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G.R. No. 173259 | July 25, 2011

This petition for review ascended from a case for damages filed by FF Cruz against
PNB. In its complaint, it is alleged that, FF Cruz opened an account at PNB-Timog Ave. Branch,
wherein its president and its secretary-treasurer were the named signatories. That PNB has
been negligent to deduct the cashier’s and manager’s checks amounting to Php9,950,000.00
and Php3,260,000.00, respectively, as the same were unauthorized and fraudulently made by
the company accountant,AureaCaparas as both the president and the secretary were out of the
country at that time. The plaintiff seeks to credit back and restore to its account the value of the
checks, to which the bank refused as the bank alleged that it exercised due diligence in
handling the account of FF Cruz, as the application of said checks have passed a through
standard bank procedures and it was only after finding that it has no infirmity that the checks
were given due course. The trial court rendered a decision against PNB for not calling or
personally verifying from the authorized signatories the legitimacy of the subject withdrawals
considering that they were huge amounts. For this reason, PNB had the last clear chance to
prevent the unauthorized debits from the FF Cruz account. Thus, PNB should bear the whole
loss. On appeal, CA affirmed the decision of the trial court with modification on the award for
damages that PNB should only pay 60% of the actual damage and FF Cruz should bear the
remaining 40% for its contributory negligence by giving authority to its company accountant to
transact with PNB. Hence, PNB filed its petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether the Court of Appeals seriously erred when it found PNB guilty of negligence?


No, given the foregoing, SC find no reversible error in the findings of the appellate court
that PNB was negligent in the handling of FFCCI's combo account, specifically, with respect to
PNB's failure to detect the forgeries in the subject applications for manager's check which could
have prevented the loss. As we have often ruled, the banking business is impressed with public
trust.A higher degree of diligence is imposed on banks relative to the handling of their affairs
than that of an ordinary business enterprise.Thus, the degree of responsibility, care and
trustworthiness expected of their officials and employees is far greater than those of ordinary
officers and employees in other enterprises. In the case at bar, PNB failed to meet the high
standard of diligence required by the circumstances to prevent the fraud. In Philippine Bank of
Commerce v. Court of Appeals and The Consolidated Bank & Trust Corporation v. Court of
Appeals, where the bank's negligence is the proximate cause of the loss and the depositor is
guilty of contributory negligence, we allocated the damages between the bank and the depositor
on a 60-40 ratio. We apply the same ruling in this case considering that, as shown above, PNB's
negligence is the proximate cause of the loss while the issue as to FFCCI's contributory
negligence has been settled with finality in G.R. No. 173278. Thus, the appellate court properly
adjudged PNB to bear the greater part of the loss consistent with these rulings.WHEREFORE,
the petition is DENIED.
G.R. No. 174156 | November 2, 2006

Rhonda Brunty, an American citizen and daughter of Ehtel Brunty, visited the Philippines.
Before her departure, she with her Filipino host, Juan Manuel Garcia, went to Baguio on board a
Mercedez Benz driven by Mercelita, around 12 midnight. On the other hand, a PNR train bound
for Tutuban, Manila left La Union station at 11pm. At around 2am, the Benz was approaching
the railroad crossing at Moncada, Tarlac. The car was running at a speed of 70km/hr and had
overtaken a vehicle when it collided with the PNR train. Brunty was rushed to the hospital, but
was pronounced dead 10 minutes after arrival, while Garcia suffered severe head injuries.

A demand letter was sent to PNR which did not respond. A complaint for damages was
filed against it. PNR argues that since there is freedom of control and greater maneuverability
on the part of motor vehicles, it is obvious that in railroad crossings, they have the last clear
chance to prevent or avoid an unwanted accident from taking place.

RTC: PNR negligent; CA: affirmed

ISSUE: Whether or not the doctrine of last clear chance applies

NO. The proximate cause of the injury having been established to be the negligence of
PNR, the doctrine finds no application in the instant case. PNR was negligent because of its
failure to provide the necessary safety device to ensure the safety of motorists in crossing the
railroad track: (1.) absence of flagbars or safety railroad bars; (2.) inadequacy of the installed
warning signals; and (3.) lack of proper lighting within the area.

Thus, even if there was a flagman stationed at the site as claimed by PNR, it would still
be impossible to know or see that there is a railroad crossing/tracks ahead, or that there is an
approaching train from the Moncada side of the road since one’s view would be blocked by a
cockpit arena. A vehicle coming from the Moncada side would have difficulty in knowing that
there is an approaching train because of the slight curve, more so, at an unholy hour as 2:00
a.m. Thus, it is imperative on the part of the PNR to provide adequate safety equipment in the

This Court has previously determined the liability of the PNR for damages for its failure
to put a cross bar, or signal light, flagman or switchman, or semaphores. Such failure is
evidence of negligence and disregard of the safety of the public, even if there is no law or
ordinance requiring it because public safety demands that said device or equipment be

There was a contributory negligence on the part driver of the Mercedez Benz, Mercelita,
as the place was not properly illuminated; one’s view was blocked by a cockpit arena; and
Mercelita was unfamiliar with the place, yet he drove at 70km/hr and had overtaken a vehicle
before arriving at the railroad track. However, the effect of contributory negligence on the
mitigation of liability does not apply here. Both before the lower courts, no damages were
awarded to Mercelita and he did not appeal. There is neither proof as to the relationship
between Mercelita and Rhonda Brunty.
G.R. No. 174156 | June 20, 2012


Respondent Jose A. Espinas was driving his car along Leon Guinto Street in Manila.
Upon reaching the intersection of Leon Guinto and President Quirino Streets, Espinas stopped
his car. When the signal light turned green, he proceeded to cross the intersection. He was
already in the middle of the intersection when another car, traversing President Quirino Street
and going to Roxas Boulevard, suddenly hit and bumped his car. As a result of the impact,
Espinas car turned clockwise. The other car escaped from the scene of the incident, but
Espinas was able to get its plate number. He verified with the Land Transportation Office and
learned that the owner of the other car, with plate number UCF-545, is Filcar.

Espinas sent several letters to Filcar and to its President and General Manager Carmen
Flor, demanding payment for the damages sustained by his car. He filed a complaint for
damages against Filcar and Carmen Flor. Espinasdemanded that Filcar and Carmen Flor pay
the amount of P97,910.00, representing actual damages sustained by his car.

Filcar argued that while it is the registered owner of the car that hit and bumped Espinas
car, the car was assigned to its Corporate Secretary Atty. CandidoFlor, the husband of Carmen
Flor. Filcar further stated that the car was being driven by Atty. Flor’s personal driver,
TimoteoFloresca.Filcar denied any liability to Espinas and claimed that the incident was not due
to its fault or negligence since Floresca was not its employee but that of Atty. Flor. Filcar and
Carmen Flor both said that they always exercised the due diligence required of a good father of
a family in leasing or assigning their vehicles to third parties.

ISSUE: Whether Filcar, as registered owner of the motor vehicle which figured in an
accident, may be held liable for the damages caused to Espinas.

Yes. Filcar, as registered owner, is deemed the employer of the driver, Floresca, and is
thus liable under Article 2176 in relation with Article 2180 of the Civil Code. As a general rule,
one is only responsible for his own act or omission. Thus, a person will generally be held liable
only for the torts commited by himself and not by another. The law, however, provides for
exceptions that an employer is made vicariously liable for the tort commited by his employee.
Article 2180 of the Civil Code states:
Article 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one’s
own acts or omissions, but also for those persons for whom one is responsible. Employers shall
be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the
scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or
Under Article 2176, in relation with Article 2180 of the Civil Code, an action predicated on
an employee’s act or omission may be instituted against the employer of the tortfeasor-driver,
and is made primarily liable for the tort committed by the latter under Article 2176, in relation
with Article 2180, of the Civil Code. Filcar is not permitted to evade its liability for damages by
conveniently passing on the blame to another party; in this case, its Corporate Secretary,
AttyFlor and his alleged driver, Floresca. Thus, Filcar as the registered owner of the car involved
in the accident, it could not escapeliability for the damages caused to Espinas.
RAYNERA V HICETA EDNA A. RAYNERA, for herself and on behalf of the minors RIANNA
G.R. No. 120027. April 21, 1999


Petitioners herein are heirs of Reynaldo Raynera who was killed by an accident on his
way home at about 2:00 A.M. Respondents, Freddie Hiceta and Jimmy Orpilla were owner and
driver, respectively, of an Isuzu truck trailer which was involved in the said accident. On March
23, 1989, at about 2:00 in the morning, Reynaldo Raynera was on his way home. He was riding
a motorcycle traveling on the southbound lane of East Service Road, Cupang, Muntinlupa. The
Isuzu truck was travelling ahead of him at 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. 4 The truck was loaded
with two (2) metal sheets extended on both sides, two (2) feet on the left and three (3) feet on
the right. There were two (2) pairs of red lights, about 35 watts each, on both sides of the metal
plates. 5 The asphalt road was not well lighted. At some point on the road, Reynaldo Raynera
crashed his motorcycle into the left rear portion of the truck trailer, which was without tail lights.
Due to the collision, Reynaldo sustained head injuries and truck helper Geraldino D. Lucelo 6
rushed him to the Parañaque Medical Center. Upon arrival at the hospital, the attending
physician, Dr. Marivic Aguirre, 7 pronounced Reynaldo Raynera dead on arrival.
At time of his death, Reynaldo was manager of the Engineering Department, Kawasaki Motors
(Phils.) Corporation. The heirs of the deceased demanded from respondents' payment of
damages arising from the death of Reynaldo as a result of the vehicular accident. The
respondents refused to pay the claims. Petitioners, hence, filed with the Regional Trial Court,
Manila a complaint for damages against respondents' owner and driver of the Isuzu truck.
Petitioners sought recovery of the damages caused by the negligent operation of the truck-
trailer at nighttime on the highway, without tail the lights.


(1) Trial Court: rendered a decision in favor of petitioners. The trial court held that respondents'
negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of the victim's death. The trial court also
applied the doctrine of contributory negligence and reduced the responsibility of respondents by
(2) Court of Appeals: held that the victim's bumping into the left rear portion of the truck was the
proximate cause of his death, and consequently, absolved respondents from liability.

ISSUE: Whether the truck is responsible for the accident

No. Despite the absence of tail lights and license plate, respondents' truck was visible in
the highway. It was traveling at a moderate speed, approximately 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. It
used the service road, instead of the highway, because the cargo they were hauling posed a
danger to passing motorists. In compliance with the Land Transportation Traffic Code (Republic
Act No. 4136)" 25 respondents installed 2 pairs of lights on top of the steel plates, as the
vehicle's cargo load extended beyond the bed or body thereof.

said that drivers of vehicles "who bump the rear of another vehicle" are presumed to be "the
cause of the accident, unless contradicted by other evidence." The rationale behind the
presumption is that the driver of the rear vehicle has full control of the situation as he is in a
position to observe the vehicle in front of him. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the
responsibility to avoid the collision with the front vehicle lies with the driver of the rear vehicle.
Consequently, no other person was to blame but the victim himself since he was the one who
bumped his motorcycle into the rear of the Isuzu truck. He had the last clear chance of avoiding
the accident.
He was traversing the service road where the prescribed speed limit was less than that in the
G.R NO. 170865


Adelina Guarin’s friend, Filipina Tuazon, approached her to ask if she could have her
check cleared and encashed for a service fee of 2.5%. In turn, Adelina approached Ofelia
Cheah and agreed to accommodate Filipina’s request since she has a joint dollar savings
account with her husband, Cheah Chee Chong with PNB Buendia Branch.
The parties went to PNB Loans Department wherein they met Garin, PNB’s Division
Chief, who informed about the 15- day clearing period. On Nov. 4, 1992 Ofelia deposited the
said check. PNB sent the check for clearing through Philadelphia National Banck which had
temporarily credited the same to PNB’s account as of Nov.6, 1992. On the same day, Garin,
PNB’s Division Chief, informed Ofelia that the check has already been cleared and the same
was credited to the account of Sps Cheah. He further allowed the withdrawal of the amount on
Nov 17-18, 1992. Filipina Tuazon, thereafter, received the proceeds.
However, the Cable Division of PNB Head Office received a message from Philadelphia
informing PNB for the return of the check for insufficiency of funds. Upon demand by PNB
Buendia to return the money withrdrawn, Ofelia contacted Filipina to get the money back but the
same has been given to several people who asked for the check’s encashment. PNB filed a
complaint against the spouses and froze their peso and dollar deposits. RTC ruled in favor of
the PNB and held the spouses Cheah guilty of contributory negligence. The CA declared both
parties equally negligent and should suffer and shoulder the loss.

ISSUE: Whether both parties are equally negligent, hence, should suffer the loss.

