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Barredo v Garcia (Torts)

BARREDO V GARCIA G.R. No. L-48006 July 8, 1942 FAUSTO


BARREDO, petitioner, vs. SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEA
ALMARIO, respondents.
FACTS:
At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road between
Malabon and Navotas, Province of Rizal, there was a head- on collision
between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven by Pedro Fontanilla and a
carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was overturned, and one
of its passengers, 16-year-old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from
which he died two days later. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in
the Court of First Instance of Rizal.
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS (CRIMINAL CASE):
1. CFI- Rizal Fontanilla was convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate
sentence of one year and one day to two years of prision correccional. The
court in the criminal case granted the petition that the right to bring a
separate civil action be reserved.
2. CA: affirmed the sentence of the lower court in the criminal case.
Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario, parents of the deceased on March 7,
1939, brought an action in the Court of First Instance of Manila against Fausto
Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and employer of Pedro
Fontanilla.
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS (CIVIL CASE):
1. CFI Manila: Fausto Barredo is liable in damages for the death of Faustino
Garcia caused by negligence of Pedro Fontanilla, a taxi driver employed by
Barredo in the amount of 2,000.
2. CA: reduced the damages to 1,000.
ISSUE:
Whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action against Fausto
Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly, responsible under article
1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro thus making him primarily
and directly, responsible under article 1903 of the Civil Code as an employer
of Pedro Fontanilla
RULING:
Yes.
The responsibility in question is imposed on the occasion of a crime or fault,
but not because of the same, but because of the cuasi- delito, that is to say,
the imprudence or negligence of the father, guardian, proprietor or manager
of the establishment, of the teacher, etc. Whenever anyone of the persons
enumerated in the article referred to (minors, incapacitated persons,
employees, apprentices) causes any damage, the law presumes that the
father, guardian, teacher, etc. have committed an act of negligence in not
preventing or avoiding the damage. It is this fault that is condemned by the

law.
One is not responsible for the acts of others, because one is liable only for his
own faults, this being the doctrine of article 1902; but, by exception, one is
liable for the acts of those persons with whom there is a bond or tie which
gives rise to the responsibility.
Crimes under penal code
1. affect public interest
2. Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act
3. not as broad as quasi-delicts because crimes are punished only if there is a
penal law clearly covering them
4. proof beyond reasonable doubt is required

Culpa aquiliana / Cuasi-delito


1. Only of private concern
2. Civil Code, by means of indemnification, merely repairs the damage
(includes both reckless and simple negligence)
3. include all acts in which any kind of fault or negligence intervenes
when there is exercise of the care and diligence of a good father of a family,
the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability.
4. only preponderance of evidence is required
Note: not all violations of the penal law produce civil responsibility.
The action against the principal is accessory in the sense that it implies the
existence of a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it is not
subsidiary in the sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment
against the author of the act or at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal
action; the action for responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal
action. (Laurent, Principles of French Civil Law) The basis of civil law liability is
not respondent superior but the relationship of pater familias. This theory
bases the liability of the master ultimately on his own negligence and not on
that of his servant. A quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual is a
separate and distinct legal institution, independent from the civil
responsibility arising from criminal liability, and that an employer is,
under article 1903 of the Civil Code, primarily and directly
responsible for the negligent acts of his employee.
Thus, there were two liabilities of Barredo: first, the subsidiary one because of
the civil liability of the taxi driver arising from the latter's criminal negligence;
and, second, Barredo's primary liability as an employer under article 1903.
The plaintiffs were free to choose which course to take, and they preferred
the second remedy. In so doing, they were acting within their rights. It might
be observed in passing, that the plaintiff choose the more expeditious and

effective method of relief, because Fontanilla was either in prison, or had just
been released, and besides, he was probably without property which might
be seized in enforcing any judgment against him for damages.
Section 1902 of that chapter reads: "A person who by an act or omission
causes damage to another when there is fault or negligence shall be obliged
to repair the damage so done.
"SEC. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceeding article is demandable,
not only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of the persons for
whom they should be responsible.
"The father, and on his death or incapacity, the mother, is liable for the
damages caused by the minors who live with them.
xxx xxx xxx "Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are
equally liable for the damages caused by their employees in the service of
the branches in which the latter may be employed or in the performance of
their duties. xxx xxx xxx
"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons
mentioned therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father
of a family to avoid the damage."
the same act of negligence being a proper subject-matter either of a
criminal action with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime
or of an entirely separate and independent civil action for fault or
negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code. Thus, in this
jurisdiction, the separate individually of a cuasi-delito or culpa
aquiliana under the Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized,
even with regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could
have been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for
which, after such a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil
liability arising from his crime.

