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Torts and Damages

Cangco vs Manila Railroad Co. 30 Phil 768 Torts and Damages Distinction of Liability of Employers Under Article 2180 and Their Liability for Breach of Contract On January 20, 1915, Cangco was riding the train of Manila Railroad Co (MRC). He was an employee of the latter and he was given a pass so that he could ride the train for free. When he was nearing his destination at about 7pm, he arose from his seat even though the train was not at full stop. When he was about to alight from the train (which was still slightly moving) he accidentally stepped on a sack of watermelons which he failed to notice due to the fact that it was dim. This caused him to lose his balance at the door and he fell and his arm was crushed by the train and he suffered other serious injuries. He was dragged a few meters more as the train slowed down. It was established that the employees of MRC were negligent in piling the sacks of watermelons. MRC raised as a defense the fact that Cangco was also negligent as he failed to exercise diligence in alighting from the train as he did not wait for it to stop. ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Railroad Co is liable for damages. HELD: Yes. Alighting from a moving train while it is slowing down is a common practice and a lot of people are doing so every day without suffering injury. Cangco has the vigor and agility of young manhood, and it was by no means so risky for him to get off while the train was yet moving as the same act would have been in an aged or feeble person. He was also ignorant of the fact that sacks of watermelons were there as there were no appropriate warnings and the place was dimly lit. The Court also elucidated on the distinction between the liability of employers under Article 2180 and their liability for breach of contract [of carriage]: Liability for Breach of Contract Ex Contractu (culpa contractual) Liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Code Extra Contractual (culpa aquiliana) The legal viewpoint is that employer has a presumptive responsibility for the negligence of its servants which can be rebutted by proof of the exercise of due care in their selection and supervision Substantive and independent, which of itself constitutes the source of an obligation between persons not formerly connected by any legal tie Based upon the principle that employer is liable for negligent acts of its employees (can be rebutted) It is the wrongful or negligent act or omission itself which creates the vinculum juris Page 1

Liability is direct and immediate Considered as an accident in the performance of an obligation already existing Based upon the civil law principle that whoever causes damage to another shall make good the damage caused. The vinculum exists independently of the breach of the voluntary duty assumed by the parties when entering into the contractual relation www.uberdigests.info

Torts and Damages


It is not necessary to prove negligence; what is needed is to prove the existence of a contractual obligation and that the same has been broken Negligence has to be proven for the plaintiff's action is based on it

NOTES: But, if the master has not been guilty of any negligence whatever in the selection and direction of the servant, he is not liable for the acts of the latter, whatever done within the scope of his employment or not, if the damage done by the servant does not amount to a breach of the contract between the master and the person injured. The liability arising from extra-contractual culpa is always based upon a voluntary act or omission which, without willful intent, but by mere negligence or inattention, has caused damage to another. These two fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say, the mere fact that a person is bound to another by contract does not relieve him from extra-contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the obligor may break the contract under such conditions that the same act which constitutes the source of an extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed between the parties. Manresa: Whether negligence occurs an incident in the course of the performance of a contractual undertaking or in itself the source of an extra-contractual undertaking obligation, its essential characteristics are identical. Vinculum Juris: (def) It means "an obligation of law", or the right of the obligee to enforce a civil matter in a court of law. Vasquez vs De Borja 74 Phil 560 Torts and Damages Distinction of Liability of Employers Under Article 2180 and Their Liability for Breach of Contract In January 1932, De Borja entered into a contract of sale with the NVSD Co., Inc. The subject of the sale was 4,000 cavans of rice valued at Php2.10 per cavan. On behalf of the company, the contract was executed by Vasquez as the companys acting president. NVSD Co. only delivered 2,488 cavans and failed and refused despite demand to deliver the rest hence De Borja incurred damages (apparently, NVSD Co was insolvent). He then sue Vasquez for payment of damages. ISSUE: Whether or not Vasquez is liable for damages. HELD: No. Vasquez is not party to the contract as it was NVSD Co which De Borja contracted with. It is well known that a corporation is an artificial being invested by law with a personality of its own, separate and distinct from that of its stockholders and from that of its officers who manage and run its affairs. The mere fact that its personality is owing to a legal fiction and that it necessarily has to act thru its agents, does not make the latter personally liable on a contract duly entered into, or for an act lawfully performed, by them for an in its behalf. www.uberdigests.info Page 2

