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PART I.

TORTS
I.

QUASI-DELICT (Arts. 2176-2194, NCC)

a. INTRODUCTORY CONCEPTS
a.1 Nature, scope and coverage
ELCANO V. HILL, 77 SCRA 98
FACTS:
Reginald Hill, son of defendant Marvin Hill, was charged
criminally for the killing of Agapito Elcano, son of
plaintiffs Elcano spouses. At the time of the killing,
Reginald was a minor, married and was living with his
father Marvin and receiving subsistence from him.
Reginald was acquitted on the ground that his act was
not criminal because of lack of intent to kill coupled with
mistake. Subsequently the Elcano spouses filed a civil
action for damages against Reginald and his father
arising from the killing of their son. The case was
dismissed by the lower court and plaintiffs appealed to
the Supreme Court. One of the questions raised was
whether the father of the minor who was already married
but living with, and receiving subsistence from said
father was liable in damages for the crime committed by
the minor.
ISSUE:
W/N the civil action for damages is barred by the
acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case.
RULING:
Criminal negligence is in violation of the criminal law
while civil negligence is a culpa aquiliana or quasi-delict,
having always had its own foundation and individuality,
separate from criminal negligence. Culpa aquiliana
includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be
punishable by law. It results that the acquittal of
Reginald in the criminal case has not extinguished his
liability for quasi-delict. Hence, the acquittal is not a bar
to the instant action against him.
Responsibility for fault or negligence under the Article
2176 is entirely separate and distinct from the civil
liability arising from negligence under the RPC. But the
plaintiff cannot recover twice for the same act or
omission of the defendant.
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. In other words, the
extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section
3, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded on
Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil
liability for the same act considered as a quasi-delict
only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a
declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act
charged has not happened or has not been committed
by the accused. Briefly stated, We here hold, in
reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes
voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable
by law.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Now under Article 2180, the obligation imposed by


Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts
or omissions, but also for those persons for whom one is
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.
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 it 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.
Otherwise stated, the marriage of a minor child, while
still a minor, does not relieve the parents of the duty to
see to it that the child, while still a minor, does not give
cause to any litigation, in the same manner that the
parents are answerable for the borrowings of money and
alienation or encumbering of real property which cannot
be done by their minor married child without their
consent. (Art. 399; Manresa, supra.) Accordingly, in our
considered view, Article 2170 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 subsidiary to that of his son.
GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH V. CA, GR NO.97336,
FEB. 19, 1993
FACTS:
On October 27, 1987, private respondent filed with the
aforesaid trial court a complaint for damages against
petitioner for the alleged violation of their agreement to
get married. She alleges in said complaint that she is 20
years old, single, Filipino and a pretty lass of good moral
character and reputation duly respected in her country;
petitioner, on the other hand, is an Iranian citizen
residing at Lozano Apartments, Guilig, Dagupan City,
and is an exchange student. Before August 20, 1987,
the latter courted and proposed to marry her, she
accepted his love on the condition that they get married;
they therefore agreed to get married. The petitioner
forced her to live with him in the Lozano apartments.
She was a virgin at that time; after a week before the
filing of complaint, petitioners attitude towards her
started to change. He maltreated and threatened to kill
her. Petitioner repudiated the marriage agreement and
asked her not to live with him anymore and that the
petitioner is already married to someone in Bacolod City.
Private respondent then prayed for judgment ordering
petitioner to pay her damages. On the other hand,
petitioner claimed that he never proposed marriage to or
agreed to be married with the private respondent and
denied all allegations against him. After trial, the lower
court ordered petitioner to pay the private respondent
damages.
ISSUE:

Page 1

W/N Article 21 of the Civil Code applies to the case at


bar.
HELD:
The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per
se is not an actionable wrong. Notwithstanding, Article
21, which is designed to expand the concepts of torts
and quasi-delicts 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. Article 2176
of the Civil Code, which defines quasi-delicts thus:
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.
In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21,
the court held that where a mans promise to marry in
fact the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by
a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise
thereafter 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 subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or
inveigle her to accept him and obtain her consent to
sexual act could justify the award of damages pursuant
to Article 21 not because of such breach of promise of
marriage 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.
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC. VS. CA, GR
NO. 110295, OCT. 18, 1993
FACTS:
Geronimo, herein private respondent, filed a complaint
for damages against petitioner. She alleges in her
complaint that she was the proprietress of Kindergarten
Wonderland Canteen, an enterprise engaged in the sale
of soft drinks and other goods to the students of
Kindergarten Wonderland and to the public. Some
parents of the students complained to her that the Coke
and Sprite soft drinks sold by her contained fiber-like
matter and other foreign substances or particles. She
brought the said bottles to the Regional Health Office of
the DOH for examination; subsequently, the DOH
informed her that the samples she submitted "are
adulterated. Due to this, her sales of soft drinks
severely plummeted from the usual 10 cases per day to
as low as 2 to 3 cases per day resulting in losses; not
long after that, she had to lose shop and became jobless
and destitute.
ISSUE:
W/N the subsequent action for damages against the soft
drinks manufacturer should be treated as one for breach
of implied warranty against hidden defects or
merchantability pursuant to Article 1571 of the Civil
Code, or one for quasi-delict, as held by the public
respondent, which can be filed within four years
pursuant to Article 1146 of the same Code.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

HELD:
The public respondent's conclusion that the cause of
action is found on quasi-delict and that, therefore,
pursuant to Article 1146 of the Civil Code, it prescribes in
four (4) years is supported by the allegations in the
complaint, more particularly paragraph 12 thereof, which
makes reference to the reckless and negligent
manufacture of "adulterated food items intended to be
sold for public consumption."
The vendor could likewise be liable for quasi-delict under
Article 2176 of the Civil Code, and an action based
thereon may be brought by the vendee. While it may be
true that the pre-existing contract between the parties
may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of the law
on quasi-delict, the liability may itself be deemed to arise
from quasi-delict, i.e., the acts which breaks the contract
may also be a quasi-delict. Thus, in Singson vs. Bank of
the Philippine Islands, this Court stated:
We have repeatedly held, however, that the
existence of a contract between the parties does not
bar the commission of a tort by the one against the
other and the consequent recovery of damages
therefor.
Liability for quasi-delict may still exist despite the
presence of contractual relations. The liabilities of a
manufacturer or seller of injury-causing products may be
based on negligence, breach of warranty, tort, or other
grounds
such
as
fraud,
deceit,
or
misrepresentation.Quasi-delict, as defined in Article
2176 of the Civil Code, is homologous but not identical
to tort under the common law, which includes not only
negligence, but also intentional criminal acts, such as
assault and battery, false imprisonment and deceit.
NAVIDA V. DIZON ET. AL G.R. NO. 125078, MAY 30,
2011
FACTS:
Beginning 1993, a number of personal injury suits were
filed in different Texas state courts by citizens of twelve
foreign countries, including the Philippines. The
thousands of plaintiffs sought damages for injuries they
allegedly
sustained
from
their
exposure
to
dibromochloropropane (DBCP), a chemical used to kill
nematodes (worms), while working on farms in 23
foreign countries. The cases were eventually transferred
to, and consolidated in, the Federal District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. The cases
therein that involved plaintiffs from the Philippines were
"Jorge Colindres Carcamo, et al. v. Shell Oil Co., et al.,"
which was docketed as Civil Action No. H-94-1359, and
"Juan Ramon Valdez, et al. v. Shell Oil Co., et al.," which
was docketed as Civil Action No. H-95-1356. The
defendants in the consolidated cases prayed for the
dismissal of all the actions under the doctrine of forum
non conveniens.
In a Memorandum and Order dated July 11, 1995, the
Federal District Court conditionally granted the
defendants' motion to dismiss.
NAVIDA, et al., prayed for the payment of damages in
view of the illnesses and injuries to the reproductive
systems which they allegedly suffered because of their
exposure to DBCP. They claimed, among others, that
they were exposed to this chemical during the early
1970's up to the early 1980's when they used the same
in the banana plantations where they worked at; and/or
when they resided within the agricultural area where
such chemical was used. NAVIDA, et al., claimed that
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their illnesses and injuries were due to the fault or


negligence of each of the defendant companies in that
they produced, sold and/or otherwise put into the stream
of commerce DBCP-containing products. According to
NAVIDA, et al., they were allowed to be exposed to the
said products, which the defendant companies knew, or
ought to have known, were highly injurious to the
former's health and well-being.
The RTC of General Santos City issued an Order
dismissing the complaint. First, the trial court determined
that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case because
the acts of defendants cited in the complaint included the
manufacture of pesticides, their packaging in containers,
their distribution through sale or other disposition,
resulting in their becoming part of the stream of
commerce which occurred abroad.
Second, the RTC of General Santos City declared that
the tort alleged by NAVIDA, et al., in their complaint is a
tort category that is not recognized in Philippine laws.
ISSUE:
W/N DOLE Inc., should be held liable for damages due
to exposure of the nematocides.
HELD:
Quite evidently, the allegations in the Amended JointComplaints of NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al.,
attribute to defendant companies certain acts and/or
omissions which led to their exposure to nematocides
containing the chemical DBCP. According to NAVIDA, et
al., and ABELLA, et al., such exposure to the said
chemical caused ill effects, injuries and illnesses,
specifically to their reproductive system.
Thus, these allegations in the complaints constitute the
cause of action of plaintiff claimants a quasi-delict,
which under the Civil Code is defined as an act, or
omission which causes damage to another, there being
fault or negligence. To be precise, Article 2176 of the
Civil Code provides:
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 quasidelict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.
Moreover, the injuries and illnesses, which NAVIDA, et
al., and ABELLA, et al., allegedly suffered resulted from
their exposure to DBCP while they were employed in the
banana plantations located in the Philippines or while
they were residing within the agricultural areas also
located in the Philippines. The factual allegations in the
Amended Joint-Complaints all point to their cause of
action, which undeniably occurred in the Philippines.
The RTC of General Santos City and the RTC of Davao
City obviously have reasonable basis to assume
jurisdiction over the cases.
a.2 Requisites
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.

CHILD LEARNING V. TAGORIO, GR NO.150920, NOV.


25, 2005
FACTS:
Timothy Tagario entered the boy's comfort room at the
third floor of the Marymount building to answer the call of
nature. He, however, found himself locked inside and
unable to get out. Timothy started to panic and so he
banged and kicked the door and yelled several times for
help. When no help arrived, he decided to open the
window to call for help. In the process of opening the
window, Timothy went right through and fell down three
stories. Timothy was hospitalized and given medical
treatment for serious multiple physical injuries. An action
under Article 2176 of the Civil Code was filed by
respondents against the Child Learning Center. The trial
court found in favor of respondents. The CA affirmed the
decision in toto.
ISSUE:
W/N CLC is guilty under Article 2176 of the Civil Code.
HELD:
In every tort case filed under Article 2176 of the Civil
Code, plaintiff has to prove by a preponderance of
evidence:
(1) the damages suffered by the plaintiff;
(2) the fault or negligence of the defendant or some
other person for whose act he must respond
(3) the connection of cause and effect between the
fault or negligence and the damages incurred.
Difference between fault and negligence:
o

FAULT

voluntary act or omission which causes damage


to the right of another giving rise to an obligation
on the part of the actor to repair such damage.

requires the execution of a positive act which


causes damage to another

NEGLIGENCE

failure to observe for the protection of the


interest of another person that degree of care,
precaution
and
vigilance
which
the
circumstances justly demand.

Consists of the omission to do acts which result


in damage to another.

The fact that Timothy fell out through the window shows
that the door could not be opened from the inside. That
sufficiently points that something was wrong with the
door, if not the door knob, under the principle of res ipsa
loquitor. There is sufficient basis to sustain a finding of
liability on petitioners' part. Our pronouncement that
Timothy climbed out of the window because he could not
get out using the door, negates petitioners' other
contention that the proximate cause of the accident was
Timothy's own negligence. The injuries he sustained
from the fall were the product of a natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by any intervening
cause that originated from CLC's own negligence.
b. QUASI-DELICT DISTINGUISHED FROM:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Page 3

b.1. culpa criminal


BARREDO V. GARCIA AND ALMARIO, GR NO.
48006, JULY 8, 1942
FACTS:
A head-on collision between a taxicab owned by Barredo
and a carretela occurred. The carretela was overturned
and one of its passengers, a son of Garcia and Almario,
died as a result of the injuries which he received. The
driver of the taxicab, an employee of Barredo, was
prosecuted for the crime and was convicted. When the
criminal case was instituted, Garcia and Almario
reserved their right to institute a separate civil action for
damages. Subsequently, Garcia and Almario instituted a
civil action for damages against Barredo.
ISSUE:
Whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action
against Fausto Barredo thus making him primarily and
directly responsible under Article 1903 of the Civil Code
as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla.
HELD:
The same negligent act causing damages may produce
civil liability arising from a crime under Article 100 of the
Revised Penal Code; or create an action for cuasi- delito
or culpa extra-contractual under Articles 1902-1910 of
the Civil Code.
Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal
Code and the culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito under the
Civil Code are:
(1) That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasidelitos are only of private concern.
(2)That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or
corrects the criminal act, while the Civil Code, by
means of indemnification, merely repairs the
damage.
(3) That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts,
because the former are punished only if there is a
penal law clearly covering them, while the latter,
cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any king of
fault or negligence intervenes. However, it should be
noted that not all violations of the penal law produce
civil responsibility, such as begging in contravention
of ordinances, violation of the game laws, and
infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt.
The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the
separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa aquiliana
under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is
a distinction between civil liability arising from criminal
negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and
responsibility for fault or negligence under Articles 1902
to 1910 of the Civil Code, and that the same negligent
act may produce either a civil liability arising from a
crime under the Penal Code, or a separate responsibility
for fault or negligence under Articles 1902 to 1910 of the
Civil Code, and that the same negligent act may produce
either a civil liability arising from a crime under the penal
Code, or a separate responsibility for fault or negligence
under Articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more
concretely the authorities above cited render it
inescapable to conclude that the employer in this case
the defendant-petitioner is primarily and directly liable
under Article 1903 of the Civil Code.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

JOSEPH V. BAUTISTA, GR NO.L-41423, FEB. 23,


1989
FACTS:
Respondent Patrocinio Perez is the owner of a cargo
truck for conveying cargoes and passengers for a
consideration from Dagupan City to Manila. On January
12, 1973, said cargo truck driven by defendant Domingo
Villa was on its way to Valenzuela. Petitioner boarded
the cargo truck at Dagupan City after paying the sum of
P 9.00 as one way fare to Valenzuela, Bulacan. While
said cargo truck was negotiating the National Highway
proceeding towards Manila, defendant Domingo Villa
tried to overtake a tricycle likewise proceeding in the
same direction. At about the same time, a pick-up truck
supposedly owned by respondents Antonio Sioson and
Jacinto Pagarigan, then driven by respondent Lazaro
Villanueva, tried to overtake the cargo truck which was
then in the process of overtaking the tricycle, thereby
forcing the cargo truck to veer towards the shoulder of
the road and to ram a mango tree. As a result, petitioner
sustained a bone fracture in one of his legs.
Petitioner filed a complaint for damages against
respondent Patrocinio Perez, as owner of the cargo
truck, based on a breach of contract of carriage and
against respondents Antonio Sioson and Lazaro
Villanueva, as owner and driver, respectively, of the
pick-up truck, based on quasi-delict. Respondents
Sioson, Pagarigan, Cardeno and Villanueva filed a
"Motion to Exonerate and Exclude Defs/ Cross defs.
Alberto Cardeno, Lazaro Villanueva, Antonio Sioson and
Jacinto Pagarigan on the Instant Case", alleging that
respondents Cardeno and Villanueva already paid P
7,420.61 by way of damages to respondent Perez, and
alleging further that respondents Cardeno, Villanueva,
Sioson and Pagarigan paid P 1,300.00 to petitioner by
way of amicable settlement. The trial court decided in
favor of respondents
ISSUE:
Was the trial court correct to dismiss the case for lack of
cause of action.
HELD:
The argument that there are two causes of action
embodied in petitioner's complaint, hence the judgment
on the compromise agreement under the cause of action
based on quasi-delict is not a bar to the cause of action
for breach of contract of carriage, is untenable. If only
one injury resulted from several wrongful acts, only one
cause of action arises. In the case at bar, there is no
question that the petitioner sustained a single injury on
his person. That vested in him a single cause of action,
albeit with the correlative rights of action against the
different respondents through the appropriate remedies
allowed by law.
The trial court was, therefore, correct in holding that
there was only one cause of action involved although the
bases of recovery invoked by petitioner against the
defendants therein were not necessarily identical since
the respondents were not identically circumstanced.
However, a recovery by the petitioner under one remedy
necessarily bars recovery under the other. This, in
essence, is the rationale for the proscription in our law
against double recovery for the same act or omission
which, obviously, stems from the fundamental rule
against unjust enrichment.
Page 4

Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under


the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct
from the civil liability arising from negligence under the
Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages
twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.
RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING CORPORATION V.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET.AL. GR
NO.129029, APR. 3, 2000
FACTS:
Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation is a domestic
corporation engaged in the business of transporting
beer products for the San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
Among its fleets of vehicles for hire is the white truck
trailer driven by Romeo Dunca. At around 4:00 oclock
in the morning while the truck was descending at a
slight downgrade along the national road at Tagaran,
Cauayan, Isabela, it approached a damaged portion of
the road which was uneven because there were
potholes about five to six inches deep. The left lane
parallel to this damaged portion is smooth. Before
approaching the potholes, Dunca and his truck helper
saw the Nissan with its headlights on coming from the
opposite direction. They used to evade this damaged
road by taking the left lane but at that particular
moment, because of the incoming vehicle, they had to
run over it. This caused the truck to bounce wildly.
Dunca lost control of the wheels and the truck swerved
to the left invading the lane of the Nissan. The Nissan
was severely damaged, and its two passengers,
Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr. died instantly.
Reyes Trucking settled the claim of the heirs of Balcita.
The heirs of Dy opted to pursue the criminal action but
did not withdraw the civil case quasi ex delicto they
filed against Reyes Trucking. They also withdrew their
reservation to file a separate civil action against
Dunca and manifested that they would prosecute the
civil aspect ex delicto in the criminal action. TC
consolidated both criminal and civil cases and
conducted a joint trial of the same. TC held
Dunca guilty of the crime of Double Homicide through
Reckless Imprudence with violation of the Motor
Vehicle Law and liable to indemnify the heirs of Dy for
damages and the dismissal of the complaint in the
separate civil case. TC rendered a supplemental
decision ordering Reyes Trucking subsidiarily liable for
all the damages awarded to the heirs of Francisco Dy,
Jr., in the event of insolvency of the Dunca.

