ruling:
screamed "Ay" and quickly sank into the water. The two girls
NO. The article 1905 of the Civil Code applies only where an animal attempted to help, but fear dissuaded them because on the spot
caused injury to a stranger or third person. It does not apply in this where the deceased sank, was an electric wire dangling from a post
case where the person injured was the caretaker of the animal. The and moving in snake-like fashion in the water. Upon their shouts for
distinction is important. The statute names the possessor/user of the help, Ernesto dela Cruz tried to go to the deceased, but eventually
animal as the person liable for "any damages it may cause," for it is turned back shouting that the water was grounded.
the possessor/user who has the custody and control of the animal and
the one in a position to prevent it from causing damage to anyone,
including himself. The caretaker being injured by the animal was one Through the help of the police, defendant Ilocos Norte Electric
of the risks of the occupation he had voluntarily assumed which he Company or INELCO was asked to cut off the electric current, which
must take the consequences. they did. Thereafter, the deceased’s body was recovered about two
meters from the electric post.
Applying the decision of the Spanish Supreme Court, cited by Manresa
in his Commentaries, this case would not come under the labor laws An action for damages was instituted by the heirs of the deceased
due to "a veritable accident of labor" because there was no allegation against INELCO.
under the Workmen's Compensation Act that the owners’ business had
INELCO argues in chief that the deceased could have died simply by
a gross income of P20,000. On the other hand, if the action is to be
drowning, or if she indeed died by electrocution, the same was due to
based on article 1902 of the Civil Code, it is essential that there be
fault or negligence on the part of the defendants as owners of the negligence attributable only to herself and not to petitioner.
animal that caused the damage; but the complaint contains no In this regard, it was pointed out that the deceased, without
allegation on those points. petitioner's knowledge, caused the installation of a burglar deterrent
by connecting a wire from the main house to the iron gate and fence
ILOCOS NORTE ELECTRIC COMPANY (INELCO) V. CA
of steel matting, thus, charging the latter with electric current
whenever the switch is on. Petitioner conjectures that the switch to
Facts:
said burglar deterrent must have been left on, hence, causing the
In the evening of June 28 until the early morning of June 29, 1967, a deceased's electrocution when she tried to open her gate that fateful
strong typhoon “Gening” buffeted the province of Ilocos Norte, day.
bringing heavy rains and consequent flooding. When the floodwaters
After due trial, the lower court ruled in favor of INELCO and dismissed
were beginning to recede, the deceased Isabel Lao Juan, ventured out
the complaint. An appeal was filed with the CA which reversed the trial
of her son-in-law’s house and proceeded towards the direction of the
court’s decision. Hence, this petition.
Five Sisters Emporium to look after her merchandise therein that
might have been damaged. Issues:
1. Whether the principle of "assumption of risk" applies. The evidence does not show that defendant did that. On the contrary,
evidence discloses that there were no men (linemen or otherwise)
2. Whether the principle of contributory negligence applies.
policing the area, nor even manning its office. To aggravate matters,
Ruling: it was found that even before June 28, they were already alerted
about the impending typhoon through radio announcements, and at
No. The maxim "volenti non fit injuria" relied upon by petitioner finds that time INELCO irregularities in the flow of electric current were
no application in the case at bar. It is imperative to note the noted because “amperes of the switch volts were moving”. And yet,
surrounding circumstances which impelled the deceased to leave the despite these danger signals, INELCO did nothing and had to wait for
comforts of a roof and brave the subsiding typhoon. The deceased the request that the switch be cut off.
was on her way to her grocery store to see to it that the goods were
not flooded. As such, shall we punish her for exercising her right to The negligence of petitioner having been shown, it may not now
protect her property from the floods by imputing upon her the absolve itself from liability by arguing that the victim's death was solely
unfavorable presumption that she assumed the risk of personal injury? due to a fortuitous event.
Definitely not.
"When an act of God combines or concurs with the negligence of the
A person is excused from the force of the rule that when he voluntarily defendant to produce an injury, the defendant is liable if the injury
assents to a known danger he must abide by the consequences --- if would not have resulted but for his own negligent conduct or
an emergency is found to exist or if the life or property of another is omission"
in peril. Clearly, an emergency was at hand, as the deceased's
VICENTE CALALAS, petitioners V. COURT OF APPEALS,
property, a source of her livelihood, was faced with an impending loss. ELIZA JUJEURCHE SUNGA AND FRANCISCO SALVA,
Furthermore, the deceased, at the time the fatal incident occurred, respondents.
was at a place where she had a right to be without regard to
petitioner's consent as she was on her way to protect her Facts:
merchandise. Hence, private respondents, as heirs, may not be barred Private respondent Eliza Sunga, a college freshman majoring in
from recovering damages because of the death caused by INELCO's Physical Education at the Silliman University took a passenger jeepney
negligence. owned and operated by herein petitioner Calalas. Because the
Yes. While it is true that typhoons and floods are considered Acts of jeeepney was already full with 24 passengers, Sunga was given by the
God for which no person may be held responsible, it was not said conductor an extension seat, a wooden stool at the back of the door
eventuality which directly caused the victim's death. It was through at the rear end of the vehicle.
the intervention of petitioner's negligence that death took place. When Sunga gave way to an outgoing passenger, an Isuzu truck
In times of calamities such as the one in the case at bar, extraordinary driven by Verena and owned by Salva bumped the left rear portion of
diligence requires a supplier of electricity to be in constant vigilance the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was injured. She was confined for
to prevent or avoid any probable incident that might put life or limb almost a month and would remain on a cast for a period of 3 months.
into peril.
As a result of that incident, Sunga filed a complaint for damages that he had observe extraordinary diligence in the care of his
against Calalas, alleging violation of the contract of carriage in failing passengers.
to exercise the diligence required of him as a common carrier as
First, the jeepney was not properly parked. Second, it is undisputed
certified by Dr. Oligario, her attending physician.
that petitioner’s driver took in more passengers than the allowed
Calalas, on the other hand, filed a third-party complaint against Salva, seating capacity of the jeepney. The fact that Sunga was seated in an
the owner of the Isuzu truck. extension seat placed her in a peril greater than that to which the
other passengers were exposed. Not only was petitioner unable to
RTC: overcome the presumption of negligence imposed on him for the
It rendered judgment against Salva as third-party defendant and injury sustained by Sunga, but also, the evidence shows he was
absolved Calalas of liability, holding that it was the driver of the Isuzu actually negligent in transporting passengers.
truck who was responsible for the accident.
The court found it hard to give serious thought to petitioner’s
contention that Sunga’s taking an extension seat amounted to an
CA: implied assumption of risk. It is akin to arguing that the injuries to the
Reversed the ruling of the lower court on the ground that Sunga’s many victims of the tragedies in our seas should not be compensated
cause of action was based on a contract of carriage, not quasi-delict, merely because those passengers assumed a greater risk of drowning
and that the common carrier failed to exercise the diligence required by boarding an overloaded ferry.
under the Civil Code. It dismissed the third- party complaint against
For an event to be that of caso fortuito, it is an event which could not
Salva and adjudged Calalas liable for damages to Sunga.
be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, was inevitable. This requires
Petitioner’s argument: that the ff. requirements be present:

He contends that the negligence of Verana (driver of Isuzu truck) was The cause of the breach is independent of the debtor’s will;
the proximate cause of the accident and it negates his liability and to
The event is unforeseeable or unavoidable;
rule otherwise would be to make the common carrier an insurer of the
safety of its passengers. That the bumping of the jeepney by the truck The event is such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his
owned by Salva was a caso fortuito. obligation in a normal manner, and;

Issue: The debtor did not take part in causing the injury to the creditor.

Whether Calalas exercised the diligence required in a contract of Petitioner should have foreseen the danger of parking his jeepney with
carriage. its body protruding two meters into the highway.

Ruling: NIKKO HOTEL MANILA GARDEN AND RUBY LIM VS.


ROBERTO REYES
No. Upon the happening of the accident, the presumption of
negligence at once arose, and it became the duty of petitioner to prove Facts:
Roberto Reyes alleged that on October 13, 1994, while he was having Dr. Violeta Filart, the third defendant in the complaint before the lower
coffee at the lobby of Hotel Nikko, Dr. Violeta Filart (friend of Reyes), court, averred that she never invited Mr. Reyes to the party.
approached him. Mrs. Filart invited him to join her in a party at the
hotel’s penthouse in celebration of the natal day of the hotel’s
Trial Court:
manager, Mr. Masakazu Tsuruoka. After a couple of hours, when the Dismissed the complaint. It gave more credence to the testimony of
buffet dinner was ready, Mr. Reyes lined-up at the buffet table but, to Ms. Lim that she was discreet in asking Mr. Reyes to leave the party.
his great shock, shame and embarrassment, he was stopped by It held that Mr. Reyes assumed the risk of being thrown out of the
petitioner herein, Ruby Lim, who claimed to speak for Hotel Nikko as party as he was uninvited.
Executive Secretary thereof. In a loud voice and within the presence
and hearing of the other guests who were making a queue at the Court of Appeals:
buffet table, Ruby Lim told him to leave the party ( huwag ka nang
The appellate court held that Ms. Lim is liable for damages as she
kumain, hindi ka imbitado, bumaba ka na lang). Mr. Reyes tried to
needlessly embarrassed Mr. Reyes.
explain that he was invited by Dr. Filart. Dr. Filart, who was within
hearing distance, however, completely ignored him thus adding to his Both courts, however, were in agreement that it was Dr. Filart’s
shame and humiliation. Meanwhile, a Makati policeman approached invitation that brought Mr. Reyes to the party.
and asked him to step out of the hotel. Mr. Reyes filed an action for
damages against Ms. Lim and the hotel. Issue:

On the other hand, Ms. Ruby Lim narrated that as the Hotel’s Whether Ruby Lim acted abusively in asking Roberto Reyes, a.k.a.
Executive Secretary for the past twenty (20) years, one of her Amay Bisaya, to leave the party where he was not invited by the
functions included organizing the birthday party of the hotel’s former celebrant thereof thereby becoming liable under Articles 19 and 21 of
General Manager, Mr. Tsuruoka. At the party, Ms. Lim first noticed Mr. the Civil Code.
Reyes at the bar counter ordering a drink. Mindful of Mr. Tsuruoka’s Ruling:
wishes to keep the party intimate, Ms. Lim approached Mr. Boy Miller,
the captain waiter, to inquire as to the presence of Mr. Reyes. Learning No, Ms. Lim did not abuse her right to ask Mr. Reyes to leave the party
that Mr. Reyes was not invited, Ms. Lim requested Ms. Fruto (Dr. to which he was not invited. She cannot be made liable to pay for
Violeta’s sister) to tell Mr. Reyes to leave the party. But Mr. Reyes damages under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code. Necessarily,
stayed. When Mr. Reyes went to a corner and started to eat, Ms. Lim neither can her employer, Hotel Nikko, be held liable as its liability
approached him and said: alam ninyo, hindo ho kayo dapat nandito. springs from that of its employee.
Pero total nakakuha na ho kayo ng pagkain, ubusin na lang ninyo at
Article 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the
pagkatapos kung pwede lang po umalis na kayo. She then turned
principle of abuse of rights, is not a panacea for all human hurts and
around trusting that Mr. Reyes would show enough decency to leave,
social grievances. Article 19 states:
but to her surprise, he began screaming and making a big scene, and
even threatened to dump food on her. Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honesty and good faith.
When Article 19 is violated, an action for damages is proper under Doctrine of Last Clear Chance; Doctrine of Supervening
Articles 20 or 21 of the Civil Code. Article 20 pertains to damages Negligence; Doctrine of Discovered Peril; or the
arising from a violation of law which does not obtain herein as Ms. Lim “Humanitarian Doctrine”
was perfectly within her right to ask Mr. Reyes to leave.
PICART vs. SMITH
Article 21 refers to acts contra bonus mores and has the following
elements: (1) There is an act which is legal; (2) but which is contrary Facts:
to morals, good custom, public order, or public policy; and (3) it is
Picart was riding on his pony over a bridge. Before he had gotten half
done with intent to injure. A common theme runs through Articles 19
and 21, and that is, the act complained of must be intentional. way across, Smith approached from the opposite direction in an
automobile. As the latter neared the bridge, he blew his horn to give
As applied to herein case, Mr. Reyes has not shown that Ms. Lim was warning of his approach.
driven by animosity against him. These two people did not know each
other personally before the evening of 13 October 1994, thus, Mr. The plaintiff saw the automobile coming and heard the warning
signals. However, by reason of the rapid movement of the car, he
Reyes had nothing to offer for an explanation for Ms. Lim’s alleged
abusive conduct. A complaint based on Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the right side of the
Code must necessarily fail if it has nothing to recommend but mere bridge instead of going to the left as he thought he did not have
sufficient time to get over to the other side. The pony and the car
conjectures. Mr. Reyes, upon whom the burden rests to prove that
indeed Ms. Lim loudly and rudely ordered him to leave, could not offer collided. As a result, the horse died and its rider got injured and
unconscious.
any satisfactory explanation why Ms. Lim would do that and risk
ruining a formal affair. On the contrary, Mr. Reyes, on cross- Issue:
examination, had even admitted that when Ms. Lim talked to him, she
was very close—close enough for him to almost kiss her. Whether Smith is guilty of negligence.

Moreover, the manner by which Ms. Lim asked Mr. Reyes to leave was Ruling:
likewise acceptable and humane under the circumstances. Without
Yes. Although the defendant, at the outset, had the right to assume
proof of any ill-motive on her part, Ms. Lim’s act of by-passing Mrs.
that the horse and the rider would pass over to the proper side; the
Filart cannot amount to abusive conduct especially because she did
control of the situation had then passed entirely to the defendant
inquire from Mrs. Filart’s companion who told her that Mrs. Filart did
when he moved toward the center of the bridge. It was his duty either
not invite Mr. Reyes. If at all, Ms. Lim is guilty only of bad judgment
to bring his car to an immediate stop or take the other lane. But,
which, if done with good intentions, cannot amount to bad faith.
instead, he ran straight on until he was almost upon the horse.
As far as Ms. Lim and Hotel Nikko are concerned, any damage which
Furthermore, the test of negligence is: Did the defendant in doing the
Mr. Reyes might have suffered through Ms. Lim’s exercise of a
alleged negligent act use that person would have used in the same
legitimate right done within the bounds of propriety and good faith,
situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence.
must be his to bear alone.
In this case, the negligence is clearly established. A prudent man, negligence in accepting the postdated check for deposit, respondent,
placed in the position of the defendant would have recognized the risk by exercising reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided
of his course, and would have foreseen harm to the horse and the injurious consequences had it not negligently cleared the check in
rider as reasonable consequence of that course. And because the law question. Allied Bank underscores BPI’s failure to observe clearing
imposed on the defendant the duty to guard against the threatened house rules and its own standard operating procedure which
harm. constituted further negligence so much so that respondent should be
solely liable for the loss.
Thus, both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent. However,
the negligent acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since Issue:
the negligence of the defendant succeeded the negligence of the
Whether BPI should be made solely liable for the loss.
plaintiff by an interval. Consequently, the person who has the last fair
chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable Ruling:
with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of
the other party. No. While the doctrine of last clear chance was deemed applicable in
this case, the same did not operate to impose sole liability on BPI only
ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION vs. BANK OF THE (as usually is the effect). Stated broadly, the doctrine states that the
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude a recovery for the
negligence of the defendant where it appears that the defendant, by
Facts: exercising reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided
injurious consequences to the plaintiff notwithstanding the plaintiff’s
A check in the amount of ₱1,000,000.00 payable to "Mateo Mgt. Group negligence. In other words, the antecedent negligence of the plaintiff
International" (MMGI) was presented for deposit and accepted at does not preclude him from recovering damages caused by the
Allied Bank's Kawit Branch. The check, post-dated "Oct. 9, 2003", was supervening negligence of the defendant, who had the last fair chance
drawn against the account of Marciano Silva, Jr. (Silva) with Bank of to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence.
the Philippine Islands (BPI) Bel-Air Branch. Upon receipt, petitioner
sent the check for clearing to through the Philippine Clearing House As such, if the plaintiff’s negligence was only contributory, the
Corporation (PCHC). immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's
lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts
The check was cleared by BPI and Allied Bank credited the account of shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.
MMGI with ₱1,000,000.00. But a just a few days later, MMGI’s account
closed and the amount was withdrawn. Moreover, when Silva While BPI’s negligence was the proximate cause of the loss, Allied
discovered the debit of ₱1,000,000.00, he complained about the Bank was not totally free from fault since it is guilty of contributory
transaction. In response to Silva’s complaint, BPI re-credited his negligence in accepting the postdated check in the first place. Thus,
account with the aforesaid sum. the Court held that both banks should be held liable and apportioned
the damage between BPI and Allied Bank on a 60-40 ratio,
A controversy between Allied Bank and BPI ensued as to who will respectively.
shoulder the amount. Allied Bank argued that despite its antecedent
PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC. vs. BAESA RTC:

The trial court ruled against PANTRANCO.


Facts:

The spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their children Harold Jim,
CA:
Marcelino and Maricar, together with spouses David Ico and Fe O. Ico The CA partly modified the RTC Ruling with regard to damages
with their son Erwin Ico and seven other persons, were aboard a awarded.
passenger jeepney on their way to a picnic at Malalam River, Ilagan,
Isabela, to celebrate the fifth wedding anniversary of Ceasar and Issue:
Marilyn Baesa.
Whether PANTRANCO’s defenses are tenable?
The group, numbering fifteen (15) persons, rode in the passenger
Ruling:
jeepney driven by David Ico, who was also the registered owner
thereof. They were traveling from Ilagan, Isabela to Malalam River, I. The doctrine of "last clear chance" finds no application in this case.
Ilagan, Isabela. Upon reaching the highway, the jeepney turned right
and proceeded to Malalam River at a speed of about 20 kph. While For the doctrine to be applicable, it is necessary to show that the
they were proceeding towards Malalam River, a speeding PANTRANCO person who allegedly had the last opportunity to avert the accident
bus from Aparri, on its regular route to Manila, encroached on the was aware of the existence of the peril or should, with exercise of due
jeepney's lane while negotiating a curve, and collided with it. care, have been aware of it. In this case, there is nothing to show that
the jeepney driver David Ico knew of the impending danger. When he
As a result of the accident David Ico, spouses Ceasar Baesa and saw at a distance that the approaching bus was encroaching on his
Marilyn Baesa and their children, Harold Jim and Marcelino Baesa, died lane, he did not immediately swerve the jeepney to the dirt shoulder
while the rest of the passengers suffered injuries. The jeepney was on his right since he must have assumed that the bus driver will return
extensively damaged. After the accident the driver of the PANTRANCO the bus to its own lane upon seeing the jeepney approaching from the
Bus, Ambrosio Ramirez, boarded a car and proceeded to Santiago, opposite direction.
Isabela. From that time on up to the present, Ramirez has never been
seen and has apparently remained in hiding. By the time David Ico must have realized that the bus was not
returning to its own lane, it was already too late to swerve the jeepney
Maricar Baesa through her guardian Francisca O. Bascos and Fe O. to his right to prevent an accident. The speed at which the
Ico for herself and for her minor children, filed separate actions for approaching bus was running prevented David Ico from swerving the
damages arising from quasi-delict against PANTRANCO. jeepney to the right shoulder of the road in time to avoid the collision.

Defense of PANTRANCO: Thus, even assuming that the jeepney driver perceived the danger a
few seconds before the actual collision, he had no opportunity to avoid
The late David Ico's alleged negligence is the proximate cause of the
it. This Court has held that the last clear chance doctrine "can never
accident by applying the doctrine of last clear chance and invoked the
apply where the party charged is required to act instantaneously, and
defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of its driver,
Ambrosio Ramirez.
if the injury cannot be avoided by the application of all means at hand for damages for loss of earning capacity of the deceased victims, the
after the peril is or should have been discovered" absence thereof does not necessarily bar the recovery of the damages
in question. The testimony of Fe Ico and Francisca Bascos as to the
Considering the foregoing, the Court finds that the negligence of
earning capacity of David Ico, and the spouses Baesa, respectively,
petitioner's driver in encroaching into the lane of the incoming jeepney
are sufficient to establish a basis from which the court can make a fair
and in failing to return the bus to its own lane immediately upon
and reasonable estimate of the damages for the loss of earning
seeing the jeepney coming from the opposite direction was the sole
capacity of the three deceased victims. Moreover, in fixing the
and proximate cause of the accident without which the collision would
damages for loss of earning capacity of a deceased victim, the court
not have occurred can consider the nature of his occupation, his educational attainment
II. Re: The issue of liability of petitioner as an employer and the state of his health at the time of death.

The finding of negligence on the part of its driver Ambrosio Ramirez In the instant case, David Ico was thirty eight (38) years old at the
gave rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of petitioner time of his death in 1981 and was driving his own passenger jeepney.
and the burden of proving that it exercised due diligence not only in The spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa were both thirty (30) years old
the selection of its employees but also in adequately supervising their at the time of their death. Ceasar Baesa was a commerce degree
work rests with the petitioner. Contrary to petitioner's claim, there is holder and the proprietor of the Cauayan Press, printer of the Cauayan
no presumption that the usual recruitment procedures and safety Valley Newspaper and the Valley Times at Cauayan, Isabela. Marilyn
standards were observed. The mere issuance of rules and regulations Baesa graduated as a nurse in 1976 and at the time of her death, was
and the formulation of various company policies on safety, without the company nurse, personnel manager, treasurer and cashier of the
showing that they are being complied with, are not sufficient to Ilagan Press at Ilagan, Isabela. Respondent court duly considered
exempt petitioner from liability arising from the negligence of its these factors, together with the uncontradicted testimonies of Fe Ico
employee. It is incumbent upon petitioner to show that in recruiting and Francisca Bascos, in fixing the amount of damages for the loss of
and employing the erring driver, the recruitment procedures and earning capacity of David Ico and the spouses Baesa.
company policies on efficiency and safety were followed. Petitioner
GLAN PEOPLE’S LUMBER HARDWARE VS INTERMEDIATE
failed to do this. Hence, the Court finds no cogent reason to disturb APPELLATE COURT
the finding of both the trial court and the Court of Appeals that the Facts:
evidence presented by the petitioner, which consists mainly of the
uncorroborated testimony of its Training Coordinator, is insufficient to Engr. Calibo, Roranes and Patos were on the Jeep with Calibo at the
overcome the presumption of negligence against petitioner. wheel,, as it approached from the South Lizada bridge going towards
Davao City. At that time, a cargo truck driven by Zacarias came from
III. Re: Award of Damages the opposite direction. The cargo truck and the jeep collided and as
The Court finds that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible a consequence, Engr. Calibo died while Patos and Roranes sustained
error in fixing the amount of damages for the loss of earning capacity physical injuries.
of the deceased victims. While it is true that private respondents A case was filed against the truck driver and the owner by the heirs
should have presented documentary evidence to support their claim of Engr. Calibo. The RTC ruled in favor of the truck driver considering
that the Engr Calibo was negligent in driving the jeep for not reducing (t)he plaintiff was riding a pony on a bridge. Seeing an automobile
the speed of his jeep (the truck used brake on the other hand). He ahead he improperly pulled his horse over to the railing on the right.
was zigzagging at that time and Roranes and Patos refused to be so The driver of the automobile, however guided his car toward the
investigated by the police officers. Moreover, Roranes’ testimony was plaintiff without diminution of speed until he was only few feet away.
not as clear and detailed as that of Zacarias, and was uncertain and He then turned to the right but passed so closely to the horse that the
was contradicted by police investigator. The Court of Appeals reversed latter being frightened, jumped around and was killed by the passing
the decision. car xxx

It was established that the jeep was zigzagging before the collision. Plaintiff Picart was thrown off his horse and suffered contusions which
Both drivers had a full view of each other’s vehicle from a distance of required several days of medical attention. He sued the defendant
one hundred fifty meters. Both also were travelling at a speed of Smith for the value of his animal, medical expenses and damage to
approximately thirty kilometers per hour. It was also established in his apparel and obtained judgment from this Court which, while
the SC that truck was already at a full stop when the jeep plowed into finding that there was negligence on the part of both parties, held that
it. The truck used the brake still thirty kilometers away. that of the defendant was the immediate and determining cause of
the accident and that of the plaintiff ". . . the more remote factor in
Issue:
the case":
Is Zacarias liable considering that Engr. Calibo had the chance to avoid
It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault,
the collision?
for he was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the
Ruling: wrong side of the road. But as we have already stated, the defendant
was also negligent; and in such case the problem always is to discover
From these facts the logical conclusion emerges that the driver of the which agent is immediately and directly responsible. It will be noted
jeep had what judicial doctrine has appropriately called the last clear that the negligent acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous,
chance to avoid the accident, while still at that distance of thirty since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the negligence of
meters from the truck, by stopping in his turn or swerving his jeep the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. Under these circumstances the
away from the truck, either of which he had sufficient time to do while law is that the person who has the last fair chance to avoid the
running at a speed of only thirty kilometers per hour. In those impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable with the
circumstances, his duty was to seize that opportunity of avoidance, consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other
not merely rely on a supposed right to expect, as the Appellate Court party.
would have it, the truck to swerve and leave him a clear path.
Since said ruling clearly applies to exonerate petitioner Zacarias and
The doctrine of the last clear chance provides as a valid and complete his employer (and co-petitioner) George Lim, an inquiry into whether
defense to accident liability today as it did when invoked and applied or not the evidence supports the latter's additional defense of due
in the 1918 case of Picart vs. Smith, supra, which involved a similar diligence in the selection and supervision of said driver is no longer
state of facts. Of those facts, which should be familiar to every student necessary and wig not be undertaken. The fact is that there is such
of law, it is only necessary to recall the summary made in evidence in the record which has not been controverted.
the syllabus of this Court's decision that:
DE ROY vs CA doctrine of "last clear chance," which has been applied to
vehicular accidents, is inapplicable to this case.
Facts:
PLDT V CA & SPS ESTEBAN
The firewall of a burned-out building owned by petitioners collapsed
and destroyed the tailoring shop occupied by the family of private Facts:
respondents, resulting in injuries to private respondents and the death
of Marissa Bernal, daughter of the latter. Private respondents had Private respondents instituted an action for damages against
been warned by petitioners to vacate their shop in view of its proximity petitioner for the injuries they sustained when their jeep ran over a
to the weakened wall but the former failed to do so. mound of earth and fell into an open trench allegedly without any
warning lights or signs. The excavation was allegedly undertaken by
RTC: The RTC Br. XXXVIII found petitioners guilty of gross negligence PLDT.
and awarded damagest to private respondents.
The evaluation and assessment of the evidence on record revealed
CA: The RTC’s decision was affirmed in toto by the CA. that (1) private respondents’ jeep was running along the inside lane
Issue: of the street then abruptly swerved to the right which caused it to hit
the accident mound, (2) the jeep was running quite fast, (3) that
1. Whether the Court of Appeals committed no grave abuse of private respondent was using dim lights despite the drizzle, (4) private
discretion in affirming the trial court's decision. respondent knew of the existence and location of the accident mound,
having seen it many previous times.
2. Whether the doctrine of "last clear chance" applies in this case.
Issue:
Ruling:
Whether private respondents can recover from PLDT.
1. The Court of Appeals did not commit grave abuse of discretion
in affirming the RTC’s decision holding petitioner liable under Ruling:
Article 2190 of the Civil Code, which provides that "the
No. The above findings clearly show that the negligence of respondent
proprietor of a building or structure is responsible for the
Antonio Esteban was not only contributory to his injuries and those of
damage resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it should
his wife but goes to the very cause of the occurrence of the accident,
be due to the lack of necessary repairs. as one of its determining factors, and thereby precludes their right to
recover damages. The perils of the road were known to, hence
2. The SC said the CA did not commit an error when it rejected appreciated and assumed by, private respondents. By exercising
petitioners argument that private respondents had the "last reasonable care and prudence, respondent Antonio Esteban could
clear chance" to avoid the accident if only they heeded the. have avoided the injurious consequences of his act, even assuming
warning to vacate the tailoring shop and , therefore, arguendo that there was some alleged negligence on the part of
petitioners prior negligence should be disregarded, since the petitioner.
The child was playing with his brothers. He was 14 at the time. It was
not their first time at the pool because they frequented the place. They
The presence of warning signs could not have completely prevented
were playing on the small pool. His two older brothers left and
the accident; the only purpose of said signs was to inform and warn
transferred to the bigger pool. The lifeguards on duty were routinely
the public of the presence of excavations on the site. The private
checking up on the area.
respondents already knew of the presence of said excavations. It was
not the lack of knowledge of these excavations which caused the jeep A boy approached one of the lifeguards and told him that one kid was
of respondents to fall into the excavation but the unexplained sudden swimming under the water for a long time already. It was the boy ong
swerving of the jeep from the inside lane towards the accident mound. curiously was already in the big swimming pool. They immediately
As opined in some quarters, the omission to perform a duty, such as swam and got the boy and applied artificial resuscitation in an effort
the placing of warning signs on the site of the excavation, constitutes to revive him. The nurse also arrived and took over. They got a doctor
the proximate cause only when the doing of the said omitted act would and injected the child with a camphorated oil in order to revive him
have prevented the injury. 31 It is basic that private respondents but to no avail. The boy was declared dead.
cannot charge PLDT for their injuries where their own failure to
An autopsy was made and these were the findings an abrasion on the
exercise due and reasonable care was the cause thereof. It is both a
right elbow lateral aspect; contusion on the right forehead; hematoma
societal norm and necessity that one should exercise a reasonable
on the scalp, frontal region, right side; a congestion in the brain with
degree of caution for his own protection. Furthermore, respondent
Antonio Esteban had the last clear chance or opportunity to avoid the petechial subcortical hemorrhage, frontal lobe; cyanosis on the face
and on the nails; the lung was soggy with fine froth in the bronchioles;
accident, notwithstanding the negligence he imputes to petitioner
dark fluid blood in the heart; congestion in the visceral organs, and
PLDT. As a resident of Lacson Street, he passed on that street almost
brownish fluid in the stomach. The death was due to asphyxia by
everyday and had knowledge of the presence and location of the
submersion in water. (TN the autopsy and the injuries are important
excavations there. It was his negligence that exposed him and his wife
to danger, hence he is solely responsible for the consequences of his
in this case)
imprudence. Issue:
ONG VS MCWD Issue posed in this appeal is whether the death of minor Dominador
Ong can be attributed to the negligence of defendant and/or its
Facts: employees so as to entitle plaintiffs to recover damages.
Dominador Ong, son of complainant drowned in the pool of the Ruling:
defendant, a government owned corporation. Now he is seeking
damages. Defendant says the death was caused by unavoidable As to burden of proof
accident or negligence of the child. It said it exercised due diligence.
The present action is one for damages founded on culpable
They were equipped with all the needed safety equipment, placed the
negligence, the principle to be observed is that the person claiming
needed safety signs, had a chief, a nurse, and 6 lifeguards who all
damages has the burden of proving that the damage is caused by the
underwent training with the Philippine red cross. They had a full time
nurse and sanitary inspector on standby.
fault or negligence of the person from whom the damage is claimed, the lifeguard responded to the call for help as soon as his attention
or of one of his employees. was called to it and immediately after retrieving the body all efforts at
the disposal of appellee had been put into play in order to bring him
This was not proven by the complainant because their 2 witnesses
back to life, it is clear that there is no room for the application of the
gave testimony during trial that the lifeguard was reading magazine
doctrine now invoked by appellants to impute liability to appellee.
and waited 4 minutes before saving the child was destroyed by the 2
witnesses own written statement given to the police who investigated Discussion as to the “probable” cause of death and final ruling
3 hrs after the incident. There the 2 witnesses emphasized that the
The court said that it noted the ruling of the trial court which was
lifeguards IMMEDIATELY dived and tried to save the boy.
supported by evidence that the expert evidence of both parties
As to actions of the employees in trying to save the child suggested that Ong died at a water with only 5.5 ft depth. He might
have bumped his head or hit himself at the bottom of the pool thus
The defendants did everything in their power to prevent the accident
causing the injury to the head, stunning him thus resulting in the
and to save the life of the boy. They had a complete set of safety
drowning. As a boy scout (as was noted in the information), the SC
equipment and had 6 lifeguards, a fulltime nurse and instituted strict
said he should have known that it was dangerous to dive at the pool.
rules and guidelines. When the accident happened they did everything
possible such as fetching a doctor injecting the victim with the oil, The case was dismissed
using up all the oxygen in the resuscitator, in their efforts to save the
child. ECHEVARA vs RAMOS

Application of the doctrine of last clear chance Facts:

The complainants switched to using the theory that even if it be Crescencia Achevara was sued as the operator of the passenger jeep
assumed that the deceased is partly to be blamed for the unfortunate with Plate No. DKK-995, which was involved in the vehicular accident.
incident, still appellee may be held liable under the doctrine of "last Alfredo Achevara was impleaded as the husband of the operator and
clear chance" for the reason that, having the last opportunity to save as the administrator of the conjugal partnership properties of the
the victim, it failed to do so. Spouses Achevara. The driver, Benigno Valdez, according to the
respo`ndents, was seen driving recklessly and negligently. He tried to
The last clear chance doctrine simply states:
overtake a motorcycle causing the passenger jeep to encroach on the
a person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an opposite lane and bump the oncoming vehicle (owner-type jeep)
accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent or the driven by Arnulfo Ramos causing the latter’s death. Respondents
negligence of a third person which is imputed to his opponent, is alleged that Crescencia Achevara failed to exercise due diligence in
considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the the selection and supervision of Benigno Valdez as driver of the
accident passenger jeep. Respondents sought to recover actual damages for
medical expenses in the sum of P33,513.00 and funeral expenses in
The court ruled: it is not known how minor Ong came into the big the sum of P30,000.00, as well as moral and exemplary damages, lost
swimming pool. He went there without any companion in violation of earnings, attorney's fees and litigation expenses.
one of the regulations of appellee as regards the use of the pools, and
In their Answer, petitioners (Achevara) alleged that it was Ramos who act in such a way that an ordinary reasonable man would have realized
was driving in a zigzag manner with his vehicle wiggling and that certain interests of certain persons were unreasonably subjected
encroached on the west lane and to avoid collision, the passenger jeep to a general but definite class of risks.
drove to the opposite of his lane but Ramos continued to move
The doctrine of last clear chance does not apply to this case, because
towards the passenger jeep and bumped the left side of it. They
even if it can be said that it was Benigno Valdez who had the last
further alleged that Ramos knew that the vehicle he drove had a
chance to avoid the mishap when the owner-type jeep encroached on
mechanical defect.
the western lane of the passenger jeep, Valdez no longer had the
The respondent presented Gamera as witness but his testimony was opportunity to avoid the collision. The Answer of petitioners stated
controverted by petitioners witnesses (PO3 Peralta and SPO2 Valdez) that when the owner-type jeep encroached on the lane of the
saying that passenger jeepney did not overtake a motorcycle because passenger jeep, Benigno Valdez maneuvered his vehicle towards the
he (PO3 Peralta) was behind the jeep. It was found out that owner- western shoulder of the road to avoid a collision, but the owner-type
type jeep driven by Ramos was indeed defective and he knew it to be jeep driven by Ramos continued to move to the western lane and
such. bumped the left side of the passenger jeep. Thus, petitioners assert
in their Petition that considering that the time the owner-type jeep
RTC:
encroached on the lane of Valdez to the time of impact was only a
It ruled that the statements of the petitioner’s (Achevara) witnesses matter of seconds, he no longer had the opportunity to avoid the
were credible but that it ruled that the doctrine of last clear chance collision.
was applicable. The trial court held that the driver of the passenger
In this case, both Arnulfo Ramos and Benigno Valdez failed to exercise
jeep, Benigno Valdez, having seen the risk exhibited by the wiggling
reasonable care and caution that an ordinarily prudent man would
of the front wheels of the owner-type jeep, causing it to run in a zigzag
have taken to prevent the vehicular accident. Since the gross
manner, should have parked his vehicle on the right shoulder of the
negligence of Arnulfo Ramos and the inexcusable negligence of
road so that the mishap could have been prevented. Since he ignored
Benigno Valdez were the proximate cause of the vehicular accident,
to take this reasonable precaution, the omission and/or breach of this respondents cannot recover damages pursuant to Article 2179 of the
duty on his part was the constitutive legal cause of the mishap.
Civil Code.
CA: Affirmed
Article 2179 of the Civil Code provides:
Issue: When the plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate and
Whether or not petitioners are liable to respondents for damages proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his
incurred as a result of the vehicular accident negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendants lack of due care, the
Ruling: plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the
damages to be awarded.
No. The Court notes that respondents version of the vehicular accident
was rebutted by petitioners. Foreseeability is the fundamental test of
negligence. To be negligent, a defendant must have acted or failed to
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS CORPORATION ET AL. the RTC decision with modification in the amount of damages awarded
V. PURIFICACION VIZCARA, ET AL. to respondents.

Issue:
Facts:
Whether the doctrine of last clear chance finds application in the
Reynaldo Vizcara (Reynaldo) was driving a jeepney headed towards instant case.
Bicol to deliver onion crops, together with Cresencio Vizcara
(Cresencio), Crispin Natividad (Crispin), Samuel Natividad (Samuel), Ruling:
Dominador Antonio (Dominador) and Joel Vizcara (Joel). While No, the doctrine of last clear chance is not applicable.
crossing the railroad track, a Philippine National Railways (PNR) train,
operated by Japhet Estranas (Estranas), suddenly turned up and The doctrine of last clear chance provides that where both
rammed the jeepney. The collision resulted to the instantaneous death parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is
of Reynaldo, Cresencio, Crispin, and Samuel, while Dominador and appreciably later in point of time than that of the other, or
Joel sustained serious physical injuries. where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence
brought about the occurrence of the incident, the one who
The survivors, Joel and Dominador, together with the heirs of the had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm
deceased victims, filed an action for damages against PNR, Estranas but failed to do so, is chargeable with the consequences
and Ben Saga, alternate driver of the train, before the RTC. arising therefrom. Stated differently, the rule is that the antecedent
The respondents alleged that the proximate cause of the fatalities and negligence of a person does not preclude recovery of damages caused
serious physical injuries was petitioners' gross negligence in not by the supervening negligence of the latter, who had the last fair
providing adequate safety measures to prevent injury to persons and chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due
properties — there was no level crossing bar, lighting equipment or diligence.
bell installed to warn motorists of the existence of the track and of the In this case, the proximate cause of the collision was petitioners'
approaching train. negligence in ensuring that motorists and pedestrians alike may safely
On the other hand, petitioners claimed that they exercised due cross the railroad track. The unsuspecting driver and passengers of
diligence in operating the train. Estranas asserted that he started the jeepney did not have any participation in the occurrence of the
blowing the horn to warn the motorists of the approaching train. unfortunate incident which befell them. They did not exhibit any overt
However, when the train was 10 meters away from the intersection, act manifesting disregard for their own safety. Thus, absent preceding
the jeepney suddenly crossed the tracks. Estranas immediately negligence on the part of the respondents, the doctrine of last clear
stepped on the breaks but the momentum was great that the train did chance cannot be applied.
not instantly come to stop. GREENSTAR EXPRESS, INC. AND FRUTO L. SAYSON, JR.,
The RTC ruled in favor of respondents and ordered petitioners to pay Petitioners, v. UNIVERSAL ROBINA CORPORATION AND
NISSIN UNIVERSAL ROBINA CORPORATION, Respondent.
the former the damages prayed for in the complaint. The CA affirmed
and at the time the accident occurred, he was on his way home to
Facts: Candelaria, Quezon. There was no showing that on that day, Renante
Bicomong was given by defendants-appellees an assigned task, much
Petitioners: Grepistar is a domestic corporation engaged in the less instructed to go to Quezon. Thus, he was then carrying out a
business of public transportation, while Sayson is one of its bus personal purpose and not performing work for defendants-appellees.
drivers.
Apropos is Castilex Industrial Corp. vs. Vicente Vasquez, Jr., wherein
Respondents: Universal Robina Corporation (URC) and Nissin
the Supreme Court held that the mere fact that an employee was
Universal Robina Corporation (NURC) are domestic corporations using a service vehicle at the time of the injurious incident is not of
engaged in the food business. NURC is a subsidiary of URC. URC is
itself sufficient to charge his employer with liability for the operation
the registered owner of a Mitsubishi L-300 van with plate number WRN of said vehicle unless it appeared that he was operating the vehicle
403 (URC van).
within the course or scope of bis employment.
At about 6:50 a.m., which was then a declared national holiday,
petitioner's bus, which was then being driven toward the direction of ISSUE:
Manila by Sayson, collided head-on with the URC van, which was then Whether the CA erred in issuing the assailed decision and resolution
being driven Quezon province-bound by NURC's Operations Manager, that respondents are not liable to petitioners for the damages they
Bicomong. Bicomong died on the spot, while the colliding vehicles sustained considering that the accident was attributed to the
sustained considerable damage. negligence of Bicomong.

Petitioners filed a Complaint against NURC to recover damages Petitioners' Arguments:


sustained during the collision, premised on negligence. URC and NURC
Petitioners insist that respondents should be held liable for Bicomong's
filed their respective Answers, where they particularly alleged and
negligence under Articles 2176, 2180, and 2185 of the Civil Code;19
claimed lack of negligence on their part and on the part of Bicomong.
that Bicomong's negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the
RTC RULING: (dismissed the complaint) accident, in that he unduly occupied the opposite lane which the bus
was lawfully traversing, thus resulting in the collision with Greenstar's
Plaintiff has no cause of action and cannot recover from the bus; that Bicomong's driving on the opposite lane constituted a traffic
defendants even assuming that the direct and proximate cause of the violation, therefore giving rise to the presumption of negligence on his
accident was the negligence of the defendant's employee Renato part; that in view of this presumption, it became incumbent upon
Bicomong. respondents to rebut the same by proving that they exercised care
and diligence in the selection and supervision of their employees; that
CA RULING: (affirmed the RTC)
respondents failed to prove that Bicomong was not in the official
Records bear that the vehicular collision occurred on February 25, performance of his duties or that the URC van was not officially issued
2003 which was declared by former Executive Secretary Alberto G. to him at the time of the accident - and for this reason, the
Romulo, by order of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as a presumption of negligence was not overturned; and that URC should
special national holiday. Renante Bicomong had no work on that day be held liable as the registered owner of the van.
any public highway. Its main aim is to identify the owner so that if any
Respondents' Arguments: accident happens, or that any damage or injury is caused by the
vehicle on the public highways, responsibility therefor can be fixed on
Pleading affirmance, respondents argue in their Comment: that the
a definite individual, the registered owner.' x x x x
collision occurred on a holiday and while Bicomong was using the URC
van for a purely personal purpose, it should be. sufficient to absolve Aguilar, Sr. v. Commercial Savings Bank recognized the seeming
respondents of liability as evidently, Bicomong was not performing his conflict between Article 2180 and the registered-owner rule and
official duties on that day; that the totality of the evidence indicates applied the latter.
that it was Sayson who was negligent in the operation of Greenstar's
Filcar Transport Services v. Espinas28 stated that the registered owner
bus when the collision occurred; that Bicomong was not negligent in
of a vehicle can no longer use the defenses found in Article 2180.
driving the URC van.
Mendoza v. Spouses Gomez29 reiterated this doctrine.
SC RULING: (denies the petition)

In Caravan Travel and Tours International, Inc. v. Abejar, the Court However, it should not be taken to mean that Article 2180 of the Civil
made the following relevant pronouncement: Code should be completely discarded in cases where the registered-
owner rule finds application.
The resolution of this case must consider two (2) rules. First, Article
2180's specification that '[e]mployers shall be liable for the damages The source of a registered owner's liability is not a distinct statutory
caused by their employees acting within the scope of their assigned provision, but remains to be Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code:
tasks. Second, the operation of the registered-owner rule that
While Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic
registered owners are liable for death or injuries caused by the
Code does not contain any provision on the liability of registered
operation of their Vehicles.
owners in case of motor vehicle mishaps, Article 2176, in relation with
These rules appear to be in conflict when it comes to cases in which Article 2180, of the Civil Code imposes an obligation upon Filcar, as
the employer is also the registered owner of a vehicle. Article 2180 registered owner, to answer for the damages caused to Espinas' car.
requires proof of two things: first, an employment relationship
between the driver and the owner; and second, that the driver acted Thus, it is imperative to apply the registered-owner rule in a manner
that harmonizes it with Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. Rules
within the scope of his or her assigned tasks. On the other hand,
must be construed in a manner that will harmonize them with other
applying the registered-owner rule only requires the plaintiff to prove
rules so as to form a uniform and consistent system of jurisprudence.
that the defendant-employer is the registered owner of the vehicle.
In light of this, the words used in Del Carmen are particularly notable.
The registered-owner rule was articulated as early as 1957 in Erezo, There, this court stated that Article 2180 'should defer to' the
et al. v. Jepte, where this court explained that the registration of motor registered-owner rule. It never stated that Article 2180 should be
vehicles, as required by Section 5(a) of Republic Act No. 41365 totally abandoned.
the and Transportation and Traffic Code, was necessary 'not to make
said registration the operative act by which ownership in vehicles is Therefore, the appropriate approach is that in cases where both the
registered-owner rule and Article 2180 apply, the plaintiff must first
transferred, ... but to permit the use and operation of the vehicle upon
establish that the employer is the registered owner of the vehicle in manner while the same was still a good 250 meters away from his
question. Once the plaintiff successfully proves ownership, there bus, Sayson did not take the necessary precautions, as by reducing
arises a disputable presumption that the requirements of Article 2180 speed and adopting a defensive stance to avert any untoward incident
have been proven. As a consequence, the burden of proof shifts to that may occur from Bicomong's manner of driving. This is precisely
the defendant to show that no liability under Article 2180 has arisen. his testimony during trial. When the van began to swerve toward his
bus, he did not reduce speed nor swerve his bus to avoid collision.
This disputable presumption, insofar as the registered owner of the
Instead, he maintained his current speed and course, and for this
vehicle in relation to the actual driver is concerned, recognizes that
reason., the inevitable took place: An experienced driver who is
between the owner and the victim, it is the former that should carry presented with the same facts would have adopted an attitude
the costs of moving forward with the evidence. The victim is, in many
consistent with a desire to preserve life and property; for common
cases, a hapless pedestrian or motorist with hardly any means to carriers, the diligence demanded is of the highest degree.
uncover the employment relationship of the owner and the driver, or
any act that the owner may have done in relation to that employment. The law exacts from common carriers (i.e., those persons,
The registration of the vehicle, on the other hand, is accessible to the corporations, firms, or associations engaged in the business of
public. carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both, by land, water,
or air, for compensation, offering their services to the public) the
It must be said that when by evidence the ownership of the van and
highest degree of diligence (i.e., extraordinary diligence) in ensuring
Bicomong's employment were proved, the presumption of negligence the safety of its passengers.
on respondents' part attached, as the registered owner of the van and
as Bicomong's employer. His burden of proof then shifted to However, Sayson took no defensive maneuver whatsoever in spite of
respondents to show that no liability under Article 2180 arose. the fact that he saw Bicomong drive his van in a precarious manner,
as far as 250 meters away - or at a point in time and space where
Respondents succeeded in overcoming the presumption of
Sayson had all the opportunity to prepare and avert a possible
negligence, having shown that when the collision took place,
collision. The collision was certainly foreseen and avoidable but
Bicomong was not in the performance of his work; that he was in Sayson took no measures to avoid it. Rather than exhibit concern for
possession of a service vehicle that did not belong to his employer
the welfare of his passengers and the driver of the oncoming vehicle,
NURC, but to URC, and which vehicle was not officially assigned to
who might have fallen asleep or suddenly fallen ill at the wheel,
him, but to another employee; that his use of the URC van was
Sayson coldly and uncaringly stood his ground^ closed his eyes, and
unauthorized - even if he had used the same vehicle in furtherance of
left everything to fate, without due regard for the consequences. Such
a personal undertaking in the past,31 this does not amount to implied
a suicidal mindset cannot be tolerated, for the grave danger it poses
permission; that the accident occurred on a holiday and while
to the public and passengers availing of petitioners' services. To add
Bicomong was on his way home to his family in Quezon province; and
insult to injury, Sayson hastily fled the scene of the collision instead
that Bicomong had no official business whatsoever in his hometown
of rendering assistance to the victims - thus exhibiting a selfish, cold-
in Quezon, or in Laguna where the collision occurred, his area of
blooded attitude and utter lack of concern motivated by the self-
operations being limited to the Cavite area.
centered desire to escape liability, inconvenience, and possible

Despite having seen Bicomong drive the URC van in a precarious


detention by the authorities, rather than secure the well-being of the Richard Li denied the allegation that he was negligent. He claimed that
victims of his own negligent act. Valenzuela’s car was improperly parked and the area was poor lighted.
He also counterclaimed for damages for Valenzuela was negligent for
x x x The doctrine of last clear chance provides that where both parties
driving without a license.
are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in point
of time than that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine A witness testified that Li’s car was approaching the scene very fast.
whose fault or negligence brought about the occurrence of the He stated that Li was under the influence of alcohol since he could
incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the smell it.
impending harm but failed to do so, is chargeable with the
The trial court found Li guilty of gross negligence and liable for
consequences arising therefrom. Stated differently, the rule is that the
damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. It also held Alexander
antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude recovery of
Commercial, Inc. Li’s employer jointly and severally liable for the
damages caused by the supervening negligence of the latter, who had
damages under Article 2180. The Court of Appeals sustained that Li
the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of
was liable for the damages but absolved Alexander Commercial Inc.,
due diligence, x x x
Li’s employer, from any liability against Valenzuela. It dismissed the
Emergency rule defendants’ counterclaims.