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The fact that the corporation, acting thru Vazquez as its manager, was guilty of negligence in the fulfillment of the contract did not make Vazquez principally or even subsidiarily liable for such negligence. Since it was the corporation's contract, its non fulfillment, whether due to negligence or fault or to any other cause, made the corporation and not its agent liable. JUSTICE PARAS Dissenting : Vasquez as president of NVSD Co is liable for damages. Vasquez, as acting president and manager of Natividad-Vazquez Sabani Development Co., Inc., and with full knowledge of the then insolvent status of his company, agreed to sell to De Borja 4,000 cavans of palay. Further, NVSD Co was soon thereafter dissolved. Mendoza vs La Mallorca Bus Co 82 SCRA 245 Torts and Damages Distinction of Liability of Employers Under Article 2180 and Their Liability Under the Revised Penal Code In April 1950, the freight truck owned by Mendoza was bumped by a bus owned by La Mallorca Bus Company. Mendoza sued the bus driver for damage to property thru reckless imprudence. Mendoza reserved his right to file a separate civil action. The bus driver was subsequently convicted of the crime charged. Mendoza then filed a civil case based on Article 2180 against LMBC as the employer of the bus driver. However, the civil case was dismissed by reason of prescription as the case was filed 6 years after the collision. Mendoza then filed a new suit against LMBC this time under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. LMBC argued that the dismissal of the civil case is a bar for filing another case under Article 103 of the RPC by reason of res judicata. The lower court as well as the Court of Appeals agreed with LMBC. ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of the civil case based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code is a bar for filing another action based on Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. HELD: No. Civil action based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code and the civil action based on Article 103 of the RPC are two independent and separate actions based on distinct causes of actions therefore res judicata can not lie. Article 2180 of the Civil Code makes an employer primarily and directly liable for
reason of his own negligence, either in the selection or supervision of his driver. Article 103 of the RPC makes an employer subsidiarily liable for damages caused by his negligent employee who is convicted from a previous criminal suit. In other words, Article 2180 of the CC is predicated upon the employers own negligence while Article 103 of the RPC is predicated upon the crime committed by an employee of the employer.

Cuadra vs Monfort 35 SCRA 160 Torts and Damages Liability of Parents Maria Teresa Cuadra and Maria Teresa Monfort were both classmates in Mabini Elementary School Bacolod City. In July 1962, their teacher assigned them to weed the school premises. While they were doing so, MT Monfort found a headband and she jokingly shouted it as an earthworm and thereafter www.uberdigests.info Page 3

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tossed it to MT Cuadra who was hit in her eye. MT Cuadras eye got infected. She was brought to the hospital; her eyes were attempted to be surgically repaired but she nevertheless got blind in her right eye. MT Cuadras parents sued Alfonso Monfort (MT Monforts dad) based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The lower court ruled that Monfort should pay for actual damages (cost of hospitalization), moral damages and attorneys fees. ISSUE: Whether or not Monfort is liable under Article 2180. HELD: No. Article 2180 provides that the father, in case of his incapacity or death, the mother, is responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. The basis of this
vicarious, although primary, liability is fault or negligence, which is presumed from that which accompanied the causative act or omission. The presumption is merely prima facie and may therefore be rebutted. This is the clear and logical inference that may be drawn from the last paragraph of Article 2180, which states "that the responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage." In the case at bar there is nothing from which it may be inferred that Alfonso Monfort could have prevented the damage by the observance of due care, or that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental authority in failing to foresee such damage, or the act which caused it. On the contrary, his child was at school, where it was his duty to send her and where she was, as he had the right to expect her to be, under the care and supervision of the teacher. And as far as the act which caused the injury was concerned, it was an innocent prank not unusual among children at play and which no parent, however careful, would have any special reason to anticipate much less guard against. Nor did it reveal any mischievous propensity, or indeed any trait in the child's character which would reflect unfavorably on her upbringing and for which the blame could be attributed to her parents.

