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torts & damages

INTRODUCTION

NAGUIAT V NLRC (National Organization of Workingmen and Galang) 269 SCRA 565 PANGANIBAN; March 13, 1997

NATURE Special civil action in the Supreme Court, certiorari

FACTS

- Clark Field Taxi, Inc. held a concessionaire’s contract with the Army Air

Force Exchange Services for the operation of taxi services within Clark Air

Base. Sergio Naguiat was the president of CFTI while Antolin Naguiat was its vice president. Like Naguiat Enterprises, Inc. which was a trading firm, it was also a family-owned corporation.

- Respondents were employed by the CFTI as taxicab drivers.

> They were required to pay a daily boundary fee of US$26.50 (for those

on duty from 1AM-12N) or US$27 (for those on duty from 12N to 12 MN)

> Incidental expenses were maintained by the drivers (including gasoline expenses). > Drivers worked 3-4 times a week depending on the availability of vehicles and earned no less than US$15.00 a day. In excess of that

amount, they had to make cash deposits to the company which they could withdraw every fifteen days.

- AAFES was dissolved because of the phase-out of the military bases in

Clark and the services of the respondents were officially terminated on

November 26, 1991.

- AAFES Taxi Drivers Association, the drivers union, and CFTI held

negotiations as regards separation benefits. They arrived at an agreement that the separated drivers would be given P500 for ever year as severance pay. Most of the drivers accepted this but some refused to do so.

- Those who did not accept the initial severance pay disaffiliated themselves

with drivers union and through the National Organization of Workingmen, they filed a complaint against Sergio Naguiat under the name and style Naguiat Enterprises, AAFES and AAFES union.

- The labor arbiter ordered the petitioner to pay the drivers P1,200 for every

year of service for humanitarian consideration, setting aside the earlier agreement between the CFTI and the drivers union. It also rejected the idea

that the CFTI was forced to close it business due to great financial losses and lose opportunity since at the time of its closure it was profitably earning. The labor arbiter however did not award separation pay because to “impose a monetary obligation to an employer whose profitable business was abruptly shot (sic) shot down by force majeur would be unfair and unjust.”

- The NLRC modified the decision of the labor arbiter after respondents

appealed by granting separation pay to the private respondents. It said that half of the monthly salary should be US$120 which should be paid in Philippine pesos. Naguiat Enterprieses should be joined with Sergio and Antolin Naguiat as jointly and severally liable.

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Petitioners’ Claim:

- Petitioners claim that the cessation of the business was due to the great financial losses and lost business opportunity when Clark Air Base was

phased out due to the expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement and the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

- They admitted that CFTI had agreed with the drivers union to grant the taxi drivers separation pay equivalent to P500 for every year of service.

- They allege that Sergio and Antolin Naguiat were denied due process

beause the petitioners were not furnished copies of the appeal to the NLRC.

- They also allege that NOWM cannot make legal representation in behalf of

the respondents because the latter should be bound by the decision of the

drivers union. Respondents’ Comments:

- The drivers alleged that they were employees of Naguiat Enterprises

although their individual applications were approved by CFTI. They claimed

to have been assigned to Naguiat Enterprises after having been hired by CFTO and that Naguia Enterprises managed, controlled and supervised their employment.

- They averred that they should be entitled to separation pay based on their latest daily earnings or US$15 for working 16 days a month.

ISSUES

1. WON the NLRC acted in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of

discretion in granting separation pay

2. WON NOWM was authorized to represent the private respondents

3. WON Naguiat Enterprieses, Sergio Naguiat and Antolin Naguiat were

liable

4. WON Sergio and Antolin Naguiat were denied due process

HELD

1. NO, the NLRC did not act in excess of jurisdiction or with abuse of

discretion. Ratio Findings of fact of administrative bodies and quasi-judicial bodies are afforded great respect by the Court and are binding except when there is a showing of grave abuse of discretion or the decision was arrived at arbitrarily. Reasoning

- Respondents showed that their monthly take home pay amounted to no less than $240 and this was not disputed by petitioners.

- There is no record or evidence which shows that the closure of the taxi

business was brought about by great financial losses no thanks to the Pinatubo eruption. It was rather brought about by the closure of the military bases.

- Art. 283 of the CC provides that separation pay shall be equivalent to 1

month pay or at least ½ month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. The NLRC ruling was correct in terms of US$120 as the computed separation pay.

2. Petitioners can no longer question the authority of NOWM and are held in

estoppel. Reasoning

- NOWM was already representing the respondents before the labor arbiter and the petitioners did not assail their juridical personality then.

- Petitioners also acknowledged before the Court that the taxi drivers are themselves parties in the case.

3. Naguiat Enterprises is not liable, Antolin Naguiat is not personally liable

whereas Sergio Naguiat is solidarily liable.

prof. casis

- Re: Naguiat Enterprises’ liability

Reasoning

- The respondents were regular employees of CFTI who received wages on a

boundary basis. They offered no evidence that Naguiat Enterprises managed, supervised and controlled their employment. They instead submitted documents which had to do with CFTI, not Naguiat Enterprises.

- Labor-only contractors are those where 1) the person supplying workers to

the employer does no have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools or machinery and 2) the workers recruited and placed by such person

are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of the employer.

- Independent contractors are those who exercise independent employment,

contracting to do a piece of work according to their own methods without being subject to the control of their employer except as to the result of their work.

- Sergio Naguiat was a stockholder and director of Naguiat Enterprises but, in supervising the taxi drivers and determining their employment terms, he was carrying out his responsibility as president of CFTI.

- Naguiat Enterprises was in the trading business while CFTI was in the taxi

business.

- The Constitution of the CFTI-AAFES Taxi Drivers Association states that the

members of the union are employees of CFTI and for collective and bargaining purposes, the employer is also CFTI.

- Re: Antolin Naguiat’s liability Reasoning

- Although he carried the title of general manager, it has not been shown that he had acted in such capacity. - No evidence on the extent of his participation in the management or operation of the business was proferred.

- Re: Sergio Naguiat’s liability

Ratio A director or officer may be held solidarly liable with a corporation by a

specific provision of law because a corporation, being a juridical entity, may act only through its directors and officers. Obligations incurred by them, acting as such corporation agents, are not theirs but the direct

accountabilities of the corporation they represent. In the absence of definite proof of who clearly are the officers of the corporation, the assumption falls on the President of the corporation. Reasoning

- In his capacity as President, Sergio Naguiat cannot be exonerated.

- An employer is defined to be any person acting in the interest of an

employer, directly or indirectly.

- Case in point is A.C. Ransom Labor Union CCLU vs. NLRC held that the

identified employer A.C. Ransom Corporation, being an artificial person, must have an officer and in the absence of proof, the president is assumed to be the head of the corporation.

- Both CFTI and Naguiat Enterprises were close family corporations owned

by the same family. To the extent that stockholders are actively engaged in the management or business affairs of a close corporation, the stockholders

shall be held to strict fiduciary duties to each other and among themselves. Said stockholders shall be liable for corporate torts unless the corporation has obtained reasonably adequate liability insurance.

> Nothing in the records indicate that CFTI obtained reasonable adequate liability insurance.

> Jurisprudence is wanting in the definition of corporate tort. Tort

essentially consists in the violation of a right given or the omission of a

duty imposed by law. Tort is a breach of legal duty.

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> Art. 238 mandates the employer to grant separation pay to employees in case of cessation of operations or closure of the business not due to serious business losses or financial reverses which is the condition on this case. 4. There was no denial of due process. Reasoning

- Even if the individual Naguiats were not impleaded as parties of the

complaint, they could still be held liable because of jurisprudence (A.C. Ransom case).

- Both also voluntarily submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the labor

arbiter when they filed a position paper. DISPOSITION The petition is partly granted. 1) CFTI and Sergio Naguiat are ordered to pay jointly and severally the individual respondents of US$120 for every year of service and 2) Naguiat Enterprises and Antolin Naguiat are absolved from liability.

BARREDO V GARCIA BOCOBO; July 8, 1942

NATURE Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS

- from CA, holding Fausto Barredo liable for damages for death pf Faustino

Garcia caused by negligence of Pedro Fontanilla, a taxi driver employed by Fausto Barredo

- May 3, 1936 in road between Malabon and Navotas, head-on collision

between taxi of Malate Taxicab and carretela guided by Pedro Dimapilis

thereby causing overturning of the carretela and the eventual death of Garcia, 16-yo boy and one of the passengers

- Fontanilla convicted in CFI and affirmed by CA and separate civil action is reserved

- Parents of Garcia filed action against Barredo as sole proprietor of Malate Taxicab as employer of Fontanilla

- CFI and CA awarded damages bec Fontanilla’s negligence apparent as he

was driving on the wrong side of the road and at a high speed

> no proof he exercised diligence of a good father of the family as Barredo is careless in employing (selection and supervision) Fontanilla who had been caught several times for violation of Automobile Law and speeding

> CA applied A1903CC that makes inapplicable civil liability arising from

crime bec this is under obligations arising from wrongful act or negligent acts

or omissions punishable by law

- Barredo’s defense is that his liability rests on RPC TF liability only

subsidiary and bec no civil action against Fontanilla TF he too cannot be held responsible

ISSUE WON parents of Garcia may bring separate civil action against Barredo making him primarily liable and directly responsible under A1903CC as employer of Fontanilla

HELD YES

- There are two actions available for parents of Garcia.

A100RPC wherein the employer is only subsidiarily liable for the damages

One is under the

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arising from the crime thereby first exhausting the properties of Fontanilla. The other action is under A1903CC (quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana) wherein as the negligent employer of Fontanilla, Barredo is held primarily liable subject to proving that he exercising diligence of a good father of the family. The parents simply took the action under the Civil Code as it is more practical to get damages from the employer bec he has more money to give than Fontanilla who is yet to serve his sentence.

Obiter Difference bet Crime and Quasi-delict 1) crimes public interest; quasi-delict only private interest 2) Penal code punishes or corrects criminal acts; Civil Code by means of indemnification merely repairs the damage 3) delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts; crimes are only punished if there is a penal law; quasi-delicts include any kind of fault or negligence intervenes NOTE: not all violations of penal law produce civil responsibility e.g. contravention of ordinances, violation of game laws, infraction of rules of traffic when nobody is hurt 4) crime guilt beyond reasonable doubt; civil mere preponderance of evidence

- Presumptions:

1) injury is caused by servant or employee, there instantly arises presumption

of negligence of master or employer in selection, in supervision or both 2) presumption is juris tantum not juris et de jure TF may be rebutted by

proving exercise of diligence of a good father of the family

- basis of civil law liability: not respondent superior bu the relationship of pater familias

- motor accidents need of stressing and accentuating the responsibility of owners of motor vehicles

ELCANO V HILL 77 SCRA 98 BARREDO; May 26, 1977

NATURE Appeal from an order of the CFI Quezon City

FACTS

- Reginald Hill, a minor yet married at the time of occurrence, was criminally

prosecuted for the killing of Agapito Elcano (son of Pedro), and was acquitted for “lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake.”

- Pedro Elcano filed a complaint for recovery of damages from Reginald and his father Atty Marvin. CFI dismissed it.

ISSUES 1. WON the civil action for damages is barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case wherein the action for civil liability was not reversed 2. WON Article 2180 (2nd and last par) of the CC can be applied against Atty. Hill, notwithstanding the fact that at the time of the occurrence, Reginald, though a minor, living with and getting subsistence from his father, was already legally married

HELD

1. NO

prof. casis

-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. -Barredo v Garcia (dual charactercivil and criminalof fault or negligence as a source of obligation):

"The above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act may come under both the Penal Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could have been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a proper subject of

a civil action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it

was the employer and not the employee who was being sued." "It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been prosecuted in a criminal case because his negligence causing the death of the child was punishable by the Penal Code. Here is therefore a clear instance of 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 1402 of the Civil Code. Thus, in this jurisdiction, the 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 aria

for which, after un a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising from his crime.” -Culpa aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in violation of

a penal law, whether voluntary or negligent.

-ART 1162: "Obligations derived from quasi-delicts shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title XVII of this Book, (on quasi-delicts) and by special laws." More precisely, Article 2177 of the new code provides:

"ART 277. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising front negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant."

- According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing provision (Article 2177)

through at first sight startling, is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a 'culpa aquilian' or quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate from criminal negligence. Such distinction between criminal negligence and 'culpa extra-contractual' or 'cuasi-delito' has been sustained by decision of the Supreme Court of Spain and maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, an outstanding Spanish jurist. 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," - Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to literally refer to only acts of negligence, the same argument of Justice Bacobo about construction that upholds "the spirit that giveth life" rather than that which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker should be observed in applying the same. And considering that me preliminary chapter on human relations of the new Civil Code definitely establishes the separability and independence of liability in a civil action for acts criminal in character (under Articles 29 to 12) from the civil responsibility arising from crime fixed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and, in a sense, the Rules of Court, under Sections 2 and 3 (c), Rule 111, contemplate also the same separability, it’s "more congruent with the

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spirit of law, equity and justice, and more in harmony with modern progress", to hold, as We do hold, that 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 lies 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.

- Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana

includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable by law. 2. YES (but…)

- Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill notwithstanding the emancipation by

marriage of Reginald. (However, inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is

now of age, as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to that of his son.)

- 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 was 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."

- Under 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 father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father and, in case of his death or

incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company."

- In the instant case, it is not controverted that Reginald, although married,

was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the

occurrence in question. Factually, therefore, Reginald was still subservient to and dependent on his father, a situation which is not unusual.

- It must be borne in mind that, according to Manresa, the reason behind the

joint and solidary liability of parents with their offending child under Article

2180 is that is the obligation of the parent to supervise their minor children in order to prevent them from causing damage to third persons.

- On the other hand, the clear implication of Article 399, in providing that a

minor emancipated by marriage may not, nevertheless, sue or be sued without the assistance of the parents, is that such emancipation does not carry with it freedom to enter into transactions or do any act that can give rise to judicial litigation. And surely, killing someone else invites judicial action.

CINCO V CANONOY 90 SCRA 369 Melencio-Herrera; May 31, 1979

NATURE Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS

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- Cinco filed on Feb 25, 19701 a complaint for recovery of damages on

account of a vehicular accident involving his automobile and a jeepney driven by Romeo Hilot and operated by Valeriana Pepito and Carlos Pepito.

- Subsequently, a criminal case was filed against the driver Romeo Hilot

arising from the same 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.

- The City Court of Mandaue ordered the suspension of the civil case.

Petitioner’s MFR having been denied, he elevated the matter on Certiorari to

the CFI Cebu., which in turn dismissed the petition. Plaintiff’s claims:

- it was the fault r negligence of the driver in the operation of the jeepney owned by the Pepitos which caused the collision.

- Damages were sustained by petitioner because of the collision

- There was a direct causal connection between the damages he suffered

and the fault and negligence of private respondents. Respondents’ Comments:

- They observed due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees, particularly of Romeo Hilot.

ISSUE WON there can be an independent civil action for damage to property during the pendency of the criminal action

HELD YES

- Liability being predicated on quasi-delict, the civil case may proceed as a

separate and independent civil action, as specifically provided for in Art 2177 of the Civil Code.

- The separate and independent civil action for quasi-delict is also clearly recognized in sec 2, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court:

Sec 2. Independent civil action. In the cases prvided for in Articles 31, 32, 33, 34 and 2177 of the Civil Code f the Philippines, an independent civil action entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party during the pendency of the criminal case, provided the right is reserved as required in the preceding section. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

- Petitioner’s cause of action is based on quasi-delict. The concept of

quasi-delict, as enunciated in Art 2176 of the Civil Code, is so broad that in includes not only injuries to persons but also damage to property. It makes no distinction between “damage to persons” on the one hand and “damage to property” on the other. The word damage is used in two concepts: the “harm” done and “reparation” for the harm done. And with respect to “harm” it is plain that it includes both injuries to person and property since “harm” is not limited to personal but also to property injuries. DISPOSITION Writ of Certiorari granted.

BAKSH V CA (Gonzales) 219 SCRA 115 DAVIDE, JR; Feb.19, 1993

prof. casis

NATURE Appeal by certiorari to review and set aside the CA decision which affirmed in toto the RTC’s decision

FACTS

- Private respondent Marilou Gonzales (MG) filed a complaint for damages

against petitioner Gashem Shookat Baksh for the alleged violation of their

agreement to get married. **MG’s allegations in the complaint:

- That she is a 22 yr. old Filipina, single, of good moral character and respected reputation in her community.

- That Baksh is an Iranian citizen, residing in Dagupan, and is an exchange student taking up medicine at the Lyceum in Dagupan.

- That Baksh later courted and proposed to marry her. MG accepted his love

on the condition that they would get married. They later agreed to get married

at the end of the school semester. Petitioner had visited MG’s parents to secure their approval of the marriage. Baksh later forced MG to live with him.

A week before the filing of the complaint, petitioner started maltreating her

even threatening to kill her and as a result of such maltreatment, she sustained injuries. A day before the filing of the complaint, Baksh repudiated their marriage agreement and asked her not to live with him anymore and

that he is already married to someone in Bacolod. She prayed for payment for damages amounting to Php 45,000 plus additional costs.

- Baksh answered with a counterclaim, admitting only the personal

circumstances of the parties in the complaint but denied the rest of the

allegations. He claimed that he never proposed marriage to or agreed to be married; neither sought the consent of her parents nor forced her to live in his apt.; did not maltreat her but only told her to stop coming to his place after having discovered that she stole his money and passport. He also prayed for 25,000 as moral damages plus misc. expenses.