MA. LOURDES VALENZUELA V COURT OF APPEALS, Issues:


RICHARD LI AND ALEXANDER COMMERCIAL, INC.
1.) Whether or not Li shall be held liable for the damages?
Facts: 2.) Whether or not Valenzuela was also negligent on her part?
Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving a blue Mitsubishi lancer from her 3.) Whether or not Alexander Commercial, Inc., Li’s employer, shall
restaurant at Marcos highway to her home in Araneta Avenue. She be jointly and severally liable for the damages?
was with a companion. While driving she noticed something was
wrong with her tires. She stopped at a lighted place and verified it to Ruling:
ask help if needed. She was told by the people present that her tire
1. Yes. Negligence is commonly understood as the conduct which
was flat and decided to park her car and turned on the emergency
creates an undue risk of harm to others. It is the failure to observe
lights. She alighted from her car and assisted the man who will be
that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which circumstances
fixing her tire when suddenly she was bumped by a 1987 Mitsubishi
justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury. The
Lancer driven by Richard Li and registered under Alexander
circumstances established by the evidence showed that Li was grossly
Commercial, Inc. This accident resulted to her confinement for 20 days
negligent in driving the Mitsubishi Lancer. It was emphasized that he
and amputation of her knee. The expenses for the hospital amounted
was driving at a fast speed at 2:00 AM after a heavy downpour which
to Php 120,000 and the cost of the artificial leg was Php 27,000 which
made the street slippery. There was also ample evidence showing that
were paid by defendants from the car insurance. Valenzuela asked for
he was under the influence of liquor.
Php 1M for moral damages, Php 100,000 for exemplary damages and
Php 180,000 for other medical and related expenses.
2. No. Contributory negligence is the conduct on the part of the injured Just when the Pathfinder was already cruising along the NLEX's fast
party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which lane and about to overtake the Fuso, the latter suddenly swerved to
falls below the standard to which he is required to conform for his own the left and cut into the Pathfinder's lane thereby blocking its way.
protection. Valenzuela did exercise standard reasonably dictated by The impact caused both vehicles to stop in the middle of the
emergence. It could not be considered as contributory to the accident expressway.
that happened to her. The emergency that led her to park her car on
Almost instantly, the inevitable pileup happened. Although Antonio
a sidewalk of Aurora Boulevard was not her fault. It was evident that
stepped on the brakes, the Isuzu's front crashed 9 into the rear of the
she took all the reasonable precautions.
Pathfinder leaving it a total wreck.
3. Yes. Under the civil law, an employer is liable for the negligence of
In the meantime, the Mangalinao spouses, the driver Edurese, and
his employees in the discharge of their respective duties, the basis of
the helper Jebueza were declared dead on the spot while 6-month old
which liability is not respondeat superior but the relationship of pater
Marriane and the housemaid were declared dead on arrival at a nearby
familias which theory bases the liability of the master ultimately on his
hospital
own negligence and not on that of his servant. Alexander Commercial,
Inc. did not demonstrate that it exercised the care and diligence of a The children imputed recklessness, negligence, and imprudence on
good father of the family in entrusting its company car to Li. It was the truck drivers for the deaths of their sister and parents; while they
not shown that the company took the necessary steps in determining hold Sonny andOrix equally liable for failing to exercise the diligence
the driving proficiency and history of Li. of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their
respective drivers
Wherefore, premises considered, the decision of the Court of Appeals
is modified with the effect of reinstating the judgment of the Regional Orix in its Motion to Dismiss interposed that it is not the actual owner
Trial Court. of the Fuso truck. Orix reiterated that the children had no cause of
action against it because on September 9, 1983, it already sold the
ORIX METRO LEASING vs MANGALINAO
Fuso truck to MMO Trucking owned by Manuel Ong (Manuel).
Facts: Court a quo issued a Decision on February 9, 2001 finding Sonny,
Antonio, Loreto and Orix liable for damages.
Anacleto Edurese, Jr. (Edurese) was driving a Pathfinder with plate
number BBG-334. His Isabela-bound passengers were the owners of CA rendered its Decision affirming the factual findings of the trial court
said vehicle, spouses Roberto and Josephine Mangalinao (Mangalinao of reckless driving.
spouses), their daughter Marriane, housemaid Rufina Andres and
helper Armando Jebueza (Jebueza). The CA also ruled that Orix, as the registered owner of the Fuso, is
considered in the eyes of the law and of third persons responsible for
Before them on the outer lane was a Pampanga-bound Fuso 10- the deaths of the passengers of the Pathfinder, regardless of the lack
wheeler truck (Fuso), with plate number PAE-160, driven by Loreto of an employer-employee relationship between it and the driver
Lucilo (Loreto), who was with truck helper Charlie Palomar (Charlie). Loreto.
The Fuso was then already moving in an erratic and swerving motion.
Issue:
Whether or not the truck drivers are negligent? Whether or not Orix While the criminal case was pending, the Intestate Estate of the Buan
is solidarily liable as registered owner? spouses and their heirs filed a civil action, also for damages, against
the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of the Philippines and Jon Elordi.
Ruling:
Included in the complaint was a claim for indemnity in the sum of
Based on the helper's statement, the Fuso had lost control, skidded to P2,623.00 allegedly paid by the Estate to the heirs of Capuno under
the left and blocked the way of the Pathfinder, which was about to the Workmen's Compensation Act. However, the parties entered into
overtake. The Pathfinder had absolutely no chance to avoid the truck. a "Compromise and Settlement." For P290,000.00 the Buan Estate
gave up its claims for damages, including the claim for reimbursement
Instead of slowing down and moving towards the shoulder in the of the sum of P2,623.00 previously paid to the heirs of Capuno "under
highway if it really needed to stop, it was very negligent of Loreto to the Workmen's Compensation Act." The Court approved the
abruptly hit the brake in a major highway wherein vehicles are highly compromise and accordingly dismissed the case.
likely to be at his rear.
At that time the criminal case was still pending; judgment was
Regardless of whoever Orix claims to be the actual owner of the Fuso rendered wherein the accused Elordi was acquitted of the charges
by reason of a contract of sale, it is nevertheless primarily liable for against him. Prior thereto, however, herein appellants commenced a
the damages or injury the truck registered under it have caused. civil action for damages against the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of
Besides, the registered owners have a right to be indemnified by the the Philippines and Jon Elordi. Appellees filed motion to dismiss said
real or actual owner of the amount that they may be required to pay civil action on the ground that such action had already prescribed.
as damage for the injury caused to the plaintiff.
Issue:
Prescription
Whether the action had already prescribed?

VICTORIA G. CAPUNO and JOSEPHINE G. Whether the appellees had been released from appellants' claim for
CAPUNO, plaintiffs-appellants, vs. damages by virtue of the payment to the latter of the sum of
PEPSI-COLA BOTTLING COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES P2,623.00 by the Buan Estate under the Workmen's Compensation
and JON ELORDI, defendants-appellees. Act, which sum, in turn, was sought to be recovered by the said Estate
from appellees in Civil Case No. 838 but finally settled by them in their
Facts: compromise.

The case arose from a vehicular collision between a Pepsi-Cola Ruling:


delivery truck driven by Jon Elordi and a private car driven by Capuno.
The collision proved fatal to the latter as well as to his passengers, the In our opinion the question of prescription is decisive.
spouses Florencio Buan and Rizalina Paras. Thereafter, Elordi was There can be no doubt that the present action is one for recovery of
charged with triple homicide through reckless imprudence. The damages based on a quasi-delict, which action must be instituted
information was subsequently amended to include claims for damages within four (4) years. Appellants originally sought to enforce their
by the heirs of the three victims. claim ex-delicto, that is, under the provisions of the Penal Code, when
they intervened in the criminal case against Jon Elordi. The made it they could file — as in fact they did — a separate civil action
information therein, it may be recalled, was amended precisely to even during the pendency of the criminal case; and consequently, as
include an allegation concerning damages suffered by the heirs of the held in Paulan v. Sarabia, supra, "the institution of a criminal action
victims of the accident for which Elordi was being prosecuted. But cannot have the effect of interrupting the institution of a civil action
appellants' intervention was subsequently disallowed and they did not based on a quasi-delict."
appeal from the Court's order to the effect. And when they
Incomplete/Partial defense
commenced the civil action the criminal case was still pending,
Doctrine of Contributory Negligence
showing that appellants then chose to pursue the remedy afforded by
the Civil Code, for otherwise that action would have been premature
NATIONAL TRANSMISSION COMMISSION vs DE JESUS
and in any event would have been concluded by the subsequent
judgment of acquittal in the criminal case.
Facts:
In filing the civil action as they did appellants correctly considered it
Baby John de Jesus was employed as Lineman II by NTC. He died due
as entirely independent of the criminal action, pursuant to Articles 31
to electrocution while performing a hotspot correction due to the
and 33 of the Civil Code.
negligence of his foreman Danilo Manahan. Leslie, Virgilio and Estrella,
The term "physical injuries" in Article 33 includes bodily injuries all surnamed de Jesus, as heirs filed a complaint for damages based
causing death. In other words, the civil action for damages could have on quasi-delict against NTC, being the employer of Baby John.
been commenced by appellants immediately upon the death of their
RTC ruled in their favor declaring that NTC failed to prove that it
decedent, Cipriano Capuno, on January 3, 1953 or thereabouts, and
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
the same would not have been stayed by the filing of the criminal
and supervision of its employees. As reflected on and admitted in the
action for homicide through reckless imprudence. But the complaint
Accident Investigation Report, it was declared that NTC’s hired
here was filed only on September 26, 1958 or after the lapse of more
foreman, Danilo Manahan, was assigned to supervise a task wherein
than five years.
he was not familiar. The report further declares that there was indeed
In the case of Diocosa Paulan, et al. vs. Zacarias Sarabia, et al., G.R. insufficient coordination of work which was strengthened by the
No. L-10542, this Court held that an action based on a quasi-delict is testimony of NTC’s Senior HR Analyst who narrated that upon request
governed by Article 1150 of the Civil Code as to the question of when for a grounding duster to protect Baby John, the latter was merely
the prescriptive period of four years shall begin to run, that is, "from ordered by Danilo not to come down anymore and just proceed to
the day (the action) may be brought," which means from the day climb which resulted to the accident.
the quasi-delict occurred or was committed.
On appeal, CA affirmed with modification. It ruled that actual payment
The foregoing considerations dispose of appellants' contention that of damages will be reduced by 20% due to the presence of
the four-year period of prescription in this case was interrupted by the contributory negligence on the part of Baby John.
filing of the criminal action against Jon Elordi inasmuch as they had
Issues:
neither waived the civil action nor reserved the right to institute it
separately. Such reservation was not then necessary; without having Whether CA erred in affirming with modification the ruling of RTC.
Ruling: Therefore, CA was correct in reducing the amount of damages by
20%.
No. Failure to controvert the presumption of negligence

Whenever an employee's negligence causes damage or injury to RAKES vs ATLANTIC GULF


another, there instantly arises a presumption that the employer failed
to exercise the due diligence of a good father of the family in the -- Gonzaga, Nigel
selection or supervision of his employees. To avoid liability for a quasi
delict committed by his employee, an employer must overcome the BANAL & ENVERSO vs TACLOBAN ELECTRIC & HOUSE
presumption by presenting convincing proof that he exercised the care PLANT
and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of his employee. Facts:

There was indeed legal basis to declare that NTC failed to exercise the On 1925, the procession of Holy Friday was held in Tacloban, Leyte.
diligence of a good father of the family in the supervision of its Fortunata Enverso with her daughter Purificacion Bernal came from
employees. Both the RTC and CA based their conclusions on the another municipality to attend the religious celebration. After the
Accident Investigation Report prepared and identified by NTC’s own procession was over, the woman and her daughter, accompanied by
Regional Safety Engineer/Designated Safety Engineer who noted that two other persons by the names of Fausto and Elias, passed along a
there was indeed "insufficient coordination of work" during the public street. The little girl was allowed to get a short distance in
unfortunate incident, and by the testimony of NTC’s own Senior H.R. advance of her mother and her friends. When in front of the offices of
Analyst who narrated that upon request for a grounding cluster to the Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., an automobile appeared which
protect himself, the late Baby John De Jesus was merely ordered by so frightened the child that she turned to run, with the result that she
his foreman not to come down anymore and just proceed and continue fell into the street gutter. At that time there was hot water in this
to climb which resulted in the subject incident. gutter or ditch coming from the Electric Ice Plant of J.V. House.

Contributory negligence of Baby John When the mother and her companions reached the child, they found
her face downward in the hot water. Her clothes were immediately
Failure on the part of the late Baby John to use the required protective removed and, then covered with a garment, the girl was taken to the
equipment was an act of negligence contributory to that unfortunate provincial hospital. There she was attended by the resident physician,
incident which led to his untimely death. He should have insisted for Dr. Benitez. Despite his efforts, the child died.
the said required grounding cluster notwithstanding his foreman's
directive to proceed without it. Dr. Benitez, certified that the cause of death was "Burns, 3rd Degree,
whole Body", and that the contributory causes were "Congestion of
If his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and the Brain and visceras of the chest & abdomen".
proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care,
the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the The defense was that the hot water was permitted to flow down the
damages to be awarded. (Mendoza v. Soriano) side of the street with the knowledge and consent of the authorities;
that the cause of death was other than the hot water; and that in the immediately rushed to hospital but later on died after 14 days after
death the plaintiffs contributed by their own fault and negligence. the incident happened. The cause of death was the injury she
sustained as evidenced by the medical certificate. The parents
The trial judge dismiss the case because of the contributory
demanded payment for hospitalization, medical bills, wake and funeral
negligence of the plaintiff.
expenses from the petitioner but petitioner refused. Thus a case was
Issue: filed in the court for damages against petitioner.

Whether the trial court erred in dismissing the case. Trial Court:

Ruling: The court dismissed the complaint for damages finding that the
proximate cause of the fall of the counter was because of Zheineth
The trial court erred. act of clinging to it and that the mother’s negligence contributed to
the accident.
The mother and her child had a perfect right to be on the principal
street of Tacloban, Leyte, on the evening when the religious Court of Appeals:
procession was held. There was nothing abnormal in allowing the child
to run along a few paces in advance of the mother. No one could The court reversed the judgment of the lower court finding that the
foresee the coincidence of an automobile appearing and of a proximate cause of the death was petitioners negligence in failing to
frightened child running and falling into a ditch filled with hot water. institute measures to have the counter permanently nailed. The
mother could not be imputed for negligence since it was reasonable
The doctrines announced in the much debated case of for her to let go of the child since she was signing the credit card slip.
Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co., still rule. Article 1902 of the The court declared that a child below seven years of old, at the time
Civil Code must again be enforced. The contributory negligence of the incident, was absolutely incapable of negligence or other tort.
of the child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a bar
to recovery, but in its strictest sense could only result in Issue:
reduction of the damages.
1. Whether the death of Zhieneth was accidental or attributable to
JARCO MARKETING CORP V. CA negligence

2. In case of finding negligence, whether the same can be attributed


Facts: to the petitioner for maintaining a defective counter or to the mother
Petitioner is the owner of the Syvel’s Department Store located in and daughter for failing to exercise due and reasonable care while
Makati City. On May 9, 1983, the spouses Aguilar together with their inside the store premises
6 year old daughter named Zhieneth were at the 2nd floor of the
Ruling:
department store. When the mother, Criselda, was signing her credit
card at the verification counter, they heard a loud thud. They We rule that the tragedy which befell Zhieneth was no accident and
discovered that their daughter, Zheineth, was pinned down by the that Zhieneth’s death could only be attributable to negligence as
bulk of the store’s gift wrapping counter/structure. Zheineth was evidenced by the testimony of Gerardo Gonzales who was at the scene
of the incident and accompanied the mother and the child to the identified a possible rerouting scheme to improve the distance from
hospital. He testified that when they ask the child what she did, it its deteriorating lines to the ground.
replied “nothing, I did not come near the counter and the counter just
19-year-old Noble Casionan worked as a pocket miner. In 1995, Noble
fell on me.”. It is axiomatic that matters relating to declarations of
and his co-pocket miner Melchor Jimenez were at Dalicno. They cut 2
pain and suffering and statements made to physician are generally
bamboo poles, and they carried one pole horizontally on their
considered declarations and admissions. We therefore accord
shoulder, with Noble carrying the shorter pole. Noble walked ahead
credence to Gonzale’s testimony on the matter.
as they passed through the trail underneath the NPC high-tension lines
Anent the negligence of Zhieneth, we apply the conclusive on their way to their work place. As Noble was going uphill and turning
presumption that favors children below nine (9) years old that they left on a curve, the tip of the bamboo pole that he was carrying
are incapable of contributory negligence. touched one of the dangling high-tension wires. Melchor narrated that
he heard a buzzing sound for only about a second or two, then he saw
The negligence is to be attributed to petitioner. If the claim of
Noble fall to the ground. Melchor rushed to him and shook him, but
petitioner that the counter was stable and sturdy, a frail six year old
Noble was already dead.
could not have caused the counter to collapse. After scrutiny of the
evidence on record, it revealed that the counter was not durable at A post-mortem examination by the municipal health officer
all. The mother should be absolved from any contributory negligence. determined the cause of death to be cardiac arrest, secondary to
The mother momentarily released the child’s hand from her clutch ventricular fibulation, secondary to electrocution. There was a small
when she signed her credit card slip, Zhieneth was near her mother burned area in the middle right finger of Noble.
and did not loiter as the child admitted to the doctor who treated her
Police investigators who visited the site confirmed that portions of the
at the hospital that she did not do anything; the counter just fell on
wires above the trail hung very low. They noted that people usually
her.
used the trail and had to pass directly underneath the wires, and that
NAPOCOR vs CASIONAN the trail was the only viable way since the other side was a precipice.
They did not see any danger warning signs installed. After the GM of
Facts: NPC was informed of the incident, NPC repaired the dangling lines and
put up warning signs around the area.
In the 1970s, NPC installed high-tension electrical transmission lines
of 69 kilovolts traversing the trail leading to Sangilo, Itogon. Noble’s parents filed a claim for damages against NPC. NPC denied
Eventually, some lines sagged, thereby reducing their distance from being negligent in maintaining the safety of the lines, averring that
the ground to only about 8-10 ft. This posed as a threat to passersby signs were installed but they were stolen by children, and that
who were exposed to the danger of electrocution. As early as 1991, excavations were made to increase the clearance from the ground but
the leaders of Ampucao, Itogon made verbal and written requests for some poles sank due to pocket mining in the area. NPC witnesses
NPC to institute safety measures to protect trail users from their high- testified that the cause of death could not have been electrocution
tension wires. In 1995, Engr. Banayot, NPC Area Manager, informed since Noble did not suffer extensive burns. NPC argued that if Noble
the Itogon mayor that NPC installed 9 additional poles, and they did die by electrocution, it was due to his own negligence.
RTC decided in favor of Noble’s parents. RTC observed that NPC In Ma-ao Sugar Central, it was held that to hold a person as having
witnesses were biased because all but one were employees of NPC, contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that he performed an act
and they were not actually present at the time of the accident. RTC that brought about his injuries in disregard of warnings or signs on an
found NPC negligent since the company has not acted upon the impending danger to health and body. In this case, there were no
requests and demands made by the community leaders since 1991. warning signs, and the trail was regularly used by people since it was
CA affirmed RTC with modification–award of moral damages was the only viable way from Dalicon to Itogon. Hence, Noble should not
reduced from 100k to 50k, and award of attorney fees was disallowed be faulted for simply doing what was ordinary routine to other workers
since the reason for the award was not expressly stated in the in the area.
decision.
NPC faults Noble in engaging in pocket mining, which is prohibited by
Issue: DENR in the area. In Añonuevo v. CA, the Court held that the violation
of a statute is not sufficient to hold that the violation was the
WON there was contributory negligence on the part of Noble.
proximate cause of the injury, unless the very injury that happened
Ruling: was precisely what was intended to be prevented by the statute. The
fact that pocket miners were unlicensed was not a justification for NPC
NO; hence, NPC is not entitled to a mitigation of its liability. to leave their transmission lines dangling.
Negligence is the failure to observe, for the protection of the interest CADIENTE vs MACAS
of another, that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers Facts:
injury. Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured
party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which Eyewitness Rosalinda Palero testified that on July 19, 1994, at about
falls below the standard which he is required to conform for his own 4:00 p.m., at the intersection of Buhangin and San Vicente Streets in
protection. There is contributory negligence when the party’s act Davao City, 15-year old high school student Bithuel Macas, herein
showed lack of ordinary care and foresight that such act could cause respondent, was standing on the shoulder of the road. She was about
him harm or put his life in danger. It is an act or omission amounting two and a half meters away from the respondent when he was
to want of ordinary care on the part of the person injured which, bumped and run over by a Ford Fiera, driven by Chona C. Cimafranca.
concurring with the defendant’s negligence, is the proximate cause of Rosalinda and another unidentified person immediately came to the
the injury. respondent's rescue and told Cimafranca to take the victim to the
hospital. Cimafranca rushed the respondent to the Davao Medical
The underlying precept is that a plaintiff who is partly responsible for Center.
his own injury should not be entitled to recover damages in full but
must bear the consequences of his own negligence. NCC 2179 Dr. Hilario Diaz, the orthopedic surgeon who attended to the
provides that liability will be mitigated in consideration of the injured respondent, testified that the respondent suffered severe muscular
party’s contributory negligence. and major vessel injuries, as well as open bone fractures in both thighs
and other parts of his legs. In order to save his life, the surgeon had
to amputate both legs up to the groins. Cimafranca had since
absconded and disappeared. Records showed that the Ford Fiera was half meters away from the victim, was not hit by the Ford Fiera, then
registered in the name of herein petitioner, Atty. Medardo Ag. the victim must have been so negligent as to be bumped and run over
Cadiente. However, Cadiente claimed that when the accident by the said vehicle. The petitioner further argues that having filed a
happened, he was no longer the owner of the Ford Fiera. He alleged third-party complaint against Jalipa, to whom he had sold the Ford
that he sold the vehicle to Engr. Rogelio Jalipa on March 28, 1994, Fiera, the CA should have ordered the latter to reimburse him for any
and turned over the Certificate of Registration and Official Receipt to amount he would be made to pay the victim, instead of ordering him
Jalipa, with the understanding that the latter would be the one to solidarily liable for damages.
cause the transfer of the registration.
Respondent’s arguments:
The victim's father, Samuel Macas, filed a complaint for torts and
The immediate and proximate cause of the injuries he suffered was
damages against Cimafranca and Cadiente before the RTC. Cadiente
the recklessly driven Ford Fiera, which was registered in the
later filed a third-party complaint 7 against Jalipa. In answer, Jalipa
petitioner's name. He insists that when he was hit by the vehicle, he
claimed that he was no longer the owner of the Ford Fiera at the time
was standing on the uncemented portion of the highway, which was
of the accident. He alleged that he sold the vehicle to Abraham
exactly where pedestrians were supposed to be. The respondent
Abubakar on June 20, 1994. He thus filed a fourth-party complaint
stresses that as the registered owner of the Ford Fiera which figured
against Abubakar.
in the accident, the petitioner is primarily liable for the injury caused
RTC: by the said vehicle. He maintains that the alleged sale of the vehicle
to Jalipa was tainted with irregularity, which indicated collusion
Ruled in favor of the plaintiff declaring Atty. Medardo Ag. Cadiente
between the petitioner and Jalipa.
and Engr. Rogelio Jalipa jointly and severally liable for damages to the
plaintiff for their own negligence RULING:

CA: NO. The underlying precept on contributory negligence is that a


plaintiff who is partly responsible for his own injury should not be
Held that the findings of the trial court were in accordance with the
entitled to recover damages in full, but must proportionately bear the
established facts
consequences of his own negligence. The defendant is thus held liable
Issues: only for the damages actually caused by his negligence.

Whether there was contributory negligence on the part of the victim In this case, records show that when the accident happened, the
victim was standing on the shoulder, which was the uncemented
Whether the petitioner and third-party defendant Jalipa are jointly and portion of the highway. As noted by the trial court, the shoulder was
severally liable to the victim. intended for pedestrian use alone. Only stationary vehicles, such as
those loading or unloading passengers may use the shoulder. Running
Petitioner’s arguments:
vehicles are not supposed to pass through the said uncemented
The victim's negligence contributed to his own mishap. The petitioner portion of the highway. However, the Ford Fiera in this case, without
theorizes that if witness Rosalinda Palero, who was only two and a so much as slowing down, took off from the cemented part of the
highway, inexplicably swerved to the shoulder, and recklessly bumped respondent, who had since stopped schooling and is now forced to
and ran over an innocent victim. The victim was just where he should face life with nary but two remaining limbs.
be when the unfortunate event transpired.
LIABILITY FOR ACT OR OMISSION
Cimafranca, on the other hand, had no rightful business driving as BY TORTFEASOR
recklessly as she did. The respondent cannot be expected to have
foreseen that the Ford Fiera speeding along the cemented part of the LOADMASTERS CUSTOMS SERVICES vs GLODEL BROKERAGE
highway would suddenly swerve to the shoulder, then bump and run
him over. Thus, SC cannot accept the petitioner's contention that the Facts:
respondent was negligent.
On August 28, 2001, R&B Insurance issued Marine Policy No. MN-
YES. The registered owner of any vehicle, even if he had already sold 00105/2001 in favor of Columbia to insure the shipment of 132
it to someone else, is primarily responsible to the public for whatever bundles of electric copper cathodes against All Risks. On August 28,
damage or injury the vehicle may cause. 2001, the cargoes were shipped on board the vessel "Richard Rey"
from Isabela, Leyte, to Pier 10, North Harbor, Manila. They arrived on
Were a registered owner allowed to evade responsibility by proving the same date.
who the supposed transferee or owner is, it would be easy for him, by
collusion with others or otherwise, to escape said responsibility and Columbia engaged the services of Glodel for the release and
transfer the same to an indefinite person, or to one who possesses no withdrawal of the cargoes from the pier and the subsequent delivery
property with which to respond financially for the damage or injury to its warehouses/plants. Glodel, in turn, engaged the services
done. A victim of recklessness on the public highways is usually of Loadmasters for the use of its delivery trucks to transport the
without means to discover or identify the person actually causing the cargoes to Columbia's warehouses/plants in Bulacan and Valenzuela
injury or damage. He has no means other than by a recourse to the City.
registration in the Motor Vehicles Office to determine who is the
The goods were loaded on board 12 trucks owned by Loadmasters,
owner. The protection that the law aims to extend to him would
driven by its employed drivers and accompanied by its employed truck
become illusory were the registered owner given the opportunity to
helpers. 6 truckloads of copper cathodes were to be delivered to
escape liability by disproving his
Balagtas, Bulacan, while the other 6 truckloads were destined for
The policy behind vehicle registration is the easy identification of the Lawang Bato, Valenzuela City. The cargoes in six truckloads for
owner who can be held responsible in case of accident, damage or Lawang Bato were duly delivered in Columbia's warehouses there. Of
injury caused by the vehicle. This is so as not to inconvenience or the 6 trucks en route to Balagtas, Bulacan, however, only 5 reached
prejudice a third party injured by one whose identity cannot be the destination. 1 truck, loaded with 11 bundles or 232 pieces of
secured. copper cathodes, failed to deliver its cargo.

Therefore, since the Ford Fiera was still registered in the petitioner's Later on, the said truck, was recovered but without the copper
name at the time when the misfortune took place, the petitioner cathodes. Because of this incident, Columbia filed with R&B Insurance
cannot escape liability for the permanent injury it caused the a claim for insurance indemnity in the amount of P1,903,335.39. R&B
Insurance, thereafter, filed a complaint for damages against Whenever an employee's negligence causes damage or injury to
both Loadmasters and Glodel before the Regional Trial Court, it sought another, there instantly arises a presumption juris tantum that the
reimbursement of the amount it had paid to Columbia for the loss of employer failed to exercisediligentissimi patris families in the
the subject cargo. It claimed that it had been subrogated "to the right selection (culpa in eligiendo) or supervision (culpa in vigilando) of its
of the consignee to recover from the party/parties who may be held employees. To avoid liability for a quasi-delict committed by its
legally liable for the loss." employee, an employer must overcome the presumption by
presenting convincing proof that he exercised the care and diligence
Issue:
of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his
Who between Glodel and Loadmasters, is liable to pay R&B Insurance employee. In this regard, Loadmasters failed.
for the amount of the indemnity it paid Columbia.
Glodel is also liable because of its failure to exercise extraordinary
Ruling: diligence. It failed to ensure that Loadmasters would fully comply with
the undertaking to safely transport the subject cargo to the designated
The Court is of the view that both Loadmasters and Glodel are jointly destination. It should have been more prudent in entrusting the goods
and severally liable to R & B Insurance for the loss of the subject to Loadmasters by taking precautionary measures, such as providing
cargo. Under Article 2194 of the New Civil Code, "the responsibility of escorts to accompany the trucks in delivering the cargoes. Glodel
two or more persons who are liable for a quasi-delict is solidary." should, therefore, be held liable with Loadmasters.
Loadmasters' claim that it was never privy to the contract entered into Each wrongdoer is liable for the total damage suffered by R&B
by Glodel with the consignee Columbia or R&B Insurance as subrogee, Insurance. Where there are several causes for the resulting damages,
is not a valid defense. It may not have a direct contractual relation a party is not relieved from liability, even partially. It is sufficient that
with Columbia, but it is liable for tort under the provisions of Article the negligence of a party is an efficient cause without which the
2176 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts which expressly provide: damage would not have resulted. It is no defense to one of the
concurrent tortfeasors that the damage would not have resulted from
ART. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
his negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful acts of the
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done.
other concurrent tortfeasor.
Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the VICARIOUS LIABILITY
provisions of this Chapter. By parents
It is not disputed that the subject cargo was lost while in the custody
of Loadmasters whose employees (truck driver and helper) were LIBI vs IAC
instrumental in the hijacking or robbery of the shipment. As
employer, Loadmasters should be made answerable for the damages Facts:
caused by its employees who acted within the scope of their assigned
Julie Ann Gotiong was an 18-year old first year commerce student of
task of delivering the goods safely to the warehouse.
the University of San Carlos. Wendell Libi was also a minor between
18 and 19 years of age. Both were sweethearts for more than two
years before their death. Respondent spouses are the legitimate diligence of a good father of a family, hence they should not be civilly
parents of Julie Ann Gotiong. Petitioners are the parents of Wendell liable for the crime committed by their minor son.
Libi.
Issue:
About a month after Julie broke up with Wendell, Julie Ann and
Whether petitioners should be held liable for the civil liability based on
Wendell died, each from a single gunshot wound inflicted with the
same firearm, a Smith and Wesson revolver licensed in the name of what appears from all indications was a crime committed by their
minor son.
petitioner Cresencio Libi, which was recovered from the scene of the
crime inside the residence of private respondents. Ruling:
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE: YES, the petitioners should be held primarily liable, and not subsidiarily
liable as decided by the IAC.
Private respondents filed a civil case in the then CFI of Cebu against
the parents of Wendell to recover damages arising from the latter's The diligence of a good father of a family required by law in a parent
vicarious liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The CFI and child relationship consists, to a large extent, of the instruction and
dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of the evidence. supervision of the child. Petitioners were gravely remiss in their duties
as parents in not diligently supervising the activities of their son,
IAC:
despite his minority and immaturity, so much so that it was only at
The IAC held the petitioners to be grossly negligent in preventing the time of Wendell's death that they allegedly discovered that he was
Wendell Libi from having access to said gun which was allegedly kept a CANU agent and that Cresencio's gun was missing from the safety
in a safety deposit box and subsidiarily liable for the natural deposit box. Both parents were sadly wanting in their duty and
consequence of the criminal act of said minor who was living in their responsibility in monitoring and knowing the activities of their children
company. who, for all they know, may be engaged in dangerous work such as
being drug informers, or even drug users. Neither was a plausible
RESPONDENT'S ARGUMENT:
explanation given for the photograph of Wendell, with a handwritten
Private respondents submitted that Wendell caused Julie Ann’s death dedication to Julie Ann at the back thereof, holding upright what
by shooting her with the aforesaid firearm and, thereafter, turning the clearly appears as a revolver nor on how or why he was in possession
gun on himself to commit suicide. of that firearm.

PETITIONER'S ARGUMENT: The parents are and should be held primarily liable for the civil liability
arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor children under
Petitioners rejected the imputation and contended that an unknown their legal authority or control, or who live in their company, unless it
third party, whom Wendell may have displeased or antagonized by is proven that the former acted with the diligence of a good father of
reason of his work as a narcotics informer of the Constabulary Anti- a family to prevent such damages. That primary liability is premised
Narcotics Unit (CANU), must have caused Wendell's death and then on the provisions of Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code with respect
shot Julie Ann to eliminate any witness and thereby avoid to damages ex delicto caused by their children 9 years of age or under,
identification. They also contend that they had exercised the due or over 9 but under 15 years of age who acted without discernment;
and, with regard to their children over 9 but under 15 years of age Cuadra girl, tossed the object at her. At that precise moment the latter
who acted with discernment, or 15 years or over but under 21 years turned around to face her friend, the object hit her right eye. Smarting
of age, such primary liability shall be imposed pursuant to Article 2180 from the pain, she rubbed the injured part and treated it with some
of the Civil Code. powder. The next day, the eye became swollen and it was then that
the girl related the incident to her parents, who thereupon took her to
Under said Article 2180, the enforcement of such liability shall be
a doctor for treatment. Despite numerous medical efforts, however,
effected against the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the
Maria Teresa Cuadra completely lost the sight of her right eye. A civil
mother. This was amplified by the Child and Youth Welfare Code which
suit was instituted by Cuadra’s parents in her behalf against Monfort’s
provides that the same shall devolve upon the father and, in case of father based on Article 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code.
his death or incapacity, upon the mother or, in case of her death or
incapacity, upon the guardian, but the liability may also be voluntarily ART. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender. there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done.
However, under the Family Code, this civil liability is now, without such Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
alternative qualification, the responsibility of the parents and those between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by
who exercise parental authority over the minor offender. For civil provisions of this Chapter.
liability arising from quasi-delicts committed by minors, the same rules
ART 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not
shall apply in accordance with Articles 2180 and 2182 of the Civil Code,
as so modified. only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for
whom one is responsible.
If the liability of the parents for crimes or quasi-delicts of their minor
Issue:
children is subsidiary, then the parents can neither invoke nor be
absolved of civil liability on the defense that they acted with the Whether the father may be held liable for the act Monfort, his minor
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages. On the child, which caused damage to Cuadra.
other hand, if such liability imputed to the parents is considered direct
and primary, that diligence would constitute a valid and substantial Ruling:
defense.
No. There is nothing from which it may be inferred that the defendant
CUADRA vs MONFORT could have prevented the damage by the observance of due care, or
that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental authority
Facts: in failing to foresee such damage, or the act which caused it. On the
contrary, his child was at school, where it was his duty to send her
Maria Teresa Cuadra, 12, and Maria Teresa Monfort, 13, were and where she was, as he had the right to expect her to be, under the
classmates in Grade Six at the Mabini Elementary School in Bacolod care and supervision of the teacher. And as far as the act which caused
City. While they were weeding the grass in the school premises the injury was concerned, it was an innocent prank not unusual among
together with three other classmates, as assigned by their teacher, children at play and which no parent, however careful, would have
Maria Teresa Monfort found a plastic headband. Jokingly, she said any special reason to anticipate much less guard against. Nor did it
aloud that she had found an earthworm and, evidently to frighten the reveal any mischievous propensity, or indeed any trait in the child's
character which would reflect unfavorably on her upbringing and for spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura, were indispensable parties to the
which the blame could be attributed to her parents. action since parental authority had shifted to the adopting parents
from the moment the successful petition for adoption was filed.
When the act or omission is that of one person for whom another is
responsible, the latter then becomes himself liable under Article 2180, Petitioners in their Reply contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was
in the different cases enumerated therein, such as that of the father then actually living with his natural parents, parental authority had not
or the mother under the circumstances above quoted. The basis of ceased nor been relinquished by the mere filing and granting of a
this vicarious, although primary, liability is, as in Article 2176, fault or petition for adoption.
negligence, which is presumed from that which accompanied the
The trial court on 3 December 1987 dismissed petitioners' complaint,
causative act or omission. The presumption is merely prima facie and
ruling that respondent natural parents of Adelberto indeed were not
may therefore be rebutted. This is the clear and logical inference that
indispensable parties to the action.
may be drawn from the last paragraph of Article 2180, which states
"that the responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition, ruling that petitioners had
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed lost their right to appeal.
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent
damage. Issue:

TAMARGO vs CA Whether or not the effects of adoption, insofar as parental authority


is concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to make the
adopting parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed
Facts:
against their adopted child, for acts committed by the latter, when
Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of 10 years of age, shot Jennifer actual custody was yet lodged with the biological parents.
Tamargo with an air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her death.
Ruling:
Accordingly, a civil complaint for damages was filed with the Regional
Trial Court by petitioner Macario Tamargo, Jennifer's adopting parent, The law imposes civil liability upon the father and, in case of his death
and petitioner spouses Celso and Aurelia Tamargo, Jennifer's natural or incapacity, the mother, for any damages that may be caused by
parents against respondent spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc, a minor child who lives with them.
Adelberto's natural parents with whom he was living at the time of the
tragic incident. In the instant case, the shooting of Jennifer by Adelberto with an air
rifle occurred when parental authority was still lodged in respondent
Prior to the incident, the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura had filed Bundoc spouses, the natural parents of the minor Adelberto. It would
a petition to adopt the minor Adelberto Bundoc. This petition for thus follow that the natural parents who had then actual custody of
adoption was granted after Adelberto had shot and killed Jennifer. the minor Adelberto, are the indispensable parties to the suit for
damages.
In their Answer, respondent spouses Bundoc, Adelberto's natural
parents, reciting the result of the foregoing petition for adoption, The natural parents of Adelberto, however, stoutly maintain that
claimed that not they, but rather the adopting parents, namely the because a decree of adoption was issued by the adoption court in
favor of the Rapisura spouses, parental authority was vested in the (since they were at the time in the United States and had no physical
latter as adopting parents as of the time of the filing of the petition custody over the child Adelberto) would be unfair and unconscionable.
for adoption that is, before Adelberto had shot Jennifer which an air Such a result, moreover, would be inconsistent with the philosophical
rifle. The Bundoc spouses contend that they were therefore free of and policy basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. Put a little
any parental responsibility for Adelberto's allegedly tortious conduct. differently, no presumption of parental dereliction on the part of the
adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses, could have arisen since
Respondent Bundoc spouses rely on Article 36 of the Child and Youth
Adelberto was not in fact subject to their control at the time the tort
Welfare Code 8 which states that “… a decree of adoption shall be
was committed.
entered, which shall be effective he date the original petition was
filed…” Under Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code, parental
authority is provisionally vested in the adopting parents during the
The Bundoc spouses further argue that the above Article 36 should be
period of trial custody, i.e., before the issuance of a decree of
read in relation to Article 39 of the same Code the adoption shall
adoption, precisely because the adopting parents are given actual
“Dissolve the authority vested in the natural parents, except where
custody of the child during such trial period. In the instant case, the
the adopter is the spouse of the surviving natural parent” and urge
trial custody period either had not yet begun or bad already been
that their Parental authority must be deemed to have been dissolved
completed at the time of the air rifle shooting; in any case, actual
as of the time the Petition for adoption was filed.
custody of Adelberto was then with his natural parents, not the
The Court is not persuaded. As earlier noted, under the Civil Code, the adopting parents.
basis of parental liability for the torts of a minor child is the relationship
Accordingly, we conclude that respondent Bundoc spouses,
existing between the parents and the minor child living with them and
Adelberto's natural parents, were indispensable parties to the suit for
over whom, the law presumes, the parents exercise supervision and
damages brought by petitioners, and that the dismissal by the trial
control.
court of petitioners' complaint, the indispensable parties being already
We do not believe that parental authority is properly regarded as before the court, constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to
having been retroactively transferred to and vested in the adopting lack or excess of jurisdiction.
parents, the Rapisura spouses, at the time the air rifle shooting
By owners and managers of establishment
happened. We do not consider that retroactive effect may be given to
the decree of adoption so as to impose a liability upon the adopting SPS. VILORIA vs CONTINENTAL AIRLINES
parents accruing at a time when adopting parents had no actual or
physically custody over the adopted child. Retroactive affect may Facts:
perhaps be given to the granting of the petition for adoption where
such is essential to permit the accrual of some benefit or advantage In 1997, while in the United States, Fernando approached Holiday
in favor of the adopted child. In the instant case, however, to hold Travel, a travel agency working for Continental Airlines (CAI), to
that parental authority had been retroactively lodged in the Rapisura purchase tickets from Newark to San Diego. The travel agent,
spouses so as to burden them with liability for a tortious act that they Margaret Mager, advised the couple that they cannot travel by train
could not have foreseen and which they could not have prevented because there were no available seats; that they must purchase plane
tickets for CAI; that if they won’t purchase plane tickets; they’ll never a. there is consent, express or implied of the parties to establish the
reach their destination in time. As per Mager’s representations, they relationship;
purchased two plane tickets worth $800.00.
b. the object is the execution of a juridical act in relation to a third
Later however, the spouses found out that the train trip wasn’t really person;
fully booked and so they purchased train tickets and went to their
destination by train instead. Then they called up Mager to request for c. the agent acts as a representative and not for himself, and
a refund for the plane tickets. Mager referred the couple to CAI. As d. the agent acts within the scope of his authority.
the couple were now in the Philippines, they filed their request with
CAI’s office in Ayala. The spouses Viloria alleged that Mager The first and second elements are present as CAI does not deny that
misrepresented which made them into believing that the only way to it concluded an agreement with Holiday Travel to which Mager is part
travel was by plane and so they were fooled into buying expensive of, whereby Holiday Travel would enter into contracts of carriage with
plane tickets. third persons on the airlines’ behalf. The third element is also present
as it is undisputed that Holiday Travel merely acted in a representative
CAI refused to refund the amount of the tickets and so the spouses capacity and it is CAI and not Holiday Travel who is bound by the
sued the airline company. In its defense, CAI claimed that the tickets contracts of carriage entered into by Holiday Travel on its behalf. The
sold to them by Mager were non-refundable; that, if any, they were fourth element is also present considering that CAI has not made any
not bound by the misrepresentations of Mager because there’s no allegation that Holiday Travel exceeded the authority that was granted
contract of agency existing between CAI and Mager. to it.
TRIAL COURT: CAI also never questioned the validity of the transaction between
Mager and the spouses. CAI is therefore in estoppel. CAI cannot be
In favor of the spouses.
allowed to take an altogether different position and deny that Holiday
CA: Travel is its agent without condoning or giving imprimatur to whatever
damage or prejudice that may result from such denial or retraction to
Reversed.
Spouses Viloria, who relied on good faith on CAI’s acts in recognition
Issue: of Holiday Travel’s authority. Estoppel is primarily based on the
doctrine of good faith and the avoidance of harm that will befall an
Whether a Principal-agent relationship existed between CAI and innocent party due to its injurious reliance, the failure to apply it in
Holiday Travel; and assuming that an agency relationship exists this case would result in gross travesty of justice.
between CAI and Holiday Travel, is CAI bound by the acts of Holiday
Travel’s agents and employees such as Mager? PHILIPPINE BUS RABBIT vs PHIL-AM FORWARDERS

Ruling: Facts:
Yes. All the elements of agency are present. On November 24, 1962, Pineda drove recklessly a freight truck, owned
by Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., along the national highway at Sto.
Tomas, Pampanga. The truck bumped the bus driven by Pangalangan, that Phil- American Forwarders, Inc. is merely a business conduit of
which was owned by Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. As a result of Balingit because out of its capital stock with a par value of P41,200,
the bumping, Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus was damaged Balingit and his wife had subscribed P40,000 and they paid P10,000
and could not be used for seventy-nine days, thus depriving the on their subscription, while the other incorporators, namely, Rodolfo
company of earnings amounting to P8,665.51. Balingit was the Limjuco, Ponciano Caparas and Rafael Suntay paid P250.25 and P25,
manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc. respectively.

