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GILCHRIST v CUDDY

29 Phil 542
TRENT; February 18, 1915
NATURE
Appeal from the decision of the CFI
FACTS
-Cuddy was the owner of the film Zigomar. Gilchrist was the owner of a
theatre in Iloilo. They entered into a contract whereby Cuddy leased to
Gilchrist the Zigomar for exhibition in his theatre for a week for P125.
- Cuddy returned the money already paid by Gilchrist days before the
delivery date so that he can lease the film to Espejo and Zaldarriaga
instead and receive P350 for the film for the same period.
- Gilchrist filed a case for specific performance against Cuddy, Espejo and
Zaldarriaga. He also prayed for damages against Espejo and Zaldarriaga
for interfering with the contract between Gilchrist and Cuddy.
ISSUE
WON Espejo and Zaldarriaga is liable for interfering with the contract
between Gilchrist and Cuddy, they not knowing at the time the identity of
the parties
HELD
YES
- Appellants have the legal liability for interfering with the contract and
causing its breach. This liability arises from unlawful acts and not from
contractual obligations to induce Cuddy to violate his contract with
Gilchrist.
- Article 1902 of the Civil Code provides that a person who, by act or
omission causes damage to another when there is fault or negligence,
shall be obliged to pay for the damage done. There is nothing in this
article which requires as a condition precedent to the liability of the
tortfeasor that he must know the identity of a person to whom he causes
damage. No such knowledge is required in order that the injured party
may recover for the damages suffered.
DISPOSITION Judgment affirmed
SON PING BUN vs CA (Tek Hua)
GR No. 120554
Quisumbing; September 21, 1999
NATURE
Appeal on certiorari for review of CA decision
FACTS
- In 1963, Tek hua Trading, through its Managing Director So Pek Giok,
entered into a lease agreement with D.C. Chuan covering four stalls in
Binondo. The contracts were initially for one year but after expiry of the
same, they continued on a month to month basis. In 1976, Tek Hua was
dissolved with the original members forming a new corporation, Tek Hua
Enterprises with Manuel Tiong as one of the incorporators.

- So Ping Bun, on the death of his grandfather, So Pek Giok, occupied the
same stalls under the business name, Trendsetter Marketing.
- In 1989, the lessor, DC Chuan sent a letter to Tek Hua advising it of a
25% increase in rent effective September 1, 1989. A further rent increase
of 30% effective January 1, 1990 was implemented. Enclosed in both
letters were new lease contracts for signing. While the letters contained a
statement that the leases will be terminated if the contracts were not
signed, the same were not rescinded.
- In 1991, Tiong wrote a letter to So Ping Bun asking him to vacate the
four stalls as the same were going to be used by them. Instead of vacating
the stalls, So was able to secure lease agreements from DC Chuan.
- Tek Hua filed an injunction and an action for nullification of the contracts
between Trendsetter and DC Chuan. The lower Court ruled in favor of
Tek Hua. The CA, on appeal, upheld the trial court. Both the trial court and
the CA awarded legal fees only.
ISSUE
- WON So Ping Bun was guilty of tortuous interference of contract
HELD- Yes. A duty which the law on torts is concerned with is respect for the
property of others, and a cause of action ex delicto may be predicated
upon an unlawful interference by one party of the enjoyment of the other
of his private property. In the case at bar, petitioner, Trendsetter asked
DC Chuan to execute lease contracts in its favor, and as a result petitioner
deprived respondent of the latters property right.
Reasoning- Damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from injury, and damges
are the recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered.
One becomes liable in an action for damages for a nontrespassory
invasion of anothers interest in the private use and enjoyment of asset if
a) the other has property rights and privileges with respect to
the use or enjoyment interfered with;
b) the invasion is substantial;
c) the defendants conduct is a legal cause of the invasion;
d) the invasion is either intentional and unreasonable or
unintentional and actionable under the general negligence
rules.
- On the other hand, the elemts of tort interference are
a) existence of a valid contract
b) knowledge on the part of the third party of its existence
c) interference of the third party is without legal justification or
excuse
- Since there were existing lease contracts between Tek Hua and DC
Chuan, Tek Hua in fact had property rights over the leased stalls. The
action of Trendsetter in asking DC Chuan to execute the contracts in their
favor was unlawful interference.

