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Layugan vs. IAC; Torts- vicarious liability of owner of a truck the road.

the road. If he did he could have discovered earlier that the brake fluid
pipe on the right was cut, and could have repaired it and thus the
accident could have been avoided. Moveover, to our mind, the fact
that the private respondent used to intruct his driver to be careful in
Pedro T. Layugan filed an action for damages against Godofredo Isidro,
his driving, that the driver was licensed, and the fact that he had no
alleging that while at Baretbet, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, the Plaintiff
record of any accident, as found by the respondent court, are not
and a companion were repairing the tire of their cargo truck which
sufficient to destroy the finding of negligence of the Regional Trial
was parked along the right side of the National Highway; that
Court given the facts established at the trial. The private respondent
defendant's truck, driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano bumped the
or his mechanic, who must be competent, should have conducted a
plaintiff, that as a result, plaintiff was injured and hospitalized where
thorough inspection of his vehicle before allowing his driver to drive
he incurred and will incur more expenses as he recuperates from said
injuries; Plaintiff's right leg was amputated and that because of said
injuries he would be deprived of a lifetime income.
In the light of the circumstances obtaining in the case, we hold that
To free themselves from liability, defendants Isidro [owner] and
Isidro failed to prove that the diligence of a good father of a family in
Serrano [driver] averred that he knows his responsibilities as a driver
the supervision of his employees which would exculpate him from
and further contends that it was the negligence of plaintiff that was
solidary liability with his driver to the petitioner. But even if we
the proximate cause of the accident. They alleged that plaintiff parked
concede that the diligence of a good father of a family was observed
his truck in a manner which occupied a part of the highway and he did
by Isidro in the supervision of his driver, there is not an iota of
not even put a warning sign.
evidence on record of the observance by Isidro of the same quantum
of diligence in the supervision of his mechanic, if any, who would be
Subsequently, a third-party complaint was filed by the defendant
directly in charge in maintaining the road worthiness of his (Isidro's)
against his insurer, the Travellers Multi Indemnity Corporation; that
truck. But that is not all. There is paucity of proof that Isidro exercised
the third-party plaintiff [Isidro], without admitting his liability to the
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection of his driver,
plaintiff, claimed that the third-party defendant [Travellers] is liable to
Daniel Serrano, as well as in the selection of his mechanic, if any, in
the former for contribution, indemnity and subrogation by virtue of
order to insure the safe operation of his truck and thus prevent
their insurance contract which covers the insurer's liability for
damage to others. Accordingly, the responsibility of Isidro as employer
damages arising from death, bodily injuries and damage to
treated in Article 2180, paragraph 5, of the Civil Code has not ceased.
property. The Insurance company argued that it is only liable for the
amount agreed in the policy and the complaint was premature since
no claim was made to it.
The RTC ruled in favor of the Petitioners. The CA reversed the
decision, stating that it is the petitioners who were negligent since FACTS:
they did not exercise caution by putting warning signs that their truck
is park on the shoulder of the highway. Erlinda Ramos underwent a surgical procedure to remove stone from
her gall bladder (cholecystectomy). They hired Dr. Hosaka, a surgeon,
to conduct the surgery at the De Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC).
Whether or not Isidro is liable as employer of Serrano.
Hosaka assured them that he would find a good anesthesiologist. But
Ruling: the operation did not go as planned, Dr. Hosaka arrived 3 hours late
Yes! for the operation, Dra. Gutierrez, the anesthesiologist “botched” the
administration of the anesthesia causing Erlinda to go into a coma and
The SC held that the CA erroneously appreciated the evidence. It was suffer brain damage. The botched operation was witnessed by
proven that the petitioner placed a warning sign within 3 to 4 meters Herminda Cruz, sister in law of Erlinda and Dean of College of Nursing
from their truck in the form of a lighted kerosene lamp. The existence
of Capitol Medical Center.
of this warning sings was corroborated by Serrano, respondent's
driver, and further stated that when he saw a parked truck, he kept on
stepping on the brake pedal but it did not function. Thus despite this The family of Ramos (petitioners) sued the hospital, the surgeon and
warning signs, the truck recklessly driven by Serrano and owned by the anesthesiologist for damages. The petitioners showed expert
Respondent Isidro bumped the truck of petitioner. testimony showing that Erlinda's condition was caused by the
anesthesiologist in not exercising reasonable care in “intubating”
The private respondent is sued under Art. 2176 in relation to Art. Erlinda. Eyewitnesses heard the anesthesiologist saying “Ang hirap
2180, paragraph 5, of the Civil Code. In the latter, when an injury is
ma-intubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan.”
caused by the negligence of a servant or employee there instantly
arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of
the master or employer either in the selection of the servant or Diagnostic tests prior to surgery showed that Erlinda was robust and
employee, or in supervision over him after selection, or both. Such fit to undergo surgery.