- The RTC, applying Art. 21 CC decided in favor of private respondent.

Petitioner was thus ordered to pay Php 20,000 as moral damages and 3,000 pesos atty’s. fees plus litigation expenses. Petitioner appealed this decision

to respondent CA, contending that the trial court erred in not dismissing the

case for lack of factual and legal basis and in ordering him to pay moral damages, atty’s fees, etc. - Respondent CA promulgated the challenged decision affirming in toto the trial court’s ruling which prompted Baksh to file this petition for certiorari, raising the single issue of WON Art. 21 applies to this case.

ISSUE WON damages may be recovered for a breach of promise to marry on the basis of Art.21 of the Civil Code

HELD 1. YES Ratio In a breach of promise to marry where the woman is a victim of moral seduction, Art. 21 may be applied. Reasoning

- Where a man’s promise to marry is in fact the proximate cause of the

acceptance of his love by a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise becomes the proximate cause of the giving of herself unto him in sexual congress, proof that he had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle to accept him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act, could

justify the award of damages pursuant to Art.21 not because of such promise

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to marry but because of the fraud and deceit behind it and the willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential however, that such injury should have been committed in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.

- In the instant case, respondent Court found that it was the petitioner's

"fraudulent and deceptive protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff that made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live with him on the honest and sincere belief that he would keep said promise, and it was likewise these fraud and deception on appellant's part that made plaintiff's parents agree to their daughter's living-in with him preparatory to their supposed marriage. In short, the private respondent surrendered her virginity, the cherished possession of every single Filipina, not because of lust but because of moral seduction. The petitioner could not be held liable for criminal seduction punished under either Art.337 or Art.338 of the RPC because the private respondent was above 18 years of age at the time of the

seduction.

- Moreover, it is the rule in this jurisdiction that appellate courts will not disturb the trial court's findings as to the credibility of witnesses, the latter court having heard the witnesses and having had the opportunity to observe closely their deportment and manner of testifying, unless the trial court had plainly overlooked facts of substance or value which, if considered, might affect the result of the case. Petitioner has miserably failed to convince Us that both the appellate and trial courts had overlooked any fact of substance or value which could alter the result of the case. **Obiter: on Torts and Quasi-delicts

- The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an

actionable wrong. Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of the New Civil Code the provisions that would have made it so. The reason therefor is set forth in the report of the Senate Committees on the Proposed Civil Code, from which We quote:

The elimination of this chapter is proposed. That breach of promise to

marry is not actionable has been definitely decided in the case of De Jesus vs. Syquia. The history of breach of promise suits in the United States and in England has shown that no other action lends itself more readily to abuse by designing women and unscrupulous men ”

- This notwithstanding, the said Code contains a provision, Article 21, which

is designed to expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this jurisdiction by

granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books. - As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report:

But the Code Commission has gone farther than the sphere of wrongs defined or determined by positive law. Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the statutes, which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless, even though they have actually suffered material and moral injury, the Commission has deemed it necessary, in the interest of justice, to incorporate in the proposed Civil Code the following rule:

“Art.21 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.” An example will illustrate the purview of the foregoing norm: 'A' seduces the nineteen-year old daughter of 'X.' A promise of marriage either has not been made, or can not be proved. The girl becomes pregnant. Under the present laws, there is no crime, as the girl is above 18 yrs of age. Neither can any civil action for breach of promise of marriage be filed. Therefore, though the grievous moral wrong has been committed, and although the girl and her

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family have suffered incalculable moral damage, she and her parents cannot bring any action for damages. But under the proposed article, she and her parents would have such a right of action.

Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the foregoing rule is approved, would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs which it is impossible for human foresight to provide for specifically in the statutes.”

- Art.2176 CC, which defines a quasi-delict, is limited to negligent acts or

omissions and excludes the notion of willfulness or intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish legal treatises as culpa aquiliana, is a civil law concept while torts is an Anglo-American or common law concept. Torts is much broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only negligence, but intentional criminal acts as well such as assault and battery, false imprisonment and deceit. In the general scheme of the Philippine legal system envisioned by the Commission responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, intentional and malicious acts, with certain exceptions, are to be governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent acts or omissions are to be covered by Art.2176 CC. In between these opposite spectrums are injurious acts which, in the absence of Art.21, would have been beyond redress. Thus, Art.21 fills that vacuum. It is even postulated that together with Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, Art.21 has greatly broadened the scope of the law on civil wrongs; it has become much more supple and adaptable than the Anglo-American law on torts. DISPOSITION finding no reversible error in the challenged decision, the instant petition is hereby DENIED

PEOPLE V BALLESTEROS 285 SCRA 438 ROMERO; January 29, 1998

NATURE An appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder, qualified by treachery.

FACTS - evening of May 28, 1991, Carmelo Agliam, his half-brother Eduardo Tolentino, Ronnel Tolentino, Vidal Agliam, his brother Jerry Agliam, Robert Cacal, Raymundo Bangi and Marcial Barid converged at a carinderia owned by Ronnel Tolentino. They proceeded to attend a dance but did not stay long because they sensed some hostility from Cesar Galo and his companions who were giving them dagger looks. In order to avoid trouble, especially

during the festivity, they decided to head for home instead of reacting to the perceived provocation of Galo and his companions.

- The group had barely left when their owner jeep was fired upon from the

rear. Vidal Agliam was able to jump out from the jeep and landed just beside

it, scurried to the side of the road and hid in the ricefield. His younger brother Jerry also managed to jump out, but was shot in the stomach and died. Carmelo Agliam, Robert Cacal and Ronnel Tolentino sustained injuries. Eduardo Tolentino was not even able to move from his seat and was hit with a bullet which punctured his right kidney which caused his death.

- Based upon the affidavits of Carmelo and Vidal Agliam, warrants for the

arrest of Ballesteros, Galo and Bulusan were issued. - All pleaded not guilty. Paraffin tests conducted on Galo and Ballesteros produced positive results. Bulusan was not tested for nitrates.

prof. casis

- In his testimony, Galo claimed that he did not even talk to Bulusan or any of his companions. Having been found with gunpowder residue in his hands, Galo attempted to exculpate himself from the results by confessing that he

had been a cigarette smoker for the past ten years and had, in fact, just consumed eight cigarette sticks prior to the test., and that his hand may have been contaminated by a nitrogenous compound, the source of which is urine. Lastly, he said that he was not even present at the crime scene

- Ballesteros interposed the defense of alibi, that he went to a nearby store to purchase some cigarettes. He returned home and cleaned his garlic bulbs before retiring at 9:00 o’clock. The next morning, he busied himself with some chores, which included fertilizing his pepper plants with sulfate. He

handled the fertilizers without gloves. He said that he uses his left hand in lighting cigarettes and he had no motive to kill the victims.

- Bulusan echoed the defense of alibi of Galo and Ballesteros

- The trial court found the three accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of

murder, qualified by treachery, and ordered them to pay jointly and solidarily:

1. The heirs of Jerry Agliam compensatory damages in the amount of

P50,000.00, moral damages in the amount of P20,000.00, and actual damages in the amount of P35,755.00, with interest;

2. The heirs of the late Eduardo Tolentino, Sr., compensatory damages in the

amount of P50,000.00, moral damages in the amount of P20,000.00, and

actual damages in the total amount of P61,785.00, with interest;

3. Carmelo Agliam, actual damages in the amount of P2,003.40, and moral

damages in the amount of P10,000.00, with interest;

4. Vidal Agliam Jr., Robert Cacal and Ronnel Tolentino, moral damages in

the amount of P5,000.00 each, with interest.

5. The costs.

ISSUES

1. WON the trial court was correct in finding accused-appellants guilty beyond

reasonable doubt

2. WON the Court correctly ruled in finding that the offense was qualified by

treachery

3. WON the Court was correct in the award of damages to the heirs of the

victims

HELD

1. YES

Ratio Absolute certainty of guilt is not demanded by law to convict a person of a criminal charge. The doubt to the benefit of which an accused is entitled in a criminal trial is a reasonable doubt, not a whimsical or fanciful doubt based on imagined but wholly improbable possibilities and unsupported by evidence. Reasonable doubt is that engendered by an investigation of the whole proof and inability, after such investigation, to let the mind rest easy upon the certainty of guilt. Reasoning - In their testimonies, Carmelo and Vidal Agliam both described the area to be well illumined by the moon. Considering the luminescence of the moon and the proximity between them, the victims could distinctly identify their assailants. Also, the constant interaction between them through the years (in the buying and selling of cattle and Bulusan was a classmate of Vidal) would

necessarily lead to familiarity with each other such that, at the very least, one would have been able to recognize the other easily

- That accused-appellants had no motive in perpetrating the offense is

irrelevant. Motive is the moving power which impels one to action for a definite result. Intent, on the other hand, is the purpose to use a particular

torts & damages

means to effect such result. The prosecution need not prove motive on the part of the accused when the latter has been positively identified as the author of the crime.

- on their excuses regarding the source of the gunpowder traces found on

their hands: Experts confirm the possibility that cigarettes, fertilizers and urine

may leave traces of nitrates, but these are minimal and, unlike those found in gunpowder, may be washed off with tap water.

- on the defense of alibi: for the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove, not only that he was at some other place at the time of the commission

of the crime, but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus delicti or within its immediate vicinity. This accused-appellants failed to satisfactorily prove. Positive identification prevails over denials and alibis.

- None of them attempted to corroborate their alibi through the testimony of

witnesses. In fact, they never attempted to present as witnesses those who could have testified to having seen them elsewhere on the night in question.

2. YES

Ratio The requisites of treachery are twofold: (1) (t)hat at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and (2) that the offender consciously adopted the particular means, method or form of attack employed by him. Reasoning

- Here, it is obvious that the accused-appellants had sufficient opportunity to

reflect on their heinous plan. The facts show that the attack was well-planned

and not merely a result of the impulsiveness of the offenders. Manifestations of their evil designs were already apparent as early as the time of the dance. They were well-armed and approached the homebound victims, totally unaware of their presence, from behind. There was no opportunity for the latter to defend themselves

3. YES

Ratio Damages may be defined as the pecuniary compensation,

recompense,

expressed, the pecuniary consequences which the law imposes for the breach of some duty or the violation of some right. Actual or compensatory

damages are those awarded in satisfaction of, or in recompense for, loss or

injury

complainant has experienced mental anguish, serious anxiety, physical suffering, moral shock and so forth, and had furthermore shown that these were the proximate result of the offender’s wrongful act or omission. Reasoning

- In granting actual or compensatory damages, the party making a claim for

such must present the best evidence available, viz., receipts, vouchers, and the like, as corroborated by his testimony. Here, the claim for actual damages by the heirs of the victims is not controverted, the same having been fully substantiated by receipts accumulated by them and presented to the court. Therefore, the award of actual damages is proper. However, the order granting compensatory damages to the heirs of Jerry Agliam and Eduardo Tolentino Sr. must be amended. Consistent with the policy of this Court, the amount of P 50,000.00 is given to the heirs of the victims by way of indemnity, and not as compensatory damages. As regards moral damages, the amount of psychological pain, damage and injury caused to the heirs of the victims, although inestimable, may be determined by the trial court in its discretion. Hence, we see no reason to disturb its findings as to this matter. DISPOSITION The decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION.

CUSTODIO V CA (Heirs Of Mabasa)

the

otherwise

or

satisfaction

for

an

injury

sustained,

or

as

sustained,

whereas

moral

may

be

invoked

when

damages

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253 SCRA 483 REGALADO; February 9, 1996

NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of CA

FACTS

- The plaintiff-appellee Mabasa owns a parcel of land with a two-door

apartment erected thereon situated at Interior P. Burgos St., Palingon, Tipas,

Tagig, Metro Manila. As access to P. Burgos Street from plaintiff's property, there are 2 possible passageways. The first passageway is approximately one meter wide and is about 20m distant from Mabasa's residence to P. Burgos St. Such path is passing in between the row of houses of defendants. The second passageway is about 3m in width. In passing thru said passageway, a less than a meter wide path through the septic tank and with 5-6m in length, has to be traversed. - When said property was purchased by Mabasa, there were tenants occupying the remises and who were acknowledged by plaintiff Mabasa as tenants. However, sometime in February, 1982, one of said tenants vacated the apartment and when plaintiff Mabasa went to see the premises, he saw that there had been built an adobe fence in the first passageway making it narrower in width. Said adobe fence was first constructed by defendants Santoses along their property which is also along the first passageway. Defendant Morato constructed her adobe fence and even extended said fence in such a way that the entire passageway was enclosed. And it was then that the remaining tenants of said apartment vacated the area. Defendant Cristina Santos testified that she constructed said fence because there was an incident when her daughter was dragged by a bicycle pedalled by a son of one of the tenants in said apartment along the first passageway. She also mentioned some other inconveniences of having at the front of her house a pathway such as when some of the tenants were drunk and would bang their doors and windows. Some of their footwear were even lost.

- TC ordered (a) defendant-appellants Custodios and Santoses to give

plaintiff permanent access ingress and egress, to the public street; (b) the plaintiff to pay defendants Custodios and Santoses P8,000 as indemnity for the permanent use of the passageway.

- Private respondents, went to CA raising the sole issue of WON lower court

erred in not awarding damages in their favor. CA affirming TC judgment with modification, awarding damages to plaintiffs (P65K as actual damages, P30K as moral damages and P10K as exemplary damages). Mfr denied. Hence this appeal.

ISSUES

1. WON the grant of right of way to herein private respondents is proper

2. WON CA erred in awarding damages to plaintiff-appellee Mabasa

HELD

1. Ratio Whenever an appeal is taken in a civil case, an appellee who has

not himself appealed may not obtain from the appellate court any affirmative

relief other than what was granted in the decision of the lower court Reasoning - Petitioners are already barred from raising the same. Petitioners did not appeal from the decision of the court a quo granting private respondents the right of way, hence they are presumed to be satisfied with the adjudication

prof. casis

therein. With the finality of the judgment of the trial court as to petitioners, the issue of propriety of the grant of right of way has already been laid to rest. 2. YES Ratio There is no cause of action for acts done by one person (in this case, upon his own property) in a lawful and proper manner, although such acts incidentally cause damage or an unavoidable loss to another, as such damage or loss is damnum absque injuria. Reasoning [1] To warrant the recovery of damages, there must be both a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by the defendant, and damage resulting to the plaintiff therefrom. [2] Obiter: There is a material distinction between damages and injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury; and damages are the recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus, there can be damage without injury in those instances in which the loss or harm was not the result of a violation of a legal duty. These situations are often called damnum absque injuria. [3] In order that the law will give redress for an act causing damage, that act must be not only hurtful, but wrongful. There must be damnum et injuria. The injury must result from a breach of duty or a legal wrong. [4] In this case, although there was damage, there was no legal injury. Contrary to the claim of private respondents, petitioners could not be said to have violated the principle of abuse of right (Art.21 CC) [5] The act of petitioners in constructing a fence within their lot is a valid exercise of their right as owners, hence not contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. The law recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established by law. It is within the right of petitioners, as owners, to enclose and fence their property (See Art.430 CC). DISPOSITION The appealed decision of CA is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the judgment of the trial court is REINSTATED.

THE

CONCEPT

OF

QUASI-

DELICT

GARCIA V FLORIDO [CITATION] ANTONIO; [DATE]

NATURE Appeal by certiorari from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental, dismissing petitioners' action for damages against respondents, Mactan Transit Co., Inc. and Pedro Tumala, "without prejudice to refiling the said civil action after conviction of the defendants in the criminal case filed by the Chief of Police of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte", and from the order of said Court dated January 21, 1972, denying petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

FACTS - On August 4, 1971, petitioners, German C. Garcia, Chief of the Misamis Occidental Hospital, together with his wife, Luminosa L. Garcia, and Ester Francisco, bookkeeper of said hospital, hired and boarded a PU car with plate No. 241-8 G Ozamis 71 owned and operated by respondent, Marcelino

torts & damages

Inesin, and driven by respondent, Ricardo Vayson, for a roundtrip from Oroquieta City to Zamboanga City, for the purpose of attending a conference of chiefs of government hospitals, hospital administrative officers, and bookkeepers of Regional Health Office No. 7 at Zamboanga City.

- At about 9:30 a.m., while the PU car was negotiating a slight curve on the national highway at kilometer 21 in Barrio Guisukan, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, said car collided with an oncoming passenger bus (No. 25) with

plate No. 77-4 W Z.N. 71 owned and operated by the Mactan Transit Co., Inc. and driven by defendant, Pedro Tumala. As a result of the aforesaid collision, petitioners sustained various physical injuries which necessitated their medical treatment and hospitalization.

- Alleging that both drivers of the PU car and the passenger bus were at the

time of the accident driving their respective vehicles at a fast clip, in a reckless, grossly negligent and imprudent manner in gross violation of traffic rules and without due regard to the safety of the passengers aboard the PU

car, petitioners, German C. Garcia, Luminosa L. Garcia, and Ester Francisco, filed on September 1, 1971 with respondent Court of First Instance of Misamis Occidental an action for damages (Civil Case No. 2850) against the private respondents, owners and drivers, respectively, of the PU car and the passenger bus that figured in the collision, with prayer for preliminary

attachment.