Yes. PNB’s act of releasing the proceeds of the check prior to the lapse of the 15-day
clearing was the proximate cause. The disregard of its own banking policy amounts to gross
negligence. It bears stressing that the “diligence required is more than that of a good father of a
family. The highest degree of diligence is expected. PNB failed to do its duty in exercising
extraordinary diligence and reasonable business practice. The Spouses Cheah is guilty of
contributory negligence and hence should suffer the loss. Contributory negligence is conduct on
the part of the injured party; contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered which
falls below the standard to which he is required to conform for its protection. The fact that the
check was cleared only eight banking days, contrary to what Garin had informed them, they
should have verified the hastiness of the transaction considering that they are the ones would
be put at risk and not the accommodated party.
Hence, the Court concurs with the findings of the CA that PNB and spouses Cheah are
equally negligent and should suffer the loss.
G.R. No. 170414

On 2 April 1996, the Twin Otter aircraft of Philippine Airways Corporation (PAC) arrived
at the Manila International Airport from El Nido, Palawan. Upon touchdown, the Twin Otter
taxied along the runway and proceeded to the Soriano Hangar to disembark its passengers.
After the last passenger disembarked, PACs pilots started the engine of the Twin Otter in order
to proceed to the PAC Hangar located at the other end of the airport.

The Twin Otter was still 350 meters away from runway 13. Upon reaching runway 13,
PACs pilots did not make a full stop at the holding point to request clearance right before
crossing runway 13. Without such clearance, PACs pilots proceeded to cross runway 13.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Boeing 737, was preparing for take-off along
runway 13. The PAL pilots requested clearance to push and start on runway 13 and the ATO
issued the clearance. While already on take-off roll, one of the pilot caught a glimpse of the Twin
Otter on the left side of the Boeing 737 about to cross runway 13.The PAL pilots attempted to
abort the take-off by reversing the thrust of the aircraft. However, the Boeing 737 still collided
with the Twin Otter.

ISSUE: Whether or not among the parties is liable for negligence.

To ascertain who among the parties is liable for negligence, the Rules of the Air of the Air
Transportation Office apply to all aircraft registered in the Philippines. ATO for issuing
clearances that turn out to be unsuitable, cannot be blame, because the pilots-in-command
have the final authority as to the disposition of the aircraft. It remained the primary responsibility
of the pilots-in-command to see to it that the respective clearances given were suitable.

PALs aircraft had the right of way at the time of collision, because under the Rules of the
Air, being on take-off roll undisputedly had the right of way. The fact that PACs pilots
disregarded PALs right of way and did not ask for updated clearance right before crossing an
active runway was the proximate cause of the collision. Were it not for such gross negligence on
the part of PACs pilots, the collision would not have happened. Gross negligence is one that is
characterized by the want of even slight care, acting or omitting to act in a situation where there
is a duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to
consequences insofar as other persons may be affected.
G.R. No. 125483 | February 1, 2001


Petitioner Ludo&Luym Corporation owns and operates a private wharf used by vessels
for loading and unloading of copra and other processed products. Among its wharf's facilities
are fender pile clusters for docking and mooring.

On May 21, 1990, at around 1:30 P.M., while MV Miguela was docking at petitioner's
wharf, it rammed and destroyed a fender pile cluster. Petitioner demanded damages from
Gabisan Shipping Line (registered owner of the vessel) and AnselmoOlasiman (vessel captain).
They refused. Hence, petitioner filed a complaint for damages before the RTC Cebu.

Based on the evidence presented during trial, when MV Miguela came to dock at
petitioner's wharf. Ireneo Naval, petitioner's employee, guided the vessel to its docking place.
After the guide (small rope) was thrown from the vessel and while the petitioner's security guard
was pulling the big rope to be tied to the bolar, MV Miguela did not slow down. The crew did not
release the vessel's anchor. Naval shouted "Reverse" to the vessel's crew, but it was too late
when the latter responded, for the vessel already rammed the pile cluster. The impact
disinclined the pile cluster and deformed the cable wires wound around it. Marine surveyor
Carlos Degamo inspected the damage on the pile cluster and estimated the cost of repair and
replacement at P95,000.

Respondents (Gabisan Shipping and Olasiman) claimed that the damage, if any, must
have occurred prior to their arrival and caused by another vessel or by ordinary wear and tear.
They averred that MV Miguela started to slow down at 100 meters and the crew stopped the
engine at 50 meters from the pier; that Capt. AnselmoOlasiman did not order the anchor's
release and chief mate Manuel Gabisan did not hear Naval shout "Reverse". Respondents
claimed that Naval had no business in the vessels' maneuvering.

RTC Cebu decided in favor of petitioner and found that it was able to prove by
preponderance of evidence its claim and that the officers and crew of MV Miguela were

The Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the trial court. The CA found that eyewitness Naval
was incompetent to testify on the negligence of the crew and officers of MV Miguela; that there
were other vessels that used the wharf for berthing and petitioner's evidence did not positively
prove that it was MV Miguela that rammed the pile cluster. The CA denied the motion for
reconsideration. Hence, this petition for review.

ISSUE: Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applicable to this case.

YES. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur was explained thus: Where the thing which causes
injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the management use proper care,
it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the
accident arose from want of care. (seeBatiquin vs. Court of Appeals)

The doctrine recognizes that parties may establish prima facie negligence without direct
proof and allows the principle to substitute for specific proof of negligence. This is invoked when
under the circumstances, direct evidence is absent and not readily available.
In our view, all the requisites for recourse to this doctrine exist. First, MV Miguela was
under the exclusive control of its officers and crew. Petitioner did not have direct evidence on
what transpired within as the officers and crew maneuvered the vessel to its berthing place. We
note the Court of Appeals' finding that Naval and Espina were not knowledgeable on the
vessel's maneuverings, and could not testify on the negligence of the officers and crew. Second,
aside from the testimony that MV Miguela rammed the cluster pile, private respondent did not
show persuasively other possible causes of the damage.

Applying the doctrine, there exists a presumption of negligence against private

respondents which we opine the latter failed to overcome. Additionally, petitioner presented
tangible proof that demonstrated private respondents' negligence. As testified by Capt.
Olasiman, he ordered "stop engine" when the vessel was only 50 meters from the pier. Further,
he testified that before the vessel is put to slow astern, the engine has to be restarted. From
these declarations, the conclusion is that it was already too late when the captain ordered
reverse. By then, the vessel was only 4 meters from the pier, and thus rammed it.

Respondent company's negligence consists in allowing incompetent crew to man its

vessel. Both Captain Olasiman and Chief Mate Gabisan did not have a formal training in marine
navigation. The former was a mere elementary graduate, while the latter is a high school
graduate. Their experience in navigation was only as a watchman and a quartermaster,
surnamed REYES, represented by their mother, LEAH ALESNA REYES, petitioners, vs.
MARLYN RICO, respondents.
G.R. No. 130547 | October 3, 2000


Jorge Reyes has been suffering from recurring fever with chills for several days. Home
medication afforded him no relief so he went to Mercy Community Clinic. He was then attended
by Dr. Marlyn Rico. Since typhoid fever was common at that time, the Widal test was performed
and he was found positive for typhoid. Thereafter, Dr. Marlyn Rico endorsedthe patient to Dr.
MarvieBlanes. Dr. Blanes, upon finding that the patient was indeed positive for typhoid fever,
ordered that Jorge be tested for compatibility with chloromycetin, an antibiotic. As there was no
adverse reaction, Dr. Blanes administered 500 mg of the antibiotic. A second dose was given 3
hours later. Subsequently, Jorge Reyes developed high fever and experienced vomiting and
convulsions. He then turned blue due to deficiency in oxygen – cyanosis – and died. The cause
of death was stated to be “ventricular arrhythmia secondary to hyperpyrexia and typhoid fever.”

The heirs of Reyes filed with the RTC a complaint for damages against Sisters of Mercy,
Sister Rose Palacio, Dr. Blanes, Dr. Rico and Mercy Community Clinic contending that the
death of Jorge was due to the wrongful administration of chloromycetin. (NOTE: Petitioner’s
action is for medical malpractice.) RTC ruled in favor of the respondents. The CA affirmed in toto
the RTC decision. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not the death of Jorge Reyes was due to or caused by the negligence on
the part of the defendants.

NO. While it is true that the patient died just a few hours after professional medical
assistance was rendered, there is really nothing unusual or extraordinary about his death. Prior
to his admission, the patient already had recurring fevers and chills for five days unrelieved by
the analgesic, antipyretic, and antibiotics given him by his wife. This shows that he had been
suffering from a serious illness and professional medical help came too late for him.

It must be conceded that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no application in a
suit against a physician or a surgeon which involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific
treatment. The physician or surgeon is not required at his risk to explain why any particular
diagnosis was not correct, or why any particular scientific treatment did not produce the desired

G.R. No. 183198 | November 25, 2009


Luz Palanca Tan alleged that she was the owner of a passenger-type jitney with plate
number DKF-168. On March 14, 1997, at around 5:00 a.m., the said jitney figured in an accident
at an intersection along Maharlika Highway, Barangay Bangyas, Calauan, Laguna, as it collided
with a JAM Transit passenger bus bound for Manila, bearing plate number DVG-557 and body
number 8030. The bus was driven by Eddie Dimayuga (Dimayuga).

At the time of the collision, Tan’s jitney was loaded with quail eggs and duck eggs (balot
and salted eggs).It was driven by Alexander M. Ramirez (Ramirez).Tan alleged that Dimayuga
was reckless, negligent, imprudent, and not observing traffic rules and regulations, causing the
bus to collide with the jitney which was then, with care and proper light direction signals, about
to negotiate a left turn towards the feeder or barangay road of Barangay Bangyas, Calauan,
Laguna going to the Poblacion. The jeepney turned turtle along the shoulder of the road and the
cargo of eggs was destroyed. Ramirez and his helper were injured and hospitalized, incurring
expenses for medical treatment at the Pagamutang Pangmasain Bay, Laguna. Tan prayed for
damages in the amount of P400,000.00 for the damaged jitney,P142,210.00 for the destroyed
shipment,P20,000.00 for moral damages, attorneys fees of P20,000.00 plus P1,000.00 per
court appearance of counsel, and other reliefs warranted under the premises.

In its Answer with Counterclaim, respondent JAM Transit, Inc. (JAM) admitted ownership
of the subject passenger bus and that Dimayuga was under its employ. However, it denied the
allegations in the Complaint, and claimed that the accident occurred due to the gross
negligence of Ramirez. As counterclaim, JAM sought payment of P100,000.00 for the damages
sustained by the bus,P100,000.00 for loss of income, and P50,000.00 as attorneys fees
plusP3,000.00 per court appearance of counsel. The RTC ruled in favor of Tan and the CA ruled
in favor of JAM Transit, There was no evidence as to who between Ramirez and Dimayuga was
negligent in connection with the vehicular accident. The CA held that the doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur can only be invoked when direct evidence is nonexistent or not accessible.

ISSUE: Whether direct evidence is needed to prove the omission or negligence of Jam Transit.


No, Verily, although there was no direct evidence that the JAM passenger bus was
overtaking the vehicles running along the right lane of the highway from the left lane, the
available evidence readily points to such fact. There were two continuous yellow lines at the
center of the highway, which meant that no vehicle in the said area should overtake another on
either side of the road. The double yellow center lines regulation, which this Court takes judicial
notice of as an internationally recognized pavement regulation, was precisely intended to avoid
accidents along highways, such as what happened in this case. This prohibition finds support in
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code), Section
41(e).Furthermore, it is observed that the area of collision was an intersection. Section 41(c) of
R.A. No. 4136, likewise, prohibits overtaking or passing any other vehicle proceeding in the
same direction at any intersection of highways, among others. Thus, by overtaking on the left
lane, Dimayuga was not only violating the double yellow center lines regulation, but also the
prohibition on overtaking at highway intersections. Consequently, negligence can be attributed
only to him, which negligence was the proximate cause of the injury sustained by petitioner. This
prima facie finding of negligence was not sufficiently rebutted or contradicted by Dimayuga.
Therefore, a finding that he is liable for damages to petitioner is warranted. Whenever an
employees negligence causes damage or injury to another, there instantly arises a presumption
juris tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris families in the section (culpa
in eligiendo) or supervision (culpa in vigilando)of its employees. To avoid liability for a quasi-
delict committed by its employee, an employer must overcome the presumption, by presenting
convincing proof that he exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of his employee. To warrant an award of actual or compensatory
damages for repair to damage sustained, the best evidence should be the receipts or other
documentary proofs of the actual amount expended. However, considering that it was duly
proven that the jitney was damaged and had to be repaired, as it was repaired, and that the
cargo of eggs was indeed destroyed, but the actual amounts expended or lost were not proven,
we deem it appropriate to award P250,000.00 by way of temperate damages. Under Article
2224 of the Civil Code, temperate damages may be recovered when pecuniary loss has been
suffered but its amount cannot be proved with certainty. WHEREFORE, the petition is
GRANTED. The Decision dated June 2, 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 89046
is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision dated December 20, 2006 of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 27, Sta. Cruz, Laguna in Civil Case No. SC-3838 is REINSTATED with the
GR NO 17738770 | APRIL 25, 2012

Spouses Monsalud and their daughter died from being ran over by a jeepney driven by a
certain Allan Maglasang. The jeepney was owned by Oscar del Carmen Jr. Allan was declared
guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a criminal case while the father of the late Mrs. Monsalud,
Geronimo Bacoy filed an independent civil action against the former in behalf of the minor
children left by the Monsalud spouses. Del Carmen Jr. claimed he was a victim as well as Allan
stole the jeep and was not hired as a driver by the former; he was a conductor (and had been
released from employment lately) and it was the brother of Allan, Rodrigo who was hired as a
driver. Del Carmen Jr. filed a carnapping case against Allan but was dismissed by the court for
insufficient evidence. RTC held del Carmen Jr. subsidiary liable and held the doctrine of res
ipsaliquitor. The CA adjudged Oscar Jr. liable to the heirs of the victims based on the principle
that the registered owner of a vehicleis directly and primarily responsible for the injuries or death
of third parties caused by the operation of such vehicle. It disbelieved Oscar Jr.’s defense that
the jeep was stolen not only because the carnapping case filed against Allan and his
companions was dismissed but also because, given the circumstances. Oscar Jr. is deemed to
have given Allan the implied permission to use the subject vehicle because the brothers were
assigned to said jeep. After a day’s work, the jeepney would be parked beside the brother’s
house and not returned to del Carmen’s residence; the jeep could easily be started even without
the use of an ignition key; the said parking area was not fenced or secured to prevent the
unauthorized use of the vehicle which can be started even without the ignition key.