JUSTICE BARREDO Dissenting; MT Monfort is already 13 years old and should have known that by jokingly saying "aloud that she had
found an earthworm and, evidently to frighten the Cuadra girl, tossed the object at her," it was likely that something would happen to her friend, as in fact, she was hurt. There is nothing in the record that would indicate that he had properly advised his daughter to behave properly and not to play dangerous jokes on her classmate and playmates, he can be liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. There is nothing in the record to show that he had done anything at all to even try to minimize the damage caused upon by his child.

Exconde vs Capuno 101 Phil 843 Torts and Damages - Liability of Parents Dante Capuno was a 15 year old boy who was a pupil of Balintawak Elementary School. In March 1949, he attended a boy scout parade for Dr. Jose Rizal. While they were inside a jeep, he took control of the wheels which he later lost control of causing the jeep to go turtle thereby killing two other students, Isidoro Caperina and one other. Isidoros mother sued Dante Capuno for the death of her son. Pending the criminal action, the mother reserved her right to file a separate civil action which she subsequently filed against Dante and his dad, Delfin Capuno. ISSUE: Whether or not Delfin Capuno, as the father of Dante is liable for damages. www.uberdigests.info Page 4

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HELD: Yes. The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father, and, in case of his death or
incapacity, the mother, for any damages that may be caused by the minor children who live with them, is obvious. This is necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of supporting them, keeping them in their company, educating them and instructing them in proportion to their means", while, on the other hand, gives them the "right to correct and punish them in moderation". The only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage which Delfin failed to prove. On the other hand, the school is not liable. It is true that under the law, "teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody", but this provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades and not to any academic educational institution.

JUSTICE J.B.L. REYES Dissenting: Delfin Capuno should be relieved from liability. There is no sound reason for limiting the liability to
teachers of arts and trades and not to academic ones. What substantial difference is there between them in so far as, concerns the proper supervision and vigilance over their pupils? It cannot be seriously contended that an academic teacher is exempt from the duty of watching do not commit a tort to the detriment of third persons, so long as they are in a position to exercise authority and supervision over the pupil.

Meritt vs Government of the Philippine Islands 34 Phil 311 Torts and Damages Liability of the State for acts of special agents The facts of the case took place in the 1910s. Meritt was a constructor who was excellent at his work. One day, while he was riding his motorcycle along Calle Padre Faura, he was bumped by a government ambulance. The driver of the ambulance was proven to have been negligent. Because of the incident, Meritt was hospitalized and he was severely injured beyond rehabilitation so much so that he could never perform his job the way he used to and that he cannot even earn at least half of what he used to earn. In order for Meritt to recover damages, he sought to sue the government which later authorized Meritt to sue the government by virtue of Act 2457 enacted by the legislature (An Act authorizing E. Merritt to
bring suit against the Government of the Philippine Islands and authorizing the Attorney-General of said Islands to appear in said suit). The lower court then determined the amount of damages and ordered the government to pay the same. ISSUE: Whether or not the government is liable for the negligent act of the driver of the ambulance. HELD: No. By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from suit. It does not thereby concede its liability to plaintiff, or create any cause of action in his favor, or extend its liability to any cause not previously recognized. It merely gives a remedy to enforce a preexisting liability and