Pedro Elcano, Et Al., V. Reginal Hill Et Al.


G.R. No. L-24803 May 26, 1977
PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as
Ascendants of Agapito Elcano, deceased,plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and Natural
Guardian of said minor, defendants-appellees
Laws Applicable: ART. 2177,Article 397,article 1093,Article 2180 of the Civil
Code
Lessons Applicable: Quasi-delict (Tort and Damages)
FACTS:

Reginald Hill, a minor, married but living with his father, Atty. Marvin

Hill with whom he was living and getting subsistence killed Agapito Elcano
CFI Civil Case: dismissed on the ground that he was acquitted on the

ground that his act was not criminal, because of "lack of intent to kill,
coupled with mistake
Spouses Elcano appealed

ISSUES:
1.
W/N the civil action should be barred by the acquittal of criminal action
- NO
2.
W/N the Civil Code can be applied to Atty. Marvin Hill even though
Reginald is already married -YES
HELD: order appealed from is reversed

1. NO.

separate individuality of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana, under the


Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with regard to a

negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and
convicted in a criminal case and for which, after such a conviction, he
could have been sued for this civil liability arising from his crime.
If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer

only to fault or negligence not punished by law, accordingly to the literal


import of article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life
to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond

reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case, preponderance of


evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay in damages. . Otherwise.
there would be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. "Ubi jus
Idemnified remedium."
ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding

article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from
negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover
damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.
in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and

negligent acts which may be punishable by law


It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal

case has not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal
is not a bar to the instant action against him.
2. YES

While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation


of the child (Article 327, Civil Code), and under Article 397, emancipation
takes place "by the marriage of the minor (child)", it is, however, also
clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by marriage of the minor
is not really full or absolute. Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by
voluntary concession shall terminate parental authority over the child's
person. It shall enable the minor to administer his property as though he
were of age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber real
property without the consent of his father or mother, or guardian. He can
sue and be sued in court only with the assistance of his father, mother or
guardian."

Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable

not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for
whom one is responsible
the marriage of a minor child does not relieve the parents of the duty
to see to it that the child, while still a minor, does not give answerable for

the borrowings of money and alienation or encumbering of real property


which cannot be done by their minor married child without their consent
Reginald is now of age, as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill
has become milling, subsidiary to that of his son.

VIRATA VS. OCHOA


G.R. No. L-46179

January 31, 1978

CANDIDA VIRATA, TOMAS VIRATA, MANOLITO VIRATA, EDERLINDA


VIRATA, NAPOLEON VIRATA, ARACELY VIRATA, ZENAIDA VIRATA,
LUZMINDA VIRATA, PACITA VIRATA, and EVANGELINA
VIRATA, petitioners,
vs.
VICTORIO OCHOA, MAXIMO BORILLA and THE COURT OF FIRST
INSTANCE OF CAVITE, 7th JUDICIAL DISTRICT, BRANCH V, stationed at
BACOOR, CAVITE, respondents.
81 SCRA 472
Torts and Damages Double Recovery of Civil Liability

In September 1975, Borilla was driving a jeep when he hit Arsenio Virata
thereby causing the latters death. The heirs of Virata sued Borilla through an
action for homicide through reckless imprudence in the CFI of Rizal. Viratas
lawyer reserved their right to file a separate civil action the he later withdrew
said motion. But in June 1976, pending the criminal case, the Viratas again
reserved their right to file a separate civil action. Borilla was eventually
acquitted as it was ruled that what happened was a mere accident. The heirs

of Virata then sued Borilla and Ochoa (the owner of the jeep and employer of
Borilla) for damages based on quasi delict. Ochoa assailed the civil suit
alleging that Borilla was already acquitted and that the Viratas were merely
trying to recover damages twice. The lower court agreed with Ochoa and
dismissed the civil suit.
ISSUE: Whether or not the heirs of Virata may file a separate civil suit.
HELD: Yes. It is settled that in negligence cases the aggrieved parties may
choose between an action under the Revised Penal Code or of quasi-delict
under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. What is prohibited by
Article 2177 of the Civil Code of the Philippines is to recover twice for the
same negligent act. Therefore, under the proposed Article 2177, acquittal
from an accusation of criminal negligence, whether on reasonable doubt or
not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action, not for civil liability arising
from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or culpa
aquiliana. But said article forestalls a double recovery.