- The SC handled the question of whether the interference may be


justified considering that So acted solely for the purpose of furthering his
own financial or economic interest. It stated that it is sufficient that the
impetus of his conduct lies in a proper business interest rather than in
wrongful motives to conclude that So was not a malicious interferer.
Nothing on the record imputes deliberate wrongful motives or malice on
the part of So. Hence the lack of malice precludes the award of damages.
- The provision in the Civil Code with regard tortuous interference is Article
1314 which states that any third party who induces another to violate his
contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party. The
Court ratiocinated that the recovery of legal fees is in the concept of actual
or compensatory damages as provided in Article 2208 of the Civil Code. In
this casse, due to defendants action of interference, plaintiff was forced to
seek relief through the Court snd thereby incur expenses to protect his
interests. The Court, however, found the award exorbitant. It was reduced
to Pesos 100,000.00
Disposition
Petition denied. CA decision affirmed subject to the modified award of
attorneys fees.
GUILATCO v CITY OF DAGUPAN
171 SCRA 382
SARMIENTO; Mar 21, 1989
Nature:
Petition for Certiorari to review the decision of CA
Facts:
- on July 25, 1978, Florentina Guilatco, a court interpreter, accidentally
fell into a manhole while she was about to board a motorized tricycle at
a sidewalk at Perez Blvd. Her right leg was fractured, due to which she
was hospitalized, operated on, and confined.
- She averred that she suffered mental and physical pain, and that she
has difficulty in locomotion. She has not yet reported for duty as court
interpreter (at the time of filing of complaint) and thus lost income. She
also lost weight, and she is no longer her former jovial self. Moreover,
she has been unable to perform her religious, social, and other
activities which she used to do prior to the incident.
- Police confirmed existence of the manhole, which was partially covered
by a concrete flower pot by leaving a gaping hole about 2 ft long by 1
feet wide or 42 cm wide by 75 cm long by 150 cm deep.
- City Engineer of Dagupan Alfredo Tangco admitted that the manhole is
owned by the National Government and the sidewalk on which they are
found along Perez Blvd. are also owned by the National Government.
He said that he supervises the maintenance of said manholes and
sees to it that they are properly covered, and the job is specifically
done by his subordinates.
- Trial court ordered the city to pay Guilatco actual, moral and exemplary
damages, plus attorneys fees. CA reversed the lower courts ruling on
the ground that no evidence was presented to prove that City of
Dagupan had control or supervision over Perez Blvd.

Page 1 of 4

- City contends that Perez Blvd is a national road that is not under the
control or supervision of the City of Dagupan. Hence, no liability should
attach to the city.
Issue
WON control or supervision over a national road by the City of Dagupan
exists, in effect binding the city to answer for damages in accordance with
article 2189 CC.
Held
YES
- The liability of private corporations for damages arising from injuries
suffered by pedestrians from the defective condition of roads is
expressed in the Civil Code as follows:
Article 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be
liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by,
any person by reason of the defective condition of roads,
streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works
under their control or supervision.
- It is not even necessary for the defective road or street to belong to the
province, city or municipality for liability to attach. The article only
requires that either control or supervision is exercised over the
defective road or street.
- In this case, control or supervision is provided for in the charter of
Dagupan and is exercised through the City Engineer.
- The charter only lays down general rules regulating that liability of the
city. On the other hand, article 2189 applies in particular to the liability
arising from defective streets, public buildings and other public works.
On Damages awarded
- Actual damages of P10000 reduced to proven expenses of P8053.65.
The trial court should not have rounded off the amount. The court can
not rely on speculation, conjecture or guess work as to the amount.
- Moral damages of P150000 is excessive and is reduced to P20000.
Guilatcos handicap was not permanent and disabled her only during
her treatment which lasted for one year.
- Exemplary damages of P50000 reduced to P10000.
- Award of P7420 as lost income for one year, plus P450 bonus remain
the same
- P3000 as attorneys fees remain the same
Disposition Petition granted. CA decision reversed and set aside,
decision of trial court reinstated with modification.
PERSONS LIABLE
WORCESTER v OCAMPO
22 PHIL 42
Johnson; Feb. 27, 1912
NATURE
Appeal from judgment of CFI
FACTS
- Plaintiff Dean Worcester, member of the Civil Commission of the
Philippines and Secretary of the Interior of the Insular Government
commenced an action against defendants Ocampo, Kalaw, Santos,