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure and consequently,
may be rebutted. If follows necessarily that if the employer shows to
the satisfaction of the court that in the selection and in the supervision
he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family,
The RTC held that the anesthesiologist ommitted to exercise due care
the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability. In
in intubating the patient, the surgeon was remiss in his obligation to
disclaiming liability for the incident, the private respondent stresses
that the negligence of his employee has already been adequately provide a “good anesthesiologist” and for arriving 3 hours late and the
overcome by his driver's statement that he knew his responsibilities as hospital is liable for the negligence of the doctors and for not
a driver and that the truck owner used to instruct him to be careful in cancelling the operation after the surgeon failed to arrive on time. The
driving. surgeon, anesthesiologist and the DLSMC were all held jointly and
severally liable for damages to petitioners. The CA reversed the
We do not agree with the private respondent in his submission. In the
decision of the Trial Court.
first place, it is clear that the driver did not know his responsibilities
because he apparently did not check his vehicle before he took it on
ISSUES: Whether or not the private respondents were negligent and
Spouses Africa et al vs Caltex Philippines, Boquiren and the Court of
thereby caused the comatose condition of Ramos.
16 SCRA 448 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Res Ipsa Loquitur

Yes, private respondents were all negligent and are solidarily liable for In March 1948, in Rizal Avenue, Manila, a tank truck was hosing
the damages. gasoline into the underground storage of Caltex. Apparently, a fire
broke out from the gasoline station and the fire spread and burned
several houses including the house of Spouses Bernabe and Soledad
Africa. Allegedly, someone (a passerby) threw a cigarette while
gasoline was being transferred which caused the fire. But there was no
Res ipsa loquitur – a procedural or evidentiary rule which means “the evidence presented to prove this theory and no other explanation can
thing or the transaction speaks for itself.” It is a maxim for the rule be had as to the real reason for the fire. Apparently also, Caltex and
that the fact of the occurrence of an injury, taken with the the branch owner (Mateo Boquiren) failed to install a concrete firewall
surrounding circumstances, may permit an inference or raise a to contain fire if in case one happens.
presumption of negligence, or make out a plaintiff’s prima facie case, ISSUE: Whether or not Caltex and Boquiren are liable to pay for
and present a question of fact for defendant to meet with an damages.
explanation, where ordinarily in a medical malpractice case, the
complaining party must present expert testimony to prove that the HELD: Yes. This is pursuant to the application on the principle of res
ipsa loquitur (“the transaction speaks for itself”) which states: “where
attending physician was negligent.
the thing which caused injury, without fault of the injured person, is
under the exclusive control of the defendant and the injury is such as
in the ordinary course of things does not occur if he having such
control use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence
This doctrine finds application in this case. On the day of the of the explanation, that the injury arose from defendant’s want of
operation, Erlinda Ramos already surrendered her person to the care.” The gasoline station, with all its appliances, equipment and
private respondents who had complete and exclusive control over her. employees, was under the control of Caltex and Boquiren. A fire
occurred therein and spread to and burned the neighboring houses.
Apart from the gallstone problem, she was neurologically sound and
The persons who knew or could have known how the fire started were
fit. Then, after the procedure, she was comatose and brain damaged— Boquiren, Caltex and their employees, but they gave no explanation
res ipsa loquitur!—the thing speaks for itself! thereof whatsoever. It is a fair and reasonable inference that the
incident happened because of want of care.

Note that ordinarily, he who charges negligence shall prove it.