Rule Against Double Recovery: In negligence


cases, the aggrieved party has the choice
between:
(1) an action to enforce civil liability arising from
crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal
Code [civil liability ex delicto]; and (2) a separate
action for q u a s i d e l i c t under Article 2176 of
the Civil Code [civil liability quasi delicto].
Once the choice is made, the injured party can not avail
himself of any other remedy because he may
not recover damages twice for the same negligent act
or omission of the accused (Article 2177 of the Civil
Code). In other words, "the same act or omission can
create two kinds of liability on the part of the offender,
that is, civil liability ex delicto, and civil liability quasi
delicto" either of which "may be enforced against the
culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the
Civil Code that the offended party cannot recover
damages under both types of liability."
In the instant case, the offended parties elected to file
a separate civil action for damages against Reyes
Trucking as employer of Dunca, based on quasi delict,
under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
Under the law, the vicarious liability of the employer is
founded on at least two specific provisions of law:
Art. 2176 in relation to
Art. 2180 of the Civil
Code

Article 103 of the


Revised Penal Code

Preponderance
Evidence

Proof
Beyond
Reasonable
Doubt

Liability of employer
is
Direct
and
Primary subject to
the defense of due
diligence
in
the
selection
and
supervision of the
employee.

Liability
of
employer
is
subsidiary to the
liability of the
employee.

Liability attaches
when
the
employee
is
found
to
be
insolvent.

ISSUES:
May Reyes Trucking be held subsidiarily liable for the
damages awarded to the heirs of Dy in the criminal
action against Dunca, despite the filing of a separate
civil action against Reyes Trucking?
HELD:
No.
Reyes Trucking, as employer of the accused who has
been adjudged guilty in the criminal case for reckless
imprudence, cannot be held subsidiarily liable because
of the filing of the separate civil action based on q u a s i
d e l i c t against it. However, Reyes Trucking, as
defendant in the separate civil action for damages filed
against it, based on q u a s i d e l i c t , may be held liable
thereon.

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

of

Employer
and
employee
are
solidarily
liable,
thus, it does not
require
the
employer
to
be
insolvent.

SPS. SANTOS, EL. AL. V. PIZARDO, ET. AL., GR


NO.151452, JUL. 29, 2005
FACTS:
Dionisio M. Sibayan (Sibayan) was charged with
Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Multiple Homicide
and Multiple Physical Injuries in connection with a
vehicle collision between a southbound Viron Transit bus
driven by Sibayan and a northbound Lite Ace Van, which
claimed the lives of the van's driver and three of its
passengers, including a two-month old baby, and
caused physical injuries to five of the van's passengers.
Sibayan was convicted and sentenced due to the said
crime. There was a reservation to file a separate civil
action.
Page 5

In the filing of the separate civil action, the trial court


dismissed the complaint on the principal ground that the
cause of action had already prescribed. Petitioners filed
a petition for certiorari with the CA which dismissed the
same for error in the choice or mode of appeal.
ISSUE:
W/N the trial court is correct in dismissing the case on
the ground of prescription based on quasi delict and not
on ex delicto.
HELD:
An act or omission causing damage to another may give
rise to two separate civil liabilities on the part of the
offender, i.e., (1) civil liability ex delicto, under Article 100
of the Revised Penal Code; and (2) independent civil
liabilities, such as those (a) not arising from an act or
omission complained of as a felony, e.g., culpa
contractual or obligations arising from law under Article
31 of the Civil Code, intentional torts under Articles 32
and 34, and culpa aquiliana under Article 2176 of the
Civil Code; or (b) where the injured party is granted a
right to file an action independent and distinct from the
criminal action under Article 33 of the Civil Code.Either
of these liabilities may be enforced against the offender
subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code
that the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the
same act or omission of the defendant and the similar
proscription against double recovery.
At the time of the filing of the complaint for damages in
this case, the cause of action ex quasi delicto had
already prescribed. Nonetheless, petitioners can pursue
the remaining avenue opened for them by their
reservation, i.e., the surviving cause of action ex
delicto. This is so because the prescription of the
action ex quasi delicto does not operate as a bar to an
action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime
especially as the latter action had been expressly
reserved.
MANLICLIC V. CALAUNAN, GR NO.150157, JAN. 25,
2007
FACTS:
Petitioner Manliclic is a driver of Philippine Rabbit Bus
Lines, Inc. (PRBLI) While driving his bus going to
Manila, he bumped rear left side of the owner-type jeep
of Respondent Calaunan.Because of the collision,
petitioner was criminally charged with reckless
imprudence resulting to damage to property with
physical injuries. Subsequently, respondent filed a
damage suit against petitioner and PRBLI.According to
respondent, his jeep was cruising at the speed of 60 to
70 kilometers per hour on the slow lane of the
expressway when the Philippine Rabbit Bus overtook
the jeep and in the process of overtaking the jeep, the
Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear of the jeep on the left
side. At the time the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the jeep,
it was about to overtake the jeep. In other words, the
Philippine Rabbit Bus was still at the back of the jeep
when the jeep was hit. On the other hand, according to
petitioner, explained that when the Philippine Rabbit
bus was about to go to the left lane to overtake the
jeep, the latter jeep swerved to the left because it was
to overtake another jeep in front of it.Petitioner was
then acquitted of the criminal charges against him.
However, in the civil case, he, along with his employer,
PRBLI, was still made to pay damages to respondent.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

ISSUE:
What is the effect of Manliclics acquittal to the civil
case?
HELD:
Since the civil case is one for quasi delict, Manliclics
acquittal does not affect the case. MANLICLIC AND
PRBLI ARE STILL LIABLE FOR DAMAGES.
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 extracontractual. 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. It is now
settled that acquittal of the accused, even if based on a
finding that he is not guilty, does not carry with it the
extinction of the civil liability based on quasi delict.
In other words, if an accused is acquitted based on
reasonable doubt on his guilt, his civil liability arising
from the crime may be proved by preponderance of
evidence only. However, if an accused is acquitted on
the basis that he was not the author of the act or
omission complained of (or that there is declaration in a
final judgment that the fact from which the civil might
arise did not exist), said acquittal closes the door to
civil liability based on the crime or ex delicto. In this
second instance, there being no crime or delict to
speak of, civil liability based thereon or ex delicto is not
possible. In this case, a civil action, if any, may be
instituted on grounds other than the delict complained
of.
As regards civil liability arising from quasi-delict or
culpa aquiliana, same will not be extinguished by an
acquittal, whether it be on ground of reasonable doubt
or that accused was not the author of the act or
omission complained of (or that there is declaration in a
final judgment that the fact from which the civil liability
might arise did not exist). The responsibility arising
from fault or negligence in quasi-delict is entirely
separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from
negligence under the Penal Code. An acquittal or
conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in
the civil case based on quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana.
b.2 CULPA-CONTRACTUAL
Art. 1172. Responsibility arising from negligence in the
performance of every kind of obligation is also
demandable, but such liability may be regulated by the
courts, according to the circumstances.
Art. 1173. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists
in 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. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions
of Articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.
If the law or contract does not state the diligence
which is to be observed in the performance, that which is
expected of a good father of a family shall be required.
OCHOA V. G&S TRANSPORT G.R. NO. 170071,
MARCH 9, 2011
Page 6

W/N PSBA is liable for civil damages through quasidelictdue to negligence.


GUTIERREZ V. GUTIERREZ, 56 PHIL 177 (1913)
HELD:
FACTS:
No.
A passenger truck and an automobile of private
ownership collided while attempting to pass each other
on the Talon Bridge on the Manila South Road in Las
Pinas, Rizal. As a result of the collision a passenger in
the truck, Narciso Gutierrez, suffered a fracture in his
right leg. The truck was owned by the defendant
Saturnino Cortez. The automobile was operated by
Bonifacio Gutierrez, a lad 18 years of age, and was
owned by Bonifacio's father and mother, Mr. & Mrs.
Manuel Gutierrez, also defendants in this case. At the
time of the collision, the father was not in the car, but the
mother together with several other members of the
Gutierrez family, seven in all, were in the car. The court
found that both drivers of the truck and the car were
negligent.
ISSUE:
Who among the passenger truck and the automobile is
liable for damages due to negligence?
HELD:
In case of injury to a passenger due to the negligence of
the bus driver on which he was riding and of the driver of
another vehicle, the drivers as well as the owners of the
two vehicles are jointly and severally liable for damages.
In amplification of so much of the above pronouncement
as concerns the Gutierrez family, it may be explained
that the youth Bonifacio was an incompetent chauffeur,
that he was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and
that, on approaching the bridge and the truck, he lost his
head and so contributed by his negligence to the
accident. The guaranty given by the father at the time
the son was granted a license to operate motor vehicles
made the father responsible for the acts of his son.
Based on these facts, pursuant to the provisions of
Article 1903 of the Civil Code, the father alone and not
the minor or the mother, would be liable for the damages
caused by the minor.
PHILIPPINE
SCHOOL
OF
BUSINESS
ADMINISTRATION, ET.AL. V. CA, GR NO. 84698, JAN
4, 1992
FACTS:
A stabbing incident which caused the death of Carlitos
Bautista while on the second-floor premises of the
Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA)
prompted the parents of the deceased to file suit for
damages against the said PSBA and its corporate
officers. At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in
the third year commerce course at the PSBA. It was
established that his assailants were not members of the
school's academic community but were elements from
outside the school.

Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil


Code, establishes the rule of in loco parentis. It had
been stressed that the law (Article 2180) plainly provides
that the damage should have been caused or inflicted by
pupils or students of the educational institution sought to
be held liable for the acts of its pupils or students while
in its custody. However, this material situation does not
exist in the present case for, as earlier indicated, the
assailants of Carlitos were not students of the PSBA, for
whose acts the school could be made liable.
When an academic institution accepts students for
enrollment, there is established a contract between
them, resulting in bilateral obligations which both parties
are bound to comply with. Because the circumstances
of the present case evince a contractual relation
between the PSBA and Carlitos Bautista, the rules on
quasi-delict do not really govern. A perusal of Article
2176 shows that obligations arising from quasi-delicts or
tort, also known as extra-contractual obligations, arise
only between parties not otherwise bound by contract,
whether express or implied. However, this impression
has not prevented this Court from determining the
existence of a tort even when there obtains a contract.
In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar,
however, there is, as yet, no finding that the contract
between the school and Bautista had been breached
thru the former's negligence in providing proper security
measures. This would be for the trial court to determine.
And, even if there be a finding of negligence, the same
could give rise generally to a breach of contractual
obligation only. Using the test of Cangco, the negligence
of the school would not be relevant absent a contract. In
fact, that negligence becomes material only because of
the contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista. In
other words, a contractual relation is a condition sine
qua non to the school's liability. The negligence of the
school cannot exist independently of the contract, unless
the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out
in Article 21 of the Civil Code.
It would not be equitable to expect of schools to
anticipate all types of violent trespass upon their
premises, for notwithstanding the security measures
installed, the same may still fail against an individual or
group determined to carry out a nefarious deed inside
school premises and environs. Should this be the case,
the school may still avoid liability by proving that the
breach of its contractual obligation to the students was
not due to its negligence, here statutorily defined to be
the omission of that degree of diligence which is required
by the nature of the obligation and corresponding to the
circumstances of persons, time and place.
AIR FRANCE V. CARRASCOSO, 18 SCRA 155
FACTS:

The respondent trial court, however, overruled


petitioners' contention and denied their motion to
dismiss. The respondent appellate court affirmed the trial
court's orders.
ISSUE:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Carrascoso was a member of a group of 48 Filipino


pilgrims that left Manila for Lourdes on March 30,
1958. Air France issued a first class round trip ticket
from Manila to Rome.
From Manila to Bangkok,
passenger Carrascoso traveled in first class but
at Bangkok, the Manager of Air France forced him to
vacate the first class seat because a white man had a
Page 7

better right to it. The purser wrote in his record book


First class passenger was forced to go to the tourist
class against his will, and the captain refused to
intervene which was written in French. Petitioner
contends that damages must be averred that there was
fraud and bad faith in order that claim for damages
should set in.
ISSUE:
W/N passenger Carrascoso was entitled to damages.
RULING:
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 faith" contemplates a "state
of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or with
some motive of self-interest or will or for ulterior
purpose."
The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of
its employees need not be essayed. It is well settled in
law.For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager,
petitioner, his employer, must answer. Article 21 of the
Civil Code says:
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.
In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal
precept; and, we held that upon the provisions of Article
2219 (10), Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable.
A contract to transport passengers is quite different in
kind and degree from any other contractual relation. And
this, because of the relation which an air-carrier sustains
with the public its business is mainly with the travelling
public. It invites people to avail of the comforts and
advantages it offers. The contract of air carriage,
therefore, generates a relation attended with a public
duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the carrier's employees,
naturally, could give ground for an action for damages.
Thus, "Where a steamship company had accepted a
passenger's check, it was a breach of contract and a
tort, giving a right of action for its agent in the presence
of third persons to falsely notify her that the check was
worthless and demand payment under threat of ejection,
though the language used was not insulting and she was
not ejected." Although the relation of passenger and
carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature"
nevertheless "the act that breaks the contract may be
also a tort".
REGINO V. PANGASINAN COLLEGES OF SCIENCE
AND TECHNOLOGY, GR NO. 156109, NOV 18, 2004
FACTS:
Petitioner Khristine Rea M. Regino was a first year
computer science student at Respondent Pangasinan
Colleges of Science and Technology (PCST). She was
enrolled in logic and statistics subjects under
Respondents Rachelle A. Gamurot and Elissa Baladad,
respectively, as teachers. PCST held a fund raising
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

campaign dubbed the Rave Party and Dance


Revolution, the proceeds of which were to go to the
construction of the schools tennis and volleyball courts.
The project was allegedly implemented by recompensing
students who purchased tickets with additional points in
their test scores; those who refused to pay were denied
the opportunity to take the final examinations. At the
scheduled dates of the final examinations in logic and
statistics, respondents Rachelle A. Gamurot and Elissa
Baladad allegedly disallowed her from taking the tests.
ISSUE:
W/N respondents are liable for tort.
HELD:
The acts of respondents supposedly caused her extreme
humiliation, mental agony and demoralization of
unimaginable proportions in violation of Articles 19, 21
and 26 of the Civil Code.
Art. 26.Every person shall respect the dignity,
personality, privacy and peace of mind of his
neighbors and other persons. The following and
similar acts, though they may not constitute a
criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for
damages, prevention and other relief:
(1) Prying into
residence;

the

privacy

of

anothers

(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life


or family relations of another;
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated
from his friends;
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account
of his beliefs, lowly station in life, place of
birth, physical defect, or other personal
condition.
Generally, liability for tort arises only between parties not
otherwise bound by a contract. An academic institution,
however, may be held liable for tort even if it has an
existing contract with its students, since the act that
violated the contract may also be a tort. In sum, the
Court holds that the Complaint alleges sufficient causes
of action against respondents, and that it should not
have been summarily dismissed. Needless to say, the
Court is not holding respondents liable for the acts
complained of. That will have to be ruled upon in due
course by the court a quo.
MANILA
RAILROAD
CO.
V.
LA
COMPANIATRASATLANTICA, GR NO. 11318, OCT
26, 1918
FACTS:
A steamship belonging to the Compaia Transatlantica
de Barcelona, arrived at Manila with two locomotive
boilers aboard, the property of The Manila Railroad
Company. The equipment of the ship for discharging
heavy cargo was not sufficiently strong to handle these
boilers, and it was therefore necessary for the
Steamship Company to procure assistance in the port of
Manila. Atlantic Company was accordingly employed by
the Steamship Company.
Upon the arrival of the steamship, the Atlantic company
sent out its crane in charge of one Leyden. The crane
Page 8

and the boiler were however damaged when discharging


the cargoes. It was found to be so badly damaged that it
had to be reshipped to England where it was rebuilt, and
afterwards was returned to Manila. The Railroad
Company made expenses for the damage; to recover
these damages the present action was instituted by the
Railroad Company against the Steamship Company.
The latter caused the Atlantic Company to be brought in
as a codefendant. The trial court gave judgment in favor
of the plaintiff against the Atlantic Company, but the
absolved the Steamship Company from the complaint.

