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DEFENSES IN NEGLIGENCE CASES

Definition: Failure to exercise that degree of care which a person of ordinary prudence (a reasonable man) would exercise under the same circumstances. Refers to conduct that falls below the standards established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. (Barrons Law Dictionary)

Quasi Delicts: Acts or omissions constituting fault or negligence, resulting in damage there being a causal relationship between the act or omission and the damage caused. Criminal Negligence: Reckless Imprudence - consists in voluntary, but without malice, doling or failing to do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to perform such act Culpa Contractual: Those who in the performance of the obligation are guilty of fraud, negligence, or delay, are liable for damages.

PLAINTIFFS CONDUCT (OWN NEGLIGENCE AS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE):


General Rule: The victim of negligence is likewise required to exercise due care in avoiding injury to himself. Article 2179 (New Civil Code): When the plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendants lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.

PLDT vs CA and Spouses Antonio and Gloria Esteban


Facts: In the evening of July 30, 1968 the jeepney driven by Anotnio Esteban (accompanied by his wife) hit a mound of earth and fell into an open trench thereby sustaining injuries. The mound of earth was from an excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT through its contractor for the installation of an underground conduit system. The spouses Esteban asserts that PLDT had been negligent since the excavation was left without a cover and there were no visible warning signs near and around the excavation site. PLDT on the other hand asserts that the Antonio Esteban had been the victim of their own negligence.

Issue: Whether or not PLDT was negligent in the conduct of the excavation and therfore can be held liable for damages for injuries suffered by the spouses Esteban. Resolution: A person claiming damages for the negligence of another has the burden of proving the existence of such fault or negligence causative thereof. Such proof must be affirmatively established by competent evidence. In the present case, the plaintiff failed to establish such negligence as evidenced by: Physical evidence shows that Antonio for unexplained reasons swerved from the inner lane of the street into where the mound was located. Evidence shows that he was driving more than 25kph on a dark road Antonio resided in the location and passed by the excavation every night on his way home from work

Facts: On the morning of September 4, 1931, plaintiff bought a ticket and took a flight to Iloilo in one of the defendants hydroplanes. The plane arrived in the intended destination safely but before the plane can complete the landing and disembarkation of the passenger, the plaintiff suffered injuries from the planes propeller having disembarked from the plane before the plane had come to full stop. The plaintiff filed a claim for damages from injuries suffered alleging that that defendant failed to comply with its contractual obligation to carry the plaintiff safe and sound to his destination

Kim vs. Aerial Taxi Co (58 Phil 838)

Issue: Whether or not Aerial Taxi Co was negligent and liable for damages for not complying with the contract to transport the plaintiff safe and sound to his destination.

Resolution: The contract was to bring the plaintiff to shore safe and sound and this included bringing the plaintiff to shore. This process includes a banca ride after disembarkation from the plane. By sheer common sense, the plaintiff ought to know that the propeller while in motion was dangerous and that to approach it (disembark) while the same was in motion was dangerous. He also ought to know that he had to wait for the banca that will bring him to shore. Also, on the claim of negligence, the planes pilot had 14 years of experience of flying. Under such circumstances, it is not difficult to understand that the plaintiff-appellant acted with reckless negligence in approaching the propeller while it was in motion. There was not the slightest negligence attributable to the defendant entity or to its agents, therefore the plaintiff alone should suffer the consequences of his acts.

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE General Rule: If plaintiffs negligence is merely contributory, the plaintiff is not barred from recovering from the defendant

Article 2179 (New Civil Code): When the plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendants lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.

Article 2214 (New Civil Code): In quasi- delicts, the contributory negligence of the plaintiff shall reduce the damages that he may recover.

- Includes the application of COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE , which presupposes that the relative degree of negligence of the parties is considered in determining whether, and to what degree, either should be responsible for his negligence.

PURE TYPE

- Involves APPORTIONMENT OF DAMAGES

COMMON LAW DOCTRINE OF COTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE

the negligence of the defendant which it DOES NOT completely bay recovery contributes to his injury COMPLETELY but merely MITIGATES the same bars recovery

M.H Rakes vs. The Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company ( GR No. L-1719)
Facts: The plaintiff, while at work, transporting iron rails from a barge in the harbor to the companys yard near the malecon in Manila, had an accident. At a certain spot at pr near the waters edge, the track sagged, the tie broke, the car either canted or upset, the rails slid off , and caught the plaintiff , breaking his leg, which was afterwards amputated at about the knee.

Issue: Whether or not the plaintiff contributed to the immediate cause of the accident and therefore cannot recover for damages.

Resolution:
The plaintiff did not contribute to the immediate cause of the accident. His act of walking by the side of the car despite of a given warning did not contribute, although it was an element of the damage which came to himself. As he only contributed only to his own injury, he may recover the amount that the defendant responsible for event should pay for such injury, LESS a sum deemed suitable equivalent for his own imprudence. Courts fixed amount of damage was P5,000 (equivalent of USD2,500) LESS P2,500 for the amount fairly attributable to his negligence.

Facts: Private respondents car collided with the dump truck parked on the right side of General Lacuna Street, where he was heading home. Said dump truck had been driven by the petitioner with the consent of his employer , in view of the early scheduled work the following morning. The private respondent suffered some physical injuries, including some permanent facial scars, a nervous breakdown and loss of 2 gold bridge dentures.

Phoenix Construction, Inc. & Armando U. Carbonel vs. IAC & Leonardo Dionisio ( GR No. L-65295)

Issue: Whether or not the private respondent contributed to the immediate and proximate cause of the injury thereby prevented him to recover damages.

Resolution:
The private respondents negligence was only contributory and the immediate and proximate cause of injury remained the truck drivers lack of due care. The mere fact that the private respondent was intoxicated and driving home fast only paved for contributory negligence. He was therefore entitled to recover damages less than the his negligence. The SC allocated most of the damages on a 20-80 ratio, from which 80% will borne exclusively by the petitioners. The 20% of the damages awarded by the respondent court except the P10,000 exemplary damages and P4,500 attorneys fees, shall be borne by the private respondent.