Reyes, Aguilar, Liquete, Palma, Arellano, Jose, Lichauco, Barretto and


Cansipit (owners, directors, writers, editors and administrators of a certain
newspaper known as El Renacimiento or Muling Pagsilang) for the
purpose of recovering damages resulting from an alleged libelous
publication.
- The editorial Birds of Prey was alleged to have incited the Filipino
people into believing that plaintiff was a vile despot and a corrupt person,
unworthy of the position which he held. The said editorial alluded to him
as an eagle that surprises and devours, a vulture that gorges himself on
dead and rotten meat, an owl that affects a petulant omniscience, and a
vampire that sucks the blood of the victim until he leaves it bloodless.
- After hearing the evidence adduced during trial, the judge of the CFI
rendered judgment in favor of petitioner, holding all the defendants
(except for Reyes, Aguilar and Liquete who were found to be editors but in
a subordinate position and found to have merely acted under the direction
of their superiors) liable jointly and severally for sustained damages on
account of petitioners wounded feelings, mental suffering and injuries to
his standing and reputation in the sum of P35,000 as well as P25,000 as
punitive damages.
- This judgment prompted defendants to appeal to the SC, claiming that
the CFI committed several errors in rendering said judgment among which
was that the lower court committed an error in rendering a judgment jointly
and severally against the defendants.
ISSUE
WON the defendants, regardless of their participation in the commission
of the actual tort, may be held jointly and severally liable as joint
tortfeasors
HELD
YES.
Ratio Joint tortfeasors are all the persons who command, instigate,
promote, encourage, advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the
commission of a tort, or who approve of it after it is done, if done for their
benefit.
Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which they
commit. They are each liable as principals, to the same extent and in the
same manner as if they had performed the wrongful act themselves.
***If several persons jointly commit a tort, the plaintiff or person injured,
has his election to sue all or some of the parties jointly, or one of them
separately, because tort is in its nature a separate act of each individual.
Reasoning Defendants fail to recognize that the basis of the present
action is a tort. They fail to recognize the universal doctrine that each joint
tortfeasor is not only individually liable for the tort in which he participates,
but is also jointly liable with his tortfeasors. The defendants might have
been sued separately for the commission of the tort. They might have
sued jointly and severally, as they were. It is not necessary that the
cooperation should be a direct, corporeal act. **note: Ponente used
examples of torts as held under common law** (In a case of assault and
battery committed by various persons, under the common law, all are
principals). So also is the person who counsels, aids, or assists in any
way the commission of a wrong. Under the common law, he who aided,
assisted or counseled, in any way the commission of a crime, was as
much a principal as he who inflicted or committed the actual tort.
- Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which they
commit. The person injured may sue all of them, or any number less than