- The principal argument advanced by Mactan Inc. et. al to in a motion to

dismiss was that the petitioners had no cause of action for on August 11, 1971, or 20 days before the filing of the present action for damages, respondent Pedro Tumala was charged in Criminal Case No. 4960 of the Municipal Court of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, in a complaint filed by the Chief of Police and that, with the filing of the aforesaid criminal case, no civil action could be filed subsequent thereto unless the criminal case has been finally adjudicated, pursuant to Sec. 3 of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, and, therefore, the filing of the instant civil action is premature, because the liability of the employer is merely subsidiary and does not arise until after final

judgment has been rendered finding the driver, Pedro Tumala, guilty of negligence; that Art. 33 of the New Civil Code, is not applicable because Art 33 applied only to the crimes of physical injuries or homicide, not to the negligent act or imprudence of the driver.

- The lower court sustained Mactan Inc. et. Al. and dismissed the complaint

ISSUES 1. WON the lower court erred in dismissing the complaint for damages on the ground that since no express reservation was made by the complainants, the civil aspect of the criminal case would have to be determined only after the termination of the criminal case 2. WON the lower court erred in saying that the action is not based on quasi-

delict since the allegations of the complaint in culpa aquiliana must not be tainted by any assertion of violation of law or traffic rules or regulations and because of the prayer in the complaint asking the Court to declare the defendants jointly and severally liable for moral, compensatory and exemplary damages

.

HELD 1. YES Ratio An action based on quasi-delict may be maintained independently from a criminal action. By instituting a civil action based on a quasi-delict, a complainant may be deemed to abandon his/her right to press recovery for damages in the criminal case.

Reasoning

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- In the case at bar, there is no question that petitioners never intervened in

the criminal action instituted by the Chief of Police against respondent Pedro Tumala, much less has the said criminal action been terminated either by conviction or acquittal of said accused.

- It is, therefore, evident that by the institution of the present civil action for damages, petitioners have in effect abandoned their right to press recovery for damages in the criminal case, and have opted instead to recover them in

the present civil case.

- As a result of this action of petitioners the civil liability of private respondents to the former has ceased to be involved in the criminal action. Undoubtedly an offended party loses his right to intervene in the prosecution of a criminal case, not only when he has waived the civil action or expressly reserved his right to institute, but also when he has actually instituted the civil action. For by either of such actions his interest in the criminal case has disappeared.

- As we have stated at the outset, the same negligent act causing damages

may produce a civil liability arising from crime or create an action for quasi- delict or culpa extracontractual. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a distinct and independent negligence, having always had its own foundation and individuality. Some legal writers are of the view that in accordance with Article 31, the civil action based upon quasi-delict may proceed independently of the criminal proceeding for criminal negligence and

regardless of the result of the latter. Hence, "the proviso in Section 2 of Rule

Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code is contrary

to the letter and spirit of the said articles, for these articles were drafted and are intended to constitute as exceptions to the general rule stated in what is now Section 1 of Rule 111. The proviso, which is procedural, may also be regarded as an unauthorized amendment of substantive law, Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code, which do not provide for the reservation required in the proviso." - But in whatever way We view the institution of the civil action for recovery of damages under quasi-delict by petitioners, whether as one

that should be governed by the provisions of Section 2 of Rule 111 of the Rules which require reservation by the injured party considering that by the institution of the civil action even before the commencement of the trial of the criminal case, petitioners have thereby foreclosed their right to intervene therein, or one where reservation to file the civil action need not be made, for the reason that the law itself (Article 33 of the Civil Code) already makes the reservation and the failure of the offended party to do so does not bar him from bringing the action,

under

legal

justification for respondent court's order of dismissal. 2. YES, because the action in fact satisfies the elements of quasi-delict. Ratio An action shall be deemed to be based on a quasi-delict when all the essential averments under Articles 2176-2194 of the New Civil Code are present, namely:

a) act or omission of the private respondents;

b) presence of fault or negligence or the lack of due care in the operation of

the passenger bus No. 25 by respondent Pedro Tumala resulting in the collision of the bus with the passenger car;

c) physical injuries and other damages sustained by petitioners as a result of

the collision;

d) existence of direct causal connection between the damage or prejudice

and the fault or negligence of private respondents; and

e) the absence of pre-existing contractual relations between the parties.

Reasoning

111 with reference to

the

peculiar

circumstances

of

the

case,

We

find

no

prof. casis

- The circumstance that the complaint alleged that respondents violated traffic

rules in that the driver drove the vehicle "at a fast clip in a reckless, grossly negligent and imprudent manner in violation of traffic rules and without due

regard to the safety of the passengers aboard the PU car" does not detract from the nature and character of the action, as one based on culpa aquiliana. The violation of traffic rules is merely descriptive of the failure of said driver to observe for the protection of the interests of others, that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, which failure resulted in the injury on petitioners. Certainly excessive speed in violation of traffic rules is a clear indication of negligence. Since the same negligent act resulted in the filing of the criminal action by the Chief of Police with the Municipal Court (Criminal Case No. 4960) and the civil action by petitioners, it is inevitable that the averments on the drivers' negligence in both complaints would substantially be the same. It should be emphasized that the same negligent act causing damages may produce a civil liability arising from a crime under Art. 100 of the Revised Penal Code or create an action for quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual under Arts. 2176-2194 of the New Civil Code. This distinction has been amply explained in Barredo vs. Garcia, et all (73 Phil. 607, 620-621).

- It is true that under Sec. 2 in relation to Sec. 1 of Rule 111 of the Revised

Rules of Court which became effective on January 1, 1964, in the cases provided for by Articles 31, 33, 39 and 2177 of the Civil Code, an independent civil action entirely separate and distinct from the civil action, may be instituted by the injured party during the pendency of the criminal case, provided said party has reserved his right to institute it separately, but it should be noted, however, that neither Section 1 nor Section 2 of Rule 111 fixes a time limit when such reservation shall be made.

SEPARATE OPINION

BARREDO [concur]

- Article 2176 and 2177 definitely create a civil liability distinct and different

from the civil action arising from the offense of negligence under the Revised Penal Code. Since Civil Case No. 2850 is predicated on the above civil code articles and not on the civil liability imposed by the Revised Penal Code, I cannot see why a reservation had to be made in the criminal case. As to the specific mention of Article 2177 in Section 2 of the Rule 111, it is my considered view that the latter provision is inoperative, it being substantive in character and is not within the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate, and even if it were not substantive but adjective, it cannot stand because of its inconsistency with Article 2177, an enactment of the legislature

superseding the Rules of 1940.

- Besides, the actual filing of Civil Case No. 2850 should be deemed as the

reservation required, there being no showing that prejudice could be caused by doing so.

- Accordingly, I concur in the judgment reversing the order of dismissal of the trial court in order that Civil Case No. 2850 may proceed, subject to the limitation mentioned in the last sentence of Article 2177 of the Civil Code, which means that of the two possible judgments, the injured party is entitled exclusively to the bigger one.

ANDAMO V IAC (Missionaries Of Our Lady Of La Salette, Inc) 191 SCRA 195

torts & damages

FERNAN; November 6, 1990

NATURE Petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus

FACTS

- Petitioner spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo are the owners of a

parcel of land situated in Biga (Biluso) Silang, Cavite which is adjacent to that of private respondent, Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, Inc., a religious

corporation.

- Within the land of respondent corporation, waterpaths and contrivances,

including an artificial lake, were constructed, which allegedly inundated and eroded petitioners' land, caused a young man to drown, damaged petitioners' crops and plants, washed away costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioners and their laborers during rainy and stormy seasons, and exposed plants and other improvements to destruction.

- In July 1982, petitioners instituted a criminal action against Efren Musngi, Orlando Sapuay and Rutillo Mallillin, officers and directors of respondent corporation, for destruction by means of inundation under Article 324 of the

Revised Penal Code.

- On February 22, 1983, petitioners filed a civil case for damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against respondent corporation. Hearings were conducted including ocular inspections on the land.

- On April 26, 1984, the trial court issued an order suspending further

hearings in the civil case until after judgment in the related Criminal Case. And later on dismissed the Civil Case for lack of jurisdiction, as the criminal case which was instituted ahead of the civil case was still unresolved.The decision was based on Section 3 (a), Rule III of the Rules of Court which provides that "criminal and civil actions arising from the same offense may be instituted separately, but after the criminal action has been commenced the civil action cannot be instituted until final judgment has been rendered in the criminal action."

- Petitioners appealed from that order to the Intermediate Appellate Court.

- On February 17, 1986, respondent Appellate Court affirmed the order of the

trial court. A motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was denied by the Appellate Court .

ISSUE WON a corporation, which has built through its agents, waterpaths, water conductors and contrivances within its land, thereby causing inundation and damage to an adjacent land, can be held civilly liable for damages under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts such that the resulting civil case can proceed independently of the criminal case

HELD

Ratio

YES.

As held in In Azucena vs. Potenciano, in quasi-delicts, "(t)he

civil action is entirely independent of the criminal case according to Articles 33 and 2177 of the Civil Code. There can be no logical conclusion than this, for to subordinate the civil action contemplated in the said articles to the result of the criminal prosecution whether it be conviction or acquittal would render meaningless the independent character of the civil action and the clear injunction in Article 31, that his action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter." Reasoning

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- A careful examination of the complaint shows that the civil action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts. 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.

- 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.

- In the case of Samson vs. Dionisio, the Court applied Article 1902, now

Article 2176 of the Civil Code and held that "any person who without due authority constructs a bank or dike, stopping the flow or communication between a creek or a lake and a river, thereby causing loss and damages to

a third party who, like the rest of the residents, is entitled to the use and

the payment of an

indemnity for loss and damages to the injured party. - While the property involved in the cited case belonged to the public domain and the property subject of the instant case is privately owned, the fact

remains that petitioners' complaint sufficiently alleges that petitioners have sustained and will continue to sustain damage due to the waterpaths and contrivances built by respondent corporation. Indeed, the recitals of the complaint, the alleged presence of damage to the petitioners, the act or omission of respondent corporation supposedly constituting fault or negligence, and the causal connection between the act and the damage, with no pre-existing contractual obligation between the parties make a clear case

of a quasi delict or culpa aquiliana.

- It must be stressed that the use of one's 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.

- Article 2176 1 of the Civil Code imposes a civil liability on a person for

damage caused by his act or omission constituting fault or negligence. - Article 2176, whenever 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 lies 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 the tortfeasor 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.

enjoyment of the

stream or lake, shall be

liable to

1 Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this chapter.

prof. casis

- The distinctness of quasi-delicta is shown in Article 2177 2 of the Civil Code. According to the Report of the Code Commission "the foregoing provision though at first sight startling, is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a distinct and independent negligence, which is a "culpa aquiliana" or quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate from criminal negligence. Such distinction between criminal negligence and "culpa extra-contractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been sustained by decisions of the

In the case of Castillo vs. Court of Appeals, this

Court held that a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime a distinction exists between the civil liability arising from a crime and the responsibility for quasi- delicts or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligence causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or create an action for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil Code. Therefore, the acquittal or conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case, unless, of course, in the event of an acquittal where the court has declared that the fact from which the civil action arose did not exist, in which case the extinction of the criminal liability would carry with it the extinction of the civil liability.

Supreme Court of Spain

TAYLOR V MANILA ELECTRIC 16 PHIL 8 CARSON; March 22, 1910

NATURE An action to recover damages for the loss of an eye and other injuries, instituted by David Taylor, a minor, by his father, his nearest relative.

FACTS - The defendant is a foreign corporation engaged in the operation of a street railway and an electric light system in the city of Manila. The plaintiff, David Taylor, was at the time when he received the injuries complained of, 15 years of age, the son of a mechanical engineer, more mature than the average boy of his age, and having considerable aptitude and training in mechanics.

- On the 30th of September, 1905, plaintiff, with a boy named Manuel

Claparols, about 12 years of age, crossed the footbridge to the Isla del Provisor, for the purpose of visiting one Murphy, an employee of the

defendant, who and promised to make them a cylinder for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Mr. Murphy was not in his quarters, the boys, impelled apparently by youthful curiosity and perhaps by the unusual interest which both seem to have taken in machinery, spent some time in wandering about the company's premises.

- After watching the operation of the travelling crane used in handling the

defendant's coal, they walked across the open space in the neighborhood of

the place where the company dumped in the cinders and ashes from its furnaces. Here they found some twenty or thirty brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground. They are intended for use in the explosion of

2 Article 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.

torts & damages

blasting charges of dynamite, and have in themselves a considerable explosive power. they opened one of the caps with a knife, and finding that it was filled with a yellowish substance they got matches, and David held the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the contents. An explosion followed, causing more or less serious injuries to all three. Jessie, who when the boys proposed putting a match to the contents of the cap, became frightened and started to run away, received a slight cut in the neck. Manuel had his hand burned and wounded, and David was struck in the face by several particles of the metal capsule, one of which injured his right eye to such an extent as to the necessitate its removal by the surgeons who were called in to care for his wounds.

- The evidence does definitely and conclusively disclose how the caps came to be on the defendant's premises, nor how long they had been there when the boys found them.

- No measures seems to have been adopted by the defendant company to

prohibit or prevent visitors from entering and walking about its premises unattended, when they felt disposed so to do.

- The trial court's decision, awarding damages to the plaintiff, upon the

provisions of article 1089 of the Civil Code read together with articles 1902,

1903, and 1908 of that code. ART. 1089 Obligations are created by law, by contracts, by quasi- contracts, and illicit acts and omissions or by those in which any kind of fault or negligence occurs. ART. 1902 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. ART. 1903 The obligation imposed by the preceding 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. Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter may be employed or on account of their duties. 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. ART. 1908 The owners shall also be liable for the damage caused 1 By the explosion of machines which may not have been cared for with due diligence, and for kindling of explosive substances which may not have been placed in a safe and proper place.

- Counsel for the defendant and appellant rests his appeal strictly upon his

contention that the facts proven at the trial do not established the liability of

the defendant company under the provisions of these articles.

ISSUE WON the defendants negligence is the proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries

HELD NO

- We are of opinion that under all the circumstances of this case the

negligence of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of the injury received by the plaintiff.

- We agree with counsel for appellant that under the Civil Code, as under the

generally accepted doctrine in the United States, the plaintiff in an action

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such as that under consideration, in order to establish his right to a recovery, must establish by competent evidence:

(1) Damages to the plaintiff. (2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty. (3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage.

- These proposition are, of course, elementary, and do not admit of

discussion, the real difficulty arising in the application of these principles to

the particular facts developed in the case under consideration.

- It is clear that the accident could not have happened and not the fulminating

caps been left exposed at the point where they were found, or if their owner had exercised due care in keeping them in an appropriate place; but it is equally clear that plaintiff would not have been injured had he not, for his own pleasure and convenience, entered upon the defendant's premises, and

strolled around thereon without the express permission of the defendant, and had he not picked up and carried away the property of the defendant which

he found on its premises, and had he not thereafter deliberately cut open one of the caps and applied a match to its contents.

- But counsel for plaintiff contends that because of plaintiff's youth and inexperience, his entry upon defendant company's premises, and the

intervention of his action between the negligent act of defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises and the accident which resulted in his injury should not be held to have contributed in any wise to the accident, which should be deemed to be the direct result of defendant's negligence in leaving the caps exposed at the place where they were found by the plaintiff, and this latter the proximate cause of the accident which occasioned the injuries sustained by him.

- In support of his contention, counsel for plaintiff relies on the doctrine laid down in many of the courts of last resort in the United States in the cases known as the "Torpedo" and "Turntable" cases, and the cases based thereon.

- As laid down in Railroad Co. vs. Stout (17 Wall. (84 U. S.), 657), wherein

the principal question was whether a railroad company was liable for in injury received by an infant while upon its premises, from idle curiosity, or for

purposes of amusement, if such injury was, under circumstances, attributable to the negligence of the company), the principles on which these cases turn are that "while a railroad company is not bound to the same degree of care in regard to mere strangers who are unlawfully upon its premises that it owes to

passengers conveyed by it, it is not exempt from responsibility to such strangers for injuries arising from its negligence or from its tortious acts;" and that "the conduct of an infant of tender years is not to be judged by the same rule which governs that of adult. While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that to entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting from the fault or negligence of another he must himself have been free from fault, such is not the rule in regard to an infant of tender years. The care and caution required of a child is according to his maturity and capacity only, and this is to be determined in each case by the circumstances of the case."

- The doctrine of the case of Railroad Company vs. Stout was vigorously

controverted and sharply criticized in several courts. But the doctrine of the case is controlling in our jurisdiction.

- This conclusion is founded on reason, justice, and necessity, and neither is

contention that a man has a right to do what will with his own property or that children should be kept under the care of their parents or guardians, so as to prevent their entering on the premises of others is of sufficient weight to put in

doubt.

prof. casis

- But while we hold that the entry of the plaintiff upon defendant's property

without defendant's express invitation or permission would not have relieved defendant from responsibility for injuries incurred there by plaintiff, without

other fault on his part, if such injury were attributable to the negligence of the defendant, we are of opinion that under all the circumstances of this case the negligence of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of the injury received by the plaintiff, which therefore was not, properly speaking, "attributable to the negligence of the defendant," and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that plaintiffs action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting match to its contents was the proximate cause of the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff, and that the defendant, therefore is not civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred. Plaintiff contends, upon the authority of the Turntable and Torpedo cases, that because of plaintiff's youth the intervention of his action between the negligent act of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises and the explosion which resulted in his injury should not be held to have contributed in any wise to the accident; and it is because we can not agree with this proposition, although we accept the doctrine of the Turntable and Torpedo cases, that we have thought proper to discuss and to consider that doctrine at length in this decision.