However, res ipsa loquitur is the exception because the burden of
Negligence – Private respondents were not able to disprove the proof is shifted to the party charged of negligence as the latter is the
presumption of negligence on their part in the care of Erlinda and one who had exclusive control of the thing that caused the injury
their negligence was the proximate cause of her condition. One need complained of.
not be an anesthesiologist in order to tell whether or not the
intubation was a success. [res ipsa loquitur applies here]. The Supreme
Court also found that the anesthesiologist only saw Erlinda for the first
Republic vs Luzon Stevedoring Corporation (GR No. L-21749,
time on the day of the operation which indicates unfamiliarity with the
September 29, 1967)
patient and which is an act of negligence and irresponsibility.
Facts: A barge being towed by tugboats "Bangus" and "Barbero" all
owned by Luzon Stevedoring Corp. rammed one of the wooden piles
of the Nagtahan Bailey Bridge due to the swollen current of the Pasig
after heavy rains days before. The Republic sued Luzon Stevedoring for
The head surgeon, Dr. Hosaka was also negligent. He failed to exercise
actual and consequential damages. Luzon Stevedoring claimed it had
the proper authority as the “captain of the ship” in determining if the
exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of its
anesthesiologist observed the proper protocols. Also, because he was
employees; that the damages to the bridge were caused by force
late, he did not have time to confer with the anesthesiologist
majeure; that plaintiff has no capacity to sue; and that the Nagtahan
regarding the anesthesia delivery.
bailey bridge is an obstruction to navigation.

The hospital failed to adduce evidence showing that it exercised the Issue: Whether or not the collision of appellant's barge with the
diligence of a good father of the family in hiring and supervision of its supports or piers of the Nagtahan bridge was in law caused by
doctors (Art. 2180). The hospital was negligent since they are the one fortuitous event or force majeure.
in control of the hiring and firing of their “consultants”. While these
consultants are not employees, hospitals still exert significant controls
on the selection and termination of doctors who work there which is
one of the hallmarks of an employer-employee reationship. Thus, the
hospital was allocated a share in the liability.
Held: There is a presumption of negligence on part of the employees
of Luzon Stevedoring, as the Nagtahan Bridge is stationary. For caso
Damages – temperate damages can and should be awarded on top of
fortuito or force majeure (which in law are identical in so far as they
actual or compensatory damages in instances where the injury is
exempt an obligor from liability) by definition, are extraordinary
chronic and continuing.
events not foreseeable or avoidable, "events that could not be occur unless through the intervention of negligence. Second, since
foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable" (Art. 1174, Civ. aside from the cesarean section, private respondent Villegas
Code of the Philippines). It is, therefore, not enough that the event underwent no other operation which could have caused the offending
piece of rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to reason that such
should not have been foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly
could only have been a by-product of the cesarean section performed
believed, but it must be one impossible to foresee or to avoid. The by Dr. Batiquin. The petitioners, in this regard, failed to overcome the
mere difficulty to foresee the happening is not impossibility to foresee presumption of negligence arising from resort to the doctrine of res
the same. Luzon Stevedoring knew the perils posed by the swollen ipsa loquitur. Dr. Batiquin is therefore liable for negligently leaving
stream and its swift current, and voluntarily entered into a situation behind a piece of rubber in private respondent Villegas' abdomen and
involving obvious danger; it therefore assured the risk, and can not for all the adverse effects thereof.
shed responsibility merely because the precautions it adopted turned
The court reiterates its recognition of the vital role the medical
out to be insufficient. It is thus liable for damages. profession plays in the lives of the people and State's compelling
interest to enact measures to protect the public from "the potentially
Dr. Victoria Batiquin, et. al vs Court of Appeals, et. Al deadly effects of incompetence and ignorance in those who would
G.r. No. 118231 July 5, 1996 undertake to treat our bodies and minds for disease or trauma.
Indeed, a physician is bound to serve the interest of his patients "with
Facts: the greatest of solicitude, giving them always his best talent and
skill." Through her tortious conduct, the petitioner endangered the life
Mrs. Villegas submitted to Dr. Batiquin for prenatal care as the
of Flotilde Villegas, in violation of her profession's rigid ethical code
latter's private patient sometime before September 21, 1988. In the and in contravention of the legal standards set forth for professionals,
morning of September 21, 1988 Dr. Batiquin, along with other in the general and members of the medical profession, in particular.
physicians and nurses, performed a caesarean operation on Mrs.