passenger off. Sunga stepped down to give way when


an Isuzu truck owned by Francisco Salva and driven by
Iglecerio Verena bumped the jeepney. As a result,
Sunga was injured. Sunga filed a complaint against
Calalas for violation of contract of carriage. Calalas filed
a third party complaint against Salva. The trial court held
Salva liable and absolved Calalas, taking cognisance of
another civil case for quasi-delict wherein Salva and
Verena were held liable to Calalas. The Court of Appeals
reversed the decision and found Calalas liable to Sunga
for violation of contract of carriage.

ISSUE:

ISSUE:

W/N Atlantic Company is liable for damages.

Whether petitioner is liable on his contract of carriage.

HELD:

HELD:

It is desirable to bring out the distinction between


negligence in the performance of a contractual obligation
(culpa contractual) and negligence considered as an
independent source of obligation between parties not
previously bound (culpa aquiliana). This distinction is
well established in legal jurisprudence and is fully
recognized in the provisions of the Civil Code. As
illustrative of this, we quote the following passage from
the opinion of this Court in the well-known case of Rakes
vs. Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co., and in this quotation we
reproduce the first paragraph of here presenting a more
correct English version of said passage.

Yes.

The acts to which these articles are applicable are


understood to be those not growing out of
preexisting duties of the parties to one another. But
where relations already formed give arise to duties,
whether springing from contract or quasi-contract,
then breaches of those duties are subject to articles
1101, 1103, and 1104 of the same code.
Culpa, or negligence, may be understood in two different
senses, either as culpa, substantive and independent,
which of itself constitutes the source of an obligation
between two person not formerly bound by any other
obligation; or as an incident in the performance of an
obligation which already existed, and which increases
the liability arising from the already existing obligation.
If there had been no contract of any sort between the
Atlantic company and the Steamship Company, an
action could have been maintained by the Railroad
Company, as owner, against the Atlantic Company to
recover the damages sustained by the former. Such
damages would have been demandable under article
1103 of the Civil Code and the action would not have
been subject to the qualification expressed in the last
paragraph of article 1903. It is equally obvious that, for
lack of privity with the contract, the Railroad Company
can have no right of action to recover damages from the
Atlantic Company for the wrongful act which constituted
the violation of said contract. The rights of the plaintiff
can only be made effective through the Compaia
Trasatlantica de Barcelona with whom the contract of
affreightment was made.
CALALAS V. CA, GR NO. 122039, MAY 31, 2000
FACTS:
Private respondent Eliza Sunga took a passenger
jeepney owned and operated by petitioner Vicente
Calalas. As the jeepney was already full, Calalas gave
Sunga an stool at the back of the door at the rear end of
the vehicle. Along the way, the jeepney stopped to let a
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

The first, quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or


culpa extra contractual, has as its source the negligence
of the tort feasor.
The second, breach of contract or culpa contractual, is
premised upon the negligence in the performance of a
contractual obligation. Consequently, in quasi-delict, the
negligence or fault should be clearly established
because it is the basis of the action, whereas in breach
of contract, the action can be prosecuted merely by
proving the existence of the contract and the fact that the
obligor, in this case the common carrier, failed to
transport his passenger safely to his destination. In case
of death or injuries to passengers, Art. 1756 of the Civil
Code provides that common carriers are presumed to
have been at fault or to have acted negligently unless
they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as
defined in Arts. 1733 and 1755 of the Code. This
provision necessarily shifts to the common carrier the
burden of proof. It is immaterial that the proximate cause
of the collision between the jeepney and the truck was
the negligence of the truck driver. The doctrine of
proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasidelict, not in actions involving breach of contract. The
doctrine is a device for imputing liability to a person
where there is no relation between him and another
party. In such a case, the obligation is created by law
itself. But, where there is a pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, it is the parties themselves
who create the obligation, and the function of the law is
merely to regulate the relation thus created.
CONSTRUCTION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
OF THE PHILIPPINES V. ESTRELLA, ET.AL., GR
NO.147791, SEPT. 8, 2006
FACTS:
Respondents
Rebecca
G.
Estrella
and
her
granddaughter, Rachel E. Fletcher, boarded a BLTB bus
bound for Pasay City. However, they never reached their
destination because their bus was rammed from behind
by a tractor-truck of CDCP in the South Expressway.
The strong impact pushed forward their seats and
pinned their knees to the seats in front of them. They
regained consciousness only when rescuers created a
hole in the bus and extricated their legs from under the
seats. They were brought to the Makati Medical Center.
Thereafter, respondents filed a Complaint for damages
against CDCP, BLTB, Espiridion Payunan, Jr. and
Wilfredo Datinguinoo before the Regional Trial Court of
Manila. The trial court rendered a decision finding CDCP
Page 9

and BLTB and their employees liable for damages. The


CA affirmed the decision of the trial court but modified
the amount of damages.

provisions of Articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall


apply.

ISSUE:

Art. 3, (RPC). Definitions. Acts and omissions


punishable by law are felonies (delitos).

Whether BLTB and its driver Wilfredo Datinguinoo are


solely liable for the damages sustained by respondents.

Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit


(dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).

HELD:

There is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate


intent and there is fault when the wrongful act results
from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, or lack of
skill.

The case filed by respondents against petitioner is an


action for culpa aquiliana or quasi-delict under Article
2176 of the Civil Code. In this regard, Article 2180
provides that the obligation imposed by Article 2176 is
demandable for the acts or omissions of those persons
for whom one is responsible. Consequently, an action
based on quasi-delict may be instituted against the
employer for an employee's act or omission. The liability
for the negligent conduct of the subordinate
is direct and primary, but is subject to the defense of due
diligence in the selection and supervision of the
employee. In the instant case, the trial court found that
petitioner failed to prove that it exercised the diligence of
a good father of a family in the selection and supervision
of Payunan, Jr.
It is well-settled that the owner of the other vehicle which
collided with a common carrier is solidarily liable to the
injured passenger of the same. The same rule of liability
was applied in situations where the negligence of the
driver of the bus on which plaintiff was riding concurred
with the negligence of a third party who was the driver of
another vehicle, thus causing an accident. In Anuran v.
Buo, Batangas
Laguna
Tayabas
Bus
Co. v.
Intermediate Appellate Court, and Metro Manila Transit
Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the bus company, its
driver, the operator of the other vehicle and the driver of
the vehicle were jointly and severally held liable to the
injured passenger or the latter's heirs. The basis of this
allocation of liability was explained in Viluan v. Court of
Appeals, thus:
Nor should it make any difference that the
liability of petitioner [bus owner] springs from
contract while that of respondents [owner and
driver of other vehicle] arises from quasidelict. As early as 1913, we already ruled in
Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez, 56 Phil. 177, that in case of
injury to a passenger due to the negligence of the
driver of the bus on which he was riding and of the
driver of another vehicle, the drivers as well as the
owners of the two vehicles are jointly and severally
liable for damages.
Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the
tort which they commit. The persons injured may sue all
of them or any number less than all. Each is liable for the
whole damages caused by all, and all together are jointly
liable for the whole damage. It is no defense for one
sued alone, that the others who participated in the
wrongful act are not joined with him as defendants; nor
is it any excuse for him that his participation in the tort
was insignificant as compared to that of the others.
II.

ACT OR OMISSION

Art. 1173, NCC.The fault or negligence of the obligor


consists in 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. When negligence shows bad faith, the
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

GAID vs. PEOPLE, GR No. 171636, Apr. 7, 2009


FACTS:
Petitioner was driving his passenger jeepney along a
two-lane road where the Laguindingan National High
School is At the time several students were coming out
of the school premises. Meanwhile, a fourteen year-old
student, Michael Dayata (Dayata), was seen by
eyewitness Artman Bongolto (Bongolto) sitting near a
store on the left side of the road. From where he was at
the left side of the road, Dayata raised his left hand to
flag down petitioner's jeepney which was traveling on
the right lane of the road. However, neither did petitioner
nor the conductor, Dennis Mellalos (Mellalos), saw
anybody flagging down the jeepney to ride at that point.
The next thing Bongalto saw, Dayata's feet was pinned
to the rear wheel of the jeepney, after which, he laid flat
on the ground behind the jeepney. Dayata was then
seen lying on the groundand caught in between the rear
tires.Petitioner felt that the left rear tire of the jeepney
had bounced and the vehicle tilted to the right side.
Mellalos heard a shout that a boy was run over,
prompting him to jump off the jeepney to help the victim.
Petitioner stopped and saw Mellalos carrying the body of
the victim. Mellalos loaded the victim on a motorcycle
and brought him to the hospital. Dayata was first brought
to the Laguindingan Health Center, but it was closed.
Mellalos then proceeded to the El Salvador Hospital.
Upon advice of its doctors, however, Dayata was
brought to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center where
he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of
Laguindingan found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime charged. The lower court held
petitioner negligent in his driving considering that the
victim was dragged to a distance of 5.70 meters from the
point of impact. He was also scored for "not stopping his
vehicle after noticing that the jeepney's left rear tire
jolted causing the vehicle to tilt towards the right."On
appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed in toto
the decision of the MCTC. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the trial court's judgment with modification in that it found
petitioner guilty only of simple negligence resulting in
homicide.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioner is negligent for the accident resulting to
the death of Dayata.
HELD:
The presence or absence of negligence on the part of
petitioner is determined by the operative events leading
to the death of Dayata which actually comprised of two
phases or stages. The first stage began when Dayata
flagged down the jeepney while positioned on the left
Page 10

side of the road and ended when he was run over by the
jeepney. The second stage covered the span between
the moment immediately after the victim was run over
and the point when petitioner put the jeepney to a halt.
FIRST STAGE: Petitioner cannot be held liable during
the first stage. Specifically, he cannot be held liable for
reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, as found by
the trial court. The proximate cause of the accident and
the death of the victim was definitely his own negligence
in trying to catch up with the moving jeepney to get a
ride. In the instant case, petitioner had exercised
extreme precaution as he drove slowly upon reaching
the vicinity of the school. He cannot be faulted for not
having seen the victim who came from behind on the left
side.
Negligence has been defined as the failure to observe
for the protection of the interests of another person that
degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such other
person suffers injury. The elements of simple
negligence: are (1) that there is lack of precaution on the
part of the offender; and (2) that the damage impending
to be caused is not immediate or the danger is not
clearly manifest. The standard test in determining
whether a person is negligent in doing an act whereby
injury or damage results to the person or property of
another is this: could a prudent man, in the position of
the person to whom negligence is attributed, foresee
harm to the person injured as a reasonable
consequence of the course actually pursued? If so, the
law imposes a duty on the actor to refrain from that
course or to take precautions to guard against its
mischievous results, and the failure to do so constitutes
negligence. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by
the ignoring of the admonition born of this provision, is
always necessary before negligence can be held to
exist.
SECOND PART: The Court of Appeals found petitioner
guilty of simple negligence resulting in homicide for
failing to stop driving at the time when he noticed the
bouncing of his vehicle. Verily, the appellate court was
referring to the second stage of the incident. Assuming
arguendo that petitioner had been negligent, it must be
shown that his negligence was the proximate cause of
the accident. Proximate cause is defined as that which,
in the natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by
any efficient, intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred. In
order to establish a motorist's liability for the negligent
operation of a vehicle, it must be shown that there was a
direct causal connection between such negligence and
the injuries or damages complained of. Thus, negligence
that is not a substantial contributing factor in the
causation of the accident is not the proximate cause of
an injury.
The head injuries sustained by Dayata at the point of
impact proved to be the immediate cause of his death,
as indicated in the post-mortem findings. His skull was
crushed as a result of the accident. Had petitioner
immediately stopped the jeepney, it would still not have
saved the life of the victim as the injuries he suffered
were fatal. Mere suspicions and speculations that the
victim could have lived had petitioner stopped can never
be the basis of a conviction in a criminal case. The Court
must be satisfied that the guilt of the accused had been
proven beyond reasonable doubt.Conviction must rest
on nothing less than a moral certainty of the guilt of the
accused. The overriding consideration is not whether the
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

court doubts the innocence of the accused but whether it


entertains doubt as to his guilt. Clearly then, the
prosecution was not able to establish that the proximate
cause of the victim's death was petitioner's alleged
negligence, if at all, even during the second stage of the
incident.
DYTEBAN V. JOSE CHING, GR NO.161803, FEB. 4,
2008
FACTS:
Rogelio Ortiz was driving a Nissan van owned by
petitioner Dy Teban Trading, Inc. along the National
Highway in Barangay Sumilihon, Butuan City,
going
to Surigao City. A Joana Paula passenger bus was
cruising on the opposite lane towards the van. In
between the two vehicles was a parked prime mover
with a trailer that suffered a tire blowout, owned by
private respondent Liberty Forest, Inc. The driver, private
respondent Cresilito Limbaga, parked the prime mover
askew occupying a substantial portion of the national
highway, on the lane of the passenger bus. He parked
the prime mover with trailer at the shoulder of the road
with the left wheels still on the cemented highway and
the right wheels on the sand and gravel shoulder of the
highway which was not equipped with triangular,
collapsible reflectorized plates. To avoid hitting the
parked prime mover occupying its lane, the incoming
passenger bus swerved to the right, onto the lane of the
approaching Nissan van. Ortiz saw two bright and
glaring headlights and the approaching passenger
bus. He pumped his break slowly, swerved to the left to
avoid the oncoming bus but the van hit the front of the
stationary prime mover. The passenger bus hit the rear
of the prime mover.
Petitioner Nissan van owner filed a complaint for
damages against private respondents prime mover
owner and driver with the RTC in Butuan City. The
Joana Paula passenger bus was not impleaded as
defendant in the complaint. The RTC rendered a
decision in favor of petitioner Dy Teban Trading, Inc.
The RTC held that the proximate cause of the three-way
vehicular collision was improper parking of the prime
mover on the national highway and the absence of an
early warning device on the vehicle. The CA reversed
the RTC decision. The CA held that the proximate cause
of the vehicular collision was the failure of the Nissan
van to give way or yield to the right of way of the
passenger bus.
ISSUE:
W/N Limbaga was negligent in parking the vehicle.
HELD:
Limbaga was negligent in parking the prime mover on
the national highway; he failed to prevent or minimize
the risk to oncoming motorists.
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that 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. To sustain a claim based on quasi-delict,
the following requisites must concur:
(a) damage suffered by plaintiff;
(b) fault or negligence of defendant; and
Page 11

(c) connection of cause and effect


between the fault or negligence of
defendant and the damage incurred
by plaintiff.
Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the
protection of the interests of another person that degree
of care, precaution, and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such other
person suffers injury. The test by which to determine the
existence or 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 ordinary person would have used in the same
situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence.
The test of negligence is objective. We measure the act
or omission of the tortfeasor with that of an ordinary
reasonable person in the same situation. The test, as
applied to this case, is whether Limbaga, in parking the
prime mover, used that reasonable care and caution
which an ordinary reasonable person would have used
in the same situation.
We find that Limbaga was utterly negligent in parking the
prime mover askew on the right side of the national
highway. The vehicle occupied a substantial portion of
the national road on the lane of the passenger bus. It
was parked at the shoulder of the road with its left
wheels still on the cemented highway and the right
wheels on the sand and gravel shoulder of the highway.
It is common sense that the skewed parking of the prime
mover on the national road posed a serious risk to
oncoming motorists. It was incumbent upon Limbaga to
take some measures to prevent that risk, or at least
minimize it. Private respondent Liberty Forest, Inc. was
also negligent in failing to supervise Limbaga and in
ensuring that the prime mover was in proper condition.