- In the case at bar, plaintiff at the time of the accident was a well-grown

youth of 15, more mature both mentally and physically than the average boy of his age; he had been to sea as a cabin boy; was able to earn P2.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after the injury was incurred; and the record discloses throughout that he was exceptionally well qualified to take

care of himself. The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that, despite his denials on the witness stand, he well knew the explosive character of the cap with which he was amusing himself.

- True, he may not have known and probably did not know the precise nature

of the explosion which might be expected from the ignition of the contents of the cap, and of course he did not anticipate the resultant injuries which he incurred; but he well knew that a more or less dangerous explosion might be expected from his act, and yet he willfully, recklessly, and knowingly produced the explosion. It would be going far to say that "according to his maturity and capacity" he exercised such and "care and caution" as might reasonably be required of him, or that defendant or anyone else should be held civilly responsible for injuries incurred by him under such circumstances. We are satisfied that the plaintiff in this case had sufficient capacity and understanding to be sensible of the danger to which he exposed himself when he put the match to the contents of the cap; that he was sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified him to understand and appreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of caution which would have avoided the injury which resulted from his own deliberate act; and that the injury incurred by him must be held to have been the direct and immediate result of his own willful and reckless act, so that while it may be true that these injuries would not have been incurred but for the negligence act of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises, nevertheless plaintiff's own act was the proximate and principal cause of the accident which inflicted the injury.

TAYAG V ALCANTARA 98 SCRA 723 CONCEPCION; July 23, 1980

NATURE

torts & damages

Petition for review on certiorari the order of CFI Tarlac (dismissing petition for damages)

FACTS

- Pedro Tayag was riding a motorcycle when he was bumped by a Philippine

Rabbit Bus, driven by Romeo Villa, which caused his instantaneous death. Pending the criminal case against the driver, the heirs of Tayag instituted a

civil action to recover damages from the company (Phil Rabbit Bus Inc) and the driver. In turn, the company and driver filed a motion to suspend trial of the civil case on the ground that the criminal case was still pending. Judge Alcantara granted this motion.

- In the criminal case, the driver as acquitted based on reasonable doubt. The

company and driver then filed for dismissal of the civil case on the ground that the heirs do not have a cause of action because of the acquittal. Judge Alcantara granted this and dismissed the civil case.

ISSUE WON Judge Alcantara correctly dismissed the civil case on the ground of no cause of action due to the acquittal of the driver

HELD 1. NO Ratio The petitioners' cause of action being based on a quasi-delict, the

acquittal of the driver of the crime charged is not a bar to the prosecution for damages based on quasi-delict Reasoning

- Art. 31, NCC provides: “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”

- Evidently, this provision refers to a civil action based on an obligation arising

from quasi-delict. The complaint itself shows that the claim was based on quasi-delit, viz:

“6. That defendant Philippine Rabbit Bus Lino, Inc., has failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees, particularly defendant Romeo Villa y Cunanan. Otherwise, the accident in question which resulted in the death of Pedro Tayag, Sr. and damage to his property would not have occurred;” All the essential averments for a quasi-delictual action are present:

(1) act or omission constituting fault /negligence on the part of respondent (2) damage caused by the said act or omission (3) direct causal relation between the damage and the act or omission and (4) no preexisting contractual relation between the parties. Citing Elcano v Hill: a separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, WON he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that offended party is not allowed to recover damages on both scores DISPOSITION petition granted. Order of CFI Tarlac set aside, case REMANDED to lower court for further proceedings.

SEPARATE OPINION

AQUINO [concur]

- I concur because petitioners' action for damages is based on article 2177 of the Civil Code, under which according to the Code Commission, "acquittal

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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 from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana". Article 33 of the Civil Code also justifies the petitioners' independent civil action for damages since the term "physical injuries" therein embraces death (Dyogi vs. Yatco, 100 Phil. 1095).

- Moreover, the acquittal of Romeo Villa was based on reasonable doubt. The

petitioners, as plaintiffs in the civil case, can amend their complaint and base their action also on article 29 NCC which allows an independent civil action for damages in case of acquittal on the ground of reasonable doubt.

- The requirement in section 2, Rule III of the Rules of Court that there should

be a reservation in the criminal cases of the right to institute an independent civil action is contrary to law.

PEOPLE V LIGON 152 SCRA 419 YAP; July 29, 1987

NATURE Appeal from the judgment of the RTC Manila

FACTS

- February 17, 1986, RTC convicted Fernando Gabat, of Robbery with

Homicide and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua where he robbed and

killed Jose Rosales y Ortiz, a seventeen-year old working student who was earning his keep as a cigarette vendor. He was allegedly robbed of his cigarette box containing cigarettes worth P300.00 more or less. Rogelio Ligon,the co-accused, was never apprehended and is still at large.

- October 23, 1983 - at about 6:10 p.m. Gabat, was riding in a 1978

Volkswagen Kombi owned by his father and driven by the other accused, Ligon which was coming from España Street going towards the direction of Quiapo. At the intersection of Quezon Boulevard and Lerma Street before turning left towards the underpass at C.M. Recto Avenue, they stopped. While waiting, Gabat beckoned a cigarette vendor, Rosales to buy some cigarettes from him. Rosales approached the Kombi and handed Gabat two sticks of cigarettes. While this transaction was occurring, the traffic light changed to green, and the Kombi driven by Rogelio Ligon suddenly moved forward. As to what precisely happened between Gabat and Rosales at the crucial moment, and immediately thereafter, is the subject of conflicting versions by the prosecution and the defense. It is not controverted, however, that as the Kombi continued to speed towards Quiapo, Rosales clung to the window of the Kombi but apparently lost

his grip and fell down on the pavement. Rosales was rushed by some bystanders to the Philippine General Hospital, where he was treated for multiple physical injuries and was confined thereat until his death on October 30, 1983.

- Following close behind (about 3 meters) the Kombi at the time of the

incident was a taxicab driven by Castillo. He was traveling on the same lane in a slightly oblique position. The Kombi did not stop after the victim fell down on the pavement near the foot of the underpass, Castillo pursued it as it sped

towards Roxas Boulevard, beeping his horn to make the driver stop. When they reached the Luneta near the Rizal monument, Castillo saw an owner- type jeep with two persons in it. He sought their assistance in chasing the Kombi, telling them "nakaaksidente ng tao." The two men in the jeep joined the chase and at the intersection of Vito Cruz and Roxas Boulevard, Castillo

prof. casis

was able to overtake the Kombi when the traffic light turned red. He immediately blocked the Kombi while the jeep pulled up right behind it. The two men on board the jeep turned out to be police officers, Patrolmen

Leonardo Pugao and Peter Ignacio. They drew their guns and told the driver, Rogelio Ligon, and his companion, Fernando Gabat, to alight from the Kombi. It was found out that there was a third person inside the Kombi, a certain Rodolfo Primicias who was sleeping at the rear seat.

- The three were all brought by the police officers to the Western Police

District and turned over to Pfc. Fermin Payuan. The taxicab driver, Prudencio

Castillo, also went along with them. Payuan also prepared a Traffic Accident Report, dated October 23, 1983.6 Fernando Gabat and Rodolfo Primicias

were released early morning the following day, but Rogelio Ligon was detained and turned over to the City Fiscal's Office for further investigation.

- December 6, 1983 - Investigating Fiscal Cantos, filed an information against Rogelio Ligon charging him with Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence.

- October 31, 1983 - an autopsy was conducted by the medico-legal officer of NBI which stated the cause of death of Rosales as "pneumonia hypostatic, bilateral, secondary to traumatic injuries of the head."

- June 28, 1984 - Assistant Fiscal Cantos filed another information against

Rogelio Ligon and Fernando Gabat for Robbery with Homicide based on a Supplemental Affidavit of Prudencio Castillo and a joint affidavit of Armando

Espino and Romeo Castil, cigarette vendors, who allegedly witnessed the incident . These affidavits were already prepared and merely sworn to before Fiscal Cantos on January 17, 1984.

- prosecution tried to establish, through the sole testimony of the taxicab

driver that Gabat grabbed the box of cigarettes from Rosales and pried loose the latter's hand from the window of the Kombi, resulting in the latter falling down and hitting the pavement. - The trial court gave full credence to the prosecution's version, stating that there can be no doubt that Gabat forcibly took or grabbed the cigarette box from Rosales because, otherwise, there could be no reason for the latter to

run after the Kombi and hang on to its window. The court also believed Castillo's testimony that Gabat forcibly removed or pried off the right hand of Rosales from the windowsill of the Kombi, otherwise, the latter could not have fallen down, having already been able to balance himself on the stepboard.

- On the other hand, the trial court dismissed as incredible the testimony of

Gabat that the cigarette vendor placed the cigarette box on the windowsill of

the Kombi, holding it with his left hand, while he was trying to get from his pocket the change for the 5peso bill of Gabat. The court said that it is of common knowledge that cigarette vendors plying their trade in the streets do not let go of their cigarette box; no vendor lets go of his precious box of cigarettes in order to change a peso bill given by a customer.

ISSUE WON the prosecution’s set of facts should be given credence

HELD NO

- a careful review of the record shows that certain material facts and

circumstances had been overlooked by the trial court which, if taken into account, would alter the result of the case in that they would introduce an element of reasonable doubt which would entitle the accused to acquittal.

- While the prosecution witness, Castillo, may be a disinterested witness with

no motive, according to the court a quo, "other than to see that justice be done," his testimony, even if not tainted with bias, is not entirely free from

doubt because his observation of the event could have been faulty or

torts & damages

mistaken. The taxicab which Castillo was driving was lower in height

compared to the Kombi in which Gabat was riding-a fact admitted by Castillo

at the trial.

- Judicial notice may also be taken of the fact that the rear windshield of the

1978 Volkswagon Kombi is on the upper portion, occupying approximately one-third (1/3) of the rear end of the vehicle, thus making it visually difficult for Castillo to observe clearly what transpired inside the Kombi at the front end

where Gabat was seated. These are circumstances which must be taken into consideration in evaluating Castillo's testimony as to what exactly happened

between Gabat and the cigarette vendor during that crucial moment before the latter fell down. As the taxicab was right behind the Kombi, following it at

a distance of about three meters, Castillo's line of vision was partially

obstructed by the back part of the Kombi. His testimony that he saw Gabat grab the cigarette box from Rosales and forcibly pry loose the latter's hand from the windowsill of the Kombi is thus subject to a reasonable doubt,

specially considering that this occurrence happened in just a matter of seconds, and both vehicles during that time were moving fast in the traffic.

- Considering the above circumstances, the Court is not convinced with moral

certainty that the guilt of the accused Fernando Gabat has been established beyond reasonable doubt. In our view, the quantum of proof necessary to sustain Gabat's conviction of so serious a crime as robbery with homicide has not been met in this case. He is therefore entitled to acquittal on reasonable doubt.

- However, 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 of the Civil Code, which provides that the acquittal of the accused on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt does not necessarily exempt him from civil liability for the same act or omission, has been explained by the Code Commission as follows:

"The old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a criminal case also releases him from civil liability is one of the most serious flaws in the Philippine legal system. It has given rise to numberless instances of miscarriage of justice, where the acquittal was due to a reasonable doubt in the mind of the court as

to the guilt of the accused. The reasoning followed is that inasmuch as the

civil responsibility is derived from the criminal offense, when the latter is not proved, civil liability cannot be demanded. "This is one of those cases where confused thinking leads to unfortunate and deplorable consequences. Such reasoning fails to draw a clear line of demarcation between criminal liability and civil responsibility, and to determine the logical result of the distinction. The two liabilities are separate and distinct from each other, One affects the social order and the other, private rights. One is for the punishment or correction of the offender while the other is for reparation of damages suffered by the aggrieved party. The two responsibilities are so different from each other that article 1813 of the present (Spanish) Civil Code reads thus: "There may be a compromise upon

the civil action arising from a crime; but the public action for the imposition of the legal penalty shall not thereby be extinguished." It is just and proper that,

for the purposes of the imprisonment of or fine upon the accused, the offense

should be proved beyond reasonable doubt. But for the purpose of indemnifying the complaining party, why should the offense also be proved beyond reasonable doubt? Is not the invasion or violation of every private right to be proved only by a preponderance of evidence? Is the right of the aggrieved person any less private because the wrongful act is also

punishable by the criminal law?

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DISPOSITION Appellant acquitted for the crime of robbery and homicide, but sentenced to indemnify the heirs of Jose Rosales y Ortiz.

PADILLA V CA (Vergara) 129 SCRA 558 GUTIERREZ; [date]

NATURE Petition of rcertiorari to revies the decision of the Court of Appeals

FACTS

- Petitioners, on or about February 8, 1964, went to the public market to

execute an alleged order of the Mayor to clear the public market of stalls which were considered as nuisance per se. The stall of one Antonio Vergara was demolished pursuant to this order. In the process however the stock in trade and certain furniture of Vergara were lost and destroyed.

- The petitioners were found guilty of grave coercion after trial at the CFI and were sentenced to five months and one day imprisonment and ordered to pay fines.

- On appeal, the CA reversed the findings of the CFI and acquitted the

appellants based on reasonable doubt but nonetheless ordered them to pay P9,600.00 as actual damages. The decision of the CA was based on the fact that the petitioners were charged with coercion when they should have been more appropriately charged with crime against person. Hence, the crime of

grave coercion was not proved in accordance with the law.

- The petitioner filed the appeal to the SC questioning the grant of actual damages despite a no guilty verdict.

ISSUE WON the CA committed a reversible error in requiring the petitioners to pay civil indemnity to the complainants after acquitting them from the criminal charge

HELD NO

- The SC, quoting Section 3 (C) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court and various jurisprudence including PNB vs Catipon, De Guzman vs Alvia, held that

extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in the final judgment that the facts from which the civil action might arise did not exist. In the case at bar, the judgment of not guilty was based on reasonable doubt. Since the standard of proof to be used in civil cases is preponderance of evidence, the court express a finding that the defendants’ offenses are civil in nature.

- The Court also tackled the provision of Article 29 of the Civil Code to clarify

whether a separate civil action is required when the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The SC took the position that the said provision merely emphasizes that a civil action for damages is not precluded by an acquittal for the same criminal act. The acquittal extinguishes the criminal liability but not the civil liability particularly if the finding is not guilty based on reasonable ground.

CRUZ V CA (UMALI)

prof. casis

282 SCRA 188 FRANCISCO; 1997

NATURE Civil action for damages in a medical malpractice suit.

FACTS

- Rowena Umali De Ocampo accompanied her mother to the Perpetual Help

Clinic and General Hospital. Prior to March 22, 1991, Lydia was examined by

the petitioner who found a "myoma" in her uterus, and scheduled her for a hysterectomy operation on March 23, 1991.

- Rowena and her mother slept in the clinic on the evening of March 22, 1991

as the latter was to be operated on the next day at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. According to Rowena, she noticed that the clinic was untidy and the window and the floor were very dusty prompting her to ask the attendant

for a rag to wipe the window and the floor with. Because of the untidy state of the clinic, Rowena tried to persuade her mother not to proceed with the operation.

- The following day, Rowena asked the petitioner if the operation could be

postponed. The petitioner called Lydia into her office and the two had a conversation. Lydia then informed Rowena that the petitioner told her that she must be operated on as scheduled.

- Rowena and her other relatives waited outside the operating room while

Lydia underwent operation. While they were waiting, Dr. Ercillo went out of the operating room and instructed them to buy tagamet ampules which Rowena's sister immediately bought. About one hour had passed when Dr. Ercillo came out again this time to ask them to buy blood for Lydia. They bought type "A" blood and the same was brought by the attendant into the operating room.

- After the lapse of a few hours, the petitioner informed them that the

operation was finished. The operating staff then went inside the petitioner's

clinic to take their snacks. Some thirty minutes after, Lydia was brought out of the operating room in a stretcher and the petitioner asked Rowena and the other relatives to buy additional blood for Lydia. Unfortunately, they were not able to comply with petitioner's order as there was no more type "A" blood available in the blood bank.

- Thereafter, a person arrived to donate blood which was later transfused to

Lydia. Rowena then noticed her mother, who was attached to an oxygen tank, gasping for breath. Apparently the oxygen supply had run out and Rowena's husband together with the driver of the accused had to go to the San Pablo District Hospital to get oxygen. Lydia was given the fresh supply of

oxygen as soon as it arrived.

- At around 10pm, she went into shock and her blood pressure dropped to

60/50. Lydia's unstable condition necessitated her transfer to the San Pablo District Hospital so she could be connected to a respirator and further

examined. The transfer to the San Pablo City District Hospital was without the prior consent of Rowena nor of the other relatives present who found out about the intended transfer only when an ambulance arrived to take Lydia to the San Pablo District Hospital. Rowena and her other relatives then boarded a tricycle and followed the ambulance.

- Upon Lydia's arrival at the San Pablo District Hospital, she was wheeled into the operating room and the petitioner and Dr. Ercillo re-operated on her because there was blood oozing from the abdominal incision. The attending physicians summoned Dr. Bartolome Angeles, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the San Pablo District Hospital. However, when

torts & damages

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prof. casis

Dr. Angeles arrived, Lydia was already in shock and possibly dead as her blood pressure was already 0/0. While petitioner was closing the abdominal

NATURE Petition for Review

NATURE

wall, the patient died. Her death certificate states "shock" as the immediate cause of death and "Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)" as the

 

FACTS

An appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance disallowing the claim of the plaintiff for P1,000 against the estate of the deceased James P.

antecedent cause.