all. Each is liable for the whole damage caused by all, and altogether
jointly liable for the whole damage. It is no defense for one sued alone,
that the others who participated in the wrongful act are not joined with him
as defendants; nor is it any excuse for him that his participation in the tort
was insignificant as compared with that of the others.
- The courts during the trial may find that some of the alleged joint
tortfeasors are liable and that others are not liable. The courts may
release some for lack of evidence while condemning others of the alleged
tort. And this is true even though they are charged jointly and severally.
However, in this case, the lower court, committed no error in rendering a
joint and several judgment against the defendants. As recognized by
Section 6 of Act 277 of the Philippine Commission: Every author, editor,
or proprietor * * * is chargeable with the publication of any words in any
part * * * or number of each newspaper, as fully as if he were the author of
the same.
Disposition Judgment of the lower court modified. Ocampo, Kalaw,
Palma, Arellano, Jose, Lichauco, Barretto, and Cansipit held jointly and
severally liable for the sum of P25, 000 with interest at 6%. Santos
absolved from any liability.
ARELLANO, C.J. and MAPA, J. [concurring]
- We concur, except with reference to the liability imposed upon Lichauco.
The real owner and founder, Ocampo, explicitly stated that the other socalled founders subscribed and paid sums of money to aid the paper but
as to Lichauco, he offered to contribute, but did not carry out his offer and
in fact paid nothing. It is incomprehensible how one could claim the right
or title to share the earnings or profits of a company when he had put no
capital into it, neither is it comprehensible how one could share in the
losses thereof, and still less incur liability for damages on account of some
act of the said company, an unrestricted liability to the extent of all his
property, as though he were a regular general partner when he was not
such.
TORRES [dissenting in part]
- I concur in regard to the defendants Ocampo and Kalaw, but dissent as
regards Palma, Arellano, Jose, Lichauco, Barretto, and Cansipit for they
had neither direct nor indirect participation in the act that gave rise to the
present suit for damages, nor were they owners or proprietors of the
newspaper, its press or other equipment. They were donors who merely
contributed a sum of money, as a genuine gift, for the purpose of
founding, editing, and issuing the said newspaper, it is improper to deduce
that the contributors formed a company of either a civil or commercial
nature.
- After Ocampo had accepted the various amounts proffered, the donors
ceased to be the owners of and surrendered all right to the money
donated and to the objects that were acquired therewith. Therefore they
can not incur, jointly and severally with the director and manager.
CHAPMAN V UNDERWOOD
27 Phil 374
MORELAND; March 28, 1914
NATURE
Appeal from the judgment of trial court finding for the defendant
FACTS
Page 2 of 4

- The plaintiff-appellant, Chapman, desired to board a certain "San


Marcelino" car coming from Sta. Ana and bound for Manila. Being told by
his friend that the car was approaching, he immediately, and somewhat
hurriedly, passed into the street for the purpose of signaling and boarding
the car. The car was a closed one, the entrance being from the front or the
rear platform. Plaintiff attempted to board the front platform but, seeing
that he could not reach it without extra exertion, stopped beside the car,
facing toward the rear platform, and waited for it to come abreast of him in
order to board. While in this position he was struck from behind and run
over by the defendant's (Underwood) automobile.
- The defendant entered Calle Herran at Calle Peafrancia in his
automobile driven by his chauffeur, a competent driver. A street car bound
from Manila to Sta. Ana being immediately in front of him, he followed
along behind it. Just before reaching the scene of the accident the street
car which was following took the switch (there was a single-track streetcar line running along Calle Herran, with occasional switches to allow cars
to meet and pass each other)- that is, went off the main line to the left
upon the switch lying alongside of the main track. Thereupon the
defendant either kept straight ahead on the main street-car track or a bit to
the right. The car which the plaintiff intended to board was on the main
line and bound in an opposite direction to that in which the defendant was
going. When the front of the "San Marcelino" car was almost in front of the
defendant's automobile, defendant's driver suddenly went to the right and
struck and ran over the plaintiff.
- The judgment of the trial court was for defendant.
ISSUE
WON Underwood is responsible for the negligence of his driver.
HELD
NO.
Ratio 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 act or its continuance, injures a person or violates the criminal
law, the owner of the automobile, although present herein at5 the time the
act was committed, is not responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefore.
The act complained of must be continued in the presence or the owner for
such a length of time that the owner by his acquiescence, makes his
drivers act his own.
Reasoning Defendant's driver was guilty of negligence in running upon
and over the plaintiff. He was passing an oncoming car upon the wrong
side.
- The plaintiff needed only to watch for cars coming from his right, as they
were the only ones under the law permitted to pass upon that side of the
street car.
- in the case of Johnson vs. David, the driver does not fall within the list of
persons in Art.1903 of the Civil Code for whose acts the defendant would
be responsible.
Although in the David case the owner of the vehicle was not present at the
time the alleged negligent acts were committed by the driver, the same
rule applies where the owner is present, unless the negligent act of the
driver are continued for such a length of time as to give the owner a

reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct his driver to desist


therefrom.
- it appears with fair clearness that the interval between the turning out to
meet and pass the street car and the happening of the accident was so
small as not to be sufficient to charge defendant with the negligence of the
driver.
DISPOSITION
The judgment appealed from is affirmed.
CAEDO V YU KHE THAI
GR NO. L-20392
MAKALINTAL; December 18, 1968
NATURE
Petition for review of the decision of the CFI of Iloilo
FACTS
- Bernardo is the driver of Yu Khe Thai. He was driving the latters Cadillac
along highway 54. On the other side of the road, Caedo was driving his
Mercury car. He was with his family.
- A carretela was in front of the Cadillac. Bernardo did not see the
carretela from afar. When he approached the carritela, he decided to
overtake it even though he had already seen the car of the Caedos
approaching from the opposite lane. As he did so the curved end of his
car's right rear bumper caught the forward rim of the rig's left wheel,
wrenching it off and carrying it along as the car skidded obliquely to the
other lane, where it collided with the oncoming vehicle.
- The Caedos were injured. They filed a suit for recovery of damages
against Bernardo and Yu Khe Thai. The CFI ruled in favor of the Caedos
and held Bernardo and Yu solidarily liable.
ISSUES
WON Yu Khe Thai should be held solidarily liable as Bernardos employer
HELD
No.
- Bernardo had no record of any traffic violation. No negligence of having
employed him maybe imputed to his master.
- Negligence on the employers part, if any, must be sought in the
immediate setting,, that is, in his failure to detain the driver from pursuing
a course which not only gave him clear notice of the danger but also
sufficient time to act upon it.
- No negligence can be imputed. The car was running at a reasonable
speed. The road was wide and open. There was no reason for Yu to be
specially alert. He had reason to rely on the skill of his driver. The time
element was such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe
Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver accordingly.
- The law does not require that a person must possess a certain measure
of skill or proficiency either in the mechanics of driving or in the
observance of traffic rules before he may own a motor vehicle. The test of
his intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his omission to do
that which the evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in order
to avoid the accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a
minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that appears to be fraught

with danger to one passenger may appear to be entirely safe and


commonplace to another
DISPOSITIVE
Decision modified. Yu Khe Thai is free from liability
CAEDO v. YU KHE THAI
GR No. L-20392
MAKALINTAL; December 18, 1968
FACTS
- Marcial was driving his Mercury car on his way from his home in Quezon
City to the airport, where his son Ephraim was scheduled to take a plane
for Mindoro. With them in the car were Mrs. Caedo and three daughters.
Coming from the opposite direction was the Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with
his driver Rafael Bernardo at the wheel, taking the owner from his
Paraaque home to Wack Wack.
- The two cars were traveling at fairly moderate speeds, considering the
condition of the road and the absence of traffic the Mercury at 40 to 50
kilometers per hour, and the Cadillac at approximately 48 to 56 kilometers.
Their headlights were mutually noticeable from a distance. Ahead of the
Cadillac, going in the same direction, was a caretella owned by a certain
Pedro Bautista. The carretela was towing another horse by means of a
short rope coiled around the rig's vertical post on the right side and held at
the other end by Pedro's son, Julian Bautista.
- Rafael Bernardo testified that he was almost upon the rig when he saw it
in front of him, only eight meters away. This is the first clear indication of
his negligence. The carretela was provided with two lights, one on each
side, and they should have given him sufficient warning to take the
necessary precautions. And even if he did not notice the lights, as he
claimed later on at the trial, the carretela should anyway have been visible
to him from afar if he had been careful, as it must have been in the beam
of his headlights for a considerable while.
- In the meantime the Mercury was coming on its own lane from the
opposite direction. Bernardo, instead of slowing down or stopping
altogether behind the carretela until that lane was clear, veered to the left
in order to pass. As he did so the curved end of his car's right rear bumper
caught the forward rim of the rig's left wheel, wrenching it off and carrying
it along as the car skidded obliquely to the other lane, where it collided
with the oncoming vehicle. On his part Caedo had seen the Cadillac on its
own lane; he slackened his speed, judged the distances in relation to the
carretela and concluded that the Cadillac would wait behind. Bernardo,
however, decided to take a gamble beat the Mercury to the point where
it would be in line with the carretela, or else squeeze in between them in
any case. It was a risky maneuver either way, and the risk should have
been quite obvious.
- It was already too late to apply the brakes when Bernardo saw the
carretela only eight meters in front of him, and so he had to swerve to the
left in spite of the presence of the oncoming car on the opposite lane. As it
was, the clearance Bernardo gave for his car's right side was insufficient.
Its rear bumper, as already stated, caught the wheel of the carretela and
wrenched it loose. Caedo, confronted with the unexpected situation, tried
to avoid the collision at the last moment by going farther to the right, but
was unsuccessful. The photographs taken at the scene show that the right
wheels of his car were on the unpaved shoulder of the road at the moment
of impact.
Page 3 of 4