Daywalt claims that because of the interference of the


Recoletos, he failed to consummate a contract with
another person for the sale of the property and its
conversion into a sugar mill.
ISSUE:
Whether Recoletos is liable to Daywalt for damages.
HELD:
No.
Defendants believed in good faith that the contract could
not be enforced and that Teodorica would be wronged if
it should be carried into effect. Any advice or assistance
which they may have given was prompted by no mean
or improper motive. Teodorica would have surrendered
the documents of title and given possession of the land
but for the influence and promptings of members of the
defendants corporation. But the idea that they were in
any degree influenced to the giving of such advice by the
desire to secure to themselves the paltry privilege of
grazing their cattle upon the land in question to the
prejudice of the just rights of the plaintiff cant be
credited.

DAYWALT V. CORPORACION DE PP. AGUSTINOS


RECOLETOS, 39 PHIL587

The stranger who interferes in a contract between other


parties cannot become more extensively liable in
damages for the nonperformance of the contract than
the party in whose behalf he intermeddles. Hence, in
order to determine the liability of the Recoletos, there
isfirst a need to consider the liability of Endencia to
Daywalt.
The
damages
claimed
by Daywalt
fromEndencia cannot be recovered from her, first,
because these are special damages which were
notwithin the contemplation of the parties when the
contract was made, and secondly, these damagesare
too remote to be the subject of recovery. Since Endencia
is not liable for damages to Daywalt,neither can the
Recoletos be held liable.

FACTS:

NEGLIGENCE, defined

In 1902, Teodorica Endencia executed a contract


whereby she obligated herself to convey to Geo W.
Daywalt a 452-hectare parcel of land for P4,000. They
agreed that a deed should be executed as soon as
Endencias title to the land was perfected in the Court of
Land Registration and a Torrens title issued in her name.
When the Torrens title was issued, Endencia found out
that the property measured 1,248 hectares instead of
452 hectares, as she initially believed. Because of this,
she became reluctant to transfer the whole tract to
Daywalt, claiming that she never intended to sell so
large an amount and that she had been misinformed as
to its area. Daywalt filed an action for specific
performance. The SC ordered Endencia to convey the
entire tract to Daywalt. Meanwhile, the La Corporacion
de los Padres Agustinos Recoletos (Recoletos), was a
religious corporation, which owned an estate
immediately adjacent to the property sold by Endencia to
Daywalt. It also happened that Fr. Sanz, the
representative of the Recoletos, exerted some influence
and ascendancy over Endencia, who was a woman of
little force and easily subject to the influence of other
people. Father Sanz knew of the existence of the
contracts with Daywalt and discouraged her from
conveying the entire tract. Daywalt filed an action for
damages against the Recoletos on the ground that it
unlawfully induced Endencia to refrain from the
performance of her contract for the sale of the land in
question and to withhold delivery of the Torrens title.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

NEGLIGENCE conduct that creates undue risk of


harm to another. It is the failure to observe that degree
of care, precaution and vigilance that the circumstances
justly demand, whereby that other person suffers injury.
(Smith Bell Dodwell Shipping Agency Corp. v. Borja,
G.R. No. 143008, June 10, 2002)
- want of care required by the circumstances. It
is a relative or comparative, not an absolute term, and its
application depends upon the situation of the parties,
and the degree of care and vigilance which the
circumstances reasonably impose. Where the danger is
great a high degree of care is necessary, and the failure
to observe it is a want of ordinary care under the
circumstances. (US v. Juanillo, G.R. No. 7255, Oct. 3,
1912)
Elements:

Reasonable foresight of harm

Failure to take necessary precaution

PICART V. SMITH, 69 SCRA 809


FACTS:
Plaintiff Amado Picart was riding on his pony on the
Carlatan Bridge in San Fernando, La Union when the
defendant, riding on his car, approached. Defendant
Page 12

blew his horn to give warning. Plaintiff moved the horse


to the right instead of moving to the left, reasoning that
he had no sufficient time to move to the right direction.
Defendant continued to approach, and when he had
gotten quite near, he quickly turned to the left. The horse
was frightened that it turned his body across the bridge.
His limb was broken and the rider was thrown off and got
injured. The horse died. An action for damages was filed
against the defendant.
ISSUE:
W/N the defendant in maneuvering his car in the manner
above described was guilty of negligence such as to give
rise to a civil obligation to repair the damage done.
HELD:
As the defendant started across the bridge, he had the
right to assume that the horse and 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 not longer within the power of the plaintiff
to escape being run down by going to a place of greater
safety. The control of the situation had then passed
entirely to the defendant.
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. Conduct is said to
be negligent when a prudent man in the position of the
tort feasor would have foreseen that an effect harmful to
another was sufficiently probable to warrant his
foregoing the conduct or guarding against its
consequences.
It goes without saying that 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. But as we have already stated, the defendant was
also negligent; and in such case the problem always is
to discover which agent is immediately and directly
responsible. It will be noted 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.
UMALI V. BACANI, 69 SCRA 263
FACTS:
On May 14, 1972 a storm with strong rain hit Alcala,
Pangasinan. During the storm banana plants standing
on an elevated ground along the barrio road near the
transmission line of the Alcala Electric Plant were blown
down and fell on the electric wire. As a result the live
electric wire was cut, one end of which was left hanging
on the electric post and the other fell on the ground
under the fallen banana plants. At about 9:00 oclock the
following morning the barrio captain who was passing by
saw the broken electric wire and he warned the people
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

in the place not to go near the wire for they might get
hurt. He also told an employee of the electric plant of the
broken line and asked him to fix it. The employee replied
that he could not do it but he was going to look for a
lineman to fix it. Manuel Saynes, a boy of 3 years and 8
months old whose house was just opposite the road,
went to the place where the broken line was and got in
contact with it. The boy was electrocuted and
subsequently died. Fidel Saynes father of the boy
brought an action for damages against Teodoro Umali
the owner and manager of the electric plant. One of
Umalis defenses was that as owner and manager of the
electric plant he was not liable on a quasidelict or tort
because the boys death was not due to any negligence
on his part but to a fortuitous event which was the storm
that caused the banana plants to fall and cut the electric
line.
ISSUE:
W/N Alcala Electric can be liable for TORT.
HELD:
Alcala Electric is LIABLE under TORT
First, by the very evidence of the defendant, there were
big and tall banana plants at the place of the incident
standing on an elevated ground which were about 30
feet high and which were higher than the electric post
supporting the electric line, and yet the employees of
the defendant who, with ordinary foresight, could have
easily seen that even in case of moderate winds the
electric line would be endangered by banana plants
being blown down, did not even take the necessary
precaution to eliminate that source of danger to the
electric line.
Second, even after the employees of the Alcala Electric
Plant were already aware of the possible damage the
storm of May 14, 1972, could have caused their electric
lines, thus becoming a possible threat to life and
property, they did not cut off from the plant the flow of
electricity along the lines, an act they could have easily
done pending inspection of the wires to see if they had
been cut.
Third, employee Cipriano Baldomero was negligent on
the morning of the incident because even if he was
already made aware of the live cut wire, he did not
have the foresight to realize that the same posed a
danger to life and property, and that he should have
taken the necessary precaution to prevent anybody
from approaching the live wire; instead Baldomero left
the premises because what was foremost in his mind
was the repair of the line, obviously forgetting that if left
unattended to it could endanger life and property.
On defendants' argument that the proximate cause of
the victim's death could be attributed to the parents'
negligence in allowing a child of tender age to go out of
the house alone, We could readily see that because of
the aforementioned series of negligence on the part of
defendants' employees resulting in a live wire lying on
the premises without any visible warning of its lethal
character, anybody, even a responsible grown up or
not necessarily an innocent child, could have met the
same fate that befell the victim. It may be true, as the
lower Court found out, that the contributory negligence
of the victim's parents in not properly taking care of the
child, which enabled him to leave the house alone on
the morning of the incident and go to a nearby place
cut wire was very near the house (where victim was
Page 13

living) where the fatal fallen wire electrocuted him,


might mitigate respondent's liability, but we cannot
agree with petitioner's theory that the parents'
negligence constituted the proximate cause of the
victim's death because the real proximate cause was
the fallen live wire which posed a threat to life and
property on that morning due to the series of
negligence adverted to above committed by
defendants' employees and which could have killed any
other person who might by accident get into contact
with it.
Art. 2179 of the Civil Code provides that if the
negligence of the plaintiff (parents of the victim in this
case) was only contributory, the immediate and
proximate cause of the injury being the defendants'
lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but
the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.
This law may be availed of by the petitioner but does
not exempt him from liability. Petitioner's liability for
injury caused by his employees negligence is well
defined in par. 4, of Article 2180 of the Civil Code,
which states:

floor area of the terrace." But upon ocular inspection by


the trial court, it was found that the terrace was in poor
condition. Under RA 776, the CAA is charged with the
duty of planning, designing, constructing, equipping,
expanding,
maintenance...etc.
of
the
Manila
International Airport.
Responsibility of CAA
Pursuant to Art. 1173, "the fault or negligence of the
obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is
required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds
with the circumstances of the person, of the time, and of
the place." Here, the obligation of the CAA in
maintaining the viewing deck, a facility open to the
public, requires that CAA insure the safety of the viewers
using it. As these people come to look to where the
planes and the incoming passengers are and not to look
down on the floor or pavement of the viewing deck, the
CAA should made sure that no dangerous obstructions
or elevations exist on the floor of the deck to prevent any
undue
harm
to
the
public.
Contributory Negligence

The owner and manager of an establishment or


enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the
branches in which the latter are employed or on tile
occasion of their functions.
The negligence of the employee is presumed to be the
negligence of the employer because the employer is
supposed to exercise supervision over the work of the
employees. This liability of the employer is primary and
direct (Standard Vacuum Oil Co. vs. Tan and Court of
Appeals, 107 Phil. 109). In fact the proper defense for
the employer to raise so that he may escape liability is
to prove that he exercised, the diligence of the good
father of the family to prevent damage not only in the
selection of his employees but also inadequately
supervising them over their work. This defense was not
adequately proven as found by the trial Court, and We
do not find any sufficient reason to deviate from its
finding.
CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION
ET.AL., GR NO. L-51806, NOV 8, 1988

V.

CA,

FACTS:
Ernest E. Simke, a naturalized Filipino citizen, was
Honorary Consul General of Israel in the Philippines. He
went to Manila International Airport to meet his future
son-in-law. As the plane was landing, he and his
companions went to the viewing deck to watch the
arrival of the plane. While walking, Simke slipped on an
elevation 4 inches high and fell on his back, breaking his
thigh bone in the process. He underwent a 3hour operation and after recovery he filed a claim for
damages against the Civil Aeronautics Administration
(CAA), which was the government entity in charge of the
airport.
ISSUE:
W/N CAA was negligent
HELD:
CAA contended that the elevation in question "had a
legitimate purpose for being on the terrace and was
never intended to trip down people and injure them. It
was there for no other purpose but to drain water on the
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Under Art. 2179, contributory negligence contemplates a


negligent act or omission on the part of the plaintiff,
which although not the proximate cause of his injury,
CONTRIBUTED to his own damage. The Court found no
contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff,
considering the following test formulated in the early
case of Picart v. Smith:
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 man 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 the 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. Abstract speculations cannot
be here of much value but this much can be
profitably said: Reasonable men govern their
conduct by the circumstances which are before them
or known to them. They are not, and are not
supposed to be omniscient of the future. Hence they
can be expected to take care only when there is
something before them to suggest or warn of
danger. 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 the
ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is
always necessary before negligence can be held to
exist....
The private respondent, who was the plaintiff in the case
before the lower court, could not have reasonably
Page 14

foreseen the harm that would befall him, considering the


attendant factual circumstances. Even if the private
respondent had been looking where he was going,
the step in question could not easily be noticed because
of its construction.
RAKES V. AG & P, 7 PHIL 359
FACTS:
Rakes was a laborer employed by Atlantic. While
transporting iron rails from a barge to the companys
yard using a railroad hand car, Rakes broke his leg
when the hand car toppled over and the rails fell on him.
It appears that the hand car fell due to a sagging portion
of the track that gave with the weight of the rails. Atlantic
knew of the weak state of the rail but did nothing to
repair it. When Rakes filed an action for damages,
Atlantics defense was that Rakes injuries were caused
by his own negligence in walking alongside the car,
instead of in front or behind it, as the laborers were told
to do.
ISSUES:
1. Whether Rakes was negligent.
2. Whether Atlantic is liable to Rakes.
HELD:
1. Rakes was negligent. He disobeyed the orders of his
superiors when he walked alongside the car instead of in
front or behind it.
2. Atlantic is liable to Rakes. The negligence of Rakes
will not totally bar him from recovering anything from
Atlantic, although the liability of the latter will be
mitigated as a result of Rakes contributory negligence.
This is because although Rakes contributed with his own
negligence, the primary cause of the accident was still
the weak rails which Atlantic refused to repair.
Distinction must be made between the accident and the
injury, between the event itself, without which there
could have been no accident, and those acts of the
victim not entering into it, independent of it, but
contributing to his own proper hurt.
Where he contributes to the principal occurrence as one
of its determining factors, he cannot recover. Where, in
conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to
his own injury, he may recover the amount that the
defendant responsible for the event should pay for such
injury, less a sum deemedequivalent for his own
imprudence.
We are with reference to such obligations, that culpa or
negligence, may be understood in two different senses:
either as culpa, substantive and independent, which on
account of its origin arises in an obligation between two
persons not formerly bound by any other obligation; or
as an incident in the performance of an obligation; or as
already existed, which cannot be presumed to exist
without the other, and which increases the liability arising
from the already existing obligation.
ASSOCIATED BANK v. TAN, GR No. 156940, Dec 14,
2004
FACTS:

check with the said bank in the amount of P101,000.00


which was added to his original deposit. The check was
duly entered in his bank record and upon advice and
instruction of the bank that it was already cleared and
backed up by sufficient funds, Tan, on the same date,
withdrew the sum of P240,000.00. A day after, Tan
deposited the amount of P50,000.00 making his existing
balance in the amount of P107,793.45, because he has
issued several checks to his business partners.
However, his suppliers and business partners went back
to him alleging that the checks he issued bounced for
insufficiency of funds. Thereafter, Tan, thru his lawyer,
informed the bank to take positive steps regarding the
matter for he has adequate and sufficient funds to pay
the amount of the subject checks. Nonetheless, the bank
did not bother nor offer any apology regarding the
incident. Consequently, Tan filed a Complaint for
Damages with the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan
City.
The trial court rendered its decision in favor of the
respondent and against the petitioner. It was shown that
respondent was not officially informed about the debiting
of the P101,000.00 from his existing balance and that
the bank merely allowed the respondent to use the fund
prior to clearing merely for accommodation because the
bank considered him as one of its valued clients. It ruled
that the bank manager was negligent in handling the
particular checking account of the respondent stating
that such lapses caused all the inconveniences to the
respondent. Affirming the trial court, the CA ruled that
the bank should not have authorized the withdrawal of
the value of the deposited check prior to its clearing.
Having done so, contrary to its obligation to treat
respondents account with meticulous care, the bank
violated its own policy. Without such notice, it is
estopped from blaming respondent for failing to fund his
account.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioner, which is acting as a depository bank and
a collecting agent, has properly exercised its right to setoff the account of its client for a check deposit which was
dishonored by the drawee bank.
HELD:
1. Obligation as a depositor bank
The banking business is impressed with public interest.
"Consequently, the highest degree of diligence is
expected, and high standards of integrity and
performance are even required of it. By the nature of its
functions, a bank is under obligation to treat the
accounts of its depositors with meticulous care. The
degree of diligence required of banks is more than that
of a good father of a family where the fiduciary nature of
their
relationship
with
their
depositors
is
concerned. Indeed, the banking business is vested with
the trust and confidence of the public; hence the
"appropriate standard of diligence must be very high, if
not the highest, degree of diligence." The standard
applies, regardless of whether the account consists of
only a few hundred pesos or of millions. The fiduciary
nature of banking, previously imposed by case law, is
now enshrined in Republic Act No. 8791 or the General
Banking Law of 2000. Section 2 of the law specifically
says that the State recognizes the "fiduciary nature of
banking that requires high standards of integrity and
performance."