Porfirio P. Cinco V. Hon. Mateo Canonoy Et Al.


G.R. No. L-33171 May 31, 1979
Laws Applicable: Rule 111, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, Art. 31 and Article
2176 of the Civil Code
Lessons Applicable: Quasi-delict (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:

Porfirio P. Cinco filed a complaint against jeepney driven by Romeo

Hilot and operated by Valeriana Pepito and Carlos Pepito for a vehicular
accident
At the pre-trial in the civil case, counsel for private respondents moved

to suspend the civil action pending the final determination of the criminal
suit, invoking Rule 111, Section 3 (b) of the Rules of Court, which provides:
(b) After a criminal action has been commenced. no civil action arising
from the same offense can be prosecuted, and the same shall be
suspended, in whatever stage it may be found, until final judgment in the
criminal proceeding has been rendered
City Court: ordered the suspension of the civil case
CFI by certiorari: dismissed

ISSUE: W/N there can be an independent civil action for damage to property
during the pendency of the criminal action

HELD: YES. granting the Writ of certiorari prayed for

nature and character of his action was quasi-delictual predicated

principally on Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code


Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding

article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from
negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover
damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant
primary and direct responsibility of employers and their presumed

negligence are principles calculated to protect society


The separate and independent civil action for a quasi-delict is also

clearly recognized in section 3, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court:


SEC. 3. When civil action may proceed independently.In the cases provided
in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the
independent civil action may be brought by the offended party. It shall
proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a
preponderance of evidence. In no case, however, may the offended party
recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal
action.

Secs. 3(a) and 3(b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, which should be

suspended after the criminal action has been instituted is that arising
from the criminal offense not the civil action based on quasi-delict
Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from
the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may
proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the
result of the latter.
Article 2176 of the Civil Code (supra), is so broad that it includes not
only injuries to persons but also damage to property
word "damage" is used in two concepts: the "harm" done and
"reparation" for the harm done

Andamo vs. IAC


NATIVIDAD V. ANDAMO and EMMANUEL R. ANDAMO, petitioners,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (First Civil Cases Division) and
MISSIONARIES OF OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE, INC., respondents.
Andamo vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
G.R. No. 74761 November 6, 1990
Fernan, C.J.
Doctrine: It must be stressed that the use of ones property is not without
limitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code provides that the owner of a thing
cannot make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third
person. SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS.
Facts: Petitioner spouses Andamo owned a parcel of land situated in Biga
Silang, Cavite which is adjacent to that of private respondent corporation,
Missionaries of Our lady of La Salette, Inc. Within the land of the latter,
waterpaths and contrivances, including an artificial lake, were constructed,
which allegedly inundated and eroded petitioners land, caused a young man
to drown, damagaed petitioners crops and plants, washed away costly
fences, endangered the livesofthepetitioners and their laborers and some
other destructions.
This prompted petitioner spouses to file a criminal action for destruction by

means of inundation under Article 324 of the RPC and a civil action for
damages.
Issue: Whether petitioner spouses Andamo can claim damages for
destruction caused by respondents waterpaths and contrivances on the basis
of Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts.
Held: Yes. A careful examination of the aforequoted complaint shows that the
civil action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasidelicts. All the elements of a quasi-delict are present, to wit: (a) damages
suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some
other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of
cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the
damages incurred by the plaintiff. 11
Clearly, from petitioners complaint, the waterpaths and contrivances built by
respondent corporation are alleged to have inundated the land of petitioners.
There is therefore, an assertion of a causal connection between the act of
building these waterpaths and the damage sustained by petitioners. Such
action if proven constitutes fault or negligence which may be the basis for the
recovery of damages.
It must be stressed that the use of ones property is not without limitations.
Article 431 of the Civil Code provides that the owner of a thing cannot make
use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third person. SIC
UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have
mutual and reciprocal duties which require that each must use his own land
in a reasonable manner so as not to infringe upon the rights and interests of
others. Although we recognize the right of an owner to build structures on his
land, such structures must be so constructed and maintained using all
reasonable care so that they cannot be dangerous to adjoining landowners
and can withstand the usual and expected forces of nature. If the structures
cause injury or damage to an adjoining landowner or a third person, the latter
can claim indemnification for the injury or damage suffered.
Caveat: Anyone who claims this digest as his own without proper
authority shall be held liable under the law of Karma.

GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH, petitioner,


vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and MARILOU T. GONZALES, respondents.
19 SCRA 115 Civil Law Torts and Damages Breach of promise to Marry
Article 21 of the Civil Code
In August 1986, while working as a waitress in Dagupan City, Pangasinan,
Marilou Gonzales, then 21 years old, met Gashem Shookat Baksh, a 29 year
old exchange student from Iran who was studying medicine in Dagupan. The
two got really close and intimate. On Marilous account, she said that Gashem
later offered to marry her at the end of the semester. Marilou then introduced
Gashem to her parents where they expressed their intention to get married.
Marilous parents then started inviting sponsors and relatives to the wedding.
They even started looking for animals to slaughter for the occasion.
Meanwhile, Marilou started living with Gashem in his apartment where they
had sexual intercourse. But in no time, their relationship went sour as
Gashem began maltreating Marilou. Gashem eventually revoked his promise
of marrying Marilou and he told her that he is already married to someone in
Bacolod City. So Marilou went home and later sued Gashem for damages.

The trial court ruled in favor of Marilou and awarded her P20k in moral
damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.
On appeal, Gashem averred that he never proposed marriage to Marilou and
that he cannot be adjudged to have violated Filipino customs and traditions
since he, being an Iranian, was not familiar with Filipino customs and
traditions.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct.
HELD: Yes. Gashem is liable to pay for damages in favor of Marilou not really
because of his breach of promise to marry her but based on Article 21 of the
Civil Code which provides:
Any person who wilfully 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.
Breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong per se. In this case, it
is the deceit and fraud employed by Gashem that constitutes a violation of
Article 21 of the Civil Code. His promise of marrying Marilou was a deceitful
scheme to lure her into sexual congress. As found by the trial court, Marilou
was not a woman of loose morals. She was a virgin before she met Gashem.
She would not have surrendered herself to Gashem had Gashem not
promised to marry her. Gashems blatant disregard of Filipino traditions on
marriage and on the reputation of Filipinas is contrary to morals, good
customs, and public policy. As a foreigner who is enjoying the hospitality of
our country and even taking advantage of the opportunity to study here he is
expected to respect our traditions. Any act contrary will render him liable
under Article 21 of the Civil Code.
The Supreme Court also elucidated that Article 21 was meant to expand the
concepts of torts and quasi delict. It is meant to cover situations such as this
case where the breach complained of is not strictly covered by existing laws.
It was meant as a legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which
is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the
statute books such as the absence of a law penalizing a the breach of
promise to marry.
The Supreme Court however agreed with legal luminaries that if the promise
to marry was made and there was carnal knowledge because of it, then moral
damages may be recovered (presence of moral or criminal seduction), Except

if there was mutual lust; or if expenses were made because of the promise
(expenses for the wedding), then actual damages may be recovered.

Maria Benita A. Dulay, Et Al., V. The Court Of Appeals, Et Al.


MARIA BENITA A. DULAY, in her own behalf and in behalf of the minor
children KRIZTEEN ELIZABETH, BEVERLY MARIE and NAPOLEON II, all
surnamed DULAY, petitioners,
vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS, Former Eighth Division, HON. TEODORO P.
REGINO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court
National Capital Region, Quezon City, Br. 84, SAFEGUARD
INVESTIGATION AND SECURITY CO., INC., and SUPERGUARD
SECURITY CORPORATION, respondents.

G.R. No. 108017 April 3, 1995

Lesson Applicable: Quasi-delict (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:

December 7, 1988: Due to a heated argument, Benigno Torzuela, the

security guard on duty at Big Bang Sa Alabang carnival, shot and killed
Atty. Napoleon Dulay
Maria Benita A. Dulay, widow of the deceased Napoleon Dulay, in her

own behalf and in behalf of her minor children filed an action for damages
against Benigno Torzuela for wanton and reckless discharge of the
firearm and Safeguard Investigation and Security Co., Inc., (Safeguard)
and/or Superguard Security Corp. (Superguard) as employers
for negligence having failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of a
family in the supervision and control of its employee to avoid the injury
Superguard:
Torzuela's act of shooting Dulay was beyond the scope of

his duties, and was committed with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil
liability therefor is governed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code,
which states:
Art. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of a felony. Every person criminally
liable for a felony is also civilly liable.

civil liability under Article 2176 applies only to quasi

offenses under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code


CA Affirmed RTC: dismising the case of Dulay

ISSUE: W/N Superguard and Safeguard commited an actionable breach and


can be civilly liable even if Benigno Torzuela is already being prosecuted for
homicide

