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Q.

LIABILITY OF JOINT TORT-FEASORS


FAR EAST SHIPPING CO vs. CA (PPA)
REGALADO; October 1, 1998
NATURE
Review on certiorari the CA decision affirming TC decision holding FESC and Gavino
solidarily liable.
-

FACTS
On June 20, 1980, the M/V PAVLODAR, flying under the flagship of the USSR, owned and
operated by the Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESC), arrived at the Port of Manila from
Vancouver, British Columbia. The vessel was assigned Berth 4 of the Manila International
Port, as its berthing space. Captain Roberto Abellana was tasked by the Philippine Port
Authority to supervise the berthing of the vessel. Appellant Senen Gavino was assigned by
the Appellant Manila Pilots' Association (MPA) to conduct docking maneuvers for the safe
berthing of the vessel to Berth No. 4.
Gavino boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage and stationed himself in the bridge,
with the master of the vessel, Victor Kavankov, beside him. After a briefing of Gavino by
Kavankov of the particulars of the vessel and its cargo, the vessel lifted anchor from the
quarantine anchorage and proceeded to the Manila International Port. The sea was calm and
the wind was ideal for docking maneuvers. - When the vessel reached the landmark (the big
church by the Tondo North Harbor) one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered the engine
stopped. When the vessel was already about 2,000 feet from the pier, Gavino ordered the
anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the bow. The left
anchor, with 2 shackles, were dropped. However, the anchor did not take hold as expected.
The speed of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued between the crew members.
A brief conference ensued between Kavankov and the crew members. When Gavino
inquired what was all the commotion about, Kavankov assured Gavino that there was
nothing to it. - After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not take hold, he ordered the
engines half-astern. Abellana, who was then on the pier apron noticed that the vessel was
approaching the pier fast. Kavankov likewise noticed that the anchor did not take hold.
Gavino thereafter gave the "full-astern" code. Before the right anchor and additional
shackles could be dropped, the bow of the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing
considerable damage to the pier. The vessel sustained damage too. Kavankov filed his sea
protest. Gavino submitted his report to the Chief Pilot who referred the report to the
Philippine Ports Authority. Abellana likewise submitted his report of the incident. - The
rehabilitation of the damaged pier cost the Philippine Ports Authority the amount of
P1,126,132.25.
PERTINENT RULES on PILOTAGE
The Port of Manila is within the Manila Pilotage District which is under compulsory pilotage
pursuant to Section 8, Article III of Philippine Ports Authority Administrative Order No. 03-85:
SEC. 8. Compulsory Pilotage Service. For entering a harbor and anchoring thereat, or
passing through rivers or straits within a pilotage district, as well as docking and
undocking at any pier/wharf, or shifting from one berth or another, every vessel engaged
in coastwise and foreign trade shall be under compulsory pilotage.
In case of compulsory pilotage, the respective duties and responsibilities of the compulsory
pilot and the master have been specified by the same regulation:
SEC. 11. Control of vessels and liability for damage. On compulsory pilotage grounds,
the Harbor Pilot providing the service to a vessel shall be responsible for the damage
caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports due to his negligence or fault. He can
only be absolved from liability if the accident is caused by force majeure or natural
calamities provided he has exercised prudence and extra diligence to prevent or minimize
damage.
The Master shall retain overall command of the vessel even on pilotage grounds
whereby he can countermand or overrule the order or command of the Harbor Pilot on
board. In such event, any damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports by

reason of the fault or negligence of the Master shall be the responsibility and liability of
the registered owner of the vessel concerned without prejudice to recourse against said
Master
Such liability of the owner or Master of the vessel or its pilots shall be determined by
competent authority in appropriate proceedings in the light of the facts and circumstances
of each particular case.
SEC. 32. Duties and responsibilities of the Pilot or Pilots' Association. The duties and
responsibilities of the Harbor Pilot shall be as follows: xxx
xxx
xxx
f) a pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel from the time he assumes
his work as a pilot thereof until he leaves it anchored or berthed safely; Provided,
however, that his responsibility shall cease at the moment the Master neglects or refuses
to carry out his order.
- Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 issued twenty years earlier likewise provided
in Chapter I thereof for the responsibilities of pilots:
Par. XXXIX. A Pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel from the time
he assumes control thereof until he leaves it anchored free from shoal; Provided, That his
responsibility shall cease at the moment the master neglects or refuses to carry out his
instructions.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Par. XLIV. Pilots shall properly and safely secure or anchor vessels under their control
when requested to do so by the master of such vessels.
ISSUE WON both the pilot and the master were negligent

