You are on page 1of 4

It is the general rule that it is immaterial purpose or moral obliquity; it is different from the

whether a man is drunk or sober if no want of negative idea of negligence in that malice or bad faith
ordinary care or prudence can be imputed to him, and contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating
with furtive design or ill will.
no greater degree of care is required than by a sober
one. If one's conduct is characterized by a proper
Where, without a pre-existing contract between two
degree of care and prudence, it is immaterial whether
parties, an act or omission can nonetheless amount to
he is drunk or sober. (E. M. WRIGHT vs. MANILA an actionable tort by itself, the fact that the parties are
ELECTRIC R.R. & LIGHT CO) contractually bound is no bar to the application of
quasi-delict provisions to the case. (FAR EAST
The mother and her child had a perfect right BANK AND TRUST COMPANY vs. COURT OF
to be on the principal street of Tacloban, Leyte, on APPEALS, ET. AL.)
the evening when the religious procession was held.
There was nothing abnormal in allowing the child to Generally, liability for tort arises only
run along a few paces in advance of the mother. No between parties not otherwise bound by a contract.
one could foresee the coincidence of an automobile An academic institution, however, may be held liable
appearing and of a frightened child running and for tort even if it has an existing contract with its
falling into a ditch filled with hot water. The students, since the act that violated the contract may
contributory negligence of the child and her mother, also be a tort. (KHRISTINE REGINO vs.
if any, does not operate as a bar to recovery, but in its PANGASINAN COLLEGESOF SCIENCE AND
strictest sense could only result in reduction of the TECHNOLOGY)
ENVERSO, vs. J. V. HOUSE and TACLOBAN The Court defined simple negligence,
ELECTRIC and ICE PLANT, LTD) penalized under what is now Article 365 of the
Revised Penal Code, as "a mere lack of prevision in a
The proper criterion for determining the situation where either the threatened harm is
existence of negligence in a given case is this: not immediate or the danger not openly visible." Put
Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in a slightly different way, the gravamen of the
in the position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen offense of simple negligence is the failure to exercise
that an effect harmful to another was sufficiently the diligence necessitated or called for the situation
probable to warrant his foregoing conduct or which was not immediately life-destructive but which
guarding against its consequences. culminated, in the present case, in the death of a
human being three (3) days later. Such failure to
Last clear chance is a doctrine in the law of torts exercise the necessary degree of care and diligence is
which states that the contributory negligence of the a negative ingredient of the offense charged. The rule
party injured will not defeat the claim for damages if in such cases is that while the prosecution must prove
it is shown that the defendant might, by the exercise the negative ingredient of the offense, it needs only to
of reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the present the best evidence procurable under the
consequences of the negligence of the injured party. circumstances, in order to shift the burden of
In such cases, the person who had the last clear disproving or countering the proof of the negative
chance to avoid the mishap is considered in law ingredient to the accused, provided that such initial
solely responsible for the consequences thereof. evidence establishes at least on a prima facie basis
(AMADO PICART vs. FRANK SMITH, JR.) the guilt of the accused. This rule is particularly
applicable where the negative ingredient of the
In culpa contractual, moral damages may be offense is of such a nature or character as, under the
recovered where the defendant is shown to have circumstances, to be specially within the knowledge
acted in bad faith or with malice in the breach of the or control of the accused. In the instant case, the
contract. Bad faith, in this context, includes gross, Court is bound to observe that the events which
but not simple, negligence. Exceptionally, in a occurred during the surgical procedure (including
contract of carriage, moral damages are also allowed whether or not Nubain had in fact been administered
in case of death of a passenger attributable to the as an anesthesia immediately before or during the
fault (which is presumed4 ) of the common carrier. surgery) were peculiarly within the knowledge and
control of Dr. Carillo and Dr. Madrid. It was,
therefore, incumbent upon the two (2) accused to
Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and overturn the prima facie case which the prosecution
intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest
had established, by reciting the measures which they (EQUITABLE BANKING CORPORATION v.
had actually taken to prevent or to counter the SPECIAL STEEL PRODUCTS, INC. And
obviously serious condition of Catherine Acosta AUGUSTO L. PARDO)
which was evident right after surgery. This they
failed or refused to do so. (LEANDRO CARILLO, . In Philippine Bank of Commerce v. Court of
vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,) Appeals and The Consolidated Bank & Trust
Corporation v. Court of Appeals, where the bank’s
In medical negligence cases, also called negligence is the proximate cause of the loss and the
medical malpractice suits, there exist a physician- depositor is guilty of contributory negligence, we
patient relationship between the doctor and the allocated the damages between the bank and the
victim. But just like any other proceeding for depositor on a 60-40 ratio. (PHILIPPINE
damages, four essential (4) elements i.e., (1) duty; (2) NATIONAL BANK, Petitioner, vs. F.F. CRUZ AND
breach; (3) injury; and (4) proximate causation, must CO., INC)
be established by the plaintiff/s. All the four (4)
elements must co-exist in order to find the physician This was, said Court correctly held, a
negligent and, thus, liable for damages. mechanical defect of the conveyance or a fault in its
equipment which was easily discoverable if the bus
There is breach of duty of care, skill and diligence, or had been subjected to a more thorough, or rigid
the improper performance of such duty, by the check-up before it took to the road that morning.
attending physician when the patient is injured in
body or in health [and this] constitutes the actionable Then again both the trial court and the Court of
malpractice. Proof of such breach must likewise rest Appeals found as a fact that the bus was running
upon the testimony of an expert witness that the quite fast immediately before the accident.
treatment accorded to the patient failed to meet the Considering that the tire which exploded was not new
standard level of care, skill and diligence which — petitioner describes it as "hindi masyadong kalbo,"
physicians in the same general neighborhood and in or not so very worn out — the plea of caso
the same general line of practice ordinarily possess fortuito cannot be entertained. (LA MALLORCA and
Proximate cause is defined as any cause that
At the very least, the nature of crossed checks should produces injury in a natural and continuous sequence,