Villegas and successfully delivered the latter’s baby. After leaving the
hospital, Mrs. Villegas began to suffer abdominal pains and RODRIGUEZ VS. MANILA RAILROAD
complained of being feverish. She also gradually lost her appetite, so
This action was instituted jointly by Remigio Rodrigueza and three
she consulted Dr. Batiquin at the latter's polyclinic who prescribed for
others in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Albay to recover
her certain medicines. However, the pains still kept recurring. She
a sum of money of the Manila Railroad Company as damages resulting
then consulted Dr.Ma. Salud Kho. After examining her, Dr Kho
from a fire kindled by sparks from a locomotive engine under the
suggested that Mrs.Villegas submit to another surgery. When Dr. Kho
circumstances set out below. Upon hearing the cause upon the
opened the abdomen of Mrs. Villegas she found whitish-yellow
complaint, answer and an agreed statement of facts, the trial judge
discharge inside, an ovarian cyst on each of the left and right ovaries
rendered judgment against the defendant company in favor of the
which gave out pus, dirt and pus behind the uterus, and a piece
plaintiffs and awarded to them the following sums respectively as
of rubber material on the right side of the uterus, embedded on the
damages, to wit, (1) to Remigio Rodrigueza, P3,000; (2) to Domingo
ovarian cyst. The piece of rubber appeared to be a part of a rubber
Gonzaga, P400; (3) to Cristina Luna, P300; and (4) to Perfecta
glove. This was the cause of all of the infection of the ovaries and
Losantas, P150; all with lawful interest from March 21, 1919. From this
consequently of all the discomfort suffered by Mrs. Villegas. The piece
judgment the defendant appealed.
of rubber allegedly found was not presented in court, and Dr. Kho
testified that she sent it to a pathologist in Cebu City for examination.
The facts as appearing from the agreed statement, in relation with the
Aside from Dr. Kho's testimony, the evidence which mentioned the
complaint, are to the effect that the defendant Railroad Company
piece of rubber is a Medical Certificate, a Progress Record, an
operates a line through the district of Daraga in the municipality of
Anaesthesia Record, a Nurse's Record, and a Physician's Discharge
Albay; that on January 29, 1918, as one of its trains passed over said
line, a great quantity of sparks were emitted from the smokestack of
the locomotive, and fire was thereby communicated to four houses
nearby belonging to the four plaintiffs respectively, and the same
Whether or not Dr. Batiquin is liable
were entirely consumed. All of these houses were of light construction
with the exception of the house of Remigio Rodrigueza, which was of
strong materials, though the roof was covered with nipa and cogon.
Yes. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is The fire occurred immediately after the passage of the train, and a
peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima strong wind was blowing at the time. It does not appear either in the
facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes complaint or in the agreed statement whose house caught fire first,
a substitute for specific proof of negligence. The rule, when applicable though it is stated in the appellant's brief that the fire was first
to the facts and circumstances of a particular case, is not intended to
communicated to the house of Remigio Rodrigueza, from whence it
and does not dispense with the requirement of proof of culpable
negligence on the party charged. It merely determines and regulates spread to the others.
what shall be prima facie evidence thereof and facilitates the burden
of plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due care. The doctrine In the fourth paragraph of the complaint — which is admitted to be
can be invoked when and only when, under the circumstances true — it is alleged that the defendant Railroad Company was
involved, direct evidence is absent and not readily available. conspicuously negligent in relation to the origin of said fire, in the
following respects, namely, first, in failing to exercise proper
In the instant case, all the requisites for recourse to the
doctrine are present. First, the entire proceedings of the cesarean supervision over the employees in charge of the locomotive; secondly,
section were under the exclusive control of Dr. Batiquin. In this light, in allowing the locomotive which emitted these sparks to be operated
the private respondents were bereft of direct evidence as to the actual without having the smokestack protected by some device for arresting
culprit or the exact cause of the foreign object finding its way into sparks; thirdly, in using in its locomotive upon this occasion Bataan
private respondent Villegas' body, which, needless to say, does not
coal, a fuel of known inferior quality which, upon combustion, In the situation now under consideration the proximate and only
produces sparks in great quantity. cause of the damage that occurred was the negligent act of the
defendant in causing this fire. The circumstance that Remigio
The sole ground upon which the defense is rested is that the house of Rodrigueza's house was partly on the property of the defendant
Remigio Rodrigueza stood partly within the limits of the land owned company and therefore in dangerous proximity to passing locomotives
by the defendant company, though exactly how far away from the was an antecedent condition that may in fact have made the disaster
company's track does not appear. It further appears that, after the possible, but that circumstance cannot be imputed to him as
railroad track was laid, the company notified Rodrigueza to get his contributory negligence destructive of his right of action, because,
house off the land of the company and to remove it from its exposed first, that condition was not
position. Rodrigueza did not comply with this suggestion, though he
promised to put an iron roof on his house, which he never did. created by himself; secondly, because his house remained on this
Instead, he changed the materials of the main roof to nipa, leaving the ground by the toleration, and therefore with the consent of the
kitchen and media-aguas covered with cogon. Upon this fact it is Railroad Company; and thirdly, because even supposing the house to
contended for the defense that there was contributory negligence on be improperly there, this fact would not justify the defendant in
the part of Remigio Rodrigueza in having his house partly on the negligently destroying it. (Grand Trunk Railway of Canada vs.
