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COA RULING: As for Hernandez's choice between Marilao, Bulacan, and Ternate, Cavite, one could easily agree that the former was the safer destination, being nearer, and in view of the comparative hazards in the trips to the two places. It is true that the petitioner miscalculated, but the Court feels he should not be blamed for that. The decision he made seemed logical at that time and was one that could be expected of a reasonable and prudent person. And if, as it happened, the two robbers attacked him in broad daylight in the jeep while it was on a busy highway, and in the presence of other passengers, it cannot be said that all this was the result of his imprudence and negligence. This was undoubtedly a fortuitous event covered by the said provisions, something that could not have been reasonably foreseen although it could have happened, and did. Gotesco Investment Vs. Chatto Definition: FORCE MAJEURE Blackstone, in his Commentaries on English Law, defines it as — Inevitable accident or casualty; an accident produced by any physical cause which is irresistible; such as lightning. tempest, perils of the sea, inundation, or earthquake; the sudden illness or death of a person. (2 Blackstone's Commentaries, 122; Story in Bailments, sec. 25.) Escriche, in his Diccionario de Legislacion y Jurisprudencia, defines fuerza mayor as follows. The event which we could neither foresee nor resist; as for example, the lightning stroke, hail, inundation, hurricane, public enemy, attack by robbers. Bouvier defines the same as —
Any accident due to natural cause, directly exclusively without human intervention, such as could not have been prevented by any kind of oversight, pains and care reasonably to have been expected. (Law Reports, 1 Common Pleas Division, 423; Law Reports, 10 Exchequer, 255.) The term generally applies, broadly speaking, to natural accidents, such as those caused by lightning, earthquake, tempests, public enemy ,etc. RULING: Petitioner could have easily discovered the cause of the collapse if indeed it were due to force majeure. To Our mind, the real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain the cause or reason is that either he did not actually conduct the investigation or that he is, as the respondent Court impliedly held, incompetent. He is not an engineer, but an architect who had not even passed the government's examination. collapse was due to construction defects. There was no evidence offered to overturn this finding. defects could have been easily discovered if only petitioner exercised due diligence and care in keeping and maintaining the premises. structural designs and plans of the building were duly approved by the City Engineer and the building permits and certificate of occupancy were issued do not at all prove that there were no defects It is settled that: The owner or proprietor of a place of public amusement impliedly warrants that the premises, appliances and amusement devices are safe for the purpose for which they are designed, the doctrine being subject to no other exception or qualification than that he does not contract against unknown defects not discoverable by ordinary or reasonable means. 14 This implied warranty has given rise to the rule that:
SERVANDO vs. is found to be in part the result of the participation of man. the following must concur: “To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174 of the Civil Code. governmental prohibitions. and the thing that caused the injury is wholly and exclusively under the control and management of the defendant. HISOLE . floods. and (2) by the act of man. its occurrence raises a presumption or permits of an inference of negligence on the part of the defendant. NAPOCOR VS. and (4) the obligor must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor. PHILSTEAM a 'caso fortuito' presents the following essential characteristics: (1) the cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence. or failure to act. The latter could not have foreseen the event." RULING: lower court misappreciated facts. That presumption or inference was not overcome by the petitioner. as it were. and removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. delay or violation or contravention in any manner of the tenor of the obligation as provided for in Article 1170 of the Civil Code. which results in loss or damage. As gleaned from Bouvier's definition of and Cockburn's elucidation on force majeure for one to be exempt from any liability because of it. it must be impossible to avoid. ASSUMPTION OF RISK AFIALDA vs. (b) the event must be either unforseeable or unavoidable. or aggravation of the injury to the creditor. Tolentino adds that "[f]ortuitous events may be produced by two general causes: (1) by nature. or if it can be foreseen. the whole occurrence is thereby humanized. even assuming for the sake of argument that. whether it be from active intervention or neglect.” if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God. i. (c) the event must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a moral manner. for a breach of an obligation due to an "act of God. (2) it must be impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the 'caso fortuito'. robbery. Typhoon Saling. negligence. (3) the occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner. 15 following must concur: (a) the cause of the breach of the obligation must be independent of the will of the debtor. The principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly requires that the act must be one occasioned exclusively by the violence of nature and all human agencies are to be excluded from creating or entering into the cause of the mischief. as petitioner vigorously insists. epidemics.Where a patron of a theater or other place of public amusement is injured. the cause of which is to be considered. attack by bandits. and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of events would not have happened if proper care had been exercised. the cause of the collapse was due to force majeure." the SOUTHEASTERN COLLEGE VS. CA Civilist Arturo M. etc." In the case at bar. and (d) the debtor must be free from any participation in. such as an armed invasion. he must have exercised care. the obligor cannot escape liability. storms.. he should not have been guilty of negligence. etc. When the effect. Besides. fires. the burning of the customs warehouse was an extraordinary event which happened independently of the will of the appellant. there concurs a corresponding fraud. which the trial court denominated as gross. must be independent of the human will. or of the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation. petitioner would still be liable because it was guilty of negligence.e. private respondents failed to establish sufficient proof that southeastern college was negligent and thus liable despite the “act of god”. CA To be exempt from 1174. such as earthquakes.