HELD: YES. Petition for Review is Granted. remanded to RTC for trial on the
merits

Rule 111 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides:


Sec. 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. When a criminal action is
instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly
instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party waives the civil
action , reserves his right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action
prior to the criminal action

Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal
Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34, and 2176 of the Civil Code of
the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused

Contrary to the theory of private respondents, there is no justification

for limiting the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil Code to acts or omissions
resulting from negligence. Well-entrenched is the doctrine that article
2176 covers not only acts committed with negligence, but also acts which
are voluntary and intentional.
Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligence," covers not only

acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character; whether
intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequently, a separate civil
action against the offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is
criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the
offended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally, to
recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such
eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards
made in the two cases vary
extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111,

refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised


Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as
quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a
declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not
happened or has not been committed by the accused
It is enough that the complaint alleged that Benigno Torzuela shot
Napoleon Dulay resulting in the latter's death; that the shooting occurred
while Torzuela was on duty; and that either SUPERGUARD and/or
SAFEGUARD was Torzuela's employer and responsible for his acts.

BERMUDEZ V MELENCIO-HERRERA
G.R. No. L-32055 February 26, 1988
REYNALDO BERMUDEZ, SR., and, ADONITA YABUT
BERMUDEZ petitioners-appellants,
vs.
HON. JUDGE A. MELENCIO-HERRERA, DOMINGO PONTINO y TACORDA
and CORDOVA NG SUN KWAN,respondents-appellees.

Facts: A cargo truck, driven by Domingo Pontino and owned by Cordova Ng


Sun Kwan, bumped a jeep on which Rogelio, a six-year old son of plaintiffsappellants, was riding. The boy sustained injuries which caused his death. As
a result, Criminal Case No. 92944 for Homicide through Reckless Imprudence
was filed against Domingo Pontino. Plaintiffs-appellants filed on July 27, 1969
in the said criminal case A Reservation to File Separate Civil Action.
On July 28, 1969, the plaintiffs-appellants filed a civil case for damages
against Domingo Pontino y Tacorda and Cordova Ng Sun Kwan. Finding that
the plaintiffs instituted the action on the assumption that defendant
Pontinos negligence in the accident of May 10, 1969 constituted aquasidelict, the trial court stated that plaintiffs had already elected to treat the
accident as a crime by reserving in the criminal case their right to file a
separate civil action. That being so, the trial court decided to order the
dismissal of the complaint against defendant Cordova Ng Sun Kwan and to
suspend the hearing of the case against Domingo Pontino until after the
criminal case for Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence is finally
terminated.
Issue: Whether or not the present action is based on quasi-delict under the
Civil Code and therefore could proceed independently of the criminal case for
homicide thru reckless imprudence.
Ruling: In cases of negligence, the injured party or his heirs has the choice
between an action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime under
Article100 of the Revised Penal Code and an action for quasi-delict under
Article 2176-2194 of the Civil Code. If a party chooses the latter, he may hold
the employer solidarily liable for the negligent act of his employee, subject to
the employers defense of exercise of the diligence of a good father of the
family. In the case at bar, the action filed by appellant was an action for
damages based on quasi-delict. The fact that appellants reserved their right
in the criminal case to file an independent civil action did not preclude them
from choosing to file a civil action for quasidelict. The appellant precisely
made a reservation to file an independent civil action. In fact, even without
such a reservation, the Court allowed the injured party in the criminal case
which resulted in the acquittal of the accused to recover damages based on
quasi-delict. It does not follow that a person who is not criminally liable is also
free from civil liability. While the guilt of the accused in a criminal prosecution
must be established beyond reasonable doubt, only a preponderance of
evidence is required in a civil action for damages (Article 29, Civil Code). The

judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when
it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil liability might arise
did not exist.

JOSE CANGCO, plaintiff-appellant,


vs.
MANILA RAILROAD CO., defendant-appellee.
30 Phil 768 Civil Law 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]:

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 extracontractual 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.

G.R. No. L-48931

February 23, 1944

FRANCISCO DE BORJA, petitioner,


vs.
ANTONIO VAZQUEZ, respondent.
74 Phil 560 Civil Law Torts and Damages Distinction of Liability of
Employers Under Article 2180 and Their Liability for Breach of Contract
In January 1932, Francisco De Borja entered into a contract of sale with the
NVSD (Natividad-Vasquez Sabani Development 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 Antonio Vasquez as the companys
acting president. NVSD. only delivered 2,488 cavans and failed and refused
despite demand to deliver the rest hence De Borja incurred damages
(apparently, NVSD 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 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.
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
corporations 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 is liable for damages. Vasquez, as acting
president and manager of NVSD, 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 was soon thereafter dissolved.