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submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right to interpose any lawful defense. It follows therefrom that the state, by virtue of such provisions of law, is not responsible for the damages suffered by private individuals in consequence of acts performed by its employees in the discharge of the functions pertaining to their office, because neither fault nor even negligence can be presumed on the part of the state in the organization of branches of public service and in the appointment of its agents. The State can only be liable if it acts through a special agent (and a special agent, in the sense in which these words are employed, is one who receives a definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a special official) so that in representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof, he executes the trust confided to him. In the case at bar, the ambulance driver was not a special agent nor was a government officer acting as a special agent hence, there can be no liability from the government. "The Government does not undertake to guarantee to any person the fidelity of the officers or agents whom it employs, since that would involve it in all its operations in endless embarrassments, difficulties and losses, which would be subversive of the public interest." Republic vs Palacio 38 SCRA 899 Torts and Damages -

Liability of the State for acts of special agents

In April 1960, a certain Ortiz sued the Irrigation Service Unit which was under the Department of Public Works because ISU, without the consent of Ortiz, encroached upon his land by allegedly inducing Handong Irrigation Assoc. to do so. The basis of the suit was that ISU, though created by the government, is engaged in private business (selling of irrigation pumps/construction materials in installment) and being such has opened itself to suit thereby waiving immunity from suit. Judge Palacio of CFI Camarines Sur ruled in favor of Palacio so did the Court of Appeals. The CA also ordered the issuance of the order of garnishment against the deposit/trust funds in ISUs account in the PNB (such fund were generated from the installment payments ISU received). ISSUE: Whether or not such deposits may be garnished. HELD: No. ISUs activity of selling irrigation pumps is not intended to earn profit or financial gain. It is actually just to replenish the funds used in purchasing said irrigation pumps (the original funds were from FTA from US). The CA ruled that ISU, by selling irrigation pumps is engaged in private business, hence it waived its immunity from suit and had also ordered the garnishment of ISUs deposits in PNB. But then again, as based in Meritt vs Insular Government, the waiver of said immunity does not make the government liable. This would only lead to a disbursement of fund without any proper appropriation as required by law. There is also no showing that the ISUs alleged inducement of Handong is authorized by the State hence the government cannot be liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Palisoc vs Brillantes et al 41 SCRA 548 Torts and Damages Liability of teachers/heads of establishments of arts and trades In March 1966, while Dominador Palisoc (16 years old) was watching Virgilio Daffon and Desiderio Cruz work on a machine in their laboratory class in the Manila Technical Institute (a school of arts and trades), Daffon scolded Palisoc for just standing around like a foreman. This caused Palisoc to slightly slap the face of Daffon and a fistfight ensued between the two. Daffon delivered blows that eventually killed Palisoc. The parents of Palisoc sued Daffon, the school president (Teodosio Valenton), the instructor (Santiago Quibulue), and the owner (Antonio Brillantes). The basis of the suit against Valenton, Quibulue, and Brillantes was Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The lower court, as well as the CA, ruled that only Daffon is liable for damages and that Valenton, Quibulue, and Brillantes are not liable because under Article 2180, they are only liable so long as they