-

Napoleon Macadangdang was found guilty and convicted of the crime of

McElroy.

ISSUE

reckless imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of 4 years, 9

 

FACTS

WON the circumstances are sufficient to sustain a judgment of conviction

months and 11 days to 6 years, and to pay damages. But in the event the

ISSUE

-

Jose Cangco, was employed by Manila Railroad Company as clerk. He

against the petitioner for the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide

the accused becoems insolvent, Phil. Rabbit will be held liable for the civil liabilities. But admittedly, the accused jumped bail and remained at large.

lived in San Mateo, Rizal, located upon the line of the defendant railroad

company; and in coming daily by train to the company's office in the city of Manila where he worked, he used a pass, supplied by the company, which entitled him to ride upon the company's trains free of charge.

 

HELD NO

WON an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of its accused-

-

January 20, 1915, the plaintiff was returning home by rail from his daily

-

The elements of reckless imprudence are: (1) that the offender does or fails

employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction independently of the

labors; and as the train drew up to the station in San Mateo the plaintiff while

to do an act; (2) that the doing or the failure to do that act is voluntary; (3) that

accused

making his exit through the door, took his position upon the steps of the

it be without malice; (4) that material damage results from the reckless imprudence; and (5) that there is inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the offender, taking into consideration his employment or occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition, and other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.

- WON has committed an "inexcusable lack of precaution" in the treatment of

his patient is to be determined according to the standard of care observed by other members of the profession in good standing under similar circumstances bearing in mind the advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment or the present state of medical science. - For whether a physician or surgeon has exercised the requisite degree of skill and care in the treatment of his patient is, in the generality of cases, a matter of expert opinion. The deference of courts to the expert opinion of qualified physicians stems from its realization that the latter possess unusual technical skills which laymen in most instances are incapable of intelligently evaluating. Expert testimony should have been offered to prove that the circumstances cited by the courts below are constitutive of conduct falling below the standard of care employed by other physicians in good standing when performing the same operation. It must be remembered that when the qualifications of a physician are admitted, as in the instant case, there is an inevitable presumption that in proper cases he takes the necessary precaution and employs the best of his knowledge and skill in attending to his clients, unless the contrary is sufficiently established. This presumption is rebuttable by expert opinion which is so sadly lacking in the case at bench.

- Even without expert testimony, that petitioner was recklessly imprudent in

the exercise of her duties as a surgeon, no cogent proof exists that any of these circumstances caused petitioner's death. Thus, the absence of the fourth element of reckless imprudence: that the injury to the person or property was a consequence of the reckless imprudence.

- In litigations involving medical negligence, the plaintiff has the burden of

establishing appellant's negligence and for a reasonable conclusion of negligence, there must be proof of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon

as well as a casual connection of such breach and the resulting death of his patient.

PHIL. RABBIT V PEOPLE [citation] PANGANIBAN; April 14, 2004

HELD NO

- The accused cannot be accorded the right to appeal unless they voluntarily

submit to the jurisdiction of the court or are otherwise arrested within 15 days from notice of the judgment against them. While at large, they cannot seek

relief from the court, as they are deemed to have waived the appeal. In the case before us, the accused-employee has escaped and refused to surrender to the proper authorities; thus, he is deemed to have abandoned his appeal. Consequently, the judgment against him has become final and executory.

- After a judgment has become final, vested rights are acquired by the

winning party. If the proper losing party has the right to file an appeal within the prescribed period, then the former has the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the resolution of the case. - In fact, petitioner admits that by helping the accused-employee, it

participated in the proceedings before the RTC; thus, it cannot be said that the employer was deprived of due process. It might have lost its right to appeal, but it was not denied its day in court. In fact, it can be said that by jumping bail, the accused-employee, not the court, deprived petitioner of the right to appeal.

- On Subsidiary Liability Upon Finality of Judgment:

- Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, employers are subsidiarily

liable for the adjudicated civil liabilities of their employees in the event of the

latter’s insolvency.

- To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a criminal case would enable them to amend, nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered by a competent court. By the same token, to allow them to appeal the final criminal conviction of their employees without the latter’s consent would also result in improperly amending, nullifying or defeating the judgment.

- The decision convicting an employee in a criminal case is binding and

conclusive upon the employer not only with regard to the former’s civil liability, but also with regard to its amount. The liability of an employer cannot be separated from that of the employee. DISPOSITION Petition is hereby DENIED, and the assailed Resolutions AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

CANGCO V MANILA RAILROAD CO 38 Phil 768 FISHER; October 14, 1918

coach.

- On the side of the train where passengers alight at the San Mateo station

there is a cement platform which begins to rise with a moderate gradient some distance away from the company's office and extends along in front of said office for a distance sufficient to cover the length of several coaches. As the train slowed down another passenger, Emilio Zuniga, also an employee

of the railroad company, got off the same car, alighting safely at the point where the platform begins to rise from the level of the ground. When Jose Cangco stepped off, one or both of his feet came in contact with a sack of watermelons with the result that his feet slipped from under him and he fell violently on the platform. His body at once rolled from the platform and was drawn under the moving car, where his right arm was badly crushed and lacerated. After the plaintiff alighted from the train the car moved forward possibly six meters before it came to a full stop.

- The accident occurred on a dark night, and the train station was lit dimly by

a single light located some distance away, objects on the platform where the accident occurred were difficult to discern, especially to a person emerging from a lighted car.

- The sack of melons on the platform is because it was the customary season

for harvesting these melons and a large lot had been brought to the station

for shipment to the market. This row of sacks was so placed that there was a space of only about two feet between the sacks of melons and the edge of the platform; and it is clear that the fall of the plaintiff was due to the fact that his foot alighted upon one of these melons at the moment he stepped upon the platform. His statement that he failed to see these objects in the darkness

is readily to be credited.

- The plaintiff was drawn from under the car in an unconscious condition, and with serious injuries. He was immediately brought to a hospital where an

examination was made and his arm was amputated. The plaintiff was then carried to another hospital where a second operation was performed and the member was again amputated higher up near the shoulder. Expenses reached the sum of P790.25 in the form of medical and surgical fees and for other expenses in connection with the process of his curation.

- August 31, 1915, he instituted this proceeding in the CFI Manilato recover

damages of the defendant company, founding his action upon the negligence of the servants and employees of the defendant in placing the sacks of melons upon the platform and in leaving them so placed as to be a menace to the security of passenger alighting from the company's trains. At the hearing in the CFI, the trial judge, found the facts substantially as above stated, and although negligence was attributable to the defendant by reason

of the fact that the sacks of melons were so placed as to obstruct passengers

torts & damages

passing to and from the cars, nevertheless, the plaintiff himself had failed to use due caution in alighting from the coach and was therefore precluded from recovering. Judgment was accordingly entered in favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff appealed.

ISSUE WON there was contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff

HELD NO Ratio In determining the question of contributory negligence in performing

such act - that is to say, whether the passenger acted prudently or recklessly

- the age, sex, and physical condition of the passenger are circumstances

necessarily affecting the safety of the passenger, and should be considered. Reasoning

- The employees of the railroad company were guilty of negligence in piling

these sacks on the platform. Their presence caused the plaintiff to fall as he alighted from the train; and that they constituted an effective legal cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It follows that the defendant company is liable for the damage unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff's own contributory negligence.

- The foundation of the legal liability of the defendant is the contract of

carriage, and that the obligation to respond for the damage which plaintiff has

suffered arises from the breach of that contract by reason of the failure of defendant to exercise due care in its performance.

- Its liability is direct and immediate, imposed by article 1903 of the Civil Code, which can be rebutted by proof of the exercise of due care in their

selection and supervision. Article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to obligations arising ex contractu, but only to extra-contractual obligations

- In commenting upon article 1093, Manresa clearly points out the difference

between "culpa, substantive and independent, which of itself constitutes the

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by the carelessness of his employee while acting within the scope of his employment The Court, after citing the last paragraph of article 1903 of the Civil Code, said: (1) That when an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and

consequently, may be rebutted. It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability.

- Every legal obligation must of necessity be extra-contractual or contractual.

Extra-contractual obligation has its source in the breach or omission of those

mutual duties which civilized society imposes upon its members, or which arise from these relations, other than contractual, of certain members of

society to others, generally embraced in the concept of status. The legal rights of each member of society constitute the measure of the corresponding legal duties, which the existence of those rights imposes upon all other members of society. The breach of these general duties whether due to willful intent or to mere inattention, if productive of injury, gives rise to an obligation to indemnify the injured party. The fundamental distinction between obligations of this character and those which arise from contract, rests upon the fact that in cases of non-contractual obligation it is the wrongful or negligent act or omission itself which creates the vinculum juris, whereas in contractual relations the vinculum exists independently of the breach of the voluntary duty assumed by the parties when entering into the contractual relation.

- The railroad company's defense involves the assumption that even granting

that the negligent conduct of its servants in placing an obstruction upon the

platform was a breach of its contractual obligation to maintain safe means of approaching and leaving its trains, the direct and proximate cause of the

prof. casis

alight. The plaintiff was possessed of 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. The place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff, as it was his daily custom to get on and off the train at this station. There could be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of the step which he was required to take or the character of the platform where he was alighting. It is the Court’s conclusion that the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly under way was not characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of contributory negligence. DISPOSITION The decision of the lower court is reversed, and judgment is hereby rendered plaintiff for the sum of P3,290.25, and for the costs of both instances.

SEPARATE OPINION

MALCOLM, [dissent]

- With one sentence in the majority decision, we are of full accord, namely, "It may be admitted that had plaintiff waited until the train had come to a full stop before alighting, the particular injury suffered by him could not have occurred." With the general rule relative to a passenger's contributory negligence, we are likewise in full accord, namely, "An attempt to alight from a moving train is negligence per se." Adding these two points together, we have the logical result - the Manila Railroad Co. should be absolved from the complaint, and judgment affirmed.

FORES V MIRANDA [citation] REYES, J.B.L.; March 4, 1959

source of an obligation between persons not formerly connected by any legal tie" and culpa considered as an "accident in the performance of an obligation "

already existing

injury suffered by plaintiff was his own contributory negligence in failing to wait until the train had come to a complete stop before alighting. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence announced in the Rakes case, if the

NATURE Petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals

-

In the Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. the court was made to rest

accident was caused by plaintiff's own negligence, no liability is imposed

squarely upon the proposition that article 1903 is not applicable to acts of negligence which constitute the breach of a contract.

upon defendant, whereas if the accident was caused by defendant's negligence and plaintiff's negligence merely contributed to his injury, the

FACTS - Respondent was one of the passengers on a jeepney driven by Eugenio

-

Under the Spanish law, in cases imposed upon employers with respect to

damages should be apportioned. It is, therefore, important to ascertain if

Luga. While the vehicle was descending the Sta. Mesa bridge at an

damages due to the negligence of their employees to persons to whom they

defendant was in fact guilty of negligence.

excessive rate of speed, the driver lost control thereof, causing it to swerve

are not bound by contract, such is not based upon the principle of respondent superior - but upon the principle announced in article 1902 which imposes upon all persons who by their fault or negligence, do injury to another, the obligation of making good the damage caused.

-

The Court is of the opinion that the correct doctrine relating to this subject is that expressed in Thompson's work on Negligence:

"The test by which to determine whether the passenger has been guilty of negligence in attempting to alight from a moving railway train, is that of

and to hit the bridge wall. The accident occurred on the morning of March 22, 1953. Five of the passengers were injured, including the respondent who suffered a fracture of the upper right humerus. He was taken to the National Orthopedic Hospital for treatment, and later was subjected to a series of

-

The liability arising from extra-contractual culpa is always based upon a

ordinary or reasonable care. It is to be considered whether an ordinarily

operations; the first on May 23, 1953, when wire loops were wound around

voluntary act or omission which, without willful intent, but by mere negligence

prudent person, of the age, sex and condition of the passenger, would have

the broken bones and screwed into place; a second, effected to insert a metal

or inattention, has caused damage to another. A master who exercises all possible care in the selection of his servant, taking into consideration the

qualifications they should possess for the discharge of the duties which it is his purpose to confide to them, and directs them with equal diligence, thereby

-

In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, an action is brought upon the theory of the

-

acted as the passenger acted under the circumstances disclosed by the evidence. This care has been defined to be, not the care which may or should be used by the prudent man generally, but the care which a man of ordinary prudence would use under similar circumstances, to avoid injury."

splint, and a third one to remove such splint. At the time of the trial, it appears that respondent had not yet recovered the use of his right arm. - The driver was charged with serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence, and upon interposing a plea of guilty was sentenced

performs his duty to third persons to whom he is bound by no contractual ties,

In considering the probability of contributory negligence on the part of the

accordingly.

and he incurs no liability whatever if, by reason of the negligence of his

plaintiff the following circumstances are to be noted: The company's platform

servants, even within the scope of their employment, such third persons suffer damage. Article 1903 presumes negligence, but that presumption is

was constructed upon a level higher than that of the roadbed and the surrounding ground. The distance from the steps of the car to the spot where

ISSUE WON the defendant is entitled to moral damages

refutable.

the alighting passenger would place his feet on the platform was thus reduced, thereby decreasing the risk incident to stepping off. The cement

HELD

extra-contractual liability of the defendant to respond for the damage caused

platform also assured to the passenger a stable and even surface on which to

NO.

torts & damages

Ratio Moral damages are not recoverable in damage actions predicated on

a breach of the contract of transportation, in view of Articles 2219 and 2220 of the new Civil Code, which provide as follows:

"ART. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries; (2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

xxx

ART. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding

moral damages if the court should find that, under the circumstance, such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith." Reasoning

(a) In case of breach of contract (including one of transportation) proof of

bad faith or fraud (dolus), i.e., wanton or deliberately injurious conduct, is

essential to justify an award of moral damages; and

(b) That a breach of contract can not be considered included in the

description term "analogous cases" used in Art. 2219; not only because Art. 2220 specifically provides for the damages that are caused by contractual breach, but because the definition of quasi-delict in Act. 2176 of the Code expressly excludes the cases where there is a "preexisting contractual

relation between the parties." "ART. 2176. Whoever by act or omission caused damage to another, there

being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pro-existing contractual relation between the parties,

is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provision of this Chapter."

- In sum the rule is:

Delict (breach of contract) Gen. Rule: no moral damages

- Reason: the advantageous position of a party suing a carrier for breach of

the contract of transportation explains, to some extent, the limitation imposed by the new Code on the amount of the recovery. The action for breach of contract imposes on the defendant carrier a presumption of liability upon mere proof of injury to the passenger; that latter is relieved from the duty to establish the fault of the carrier, or of his employees, and the burden is placed on the carrier to prove the it was due to an unforeseen event or to force majeure (Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co., 38 Phil., 768 777). Moreover, the carrier, unlike in suits for quasi-delict, may not escape liability by proving that it has exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees - Exception: with moral damages if:

xxx

xxx

defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith

result in the death of a passenger in which case Article 1764 makes the common carrier expressly subject to the rule of Art. 2206, that entitles the spouse, descendants and ascendants of the deceased passenger to "demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased"

- The difference in conditions, defenses and proof, as well as the codal

concept of quasi-delict as essentially extra contractual negligence, compel us

to differentiate between action ex contractu, and actions quasi ex delicto, and

prevent us from viewing the action for breach of contract as simultaneously

embodying an action on tort. DISPOSITION The decision of the Court of Appeals is modified by eliminating the award of P5.000.00 by way of moral damages

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M.H.

RAKES

V

THE

ATLANTIC,

GULF

AND

PACIFIC

COMPANY 7 Phil 359 TRACEY; January 23, 1907

NATURE Action for damages

FACTS

- the plaintiff, Rakes, one of a group of 8 African-American laborers in the

employment of defendant, Atlantic, was at work transporting iron rails from the harbor in Manila. The men were hauling the rails on 2 hand cars, some behind or at it sides and some pulling the cars in the front by a rope. At one

point, the track sagged, the tie broke, the car canted and the rails slid off and caught the plaintiff who was walking by the car’s side, breaking his leg, which was later amputated at the knee.

- the plaintiff’s witness alleged that a noticeable depression in the track had appeared after a typhoon. This was reported to the foreman, Mckenna, but it had not been proven that Atlantic inspected the track or had any proper system of inspection. Also, there were no side guards on the cars to keep the rails from slipping off.

- However, the company’s officers and 3 of the workers testified that there

was a general prohibition frequently made known to all against walking by the side of cars. As Rakes was walking along the car’s side when the accident occurred, he was found to have contributed in some degree to the injury inflicted, although not as the primary cause.

- Atlantic contends that the remedy for injury through negligence lies only in a

criminal action against the official directly responsible and that the employer

be held only subsidiarily liable.

ISSUES

1. WON Atlantic is only subsidiarily liable

2. WON there was contributory negligence on the part of petitioner and if so,

WON it bars him from recovery

HELD

1. NO

- By virtue of culpa contractual, Atlantic may be held primarily liable as it

failed in its duty to provide safe appliances for the use of its employees. Petitioner need not file charges with the foreman to claim damages from Atlantic; a criminal action is not a requisite for the enforcement of a civil action.