ISSUE: Whether or not the owner of the vehicle is directly and primarily liable for injuries caused
by the operation of such.

Del Carmen Jr. was held to be primarily liable and not merely subsidiary liable. Del
Carmen Jr.’s own evidence cast doubt that Allan stole the jeepney. Given the dismissal of the
carnapping case filed by del Carmen Jr. against Allan, the former also admitted to such
dismissal in the SC. Under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor, where the thing that caused the
injury complained of is shown to be under the management of the defendant or his servants;
and the accident, in the ordinary course of things, would not happen if those who had
management or control used proper care, it affords reasonable evidence- in the absence of a
sufficient, reasonable and logical explanation by defendant- that the accident arose from or was
caused by the defendant’s want of care. All three are present in the case t bar.
G.R. No. 194320 | February 1, 2012

On December 17, 1995, an accident occurred at the corner of EDSA and Ayala
Avenue, Makati City, involving four (4) vehicles, to wit: (1) a Nissan Bus operated by Aladdin
Transit; (2) an Isuzu Tanker; (3) a Fuzo Cargo Truck; and (4) a Mitsubishi Galant. Based on the
Police Report issued by the on-the-spot investigator, the Isuzu Tanker was in front of the
Mitsubishi Galant with the Nissan Bus on their right side shortly before the vehicular incident. All
three (3) vehicles were at a halt along EDSA facing the south direction when the Fuzo Cargo
Truck simultaneously bumped the rear portion of the Mitsubishi Galant and the rear left portion
of the Nissan Bus. Due to the strong impact, these two vehicles were shoved forward and the
front left portion of the Mitsubishi Galant rammed into the rear right portion of the Isuzu Tanker.

Mitsubishi Galant was insured against third party liability, own damage and theft, among
others by herein petitioner. Having insured the vehicle against such risks, petitioner claimed in
its Complaint dated October 18, 1999 that it paid the damages sustained by the assured
amounting to PhP 700,000 and it consequently sent several demand letters to respondents
Rodelio Alberto (Alberto) and Enrico Alberto Reyes (Reyes), the registered owner and the driver,
respectively, of the Fuzo Cargo Truck, requiring them to pay the amount it had paid to the
assured. When respondents refused to settle their liability, Malayan Insurance filed a complaint
for damages for gross negligence against respondents.

In their Answer, respondents asserted that they cannot be held liable for the vehicular
accident, since its proximate cause was the reckless driving of the Nissan Bus driver. They
alleged that the speeding bus, coming from the service road of EDSA, maneuvered its way
towards the middle lane without due regard to Reyes right of way. When the Nissan Bus
abruptly stopped, Reyes stepped hard on the brakes but the braking action could not cope with
the inertia and failed to gain sufficient traction. As a consequence, the Fuzo Cargo Truck hit the
rear end of the Mitsubishi Galant, which, in turn, hit the rear end of the vehicle in front of it.

In its Decision dated February 2, 2009, the trial court ruled in favor of Malayan Insurance
and declared respondents liable for damages. Dissatisfied, respondents filed an appeal with the
CA. The CA reversed and set aside the Decision of the trial court and ruled in favor of
respondents. Subsequently, Malayan Insurance filed its Motion for Reconsideration but the CA
denied such motion. Hence, Malayan Insurance filed the instant petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondents are presumed to be negligent and failed to present any
evidence to overturn such presumption.

Yes. The court applied the res ipsa loquitur doctrine. The res ipsa loquitur doctrine is
based in part upon the theory that the defendant in charge of the instrumentality which causes
the injury either knows the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it
and that the plaintiff has no such knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege negligence in
general terms and to rely upon the proof of the happening of the accident in order to establish
negligence. The inference which the doctrine permits is grounded upon the fact that the chief
evidence of the true cause, whether culpable or innocent, is practically accessible to the
defendant but inaccessible to the injured person.

In the case at bar, aside from the statement in the police report, none of the parties disputes the
fact that the Fuzo Cargo Truck hit the rear end of the Mitsubishi Galant, which, in turn, hit the
rear end of the vehicle in front of it. Respondents, however, point to the reckless driving of the
Nissan Bus driver as the proximate cause of the collision, which allegation is totally unsupported
by any evidence on record. And assuming that this allegation is, indeed, true, it is astonishing
that respondents never even bothered to file a cross-claim against the owner or driver of the
Nissan Bus.

As mentioned above, the requisites for the application of the res ipsa loquitur rule are the
following: (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is
negligent; (2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the exclusive
control of the person charged with negligence; and (3) the injury suffered must not have been
due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured.

In the instant case, the Fuzo Cargo Truck would not have had hit the rear end of the Mitsubishi
Galant unless someone is negligent. Also, the Fuzo Cargo Truck was under the exclusive
control of its driver, Reyes. Even if respondents avert liability by putting the blame on the Nissan
Bus driver, still, this allegation was self-serving and totally unfounded. Finally, no contributory
negligence was attributed to the driver of the Mitsubishi Galant. Consequently, all the requisites
for the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur are present, thereby creating a reasonable
presumption of negligence on the part of respondents.


G.R. No. 125817 | January 16, 2002

Private respondent purchased an Isuzu passenger jeepney from Gomercino Vallarta,
a holder of a certificate of public convenience for the operation of a public utility vehicle. He
continued to operate the public transport business without transferring the registration of the
vehicle to his name. Thus, the original owner remained to be the registered owner and operator
of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the vehicle got involved in a road mishap which caused it severe
damage. The ten-wheeler-truck which caused the accident was owned by petitioner Lim and
was driven by co-petitioner Gunnaban. Gunnaban admitted responsibility for the accident, so
that petitioner Lim shouldered the costs of hospitalization of those wounded, compensation for
the heirs of the deceased passenger and the restoration of the other vehicle involved. He also
negotiated for the repair of the private respondent's jeepney but the latter refused and
demanded for its replacement. Hence, private respondent filed a complaint for damages against
petitioners. Meanwhile, the jeepney was left by the roadside to corrode and decay. The trial
court decided in favor of private respondent and awarded him his claim. On appeal, the Court
of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, petitioner filed this petition.

The issue herein is whether or not the new owner of a passenger jeepney who continued to
operate the same under theso-called kabit system and in the course thereof met an accident
has the legal personality to bring theaction for damages against the erring vehicle.

1. Whether or not the new owner of a passenger jeepney who continued to operate the
same under the so-called kabit system and in the course thereof met an accident has
the legal personality to bring the action for damages against the erring vehicle.
2. Whether or not the amount of the damages is proper.

1. Yes. According to the Court, the thrust of the law in enjoining the kabit system is not
much as to penalize the parties but to identify the person upon whom responsibility may
be fixed in case of an accident with the end view of protecting the riding public. In the
present case, it is once apparent that the evil sought to be prevented in enjoining the
kabit system does not exist. Hence, the private respondent has the right to proceed
against petitioners for the damage caused on his passenger jeepney as well as on his
2. Yes. Petitioners are not only liable for the damages done on the vehicle of Gonzales but
also for the profits he lost because of the accident. It is a fundamental principle in the law
on damages that a defendant cannot be held liable in damages for more than the actual
loss which he has inflicted and that a plaintiff is entitled to no more than the just and
adequate compensation for the injury suffered. His recovery is, in the absence of
circumstances giving rise to an allowance of punitive damages, limited to a fair
compensation. Indemnification for damages is not limited to damnum emergens or
actual loss but extends to lucrum cessans or the amount of profit loss.

G.R. No. 161909 | April 25, 2010

Felix Paras boarded a bus owned and operated by Inland Trailways, Inc. which was
rear-ended by a bus owned and operated by Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc. as it was
travelling along Maharlika Highway, Tiaong, Quezon. Paras suffered injuries and underwent
several operations and since he was unable to obtain sufficient financial assistance from Inland
for the costs of his operations, hospitalization, doctors fees and other miscellaneous expenses,
on 31 July 1989, Paras filed a complaint for damages based on breach of contract of
carriage against Inland.

Inland denied responsibility and invoked the Police Investigation Report which
established the fact that the Philtranco bus driver was the one which violently bumped the rear
portion of the Inland bus, and therefore, the direct and proximate cause of Paras injuries. Upon
leave of court, Inland filed a third-party complaint against Philtranco and Apolinar Miralles
seeking for exoneration of its liabilities to Paras, asserting that the latters cause of action should
be directed against Philtranco considering that the accident was caused by Miralles lack of care,
negligence and reckless imprudence.

ISSUE: Whether or not moral damages may be awarded to Paras based on quasi-delict


As a general rule, indeed, moral damages are not recoverable in an action predicated on
a breach of contract. This is because such action is not included in Article 2219 of the Civil Code
as one of the actions in which moral damages may be recovered. By way of exception, moral
damages are recoverable in an action predicated on a breach of contract: (a) where the mishap
results in the death of a passenger, as provided in Article 1764 in relation to Article 2206 of the
Civil Code; and (b) where the common carrier has been guilty of fraud or bad faith, as provided
in Article 2220 of the Civil Code.

Although this action does not fall under either of the exceptions, the award of moral
damages to Paras was nonetheless proper and valid. There is no question that Inland filed its
third-party complaint against Philtranco and its driver in order to establish in this action that they,
instead of Inland, should be directly liable to Paras for the physical injuries he had sustained
because of their negligence. To be precise, Philtranco and its driver were brought into the action
on the theory of liability that the proximate cause of the collision between Inland’s bus and
Philtranco’s bus had been the negligent, reckless and imprudent manner defendant Apolinar
Miralles drove and operated his driven unit owned and operated by third-party defendant
Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc. The apparent objective of Inland was not to merely
subrogate the third-party defendants for itself, as Philtranco appears to suggest, but rather, to
obtain a different relief whereby the third-party defendants would be held directly, fully, and
solely liable to Paras and Inland for whatever damages each has suffered from the negligence
committed by Philtranco and its driver. In other words, Philtranco and its driver were charged
here as joint tortfeasors who would be jointly and severally liable to Paras and Inland. Paras’
cause of action against Inland (breach of contract of carriage) did not need to be the same as
the cause of action of Inland against Philtranco and its driver (tort or quasi-delict) in the
impleader. It is settled that a defendant in a contract action may join as third-party defendants
those who may be liable to him in tort for the plaintiffs claim against him, or even directly to the
DR. RUBI LI vs SPOUSES REYNALDO and LINA SOLIMAN as parents/heirs of deceased
G.R. No. 165279 | June 7, 2011


On July 7, 1993, the respondents Spouses Reynaldo and Lina Soliman’s 11-year old
daughter, Angelica Soliman was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, osteoblastic type after a biopsy
of the mass in her lower extremity showed a malignancy. Following this diagnosis, Dr. Jaime
Tamayo of the St. Luke’s Medical Center amputated Angelica's right leg to remove the
tumor. Adjuvant chemotherapy to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and prevent its spread to
the other parts of the body was recommended, thus the referral to the petitioner Dr. Rubi Li, an

As the chemotherapy session started, day by day, Angelica experience worsening

condition and other physical effect on the body such as discoloration, nausea, and vomiting.
Petitioner claimed that adjuvant chemotherapy is needed to clean out the small lesions in order
to lessen the chance of cancer to recur. She did not give the respondents any assurance that
chemotherapy will cure Angelica’s cancer and that the following side effects of chemotherapy
treatment to respondents: 1.) Falling hair; 2.) nausea and vomiting; 3.) loss of appetite; 4.) low
count of WBC, RBC, and platelets; 5.) possible sterility due to the effects on Angelica’s ovary;
6.) Damage to kidney and heart; 7.) darkening of the skin especially when exposed to sunlight.
She actually talked to the respondents four times, once at the hospital after the surgery, twice at
her clinic and fourth when Angelica’s mother called her through long distance. This was disputed
by respondents who countered that petitioner gave them assurance that there is 95% chance of
healing for Angelica if she undergoes chemotherapy and that the only side effects were nausea,
vomiting and hair loss.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner can be held liable for failure to fully disclose serious side
effects to the parents of the child who died while undergoing chemotherapy, despite absence of
negligence in administering the treatment


There are four essential elements a plaintiff must proved in a malpractice action based
upon the doctrine of informed consent: 1.) the physician had a duty to disclose material risks; 2.)
he failed to disclose or inadequately disclosed those risks; 3.) as a direct and proximate result of
the failure to disclose, the patient consented to treatment she otherwise would not have
consented to; and 4.) plaintiff was injured by the proposed treatment. The gravamen in an
informed consent requires the plaintiff to point to significant undisclosed information relating to
the treatment which could have altered her decision to undergo it.