Vicente Henry Tan is a regular depositor-creditor of the


Associated Bank. He deposited a postdated UCPB
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Page 15

The respondents did not treat the account of the


petitioner with highest degree of care. It is undisputed -nay, even admitted -- that purportedly as an act of
accommodation to a valued client, petitioner allowed the
withdrawal of the face value of the deposited check prior
to its clearing. That act certainly disregarded the
clearance requirement of the banking system.
2. Obligation as a collecting agent
As a general rule, a bank is liable for the wrongful or
tortuous acts and declarations of its officers or agents
within the course and scope of their employment. Due to
the very nature of their business, banks are expected to
exercise the highest degree of diligence in the selection
and supervision of their employees. Jurisprudence has
established that the lack of diligence of a servant is
imputed to the negligence of the employer, when the
negligent or wrongful act of the former proximately
results in an injury to a third person; in this case, the
depositor. The manager of the banks Cabanatuan
branch, Consorcia Santiago, categorically admitted that
she and the employees under her control had breached
bank policies. They admittedly breached those policies
when, without clearance from the drawee bank in
Baguio, they allowed respondent to withdraw on October
1, 1990, the amount of the check deposited.

PACIS v. MORALES, GR NO. 169467, Feb 25, 2010


FACTS:
Alfred Dennis Pacis, then 17 years old, died due to a
gunshot wound in the head which he sustained while he
was at the Top Gun Firearm[s] and Ammunition[s] Store
located at Upper Mabini Street, Baguio City. The gun
store was owned and operated by defendant Jerome
Jovanne Morales. The bullet which killed Alfred Dennis
Pacis was fired from a gun brought in by a customer of
the gun store for repair which was left by defendant
Morales, who was in Manila that time, in a drawer of a
table located inside the gun store. It appears that
Matibag and Herbolario later brought out the gun from
the drawer and placed it on top of the table to which
Alfred Dennis Pacis got hold of the same. Matibag asked
Alfred Dennis Pacis to return the gun. The latter followed
and handed the gun to Matibag. It went off, the bullet
hitting the young Alfred in the head.
The trial court held that the accidental shooting of Alfred
which caused his death was partly due to the negligence
of respondents employee Aristedes Matibag (Matibag).
Matibag and Jason Herbolario (Herbolario) were
employees of respondent even if they were only paid on
a commission basis. Under the Civil Code, respondent is
liable for the damages caused by Matibag on the
occasion of the performance of his duties, unless
respondent proved that he observed the diligence of a
good father of a family to prevent the damage. The Court
of Appeals held that respondent cannot be held civilly
liable since there was no employer-employee
relationship between respondent and Matibag. The
Court of Appeals found that Matibag was not under the
control of respondent with respect to the means and
methods in the performance of his work. Even if no
employer-employee relationship existed, it found that no
negligence can be attributed to respondent.
ISSUE:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

W/N respondent is negligent for the death of Alfred


Dennis Pacis.
HELD:
Unlike the subsidiary liability of the employer under
Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, the liability of the
employer, or any person for that matter, under Article
2176 of the Civil Code is primary and direct, based on a
persons own negligence.
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 quasi-delict
and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
A higher degree of care is required of someone who has
in his possession or under his control an instrumentality
extremely dangerous in character, such as dangerous
weapons or substances. Such person in possession or
control of dangerous instrumentalities has the duty to
take exceptional precautions to prevent any injury being
done thereby. Unlike the ordinary affairs of life or
business which involve little or no risk, a business
dealing with dangerous weapons requires the exercise
of a higher degree of care. As a gun store owner,
respondent is presumed to be knowledgeable about
firearms safety and should have known never to keep a
loaded weapon in his store to avoid unreasonable risk of
harm or injury to others. Respondent has the duty to
ensure that all the guns in his store are not loaded.
Firearms should be stored unloaded and separate from
ammunition when the firearms are not needed for readyaccess defensive use. With more reason, guns accepted
by the store for repair should not be loaded precisely
because they are defective and may cause an accidental
discharge such as what happened in this case.
Respondent was clearly negligent when he accepted the
gun for repair and placed it inside the drawer without
ensuring first that it was not loaded. In the first place, the
defective gun should have been stored in a vault. Before
accepting the defective gun for repair, respondent
should have made sure that it was not loaded to prevent
any untoward accident. For failing to ensure that the gun
was not loaded, respondent himself was negligent.
Clearly, respondent did not exercise the degree of care
and diligence required of a good father of a family, much
less the degree of care required of someone dealing with
dangerous weapons, as would exempt him from liability
in this case.
S.D. MARTINEZ v. BUSKIRK, GR No. L-5691, Dec 27,
1910
FACTS:
The plaintiff, Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding in a
carromata when a delivery wagon belonging to the
defendant which was attached a pair of horses, came
along the street in the opposite direction to that the in
which said plaintiff was proceeding, and that thereupon
the driver of the said plaintiff's carromata, observing that
the delivery wagon of the defendant was coming at great
speed, crowded close to the sidewalk and stopped, in
order to give defendant's delivery wagon an opportunity
to pass by, but that instead of passing by the
defendant's wagon and horses ran into the carromata
occupied by said plaintiff with her child and overturned it,
severely wounding said plaintiff by making a serious cut
upon her head, and also injuring the carromata itself and
the harness upon the horse which was drawing it.
Page 16

The cochero, who was driving his delivery wagon, was a


good servant and was considered a safe and reliable
cochero; that the delivery wagon had sent to deliver
some forage and for the purpose of delivery the cochero
driving the team as defendant's employee tied the
driving lines of the horses to the front end of the delivery
wagon and then went back inside of the wagon to unload
the forage; that while unloading the forage and in the act
of carrying some of it out, another vehicle drove by, the
driver of which cracked a whip and made some other
noises, which frightened the horses attached to the
delivery wagon and they ran away, and the driver was
thrown from the inside of the wagon out through the rear
upon the ground and was unable to stop the horses; that
the horses then ran up and on which street they came
into collision with the carromata in which the plaintiff,
Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding.
ISSUE:
W/N defendant is guilty of negligence.
HELD:
In our judgment, the cochero of the defendant was not
negligent in leaving the horses in the manner described
by the evidence in this case. It appears from the
undisputed evidence that the horses which caused the
damage were gentle and tractable; that the cochero was
experienced and capable; that he had driven one of the
horses several years and the other for five or six months;
that he had been in the habit, during all that time, of
leaving them in the condition in which they were left on
the day of the accident; that they had never run away up
to that time and there had been, therefore, no accident
due to such practice; that to leave the horses and assist
in unloading the merchandise in the manner described
on the day of the accident was the custom of all cochero
who delivered merchandise of the character of that
which was being delivered by the cochero of the
defendant on the day in question, which custom was
sanctioned by their employers.
It is a matter of common knowledge as well as proof that
it is the universal practice of merchants to deliver
merchandise of the kind of that being delivered at the
time of the injury, in the manner in which that was then
being delivered; and that it is the universal practice to
leave the horses in the manner in which they were left at
the time of the accident. This is the custom in all cities. It
has not been productive of accidents or injuries. The
public, finding itself unprejudiced by such practice, has
acquiesced for years without objection. Ought the public
now, through the courts, without prior objection or notice,
to be permitted to reverse the practice of decades and
thereby make culpable and guilty one who had every
reason and assurance to believe that he was acting
under the sanction of the strongest of all civil forces, the
custom of a people? We think not.
YLARDE, ET. AL., V. AQUINO, ET.AL., GR NO. L33722, JUL 29, 1988
FACTS:
Private respondent Mariano Soriano was the principal of
the Gabaldon Primary School wherein private
respondent Edgardo Aquino was a teacher therein. that
time, the school was fittered with several concrete blocks
which were remnants of the old school shop that was
destroyed in World War II. Realizing that the huge
stones were serious hazards to the schoolchildren,
another teacher by the name of Sergio Banez started
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

burying them. Deciding to help his colleague, private


respondent Edgardo Aquino gathered some of his pupils
aged ten to eleven after class dismissal to to dig beside
a one-ton concrete block in order to make a hole
wherein the stone can be buried. As teacher-in-charge,
he called Reynaldo Alonso, Francisco Alcantara, Ismael
Abaga and Novelito Ylarde, to dug until the excavation
was one meter and forty centimeters deep. When the
depth was right enough to accommodate the concrete
block, private respondent Aquino and his four pupils got
out of the hole. He then left the students to level the
loose soil around the open hole while he went to see
Banez to get some Rope. Three of the four kids, Alonso,
Alcantara and Ylarde, playfully jumped into the pit. Then,
without any warning at all, the remaining Abaga jumped
on top of the concrete block causing it to slide down
towards the opening. Alonso and Alcantara were able to
scramble out of the excavation on time but unfortunately
fo Ylarde, the concrete block caught him before he could
get out, pinning him to the wall in a standing position
which caused him several injuries and later on died.
Petitioners filed a suit for damages against both private
respondents Aquino and Soriano. The lower court
dismissed the complaint and was affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE:
1. W/N both private respondents can be held liable for
damages.
2. Were there acts and omissions on the part of private
respondent Aquino amounting to fault or negligence
which have direct causal relation to the death of his
pupil Ylarde?
HELD:
1. Soriano cannot be made responsible for the death of
the child Ylarde, he being the head of an academic
school and not a school of arts and trades.
Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, it is only the
teacher and not the head of an academic school who
should be answerable for torts committed by their
students. This Court went on to say that in a school of
arts and trades, it is only the head of the school who can
be held liable. However, respondent Aquino can be held
liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code as the
teacher-in-charge of the children for being negligent in
his supervision over them and his failure to take the
necessary precautions to prevent any injury on their
persons.
2. YES, Aquino is liable for damages.
The negligent act of private respondent Aquino in
leaving his pupils in such a dangerous site has a direct
causal connection to the death of the child Ylarde. Left
by themselves, it was but natural for the children to play
around. Tired from the strenuous digging, they just had
to amuse themselves with whatever they found. Driven
by their playful and adventurous instincts and not
knowing the risk they were facing three of them jumped
into the hole while the other one jumped on the stone.
Since the stone was so heavy and the soil was loose
from the digging, it was also a natural consequence that
the stone would fall into the hole beside it, causing injury
on the unfortunate child caught by its heavy weight.
Everything that occurred was the natural and probable
effect of the negligent acts of private respondent Aquino.
Needless to say, the child Ylarde would not have died
were it not for the unsafe situation created by private
respondent Aquino which exposed the lives of all the
Page 17

pupils concerned to real danger. A truly careful and


cautious person would have acted in all contrast to the
way private respondent Aquino did. Were it not for his
gross negligence, the unfortunate incident would not
have occurred and the child Ylarde would probably be
alive today, a grown- man of thirty-five. Due to his failure
to take the necessary precautions to avoid the hazard,
Ylarde's parents suffered great anguish all these years.
We cannot agree with the finding of the lower court that
the injuries which resulted in the death of the child
Ylarde were caused by his own reckless imprudence. It
should be remembered that he was only ten years old at
the time of the incident. As such, he is expected to be
playful and daring. His actuations were natural to a boy
his age. The degree of care required to be exercised
must vary with the capacity of the person endangered to
care for himself. A minor should not be held to the same
degree of care as an adult, but his conduct should be
judged according to the average conduct of persons of
his age and experience. The standard of conduct to
which a child must conform for his own protection is that
degree of care ordinarily exercised by children of the
same age, capacity, discretion, knowledge and
experience under the same or similar circumstances.
Bearing this in mind, We cannot charge the child Ylarde
with reckless imprudence.
PHIL. HAWK CORP. V. VIVIAN TAN LEE, GR NO.
166869, FEB. 16, 2010
FACTS:
The accident involved a motorcycle, a passenger jeep,
and a bus which was owned by petitioner Philippine
Hawk Corporation, and was then being driven by
Margarito Avila. Respondent testified that she was riding
on their motorcycle in tandem with her husband, who
was on the wheel. They were on a stop position at the
side of the highway; and when they were about to make
a turn, she saw a bus running at fast speed coming
toward them, and then the bus hit a jeep parked on the
roadside, and their motorcycle as well. She lost
consciousness and was brought to the hospital but her
husband died due to the vehicular accident.
The driver of the passenger jeep involved in the accident
testified that his jeep was parked on the left side of the
highway. He did not notice the motorcycle before the
accident. But he saw the bus dragging the motorcycle
along the highway, and then the bus bumped his jeep
and sped away. The driver of petitioner's bus testified
that he was driving his bus at 60 kilometers per hour on
the Maharlika Highway. When a motorcycle ran from his
left side of the highway, and as the bus came near, the
motorcycle crossed the path of the bus, and so he
turned the bus to the right. From his side mirror, he saw
that the motorcycle turned turtle ("bumaliktad"). He did
not stop to help out of fear for his life, but drove on and
surrendered to the police. He denied that he bumped the
motorcycle. The trial court rendered judgment against
petitioner and defendant Margarito Avila which affirmed
by the CA.
ISSUE:
W/N negligence may be attributed to petitioner's driver,
and whether negligence on his part was the proximate
cause of the accident, resulting in the death of Silvino
Tan and causing physical injuries to respondent.
HELD:
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

There is negligence indeed on the part of petitioners


driver Margarito Avila. To be negligent, a defendant must
have acted or failed to act in such a way that an ordinary
reasonable man would have realized that certain
interests of certain persons were unreasonably
subjected to a general but definite class of risks. In this
case, the bus driver, who was driving on the right side of
the road, already saw the motorcycle on the left side of
the road before the collision. However, he did not take
the necessary precaution to slow down, but drove on
and bumped the motorcycle, and also the passenger
jeep parked on the left side of the road, showing that the
bus was negligent in veering to the left lane, causing it to
hit the motorcycle and the passenger jeep.
Whenever an employee's negligence causes damage or
injury to another, there instantly arises a presumption
that the employer failed to exercise the due diligence of
a good father of the family in the selection or supervision
of its employees. To avoid liability for a quasi-delict
committed by his employee, an employer must
overcome the presumption by presenting convincing
proof that he exercised the care and diligence of a good
father of a family in the selection and supervision of his
employee.
The Court upholds the finding of the trial court and the
Court of Appeals that petitioner is liable to respondent,
since it failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of
the family in the selection and supervision of its bus
driver, Margarito Avila, for having failed to sufficiently
inculcate in him discipline and correct behavior on the
road. Indeed, petitioner's tests were concentrated on the
ability to drive and physical fitness to do so. It also did
not know that Avila had been previously involved in
sideswiping incidents.
REGALA V. CARIN G.R. NO. 188715 APRIL 6, 2011
FRANCISCO V. CHEMICAL BULK CARRIERS G.R.
NO. 193577 SEPTEMBER 7, 2011
III.
DAMAGE TO ANOTHER (See discussion on
Damages, infra.)
IV.
CAUSAL RELATION BETWEEN ACT OR
OMISSION AND DAMAGE
TISON ET AL V. SPS POMASIN, G.R. NO. 173180
AUGUST 24, 2011
FACTS:
Two vehicles, a tractor-trailer and a jitney, figured in a
vehicular mishap along Maharlika Highway in Barangay
Agos, Polangui, Albay last 12 August 1994. Laarni
Pomasin (Laarni) was driving the jitney towards the
direction of Legaspi City while the tractor-trailer, driven
by Claudio Jabon (Jabon), was traversing the opposite
lane going towards Naga City.
Gregorio was injured and brought to the Albay
Provincial Hospital in Legaspi City. His daughter,
Andrea Pomasin Pagunsan, sister Narcisa Pomasin
Roncales and Abraham Dionisio Perol died on the spot.
His other daughter Laarni, the jitney driver, and
granddaughter Annie Jane Pomasin Pagunsan expired
at the hospital. His wife, Consorcia Pomasin, another
granddaughter Dianne Pomasin Pagunsan, Ricky
Ponce, Vicente Pomasin, Gina Sesista, Reynaldo
Sesista, Antonio Sesista and Sonia Perol sustained
injuries. On the other hand, Jabon and one of the
passengers in the tractor-trailer were injured.
Page 18