HELD
YES.
The SC started by saying that in a collision between a stationary object and a moving
object, there is a presumption of fault against the moving object (based on common sense
and logic). It then went on to determine who between the pilot and the master was
negligent.
PILOT
A pilot, in maritime law, is a person duly qualified, and licensed, to conduct a vessel into or
out of ports, or in certain waters. He is an expert whos supposed to know the seabed, etc.
that a master of a ship may not know because the pilot is familiar with the port. He is
charged to perform his duties with extraordinary care because the safety of people and
property on the vessel and on the dock are at stake.
Capt. Gavino was found to be negligent. The court found that his reaction time (4 minutes)
to the anchor not holding ground and the vessel still going too fast was too slow. As an
expert he shouldve been reacting quickly to any such happenings.
MASTER
In compulsory pilotage, the pilot momentarily becomes the master of the vessel. The
master, however may intervene or countermand the pilot if he deems there is danger to the
vessel because of the incompetence of the pilot or if the pilot is drunk. - Based on Capt.
Kavankovs testimony, he never sensed the any danger even when the anchor didnt hold
and they were approaching the dock too fast. He blindly trusted the pilot. This is negligence
on his part. He was right beside the pilot during the docking, so he could see and hear
everything that the pilot was seeing and hearing.
The masters negligence translates to unseaworthiness of the vessel, and in turn means
negligence on the part of FESC.
CONCURRENT TORTFEASORS
As a general rule, that negligence in order to render a person liable need not be the sole
cause of an injury. It is sufficient that his negligence, concurring with one or more efficient
causes other than plaintiff's, is the proximate cause of the injury. Accordingly, where several
causes combine to produce injuries, person is not relieved from liability because he is
responsible for only one of them, it being sufficient that the negligence of the person
charged with injury is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have resulted to
as great an extent, and that such cause is not attributable to the person injured. It is no

defense to one of the concurrent tortfeasors that the injury would not have resulted from his
negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other concurrent tortfeasor.
Where several causes producing an injury are concurrent and each is an efficient cause
without which the injury would not have happened, the injury may be attributed to all or any
of the causes and recovery may be had against any or all of the responsible persons
although under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was more
culpable, and that the duty owed by them to the injured person was not the same. No
actor's negligence ceases to be a proximate cause merely because it does not exceed the
negligence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and is liable
as though his acts were the sole cause of the injury. - There is no contribution between joint
tortfeasors whose liability is solidary since both of them are liable for the total damage.
Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions of two or more persons,
although acting independently, are in combination the direct and proximate cause of a
single injury to a third person, it is impossible to determine in what proportion each
contributed to the injury and either of them is responsible for the whole injury. Where their
concurring negligence resulted in injury or damage to a third party, they become joint
tortfeasors and are solidarily liable for the resulting damage under Article 2194 of the Civil
Code.
Disposition Petition denied. CA affirmed. Capt. Gavino and FESC are solidarily liable.
R. VICARIOUS LIABLITY OF PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
LIBI VS HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELATE COURT
G.R. NO. 70890 SEPTEMBER 18, 1992
FACTS:
Wendell Libi, son of petitioners, and Julie Ann Gotiong, the daughter of private
respondent spouses, were sweethearts until Julie broke up with Wendell upon finding
out of his sadistic and irresponsible character.
Wendell tried hard to reconcile with Julie Ann but when the latter refused, Wendell
started making threats. On that fateful day of January 14, 1978, Julie Ann and Wendell
died from a single gunshot wound each coming from the same Smith and Wesson
revolver licensed in the name of petitioner Cresencio Libi.
There being no eyewitnesses to the crime, petitioners and private respondents herein
advanced conflicting versions of the case. Private respondents claimed that with the
use of the same gun, Wendell took his own life after killing Julie Ann. On the other
hand, the petitioners argued that an unknown third party, whom Wendell may have
displeased by reason of his work as a narcotic informant, must have caused the death
of Wendell and Julie Ann.
As a result of the death of Julie Ann, private respondents filed an action to recover
damages arising from the vicarious liability of the parents of Wendell (petitioners
herein) under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code. After trial, the case was dismissed for
insufficiency of evidence. Likewise, the counterclaim filed by the petitioners was
dismissed for lack of merit.
On appeal lodged by private respondents, the respondent court set aside the dismissal
of the case and held petitioners liable under Art. 2180 of the NCC. Hence this case.
Herein petitioners seek for the reversal of judgment of requiring them to pay
P30,000.00 for moral damages, P10,000.00 for exemplary damages, P20,000.00 as
attorney's fees and costs.
ISSUE: Are petitioners liable for vicarious liability under Art 2180 of the NCC?