Examining the evidence, we hold that there was adequate disclosure of material risks
inherent in chemotherapy procedure performed with the consent of Angelica’s parents.
Respondents could not have been unaware in the course of initial treatment and amputation of
Angelica’s lower extremity that her immune system was already weak on account of the
malignant tumor in her knee. When petitioner informed the respondents beforehand of the side
effects of chemotherapy which includes lowered counts of white and red blood cells, decrease
in blood platelets, possible kidney or heart damage and skin darkening, there is reasonable
expectation on the part of the doctor that the respondents understood very well that the severity
of these side effects will not be the same for all patients undergoing the procedure. In other
words, by the nature of the disease itself, each patients reaction to the chemical agents even
with pre-treatment laboratory tests cannot be precisely determined by the physician. That
death can possibly result from complications of the treatment or the underlying cancer itself,
immediately or sometime after the administration of chemotherapy drugs, is a risk that cannot
be ruled out, as with most other major medical procedures, but such conclusion can be
reasonably drawn from the general side effects of chemotherapy already disclosed.

As admitted by Dr. Li, infection, sepsis and death are associated risks and side effects of
chemotherapy. These risks and side effects are material to [the parents], and to any other
reasonable person, in deciding whether to undergo chemotherapy. Had Dr. Li adequately
disclosed to [the parents] that there was a chance that their 11-year old daughter could die of
infection as a result of chemotherapy, they may have decided against it and sought for an
alternative treatment.


G.R. No. 188288 | January 16, 2012


In 1997, while the spouses Viloria were in the United States, they approached Holiday
Travel, a travel agency working for Continental Airlines, to purchase tickets from Newark to San
Diego. The travel agent, Margaret Mager, advised the couple that they cannot travel by train
because it was already fully booked; that they must purchase plane tickets for Continental
Airlines; that if they won’t purchase plane tickets; they’ll never reach their destination in time.
The couple believed Mager’s representations and so they purchased two plane tickets worth

Later however, the spouses found out that the train trip wasn’t really fully booked and so
they purchased train tickets and went to their destination by train instead. Then they called up
Mager to request for a refund for the plane tickets. Mager referred the couple to Continental
Airlines. As the couple were now in the Philippines, they filed their request with Continental
Airline’s office in Ayala. The spouses Viloria alleged that Mager misled them into believing that
the only way to travel was by plane and so they were fooled into buying expensive plane tickets.

Continental Airlines refused to refund the amount of the tickets and so the spouses sued
the airline company. In its defense, Continental Airlines claimed that the tickets sold to them by
Mager were non-refundable; that, if any, they were not bound by the misrepresentations of
Mager because there’s no contract of agency existing between Continental Airlines and Mager.

The trial court ruled in favor of spouses Viloria but the Court of Appeals reversed the
ruling of the RTC.

ISSUE: Whether or not a contract of agency exists between Continental Airlines and Mager.


Yes. All the elements of agency are present, to wit:

1. there is consent, express or implied of the parties to establish the relationship;

2. the object is the execution of a juridical act in relation to a third person;

3. the agent acts as a representative and not for himself, and

4. the agent acts within the scope of his authority.

The first and second elements are present as Continental Airlines does not deny that it
concluded an agreement with Holiday Travel to which Mager is part of, whereby Holiday Travel
would enter into contracts of carriage with third persons on the airlines’ behalf. The third element
is also present as it is undisputed that Holiday Travel merely acted in a representative capacity
and it is Continental Airlines and not Holiday Travel who is bound by the contracts of carriage
entered into by Holiday Travel on its behalf. The fourth element is also present considering that
Continental Airlines has not made any allegation that Holiday Travel exceeded the authority that
was granted to it.

Continental Airlines also never questioned the validity of the transaction between Mager
and the spouses. Continental Airlines is therefore in estoppel. Continental Airlines cannot be
allowed to take an altogether different position and deny that Holiday Travel is its agent without
condoning or giving imprimatur to whatever damage or prejudice that may result from such
denial or retraction to Spouses Viloria, who relied on good faith on Continental Airlines’ acts in
recognition of Holiday Travel’s authority. Estoppel is primarily based on the doctrine of good faith
and the avoidance of harm that will befall an innocent party due to its injurious reliance, the
failure to apply it in this case would result in gross travesty of justice.
G.R. No. 18828 | February 15, 2012)


Private complainant Belinda Santiago lodged a complaint with the National Bureau of
Investigation against the petitioners, Dr. Emmanuel Jarcia, Jr. and Dr. Marilou Bastan, for their
alleged neglect of professional duty which caused her son, Roy Alfonso Santiago, to suffer
serious physical injuries.

Upon investigation, the NBI found that Roy Jr. was hit by a taxicab; that he was rushed
to the Manila Doctors Hospital for an 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 and, after conducting her own examination of the victim,
informed Mrs. Santiago that since it was only the ankle that was hit, there was no need to
examine the upper leg. despite Mrs. Santiago's protest the doctors did not examine the upper
portion of the leg of Roy. that eleven (11) days later, Roy Jr. developed fever, swelling of the
right leg and misalignment of the right foot; that Mrs. Santiago brought him back to the hospital;
and that the X-ray revealed a right mid-tibial fracture and a linear hairline fracture in the shaft of
the bone.

After trial and applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor the RTC found petitioners to be
guilty of simple negligence. The decision was affirmed in toto by the CA.

1. Whether or not res ipsa loquitor is applicable in this case.
2. Whether or not the petitioner physicians are negligent, hence liable for damages.


As to the first issue: This doctrine of res ipsa loquitur means- "where the thing which
causes injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such
as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the management use
proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the defendant,
that the accident arose from want of care." The requisites for the application of the doctrine
of res ipsa loquitur are:

(1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent;
(2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the exclusive control of the
person in charge; and
(3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution of the
person injured.

However, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is unusual to the law of
negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct
proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. Ergo, the doctrine can be
invoked when and only when, under the circumstances involved, direct evidence is absent and
not readily available.

Relative to the case, res ipsa loquitor does not apply since the circumstances that
caused patient Roy Jr.’s injury and the series of tests that were supposed to be undergone by
him to determine the extent of the injury suffered were not under the exclusive control of Drs.
Jarcia and Bastan. It was established that they are mere residents of the Manila Doctors
Hospital at that time who attended to the victim at the emergency room. While it may be true
that the circumstances pointed out by the courts below seem doubtless to constitute reckless
imprudence on the part of the petitioners, this conclusion is still best achieved, not through the
scholarly assumptions of a layman like the patient’s mother, but by the unquestionable
knowledge of expert witness/es. As to whether the petitioners have exercised the requisite
degree of skill and care in treating patient Roy, Jr. is generally a matter of expert opinion.

As to the second issue: Petitioners were negligent in their obligation. It was proven
that a thorough examination was not performed on Roy Jr since as residents on duty at the
emergency room, Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan were expected to know the medical protocol in
treating leg fractures and in attending to victims of car accidents.
Thus, simple negligence is resent if: (1) that there is lack of precaution on the part of the
offender, and (2) that the damage impending to be caused is not immediate or the danger is not
clearly manifest.
Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan, explained the court, cannot pass on the liability to the taxi
driver who hit the victim. It may be true that the actual, direct, immediate, and proximate cause
of the injury (fracture of the leg bone or tibia) of Roy Jr. was the vehicular accident when he was
hit by a taxi. The petitioners, however, cannot simply invoke such fact alone to excuse
themselves from any liability. If this would be so, doctors would have a ready defense should
they fail to do their job in attending to victims of hit-and-run, maltreatment, and other crimes of
violence in which the actual, direct, immediate, and proximate cause of the injury is indubitably
the act of the perpetrator/s.
In failing to perform an extensive medical examination to determine the extent of Roy
Jr.’s injuries, Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan were remiss of their duties as members of the medical
profession. Assuming for the sake of argument that they did not have the capacity to make such
thorough evaluation at that stage, they should have referred the patient to another doctor with
sufficient training and experience instead of assuring him and his mother that everything was all
Moreover, the contention of petitioners that they cannot be held liable since Roy is not
their patient, since they are not the attending physicians but merely requested by the ER does
not hold water.

Physician-patient relationship exists when a patient engages the services of a physician,

a physician-patient relationship is generated. And in accepting a case, the physician, for all
intents and purposes, represents that he has the needed training and skill possessed by
physicians and surgeons practicing in the same field; and that he will employ such training,
care, and skill in the treatment of the patient. Thus, in treating his patient, a physician is under
a duty to exercise that degree of care, skill and diligence which physicians in the same general
neighborhood and in the same general line of practice ordinarily possess and exercise in like
cases. Stated otherwise, the physician has the obligation to use at least the same level of care
that any other reasonably competent physician would use to treat the condition under similar
There is a physician-patient relationship in this case since the petitioner obliged
themselves and examined the victim, and later assured the mother that everything was fine and
that they could go home. Their assurance that everything is fine deprived the victim of seeking
medical help.
Petitioners were absolved in the criminal charge for the reason that a reasonable doubt
existed but the are liable for damages. There is no direct evidence proving that it was their
negligence that caused the suffering of Roy.

Disposition: Petition is partly GRANTED.


G.R. No. 140698 | June 20, 2003
November 29, 1989 1:30 pm, Edwin Iran was driving a blue Toyota Tamaraw jeepney
bound for Iloilo City. On board was Sheila Seyan, the registered owner of the vehicle. While
traversing the road along Barangay Acquit, the passenger allegedly saw from the opposite
direction a speeding Isuzu pick-up, driven by Rogelio Enagada. The pick-up had just negotiated
a hilly gradient on the highway. When the pick-up was just a few meters away from the
Tamaraw, the pick-ups right signal light flashed then swerved to its left so the pick-up
encroached on the lane of the Tamaraw.

The vehicles headed for a collision with each other. Seyan, the owner-passenger,
shouted at Iran (the Tamaraw driver) to avoid the pick-up. And so the Tamaraw swerved to his
left but the pick-up also swerved to its right. The pick-up collided with the Tamaraw. The pick-up
hit the Tamaraw at the Tamaraw’s right front passenger side. The head and chassis of the
Tamaraw separated from its body. Seyan was thrown out of the Tamaraw and landed on a rice
field. The pick-up stopped diagonally astride the center of the road. Seyan and driver, Iran, were
brought to Barotac Nuevo Medicare Hospital. Seyan was profusely bleeding from her nose, in a
state of shock with her eyes closed. Later that day, she was transferred to and confined in
another hospital (St. Paul). Her medical certificate said that she suffered a fracture on her femur,
some abrasions, and contusions, and lacerations in her kidney. Medical expenses amounted to
Php130, 000, Tamaraw ended in a junk heap (loss of Php80, 000).

Criminal complaint was filed for damage to property through reckless imprudence with
serious physical injuries with MTC-Barotac Nuevo against both drivers (Engada and Iran).
Probable cause was found against Engada. Complaint against Iran was dismissed. RTC-Iloilo
convicted him. CA affirmed

ISSUE: Whether or not the doctrine of last clear chance is applicable.

No. Engada’s attempt to blame Tamaraw driver, Iran, for the collision is unfounded. The
Tamaraw only swerved to the left to avoid the pick-up, which was already on a head to head
position against the Tamaraw.

This has already been established on record. It is a settled rule that a driver abandoning
his proper lane for the purpose of overtaking another vehicle in an ordinary situation has the
duty to see to it that the road is clear and he should not proceed if he cannot do so in safety.

In this case, there was only a distance of 30 meters from the Tamaraw when the pick-up
abandoned its lane and swerved to the Tamaraw’s lane. The pick-up was speeding. So, pick-
up’s negligence was the proximate cause of the collision. Engada invokes the doctrine of last
clear chance because between the 2 drivers, the Tamaraw driver had the last clear chance to
avoid the collision.

The doctrine of last clear chance states that a person who has the last clear chance or
opportunity of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent, is
considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the accident. But no convincing
evidence was adduced by Engada to support his invocation of the doctrine. Instead, what has
been shown is the presence of an emergency and the proper application of the emergency rule.
Application of the emergency rule: Engada’s act of swerving to the Tamaraw’s lane at a
distance of 30 meters from it and driving the Isuzu pick-up at a fast speed as it approached the
Tamaraw, denied the driver of the Tamaraw the time and opportunity to ponder the situation at
all. There was no clear chance to speak of. Decision affirmed.