place a bank on notice that it should exercise more unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, such
caution or expend more than a cursory inquiry, to that the result would not have occurred otherwise.
ascertain whether the payee on the check has Proximate cause is determined from the facts of each
authorized the holder to deposit the same in a case, upon a combined consideration of logic,
different account. It is well to remember that "[t]he common sense, policy, and precedent.
banking system has become an indispensable
institution in the modern world and plays a vital role The employer of a negligent employee is liable for
in the economic life of every civilized society. the damages caused by the latter. When an injury is
Whether as mere passive entities for the safe-keeping
caused by the negligence of an employee, there
and saving of money or as active instruments of
instantly arises a presumption of the law that there
business and commerce, banks have attained an [sic]
has been negligence on the part of the employer,
ubiquitous presence among the people, who have
either in the selection of his employee or in the
come to regard them with respect and even gratitude supervision over him, after such selection. The
and, above all, trust and confidence. In this
presumption, however, may be rebutted by a clear
connection, it is important that banks should guard
showing on the part of the employer that he has
against injury attributable to negligence or bad faith
exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a
on its part. As repeatedly emphasized, since the
family in the selection and supervision of his
banking business is impressed with public interest, employee. (MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION v.
the trust and confidence of the public in it is of SEBASTIAN M. BAKING)
paramount importance. Consequently, the highest
degree of diligence is expected, and high standards of
integrity and performance are required of it. Proximate cause has been defined as that cause,
which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken
by any efficient intervening cause, produces the statute, it has been held that violation of the statute
injury, and without which the result would not have will be deemed to be proximate cause of the injury.
occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate (MERCEDES M. TEAGUE vs. ELENA
legal cause is that acting first and producing the
injury, either immediately or by setting other events
in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous
chain of events, each having a close causal For the statute names
connection with its immediate predecessor, the final the possessor or user of the animal as the person
event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as liable for "any damages it may cause," and this for
a natural and probable result of the cause which first the obvious reason that the possessor or user has the
acted, under such circumstances that the person custody and control of the animal and is therefore the
responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary one in a position to prevent it from causing damage.
prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable (MARGARITA AFIALDA v. BASILIO &
ground to expect at the moment of his act or default FRANCISCO HISOLE)
that an injury to some person might probably result
therefrom. (BATACLAN v. MEDINA)
In the present case, the animal was in
custody and under the control of the caretaker, who
According to the great weight of authority, was paid for his work as such. Obviously, it was the
where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or caretaker's business to try to prevent the animal from
omission of two or more persons, although acting causing injury or damage to anyone, including
independently of each other, are, in combination, the himself. And being injured by the animal under those
direct and proximate cause of a single injury to a circumstances, was one of the risks of the occupation
third person, and it is impossible to determine in what which he had voluntarily assumed and for which he
proportion each contributed to the injury, either is
must take the consequences. (MARGARITA
responsible for the whole injury, even though his act
alone might not have caused the entire injury, or the AFIALDA v. BASILIO & FRANCISCO
same damage might have resulted from the acts of the HISOLE)
other tort-feasor (PROSPERO SABIDO and ASER
LAGUNDA vs. CARLOS CUSTODIO, BELEN Under the foregoing provision (Article 2184), if the
MAKABUHAY CUSTODIO and THE causative factor was the driver's negligence, the
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS) owner of the vehicle who was present is likewise held
liable if he could have prevented the mishap by the
A prior and remote cause cannot be made exercise of due diligence.
the basis of an action if such remote cause did
nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise The same rule applies where the owner is present,
to the occasion by which the injury was made unless the negligent acts of the driver are continued
possible, if there intervened between such prior or for such a length of time as to give the owner a
remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct
unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even his driver to desist therefrom. An owner who sits in
though such injury would not have happened but for his automobile, or other vehicle, and permits his
such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in driver to continue in a violation of the law by the
the condition except because of the independent performance of negligent acts, after he has had a
cause, such condition was not the proximate cause. reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct
And if an independent negligent act or defective that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself
condition sets into operation the circumstances which responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the
result in injury because of the prior defective driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the
condition, such subsequent act or condition is the owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the
proximate cause. (MANILA ELECTRIC act or its continuance, injures a person or violates the
COMPANY vs. SOTERO REMOQUILLO) criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although
present therein at the time the act was committed, is
The mere fact of violation of a statute is not not responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefor.
sufficient basis for an inference that such violation The act complained of must be continued in the
was the proximate cause of the injury presence of the owner for such a length of time that
complained. However, if the very injury has the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver act
happened which was intended to be prevented by the
his own. (J.H. CHAPMAN v. JAMES plaintiff must know that the risk is present; (2) he
UNDERWOOD) must further understand its nature; and (3) his choice
to incur it must be free and voluntary. According to
Prosser: "Knowledge of the risk is the watchword of
Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, unless there is
proof to the contrary, a person driving a vehicle is assumption of risk." (ABROGAR v. COSMOS
presumed negligent if at the time of the mishap, he BOTTLING COMPANY AND
was violating any traffic regulation. (SOFIA INTERGAMES, INC)