HELD:

YES. The Libi spouses are and should be held primarily liable for the
civil liability arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor son
under their legal authority or control, and who lives in their company.
Petitioners Libi failed to prove that they had exercised due diligence of a good father of
a family over their son Wendell as shown by the fact that it was only when Wendell died
that petitioners came to know that their son Wendell was a CANU agent and that the
gun of petitioner Cresencio Bili was missing from their safety deposit box.
Petitioners are indeed liable under Art. 2180 of the NCC because it is still the duty of
the parents to know the activity of their children and, in this case, had the petitioners
been diligent in supervising the activities of Wendell and in keeping said gun from his
reach, the death of Julie and Wendell could have been prevented.
Petitioners are indeed liable under Art. 2180 of the NCC because it is still the duty of
the parents to know the activity of their children and, in this case, had the petitioners
been diligent in supervising the activities of Wendell and in keeping said gun from his
reach, the death of Julie and Wendell could have been prevented. The liability of the
parents for damages caused by their children imposed under Article 2180 of the New
Civil Code covers obligation arising from both quasi delict and criminal offenses.
ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed judgment of respondent
Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with costs against petitioners.

TAMARGO VS. CA
GR NO. 85044, JUNE 3, 1992
FACTS:
In October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, minor, 10 years of age, shot Jennifer Tamargo with
an air rifle causing injuries that resulted in her death. The petitioners, natural parents
of Tamargo, filed a complaint for damages against the natural parents of Adelberto with
whom he was living the time of the tragic incident.
In December 1981, the spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt Adelberto Bundoc.
Such petition was granted on November 1982 after the tragic incident.
ISSUE: WON parental authority concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to
make adopting parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed against the
adopted child where actual custody was lodged with the biological parents.
HELD:
Parental liability is a natural or logical consequence of duties and responsibilities of
parents, their parental authority which includes instructing, controlling and disciplining
the child. In the case at bar, during the shooting incident, parental authority over
Adelberto was still lodged with the natural parents. It follows that they are the
indispensable parties to the suit for damages. Parents and guardians are responsible
for the damage caused by the child under their parental authority in accordance with
the civil code.
SC did not consider that retroactive effect may be given to the decree of adoption so as
to impose a liability upon the adopting parents accruing at the time when they had no

actual or physical custody over the adopted child. Retroactivity may be essential if it
permits accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child. Under
Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code, parental authority is provisionally vested
in the adopting parents during the period of trial custody however in this case, trial
custody period either had not yet begin nor had been completed at the time of the
shooting incident. Hence, actual custody was then with the natural parents of
Adelberto.
Petition for review was hereby granted.

S. VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF OWNERS AND MANAGERS OF ESTABLISHMENTS


AND ENTERPRISES

FACTS

YHT REALTY CORPORATION, LAINEZ & PAYAM V. CA [2005]


7:03 AM NO COMMENTS

Maurice Peaches McLoughlin is an Australian businessman-philanthropist who


used to stay at the Sheraton Hotel during his trips to the Philippines prior to 1984. He
met Brunhilda Mata-Tan who befriended him and showed him around. Tan convinced
Mcloughlin to transfer to the Tropicana from the Sheraton where afterwards he stayed
during his trips from Dec 1984 to Sept 1987.

On 30 Oct 1987, McLoughlin arrived from Australia and registered with


Tropicana. He rented a safety deposit box as his usual practice. The box required two
keys, the guest had one and one from the management. He placed US $10,000 in one
envelope and US$5,000 in another, AU$10,000 in another envelope and other
envelopes with his passport and credit cards. On 12 Dec 1987, he took from the box the
envelope with US$5,000 and the one with AU$10,000 to go to Hong Kong for a short
visit, because he was not checking out. When he arrived in HK, the envelope with
US$5,000 only contained US$3,000, but because he had no idea if the safety deposit
box has been tampered, he thought it was just bad accounting.