G.R. No. 142625 | 19 December 2006.

Pregnant with her fourth child, Corazon Nogales ("Corazon"), who was then 37 years
old, was under the exclusive prenatal care of Dr. Oscar Estrada ("Dr. Estrada") beginning on her
fourth month of pregnancy or as early as December 1975. Around midnight of 25 May 1976,
Corazon started to experience mild labor pains prompting Corazon and Rogelio Nogales
("Spouses Nogales") to see Dr. Estrada at his home. After examining Corazon, Dr. Estrada
advised her immediate admission to the Capitol Medical Center ("CMC"). t 6:13 a.m., Corazon
started to experience convulsionsAt 6:22 a.m., Dr. Estrada, assisted by Dr. Villaflor, applied low
forceps to extract Corazon's baby. In the process, a 1.0 x 2.5 cm. piece of cervical tissue was
allegedly torn. At 6:27 a.m., Corazon began to manifest moderate vaginal bleeding which rapidly
became profuse. Corazon died at 9:15 a.m. The cause of death was "hemorrhage, post partum.

Rogelio filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against CMC, Dr. Estrada, and the
rest of the CMC medical staff that was connected to the death of Corazon. In their defense,
CMC pointed out that Dr. Estrada was merely a consultant and to be considered as an
independent contractor, and that no EE-ER existed between them.

After 11yrs of trial the RTC held the Dr. Estrada solely liable. Unhappy, Rogelio appealed
that the other doctors should also be held liable before the CA, but the CA merely affirmed the
decision of the trial court. The CA applied the “borrowed servant doctrine” to release the liability
of the other medical staff. This provides that once the surgeon enters the operating room and
takes charge of the proceedings, the acts or omissions of operating room personnel, and any
negligence associated with such acts or omissions, are imputable to the surgeon. While
assisting physicians and nurses may be employed by the hospital, or engaged by the patient,
they normally become the temporary servant or agents of the surgeon in charge while the
operation is in progress, and liability may be imposed upon the surgeon in charge, while the
operation is in progress, and liability may be imposed upon the surgeon for their negligent act
under the doctrine of “respondeat superior.”

Under said charges Dr. Estrada did not file any petition before the RTC and CA and the
trial proceeded on default and was adjudged to pay the fines and damages

ISSUE: Whether or not CMC is vicariously liable for the negligence of Dr. Estrada.

Yes. In general, a hospital is not liable for the negligence of an independent contractor-
physician. There is, however, an exception to this principle. The hospital may be liable if the
physician is the "ostensible" agent of the hospital. This exception is also known as the "doctrine
of apparent authority”.

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 manner that would lead a reasonable person to
conclude that the individual who was alleged to be negligent was an employee or agent of the
hospital; (2) where the acts of the agent create the appearance of authority, the plaintiff must
also prove that the hospital had knowledge of and acquiesced in them; and (3) the plaintiff acted
in reliance upon the conduct of the hospital or its agent, consistent with ordinary care and
In the instant case, CMC impliedly held out Dr. Estrada as a member of its medical staff.
Through CMC's acts, CMC clothed Dr. Estrada with apparent authority thereby leading the
Spouses Nogales to believe that Dr. Estrada was an employee or agent of CMC.

The Court finds respondent Capitol Medical Center vicariously liable for the negligence
of Dr. Oscar Estrada.



G.R. No. 180440 | December 5, 2012

On June 1995, Delia Goldberg (Delia), a registered guest of Dusit Hotel, invited her
friend, Dr. Genevieve L. Huang, for a swim at the hotel‘s pool. At around 7:00 p.m., the hotel‘s
pool attendant informed them that the swimming pool area was about to be closed. The 2 went
to the shower room adjacent to the swimming pool to take a shower and dress up. When they
came out of the bathroom, the entire swimming pool area was already pitch black and there
were the only ones there. The doors were also locked.

After some time, Huang saw a phone behind the lifeguard‘s counter. As she went inside,
the wooden countertop fell on her head and knocked her down almost unconscious. Delia
immediately notified the hotel phone operator of the incident. Not long after, the hotel staff
arrived at the main entrance door of the swimming pool area and gave her an icepack. Huang
demanded the services of the hotel physician. Hotel physician, Dr. Dalumpines, instead of
immediately providing the needed medical assistance, presented a ―Waiver‖ and demanded
that it be signed by Huang, otherwise, the hotel management will not render her any assistance.
Huang refused to do so and left the hotel.

T hereupon, Huang consulted several doctors (7 neuro, 1 optha) because she began
experiencing ―on‖ and ―off‖ severe headaches that caused her three sleepless nights. They
all said she had a serious brain injury.

In defense, PHI and Dusit denied all the material allegations. According to them, a
sufficient notice on the glass door of the hotel leading to the swimming pool area to apprise the
people, especially the hotel guests, that the swimming pool area is open only from 7am to 7pm.
Nevertheless, the lights thereon are kept on until 10:00 p.m. for, (1) security reasons; (2)
housekeeping personnel to do the cleaning of the swimming pool surroundings; and (3) people
doing their exercise routine at the Slimmer‘s World Gym, which was open until 10pm. Even
granting that the lights in the hotel‘s swimming pool area were turned off, it would not render the
area completely dark as the Slimmer‘s World Gym near it was well- illuminated.

On Aug 1996, Huang filed a complaint for damages against respondents. The trial court
dismissed the Complaint for lack of merit. On appeal, Huang belatedly raises the defense on
breach of contract. She maintains that that an implied contract existed between them in view of
the fact that the hotel guest status extends to all those who avail of its services — its patrons
and invitees. The CA affirmed the TC‘s decision. MR denied. Hence, this Petition for certiorari
under Rule 45.


NO. Initially, Huang sued respondents mainly on account of their negligence but not on
any breach of contract. Presently, she claims that her cause of action can be based both on
quasidelict and breach of contract. A perusal of the complaint evidently shows that her cause of
action was based solely on quasidelict (negligence). It is evident from the complaint and from
her open court testimony that the reliance was on the alleged tortious acts committed against
her by respondents, through their management and staff.

In quasidelict, there is no presumption of negligence and it is incumbent upon the injured

party to prove the negligence of the defendant, otherwise, the former‘s complaint will be
dismissed. In a breach of contract, negligence is presumed so long as it can be proved that
there was breach of the contract and the burden is on the defendant to prove that there was no
negligence in the carrying out of the terms of the contract; the rule of respondeat superior is
followed. It is now too late to raise the said argument for the first time before the SC without
causing injustice.

As Huang‘s cause of action is based on quasidelict, it is incumbent upon her to prove the
presence of the following requisites before respondents PHI and Dusit can be held liable, to wit:
(a) damages suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other
person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between the
fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff. Further, since her
case is for quasidelict, the negligence or fault should be clearly established as it is the basis of
her action. The burden of proof is upon her.

Second element Absent: In this case, Huang utterly failed to prove the alleged
negligence of respondents. Other than her self-serving testimony that all the lights in the hotel‘s
swimming pool area were shut off and the door was locked, which allegedly prompted her to
find a way out and in doing so a folding wooden counter top fell on her head causing her injury,
no other evidence was presented to substantiate the same. Even her own companion during the
night of the accident inside the hotel‘s swimming pool area was never presented to corroborate
her allegations.


G.R. No. 182356 | December 4, 2013

Dra. DelaLlano was a passenger in a car which was rammed at the rear end by a dump
truck which had lost its brakes. The said dump truck was driven by Joel Primero who is under
the employ of Rebecca Biong.

Apart from minor wounds, Dra. delaLlano did not appear to have suffered from any other
visible physical injuries. It was only a month later that the health of Dra. DelaLlano deteriorated
to the extent that she could no longer move her left arm. Dra. DelaLlano consulted with Dr. Milla
who categorically stated in the medical certificate that Dra. delaLlano suffered from whiplash
injury which required surgery.Dra. delaLlano brought an action against Biong for damages
before the Regional Trial Court, alleging that she lost the mobility of her arm as a result of the
vehicular accident. In her answer, Biong asserted that Dra. delaLlano had no cause of action
against her as no reasonable relation existed between the vehicular accident and Dra.
delaLlano’s injury.

The RTC ruled in favor of Dra. delaLlano and held that the proximate cause of Dra.
delaLlano’s whiplash injury to be Joel’s reckless driving. The Court of Appeals reversed the RTC
ruling, declaring that Dra. delaLlano failed to establish a reasonable connection between the
vehicular accident and her whiplash injury by preponderance of evidence.

ISSUE: Whether Joel Primero’s reckless driving is the proximate cause of Dra. delaLlana’s
whiplash injury.


NO. Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that "[w]hoever by act or omission causes
damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such
fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is a quasi-
delict." Under this provision, the elements necessary to establish a quasi-delict case are:

(1) damages to the plaintiff;

(2) negligence, by act or omission, of the defendant or by some person for whose acts
the defendant must respond, was guilty; and

(3) the connection of cause and effect between such negligence and the damages.

The burden of proving the proximate causation between Joel’s negligence and Dra.
delaLlano’s whiplash injury rests on Dra. delaLlano. She must establish by preponderance of
evidence that Joel’s negligence, in its natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produced her whiplash injury, and without which her whiplash injury
would not have occurred.

Dra. DelaLlano did not present any testimonial or documentary evidence that directly
shows the causal relation between the vehicular accident and Dra. DelaLlano’s injury. Her claim
that Joel’s negligence causes her whiplash injury was not established because of the deficiency
of the presented evidence during trial.
G.R. No. 204866 | January 21, 2015


Adworld filed a complaint for damages against Transworld and Comark International
Corporation (Comark). Adworld alleged that it is the owner of a 75 ft. x 60 ft. billboard structure
located at EDSA Tulay, Guadalupe, Barangka Mandaluyong, which was misaligned and its
foundation impaired when, the adjacent billboard structure owned by Transworld and used by
Comark collapsed and crashed against it. Adworld sent Transworld and Comark a letter
demanding payment for the repairs of its billboard as well as loss of rental income.In its Answer
with Counterclaim, Transworld averred that the collapse of its billboard structure was due to
extraordinarily strong winds that occurred instantly and unexpectedly, and maintained that the
damage caused to Adworld’s billboard structure was hardly noticeable. Transworld likewise filed
a Third-Party Complaint against Ruks, the company which built the collapsed billboard structure
in the former’s favor. It was alleged therein that the structure constructed by Ruks had a weak
and poor foundation not suited for billboards, thus, prone to collapse, and as such, Ruks should
ultimately be held liable for the damages caused to Adworld’s billboard structure. For its part,
Comark denied liability for the damages caused to Adworld’s billboard structure, maintaining
that it does not have any interest on Transworld’s collapsed billboard structure as it only
contracted the use of the same. In this relation, Comark prayed for exemplary damages from
Transworld for unreasonably including it as a party-defendant in the complaint. Lastly, Ruks
admitted that it entered into a contract with Transworld for the construction of the latter’s
billboard structure, but denied liability for the damages caused by its collapse. It contended that
when Transworld hired its services, there was already an existing foundation for the billboard
and that it merely finished the structure according to the terms and conditions of its contract with
the latter. RTC rule din favor of Adworld and found both Transworld and Ruks negligent who will
be jointly and severally liable. Transworld was made aware by Ruks that the initial construction
of the lower structure of its billboard did not have the proper foundation and would require
additional columns and pedestals to support the structure. Notwithstanding, however, Ruks
proceeded with the construction of the billboard’s upper structure and merely assumed that
Transworld would reinforce its lower structure. CA affirmed RTC.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA correctly affirmed the ruling of the RTC declaring Ruks jointly and
severally liable with transworld for damages sustained by Adworld.


Yes. In this case, the CA correctly affirmed the RTC’s finding that Transworld’s initial
construction of its billboard’s lower structure without the proper foundation, and that of Ruks’s
finishing its upper structure and just merely assuming that Transworld would reinforce the weak
foundation are the two (2) successive acts which were the direct and proximate cause of the
damages sustained by Adworld. Worse, both Transworld and Ruks were fully aware that the
foundation for the former’s billboard was weak, yet, neither of them took any positive step to
reinforce the same. They merely relied on each other’s word that repairs would be done to such
foundation, but none was done at all. Clearly, the foregoing circumstances show that both
Transworld and Ruks are guilty of negligence in the construction of the former’s billboard, and
perforce, should be held liable for its collapse and the resulting damage to Adworld’s billboard
structure. As joint tortfeasors, therefore, they are solidarily liable to Adworld, under Article 2194
of the Civil Code. In other words, joint tortfeasors are each liable as principals, to the same
extent and in the same manner as if they had performed the wrongful act themselves. Citing the
case of People v Velasco : "Where several causes producing an injury are concurrent and each
is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have happened, the injury may be
attributed to all or any of the causes and recovery may be had against any or all of the
responsible persons although under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of
them was more culpable, and that the duty owed by them to the injured person was not same."
There is no contribution between joint [tortfeasors] whose liability is solidary since both of them
are liable for the total damage. Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions
of two or more persons, although acting independently, are in combination the direct and
proximate cause of a single injury to a third person, it is impossible to determine in what
proportion each contributed to the injury and either of them is responsible for the whole injury.