2. YES

- Petitioner had walked along the side of the car despite a prohibition to do so

by the foreman. However, the contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the action if it be shown that the defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the consequences of the injured party's negligence. Petitioner’s negligence contributed only to his own injury and not to the principal occurrenceit was merely an element to the damage caused upon him. Had it been otherwise, “…parties being mutually in fault, there can be no appointment of damages. The law has no scales to determine in such cases whose wrongdoing weighed most in the compound that occasioned the mischief” (Railroad v Norton). In this case, petitioner may recover from the defendant, less a sum deemed suitable equivalent for his own imprudence.

prof. casis

- Damages are awarded to petitioner at Php5,000, deducting Php 2,500, the amount fairly attributable to his own negligence.

SEPARATE OPINION

WILLARD AND CARSON [dissent]

-the negligence of the defendant alone was insufficient to cause the accidentit also required the negligence of the plaintiff. Because of this, plaintiff should not be afforded relief

FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY V CA 241 SCRA 671 VITUG; February 23, 1995

NATURE Petition for review

FACTS - In October 1986, Luis A. Luna applied for, and was accorded, a FAREASTCARD issued by petitioner Far East Bank and Trust Company ("FEBTC") at its Pasig Branch. Upon his request, the bank also issued a supplemental card to Clarita S. Luna.

- In August 1988, Clarita lost her credit card. FEBTC was forthwith informed.

In order to replace the lost card, Clarita submitted an affidavit of loss. In cases of this nature, the bank's internal security procedures and policy would appear to be- to meanwhile so record the lost card, along with the principal card, as a "Hot Card" or "Cancelled Card" in its master file.

- On 06 October 1988, Luis tendered a despedida lunch for a close friend, a Fil-Am, and another guest at the Bahia Rooftop Restaurant of the Hotel

Intercon Manila. To pay for the lunch, Luis presented his FAREASTCARD to the attending waiter who promptly had it verified through a telephone call to the bank's Credit Card Department. Since the card was not honored, Luis was forced to pay in cash the bill amounting to P588.13. Naturally, Luis felt embarrassed by this incident.

- In a letter, dated 11 Oct. 1988, Luis Luna, through counsel, demanded from

FEBTC the payment of damages. Adrian V. Festejo, a VP of the bank, expressed the bank's apologies to Luis in his letter which stated that: In cases

when a card is reported to our office as lost, FAREASTCARD undertakes the necessary action to avert its unauthorized use to protect its cardholders. However, it failed to inform him about its security policy. Furthermore, an overzealous employee of the Bank's Credit Card Department did not consider

the possibility that it may have been him who was presenting the card at that time (for which reason, the unfortunate incident occurred).

- Festejo also sent a letter to the Manager of the Bahia Rooftop Restaurant to assure the latter that Luis was a "very valued clients" of FEBTC. William

Anthony King, F&B Manager of the Intercon, wrote back to say that the credibility of Luis had never been "in question." A copy of this reply was sent to Luis by Festejo.

- Still evidently feeling aggrieved, Luis filed a complaint for damages with the RTC of Pasig against FEBTC.

- On 30 March 1990, the RTC of Pasig ordered FEBTC to pay private

respondents (a) P300,000.00 moral damages; (b) P50,000.00 exemplary damages; and (c) P20,000.00 attorney's fees.

torts & damages

- On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.Its motion for reconsideration having been denied by the appellate court, FEBTC has come to this Court with this petition for review.

ISSUE WON the petitioner is entitled to moral and exemplary damages

HELD NO - In culpa contractual, moral damages may be recovered where the defendant is shown to have acted in bad faith or with malice in the breach of the contract. The Civil Code provides:

- Art. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the court should find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of contract where

the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith.

- Bad faith, in this context, includes gross, but not simple, negligence.

Exceptionally, in a contract of carriage, moral damages are also allowed in case of death of a passenger attributable to the fault (which is presumed ) of the common carrier.

- Concededly, the bank was remiss in indeed neglecting to personally inform

Luis of his own card's cancellation. Nothing in the findings of the trial court and the appellate court, however, can sufficiently indicate any deliberate intent on the part of FEBTC to cause harm to private respondents. Neither could FEBTC's negligence in failing to give personal notice to Luis be considered so gross as to amount to malice or bad faith.

- Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and intentional design to do a

wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral obliquity; it is different from the negative idea of negligence in that malice or bad faith contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or ill will.

- Article 21 states:

Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner

that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the

latter for the damage.

- Article 21 of the Code, it should be observed, contemplates a conscious act

to cause harm. Thus, even if we are to assume that the provision could properly relate to a breach of contract, its application can be warranted only when the defendant's disregard of his contractual obligation is so deliberate as to approximate a degree of misconduct certainly no less worse than fraud or bad faith. Most importantly, Article 21 is a mere declaration of a general principle in human relations that clearly must, in any case, give way to the specific provision of Article 2220 of the Civil Code authorizing the grant of moral damages in culpa contractual solely when the breach is due to fraud or bad faith. - Fores vs. Miranda explained with great clarity the predominance that we should give to Article 2220 in contractual relations; we quote:

Anent the moral damages ordered to be paid to the respondent, the same

must be discarded. We have repeatedly ruled that moral damages are not recoverable in damage actions predicated on a breach of the contract of transportation, in view of Articles 2219 and 2220 of the new Civil Code, which provide as follows:

- Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries; (2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

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- Art. 2220. Wilful injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the court should find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith.

- By contrasting the provisions of these two articles it immediately becomes

apparent that:

(a) In case of breach of contract (including one of transportation) proof of bad

faith or fraud (dolus), i.e., wanton or deliberately injurious conduct, is essential to justify an award of moral damages; and (b) That a breach of contract can not be considered included in the descriptive term "analogous cases" used in Art. 2219; not only because Art. 2220 specifically provides for the damages that are caused contractual breach, but because the definition of quasi-delict in Art. 2176 of the Code expressly excludes the cases where there is a "preexisitng contractual relations between the parties."

- Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there

being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. The exception to the basic rule of damages now under consideration is a mishap resulting in the death of a passenger, in which case Article 1764

makes the common carrier expressly subject to the rule of Art. 2206, that entitles the spouse, descendants and ascendants of the deceased passenger to "demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. But the exceptional rule of Art. 1764 makes it all the more evident that where the injured passenger does not die, moral damages are not recoverable unless it is proved that the carrier was guilty of malice or bad faith. We think it is clear that the mere carelessness of the carrier's driver does not per se constitute or justify an inference of malice or bad faith on the part of the carrier; and in the case at bar there is no other evidence of such malice to support the award of moral damages by the Court of Appeals. To award moral damages for breach of contract, therefore, without proof of bad faith or malice on the part of the defendant, as required by Art. 2220, would

be to violate the clear provisions of the law, and constitute unwarranted

judicial legislation.

xxx xxx xxx

- The distinction between fraud, bad faith or malice in the sense of deliberate

or wanton wrong doing and negligence (as mere carelessness) is too

fundamental in our law to be ignored (Arts. 1170-1172); their consequences

being clearly differentiated by the Code.

- Art. 2201. In contracts and quasi-contracts, the damages for which the

obligor who acted in good faith is liable shall be those that are the natural and probable consequences of the breach of the obligation, and which the parties

have foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen at the time the obligation was constituted.

- In case of fraud, bad faith, malice or wanton attitude, the obligor shall be responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the non- performance of the obligation.

- It is to be presumed, in the absence of statutory provision to the contrary,

that this difference was in the mind of the lawmakers when in Art. 2220 they

limited recovery of moral damages to breaches of contract in bad faith. It is

true that negligence may be occasionally so gross as to amount to malice;

but the fact must be shown in evidence, and a carrier's bad faith is not to be

lightly inferred from a mere finding that the contract was breached through negligence of the carrier's employees.

prof. casis

- The Court has not in the process overlooked another rule that a quasi-delict

can be the cause for breaching a contract that might thereby permit the application of applicable principles on tort even where there is a pre-existing

contract between the plaintiff and the defendant This doctrine, unfortunately, cannot improve private respondents' case for it can aptly govern only where the act or omission complained of would constitute an actionable tort independently of the contract. The test (whether a quasi-delict can be

deemed to underlie the breach of a contract) can be stated thusly: Where, without a pre-existing contract between two parties, an act or omission can nonetheless amount to an actionable tort by itself, the fact that the parties are contractually bound is no bar to the application of quasi-delict provisions to the case. Here, private respondents' damage claim is predicated solely on their contractual relationship; without such agreement, the act or omission complained of cannot by itself be held to stand as a separate cause of action or as an independent actionable tort.

- Exemplary or corrective damages, in turn, are intended to serve as an

example or as correction for the public good in addition to moral, temperate,

liquidated or compensatory damages (Art. 2229, Civil Code. In criminal offenses, exemplary damages are imposed when the crime is committed with one or more aggravating circumstances (Art. 2230, Civil Code). In quasi- delicts, such damages are granted if the defendant is shown to have been so

guilty of gross negligence as to approximate malice. In contracts and quasi- contracts, the court may award exemplary damages if the defendant is found to have acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner (Art. 2232, Civil Code).

- Given the above premises and the factual circumstances here obtaining, it

would also be just as arduous to sustain the exemplary damages granted by the courts below. - Nevertheless, the bank's failure, even perhaps inadvertent, to honor its credit card issued to private respondent Luis should entitle him to recover a measure of damages sanctioned under Article 2221 of the Civil Code

providing thusly:

- Art. 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.

- Reasonable attorney's fees may be recovered where the court deems such

recovery to be just and equitable (Art. 2208, Civil Code). We see no issue of sound discretion on the part of the appellate court in allowing the award

thereof by the trial court. DISPOSITION The appealed decision is MODIFIED by deleting the award of moral and exemplary damages to private respondents; in its stead, petitioner is ordered to pay private respondent Luis A. Luna an amount of P5,000.00 by way of nominal damages. In all other respects, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED.

AIR FRANCE V CA (Carrascoso, Et. Al) 18 SCRA 155 SANCHEZ; September 28, 1966

NATURE PETITION for review by certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals.

FACTS

torts & damages

- Carrascoso, a civil engineer, left Manila for Lourdes w/ 48 other Filipino

pilgrims. Air France, through PAL, issued plaintiff a “first class” round trip airplane ticket from Manila to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok, Carrascoso traveled in “first class” but at Bangkok, the Manager of the defendant airline forced plaintiff to vacate the 'first class' seat that he was occupying because, in the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a 'white man', who, the Manager alleged, had a 'better right' to the seat. When asked to

vacate his 'first class' seat, the plaintiff, as was to be expected, refused, and told defendant's Manager that his seat would be taken over his dead body; a commotion ensued, and, according to said Ernesto G. Cuento, many of the Filipino passengers got nervous in the tourist class; when they found out that Mr. Carrascoso was having a hot discussion with the white man [manager], they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso and pacified Mr. Carrascoso to give his seat to the 'white man; and plaintiff reluctantly gave his 'first class' seat in the plane."

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- FINDINGS OF FACT: "the written statement of the ultimate facts as found

by the court and essential to support the decision and judgment rendered thereon".16 They consist of the court's "conclusions with respect to the

determinative facts in issue"

- QUESTION OF LAW: one which does not call for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the parties

2. YES, the plaintiff was issued, and paid for, a first class ticket without any

reservation whatever. Ratio .A written document speaks a uniform language; that spoken word

could be notoriously unreliable. If only to achieve stability in the relations between passenger and air carrier, adherence to the ticket so issued is desirable. Reasoning

- Petitioner asserts that said ticket did not represent the true and complete

intent and agreement of the parties; that said respondent knew that he did not

prof. casis

faith" contemplates a "state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some motive of self-interest or ill will or for ulterior purposes

4. YES

- The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of its employees need not. be essayed. For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer.

5. YES

- Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso, is one attended with public duty. The

stress of Carrascoso's. action as we have said, is placed upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the petitioner-air carrier-a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper. (note: it was held that it was a case of quasi-delict even though it was a breach of contract) Ratio A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other contractual relation.43 And is, because of the relation which an air-carrier sustains with the public. Its business is mainly with the

-

both TC and CA decided in favor of Carrascoso

have confirmed reservations for first class on any specific flight, although he

travelling public. It invites people to avail of the comforts and I advantages it

 

ISSUES

had tourist class protection; that, accordingly, the issuance of a first class ticket was no guarantee that he would have a first class ride, but that such

offers. The contract of air carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended with a public duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the carrier's employees,

Procedural

would depend upon the availability of first class seats. However, CA held that

naturally, could give ground for an action for damages.

1.

WON the CA failed to make a complete findings of fact on all the issues

Air France should know whether or not the tickets it issues are to be honored

Reasoning

properly laid before it, and if such, WON the Court could review the questions

of fact

or not. The trial court also accepted as evidence the written documents

-

Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to

submitted by Carrasco and even the testimony of the air-carrier’s employees

be treated by the carrier's employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and

Substantive

attested that indeed, Carrasco was issued a “first class ticket”.

due consideration. They are entitled to be protected against personal

2. WON Carrascoso was entitled to the “first class” seat he claims, as proved by written documents (tickets…)

3. WON Carrascoso was entitled to moral damages, when his action is

planted upon breach of contract and thus, there must be an averment of fraud

or bad faith which the CA allegedly failed to find

4. WON moral damages could be recovered from Air France, granted that

their employee was accused of the tortuous act

5. WON damages are proper in a breach contract

6. WON the transcribed testimony of Carrascoso regarding the account made

by the air-carrier’s purser is admissible in evidence as hearsay

7. WON Carrascoso was entitled to exemplary damages

8. WON Carrascoso was entitled to attorney’s fees

9. WON the amounts awarded to Carrascoso was excessive

HELD

1. NO, NO

Ratio A decision is not to be so clogged with details such that prolixity, if not confusion, may result. So long as the decision of the Court of Appeals, contains the necessary facts to warrant its conclusions, it. is no error for said court to withhold therefrom "any specific finding of facts with respect to the evidence for the defense"."The mere failure to specify (in the decision) the contentions of the appellant and the reasons for refusing to believe them is not sufficient to hold the same contrary to the requirements of the provisions of law and the Constitution"; "only questions of law may be raised" in an appeal by certiorari from a judgment of the Court of Appeals. Obiter. - Constitution mandates that a judgment determining the merits of the case shall state "clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based" and that "Every decision of the Court of Appeals shall contain complete findings of fact on all issues properly raised before".xxx The law, however, solely insists that a decision state the "essential ultimate facts" upon which the court's conclusion is drawn.

- If, as petitioner underscores, a first-class-ticket holder is not entitled to a first class seat, notwithstanding the fact that seat availability in specific flights is therein confirmed, then an air passenger is placed in the hollow of the hands of an airline. -Also, when Carrascoso was asked to confirm his seat in Bangkok, he was granted the “first class” seat. If there had been no seat, and if the “white man” had a better right to the seat, then why did they confirm Carrasco his seat?

3. YES

Ratio. It is (therefore) unnecessary to inquire as to whether or not there is sufficient averment in the complaint to justify an award for moral damages. Deficiency in the complaint, if any, was cured by the evidence. An amendment thereof to conform to the evidence is not even required.

Reasoning

- There was a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering,

amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, said contract was breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, there was bad faith when petitioner's 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, embarrassments and humiliations, thereby causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages.

- Air France did not present evidence that the “white man” made a prior

reservation, nor proved that the “white man” had “better right” over the seat;

also, if the manager’s actions could be justified, they should have presented the manager to testify in court but they did not do so

- The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from enjoying his right to a first

class seat; worse, he imposed his arbitrary will; he forcibly ejected him from his seat, made him suffer the humiliation of having to go to the tourist class compartment-just to give way to another passenger whose right thereto has not been established. Certainly, this is bad faith. Unless, of course, bad faith

has assumed a meaning different from what is understood in law. For, "bad

misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from such employees. So it is, that any rude or discourteous conduct on the part of employees towards a passenger gives the latter an action for damages against the carrier.

6. YES, if forms part of the res gestae

Ratio. Testimony of the entry does not come within the proscription of the

best evidence rule. Such testimony is admissible.

- also…From a reading of the transcript just quoted, when the dialogue

happened, the impact of the startling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The excitement had not as yet died down. Statements then, in this environment, are admissible as part of the res gestae. For, they grow "out of the nervous excitement and mental and physical condition of the declarant".

Reasoning

- Carrascoso testified that the purser of the air-carrier made an entry in his

notebooks reading "First class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to intervene". The petitioner contents that it should not be admitted as evidence, as it was only hearsay. However, the subject of inquiry is not the entry, but the ouster incident. Also,

the said entry was made outside the Philippines and by an employee of petitioner. It would have been easy for Air France to contradict Carrascoso’s testimony if they had presented the purser.

7. YES

Ratio The Civil Code gives the Court ample power to grant exemplary damages-in contracts and quasi-contracts. The only condition is that

defendant should have "acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner". Reasoning

- The manner of ejectment of respondent Carrascoso from his first class seat fits into this legal precept

8. YES

torts & damages

Ratio. The grant of exemplary damages justifies a similar Judgment for attorneys' fees. The least that can be said is that the courts below felt that it is but just and equitable that attorneys' fees be given.\ 9. NO Ratio. The task of fixing these amounts is primarily with the trial court. The dictates of good sense suggest that we give our imprimatur thereto. Because, the facts and circumstances point to the reasonableness thereof. DISPOSITION On balance, we, say that the judgment of the Court of Appeals does not suffer from 'reversible error. We accordingly vote to affirm the same. Costs against petitioner.

PSBA V CA [citation] PADILLA; February 4, 1992

NATURE Petition to review the decision of Court of Appeals.

