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DE LA CRUZ V NORTHERN THEATRIAL ENTERPRISES

FACTS:
The Northern Theatrical Enterprises, a domestic corporation opearated a movie house in Laoag, Ilocos
Norte and among the persons employed by it was plaintiff De La Cruz, hired as special guard whose duties
were to guard the main entrance of the cine, to maintain peace and order and to report the commission of
disorder within the premises
As such guard, he carried a revolver
One Benjamin Martin wanted to crash the gate or entrance of the movie house. Infuriated by the refusal of
plaintiff to let him in without first providing himself with a ticket, Martin attacked him with a bolo
Plaintiff defended himself until he was cornered, at which moment to save himself, he shot gate crasher
resulting in latters death
Plaintiff was charged with homicide but was acquitted of charge after trial. In both criminal cases against
him, he employed a lawyer to defend him
He then demanded from NLE reimbursement of expenses but was refused thus filed present action against
the company and t3 members of its Board of Directors to recover not only the amounts he had paid his
lawyers but also moral damages said to have been suffered due to his worry, neglect of his interests and his
family as well in the supervision of the cultivation of his land, a total of P 15,000.
CFI rejected plaintiffs theory that he was an agent of the company and that he had no cause of action and
dismissed the complaint
ISSUE:
W/N Plaintiff De la Cruz is considered as an agent of the corporation and as such entitled to reimbursement
for expenses incurred in conncection with agency
RULING: No, Plaintiff is mere employee
The relationship between the movie corporation and plaintiff was not that of principal and agent because the
principle of representation as a characteristic of agency was in no way involved.
Plaintiff was not employed to represent corporation in its dealings with 3rd parties
Plaintiff is a mere employee hired to perform a certain specific duty or task, that of acting as a special guard
and staying at the main entrance of the movie house to stop gate crashers and to maintain peace and order
within the premises.
Sub issue (relevant to Agency): W/N an employee or servant who in line of duty and while in the
performance of the task assigned to him, performs an act which eventually results in his incurring in
expenses caused not directly by his master or employer or by reason of his performance of his duty, but
rather by a 3rd party or stranger not in the employ of his employer may recover said damages against his
employer
Ruling: No
Although the employer has a moral obligation to give employee legal assistance to aid the latter in his case,
he has no legal obligation to do so.
If the employer is not legally obliged to give legal assistance to employee and provide him with a lawyer,
naturally said employee may not recover the amount he may have paid a lawyer hired by him.
Damages suffered by plaintiff by reason of expenses incurred by him in remunerating his lawyer is not
caused by his act of shooting to death the gate crasher but rather by filing the charge of homicide which
made it necessary for him to defend himself with the aid of counsel.
Had no criminal charge against him, there would have been no expenses incurred or damages suffered.