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[the students] remain in their custody. And that this means, as per Mercado vs Court of Appeals, that teachers or heads of establishments are only liable for the tortious acts of their students if the students are living and boarding with the teacher or other officials of the school which Daffon was not. ISSUE: Whether or not the ruling in the Mercado Case still applies. HELD: No. The SC abandoned the ruling in the Mercado Case as well as the ruling in the Exconde Case as they adopted Justice JBL Reyes dissenting opinion in the latter case. Valenton and Quibulue as president and teacher-in-charge of the school must be held jointly and severally liable for the quasi-delict of Daffon. The unfortunate death resulting from the fight between the students could have been avoided, had said defendants but complied with their duty of providing adequate supervision over the activities of the students in the school premises to protect their students from harm, whether at the hands of fellow students or other parties. At any rate, the law holds them liable unless they relieve themselves of such liability, in compliance with the last paragraph of Article 2180, Civil Code, by "(proving) that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage." In the light of the factual findings of the lower court's decision, said defendants failed to prove such exemption from liability. The SC reiterated that there is nothing in the law which prescribes that a student must be living and boarding with his teacher or in the school before heads and teachers of the school may be held liable for the tortious acts of their students. Afialda vs Hisole et al 85 Phil 67 Torts and Damages Liability of possessors or users of animals Afialda was a caretaker of the carabaos owned by Hisole. In March 1947, without any fault from Afialda or any force majeure, one of the carabaos gored him thereby causing his death. Afialdas sister sued Hisole arguing that under the Civil Code, The possessor of an animal, or the one who uses the same, is liable for any damages it may cause, even if such animal should escape from him or stray away. This liability shall cease only in case, the damage should arise from force majeure or from the fault of the person who may have suffered it. ISSUE: Whether or not Hisole is liable in the case at bar as owner of the carabao which killed Afialda. HELD: No. The law uses the term possessor and user of the animal. Afialda was the caretaker of the animal and he was tasked and paid to tend for the carabaos. He, at the time of the goring, is the possessor and the user of the carabao and therefore he is the one who had custody and control of the animal and was in a position to prevent the animal from causing damage. It would have been different had Afialda been a stranger. Obviously, it was the caretaker's business to try to prevent the animal from causing injury or damage to anyone, including himself. And being injured by the animal under those circumstances was one of the risks of the occupation which he had voluntarily assumed and for which he must take the consequences. This action could have been more appropriately raised in court under the provisions of the Workmens Compensation Act as the risk involve was one of occupational hazards. Chapman vs Underwood 27 Phil 374 Torts and Damages Liability of owners of motor vehicles The facts of the case took place in the 1910s. Chapman visited a friend in Santa Ana and while he was about to ride a vehicle to take him home he was struck by a car owned by Underwood and driven by his chauffeur. Chapman was on the correct lane. Underwood was riding in the car when the incident happened. Apparently, the chauffeur, coming from the opposite direction and was driving straight ahead and when the automobile about to be boarded by Chapman was in front of him, he [the

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chauffeur] instead of swerving left he suddenly swerved right to the direction of Chapman thereby hitting and running over him. ISSUE: Whether or not Underwood is liable for the negligent act of his chauffeur. HELD: No. The general rule is that an owner who sits in his automobile, or other vehicle, and permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance of negligent acts, after he has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the acts or its continuance, injures a person or violates the criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although present therein at the time the act was committed, is not responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the presence of the owner for such a length a time that the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver's act his own. In the case at bar, it was not shown that there was a sufficient period for Underwood to dissuade the chauffeur from the negligent act as the swerving of the vehicle by the chauffeur was sudden. City of Manila vs Teotico 22 SCRA 267 Torts and Damages Liability of municipal corporations in certain cases In January 1958, at about 8pm, Teotico was about to board a jeepney in P. Burgos, Manila when he fell into an uncovered manhole. This caused injuries upon him. Thereafter he sued for damages under Article 2189 of the Civil Code the City of Manila, the mayor, the city engineer, the city health officer, the city treasurer, and the chief of police. CFI Manila ruled against Teotico. The CA, on appeal, ruled that the City of Manila should pay damages to Teotico. The City of Manila assailed the decision of the CA on the ground that the charter of Manila states that it shall not be liable for damages caused by the negligence of the city officers in enforcing the charter; that the charter is a special law and shall prevail over the Civil Code which is a general law; and that the accident happened in national highway. ISSUE: Whether or not the City of Manila is liable in the case at bar. HELD: Yes. It is true that in case of conflict, a special law prevails over a general law; that the charter of Manila is a special law and that the Civil Code is a general law. However, looking at the particular provisions of each law concerned, the provision of the Manila Charter exempting it from liability caused by the negligence of its officers is a general law in the sense that it exempts the city from negligence of its officers in general. There is no particular exemption but merely a general exemption. On the other hand, Article 2189 of the Civil Code provides a particular prescription to the effect that it makes provinces, cities, and municipalities liable for the damages caused to a certain person by reason of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other-public works under their control or supervision." The allegation that the incident happened in a national highway was only raised for the first time in the Citys motion for reconsideration in the Court of Appeals, hence it cannot be given due weight. At any rate, even though it is a national highway, the law contemplates that regardless if whether or not the road is national, provincial, city, or municipal, so long as it is under the Citys control and supervision, it shall be responsible for damages by reason of the defective conditions thereof. In the case at bar, the City admitted they have control and supervision over the road where Teotico fell when the City alleged that it has been doing constant and regular inspection of the citys roads, P. Burgos included.