After returning to Manila, he checked out of the Tropicana on 18 Dec 1987 and
left for Australia. When he arrived he discovered that the envelope with US$10,000 was
short of US$5,000. He also noticed that the jewelry he bought in Hong Kong which he
stored in the safety deposit box upon his return to Tropicana was likewise missing,
except for a diamond bracelet.

He went back to the PH on 4 Apr 1988 and asked Lainez (who had custody of the
management key) if some money was missing or returned to her, to which the latter
answered there was not. He again registered at the Tropicana and rented a safety
deposit box. He placed an envelope containing US$15,000, another of AU$10,000. On
16 Apr, he opened his safety deposit box and noticed that US$2,000 and AU$4,500 was
missing from the envelopes.

He immediately confronted Lainez and Payam who admitted that Tan opened the
safety deposit box with the key assigned to McLoughlin. McLoughlin went up to his
room where Tan was staying and confronted her. Tan admitted that she had stolen
McLoughlins key and was able to open the safety deposit box with the assistance of
Lopez, Payam and Lainez. Lopez also told McLoughlin that Tan stole the key assigned to
McLoughlin while the latter was asleep.

McLoughlin requested the management for an investigation of the incident.


Lopez got in touch with Tan and arranged for a meeting with the police and McLoughlin.
When the police did not arrive, Lopez and Tan went to the room of McLoughlin at
Tropicana and thereat, Lopez wrote on a piece of paper a promissory note.


He made Lopez and Tan sign a promissory note for him for the loss. However,
Lopez refused liability on behalf of the hotel, reasoning that McLoughlin signed an
"Undertaking for the Use of Safety Deposit Box" which disclaims any liability of the
hotel for things put inside the box.

On 17 May 1988 McLoughlin went back to AU and consulted his lawyers. They
wrote a letter addressed to Pres. Cory Aquino which was pushed back to the DOJ and
the Western Police District. He went back from the PH to AU several times more to
attend business and follow up but the matter was only filed on 3 Dec 1990 since he was
not there to personally follow up.

McLoughlin filed an action against YHT Realty Corporation, Lopez, Lainez, Payam
and Tan.

The RTC rendered judgment in favor of McLoughlin. The CA modified only the
amount of damages awarded.

Tan and Lopez, however, were not served with summons, and trial proceeded
with only Lainez, Payam and YHT Realty Corporation as defendants.
(a) whether the loss of money and jewelry is supported by the evidence. YES.
Where the credibility of a witness is an issue, the established rule is that great respect
is accorded to the evaluation of the credibility of witnesses by the trial court. The trial
court is in the best position to assess the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies
because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and note their
demeanor, conduct and attitude under grilling examination.
(b) whether there was gross negligence on the part of the innkeepers
Payam and Lainez, who were employees of Tropicana, had custody of the master key of
the management when the loss took place. They even admitted that they assisted Tan
on three separate occasions in opening McLoughlins safety deposit box.
The management contends that McLoughlin made its employees believe that Tan was
his spouse for she was always with him most of the time. The evidence on record is
bereft of any showing that McLoughlin introduced Tan to the management as his wife.
Mere close companionship and intimacy are not enough to warrant such conclusion.
They should have confronted him as to his relationship with Tan considering that the
latter had been observed opening McLoughlins safety deposit box a number of times at
the early hours of the morning.
Art 2180, par (4) of the same Code provides that the owners and managers of an
establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the
occasion of their functions. Given the fact that the loss of McLoughlins money was
consummated through the negligence of Tropicanas employees both the employees
and YHT, as owner of Tropicana, should be held solidarily liable pursuant to Art 2193.
ISSUE:
WON the "Undertaking for the Use of the Safety Deposit Box" is null and void.
HELD:
Yes, it is null and void. Art. 2003[1] is controlling. This is an expression of public policy
that the hotel business like common carriers are imbued with public interest. This
responsibility cannot be waived away by any contrary stipulation in so-called
"undertakings" that ordinarily appear in prepared forms imposed by hotel keepers on
guests for their signature.
The CA (former case) even ruled before that hotelkeepers are liable even though the
effects are not delivered to them or their employees, but it is enough that the effects
are within the hotel or inn.
Pars. 2 and 4 of the undertaking manifestly contravene Art. 2003 of the NCC.
Meanwhile, the defense that Art. 2002 exempts the hotel-keeper from liability if the loss
is due to the acts of the guest, family or visitors falls because the hotel is guilty of
negligence as well. This provision presupposes that the hotel-keeper is not guilty of
concurrent negligence or has not contributed in any degree to the occurrence of the
loss.
dispositive