FACTS

- A stabbing incident on August 30, 1985 which caused the death of Carlitos

Bautista on the premises of the Philippine School of Business Administration

(PSBA) prompted the parents of the deceased to file suit in the Manila RTC. It was established that his assailants were not members of the school’s academic community but were outsiders.

- The suit impleaded PSBA, its President, VP, Treasure, Chief of Security and

Assistant Chief of Security. It sought to adjudge them liable for the victim’s

death due to their alleged negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions.

- Defendants (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed alleging that

since they are presumably sued under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action against them since academic institutions, like PSBA, are beyond the ambit of that rule.

- Respondent Trial court denied the motion to dismiss. And the MFR was

similarly dealt with. Petitioners the assailed the trial court’s dispositions before the respondent appellate court which affirmed the trial court’s ruling.

ISSUE WON respondent court is correct in denying dismissal of the case

HELD Ratio Although a school may not be liable under Art. 2180 on quasi-delicts, it may still be liable under the law on contracts. Reasoning - The case should be tried on its merits. But respondent court’s premise is incorrect. It is expressly mentioned in Art. 2180 that the liability arises from acts done by pupils or students of the institution. In this sense, PSBA is not liable. But when an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, the school makes itself responsible in providing their students with an atmosphere that is conducive for learning. Certainly, no student can absorb the intricacies of physics or explore the realm of arts when bullets are flying or where there looms around the school premises a constant threat to life and limb.

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the foregoing premises considered, the petition is DENIED.

The Court of origin is hereby ordered to continue proceedings consistent wit this ruling of the Court. Costs against the petitioners.

DISPOSITION

SYQUIA V CA (Mla Memorial Park) 217 SCRA 624 CAMPOS, JR.; January 27, 1993

NATURE Petition for review of CA decision dismissing Syquia family’s complaint for damages against Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc. (Mla Memorial)

FACTS

- Juan SYQUIA, father of the deceased Vicente Syquia, authorized and

instructed the defendant to inter the remains of deceased.

- After about a month, preparatory to transferring the remains to a newly

purchased family plot also at the same cemetery, the concrete vault encasing the coffin of the deceased was removed from its niche underground. As the

concrete vault was being raised to the surface, the Syquias discovered that the vault had a hole approx 3 in. in diameter near the bottom and it appeared that water drained out of the hole.

- Pursuant to an authority granted by the Municipal Court of Parañaque, they caused the opening of the concrete vault and discovered that:

(a)

the interior walls showed evidence of total flooding;

(b)

coffin was entirely damaged by water, filth and silt causing the wooden

parts to separate and to crack the viewing glass panel located directly above

the head and torso of the deceased;

(c) entire lining of coffin, clothing of the deceased, and the exposed parts of

the deceased's remains were damaged and soiled.

- SYQUIAS base their claim for damages against Mla Memorial on either: (1)

breach of its obligation to deliver a defect-free concrete vault;

(2) gross negligence in failing to seal the concrete vault (Art. 2176)

- Whatever kind of negligence it has committed, MLA MEMORIAL is deemed to be liable for desecrating the grave of the dead.

Trial Court’s Ruling

- Contract between the parties did not guarantee that the cement vault would be waterproof.

- No quasi-delict because the defendant was not guilty of any fault or

negligence, and because there was a pre-existing contractual relation between the Syquias and Mla Memorial.

- The father himself, Juan Syquia, chose the gravesite despite knowing that

said area had to be constantly sprinkled with water to keep the grass green

and that water would eventually seep through the vault.

- The act of boring a hole in the vault was necessary so as to prevent the vault from floating away.

- CA affirmed judgment of dismissal; MFR was also denied.

ISSUES

1. WON Mla Memorial breached its contract with petitioners,

or alternatively

2. WON it can be liable for culpa aquiliana

HELD

1. NO

prof. casis

Ratio Parties are bound by the terms of their contract, which is the law between them. A contracting party cannot incur a liability more than what is expressly specified in his undertaking. It cannot be extended by implication, beyond the terms of the contract. (RCBC v CA) Reasoning - They entered into a contract entitled "Deed of Sale and Certificate of Perpetual Care." Mla Memorial bound itself to provide the concrete box to be sent in the interment.

- Rule 17 of the Rules and Regulations of MLA MEMORIAL provides that:

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, a concrete vault was installed and after the burial, the vault was covered by a cement lid.

- Syquias claim that there was a breach of contract because it was stated in

the brochures that “lot may hold single or double internment underground in

sealed concrete vault."

- "Sealed" meant "closed." Standard dictionaries define seal as any of various closures or fastenings that cannot be opened without rupture and that serve as a check against tampering or unauthorized opening.

- "Sealed" cannot be equated with "waterproof". 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. 2. NO Ratio Negligence is defined by law 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. Reasoning

- Although a pre-existing contractual relation between the parties does not

preclude the existence of a culpa aquiliana, circumstances of the case do not show negligence. The reason for the boring of the hole was explained by Henry Flores, Interment Foreman, who said that: “When the vault was placed on the grave a hole was placed on the vault so that water could come into the vault because it was raining heavily then because the vault has no hole the vault will float and the grave would be filled with water.”

- Private respondent has exercised the diligence of a good father of a family

in preventing the accumulation of water inside the vault which would have resulted in the caving in of earth around the grave. Finding no evidence of negligence, there is no reason to award damages. Dispositive CA decision affirmed in toto.

NEGLIGENCE

PICART V SMITH [citation] STREET; March 15, 1918

NATURE Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of La Union

FACTS

torts & damages

- On December 12, 1912, plaintiff was riding on his pony over the Carlatan Bridge, at San Fernando, La Union.

- Before he had gotten half way across, the defendant approached from the

opposite direction in an automobile, going at the rate of about ten or twelve miles per hour.

- As the defendant neared the bridge he saw the plaintiff and blew his horn to give warning of his approach.

- He continued his course and after he had taken the bridge, he gave two

more successive blasts, as it appeared to him that the man on horseback

before him was not observing the rule of the road.

- The plaintiff saw the automobile coming and heard the warning signals.

- However, given the novelty of the apparition and the rapidity of the approach, he pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the right side of the bridge instead of going to the left.

- He did this because he thought he did not have sufficient time to get over to the other side.

- As the automobile approached, the defendant guided it toward his left, that being the proper side of the road for the machine.

- In so doing the defendant assumed that the horseman would move to the

other side.

- The pony had not as yet exhibited fright, and the rider had made no sign for

the automobile to stop.

- Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, the defendant, instead of veering to the right while yet some distance away or slowing down, continued to approach directly toward the horse without diminution of speed.

- When he had gotten quite near, there being then no possibility of the horse

getting across to the other side, the defendant quickly turned his car sufficiently to the right to escape hitting the horse alongside of the railing where it as then standing; but in so doing the automobile passed in such close proximity to the animal that it became frightened and turned its body across the bridge with its head toward the railing.

- In so doing, it was struck on the hock of the left hind leg by the flange of the car and the limb was broken.

- The horse fell and its rider was thrown off with some violence.

- As a result of its injuries the horse died.

- The plaintiff received contusions which caused temporary unconsciousness and required medical attention for several days.

- CFI absolved defendant from liability

- Hence, the appeal

ISSUE WON the defendant, in maneuvering his car in the manner above described, was guilty of negligence that would give rise to a civil obligation to repair the damage done

HELD YES

- As the defendant started across the bridge, he had the right to assume that

the horse and the rider would pass over to the proper side; but as he moved toward the center of the bridge it was demonstrated to his eyes that this would not be done; and he must in a moment have perceived that it was too late for the horse to cross with safety in front of the moving vehicle.

- In the nature of things this change of situation occurred while the automobile was yet some distance away; and from this moment it was no longer within the power of the plaintiff to escape being run down by going to a place of

greater safety.

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- The control of the situation had then passed entirely to the defendant; and it

was his duty either to bring his car to an immediate stop or, seeing that there were no other persons on the bridge, to take the other side and pass

sufficiently far away from the horse to avoid the danger of collision.

- The defendant ran straight on until he was almost upon the horse. He was,

the court thinks, deceived into doing this by the fact that the horse had not yet exhibited fright.

- But in view of the known nature of horses, there was an appreciable risk

that, if the animal in question was unacquainted with automobiles, he might

get excited and jump under the conditions which here confronted him. - When the defendant exposed the horse and rider to this danger, he was, in our opinion, negligent in the eye of the law. - The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence.

- The law here in effect adopts the standard supposed to be supplied by the

imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law.

- The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by reference

to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation before him. The law considers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and prudence and determines liability by that.

- The question as to what would constitute the conduct of a prudent man in a

given situation must of course be always determined in the light of human experience and in view of the facts involved in the particular case. Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result of the course actually pursued? If so, it was the duty of the actor to take precautions to guard against that harm. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is always necessary before negligence can be held to exist.

- Stated in these terms, the proper criterion for determining the existence of negligence in a given case is this: Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect harmful to another was sufficiently probable to warrant his foregoing conduct or guarding against its consequences.

- Applying this test to the conduct of the defendant in the present case,

negligence is clearly established. A prudent man, placed in the position of the defendant, would have recognized that the course which he was pursuing

was fraught with risk, and would therefore have foreseen harm to the horse and the rider as reasonable consequence of that course. Under these circumstances the law imposed on the defendant the duty to guard against the threatened harm.

- The plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was guilty of antecedent

negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the road. It will be noted

however, that the negligent acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. Under these circumstances the law is that the person who has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party. DISPOSITION Appealed decision is reversed.

TAYLOR V MANILA RAILROAD

prof. casis

[citation] CARSON; March 22, 1910

NATURE An action to recover damages for the loss of an eye and other injuries, instituted by David Taylor, a minor, by his father, his nearest relative.

FACTS

- The defendant is a foreign corporation engaged in the operation of a street

railway and an electric light system in the city of Manila. Its power plant is situated at the eastern end of a small island in the Pasig River within the city

of Manila, known as the Isla del Provisor. The power plant may be reached

by boat or by crossing a footbridge, impassable for vehicles, at the westerly

end of the island.

- The plaintiff, David Taylor, was at the same time when he received the

injuries complained of, 15 years of age, the son of a mechanical engineer, more mature than the average boy of his age, and having considerable

aptitude and training in mechanics.

- On the 30th of September, 1905, plaintiff, with a boy named Manuel

Claparols, about 12 years of age, crossed the footbridge of the Isla del Provisor, for the purpose of visiting one Murphy, an employee of the defendant, who had promised to make them a cylinder for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Mr. Murphy was not in his quarters, the boys, impelled apparently by youthful curiosity and perhaps by the unusual interest which both seem to have taken in machinery, spent some time in wandering about the company's premises. The visit made on a Sunday afternoon, and it does not appear that they saw or spoke to anyone after leaving the power house

where they had asked for Mr. Murphy.

- After watching the operation of the traveling crane used in handling the

defendant's coal, they walked across the open space in the neighborhood of the place where the company dumped the cinders and ashes from its furnaces. Here they found some twenty or thirty brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground. These caps are approximately of the size and appearance of small pistol cartridges and each has attached to it two long thin wires by means of which it may be discharged by the use of electricity. They are intended for use in the explosion of blasting charges of dynamite, and have in themselves considerable explosive power. After some discussion

as

to the ownership of caps, and their right to take them, the boys picked up

all

they could find, hung them of a stick, of which each took one end, and

carried them home. After crossing the footbridge, they met a little girl named Jessie Adrian, less than 9 years old, and all three went to the home of the

boy Manuel. The boys then made a series of experiments with the caps. They thrust the ends of the wires into an electric light socket and obtained no result. They next tried to break the cap with a stone and failed. Manuel looked for a hammer, but could not find one. They then opened one of the caps with

a knife, and finding that it was filled with a yellowish substance they got

matches, and David held the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the

contents. An explosion followed, causing more or less serious injuries to all three. Jessie, who, when the boys proposed purring a match to the contents

of

the cap, became frightened and started to run away, received a slight cut

in

the neck. Manuel had his hand burned and wounded, and David was

struck in the face by several particles of the metal capsule, one of which injured his right eye to such an extent as to necessitate its removal by the

surgeons who were called in to care for his wounds.

torts & damages

- The Defendant Company’s defense that the caps were under the duty of

independent contractors deserves scant consideration since these workers have been under the supervision of one of the company’s foremen.

- Plaintiff Taylor appears to have rested his case, as did the trial judge his

decision in plaintiff's favor, upon the provisions of article 1089 of the Civil

Code read together with articles 1902, 1903, and 1908 of that Code.

- "ART. 1089. Obligations are created by law, by contracts, by

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same rule which governs that of an adult. While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that to entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting from the fault or negligence of another he must himself have been free from fault, such is not the rule in regard to an infant of tender years. The care and caution required of a child is according to his maturity and capacity only, and this is to be determined in such case by the circumstances of the case."

- The doctrine of the case of Railroad Company vs. Stout was vigorously

quasicontracts, and by illicit acts and omissions or by those in which any kind of fault or negligence occurs."

controverted and sharply criticized in severally state courts, saying that (1) That the owner of land is not liable to trespassers thereon for injuries

“Children, wherever they go, must be expected to act upon childlike instincts

The owners of premises, therefore, whereon things attractive to children are

-

"ART. 1902. Any person who by an act or omission causes

sustained by them, not due to his wanton or willful acts; (2) that no exception

damage to another when there is fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair

to this rule exists in favor of children who are injured by dangerous machinery

the damage so done.

 

naturally calculated to attract them to the premises; (3) that an invitation of

-

"ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceding article is

license to cross the premises of another can not be predicated on the mere

demandable, not only for personal acts and omission, but also for those of the persons for whom they should be responsible.

fact that no steps have been taken to interfere with such practice; (4) that there is no difference between children and adults of an invitation or a license

"The father, and on his death or incapacity the mother, is liable for the damages caused by the minors who alive with them.

-

to enter upon another's premises. However, after an exhaustive and critical analysis and review of may of the adjudged cases, both English and America,

xxx

xxx

xxx

formally declared that it adhered "to the principles announced in the case of

"Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprises are equally liable for

the damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter may be employed or on account of their duties.

Railroad Co. vs. Stout." Chief Justice Cooley, voicing the opinion of the supreme court of Michigan, in the case of Powers vs. Marlow, said that:

xxx

xxx

xxx

and impulses; and others who are chargeable with a duty of care and caution

"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons

toward them must calculate upon this, and take precautions accordingly. If

mentioned therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage."

they leave exposed to the observation of children anything which would be tempting to them, and which they in their immature judgment might naturally

-

"ART. 1908.The owners shall be also be liable for the damages caused

suppose they were at liberty to handle or play with, they should expect that

"1. By the explosion of machines which may not have been cared for with due diligence, and for kindling of explosive substance which may not

-

In support of his contention, counsel for plaintiff relied on the doctrine laid

-

liberty to be taken."

have been placed in a safe and proper place."

exposed, or upon which the public are expressively or impliedly permitted to enter to or upon which the owner knows or ought to know children are likely

ISSUE

down in many of the courts of last result in the United States in the cases known as the "Torpedo" and "Turntable" cases, and the cases based thereon.In the typical cases, the question involved has been whether a railroad company is liable for an injury received by an infant of tender years, who from mere idle curiosity, or for purposes of amusement, enters upon the railroad company's premises, at a place where the railroad company's premises, at a place where the railroad company knew, or had a good reason to suppose, children who would likely to come, and there found explosive signal torpedoes left exposed by the railroad company's employees, one of which when carried away by the visitor, exploded and injured him; or where such infant found upon the premises a dangerous machine, such as a turntable left in such condition as to make it probable that children in playing with it would be exposed to accident or injury therefrom and where the infant

to roam about for pastime and in play, "must calculate upon this, and take precautions accordingly." In such cases the owner of the premises can not be heard to say that because the child has entered upon his premises without his express permission he is a trespasser to whom the owner owes no duty or obligation whatever. The owner's failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent the child form entering premises at a place where he knows or ought to know that children are accustomed to roam about or to which their childish instincts and impulses are likely to attract them is at least equivalent to an implied license to enter, and where the child does not enter under such conditions the owner's failure to make reasonable precaution to guard the child against the injury from unknown or unseen dangers, placed upon such premises by the owner, is clearly a breach of duty, a negligent omission, for which he may and should be held responsible, if the child is actually injured,

did in fact suffer injury in playing with such machine. In these, and in a great variety of similar cases, the great weight of authority holds the owner of the premises liable.

without other fault on its part than that it had entered on the premises of a stranger without his express invitation or permission. To hold otherwise would be expose to all the children in the community to unknown perils and

-

As laid down in Railroad Co. vs. Stout ( 17 Wall. (84 U.S.), 657), (wherein

unnecessary danger at the whim of the owners or occupants of land upon

the principal question was whether a railroad company was liable for an injury received by an infant while upon its premises, from idle curiosity, or for purposed of amusement, if such injury was, under the circumstances,

1.

HELD

1.

which they might naturally and reasonably be expected to enter.

attributable to the negligence of the company), the principles on which these

WON the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of the injuries,

cases turn are that "while railroad company is not bound to the same degree

making the company liable

of care in regard to mere strangers who are unlawfully upon its premises that it owes to passengers conveyed by it, it is not exempt from responsibility to

such strangers for injuries arising from its negligence or from its tortious acts;" and that "the conduct of an infant of tender years is not to be judged by the

NO

prof. casis

- Just because the kids trespassed doesn’t mean that the company is not

liable for anything bad that might happen to them. However, we also have to look at the proximate cause and the maturity of the plaintiff if it was his negligence that contributed to the principal occurrence of the tragedy. In the case at bar, the Court said that it is of the opinion that under all the circumstances of this case the negligence of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of the injury

received by the plaintiff, which therefore was not, properly speaking, "attributable to the negligence of the defendant," and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that plaintiff's action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting a match to its contents was the proximate cause of the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff, and that the defendant, therefore, is not civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred. "While it is the general rule in regard to an adult that entitle him to recover damages for an injury resulting from the fault or negligence of another he must himself have been free from fault, such is not the rule in regard to an infant of tender years. The care and caution required of a child is according to his maturity and capacity only, and this is to be determined in each case by the circumstance of the case."