Dingcong vs Kanaan

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72 Phil 14 Torts and Damages Liability of proprietors Dingcong was the owner of a hotel in Iloilo. In 1933, a certain Echevarria rented a room in the upper floor of the hotel. The room he rented was immediately above the store occupied by Kanaan brothers who are also tenants of the hotel. One night, Echevarria carelessly left his faucet open thereby flooding his room and it caused water to drip from his room to the store below. Because of this, the articles being sold by Kanaan were damaged. Apparently also, the water pipes supposed to drain the water from Echevarrias room was defective hence the flooding and the dripping. ISSUE: Whether or not Dingcong is liable to pay for the damages caused by Echevarria. HELD: Yes. Dingcong as proprietor is liable for the negligent act of the guest of his hotel (Echevarria). It was not shown that Dingcong exercised the diligence of a good father in preventing the damage caused. The pipe should have been repaired prior and Echevarria should have been provided with a container to catch the drip. Therefore, Dingcong is liable to pay for damages by reason of his negligence. Wright vs Manila Electric Co 28 Phil 122 Torts and Damages Negligence In August 1909, Wright was driving his calesa going home. He had drunk more wine than he customarily does. Before he could be home, he would have to cross the railroad tracks by Manila Electric. The tracks were left unmaintained by Manila Electric so much so that their elevation above the ground is quite high. And while the calesa was crossing the tracks, the horse tripped and the whole calesa fell down and Wright was thrown off it. The lower court found that Wright and Manila Electric were both negligent and as per the ruling in Rakes vs Atlantic Gulf the lower court apportioned the damage awarded to Wright. ISSUE: Whether or not Wrights intoxication is the primary cause of his injuries. HELD: No. Manila Electric, and as even ruled by the lower court, argued that had Wright been sober, he would have not been thrown off the calesa. This is mere guesswork and is not given credence by the SC because its just a presumption that a sober man could have avoided such accident. Intoxication is not negligence per se. It is the general rule that it is immaterial whether a man is drunk or sober if no want of ordinary care or prudence can be imputed to him, and no greater degree of care is required than by a sober one. If one's conduct is characterized by a proper degree of care and prudence, it is immaterial whether he is drunk or sober. JUSTICE CARSON dissenting: The records of the case were incomplete. There were two trials in the lower court and only records of the 1st trial were submitted. And since the SC did not require such missing records to be submitted, the SC should not have disturbed the finding of facts by the trial court. The lower court so found that Wright was negligent and there is nothing that warrants the disturbance of such findings of facts. It should have been given due credence. La Mallorca vs De Jesus 17 SCRA 22 Torts and Damages Negligence In October 1959, Lolita de Jesus was riding a bus owned by La Mallorca which had a head on collision against a freight truck. Apparently, the bus had a tire blow out which resulted to the accident. Lolita died and so her father filed a civil case for damages against La Mallorca. The lower court rendered