CONTENTION OF DEFENDANTS: That argument implies that the veil of corporate fiction should be
pierced and that Phil-American Forwarders, Inc. and Balingit and his
Balingit is not Pineda's employer.
wife should be treated as one and the same civil personality.
Phil. Rabbit Bus Lines and Pangalangan have no cause of action
We cannot countenance that argument in this appeal. It was not
against Balingit as he is not the manager of an establishment
raised in the lower court. The case has to be decided on the basis of
contemplated in Article 2180 of the Civil Code
the pleadings filed in the trial court where it was assumed that Phil-
The CFI dismissed the complaint as against Balingit. American Forwarders, Inc. has a personality separate and distinct
from that of the Balingit spouses.
Issue:
The legal issue, which the plaintiffs-appellants can ventilate in this
Whether the terms "employers" and "owners and managers of an appeal, is one which was raised in the lower court and which is within
establishment or enterprise" as used in Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the issues framed by the parties (Sec. 18, Rule 46, Rules of Court).
embrace the manager of a corporation.
When a party deliberately adopts a certain theory and the case is
Ruling: decided upon that theory in the court below, he will not be permitted
to change his theory on appeal because, to permit him to do so, could
NO, Article 2180 does not include the manager of a corporation.
be unfair to the adverse party (2 Moran's Comments on the Rules of
Those terms do not include the manager of a corporation. It may be Court, 1970 Ed. p. 505)
gathered from the context of article 2180 that the term "manager"
("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of "employer".
CASTILEX INDUSTRIES vs VASQUEZ

Hence, under the allegations of the complaint, no tortious or quasi- Facts:


delictual liability can be fastened on Balingit as manager of Phil-
American Forwarders, Inc., in connection with the vehicular accident Benjamin Abad, manager of Castilex, was driving a company owned
already mentioned because he himself may be regarded as car out of a parking lot but instead of going around the Osmeña
an employee or dependiente of his employer, Phil-American rotunda he made a short cut against [the] flow of the traffic in
Forwarders, Inc. proceeding to his route to General Maxilom St. The car collided with
the motorcycle driven by Romeo So Vasquez, who was driving a
The bus company and its driver, in their appellants' brief, injected a Honda motorcycle around Fuente Osmeña Rotunda. He was traveling
new factual issue which was not alleged in their complaint. They argue counter-clockwise, (the normal flow of traffic in a rotunda) but without
any protective helmet or goggles. He was also only carrying a 2) Whether Abad was acting within the scope of his assigned tasks.
Student's Permit to Drive at the time. The collision caused the latter's
3) Whether Castilex may be held vicariously liable for the death
death Vasquez died at the Cebu Doctor's Hospital, where Abad signed
resulting from the negligent operation by Abad
an acknowledgment of Responsible Party in which he agreed to pay
whatever hospital bills, professional fees and other incidental charges Ruling:
Vasquez may incur.
As to whether the 5th or 4th par of Art 2180 should apply
A criminal case was filed against Abad, which was subsequently
dismissed. YES, 5th par should apply. Under the fifth paragraph of Article 2180,
whether or not engaged in any business or industry, an employer is
Vasquez's parents then commenced an action for damages against liable for the torts committed by employees within the scope of his
Abad and Castilex Industrial Corporation. In the same action, Cebu assigned tasks. But it is necessary to establish the employer-employee
Doctor's Hospital intervened to collect unpaid balance for the medical relationship; once this is done, the plaintiff must show, to hold the
expense given to Romeo So Vasquez. employer liable, that the employee was acting within the scope of his
assigned task when the tort complained of was committed. It is only
RTC:
then that the employer may find it necessary to interpose the defense
Ruled in favor of the spouses and ordered Abad and Castilex herein to of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee.
pay jointly and solidarily. Castilex and Abad separately appealed the
Castilex's interpretation of the fifth paragraph is not accurate. The
decision.
phrase "even though the former are not engaged in any business or
CA: industry" found in the fifth paragraph should be interpreted to mean
that it is not necessary for the employer to be engaged in any business
Affirmed the ruling of the trial court holding Abad and Castilex liable
or industry to be liable for the negligence of his employee who is
but held that the liability of the latter is "only vicarious and not
acting within the scope of his assigned task.
solidary" with the former.
A distinction must be made between the two provisions to determine
Hence, Castilex filed the instant petition.
what is applicable:
Petitioner contends that the fifth paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil
Fourth Paragraph Fifth Paragraph
Code should only apply to instances where the employer is not
Both provisions apply to employers
engaged in business or industry. Since it is engaged in the business Applies to owners and to employers in
of manufacturing and selling furniture it is therefore not covered by managers of an general, whether or not
said provision. Instead, the fourth paragraph should apply. c establishment or engaged in any
enterprise business or industry
Issues:
covers negligent acts of encompasses negligent
1) Whether the fifth or the fourth paragraph of Article 2180 should employees committed acts of employees
apply; either in the service of acting within the scope
the branches or on the of their assigned task.
occasion of their scope of the functions entrusted to him, petitioner CASTILEX had no
functions duty to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family
an expansion of the 4th in providing ABAD with a service vehicle. Thus, justice and equity
par, in both employer require that petitioner be relieved of vicarious liability for the
coverage and acts consequences of the negligence of ABAD in driving its vehicle.
included
By employers
As to whether Abad was acting within the scope of his assigned tasks MAMARIL vs BOY SCOUT OF THE PHILIPPINES
Abad was engaged in affairs of his own or was carrying out a personal
Facts:
purpose not in line with his duties. The mere fact that ABAD was using
a service vehicle at the time of the injurious incident is not of itself Spouses Benjamin C. Mamaril and Sonia P. Mamaril (Sps. Mamaril) are
sufficient to charge Cstilex with liability for the negligent operation of jeepney operators since 1971. They would park their six (6) passenger
said vehicle unless it appears that he was operating the vehicle within jeepneys every night at the Boy Scout of the Philippines' (BSP)
the course or scope of his employment. In the case at bar, it is compound for a fee of P300.00 per month for each unit. All the
undisputed that ABAD did some overtime work at the Castilex’s office, jeepneys were parked inside the BSP compound. The following
at Mandaue City. Thereafter, he went to Goldie's Restaurant in Fuente morning, however, one of the vehicles was missing and was never
Osmeña, Cebu City, which is about seven kilometers away from recovered. According to the security guards, a male person who
petitioner's place of business. At the Goldie's Restaurant, ABAD took looked familiar to them took the subject vehicle out of the compound.
some snacks and had a chat with friends. It was when ABAD was
leaving the restaurant that the incident in question occurred. That Sps. Mamaril filed a complaint for damages against BSP, AIB, Pena
same witness for the private respondents testified that at the time of and Gaddi (the guards on duty that night). In support thereof, Sps.
the vehicular accident, ABAD was with a woman in his car, who then Mamaril averred that the loss of the subject vehicle was due to the
shouted: "Daddy, Daddy!" This woman could not have been ABAD's gross negligence of the above-named security guards on duty who
daughter, for ABAD was only 29 years old at the time. allowed the subject vehicle to be driven out by a stranger despite their
agreement that only authorized drivers duly endorsed by the owners
Hence, Castilex had no duty to show that it exercised the diligence of could do so.
a good father of a family in providing Abad with a service vehicle.
Thus, justice and equity require that Castilex be relieved of vicarious The guards even admitted their negligence during the ensuing
liability for the consequences of the negligence of Abad in driving its investigation. Notwithstanding, BSP and AIB did not heed Sps.
vehicle. Mamaril's demands for a conference to settle the matter. In its
Answer, BSP denied any liability contending that not only did Sps.
As to whether Castilex is vicariously liable Mamaril directly deal with AIB with respect to the manner by which
the parked vehicles would be handled, but the parking ticket itself
No. To the mind of this Court, ABAD was engaged in personal affairs
expressly stated that the "Management shall not be responsible for
not in line with his duties at the time he figured in a vehicular accident.
loss of vehicle or any of its accessories or article left therein."
Since there is paucity of evidence that ABAD was acting within the
Issue: exculpatory clause: "Management shall not be responsible for loss of
vehicle or any of its accessories or article left therein" contained in the
Whether BSP should be held liable for the loss of their vehicle based
BSP issued parking ticket was void for being a contract of adhesion
on the Guard Service Contract and the parking ticket it issued
and against public policy, suffice it to state that contracts of adhesion
Ruling: are not void per se. It is binding as any other ordinary contract and a
party who enters into it is free to reject the stipulations in its entirety.
Petition lacks merit. In this case, it is undisputed that the proximate Wherefore, instant petition is DENIED. CA decision is affirmed.
cause of the loss of Sps. Mamaril's vehicle was the negligent act of
security guards in allowing an unidentified person to drive out the BALIWAG TRANSIT vs COURT OF APPEALS
subject vehicle. Proximate cause has been defined as that cause,
which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient Facts:
intervening cause, produces the injury or loss, and without which the
On 10 April 1985 a Complaint for damages arising from breach of
result would not have occurred. Moreover, the guards failed to refute
contract of carriage was filed by private respondents, the Spouses
Sps. Mamaril's contention that they readily admitted being at fault
Sotero Cailipan, Jr. and Zenaida Lopez, and their son George, of legal
during the investigation that ensued.
age, against petitioner Baliwag Transit (Baliwag). George, who was a
On the other hand, the records are bereft of any finding of negligence paying passenger on a Baliwag bus, suffered multiple serious physical
on the part of BSP. Hence, no reversible error was committed by the injuries when he was thrown off said bus driven in a careless and
CA in absolving it from any liability for the loss of the subject vehicle negligent manner by Leonardo Cruz, the authorized bus driver, along
based on fault or negligence. Neither will the vicarious liability of an Barangay Patubig, Marilao, Bulacan. As a result, he was confined in
employer under Article 2180 17 of the Civil Code apply in this case. It the hospital for treatment, incurring medical expenses, which were
is uncontested that Peña and Gaddi were assigned as security guards borne by his parents, the respondent Spouses, in the sum of about
by AIB to BSP pursuant to the Guard Service Contract. Clearly, P200,000.00 plus other incidental expenses of about P10,000.00.
therefore, no employer-employee relationship existed
An Answer was filed by petitioner alleging that the cause of the injuries
between BSP and the security guards assigned in its
sustained by George was solely attributable to his own voluntary act
premises. Consequently, the latter's negligence cannot be
in that, without warning and provocation, he suddenly stood up from
imputed against BSP but should be attributed to AIB, the true
his seat and headed for the door of the bus as if in a daze, opened it
employer of Peña and Gaddi.
and jumped off while said bus was in motion, in spite of the
In the instant case, the owners parked their six (6) passenger protestations by the driver and without the knowledge of the
jeepneys inside the BSP compound for a monthly fee. Hence, a lessor- conductor.
lessee relationship indubitably existed between them and BSP. BSP
Baliwag then filed a Third-Party Complaint against Fortune Insurance
was not remiss in its obligation to provide Sps. Mamaril a suitable
& Surety Company, Inc., on its third-party liability insurance in the
parking space for their jeepneys as it even hired security guards to
amount of P50,000.00. In its Answer, Fortune Insurance claimed
secure the premises; hence, it should not be held liable for the loss
limited liability, the coverage being subject to a Schedule of
suffered by Sps. Mamaril. Anent Sps. Mamaril's claim that the
Indemnities forming part of the insurance policy.
Fortune Insurance and Baliwag each filed Motions to Dismiss on the The Spouses appealed to respondent Court of Appeals and the CA set
ground that George, in consideration of the sum of P8,020.50 had aside the appealed Order and held that the "Release of Claims" cannot
executed a "Release of Claims." These Motions were denied by the operate as a valid ground for the dismissal of the case because it does
Trial Court in an Order as they were filed beyond the time for pleading not have the conformity of all the parties, particularly George's
and after the Answer were already filed. parents, who have a substantial interest in the case as they stand to
be prejudiced by the judgment because they spent a sizeable amount
Baliwag filed a Motion to Admit Amended Answer, which was granted
for the medical bills of their son; that the Release of Claims was
by the Trial Court. The Amended Answer incorporated the affirmative
secured by Fortune Insurance for the consideration of P8,020.50 as
defense in the Motion to Dismiss to the effect that on 16 May 1985, the full and final settlement of its liability under the insurance policy
George bad been paid all his claims for damages arising from the
and not for the purpose of releasing Baliwag from its liability as a
incident subject matter of the complaint when he executed the carrier in this suit for breach of contract. The Appellate Court also
"Release of Claims" releasing, acquitting and forever discharging
ordered the remand of the case to the lower Court for trial on the
Fortune Insurance and/or Baliwag transit, Inc. from any and all liability
merits and for George to return the amount of P8,020.50 to Fortune
accrued in the suit filed, for the consideration of a sum of P8,020.50
Insurance.
During the preliminary hearing on the aforementioned affirmative
Hence, this Petition for Review on certiorari by Baliwag assailing the
defense, Baliwag waived the presentation of testimonial evidence and
Appellate Court judgment.
instead offered as its Exhibit "1" the "Release of Claims" signed by
George and witnessed by his brother Benjamin L. Cailipan, a licensed Issue:
engineer.
Whether the Release of Claims executed by George during the
By way of opposition to petitioner's affirmative defense, respondent pendency of the case had the legal effect of discharging Baliwag
Sotero Cailipan, Jr. testified that he is the father of George, who at Transit from Liability
the time of the incident was a student, living with his parents and
Ruling:
totally dependent on them for their support; that the expenses for his
hospitalization were shouldered by his parents; and that they had not Yes. Since the suit is one for breach of contract of carriage, the
signed the "Release of Claims." Release of Claims executed by George, as the injured party,
discharging Fortune Insurance and Baliwag from any and all liability is
IThe RTC of Bulacan, Branch 20 dismissed the Complaint and Third-
party Complaint, ruling that since the contract of carriage is between valid. He was then of legal age, a graduating student of Agricultural
Engineering, and had the capacity to do acts with legal effect (Article
Baliwag and George L. Cailipan, the latter, who is of legal age, had
the exclusive right to execute the Release of Claims despite the fact 37 in relation to Article 402, Civil Code). Thus, he could sue and be
sued even without the assistance of his parents.
that he is still a student and dependent on his parents for support.
Consequently, the execution by George of the Release of Claims The contract of carriage was actually between George, as the paying
discharges Baliwag and Fortune Insurance. passenger, and Baliwag, as the common carrier. As such carrier,
Baliwag was bound to carry its passengers safely as far as human care
COURT OF APPEALS
and foresight could provide, and is liable for injuries to them through
the negligence or wilful acts of its employees (Articles 1755 and 1759, (Article 1370, Civil Code). The phraseology "any and all claims or
Civil Code). George had the right to be safely brought to his causes of action" is broad enough to include all damages that may
destination and Baliwag had the correlative obligation to do so. Since accrue to the injured party arising from the unfortunate accident.
a contract may be violated only by the parties, as against each other,
The Release of Claims had the effect of a compromise agreement
in an action upon that contract, the real parties in interest, either as
since it was entered into for the purpose of making a full and final
plaintiff or as defendant, must be parties to said contract. A real party-
compromise adjustment and settlement of the cause of action
in-interest -plaintiff is one who has a legal right while a real party-in-
involved. A compromise is a contract whereby the parties, by making
interest-defendant is one who has a correlative legal obligation whose
act or omission violates the legal right of the former. In the absence reciprocal concessions, avoid a litigation or put an end to one already
commenced (Article 2028, Civil Code). The Release of Claims executed
of any contract of carriage between Baliwag and George's parents, the
latter are not real parties-in-interest in an action for breach of that by the injured party himself wrote finish to this litigation.
contract. ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL vs CA
The general rule of the common law is that every action must be
brought in the name of the party whose legal right has been invaded Facts:
or infringed. "For the immediate wrong and damage the person Ferdinand Castillo a freshman student at St. Francis HS wanted to join
injured is the only one who can maintain the action." The person who a school pincin but his parents did not allow him because of short
sustains an injury is the person to bring an action for the injury against notice however his parents allowed him to bring food to the teachers
the wrongdoer." for the picnic with a directive to go back home after doing so.
The release of claims, a duly notarized public document, clearly Hpwever, because of persuasion of the teachers, Ferdinand went on
stipulates that the consideration of P8,020.50 received by George was with them to the beach.
"to release and forever discharge Fortune Insurance and/or Baliwag During the picnic and while the students and teachers were in the
from any and all liabilities now accrued or to accrue on account of any water, one of the female teachers was drowning. Some students
and all claims or causes of action ... for personal injuries, damage to including Ferdinand came to recuse, but in the process, it was
property, loss of services, medical expenses, losses or damages of any Ferdinand himself who drowned. His body was recovered but efforts
and every kind or nature whatsoever, sustained by him on 17 to resuscitate him ashore failed. He was brought to a certain Dr. Luna
December 1984 thru Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Physical in Quezon and later to Mt. Carmel General Hospital where he was
Injuries." pronounced dead on arrival. Spouses filed a complaint against the
Consequently, the ruling of the CA in holding that the "Release of school for damages which respondents incurred from the death of
Claims" was intended only to release Fortune Insurance from the full their 13 year old son.
and final settlement of a third-party liability for bodily injury claim and Respondent’s contention:
not for the purpose of releasing Baliwag from its liability, has to be
rejected for being contrary to the very terms thereof. If the terms of The death of their son was due to the failure of the petitioners to
a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the exercise the proper diligence of a good father of the family in
contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulations shall control preventing their son from drowning.
RTC: damage or prejudice must have occurred while an employee was in
the performance of his assigned tasks.
Ruled in favor of respondents and against the petitioner-teachers but
dismissed the case against the School St. Francis High School as it Hence on the first issue, the teachers/petitioners were not in the
was found out the principal did not consent thereto. "The students, actual performance of their assigned tasks. The incident happened
young as they were then (12 to 13 years old), were easily attracted not within the school premises, not on a school day and most
to the sea without aforethought of the dangers it offers. Yet, the importantly while the teachers and students were holding a purely
precautions and reminders allegedly performed by the defendants- private affair, a picnic. This picnic had no permit from the school head
teachers definitely fell short of the standard required by law under the or its principal, Benjamin Illumin because this picnic is not a school
circumstances” sanctioned activity neither is it considered as an extra-curricular
activity.
CA:
On the Second issue, The application therefore of Article 2180 has no
Held the School also liable. The school and the principal are liable
basis in law and neither is it supported by any jurisprudence. If we
under Article 2176 taken together with the 1st, 4th and 5th
were to affirm the findings of respondent Court on this score,
paragraphs of Article 2180 of the Civil Code. They cannot escape employers will forever be exposed to the risk and danger of being
liability on the mere excuse that the picnic was not an 'extra-curricular
hailed to Court to answer for the misdeeds or omissions of the
activity of the St. Francis High School.' We find from the evidence
employees even if such act or omission he committed while they are
that, as claimed by plaintiffs-appellants, the school principal had
not in the performance of their duties. Finally, no negligence could be
knowledge of the picnic even from its planning stage and had even
attributable to the petitioners-teachers to warrant the award of
been invited to attend the affair; and yet he did not express any
damages to the respondents-spouses.
prohibition against undertaking the picnic, nor did he prescribe any
precautionary measures to be adopted during the picnic. On the third issue, no moral nor exemplary damages may be awarded
in favor of respondents-spouses. The case at bar does not fall under
Issue:
any of the grounds to grant moral damages.
Whether or not there was negligence attributable to the defendants
"Art. 2217. Moral Damages include physical suffering, mental
which will warrant the award of damages to the plaintiffs
anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
Whether or not Art. 2180, in relation to Art. 2176 of the New Civil feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similarly injury. Though
Code is applicable to the case at bar incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be
recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful
Whether or not the award of exemplary and moral damages is proper act or omission."
under the circumstances surrounding the case at bar.
Moreover, as already pointed out hereinabove, petitioners are not
Ruling: guilty of any fault or negligence, hence, no moral damages can be
assessed against them.
Under the law, it is clear that before an employer may be held liable
for the negligence of his employee, the act or omission which caused FILAMER CHRISTIAN vs CA
and his desire to undergo driving lessons during the time that he was
Facts: not in his classrooms.

Funtecha was a working student at petitioner school where he served The Court is constrained to conclude that the act of Funtecha in taking
as a part-time janitor and scholar. He was, in relation to the school, over the steering wheel was one done for and in behalf of his employer
an employee even if he was assigned to clean the school premises for for which act the petitioner-school cannot deny any responsibility by
only two hours in the morning of each school day. arguing that it was done beyond the scope of his janitorial duties. The
clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" for purposes of
Having a student driver's license, Funtecha requested the driver of the raising the presumption of liability of an employer, includes any act
school jeepney, Allan Masa, and was allowed, to take over the vehicle done by an employee, in furtherance of the interests of the employer
while the latter was on his way home one late afternoon. It is or for the account of the employer at the time of the infliction of the
significant to note that the place where Allan lives is also the house of injury or damage. Even if somehow, the employee driving the vehicle
his father, the school president, Agustin Masa. Moreover, it is also the derived some benefit from the act, the existence of a presumptive
house where Funtecha was allowed free board while he was a student liability of the employer is determined by answering the question of
of Filamer Christian Institute. whether or not the servant was at the time of the accident performing
While going through a sharp turn, according to Allan’s testimony, a any act in furtherance of his master's business.
fast moving truck nearly hit them and made them swerve to the right Funtecha is an employee of petitioner Filamer. He need not have an
to avoid a collision. Upon swerving, they hit the deceased Potenciano official appointment for a driver's position in order that the petitioner
Kapunan. The heirs of Kapunan filed this petition requesting damages. may be held responsible for his grossly negligent act, it being sufficient
Issue: that the act of driving at the time of the incident was for the benefit
of the petitioner. Hence, the fact that Funtecha was not the school
Is petitioner liable for the death of Potenciano? driver or was not acting within the scope of his janitorial duties does
not relieve the petitioner of the burden of rebutting the presumption
Ruling:
juris tantum that there was negligence on its part either in the
Yes. Driving the vehicle to and from the house of the school president selection of a servant or employee, or in the supervision over him. The
where both Allan and Funtecha reside is an act in furtherance of the petitioner has failed to show proof of its having exercised the required
interest of the petitioner-school. Allan's job demands that he drive diligence of a good father of a family over its employees Funtecha and
home the school jeep so he can use it to fetch students in the morning Allan.
of the next school day.
An employer is expected to impose upon its employees the necessary
It is indubitable under the circumstances that the school president had discipline called for in the performance of any act indispensable to the
knowledge that the jeep was routinely driven home for the said business and beneficial to their employer.
purpose. Moreover, it is not improbable that the school president also
In the present case, the petitioner has not shown that it has set forth
had knowledge of Funtecha's possession of a student driver's license
such rules and guidelines as would prohibit any one of its employees
from taking control over its vehicles if one is not the official driver or
prohibiting the driver and son of the Filamer president from diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. Thus, when
authorizing another employee to drive the school vehicle. an employee, while performing his duties causes damage to persons
Furthermore, the petitioner has failed to prove that it had imposed or property due to his own negligence, there arises the juris tantum
sanctions or warned its employees against the use of its vehicles by presumption that the employer is negligent, either in the selection or
persons other than the driver. in the supervision of the employee. For the employer to avoid solidary
liability for a tort committed by his employee, an employer must rebut
The petitioner, thus, has an obligation to pay damages for injury
the presumption by presenting adequate and convincing proof that in
arising from the unskilled manner by which Funtecha drove the
the selection and supervision of his employee, he or she exercises the
vehicle. In the absence of evidence that the petitioner had exercised care and diligence of a good father of a family.
the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of its
employees, the law imposes upon it the vicarious liability for acts or In the instant case, petitioner failed to rebut the presumption of
omissions of its employees. The liability of the employer is, under negligence on her part. Petitioner failed to present convincing proof
Article 2180, primary and solidary. However, the employer shall have that she went to this extent of verifying Venturina's qualifications,
recourse against the negligent employee for whatever damages are safety record, and driving history. Nor did petitioner show that she
paid to the heirs of the plaintiff. exercised due supervision over Venturina after his selection. She did
not present any proof that she drafted and implemented training
YAMBAO vs ZUNIGA programs and guidelines on road safety for her employees or required
Venturina to attend periodic seminars on road safety and traffic
Facts: efficiency. Hence, petitioner cannot claim exemption from any liability
A bus owned by petitioner was being driven by Ceferino Venturina. arising from the recklessness or negligence of Venturina.
Thue bus bumped Herminigildo Zuñiga, a pedestrian, which caused SYKI vs BEGASA
his death. Private respondents, as heirs of the victim, filed a complaint
Facts:
for damages against petitioner and the driver. Petitioner alleged that
she is not liable for any damages because as an employer, she On June 22, 1992, respondent Salvador Begasa and his three
exercised the proper diligence of a good father of a family, both in the companions flagged down a passenger jeepney driven by Espina and
selection and supervision of the bus driver. owned by Pisuena. While respondent was boarding the passenger
jeepney (his right foot already inside while his left foot still on the
Petitioner was held jointly and severally liable with the bus driver for boarding step of the passenger jeepney), a truck driven by Sablayan
damages. The CA affirmed the decision.
and owned by petitioner Syki bumped the rear end of the passenger
Issue: Whether petitioner, as employer, is liable jeepney. Respondent fell and fractured his left thigh bone.

Ruling: YES. Respondent filed a complaint for damages for breach of common
carrier’s contractual obligations and quasi-delict against Pisuena, the
The law governing petitioner's liability, as the employer of bus driver owner of the passenger jeepney;, herein petitioner Syki, the owner of
Venturina, is Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The "diligence of a good the truck;, and Sablayan, the driver of the truck.
father" referred to in the last paragraph of the said statute means
The trial court dismissed the complaint against Pisuena but ordered AGUILA ET AL vs BALDOVIZO
petitioner Syki and Sablayan, to pay respondent Begasa, jointly and
severally, actual and moral damages plus attorney’s fees. The CA Facts:
affirmed the decision in toto.
On April 19, 1993, Marlun Lisbos was driving, along EDSA a van
Issue: registered under the name of petitioner Danilo Delos Reyes. The van
sideswiped Fausto Baldovizo who was walking along the pedestrian
W/N petitioner exercised due diligence of a good father in the
line. Fausto fell on the pavement and suffered injuries and was
selection and supervision of his employees as to absolve him from
brought to the hospital but later died.
liability.
Marlon Lisbos was later charged with reckless imprudence resulting in
Ruling:
homicide. Fausto’s wife and children filed a separate complaint for
The petition has no merit. damages against Lisbos, Danilo Reyes, Emerlito Aguila, the actual
operator and possessor of the van and Times Surety and Insurance
Petitioner’s attempt to prove its "deligentissimi patris familias" in the Company.
selection and supervision of employees through oral evidence must
fail as it was unable to buttress the same with any other evidence, Summons were then served except on Lisbon whose whereabouts are
object or documentary, which might obviate the apparent biased unknown.
nature of the testimony.
The trial court rendered a judgment on March 7, 2000 awarding in
Petitioner testified that before he hired Sablayan, he required him to favor of Fausto’s wife and children and against petitioners. Petitioners
submit a police clearance in order to determine if he was ever involved Aguila and Reyes filed a petition for relief from judgment which was
in any vehicular accident. He also required Sablayan to undergo a also denied by the RTC.
driving test with conducted by his mechanic, Esteban Jaca.
The heirs of Faustino moved for the issuance of a write of execution
Petitioner’s mechanic, Esteban Jaca, on the other hand, testified that after the judgment in their favour attained finality. Petitioners then
Sablayan passed the driving test and had never figured in any filed a first and a second motion for reconsideration.
vehicular accident except the one in question.
The trial court denied the two motions and in addition, resolved to
Petitioner, however, never presented the alleged police clearance strike off the name of Marlun Lisbos in the dispositive portion.
given to him by Sablayan, nor the results of Sablayan’s driving test. Accordingly, the trial court issued an Amended Decision which deleted
Petitioner also did not present records of the regular inspections that the name of Marlun Lisbos as a party liable for damages.
his mechanic allegedly conducted. The unsubstantiated and self-
Petitioners Aguila and Reyes appealed the amended decision before
serving testimonies of petitioner and his mechanic are, without doubt,
the Court of Appeals which the appellate court also denied for being
insufficient to overcome the legal presumption that petitioner was
improper and that they had lost their right to appeal.
negligent in the selection and supervision of his driver. Accordingly,
we affirm the ruling of the Court of Appeals that petitioner is liable for
the injuries suffered by respondent.
Since no appeal of the March 7, 2000 decision was made within the Mayor Miguel of Koronadal was on board the Isuzu pick-up truck
reglementary period, the decision became final and executory. The driven by Fidel Lozano, an employee of the Municipality of Koronadal.
amended decision did not give the parties a fresh period within which The pick-up truck was registered under the name of Rodrigo Apostol
to file an appeal. but in the possession of Ernesto Simbulan.

The appeallate court sustained the amended decision deleting Lisbos’ The pick-up truck accidentally hit Marvin Jayme, a minor. The intensity
name among the parties held liable. It also denied petitioner’s motion of the collision sent Marvin 50 m. away from the point of impact, an
for reconsideration. indication that Lozano was driving at a very high speed. Despite the
medical attention, he expired six days after the accident.
Issue:
Petitioner’s contention:
Whether the trial court was correct in rendering an amended decision Pointed out that the proximate cause of Marvin’s death was Lozano’s
excluding Manuel Lisbos among the parties liable. negligent and reckless operation of the vehicle and that all
respondents be held solidarily liable for the loss.
Ruling:
Respondent’s contention:
The ensuing Amended Decision rendered on August 13, 2001 is null Mayor Miguel contended that he cannot be solidarily liable for the
and void because any amendment or alteration made which negligent act of Lozano as it is the Municipality of Koronadal which is
substantially affects the final and executory judgment is null and void the driver’s true and lawful employer and denied that he did not
for lack of jurisdiction. Although the rule that a judgment that exercise due care and diligence in the supervision of Lozano.
becomes final and executory cannot be disturbed admits of
exceptions, none of those are present in this case. Issue:

Besides, it is not necessary to amend the original decision holding the May a municipal mayor be held solidarily liable for the negligent acts
petitioners, Marlun Lisbos, and the insurance company solidarily liable. of the driver assigned to him, which resulted in the death of a minor
pedestrian?
In an action based on quasi-delict, the liability of the employer is direct
and primary, subject to the defense of due diligence in the selection Ruling: NO.
and supervision of the employee. Thus, even if the driver was
Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides that a person is not only liable
included albeit not served with summons, petitioners are directly and
primarily liable. Thus, petitioners Aguila and Reyes as employer and for one's own quasi delictual acts, but also for those persons for whom
one is responsible for. This liability is popularly known as vicarious or
registered owner or possessor-operator of the van, respectively, are
solidarily liable in accordance with Article 2180 in relation to Articles imputed liability. To sustain claims against employers for the acts of
their employees, the following requisites must be established: (1) That
2184 and 2194 of the Civil Code.
the employee was chosen by the employer personally or through
SPS. JAYME vs APOSTOL another; (2) That the service to be rendered in accordance with orders
which the employer has the authority to give at all times; and (3) That
Facts:
the illicit act of the employee was on the occasion or by reason of the Dragged 15 meters from the point of impact, the mini bus landed right
functions entrusted to him. side down facing south in the canal of the highway, a total wreck. The
Franco Bus was also damaged but not as severely. The collision
In the present case, it is imperative to find out if Mayor Miguel is the
resulted in the deaths of the 2 drivers – MACARIO YURO and
employer of Lozano. The CA correctly held that it was the Municipality
MAGDALENO LUGUE and 2 passengers of the minibus, ROMEO BUE
of Koronadal which was the lawful employer of Lozano at the time of
and FERNANDO CHUAY.
the accident. It is uncontested that Lozano was employed as driver by
the municipality. An E-E relationship still exists even if the employee Consequently, ANTONIO REYES (registered owner of the Mini Bus),
was loaned by the employer to another person because control over MRS. CHUAY (wife of Mr. Chuay) and MRS. LUGUE (wife of Mr. Lugue)
the employee subsists. In the absence of an E-E relationship filed an action for damages through reckless imprudence against SPS.
establishing vicarious liability, the driver’s negligence should not be FRANCO, the owners and operators of the Franco Transportation
attributed to a fellow employee who only happens to be an occupant Company.
of the vehicle.
The complaint alleged the following:
In the case at bar, Mayor Miguel was neither Lozano's employer nor
the vehicle's registered owner. There existed no causal relationship The recklessness and imprudence of the Franco Bus driver caused the
between him and Lozano or the vehicle used that will make him collision which resulted in his own death and that of the mini bus driver
accountable for Marvin's death. Mayor Miguel was a mere passenger and the 2 passengers;
at the time of the accident. ECSHAD
That as a consequence of the vehicular mishap, the mini bus became
Compare: Subsidiary liability under Art. 103 a total wreck resulting in actual damages amounting to P50K and the
loss of an average net income of P120.00 daily or P3,600 monthly
SPS. FRANCO vs IAC multiplied by a minimum of one more year of serviceability of said mini
bus or P40,200; and

Facts: That in view of the death of the three passengers aforementioned, the
heirs of each should be awarded a minimum of P12K and the expected
This deals with the nature of an employer’s liability for his employee’s average income of P6K each of the driver and one of the passengers
negligent act. and P12K of the Chinese businessman passenger.
In the evening of October 18, 1974, MACARIO YURO swerved the Spouses Franco’s defense:
northbound Franco Bus he was driving to the left to avoid hitting a
truck with a trailer parked facing north along the cemented pavement As owners and operators of the Franco Transportation Company, they
of the MacArthur Highway in Tarlac, thereby taking the lane of an exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of all their
incoming Isuzu Mini Bus being driven by one MAGDALENO LUGUE and employees, including the deceased driver, MACARIO YURO.
making a collision between the 2 vehicles an unavoidable and
Trial Court’s decision:
disastrous eventuality.
Rejected the spouses’ defense for the reason that the act of the Franco In the case at bar, NO CRIMINAL ACTION was instituted because the
Bus Driver was a negligent act punishable by law resulting in a civil person who should stand as the accused and the party supposed to
obligation arising from Art. 103 of the Revised Penal Code and not be primarily liable for damages suffered by ANTONIO REYES, ET AL
from Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. as a consequence of the vehicular mishap died. Thus, SPOUSES
FRANCO’s subsidiary liability has no leg to stand on considering that
“This is a case of criminal negligence out of which civil liability arises, their liability is merely secondary to their employee’s primary liability.
and not a case of civil negligence and the defense of having acted like
a good father of a family or having trained or selected the drivers of Employer’s primary liability under the Civil Code: APPLICABLE IN THIS
his truck is no defense to avoid civil liability.” CASE

Appellate Court’s Decision: Under Arts. 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, liability is based on culpa
aquiliana which holds the employer primarily liable for tortious acts of
Agreeing with the lower court, held that the Franco driver who died
its employees subject, however, to the defense that the former
instantly in the vehicular collision was guilty of reckless or criminal
exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
imprudence punishable by law in driving the Franco bus.
and supervision of his employees.
Issue:
In the present case, it was found that SPOUSES FRANCO were not
Whether the action for recovery of damages instituted by ANTONIO able to establish the defense of a good father of a family in the
REYES, ET AL was predicated upon crime or quasi-delict supervision of their bus driver. The evidence presented by the spouses
is purely self-serving. No independent evidence was presented as to
Ruling: alleged supervision of the Franco bus drivers, especially with regard
to driving habits and reaction to actual traffic conditions. They in fact
QUASI-DELICT.
admitted that the only kind of supervision given the drivers referred
Subsidiary Liability of the Employer under Revised Penal Code: NOT to the running time between the terminal points of the line.
APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE
Moreover, the spouses who ran a fleet of 12 buses plying the Manila-
Under Art. 103 of the Revised Penal Code, liability originates from a Laoag line, have only two inspectors whose duties were only ticket
delict committed by the employee who is primarily liable therefor and inspection. There is no evidence that they are really safety inspectors.
upon whose primary liability his employer’s subsidiary liability is to be
based. Before the employer’s subsidiary liability may be proceeded
BERMUDEZ vs HON. HERRERA
against it, it is imperative that there should be a criminal action
whereby the employee’s criminal negligence or delict and Facts:
corresponding liability therefor are proved. If no criminal action was This is a direct appeal to the Supreme Court on pure questions of law.
instituted, the employer’s liability would not be predicated under Art.
103. A cargo truck, driven by Domingo Pontino and owned by Cordova Ng
Sun Kwan, bumped a jeep on which Reynaldo, a six-year old son of
plaintiffs-appellants, was riding. The boy sustained injuries, which (1) that an employee has committed a crime in the discharge of his
caused his death. duties; (2) that said employee is insolvent and has not satisfied his
civil liability; (3) that the employer is engaged in some kind of
Criminal Case for Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence was filed
industry. Hence, without the conviction of the employee, the
against Domingo. Reynaldo filed in the said criminal case "A
employer cannot be subsidiarily liable.
Reservation to File Separate Civil Action."
However, in cases of negligence, the injured party or his heirs
Subsequently, the plaintiffs-appellants filed a civil case for damages
has the choice between an action to enforce the civil liability
with the TRC. Finding that the plaintiffs instituted the action "on the
arising from crime and an action for quasi- delict. If a party
assumption that defendant Pontino's negligence in the accident of May
chooses the latter, he may hold the employer solidarity liable for the
10, 1969 constituted a quasi-delict," the RTC stated that plaintiffs had
negligent act of his employee, subject to the employer's defense of
already elected to treat the accident as a "crime" by reserving in the
exercise of the diligence of a good father of the family.
criminal case their right to file a separate civil action.
In the case at bar, the action filed by appellant was an action
The trial court ordered the dismissal of the complaint against
for damages based on quasi-delict. The fact that appellants
defendant Cordova Ng Sun Kwan and suspended the hearing of the reserved their right in the criminal case to file an independent
case against Domingo Pontino until after the criminal case for
civil action did not preclude them from choosing to file a civil
Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence is finally terminated.
action for quasi-delict. The appellant precisely made a reservation
Issue: to file an independent civil action in accordance with the provisions of
Section 2 of Rule 111, Rules of Court. In fact, even without such
Whether or not the present action based on quasi-delict could proceed a reservation, we have allowed the injured party in the
independently of the criminal case filed for homicide thru reckless criminal case, which resulted in the acquittal of the accused to
imprudence recover damages based on quasi-delict.
Ruling: YES Petition granted, RTC’s orders reversed.
In the case of Joaquin vs. Aniceto, the trial court treated the case as ALVAREZ vs CA
an action based on a crime and not on tort in view of the
reservation made by the offended party in the criminal case also Facts:
pending before the court, to file a separate civil action. The Supreme
Court does not agree saying that the doctrine in the case cited CFI
by the trial court is inapplicable to the instant case.
The employee, Renato Ramos was charged with Double Homicide with
According to appellant, her action is one to enforce the civil liability Multiple Serious Physical Injuries through Reckless Imprudence that
arising from crime. With respect to obligations arising from resulted from the collision of the sakbayan and the weapon's carrier.
crimes, Article 1161 of the New Civil Code applies. It is now settled He was guilty of negligence and liable to pay a fine with subsidiary
that for an employer to be subsidiarily liable, the following requisites imprisonment in case of insolvency. The employer engaged in the
must be present: business of buying coconuts and copra for re-sale falling under
‘engaged in any kind of industry' was held to be subsidiarily liable and enforce petitioner's subsidiary civil liability, had long become the "law
to pay to the offended persons concerned jointly and severally liable of the case" and, therefore, prevails.
with employee.
Respondent’s arguments
CA
He filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was granted, and the
It affirmed the trial court's decision but deleted the subsidiary previous decision was set aside on the strength of Pajarito decision.
payment. Although it is the law that employers are subsidiarily liable
Issues:
for the civil liability of their employees for felonies committed in the
discharge of the latter's duties if they are engaged in any kind of Whether there is a need to file a separate civil action to enforce the
industry (Art. 103, Revised Penal Code), such subsidiary liability is not subsidiary liability of the employee.
litigated in connection with the criminal prosecution. The employer,
not being a party, is denied the opportunity to present his defense Whether the principle of “law of the case” is applicable.
against such subsidiary liability, such as, his not being engaged in any
Ruling:
kind of industry or that the crime committed by his employee was not
on the occasion of the discharge of the latter's duties. No. It is already a settled rule that the subsidiary liability of an
employer automatically arises upon his employee's conviction, and
(Meanwhile, SC promulgated in the Pajarito v. Seneris case the
subsequent proof of inability to pay. In this light, the application of
judgment of conviction, sentencing a defendant employee to pay an
Pajarito case is merely the enforcement of a procedural remedy
indemnity under Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code, is
designed to ease the burden of litigation for recovery of indemnity by
conclusive upon the employer not only with regard to the latter's civil
the victims of a judicially-declared criminally negligent act.
liability but also with regard to its amount, . . . in the action to enforce
the employer's subsidiary liability, the court has no other function than A separate civil action may be warranted where additional facts have
to render decision based upon the indemnity awarded in the criminal to be established or more evidence must be adduced or where the
case and has no power to amend or modify it even if in its opinion an criminal case has been fully terminated and a separate complaint
error has been committed in the decision.) would be just as efficacious or even more expedient than a timely
remand to the trial court where the criminal action was decided for
Going back to the CA judgment of employee Ramos, it attained finality
further hearings on the civil aspects of the case.
and was remanded to the trial court where the private prosecutor filed
a “Motion for issuance of Subsidiary Writ of Exucution”. No. The principle of "law of the case" as discussed in People vs. Pinuila
is not applicable to a Court of Appeals decision at odds with this
Petitioner’s arguments
Court's decision, and where the Supreme Court still has the power to
He filed a petition for Certiorari with the CA pursuant to the subsidiary decide on the applicable doctrine to the issue at hand.
writ of execution. The CA granted the petition saying that its judgment
The principle is merely a rule of convenience and public policy to
in the criminal case was first rendered compared to the Pajarito
stabilize judicial decisions of tribunals of coordinate jurisdiction, to
decision of the SC. Thus, the final judgment in the criminal case, which
prevent re-litigation of questions in the same action, and to obviate
expressly declared that a separate action should be instituted to
undue prolongation of litigation, purposes which would be negated if An employer’s liability based on a quasi-delict is primary and direct,
Pajarito were not to be applied in this case simply because of purely while the employer’s liability based on a delict is merely subsidiary.
technical reasons not touching on the merits of the case. Although liability under Article 2180 originates from the negligent act
of the employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer directly.
When an employee causes damage, the law presumes that the
CEREZO vs TUAZON employer has himself committed an act of negligence in not
preventing or avoiding the damage. In contrast, an action based on a
Facts: delict seeks to enforce the subsidiary liability of the employer for the
criminal negligence of the employee as provided in Article 103 of the
A country bus lines passenger crashed into a tricycle. The tricycle
RPC. To hold the employer liable in a subsidiary capacity under a
driver Tuazon then filed a complaint for damages against Mrs. Cerezo,
delict, the aggrieved party must initiate a criminal action where the
as owner of the bus line and the bus driver Foronda. The trial court
employee’s delict and corresponding primary liability are established.
ruled in favor of Tuazon. Insofar as Foronda’s liability, the court made
If the present action proceeds from a delict, then the trial court’s
no pronouncement because there was no service of summons made.
jurisdiction over Foronda is necessary. However, the present action is
Thus, the trial court held Cerezo solely liable for the damages
clearly for the quasi-delict of Mrs. Cerezo and not for the delict of
sustained by Tuazon arising from his negligence pursuant to Article
Foronda.
2180 of the Civil Code. Cerezo insisted that the trial court never
acquired jurisdiction over the case considering that there was no L.G. FOODS CORPORATION AND VICTORINO GABOR vs HON.
service of summons on Foronda, whom the Cerezo spouses claimed PHILADELFA PAGAPONG-AGRAVIADOR
was an indispensable party to the said case.

Issue: Facts:

Whether Foronda was an indispensable party to the said action so as On Feb. 26, 1996, Charles Vallereja, 7-years old was hit by a Ford
to enforce Mrs. Cerezo’s liability. Fiera van owned by the petitioners and driven by Ferrer which resulted
to the death of the child.
Ruling:
An Information for Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide was
The petition has no merit. filed against the driver before MTCC, Bacolod City. Unfortunately,
before the trial could be concluded, the accused driver committed
The basis of the present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict not delict
suicide, evidently bothered by conscience and remorse.
under the Revised Penal Code. The same negligent act may produce
civil liability arising from a delict under Article 103 of the RPC, or may PRIVATE RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENT:
give rise to an action for a quasi-delict under Article 2180 of the NCC.
An aggrieved party may choose between the two remedies. Tuazon In 1999, the Sps. Vallejera, parents of the deceased child filed a
chose to file an action for damages based on a quasi-delict. Contrary complaint for damages against the petitioners alleging that as such
to Mrs. Cerezo’s assertion, Foronda is not an indispensable party to employers, they failed to exercise due diligence in the selection and
the case. supervision of their employees.
PETITIONER’S ARGUMENT: The circumstance that no reservation to institute a separate civil action
for damages was made when the criminal case was filed is of no
It denied liability for the death of Charles Vallereja, claiming
moment for the simple reason that the criminal case was dismissed
that they had exercised the required due diligence in the selection and
without any pronouncement having been made therein. In reality,
supervision of their employees, including the deceased driver.
therefor, it is as if there was no criminal case to speak of in the first
TRIAL COURT’S DECISION: place. And for the petitioners to insist for the conviction of their driver
as a condition sine qua non to hold them liable for damages is to ask
Denied the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant-petitioners for for the impossible.
lack of merit and set the case for pre-trial. And it subsequently denied
the order. Cf: Registered owner rule

CA’s decision: CARAVAN TRAVEL AND TOURS INTERNATIONAL vs ABEJAR


Denied the petition and upheld the trial court. Facts:
Issue: Jesmariane R. Reyes (Reyes) was hit by a Mitsubishi L-300 van. The
Whether petitioner is liable for damages. driver of said vehicle was Jimmy Bautista (Bautista). Fortunately for
Reyes, an unidentified civilian came to help and drove Reyes to the
Ruling: hospital.
Victims of negligence or their lives have a choice between an action Upon investigation, it was found that the registered owner of the van
to enforce the civil liability arising from the culpa criminal under Article was Caravan. Caravan is a corporation engaged in the business of
100 of the RPC and an action for quasi-delict (culpa aquiliana) under organizing travels and tours. Bautista was Caravan's employee
Articles 2176 to 20194 of the CC. If, as here, the action chosen is for assigned to drive the van as its service driver.
quasi-delict, the plaintiff may hold the employer liable for the negligent
act of its employee, subject to the employer’s defense of exercise of Caravan shouldered the hospitalization expenses of Reyes. Despite
the diligence of a good father of the family. On the other hand, if the medical attendance, Reyes died two (2) days after the accident.
action chosen is for culpa criminal, the plaintiff can hold the employer Respondent Ermilinda R. Abejar (Abejar), Reyes' paternal aunt and
subsidiarily liable only upon proof of prior conviction of its employee. the person who raised her since she was nine (9) years old, filed
The employer is liable for damages cause by his employees and before the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque a Complaint for damages
household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, against Bautista and Caravan. In her Complaint, Abejar alleged that
even though the former is not engaged in any business or industry. Bautista was an employee of Caravan and that Caravan is the
The reliance on Maniago v. CA by petitioners is misplaced. There, the registered owner of the van that hit Reyes.
civil case was filed while the criminal case against the employee was After trial, the Regional Trial Court found that Bautista was grossly
still pending. Here, the criminal case against the employee driver was negligent in driving the vehicle. It awarded damages in favor of
prematurely terminated due to his death.
Abejar. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the Regional between the driver and the owner; and second, that the driver acted
Trial Court's decision (it modified the amount of damages). within the scope of his or her assigned tasks. On the other hand,
applying the registered-owner rule only requires the plaintiff to prove
Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied, hence, the present
that the defendant-employer is the registered owner of the vehicle.
petition.
The registered-owner rule was articulated as early as 1957 in Erezo,
Caravan argued that Abejar offered no documentary or testimonial et al. v. Jepte, where this court explained that the registration of motor
evidence to prove that Bautista, the driver, acted "within the scope of
vehicles, as required by Section 5(a) of Republic Act No. 4136, the
his assigned tasks" when the accident occurred. According to Caravan,
Land Transportation and Traffic Code, was necessary "not to make
Bautista's tasks only pertained to the transport of company personnel
said registration the operative act by which ownership in vehicles is
or products, and when the accident occurred, he had not been
transferred, . . . but to permit the use and operation of the vehicle
transporting personnel or delivering products of and for the company.
upon any public highway[.]" Its "main aim . . . is to identify the owner
Issues: so that if any accident happens, or that any damage or injury is caused
by the vehicle on the public highways, responsibility therefor can be
Whether petitioner should be held liable based on the registered fixed on a definite individual, the registered owner."
owner rule.
Filcar Transport Services v. Espinas stated that the registered owner
Whether respondent Abejar is a real party in interest who may bring of a vehicle can no longer use the defenses found in Article 2180:
an action for damages against petitioner.
Neither can Filcar use the defenses available under Article 2180 of the
Ruling: Civil Code - that the employee acts beyond the scope of his assigned
task or that it exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family
Yes, petitioner should be held liable. It was not fatal to the
to prevent damage - because the motor vehicle registration law, to a
respondent’s cause that she herself did not adduce proof that Bautista
certain extent, modified Article 2180 of the Civil Code by making these
acted within the scope of his authority. It was sufficient that
defenses unavailable to the registered owner of the motor vehicle.
respondent Abejar proved that petitioner was the registered owner of
Thus, for as long as Filcar is the registered owner of the car involved
the van that hit Reyes.
in the vehicular accident, it could not escape primary liability for the
The resolution of this case must consider two (2) rules. First, Article damages caused to Espinas.
2180's specification that "[e]mployers shall be liable for the damages
Therefore, the appropriate approach is that in cases where both
caused by their employees . . . acting within the scope of their
the registered-owner rule and Article 2180 apply, the plaintiff
assigned tasks[.]" Second, the operation of the registered-owner rule
must first establish that the employer is the registered owner
that registered owners are liable for death or injuries caused by the
of the vehicle in question. Once the plaintiff successfully
operation of their vehicles.
proves ownership, there arises a disputable presumption that
These rules appear to be in conflict when it comes to cases in which the requirements of Article 2180 have been proven. As a
the employer is also the registered owner of a vehicle. Article 2180 consequence, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to show that
requires proof of two things: first, an employment relationship no liability under Article 2180 has arisen.
This disputable presumption, insofar as the registered owner of the to show that Bautista was acting in his private capacity at the time of
vehicle in relation to the actual driver is concerned, recognizes that the incident.
between the owner and the victim, it is the former that should carry
Petitioner likewise failed to prove that it exercised the requisite
the costs of moving forward with the evidence. The victim is, in many
diligence in the selection and supervision of Bautista. In its selection
cases, a hapless pedestrian or motorist with hardly any means to
of Bautista as a service driver, petitioner contented itself with
uncover the employment relationship of the owner and the driver.
Bautista's submission of a non-professional driver's license. Employing
Here, respondent presented a copy of the Certificate of Registration a person holding a non-professional driver's license to operate
of the van that hit Reyes. The Certificate attests to petitioner's another's motor vehicle violates Section 246 of the Land
ownership of the van. Petitioner itself did not dispute its ownership of Transportation and Traffic Code.
the van. Consistent with the rule, a presumption that the requirements
To prove that it exercised the required diligence in supervising
of Article 2180 have been satisfied arises. It is now up to petitioner to
Bautista, petitioner presented copies of several memoranda and
establish that it incurred no liability under Article 2180. This it can do
company rules. These, however, are insufficient because petitioner
by presenting proof of any of the following: first, that it had no
failed to prove actual compliance. In order that the defense of due
employment relationship with Bautista; second, that Bautista acted
diligence in the selection and supervision of employees may be
outside the scope of his assigned tasks; or third, that it exercised the
deemed sufficient and plausible, it is not enough to emptily
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision
of Bautista. invoke the existence of said company guidelines and policies
on hiring and supervision. As the negligence of the employee gives
Petitioner admitted that Bautista was its employee at the time of the rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of the employer, the
accident. latter has the burden of proving that it has been diligent not only in
the selection of employees but also in the actual supervision of their
Petitioner was unable to prove that Bautista was not acting within the
work. The mere allegation of the existence of hiring procedures and
scope of his assigned tasks at the time of the accident. When asked
supervisory policies, without anything more, is decidedly not sufficient
by the court why Bautista was at the place of the accident when it to overcome presumption.
occurred, Sally Bellido, petitioner's accountant and
supervisor, testified that she did not "have the personal capacity to Having exercised substitute parental authority, respondent suffered
answer [the question]" and that she had no knowledge to answer it. actual loss and thus, a real party in interest in this case.
Sally Bellido's testimony does not affect the presumption that Article
In her Complaint, respondent made allegations that would sustain her
2180's requirements have been satisfied. Mere disavowals are not
action for damages: that she exercised substitute parental authority
proof that suffice to overturn a presumption. To this end, evidence
over Reyes; that Reyes' death was caused by the negligence of
must be adduced. However, petitioner presented no positive evidence
petitioner and its driver; and that Reyes' death caused her

6 SEC. 24. Use of driver's license and badge. — ... Evidently, petitioner did not only fail to exercise due diligence when it selected Bautista as
service driver; it also committed an actual violation of law.
No owner of a motor vehicle shall engage, employ, or hire any person to operate such motor
vehicle, unless the person sought to be employed is a duly licensed professional driver.
damage. Respondent properly filed an action based on quasi-delict. by Dr. Ramos and Dr. Santos. They proceeded with the operation after
She is a real party in interest. having found Regina fit for anesthesia. The operation was successful
and she gave birth to a baby boy.
Respondent's right to proceed against petitioner, therefore, is based
on two grounds: Thirteen hours after her operation, Regina complained of a headache,
a chilly sensation, restlessness and shortness of breath. She asked for
Respondent suffered actual personal loss. With her affinity for Reyes, oxygen and later became cyanotic. After undergoing x-ray, she was
it stands to reason that when Reyes died, respondent suffered the
found to be suffering from pulmonary edema. Since her condition
same anguish that a natural parent would have felt upon the loss of
showed no improvement, she was transferred to the Cardinal Santos
one's child. It is for this injury — as authentic and personal as that of
Hospital. The doctors in said hospital found that she was suffering
a natural parent — that respondent seeks to be indemnified.
from rheumatic heart disease mitral stenosis with mild pulmonary
Respondent is capacitated to do what Reyes' actual parents would hypertension, which contributed to the onset of Fuid in her lung tissue
have been capacitated to do. (pulmonary edema). This development resulted in cardio-pulmonary
arrest and, subsequently, brain damage. Regina lost the use of her
Hence, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 3, 2005 speech, eyesight, hearing and limbs. Due to this, spouses Capanzana
is affirmed with the following modifications: (a) actual damages in the filed a complaint for damages against Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
amount of P35,000.00 shall earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum along with Dr. Ramos, Dr. Santos and the nurses on duty stationed on
from the time it was judicially or extrajudicially demanded from the second floor. During the course of the proceedings, Regina died
petitioner Caravan Travel and Tours International, Inc. until full and was substituted by her heirs.
satisfaction; (b) moral damages, exemplary damages, and attorney's
fees shall earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of The RTC found no negligence on the part of Dr. Ramos and Dr. Santos
the Regional Trial Court Decision until full satisfaction; and (c) civil as they were compliant of the standard practices in attending to a
indemnity shall earn interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the patient during a C-Section. The court reasoned that the primary cause
date of the Court of Appeals Decision until full satisfaction. of Regina’s vegetative state, amniotic fluid embolism, was not within
the control of the doctor to anticipate. The Court, however, found the
Defense: Due diligence in the selection and supervision of nurses on duty liable for their failure to immediately administer the
employees oxygen. This failure having contributed to the onset of hypoxic
encephalopathy. The Court held that the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
OUR LADY OF LOURDES HOSPITAL vs SPS ROMEO AND REGINA is free from liability as it was able to discharge the burden of proof
CAPANAZA that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of its employees. On appeal, the CA affirmed
Facts: the ruling of the RTC except as to the liability of the midwife (Ballano)
and the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. It was found that while there
Regina Capanzana was pregnant with her third child. A week before
was evidence to prove that petitioner hospital showed diligence in its
her scheduled caesarean section (C-section), she went into active
selection and hiring processes, there was no evidence to prove that it
labor and was brought to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for an
exercised the required diligence in the supervision of its nurses.
emergency C-section. She went into a pre-operative examination done
Issue: consequence of the act or omission. It is the dominant, moving or
producing cause.
Whether Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is liable for damages due to its
failure to exercise due diligence in the supervision of its nurses. Applying the above definition to the facts in the present case, the
omission of the nurses — their failure to check on Regina and to refer
Ruling: YES.
her to the resident doctor and, thereafter, to immediately provide
The plaintiff must show the following elements by a preponderance of oxygen — was clearly the proximate cause that led to the brain
evidence: duty of the health professional, breach of that duty, injury damage suffered by the patient.
of the patient, and proximate causation between the breach and the
The liability of the hospital
injury.
The Our Lady of Lourdes hospital is liable under Article 2180 in relation
The Negligence of the Nurses to Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Under Article 2180, an employer may
The SC found that there was sufficient evidence to prove that the be held liable for the negligence of its employees based on its
nurses were negligent. When Regina was gasping for breath and responsibility under a relationship of patria potestas. The liability of
turning cyanotic, it was the duty of the nurses to intervene the employer under this provision is "direct and immediate; it is not
immediately by informing the resident doctor. Had they done so, conditioned upon a prior recourse against the negligent employee or
proper oxygenation could have been restored and other interventions a prior showing of the insolvency of that employee." The employer
performed without wasting valuable time. According to the expert may only be relieved of responsibility upon a showing that it
witness, the occurrence of "hypoxic encephalopathy" could have been exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the
avoided since lack or inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain for 5 selection and supervision of its employees.
minutes will cause damage to it. It was found that the nurses took 10-
The SC held that the hospital sufficiently proved due diligence in the
15 minutes to respond to the call of Regina’s niece before going to the
selection of the nurses. The nurses undergo a series of examination,
room. Also, it took about 20 minutes before the oxygen arrived.
orientation, training, on the job observation and evaluation before
Another instance of negligence was the delay in the removal of
they are hired as regular employees. However, it failed to prove due
Regina's consumed dextrose which caused Regina discomfort. The
diligence in their supervision. The formulation of a supervisory
nurses only attended to her after being called twice.
hierarchy, company rules and regulations, and disciplinary measures
In Ramos, the SC defined “Proximate cause” as that which, in natural upon employees in case of breach, is indispensable. However, to prove
and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening due diligence in the supervision of employees, it is not enough for an
cause, produces injury, and without which the result would not have employer such as petitioner to emptily invoke the existence of such a
occurred. An injury or damage is proximately caused by an act or a formulation. What is more important is the actual implementation and
failure to act, whenever it appears from the evidence in the case, monitoring of consistent compliance with the rules. In this case, it was
that the act or omission played a substantial part in bringing found that there is failure on the part of the hospital to sanction the
about or actually causing the injury or damage; and that the tardiness of the nurses which shows an utter lack of actual
injury or damage was either a direct result or a reasonably probable implementation and monitoring of compliance with the rules and
ultimately of supervision over its nurses. Also, on the nights subject
of the present controversy, there is failure to show who were the No. The Supreme Court held that an owner of a vehicle cannot be held
actual nurses on duty and who was supervising these nurses due to liable for an accident involving the said vehicle if the same was driven
the conflicting accounts on the documents of the hospital. All these without his consent or knowledge and by a person not employed by
negate the due diligence on the part of the nurses, their supervisors, him. Duavit does not deny ownership of the vehicle involved in tire
and ultimately, the hospital. mishap but completely denies having employed the driver Sabiniano
or even having authorized the latter to drive his jeep. The jeep was
Thus, petitioner was held liable for damages.
virtually stolen from the petitioner's garage. To hold, therefore, the
Owner of vehicle petitioner liable for the accident caused by the negligence of Sabiniano
who was neither his driver nor employee would be absurd as it would
DUAVIT vs COURT OF APPEALS be like holding liable the owner of a stolen vehicle for an accident
caused by the person who stole such vehicle. Thus, Duavit, cannot be
Facts: held solidarily liable with Sabiniano for damages.