premises of the Railroad Company, and that for this reason the Richardson, 91 U. S., 454; 23 L. ed., 356; Norfolk etc. Ry. Co. vs.
company is not liable. This position is in our opinion untenable for the Perrow, 101 Va., 345, 350.)
reasons which we shall proceed to state.
The circumstance that the defendant company, upon planting its line
In the first place, it will be noted that the fact suggested as near Remigio Rodrigueza's house, had requested or directed him to
constituting a defense to this action could not in any view of the case remove it, did not convert his occupancy into a trespass, or impose
operate as a bar to recovery by the three plaintiffs other than Remigio upon him any additional responsibility over and above what the law
Rodrigueza, even assuming that the fire was first communicated to his itself imposes in such situation. In this connection it must be
house; for said three plaintiffs are in nowise implicated in the act remembered that the company could at any time have removed said
which supposedly constitutes the defense. In this connection it will be house in the exercise of the power of eminent domain, but it elected
observed that the right of action of each of these plaintiffs is totally not to do so.
distinct from that of his co-plaintiff, so much so that each might have
sued separately, and the defendant if it had seen fit to do so, might in Questions similar to that now before us have been under the
this case have demurred successfully to the complaint for misjoinder consideration of American courts many times, and their decisions are
of parties plaintiff. The fact that the several rights of action of the found to be uniformly favorable to recovery where the property
different plaintiffs arose simultaneously out of one act of the destroyed has been placed in whole or in part on the right of way of
defendant is not sufficient of itself to require, or even permit, the the railroad company with its express or implied consent. (L. R. Martin
joinder of such parties as coplaintiffs in a single action (30 Cyc., 114) if Timber Co. vs. Great Northern Railway Co., 123 Minn., 423; Ann. Cas.,
objection had been made thereto. Domingo Gonzaga, Cristina Luna, 1915A, p. 496, note; Burroughs vs. Housatonic R.R. Co., 15 Conn., 124;
and Perfecta Losantas are therefore entitled to recover upon the 38 Am. Dec., 64; 74; Southern Ry. Co. vs. Patterson, 105 Va. 6; 8 Ann.
admitted fact that this fire originated in the negligent acts of the Cas., 44.) And the case for the plaintiff is apparently stronger where
defendant; and the circumstance that the fire may have been the company constructs its line in proximity to a house already built
communicated to their houses through the house of Remegio and fails to condemn it and remove it from its right of way.
Rodrigueza, instead of having been directly communicated from the
locomotive, is immaterial. (See 38 Am. Dec., 64, 77; 1 11 R. C. L., 968- From what has been said it is apparent that the judgment appealed
971; Kansas City, etc. Railroad Co. vs. Blaker, 64 L. R. A., 81 from is in all respect in conformity with the law, and the same is
Pennsylvania Railroad Co. vs. Hope, 80 Pa. St., 373; 21 Am. Rep. 100.) accordingly affirmed, with costs. So ordered.