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judgment in favor of De Jesus and ordered La Mallorca to pay for actual, compensatory, and moral damages including counsel fees. This decision was affirmed by the CA. La Mallorca assailed the decision as it argued that a tire blow out is a fortuitous event and should not be taken as negligence. ISSUE: Whether or not La Mallorca is liable. HELD: Yes. The tire blow out in this case was due to the fact that the inner circle of the wheel of the bus was pressed so closely to the rim which caused it to eventually explode. This mechanical defect in the installation of the wheel could have been easily discovered had the bus been subjected to a thorough check up before it was allowed to hit the road. La Mallorca is therefore negligent and the tire explosion is not a fortuitous event for it could have been avoided had the bus been properly maintained. The SC also emphasized in this case that moral damages are recoverable by reason of the death of a passenger caused by the breach of contract of a common carrier, as provided in Article 1764, in relation to Article 2206, of the Civil Code. Vda. De Bataclan vs Medina 102 Phil 181 Torts and Damages Proximate Cause After one midnight in September 1952, Juan Bataclan rode a bus owned by Medina from Cavite to Pasay. While on its way, the driver of the bus was speeding through and when he applied the brakes it cause the bus to be overturned. The driver, the conductor, and some passengers were able to free themselves from the bus except Bataclan and 3 others. The passengers called the help of the villagers and as it was dark, the villagers brought torch with them. The driver and the conductor failed to warn the would-be helpers of the fact that gasoline has spilled from the overturned bus so a huge fire ensued which engulfed the bus thereby killing the 4 passengers trapped inside. It was also found later in trial that the tires of the bus were old. ISSUE: Whether or not the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan et al was their burning by reason of the torches which ignited the gasoline. HELD: No. The proximate cause was the overturning of the bus which was caused by the negligence of the driver because he was speeding and also he was already advised by Medina to change the tires yet he did not. Such negligence resulted to the overturning of the bus. The torches carried by the would-be helpers are not to be blamed. It is just but natural for the villagers to respond to the call for help from the passengers and since it is a rural area which did not have flashlights, torches are the natural source of lighting. Further, the smell of gas could have been all over the place yet the driver and the conductor failed to provide warning about said fact to the villagers. WHAT IS PROXIMATE CAUSE? Proximate cause is that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate 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 connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom. Picart vs Smith 37 Phil 809

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Torts and Damages Doctrine of Last Clear Chance In December 1912, Picart was riding his horse and while they were on a 75 meter long bridge, he saw Smiths car approaching. Smith blew his horn thrice while he was still at a distance away because Picart and his horse were on Smiths lane. But Picart did not move his horse to th e other lane, instead he moved his horse closer to the railing. Smith continued driving towards Picart without slowing down and when he was already so near the horse he swerved to the other lane. But the horse got scared so it turned its body across the bridge; the horse struck the car and its limb got broken. Picart suffered injuries which required several days of medical attention while the horse eventually died. ISSUE: Whether or not Smith is negligent. HELD: Yes. And so was Picart for planting himsel f on the wrong side of the road. But Smiths negligence succeeded that of Picart. Smith saw at a distance when he blew his horn that Picart and his horse did not move to the other lane so he should have steered his car to the other lane at that point instead of swerving at the last minute. He therefore had the last clear chance to avoid the unfortunate incident. When Smiths car has approached the horse at such proximity it left no chance for Picart extricate himself and vigilance on his part will not avert injury. Picart can therefore recover damages from Smith but such should be proportioned by reason of his contributory negligence. Spouses Africa et al vs Caltex Philippines, Boquiren and the Court of Appeals 16 SCRA 448 Torts and Damages Res Ipsa Loquitur In March 1948, in Rizal Avenue, Manila, a tank truck was hosing 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 Africa. Allegedly, someone (a passerby) threw a cigarette while gasoline was being transferred which caused the fire. But there was no evidence presented to prove this theory and no other explanation can be had as to the real reason for the fire. Apparently also, Caltex and the branch owner (Boquiren) failed to install a concrete firewall to contain fire if in case one happens. ISSUE: Whether or not Caltex and Boquiren are liable to pay for damages. HELD: Yes. This is pursuant to the application on the principle of res ipsa loquitur (the transaction speaks for itself) which states: "where 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 of the explanation, that the injury arose from defendant's want of care." The gasoline station, with all its appliances, equipment and employees, was under the control of Caltex and Boquiren. A fire occurred therein and spread to and burned the neighboring houses. The persons who knew or could have known how the fire started were Boquiren, Caltex and their employees, but they gave no explanation 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 proof is shifted to the party charged of negligence as the latter is the one who had exclusive control of the thing that caused the injury complained of. Alfredo Velayo vs Shell Company 100 Phil 168 Torts and Damages Obligations arising from human relations Prior to 1948, Commercial Airlines (CALI) owed P170k (abt. $79k) to Shell and CAL offered its C-54 plane as payment to Shell Company (the plane was in California) but Shell at that time declined as it thought CALI had sufficient money to pay its debt. In 1948 however, CALI was going bankrupt so it called upon an informal meeting of its creditors. In that meeting, the creditors agreed to appoint