On July 28, 1971, Antonio Sarmiento, Sr. and Virgilio Catuar were
aboard a jeep owned by Ruperto Catuar. They were running on JUANIZA vs JOSE
moderate speed at 20-30 kph. While approaching Roosevelt Avenue,
Virgilio Catuar slowed down and was suddenly bumped from behind Facts:
by another jeep driven by Oscar Sabiniano. As a result of the impact,
the jeep owned by Catuar fell on its right and skidded by about 30 A jeepney, owned by Eugenio Jose, collided with a freigh train of
yards. This resulted in damages to the vehicle as well as physical Philippine National Railways. It resulted in the death of seven and
injuries to both Virgilio Catuar and Antonio Sarmiento. They filed a suit physical injuries to five of its passengers. At the time of the accident,
for damages against Sabiniano and the owner of the jeep, Gualberto Eugenio Jose was legally married to Socorro Ramos but had been
Duavit. Duavit admitted his ownership of the car but claimed that he cohabiting with defendant-appellant, Rosalia Arroyo, for sixteen (16)
cannot be held liable as Sabiniano is not his employee. On the other years in a relationship akin to that of husband and wife. An action for
hand, Sabiniano admitted that he took the jeep from the garage of damages was filed against the owner of the jeepney, Eugenio Jose
Duavit without the consent and authority of the latter but interposed and Arroyo, his partner. They were found liable by the RTC for
the defense that he was taking precaution while driving. damages. Arroyo’s liability was based on the provision of Art. 144 of
the Civil Codes which provides that when a man and woman driving
Issue: together as husband and wife, but they are not married, or their
Is Duavit solidarily liable with Sabiniano for damages even if his jeep marriage is void from the beginning, the property acquired by either
was driven by the latter, at the time of the incident, without his or both of them through their work or industry or their wages and
consent. salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. Arroyo then
appealed.
Ruling:
Issue:
Whether Article 144 of the Civil Code is applicable in a case where one brought the matter to the Supreme Court, claiming that Villagracia
of the parties in a common-law relationship is incapacitated to marry; violated traffic regulations when he failed to register his bicycle or
and whether or not Rosalia who is not a registered owner of the install safety gadgets thereon. He posits that Article 2185 of the New
jeepney can be held jointly and severally liable for damages with the Civil Code which presumes the driver of a motor vehicle negligent if
registered owner of the same. he was violating a traffic regulation at the time of the mishap, applies
by analogy to bicycles.
Ruling:
Issues:
No. The co-ownership contemplated in Article 144 of the Civil Code
requires that the man and the woman living together must not in any Whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code, should apply by analogy
way be incapacitated to contract marriage. Since Eugenio Jose is to non-motorized vehicles; and
legally married to Socorro Ramos, there is an impediment for him to
Whether Villagracia was negligent for violating a municipal ordinance
contract marriage with Rosalia Arroyo. Under the aforecited provision
requiring the registration of bicycles and the installation of safety
of the Civil Code, Arroyo cannot be a co-owner of the jeepney. The
devices thereon under the principle of negligence per se.
jeepney belongs to the conjugal partnership of Jose and his legal wife.
There is therefore no basis for the liability of Arroyo for damages Ruling:
arising from the death of, and physical injuries suffered by, the
passengers of the jeepney which figured in the collision. NO. Simply put, the standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on
equal footing with other types of vehicles. There is factual and legal
Rosalia Arroyo, who is not the registered owner of the jeepney can basis that necessitates the distinction under Art. 2185.
neither be liable for damages caused by its operation. Only the
registered owner of a public service vehicle is responsible for damages A motorized vehicle operates by reason of a motor engine unlike a
that may arise from consequences incident to its operation, or maybe non-motorized vehicle, which runs as a result of a direct exertion by
caused to any of the passengers therein. man or beast of burden of direct physical force. A motorized vehicle,
unimpeded by the limitations in physical exertion is capable of greater
ANONUEVO vs CA speeds and acceleration than non-motorized vehicles. At the same
time, motorized vehicles are more capable in inflicting greater injury
Facts: or damage in the event of an accident or collision.
Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on his bicycle, while NO. The bare fact that Villagracia was violating a municipal ordinance
Aonuevo traversing the opposite lane was driving his car which was is without legal consequence unless it is shown that it was a
owned by Procter and Gamble Inc. Aonuevo was in the course of contributing cause of the injury. If at all, it is but indicative of
making a left turn towards Libertad Street when the collision occurred. Villagracias failure in fulfilling his obligation to the municipal
Villagracia sustained serious injuries as a result, which necessitated government, which would then be the proper party to initiate action
his hospitalization and forced him to undergo four (4) operations. on such violation. But such failure alone is not determinative of
Villagracias negligence in relation to the accident in the case at bar.
A complaint for damages was instituted against Aonuevo & Procter
and Gamble Inc. which were resolved in favor of Villagracia. Aonuevo
Even assuming that Aonuevo had failed to see Villagracia because the
bicycle was not equipped with headlights, such lapse on the cyclists Whether the registered owner of a vehicle is liable for damages
part would not have acquitted the driver of his duty to slow down as suffered by third persons although the vehicle is leased to another?
he proceeded to make the left turn.
Ruling:
FGU INSURANCE CORP vs COURT OF APPEALS
No, in order to sustain a claim based thereon, the following requisites
Facts: must concur: (a) damage suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or
This was a two-car collision at dawn. At around 3 o'clock of 21 April negligence of the defendant; and, (c) connection of cause and effect
1987, two (2) vehicles, both Mitsubishi Colt Lancers, cruising between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damage
northward along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Mandaluyong City, incurred by the plaintiff.
figured in a traffic accident. One car is owned by Lydia F. Soriano and
driven by Benjamin Jacildone, while the other car is owned by FILCAR In this case, petitioner failed to prove the existence of the second
Transport, Inc. and driven by Peter Dahl-Jensen, as lessee. Upon requisite because only the fault or negligence of Dahl-Jensen was
approaching the corner of Pioneer Street, the car owned by FILCAR sufficiently established, not that of FILCAR. It should be noted that
swerved to the right hitting the left side of the car of Soriano. At that the damage caused on the vehicle of Soriano was brought about by
time Dahl-Jensen, a Danish tourist, did not possess a Philippine the circumstance that Dahl-Jensen swerved to the right while the
driver's license. vehicle that he was driving was at the center lane. It is plain that the
negligence was solely attributable to Dahl-Jensen thus making the
Consequently, petitioner FGU Insurance Corporation paid Soriano an damage suffered by the other vehicle his personal liability.
amount in accordance with their insurance contract. By way of Respondent FILCAR did not have any participation therein.
subrogation, it sued Dahl-Jensen and respondent FILCAR as well as
respondent Fortune Insurance Corporation as insurer of FILCAR for The liability imposed by Art. 2180 of the Civil Code arises by virtue of
quasi-delict. a presumption juris tantum of the negligence on the part of the
persons made responsible thereunder, derived from their failure to
The trial court dismissed the case for failure of petitioner to exercise due care and vigilance over the acts of subordinates to
substantiate its claim of subrogation. The Court of Appeals affirmed prevent them from causing damage. Respondent FILCAR being
the ruling of the trial court. Petitioner failed to establish its cause of engaged in a rent-a-car business was only the owner of the car leased
action for sum of money based on quasi-delict. to Dahl-Jensen. As such, there was no vinculum juris between them
as employer and employee. Respondent FILCAR cannot in any way be
Petitioner insists that respondents FILCAR and Fortune are liable on responsible for the negligent act of Dahl-Jensen, the former not being
the strength of the ruling in MYC Agro-Industrial Corporation v. Vda. the employer of the latter. The provision of Art. 2184 of the Civil Code
De Caldo that the registered owner of a vehicle is liable for damages is neither applicable because of the absence of master-driver
suffered by third persons although the vehicle is leased to another. relationship between respondent FILCAR and Dahl-Jensen.

Issue:
The reliance in MYC Agro-Industrial Corporation is rooted in a The Supreme Court cited in this case PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. vs
misapprehension of such ruling. The case made the corporation liable UCPB General Insurance Co., Inc. It reiterated that the registered
since it was not persuaded that the vehicle was leased out but it was owner of any vehicle, even if he had already sold it to someone else,
nothing more than a disguise effected by the corporation to relieve is primarily responsible to the public for whatever damage or injury
itself of the burdens and responsibilities of an employer. the vehicle may cause.

It explained that were a registered owner is allowed to evade


CADIENTE vs MACAS
responsibility by proving who the supposed transferee or owner is, it
would be easy for him, by collusion with others or otherwise, to escape
Facts:
said responsibility and transfer the same to an indefinite person, or to
Fifteen-year old boy Bithuel Macas who was standing on the shoulder one who possesses no property with which to respond financially for
of the road was bumped and run over by a Ford Fiera, driven by Chona the damage or injury done.
Cimafranca. Two witnesses came to the victim’s recue and told
Moreover, in the case of Villanueva v Domingo, the policy behind the
Cimafranca to take the victim to the hospital. After that, Cimafranca
vehicle registration is the easy identification of the owner who can be
was not seen anymore.
held responsible in case of accident, damage or injury cause by the
Macas suffered severe muscular and major vessel injuries, as well as vehicle.
open bone fractures. In order to save his life, the surgeon had to
Considering that the vehicle in this case is still registered to Cadiente,
amputate both legs up to his groins. An action for damages was filed
he cannot escape liability for the permanent injury it caused the boy
against the registered owner of the vehicle Atty. Medardo Ag.
who had stopped schooling and “is now forced to face life with nary
Cadiente. However, the latter claimed that he was no longer the owner
but two remaining limbs.”
of the Ford Fiera. He alleged that he sold the vehicle to Jalipa who in
turn alleged that he was not the owner of the vehicle anymore at the Other matters
time of the accident as he already sold it to a certain Abubakar.
It was ruled in this case that there was no negligence on the part of
The trial court declared Cadiente and Jalipa jointly and severally liable. the victim as he was only standing on the part of the uncemented
The CA affirmed the RTC decision. road which was intended for pedestrian use alone. Running vehicles
are not supposed to pass through the said portion.
Issue:

Whether Cadiente is liable considering that he is still the registered


By State
owner of the vehicle.

Ruling: REPUBLIC vs PALACIO

Yes. Facts:
Private respondent Ortiz filed in the CIF (now RTC) a civil case for farmers are to be used to replenish the counterpart funds utilized in
damages and recovery of 958 sqm. lot. He filed the said case after furtherance of the operation of the project. The nature of the Pump
Irrigation Association allegedly entered and occupied the said lot, at Irrigation Trust Fund is a public fund.
the instance of the Irrigation Service Unit (ISU), an agency of DPWH.
The decision of the Court of Appeals suffers from the erroneous
The R of P, through the Solicitor General (SolGen), moved to dismiss
assumption that because the State has waived its immunity, its
the case; however, it was denied because ISU is engaged in the
property and funds become liable to seizure under the legal process.
private business of selling irrigation pumps and construction materials
on installment plan. Judgments against a state, in cases where it has consented to be
sued, generally operate merely to liquidate and establish plaintiff's
Later, in 1962, the SolGen was served with copy of the writ of
claim in the absence of express provision; otherwise they can not be
execution; and, on February 16, 1962, an order of garnishment
enforced by processes of law; and it is for the legislature to provide
against the deposits and/or pump irrigation trust fund, to cover the
for their payment in such manner as it sees fit.
sum of P14,874.40. The SolGen a filed motion to lift the order of
garnishment, for the reason that the funds subject matter thereof are To allow the levying under execution of the ISU funds would amount
public funds and exempt from attachment or execution. to diverting them from the purpose originally contemplated, and would
amount to a disbursement without any proper appropriation as
The CA sustained decision of the RTC, and said that ISU is engaged
required by law.
in a private business of purchase and sale of irrigation pumps and
systems. Consequently, by thus engaging in private business, the MERITT vs GPI
Government, through the Irrigation Service Unit, had actually
consented to the suit.
Facts:
Issue:
A chauffer of the General Hospital, due to his negligence, figured in a
Whether or not the pump irrigation trust fund, deposited with the collision resulting to the injuries of plaintiff. The state waived its
Philippine National Bank in the account of the Irrigation Service Unit, immunity from suit by promulgating Act No. 2457 authorizing E. Meritt
may be garnished to satisfy a money-judgment against the latter. to bring suit in the CFI against the Government of the Philippine
Islands in order to fix the responsibility for the collision and to
Ruling: determine the amount of the damages.
No, the ISU is not only an office in the Government of the Republic of Issue:
the Philippines, created to promote a specific economic policy of said
government, but also that its activity (of selling irrigation pumps to Whether the Government of the Philippine Islands can be made liable
farmers on installment basis) is not intended to earn profit or financial for the damages caused by one of its employees.
gain to its operator. The mere fact that interests are being collected
Ruling:
on the balance of the unpaid cost of the purchased pumps does not
convert this economic project of the government into a corporate NO
activity. The installment payments and interests receivable from the
By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from suit. Dante Capuno was a member of the Boy Scouts Organization and a
It does not thereby concede its liability to plaintiff, or create any cause student of the Bilintawak Elementary School situated in a barrio in the
of action in his favor, or extend its liability to any cause not previously City of San Pablo and on March 31, 1949 he attended a parade in
recognized. It merely gives a remedy to enforce a preexisting liability honor of Dr. Jose Rizal in said city upon instruction of the city school's
and submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right supervisor. From the school Dante, with other students, boarded a
to interpose any lawful defense. jeep and when the same started to run, he took hold of the wheel and
drove it while the driver sat on his left side. They have not gone far
The applicable law at the time was Paragraph 5 of Article 1903 of the
when the jeep turned turtle and two of its passengers, Amado Ticzon
Civil Code which reads: and Isidore Caperiña, died as a consequence. It further appears that
"The state is liable in this sense when it acts through a special agent, Delfin Capuno, father of Dante, was not with his son at the time of
but not when the damage should have been caused by the official to the accident, nor did he know that his son was going to attend a
whom properly it pertained to do the act performed, in which case the parade. He only came to know it when his son told him after the
provisions of the preceding article shall be applicable.” accident that he attended the parade upon instruction of his teacher.

A special agent as contemplated by Article 1903 refers to a person Capuno was was accused of double homicide through reckless
who receives a definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the imprudence for the death of Isidoro and Amado. During the trial,
exercise of the duties of his office if he is a special official, so that in Sabina Exconde, as mother of the deceased Isidoro Caperina,
representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof reserved her right to bring a separate civil action for damages against
he executed the trust confided to him. This concept does not apply to the accused. After trial, Dante Capuno was found guilty of the crime
any executive agent who is an employee of the active administration charged who was only (15) years old when he committed the crime.
and who in his own responsibility performs the functions which are
Sabina Exconde filed the present action against Delfin Capuno and his
inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which are regulated
son Dante Capuno asking for damages. Defendants set up the defense
by law and the regulations.
that if any one should be held liable for the death of Isidoro Caperina,
Hence, the state is only liable for the acts of its agents, officers and he is Dante Capuno and not his father Delfin because at the time of
employees when they act as special agents within the meaning of the accident, the former was not under the control, supervision and
paragraph 5 of article 1903. Since the chauffeur of the ambulance of custody, of the latter. This defense was sustained by the lower court
the General Hospital was not such an agent, then the Government of and, as a consequence it only convicted Dante Capuno to pay the
the Philippine Islands is not liable. damages claimed in the complaint.

By teachers Issue:

Whether defendant Delfin Capuno can be held civilly liable, jointly and
EXCONDE vs CAPUNO
severally with his son Dante, for damages resulting from the death of
Isidoro Caperiña caused by the negligent act of minor Dante Capuno.
Facts:
Ruling:
The case comes under Article 1903 of the Spanish Civil Code, liable for the negligent act of Dante because he was not then a student
paragraph 1 and 5, which provides: of an institute of arts and trades as provided by law.

ART. 1903. The obligation impossed by the next preceding articles is The civil liability which the law impose upon the father, and, in case
enforceable not only for personal acts and omissions, but also for of his death or incapacity, the mother, for any damages that may be
those of persons for whom another is responsible. caused by the minor children who live with them, is obvious. This is
necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over
The father, and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of supporting them,
liable for any damages caused by the minor children who live with
keeping them in their company, educating them and instructing them
them.
in proportion to their means", while, on the other hand, gives them
xxx xxx xxx the "right to correct and punish them in moderation" (Articles 154 and
155, Spanish Civil Code). The only way by which they can relieve
Finally, teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any themselves of this liability is if they prove that they exercised all the
damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage (Article
their custody. 1903, last paragraph, Spanish Civil Code). This defendants failed to
prove.
Plaintiff contends that defendant Delfin Capuno is liable for the
damages in question jointly and severally with his son Dante because WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is modified in the sense that
at the time the latter committed the negligent act which resulted in defendants Delfin Capuno and Dante Capuno shall pay to plaintiff,
the death of the victim, he was a minor and was then living with his jointly and severally, the sum of P2,959.00 as damages, and the costs
father, and inasmuch as these facts are not disputed, the civil liability of action.
of the father is evident. And so, plaintiff contends, the lower court
erred in relieving the father from liability. PALISOC vs BRILLANTES

We find merit in this claim. It is true that under the law above quoted, Facts:
"teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages
caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their Plaintiffs are the parents of Dominador Palisoc, a student in
custody", but this provision only applies to an institution of arts and automotive at the Manila Technical Institute. The deceased
trades and not to any academic educational institution. Dominador Palisoc and the defendant Virgilio L. Daffon were
classmates, and on the afternoon of March 10, 1966 they, together
Here Dante capuno was then a student of the Balintawak Elementary with another classmate Desiderio Cruz were in the laboratory room
School and as part of his extra-curricular activity, he attended the located on the ground floor. At that time the classes were in recess.
parade in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal upon instruction of the city school's Desiderio Cruz and Virgilio L. Daffon were working on a machine while
supervisor. And it was in connection with that parade that Dante Dominador Palisoc was merely looking on at them. Daffon made a
boarded a jeep with some companions and while driving it, the remark to the effect that Palisoc was acting like a foreman. Because
accident occurred. In the circumstances, it is clear that neither the of this remark Palisoc slapped slightly Daffon on the face. Daffon, in
head of that school, nor the city school's supervisor, could be held retaliation, gave Palisoc a strong flat blow on the face, which was
followed by other fist blows on the stomach. Palisoc retreated of torts, the governing principle is that the protective custody of the
apparently to avoid the fist blows, but Daffon followed him and both school heads and teachers is mandatorily substituted for that of the
exchanged blows until Palisoc stumbled on an engine block which parents, and hence, it becomes their obligation as well as that of the
caused him to fall face downward. Palisoc became pale and fainted. school itself to provide proper supervision of the students' activities
First aid was administered to him but he was not revived, so he was during the whole time that they are at attendance in the school,
immediately taken to a hospital. He never regained consciousness; including recess time, as well as to take the necessary precautions to
finally he died. protect the students in their custody from dangers and hazards that
would reasonably be anticipated, including injuries that some student
Daffon was found guilty but the other defendants ,the teacher and themselves may inflict willfully or through negligence on their fellow
head of the school who were absolved from their liability by the trial
students.
court basing their decision on the case of Mercado v. CA stating that:
The clause "so long as they remain in their custody" contained in The lower court therefore erred in law in absolving defendants-school
Article 2180 of the new civil code contemplated a situation where the officials on the ground that they could be held liable under Article
pupil lives and boards with the teacher, such that the control or 2180, Civil Code, only if the student who inflicted the fatal fistblows
influence on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. In those on his classmate and victim "lived and boarded with his teacher or the
circumstances the control or influence over the conduct and actions other defendants officials of the school." As stated above, the phrase
of the pupil as well as the responsibilities for their sort would pass used in the cited article — "so long as (the students) remain in their
from the father and mother to the teachers. As per trial court, there custody" means the protective and supervisory custody that the school
is no evidence that the accused Daffon lived and boarded with his and its heads and teachers exercise over the pupils and students for
teacher or the other defendant officials of the school. These as long as they are at attendance in the school, including recess time.
defendants cannot therefore be made responsible for the tort of the There is nothing in the law that requires that for such liability to attach
defendant Daffon. Plaintiffs therefore appealed on the liability of the the pupil or student who commits the tortious act must live and board
teacher and school head. in the school, as erroneously held by the lower court, and the dicta in
Mercado (as well as in Exconde) on which it relied, must now be
Issue:
deemed to have been set aside by the present decision.
Whether the school officials are jointly and severally liable as
The unfortunate death resulting from the fight between the
tortfeasors with Daffon.
protagonists-students could have been avoided, had said defendants
Ruling: but complied with their duty of providing adequate supervision over
the activities of the students in the school premises to protect their
Yes. The rationale of such liability of school heads and teachers for students from harm, whether at the hands of fellow students or other
the tortious acts of their pupils and students, so long as they remain parties. At any rate, the law holds them liable unless they relieve
in their custody, is that they stand, to a certain extent, as to their themselves of such liability, in compliance with the last paragraph of
pupils and students, in loco parentis and are called upon to "exercise Article 2180, Civil Code, by "(proving) that they observed all the
reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child.” This is expressly diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage." In the light
provided for in Articles 349, 350 and 352 of the Civil Code. In the law
of the factual findings of the lower court's decision, said defendants No, Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos is not liable. The petition was
failed to prove such exemption from liability. denied.

AMADORA vs COURT OF APPEALS At the time Alfredo Amadora was fatally shot, he was still in the
custody of the authorities of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos
Facts: notwithstanding that the fourth year classes had formally ended. It
was immaterial if he was in the school auditorium to finish his physics
Alfredo Amadora, while in the auditorium of the school, was mortally experiment or merely to submit his physics report for what is
hit by a gun by Pablito Daffon resulting to the Alfredo’s death. Daffon important is that he was there for a legitimate purpose.
was convicted of homicide through reckless imprudence. The victim’s
parents, herein petitioners, filed a civil action for damages against The rector, the high school principal and the dean of boys cannot be
Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, its rectors, high school principal, dean held liable because none of them was the teacher-in-charge. Each of
of boys, the physics teacher together with Daffon and 2 other them was exercising only a general authority over the student body
students. Complaints against the students were dropped. and not the direct control and influence exerted by the teacher placed
in charge of particular classes or sections and thus immediately
The CFI of Cebu held the remaining defendants liable for damages. involved in its discipline.
However, on appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the former’s
decision and completely absolved the defendants. The latter court In the absence of a teacher-in-charge, it is probably the dean of boys
found that Article 2180 was not applicable as the Colegio de San Jose- who should be held liable, especially in view of the unrefuted evidence
Recoletos was not a school of arts and trades but an academic that he had earlier confiscated an unlicensed gun from one of the
institution of learning. It also held that the students were not in the students and returned the same later to him without taking
custody of the school at the time of the incident as the semester had disciplinary action or reporting the matter to higher authorities. While
already ended, that there was no clear identification of the fatal gun, this was clearly negligence on his part, for which he deserves
and that in any event the defendants had exercised the necessary sanctions from the school, it does not necessarily link him to the
diligence in preventing the injury. shooting of Amador as it has not been shown that the confiscated and
returned pistol was the gun that killed the petitioners' son.
The petitioners contend that their son was in the school to finish his
physics experiment as a prerequisite to his graduation; hence, he was Finally, Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos cannot be held directly liable
then under the custody of the private respondents. The private under the article because only the teacher or the head of the school
respondents submit that Alfredo Amadora had gone to the school only of arts and trades is made responsible for the damage caused by the
for the purpose of submitting his physics report and that he was no student or apprentice. Neither can it be held to answer for the tort
longer in their custody because the semester had already ended. committed by any of the other private respondents for none of them
has been found to have been charged with the custody of the
Issue: offending student or has been remiss in the discharge of his duties in
connection with such custody.
Whether Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos should be held liable.
Other Doctrines:
Ruling:
Where the school is academic rather than technical or vocational in of Baguio with an unlicensed firearm which the former took from the
nature, responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach armory of the ROTC Unit of the BCF. As a result, Napoleon Castro
to the teacher in charge of such student, following the first part of the died and Jimmy B. Abon was prosecuted for, and convicted of the
provision. This is the general rule. In the case of establishments of crime of Homicide.
arts and trades, it is the head thereof, and only he, who shall be held
Subsequently, the heirs of Napoleon Castro sued for damages,
liable as an exception to the general rule. In other words, teachers in
impleading Jimmy B. Abon and the BCF .
general shall be liable for the acts of their students except where the
school is technical in nature, in which case it is the head thereof who Issue:
shall be answerable. Following the canon of reddendo singula singulis
"teachers" should apply to the words "pupils and students" and "heads Whether or not petitioners can be held solidarity liable with Jimmy B.
of establishments of arts and trades" to the word "apprentices." Abon for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, as a
consequence of the tortious act of Jimmy B. Abon.
The reason for the disparity can be traced to the fact that historically
the head of the school of arts and trades exercised a closer tutelage Ruling:
over his pupils than the head of the academic school. Although the
No.
distinction no longer applies today, the law has not been amended.
Under the penultimate paragraph of Art. 2180 of the Civil Code,
SALVOSA vs IAC teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades are liable for
"damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices, so long
Facts: as they remain in their custody." The rationale of such liability is that
Baguio Colleges Foundation is an academic institution. However, it is so long as the student remains in the custody of a teacher, the latter
also an institution of arts and trade because BCF has a full-fledged "stands, to a certain extent, in loco parentis [as to the student] and
technical-vocational department offering Communication, Broadcast [is] called upon to exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct
and Teletype Technician courses as well as Electronics Serviceman of the [student]." 14 Likewise, "the phrase used in [Art. 2180 — 'so
and Automotive Mechanics courses. long as (the students) remain in their custody means the protective
and supervisory custody that the school and its heads and teachers
Within the premises of the BCF is an ROTC Unit. exercise over the pupils and students for as long as they are at
The Baguio Colleges Foundation ROTC Unit had Jimmy B. Abon as its attendance in the school, including recess time." 15
duly appointed armorer. As armorer of the ROTC Unit, Jimmy B. Abon
received his appointment from the AFP. Not being an employee of the In the case at bar, in holding that Jimmy B. Abon was still in the
BCF, he also received his salary from the AFP, as well as ordersfrom protective and supervisory custody of the Baguio Colleges Foundation
Captain Roberto C. Ungos. Jimmy B. Abon was also a commerce when he shot Napoleon Castro, the respondent Court ruled that:
student of the BCF. it is true that Abon was not attending any class or school function at
On 3 March 1977, at around 8:00 p.m., in the parking space of BCF, the time of the shooting incident, which was at about 8 o'clock in the
Jimmy B. Abon shot Napoleon Castro a student of the University evening; but considering that Abon was employed as an armorer and
property custodian of the BCF ROTC unit, he must have been
attending night classes and therefore that hour in the evening was Issue:
just about dismissal time for him or soon thereafter. The time interval
Whether or Not petitioner St. Mary’s Academy should be held liable
is safely within the "recess time" that the trial court spoke of and
for damages.
envisioned by the Palisoc case, supra. 16 (Emphasis supplied)
Ruling:
In line with the case of Palisoc, 17 a student not "at attendance in the
school" cannot be in "recess" thereat. A "recess," as the concept is No, St. Mary’s Academy (petitioner) is not liable.
embraced in the phrase "at attendance in the school," contemplates a
situation of temporary adjournment of school activities where the The CA held petitioner liable for the death of Sherwin under Article
student still remains within call of his mentor and is not permitted to 218 and 219 of the Family Code where it was pointed that they were
leave the school premises, or the area within which the school activity negligent in allowing a minor to drive and not having a teacher to
is conducted. Recess by its nature does not include accompany the minor students in the jeep. However, for them to be
dismissal. 18 Likewise, the mere fact of being enrolled or being in the held liable, the act or omission to be considered negligent must be the
premises of a school without more does not constitute "attending proximate cause of the injury caused thus; negligence needs to have
school" or being in the "protective and supervisory custody' of the a causal connection to the accident. It must be direct and natural
school, as contemplated in the law. sequence of events, unbroken by any efficient intervening causes.

Upon the foregoing considerations, we hold that Jimmy B. Abon The parents of the victim failed to show such negligence on the part
cannot be considered to have been "at attendance in the school," or of the petitioner. The spouses Villanueva, owner of the Jeep admitted
in the custody of BCF, when he shot Napoleon Castro. Logically, that the immediate cause of the accident was not the reckless driving
therefore, petitioners cannot under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code be held of James but the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep.
solidarity liable with Jimmy B. Abon for damages resulting from his Furthermore, there was no evidence that petitioner allowed the minor
acts. to drive the Jeep of Villanueva. The mechanical defect was an event
over which the school has no control hence they may not be held liable
ST. MARY’S ACADEMY vs CARPITANOS for the death resulting from such accident.

Facts: The registered owner of any vehicle, even if not used for public
service, would primarily be responsible to the public or to 3rd persons
St. Mary’s Academy (petitioner), conducted an enrollment drive for the for injuries caused while it is being driven on the road. It is not the
school year 1995-1996. They visited schools from where prospective school, but the registered owner of the vehicle who shall be held
enrollees were studying. Sherwin Carpitanos joined one of the responsible for damages for the death of Sherwin.
campaigns. Along with the other high school students, they rode a
Mitsubishi Jeep owend by Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan Case was remanded to Trial Court for determination of liability of the
Elementary School, driven by James Daniel II, a 15 year old student defendants excluding herein petitioner.
of the same school. It was alleged that he drove the jeep in a reckless PROVINCIES, CITIES and MUNICIPALITIES
manner which resulted for it to turned turtle. Sherwin died due to this
accident. JIMENEZ vs CITY OF MANILA
Respondent City of Manila maintains that it cannot be held liable for
Facts: the injuries sustained by the petitioner because under the
Management and Operating Contract, Asiatic Integrated Corporation
Petitioner herein shows that in the morning of August 15, 1974 he,
assumed all responsibility for damages which may be suffered by third
together with his neighbors, went to Sta. Ana public market to buy
persons for any cause attributable to it.
"bagoong" at the time when the public market was flooded with ankle
deep rainwater. Article 2189 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides that:

After purchasing the "bagoong" he turned around to return home but "Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the
he stepped on an uncovered opening which could not be seen because death of, or injuries suffered by any person by reason of defective
of the dirty rainwater, causing a dirty and rusty four inch nail, stuck conditions of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings and other public
inside the uncovered opening, to pierce the left leg of plaintiff- works under their control or supervision."
petitioner penetrating to a depth of about one and a half inches.
It is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach, that
He felt ill and developed fever and he had to be carried to Dr. Juanita the defective public works belong to the province, city or municipality
Mascardo. from which responsibility is exacted. What said article requires is that
the province, city or municipality has either "control or supervision"
He was then rushed to the Veterans Memorial Hospital where he had
over the public building in question.
to be confined for twenty (20) days due to high fever and severe pain.
Upon his discharge from the hospital, he had to walk around with In fact, the City of Manila employed a market master for the Sta. Ana
crutches for fifteen (15) days. Public Market whose primary duty is to take direct supervision and
control of that particular market, more specifically, to check the safety
Petitioner sued for damages the City of Manila and the Asiatic
of the place for the public.
Integrated Corporation under whose administration the Sta. Ana
Public Market had been placed by virtue of a Management and CITY OF MANILA vs TEOTICO
Operating Contract.
Facts:
Lower court dismissed the complaint.
Teotico fell inside an uncovered and unlighted catch basin or manhole
Intermediate Appellate Court held the Asiatic Integrated Corporation
on P. Burgos Avenue, Manila as he was trying to board a jeepney,
liable for damages but absolved respondent City of Manila.
causing injuries which required him to incur medical expenses.
Issue:
Teotico filed, with the CFI of Manila, a complaint for damages against
Whether or not City of Manila should be jointly and severally liable the City of Manila, its mayor, city engineer, city health officer, city
with Asiatic Integrated Corporation for the injuries petitioner suffered? treasurer and chief of police.

Ruling: The CFI of Manila rendered a decision in favor of Teotico and


dismissing the amended complaint, without costs.
YES.
On appeal taken by plaintiff, this decision was affirmed by the CA, The CA , however, applied the Civil Code, and, we think, correctly. It
except insofar as the City of Manila is concerned, which was sentenced is true that, insofar as its territorial application is concerned, Republic
to pay damages in the aggregate sum of P6,750.00. Hence, this appeal Act No. 409 is a special law and the Civil Code a general legislation;
for certiorari by the City of Manila. but, as regards the subject-matter of the provisions above quoted,
Section 4 of Republic Act 409 establishes a general rule regulating the
Issue
liability of the City of Manila for: “damages or injury to persons or
WON the City of Manila should be held liable as the incident happened property … Upon the other hand, Article 2189 of the Civil Code
on a NATIONAL highway constitutes a particular prescription making “provinces, cities and
municipalities . . . liable for damages for the death of, or injury
Ruling: suffered by any person by reason” — specifically — “of the defective
condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other-public
The decision appealed from is hereby affirmed
works under their control or supervision.”
YES
In other words, said section 4 refers to liability arising
The question to be determined is if present case is governed by from negligence, in general, regardless of the object thereof,
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 409 (Charter of the City of Manila) whereas Article 2189 governs liability due to “defective streets,” in
reading: particular. Since the present action is based upon the alleged
defective condition of a road, said Article 2189 is decisive thereon.
The city shall not be liable or held for damages or injuries to persons
or property arising from the failure of the Mayor, the Municipal Board, xxxxx
or any other city officer, to enforce the provisions of this chapter, or
Teotico alleged in his complaint his injuries were due to the defective
any other law or ordinance, or from negligence of said Mayor,
condition of a street which is “under the supervision and control” of
Municipal Board, or other officers while enforcing or attempting to
the City. In its answer to the amended complaint, the City, in turn,
enforce said provisions or by Article 2189 of the Civil Code of the
alleged that “the streets aforementioned were and have been
Philippines which provides:
constantly kept in good condition and regularly inspected and the
Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the storm drains and manholes thereof covered by the defendant City
death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of defective and the officers concerned” who “have been ever vigilant and
conditions of road, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public zealous in the performance of their respective functions and duties
works under their control or supervision. as imposed upon them by law.“ Thus, the City had, in
effect, admitted that P. Burgos Avenue was and is under its control
Manila maintains that the former provision should prevail over the and supervision.
latter, because Republic Act 409, is a special law, intended exclusively
for the City of Manila, whereas the Civil Code is a general law, Moreover, the assertion to the effect that said Avenue is a national
applicable to the entire Philippines. highway was made, for the first time, in its MR of the decision of the
CA . Such assertion raised, therefore, a question of fact, which had
not been put in issue in the trial court, and cannot be set up, for the
first time, on appeal, much less after the rendition of the decision of While she was about to board a motorized tricycle, herein plaintiff, a
the appellate court, in a motion for the reconsideration thereof. Court Interpreter, accidentally fell into a manhole located on a
sidewalk, under the control and supervision of the City of Dagupan,
At any rate, under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not
thereby causing her right leg to be fractured.
necessary for the liability therein established to attach that the
defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or municipality As a result, she incurred hospitalization, medication and other
from which responsibility is exacted. What said article requires is that expenses for a total of P 10,000.00 in all; during the period of her
the province, city or municipality have either “control or confinement, plaintiff suffered severe or excruciating pain also on all
supervision” over said street or road. Even if P. Burgos Avenue were, parts of her body; the pain has persisted even after her discharge to
therefore, a national highway, this circumstance would not necessarily the present. Despite her discharge from the Hospital plaintiff is
detract from its “control or supervision” by the City of Manila, under presently still wearing crutches and the Court has actually observed
Republic Act 409. In fact Section 18(x) thereof provides: that she has difficulty in locomotion. From the time of the mishap up
to the present, plaintiff has not yet reported for duty as court
Sec. 18. Legislative powers. — The Municipal Board shall have the
interpreter, as she has difficulty of locomotion in going up the stairs
following legislative powers:
of her office. She earns at least P 720.00 a month consisting of her
xxx xxx xxx monthly salary and other means of income, but she has been deprived
of said income as she has already consumed her accrued leaves in the
(x) Subject to the provisions of existing law to provide for the laying government service. She has lost several pounds as a result of the
out, construction and improvement, and to regulate the use of streets, accident and she is no longer her former jovial self, she has been
avenues, alleys, sidewalks, wharves, piers, parks, cemeteries, and unable to perform her religious, social, and other activities which she
other public places; to provide for lighting, cleaning, and sprinkling of used to do prior to the incident.
streets and public places; . . . … the building and repair of tunnels,
sewers, and drains, and all structures in and under the same The city contends that Perez Boulevard, where the fatal drainage hole
…to provide for and regulate cross-works, curbs, and gutters therein, . is located, is a national road that is not under the control or supervision
. … and regulate the use, of bridges, viaducts and culverts; … of the City of Dagupan. Hence, no liability should attach to the city. It
to regulate the lights used on all vehicles, cars, and locomotives; . . submits that it is actually the Ministry of Public Highways that has
control or supervision through the Highway Engineer which, by mere
Then, again, the determination of whether or not P. Burgos Avenue is coincidence, is held concurrently by the same person who is also the
under the control or supervision of the City of Manila and whether the City Engineer of Dagupan.
latter is guilty of negligence, in connection with the maintenance of
said road, which were decided by the Court of Appeals in the Issue:
affirmative, is one of fact, and the findings of said Court thereon are
Whether or not control or supervision over a national road by the City
not subject to our review.
of Dagupan exists, in effect binding the city to answer for damages in
GUILATCO vs CITY OF DAGUPAN accordance with article 2189 of the Civil Code

Ruling:
Facts:
Liability of the City of Dagupan: conjecture or guess work" as to the amount. Without the actual proof
of loss, the award of actual damages becomes erroneous.
Article 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for
damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by On the other hand, moral damages may be awarded even without
reason of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public proof of pecuniary loss, inasmuch as the determination of the amount
buildings, and other public works under their control or supervision. is discretionary on the court. However, in awarding moral damages,
the following should be taken into consideration:
It is not even necessary for the defective road or street to belong to
the province, city or municipality for liability to attach. The article only (1) First, the proximate cause of the injury must be the claimee's acts.
requires that either control or supervision is exercised over the
(2) Second, there must be compensatory or actual damages as
defective road or street.
satisfactory proof of the factual basis for damages.
In the case at bar, this control or supervision is provided for in the
charter of Dagupan and is exercised through the City Engineer. The (3) Third, the award of moral damages must be predicated on any of
the cases enumerated in the Civil Code.
same charter of Dagupan also provides that the laying out,
construction and improvement of streets, avenues and alleys and In the case at bar, the physical suffering and mental anguish suffered
sidewalks, and regulation of the use thereof, may be legislated by the by the petitioner were proven. Witnesses from the petitioner's place
Municipal Board . 7 Thus the charter clearly indicates that the city of work testified to the degeneration in her disposition-from being
indeed has supervision and control over the sidewalk where the open jovial to depressed. She refrained from attending social and civic
drainage hole is located. activities.
The express provision in the charter holding the city not liable for As for the award of exemplary damages, the trial court correctly
damages or injuries sustained by persons or property due to the pointed out the basis:
failure of any city officer to enforce the provisions of the charter,
cannot be used to exempt the city, as in the case at bar. To serve as an example for the public good, it is high time that the
Court, through this case, should serve warning to the city or cities
The charter only lays down general rules regulating the liability of the concerned to be more conscious of their duty and responsibility to
city. On the other hand article 2189 applies in particular to the liability their constituents, especially when they are engaged in construction
arising from "defective streets, public buildings and other public work or when there are manholes on their sidewalks or streets which
works." are uncovered
Award of damages: PROPRIETORS OF BUILDING, ARCHITECT, CONTRACTOR
The actual damages awarded to the petitioner in the amount of P
DE ROY vs CA
10,000.00 should be reduced to the proven expenses of P 8,053.65
only. The trial court should not have rounded off the amount. In
Facts: The firewall of a burned out building owned by de Roy and
determining actual damages, the court can not rely on "speculation,
Ramos (de Roy) collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop occupied
by the family of Bernal, resulting in injuries and the death of their
daughter Marissa. Bernal had been warned by de Roy to vacate their Since de Roy filed their motion for extension on February 27, 1986, it
shop in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but Bernal failed to is still within the grace period, which expired on June 30, 1986, and
do so. may still be allowed. However, the motion for extension of time was
filed on September 9, 1987, more than a year after the expiration of
RTC rendered judgment finding de Roy guilty of gross negligence and the grace period on June 30, 1986. Hence, it is no longer within the
awarding damages to Bernal. coverage of the grace period.

