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07_Jimenez v Manila 150 scra 520 No.

L-71049 May 29, 1987 Facts: On the morning of August 15, the herein petitioner, together with several neighbors went to the Sta. Ana public market to buy bagoong AT THE TIME WHEN THE PUBLIC MARKET WAS FLOODED with ANKLE DEEP rainwater. On their way home, he stepped on an UNCOVERED OPENING which could not be seen because of the dirty rainwater, causing a dirty and rusty 4-inch nail, stuck inside the uncovered opening, to pierce the left leg of plaintiff-petitioner penetrating to a depth of about 1 inches. Despite administering first aid treatment immediately, he still felt ill and developed fever and he had to be carried to Dr. Mascardo. Despite the medicine, his left leg swelled with great pain and was rushed to the Veterans Memorial Hospital where he was confined for 20 days. Upon discharge, he had to walk around with crutches for 15 days. His injury PREVENTED him from attending to the school buses he operated and had to engage the services of one Valdez giving him Php900 compensation. He sued for damages the City of Manila and Asiatic Integrated Corp (AIC) under whose administration the Sta. Ana public market had been placed. Lower Court dismissed the complaint for lack of evidence. IAC held AIC liable but absolved City of Manila. Issue: W/N City of Manila should be JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE WITH AIC? YES. Held: City of Manila v Teotico: RA 409 establishes a general rule regulating the liability of the City of Manila for damages or injury to persons or property arising from the failure of city officers to enforce the provisions of said Act, or any other law or ordinance or from negligence of the City Mayor, Municipal Board, or other officers while enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions. liability arising from negligence, in general, regardless of the object. Civil Code Art 2189: Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by any person by reason of defective conditions of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings and other public works under their CONTROL and SUPERVISION. The contract between the City and AIC shows that the Sta. Ana Public Market remained under the control of the City of Manila (AIC shall submit a program of improvement) and was admitted by Mayor Bagatsing in his letter to Finance Sec Virata. The City of Manila even employed a market master whose primary duty is to take direct supervision and control, to check the safety of the place for the public. While it may be conceded that the fulfillment of reasonable care is extremely difficult during storms and floods, it must however, be admitted that ordinary precautions could have been taken during good weather to minimize the dangers to life and limb under those difficult circumstances. (eg. Drainage holes could have been placed under the stalls instead of on the passage ways; City could have seen to it that the openings were closed.)

Evidence indicates that 5 months after the incident, the opening was STILL UNCOVERED. Petitioner had the right to assume that there were no openings in the middle of the passageways and if any, that they were adequately covered. Had the opening been covered, petitioner could not have fallen into it. This the negligence of the City of Manila is the proximate cause of the injury suffered, the City of Manila is therefore liable for the injury suffered by the petitioner. SHORT DIGEST: Petitioner Jimenez went to the public market to buy bagoong at the time the market was flooded with ankle-deep dirty rainwater. On his way home, he stepped on a dirty and rusty 4-inch nail. He administered first aid but still needed to be brought to the doctor. Despite the medicine administered to him, he was still rushed to Veterans Memorial Hospital where he was confined for 20 days and upon discharge, had to walk around with crutches for 15 days and had to employ someone to supervise his school bus business. The issue is whether or not the City of Manila should be jointly and severally liable with AIC. Yes. Despite the Management and Operating Contract between AIC and the City of Manila for the Sta. Ana Public Market, the City of Manila still exercised supervision and control of the public market.