With respect to the case of Remegio Rodrigueza it is to be inferred ANDAMO vs. IAC
that his house stood upon this ground before the Railroad Company
laid its line over this course; and at any rate there is no proof that this Doctrine: It must be stressed that the use of one’s property is not
plaintiff had unlawfully intruded upon the railroad's property in the without limitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code provides that “the
act of building his house. What really occurred undoubtedly is that the owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such a manner as to
company, upon making this extension, had acquired the land only, injure the rights of a third person.” SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUMNON
leaving the owner of the house free to remove it. Hence he cannot be LAEDAS.
considered to have been a trespasser in the beginning. Rather, he was
there at the sufferance of the defendant company, and so long as his Facts:
house remained in this exposed position, he undoubtedly assumed the
risk of any loss that might have resulted from fires occasioned by the Petitioner spouses Andamo owned a parcel of land situated in Biga
defendant's locomotives if operated and managed with ordinary care. Silang, Cavite which is adjacent to that of private respondent
But he cannot be held to have assumed the risk of any damage that corporation, Missionaries of Our lady of La Salette, Inc. Within the
might result from the unlawful negligence acts of the defendant. land of the latter, waterpaths and contrivances, including an artificial
Nobody is bound to anticipate and defend himself against the possible lake, were constructed, which allegedly inundated and eroded
negligence of another. Rather he has a right to assume that the other petitioner’s land, caused a young man to drown, damagaed
will use the care of the ordinary prudent man. (Philadelphia and petitioner’s crops and plants, washed away costly fences, endangered
Reading Railroad Co. vs. Hendrickson, 80 Pa. St., 182; 21 Am. Rep., 97.) the lives of the petitioners and their laborers and some other
destructions. This prompted petitioner spouses to file a criminal action
for destruction by means of inundation under Article 324 of the RPC payroll checks for the employees of the corporation. The petitioner
and a civil action for damages. signed three of these checks on November 27, December 15 and
December 29, 1953. The others were signed by either the respondent,
Issue: Whether petitioner spouses Andamo can claim damages for or Vicente Araneta (company treasurer) who put up part of the bill
destruction caused by respondent’s connected with Taylor's trip and also handed him letters for delivery in
the United States. The Ace Advertising disbursed P5,043.20, all told,
waterpaths and contrivances on the basis of Articles 2176 and 2177 of on account of Taylor's travel and studies.
the Civil Code on quasi-delicts.
On August 23, 1954 the Ace Advertising filed a complaint with the
Held: Yes. A careful examination of the aforequoted complaint shows court of first instance of Manila against the respondent for recovery of
that the civil action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil the total sum disbursed to Taylor, alleging that the trip was made
Code on quasi-delicts. All the elements of a quasi-delict are present, to without its knowledge, authority or ratification. The respondent, in his
wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the answer, denied the charge and claimed that the trip was nonetheless
defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must respond; and ratified by the company's board of directors, and that in any event
(c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence under the by-laws he had the discretion, as general manager, to
of the defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff. Clearly, authorize the trip which was for the company's benefit.
from petitioner’s complaint, the waterpaths and contrivances built by
respondent corporation are alleged to have inundated the land of A 3rd-party complaint was also filed by the respondent against Vicente
petitioners. There is therefore, an assertion of a causal connection Araneta, the petitioner and Ricardo Taylor. The respondent proved
between the act of building these waterpaths and the damage that Vicente Araneta, as treasurer of the firm, signed a check
sustained by petitioners. Such action if proven constitutes fault or representing the company's share of the transportation expense of
negligence which may be the basis for the recovery of damages. Taylor to the United States, and that a series of payroll checks from
September 15, 1953 to December 31, 1953, inclusive, which included
It must be stressed that the use of one’s property is not without the salaries of Taylor, was signed, by Vicente Araneta and the
limitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code provides that “the owner of a petitioner who is a vice-president of the company. Both Aranetas
thing cannot make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights disowned any personal liability, claiming that they signed the checks in
of a third person.” SIC UTERE T good faith as they were approved by the respondent.

UO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have On April 13, 1964 the trial court rendered judgment ordering the
mutual and reciprocal duties which require that each must use his respondent to pay the Ace Advertising "the sum of P5,043.20 with
own land in a reasonable manner so as not to infringe upon the rights interest at the legal rate from August 23, 1954 until full payment," and
and interests of others. Although we recognize the right of an owner dismissing the 3rd-party complaint.
to build structures on his land, such structures must be so constructed
and maintained using all reasonable care The respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals, which on August 2,
1965, rendered a decision affirming the trial court's judgment in favor
NATIVIDAD VS. DIZON of the Ace Advertising but reversing the dismissal of the 3rd-party
complaint. The appellate court found as a fact that Taylor's trip had
ARANETA VS. DE JOYA been neither authorized nor ratified by the company.

Petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. The appellate court's full statement of its categorical and unequivocal
34277-R ordering Luis Ma. Araneta (hereinafter referred to as the findings of fact on the nature and extent of the participation of the
petitioner) to indemnify Antonio R. de Joya (hereinafter referred to as petitioner as well as Vicente Araneta is hereunder quoted:
the respondent) for one-third of the sum of P5,043.20 which the latter
was adjudged to pay the Ace Advertising Agency, Inc., the plaintiff in "The evidence not only is clear, but is even not disputed at all by
the recovery suit below. Vicente and Luis Araneta who neither of them took the witness stand
to refute appellant's evidence, that as to Vicente it was to him that
appellant first broached the subject-matter of sending Taylor to
America, that Vicente Araneta evinced unusual interest, and went to
Sometime in November 1952 the respondent, then general manager the extent of entrusting Taylor with letters for delivery to certain
of the Ace Advertising, proposed to the board of directors[1] that an principals of Gregorio Araneta, Inc. in the United States, and he even
employee, Ricardo Taylor, be sent to the United States to take up signed the check for P105.20 to cover expenses for his tax clearance,
special studies in television. The board, however, failed to act on the documentary stamps and passport fees, in connection with the trip,
proposal. Nevertheless, in September 1953 the respondent sent on 8 September, 1953, and then on 5 October, 1953, still another
Taylor abroad. J. Antonio Araneta, a company director, inquired about check for P868.00 which was half the amount for his plane ticket; and
the trip and was assured by the respondent that Taylor's expenses as to Luis Araneta, it not al all being disputed that when Taylor was
would be defrayed not by the company but by other parties. This was already in America, his salaries while abroad were paid on vouchers
thereafter confirmed by the respondent in a memorandum. and checks signed either by him or by Vicente, or by appellant himself;
because of all these, the conclusion is forced upon this Court that it
While abroad, from September 1, 1953 to March 15, 1954, Taylor could not but have been but that both Vicente and Luis were informed
continued to receive his salaries. The items corresponding to his and gave their approval to Taylor's trip, and to the payment of his trip
salaries appeared in vouchers prepared upon the orders of, and expenses and salaries during his absence, from corporate funds; if this
approved by, the respondent and were included in the semi-monthly
was the case as it was, there can he no question but that they two substantiated, he in particular not having testified or offered
were also privy to the unauthorized disbursement of the corporate testimony to prove such claim. Upon the contrary, in spite of his being
moneys jointly with the appellant; what had happened was in truth a vice-president and director of the Ace Advertising, the petitioner
and in fact a venture by them given their stamp of approval; and as it remained passive, throughout the period of Taylor's stay abroad,
was an unauthorized act of expenditure of corporate funds, and it was concerning the unauthorized disbursements of corporate funds for the
these three without whose acts the same could not have happened, latter. This plus the fact that he even
the juridical situation was a simple quasi-delict by them committed
upon the corporation, for which solidary liability should have been approved thrice payroll checks for the payment of Taylor's salary,
imposed upon all in the first place, Art. 2194, New Civil Code; and only demonstrate quite distinctly that the petitioner neglected to perform
de Joya having been sued and made liable by the corporation, it was his duties properly, to the damage of the firm of which he was an
the right of the latter to ask that his two joint tortfeasors be made to officer. The fact that he was occupying a contractual position at the
shoulder their proportional responsibility." (italics supplied) Ace Advertising is of no moment. The existence of a contract between
the parties, as has been repeatedly held by this Court, constitutes no
The basic legal issue is whether the petitioner is guilty of a quasi-delict bar to the commission of a tort by one against the other and the
as held below. consequent recovery of damages.[2]

It is our view, and we so hold, that the judgment of the Court of ACCORDINGLY, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed at
Appeals should be upheld. The petitioner's assertion that he signed petitioner's cost.
the questioned payroll checks in good faith has not been