by the driver and the conductor themselves. and coming as they did from a rural area where lanterns and flashlights were not available. that the coming of the men with a lighted torch was in response to the call for help. or both." Defendant Company has taken all these steps. CA . Obviously. CA (pubcorp case) DUE DILIGENCE RAMOS vs. he should have carefully examined the applicant for employment as to his qualifications. made not only by the passengers. it was the caretaker's business to try to prevent the animal from causing injury or damage to anyone. and (2) that the presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure. CA RULING: possessor or user of the animal as the person liable for "any damages it may cause. including himself. and consequently may be rebutted. In the present case. in natural and continuous sequence. CA PROXIMATE CAUSE BATACLAN vs. And being injured by the animal under those circumstances. the leaking of the gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected. and that because it was dark (about 2:30 in the morning). have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom. ILOCOS NORTE VS. and without which the result would not have occurred. under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should. unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. produces the injury. either immediately or by setting other events in motion. but most probably. the animal was in custody and under the control of the caretaker. What is more. PEPSI that "In order that the defendant may be considered as having exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family. the trapping of some of its passengers and the call for outside help. through is driver and its conductor.- Sued under 1905 CC possessor of animals liable for damages except for force majeure PRESCRIPTION KRAMER vs. who was paid for his work as such. as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person. his experiences and record of service. he should not have been satisfied with the mere possession of a professional driver's license. and what was more natural than that said rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and effect the rescue requested from them.' 'the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury. the burning of the bus can also in part be attributed to the negligence of the carrier. FERNANDO VS. CA ALLIED BANKING vs. (1)That when an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in the selection of the servant or employee. each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor. was one of the risks of the occupation which he had voluntarily assumed and for which he must take the consequences. all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events. which. or in supervision over him after the selection. the coming of the men with a torch was to be expected and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the bus." and this for the obvious reason that the possessor or user has the custody and control of the animal and is therefore the one in a position to prevent it from causing damage. this for the reason that when the vehicle turned not only on its side but completely on its back. the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability METRO MANILA vs. It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family. the rescuers had to carry a light with them. the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted. MEDINA 'that cause. RULING: proximate cause was the overturning of the bus. In other words.
the severe form of tetanus that killed him was not yet present. 133). He must prove under Article 2179 of the New Civil Code that the defendant's negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury. it is more medically probable that Javier should have been infected with only a mild cause of tetanus because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd day after the hacking incident or more than 14 days after the infliction of the wound. (People v. Phil. His failure. his wound could have been infected by tetanus 2 or 3 or a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died. The victims are no exception. 186). The accident in the case at bar occurred because the victims on their own and without authority from the public respondent opened the septic tank. The infection was. 129. lead us to a distinct defendant. therefore. (People v. an old hand in this kind of service. de Bataclan. lead us to a distinct possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later or between the time Javier was wounded to the time of his death. if there intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct. Cardenas. there exists a difficulty to discern which acts shall be considered the proximate cause of the accident. The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct. Therefore. v. 181.. possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later or between the time Javier was wounded to the time of his death. If no danger existed in the condition except . followed by the ignoring of the suggestion born of this provision. Motors Corporation (55 Phil. and logical consequence of the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. distinct and foreign to the crime. Fish and Elect. a claimant must establish the relation between the omission and the damage. The medical findings. and logical consequence of the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. and that of his men to take precautionary measures for their safety was the proximate cause of the accident. he will be held liable for negligence if he fails to exhibit the care and skill of one ordinarily skilled in the particular work which he attempts to do (emphasis Ours). "A prior and remote cause cannot be made the be of an action if such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible.Reasonable foresight of harm. Co. et al. therefore. successive. unrelated. IAC If. an ordinarily prudent person should undoubtedly be aware of the attendant risks. natural. the wound of Javier inflicted by the appellant was already infected by tetanus germs at the time. produces the injury. Considering