NATURE: Petition to review a decision of CA


ISSUE
1. WON defendant Rafael Bernardo is liable for the accident.
2. If YES, WON his employer, defendant Yu Khe Thai, is solidarily liable
with him.
HELD
1. YES. There is no doubt at all that the collision was directly traceable to
Rafael Bernardo's negligence and that he must be held liable for the
damages suffered by the plaintiffs.
2. NO. If the causative factor was the driver's negligence, the owner of the
vehicle who was present is likewise held liable if he could have prevented
the mishap by the exercise of due diligence.
- The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not respondent superior
but rather the relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately the
negligence of the servant, if known to the master and susceptible of timely
correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to correct it in
order to prevent injury or damage.
- The test of imputed negligence under Article 2184 of the Civil Code is, to
a great degree, necessarily subjective. Car owners are not held to a
uniform and inflexible standard of diligence as are professional drivers.
- The law does not require that a person must possess a certain measure
of skill or proficiency either in the mechanics of driving or in the
observance of traffic rules before he may own a motor vehicle. The test of
his intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his omission to do
that which the evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in order
to avoid the accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a
minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that appears to be fraught
with danger to one passenger may appear to be entirely safe and
commonplace to another. Were the law to require a uniform standard of
perceptiveness, employment of professional drivers by car owners who,
by -their very inadequacies, have real need of drivers' services, would be
effectively proscribed.
- Rafael Bernardo had no record of violation of traffic laws and regulations.
No negligence for having employed him at all may be imputed to his
master. Negligence on the part of the latter, if any, must be sought in the
immediate setting and circumstances of the accident, that is, in his failure
to detain the driver from pursuing a course which not only gave him clear
notice of the danger but also sufficient time to act upon it. We do not see
that such negligence may be imputed. The car was not running at an
unreasonable speed. The road was wide and open, and devoid of traffic
that early morning. There was no reason for the car owner to be in any
special state of alert. He had reason to rely on the skill and experience of
his driver. The time element was such that there was no reasonable
opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the
driver accordingly.
DISPOSITION Judgment appealed from is modified in the sense of
declaring defendant-appellant Yu Khe Thai free from liability, and is
otherwise affirmed with respect to defendant Rafael Bernardo, with costs
against the latter.
RODRIGUEZ-LUNA V IAC (DELA ROSA)
135 SCRA 242
ABAD SANTOS; February 28, 1985