G.R. NO. 199886 | DECEMBER 3, 2014

While the victims were traversing the national highway, they were struck and electrocuted by
a live tension wire from one of the electric posts owned by petitioner. They contended that the
mishap was due to petitioner’s negligence when it failed to fix and change said live tension wire
despite being immediately informed by residents in the area that it might pose an immediate
danger to persons, animals and vehicles passing along the national highway.

Petitioner alleged that the typhoons that struck its areas of responsibility caused some
of its electric poles to fall and high tension wires to snap or cut-off which caused brownouts in
said areas. It claimed that they cannot be faulted for negligence if there were electric wires
dangling along the national road since they were caused by typhoons which are fortuitous
events. It also alleged that it was able to clear the said areas of fallen electric poles and
dangling or hanging high tension wires immediately after the typhoons, to secure the safety of
persons and vehicles traveling in said areas. It likewise contended that the proximate cause of
the mishap was the victims’ negligence and imprudence in operating and driving the motorcycle
they were riding on. This is shown by the skid marks wich stretched for approximately 30

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner’s negligence in maintenance of its facilities is the proximate
cause of the death of Camilo and the injuries of Rapanan

NO, the motorcycle was probably running too fast that it lost control and started tilting and
sliding eventually which made its foot rest cause the skid mark on the road. Therefore, the
mishap already occurred even while they were on the road and away from petitioner's electric
wires and was not caused by the latter as alleged by respondents. It just so happened that after
the motorcycle tilted and slid, the passengers were thrown off to the shoulder where the electric
wires were. This Court hence agrees with the trial court that the proximate cause of the mishap
was the negligence of Camilo. Had Camilo driven the motorcycle at an average speed, the three
passengers would not have been thrown off from the vehicle towards the shoulder and
eventually strangulated by the electric wires sitting thereon. Moreover, it was also negligent of
Camilo to have allowed two persons to ride with him and for Rapanan to ride with them when
the maximum number of passengers of a motorcycle is two including the driver. This most likely
even aggravated the situation because the motorcycle was overloaded which made it harder to
drive and control. When the plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause
of his injury, he cannot recover damages.


G.R. No. 160110 | June 18, 2014

On 7 March 1997, an Isuzu Elf truck (Isuzu truck) with plate number UAW 582, owned by
respondent Leonora J. Gomez (Leonora) and driven by Antenojenes Perez (Perez) was hit by a
Mayamy Transportation bus (Mayamy bus) with temporary plate number 1376-1280,registered
under the name of petitioner Elvira Lim (Lim) and driven by petitioner Mariano C. Mendoza
(Mendoza). Owing to the incident, an Information for reckless imprudence resulting in damage
to property and multiple physical injuries was filed against Mendoza. Mendoza, however, eluded
arrest, thus, respondents filed a separate complaint for damages against Mendoza and Lim,
seeking actual damages, compensation for lost income, moral damages, exemplary damages,
attorney’s fees and costs of the suit. This was docketed as Civil Case No. 5352-V-97.
As a result of the incident, Perez,as well as the helpers on board the Isuzu truck, namely
Melchor V. Anla (Anla), Romeo J. Banca (Banca), and Jimmy Repisada (Repisada), sustained
injuries necessitating medical treatment amounting to ₱11,267.35,which amount was
shouldered by respondents. Moreover, the Isuzu truck sustained extensive damages on its cowl,
chassis, lights and steering wheel, amounting to ₱142,757.40. Additionally, respondents averred
that the mishap deprived them of a daily income of ₱1,000.00. Engaged in the business of
buying plastic scraps and delivering them to recycling plants, respondents claimed that the
Isuzu truck was vital in the furtherance of their business.
For their part, petitioners capitalized on the issue of ownership of the bus in question.
Respondents argued that although the registered owner was Lim, the actual owner of the bus
was SPO1 Cirilo Enriquez (Enriquez), who had the bus attached with Mayamy Transportation
Company (Mayamy Transport) under the so-called "kabit system." Respondents then impleaded
both Lim and Enriquez and presented Teresita Gutierrez (Gutierrez), whose testimony was
offered to prove that Mayamy Bus or Mayamy Transport is a business name registered under
her name, and that such business is a sole proprietorship. Such was presented by petitioners to
rebut the allegation of respondents that Mayamy Transport is a corporation; and to show,
moreover, that although Gutierrez is the sole proprietor of Mayamy Transport, she was not
impleaded by respondents in the case at bar
After weighing the evidence, the RTC found Mendoza liable for direct personal
negligence under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, and it also found Lim vicariously liable under
Article 2180 of the same Code. After evaluating the damages awarded by the RTC, such were
affirmed by the CA with the exception of the award of unrealized income which the CA ordered

ISSUES: Whether or not vicarious liability can be applied?

According to Manresa, liability for personal acts and omissions is founded on that
indisputable principle of justice recognized by all legislations that when a person by his act or
omission causes damage or prejudice to another, a juridical relation is created by virtue of which
the injured person acquires a right to be indemnified and the person causing the damage is
charged with the corresponding duty of repairing the damage. The reason for this is found in the
obvious truth that man should subordinate his acts to the precepts of prudence and if he fails to
observe them and causes damage to another, he must repair the damage. His negligence
having caused the damage, Mendoza is certainly liable to repair said damage.
Additionally, Mendoza’s employer may also be held liable under the doctrine of vicarious
liability or imputed negligence. Under such doctrine, a person who has not committed the act or
omission which caused damage or injury to another may nevertheless be held civilly liable to the
latter either directly or subsidiarily under certain circumstances. In our jurisdiction, vicarious
liability or imputed negligence is embodied in Article 2180 of the Civil Code and the basis for
damages in the action under said article is the direct and primary negligence of the employer in
the selection or supervision, or both, of his employee. As such, there can be no other conclusion
but to hold Lim vicariously liable with Mendoza.
G.R. No. 203902

A mishap occurred on April 9, 2002 along the national highway in Barangay
Alipangpang, Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, between the passenger bus with plate number CVK-964
and body number 3101, driven by [respondent] Eduardo Saylan and owned by [respondent]
Philippine Rabbit Bus, Lines, Inc., and the Isuzu truck with plate number UPB-974 driven by
Willy U. Urez and registered in the nan1e of Rogelio Cuyton, Jr.. The petitioner, who was among
the passengers of the Philippine Rabbit bus, as evidenced by the ticket issued to him, was
injured on the right arm as a consequence of the accident. His injured right arm was amputated
at the Villaflor Medical Doctor's Hospital in Dagupan City for the treatment of his injury, he
incurred expenses as evidenced by various receipts.
Dionisio argued that pursuant to the contract of carriage between him and Philippine
Rabbit, respondents were duty-bound to carry him safely as far as human care and foresight
can provide, with utmost diligence of a very cautious person, and with due regard for all the
circumstances from the point of his origin in Urdaneta City to his destination in Pugo, La Union.
However, through the fault and negligence of Philippine Rabbit's driver, Eduardo, and without
human care, foresight, and due regard for all circumstances, respondents failed to transport him
safely by reason of the aforementioned collision which resulted in the amputation of Dionisio's
right arm. And since demands for Philippine Rabbit7 to pay him damages for the injury he
sustained remained unheeded, Dionisio filed the said complaint wherein he prayed for the
following awards: moral damages of ₱500,000.00 actual damages of ₱60,000.00, and
attorney's fees of ₱25,000.00

Denying any liability, Philippine Rabbit in its Answer9 averred that it carried Dionisio
safely as far as human care and foresight could provide with the utmost diligence of a very
cautious person and with due regard for all the circumstances prevailing.

The RTC found that (1) Philippine Rabbit failed to show that it had taken all the
necessary and actual steps to thoroughly examine the qualifications of Eduardo as a driver
worthy of employment; and (2) no proof relative to the existence of company rules and
regulations, instructions, and policies affecting its drivers, as well as to their actual
implementation and observance, were presented. Hence, Philippine Rabbit was held jointly and
severally liable with Eduardo for the awards made in favor of Dionisio and ordered the payment
of moral damages

The CA modified the RTC Decision in that it declared Philippine Rabbit as solely and
exclusively liable to Dionisio for actual damages in the amount of ₱57,766.25 and deleted the
award of moral damages and attorney's fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not moral damages are recoverable?

Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety,
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury.
Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the
proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission.
Under Article 2219 of the Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable in the following
and analogous cases: (1) a criminal offense resulting in physical injuries; (2) quasi-delicts
causing physical injuries; (3) seduction, abduction, rape or other lascivious acts; (4) adultery or
concubinage; (5) illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest; (6) illegal search; (7) libel, slander, or
any other form of defamation; (8) malicious prosecution; (9) acts mentioned in Article 309; and
(1) acts and actions referred to in Articles 21,26, 27 , 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.
It is obvious that this case does not come under the first of the abovementioned exceptions
since Dionisio did not die in the mishap but merely suffered an injury. Nevertheless, petitioners
contend that it falls under the second category since they aver that Philippine Rabbit is guilty of
fraud or bad faith.
In this case, the fraud or bad faith that must be convincingly proved by petitioners should
be one which was committed by Philippine Rabbit in breaching its contract of carriage with
Dionisio. Unfortunately for petitioners, the Court finds no persuasive proof of such fraud or bad



G.R. No. 161151, | March 24, 2014


This case involves a claim for damages arising from the death of a motorcycle rider in
a nighttime accident due to the supposed negligence of a construction company then
undertaking re–blocking work on a national highway. The plaintiffs insisted that the accident
happened because the construction company did not provide adequate lighting on the site, but
the latter countered that the fatal accident was caused by the negligence of the motorcycle rider

Nena alleged that she was the surviving spouse of the late Balbino who figured in the
accident that transpired at the site of the re–blocking work at about 6:30 p.m. on October 30,
1997; that Balbino’s Honda motorcycle sideswiped the road barricade placed by the company in
the right lane portion of the road, causing him to lose control of his motorcycle and to crash on
the newly cemented road, resulting in his instant death; and that the company’s failure to place
illuminated warning signs on the site of the project, especially during night time, was the
proximate cause of the death of Balbino.

In its answer, BJDC denied Nena’s allegations of negligence, insisting that it had
installed warning signs and lights along the highway and on the barricades of the project; that at
the time of the incident, the lights were working and switched on; that its project was duly
inspected by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Office of the Mayor of
Pili, and the Pili Municipal Police Station; and that it was found to have satisfactorily taken
measures to ensure the safety of motorists.

ISSUE: Whether or not heirs of Balbino were able to establish by preponderance of evidence
the negligence of BJDC.


NO. The party alleging the negligence of the other as the cause of injury has the burden
to establish the allegation with competent evidence. If the action based on negligence is civil in
nature, the proof required is preponderance of evidence. In civil cases, the burden of proof is on
the party who would be defeated if no evidence is given on either side. The burden of proof is
on the plaintiff if the defendant denies the factual allegations of the complaint in the manner
required by the Rules of Court, but it may rest on the defendant if he admits expressly or
impliedly the essential allegations but raises affirmative defense or defenses, which if proved,
will exculpate him from liability.

The Court affirmed the findings of the RTC, and rules that the Lanuzo heirs, the
parties carrying the burden of proof, did not establish by preponderance of evidence that the
negligence on the part of the company was the proximate cause of the fatal accident of Balbino.
During the trial, the Lanuzo heirs attempted to prove inadequacy of illumination instead of the
total omission of illumination. In contrast, the company credibly refuted the allegation of
inadequate illumination. The Court observes, too, that SPO1 Corporal, a veteran police officer
detailed for more than 17 years at the Pili Police Station, enjoyed the presumption of regularity
in the performance of his official duties. In his report, it was mentioned that “upon arrival at the
scene of the incident it was noted that road sign/barricade installed on the road has a light.”

G.R. No. 211175


Year 1987, Atty. Geromo, Bustamante and Yambot started occupying their respective residential
units from Adelina 1−A subdivision in San Pedro, Laguna from La Paz, through GSIS financing.
The properties were all situated along the old Litlit Creek. After more than two (2) years of
occupation, cracks started to appear on the floor and walls on their houses. The petitioners,
through the President of the Adelina 1−A Homeowners Association, requested La Paz, being the
owner/developer to take remedial action. They collectively decided to construct a
riprap/retaining wall in which La Paz contributed P3,000 for each but despite of this retaining
wall, the condition of their housing units worsened as the years passed.

May 2002, upon the request of the petitioners, the Municipal Engineer of San Pedro and the
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) found that there was “differential settlement of the area where the affected
units were constructed”. On the basis thereof, Atty. Geromo filed a complaint for breach of
contract with damages against La Paz and GSIS before Housing and Land Regulatory Board
(HLURB) on May 3, 2003, Buentipo, Yambot and Bustamante filed a similar complaint against
La Paz and GSIS. They asserted that La Paz was liable for implied warranty against hidden
defects and it was negligent in building their houses on unstable land. La Paz averred that it had
secured the necessary permits and licenses for the subdivision project. The GSIS moved for the
dismissal of the complaint for its only participation in the transaction was to grant loans to the
petitioners for the purchase of their respective properties.