CA affirmed in toto the decision of RTC. On September 9, 1987, the De Roy cannot seek refuge in the ignorance of their counsel regarding
last day of the fifteen-day period to file an appeal, de Roy filed a said rule for their failure to file a motion for reconsideration within the
motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration, reglementary period.
however, it was denied. Thereafter, de Roy filed a motion for
reconsideration but the same was denied. De Roy contends that the rule enunciated in the Habaluyas case
should not be made to apply owing to the non-publication of the
De Roy filed a special civil action for certiorari seeking to declare null Habaluyas decision in the Official Gazette as of the time the subject
and void two (2) resolutions denying his motions. decision of the CA was promulgated. However, there is no law
requiring the publication of SC decisions in the Official Gazette before
Issue: Whether CA committed grave abuse of discretion? they can be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It
is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep
Held: No, CA did not commit a grave abuse of discretion when it abreast of decisions of the SC.
denied de Roy’s motion for extension of time to file a motion for
reconsideration, directed entry of judgment and denied their motion Further, CA didn’t commit grave abuse of discretion in affirming the
for reconsideration. RTC’s decision holding de Roy liable under Article 2190 of the Civil
Code, which provides that "the proprietor of a building or structure is
The Supreme Court could have denied the petition outright for not responsible for the damage resulting from its total or partial collapse,
being verified as required by Rule 65 section 1 of the Rules of Court. if it should be due to the lack of necessary repairs." Nor was there
However, even if the instant petition did not suffer from such defect, error in rejecting de Roy’s argument that Bernal had the "last clear
on procedural and substantive grounds, would still resolve to deny it. chance" to avoid the accident if only they heeded the warning to
vacate the tailoring shop and, therefore, de Roy’s prior negligence
In Habaluyas case, the fifteen-day period for appealing or for filing a should be disregarded, since the doctrine of "last clear chance,"
motion for reconsideration before the lower courts cannot be which has been applied to vehicular accidents, is inapplicable
extended. Such a motion may be filed only in cases pending with the to this case.
Supreme Court as the court of last resort, which may in its sound
discretion either grant or deny the extension requested. There is one-
month grace period from the promulgation on May 30, 1986 of the COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE
Court's Resolution in the clarificatory Habaluyas case, or up to June
30, 1986, within which the rule barring extensions of time to file MITSUBISHI MOTORS PHILIPPINES SALARIED EMPLOYEES
motions for new trial or reconsideration is, as yet, not strictly UNION vs MITSUBISHI MOTORS PHILIPPINES CORPORATION
enforceable.
Ruling:
Facts:
No. The Voluntary Arbitrator’s ruling was based on the opinion of Atty.
Mitsubishi and its Employee’s Union, MMPSEU, entered into a CBA. Funk which was wrong. He based his opinion under collateral source
Included therein were the hospitalization insurance benefits which rule. However, he misapplied it.
required the employees to pay P100 per month. When the CBA was
renewed for another three years, the same provisions of the CBA was As part of American personal inquiry law, the collateral source rule
was originally applied to tort cases wherein the defendant is prevented
included. This time, employees paid P375 monthly. Three of the
from benefitting from the plaintiff’s receipt of money from other
members of the union; Calida, Oabel and Martin filed claims for
sources. Under this rule, if an injured person receives compensation
reimbursements. All of them had expenses for hospitalization that was
for his injuries from a source wholly independent of the tortfeasor, the
partially paid by MEDICard and Prosper. Only the remaining hospital
payment should not be deducted from the damages which he would
bill was paid by MMPC. The employees claimed for the entire hospital
otherwise collect from the tortfeasor. Collateral rule applies in order
bill whether or not it was paid for already by a separate entity.
to place the responsibility for losses on the party causing them. Thus,
The employees complained through their president. The dispute was it finds no application to cases involving no-fault insurances under
submitted before the NCMB. Separately, the parties sought the which the insured is indemnified for losses by insurance companies,
opinion of the Insurance Commission of whether the claims for regardless of who was at fault in the incident generating the losses.
reimbursement will tantamount to double insurance. The Insurance Here, it is clear that MMPC is a no-fault insurer. Hence, it cannot be
Commission through Atty. David Funk opined that the recovery from obliged to pay the hospitalization expenses of the dependents of its
a HMO does not bar recovery of the same reimbursement of medical employees which has already been paid by separate health insurance
expenses from another health contract or medical insurance. It can providers of said employees.
be claimed simultaneously.
STRICT LIABILITY
By virtue of this opinion, the Voluntary Arbitrator ruled in favor of the POSSESSOR OF ANIMALS
MMPSEU.
VESTIL vs CA
CA, on the other hand, reversed the decision of VA. Hence, he petition
of MMPSEU. Facts:
MMPSEU: Theness was bitten by a dog while she was playing with a child of the
The decision of the Voluntary Arbitrator must be respected since it petitioners in the house of the late Vicente Miranda, the father of
was based on the opinion of the Insurance Commission, an agency Purita Vestil, at F. Ramos Street in Cebu City. She was rushed to the
equipped with vast knowledge about insurance contracts. Cebu General Hospital, where she was treated for "multiple lacerated
wounds on the forehead" 1 and administered an anti-rabies vaccine by
Issue: Dr. Antonio Tautjo. She was discharged after nine days but was
readmitted one week later due to "vomiting of saliva." 2 The following
WON MMPSEU’S CLAIM WILL PROSPER UNDER COLLATERAL SOURCE
RULE?
day, the child died. The cause of death was certified as broncho- The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is
pneumonia. 3 responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it may
escape or be lost. 'This responsibility shall cease only in case the
Seven months later, the Uys sued for damages, alleging that the
damages should come from force majeure from the fault of the person
Vestils were liable to them as the possessors of "Andoy," the dog that
who has suffered damage.
bit and eventually killed their daughter.
Purita Vestil's testimony that she was not in possession of Miranda's
The Vestils rejected the charge, insisting that the dog belonged to the
house is hardly credible. There is contrary evidence that the occupants
deceased Vicente Miranda, that it was a tame animal, and that in any
of the house, were boarders (or more of boarders than relatives) who
case no one had witnessed it bite Theness.
paid the petitioners for providing them with meals and
After trial, the judge sustained the defendants and dismissed the accommodations. It also appears that Purita Vestil had hired a maid,
complaint. Dolores Jumao-as, who did the cooking and cleaning in the said house
for its occupants. 9 Her mother, Pacita, who was a nursemaid of Purita
The CA found that the Vestils were in possession of the house and the herself, categorically declared that the petitioners were maintaining
dog and so should be responsible under Article 2183 of the Civil Code boarders in the house where Theness was bitten by a dog. 10 Another
for the injuries caused by the dog. witness, Marcial Lao, testified that he was indeed a boarder and that
the Vestils were maintaining the house for business purposes. 11 And
- Upon appeal, Purita Vestil insists that she is not the owner of the
although Purita denied paying the water bills for the house, the private
house or of the dog left by her father as his estate has not yet been
respondents submitted documentary evidence of her application for
partitioned and there are other heirs to the property. She claims, even
water connection with the Cebu Water District, which strongly
her sister living in Canada would be held responsible for the acts of
suggested that she was administering the house in question. 12
the dog simply because she is one of Miranda's heirs.
While it is true that she is not really the owner of the house,
Issue:
which was still part of Vicente Miranda's estate, there is no
1. Whether the petitioners were in the possession of the dog that doubt that she and her husband were its possessors at the
admittedly was staying in the house in question (regardless time of the incident in question. She was the only heir residing in
of the ownership of the dog or of the house). Cebu City and the most logical person to take care of the property,
2. Whether there was clear showing that child died as a result of which was only six kilometers from her own house. 13 Moreover, there
the dog bite. is evidence showing that she and her family regularly went to the
house, once or twice weekly, according to at least one witness, 14 and
Ruling: used it virtually as a second house. Interestingly, her own daughter
was playing in the house with Theness when the little girl was bitten
1. Petitioners are in the possession of the dog that admittedly was by the dog. 15 The dog itself remained in the house even after
staying in the house in question. the death of Vicente Miranda, when the incident in question
occurred. It is also noteworthy that the petitioners offered to assist
Article 2183 reads as follows:
the Uys with their hospitalization expenses although Purita said she on the principle of social interest that he who possesses
knew them only casually. animals for his utility, pleasure or service must answer for the
damage which such animal may cause. 21
2. The child died as a consequence of the dog bite.
MANUFACTURERS AND PROCESSORS OF FOODSTUFF
The SC found out that, first, Theness developed hydrophobia (fear of
water), a symptom of rabies, as a result of the dog bites, and second, PASCUAL vs FORD MOTOR
that asphyxia broncho-pneumonia, which ultimately caused her death,
was a complication of rabies. That Theness became afraid of water Facts:
after she was bitten by the dog is established by the testimony of Dr.
Tautjo. On the strength of the testimony of Dr. Tautjo, the Court finds Pasual purchased a second-hand Ford vehicle. On November 2008,
that the link between the dog bites and the certified cause of death Pascual and the other passenger of the Ford vehicle got into an
has been satisfactorily established. accident because the vehicle’s right axle broke causing its wheel to be
detached. Pascual demanded damages against Ford Motor Company
The SC reiterated its ruling in Sison v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Philippines, Inc. (FMCI), a Ford manufacturer, and Ford Group
Canada, 20 that the death certificate is not conclusive proof of the Philippines, Inc. (FGPI), a ford distributing company. Pascual claims
cause of death but only of the fact of death. Indeed, the evidence that FMCI and FGPI are strictly liable for the defective vehicle citing
of the child's hydrophobia is sufficient to convince us that she the case of California Supreme Court of Greenman v. Yuba Power
died because she was bitten by the dog even if the death Products Inc. in which it held “A manufacturer is strictly liable in tort
certificate stated a different cause of death. when an article he places on the market, knowing that it is to be used
The petitioner's contention that they could not be expected to exercise without inspection for defects, proves to have a defect that causes
remote control of the dog is not acceptable. In fact, Article 2183 of injury to human being. Respondents on the other hand claims that
the Civil Code holds the possessor liable even if the animal should Pascual cannot claim any damages since the vehicle was bought
"escape or be lost" and so be removed from his control. And it does second hand and that the vehicle’s warranty had expired.
not matter either that, as the petitioners also contend, the dog was RTC:
tame and was merely provoked by the child into biting her. The law
does not speak only of vicious animals but covers even tame The trial court ruled in favor of Pascual.
ones as long as they cause injury. As for the alleged provocation,
CA:
the petitioners forget that Theness was only three years old at the
time she was attacked and can hardly be faulted for whatever she CA reversed the decision of the lower court finding that respondents
might have done to the animal. cannot be attributed with negligence since the vehicle was altered
which affected its performance and in violation of the vehicle’s
According to Manresa the obligation imposed by Article 2183
maximum capacity.
of the Civil Code is not based on the negligence or on the
presumed lack of vigilance of the possessor or user of the Issue:
animal causing the damage. It is based on natural equity and
Whether the strict liability in tort is applicable against FMCI and FGPI
Ruling: The United States courts dismissed the actions on the ground of forum
non conveniens and directed the claimants to file actions in their
No. The Greenman case is only persuasive. The facts are different in
respective home countries.
this case since the Greenman case talks about first hand products
while this case involves second-hand vehicles. Even assuming that the On May 3, 1996, 1,843 Filipino claimants filed a complaint for damages
Greenman is applicable, Respondents are not liable because their against the same foreign corporations before the Regional Trial Court
representation as to the vehicle’s weight capacity is limited. The in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, Philippines.
vehicle will safely do the job for which it was built subject to the
Before pre-trial, Chiquita Brands, Inc., Chiquita Brands International,
vehicle’s weight capacity. The alteration of the vehicle’s rear axle to
Inc. (collectively, Chiquita), Dow Chemical Company (Dow),
carry more weight beyond the vehicle’s capacity is outside of the
Occidental Chemical Corporation (Occidental), Shell Oil Company
respondent’s representation of its product.
(Shell), Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., and Del Monte Tropical Fruit
CHIQUITA BRANDS, INC vs HON. OMELIO Co. (collectively, Del Monte) entered into a worldwide settlement in
the United States with all the banana plantation workers. The parties
Facts: executed a document denominated as the "Compromise Settlement,
Indemnity, and Hold Harmless Agreement" (Compromise Agreement).
On August 31, 1993, thousands of banana plantation workers from The Filipino claimants were represented by their counsel, Atty. Renato
over 14 countries instituted class suits for damages in the United Ma. Callanta (Atty. Callanta).
States against 11 foreign corporations, namely: (1) Shell Oil Company;
(2) Dow Chemical Company; (3) Occidental Chemical Corporation; (4) The Compromise Agreement provided, among others, that the
Standard Fruit Company; (5) Standard Fruit and Steamship Co.; (6) settlement amount should be deposited in an escrow account, which
Dole Food Company, Inc.; (7) Dole Fresh Fruit Company; (8) Chiquita should be administered by a mediator. After the claimants execute
Brands, Inc.; (9) Chiquita Brands International, Inc.; (10) Del Monte individual releases, the mediator shall give the checks representing
Fresh Produce, N.A.; and (11) Del Monte Tropical Fruit Co. the settlement amounts to the claimants' counsel, who shall then
distribute the checks to each claimant.
The banana plantation workers claimed to have been exposed to
dibromochloropropane (DBCP) in the 1970s up to the 1990s while The Regional Trial Court, Panabo City approved the Compromise
working in plantations that utilized it. As a result, these workers Agreement by way of judgment on compromise. Accordingly, it
suffered serious and permanent injuries to their reproductive systems. dismissed Civil Case No. 95-45. Shortly after the dismissal, several
claimants moved for the execution of the judgment on compromise.
DBCP is a pesticide used against roundworms and threadworms that
thrive on and damage tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples. However, Chiquita, Dow, Occidental, Shell, and Del Monte opposed
It was first introduced in 1955 as a soil fumigant. Early studies have the execution on the ground of mootness. They argued that they had
shown that prolonged exposure to DBCP causes sterility. DBCP was already complied with their obligation under the Compromise
also found to have mutagenic properties. Agreement by depositing the settlement amounts into an escrow
account. Hence, there was nothing left for the court to execute.
Chiquita pointed out that the claimants' execution of individual to judgments that have been rendered on the basis of a full-blown
quitclaims, denominated as "Release in Full," was an trial. Thus, a judgment on compromise that has attained finality
acknowledgement that they had received their respective share in the cannot be "modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant
settlement amount. The quitclaims proved that the claimants entered to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law, and whether it be
into a compromise agreement and that petitioners complied with its made by the court that rendered it or by the Highest Court of the
terms. land."

Issue: A judgment on compromise may be executed just like any other final
judgment in the manner provided in the Rules of Court. The writ of
Whether or not Chiquita is still liable for damages despite the
execution derives its validity from the judgment it seeks to enforce
execution of individual quitclaims of the claimants.
and must essentially conform to the judgment's terms. It can neither
Ruling: be wider in scope nor exceed the judgment that gives it life.
Otherwise, it has no validity. Thus, in issuing writs of execution, courts
A compromise is defined under the Civil Code as "a contract whereby must look at the terms of the judgment sought to be enforced.
the parties, by making reciprocal concessions, avoid a litigation or put
an end to one already commenced.” It may either be judicial or Under the judicially approved Compromise Agreement, petitioners are
extrajudicial depending on its object or the purpose of the parties. A obliged to deposit the settlement amount in escrow within 10 business
compromise is judicial if the parties' purpose is to terminate a suit days after they receive a signed Compromise Agreement from the
already commenced. On the other hand, a compromise is extrajudicial counsel of the claimants.
if its object is to avoid litigation.
There was nothing in the Compromise Agreement that required
In any case, a compromise validly entered into has the authority and petitioners to ensure the distribution of the settlement amount to each
effect of res judicata as between the parties. To this extent, a judicial claimant. Petitioners' obligation under the Compromise Agreement
compromise and an extrajudicial compromise are no different from was limited to depositing the settlement amount in escrow. On the
each other. other hand, the actual distribution of the settlement amounts was
delegated to the chosen mediator, Mr. Mills. To require proof that the
However, unlike an extrajudicial compromise, a compromise that has settlement amounts have been withdrawn and delivered to each
received judicial imprimatur "becomes more than a mere contract." A claimant would enlarge the obligation of petitioners under the
judicial compromise is regarded as a "determination of the Compromise Agreement.
controversy" between the parties and "has the force and effect of [a
final] judgment." In other words, it is both a contract and "a judgment Consequently, the Omnibus Order dated December 14, 2006, which
on the merits." It may neither be disturbed nor set aside except in directed the implementation of the Writ of Execution, is likewise void.
cases where there is forgery or when either of the parties' consent has
HEAD OF FAMILY
been vitiated.
DINGCONG vs KANAAN
The doctrine on immutability of judgments applies to compromise
agreements approved by the courts in the same manner that it applies
Facts:
Jose Dingcong was the owner of a hotel in Iloilo. In 1933, a certain In 1988, petitioner company and Dr. Climaco entered into a Retainer
Francisco Echevarria rented a room in the upper floor of the hotel. Agreement for one year, with a monthly compensation of
The room he rented was immediately above the store occupied by the P3,800.00, where he "may charge professional fees for hospital
Kanaan brothers who are also tenants of the hotel. One night, services rendered in line with his specialization." The agreement
Echevarria carelessly left his faucet open thereby flooding his room further provided that "either party may terminate the contract upon
and it caused water to drip from his room to the store below. Because giving thirty (30)-day written notice to the other." In consideration of
of this, the articles being sold by Kanaan were damaged. Apparently the retainer's fee, Dr. Climaco "agrees to perform the duties and
also, the water pipes supposed to drain the water from Echevarria’s obligations" enumerated in the Comprehensive Medical Plan, which
room was defective hence the flooding and the dripping. was attached and made an integral part of the agreement.

Issue: Explicit in the contract, however, is the provision that no employee-


employer relationship shall exist between the company and Dr.
Whether or not Dingcong is liable to pay for the damages caused by
Climaco while the contract is in effect. In case of its termination, Dr.
Echevarria.
Climaco "shall be entitled only to such retainer fee as may be due him
Ruling: at the time of termination”.

Yes. Dingcong as proprietor is liable for the negligent act of the guest Meantime, Dr. Climaco inquired with the Department of Labor and
of his hotel (Echevarria). It was not shown that Dingcong exercised Employment and the SSS whether he was an employee of the
the diligence of a good father in preventing the damage caused. The company. Both agencies replied in the affirmative. As a result, Dr.
pipe should have been repaired prior and Echevarria should have been Climaco filed a complaint before the National Labor Relations
provided with a container to catch the drip. Therefore, Dingcong is Commission (NLRC), Bacolod City. In his complaint, he sought
liable to pay for damages by reason of his negligence. recognition as a regular employee of the company and demanded
payment of his 13th month pay, cost of living allowance, holiday pay,
NATURE AND ENFORCEMENT OF LIABILITY service incentive leave pay, Christmas bonus and all other benefits.
NO DOUBLE RECOVERY FOR SAME ACT OR OMISSION
During the pendency of the complaint, the company terminated its
COCA COLA vs SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM Retainer Agreement with Dr. Climaco. Thus, Dr. Climaco filed another
complaint for illegal dismissal against the company before the NLRC
Facts: Bacolod City. He asked that he be reinstated to his former position as
company physician of its Bacolod Plant, without loss of seniority rights,
Petitioner Coca-Cola Bottlers (Phils.), Inc. is a corporation engaged in with full payment of backwages, other unpaid benefits, and for
the manufacture and sale of softdrink beverages. Co-petitioner Eric payment of damages.
Montinola was the general manager of its plant in Bacolod
City. Respondent Dr. Dean Climaco was a former retainer physician The Labor Arbiter, in each of the complaints, ruled in favor of
at the company's plant in Bacolod City. petitioner company. The first complaint was dismissed after Labor
Arbiter Jesus N. Rodriguez, Jr. found that the company did not have
the power of control over Dr. Climaco's performance of his duties and
responsibilities. The validity of the Retainer Agreement was also argue, said regularization/illegal dismissal case is a prejudicial
recognized. Labor Arbiter Benjamin Pelaez likewise dismissed the question.
second complaint in view of the dismissal of the first complaint.
The argument is untenable. The rule is that there is prejudicial
The NLRC affirmed the decision of the labor arbiter, but the CA question when (a) the previously instituted civil action involves an
reversed the ruling of NLRC. The appellate court ruled that using the issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent
four-fold test, an employer-employee relationship existed between the criminal action, and (b) the resolution of such issue determines
company and Dr. Climaco. Petitioners elevated the case through a whether or not the criminal action may proceed. Here, no prejudicial
petition for review on certiorari before this Court. question exists because there is no pending criminal case. The
consolidated NLRC cases cannot be considered as "previously
Meantime, on November 9, 1994, while the NLRC cases were pending,
instituted civil action".
Dr. Climaco filed with the SSC in Bacolod City, a petition praying,
among others, that petitioner Coca-Cola Bottlers (Phils.), Inc. be There is no forum shopping.
ordered to report him for compulsory social security coverage.
Anent the second issue, petitioners posit that since the issues before
On April 12, 1995, petitioners moved for the dismissal of the petition the NLRC and the SSC are the same, the SSC cannot make a ruling on
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. the issue presented before it without necessarily having a direct effect
on the issue before the NLRC. It was patently erroneous, if not
Issues:
malicious, for Dr. Climaco to invoke the jurisdiction of the SSC through
Whether the case poses a prejudicial question a separate petition. Thus, petitioners contend, Dr. Climaco was guilty
of forum shopping.
Whether respondent is guilty of forum shopping
Again, We turn down the contention. There is forum shopping when
Whether the case is barred by litis pendentia one party repetitively avails of several judicial remedies in different
courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the
Ruling:
same transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances,
No prejudicial question exists. and all raising substantially the same issues either pending in, or
already resolved adversely, by some other court. In short, forum
Petitioners allege that Dr. Climaco previously filed separate complaints shopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present or
before the NLRC seeking recognition as a regular employee. where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the
Necessarily then, a just resolution of these cases hinge on a other. Dr. Climaco is not guilty of forum shopping. While it is true that
determination of whether or not Dr. Climaco is an employee of the the parties are identical in the NLRC and in the SSC, the reliefs sought
company. The issue of whether Dr. Climaco is entitled to employee and the causes of action are different.
benefits, as prayed for in the NLRC cases, is closely intertwined with
the issue of whether Dr. Climaco is an employee of the company who Admittedly, Dr. Climaco's basis in filing the cases before the NLRC and
is subject to compulsory coverage under the SSS Law. Hence, they the SSC is his Retainer Agreement with the company. This does not
mean, however, that his causes of action are the same. As the SSC
and the CA correctly observed, different laws are applicable to the bodily injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damage for it turned
cases before the two tribunals. The Labor Code and pertinent social turtle when it hit the pile of earth.
legislations would govern the cases before the NLRC, while the Social
Consequently, Fulgencio P. Dacara for and in behalf of his minor son,
Security Law would govern the case before the SSC. Clearly, as the
Jr., filed a complaint for damages against the Quezon City and Engr.
issues pending before the NLRC and the SSC are diverse, a ruling on
Ramir Tiamzon, as defendants, before the Regional Trial Court.
the NLRC cases would not amount to res judicata in the case before
the SSC. RTC:
3. Lastly, petitioners contend that the petition of Dr. Climaco before The evidence proffered by the complainant (herein respondent) was
the SSC is defective because there were pending actions between the found to be sufficient proof of the negligence of herein petitioners.
same parties and involving the same issues in different fora.
CA:
For litis pendentia to exist, there must be (1) identity of the parties or
at least such as representing the same interests in both actions; (2) The CA agreed with the RTC's finding that petitioners' negligence was
identity of the rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief founded the proximate cause of the damage suffered by respondent, noting
on the same facts; and (3) identity of the two cases such that the failure of petitioners to present evidence to support their
judgment in one, regardless of which party is successful, would contention that precautionary measures had indeed been observed.
amount to res judicata in the other.
PETITIONER'S ARGUMENT:
In the case under review, there is no litis pendentia to speak of. As
Petitioners maintained that they had observed due diligence and care
previously explained, although the parties in the cases before the
in installing preventive warning devices, and that it was in fact the
NLRC and the SSC are similar, the nature of the cases filed, the rights
plaintiff who had failed to exercise prudence by driving too fast to
asserted, and reliefs prayed for in each tribunal, are different.
avoid the diggings. They also argue that moral damages are
Evidently, there is no "another action" pending between petitioners recoverable only in the instances specified in Article 2219 of the Civil
and Dr. Climaco at the time when the latter filed a petition before the Code. Although the instant case is an action for quasi-delict,
SSC. petitioners contend that moral damages are not recoverable, because
no evidence of physical injury were presented before the trial court.
SPECIAL TORTS
Issue:
QUEZON CITY GOVERNMENT vs DACARA
Whether moral damages should be awarded.
Facts: Ruling:
Fulgencio Dacara, Jr., son of respondent Fulgencio P. Dacara, Sr., NO.
drove and rammed into a pile of earth/street diggings found at
Matahimik St., Quezon City, which was then being repaired by the Both the trial and the appellate courts' findings, which are amply
Quezon City government. As a result, Dacara Jr. allegedly sustained substantiated by the evidence on record, clearly point to petitioners'
negligence as the proximate cause of the damages suffered by DBP vs COURT OF APPEALS
respondent's car. No adequate reason has been given to overturn this
factual conclusion. Facts:
To award moral damages, a court must be satisfied with proof of the Spouses Gotangco are the owners of 7 parcels of land. They
following requisites: (1) an injury — whether physical, mental, or mortgaged the land to support a loan from DBP. The spouses were
psychological — clearly sustained by the claimant; (2) a culpable act considering a poultry venture. Thereafter, the spouses sold the
or omission factually established; (3) a wrongful act or omission of the mortgaged parcels to Elpidio Cucio. In the contract, they agreed that
defendant as the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the Cucio will pay P50,000, the purchase price for the land, to DBP, to be
claimant; and (4) the award of damages predicated on any of the applied to the mortgage indebtedness of the spouses. After paying the
cases stated in Article 2219. purchase price, DBP is to release the owners copy of the certificates
of title to Cucio. DBP was notified of the arrangement. Cucio was able
Article 2219(2) specifically allows moral damages to be recovered for
to pay the full amount of the purchase price, but the spouses were
quasi-delicts, provided that the act or omission caused physical
not able to pay the whole debt to DBP. Cucio asked DBP to release
injuries. There can be no recovery of moral damages unless the quasi-
the titles to the land but the latter refused on the ground that the
delict resulted in physical injury.
spouses have not yet fully paid them.
This rule was enunciated in Malonzo v. Galang as follows:
Thereafter the obligation of the spouses became due. DBP applied for
". . . Besides, Article 2219 specifically mentions 'quasi-delicts causing extrajudicial foreclosure but the spouses filed a petition for injunction
physical injuries,' as an instance when moral damages may be with claim for moral damages against the foreclosure. Such order was
allowed, thereby implying that all other quasi-delicts not resulting in issued. DBP in this present petition assails the injunction filed against
physical injuries are excluded, excepting of course, the special torts it.
referred to in Art. 309 (par. 9, Art. 2219) and in Arts. 21, 26, 27, 28,
Issue:
29, 30, 32, 34 and 35 on the chapter on human relations (par. 10, Art.
2219)." WON the award for moral damages proper.
In the present case, the Complaint alleged that respondent's son Ruling:
Fulgencio Jr. sustained physical injuries. The son testified that he
suffered a deep cut on his left arm when the car overturned after No. Under Art. 19, every person must, in the exercise of his rights and
hitting a pile of earth that had been left in the open without any in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his
warning device whatsoever. It is apparent from the Decisions of the due, and observe honesty and good faith.
trial and the appellate courts, however, that no other evidence (such
The elements of abuse of rights are the following: (a) the existence of
as a medical certificate or proof of medical expenses) was presented
a legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for
to prove Fulgencio Jr.'s bare assertion of physical injury. Thus, there
the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. Malice or bad faith
was no credible proof that would justify an award of moral damages
is at the core of said provision. Good faith is presumed and he who
based on Article 2219(2) of the Civil Code.
alleges bad faith has the duty to prove the same. Good faith refers to
the state of the mind which is manifested by the acts of the individual policy, good morals and human relations; that on account of these
concerned. It consists of the intention to abstain from taking an libelous words Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims in the Philippines
unconscionable and unscrupulous advantage of another. Bad faith but the entire Muslim world, especially every Muslim individual in non-
does not simply connote bad judgment or simple negligence, Muslim countries.
dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a
MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., in their
wrong, a breach of known duty due to some motives or interest or ill-
defense, contended that the article did not mention respondents as
will that partakes of the nature of fraud
the object of the article and therefore were not entitled to damages;
The Spouses Gotangco failed to prove malice on the part of the and, that the article was merely an expression of belief or opinion and
petitioner. The bare fact that the petitioner filed its application of the was published without malice nor intention to cause damage,
extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage, notwithstanding some prejudice or injury to Muslims.2
disagreements, cannot thereby give rise to the conclusion that the
The trial court dismissed the complaint holding that the plaintiffs failed
petitioner did so with malice, to harass the Spouses Gotangco. The
to establish their cause of action since the persons allegedly defamed
records show that, time and again, the petitioner had sent notices to
by the article were not specifically identified
the spouses and demanded the updating of their account and the
payment of the balance thereof, but the respondents spouses failed The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court. It opined
to comply. Under the terms of the real estate mortgage and its that it was "clear from the disputed article that the defamation was
charter, the petitioner had the right to foreclose the said mortgage directed to all adherents of the Islamic faith
extrajudicially. Hence, the petitioner was constrained to file its
application for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage for the Issue:
Spouses Gotangcos past due obligation.
Whether respondents have a cause of action.
MVRS PUBLICATIONS vs ISLAMIC DA’WAH COUNCIL OF THE Ruling:
PHILIPPINES
In the present case, there was no fairly identifiable person who was
Facts: allegedly injured by the Bulgar article. Since the persons allegedly
defamed could not be identifiable, private respondents have no
ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC filed in the individual causes of action; hence, they cannot sue for a class
Regional Trial Court a complaint for damages in behalf of the Muslim allegedly disparaged. Private respondents must have a cause of action
members nationwide against MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC arising from in common with the class to which they belong to in order for the case
an article published issue of Bulgar, a daily tabloid. to prosper.
The complaint alleged that the libelous statement was insulting and Our conclusion therefore is that the statements published by
damaging to the Muslims; that these words alluding to the pig as the petitioners in the instant case did not specifically identify nor refer to
God of the Muslims was not only published out of sheer ignorance but any particular individuals who were purportedly the subject of the
with intent to hurt the feelings, cast insult and disparage the Muslims alleged libelous publication. Respondents can scarcely claim to having
and Islam, as a religion in this country, in violation of law, public been singled out for social censure pointedly resulting in damages.
A contrary view is expressed that what is involved in the present case Any party seeking recovery for mental anguish must prove more than
is an intentional tortious act causing mental distress and not an action mere worry, anxiety, vexation, embarrassment, or anger. Liability
for libel. does not arise from mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances,
petty expressions, or other trivialities. In determining whether the tort
We do not agree to the contrary view. Primarily, an "emotional
of outrage had been committed, a plaintiff is necessarily expected and
distress" tort action is personal in nature, i.e., it is a civil action filed
required to be hardened to a certain amount of criticism, rough
by an individual24 to assuage the injuries to his emotional tranquility
language, and to occasional acts and words that are definitely
due to personal attacks on his character. Moreover, under the Second
inconsiderate and unkind; the mere fact that the actor knows that the
Restatement of the Law, to recover for the intentional infliction of other will regard the conduct as insulting, or will have his feelings hurt,
emotional distress the plaintiff must show that: (a) The conduct of the
is not enough.32
defendant was intentional or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff; (b)
The conduct was extreme and outrageous; (c) There was a causal Verily, our position is clear that the conduct of petitioners was not
connection between the defendant's conduct and the plaintiff's mental extreme or outrageous. Neither was the emotional distress allegedly
distress; and, (d) The plaintiff's mental distress was extreme and suffered by respondents so severe that no reasonable person could
severe.26 be expected to endure it. There is no evidence on record that points
to that result.
"Extreme and outrageous conduct" means conduct that is so
outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond LAGON vs CA
all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and
utterly intolerable in civilized society. The defendant's actions must Facts:
have been so terrifying as naturally to humiliate, embarrass or frighten
the plaintiff.27 Jose Lagon purchased commercial buildings from the estate of Sepi
two parcels of land located at Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat. Said buildings
"Emotional distress" means any highly unpleasant mental reaction were constructed by Lapuz pursuant to a contract of lease between
such as extreme grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, him and the late Sepi wherein it was stipulated that the Lapuz would
disappointment, worry, nausea, mental suffering and anguish, shock, put up a commercial building which would be leased to new tenants.
fright, horror, and chagrin.29 "Severe emotional distress," in some The rentals to be paid by those tenants would answer for the rent that
jurisdictions, refers to any type of severe and disabling emotional or Lapuz was obligated to pay Sepi for the lease of the land. It was
mental condition which may be generally recognized and diagnosed alleged by Lapuz that the lease contract ended in 1974, but it was
by professionals trained to do so, including posttraumatic stress renewed since the construction of the commercial buildings had yet to
disorder, neurosis, psychosis, chronic depression, or phobia.30 The be completed.
plaintiff is required to show, among other things, that he or she has
suffered emotional distress so severe that no reasonable person could When Sepi died, Lapuz started remitting his rent to the administrator
be expected to endure it; severity of the distress is an element of the of the deceased’s estate until he was advised to stop collecting rentals
cause of action, not simply a matter of damages.31 from the tenants because the property had been sold to Jose Lagon,
and the latter had been collecting the same.
Lapuz filed a complaint against Lagon, accusing Lagon of inducing the lease contract presented in court appeared to be an incontestable
heirs of Sepi to sell the property to him, thereby violating his leasehold proof that Bai Tonin Sepi and private respondent renewed their
rights over it. Lagon denied that he induced the heirs to sell him the contract.
property, contending that the heirs were in dire need of money to pay
Knowledge on the part of the interfere that the contract exists: The
off the obligations of the deceased and this was what led the heirs to
Court ruled that Lagon had no knowledge of the lease contract as he
sell him the property. Lagon also maintained that he didn’t interfere
even conducted his own personal investigation and inquiry, and
with Lapuz’ leasehold rights as there was no lease contract covering
unearthed no suspicious circumstance that would have made a
the property when he purchased it; that his personal investigation and
inquiry revealed no claims or encumbrances on the subject lots. cautious man probe deeper and watch out for any conflicting claim
over the property; that an examination of the entire property title bore
Lagon alleged that he even consulted the lawyer who allegedly no indication of the leasehold interest of private respondent and that
notarizes the renewed leased contract but the contract shown to him even the registry of property had no record of the same.
was unsigned.
Interference without legal justification or excuse: To sustain a case
Issue: for tortuous interference, the defendant must have acted with malice
or must have been driven by purely impious reasons to injure the
WON the purchase by Lagon of the subject property, during the
plaintiff.
supposed existence of the private respondent’s lease contract with the
late Bai Tonina Sepi, constituted tortuous interference for which Lagon Even assuming that Lapuz was able to prove the renewal of his lease
should be held liable for damages. contract with Bai Tonina Sepi, the fact was that he was unable to
prove malice or bad faith on the part of petitioner in purchasing the
Ruling:
property. Therefore, the claim of tortuous interference was never
No, the interference of Lagon was with a legal justification (in established.
furtherance of a personal financial interest) and without bad faith.
U-BIX vs MILLIKAN
Elements of Tortuous Interference with contractual relations:
Facts:
Existence of a valid contract
Milliken & Company (M&C) designated petitioner U-Bix Corporation as
Knowledge on the part of the third person of the existence of the its authorized dealer of Milliken carpets in the Philippines. Under the
contract dealership agreement, petitioner undertook to market Milliken carpets.
Interference of the third person without legal justification or excuse M&C, on the other hand, bound itself to support petitioners marketing
efforts and projects. Thus, once petitioner had specified a project
Existence of a valid contract: The Court declared that absent a clear, (i.e., submitted an accomplished dealer project registration form),
strong and convincing evidence, a notarized document continues to M&C was to exclusively designate the said project as petitioners.
be a prima facie evidence of the facts that gave rise to its execution
and delivery. This brought the Court to rule that the notarized copy of Then, M&C informed U-Bix that Chase Manhattan Bank (CMB) was
furnishing its Manila office. U-Bix immediately formed a team and
conducted presentations and submitted product samples to CMB. Whether respondents are guilty of malicious interference.
Unfortunately, it failed to impress CMB.
Ruling:
CMB awarded the supply contract to respondent Projexx Creator, Inc.
NO, respondents are not guilty of malicious interference. To prove that
(Projexx) which had in the meantime become a dealer of Milliken
respondents were guilty of malicious interference, petitioner had to
carpets. =Eser resigned from petitioner and joined Projexx.
show the following: the existence of a valid contract, knowledge by
On April 3, 2000, petitioner filed a complaint for breach of contract, respondents that such a contract existed and acts (done in bad faith
torts and damages claiming that respondents were guilty of malicious and without legal basis) by respondents which interfered in the due
interference. performance by the contracting parties of their respective obligations
under the contract. Apart from the fact that these matters were factual
After U-Bix presented its pieces of evidence, respondents filed a
(and therefore beyond our mandate to review), petitioner failed to
demurrer to evidence, which the RTC granted. U-Bix appealed to the
prove entitlement to the relief it was seeking.
CA, the but the Appellate Court affirmed in toto the RTC decision.
Only questions of law may be raised in a Rule 45 petition because the
CONTENTION OF PETITIONER:
jurisdiction of this Court is limited to passing upon errors of
M&C violated the dealership agreement when it designated Projexx as law. Factual findings of the trial court, when affirmed by the CA, are
an authorized dealer of Milliken carpets; thus it was guilty of breach generally binding on this Court.
of contract.
In this case, both the RTC and the CA found that respondents were
Projexx, with the help of Sylvan and Batara, poached the CMB project not guilty of malicious interference because no contract was ever
from it. Moreover, Projexx allegedly hired Eser because he had worked perfected between petitioner and CMB. Because all petitioner
on the CMB project while in the employ of petitioner. presented to us were reiterations of its arguments in the courts a quo,
we find no reason to disturb the decision of the CA.
CONTENTION OF RESPONDENTS:
KINDRED TORTS: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Since U-Bix was unacceptable to CMB, M&C designated Projexx as
authorized dealer. REYES ET AL vs SISTERS OF MERCY HOSPITAL
U-Bix neither submitted an accomplished dealer project registration
Facts:
form nor complied with the rules for project registration. It never
specified the CMB project. Therefore, petitioner never earned a right Leah Reyes is the wife of the late Jorge Reyes. The other petitioners,
over it. namely, were their children. Five days before his death, Jorge had
been suffering from a recurring fever with chills. He decided to see
Since there was no contract was perfected between U-Bix and CMB,
the doctor. He was taken to the Mercy Community Clinic. He was
the former never acquired any proprietary interest in the project.
attended to by Dr. Marlyn Rico, who gave Jorge a physical examination
Issue: and took his medical history. Dr. Rico ordered a Widal Test, a standard
test for typhoid fever, to be performed on Jorge. After about an hour,
Dr. Rico concluded that Jorge was positive for typhoid fever. As her to provide adequate facilities and in hiring negligent doctors and
shift has ended, she indorsed Jorge to Dr. Marvie Blanes. She attended nurses. Respondents denied the charges.
to Jorge and took Jorge's history and gave him a physical examination.
RTC and CA required expert opinion on the alleged breach by
Antibiotics being the accepted treatment for typhoid fever, she
respondents of the standard of care required under the circumstances.
ordered that a compatibility test with the antibiotic chloromycetin be
Expert witnesses, however, testified that due care had been exercised
done on Jorge. She did not observe any adverse reaction by the
and the service or treatment rendered followed the usual procedure
patient to chloromycetin. At around 1:00 a.m. Jorge's temperature
of those skilled in that particular practice.
rose to 41°C. The patient also experienced chills and exhibited
respiratory distress, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions. Dr. Blanes put Reyeses claimed that expert testimony was not necessary, rather the
him under oxygen, used a suction machine, and administered doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should have been applied in determining
hydrocortisone, temporarily easing the patient's convulsions. When he the doctors' failure to observe due care which is immediately apparent
regained consciousness, the patient was asked by Dr. Blanes whether to a layman. Jorge Reyes was brought to the hospital merely
he had a previous heart ailment or had suffered from chest pains in experiencing fever and chills for five days, but he was fully conscious,
the past. Jorge replied he did not. After about 15 minutes, however, coherent and ambulant, when he went to the hospital. Due to their
Jorge again started to vomit, showed restlessness, and his convulsions acts of negligence in their treatment of Jorge Reyes, the latter died
returned. Dr. Blanes re-applied the emergency measures taken before after only ten hours from the time of his admission.
and, in addition, valium was administered. Jorge, however, did not
respond to the treatment and slipped into cyanosis, a bluish or Issues:
purplish discoloration of the skin or mucous membrane due to
1) Whether the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies
deficient oxygenation of the blood. At around 2:00 a.m., Jorge died.
He was forty years old. The cause of his death was "Ventricular 2) Whether there was medical malpractice
Arrythemia Secondary to Hyperpyrexia and typhoid fever."
Ruling:
Reyeses filed before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City a complaint
for damages against respondents Sisters of Mercy, Sister Rose Palacio, As to whether res ipsa loquitur applies
Dr. Marvie Blanes, Dr. Marlyn Rico, and nurse Josephine Pagente. No. The requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur are:
Their principal contention was that Jorge’s death was due to the (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless
wrongful administration of chloromycetin. They contended that had someone is negligent;
respondent doctors exercised due care and diligence, they would not
have recommended and rushed the performance of the Widal Test, (2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under
hastily concluded that Jorge was suffering from typhoid fever, and the exclusive control of the person in charge; and
administered chloromycetin without first conducting sufficient tests on
(3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action
the patient's compatibility with said drug. They charged respondent
or contribution of the person injured.
clinic and its directress, Sister Rose Palacio, with negligence in failing
When the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the state regulation, the conduct of doctors is also strictly governed by the
need for expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the Hippocratic Oath, an ancient code of discipline and ethical rules which
injury itself provides the proof of negligence. The reason is that the doctors have imposed upon themselves in recognition and acceptance
general rule on the necessity of expert testimony applies only to such of their great responsibility to society. Given these safeguards, there
matters clearly within the domain of medical science, and not to is no need to expressly require of doctors the observance of
matters that are within the common knowledge of mankind which may "extraordinary" diligence. As it is now, the practice of medicine is
be testified to by anyone familiar with the facts. already conditioned upon the highest degree of diligence. And, as we
have already noted, the standard contemplated for doctors is simply
While it is true that the patient died just a few hours after professional the reasonable average merit among ordinarily good physicians. That
medical assistance was rendered, there is really nothing unusual or
is reasonable diligence for doctors or, as the Court of Appeals called
extraordinary about his death. Prior to his admission, the patient it, the reasonable "skill and competence . . . that a physician in the
already had recurring fevers and chills for five days unrelieved by the
same or similar locality . . . should apply."
analgesic, antipyretic, and antibiotics given him by his wife. This
shows that he had been suffering from a serious illness and Here, Dr. Marlyn Rico did not depart from the reasonable standard
professional medical help came too late for him. recommended by the experts as she in fact observed the due care
required under the circumstances. Though the Widal test is not
Doctors’ alleged failure to observe due care was not immediately
conclusive, it remains a standard diagnostic test for typhoid fever and,
apparent to a layman so as to justify application of res ipsa loquitur. in the present case, greater accuracy through repeated testing was
The question required expert opinion on the alleged breach by
rendered unobtainable by the early death of the patient. The results
respondents of the standard of care required by the circumstances.
of the Widal test and the patient's history of fever with chills for five
Furthermore, on the issue of the correctness of her diagnosis, no
days, taken with the fact that typhoid fever was then prevalent as
presumption of negligence can be applied to Dr. Marlyn Rico.
indicated by the fact that the clinic had been getting about 15 to 20
It must be conceded that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no typhoid cases a month, were sufficient to give upon any doctor of
application in a suit against a physician or a surgeon which involves reasonable skill the impression that Jorge Reyes had typhoid fever.
the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment. The physician or
JARCIA vs PEOPLE
surgeon is not required at his peril to explain why any particular
diagnosis was not correct, or why any particular scientific treatment
Facts:
did not produce the desired result.
Belinda Santiago (Mrs. Santiago) lodged a complaint with the National
As to whether there was medical malpractice
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against the petitioners, Dr. Jarcia and
There was none. The practice of medicine is a profession engaged in Dr. Bastan, for their alleged neglect of professional duty which caused
only by qualified individuals. It is a right earned through years of her son, Roy Alfonso Santiago (Roy, Jr.), to suffer serious physical
education, training, and by first obtaining a license from the state injuries. Upon investigation, the NBI found that Roy, Jr. was hit by a
through professional board examinations. Such license may, at any taxicab; that he was rushed to the Manila Doctors Hospital for an
time and for cause, be revoked by the government. In addition to emergency medical treatment; that an X-ray of the victim's ankle was
ordered; that the X-ray result showed no fracture as read by Dr.
Jarcia; that Dr. Bastan entered the emergency room (ER) and, after negligence are: (1) that there is lack of precaution on the part of the
conducting her own examination of the victim, informed Mrs. Santiago offender, and (2) that the damage impending to be caused is not
that since it was only the ankle that was hit, there was no need to immediate or the danger is not clearly manifest.
examine the upper leg; that eleven (11) days later, Roy, Jr. developed
In this case, the Court is not convinced with moral certainty that the
fever, swelling of the right leg and misalignment of the right foot; that
petitioners are guilty of reckless imprudence or simple negligence. The
Mrs. Santiago brought him back to the hospital; and that the X-ray
elements thereof were not proved by the prosecution beyond
revealed a right mid-tibial fracture and a linear hairline fracture in the
reasonable doubt. The testimony of Dr. Cirilo R. Tacata (Dr. Tacata),
shaft of the bone.
a specialist in pediatric orthopedic, although pointing to some medical
The NBI indorsed the matter to the Office of the City Prosecutor of procedures that could have been done by Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan,
Manila for preliminary investigation. Probable cause was found and a as physicians on duty, was not clear as to whether the injuries suffered
criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical by patient Roy, Jr. were indeed aggravated by the petitioners'
injuries was filed against Dr. Jarcia, Dr. Bastan before the RTC. RTC judgment call and their diagnosis or appreciation of the condition of
found the petitioners guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of the victim at the time they assessed him.
Simple Imprudence Resulting to Serious Physical Injuries.
It can be gleaned from the testimony of Dr. Tacata that a thorough
Petitioners appealed to the CA. CA affirmed RTC decision in toto. examination was not performed on Roy, Jr. As residents on duty at
the emergency room, Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan were expected to know
Issue:
the medical protocol in treating leg fractures and in attending to
Whether or not the petitioners are liable for criminal negligence victims of car accidents. There was, however, no precise evidence and
scientific explanation pointing to the fact that the delay in the
Ruling: application of the cast to the patient's fractured leg because of failure
to immediately diagnose the specific injury of the patient prolonged
The CA is correct in finding that there was negligence on the part of
the pain of the child or aggravated his condition or even caused further
the petitioners. After a perusal of the records, however, the Court is
complications. Any person may opine that had patient Roy, Jr. been
not convinced that the petitioners are guilty of criminal negligence
treated properly and given the extensive X-ray examination, the
complained of.
extent and severity of the injury, spiral fracture of the mid-tibial part
The totality of the evidence on record clearly points to the negligence or the bigger bone of the leg, could have been detected early on and
of the petitioners Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the prolonged pain and suffering of Roy, Jr. could have been
the protection of the interests of another person that degree of care, prevented. But still, that opinion, even how logical it may seem would
precaution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, not, and could not, be enough basis to hold one criminally liable; thus,
whereby such other person suffers injury. a reasonable doubt as to the petitioners' guilt.

Reckless imprudence consists of voluntarily doing or failing to do, The Court, nevertheless, finds the petitioners civilly liable for their
without malice, an act from which material damage results by reason failure to sufficiently attend to Roy, Jr.'s medical needs when the latter
of an inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person was rushed to the ER, for while a criminal conviction requires proof
performing or failing to perform such act. The elements of simple beyond reasonable doubt, only a preponderance of evidence is
required to establish civil liability. Taken into account also was the fact Petitioner, Dr. Jaime T. Cruz (Dr. Cruz) filed a complaint for Serious
that there was no bad faith on their part. Physical Injuries through Reckless Imprudence and Medical
Malpractice against Dr. Agas.
Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan cannot pass on the liability to the taxi driver
who hit the victim. It may be true that the actual, direct, immediate, Dr. Cruz alleged, among others, that sometime in May 2003, he
and proximate cause of the injury (fracture of the leg bone or tibia) of engaged the services of St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC)for a medical
Roy, Jr. was the vehicular accident when he was hit by a taxi. The check-up; that after being admitted in SLMC on May 28, 2003, he
petitioners, however, cannot simply invoke such fact alone to excuse underwent stool, urine, blood, and other body fluid tests conducted
themselves from any liability. If this would be so, doctors would have by the employees and doctors of the said hospital; that on May 29,
a ready defense should they fail to do their job in attending to victims 2003, he was sent to the Gastro-Enterology Department for a
of hit-and-run, maltreatment, and other crimes of violence in which scheduled gastroscopy and colonoscopy; that because the specialist
the actual, direct, immediate, and proximate cause of the injury is assigned to perform the procedure was nowhere to be found, he gave
indubitably the act of the perpetrator/s. the colonoscopy results to the attending female anesthesiologist for
the information and consideration of the assigned specialist; that,
In failing to perform an extensive medical examination to determine
thereafter, he was sedated and the endoscopic examination was
the extent of Roy, Jr.'s injuries, Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan were remiss
carried out; that when he regained consciousness, he felt that
of their duties as members of the medical profession. Assuming for
something went wrong during the procedure because he felt dizzy,
the sake of argument that they did not have the capacity to make had cold clammy perspiration and experienced breathing difficulty;
such thorough evaluation at that stage, they should have referred the
that he could not stand or sit upright because he felt so exhausted
patient to another doctor with sufficient training and experience
and so much pain in his abdomen; that when he was about to urinate
instead of assuring him and his mother that everything was all right
in the comfort room, he collapsed; that he tried to consult the
To repeat for clarity and emphasis, if these doctors knew from the specialist who performed the colonoscopy but he was nowhere to be
start that they were not in the position to attend to Roy, Jr., a vehicular found; and that his cardiologist, Dra. Agnes Del Rosario, was able to
accident victim, with the degree of diligence and commitment observe his critical condition and immediately referred him to the
expected of every doctor in a case like this, they should have not made surgical department which suspected that he had hemorrhage in his
a baseless assurance that everything was all right. By doing so, they abdomen and advised him to undergo an emergency surgical
deprived Roy, Jr. of adequate medical attention that placed him in a operation.
more dangerous situation than he was already in. What petitioners
Dr. Cruz further averred that he agreed to the operation and upon
should have done, and could have done, was to refer Roy, Jr. to
waking up at the ICU on May 30, 2003, he learned that the doctors
another doctor who could competently and thoroughly examine his
cut a portion of the left side of his colon measuring 6-8 inches because
injuries.
it had a partial tear of the colonic wall which caused the internal
CRUZ vs AGAS bleeding; that despite the painkillers, he was under tremendous pain
in the incision area during his recovery period in the ICU and had
fever; and that he had intravenous tubes attached to his arms,
Facts:
subclavian artery on the left part of his chest and a nasogastric tube ANTECEDENTS AT THE PROSECUTION LEVEL
through his nose.
The Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) issued a resolution dismissing
Dr. Cruz claimed that Dr. Agas admitted that he was the one who the complaint for Serious Physical Injuries through Reckless
performed the colonoscopy procedure but the latter insisted that Imprudence and Medical Malpractice. Dr. Cruz filed a petition for
nothing went wrong. Nevertheless, he complained that he had a hard review with the Department of Justice (DOJ) but was dismissed. Dr.
time digesting his food; that he was frequently fed every two hours Cruz filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied.
because he easily got full; that he had fresh blood stools every time
COURT OF APPEALS
he moved his bowel; that he had lost his appetite and had gastric
acidity; that he slept most of the day; and that he was in good physical Dr. Cruz filed a petition for certiorari before the CA questioning the
condition before the colonoscopy procedure. He asserted that at the unfavorable DOJ resolutions. The CA affirmed the DOJ resolutions.
time of the filing of the complaint, he was still weak, tired and in pain. The CA explained that, as a matter of sound judicial policy, courts
would not interfere with the public prosecutor’s wide discretion of
Defense of Dr. Agas
determining probable cause in a preliminary investigation unless such
Dr. Agas, on the other hand, countered that Dr. Cruz failed to prove executive determination was tainted with manifest error or grave
the basic elements of reckless imprudence or negligence. He averred abuse of discretion. It stated that the public prosecutor’s finding of
that Dr. Cruz unfairly made it appear that he did not know that he lack of probable cause against Dr. Agas was in accordance with law
would perform the procedure. He explained that before the start of and that his alleged negligence was not adequately established by Dr.
the colonoscopy procedure, he was able to confer with Dr. Cruz and Cruz.
review his medical history which was taken earlier by a fellow
The CA also declared that Dr. Cruz failed to state in his Complaint-
gastrointestinal physician. He claimed that the gastroscopy and
colonoscopy procedures conducted on Dr. Cruz were completely Affidavit the specific procedures that Dr. Agas failed to do which a
reasonable prudent doctor would have done, or specific norms he
successful considering that the latter did not manifest any significant
failed to observe which a reasonably prudent doctor would have
adverse reaction or body resistance during the procedures and that
complied with. The CA pointed out that Dr. Agas was able to
his vital signs were normal throughout the procedure.
satisfactorily explain in his Counter-Affidavit that the complications
Dr. Agas added that certifications and sworn statements attesting to suffered by Dr. Cruz was not caused by his negligence or was the
the fact that the intraperitonial bleeding which developed after the result of medical malpractice.
colonoscopy procedure, was immediately recognized, evaluated,
Dr. Agas explained that the complication was due to the abnormal
carefully managed, and corrected; that he provided an adequate and
reasonable standard of care to Dr. Cruz; that the endoscopist followed condition and configuration of the digestive system, colon in
particular, of the complainant and not from any negligent act in
all precautionary measures; that the colonoscopy procedure was done
connection with the conduct of colonoscopy.
properly; that he was not negligent or reckless in conducting the
colonoscopy procedure; that he did not deviate from any standard Issue:
medical norm, practice or procedure; and that he exercised
competence and diligence in rendering medical services to Dr. Cruz.
Whether the CA was correct in affirming the decision of the DOJ that To successfully pursue this kind of case, a patient must only prove
no probable cause exists for filing an information against the that a health care provider either failed to do something which a
respondent, that the respondent was not negligent and that there was reasonably prudent health care provider would have done, or that he
no denial of due process did something that a reasonably prudent provider would not have
done; and that failure or action caused injury to the patient. Simply
Ruling:
put, the elements are duty, breach, injury and proximate causation.
Non-interference with Executive Determination of Probable Cause in Dr. Cruz has the burden of showing the negligence or recklessness of
Preliminary Investigations Dr. Agas. Dr. Cruz failed to show that the internal hemorrhage was
Under the doctrine of separation of powers, courts have no right to caused by Dr. Agas’s negligent and reckless conduct of the
directly decide on matters over which full discretionary authority has colonoscopy procedure. In other words, Dr. Cruz failed to show and
been delegated to the Executive Branch of the Government, or to explain that particular negligent or reckless act or omission committed
substitute their own judgment for that of the Executive Branch, by Dr. Agas. Stated differently, Dr. Cruz did not demonstrate that
represented in this case by the Department of Justice. The settled there was "inexcusable lack of precaution" on the part of Dr. Agas.
policy is that the courts will not interfere with the executive Res Ipsa Loquitur Doctrine Not Applicable Against Respondent
determination of probable cause for the purpose of filing an
Information, in the absence of grave abuse of discretion. That abuse Literally, res ipsa loquitur means the thing speaks for itself. It is the
of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion rule that the fact of the occurrence of an injury, taken with the
of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by surrounding circumstances, may permit an inference or raise a
law or to act at all in contemplation of law, such as where the power presumption of negligence, or make out a plaintiff’s prima facie case,
is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and present a question of fact for defendant to meet with an
or hostility. explanation.