AIR FRANCE, petitioner,


vs.
RAFAEL CARRASCOSO and the HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS, respondents.
G.R. No. L-21438, Sept. 28, 1966
When culpa aquiliana may arise even when there is a pre-existing contract
between the parties
FACTS:
Carrascoso, a civil engineer, was a first class passenger of Air France on his
way to Rome for a pilgrimage. From Manila to Bangkok, he traveled in first
class, but at Bangkok, the Manager of Air France forced him to vacate his
seat in favor of a white man who had a better right to the seat. Carrascoso
filed for moral damages, averring in his complaint the contract of carriage
between Air France and himself. Air France claims that to authorize an award
for moral damages there must be an averment of fraud or bad faith, upon
which Carrascosos complaint is silent.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Carrascoso is entitled to award for moral


damages

HELD:
The foregoing substantially aver: First, That there was a contract to furnish
plaintiff a first class passage covering, amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran
leg; Second, That said contract was breached when petitioner failed to furnish
first class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, That there was bad faith
when petitioners employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his first class
accommodation berth after he was already seated and to take a seat in the
tourist class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassment
and humiliation, thereby causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety,
wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages. It is
true that there is no specific mention of the term bad faith in the complaint.
But, the inference of bad faith is there; it may be drawn from the facts and
circumstances set forth therein. The contract was averred to establish the
relation between the parties. But the stress of the action is put on wrongful
expulsion.
NOTA BENE: Here there is a contract of carriage between the parties and such
contract was breached by Air France when it wrongfully forced Carrascoso to
vacate the first class seat which he paid for. The wrongful expulsion is
independent of the breach since even without the contract, such wrongful
expulsion may still make Air France liable for damages. In other words, the
wrongful expulsion is in itself a tort.

Singson and Del Castillo vs. BPI and Freixas


JULIAN SINGSON and RAMONA DEL CASTILLO vs. BANK OF THE
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS and SANTIAGO FREIXAS (Pres. Of BPI)
G.R. No. L-24837. 29 June 1968.
CONCEPCION, C.J.:
Facts: Appeal by plaintiffs from a decision of the CFI Mla dismissing their
complaint against defendants.
On May 8, 1963, the Singsong commenced the present action against the

Bank and its president, Freixas, for damages in consequence of said illegal
freezing of plaintiffs' account.
After appropriate proceedings, the CFI Mla rendered judgment dismissing the
complaint upon the ground that plaintiffs cannot recover from the defendants
upon the basis of a quasi-delict, because the relation between the parties is
contractual in nature.
Issue: WON the existence of a contractual relation between the parties bar
recovery of damages.
Ruling: The judgment appealed from is reversed holding defendant BPI to pay
to the plaintiffs nominal damages, and attorney's fees, apart from the costs.
The SC have repeatedly held that the existence of a contract between the
parties does not bar the commission of a tort by the one against the order
and the consequent recovery of damages therefore.
In view, of the facts obtaining in the case at bar, and considering,
particularly, the circumstance, that the wrong done to the plaintiff was
remedied as soon as the President of the bank realized the mistake they had
committed, the Court finds that an award of nominal damages the amount of
which need not be proven in the sum of P1,000, in addition to attorney's fees
in the sum of P500, would suffice to vindicate plaintiff's rights.

RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC.


(RCPI), petitioner,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, and SPOUSES MINERVA TIMAN and
FLORES TIMAN, respondents.

195 SCRA 147 Civil Law Torts and Damages Award of Exemplary
Damages
In January 1983, the spouses Flores and Minerva Timan sent a telegram to
their relatives Mr. and Mrs. Midoranda to express their condolences to the