ISSUE: Whether La Paz should be held liable for the structural defects on its implied warranty
against hidden defects.


Yes, La Paz is liable for the structural defects on its implied warranty against hidden
defects. Under Civil Code Article 1561, The vendor shall be responsible for warranty against the
hidden defects which the thing sold may have, should they render it unfit for the use for which it
is intended, or should they diminish its fitness for such use to such an extent that, had the
vendee been aware thereof, he would not have acquired it or would have given a lower price for
it; but said vendor shall not be answerable for patent defects or those which may be visible, or
for those which are not visible if the vendee is an expert who, by reason of this trade or
profession, should have known them. And under Article 1566 of the Civil Code, the vendor is
responsible to the vendee for any hidden faults or defects in the thing sold, even though he was
not aware thereof.

Wherefore, the petition is GRANTED. The August 9, 2004 Decision of the HLURD
Arbiter is hereby REINSTATED with MODIFICATION to read as follows: (1) Ordering
respondent La Paz Housing and Development Corporation to immediately undertake and cause
the necessary repairs/construction of the subject units to make it suitable for human habitation
for which it was originally intended; (2) In the alternative, if it would no longer possible for the
said units to be repaired to make it suitable for human habitation, ordering respondent La Paz to
give each petitioner another property of the same nature and size, more or less, within the
subdivision project or in any project owned and develop by La Paz in San Pedro, Laguna, or
pay the monetary equivalent thereof; and (3) Ordering respondent La Paz to pay each of the
petitioners: a. the sum P200,000.00 as temperate damages; b. the sum of P150,000.00 as
moral damages; c. the sum of P150,000.00 as exemplary damages; d. the sum of P100,000.00
as attorney’s fees; and e. cost of suit. All awards shall earn legal interest at the rate of six
percent per annum from the finality of the judgment until full payment, in line with recent
jurisprudence. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 195661 | March 11, 2015


On January 25, 1997, the cargo ship M/V “China Joy” arrived at the Mariveles Grain
Terminal Wharf, operated by plaintiff Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI). According to the Berth Term
Grain Bills of Lading, the vessel carried soybean meal that had been shipped by
ContiQuincyBunge L.L.C, an exporter of soybean meal and related products, in favor of several
consignees in the Philipines.

Under the Charter Party Agreement over M/V “China Joy”, ContiQuincyBungeLLC
represented itself as the charterer of the vessel with San Miguel Foods, Inc. as a co-charterer,
and defendant (Samsun) represented itself as the agent of the ship owners. Samsun is a foreign
corporation not doing business in the Philippines. On February 3, 1997, Asian Terminals, Inc.
(ATI) used its SiwertellUnloader No. 2 to unload the soybean meal from the Vessel’s Hold No. 2.
The SiwertellUnloader is a pneumatic vacubator that uses compressed gas to vertically move
heavy bulk grain within the hatch of the ship in order to unload it off the ship. The unloading
operations were suddenly halted when the head of Unloader No.2 hit a flat low-carbon or “mild”
steel bar measuring around eight to ten inches in length, four inches in width, and one and one
fourth in thickness that was in the middle of the mass of soybean meal. The flat steel bar lodged
itself between the vertical screws of Unloader No. 2, causing the portions of screw numbers two
and three to crack and be sheared off under the torsional load.

According to the quotation of BMH Marine AB Sweden, the sole manufacturer of

Siwertellunloaders, the replacement cost of each screw is US$12,395.00 or US$24,790.00 for
the two screws plus freight. The labor cost to remove and re-assemble the screws is estimated
at US$2,000.00. ATI sent a note of protest to the master of the vessel for the damages
sustained by its unloading equipment as a result of encountering a flat steel bar among the
soybean meal. However, the vessel’s master wrote a note on the protest stating that it is not
responsible for the damage because the metal piece came from the cargo and not from the
vessel itself.

Defendants argued that since the metal foreign object was found in the middle of the
cargo, it could not have come from the bottom of the hatch because the hatch had been
inspected and found clean prior to loading. Defendants further averred that neither could the
metal bar have been part of the vessel that had broken off and fallen into the hatch because
tests conducted on the metal piece revealed that said metal bar was not part of the vessel. They
concluded that the metal bar could only have been already co-mingled with the soybean mean
upon loading by ContiQuincyBunge at loadport, and, therefore, defendants are not liable of the
damages sustained by the unloader of ATI.


Whether or not petitioners are liable to ATI for the damage sustained by the latter’s

Yes. Petitioners are liable. However, the Court finds the petitioner’s liability to be based
on quasi-delict and not on a contract of carriage. There is no contract of carriage between ATI,
on one hand, and the shipowner, Samsun, ContiQuincyBungeL.L.C.,and Inter-Asia, on the
other. It likewise bears stressing that te subject of the complaint, from which the instant petition
arose is not the damage caused to the cargo, but to the equipment of an arrastre operator.
Further, ATI’s contractual relation is not with the petitioners, but with the consignee and with the
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

In Insurance Company of North America vs Asian Terminals Inc, the Court explained that
the liabilities of the arrastre operator for losses and damages are set forth in the contract for
cargo handling services it had executed with the PPA. Corollarily then, the rights of an arrastre
operator to be paid for damages it sustained from handling cargoes do not likewise spring from
the contract of carriage. However, in the instant petition, the contending parties make no
reference at all to any provisions in the contract for cargo handling services ATI had executed
with the PPA.

The Court held that petitioners, Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V China Joy, Samsun
Shipping Ltd. And Inter-Asia Marine Transport, Inc., are liable and are ordered to pay the
respondent Asian Terminals Inc., actual and compensatory damages in the amount of
US$30,300.00, plus legal interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum reckoned from the
finality of the Resolution until full satisfaction thereof.
G.R. No. 192123 | March 10, 2014
Gerald Albert Gercayo (Gerald) was born with an imperforate anus. Two days after his
birth, Gerald underwent colostomy, a surgical procedure to bring one end of the large intestine
out through the abdominal wall, enabling him to excrete through a colostomy bag attached to
the side of his body. When Gerald was three years old, he was admitted at the Ospital ng
Maynila for a pull-through operation Dr. Leandro Resurreccion headed the surgical team, and
was assisted by Dr. Joselito Luceño, Dr. Donatella Valeña and Dr. Joseph Tibio. The
anesthesiologists included Dr. Marichu Abella, Dr. Arnel Razon and petitioner Dr. Fernando
Solidum (Dr. Solidum). During the operation, Gerald experienced bradycardia, and went into a
coma. His coma lasted for two weeks, but he regained consciousness only after a month. He
could no longer see, hear or move.
A criminal complaint for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Serious Physical Injuries was
filed against Dr. Solidum. The RTC rendered a judgment of conviction against Dr. Solidum with
Ospital ng Maynila jointly and severally liable. The CA affirmed the RTC judgment. The SC ruled
that Dr. Solidum must be acquitted because the prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable
doubt that Dr. Solidum had been recklessly imprudent in administering the anesthetic agent to
Gerald. Indeed, Dr. Vertido’s findings did not preclude the probability that other factors related
to Gerald’s major operation, which could or could not necessarily be attributed to the
administration of the anesthesia, had caused the hypoxia and had then led Gerald to experience
bradycardia. Dr. Vertido revealingly concluded in his report, instead, that “although the
anesthesiologist followed the normal routine and precautionary procedures, still hypoxia and its
corresponding side effects did occur.

1. Will the acquittal of Dr. Solidum exempt him from civil liability arising from the crime?
2. Is the decree that Ospital ng Maynila is jointly and severally liable with Dr. Solidum

1. NO, it does not follow. We have to clarify that the acquittal of Dr. Solidum would
not immediately exempt him from civil liability. But we cannot now find and declare him civilly
liable because the circumstances that have been established here do not present the factual
and legal bases for validly doing so. His acquittal did not derive only from reasonable doubt.
There was really no firm and competent showing how the injury to Gerard had been caused.
That meant that the manner of administration of the anesthesia by Dr. Solidum was not
necessarily the cause of the hypoxia that caused the bradycardia experienced by Gerard.
Consequently, to adjudge Dr. Solidum civilly liable would be to speculate on the cause of the
hypoxia. We are not allowed to do so, for civil liability must not rest on speculation but on
competent evidence.
2. NO, the decree is not correct. For one, Ospital ng Maynila was not at all a party
in the proceedings. Hence, its fundamental right to be heard was not respected from the outset.
The R TC and the CA should have been alert to this fundamental defect. Verily, no person can
be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or proceeding in which he was not made a party.
Such a rule would enforce the constitutional guarantee of due process of law.
Moreover, Ospital ng Maynila could be held civilly liable only when subsidiary liability would be
properly enforceable pursuant to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. But the subsidiary
liability seems far-fetched here. The conditions for subsidiary liability to attach to Ospital ng
Maynila should first be complied with. Firstly, pursuant to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code,
Ospital ng Maynila must be shown to be a corporation “engaged in any kind of industry.” The
term industry means any department or branch of art, occupation or business, especially one
that employs labor and capital, and is engaged in industry.

However, Ospital ng Maynila, being a public hospital, was not engaged in industry
conducted for profit but purely in charitable and humanitarian work. Secondly, assuming that
Ospital ng Maynila was engaged in industry for profit, Dr. Solidum must be shown to be an
employee of Ospital ng Maynila acting in the discharge of his duties during the operation on
Gerald. Yet, he definitely was not such employee but a consultant of the hospital. And, thirdly,
assuming that civil liability was adjudged against Dr. Solidum as an employee (which did not
happen here), the execution against him was unsatisfied due to his being insolvent.

G.R. No. 175540 | April 7, 2014


Plaintiff-appelleeZenaidaMagud-Logmao is the mother of deceased ArnelitoLogmao.

Defendant-appellant Dr.FiloteoAlano is the Executive Director of the National Kidney Institute

Arnelito Logmao was admitted to East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), then the NKI,
when he fell from an overpass and suffered a severe head injury. At the EAMC, the name
ArnelitoLogmao was recorded as AngelitoLugmoso, and was followed by the NKI. Attempts to
locate his family at the time failed. When he was pronounced brain dead, Dr.Alano issued a
memorandum to Logmao's doctor stating that if despite all reasonable attempts to find his
family, they could not be found, then in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 349
as amended and P.D. 856, permission and or authority is hereby given to the Department of
Surgery to retrieve and remove the kidneys, pancreas, liver and heart of the said deceased
patient and to transplant the said organs to any compatible patient who maybe in need of said
organs to live and survive.

A certification was issued by the Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI that such conditions
have been complied with. The organs were removed and transplanted to other patients. The
NKI issued a press statement on the success of the transplants. When Aida Doromal, a cousin
of plaintiff, heard the news aired on television that the donor was an eighteen (18) year old boy
whose remains were still at the funerary and sounded like Arnelito Logmao, she immediately
informed the plaintiff of the news report.

It appears that Arlen Logmao, a brother of Arnelito, reported to the police that the latter
did not return home after seeing a movie, and that the relatives of Arnelito were likewise
informed that the latter was missing. Upon receiving the news from Aida, plaintiff Zenaida and
her other children went to the funerary where they found Arnelito.Plaintiff Zenaida filed with the
court a quo a complaint for damages against the doctors who handled Arnelito, alleging that
defendants conspired to remove the organs of Arnelito while the latter was still alive and that
they concealed his true identity. The trial court rendered judgment finding only Dr.FiloteoAlano
liable for damages to plaintiff and dismissing the complaint against the other defendants for lack
of legal basis. The CA affirmed the decision. Hence, Petition for review on certiorari filed by

ISSUE: Whether respondent’s sufferings were brought about by the petitioner’s alleged
negligence in granting authorization for the removal of the internal organs of respondent’s son
who had been declared brain dead?


No, there is no causal connection between the alleged negligent act of Dr.Alano and the
damage suffered by Zenaida. First, The “pain and anguis” of Zenaida indeed may have resulted
from the loss of her son. However, Dr.Alano or any of his subordinates did not cause the loss of
her son’s life. Even if Dr.Alano did not order the organ retrieval, Zenaida would still find the body
of her son lifeless.Second, the failure to locate Zenaida to secure her permission for the organ
retrieval was not caused by Dr.Alano.The records show that the difficulty in locating Zenaida
stemmed from the erroneous information found on the deceased’s patient data sheet, which
indicated his name as AngelitoLugmoso, not ArnelitoLogmao. It was the staff of East Avenue
Medical Center, not Dr.Alano and the staff of the National Kidney Institute, which provided the
erroneous information on the patient data sheet.Considering the circumstances that he had to
face, the search he ordered for the deceased patient’s relatives were all that ordinary prudence
required. His retrieval of the deceased patient’s organs was done legally and after allowing a
reasonable time to lapse. Thus, Dr.Alano’s acts were not reckless, negligent or unreasonable.
He also did not commit any act in violation of Articles 19, 20 or 21 of the Civil Code. Also, this is
also not a case wherein the alleged quasi-delict resulted in physical injuries.