the nature of the task of emptying a septic tank especially one which has not been cleaned for years. died on the second day from the onset time. Consequently. The more credible conclusion is that at the time Javier's wound was inflicted by the appellant. supra) And since we are dealing with a criminal conviction. distinct and foreign to the crime. The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct. in natural and continuous sequence unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. We held that when a person holds himself out as being competent to do things requiring professional skill. even though such injury would not have happened but for such condition or occasion. Proof of such relation of cause and effect is not an arduous one if the claimant did not in any way contribute to the negligence of the URBANO VS. and without which the result would not have occurred (Vda. however. The medical findings. Proximate cause has been defined as that cause. 102 Phil. however. The fatal accident in this case would not have happened but for the victims' negligence. which. Javier. In Culion Ice. the onset time should have been more than six days. is always necessary before negligence can be held to exist 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 warrant his foregoing the conduct or guarding against its consequences. supra) And since we are dealing with a criminal conviction. therefore. Cardenas. the proof that the accused caused the victim's death must convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. To be entitled to damages for an injury resulting from the negligence of another. Medina. who is presumed to know the hazards of the job. natural. therefore. v. However. Bertulano. however. the proof that the accused caused the victim's death must convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. and efficient cause of the injury. more so with Mr. The infection was. where the resulting injury was the product of the negligence of both parties. Considering the circumstance surrounding Javier's death. Javier's wound could have been infected with tetanus after the hacking incident.
As to issue of PROXIMATE CAUSE . reactions from observers who happened to be around at that time. such subsequent act or condition is the proximate cause. IAC four factual issues that need to be looked into: (a) whether or not private respondent Dionisio had a curfew pass valid and effective for that eventful night. although he succeeded in switching his lights on again at "bright" split seconds before contact with the dump truck. in order to avoid detection and possibly arrest by the police in the nearby police station for travelling after the onset of curfew without a valid curfew pass.because of the independent cause. (d) whether Dionisio was intoxicated at the time of the accident. It is the petitioners' contention that Dionisio purposely shut off his headlights even before he reached the intersection so as not to be detected by the police in the police precinct which he (being a resident in the area) knew was not far away from the intersection. And if an independent negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the instances which result in injury because of the prior defective condition. We believe that the petitioners' theory is a more credible explanation than that offered by private respondent Dionisio — i. Conclusion: The conclusion we draw from the factual circumstances outlined above is that private respondent Dionisio was negligent the night of the accident. which was said to have authority to issue curfew passes for Pampanga and Metro Manila. He was hurrying home that night and driving faster than he should have been. (c) whether Dionisio had purposely turned off his car's headlights before contact with the dump or whether those headlights accidentally malfunctioned moments before the collision. testimony of Patrolman Cuyno is admissible not under the official records exception to the hearsay rule 4 but rather as part of the res gestae. (b) whether Dionisio was driving fast or speeding just before the collision with the dump truck. This certification was to the effect that private respondent Dionisio had a valid curfew pass.. that he had his headlights on but that. does not necessarily follow that accused is free from civil liability. at the crucial moment. San Fernando. Worse. these had in some mysterious if convenient way malfunctioned and gone off. rather than reflective. The relevance of possession or non-possession of a curfew pass that night lies in the light it tends to shed on the other related issues: whether Dionisio was speeding home and whether he had indeed purposely put out his headlights before the accident. offered a certification (dated two years after the accident) issued by one Major Libarnes of the Zone Integrated Police Intelligence Unit of Camp Olivas. he extinguished his headlights at or near the intersection of General Lacuna and General Santos Streets and thus did not see the dump truck that was parked askew and sticking out onto the road lane. The testimony of Patrolman Cuyno was therefore admissible as part of the res gestae and should have been considered by the trial court." (Discussion on remote and proximate cause only pertains to the criminal aspect of the case.e. Pampanga. and The Intermediate Appellate Court expressly found that the headlights of Dionisio's car went off as he crossed the intersection but was non-committal as to why they did so. no curfew pass was found on the person of Dionisio immediately after the accident nor was any found in his car. We are also aware that "one shot or two" of hard liquor may affect different people differently. 8 There simply is not enough evidence to show how much liquor he had in fact taken and the effects of that upon his physical faculties or upon his judgment or mental alertness.) PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION VS. that an automobile speeding down a street and suddenly smashing into a stationary object in the dead of night is a sufficiently startling event as to evoke spontaneous. such condition was not the proximate cause.