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representatives to a working committee that would determine the order of preference as to how each creditor should be paid. They also agreed not to file suit against CALI but CALI did reserve that it will file insolvency proceedings should its assets be not enough to pay them up. Shell Company was represented by a certain Fitzgerald to the three man working committee. Later, the working committee convened to discuss how CALIs asset should be divided amongst the creditors but while such was pending, Fitzgerald sent a telegraph message to Shell USA advising the latter that Shell Philippines is assigning its credit to Shell USA in the amount of $79k, thereby effectively collecting almost all if not the entire indebtedness of CALI to Shell Philippines. Shell USA got wind of the fact that CALI has a C-54 plane is California and so Shell USA petitioned before a California court to have the plane be the subject of a writ of attachment which was granted. Meanwhile, the stockholders of CALI were unaware of the assignment of credit made by Shell Philippines to Shell USA and they went on to approve the sale of CALIs asset to the Philippine Airlines. In September 1948, the other creditors learned of the assignment made by Shell. This prompted these other creditors to file their own complaint of attachment against CALIs assets. CALI then filed for insolvency proceedings to protect its assets in the Philippines from being attached. Velayos appointment as CALIs assignee was approved in lieu of the insolvency proceeding. In order for him to recover the C-54 plane in California, it filed for a writ of injunction against Shell Philippines in order for the latter to restrain Shell USA from proceeding with the attachment and in the alternative that judgment be awarded in favor of CALI for damages double the amount of the C-54 plane. The C-54 plane was not recovered. Shell Company argued it is not liable for damages because there is nothing in the law which prohibits a company from assigning its credit, it being a common practice. ISSUE: Whether or not Shell is liable for damages considering that it did not violate any law. HELD: Yes. The basis of such liability, in the absence of law, is Article 21 of the Civil Code which states: Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the forgoing rule is approved (as it was approved), would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that untold numbers of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to provide for specifically in the statutes. A moral wrong or injury, even if it does not constitute a violation of a statute law, should be compensated by damages. Moral damages (Art. 2217) may be recovered (Art. 2219). In Article 20, the liability for damages arises from a willful or negligent act contrary to law. In this article, the act is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.

PNB vs Catipon 98 Phil 27 Torts and Damages Effect of Acquittal Catipon bought onions from Ramirez in 1951. The son of Ramirez told Catipon that the only way he could get the onions is for him to sign a trust receipt from PNB. Catipon at that time had no knowledge or intention to be bound by the trust receipt but he signed it anyway so that he could get the onions he already paid for. Catipon subsequently disposed of the onions by selling them. Ramirez later became insolvent and the trust receipt went unpaid and since it was in Catipons name, PNB sued him for estafa for misappropriating the merchandise (onions). The lower court acquitted Catipon because his guilt was not satisfactorily established. Now PNB filed an action for recovery against Catipon. Catipon assailed the civil suit and he argues that PNB did not reserve its right to file a separate civil action. ISSUE: Whether or not Catipon is still liable regardless of his acquittal in the criminal case. www.uberdigests.info Page 12

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HELD: Yes. The acquittal was because of the fact that his guilt was not satisfactorily established hence his acquittal was based on reasonable doubt and under the law, such acquittal does not preclude a suit to enforce the civil liability for the same act or omission, under Article 29 of the new Civil Code. This is even if there was no prior reservation by PNB to file a civil suit. Catipon is ordered to pay PNB without prejudice to Catipons rights against Ramirez.

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