Medical Negligence and Malpractice Not Established The requisites for the applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur
are:
Dr. Cruz failed to show that the DOJ gravely abused its discretion in
finding that there was lack of probable cause and dismissing the (1) the occurrence of an injury;
complaint against Dr. Agas for Serious Physical Injuries through
(2) the thing which caused the injury was under the control and
Reckless Imprudence and Medical Malpractice.
management of the defendant;
A medical negligence case can prosper if the patient can present solid
(3) the occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of things,
proof that the doctor, like in this case, either failed to do something
would not have happened if those who had control or management
which a reasonably prudent doctor would have done, or that he did
used proper care; and
something that a reasonably prudent doctor would not have done, and
such failure or action caused injury to the patient. (4) the absence of explanation by the defendant. Of the foregoing
requisites, the most instrumental is the control and management of
the thing which caused the injury.
Dr. Agas was able to establish that the internal bleeding sustained by the pains will go away. However, the pain worsened, so she sought
Dr. Cruz was due to the abnormal condition and configuration of his treatment at a hospital, where another 1.5 in piece of gauze was found
sigmoid colon which was beyond his control considering that the said in her vagina. She underwent another surgery.
condition could not be detected before a colonoscopic procedure. Dr.
Sps. Agana filed a complaint for damages against PSI (owner of
Agas adequately explained that no clinical findings, laboratory tests,
Medical City), Dr. Ampil, and Dr. Fuentes, alleging that the latter are
or diagnostic imaging, such as x-rays, ultrasound or computed
liable for negligence for leaving 2 pieces of gauze in Natividad’s body,
tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen, could have detected this
and malpractice for concealing their acts of negligence. Enrique Agana
condition prior to an endoscopic procedure.
also filed an administrative complaint for gross negligence and
Petition is DENIED. malpractice against the two doctors with the PRC (although only the
case against Dr. Fuentes was heard since Dr. Ampil was abroad).
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES INC vs AGANA Pending the outcome of the cases, Natividad died (now substituted by
Facts: her children). RTC found PSI and the two doctors liable for negligence
Natividad Agana was rushed to Medical City because of difficulty of and malpractice. PRC dismissed the case against Dr. Fuentes. CA
bowel movement and bloody anal discharge. Dr. Ampil diagnosed her dismissed only the case against Fuentes.
to be suffering from cancer of the sigmoid. Dr. Ampil performed Issue:
an anterior resection surgery on her, and finding that the malignancy
spread on her left ovary, he obtained the consent of her husband, Whether or not the CA erred in holding Dr. Ampil liable for negligence
Enrique, to permit Dr. Fuentes to perform hysterectomy on her. After and malpractice.
the hysterectomy, Dr. Fuentes showed his work to Dr. Ampil, who
Whether or not the CA erred in absolving Dr. Fuentes of any liability.
examined it and found it in order, so he allowed Dr. Fuentes to leave
the operating room. Dr. Ampil was about to complete the procedure WON PSI may be held solidarily liable for Dr. Ampil’s negligence.
when the attending nurses made some remarks on the Record of
Operation: “sponge count lacking 2; announced to surgeon search Ruling:
done but to no avail continue for closure” (two pieces of gauze were No. Dr. Ampil is liable for negligence and malpractice. Leaving foreign
missing). A “diligent search” was conducted but they could not be substances in the wound after incision has been closed is at
found. Dr. Ampil then directed that the incision be closed. least prima facie negligence by the operating surgeon. Even if it has
A couple of days after, she complained of pain in her anal region, but been shown that a surgeon was required to leave a sponge in his
the doctors told her that it was just a natural consequence of the patient’s abdomen because of the dangers attendant upon delay, still,
surgery. Dr. Ampil recommended that she consult an oncologist to it is his legal duty to inform his patient within a reasonable time by
examine the cancerous nodes which were not removed during the advising her of what he had been compelled to do, so she can seek
operation. After months of consultations and examinations in the US, relief from the effects of the foreign object left in her body as her
she was told that she was free of cancer. Weeks after coming back, condition might permit. What’s worse in this case is that he misled her
her daughter found a piece of 1.5 inches gauze protruding from her by saying that the pain was an ordinary consequence of her operation.
vagina, so Dr. Ampil manually extracted this, assuring Natividad that
To successfully pursue this case of medical negligence, a patient must adduce evidence to show that it exercised the diligence of a good
only prove that a health care provider either failed to do something or father of the family in the accreditation and supervision of Dr. Ampil.
did something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would
have done and that the failure or action caused injury to the patient. GARCIA-RUEDA vs PASCASIO

No. Dr. Fuentes is not liable. The res ipsa loquitur argument of the Facts:
Aganas’ does not convince the court. Mere invocation and application
of this doctrine does not dispense with the requirement of proof of Florencio V. Rueda, husband of petitioner Leonila Garcia-Rueda,
negligence. Under the Captain of the Ship rule, the operating underwent surgical operation at the UST hospital for the removal of a
surgeon is the person in complete charge of the surgery room and all stone blocking his ureter. He was attended by Dr. Domingo Antonio,
personnel connected with the operation. That Dr. Ampil discharged Jr. who was the surgeon, while Dr. Erlinda Balatbat-Reyes was the
such role is evident from the acts that he called Dr. Fuentes to perform anaesthesiologist. Six hours after the surgery, however, Florencio died
a hysterectomy; he examined Dr. Fuentes’ work and found it in order; of complications of "unknown cause," according to officials of the UST
he granted Dr. Fuentes permission to leave; and he ordered the Hospital.
closure of the incision. Petitioner requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to
Yes. Hospital owner PSI is solidarily liable with Dr. Ampil, and directly conduct an autopsy on her husband's body. Consequently, the NBI
liable to Sps. Aganas. Previously, employers cannot be held liable for ruled that Florencio's death was due to lack of care by the attending
the fault or negligence of its professionals. However, this doctrine has physician in administering anaesthesia. Pursuant to its findings, the
weakened since courts came to realize that modern hospitals are NBI recommended that Dr. Domingo Antonio and Dr. Erlinda Balatbat-
taking a more active role in supplying and regulating medical care to Reyes be charged for Homicide through Reckless Imprudence before
its patients, by employing staff of physicians, among others. the Office of the City Prosecutor.
Hence, there is no reason to exempt hospitals from the universal rule TN: Taas au ni na part where the case was being passed from one
of respondeat superior. prosecutor to another for various reasons. So ako lang g shorten kay
In this case, PSI failed to perform the duty of exercising reasonable makasabot rapud si dean ana ui.
care to protect from harm all patients admitted into its facility for During the preliminary investigation and for various reasons, the case
medical treatment. PSI failed to conduct an investigation of the matter was being passed from different prosecutors. Finally, the case was
reported in the note of the count nurse, and this established PSI’s part transferred to Senior State Prosecutor Gregorio A. Arizala, who
in the dark conspiracy of silence and concealment about the gauzes. resolved to exonerate Dr. Reyes and Dr. Antonio from any
PSI has actual / constructive knowledge of the matter, through the wrongdoing, a resolution which was approved by both City Prosecutor
report of the attending nurses + the fact that the operation was Porfirio G. Macaraeg and City Prosecutor Jesus F. Guerrero.
carried on with the assistance of various hospital staff
Aggrieved, the petitioner filed graft charges under section 3 of RA
It also breached its duties to oversee or supervise all persons who 3019 against Prosecutors Guerrero, Macaraeg, and Arizala for
practice medicine within its walls and take an active step in fixing the manifest partiality in favor of Dr. Reyes before the Office of the
negligence committed. PSI also liable under NCC 2180 AS It failed to Ombudsman. However, on July 11, 1994, the Ombudsman issued the
assailed resolution dismissing the complaint for lack of evidence. While a party who feels himself aggrieved is at liberty to choose the
Hence this petition. appropriate "weapon from the armory," it is with no little surprise that
this Court views the choice made by the complainant widow.
Issue:
To our mind, the better and more logical remedy under the
Can the Supreme Court review the findings of the Office of the
circumstances would have been to appeal the resolution of the City
Ombudsman? Prosecutors dismissing the criminal complaint to the Secretary of
Ruling: Justice under the Department of Justice's Order No. 223.

TN: layo ra kaau ang case pero naa jud cya discussion on medical There are four elements involved in medical negligence cases: duty,
malpractice and res ipsa loquitor, mao ako e discuss later on. But for breach, injury and proximate causation. In order to successfully
the purpose of answering the issue, unahon lang sa ni ang review of pursue such a claim, a patient must prove that a health care provider,
the findings of the Ombudsman. in most cases a physician, either failed to do something which a
reasonably prudent health care provider would have done, or that he
No. In exercising his discretion under the circumstances, the or she did something that a reasonably prudent provider would not
Ombudsman acted within his power and authority in dismissing the have done; and that that failure or action caused injury to the patient.
complaint against the Prosecutors and this Court will not interfere with
the same. Evidently, when the victim employed the services of Dr. Antonio and
Dr. Reyes, a physician-patient relationship was created. They have a
The City Prosecutors were charged with violating Section 3(e) of the duty to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which requires the following facts: competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same
circumstances. The breach of these professional duties of skill and
1. The accused is a public officer discharging administrative or
care, or their improper performance, by a physician surgeon whereby
official functions or private persons charged in conspiracy with
the patient is injured in body or in health, constitutes actionable
them;
malpractice. Consequently, in the event that any injury results to the
2. The public officer committed the prohibited act during the
patient from want of due care or skill during the operation, the
performance of his official duty or in relation to his public
surgeons may be held answerable in damages for negligence.
position;
3. The public officer acted with manifest partiality, evident bad Moreover, in malpractice or negligence cases involving the
faith or gross, inexcusable negligence; and administration of anaesthesia, the necessity of expert
4. His action caused undue injury to the Government or any testimony and the availability of the charge of res ipsa
private party, or gave any party any unwarranted benefit, loquitur to the plaintiff; have been applied in actions against
advantage or preference to such parties. anaesthesiologists to hold the defendant liable for the death or
injury of a patient under excessive or improper anaesthesia. .
Why did the complainant, petitioner in instant case, elect to charge
Essentially, it requires two-pronged evidence: evidence as to
respondents under the above law?
the recognized standards of the medical community in the
particular kind of case, and a showing that the physician in
question negligently departed from this standard in his On the scheduled day of operation, Dr. Hosaka came late.
treatment.
While inside the operating room, Cruz saw Dr. Gutierrez trying to
Another element in medical negligence cases is causation which is intubate the patient. She then noticed a bluish discoloration of
divided into two inquiries: whether the doctor's actions in fact caused Erlinda’s nailbeds and then was placed in a trendelenburg position.
the harm to the patient and whether these were the proximate cause After the operation, Erlinda was wheeled to ICU and remained in
of the patient's injury. Indeed here, a causal connection is comatose condition until she died.
discernible from the occurrence of the victim's death after the
Petitioner’s contention:
negligent act of the anaesthesiologist in administering the anesthesia,
a fact which, if confirmed, should warrant the filing of the appropriate Filed an action for damages for the negligence of the respondents in
criminal case. the performance of their duties to Erlinda.
To be sure, the allegation of negligence is not entirely baseless. Respondent’s contention:
Moreover, the NBI deduced that the attending surgeons did not
conduct the necessary interview of the patient prior to the operation. Dr. Gutierrez- she maintains that the court erred in finding her
It appears that the cause of the death of the victim could have been negligent and in holding that it was the faulty intubation which was
averted had the proper drug been applied to cope with the symptoms the proximate cause of Erlinda’s comatose.
of malignant hyperthermia. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that an
Dr. Hosaka- he cannot be held negligent as a surgeon by applying the
antidote was readily available to counteract whatever deleterious
Captain-of-the-Ship doctrine by pointing out that anesthesiology and
effect the anaesthesia might produce. Why these precautionary
surgery are two distinct and specialized fields of medicine and as a
measures were disregarded must be sufficiently explained.
surgeon, he is not deemed to have control over the acts of Dr.
Hence, the case was dismissed but without prejudice to the filing of Gutierrez. Also, the trend in American jurisprudence is to do away with
the proper remedy. that doctrine.

RAMOS vs CA DLSMC- no E-E relationship exists between DLSMC and Dr. Gutierrez
and Dr. Hosaka so as to make them solidarily liable.
Facts: Issue:
Petitioner Erlinda Ramos after seeking professional medical help was Who among the respondents are liable to the death of the petitioner?
advised to undergo an operation for the removal of a stone in her gall
bladder. She was referred to Dr. Hosaka, a surgeon. Since neither Ruling:
petitioner nor her husband knew of any anaesthesiologist, Dr. Hosaka,
As to Dr. Gutierrez, it has been sufficiently established that she failed
recommended to them the services of Dr. Gutierrez.
to exercise the standards of care in the administration of anesthesia
Upon the request of the petitioner, Herminda Cruz, her sister-in-law on a patient. The conduct of a preanesthetic/ preoperative evaluation
and then Dean of the College of Nursing at the Capitol Medical Center prior to the operation is necessary for the formulation of a plan of
was allowed to accompany her inside the operating room. anesthesia care suited to the needs of the patient concerned. As she
herself admitted, she saw Erlinda for the first time on the day of the Teresita Pineda was a 51-year old unmarried woman. She consulted
operation itself, one hour before the scheduled operation. on April 17, 1987 her townmate, Dr. Fredelicto Flores, regarding her
medical condition. She complained of general body weakness, loss of
She auscultated the patient's heart and lungs and checked the latter's
appetite, frequent urination and thirst, and on-and-off vaginal
blood pressure to determine if Erlinda was indeed fit for operation.
bleeding. Dr. Fredelicto initially interviewed the patient and asked for
However, she did not proceed to examine the patient's airway. Had
the history of her monthly period to analyze the probable cause of the
she been able to check petitioner Erlinda's airway prior to the
vaginal bleeding. He advised her to return the following week or to go
operation, Dr. Gutierrez would most probably not have experienced
to the United Doctors Medical Center (UDMC) in Quezon City for a
difficulty in intubating the former, and thus the resultant injury could general check-up. As for her other symptoms, he suspected that
have been avoided. There is no question that Erlinda became
Teresita might be suffering from diabetes and told her to continue her
comatose after Dr. Gutierrez performed a medical procedure on her. medications.
Also, there is no evidence on record to support the theory that Erlinda
Teresita did not return the next week as advised. However, when her
developed an allergic reaction resulting in the patient’s comatose
condition persisted, she went to further consult Dr. Flores at his UDMC
condition.
clinic on April 28, 1987 with her sister, Lucena Pineda. Lucena later
Moreover, the standard practice in anesthesia is that every single act testified that her sister was then so weak that she had to lie down on
that the anesthesiologist performs must be recorded. In Dr. Gutierrez’ the couch of the clinic while they waited for the doctor. When Dr.
case, she could not account for at least 10 minutes of what happened Fredelicto arrived, he did a routine check-up and ordered Teresita's
during the administration of anesthesia. admission to the hospital. In the admission slip, he directed the
hospital staff to prepare the patient for an "on call" D&C operation to
As to Dr. Hosaka, due to the peculiar factual circumstances justifies be performed by his wife, Dr. Felicisima Flores. The hospital staff
that application of the Captain-of-the-Ship doctrine. First, it was Dr. forthwith took her blood and urine samples for the laboratory tests
Hosaka who recommended to petitioner the services of Dr. Gutierrez. which Dr. Fredelicto ordered.
In effect, he represented that the latter possessed the necessary
competence and skills. Next point is both of them worked as a team. Based on these preparations, Dr. Felicisima proceeded with the D&C
Their worked cannot be placed in separate watertight compartments operation with Dr. Fredelicto administering the general anesthesia.
because their duties intersect with each other. It is quite apparent that Teresita's complete laboratory examination results came and her
they have common responsibility to treat the patient, which urinalysis showed a three plus sign (+++) indicating that the sugar in
responsibility necessitates that they call each other’s attention to the her urine was very high. She was then placed under the care of Dr.
condition of the patient while the other physician is performing the Amado Jorge, an internist.
necessary medical procedures.
By April 30, 1987, Teresita's condition had worsened. She experienced
As to DLSMC, the court finds that no E-E relationship exists between difficulty in breathing and was rushed to the intensive care unit.
the hospital and Dr. Hosaka and Dr. Gutierrez. Further tests confirmed that she was suffering from Diabetes Mellitus
Type II. Insulin was administered on the patient, but the medication
SPS. FLORES vs SPS. PINEDA might have arrived too late. Due to complications induced by diabetes,
Facts: Teresita died in the morning of May 6, 1987.
Believing that Teresita's death resulted from the negligent handling of patient as a result of this breach, the physician is answerable for
her medical needs, her family (respondents) instituted an action for negligence.
damages against petitioner spouses.
We find that reasonable prudence would have shown that diabetes
Issue: and its complications were foreseeable harm that should have been
taken into consideration by the petitioner spouses. If a patient suffers
W/N sps Dr. Fredelicto and Dr. Felicisima were guilty of medical from some disability that increases the magnitude of risk to him, that
malpractice.
disability must be taken into account so long as it is or should have
Ruling: been known to the physician. And when the patient is exposed to an
increased risk, it is incumbent upon the physician to take
YES. commensurate and adequate precautions.
The respondents' claim for damages is predicated on their allegation Taking into account Teresita's high blood sugar, Dr. Mendoza opined
that the decision of the petitioner spouses to proceed with the D&C that the attending physician should have postponed the D&C
operation, notwithstanding Teresita's condition and the laboratory test operation in order to conduct a confirmatory test to make a conclusive
results, amounted to negligence. On the other hand, the petitioner diagnosis of diabetes and to refer the case to an internist or
spouses contend that a D&C operation is the proper and accepted diabetologist. This was corroborated by Dr. Delfin Tan ( Dr. Tan), an
procedure to address vaginal bleeding - the medical problem obstetrician and gynecologist, who stated that the patient's diabetes
presented to them. Given that the patient died after the D&C, the core should have been managed by an internist prior to, during, and after
issue is whether the decision to proceed with the D&C operation was the operation.
an honest mistake of judgment or one amounting to negligence.
That the D&C operation was conducted principally to diagnose the
Elements of a Medical Negligence Case cause of the vaginal bleeding further leads us to conclude that it was
merely an elective procedure, not an emergency case. In an elective
A medical negligence caseis a type of claim to redress a wrong
procedure, the physician must conduct a thorough pre-operative
committed by a medical professional, that has caused bodily harm to
evaluation of the patient in order to adequately prepare her for the
or the death of a patient. There are four elements involved in a
operation and minimize possible risks and complications. The internist
medical negligence case, namely: duty, breach, injury, and proximate
is responsible for generating a comprehensive evaluation of all medical
causation.
problems during the pre-operative evaluation.
Duty refers to the standard of behavior which imposes restrictions on
Significantly, the evidence strongly suggests that the pre-operative
one's conduct. The standard in turn refers to the amount of
evaluation was less than complete as the laboratory results were fully
competence associated with the proper discharge of the profession. A
reported only on the day following the D&C operation. Dr. Felicisima
physician is expected to use at least the same level of care that any
only secured a telephone report of the preliminary laboratory result
other reasonably competent doctor would use under the same
prior to the D&C. This preliminary report did not include the 3+ status
circumstances. Breach of duty occurs when the physician fails to
of sugar in the patient's urine - a result highly confirmatory of
comply with these professional standards. If injury results to the
diabetes.
Because the D&C was merely an elective procedure, the patient's On August 18, 1993, Angelica was admitted to SLMC. However, she
uncontrolled hyperglycemia presented a far greater risk than her on- died on
and-off vaginal bleeding. The presence of hyperglycemia in a surgical
September 1, 1993, just eleven (11) days after the (intravenous)
patient is associated with poor clinical outcomes, and aggressive
administration of the first cycle of the chemotherapy regimen.
glycemic control positively impacts on morbidity and mortality.
Elective surgery in people with uncontrolled diabetes should preferably Respondents filed a damage suit against petitioner, Dr. Leo Marbella,
be scheduled after acceptable glycemic control has been achieved. Mr. Jose Ledesma, a certain Dr. Arriete and SLMC. Respondents
According to Dr. Mercado, this is done by administering insulin on the charged them with negligence and disregard of Angelica's safety,
patient. health and welfare by their careless administration of the
chemotherapy drugs, their failure to observe the essential precautions
The prudent move is to address the patient's hyperglycemic state
in detecting early the symptoms of fatal blood platelet decrease and
immediately and promptly before any other procedure is undertaken.
stopping early on the chemotherapy, which bleeding led to
In this case, there was no evidence that insulin was administered on
hypovolemic shock that caused Angelica's untimely demise.
Teresita prior to or during the D&C operation. Insulin was only
administered two days after the operation. Respondents averred that the only side effects resulting from the
chemotherapy which were communicated to them were slight
The above facts, point only to one conclusion - that the petitioner
vomiting, hair loss and weakness. They claim that they would not have
spouses failed, as medical professionals, to comply with their duty to
given their consent to chemotherapy had petitioner not falsely assure
observe the standard of care to be given to hyperglycemic/diabetic
them of its side effects.
patients undergoing surgery. Whether this breach of duty was the
proximate cause of Teresita's death is a matter we shall next Petitioner denied having been negligent in administering the
determine. chemotherapy drugs to Angelica and asserted that she had fully
explained to respondents how thechemotherapy will affect not only
Related Law: RA No. 9439
the cancer cells but also the patient's normal body parts, including the
DR. RUBI LI vs SPOUSES REYNALDO AND LINA SOLIMAN lowering of white and red blood cells and platelets.
She claimed that what happened to Angelica can be attributed to
Facts: malignant tumor cells possibly left behind after surgery.

Angelica Soliman, 11 years old, was suffering from osteosarcoma, The trial court dismissed the complaint holding that petitioner was not
osteoblastic type, a high-grade cancer of the bone which usually liable for damages as she observed the best known procedures and
afflicts teenage children. Her right leg was amputated by Dr. Jaime employed her highest skill and knowledge in the administration of
Tamayo in order to remove the tumor. Chemotherapy was then chemotherapy drugs on Angelica but despite all efforts said patient
suggested by Dr. Tamayo to eliminate remaining cancer cells and died.
prevent the disease from spreading to other part s of the body. Dr.
Using the standard of negligence laid down in Picart v. Smith, the trial
Tamayo referred Angelica to another doctor at SMLC, herein petitioner
court declared that petitioner has taken the necessary precaution
Dr. Rubi Li, a medical oncologist.
against the adverse effect of chemotherapy on the patient, adding
that a wrong decision is not by itself negligence. Respondents were In order to successfully pursue such a claim, a patient must prove that
ordered to pay their unpaid hospital bill in the amount of P139,064.43. a health care provider, in most cases a physician, either failed to do
something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would
Meanwhile the Court of Appeals found that while there was no
have done, or that he or she did something that a reasonably prudent
negligence committed by the petitioner in the administration of
provider would not have done; and that that failure or action caused
chemotherapy treatment to Angelica, found that petitioner as her
injury to the patient.
attending physician failed to fully explain to the respondents all the
known side effects of chemotherapy. The appellate court stressed This Court has recognized that medical negligence cases are best
that since the respondents have been told of only three side effects of proved by opinions of expert witnesses belonging in the same general
chemotherapy, they readily consented thereto. neighborhood and in the same general line of practice as defendant
Had petitioner made known to respondents those other side effects physician or surgeon.
which gravely affected their child — such as carpopedal spasm, sepsis,
In this case, both the trial and appellate courts concurred in finding
decrease in the blood platelet count, bleeding, infections and eventual
that the alleged negligence of petitioner in the administration of
death — respondents could have decided differently or adopted a
chemotherapy drugs to respondents' child was not proven considering
different course of action which could have delayed or prevented the
that Drs. Vergara and Balmaceda, not being oncologists or cancer
early death of their child. there was no negligence committed by the
specialists, were not qualified to give expert opinion as to whether
petitioner in the administration of chemotherapy treatment to
Angelica, found that petitioner as her attending physician failed to fully petitioner's lack of skill, knowledge and professional competence in
failing to observe the standard of care in her line of practice was the
explain to the respondents all the known side effects of chemotherapy.
proximate cause of the patient's death.
The appellate court stressed that since the respondents have been There are four essential elements that must be proven in a malpractice
told of only three side effects of chemotherapy, they readily consented action based upon the doctrine of informed consent: (1) the physician
thereto. Had petitioner made known to respondents those other side had a duty to disclose material risks; (2) he failed to disclose or
effects which gravely affected their child — such as carpopedal spasm, inadequately disclosed those risks; (3) as a direct and proximate result
sepsis, decrease in the blood platelet count, bleeding, infections and of the failure to disclose, the patient consented to treatment she
eventual death — respondents could have decided differently or otherwise would not have consented to; and (4) plaintiff was injured
adopted a different course of action which could have delayed or by the proposed treatment. The gravamen in an informed consent
prevented the early death of their child. case requires the plaintiff to point to significant undisclosed
information relating to the treatment which would have altered her
Ruling:
decision to undergo it.
The petition is meritorious. The type of lawsuit which has been called
There was adequate disclosure of material risks inherent in the
medical malpractice or, more appropriately, medical negligence, is
that type of claim which a victim has available to him or her to redress chemotherapy procedure performed with the consent of Angelica’s
parents. They could not have been unaware in the course of initial
a wrong committed by a medical professional which has caused bodily
treatment and amputation of Angelica’s lower extremity, that her
harm.
immune system was already weak on account of the malignant tumor
in her knee. When Dr Li informed them beforehand of the side effects RTC’s Decision:
of chemotherapy which includes lowered counts of white and red
Rendered judgment finding DR. MENDOZA guilty of neglect that
blood cells, decrease in blood platelets, possible kidney or heart
caused JOSEPHINE’s illness and eventual death and ordering her to
damage and skin darkening, there is reasonable expectation on the
pay JOSEPHINE’s heirs:
part of the doctor that the parents understood very well that the
severity of these side effects will not be the same for all patients Actual damages – P50K;
undergoing the procedure. In other words, by the nature of the
disease itself, each patient’s reaction to the chemical agents even with Moral damages – P200K; and
pre-treatment laboratory tests cannot be precisely determined by the
Attorney’s fees – P20K
physician. That death can possibly result from complications of the
treatment or the underlying cancer itself, immediately or sometime Costs of suit
after the administration of chemotherapy drugs, is a risk that cannot
be ruled out, as with most other major medical procedures, but such CA’s Decision:
conclusion can be reasonably drawn from the general side effects of Affirmed the decision of the RTC and held that DR. MENDOZA
chemotherapy already disclosed. committed a breach of her duty as a physician when a gauze remained
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. in her patient’s body after surgery.

MENDOZA vs CASUMPANG Issue:

Whether DR. MENDOZA committed a breach of her duty as a physician


Facts:
Dr. Mendoza’s argument:
JOSEPHINE (CASUMPANG) underwent hysterectomy and
myomectomy that DR. MENDOZA performed on her at the Hospital. Claims that no gauze or surgical material was left in JOSEPHINE’s body
After her operation, JOSEPHINE experienced recurring fever, nausea, after her surgery as evidenced by the surgical sponge court in the
and vomiting. 3 months after the operation, she noticed while taking hospital record
a bath something protruding from her genital. She tried calling DR.
Ruling:
MENDOZA to report it but she was unavailable. JOSEPHINE instead
went to see another physician, DR. EDNA JAMANDRE-GUMBAN, who JOSEPHINE did not undergo any other surgical operation. And it would
extracted a foul-smelling, partially expelled rolled gauze from her be much unlikely for her or for any woman to inject a roll of gauze
cervix. into her cervix.

The discovery of the gauze and the illness she went through prompted The Court notes, however, that neither the CA nor the RTC awarded
JOSEPHINE to file a damage suit against DR. MENDOZA. Because exemplary damages against DR. MENDOZA when, under Art. 2229 of
JOSEPHINE died before the trial could end, her husband and their the Civil Code, exemplary damages are imposed by way of example
children substituted her in the case. She was a housewife and 40 years or correction for the public good, in addition to moral damages.
old when she died.
Exemplary damages may also be awarded in cases of gross health and welfare by their careless administration of the
negligence. chemotherapy drugs, their failure to observe the essential precautions
in detecting early the symptoms of fatal blood platelet decrease and
A surgical operation is the responsibility of the surgeon performing it.
stopping early on the chemotherapy, which bleeding led to
He must personally ascertain that the counts of instruments and
hypovolemic shock that caused Angelica's untimely demise.
materials used before the surgery and prior to sewing the patient up
have been correctly done. To provide an example to the medical Respondents averred that the only side effects resulting from the
profession and to stress the need for constant vigilance in attending chemotherapy which were communicated to them were slight
to a patient’s health, the award of exemplary damages in this case is vomiting, hair loss and weakness. They claim that they would not have
in order. given their consent to chemotherapy had petitioner not falsely assure
them of its side effects.
Further, in view of JOSEPHINE’s death resulting from DR. MENDOZA’s
negligence, civil indemnity under Art. 2206 of the Civil Code should be Petitioner denied having been negligent in administering the
given to respondents as heirs. The amount of P50K is fixed by chemotherapy drugs to Angelica and asserted that she had fully
prevailing jurisprudence for this kind. explained to respondents how thechemotherapy will affect not only
the cancer cells but also the patient's normal body parts, including the
LI vs SPS. SOLIMAN lowering of white and red blood cells and platelets.
She claimed that what happened to Angelica can be attributed to
Facts: malignant tumor cells possibly left behind after surgery.
Angelica Soliman, 11 years old, was suffering from osteosarcoma, The trial court dismissed the complaint holding that petitioner was not
osteoblastic type, a high-grade cancer of the bone which usually liable for damages as she observed the best known procedures and
afflicts teenage children. Her right leg was amputated by Dr. Jaime employed her highest skill and knowledge in the administration of
Tamayo in order to remove the tumor. Chemotherapy was then chemotherapy drugs on Angelica but despite all efforts said patient
suggested by Dr. Tamayo to eliminate remaining cancer cells and died.
prevent the disease from spreading to other part s of the body. Dr.
Tamayo referred Angelica to another doctor at SMLC, herein petitioner Using the standard of negligence laid down in Picart v. Smith, the trial
Dr. Rubi Li, a medical oncologist. court declared that petitioner has taken the necessary precaution
against the adverse effect of chemotherapy on the patient, adding
On August 18, 1993, Angelica was admitted to SLMC. However, she that a wrong decision is not by itself negligence. Respondents were
died on ordered to pay their unpaid hospital bill in the amount of P139,064.43.
September 1, 1993, just eleven (11) days after the (intravenous) Meanwhile the Court of Appeals found that while there was no
administration of the first cycle of the chemotherapy regimen. negligence committed by the petitioner in the administration of
Respondents filed a damage suit against petitioner, Dr. Leo Marbella, chemotherapy treatment to Angelica, found that petitioner as her
Mr. Jose Ledesma, a certain Dr. Arriete and SLMC. Respondents attending physician failed to fully explain to the respondents all the
charged them with negligence and disregard of Angelica's safety, known side effects of chemotherapy.
The appellate court stressed that since the respondents have been This Court has recognized that medical negligence cases are best
told of only three side effects of chemotherapy, they readily consented proved by opinions of expert witnesses belonging in the same general
thereto. neighborhood and in the same general line of practice as defendant
Had petitioner made known to respondents those other side effects physician or surgeon.
which gravely affected their child — such as carpopedal spasm, sepsis,
decrease in the blood platelet count, bleeding, infections and eventual
death — respondents could have decided differently or adopted a In this case, both the trial and appellate courts concurred in finding
different course of action which could have delayed or prevented the that the alleged negligence of petitioner in the administration of
early death of their child. there was no negligence committed by the chemotherapy drugs to respondents' child was not proven considering
petitioner in the administration of chemotherapy treatment to that Drs. Vergara and Balmaceda, not being oncologists or cancer
Angelica, found that petitioner as her attending physician failed to fully specialists, were not qualified to give expert opinion as to whether
explain to the respondents all the known side effects of chemotherapy. petitioner's lack of skill, knowledge and professional competence in
failing to observe the standard of care in her line of practice was the
The appellate court stressed that since the respondents have been proximate cause of the patient's death.
told of only three side effects of chemotherapy, they readily consented
thereto. Had petitioner made known to respondents those other side There are four essential elements that must be proven in a malpractice
effects which gravely affected their child — such as carpopedal spasm, action based upon the doctrine of informed consent: (1) the physician
sepsis, decrease in the blood platelet count, bleeding, infections and had a duty to disclose material risks; (2) he failed to disclose or
eventual death — respondents could have decided differently or inadequately disclosed those risks; (3) as a direct and proximate result
adopted a different course of action which could have delayed or of the failure to disclose, the patient consented to treatment she
prevented the early death of their child. otherwise would not have consented to; and (4) plaintiff was injured
by the proposed treatment. The gravamen in an informed consent
Ruling: case requires the plaintiff to point to significant undisclosed
The petition is meritorious. The type of lawsuit which has been called information relating to the treatment which would have altered her
decision to undergo it.
medical malpractice or, more appropriately, medical negligence, is
that type of claim which a victim has available to him or her to redress There was adequate disclosure of material risks inherent in the
a wrong committed by a medical professional which has caused bodily chemotherapy procedure performed with the consent of Angelica’s
harm. parents. They could not have been unaware in the course of initial
In order to successfully pursue such a claim, a patient must prove that treatment and amputation of Angelica’s lower extremity, that her
a health care provider, in most cases a physician, either failed to do immune system was already weak on account of the malignant tumor
something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would in her knee. When Dr Li informed them beforehand of the side effects
have done, or that he or she did something that a reasonably prudent of chemotherapy which includes lowered counts of white and red
provider would not have done; and that that failure or action caused blood cells, decrease in blood platelets, possible kidney or heart
injury to the patient. damage and skin darkening, there is reasonable expectation on the
part of the doctor that the parents understood very well that the
severity of these side effects will not be the same for all patients The mother was suspicious about his son's illness, Mrs. Cortejo again
undergoing the procedure. In other words, by the nature of the called Dr. Casumpang's (a pediatrician) attention and stated that
disease itself, each patient’s reaction to the chemical agents even with Edmer had a fever, throat irritation, as well as chest and stomach pain.
pre-treatment laboratory tests cannot be precisely determined by the Mrs. Cortejo also alerted Dr. Casumpang about the traces of blood in
physician. That death can possibly result from complications of the Edmer's sputum. Despite these pieces of information, however, Dr.
treatment or the underlying cancer itself, immediately or sometime Casumpang simply nodded, inquired if Edmer has an asthma, and
after the administration of chemotherapy drugs, is a risk that cannot reassured Mrs. Cortejo that Edmer's illness is bronchopneumonia.
be ruled out, as with most other major medical procedures, but such
conclusion can be reasonably drawn from the general side effects of Dr. Miranda came in due to request and conducted a physical check-
up covering Edmer's head, eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin and
chemotherapy already disclosed.
abdomen; and found that Edmer had a low-grade non-continuing
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. fever, and rashes that were not typical of dengue fever.

CASUMPANG vs CORTEJO Upon seeing Dr. Miranda, the respondent showed her Edmer's blood
specimen, and reported that Edmer had complained of severe
Facts: stomach pain and difficulty in moving his right leg. Dr. Miranda called
up Dr. Casumpang at his clinic and told him about Edmer's condition.
On April 22, 1988, at about 11:30 in the morning, Mrs. Jesusa Cortejo
brought her 11-year old son, Edmer to the Emergency Room of the Upon being informed, Dr. Casumpang ordered several procedures
San Juan de Dios Hospital (SJDH) because of difficulty in breathing, done including: hematocrit, hemoglobin, blood typing, blood
chest pain, stomach pain, and fever. transfusion and tourniquet tests. She advised Edmer's parents that the
blood test results showed that Edmer was suffering from "Dengue
Dr. Ramoncito Livelo (Dr. Livelo) initially attended to and examined Hemorrhagic Fever." One hour later, Dr. Casumpang arrived at
Edmer. In her testimony, Mrs. Cortejo narrated that in the morning of Edmer's room and he recommended his transfer to the Intensive Care
April 20, 1988, Edmer had developed a slight fever that lasted for one Unit (ICU), to which the respondent consented. Since the ICU was
day; a few hours upon discovery, she brought Edmer to their family then full, Dr. Casumpang suggested to the respondent that they hire
doctor; and two hours after administering medications, Edmer's fever a private nurse. The respondent, however, insisted on transferring his
had subsided. son to Makati Medical Center.
After taking Edmer's medical history, Dr. Livelo took his vital signs, Dr. Casumpang immediately gave the attending physician the patient's
body temperature, and blood pressure. Based on these initial clinical history and laboratory exam results. Upon examination, the
examinations and the chest x-ray test that followed, Dr. Livelo attending physician diagnosed "Dengue Fever Stage IV" that was
diagnosed Edmer with "bronchopneumonia." Edmer's blood was also already in its irreversible stage.
taken for testing, typing, and for purposes of administering antibiotics.
Afterwards, Dr. Livelo gave Edmer an antibiotic medication to lessen Edmer died at 4:00 in the morning of April 24, 1988. His Death
his fever and to loosen his phlegm. Certificate indicated the cause of death as "Hypovolemic
Shock/hemorrhagic shock;" "Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Stage IV."
Believing that Edmer's death was caused by the negligent and Issues:
erroneous diagnosis of his doctors, the respondent instituted an action
1. Whether or not the petitioning doctors had committed "inexcusable
for damages against SJDH, and it’s attending physicians:
lack of precaution" in diagnosing and in treating the patient;
Dr.Casumpang and Dr. Miranda (collectively referred to as the
"petitioners") before the RTC of Makati City. 2. Whether or not the petitioner hospital is solidarily liable with the
Dr. Casumpang contends that he gave his patient medical treatment petitioning doctors;
and care to the best of his abilities, and within the proper standard of 3. Whether or not there is a causal connection between the petitioners'
care required from physicians under similar circumstances. He claims negligent act/omission and the patient's resulting death.
that his initial diagnosis of bronchopneumonia was supported by the
chest x-ray result. Ruling:

Dr. Miranda faults the CA for holding her responsible for Edmer's 1. YES for Dr. Casumpang, but Dr. Miranda is not liable
wrong diagnosis, stressing that the function of making the diagnosis
The claim for damages is based on the petitioning doctors' negligence
and undertaking the medical treatment devolved upon Dr.
in diagnosing and treating the deceased Edmer, the child of the
Casumpang, the doctor assigned to Edmer, and who confirmed
respondent. It is a medical malpractice suit, an action available to
"bronchopneumonia."
victims to redress a wrong committed by medical professionals who
SJDH, on the other hand, disclaims liability by asserting that Dr. caused bodily harm to, or the death of, a patient.33 As the term is
Casumpang and Dr. Miranda are mere independent contractors and used, the suit is brought whenever a medical practitioner or health
"consultants" (not employees) of the hospital. SJDH alleges that since care provider fails to meet the standards demanded by his profession,
it did not exercise control or supervision over the consultants' exercise or deviates from this standard, and causes injury to the patient.
of medical profession, there is no employer-employee relationship
A determination of whether or not the petitioning doctors met the
between them, and consequently, Article 2180 of the Civil Code does
required standard of care involves a question of mixed fact and law;
not apply
it is factual as medical negligence cases are highly technical in nature,
RTC ruled in favor of the respondent, and awarded actual and moral requiring the presentation of expert witnesses to provide guidance to
damages. Ruled the petitioning doctors were negligent, and found the court on matters clearly falling within the domain of medical
untenable the petitioning doctors' contention that Edmer's initial science, and legal, insofar as the Court, after evaluating the expert
symptoms did not indicate dengue fever. It faulted them for heavily testimonies, and guided by medical literature, learned treatises, and
relying on the chest x-ray result and for not considering the other its fund of common knowledge, ultimately determines whether breach
manifestations that Edmer's parents had relayed. of duty took place.

CA affirmed en toto the RTC's ruling, finding that SJDH and its In the present case, expert testimony is crucial in determining first,
attending physicians failed to exercise the minimum medical care, the standard medical examinations, tests, and procedures that the
attention, and treatment expected of an ordinary doctor under like attending physicians should have undertaken in the diagnosis and
circumstances. treatment of dengue fever; and second, the dengue fever signs and
symptoms that the attending physicians should have noticed and by estoppel. There is No Employer-Employee Relationship between
considered. SJDH and the Petitioning Doctors.

Furthermore, the standard of care according to Dr. Jaudian is to Based on the records, no evidence exists showing that SJDH exercised
administer oxygen inhalation, analgesic, and fluid infusion or dextrose. any degree of control over the means, methods of procedure and
If the patient had twice vomited fresh blood and thrombocytopenia manner by which the petitioning doctors conducted and performed
has already occurred, the doctor should order blood transfusion, their medical profession. SJDH did not control their diagnosis and
monitoring of the patient every 30 minutes, hemostatic to stop treatment. Likewise, no evidence was presented to show that SJDH
bleeding, and oxygen if there is difficulty in breathing. monitored, supervised, or directed the petitioning doctors in the
treatment and management of Edmer's case. In these lights, the
In the present case, evidence on record established that in confirming
petitioning doctors were not employees of SJDH, but were mere
the diagnosis of bronchopneumonia, Dr. Casumpang selectively
independent contractors.
appreciated some and not all of the symptoms presented, and failed
to promptly conduct the appropriate tests to confirm his findings. In SJDH is Solidarity Liable Based on The Principle of Agency or Doctrine
sum, Dr. Casumpang failed to timely detect dengue fever, which of Apparent Authority. Despite the absence of employer-employee
failure, especially when reasonable prudence would have shown that relationship between SJDH and the petitioning doctors, SJDH is not
indications of dengue were evident and/or foreseeable, constitutes free from liability.
negligence.
The hospital may be found liable if the physician or independent
We find that Dr. Miranda as resident doctor was not independently contractor acts as an ostensible agent of the hospital. This exception
negligent. Although she had greater patient exposure, and was' is also known as the "doctrine of apparent authority.”
subject to the same standard of care applicable to attending
physicians, we believe that a finding of negligence should also depend For a hospital to be liable under the doctrine of apparent authority, a
plaintiff must show that: (1) the hospital, or its agent, acted in a
on several competing factors, among them, her authority to make her
manner that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the
own diagnosis, the degree of supervision of the attending physician
individual who was alleged to be negligent was an employee or agent
over her, and the shared responsibility between her and the attending
of the hospital; (2) where the acts of the agent create the appearance
physicians.
of authority, the plaintiff must also prove that the hospital had
2. YES knowledge of and acquiesced in them; and (3) the plaintiff acted in
reliance upon the conduct of the hospital or its agent, consistent with
The respondent submits that SJDH should not only be held vicariously
ordinary care and prudence.
liable for the petitioning doctors' negligence but also for its own
negligence. He claims that SJDH fell short of its duty of providing its 3. YES
patients with the necessary facilities and equipment.
To successfully claim damages, the patient must lastly prove the
The hospital's liability is not on the basis of Article 2180 of the Civil causal relation between the negligence and the injury. This connection
Code, but on the basis of the doctrine of apparent authority or agency must be direct, natural, and should be unbroken by any intervening
efficient causes.
IOW, the negligence must be the proximate cause of the injury. The there was no vacancy in the ICU and all ventilator units were being
injury or damage is proximately caused by the physician's used.
negligence when it appears, based on the evidence and the
PETITIONER’S ARGUMENTS
expert testimony, that the negligence played an integral part
in causing the injury or damage, and that the injury or damage At the NKI, Logmao was recorded as Lugmoso relying on the data
was either a direct result, or a reasonably probable consequence of sheet. No relative could be found after the extensive search through
the physician's negligence. the police and media assistance. Lugmoso died of craniocerebral
injury. The time being of the essence in the success of organ
As the respondent had pointed out, dengue fever, if left untreated,
transplantation, Dr. Filoteo A. Alano as Executive Director of NKI
could be a life threatening disease. As in any fatal diseases, it requires
authorize the removal of heart, kidneys, pancreas, liver and spleen
immediate medical attention. With the correct and timely diagnosis,
from the body of Lugmoso for double organ transplantation in
coupled with the proper medical management, dengue fever is not a
accordance with R.A. No. 349, as amended by P.D. 856, i.e., giving
life-threatening disease and could easily be cured.
his subordinates instructions to make certain and to exert all
To reiterate, Dr. Casumpang failed to timely diagnose Edmer with reasonable efforts to locate the relatives or next of kin of respondent's
dengue fever despite the presence of its characteristic symptoms; and son.
as a consequence of the delayed diagnosis, he also failed to promptly
RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENTS
manage Edmer's illness. Had he immediately conducted confirmatory
tests, (i.e., tourniquet tests and series of blood tests) and promptly The mother of the boy heard of the incident and saw his son in a
administered the proper care and management needed for dengue cheap casket. She filed with the court a complaint for damages that
fever, the risk of complications or even death, could have been the authorities conspired to remove the organs while the boy was still
substantially reduced. alive and that they concealed his true identity.
ALANO vs MAGUD-LOGMAO RTC