Damages awarded by the lower court sustained


US$2,000.00 and AUS$4,500.00 or their peso equivalent at the time of payment;
Air fares for a total of 11 trips + transpo expense
Hotel payments
Moral 50K
ED 10K
AF 200K

[1] Art. 2003. The hotel-keeper cannot free himself from responsibility by posting
notices to the effect that he is not liable for the Arts brought by the guest. Any
stipulation between the hotel-keeper and the guest whereby the responsibility of the
former as set forth in Arts 1998 to 2001[37] is suppressed or diminished shall be void.
T. VICARIOUS LIABLITY OF EMPLOYERS
VICTORY LINER v MALECDAN (Irah)
FACTS:
Andres Malecdan was a 75 year old farmer. While he was crossing a national highway, a
Dalin Liner bus stopped to allow Malecdan and his carabao to pass. However, as
Malecdan was crossing, a Victory Liner bus, driven by Joson, bypassed the Dalin bus
and hit Malecdan and the carabao he was riding. Malecdan was thrown off the carabao,
while the carabao toppled over. The Victory Liner bus sped past the old man, while the
Dalin bus proceeded to its destination without helping Malecdan. Malecdan was brought
to the hospital, where he died a few hours later. The carabao also died.
A criminal complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to
property was filed against Joson. Subsequently, the heirs of Malecdan brought a suit for
damages against Joson and Victory Liner. RTC held that Joson was negligent in driving
the bus, while Victory Liner was guilty of negligence in the selection and supervision of
Joson. Victory Liner appealed.
ISSUE:
Can Victory Liner be held liable for damages to the heirs of Malecdan?
HELD:
YES.Article 2180, the responsibility of employers for the negligence of their employees
in the performance of their duties is primary and, therefore, the injured party may
recover from the employers directly, regardless of the solvency of their employees.
Employers may be relieved of responsibility for the negligent acts of their employees
acting within the scope of their assigned task only if they can show that they observed
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. They have the burden
of proving that they exercised such diligence in the selection and supervision of the
employee. In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to
examine them as to their qualifications, experience and service records. With respect to
the supervision of employees, employers must formulate standard operating
procedures, monitor their implementation and impose disciplinary measures for
breaches thereof. These facts must be shown by concrete proof, including documentary
evidence.
In the instant case, Victory Liner presented the results of Josons written examination,
actual driving tests, x-ray examination, psychological examination, NBI clearance,
physical examination, hematology examination, urinalysis, student driver training, shop

training, birth certificate, high school diploma and reports from the General
Maintenance Manager and the Personnel Manager showing that he had passed all the
tests and training sessions and was ready to work as a professional driver. However, as
the trial court noted, petitioner did not present proof that Joson had nine years of
driving experience. There is also no record that Joson ever attended the seminars on
driving safety given by the company to its drivers at least twice a year. Victory Liner
also failed to establish the speed of its buses during its daily trips or to submit in
evidence the trip tickets, speed meters and reports of field inspectors. The finding of
the trial court that petitioners bus was running at a very fast speed when it overtook
the Dalin bus and hit the deceased was not disputed by petitioner. For these reasons,
we hold that the trial court did not err in finding petitioner to be negligent in the
supervision of Joson.
The Supreme Court reduced the amount of actual and moral damages granted by the
lower court to P82,439 and P100,000, respectively. To justify an award of actual
damages, there should be proof of the actual amount of loss incurred in connection with
the death, wake or burial of the victim. Expenses incurred some time after the burial of
the victim such as those relating to thee 9th day, 40th day, and 1st death anniversaries
cannot be taken into account.ersary of the deceased. Also the P100,000 moral damages
is awarded since trial court found that the wife and children of the deceased underwent
intense moral suffering as a result of the Malecdans death. The P50,000 exemplary
damages is also sustained since Joson was grossly negligent in driving at such a high
speed along the national highway and overtaking another vehicle which had stopped to
allow a pedestrian to cross, and even worse, Joson did not stop to help Malecdan after
the accident. The P50,000 attorneys fees are also upheld.