They alleged that the proximate cause of the accident


was the negligence, imprudence and carelessness of
petitioners.
ISSUE:
Who is the negligent part or the party at fault?
HELD:
This interplay of rules and exceptions is more
pronounced in this case of quasi-delict in which,
according to Article 2176 of the Civil Code, whoever by
act or omission causes damage to another, there being
fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage
done. To sustain a claim based on quasi-delict, the
following requisites must concur: (a) damage suffered
by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of defendant; and
(c) connection of cause and effect between the fault or
negligence of defendant and the damage incurred by
the plaintiff. These requisites must be proved by a
preponderance
of
evidence.
The
claimants,
respondents in this case, must, therefore, establish
their claim or cause of action by preponderance of
evidence, evidence which is of greater weight, or more
convincing than that which is offered in opposition to it.
Driving without a proper license is a violation of traffic
regulation. Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, the
legal presumption of negligence arises if at the time of
the mishap, a person was violating any traffic
regulation. However, in Sanitary Steam Laundry, Inc. v.
Court of Appeals, we held that a causal connection
must exist between the injury received and the violation
of the traffic regulation. It must be proven that the
violation of the traffic regulation was the proximate or
legal cause of the injury or that it substantially
contributed thereto. Negligence, consisting in whole or
in part, of violation of law, like any other negligence, is
without legal consequence unless it is a contributing
cause of the injury. Likewise controlling is our ruling in
Aonuevo v. Court of Appeals where we reiterated that
negligence per se, arising from the mere violation of a
traffic statute, need not be sufficient in itself in
establishing liability for damages. In said case,
Aonuevo, who was driving a car, did not attempt "to
establish a causal connection between the safety
violations imputed to the injured cyclist, and the
accident itself. Instead, he relied on a putative
presumption that these violations in themselves
sufficiently established negligence appreciable against
the cyclist. Since the onus on Aonuevo is to
conclusively prove the link between the violations and
the accident, we can deem him as having failed to
discharge his necessary burden of proving the cyclist' s
own liability." We took the occasion to state that:
The rule on negligence per se must admit qualifications
that may arise from the logical consequences of the
facts leading to the mishap. The doctrine (and Article
2185, for that matter) is undeniably useful as a judicial
guide in adjudging liability, for it seeks to impute
culpability arising from the failure of the actor to
perform up to a standard established by a legal fiat. But
the doctrine should not be rendered inflexible so as to
deny relief when in fact there is no causal relation
between the statutory violation and the injury sustained.
Presumptions in law, while convenient, are not
intractable so as to forbid rebuttal rooted in fact. After
all, tort law is remunerative in spirit, aiming to provide
compensation for the harm suffered by those whose
interests have been invaded owing to the conduct of
other.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

In the instant case, no causal connection was


established between the tractor-trailer driver's
restrictions on his license to the vehicular collision.
Furthermore, Jabon was able to sufficiently explain that
the Land Transportation Office merely erred in not
including restriction code 8 in his license.
OCEAN BUILDERS V. SPS CUBACUB G.R. NO.
150898, APRIL 13, 2011
FACTS:
On April 9, 1995, Bladimir was afflicted with chicken
pox. He was thus advised by petitioner Dennis Hao
(Hao), the company's general manager, to rest for three
days which he did at the company's "barracks" where
he lives free of charge.
Three days later or on April 12, 1995, Bladimir went
about his usual chores of manning the gate of the
company premises and even cleaned the company
vehicles. Later in the afternoon, however, he asked a
co-worker, Ignacio Silangga (Silangga), to accompany
him to his house in Capas, Tarlac so he could rest.
Informed by Silangga of Bladimir's intention, Hao gave
Bladimir P1,000.00 and ordered Silangga to instead
bring Bladimir to the nearest hospital.
Along with co-workers Narding and Tito Vergado,
Silangga thus brought Bladimir to the Caybiga
Community Hospital (Caybiga Hospital), a primary-care
hospital around one kilometer away from the office of
the company.
The hospital did not allow Bladimir to leave the
hospital. He was then confined, with Narding keeping
watch over him. The next day, April 13, 1995, a doctor
of the hospital informed Narding that they needed to
talk to Bladimir's parents, hence, on Silangga's request,
their co-workers June Matias and Joel Edrene fetched
Bladimir's parents from Tarlac. AIcaDC
At about 8 o'clock in the evening of the same day, April
13, 1995, Bladimir's parents-respondent spouses
Cubacub, with their friend Dr. Hermes Frias (Dr. Frias),
arrived at the Caybiga Hospital and transferred Bladimir
to the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) where he
was placed in the intensive care unit and died the
following day, April 14, 1995.
The death certificate issued by the QCGH recorded
Bladimir's immediate cause of death as cardiorespiratory arrest and the antecedent cause as
pneumonia. On the other hand, the death certificate
issued by Dr. Frias recorded the causes of death as
cardiac arrest, multiple organ system failure,
septicemia and chicken pox.
ISSUE:
W/N Hoas negligence is the proximate cause of the
death Bladimir.
HELD:
At the onset, the Court notes that the present case is
one for damages based on torts, the employeremployee relationship being merely incidental. To
successfully prosecute an action anchored on torts,
three elements must be present, viz.: (1) duty (2)
breach (3) injury and proximate causation. The assailed
decision of the appellate court held that it was the duty
of petitioners to provide adequate medical assistance
Page 19

to the employees under Art. 161 of the Labor Code,


failing which a breach is committed.

ISSUE:
W/N Davao City is liable.

AT ALL EVENTS, the alleged negligence of Hao cannot


be considered as the proximate cause of the death of
Bladimir. Proximate cause is that which, in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient
intervening cause, produces injury, and without which,
the result would not have occurred. An injury or damage
is proximately caused by an act or failure to act,
whenever it appears from the evidence in the case that
the act or omission played a substantial part in bringing
about or actually causing the injury or damage, and that
the injury or damage was either a direct result or a
reasonably probable consequence of the act or
omission.
Verily, the issue in this case is essentially factual in
nature. The dissent, apart from adopting the appellate
court's findings, finds that Bladimir contracted chicken
pox from a co-worker and Hao was negligent in not
bringing that co-worker to the nearest physician, or
isolating him as well. This finding is not, however, borne
by the records. Nowhere in the appellate court's or even
the trial court's decision is there any such definite finding
that Bladimir contracted chicken pox from a co-worker.
At best, the only allusion to another employee being
afflicted with chicken pox was when Hao testified that he
knew it to heal within three days as was the case of
another worker, without reference, however, as to when
it happened.
a. Doctrine of Proximate Cause
FERNANDO V. CA, 208 SCRA 714
FACTS:
On November 7, 1975, Bibiano Morta, market master of
the Agdao Public Market filed a requisition request with
the Chief of Property of the City Treasurer's Office for
the re-emptying of the septic tank in Agdao. An
invitation to bid was issued to Aurelio Bertulano, Lito
Catarsa, Feliciano Bascon, Federico Bolo and Antonio
Suer, Jr. Bascon won the bid. On November 26, 1975
Bascon was notified and he signed the purchase order.
However, before such date, specifically on November
22, 1975, bidder Bertulano with four other companions
namely Joselito Garcia, William Liagoso, Alberto
Fernandoand Jose Fajardo, Jr. were found dead inside
the septic tank. The bodies were removed by a fireman.
One body, that of Joselito Garcia, was taken out by his
uncle, Danilo Garcia and taken to the Regional Hospital
but he expired there. The City Engineer's office
investigated the case and learned that the five victim
sentered the septic tank without clearance neither from
it nor with the knowledge and consent of the market
master. In fact, the septic tank was found to be almost
empty and the victims were presumed to be the ones
who did the re-emptying. Dr. Juan Abear of the City
Health Office autopsied the bodies and in his reports,
put the cause of death of all five victims as "asphyxia"
caused by the diminution of oxygen supply in the body
working below normal conditions. The lungs of the five
victims burst, swelled in hemmorrhagic areas and this
was due to their intake of toxic gas, which, in this case,
was sulfide gas produced from the waste matter inside
the septic tank. Petitioners, children of the deceased,
file a complaint for damages. TC: Dismissed. CA: In
favor of petitioners, based on social justice. CA on MR:
Reversed, in favor of Davao City.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

HELD:
No. We find no compelling reason to grant the petition.
We affirm.
While it may be true that the public respondent has
been remiss in its duty to re-empty the septic tank
annually, such negligence was not a continuing one.
Upon learning from the report of the market master
about the need to clean the septic tank of the public
toilet in Agdao Public Market, the public respondent
immediately responded by issuing invitations to bid for
such service. Thereafter, it awarded the bid to the
lowest bidder, Mr. Feliciano Bascon. The public
respondent, therefore, lost no time in taking up
remedial measures to meet the situation. It is likewise
an undisputed fact that despite the public respondent's
failure to re-empty the septic tank since 1956, people in
the market have been using the public toilet for their
personal necessities but have remained unscathed.
In view of this factual milieu, it would appear that an
accident such as toxic gas leakage from the septic tank
is unlikely to happen unless one removes its covers.
The accident in the case at bar occurred because the
victims on their own and without authority from the
public respondent opened the septic tank. Considering
the nature of the task of emptying a septic tank
especially one which has not been cleaned for years,
an ordinarily prudent person should undoubtedly be
aware of the attendant risks. The victims are no
exception; more so with Mr. Bertulano, an old hand in
this kind of service, who is presumed to know the
hazards of the job. His failure, therefore, and that of his
men to take precautionary measures for their safety
was the proximate cause of the accident.
DYTEBAN V. JOSE CHING, supra.
ISSUE:
W/N prime mover driver Limbagas negligence was the
proximate cause of the damage to the Nissan van.
HELD:
SC held that the skewed parking of the prime mover
(negligence of the driver) was the proximate cause of the
collision.
Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in
natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred. More
comprehensively, proximate cause is that cause acting
first and producing the injury, either immediately or by
setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural
and continuous chain of events, each having a close
causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the
final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury
as natural and probable result of the cause which first
acted, under such circumstances that the person
responsible for the first event should, as an ordinarily
prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground
to expect at the moment of his act or default that an
injury to some person might probably result therefrom.
There is no exact mathematical formula to determine
proximate cause. It is based upon mixed considerations
of logic, common sense, policy and precedent. Plaintiff
Page 20

must, however, establish a sufficient link between the act


or omission and the damage or injury. That link must not
be remote or far-fetched; otherwise, no liability will
attach. The damage or injury must be a natural and
probable result of the act or omission.
Here, We agree with the RTC that the damage caused
to the Nissan van was a natural and probable result of
the improper parking of the prime mover with trailer. As
discussed, the skewed parking of the prime mover
posed a serious risk to oncoming motorists. Limbaga
failed to prevent or minimize that risk. The skewed
parking of the prime mover triggered the series of events
that led to the collision, particularly the swerving of the
passenger bus and the Nissan van. The skewed parking
is the proximate cause of the damage to the Nissan van.
BATACLAN V. MEDINA, 102 PHIL 181
FACTS:
The deceased Juan Bataclan was among the
passengers of Medina Transportation, driven by
Conrado Saylon and operated by Mariano Medina. On
its way from Cavite to Pasay, the front tires burst and the
vehicle fell into a canal. Some passengers were able to
escape by themselves or with some help, while there
were 4, including Bataclan, who could not get out. Their
cries were heard in the neighbourhood. Then there came
about 10 men, one of them carrying a torch. As they
approached the bus, it caught fire and the passengers
died. The fire was due to gasoline leak and the torch.
Salud Villanueva Vda. de Bataclan, in her name and on
behalf of her 5 minor children, sought to claim damages
from the bus company. The CFI favored the plaintiff, and
the CA forwarded the case to the SC due to the amount
involved.
ISSUE:
What was the proximate cause of the death of Juan and
the other passengers?
HELD:
We agree with the trial court that the case involves a
breach of contract of transportation for hire, the Medina
Transportation having undertaken to carry Bataclan
safely to his destination, Pasay City. We also agree that
there was negligence on the part of the defendant,
through his agent, the driver Saylon. At the time of the
blow out, the bus was speeding, as testified to by one of
the passengers, and as shown by the fact that according
to the testimony of the witnesses, including that of the
defense, from the point where one of the front tires burst
up to the canal where the bus overturned after zigzaging, there was a distance of about 150 meters. The
chauffeur, after the blow-out, must have applied the
brakes in order to stop the bus, but because of the
velocity at which the bus must have been running, its
momentum carried it over a distance of 150 meters
before it fell into the canal and turned turtle.
There is no question that under the circumstances, the
defendant carrier is liable. The only question is to what
degree. A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is
found in Volume 38, pages 695-696 of American
jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-appellants in their brief.
It is as follows:
. . . 'that cause, which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening
cause, produces the injury, and without which the
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

result would not have occurred.' And more


comprehensively, 'the proximate legal cause is that
acting first and producing the injury, either
immediately or by setting other events in motion, all
constituting a natural and continuous chain of
events, each having a close causal connection with
its immediate predecessor, the final event in the
chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural
and probable result of the cause which first acted,
under such circumstances that the person
responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary
prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable
ground to expect at the moment of his act or default
that an injury to some person might probably result
therefrom.
In the present case, we do not hesitate to hold that the
proximate cause was the overturning of the bus, this for
the reason that when the vehicle turned not only on its
side but completely on its back, the leaking of the
gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected;
that the coming of the men with a lighted torch was in
response to the call for help, made not only by the
passengers, but most probably, by the driver and the
conductor themselves, and that because it was dark
(about 2:30 am), the rescuers had to carry a light with
them, and coming as they did from a rural area where
lanterns and flashlights were not available; and what
was more natural than that said rescuers should
innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and
effect the rescue requested from them. In other words,
the coming of the men with a torch was to be expected
and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the
bus, the trapping of some of its passengers and the call
for outside help. What is more, the burning of the bus
can also in part be attributed to the negligence of the
carrier, through its driver and its conductor. According to
the witness, the driver and the conductor were on the
road walking back and forth. They, or at least, the driver
should and must have known that in the position in
which the overturned bus was, gasoline could and must
have leaked from the gasoline tank and soaked the area
in and around the bus, this aside from the fact that
gasoline when spilled, specially over a large area, can
be smelt and directed even from a distance, and yet
neither the driver nor the conductor would appear to
have cautioned or taken steps to warn the rescuers not
to bring the lighted torch too near the bus. Said
negligence on the part of the agents of the carrier come
under
the
codal provisions above-reproduced,
particularly, Articles 1733, 1759 and 1763.
MANILA ELECTRIC CO V. REMOQUILLO, 99 PHIL
117
FACTS:
Efren Magno went to repair a media agua of the house
of his brother-in-law on Rodriguez Lanuza Street,
Manila. While making the repair, a galvanized iron
roofing which he was holding came into contact with the
electric wire of the petitioner Manila Electric Co. strung
parallel to the edge of the media agua and 2-1/2 feet
from it. He was electrocuted and died as a result thereof.
The electric wire was already in the premises at the time
the house was built. This distance of 2-1/2 feet of the
media agua from the electric wire was not in
accordance with city regulations which required a
distance of 3 feet but somehow or other the owner of the
building was able to have the construction approved. In
an action for damages brought by the heirs of Magno
against the Manila Electric Co. the CA awarded
Page 21