Facts: In a judgement, it rendered the Director of NKI liable for quasi-delict


to pay actual damages, moral damages, exemplary damages,
An 18-year old boy went missing after seeing a movie and his brother attorney's fees, and costs of suit. Petitioner appealed to the CA.
reported it to the police station 2 days after the incident. Unknown to
the family, the boy was brought to a medical center in Quezon City by CA
2 sidewalk vendors who saw him fall from the overpass. The patient’s It affirmed with modification by deleting the actual damages and by
data sheet identified him as Angelito Lugmoso of Mandaluyong, while reducing the other awards.
the surgical resident on-duty at the Emergency Room stated that his
name is Angelito Logmao. The resident doctor reported that Logmao Issue:
was drowsy with alcoholic breath, was conscious and coherent; that
Whether petitioner is liable for negligence.
the skull x-ray showed no fracture; that he developed generalized
seizures and was transferred to National Kidney Institute (NKI) since Ruling:
No. Petitioner could not have been faulted for having full confidence Yu and Yuhico went to Orchard Golf to play golf w/ another member
in the ability of the doctors in the Department of Surgery to of the club. At the last minute, they were informed that the other
comprehend the instructions, obeying all his directives, and acting member could not play with them. Due to the “no twosome” policy of
only in accordance with the requirements of the law. Orchard contained in their handbook prohibiting less than 3 players
from playing on weekends a public holiday before 1pm. Yu decided to
It was the medical center, who had the opportunity to ascertain the
convince Orchard’s assistant golf director to allow them to play. The
name but recorded the wrong identity to NKI. The NKI could not have
latter refused. Yu then shouted invectives at the assistant golf
obtained the information as the patient was already unconscious by
director. Thus w/o the latter’s permission, they were able to play. The
the time he was brought to the NKI. lower court ruled by saying that the Orchard’s decision suspending Yu
As stated in Otero v. Tan, "in civil cases, it is a basic rule that the party and Yuhico is declared void. Orchard is likewise directed to pay moral,
making allegations has the burden of proving them by a exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and costs of litigation
preponderance of evidence.” Here, there is no proof that the period
Issue:
of around 24 hours from the time notices were disseminated, cannot
be considered as reasonable under the circumstances. They failed to W/N the damages claimed could be awarded?
present any expert witness to prove the doctors could or should have
Ruling:
waited longer before harvesting the internal organs for
transplantation. No.
It should be emphasized that the internal organs of the deceased were Yu and Yuhico acknowledged that there was an offense committed.
removed only after he had been declared brain dead; thus, the Similarly, Yuhico admitted that he was aware or had prior knowledge
emotional pain suffered by respondent due to the death of her son of Orchard’s policy against twosomes, contained in their handbook.
cannot in any way be attributed to petitioner. Neither can the Court However, they asserted that such policy was relaxed by the
find evidence on record to show that respondent's emotional suffering management when a member would not be prejudiced. However, the
at the sight of the pitiful state in which she found her son's lifeless court ruled that such claim is based not on concrete examples. No
body be categorically attributed to petitioner's conduct. specific instance as to when and under what circumstance the
supposed relaxation took place was cited.
DAMAGES
DEFINITION As to the purported damages, Yuhico stated that he became the butt
of jokes of another group of member-golfers in the club. Also, Yu said
THE ORCHARD GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB vs ROBLES that his friends in business started to evade him. Respondents could
not however present any testimonial/documentary evidence to bolster
Facts: their claims.
This case is a continuation of Yu vs. The Orchard Gold & Country Club, Thus, contrary to the findings of the trial courrt’s findings, there is no
Inc. The relevant facts are as follows: factual/legal basis to grant moral/exemplary damages, attorney’s fees
and costs of suit in favor of respondents. The damages suffered, if Found Jesus guilty as charged and correspondingly sentenced him to
there are any, partake of the nature of a damnum absque injuria. reclusion and to pay the heirs of Boteja, Jr. P30,000.00 as death
indemnity and P27,000.00 as funeral expenses.
One who makes use of his own legal right does no injury. Qui jure suo
utitur nullum damnum facit. If damage results from a person's RESPONDENT’S ARGUMENT:
exercising his legal rights, it is damnum absque injuria.
The lower court erred:
In this case, respondents failed to prove by preponderance of
In giving credence to the testimony of Boteja, which he (Jesus) claims
evidence that there is fault or negligence on the part of petitioners in
to be improbable and incredible; in finding him guilty despite failure
order to oblige them to pay for the alleged damage sustained as a
of the prosecution to overcome the presumption of his innocence; in
result of their suspension as Club members. Certainly, membership in
disregarding his alibi; and in appreciating the qualifying aggravating
the Club is a privilege. Regular members are entitled to use all the
circumstance of treachery.
facilities and privileges of the Club, subject to its rules and regulations.
As correctly pointed out by petitioners, the mental anguish Issue:
respondents experienced, assuming to be true, was brought upon
them by themselves for deliberately and consciously violating the rules Whether the heirs of Boteja, Jr. entitled to claim damages for loss of
and regulations of the Club. Considering that respondents were validly earning capacity.
suspended, there is no reason for the Club to compensate them.
Ruling:
ACTUAL OR COMPENSATORY Yes. SC noted that the trial court failed to award damages for loss of
COMPONENTS OF ACTUAL DAMAGES earning capacity despite testimony of Leticia Boteja to this effect. In
People v. Dizon, where Erwin Gesmundo was only 15 years old at the
time of his death and was earning a daily wage of P100.00 as a
Loss of earning capacity construction worker. In the instant case, the victim was 19 years old
Formula in determining loss of earning capacity at the time of his death and earning P1,600 monthly as a farm laborer.
Thus, his heirs are entitled to receive an award for lost earnings.
PEOPLE vs MUYCO
VICTORY LINER vs GAMMAD
Facts:
Facts:
Jesus and Arnulfo Muyco, cousins, were charged with murder for the
death of Romeo Boteja Jr. Only Jesus Muyco was apprehended while Respondent Rosalito Gammad testified that on March 14, 1996, his
Arnulfo remains at large. wife Marie Grace Pagulayan-Gammad, was on board an air-
conditioned Victory Liner bus bound for Tuguegarao, Cagayan from
TRIAL COURT’S DECISION: Manila. At about 3:00 a.m., the bus while running at a high speed fell
on a ravine somewhere in Barangay Baliling, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya,
which resulted in the death of Marie Grace and physical injuries to of the deceased’s wife that her husband was earning P8,000.00
other passengers. monthly as a legal researcher of a private corporation. Finding that
the deceased was neither self-employed nor employed as a daily-wage
On May 14, 1996, respondent heirs of the deceased filed a complaint
worker earning less than the minimum wage under the labor laws
for damages arising from culpa contractual against petitioner.
existing at the time of his death, the Court held that testimonial
On November 6, 1998, the trial court rendered its decision in favor of evidence alone is insufficient to justify an award for loss of earning
respondents. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial capacity.
court with modification as to the amount of damages. For instance,
Here, the trial court and the Court of Appeals computed the award of
the trial court awarded 1,500,000.00 as compensatory damages, while
compensatory damages for loss of earning capacity only on the basis
the Court of Appeals lowered it to P1,135,536,10.
of the testimony of respondent Rosalito that the deceased was 39
In this petition for review, petitioner argues that the trial court’s award years of age and a Section Chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue,
of damages was without basis and should be deleted. Tuguergarao District Office with a salary of P83,088.00 per annum
when she died. No other evidence was presented. The award is
Issue: clearly erroneous because the deceased’s earnings does not
fall within the exceptions.
Whether the award of damages was proper.
However, the fact of loss having been established, temperate
Held:
damages in the amount of P500,000.00 should be awarded to
Respondent heirs of the deceased are entitled to indemnity for the respondents. Under Article 2224 of the Civil Code, temperate or
death of Marie Grace which under current jurisprudence is fixed at moderate damages, which are more than nominal but less than
P50,000.00. compensatory damages, may be recovered when the court finds that
some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot, from
The award of compensatory damages for the loss of the deceased’s the nature of the case, be proved with certainty.
earning capacity should be deleted for lack of basis. As a rule,
documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate Respondents in the instant case should be awarded moral damages
the claim for damages for loss of earning capacity. By way of to compensate for the grief caused by the death of the deceased
exception, damages for loss of earning capacity may be awarded resulting from the petitioner’s breach of contract of carriage.
despite the absence of documentary evidence when (1) the deceased
Anent the award of moral damages, the same cannot be lumped with
is self-employed earning less than the minimum wage under current
exemplary damages because they are based on different jural
labor laws, and judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the
foundations. These damages are different in nature and require
deceased’s line of work no documentary evidence is available; or (2)
separate determination. In culpa contractual or breach of contract,
the deceased is employed as a daily wage worker earning less than
moral damages may be recovered when the defendant acted in bad
the minimum wage under current labor laws.
faith or was guilty of gross negligence (amounting to bad faith) or in
In People v. Oco, the evidence presented by the prosecution to wanton disregard of contractual obligations and, as in this case, when
recover damages for loss of earning capacity was the bare testimony the act of breach of contract itself constitutes the tort that results in
physical injuries. By special rule in Article 1764 in relation to Article P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of Marie Grace Pagulayan-
2206 of the Civil Code, moral damages may also be awarded in case Gammad; (2) P100,000.00 as moral damages; (3) P100,000.00 as
the death of a passenger results from a breach of carriage. exemplary damages; (4) P78,160.00 as actual damages; (5)
P500,000.00 as temperate damages; (6) 10% of the total amount as
Furthermore, the petitioner failed to prove that it exercised the
attorney’s fees; and the costs of suit. Furthermore, the total amount
extraordinary diligence required for common carriers, it is presumed
adjudged against petitioner shall earn interest at the rate of 12% per
to have acted recklessly. Thus, the award of exemplary damages is
annum computed from the finality of this decision until fully paid.
proper.
PHIL. HAWK vs VIVIAN TAN LEE
Exemplary damages, which are awarded by way of example or
correction for the public good may be recovered in contractual
**Repeated case; this is now a discussion on the computation for the
obligations if the defendant acted in wanton, fraudulent, reckless,
oppressive, or malevolent manner. Under the circumstances, the
loss of earning capacity
Court finds it reasonable to award respondents the amount of Facts:
P100,000.00 as moral damages and P100,000.00 as exemplary
damages. These amounts are not excessive. On March 27, 1991, Vivian Tan Lee (respondent) was riding on their
motorcycle with her husband, Silvino Tan, in Barangay Buensoceso,
The actual damages awarded by the trial court reduced by the Court Gumaca, Quezon on the way to Lopez, Quezon. They were about to
of Appeals should be further reduced. make a turn when a bus owned by Philippine Hawk Corporation and
driven by Margarito Avila hit them and a jeepney parked on the left
In People v. Duban, it was held that only substantiated and proven
side of the road. This caused the respondent physical injuries as well
expenses or those that appear to have been genuinely incurred in
as the death of her husband. Respondent sued Philippine Hawk
connection with the death, wake or burial of the victim will be
Corporation and Avila for damages based on quasi-delict. During the
recognized. A list of expenses (Exhibit J), and the contract/receipt for
trial of the case, respondent testified that her husband was leasing
the construction of the tomb (Exhibit F) in this case cannot be
and operating a Caltex gasoline station in Gumaca, Quezon that
considered competent proof and cannot replace the official receipts
yielded one million pesos a year in revenue. She also testified that
necessary to justify the award. Hence, actual damages should be
they had a copra business, which gave them an income of P3,000 a
further reduced to P78,160.00, which was the amount supported by
month or P36,000 a year.
official receipts.
The trial court awarded damages based on loss of earning capacity,
Pursuant to Article 2208 of the Civil Code, attorney’s fees may also be
among others. The petitioner corporation appealed stating that the
recovered in the case at bar where exemplary damages are awarded.
award was based merely on suppositions and surmises, not the
The Court finds the award of attorney’s fees equivalent to 10% of the
admissions made by respondent during the trial. The CA sustained the
total amount adjudged against petitioner reasonable.
award of the trial court for loss of earning capacity of Silvino Tan,
Hence, the petition is partially granted. The April 11, 2003 decision of moral damages for his death, and actual damages.
the Court of Appeals is affirmed with modification. Petitioner Victory
Issue:
Liner, Inc., is ordered to pay respondents the following: (1)
Whether the CA’s award for loss of earning capacity is proper. The computation of the SC for the loss of earning capacity of Silvino
Tan is as follows:
Ruling:

YES. The indemnity for loss of earning capacity of the deceased is


provided for by Article 2206 of the Civil Code. This compensation is
awarded not for loss of earnings, but for loss of capacity to earn
money. In order to for such award to be given, it must be backed by
documentary evidence. Documentary evidence may however be
dispensed with under the following instances: (1) the deceased is self-
employed and earning less than the minimum wage under current
labor laws, in which case, judicial notice may be taken of the fact that
in the deceased's line of work no documentary evidence is available; Hence, petitioner is liable for actual damages based on loss of
or (2) the deceased is employed as a daily wage worker earning less earning capacity in the amount of P1,000,000.
than the minimum wage under current labor laws.
PEOPLE vs JOSEPH ASILAN
As proof of her husband’s income while operating a Caltex gasoline
station, respondent presented in evidence a Certificate of Creditable
Facts:
Income Tax Withheld at Source for the Year 1990, which showed that
respondent's husband earned a gross income of P950,988.43 in 1990. On the evening of March 27, 2006, Binosa while chatting with his
It is reasonable to use the Certificate and respondent's testimony as friends at the El-Nino Bakery along Teresa Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila,
bases for fixing the gross annual income of the deceased at one million heard a gunshot nearby. He went to the place where the sound came
pesos before respondent's husband died on March 17, 1999. However, from and saw a uniformed policeman (Randy Adovas) seemingly
no documentary evidence was presented regarding the income arresting someone. However, when he was about to handcuff such
derived from their copra business; hence, the testimony of respondent person, herein accused, Joseph Asilan stabbed Adovas with a fan knife
as regards such income cannot be considered. on his back several times. The man who was being arrested, took the
Adovas’ gun and shot the latter with it. This resulted in the death of
In the computation of loss of earning capacity, only net earnings, not
Adovas. Asilan was then charged with the complex crime of Direct
gross earnings, are to be considered; that is, the total of the earnings
Assault with Murder. The RTC convicted Asilan of murder and ordered
less expenses necessary for the creation of such earnings or income,
him to pay the heirs of Adovas the sum of P84,000 as actual damages,
less living and other incidental expenses. In the absence of
P25,000 for moral damages and P50,000 civil indemnity. The RTC
documentary evidence, it is reasonable to peg necessary expenses for
acquitted him of the charge of Direct Assault as the prosecution failed
the lease and operation of the gasoline station at 80 percent of the
to establish that Adovas was in the performance of his duty when he
gross income, and peg living expenses at 50 percent of the net income
was assaulted by Asilan. The CA affirmed in toto the RTC’s ruling.
(gross income less necessary expenses).
Issue:
Whether the CA erred in failing to consider loss of earning capacity of Net income is arrived at by deducting the amount of the victim’s living
Adovas in the award for actual damages. expenses from the amount of his gross income. The loss of earning
capacity of Asilan is thus computed as follows:
Ruling:
Net Earning Capacity = life expectancy x [gross annual income - living
Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of Asilan. As regards
expenses]
his civil liability, the Supreme Court held that aside from the actual
damages, on hospital, and funeral expenses in the total amount of = 2/3 [80-age at time of death] x [gross annual
P80,224, Asilan is also liable for the loss of the earning capacity of income - 50% of gross annual income]
Adovas under Article 2206 of the Civil Code, and such indemnity
= 2/3 [80-29] x [₱103,260.00 - ₱51,630.00]
should be paid to his heirs. The provision states that:
= 34 x ₱51,630.00
“Art. 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or
quasi-delict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there = ₱1,755,420.00
may have been mitigating circumstances. In addition:
Attorney’s fees and interest
(1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning
capacity of the deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the QUIRANTE vs IAC
heirs of the latter; such indemnity shall in every case be assessed
and awarded by the court, unless the deceased on account of Facts:
permanent physical disability not caused by the defendant, had no
earning capacity at the time of his death;” Dr. Indalecio Casasola (father of respondents) had a contract with a
building contractor named Norman GUERRERO. The Philippine
Irene Adovas testified on the amount her husband received as police American General Insurance Co. Inc. acted as bondsman for
officer and presented documentary evidence to show that Adovas, GUERRERO. In view of GUERRERO'S failure to perform his part of the
who was only 29 years old when he died, earned ₱8,605.00 a month contract within the period specified, Dr. Indalecio Casasola, thru his
at the time of his death. counsel, Atty. John Quirante, sued both GUERRERO and
PHILAMGEN for damages, with PHILAMGEN. 4
In computing the amount of damages recoverable for the loss of
earning capacity of the deceased, the following factors are to be RTC:
considered:
In favor of the plaintiff by rescinding the contract; ordering
1) The number of years on the basis of which the damages shall be GUERRERO and PHILAMGEN to pay the plaintiff actual damages in the
computed. This is based on the formula (2/3 x 80 - age of the amount of P129,430.00, moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00,
deceased at the time of his death = life expectancy), which is adopted exemplary damages in the amount of P40,000.00 and attorney's fees
from the American Expectancy Table of Mortality; and in the amount of P30,000.00; ordering Guerrero alone to pay
liquidated damages of P300.00 a day from December 15, 1978 to July
2) The rate at which the losses sustained by the heirs of the deceased
16, 1979; and ordering PHILAMGEN to pay the plaintiff the amount of
should be fixed.
the surety bond equivalent to P120,000.00. 5 A motion for not yet become final, the determination of the propriety of said fees
reconsideration filed by PHILAMGEN was denied by the trial court on and the amount thereof should be held in abeyance. This procedure
November 4, 1982. 6 gains added validity in the light of the rule that the remedy for
recovering attorney's fees as an incident of the main action may be
IAC:
availed of only when something is due to the client.
Filed with this court for the quashal of the writ of execution and to “An attorney's fee cannot be determined until after the main litigation
compel the trial court to give due course to the appea but was
has been decided and the subject of recovery is at the disposition of
dismissed.
the court. The issue over attorney's fee only arises when something
Quirante filed a motion for the confirmation of his attorney's fees as, has been recovered from which the fee is to be paid.”
according to him, there was an oral agreement between him and the
PNB vs CA
late Dr. Casasola with regard to his attorney's fees, which agreement
was allegedly confirmed in writing by the widow, Asuncion Vda. de
Facts:
Casasola, and the two daughters of the deceased.
A check was issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture payable
Issue:
to F. Abante Marketing and drawn against PNB. F. Abante Marketing,
Whether Petitioner Quirante is entitled to the attorneys fees. deposited it with Capitol City Development Bank (Capitol), the latter
in turn deposited the same in its account with the Philippine Bank of
Ruling: Communications (PBCom) which, in turn, sent the check to PNB for
No. The action is premature. Counsel's claim for attorney's fees may clearing. However, PNB returned the check to PBCom and debited
be asserted either in the very action in which the services in question PBCom’s account for the amount covered by the check, the reason
have been rendered, or in a separate action. What is being claimed being that there was a material alteration of the check number.
here as attorney's fees by petitioners is, however, different from Issue:
attorney's fees as an item of damages provided for under Article 2208
of the Civil Code, wherein the award is made in favor of the litigant, Whether the award of attorney’s fees plus interest was proper.
not of his counsel, and the litigant, not his counsel, is the judgment
Ruling:
creditor who may enforce the judgment for attorney's fees by
execution. Here, the petitioner's claims are based on an alleged NO, while the award of attorney’s fees lies within the discretion of the
contract for professional services, with them as the creditors and the court and depends upon the circumstances of each case, such exercise
private respondents as the debtors. of discretion under Article 2208 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
demands factual, legal and equitable basis, without which the award
However, the confirmation of attorney's fees is premature. The
is unjustified. The reason for the award must be stated in the text of
petition for review on certiorari filed by PHILAMGEN in this Court may
the court’s decision. If it is stated only in the dispositive portion of the
or may not ultimately result in the granting to the Isasola family of the
decision, the same shall be disallowed. The award of attorney’s fees
total amount of damages" awarded by the trial court. Since the main
being an exception rather than the rule (since it puts a premium on
case from which the petitioner's claims for their fees may arise has
the right to litigate), it is necessary for the court to make findings of requisites for res judicata as a bar by prior judgment are present in
fact and law that would bring the case within the exception to justify the case. However, Civil Case No. 9114 was erroneously suspended,
its grant. not terminated. Civil Case No. 9114 was erroneously suspended, not
terminated. Civil Case No. 9114 was erroneously suspended, not
In their respective decisions, the trial court and the Court of Appeals
terminated.
failed to explicitly state the rationale for the said award. Thus, the
amount of P10,000.00 as attorney’s fees was deleted.
With respect to attorney's fees, the award thereof is the exception
PADILLO vs COURT OF APPEALS rather than the general rule; counsel's fees are not awarded every
time a party prevails in a suit because of the policy that no premium
should be placed on the right to litigate. Attorney's fees as part of
Facts:
damages are not the same as attorney's fees in the concept of the
In 1983, Padillo initiated Civil Case No. 9114, a petition for declaratory
amount paid to a lawyer. In the ordinary sense, attorney's fees
relief and damages, against Averia and Casilang for unlawfully
represent the reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer by his client
refusing to vacate the subject lot Padillo purchased from the de Vera
for the legal services he has rendered to the latter, while in its
alleging that she is the absolute owner of the parcel of land.
extraordinary concept, they may be awarded by the court as
indemnity for damages to be paid by the losing party to the prevailing
Prior to Civil Case No. 9114, however, there was another case, M.C.
party.
No. 374-82, instituted also by Padillo in 1982, to compel the Register
of Deeds to register the Deed of Sale on the subject lot between de
In this case, the trial court’s award is too unreasonable. It must be
Vera and Padillo. Pending the resolution of both cases, Civil Case No.
reduced from P 107,000 to P 25, 000. Attorney’s fees as damages is
9114 was suspended.
awarded only in the instances specific in Article 2208 and it is not
meant to enrich the winning party at the expense of the losing litigant,
Long after Case M.C. No. 374-82 has been finally settled in favor of
therefore it should be reasonably reduced.
Padillo, the latter still pursued her claim under Civil Case 9114. She
now instituted the current suit to award her damages but the CA
denied the damages due to res judicata.
EASTERN SHIPPING LINES vs COURT OF APPEALS

Issue: Facts:
Whether res judicata bars her from getting damages with the current Two fiber drums of riboflavin were shipped from Yokohama, Japan for
case? delivery vessel “SS EASTERN COMET” owned by Eastern Shipping
Lines (EASTERN). Upon arrival of the shipment, it was discharged unto
Held: the custody of defendant Metro Port Services (METRO). The latter
No, res judicata does not bar her. excepted to one drum because it was bad order. Then, Allied
Brokerage Services (ALLIED) received the shipment in which also one
Under ordinary circumstances, case M.C. No. 374-82 should have drum was also excepted due to spillage.
barred Padillo's claim for damages in Civil Case No. 9114 since all the
Plaintiff (Mercantile) contended that due to the losses incurred by the of interest shall be 12% per annum to be computed from default, i.e.,
drum, the consignee suffered losses totaling 19,032 Pesos due to the from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and subject to the
fault of Eastern, Metro, and Allied. provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code.

The RTC ruled that the three defendants (Eastern, Metro, and Allied) 2. When a obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of money,
should pay damages jointly and severally to plaintiff with a legal is breached, an interest on the amount of damages awarded may be
interest of 12% per annum from October 1, 1982, the date of the filing imposed at the discretion of the court at the rate of 6% per annum.
of the complaint until fully paid. The RTC also ordered defendants to No interest, however, shall be adjudged on unliquidated claims or
pay P3,000 worth of attorneys’ fees. Considering that the two drums damages except when or until the demand can be established with
were shipped in good order and condition, as clearly shown by the Bill reasonable certainty. Accordingly, where the demand is established
of Lading and Commercial Invoice which do not indicate any damages, with reasonable certainty, the interest shall begin to run from the time
it follows that the damage happened within the respective or the claim is made judicially or extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code)
successive custody and possession of Eastern, Metro, and Allied. but when such certainty cannot be so reasonably established at the
time the demand is made, the interest shall begin to run only from the
The Court of the Appeals affirmed the RTC decision in toto.
date of the judgment of the court is made (at which time the
quantification of damages may be deemed to have been reasonably
ascertained). The actual base for the computation of legal interest
It was contended by the defendant that the reckoning period of the shall, in any case, be on the amount of finally adjudged.
interest rate should not be at the time of the filing of the complaint
instead from the date of the decision of the trial court. It also 3. When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money becomes
contended that the rate should be 6%. final and executory, the rate of legal interest, whether the case falls
under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 12% per annum
Issue: from such finality until its satisfaction, this interim period being
deemed to be by then an equivalent to a forbearance of credit.
When is the reckoning period of the computation of the interest on an
award for damages? And what is the applicable interest rate? ESTORES vs SPS. SUPANGAN
Ruling:
Facts:
With regard particularly to an award of interest in the concept of actual
and compensatory damages, the rate of interest, as well as the accrual Petitioner Hermojina Estores (Estores) and respondent-spouses Arturo
thereof, is imposed, as follows: and Laura Supangan (Spouses) entered into a Conditional Deed of
Sale a parcel of land for four million Seven Hundred Thousand pesos
When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a (Php 4,700,000). They also agreed that the vendor shall complete all
sum of money, i.e., a loan or forbearance of money, the interest due necessary approved documents for registration of the title.
should be that which may have been stipulated in writing.
Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the After seven (7) years from the time of the execution, and despite
time it is judicially demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate payment of P3.5 million by Spouses, petitioner Estores still failed to
comply with her obligation, expressly provided in paragraphs 4, 6, 7, The SC sustained the ruling of both the RTC and the CA that it is
9 and 10 of the contract. Hence, the Spouses wrote a letter dated proper to impose interest notwithstanding the absence of stipulation
9/27/2000 to Estores demanding the return of the of P3.5 million. In in the contract.
reply, she acknowledged receipt of the P3.5 million and promised to
Article 2210 of the Civil Code provided that interest may, in the
return the same within 120 days. She still failed to return the amount
discretion of the court, be allowed upon damages awarded for breach
despite demand, Spouses were constrained to file a Complaint for sum
of contract. In this case, petitioner is legally obligated to return
of money.
the P3.5 million because of her failure to fulfill the obligation, despite
PETITIONER’S ARGUMENT: demand. She enjoyed the use of the money from the time it was given
to her until now. Thus, she is already in default of her obligation from
She insists that she is not bound to pay interest on the P3.5 million
the date of demand.
because the Conditional Deed of Sale only provided for the return of
the downpayment in case of failure to comply with her obligations. Anent the interest rate, the general rule is that the applicable rate of
interest shall be computed in accordance with the stipulation of the
SPOUSES ARGUMENTS:
parties. Absent any stipulation, the applicable rate of interest shall be
Spouses aver that it is only fair that interest be imposed considering 12% per annum when the obligation arises out of a loan or a
that petitioner failed to return the amount upon demand and had been forbearance of money, goods or credits.
using the P3.5 million for her benefit.
The contract involved in this case is not a loan but a
RTC: Conditional Deed of Sale. However, the SC believed that the
stipulation governing the return of the money be considered
It rendered its Decision finding Spouses entitled to interest but only as a forbearance of money which required payment of
at the rate of 6% per annum and not 12% as prayed by them. interest at the rate of 12%.
CA: In Crismina Garments, Inc. v. CA, forbearance was defined as a
contractual obligation of lender or creditor to refrain during a given
It rendered the assailed Decision affirming the ruling of the RTC
period of time, from requiring the borrower or debtor to repay a loan
finding the imposition of 6% interest proper. However, the same shall
or debt then due and payable. This definition describes a loan where
start to run only from September 27, 2000 when Spouses formally
a debtor is given a period within which to pay a loan or debt. In such
demanded the return and not from October 1993 when the contract
case, forbearance of money, goods or credits will have no distinct
was executed.
definition from a loan. The Court believes however, that the phrase
Issue: forbearance of money, goods or credits is meant to have a separate
meaning from a loan, otherwise there would have been no need to
Whether it is proper to impose interest for an obligation that does not add that phrase as a loan is already sufficiently defined in the Civil
involve a loan or forbearance of money in the absence of stipulation Code. Forbearance of money, goods or credits should
of the parties. therefore refer to arrangements other than loan agreements,
Ruling: where a person acquiesces to the temporary use of his
money, goods or credits pending happening of certain events No. Chua’s share and interest over the partnership assets, before the
or fulfillment of certain conditions. In this case, the Spouses approval of the computation of claims, partake the nature of an
parted with their money even before the conditions were fulfilled. unliquidated claim and shall not earn interest until reasonably
They have therefore allowed or granted forbearance to the Estores to determined and not merely determinable by mathematical
use their money pending fulfillment of the conditions. They were computation.
deprived of the use of their money for the period pending fulfillment
The Court has certainly not lost sight of the fact that the October 7,
of the conditions and when those conditions were breached, they are
1997 RTC decision clearly directed petitioners to render an accounting,
entitled not only to the return of the principal amount paid, but also
to compensation for the use of their money. And the compensation inventory, and appraisal of the partnership assets and then to wind
up the partnership affairs by restituting and delivering to Chua his
for the use of their money, absent any stipulation, should be the same
rate of legal interest applicable to a loan since the use or deprivation one-half share of the accounted partnership assets. The directive itself
is a recognition that the exact share and interest of Chua over the
of funds is similar to a loan.
partnership cannot be determined with reasonable precision without
SUNGA-CHAN vs COURT OF APPEALS going through with the inventory and accounting process. In fine, a
liquidated claim cannot validly be asserted without accounting.
Facts:
In net effect, Chua's interest and share over the partnership asset,
Chua and Jacinto Sunga formed a partnership but was registered as a exclusive of the goodwill, assumed the nature of a liquidated claim
sole proprietorship in the name of Jacinto Sunga albeit their only after the trial court, through its November 6, 2002 resolution,
agreement for equal sharing of the net profit. When Jacinto died, his approved the assets inventory and accounting report on such assets.
heirs continued the partnership business without Chua’s consent.
AIR FRANCE vs DE CASTRO
Chua demanded for the accounting and winding up of partnership
affairs.
Facts:
The RTC’s judgment included an award of legal interest on Chua’s
Camilisi was on a pilgrimage to selected countries in Europe with Air
share over the partnership assets which accrued from June 1, 1992 to
France(AF). According to respondent: (1) AF’s agent in Paris failed to
October 15, 2002; before the computation of claim was approved by
inform him of the need to secure a transit visa for Moscow, as a result
the trial court.
of which he was denied entry to Moscow and was subjected to
Issue: humiliating interrogation by the police; (2) another AF agent (a certain
Ms. Soeyesol) rudely denied his request to contact his travel
Whether the grant of interest, on Chua’s share over partnership companions to inform them that he was being sent back to Paris from
assets, accruing before the computation of claim was approved by the Moscow with a police escort; Ms. Soeyesol even reported him as a
trial court proper. security threat which resulted in his being subjected to further
Ruling: interrogation by the police in Paris and Rome, and worse, also lifted
his flight coupons for the rest of his trip; (3) AF agents in Rome
refused to honor his confirmed flight to Paris; (4) upon reaching Paris
for his connecting flight to Manila, he found out that the AF agents did which he was forced to stay in Paris for two additional days. The
not check in his baggage and since he had to retrieve his bags at the appellate court pointed out that, on the other hand, respondent’s
baggage area, he missed his connecting flight; (5) he had to shoulder expenses for the Moscow leg of the trip must be borne by him as AF
his extended stay in Paris for AF’s failure to make good its could not be faulted when he was refused entry to Moscow for lack of
representation that he would be given a complimentary motel pass a transit visa.
and (6) he was given a computer print-out of his flight reservation for
The CA also decreased the exemplary damages from P1 million to
Manila but when he went to the airport, he was told that the flight
P300,000. The CA further imposed interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from
was overbooked. It was only when he made a scene that the AF agent
boarded him on an AF flight to Hongkong and placed him on a the date of extrajudicial demand until full satisfaction, but before
judgment becomes final. From the date of finality of the judgment
connecting Philippine Airlines flight to Manila.
until the obligation is totally paid, 12% interest p.a. shall be imposed.
RTC decision
Issue:
The RTC found that AF breached its contract of carriage and that it
AF assails the CA’s award of moral and exemplary damages and
was liable to pay P200,000 actual damages, P1 million moral damages,
P1 million exemplary damages and P300,000 attorney’s fees to attorney’s fees to respondent as the alleged injury sustained was not
clearly established. AF added that, even if respondent was entitled to
respondent.
the same, the amounts awarded were exorbitant. Lastly, it argued that
CA decision the interest rate should run not from the time of respondent’s
extrajudicial demand but from the time of judgment of the RTC.
The CA ruled that it was respondent (as passenger), and not AF, who
was responsible for having the correct travel documents. However, Ruling:
the appellate court stated that this fact did not absolve AF from liability
On issue of whether or not respondent was entitled to damages and
for damages.
attorney’s fees
The CA agreed with the findings of fact of the RTC that AF’s agents
Both the RTC and the CA have competently ruled on the issue of
and representatives repeatedly subjected respondent to very poor
service, verbal abuse and abject lack of respect and consideration. As respondent’s entitlement to damages and attorney’s fees as they
properly laid down both the factual and legal bases for their respective
such, AF was guilty of bad faith for which respondent ought to be
decisions. We see no reason to disturb their findings.
compensated.
The above liabilities of AF shall earn legal interest pursuant to the
The appellate court affirmed the award of P1 million moral damages
Court’s ruling in Construction Development Corporation of the
and P300,000 attorney’s fees. However, it reduced the actual
damages to US$906 (or its peso equivalent). According to the CA, this
Philippines v. Estrella
amount represented the expenses respondent incurred from the time Pursuant to this ruling, the legal interest is 6% p.a. and it shall be
he was unable to join his group in Rome (due to the unfounded reckoned from April 25, 2007 when the RTC rendered its judgment,
"communiqué" of Ms. Soeyesol that he was a security threat) up to not from the time of respondent’s extrajudicial demand. This must be
the time his flight reservation from Paris to Manila was dishonored for so as it was at the time the RTC rendered its judgment that the
quantification of damages may be deemed to have been reasonably action was filed against Batong Buhay and the ruling was against the
ascertained. Then, from the time this decision becomes final and latter.
executory, the interest rate shall be 12% p.a. until full satisfaction.
Inc. Mining however appealed the decision because there was no
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The decision of the Court award for damages for the in Batong Buhay’s wrongful refusal of the
of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 90151 is AFFIRMED. Petitioner is ordered transfer of the stocks; to which the CA ordered so. Hence, the petition.
to PAY legal interest of 6% p.a. from the date of promulgation of the
Issue:
decision dated April 25, 2007 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 59,
Makati City and 12% p.a. from the time the decision of this Court May the Court of Appeals award damages by way of unrealized profits
attains finality, on all sums awarded until their full satisfaction. despite the absence of supporting evidence, or merely on the basis of
pure assumption, speculation or conjecture; or can the respondent
recover damages by way of unrealized profits when it has not shown
EXTENT OF RECOVERABLE DAMAGES that it was damaged in any manner by the act of petitioner?

Ruling:
In contracts and quasi-contracts where there is NO. The stipulation of facts of the parties does not at all show that
private respondent intended to sell, or would sell or would have sold
GOOD FAITH ON OBLIGOR
the stocks in question on specified dates. While it is true that shares
BATONG BUHAY vs CA of stock may go up or down in value (as in fact the concerned shares
here really rose from fifteen (15) centavos to twenty three or twenty
Facts: four (23/24) centavos per share and then fell to about two (2)
centavos per share, still whatever profits could have been made are
Batong Buhay issued Stock Certificate No. 16807 covering 62,495 purely SPECULATIVE, for it was difficult to predict with any decree of
shares with a par value of P0.01 per share to Francisco Aguac who certainty the rise and fall in the value of the shares. Thus this Court
was then legally married to Paula G. Aguac, but the said spouses had has ruled that speculative damages cannot be recovered.
lived separately for more than fourteen (14) years prior to the said
date. Francisco Aguac sold his 62,495 shares covered by Stock It is easy to say now that had private respondent gained legal title to
Certificate No. 16807 in favor of Inc. Mining Corporation without the the shares, it could have sold the same and reaped a profit of
knowledge and consent of Paula. Upon learning of such sale, Paula P5,624.95 but it could not do so because of petitioner's refusal to
wrote Batong Buhay a letter asking that such sale be withheld as it is transfer the stocks in the former's name at the time demand was
part of their conjugal property. made, but then it is also true that human nature, being what it is,
private respondent's officials could also have refused to sell and
Batong Buhay refused to effect the transfer to Inc. Mining, instead wait for expected further increases in value.
notwithstanding the letter, on the apprehension that they might be
held liable in a criminal case filed against Francisco Aguac. Hence, an
Even assuming that the restrictions imposed by the government on
BAD FAITH ON OBLIGOR barter, the breakdown of machineries and the inability to secure spare
parts, replacements and wire ropes, as well as the passage of the
GEN. ENTERPRISES vs LIANGA BAY Margin Law, have the nature of fortuitous events, yet it cannot be said
Facts: that they had caused such a reduction in appellant's [Lianga Bay]
production of logs that made it impossible for it to comply wholly, or
Lianga Bay Logging Company and General Enterprises, Inc entered
even partly, with its commitment with appellee [General Enterprises].
into a contract, whereby the former, a producer of logs from a timber
The rule is that even the happening of a fortuitous event in itself does
concession, designated the latter as distributor of a portion of its log
not necessarily extinguish an obligation for, as this Court has said, the
production on condition that it would pay the distributor a commission
fortuitous event must be of such a character as to render it impossible
of the logs exported.
for the obligor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner.
Sometime in October 1959, Lianga Bay sent a notice to the General
One of the causes for the suspension of the agreement alleged by
Enterprises stating that after the November shipment there will be no
appellant was the demand for the renegotiation of prices. Another
longer logs available for “unless the price of such logs become
reason advanced is the establishment of a veneer plant for the
comparable to what we may expect to receive in the way of returns
purpose of increasing the log production. But these two matters are
from lumber and veneer of barterable and export grades.” Lianga Bay
not among the various causes of suspension enumerated in the
thereafter stopped supplying logs for export, whereupon General
agreement. The suspension, therefore, of the contract on these
Enterprises reminded the former that it had a contract to fulfill relative
causes is not justified.
to its log production as otherwise it would be held responsible for the
consequences of the breach that may ensue. Lianga Bay did not heed However, the SC ruled that exemplary damages awarded to General
this reminder adducing reasons which in its opinion justify the action Enterprises is excessive it appearing that Lianga Bay in suspending
it had taken, such as the restriction by the government. Hence, the operation of the contract has not acted in a wanton, oppressive or
General Enterprises initiated the herein action alleging breach of malevolent manner. The most that can be said is that Lianga Bay, to
contract and praying for damages. suit its purpose, has availed to certain misstatements or half-truths as
reflected in the declarations of Mr. Dempsey, one of its high officials,
The CFI of Rizal rendered decision in favor of the General Enterprises
in an attempt to justify its desistance from the contract. While this is
ordering the Lianga Bay to pay damages. This is an appeal from said
reprehensible, it is not a wanton or malevolent perversion of the truth.
decision.
In crimes and quasi-delict
Issue:

Whether Lianga Bay acted in bad faith in the performance of its MARIKINA AUTO LINE TRANSPORT CORPORATION vs PEOPLE
obligation.
Facts:
Ruling:
Erlinda V. Valdellon is the owner of a two-door commercial apartment.
No. The Marikina Auto Line Transport Corporation (MALTC) is the owner-
operator of a passenger bus. Suelto, its employee, was assigned as pay, jointly and severally, P150,000.00 to Valdellon, by way of actual
the regular driver of the bus. and compensatory damages, as well as attorneys fees and costs of
suit.
Suelto was driving the passenger bus. The bus suddenly swerved to
the right and struck the terrace of the commercial apartment owned CA:
by Valdello.
Affirmed the decision of the trial court, but the award for actual
Valdellon filed a separate civil complaint against Suelto and the bus damages was reduced to P100,000.00
company for damages. She prayed that after due proceedings,
Issue:
judgment be rendered in her favor, thus:

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Whether the prosecution failed to adduce evidence to prove that
respondent suffered actual damages in the amount of P100,000.00
Court to issue a writ of preliminary attachment against the
defendants upon approval of plaintiffs bond, and after trial on Ruling:
the merits, to render a decision in favor of the plaintiff,
ordering the defendants, jointly and severally, to pay Petitioners insist that private respondent was able to prove only the
amount of P35,000.00 by way of actual damages; hence, the award
a) the total sum of P171,088.46 constituting the expenses for
of P100,000.00 is barren of factual basis.
the repair of the damaged apartment of plaintiff, with
interests to be charged thereon at the legal rate from the date We agree with the contention of petitioners that respondents failed to
of the formal demand until the whole obligation is fully paid; prove that the damages to the terrace caused by the
incident amounted to P100,000.00. The only evidence adduced by
b) the sum of not less than P20,000.00 each as compensatory
respondents to prove actual damages claimed by private respondent
and exemplary damages;
were the summary computation of damage made by Engr. Jesus R.
c) the sum of P20,000.00 as attorneys fees and the sum Regal, Jr. amounting to P171,088.46 and the receipt issued by the BB
of P1,000.00 for each appearance of plaintiffs counsel; and Construction and Steel Fabricator to private respondent
costs of suit; for P35,000.00 representing cost for carpentry works, masonry,
welding, and electrical works. Respondents failed to present Regal to
During the trial, Valdellon testified on the damage caused to the
testify on his estimation. In its five-page decision, the trial court
terrace of her apartment, and, in support thereof, adduced in evidence
awarded P150,000.00 as actual damages to private respondent but
a receipt for P35,000.00, dated October 20, 1993, issued by the BB
failed to state the factual basis for such award. Indeed, the trial court
Construction and Steel Fabricator for carpentry, masonry, welding job
merely declared in the decretal portion of its decision that the sum
and electrical [work].
of P150,000.00 as reasonable compensation sustained by plaintiff for
RTC: her damaged apartment. The appellate court, for its part, failed to
explain how it arrived at the amount of P100,000.00 in its three-page
Found Suelto guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence decision.
resulting in damage to property, and ordered MALTC and Suelto to
Under Article 2199 of the New Civil Code, actual damages include all While claimants bare testimonial assertions in support of their claims
the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission for damages should not be discarded altogether, however, the same
complained of, classified as one for the loss of what a person already should be admitted with extreme caution. Their testimonies should be
possesses (dao emergente) and the other, for the failure to receive, viewed in light of claimants self-interest, hence, should not be taken
as a benefit, that which would have pertained to him ( lucro cesante). as gospel truth. Such assertion should be buttressed by independent
evidence.
The burden of proof is on the party who would be defeated if no
evidence would be presented on either side. The burden is to establish An estimate of the damage cost will not suffice.
ones case by a preponderance of evidence which means that the
We note, however, that petitioners adduced evidence that, in their
evidence, as a whole, adduced by one side, is superior to that of the
view, the cost of the damage to the terrace of private respondent
other. Actual damages are not presumed. The claimant must prove
would amount to P55,000.00. Accordingly, private respondent is
the actual amount of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty
entitled to P55,000.00 actual damages.
premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence
obtainable. Specific facts that could afford a basis for measuring SUBROGATORY RIGHT OF INSURER
whatever compensatory or actual damages are borne must be pointed
out. Actual damages cannot be anchored on mere surmises, RCJ BUS LINES vs STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY
speculations or conjectures. As the Court declared:
Facts:
As stated at the outset, to enable an injured party to recover actual
or compensatory damages, he is required to prove the actual amount Standard Insurance Co., Inc. (STANDARD) filed a complaint against
of loss with reasonable degree of certainty premised upon competent petitioners FLor Bola Mangoba and RCJ Bus Lines. The complaint was
proof and on the best evidence available. The burden of proof is on predicated upon an accident which involves the Mitsubishi Lancer and
the party who would be defeated if no evidence would be presented the RCJ Bus Lines. Upon seeing a pile of gravel and sand on the road,
on either side. He must establish his case by a preponderance of the Toyota Corolla, which is ahead of the Mitsubishi Lancer, stopped
evidence which means that the evidence, as a whole, adduced by one on its tracks. The Mitsubishi Lancer followed suit and also halted. At
side is superior to that of the other. In other words, damages cannot this point, the bus hit and bumped the rear portion of the Mitsubishi
be presumed and courts, in making an award, must point out specific Lancer causing it to move forward and hit the Toyota Corolla in front
facts that could afford a basis for measuring whatever compensatory of it. As a result of the incident, the Mitsubishi Lancer sustained
or actual damages are borne. damages amounting to PhP162,151.22, representing the cost of its
repairs. Under the comprehensive insurance policy secured by
The Court further declared that where goods are destroyed by the
Rodelene Valentino, owner of the Mitsubishi Lancer, STANDARD
wrongful act of defendant, the plaintiff is entitled to their value at the
reimbursed to the former the amount she expended for the repairs of
time of the destruction, that is, normally, the sum of money which he
her vehicle. Rodelene then executed a Release of Claim and
would have to pay in the market for identical or essentially similar
Subrogation Receipt, subrogating STANDARD to all rights, claims and
goods, plus in a proper case, damages for the loss of the use during
actions she may have against RCJ Bus Lines, Inc. and its driver, Flor
the period before replacement.
Bola Mangoba.
In its answer, RCJ Bus Lines, Inc maintained, among others, that the the Civil Code was thus proven true: Mangoba, as driver of the bus
direct, immediate and proximate cause of the accident was the which collided with the Mitsubishi Lancer, was negligent since he
negligence of the driver of the Mitsubishi Lancer when, for no reason violated a traffic regulation at the time of the mishap. We see no
at all, it made a sudden stop along the National Highway, as if to reason to depart from the findings of the MeTC, RTc and appellate
initiate and/or create an accident. court that Mangoba was negligent.

The MeTC rendered its decision in favor of Standard. The RTC affirmed MORAL DAMAGES
with modification the MeTC’s Decision deleting the award for PURPOSE
exemplary damages. The appellate court found that the RTC
committed no reversible error in affirming RCJ’s liability as registered SIMEX INTERNATIONAL vs CA
owner of the bus and employer of Mangoba.
Facts:
Issue:
The petitioner was a depositor of the respondent bank and maintained
Whether or Not the Court of Appeals erroneously disregarded the a checking account in its branch. Petitioner deposited to its account in
point that petitioner RCJ’s defense of extraordinary diligence in the the said bank the amount of P100,000.00, thus increasing its balance
selection and supervision of its driver was made as an alternative as of that date to P190,380.74.
defense;
Petitioner issued several checks against its deposit but was surprised
Ruling: to learn later that they had been dishonored for insufficient funds.
No. The petition has no merit. RCJ, by presenting witnesses to testify California Manufacturing Corporation sent on June 9, 1981, a letter of
on its exercise of diligence of a good father of a family in the selection demand to the petitioner, threatening prosecution if the dishonored
and supervision of its bus drivers, admitted that Mangoba is its check issued to it was not made good.
employee. Article 2180 of the Civil Code, in relation to Article 2176,
makes the employer vicariously liable for the acts of its employees. The error was rectified on June 17, 1981, and the dishonored checks
When the employee causes damage due to his own negligence while were paid after they were re-deposited.
performing his own duties, there arises the juris tantum presumption
The petitioner demanded reparation from the respondent bank for its
that the employer is negligent - rebuttable only by proof of observance
"gross and wanton negligence."
of the diligence of a good father of a family. For failure to rebut such
legal presumption of negligence in the selection and supervision of CFI ordered the defendant to pay nominal damages in the amount of
employees, the employer is likewise responsible for damages, the P20,000.00 plus P5,000.00 attorney's fees and costs. This decision
basis of the liability being the relationship of pater familias or on the was affirmed in toto by the respondent court.
employer’s own negligence. Mangoba, per testimony of his conductor,
was ten meters away from the Mitsubishi Lancer before the collision Issue:
and was driving 60 to 75 kilometers per hour when the speed limit Whether or not petitioner is entitled to Moral and Exemplary damages?
was 50 kilometers per hour. The presumption under Article 2185 of
Ruling: P50,000.00, "by way of example or correction for the public good," in
the words of the law.
As the Court sees it, the initial carelessness of the respondent bank,
aggravated by the lack of promptitude in repairing its error, justifies MAKABALI vs CA
the grant of moral damages.
Facts:
This rather lackadaisical attitude toward the complaining depositor
constituted the gross negligence, if not wanton bad faith, that the Petitioner Georgina Makabali had just graduated from the College of
respondent court said had not been established by the petitioner. Medicine, and as a graduation gift from her father, was given a trip to
Hongkong. She was accompanied by her sister and co-petitioner
The fact is that the petitioner's credit line was canceled and its orders
Lourdes Cynthia Makabali.
were not acted upon pending receipt of actual payment by the
suppliers. Its business declined. An offer of package tour to Hongkong by Baron Travel Corporation
caught the attention of petitioners. They were promised that they
Article 2205 of the Civil Code provides that actual or compensatory
would be going with a group of travelers to be led by a tour guide,
damages may be received "(2) for injury to the plaintiff's business
that a representative of travel corp would see them off at the Airport
standing or commercial credit."
to give them final instructions, and that they would be lodged at the
We agree that moral damages are not awarded to penalize the President Hotel in Hongkong. These promises convinced petitioners to
defendant but to compensate the plaintiff for the injuries he may have purchase the Hongkong package tour.
suffered.
On the departure day, petitioners were dismayed knowing that none
However, from every viewpoint except that of the petitioner's, its claim of those promises have actually been fulfilled. In Hong Kong,
of moral damages in the amount of P1,000,000.00 is nothing short of petitioners simply tagged along with the Abaya Tour Group provided
preposterous. Its business certainly is not that big, or its name that they pay all their expenses in Hong Kong. Petitioners claimed public
prestigious, to sustain such an extravagant pretense. humiliation due to the fact that they had to pay for their lunch while
the rest of the group had prepaid meals. They could not go shopping
Moreover, a corporation is not as a rule entitled to moral damages with the Abaya group for fear that their limited funds would not be
because, not being a natural person, it cannot experience physical sufficient to pay for their hotel bills. There were times when breakfast
suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings, serious anxiety, consisted of hot dogs bought along the sidewalk while lunch and
mental anguish and moral shock. supper consisted of apples and oranges.
The only exception to this rule is where the corporation has a good It was only in the morning of May 13, 1969 or on the fourth day of
reputation that is debased, resulting in its social humiliation. the supposed five-day tour that petitioners were notified that the
Now for the exemplary damages. After deliberating on this particular travel corp had finally made arrangements for the payment of their
matter, the Court, in the exercise of its discretion, hereby imposes bills. By that time, the supposed tour was practically over.
upon the respondent bank exemplary damages in the amount of An action for moral and exemplary damages, attorney's fees and costs
was filed by the petitioners.
Issue: injured parties have undergone by reason of defendant's culpable
action. In other words, the award of moral damages is aimed at a
Whether or not petitioners are entitled to more than the P5,000.00
restoration within the limits of the possible, of the spiritual status quo
moral and exemplary damages, P1,000.00 attorney's fees and costs
ante; and therefore it must be proportionate to the suffering
awarded to them by the Court of Appeals in the light of the
inflicted. 15 The amount of P5,000.00 is minimal compared to the
circumstances of the case.
sufferings and embarrassment of petitioners who left Manila with high
Ruling: spirits and excitement hoping to enjoy their first trip to a foreign land
only to be met with uncertainties and humiliations.
Article 2217 of the Civil Code recognizes that moral damages which
include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, We note however that petitioners limited their claim for moral and
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social exemplary damages in their complaint filed with the Court of First
humiliation and similar injury, are incapable of pecuniary estimation. Instance to a total of P35,000.00 plus attorney's fees and costs. We
feel that Our award should not exceed the said amount.
As to exemplary damages, Article 2229 of the Civil Code provides that
such damages may be imposed by way of example or correction for BURDEN OF PROOF
the public good. While exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a
PNB vs CA
matter of right, 5they need not be proved, although plaintiff must show
that he is entitled to moral, temperate or compensatory damages
before the court may consider the question of whether or not DECS (drawer) PNB (drawee)  F. Abante Marketing
(payee)  Capitol Bank  PBCom  PNB for clearing
exemplary damages should be awarded.