although later in point of time than the truck driver's negligence and therefore closer to the accident. Even the lapse of a considerable time during which the "condition" remains static will not necessarily affect liability. was not an efficient intervening or independent cause. . and some new force intervenes. it is not the distinction between "cause" and "condition" which is important but the nature of the risk and the character of the intervening cause." that the "immediate and proximate cause" of the injury remained the truck driver's "lack of due care" and that consequently respondent Dionisio may recover damages though such damages are subject to mitigation by the courts Negligence of Employer Petitioner Carbonel's proven negligence creates a presumption of negligence on the part of his employer Phoenix 16 in supervising its employees properly and adequately. Foreseeable intervening forces are within the scope original . But so far as the fact of causation is concerned. in the sense of necessary antecedents which have played an important part in producing the result it is quite impossible to distinguish between active forces and passive situations. The collision between the dump truck and the private respondent's car would in an probability not have occurred had the dump truck not been parked askew without any warning lights or reflector devices. to which the defendant has subjected the plaintiff has indeed come to pass. In our view. Thus one who sets a fire may be required to foresee that an ordinary. the truck driver must be held responsible.. When a spark ignites the gasoline. The improper parking of the dump truck created an unreasonable risk of injury for anyone driving down General Lacuna Street and for having so created this risk.. and since that is the very risk which the defendant has created. But even in such cases. the condition has done quite as much to bring about the fire as the spark. Obviously the defendant cannot be relieved from liability by the fact that the risk or a substantial and important part of the risk. correctly in our opinion. Many courts have sought to distinguish between the active "cause" of the harm and the existing "conditions" upon which that cause operated. usual and customary wind arising later wig spread it beyond the defendant's own property. and therefore to take precautions to prevent that event. the negligence of petitioner Carbonel.legal and proximate cause of the accident and of Dionisio's injuries was the wrongful — or negligent manner in which the dump truck was parked in other words. If the intervening cause is one which in ordinary human experience is reasonably to be anticipated or one which the defendant has reason to anticipate under the particular circumstances. the defendant may be negligence among other reasons. the collision of Dionisio's car with the dump truck was a natural and foreseeable consequence of the truck driver's negligence. the truck driver's negligence far from being a "passive and static condition" was rather an indispensable and efficient cause. So far as it has any validity at all. The circumstance that Phoenix had allowed its truck driver to bring the dump truck to his home whenever there was work to be done early the following morning. If the defendant has created only a passive static condition which made the damage possible. In all of these cases there is an intervening cause combining with the defendant's conduct to produce the result and in each case the defendant's negligence consists in failure to protect the plaintiff against that very risk. Foreseeable Intervening Causes. . particularly since. Dionisio's negligence. when coupled with the failure to show any effort on the part of Phoenix to supervise the manner in which the dump truck is parked when away from company premises. that Phoenix was not able to overcome this presumption of negligence. Concepts Cause and condition. the latter are the result of other active forces which have gone before. The defendant who spills gasoline about the premises creates a "condition. the defendant is said not to be liable. as is invariably the case. or the defendant may be negligent only for that reason." but the act may be culpable because of the danger of fire. but the distinction is now almost entirely discredited. respondent Dionisio's negligence was "only contributory. "Cause" and "condition" still find occasional mention in the decisions. is an affirmative showing of culpa in vigilando on the part of Phoenix. The person who leaves the combustible or explosive material exposed in a public place may foresee the risk of fire from some independent source. one who digs a trench in the highway may still be liable to another who fans into it a month afterward. the defendant will not escape responsibility. because of failure to guard against it. it must refer to the type of case where the forces set in operation by the defendant have come to rest in a position of apparent safety. The respondent appellate court in effect found.
.risk.. The risk created by the defendant may include the intervention of the foreseeable negligence of others. . and therefore to be anticipated. a defendant who blocks the sidewalk and forces the plaintiff to walk in a street where the plaintiff will be exposed to the risks of heavy traffic becomes liable when the plaintiff is run down by a car. including all ordinary forces of nature such as usual wind or rain.. [The standard of reasonable conduct may require the defendant to protect the plaintiff against 'that occasional negligence which is one of the ordinary incidents of human life. The courts are quite generally agreed that intervening causes which fall fairly in this category will not supersede the defendant's responsibility. or snow or frost or fog or even lightning. that one who leaves an obstruction on the road or a railroad track should foresee that a vehicle or a train will run into it.. and one who parks an automobile on the highway without lights at night is not relieved of responsibility when another negligently drives into it.. even though the car is negligently driven. and hence of the defendant's negligence.' Thus. Thus it has been held that a defendant will be required to anticipate the usual weather of the vicinity. .