damages holding that although the owner of the house in


constructing the media agua exceeded the limits fixed
in the permit, still after making that finally approved
because he was given a final permit to occupy the house
and that the company was at fault and guilty of
negligence because although the electric wire had been
installed long before the construction of the house the
electric company did not exercise due diligence nor take
other precautionary measures as may be warranted.
Said decision was appealed to the SC.
HELD:
SC held that the real cause of the accident or death was
the reckless or negligent act of Magno himself.
When he was called by his stepbrother to repair the
media agua just below the third story window, it is to be
presumed that due to his age and experience he was
qualified to do so. Perhaps he was a tinsmith or
carpenter and had training and experience for the job.
So, he could not have been entirely a stranger to electric
wires and the danger lurking in them. But unfortunately,
in the instant case, his training and experience failed
him, and forgetting where he was standing, holding the
6-feet iron sheet with both hands and at arms length,
evidently without looking, and throwing all prudence and
discretion to the winds, he turned around swinging his
arms with the motion of his body, thereby causing his
own electrocution.
But even assuming for a moment that the defendant
electric company could be considered negligent in
installing its electric wires so close to the house and
mediaagua in question, and in failing to properly
insulate those wires (although according to the unrefuted
claim of said company it was impossible to make the
insulation of that kind of wire), nevertheless to hold the
defendant liable in damages for the death of Magno,
such supposed negligence of the company must have
been the proximate and principal cause of the accident,
because if the act of Magno in turning around and
swinging the galvanized iron sheet with his hands was
the proximate and principal cause of the electrocution,
then his heirs may not recover.
To us it is clear that the principal and proximate cause of
the electrocution was not the electric wire, evidently a
remote cause, but rather the reckless and negligent act
of Magno in turning around and swinging the galvanized
iron sheet without taking any precaution, such as looking
back toward the street and at the wire to avoid its
contacting said iron sheet, considering the latters length
of 6 feet. For a better understanding of the rule on
remote and proximate cause with respect to injuries, we
find the following citation helpful:
A prior and remote cause cannot be made the
basis of an action if such remote cause did
nothing more than furnish the condition or give
rise to the occasion by which the injury was
made possible, if there intervened between
such prior or remote cause and the injury a
distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient
cause of the injury, even though such injury
would not have happened but for such injury
would not have happened but for such
condition or occasion. If not danger existed in
the condition except because of the
independent cause, such condition was not
the proximate cause. And if an independent
negligent act or defective condition sets into
operation the circumstances which result in
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

injury because of prior defection condition,


such subsequent act or condition is the
proximate cause.
TAYLOR V. MANILA ELECTRIC RAILROAD & LIGHT
CO., 16 PHIL 8
FACTS:
The defendant left some twenty or thirty fulminating caps
used for blasting charges of dynamite scattered in the
premises behind its power plant. The plaintiff, a boy 15
years of age, in company with another boy 12 years of
age, entered the premises of the defendant, saw the
fulminating caps and carried them away. Upon reaching
home they 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. They then opened one of
the caps with a knife, and finding that it was filled with a
yellowish substance they got matches, and the plaintiff
held the cap while the other boy applied a lighted match
to the contents. An explosion followed causing injuries to
the boys. This action was brought by the plaintiff to
recover damages for the injuries which he suffered.
ISSUE:
W/N Manila Electric is liable for damages to the
petitioners
HELD:
No. The immediate cause of the explosion, the accident
which resulted in plaintiff's injury, was in his own act in
putting a match to the contents of the cap, and that
having "contributed to the principal occurrence, as one
of its determining factors, he cannot recover."
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.
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. 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
Page 22

by his efforts to explode it with a stone or a hammer,


and the final success of his endeavors brought about
by the application of a match to the contents of the
caps, 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 within him at the time when he put the
match to the contents of the cap, became frightened
and ran away.

1. W/N the cimmaron was guilty of contributory


negligence due to violation of traffic rules and
regulation which added to the proximate cause of
the accident or such was based solely on the
negligence of the panel truck driver.

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.

1. It has not been shown how the alleged negligence of


the Cimarron driver contributed to the collision between
the vehicles. Petitioner has the burden of showing a
causal connection between the injury received and the
violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. He
must show that the violation of the statute was the
proximate or legal cause of the injury or that it
substantially contributed thereto. Petitioner says that
"driving an overloaded vehicle with only one functioning
headlight during night time certainly increases the risk of
accident," that because the Cimarron had only one
headlight, there was "decreased visibility," and that the
fact that the vehicle was overloaded and its front seat
overcrowded "decreased [its] maneuver ability." We are
convinced that no maneuvering which the Cimarron
driver could have done would have avoided a collision
with the panel truck, given the suddenness of the events.
Clearly, the overcrowding in the front seat was
immaterial.

The law fixes no arbitrary age at which a minor can be


said to have the necessary capacity to understand and
appreciate the nature and consequences of his own
acts, so as to make it negligence on his part to fail to
exercise due care and precaution in the commission of
such acts; and indeed it would be impracticable and
perhaps impossible so to do, for in the very nature of
things the question of negligence necessarily depends
on the ability of the minor to understand the character
of his own acts and their consequences; and the age at
which a minor can be said to have such ability will
necessarily depends of his own acts and their
consequences; and at the age at which a minor can be
said to have such ability will necessarily vary in
accordance with the varying nature of the infinite
variety of acts which may be done by him.
SANITARY STEAM LAUNDRY V. CA, 300 SCRA 20
FACTS:
This case involves a collision between a truck owned by
petitioner and a cimarron which caused the death of
three persons and injuries to several others. Petitioners
truck crashed the cimarron when the driver stepped on
the brakes to avoid hitting the jeepney and this caused
his vehicle to swerve to the left and encroach on a
portion of the opposite lane. RTC found Petitioners
driver to be responsible for the accident and awarded
damages in favor of Private respondents. Petitioner
contends that the driver of the cimarron was guilty of
contributory negligence since it was guilty of violation of
traffic rules and regulations (overloading, had only one
headlight on) at the time of mishap. He also argued that
sudden swerving of a vehicle caused by its driver
stepping on the brakes is not negligence per se. He
further argued that the driver should be exonerated
based on the doctrine of last clear chance, which states
that the person who has the last clear chance of
avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts
of his opponent, is solely responsible for the
consequences of the accident. He petitioner claimed that
the cimarron had the last opportunity of avoiding an
accident.
ISSUE:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

2. W/N petitioner failed to exercise due diligence in the


selection and supervision of its employees.
HELD:

All these point to the fact that the proximate cause of the
accident was the negligence of petitioners driver. As the
trial court noted, the swerving of petitioners panel truck
to the opposite lane could mean not only that petitioners
driver was running the vehicle at a very high speed but
that he was tailgating the passenger jeepney ahead of it
as well.
2.
With respect to the requirement of passing
psychological and physical tests prior to his employment,
although no law requires it, such circumstance would
certainly be a reliable indicator of the exercise of due
diligence. As the trial court said:
. . . No tests of skill, physical as well as mental and
emotional, were conducted on their would-be
employees. No on-the-job training and seminars
reminding employees, especially drivers, of road
courtesies and road rules and regulations were
done. There were no instructions given to
defendants drivers as to how to react in cases of
emergency nor what to do after an emergency
occurs. All these could only mean failure on the part
of defendant to exercise the diligence required of it
of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of its employees. Indeed, driving exacts
a more than usual toll on the sense. Accordingly, it
behooves employers to exert extra care in the
selection and supervision of their employees. They
must go beyond the minimum requirements fixed by
law. But petitioner did not show in what manner
drivers were supervised to ensure that they drove
their vehicles in a safe way.
MERCURY DRUG V. BAKING, GR NO. 156037, MAY
25, 2007
FACTS:
Sebastian M. Baking, went to the clinic of Dr. Cesar Sy
for a medical check-up. Respondent was given two
medical prescriptions Diamicron for his blood sugar and
Page 23

Benalize tablets for his triglyceride. Respondent then


proceeded to petitioner Mercury Drug Corporation to buy
the prescribed medicines. However, the saleslady
misread the prescription for Diamicron as a prescription
for Dormicum, a potent sleeping tablet. On the third day
of taking the medicine, respondent figured in a vehicular
accident. The car he was driving collided with the car of
one Josie Peralta due to falling asleep while driving. He
could not remember anything about the collision nor felt
its impact. Suspecting that the tablet he took may have a
bearing on his physical and mental state at the time of
the collision, respondent returned to Dr. Sys clinic. Dr.
Sy was shocked to find that what was sold to respondent
was Dormicum, instead of the prescribed Diamicron. The
trial court rendered its decision in favor of respondent
and this was affirmed by the CA in toto.
ISSUE:
Whether petitioner was negligent, and if so, whether
such negligence was the proximate cause of
respondents accident.
HELD:
Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides:
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.
Requisites under Art. 2176:
(a) damage suffered by the plaintiff;
(b) fault or negligence of the defendant; and,
(c) connection of cause and effect between the fault
or negligence of the defendant and the damage
incurred by the plaintiff.
Petitioners employee was grossly negligent in selling to
respondent Dormicum, instead of the prescribed
Diamicron. Considering that a fatal mistake could be a
matter of life and death for a buying patient, the said
employee should have been very cautious in dispensing
medicines. She should have verified whether the
medicine she gave respondent was indeed the one
prescribed by his physician. The care required must be
commensurate with the danger involved, and the skill
employed must correspond with the superior knowledge
of the business which the law demands.
Proximate Cause
Proximate cause is defined as any cause that produces
injury in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken
by any efficient intervening cause, such that the result
would not have occurred otherwise. Proximate cause is
determined from the facts of each case, upon a
combined consideration of logic, common sense, policy,
and precedent.
Here, the vehicular accident could not have occurred
had petitioners employee been careful in reading Dr. Sys
prescription. Without the potent effects of Dormicum, a
sleeping tablet, it was unlikely that respondent would fall
asleep while driving his car, resulting in a collision.
Complementing Article 2176 is Article 2180 of the same
Code.The employer of a negligent employee is liable for
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

the damages caused by the latter. When an injury is


caused by the negligence of an employee, there
instantly arises a presumption of the law that there has
been negligence on the part of the employer, either in
the selection of his employee or in the supervision over
him, after such selection. The presumption, however,
may be rebutted by a clear showing on the part of the
employer that he has exercised the care and diligence of
a good father of a family in the selection and supervision
of his employee. Thus, petitioner's failure to prove that it
exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family
in the selection and supervision of its employee will
make it solidarily liable for damages caused by the latter.
BPI V. SUAREZ, GR NO. 167750, MAR 15, 2010
FACTS:
Respondent Reynald R. Suarez (Suarez) is a lawyer
who used to maintain both savings and current accounts
with petitioner Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
Suarez had a client who planned to purchase several
parcels of land in Tagaytay City, but preferred not to deal
directly with the land owners. They agreed that the client
would deposit the money in Suarezs BPI account as
payment for the Tagaytay properties and then, Suarez
would issue checks to the sellers. An RCBC check was
then deposited to Suarezs current account in BPI.
Suarez instructed his secretary, Garaygay, to confirm
from BPI whether the face value of the RCBC check was
already credited to his account that same day it was
deposited. It was alleged that BPI confirmed the sameday crediting of the RCBC check. With this, Suarez
issued on the same day five checks for the purchase of
the Tagaytay properties. Days after while in the U.S. for
vacation, he was informed by Garaygay that the checks
issued were dishonored due to insufficiency of funds
with penalties despite an assurance from RCBC that it
has already been debited in his account and fully
funded. Claiming that BPI mishandled his account
through negligence, Suarez filed with the Regional Trial
Court a complaint for damages. The TC rendered
judgment in favor of respondent which was affirmed by
CA.
ISSUE:
W/N the erroneous marking of DAIF (drawn against
insufficient funds), instead of DAUD (drawn against
uncollected deposit)on the checks,is the proximate
cause of respondents injury.
HELD:
In the present case, Suarez failed to establish that his
claimed injury was proximately caused by the erroneous
marking of DAIF on the checks. Proximate Cause has
been defined as any cause which, in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the result complained of
and without which would not have occurred. There is
nothing in Suarezs testimony which convincingly shows
that the erroneous marking of DAIF on the checks
proximately caused his alleged psychological or social
injuries. Suarez merely testified that he suffered
humiliation and that the prospective consolidation of the
titles to Tagaytay properties did not materialize due to
the dishonor of his checks, not due to the erroneous
marking of DAIF on his checks. Hence, Suarez had only
himself to blame for his hurt feelings and the
unsuccessful transaction with his client as these were
directly caused by the justified dishonor of the checks. In
Page 24

short, Suarez cannot recover compensatory damages


for his own negligence.
RAMOS V. C.O.L. REALTY, GR NO. 184905, AUG. 28,
2009
FACTS:
A vehicular accident took place between a Toyota Altis
Sedan, owned by petitioner C.O.L. Realty Corporation,
and driven by Aquilino Larin ("Aquilino"), and a Ford
Expedition, owned by Lambert Ramos (Ramos) and
driven by Rodel Ilustrisimo ("Rodel"). (C.O.L. Realty)
averred that its driver, Aquilino, was slowly driving the
Toyota Altis car at a speed of five to ten kilometers per
hour along Rajah Matanda Street and has just crossed
the center lane of Katipunan Avenue when (Ramos)
Ford Espedition violently rammed against the cars right
rear door and fender. With the force of the impact, the
sedan turned 180 degrees towards the direction where it
came from. A passenger of the sedan, one Estela
Maliwat ("Estela") sustained injuries. Ramos denied
liability for damages insisting that it was the negligence
of Aquilino, (C.O.L. Realtys) driver, which was the
proximate cause of the accident. Ramos maintained that
the sedan car crossed Katipunan Avenue from Rajah
Matanda Street despite the concrete barriers placed
thereon prohibiting vehicles to pass through the
intersection.
Petitioner demanded from respondent reimbursement for
the expenses incurred in the repair of its car and the
hospitalization of Estela. The demand fell on deaf ears
prompting (C.O.L. Realty) to file a Complaint for
Damages based on quasi-delict before the Metropolitan
Trial Court of Metro Manila (MeTC), Quezon City. MeTC
rendered the decision exculpating Ramos from liability.
RTC affirmed the decision of the MeTC. The CA affirmed
the view that Aquilino was negligent in crossing
Katipunan Avenue from Rajah Matanda Street since, as
per Certification of the Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority (MMDA).
ISSUE:
Whether petitioner could be held solidarily liable with his
driver, Rodel Ilustrisimo, to pay respondent C.O.L.
Realty for damages suffered in a vehicular collision.
HELD:
Articles 2179 and 2185 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts
apply in this case, viz:
Article 2179.When the plaintiffs own negligence
was the immediate and proximate cause of his
injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his
negligence was only contributory, the immediate and
proximate cause of the injury being the defendants
lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages,
but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be
awarded.
Article 2185.Unless there is proof to the contrary, it
is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle
has been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he
was violating any traffic regulation.
If the master is injured by the negligence of a
third person and by the concurring contributory
negligence of his own servant or agent, the latters
negligence is imputed to his superior and will defeat
the superiors action against the third person,
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

assuming of course that the contributory negligence


was the proximate cause of the injury of which
complaint is made.
Applying the foregoing principles of law to the instant
case, Aquilinos act of crossing Katipunan Avenue via
Rajah Matanda constitutes negligence because it was
prohibited by law. Moreover, it was the proximate cause
of the accident, and thus precludes any recovery for any
damages
suffered
by
respondent
from
the
accident.Proximate cause is defined as that cause,
which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by
any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred. And
more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is that
acting first and producing the injury, either immediately
or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a
natural and continuous chain of events, each having a
close causal connection with its immediate predecessor,
the final event in the chain immediately effecting the
injury as a natural and probable result of the cause
which first acted, under such circumstances that the
person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable
ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that
an injury to some person might probably result
therefrom.
If Aquilino heeded the MMDA prohibition against
crossing Katipunan Avenue from Rajah Matanda, the
accident would not have happened. This specific
untoward event is exactly what the MMDA prohibition
was intended for. Thus, a prudent and intelligent person
who resides within the vicinity where the accident
occurred, Aquilino had reasonable ground to expect that
the accident would be a natural and probable result if he
crossed Katipunan Avenue since such crossing is
considered dangerous on account of the busy nature of
the thoroughfare and the ongoing construction of the
Katipunan-Boni Avenue underpass. It was manifest error
for the Court of Appeals to have overlooked the principle
embodied in Article 2179 of the Civil Code, that when the
plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate and
proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover
damages. It is unnecessary to delve into the issue of
Rodels contributory negligence, since it cannot
overcome or defeat Aquilinos recklessness which is the
immediate and proximate cause of the accident.
VALLACAR TRANSIT V. CATUBIG G.R. NO. 175512
MAY 30, 2011
FACTS:
Petitioner is engaged in the business of transportation
and the franchise owner of a Ceres Bulilit bus with Plate
No. T-0604-1348. Quirino C. Cabanilla (Cabanilla) is
employed as a regular bus driver of petitioner.
On January 27, 1994, respondent's husband, Quintin
Catubig, Jr. (Catubig), was on his way home from
Dumaguete City riding in tandem on a motorcycle with
his employee, Teddy Emperado (Emperado). Catubig
was the one driving the motorcycle. While approaching a
curve at kilometers 59 and 60, Catubig tried to overtake
a slow moving ten-wheeler cargo truck by crossing-over
to the opposite lane, which was then being traversed by
the Ceres Bulilit bus driven by Cabanilla, headed for the
opposite direction. When the two vehicles collided,
Catubig and Emperado were thrown from the
motorcycle. Catubig died on the spot where he was
thrown, while Emperado died while being rushed to the
hospital.
Page 25

ISSUE:
W/N the proximate cause of the collision was Catubigs
reckless and negligent act.
HELD:
The petition is meritorious.
The issue of negligence is basically factual.
There is merit in the argument of the petitioner that
Article 2180 of the Civil Code imputing fault or
negligence on the part of the employer for the fault or
negligence of its employee does not apply to
petitioner since the fault or negligence of its employee
driver, Cabanilla, which would have made the latter
liable for quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil
Code, has never been established by respondent. To the
contrary, the totality of the evidence presented during
trial shows that the proximate cause of the collision of
the bus and motorcycle is attributable solely to the
negligence of the driver of the motorcycle, Catubig.
Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in
natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred. And
more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is that
acting first and producing the injury, either immediately
or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a
natural and continuous chain of events, each having a
close causal connection with its immediate predecessor,
the final event in the chain immediately effecting the
injury as a natural and probable result of the cause
which first acted, under such circumstances that the
person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable
ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that
an injury to some person might probably result
therefrom.
The RTC concisely articulated and aptly concluded that
Catubig's overtaking of a slow-moving truck ahead of
him, while approaching a curve on the highway, was the
immediate and proximate cause of the collision which
led to his own death.
The testimonies of prosecution witnesses Cadimas and
PO2 Elnas that Cabanilla was driving the bus at a
reckless speed when the collision occurred lack
probative value.