While moral damages have to do with injury personal to the awardee, Facts:
such as physical suffering and the like, exemplary damages are
imposed by way of example or correction for the public good. It is A check with serial number 7-3666-223-3, dated August 7, 1981 in the
amount of P97,650.00 was issued by the Ministry of Education and
essential however, in the award of damages that the claimant must
Culture (now Department of Education, Culture and Sports [DECS])
have satisfactorily proven during the trial the existence of the factual
payable to F. Abante Marketing. This check was drawn against
basis of the damages and its causal connection to defendant's acts. Philippine National Bank (PNB).
As reflected in the records of the case, the Court of appeals was in
F. Abante Marketing, a client of Capitol City Development Bank
agreement with the findings of the trial court that petitioners suffered
(Capitol), deposited the check in its savings account with said bank.
anguish, embarrassment and mental sufferings due to failure of
In turn, Capitol deposited the same in its account with the Philippine
private respondent to perform its obligation to the petitioners.
Bank of Communications (PBCom) which, in turn, sent the check to
It must be emphasized that moral damages are not intended to enrich PNB for clearing.
the complainant at the expense of a defendant. They are awarded
PNB cleared the check as good and, thereafter, PBCom credited
only to enable the injured parties to obtain means, diversions or
Capitol's account for the amount stated in the check. However, PNB
amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral sufferings the
returned the check to PBCom and debited PBCom's account for the
amount covered by the check, the reason being that there was a alteration did not change the relations between the parties. The sum
"material alteration" of the check number. PBCom then proceeded to of money due to the payee remained the same.
debit Capitol’s account for the same amount. However, Capitol could
not debit F. Abante Marketing's account since the latter had already The check's serial number is not the sole indication of its origin. As
withdrawn the amount of the check. found by the CA, the name of DECS which issued the subject check
was prominently printed therein. If the purpose of the serial number
Capitol sought clarification from PBCom and demanded the re- is merely to identify the issuing government agency, its alteration in
crediting of the amount. PBCom followed suit by requesting an this case had no material effect whatsoever on the integrity of the
explanation and re-crediting from PNB. Since the demands of Capitol check. The identity of DECS was not changed thereby and the amount
were not heeded, it filed a civil suit against PBCom which, in turn, filed of the check was not charged against the account of another
a third-party complaint against PNB for reimbursement with respect government agency which had no liability under the check. Therefore,
to the claims of Capitol. PNB filed a fourth-party complaint against F. the ownership of the check is established without the necessity of
Abante Marketing. recourse to the serial number.
RTC ruled in favor Capitol including payment of attorney’s fees.
2. No, the certification issued by Minrado C.
CA modified by exempting PBCom from liability to Capitol for Batonghinog, Cashier III of the DECS showing that the
attorney's fees and ordering PNB to honor the check for P97,650.00, check was altered cannot be given weight in evidence.
with interest as declared by the trial court, and pay Capitol attorney's
fees of P10,000.00. Batonghinog was not presented before the trial court to prove that
the said document was really the document he prepared and that the
Issue: signature below the said document is his own signature. Neither did
(in relation to the topic, go to issue #4) PNB present an eyewitness to the execution of the questioned
document who could possibly identify it. Absent this proof, SC cannot
1. Whether alternation of the serial number of a check is a rule on the authenticity of the contents of the certification.
material alteration under the NIL.
2. Whether a certification issued by DECS can be given weight 3. No, in the absence of malice or ill PNB cannot be held
in evidence. liable for attorney’s fees.
3. Whether in the absence of malice or ill PNB may be held liable
for attorney’s fees. The award of attorney's fees lies within the discretion of the court
and depends upon the circumstances of each case. However, the
Ruling: discretion of the court to award attorney's fees under Article 2208 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines demands without a premise and
1. No, the alteration is not a material alteration. improperly left to speculation and conjecture. It becomes a violation
of the proscription against the imposition of a penalty on the right to
A material alteration is one which changes the items which are litigate.
required to be stated under Section 1 of the NIL. An alteration in the
serial number of the check is an item which it can readily be observed
and is not an essential requisite for its negotiability. In this case, the
The reason for the award must be stated in the text of the stopped paying the taxes thereafter and thereby incurred in back
court's decision. If it is stated only in the dispositive portion taxes.
of the decision, the same shall be disallowed.
Verbal demands were made by the City Treasurer of Butuan on SMB
As to the award of attorney's fees being an exception rather than with warnings that a warrant of distraint and levy will be issued against
the rule, it is necessary for the court to make findings of fact and its properties unless it settles its tax liability under the ordinance
law that would bring the case within exception and justify the grant aforesaid.
of the award.
The counsel for the company wrote a letter to the City Treasurer of
In this case, both RTC and CA failed to explicitly state the rationale of Butuan questioning the power of the city government of Butuan to
the attorney’s fees. Therefore, PNB should honor the check however levy upon its properties.
it cannot be held liable to pay attorney’s fees.
To this, the City Treasurer of Butuan, promptly answered and
RAAGAS vs RAYA explained that he may issue warrants of distraint and levy upon
properties of delinquent taxpayers under Ordinance No. 26 of the City
of Butuan.
*repeated case
Several other written demands were thereafter made by the City
SAN MIGUEL BREWERY, INC vs MAGNO Treasurer of Butuan to officials of plaintiff's branch office in said city,
but to no avail.
Facts:
Accordingly, the city treasurer, with the approval of the Mayor of
The Municipal Board of Butuan City passed Ordinance No. 11 Butuan City issued a warrant of distraint and levy against the
amending Ordinance No. 7 of said City, imposing a tax of two per cent properties of the San Miguel Brewery, Inc. at its branch office in that
(2%) on the gross sales or receipts of those engaged in the sale, city to enforce the collection of the taxes assessed against it, i.e.,
trading in, or disposal of all alcoholic or malt beverages, wines and under Ordinance Nos. 11 and 110, amounting to P9,129.42, including
mixed or fermented liquors, including tuba, basi and tapuy. penalties.
The same Municipal Board passed Ordinance No. 110 amending A notice of seizure by virtue of the warrant of distraint and levy was
Ordinance No. 11, fixing instead a tax on the sale of beer at the rate served on the company's Branch Manager at Butuan City who,
of P.25 per case of twenty-four bottles, and on the sales of soft drinks voluntarily surrendered the two (2) delivery trucks of the company
at the rate of P.10 per case of twenty-four bottles of Coca-Cola, Pepsi- seized under the warrant to the said City Treasurer of the same day.
Cola, Tru-Orange, Seven-Up, Bireley, Soda Water, and any other kind
of soft drinks or carbonated drinks. SMB instituted the present action in the Court of First Instance of
Manila, praying for an order directing the defendant Francisco Magno
The San Miguel Brewery, Inc.(SMB), was engaged in the sale of beer to release the delivery trucks seized and impounded by the City
and soft drinks in said City. Although it appears to have paid the Government of Butuan allegedly "without authority and for reasons
required taxes under Ordinance No. 11, however the company
unknown to the company", and to order the defendant to pay to the It erroneously assumes that the defendant is personally liable for
plaintiff damages plus the costs of the suit. damages to the appellant, disregarding the established fact that the
defendant had issued the warrant of distraint and levy against
Note: the action was brought against the defendant Francisco Magno plaintiff's properties in his capacity as City Treasurer of Butuan who,
in his individual capacity, as disclosed in the allegations in the under the law, is empowered to issue the warrant under Ordinance
complaint, and as expressly admitted in the appellant's brief. No. 26 of the City of Butuan.
Francisco Marco interposed, the defense that in seizing the delivery
- By not having been shown that the defendant Magno, either as a
trucks of the San Miguel Brewery, Inc., he was acting, and was in the
private citizen or as City Treasurer of Butuan, had acted in bad faith,
performance of his official duty, as Treasurer of Butuan City, and, can
there can be no question that appellee Francisco Magno, who was
not be hold liable to pay to the company any damages. He set up a
merely performing a duty enjoined by law to be performed when he
counterclaim of moral and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees.
issued the warrant of distraint and levy, cannot be made to
During the pendency of the action, the San Miguel Brewery, Inc. paid answer personally for damages to the appellant.
under protest the taxes assessed against it by the City Treasurer and
2. In respect of the Magno’s counterclaim for moral and exemplary
forthwith the impounded trucks were released. damages, the trial court said:
The parties submitted no testimonial evidence. Instead, they
With respect to the counterclaim of defendant, it appears that
submitted a stipulation of facts along with documentary evidence on
defendant introduced no evidence to support his claim for P40,000.00
the basis of which the court a quo, rendered the decision appealed
moral damages, P10,000 exemplary damages and P2,000.00
from. A motion for reconsideration of the decision having been denied,
attorney's fees.
the plaintiff interposed the instant appeal.
Nevertheless, the trial court sentenced the plaintiff to pay to the
Issue:
defendant, damages in the sum of P2,000.00, and costs.
1. Whether trial court erred in not ordering Magno to pay to SMB
In order that moral damages may be awarded, there must be pleading
in damages the amount of P2,160.00, notwithstanding the and proof of moral suffering, mental anguish, fright and the like
admission of the defendant in the stipulation of facts that the (Darang vs. Belizar, L-19487, January 31, 1967). While no proof of
SMB incurred damages in that amount, representing the hire pecuniary loss is necessary in order that moral damages may be
of two (2) trucks. awarded, the amount of indemnity being left to the discretion of the
court (Article 2216), it is, nevertheless, essential that the claimant
2. Whether the trial court erred in ordering SMB to pay damages should satisfactorily prove the existence of the factual basis of the
in favor of Magno under the counterclaim of the latter. damages (Article 2217) and its causal connection to defendant's acts.
This is so, because moral damages, though incapable of pecuniary
estimation, are in the category of an award, designed to compensate
Ruling: the claimant for actual injury suffered and not to impose a penalty on
the wrong-doer.
1. The trial court did not err.
Neither may we consider the award as exemplary damages, because national editor, Jocelyn Barlizo, as city editor, and Philip Pichay,
the mere findings that certain allegations in the complaint are not true, president of the Carlo Publishing House, Inc. of the daily tabloid
and the plaintiff committed a mistake in instituting the action against “Remate”, with the crime of libel in connected with the publication of
the wrong party, do not justify the award of this kind of damages. It the articles in the column “Direct Hit” in which Tulfo accused Atty So,
infringes upon the right of a citizen to have access to the courts. The an employee of the Bureau of Customs in NAIA as an extortionist, a
portals of the courts of justice should not be closed to litigants who corrupt public official, smuggler and having illegally acquired wealth.
ask for the protection of their rights. Penalty in the concept of
RTC:
damages should not be imposed simply because a complaint is found
unmeritorious by the courts. The trial court ruled in favor of the Atty So, awarding him of 800k as
actual damages, 1M as moral damages and 500k as exemplary
The amount of attorney's fees, on the other hand, is addressed to the
damages
sound discretion of the court. It may be awarded along with expenses
of litigation, other than judicial costs, in cases where the court deems CA:
it just and equitable under the circumstances of the case. And when
as in this case, the defendant public officer was sued in his private CA affirmed the decision of the lower court
capacity for acts done in the performance of official duty required by
Issue:
law, and was forced to employ the services of private counsel to
defend his rights, it is but proper that attorney's fees be charged Whether the award of damages is proper
against the plaintiff. Nominal damages may also be adjudicated. The
SC believed that the award of P2,000.00 attorney's fees and P100.00 Ruling:
nominal damages, is just and equitable in the premises. Only for moral damages.
Order: Actual damages
P2,000 as damages in favor to Magno was set aside. The award must be modified. Art. 2199 of the Civil Code provides,
Increased the attorney's fees to P2,000.00, and “Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to an
adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him
Ordered the SMB to pay to the Magno P100.00 as nominal damages. as he has duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual or
compensatory damages. There was no showing of any pecuniary loss
WHEN AWARDABLE
suffered by the complainant Atty So. Without proof of actual loss that
can be measured, the award of actual damages cannot stand.
TULFO vs PEOPLE
Moral damages
Facts:
It was the articles of Tulfo that caused injury to Atty So, and for that
Atty Ding So filed a criminal case of libel against Erwin Tulfo, as Atty So deserves the award of moral damages. Justification for the
author/writer, Susan Cambri, as managing director, Rey Salao, as award of moral damages is found in Art. 2219 (7) of the Civil Code,
which states that moral damages may be recovered in cases of libel, That Perez Boulevard is a national road that is not under the control
slander, or any other form of defamation. The fact the no actual or or supervision of the City of Dagupan. Hence, no liability should attach
compensatory damage was proven before the trial court does not to the city. It is the Ministry of Public Highways that has control or
adversely affect the offended party’s right to recover damages. supervision through the Highway Engineer which, by mere
coincidence, is held concurrently by the same person who is also the
Exemplary damages City Engineer of Dagupan.
The award of exemplary damages, however, cannot be justified.
Issue:
Under Art. 2230 of the Civil Code, “In criminal offenses, exemplary
damages as a party of the civil liability may be imposed when the WON the City of Dagupan exercises control or supervision over a
crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances”. national road in effect binding the city to answer for damages in
No aggravating circumstances accompanied the commission of the accordance with article 2189? YES. City of Dagupan is liable.
libelous act; thus, no exemplary damages can be awarded.
Ruling:
GUILATCO vs CITY OF DAGUPAN
Article 2189 of the Civil Code requires only that either control or
supervision is exercised over the defective road or street. It is not even
Facts:
necessary for the defective road or street to belong to (or be owned
GUILATCO was a Court Interpreter of CFI-Dagupan. While she was by) the province, city, or municipality for liability to attach.
about to board a motorized tricycle at the sidewalk of Perez Blvd., she
The charter of Dagupan clearly indicates that the city indeed has
accidentally fell into a manhole, thus causing her right leg to be
supervision and control over the sidewalk where the open drainage
fractured. She was confined in 2 hospitals for a period of more than
hole is located.
16 days. She suffered excruciating pain; incurred hospitalization and
medication expenses; had difficulty in locomotion; has not been able In the case at bar, this control or supervision is provided for in the
to report for duty as court interpreter, hence deprived of income. charter of Dagupan and is exercised through the City Engineer. The
same charter of Dagupan also provides that the laying out,
The manhole on the sidewalk along Perez Blvd was partially covered
construction and improvement of streets, avenues and alleys and
by a concrete flower pot and left a wide open hole about 2 ft. long by
sidewalks, and regulation of the use thereof, may be legislated by the
1.5 feet wide.
Municipal Board. Thus the charter clearly indicates that the city indeed
Defendant government official TANGCO, who took on the DUAL role has supervision and control over the sidewalk where the open
of being (1) City Engineer of Dagupan City (LOCAL govt capacity) and drainage hole is located.
(2) Ex-officio Highway Engineer of Bureau of Public Works (NATIONAL
There is, therefore, no doubt that the City Engineer exercises control
govt capacity), admitted the existence of said manhole.
or supervision over the public works in question. Hence, the liability
CITY ’S CONTENTION: of the city to the petitioner under article 2189 of the Civil Code is clear.

FILINVEST vs MENDEZ
Facts: After payments, the financing company finally released the car to
Ivan Mendez. Subsequently, Mendez filed a complaint for Solutio
Ivan Mendez purchased a car from Davao Motor Sales Company
Indebiti and damages against the petitioner. He alleged, among
(DMSC) and to secure his balance, he executed and delivered a
others, that the seizure order was illegal, as the unpaid installments
promissory note and chattel mortgage in favor of DMSC. DMSC
for the months of February, March, April, 1976 had previously been
assigned it to Filinvest Credit Corp.. According to the terms of the
updated by the clearing of the PVB check, and that petitioner was
promissory note, the installments would be paid monthly.
therefore without any right to claim from him the repossession
Ivan Mendez failed to pay for Febraury, March and April installments. expenses and that due to the alleged unjustified repossession of the
Thus, the financing company sent written demands to him to update car and the factual circumstances attendant thereto, he is entitled to
his account. Ivan Mendez paid the financing company through Phil. moral damages.
Veterans Bank (PVB) which was credited for the unpaid installments.
The petitioner countered that the subsequent updating of
However, the check was returned on the ground of insufficient funds
respondent's account did not invalidate the seizure order, as the basis
by PVB.
was the failure of respondent to pay the installments when they fell
The financing company filed an action for recovery of personal due, and not the failure to pay the February, March and April
property and/or sum of money against Ivan Mendez. Subsequently, installments in particular.
the check was finally cleared and considered payment for the
Issue:
installments. However, the Court issued an Order of Seizure for failing
to comply with the terms and conditions. WON Mendez is entitled to moral damages

Meanwhile, Ivan Mendez used the car to fetch Col. Coronel at the Ruling:
airport. Ivan Mendez, brought Col. Coronel to a hotel where a
NO. The award for moral damages has no factual and legal basis.
conference was being held. After which, Mendez instructed his driver
Mendez bases his claim to moral damages on the alleged failure of the
to take the car home. Shortly, personnel of the financing company
petitioner, to act with caution and to observe honesty and good faith
and a deputy sheriff arrived at the house of Mendez and seized the
with due regard to the his rights under the installment sales law as
car pursuant to the Order. The car was driven back to where
well as on the act of the petitioner in deliberately repossessing the car
Ivan Mendez was called and he pleaded with the FILINVEST people to
in violation of law.
release his car in the meantime. Refused, Mendez then went to the
office of the financing company and reiterated his plea. He was told The respondent claims that it was while he was attending a seminar
by the collection and credit manager of the financing company that he for home defense in Davao City that the car was repossessed. When
had to pay the whole amount due in order to get back the car. After he pleaded with the petitioner not to seize the car at that very moment
further negotiations, Mendez was permitted to pay his April, May and because he was using it for his visitor from Manila, the petitioner chose
June installments plus repossession expenses as a condition to the to brandish the seizure order as its weapon to enforce collection of his
release of the car. whole account. The respondent claims that he was humiliated and
embarrassed most especially before his visitor and among those
attending the seminar as well as among his friends and business
associates. The shock and humiliation he suffered resulted to his Alfredo Montelibano, Jr. (Milagros Lopez Montelibano). PAN AM's San
hospitalization immediately, thereafter, for about a week. Francisco head office confirmed the reservations on March 31, 1960.

The testimony, however, of the driver of the respondent shows that First class tickets for the abovementioned flight were subsequently
the car was seized at the residence of the respondent while the said issued by PAN AM on May 21 and 23, 1960, in favor of Senator Lopez
driver was cleaning the same. It is, therefore, not true that the and his party.
respondent was humiliated and embarrassed before his visitor and
As scheduled Senator Lopez and party left Manila by Northwest
among those attending the seminar.
Airlines on May 24, 1960, arriving in Tokyo at 5:30 P.M. of that day.
The rule is settled that moral damages cannot be awarded in the As soon as they arrived Senator Lopez requested Minister Busuego of
absence of a wrongful act or omission or fraud or bad faith. When the the Philippine Embassy to contact PAN AM's Tokyo office regarding
action is filed in good faith there should be no penalty on the right to their first class accommodations for that evening's flight. For the given
litigate. The petitioner may have erred but error alone is not a ground reason that the first class seats therein were all booked up, however,
for moral damages. PAN AM's Tokyo office informed Minister Busuego that PAN AM could
not accommodate Senator Lopez and party in that trip as first class
The willingness of the petitioner to allow the respondent to pay only passengers. Senator Lopez thereupon gave their first class tickets to
the unpaid installments for April, May, and June instead of the total
Minister Busuego for him to show the same to PAN AM's Tokyo office,
outstanding balance and to release the car as well as its voluntary
but the latter firmly reiterated that there was no accommodation for
motion to dismiss the case indicates lack of fraud or bad faith on the
them in the first class, stating that they could not go in that flight
part of the petitioner. The private respondent was not without fault.
unless they took the tourist class therein.
He was three months behind in his payments and he issued a bouncing
check. The dismissal of the civil case rendered moot and academic the Senator Lopez and party were constrained to take PAN AM's flight
issues of whether or not the acceleration clause in the promissory note from Tokyo to San Francisco as tourist passengers. Senator Lopez
is illegal and unenforceable as well as the other issue of whether or however made it clear, as indicated in his letter to PAN AM's Tokyo
not the petitioner acted cumulatively in pursuing its various remedies office on that date, that they did so "under protest" and without
to effect collection. prejudice to further action against the airline.

LOPEZ vs PAN-AM Suit for damages was thereafter filed by Senator Lopez and party
against PAN AM on June 2, 1960 in the Court of First Instance of Rizal.
Facts: Alleging breach of contracts in bad faith by defendant, plaintiffs asked
for P500,000 actual and moral damages, P100,000 exemplary
Reservations for first class accommodations in Flight No. 2 of Pan damages P25,000 attorney's fees, plus costs. PAN AM filed its answer
American World Airways — hereinafter otherwise called PAN AM — on June 22, 1960, asserting that its failure to provide first class
from Tokyo to San Francisco on May 24, 1960 were made with PAN accommodations to plaintiffs was due to honest error of its employees.
AM on March 29, 1960, by "Your Travel Guide" agency, specifically, It also interposed a counterclaim for attorney's fees of P25,000.
by Delfin Faustino, for then Senator Fernando Lopez, his wife Maria J.
Lopez, his son-in-law Alfredo Montelibano, Jr., and his daughter Mrs.
The CFI ruled in favor of plaintiff and awarded the following (a) And he was former Vice-President of the Philippines. Senator Lopez
P100,000.00 as moral damages: (b) P20,000.00 as exemplary was going to the United States to attend a private business conference
damage; (c) P25,000.00 as attorney's fees, and the costs of this of the Binalbangan-Isabela Sugar Company; but his aforesaid rank
action. and position were by no means left behind, and in fact he had a
second engagement awaiting him in the United States; a banquet
Plaintiffs however, on November 21, 1963, moved for reconsideration
tendered by Filipino friends in his honor as Senate President Pro
of said judgment, asking that moral damages be increased to
Tempore. For the moral damages sustained by him, therefore, an
P400,000 and that six per cent (6%) interest per annum on the
award of P100,000,000 is appropriate.
amount of the award be granted. And defendant opposed the same.
Mrs. Maria J. Lopez, as wife of Senator Lopez, shared his prestige and
Issue:
therefore his humiliation. In addition, she suffered physical discomfort
Whether plaintiff is entitled to moral damages and when is it during the 13-hour trip (5 hours from Tokyo to Honolulu and 8 hours
awardable. from Honolulu to San Francisco). Accordingly, considering the totality
of her suffering and humiliation, an award to Mrs. Maria J. Lopez of
Ruling: P50,000.00 for moral damages will be reasonable.
Yes, moral damages are recoverable in breach of contracts where the Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Montelibano, Jr., were traveling as immediate
defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith (Art. 2220, New Civil members of the family of Senator Lopez. They formed part of the
Code). Senator's party as shown also by the reservation cards of PAN AM. As
such they likewise shared his prestige and humiliation for by that time
As a proximate result of defendant's breach in bad faith of its
they had already been made to pay for first class seats and therefore
contracts with plaintiff's the latter suffered social humiliation,
to expect first class accommodations. As stated, it is one thing to take
wounded feelings, serious anxiety and mental anguish. For plaintiffs
the tourist class by free choice; a far different thing to be compelled
were travelling with first class tickets issued-by defendant and yet they
to take it notwithstanding having paid for first class seats.
were given only the tourist class. At stop-overs, they were expected
to be among the first-class passengers by those awaiting to welcome LAO vs COURT OF APPEALS
them, only to be found among the tourist passengers. It may not be
humiliating to travel as tourist passengers; it is humiliating to be Facts:
compelled to travel as such, contrary to what is rightfully to be
expected from the contractual undertaking. Petitioner Dennis Lao was an employee of the New St. Joseph Lumber
& Hardware Supply, hereinafter called St. Joseph Lumber, owned by
Senator Lopez was then Senate President Pro Tempore. International the private respondent, Chan Tong. St. Joseph Lumber filed a
carriers like defendant know the prestige of such an office. For the collection suit against a customer, the private respondent, Benjamin
Senate is not only the Upper Chamber of the Philippine Congress, but Espiritu, for unpaid purchases of construction materials from St.
the nation's treaty-ratifying body. It may also be mentioned that in his Joseph Lumber.
aforesaid Office Senator Lopez was in a position to preside in
impeachment cases should the Senate sit as impeachment Tribunal.
St. Joseph Lumber also filed a criminal complaint for estafa against Lumber. Second: there was probable cause for the charge of estafa
Espiritu, based on the same transaction. Since the petitioner was the against Espiritu, as found and certified by the investigating fiscal
employee who transacted business with Espiritu, he was directed by himself. And third: Lao was not motivated by malice in making the
his employer Chan Tong to sign the affidavit or complaint prepared by affidavit upon which the fiscal based the filing of the information
the firm's lawyer. Finding probable cause after conducting a against Espiritu. He executed it as an employee, a salesman of the St.
preliminary investigation of the charge, the investigating fiscal filed an Joseph Lumber from whom Espiritu made his purchases of
information for estafa against Espiritu. The case was dismissed construction materials and who, therefore, had personal knowledge of
because the court believed that Espiritu's liability was only civil, not the transaction. Although the prosecution of Espiritu for estafa did not
criminal. prosper, the unsuccessful prosecution may not be labelled as
malicious.
Espiritu filed a complaint for malicious prosecution against the
petitioner and St. Joseph Lumber. The Trial Court ordered Lao and St. GUTIERREZ vs VILLEGAS
Joseph Lumber to pay damages jointly and severally to Espiritu.
Facts:
Petitioner’s argument:
The plaintiff (Gutierrez) and defendants (Villegas and Rivera) are the
Petitioner alleged that he acted only as or employee of St. Joseph
only legal heirs of the late Irene Santos. On, January 12 1955, plaintiff
Lumber when he executed the affidavit which his employer submitted
signs a document entitled “Kasulatan ng Bilinan at Salinan” which is a
to the investigating fiscal who conducted the preliminary investigation
sale of her rights to the inheritance. At the same time, plaintiff signed
of his employer's estafa charge against Espiritu.
a manifestation purporting to inform, the probate court that she had
Issue: sold all her rights.

Whether petitioner Lao has a valid defense to the action for malicious However, a few months later, the plaintiff then files an annulment of
prosecution. a deed of sale against Rizalina Santos Rivera on the ground of fraud
and mistake. According to Adela Santos Gutierrez, she was made to
Ruling: sign through fraud of Rivera. She contends that one day, she was
Yes. accompanied by the defendants to their lawyer. She was not able to
bring her reading glasses, and she could not recognize the paper that
To maintain an action for damages based on malicious prosecution, she was made to sign. She states that she did not finish grade three,
three elements must be present: First, the fact of the prosecution and and she is just a simpleton which led her to sign those documents.
the further fact that the defendant was himself the prosecutor, and Additionally, she invokes the ground of lesion to rescind the sale. The
that the action was finally terminated with an acquittal; second, that defendants argue that the petitioner really did sell her right to the
in bringing the action, the prosecutor acted without probable cause; inheritance to them.
and third, the prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal malice.
Issue:
First: Lao was only a witness, not the prosecutor in the estafa case.
The prosecutor was his employer, Chan Tong or the St. Joseph WON the plaintiff was made to sign by fraud
WON the plaintiff can rescind the sale by account of lesion children named Atanacia, Timoteo, Modesto, Manuel, Emiliano, Maria
and Federico. A special proceeding was then instituted for the
Ruling:
settlement of the intestate estate of the said spouses.
No. The alleged indicia of fraud upon which she rests her case are
A project of partition was submitted and was eventually approved by
backed only by her own uncorroborated testimony, which is
the court. It was agreed in the project of partition that Jose Ramos
contradicted by that of defendants and their witnesses. Plaintiff's lack would pay the cash adjudications to Atanacia, Timoteo and Manuel,
of formal education was no handicap to her ability to read and write
while Agustin Ramos would pay the cash adjudications to Modesto,
the Tagalog dialect, in which Exhibit "A" was couched, and, as the
Federico, Emiliano and Maria. It was further agreed that Jose Ramos
lower court stated, "she is a woman of average intelligence capable
and Agustin Ramos would pay their sister, Granada. The sum of
of understanding the consequences of a signature affixed to a
P1,785.35, as the legal share of each natural child, was the amount
document". Her alleged poor eye-sight has not been shown with
which was indicated in the project of partition and which was to be
convincing evidence, but, on the contrary, during the trial, she readily
satisfied in cash. According to the natural children however, they did
identified a letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, even without
not know that intestate proceedings were instituted for the distribution
eyeglasses.
of the estate of their father. They never received any sum of money
While fraud may be proved entirely by circumstantial evidence, it is in cash. They only discovered later on that the property administered
not to be lightly inferred. The evidence for appellant does not suffice by their elder brother Jose had a Torrens Title in the name of his
to overcome the presumption of good faith and regularity in human widow, Gregoria, and daughter, Candida, when plaintiff Modesto's
affairs. children insisted and inquired from the Register of Deeds sometime in
1956 or 1957. Plaintiffs did not intervene in the intestate proceedings
No. Granting, arguendo, that the assignment of her hereditary share for (the) settlement of the estate of their brother Jose as they did not
in favor of her sister, Rizalina, should be deemed a partition under know of it.
Article 1082 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (notwithstanding the
fact that it did not totally terminate the indivision among the co-heirs Plaintiffs, who are the natural children, were thus constrained to bring
of Irene Santos, since the undivided share of the widower Villegas the present suit seeking for the reconveyance in their favor by
remained unchanged), still the lesion, if any, suffered by plaintiff from defendants Gregoria and daughter Candida and husband Jose Bayor
her sale of P50,000.00 of an individed heredity interest worth of their corresponding participations in said parcels of land in
P54,000.00 is certainly less than the one-fourth (1/4) required by accordance with article 840 of the old Civil Code and attorney's fees
Article 1098 of the Code. in the sum of P10,000 plus costs and expenses of this litigation.

RAMOS vs RAMOS The CFI dismissed plaintiffs' complaint and held that the intestate
estate of Martin Ramos was settled in Civil Case No. 217, which was
terminated on March 4,1914, and that the judgment therein is res
Facts:
judicata and bars any litigation regarding the same estate. Defendants
When the spouses Martin Ramos and Candida Tanate died, they were Granada Ramos, Gregoria T. Ramos, Candida Ramos, Jose Bayor and
survived by their three legitimate children named Jose, Agustin and Agustin Ramos appealed from the lower court's decision insofar as it
Granada. Martin Ramos was also survived by his seven natural ignored their counterclaim for P50,000 as moral damages and P10,000
as attorney's fees. The defendants argue that plaintiffs' action was as husband and wife in the house of one Adolfo Dagawan until Rodrigo
baseless and was filed in gross and evident bad faith. It is alleged that left and never returned. The evidence on other pertinent facts is
the action caused defendants mental anguish, wounded feelings, however conflicting. Galang tried to prove that she and Rodrigo were
moral shock and serious anxiety and compelled them to hire the engaged despite the opposition of the latter’s mother and that the
service of counsel and incur litigation expenses. father of Rodrigo agreed to give dowry and defray the expenses of
the marriage. The father even took them to the house of Dagawan for
Issue:
them to stay as husband and wife. However when Rodrigo was not
Whether the defendants entitled to an award of moral damages. able to secure a marriage license for lack of a residence certificate, he
went back to his hometown to get such certificate but never returned.
Ruling:
On the other hand, the defendants sought to establish that he and
Articles 2219 and 2220 (also 1764 and 2206) of the Civil Code indicate Galang were engaged but his parents were opposed to the marriage.
the cases where moral damages may be recovered. The instant Rodrigo was agreeable to marry the Galang after his graduation but
litigation does not fall within any of the enumerated cases. Nor can it the latter was impatient and wanted the marriage to take place
be regarded as analogous to any of the cases mentioned in those sooner. Because of continued relationships with Galang, Rodrigo’s
articles. Hence, defendants' claim for moral damages cannot be parents told him to leave the parental home. He later told this to
sustained. The worries and anxiety of a defendant in a litigation that Galang. The Galang convinced him to go to Dagawan’s house where
was not maliciously instituted are not the moral damages she followed and stayed thereafter. Because of his continued refusal
contemplated in the law. to marry the Galang, the latter’s relatives, accompanied by policemen
and constabulary soldiers intimidated him. He was allowed to go home
The adverse result of an action does not per se make the act wrongful
and was then placed under the custody of a town mayor by his
and subject the actor to the payment of moral damages. The law could
parents. He refused to acknowledge the marriage application, which
not have meant to impose a penalty on the right to litigate, such right
was provided by Dagawan for him to sign, when he did not appear
is so precious that moral damages may not be charged on those who
before a notary public.
may exercise it erroneously.
Plaintiff filed an action against Rodrigo and his father Maximo Quinit
Since no compensatory and moral damages have been awarded in this
to recover damages for breach of promise on the part of Rodrigo to
case, defendants' claim for exemplary damages, which was ventilated
marry her. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of plaintiff,
for the first time in their appellants' brief, may be as an afterthought,
which on appeal, was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
cannot be granted (Art. 2229, Civil Code).
Issue:
GALANG vs COURT OF APPEALS
Whether or not plaintiff may recover damages for breach of promise
Facts: to marry.

Plaintiff Beatriz Galang and Rodrigo Quinit were engaged, but Ruling:
Rodrigo’s parents were strongly opposed to their marriage. They lived
It is urged by the plaintiff that said Court had erred in not awarding in the case of CA-G.R. No. 15422-R, involving physical injuries caused
moral damages to her. She insists that moral damages for breach of upon Nita Lira, moral damages of P5,000.00 awarded her, were
promise to marry are collectible under our laws, but this question has eliminated.
already been settled adversely to plaintiff’s pretense in Hemosisima
Hence, a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of
vs. Court of Appeals. Moral damages for breach of promise to marry
Appeals was filed by Gonzalo Mercado, et al., petitioners, against
are not collectible.
Ramon Lira, et al., (G.R. No. L-13328-29), and another similar petition
MERCADO vs LIRA was filed by Nita Lira, petitioner vs. Gonzalo Mercado, et al.,
respondents (G.R. No. L-13358).
Facts:
CONTENTION OF MERCADO ET AL:
Gonzalo Mercado and others were the owners and operators of the
We respectfully submit, therefore, that, even if granting that the
Laguna Transportation Company. On April 21, 1951, the left front tire
respondents are entitled to moral damages, yet the same should not
of its passenger bus No. 39 blew out and sent it swerving gradually
be fixed in such an amount as to kill the entire business of the
toward the left side of the road, over the shoulder and into a ravine
respondents who are public service operators, by the enormous
some 270 meters away. From the wreckage, the bodies of the
amounts they have to pay on account of the negligence of one driver.
passengers, several dead, others injured, were recovered, and among
In this case, we respectfully submit that the amount of P500.00 is a
the fatalities was Ramon Lira, Jr. (24), son of Mr. and Mrs. Ramon
reasonable moral damage considering that the other damages already
Lira, Sr. and injured Nita Lira. Two cases for recovery of damages
awarded are excessive. In the same way that the attorney's fees
were commenced against the owners and operators in the Court of
should also be reduced to only P1,500.00.
First Instance of Batangas: No. 104 (now G.R. Nos. L-13326-29, in
this Court) by the parents of deceased Ramon Lira, Jr. and No. 107 Issues:
(now G.R. No. L-13358, in this Court) by Nita Lira. After a joint-trial,
defendants, the court awarded damages to the petitioners in both Whether the award of moral damages in G.R No. L-13328-29
cases. (involving the death of Ramon Lira Jr.) is proper.

Defendants appealed in both cases and plaintiff Nita Lira appealed in Whether the elimination of moral damages in G.R No. L-13358
No. 107 (being cases CA-G.R. No. 15422 and CA-G.R. No. 15423-R). (involving physical injuries caused upon Nita Lira) is proper.
As such, the CA reduced the amount of damages. Ruling:
On December 19, 1957, and in pursuance of a motion for YES. The pertinent provisions of the new Civil Code state: —
reconsideration, the CA again modified the award of damages by
eliminating the P5,000.00 moral damages to plaintiff Nita Lira in case Art. 1764 — Damages in cases comprised in this Section shall be
CA-G.R. No. 15422-R, maintaining said judgment in all other respects. awarded in accordance with Title XVIII of this Book, concerning
Damages. Article 2206 shall also apply to the death of a passenger
In other words, in the case CA-G.R. No. 15422-R, involving the death caused by the breach of contract by a common carrier.
of Ramon Lira, Jr., the Court of Appeals granted moral damages, and
Art. 2206 — The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or awards given by the Court of Appeals to respondents in the sum of
quasi delict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there P4,000.00 as moral damages for the death of Ramon Lira, Jr. and the
may have been mitigating circumstances. In addition: . . . amount of P4,000.00 for attorney's fees and other expenses of
litigation, fair and reasonable.
(3) The spouses, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and
ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental YES.
anguish by reason of the death of the deceased.
We gleaned, therefore, from previous decisions that (1) that the case
It is thus seen that Article 2206 of the new Civil Code, expressly of a passenger of a carrier who suffered physical injuries "because of
provides that the amount of damages for death shall be "at least three the carrier's negligence (culpa contractual), cannot be considered in
thousand pesos, even though there may have been mitigating the descriptive expression 'analogous cases', used in Art. 2219"; and
circumstances." In other words, the amount of damages to be (2) that in cases of breach of contract (including one of transportation)
awarded for the death of a passenger may be more than P3,000.00. proof of bad faith or fraud (dolus) i.e., wanton or deliberate injurious
It is argued that the award for moral damages for mental anguish conduct is essential to justify an award of moral damages. There being
caused by the death of a passenger is not obligatory, and that the no evidence of fraud, malice or bad faith, contemplated by law, on the
amount should only be nominal if the heirs have already been part of the respondents, because the cause of the accident was merely
compensated substantially for the death of the deceased. Article 2206 the bursting of a tire while the bus was overspeeding, the cause of
states further that "In addition" to the amount of at least P3,000.00 petitioner Nita Lira should fail, as far as moral damages is concerned.
to be awarded for the death of a passenger, the spouse, legitimate Moral damages was, therefore, correctly eliminated by the Court of
and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may Appeals.
demand moral damages as a consequence of the death of their
deceased kin, which simply means that once the above-mentioned PERMEX vs NLRC
heirs of the deceased claim compensation for moral damages and are
able to prove that they are entitled to such award, it becomes the duty Facts:
of the court to award moral damages to the claimant in an amount
Permex initially hired Emmanuel Filoteo as a mechanic. Eventually,
commensurate with the mental anguish suffered by them. In the Civil
Filoteo was promoted to water treatment operator, a position he held
Code, nominal damages are treated separately from moral damages.
until his termination. As water treatment operator, Filoteo did not
Petitioners' claim that as the other damages awarded to said have a fixed working schedule. His hours of work were dependent
respondents are already excessive, the award for moral damages upon the company's shifting production schedules.
should be reduced to P500.00. But the Court of Appeals found
One time, Filoteo logged in at the main gate and entered his time-in
the other damages not to be excessive, and as far as this factual
at 8:45 p.m., and since he was scheduled to work until 7:00 a.m. the
finding is concerned, we are not authorized to rule otherwise.
next day, he wrote 7:00 a.m. in his scheduled time-out. This practice
Considering the mental anguish and sorrow that must accompany and
of indicating the time out at the moment they time in was customarily
overwhelm the parents upon the tragic death of a son, and considering
done by most workers for convenience and practicality, and the
the nature and extent of the services rendered by counsel for
company had tolerated the practice. On the evening the same day at
respondents and other circumstances of the case, we believe the
around 9:20 p.m., Filoteo went to see the Assistant Production Yes. Moral damages are recoverable only where the dismissal of the
Manager to inquire if "butchering" of fish would be done that evening employee was tainted by bad faith or fraud, or where it constituted an
so they could start operating the boiler. They were advised to wait act oppressive to labor, and done in a manner contrary to morals,
from 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for confirmation. At or about 10:00 p.m., good customs, or public policy. Exemplary damages may be awarded
Filoteo and Pelayo went back to the Assistant Production Manager's only if the dismissal was done in a wanton, oppressive, or malevolent
office. There they were informed that there would be no "butchering" manner.
of tuna that night. Filoteo then sought permission to go home, which
In this case, we are persuaded that Filoteo, in his rush to catch the
was granted. Filoteo then hurriedly got his things and dashed off to
the exit gate to catch the service jeep provided by Permex. Filoteo service vehicle, merely forgot to correct his initial time-out entry.
Nothing is shown to prove he deliberately falsified his daily time record
and his co-workers were granted permission to go home at 10:00 p.m.
Filoteo retimed his DTR the next day. to deceive the company. The NLRC found that even management's
own evidence reflected that a certain Felix Pelayo, a co-worker of
The next day, August 1, 1994, Filoteo reported for work as usual. He private respondent, was also allowed to go home that night and like
then remembered that he had to make a re-entry in his daily time Filoteo, logged in advance 7:00 a.m. as his time-out. Moreover, as
record for the previous day. He proceeded to the Office of the early as Tide Water Associated Oil Co. v. Victory Employees and
Personnel Manager to retime his DTR entry. Later, he received a Laborers' Association, we ruled that, where a violation of company
memorandum from the Assistant Personnel Officer asking him to policy or breach of company rules and regulations was found to have
explain, in writing, the entry he made in his DTR. Filoteo complied. been tolerated by management, then the same could not serve as a
But later, Filoteo was dismissed from employment for entering in his basis for termination.
DTR that he had worked from 8:45 p.m. of July 31, 1994 to 7:00 a.m.
These notwithstanding, none of the grounds which would warrant an
of August 1, 1994, when in fact he had worked only up to 10:00 p.m.
award for moral and exemplary damages exist in the present case.
LABOR ARBITER:
GUTIERREZ vs VILLEGAS
There was no illegal dismissal, finding that there was no merit.
Facts:
NLRC:
Plaintiff and defendants are the only legal heirs of the late Irene
Reversed the same; the two-fold requirements for a valid dismissal
Santos who died intestate. Villegas is the surviving spouse while
were not satisfied by the petitioners. Moreover, it ordered Permex,Inc.
Gutierrez and Rivera are the nieces of the said decedent. A few says
to pay Filoteo moral and exemplary damages in the sum of P10,000.00
after the death of Irene Santos, a petition for the administration of
and P5,000.00, respectively.
her estate was filed. The probate court granted the petition and
Issues: thereafter Villegas was qualified as the administrator of the estate.
Gutierrez signed a 4-page document written in Tagalog entitled
WON NLRC erred when it awarded Filoteo damages. “Kasulatan Ng Bilihan at Salinan”, purporting to be a sale of her share
Ruling: and participation in the estate in favor of Rivera in consideration of
P50,000.00 payable in installments. This deed was notarized.
Gutierrez also signed a “Manifestation” purporting to inform the dismissing the complaint as well as the counterclaim. Whereupon,
probate court that the she had sold all her rights, interests, and plaintiffs and defendants regularly appealed to this Court directly
participation in the estate to Rivera.
Issue:
Gutierrez filed the present case to annul the aforesaid deed of sale on
Whether defendants are entitled to the award of moral damages
grounds of fraud and mistake. Gutierrez, testified that she asked
Villegas for a loan of P2,000.00 by way of advance payment on her Ruling:
share in the estate of her deceased aunt, but Villegas answered her
that as his lawyer advised him that he had no authority to give such Court first discussed how Gutierrez was not deceived by the
an advance he would ask Rivera if she could lend him the money, defendants. The plaintiff depicts herself as an unschooled simpleton
which, in turn, he would give to the plaintiff; that at about Christmas that attained only the third grade, while picturing the defendants as
time, Villegas counter-offered to give the plaintiff a loan of intelligent and clever persons; that she has poor eye-sight, low degree
P10,000.00, to be evidenced in writing, instead of the P2,000.00 of intelligence, and that there was no impelling need for her to sell the
originally asked, to which proposition Gutierrez agreed because she property. These circumstances, the plaintiff reasons out, coupled with
was planning a business venture; that the defendants invited the the inadequacy of consideration, are badges of fraud that contributed
plaintiff to go with them to Manila; they went to the law office of Atty. to her being an easy victim of her opponents' deceit. However, the
Flores; that while they were waiting for the lawyer, the plaintiff and alleged indicia of fraud upon which she rests her case are backed only
Rivera were given copies of a document which the former was not by her own uncorroborated testimony, which is contradicted by that
able to read on account of her poor eye-sight and her failure to bring of defendants and their witnesses. Plaintiff's lack of formal education
her eyeglasses with her; that when she was asked to sign the was no handicap to her ability to read and write the Tagalog dialect,
document on the space indicated to her, she simply obeyed; that she in which Exhibit "A" was couched, and, as the lower court stated, "she
was again asked to sign another document, a manifestation, which is a woman of average intelligence capable of understanding the
attorney Flores translated to her in Tagalog this second document, consequences of a signature affixed to a document".
which turned out to be a manifestation for the court, and what she
The alleged existence of a relationship of trust and confidence which
signed the day before was a sale of her share in the inheritance.
was supposedly taken advantage of by the defendants is belied by the
The plaintiff claims, furthermore, that in signing the deed of sale, her plaintiff's own assertion that her defendant uncle-in-law and her
consent was vitiated by gross mistake because the defendants misled deceased aunt had treated her as the underdog since childhood, and
and deceived her as to the actual and real value of the estate of Irene her sister, Rizalina, as the favorite; With the unfavorable treatment
Santos because the inventory failed to include certain properties, or that the plaintiff claims to have received at the hands of the
which, if at all listed, were either undervalued or stated to be conjugal defendants Villegas since childhood, it cannot be expected that the
when, in fact, they are paraphernal properties. plaintiff would be unwary of whatever he would ask her to do, let
alone her signing a four-page document. Hence, there was no vitiated
The defendants answered denying the charges, and counterclaimed consent.
for P200,000.00 moral and exemplary damages and P50,000.00
attorney's fees, because of the allegedly malicious charges and filing Turning now to the defendant's appeal, Court was disposed
of the suit. The trial court rejected the pretensions of both parties, not to vary the lower court's refusal to award them damages
and attorney's fees. Such awards are primarily in the discretion of shocked to find out that the lot had been divided into two, pursuant
the trial court, and it has found no facts upon which such award can to a deed of sale apparently executed by Aurea in favor of Jovencio.
be made. As to moral damages, the record shows no proof of mental Aurea averred that she never sold any portion of her property to
suffering on the part of defendants upon which the award can be Jovencio and never executed a deed of sale. Aurea was thus forced to
based. In addition, the absence of actual damages, moral, temperate, seek the advice of Judge Enrique Almario, another relative, who
or compensatory, blocks the grant of exemplary damages (Civil Code, suggested filing a complaint for estafa.
Article 2234).
On February 21, 1994, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rodrigo B.
YASONA vs DE RAMOS Zayenis dismissed the criminal complaint for estafa for lack of
evidence. On account of this dismissal, Jovencio and Rodencio filed a
Facts: complaint for damages on the ground of malicious prosecution with
the Regional Trial Court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Branch 91. They alleged
In November 1971, Aurea Yasoña and her son, Saturnino, went to the that the filing of the estafa complaint against them was done with
house of Jovencio de Ramos to ask for financial assistance in paying malice and it caused irreparable injury to their reputation, as Aurea
their loans to Philippine National Bank (PNB), otherwise their knew fully well that she had already sold half of the property to
residential house and lot, would be foreclosed. Jovencio acceded to Jovencio.
his aunt's request. They agreed that, upon payment by Jovencio of
the loan to PNB, half of Yasoñas’ subject property would be sold to On October 5, 2000, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of
him. Jovencio and Rodencio.

Jovencio paid Aurea’s bank loan and Aurea executed a deed of Petitioner Violeta Yasoña, personally and on behalf of her brothers
absolute sale in favor of Jovencio over half of the lot consisting of 123 and sisters and mother Aurea, filed a petition for certiorari under Rule
square meters. Thereafter, the lot was surveyed and separate titles 65 with the Court of Appeals which dismissed the same on June 14,
were issued by the Register of Deeds of Sta. Cruz, Laguna in the 2002 on the ground that petitioners availed of the wrong remedy.
names of Aurea and Jovencio. Their subsequent motion for reconsideration was likewise denied on
December 12, 2000.
Twenty-two years later, in August 1993, Aurea filed an estafa
complaint against brothers Jovencio and Rodencio de Ramos on the Hence, the instant petition.
ground that she was deceived by them when she asked for their
Issue:
assistance in 1971 concerning her mortgaged property. Aurea alleged
that Rodencio asked her to sign a blank paper on the pretext that it Whether the filing of the criminal complaint for estafa by petitioners
would be used in the redemption of the mortgaged property. Aurea against respondents constituted malicious prosecution
signed the blank paper without further inquiry because she trusted
her nephew, Rodencio. Thereafter, they heard nothing from Rodencio Ruling:
and this prompted Nimpha Yasoña Bondoc to confront Rodencio but In this jurisdiction, the term "malicious prosecution" has been defined
she was told that the title was still with the Register of Deeds. as "an action for damages brought by one against whom a criminal
However, when Nimpha inquired from the Register of Deeds, she was prosecution, civil suit, or other legal proceeding has been instituted
maliciously and without probable cause, after the termination of such elements are present in the present controversy. Petitioners were
prosecution, suit, or other proceeding in favor of the defendant completely aware that Jovencio was the rightful owner of the lot,
therein." clearly signifying that they were impelled by malice and avarice in
bringing the unfounded action. That there was no probable cause at
To constitute "malicious prosecution," there must be proof that the
all for the filing of the estafa case against respondents led to the
prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex or humiliate a
dismissal of the charges filed by petitioners.
person, and that it was initiated deliberately by the defendant knowing
that his charges were false and groundless. Concededly, the mere act Petitioners’ reliance on Drilon vs. Court of Appeals is misplaced. It
of submitting a case to the authorities for prosecution does not make must be noted that in Drilon, the investigating panel found that there
one liable for malicious prosecution. was probable cause to hold private respondent Homobono Adaza for
trial for the crime of rebellion with murder and frustrated murder.
In this case, there is reason to believe that a malicious intent was
Thus, petitioner, Franklin Drilon could not be held liable for malicious
behind the filing of the complaint for estafa against respondents. The
prosecution as there existed probable cause for the criminal case.
records show that the sale of the property was evidenced by a deed
Here, the complaint for estafa was dismissed outright as the
of sale duly notarized and registered with the local Register of Deeds.
prosecutor did not find any probable cause against respondents. A suit
After the execution of the deed of sale, the property was surveyed
for malicious prosecution will prosper where legal prosecution is
and divided into two portions. Separate titles were then issued in the
carried out without probable cause.
names of Aurea Yasoña and Jovencio de Ramos. Since 1973, Jovencio
had been paying the realty taxes of the portion registered in his name. EQUITABLE BANKING CORP vs CALDERON
In 1974, Aurea even requested Jovencio to use his portion as bond
for the temporary release of her son who was charged with malicious Facts:
mischief. Also, when Aurea borrowed money from the Rural Bank of
Lumban in 1973 and the PNB in 1979, only her portion covered by Jose T. Calderon is a businessman engaged in several business
TCT No. 73252 was mortgaged. activities here and abroad, either in his capacity as President or
Chairman of the Board thereon. In addition thereto, he is a
All these pieces of evidence indicate that Aurea had long stockholder of PLDT and a member of the Manila Polo Club, among
acknowledged Jovencio’s ownership of half of the property. others. He is a seasoned traveler, who travels at least seven times a
Furthermore, it was only in 1993 when petitioners decided to file the year in the U.S., Europe and Asia. On the other hand, the defendant-
estafa complaint against respondents. If petitioners honestly believed appellant [now petitioner] Equitable Banking Corporation (EBC for
that they still owned the entire property, it would not have taken them brevity), is one of the leading commercial banking institutions in the
22 years to question Jovencio’s ownership of half of the property. The Philippines, engaged in commercial banking, such as acceptance of
only conclusion that can be drawn from the circumstances is that deposits, extension of loans and credit card facilities, among others.
Aurea knew all along that she was no longer the owner of Jovencio’s
portion after having sold it to him way back in 1971. Calderon applied and was issued an Equitable International Visa card