FACTS: Roberto Luna, a businessman, was killed in a vehicular collision


(between Luna, driving a gokart, and Luis dela Rosa, 13 years old, driving
a Toyota car without a license) at a gokart practice area.
Heirs of Luna brought a suit for damages against Luis and his father,
which the CFI ruled in favor of the Lunas, awarding P1,650,000 as
unearned net earnings of Luna, P12,000 compensatory damages, and
P50,000 for loss of his companionship (come on!!), with legal interest from
date of the decision, and attorneys fees of P50,000 (no interest
mentioned). (Note: father and son solidarily liable for damages.)
The Dela Rosas appealed in the CA, which affirmed in toto the RTC. In a
MFR filed by the Dela Rosas, the CA modified the decision, this time
reducing the unearned income to P450,000. Both parties filed separate
petitions for review in the SC.
Petition of the Dela Rosas was denied for lack of merit. The instant
petition is the one filed by Lunas, contending that the CA erred in reducing
the award for unearned income, and that the award for attys fees should
include legal interest.
Pending the decision, the SC came out with a resolution ordering the Dela
Rosas, in the interest of justice (since the death took place in 1970, and
15 years after the process of litigation is still not over), to pay the Lunas
P450,000 for unearned net earnings, P12,000 compensatory damages,
P50,000 for loss of companionship, all with legal interest, and attys fees
of P50,000, within 30 days.
The Dela Rosas failed to pay the amounts, saying that they had no cash
money. The writ of execution produced only a nominal amount. In the
meantime, Luis is already of age, married, with 2 kids, and living in Spain
but only causally employed (His compensation is hardly enough to
support his family. He has no assets of his own as yet).
ISSUES:
1. WON the CA erred in reducing the unearned income
2. WON the award for attys fees should have legal interest

expectancy. That Luna was engaged in go-kart racing is the correct


statement but then go-kart racing cannot be categorized as a dangerous
sport for go-karts are extremely low slung, low powered vehicles, only
slightly larger than foot-pedaled four wheeled conveyances. It was error
on the part of the CA to have disturbed the determination of the RTC
which it had previously affirmed.
Also, it was an error to increase the expenses without increasing the gross
income. It stands to reason that if his annual personal expenses should
increase because of the escalating price of gas which is a key
expenditure in Roberto R. Luna's social standing [a statement which lacks
complete basis], it would not be unreasonable to suppose that his income
would also increase considering the manifold sources thereof
2. YES
Ratio: The attorney's fees were awarded in the concept of damages in a
quasi-delict case and under the circumstances, interest as part thereof
may be adjudicated at the discretion of the court.
(The attys fees should accrue interest from the date of filing of the
compliant.)
Obiter:
The Dela Rosas invoke the ruling in Elcano v Hilll, where the court held
that A2180 applied to Atty. Hill nothwithstanding the emancipation by
marriage of his son, but since the son had attained majority, as a matter of
equity, the liability of Atty. Hill became merely subsidiarily to that of his
son. The Dela Rosas now invoke that the father should also be held only
subsidiarily.
To this contention, the court is unwilling to apply equity instead of strict
law because to do so will not serve the ends of justice. Luis is abroad and
beyond the reach of Philippine Courts. Also, he has no property in the
Phils or elsewhere.
Disposition: resolution of CA SET ASIDE, reinstating the earlier decision
with slight modification regarding the award of attys fees.

HELD:
1. YES
Ratio: The reduction of the award of net unearned earnings had no basis,
thus is void.
Reasoning: the RTC based its computation of the net unearned earnings
on 2 factors: life expectancy of the deceased of another 30 years, and an
annual net income of P55,000 (P75,000 gross income less P20,000
personal expenses).
In coming out with the life expectancy, RTC considered the age and
health of the deceased. However, the CA modified this by factoring in the
engagement of Luna in car racing, thus lowering the life expectancy to
only 10 years.
WRT to the gross income, RTC considered the various positions the
deceased held at the time of his death, and the trend of his earnings over
the span of his last few years, thus coming up with a potential gross
income of P75,000. However, the CA increased the annual personal
expenses to P30,000, due to the escalating gasoline expenses, thus
lowering the net annual unearned income to P45,000.
CA erred in ruling that the engagement with car racing reduced the life
expectancy. There is nothing on record that supports the claim that the car
racing was a dangerous and risky activity tending to shorten his life
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