latter spouses. The Timans used the Radio Communications of the


Philippines, Inc. (RCPI) to send the telegram. The message in the telegram
was:
May God give you courage and strength to bear your loss. Our deepest
sympathy to you and members of the family.
RCPI delivered the correct message however, RCPI typed the message of
condolence on a birthday card and then placed the birthday card in a
Christmas envelope. And so when the spouses Midoranda received the
telegram, they were embarrassed.
When the spouses Timan learned of this, they too were embarrassed. Mrs.
Timan was too embarrassed that she suffered nervousness and hypertension
which led to her confinement in a hospital.
Eventually, the Timans sued RCPI for damages. The trial court ruled in favor
of the Timans. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. RCPI was ordered
to pay the Timans P30k for actual and compensatory damages, P10k for
moral damages, P5k for exemplary damages, and P5k for attorneys fees.
In its defense, RCPI averred that typing of the message onto a birthday card
and then placing the same in a Christmas envelope was an error in good
faith. RCPI is also contesting the award of exemplary damages, among others,
in favor of the Timans on the ground that it cannot be held liable for such
because it committed no crime.
ISSUE: Whether or not RCPI is correct.
HELD: No. The act complained of is not a mere error in good faith. The
message sent by the Timans was clearly denominated as a telegram of
condolence. It is therefore quite odd for RCPI to place the same on a
birthday card enclosed in a Christmas card. Such act is a clear showing
of carelessness and incompetence; it not only render violence to good taste
and common sense, they depict a bizarre presentation of the senders
feelings. They ridicule the deceaseds loved ones and destroy the atmosphere
of grief and respect for the departed.
Anent the issue of exemplary damages, it has been held that in contracts and
quasi-contracts, exemplary damages may be awarded if the defendant acted
in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner. There
was gross negligence on the part of RCPI personnel in transmitting the
controversial telegram, of which RCPI must be held liable. Gross carelessness
or negligence constitutes wanton misconduct.

JUAN J. SYQUIA V. C.A. & MANILA MEMORIAL PARK CEMETERY, INC.


G.R. No. 98695 January 27, 1993
FACTS:
Pursuant to a Deed of Sale and an Interment Order executed between plaintiff
and defendant, Juan J. Syquia (father of deceased Vicente Syquia) authorized
and instructed defendant tointer the remains of the deceased in the Manila
Memorial Park Cemetery conformably and in accordance with defendant's
interment procedures.
After a few months, preparatory to transferring the said remains to a newly
purchased family plot also at the Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, the
concrete vault encasing the coffin of the deceased was removed from its
niche underground with the assistance of certain employees of defendant.
As the concrete vault was being raised to the surface, plaintiffs discovered
that the concrete vault had a hole approximately 3inches in diameter near
the bottom of one of the walls closing out the width of the vault on one end
and that for a certain length of time, water drained out of the hole.
Pursuant to an authority granted by the MTC, plaintiffs, with the assistance of
licensed morticians and certain personnel of defendant, caused the opening
of the concrete vault. Upon opening the vault, the following
became apparent:
(a) the interior walls of the concrete vault showed evidence of total flooding;
(b) the coffin was entirely damaged by water, filth and silt causing the
wooden parts to warp and separate and to crack the viewing glass panel
located directly above the head and torso of the deceased; (c) the entire
lining of the coffin, the clothing of the deceased, and the exposed parts of the
deceased's remains were damaged and soiled by the action of the water and
silt and were also coated with filth.
Plaintiffs filed a case for damages, based on the alleged unlawful and
malicious breach by the defendant of its obligation to deliver a defect-free
concrete vault designed to protect the remains of the deceased and the coffin
against the elements which resulted in the desecration of deceased's grave
and in the alternative, because of defendant-appellee's gross negligence
conformably to Article 2176 of the New Civil Code in failing to seal the
concrete vault.
ISSUE: WON DEFENDANT IS LIABLE FOR QUASI-DELICT?
HELD: NO, there was no fault or negligence on the part of the defendant that
would render him liable for quasi-delict. Although a pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties does not preclude the existence of a culpa
aquiliana, we find no reason todisregard the respondent's Court finding that
there was no negligence. In this case, it has been established that the
Syquias and the Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc., entered into a contract
entitled "Deed of Sale and Certificate of Perpetual Care." That agreement
governed the relations of the parties and defined their respective rights and
obligations. Hence, had there been actual negligence on the part of the
Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc.,it would be held liable not for a quasidelict or culpa aquiliana, but for culpa contractual as provided by Article 1170
of the Civil Code. The Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc. bound itself to
provide the concrete box to be sent in the interment. Rule 17 of the Rules and