G.R. No. L-65295 | March 10, 1987


In the early morning of November 15, 1975 at about 1:30 a.m. – then private respondent
was on his way home, he lives in1214-B Zamora Street, Bangkal, Makati – from a cocktails-and-
dinner meeting with his boss, the General Manager of a marketing corporation. Private
respondent was had “a shot or two” of liquor. He was driving his car and had just crossed the
intersection of General Lacuna and General Santos Streets at Bangkal, Makati, not far from his
home, when the headlights of his car malfunction. He then switched his headlights to “bright”
and there upon saw a dump truck looming some 2-1/2 meters away from his car. Said dump
truck was owned and registered petitioner Phoenix Construction Inc.(Phoenix) was parked on
the right hand side of General Lacuna Street, the dump truck was facing the incoming traffic,
which private respondent car was proceeding towards. There were no lights or early warning
reflector device set anywhere, front or rear. It was park askew so it was sticking out onto the
street, partly blocking the way on the incoming vehicles. The dump truck was driven by
Armando U. Carbonel; who was authorized by Phoenix as its regular driver to park the dump
truck in the vicinity. Said dump truck was scheduled to be used the following morning. Dionisio
claimed to that he tried to avoid collision by swerving his car to the left, but it was too late and
his car smashed into the dump truck. This resulted him to suffer some physical injuries including
some permanent facial scars, a “nervous breakdown” and loss of two gold bridge dentures.

Dionisio commenced an action for damages in the CFI of Pampanga claiming that the
legal and proximate cause of his injuries was the negligent act of Carbonel; which parked the
dump truck entrusted to him. This was countered by petitioners that proximate cause of the
Dionisio’s injuries was his own reckless driving in time of accident. The trial court ruled in favor
of Dionisio and ordered respondents to indemnify the former. Respondents then appealed to the
Intermediate Court, where it affirmed the decision of the court but modified the award of

ISSUE: Whether or not the Carbonel’s negligent act to properly park the dump truck the
proximate cause of the damages suffered by Dionisio?


Yes. Due to Carbonel’s negligent act to properly park the dump truck was proximate
cause of the damages suffered by Dionisio. The negligent act of the defendant in the improper
parking of the dump truck, which resulted partly blocking of the way of the incoming traffic.
However, Dionisio is also liable to contributory negligence as the damages suffered by him was
caused his reckless driving that resulted the collision between his car and the parked dump
truck. Thus, the supreme court affirmed both decision made by lower court with a modification
on the damages awarded.
EMMA ADRIANO BUSTAMANTE, in her own behalf as Guardian-Ad-Litem of minors:
BUSTAMANTE, petitioners,
G.R. No. 89880 | February 6, 1991

April 20, 1983 6:30 am: a collision occurred between a 1947 model gravel and sand
truck driven by Montesiano and owned by Del Pilar and a Mazda passenger bus
driven Susulin along the national road at Calibuyo, Tanza, Cavite front left side portion
(barandilla) of the body of the truck sideswiped the left side wall of the passenger bus, ripping
off the wall from the driver's seat to the last rear seat. Several passengers of the bus were
thrown out and died as a result of the injuries they sustained:
1. Rogelio Bustamante, 40, husband of Emma Adriano Bustamante and father of Rossel,
Gloria, Yolanda, Ericson, and Ederic, all surnamed Bustamante;
2. Maria Corazon Jocson, 16, daughter of spouses Salvador and Patria Jocson;
3. Jolet C. Ramos, 16, daughter of spouses Jose and Enriqueta Ramos;
4. Enrico Himaya, 18, son of spouses Narciso and Adoracion Himaya; and
5. Noel Bersamina, 17, son of spouses Jose and Ma. Commemoracion Bersamina
The bus was registered in the name of Novelo but was owned and/or operated as a
passenger bus jointly by Magtibay and Serrado before the collision, the cargo truck and the
passenger bus were approaching each other, coming from the opposite directions of the
highway. While the truck was still about 30 meters away, Susulin, the bus driver, saw the front
wheels of the vehicle wiggling. He also observed that the truck was heading towards his lane.
Not minding this circumstance due to his belief that the driver of the truck was merely joking,
Susulin shifted from fourth to third gear in order to give more power and speed to the bus, which
was ascending the inclined part of the road, in order to overtake or pass a Kubota hand tractor
being pushed by a person along the shoulder of the highway.
 RTC: liability of the two drivers for their negligence must be solidary
 CA: owner and driver of the sand and gravel truck appealed was granted

ISSUE: W/N the last clear chance can apply making the bus negligent in failing to avoid the
collision and his act in proceeding to overtake the hand tractor was the proximate cause of the
collision making him solely liable

NO. Petition is granted. CA reversed. The doctrine of last clear chance means that even
though a person's own acts may have placed him in a position of peril, and an injury results, the
injured person is entitled to recovery. A person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of
avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent or that of a third person
imputed to the opponent is considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the
accident. Since the case at bar is not a suit between the owners and drivers of the colliding
vehicles but a suit brought by the heirs of the deceased passengers against both owners and
drivers of the colliding vehicles the court erred in absolving the owner and driver of the cargo
truck from liability.
R TRANSPORT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. LUISITO G. YU, respondent

G.R. No. 174161| February 18, 2015


At around 8:45 am of December 12, 1993, Loreta J. Yu, after having alighted from a
passenger bus in front of Robinsons Galleria along North bound lane of EDSA, was hit and run
On February 3, 1994, the husband of the deceased, respondent Luisito, filed a Complaint for
damages before the RTC against petitioner R Transport, Gimena, and Metro Manila Transport
Corporation (MMTC) for the death of his wife.

MMTC denied its liability reasoning that it is merely the registered owner of the bus
involved in the incident, the actual owner, being petitioner R Transport. Since it was not actually
operating the bus which killed respondent’s wife, nor was it the employer of the driver thereof,
MMTC alleged that the complaint against it should be dismissed. For its part, petitioner R
Transport alleged that respondent had no cause of action against it for it had exercised due
diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees and drivers and that its buses are in
good condition. Meanwhile, the driver Gimena was declared in default for his failure to file an
answer to the complaint.

After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of respondent Luisito
ruling that petitioner R Transport failed to prove that it exercised the diligence required of a good
father of a family in the selection and supervision of its driver. The RTC ordered defendants R
Transport and Metro Manila Transport Corporation (MMTC) to be primarily and solidarily liable
and defendant Gimenasubsidiarily liable to plaintiff Luisito. The CA affirmed the Decision of the
RTC with modification that defendant Antonio Gimena is made solidarily liable for the damages
caused to respondent.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is liable for the damages caused by its employee.


Yes. The petitioner is liable for the damages caused by its employee. Employers are
liable for the damages caused by their employees. Negligence has been defined as "the failure
to observe for the protection of the interests of another person that degree of care, precaution,
and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers
injury." Verily, foreseeability is the fundamental test of negligence. It is the omission to do
something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate
the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and
reasonable man would not do.

Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, employers are liable for the damages caused
by their employees acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. Once negligence on the part
of the employee is established, a presumption instantly arises that the employer was careless in
the selection and/or supervision of the negligent employee. To avoid liability for the quasi-delict
committed by its employee, it is incumbent upon the employer to rebut this presumption by
presenting adequate and convincing proof that it exercised the care and diligence of a good
father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees.
Unfortunately, however, the records of this case are bereft of any proof showing the
exercise by petitioner of the required diligence. As likely observed, no evidence of whatever
nature was ever presented depicting petitioner’s due diligence in the selection and supervision
of its driver, Gimena, despite several opportunities to do so. In fact, in its petition, apart from
denying the negligence of its employee and imputing the same to the bus from which the victim
alighted, petitioner merely reiterates its argument that since it is not the registered owner of the
bus which bumped the victim, it cannot be held liable for the damage caused by the same.
Nowhere was it even remotely alleged that petitioner had exercised the required diligence in the
selection and supervision of its employee. Because of this failure, petitioner cannot avoid the
liability for the quasi-delict committed by its negligent employee.
G.R. No. L-34597, November 5, 1982

In the afternoon of April 1, 1960, GERUNDIO CASTANO boarded the passenger jeep
driven by Felario Montefalcon at around forty (40) kilometres per hour at Oroquieta City bound
for Jimenez, Misamis Occidental. While approaching at Sumasap Bridge a cargo truck coming
from behind the passenger jeep which was driven by Nicostrato Digal, a not duly license to drive
motor vehicle blew its horn to signal its intention to overtake the jeep in which the latter did not
slacken its speed and in the process of overtaking, the jeepney was sideswiped by the cargo
truck hitting the reserved tire placed at the left side of the jeepney causing its swerved from its
course and finally fell into the canal and the right side of the jeep fell on the right leg of the
plaintiff-appellee which caused broken right thigh.

The main defense of defendant’s appellants is anchored on the fact that the jeepney was
sideswiped by the overtaking cargo truck.

ISSUE: Whether or not the appellants were free from any liability based on the fact that the
proximate cause of the accident was that the jeepney was sideswiped by the overtaking cargo


No. The hazards of modern transportation demand extraordinary diligence. Once a

passenger in the course of travel is injured or does not reach its destination safely, the carrier
and the driver are presumed to be at fault.

There would have been no misfortune if Montefalcon lessen the speed of the jeep at the
time the truck was overtaking it. He should have slackened his jeep when he swerved it to the
right to give way to the truck because the two vehicles could not cross the bridge at the same

The jeepney driver, Felario Montefalcon failed to exercise extraordinary diligence,

human care foresight and utmost diligence of a very cautious person. Petitioners contend that
the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the driver of the cargo truck.
However, the fact is, there was a contract of carriage between the private respondent and the
herein petitioners.

Art. 1733, 1755 and 1766 of the Civil Code which require the exercise of extraordinary diligence
on the part of petitioner Montefalcon;

Art. 1733. Common Carriers from the nature of their business and for reasons of public
policy, are bound to observed extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the
safety of the passengers transported by them.

Art. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as the far the
human care and foresight can provide, using utmost diligence of very cautious person with a
due regard for all the circumstance.
Art. 1766. In all matters not regulated by this Code, the rights and obligation of common
carriers shall be governed by the Code of Commerce and by special laws.

The alleged fortuitous event in this case – the sideswiping of the jeepney by the cargo
truck, was something which could have been avoided considering the narrowness of the
Sumasap Bridge which was not wide enough to occupy two vehicles.

As found by the Court of Appeals, Montefalcon contributed to the occurrence of the accident.

Decision is hereby AFFIRMED.With costs.

FRANCISCO SALVA, respondents.

G.R. No. 122039 | May 31, 2000


At 10 o'clock in the morning of August 23, 1989, private respondent Eliza Jujeurche G.
Sunga, then a college freshman majoring in Physical Education at the Siliman University, took a
passenger jeepney owned and operated by petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was filled
to capacity of about 24 passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an "extension seat," a
wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end of the vehicle.
On the way to Poblacion Sibulan, Negros Occidental, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger
off. As she was seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga gave way to the outgoing passenger.
Just as she was doing so, an Isuzu truck driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco
Salva bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was injured.
On October 9, 1989, Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, alleging violation of
the contract of carriage by the former in failing to exercise the diligence required of him as a
common carrier. Calalas, on the other hand, filed a third-party complaint against Francisco
Salva, the owner of the Isuzu truck.


1. RTC – Dumaguete – rendered judgment against Salva holding that the driver of the Isuzu
truck was responsible
It took cognizance of another case (Civil Case No. 3490), filed by Calalas against Salva and
Verena, for quasi-delict, in which Branch 37 of the same court held Salva and his driver Verena
jointly liable to Calalas for the damage to his jeepney.
2. CA – reversed the RTC, awarding damages instead to Sunga as plaintiff in an action for
breach of contract of carriage since the cause of action was based on such and not quasi delict.
Hence, current petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether (per ruling in Civil Case) negligence of Verena was the proximate cause of the
accident negates his liability and that to rule otherwise would be to make the common carrier an
insurer of the safety of its passengers. In relation thereto, does the principle of res judicata

No. The issue in Civil Case No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena were liable for
quasi-delict for the damage caused to petitioner's jeepney. On the other hand, the issue in this
case is whether petitioner is liable on his contract of carriage.

Quasi-delict / culpa aquiliana / culpa extra contractual

1. Has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor
2. negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is the basis of the action
3. doctrine of proximate cause is applicable
(device for imputing liability to a person where there is no relation between him and another
party, obligation is created by law itself)

Breach of contract / culpa contractual

1. premised upon the negligence in the performance of a contractual obligation
2. action can be prosecuted merely by proving the existence of the contract and the fact that the
obligor (here, the common carrier) failed to transport his passenger safely to his destination
3. not available; it is the parties themselves who create the obligation and the function of the law
is merely to regulate the relation thus created

In case of death or injuries to passengers, Art. 1756 of the Civil Code provides that
common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently unless they
prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as defined in Arts. 1733 and 1755 of the Code.
This provision necessarily shifts to the common carrier the burden of proof.

Hence, Vicente Calalas (operator) is liable since he did not exercise utmost diligence.
1. Jeepney was not properly parked;
2. Overloading of passengers.