The vendor could likewise be liable

for quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code,
and an action based thereon may be brought by the
vendee. While it may be true that the pre-existing
contract between the parties may, as a general rule,
bar the applicability of the law on quasi-delict, the
liability may itself be deemed to arise from quasi-
delict, i.e., the acts which breaks the contract may
also be a quasi-delict. (COCA-COLA

A corollary rule is what is known in the law

as the emergency rule. "Under that rule, one who
suddenly finds himself in a place of danger, and is
required to act without time to consider the best
means that may be adopted to avoid the impending
danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt
what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to
have been a better method, unless the emergency in
which he finds himself is brought about by his own
negligence." (HEDY GAN y YU v. THE

The doctrine of assumption of risk means

that one who voluntarily exposes himself to an
obvious, known and appreciated danger assumes the
risk of injury that may result therefrom.76 It rests on
the fact that the person injured has consented to
relieve the defendant of an obligation of conduct
toward him and to take his chance of injury from a
known risk, and whether the former has exercised
proper caution or not is immaterial. In other words, it
is based on voluntary consent, express or implied, to
accept danger of a known and appreciated risk; it
may sometimes include acceptance of risk arising
from the defendant's negligence, but one does not
ordinarily assume risk of any negligence which he
does not know and appreciate. As a defense in
negligence cases, therefore, the doctrine requires the
concurrence of three elements, namely: (1) the