Regulations of private respondent provides that: Rule 17. Every earth


interment shall be made enclosed in a concrete box, or in an outer wall of
stone, brick or concrete, the actual installment of which shall be made by the
employees of the Association. Pursuant to this above-mentioned Rule, a
concrete vault was provided the day before the interment, and was, on the
same day, installed by private respondent's employees in the grave which
was dug earlier. After the burial, the vault was covered by a cement lid.
Petitioners however claim that private respondent breached its contract with
them as the latter held out in the brochure it distributed that the lot may hold
a single or double internment underground, in a sealed concrete vault.
Petitioners claim that the vault provided by private respondent was not
sealed, that is, not waterproof. Consequently, water seeped through the
cement enclosure and damaged everything inside it.
We do not agree. There was no stipulation in the Deed of Sale and
Certificate of Perpetual Care and in the Rules and Regulations of the
Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc. that the vault would be
waterproof
. Privateres pondent's witness, Mr. Dexter Heuschkel, explained that the term
"sealed" meant "closed." Moreover, it is also quite clear that "sealed" cannot
be equated with "waterproof". Well settled is the rule that when the terms of
the contract are clear and leave no doubt as to the intention of the
contracting parties, then the literal meaning of the stipulation shall control.
Contracts should be interpreted according totheir literal meaning and should
not be interpreted beyond their obvious intendment. We hold, therefore, that
private respondent did not breach the tenor of its obligation to the Syquias.
While this may be so, can private respondent be liable for culpa aquiliana for
boring the hole on the vault? It cannot be denied that the hole made possible
the entry of more water and soil than was natural had there been no hole.
The law defines negligence as the "omission of that diligence which is
required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the
circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place." In the absence of
stipulation or legal provision providing the contrary, the diligence to be
observed in the performance of the obligation is that which is expected of a
good father of a family.

Calalas v CA (Torts)
Calalas v CA. G.R. No. 122039 May 31, 2000 VICENTE
CALALAS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ELIZA JUJEURCHE SUNGA
and FRANCISCO SALVA, respondents.
FACTS:
At 10 o'clock in the morning of August 23, 1989, private respondent Eliza
Jujeurche G. Sunga, then a college freshman majoring in Physical Education
at the Siliman University, took a passenger jeepney owned and operated by
petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was filled to capacity of about 24
passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an "extension seat," a
wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end of the vehicle.
On the way to Poblacion Sibulan, Negros Occidental, the jeepney stopped to
let a passenger off. As she was seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga gave
way to the outgoing passenger. Just as she was doing so, an Isuzu truck
driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco Salva bumped the left rear
portion of the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was injured.
On October 9, 1989, Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas,
alleging violation of the contract of carriage by the former in failing to
exercise the diligence required of him as a common carrier. Calalas, on the
other hand, filed a third-party complaint against Francisco Salva, the owner of
the Isuzu truck.
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:
1. RTC Dumaguete rendered judgment against Salva holding that the
driver of the Isuzu truck was responsible
It took cognizance of another case (Civil Case No. 3490), filed by Calalas
against Salva and Verena, for quasi-delict, in which Branch 37 of the same
court held Salva and his driver Verena jointly liable to Calalas for the damage
to his jeepney.
2. CA reversed the RTC, awarding damages instead to Sunga as plaintiff in
an action for breach of contract of carriage since the cause of action was
based on such and not quasi delict.
Hence, current petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE:
Whether (per ruling in Civil Case) negligence of Verena was the proximate
cause of the accident negates his liability and that to rule otherwise would be

to make the common carrier an insurer of the safety of its passengers


In relation thereto, does the principle of res judicata apply?
RULING:
No.
The issue in Civil Case No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena
were liable for quasi-delict for the damage caused to petitioner's jeepney. On
the other hand, the issue in this case is whether petitioner is liable on his
contract of carriage.
Quasi-delict / culpa aquiliana / culpa extra contractual
1. Has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor
2. negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is the basis of
the action
3. doctrine of proximate cause is applicable
(device for imputing liability to a person where there is no relation between
him and another party, obligation is created by law itself)
Breach of contract / culpa contractual
1. premised upon the negligence in the performance of a contractual
obligation
2. action can be prosecuted merely by proving the existence of the contract
and the fact that the obligor (here, the common carrier) failed to transport his
passenger safely to his destination
3. not available; it is the parties themselves who create the obligation and
the function of the law is merely to regulate the relation thus created
In case of death or injuries to passengers, Art. 1756 of the Civil Code provides
that common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted
negligently unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as
defined in Arts. 1733 and 1755 of the Code. This provision necessarily shifts
to the common carrier the burden of proof.
Hence, Vicente Calalas (operator) is liable since he did not exercise utmost
diligence.
1. Jeepney was not properly parked;
2. Overloading of passengers.