- As regards the maturity of the child, this has to be examined on a case-to-

case basis. In the case at bar, plaintiff at the time of the accident was well

grown youth of 15, more mature both mentally and physically than the average boy of his age; he had been to sea as a cabin boy; was able to earn P2.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after the injury was incurred; and the record discloses throughout that he was exceptionally well qualified to take care. The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that, despite his denials on the witness stands, he well knew the explosive character of the cap with which he was amusing himself. The series of experiments made by him in his attempt to produce an explosion, as described by the little girl who was present, admit of no other explanation. His attempt to discharge the cap by the use of electricity, followed by his efforts to explode it with a stone or a hammer, and the final success of his endeavors brought about by the applications of a match to the contents of the cap, show clearly that he knew what he was about. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that he had reason to anticipate that the explosion might be dangerous, in view of the fact that the little girl, 9 years of age, who was with him at the time when he put the match to the contents of the cap, became frightened and ran away.

- We think it is quite clear that under the doctrine thus stated, the immediate

cause of the explosion , the accident which resulted in plaintiff's injury, was his own act of putting a match to the contents of the cap, and that having "contributed to the principal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he can not recover." DISPOSITION The petition is DISMISSED.

JARCO MARKETING CORP V CA (AGUILAR) DAVIDE; December 21, 1999

FACTS - Petitioner Jarco Marketing Corporation is the owner of Syvel's Department Store, Makati City. Petitioners Leonardo Kong, Jose Tiope and Elisa Panelo are the store's branch manager, operations manager, and supervisor, respectively. Private respondents are spouses and the parents of Zhieneth Aguilar.

torts & damages

- On May 9, 1983, Criselda and Zhieneth were at the 2 nd flr or Syvel’s Dept.

Store. Criselda momentarily let go of her daughter’s hand to sign her credit card slip at the payment and verification counter. She suddenly felt a gust of

wind and heard a loud thud. She looked behind her and saw her daughter on the floor, pinned by the gift-wrapping counter. Zhieneth was crying and screaming for help. Criselda was able to ask people to help her and bring her daughter to the hospital.

- She was operated on immediately at the hospital. Gonzales, a former

employee of Syvel’s Dept Store who helped bring Zhieneth to the hospital, heard her tell the doctor that she “nothing. I did not come near the counter and the counter just fell on me,” when asked “what did you do?” She died 14 days later, on the hospital bed. She was 6 years old. The cause of her death was attributed to the injuries she sustained.

- After the burial of their daughter, the Aguilars demanded from the petitioners the reimbursement of hospital and medical bills, and wake and funeral

expenses. Petitioners refused to pay. So the Aguilars filed a complaint for damages wherein they sought the payment of P157,522.86 for actual damages, P300,000 for moral damages, P20,000 for attorney's fees and an unspecified amount for loss of income and exemplary damages.

- RTC for Jarco Marketing Corp, et al. RTC mfr for the Aguilars. CA and CA mfr for the Aguilars.

- Jarco Mktg Corp, et al’s side: Criselda was negligent in taking care of

her daughter for allowing her to roam freely. Zhieneth was guilty of contributory negligence because she tried to climb the counter. The counter was made of sturdy wood with a strong base and was used without incident for the past 15 years. It was deliberately placed at a corner to avoid such accidents. The testimony of two former employees, Gonzales and Guevarra,

should not be believed because he might have ill feelings towards petitioners. The testimony of the present employees (that Zhieneth climbed the counter so it fell) should instead be believed.

- The Aguilars’ side: While in the dept store, Criselda never let go of her

daughter except to sign the credit card slip. Gonzales testified that the gift wrapping counter was right beside the verification counter where Criselda was signing. Both Gonzales and Guevarra testified to the structural instability and shakiness of the counter which is in the shape of and inverted “L,” with a base smaller than the top. The protruding part of the counter was at the costumer side. They both had informed management (while they were still working there) that the counter should be nailed to the floor. The management did nothing.

ISSUE

1. WON the incident is accident or attributable to negligence

2. If negligence, who was negligent?

HELD

1. NEGLIGENCE.

- An accident pertains to an unforeseen event in which no fault or negligence

attaches to the defendant. It is "a fortuitous circumstance, event or happening; an event happening without any human agency, or if happening wholly or partly through human agency, an event which under the circumstances is unusual or unexpected by the person to whom it happens."

- On the other hand, negligence is the omission to do something which a

reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. Negligence is "the failure to observe, for the protection of the interest of another person, that degree of

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care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury."

- Accident and negligence are intrinsically contradictory; one cannot exist with the other. Accident occurs when the person concerned is exercising ordinary care, which is not caused by fault of any person and which could not have been prevented by any means suggested by common prudence.

- The test in determining the existence of negligence is enunciated in the

landmark case of Picart v. Smith, thus: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinary prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. - Gonzales’ testimony about what Zhieneth said to the doctor should be accepted because at the time she said it, she was in so much pain and she answered right away. This means she wasn’t making it up. It is axiomatic that matters relating to declarations of pain or suffering and statements made to a

physician are generally considered declarations and admissions. All that is required for their admissibility as part of the res gestae is that they be made or uttered under the influence of a startling event before the declarant had the time to think and concoct a falsehood as witnessed by the person who testified in court. Under the circumstances thus described, it is unthinkable for ZHIENETH, a child of such tender age and in extreme pain, to have lied to a doctor whom she trusted with her life. We therefore accord credence to Gonzales' testimony on the matter, i.e., ZHIENETH performed no act that facilitated her tragic death. Sadly, petitioners did, through their negligence or omission to secure or make stable the counter's base.

2. JARCO MKTG, ET AL.

- Petitioner Panelo and another store supervisor were personally informed of

the danger posed by the unstable counter. Yet, neither initiated any concrete action to remedy the situation nor ensure the safety of the store's employees and patrons as a reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have done. Thus, as confronted by the situation petitioners miserably failed to discharge the due diligence required of a good father of a family. No contributory negligence from Zhieneth - The conclusive presumption favors children below nine (9) years old in that they are incapable of contributory negligence. In our jurisdiction, a person under nine years of age is conclusively presumed to have acted without discernment, and is, on that account, exempt from criminal liability. The same presumption and a like exemption from criminal liability obtains in a case of a person over nine and under fifteen years of age, unless it is shown that he

has acted with discernment. Since negligence may be a felony and a quasi- delict and required discernment as a condition of liability, either criminal or civil, a child under nine years of age is, by analogy, conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence; and that the presumption of lack of discernment or incapacity for negligence in the case of a child over nine but under fifteen years of age is a rebuttable one, under our law. The rule, therefore, is that a child under nine years of age must be conclusively presumed incapable of contributory negligence as a matter of law. (Sangco)

- Even if we attribute contributory negligence to ZHIENETH and assume that

she climbed over the counter, no injury should have occurred if we accept petitioners' theory that the counter was stable and sturdy. For if that was the truth, a frail six-year old could not have caused the counter to collapse. The

physical analysis of the counter by both the trial court and Court of Appeals and a scrutiny of the evidence on record reveal that it was not durable after all. Shaped like an-inverted "L" the counter was heavy, huge, and its top laden with formica. It protruded towards the customer waiting area and its base was not secured.

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No contributory negligence from Criselda - CRISELDA too, should be absolved from any contributory negligence. Initially, ZHIENETH held on to CRISELDA's waist, later to the latter's hand. CRISELDA momentarily released the child's hand from her clutch when she signed her credit card slip. At this precise moment, it was reasonable and usual for CRISELDA to let go of her child. Further, at time ZHIENETH was pinned down by the counter, she was just a foot away from her mother; and the gift-wrapping counter was just four meters away from CRISELDA. The time and distance were both significant. ZHIENETH was near her mother and did not loiter as petitioners would want to impress upon us. She even admitted to the doctor who treated her at the hospital that she did not do anything; the counter just fell on her. Disposition The instant petition is DENIED and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED

MAGTIBAY V TIANGCO 74 Phil 756 BOCOBO; February 28, 1944

NATURE Appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance Batangas

FACTS - Defendant-appellant Tiangco, a minor under 18 years of age, pleaded guilty to an information for homicide through reckless negligence in that he had recklessly driven an automobile and thereby caused the death of Magtibay, of whom plaintiffs-appellees are the lawful heirs. The Court of First Instance (CFI) Batangas found Tiangco guilty as charged, but as he was under 18 years of age, the sentence was suspended, and he was committed to the care and custody of Atty. Abaya, until Tiangco would reach his majority, subject to the supervision of the Superintendent of Public Schools of the Province. Subsequently, Abaya, in view of Tiangco’s good conduct recommended the dismissal of the case. The CFI dismissed the criminal case, but reserved such right as the heirs of the deceased might have to recover damages in a civil action against said Tiangco. Accordingly, the civil action in the instant case was filed against defendant-appellant for damages in the sum of P2,000 for the death of Magtibay. The CFI gave judgment for plaintiffs for P2,000 as damages. Hence this appeal.

ISSUE WON the suspension of the sentence under Art. 80 of the RPC, after appellant had pleaded guilty, exonerated him from the crime charged

HELD NO - The suspension of the sentence under Art.80 of the Revised Penal Code, after appellant herein had pleaded guilty, did not wipe out his guilt, but merely put off the imposition of the corresponding penalty, in order to give the delinquent minor a chance to be reformed. When, therefore, after he had observed good conduct, the criminal case was dismissed, this did not mean that he was exonerated from the crime charged, but simply that he would suffer no penalty. Nor did such dismissal of the criminal case obliterate his civil liability for damages. Liability of an infant for his torts is imposed as a mode, not of punishment, but of compensation. If property has been destroyed or other loss occasioned by a wrongful act, it is just that the loss

torts & damages

should upon the estate of the wrongdoer rather than that of a guiltless person, and that without reference to the question of moral guilt. Consequently, for every tortuous act of violence or other pure tort, the infant tort-feasor is liable in a civil action to the injured person in the same manner and to the same extent as an adult. DISPOSITION Judgment affirmed.

DEL ROSARIO V MANILA ELECTRIC CO. 57 PHIL 478 STREET; November 5, 1932

FACTS

***This action was instituted by Julian del Rosario for the purpose of recovering damages from Meralco for the death of his son, Alberto, resulting from a shock from a wire used by the defendant for the transmission of electricity.

- Aug 4, 1930 2pm: a wire used by the defendant on Dimas- Alang St for

the purpose of conducting electricity used in lighting the City of Manila and its

suburbs.

- Jose Noguera saw that the wire was burning and its connections smoking.

One of the ends of the wire fell to the ground among some shrubbery close to the way.

- As soon as Noguera took cognizance of the trouble, he stepped into a

garage which was located nearby and asked Jose Soco to telephone the Malabon station of MERALCO that an electrical wire was burning at that place.

- Soco transmitted the message at 2.25 p.m. and received answer from the

station to the effect that they would send an inspector.

- At the time that message was sent the wire had not yet parted, but from the

testimony of Demetrio Bingao, one of the witnesses for the defense, it is clear

that the end of the wire was on the ground shortly after 3 p.m.

- At 4 p. m. the neighborhood school was dismissed and the children went

home. - Alberto del Rosario, 9 yrs old, who was a few paces ahead of his classmates, Jose Salvador and Saturnino Endrina, all members of the second grade in the public school.

- As the three neared the place where the wire was down, Saturnino made a

motion as if it touch it.

- Jose, who happened to be the son of an electrician, knew never to touch a

broken electrical wire (as his dad told him so!)- stopped Saturnino- telling him

that the wire might be charged.

- Saturnino yielded to this admonition and stopped, but Alberto, who was

somewhat ahead, said, “I have for some time been in the habit of touching wires”.

- Jose rejoined that he should into touch wires as they carry a current, but

Alberto, no doubt feeling that he was challenged in the matter, put out his

index finger and touch the wire.

- He immediately fell face downwards, exclaiming "Ay! madre".

- The end of the wire remained in contact with his body which fell near the post.

- A crowd soon collected, and some one cut the wire and disengaged the

body. Upon being taken to St. Luke's Hospital the child was pronounced

dead.

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- The wire was an ordinary number 6 triple braid weather proof wire, such as is commonly used by the defendant company for the purpose of conducting electricity for lighting.

- The wire was cased in the usual covering, but this had been burned off for some distance from the point where the wire parted.

- The engineer of the company says that it was customary for the company to

make a special inspection of these wires at least once in six months, and that

all of the company's inspectors were required in their daily rounds to keep a lookout for trouble of this kind.

- There is nothing in the record indicating any particular cause for the parting of the wire.l

ISSUE WON Manila Electric is liable

HELD YES Reasoning

- When notice was received at the Malabon station at 2.25 p. m., somebody

should have been dispatched to the scene of the trouble at once, or other measures taken to guard the point of danger; but more than an 1 ½ hours

passed before anyone from MERALCO appeared on the scene, and in the meantime Alberto had been claimed as a victim.

- The mere fact that the deceased ignored the caution of Jose (8 yrs old), doesn’t alter the case.

- But even supposing that contributory negligence could in some measure be

properly imputed to the deceased, such negligence would not be wholly fatal

to the right of action in this case, not having been the determining cause of the accident. (Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil., 359.)

- With respect to the amount of damages recoverable, Julian is entitled to

recover P250 for expenses incurred in connection with the death and burial of the boy.

- Citing Astudillo vs. Manila Electric Company: Julian should recover the sum of P1,000 as general damages for loss of service. Disposition judgment reversed

SEPARATE OPINION

ABAD SANTOS [concur in part and dissent in part]

- He concurs that MERALCO is held liable for the death of Alberto, but

dissents in so far as the decision allows the recovery of the father of the sum of P1,250 only as damages. It should be P 2250.

- His reasoning: It is well settled in this jurisdiction that an action will lie to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act. (Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil., 821.)

- In criminal cases- indemnity to the heirs of the deceased is equivalent to

P1,000

- Whatever may be the reasons for the rule followed in criminal cases, I am of the opinion that those reasons do not obtain in fixing the amount of the damages recoverable in the present case.

- The indemnity allowed in criminal case is merely incidental to the main

object sought, which is the punishment of the guilty party. - In a civil action, the principal object is the recovery of damages for wrongful death; and where, as in this case, the defendant is a corporation,

prof. casis

not subject to criminal prosecution for the act complained of, the question assumes a vastly different aspect.

- There should be a distinction between the civil liability of an ordinary person

who, by wrongful act, has caused the death of another; and the civil liability of

a corporation, organized primarily for profit, which has caused the death of a

person by failure to exercise due care in the prosecution of its business. - The liability of such a corporation for damages must be regarded as a part

of the risks which it assumes when it undertakes to promote its own business;

and just as it is entitled to earn adequate profits from its business, so it should be made adequately to compensate those who have suffered damage by its negligence.

YLARDE V AQUINO [citation] GANCAYCO; July 29, 1988

NATURE Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS

- Soriano was principal. Aquino was a teacher. The school was littered with concrete blocks. Teacher Banez started burying them. Aquino gathered 18 male pupils to help. He ordered them to dig. Work was unfinished.

- Ff day, Aquino called 4 of the 18 to continue. Aquino continued digging

while the pupils remained inside the pit throwing out the loose soil. Aquino left the children to level the loose soil and borrowed a key from Banez. Aquino told the kids not to touch the stone.

- 3 of the 4 kids jumped into the pit. The remaining Abaga jumped on the

concrete block causing it to slide down. 2 were able to escape but student Ylarde sustained injuries. 3 days later he died. Parents filed suit against Aquino and Soriano. Lower court dismissed and CA affirmed and said child Ylarde was negligent.

ISSUE WON Aquino and Soriano can be held liable for damages

HELD

- Principal Soriano cannot be held liable, being head of academic school and

not school of arts and trades, in line with Amadora case and Art 2180 of Civil Code. It is only the teacher who should answer for torts committed by their students. Besides, Soriano did not order the digging.

- Based on Article 2180, Aquino can be held liable. However, petition is

based on Article 2176. Did the acts/omissions of Aquino cause the death of Ylarde? Yes. He is liable for damages. The work required adult laborers. He required the children to remain in the pit after they finished digging. He ordered them to level the soil when a huge stone was at brink of falling. He went to another place and left the kids.

- Left by themselves, IT WAS BUT NATURAL FOR THE CHILDREN TO

PLAY AROUND. IN RULING THAT YLARDE WAS IMPRUDENT, THE LOWER COURT DID NOT CONSIDER HIS AGE AND MATURITY. A MINOR SHOULD NOT BE HELD TO THE SAME DEGREE OF CARE AS AN ADULT.

- Aquino also said the digging was part of Work Education. This is

unacceptable. Work is too dangerous and it was not even in the lesson plan.

torts & damages

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CULION ICE, FISH AND ELECTRIC CO V PHILIPPINE MOTORS CORPORATION [citation] STREET; November 3, 1930

ISSUE WON the loss of the boat is chargeable to the negligence and lack of skill of Quest

HELD

NATURE

FACTS

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