Art. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is


solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in
the vehicle, could have, by the use of the due diligence,
prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that
a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty or
reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least
twice within the next preceding two months.
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions
of Article 2180 are applicable.
Art. 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is
presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has
been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was
violating any traffic regulation.
Art. 2188. There is prima facie presumption of
negligence on the part of the defendant if the death or
injury results from his possession of dangerous weapons
or substances, such as firearms and poison, except
when the possession or use thereof is indispensable in
his occupation or business.
TISON V. POMASIN G.R. NO. 173180 AUGUST 24,
2011, supra
CAEDO V. YU KHE THAI, 26 SCRA 381
FACTS:
Plaintiff Caedo was driving his Mercury car at about 5:30
in the morning of March 24, 1958 along E. de los Santos
Ave., in the vicinity of San Lorenzo Village bound for the
airport. Several members of his family were in the car.
Coming from the opposite direction was the Cadillac car
of defendant Yu Khe Thai driven by his driver Rafael
Bernardo. The two cars were traveling at a moderate
speed with their headlights on. Ahead of the Cadillac
was a caretela (rig). Defendants driver did not notice it
until he was about eight (8) meters away. Instead of
slowing down behind the caretela defendants driver
veered to the left with the intention of passing by the
caretela but in doing so its rear bumper caught the ream
of the caretelas left wheel wrenching it off. Defendants
car skidded obliquely to the other end and collided with
the on-coming vehicle of the plaintiff. The plaintiff on his
part, slackened his speed and tried to avoid the collision
by veering to the right but the collision occurred just the
same injuring the plaintiff and members of his family.
Plaintiff brought an action for damages against both the
driver and owner of the Cadillac car.
ISSUE:

We are unable to establish the actual speed of the bus


from Cadimas's testimony for he merely stated that the
bus did not stop when he tried to flag it down because it
was "running very fast."

W/N Bernardo is liable? If Yes, W/N Yu Khe Thai is


solidarily liable with Bernardo?
HELD:

The presumption that employers are negligent under


Article 2180 of the Civil Code flows from the negligence
of their employees. Having adjudged that the immediate
and proximate cause of the collision resulting in
Catubig's death was his own negligence, and there was
no fault or negligence on Cabanilla's part, then such
presumption of fault or negligence on the part of
petitioner, as Cabanilla's employer, does not even arise.
Thus, it is not even necessary to delve into the defense
of petitioner that it exercised due diligence in the
selection and supervision of Cabanilla as its employee
driver.
b. Doctrine of Imputed Negligence

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

YES. Bernardo is liable, because facts reveal that the


collision was directly traceable to his negligence. BUT,
owner, Yu Khe Thai is not solidarily liable with his
driver.
Art 2184 is indeed the basis of a masters liability in a
vehicular accident.Note however that the 2nd sentence
of Art 2184 qualifies before the owner can be made
solidarity liable with the negligent driver. This is
because the basis of the masters liability is not
RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR but rather the relationship
of PATERFAMILIAS. The theory is that, the negligence
of the servant, is known to the master and susceptible
of timely correction by him, reflects the masters
negligence if he fails to correct it order to prevent injury
Page 26

or damage.Test of imputed negligence in Art 2184 is


necessarily subjective. Car owners are not held in a
uniform and inflexible standard of diligence as are
professional drivers. The law does not require that a
person must possess a certain measure of skill or
proficiency either in mechanics of driving or in the
observance of traffic rules before he can own a motor
vehicle. The test of his intelligence, within the meaning
of Article 2184, is his omission to do that which the
evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in
order to avoid the accident. And as far as perception is
concerned, absent a minimum level imposed by law, a
maneuver that appears to be fraught with danger to one
passenger may appear to be entirely safe and
commonplace to another. Were the law to require a
uniform standard of perceptiveness, employment of
professional drivers by car owners who, by their very
inadequacies, have real need of drivers' services, would
be effectively proscribed.
In the present case the defendants' evidence is that
Rafael Bernardo had been Yu Khe Thai's driver since
1937, and before that had been employed by Yutivo
Sons Hardware Co. in the same capacity for over ten
years. During that time he had no record of violation of
traffic laws and regulations. No negligence for having
employed him at all may be imputed to his master.
Negligence on the part of the latter, if any, must be
sought in the immediate setting and circumstances of
the accident, that is, in his failure to detain the driver
from pursuing a course which not only gave him clear
notice of the danger but also sufficient time to act upon
it.
We do not see that such negligence may be imputed.
The car, as has been stated, was not running at an
unreasonable speed. The road was wide and open, and
devoid of traffic that early morning. There was no reason
for the car owner to be in any special state of alert. He
had reason to rely on the skill and experience of his
driver. He became aware of the presence of the
carretela when his car was only twelve meters behind it,
but then his failure to see it earlier did not constitute
negligence, for he was not himself at the wheel. And
even when he did see it at that distance, he could not
have anticipated his driver's sudden decision to pass
the carretela on its left side in spite of the fact that
another car was approaching from the opposite
direction. The time element was such that there was no
reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the
risks involved and warn the driver accordingly. The
thought that entered his mind, he said, was that if he
sounded a sudden warning it might only make the other
man nervous and make the situation worse. It was a
thought that, wise or not, connotes no absence of that
due diligence required by law to prevent the misfortune.
KAPALARAN BUS LINE V. CORONADO, GR NO.
85331, AUG 25, 1989
FACTS:
The jeepney driven by Lope Grajera has reached the
intersection where there is a traffic sign 'yield,' it stopped
and cautiously treated the intersection as a "Thru Stop'
street, which it is not. The KBL bus was on its way from
Sta. Cruz, Laguna, driven by its regular driver Virgilio
Llamoso, on its way towards Manila. The regular
itinerary of the KBL bus is through the town proper of
Pila, Laguna, but at times it avoids this if a bus is already
fully loaded with passengers and can no longer
accommodate additional passengers. As the KBL bus
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

neared the intersection, Virgilio Llamoso inquired from


his conductor if they could still accommodate
passengers and learning that they were already full, he
decided to bypass Pila and instead, to proceed along the
national highway. Virgilio Llamoso admitted that there
was another motor vehicle ahead of him. The general
rule is that the vehicle on the national highway has the
right-of-way as against a feeder road.
Judging from the testimony of Atty. Conrado L. Manicad,
the sequence of events shows that the first vehicle to
arrive at the intersection was the jeepney. Seeing that
the road was clear, the jeepney which had stopped at
the intersection began to move forward, and for his part,
Atty. Manicad stopped his car at the intersection to give
way to the jeepney. At about this time, the KBL bus was
approaching the intersection and its driver was engaged
in determining from his conductor if they would still pass
through the town proper of Pila. Upon learning that they
were already full, he turned his attention to the road and
found the stopped vehicles at the intersection with the
jeepney trying to cross the intersection. The KBL bus
had no more room within which to stop without slamming
into the rear of the vehicle behind the car of Atty.
Manicad. The KBL driver chose to gamble on
proceeding on its way, unfortunately, the jeepney driven
by Grajera, which had the right-of-way, was about to
cross the center of the highway and was directly on the
path of the KBL bus. The gamble made by Llamoso did
not pay off. The impact indicates that the KBL bus was
travelling at a fast rate of speed because, after the
collision, it did not stop; it travelled for another 50 meters
and stopped only when it hit an electric post. After trial,
the trial court rendered a judgment in favor of private
respondents which was affirmed by the CA but modified
the award of damages.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioner is liable for the accident.
HELD:
Kapalarans driver had become aware that some
vehicles ahead of the bus and traveling in the same
direction had already stopped at the intersection
obviously to give way either to pedestrians or to another
vehicle about to enter the intersection. The bus driver,
who was driving at a speed too high to be safe and
proper at or near an intersection on the highway, and in
any case too high to be able to slow down and stop
behind the cars which had preceded it and which had
stopped at the intersection, chose to swerve to the left
lane and overtake such preceding vehicles, entered the
intersection and directly smashed into the jeepney within
the intersection. Immediately before the collision, the bus
driver was actually violating the following traffic rules and
regulations, among others, in the Land Transportation
and Traffic Code, Republic Act No. 4136, as amended.
Thus, a legal presumption arose that the bus driver was
negligent, a presumption that Kapalaran was unable to
overthrow.
Application of Article 2180:
The patent and gross negligence on the part of the
petitioner Kapalaran's driver raised the legal
presumption that Kapalaran as employer was guilty of
negligence either in the selection or in the supervision of
its bus driver. Where the employer is held liable for
damages, it has of course a right of recourse against its
own negligent employee. The liability of the employer
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code is direct and
Page 27

immediate; it is not conditioned upon prior recourse


against the negligent employee and a prior showing of
the insolvency of such employee. So far as the record
shows, petitioner Kapalaran was unable to rebut the
presumption of negligence on its own part.
MENDOZA V. SORIANO, ET.AL, GR NO. 164012,
JUNE 8, 2007
FACTS:
Sonny Soriano, while crossing Commonwealth Avenue,
was hit by a speeding Tamaraw FX driven by Lomer
Macasasa. He was thrown five meters away, while the
vehicle only stopped some 25 meters from the point of
impact.
One
of Sorianos companions,
asked Macasasa to bring Soriano to the hospital, but
after
checking
out
the
scene
of
the
incident, Macasasa returned to the FX, only to flee. A
school bus brought him to the hospital where he later
died.
After trial, the trial court dismissed the complaint against
petitioner.
It
found
Soriano
negligent
for
crossing Commonwealth Avenue by using a small gap in
the islands fencing rather than the pedestrian overpass
and that petitioner was not negligent in the selection and
supervision of Macasasa. The Court of Appeals reversed
the trial courts decision.

damage suit is for the quasi-delict of petitioner, as owner


and employer, and not for the delict of Macasasa, as
driver and employee.
In
this
case,
we
hold
petitioner
primarily
and solidarily liable for the damages caused by
Macasasa. Respondents could recover directly from
petitioner since the latter failed to prove that she
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
supervising Macasasa.
Contributory Negligence
We agree that the Court of Appeals did not err in ruling
that Soriano was guilty of contributory negligence for not
using the pedestrian overpass while crossing
Commonwealth Avenue. We even note that the
respondents now admit this point, and concede that the
appellate court had properly reduced by 20% the amount
of damages it awarded. Hence, we affirm the reduction of
the amount earlier awarded, based on Article 2179 of the
Civil Code which reads:
When the plaintiff's own negligence was the
immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was
only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due
care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the
courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.

ISSUE:
W/N petitioner is liable and W/N respondent is guilty of
contributory negligence.

ANONUEVO V. CA, ET. AL., GR NO. 130003, OCT. 20,


2004
FACTS:

HELD:
Application of Article 2185
Article 2185 of the Civil Code, a person driving a motor
vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of the mishap,
he was violating traffic regulations. The records show that
Macasasa violated two traffic rules under the Land
Transportation and Traffic Code. First, he failed to
maintain a safe speed to avoid endangering lives. Both
the trial and the appellate courts found Macasasa
overspeeding. The records show also that Soriano was
thrown five meters away after he was hit. Moreover, the
vehicle stopped only some 25 meters from the point of
impact.Both circumstances support the conclusion that
the FX vehicle driven by Macasasa was overspeeding.
Second, Macasasa, the vehicle driver, did not aid
Soriano, the accident victim, in violation of Section 55,
Article V of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
While Macasasa at first agreed to bring Soriano to the
hospital, he fled the scene in a hurry. What remains
undisputed is that he did not report the accident to a
police officer, nor did he summon a doctor.
Application of Article 2180
Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, employers are
liable for the damages caused by their employees acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks. The liability
arises due to the presumed negligence of the employers
in supervising their employees unless they prove that
they observed all the diligence of a good father of a
family to prevent the damage.While respondents could
recover damages from Macasasa in a criminal case and
petitioner could become subsidiarily liable, still petitioner,
as owner and employer, is directly and separately civilly
liable for her failure to exercise due diligence in
supervising Macasasa. We must emphasize that this
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on his


bicycle, while Aonuevo, traversing the opposite lane
was driving his Lancer car with owned by Procter and
Gamble Inc., the employer of Aonuevos brother,
Jonathan. Aonuevo was in the course of making a left
turn towards Libertad Street when the collision
occurred. Villagracia sustained serious injuries as a
result. As testified by eyewitness Alfredo Sorsano,
Aonuevo was umaarangkada, or speeding as he
made the left turn into Libertad and that Aonuevo failed
to exercise the ordinary precaution, care and diligence
required of him in order that the accident could have
been avoided.
Villagracia instituted an action for damages against
Procter and Gamble Phils., Inc. and Aonuevo before
the RTC. The RTC rendered judgment against Procter
and Gamble and Aonuevo while the Court of Appeals
affirmed the RTC decision in toto.
ISSUE:
Whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code should apply
by analogy to non-motorized vehicles and whether
Villagracias own fault and negligence serves to absolve
the Aonuevo of any liability for damages.
HELD:
The applicability of Art. 2185 is expressly qualified to
motor vehicles only, and there is no ground to presume
that the law intended a broader coverage.
Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it
is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle
has been negligent if at the time of the mishap he
was violating any traffic regulation.
Page 28

As distinguished, motorized vehicle operates by reason


of a motor engine unlike a non-motorized vehicle, which
runs as a result of a direct exertion by man or beast of
burden of direct physical force. A motorized vehicle,
unimpeded by the limitations in physical exertion is
capable of greater speeds and acceleration than nonmotorized vehicles. At the same time, motorized
vehicles are more capable in inflicting greater injury or
damage in the event of an accident or collision.
Art. 2185 was not formulated to compel or ensure
obeisance by all to traffic rules and regulations. If such
were indeed the evil sought to be remedied or guarded
against, then the framers of the Code would have
expanded the provision to include non-motorized
vehicles or for that matter, pedestrians. Yet, that was
not the case; thus the need arises to ascertain the
peculiarities attaching to a motorized vehicle within the
dynamics of road travel. The fact that there has long
existed a higher degree of diligence and care imposed
on motorized vehicles, arising from the special nature of
motor vehicle, leads to the inescapable conclusion that
the qualification under Article 2185 exists precisely to
recognize such higher standard. Simply put, the
standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on equal
footing with other types of vehicles. Thus, we cannot
sustain the contention that Art. 2185 should apply to
non-motorized vehicles, even if by analogy.
NEGLIGENCE PER SE:
The generally accepted view is that the violation of a
statutory duty constitutes negligence, negligence as a
matter of law, or negligence per se. The mere fact of
violation of a statute is not sufficient basis for an
inference that such violation was the proximate cause of
the injury complained. However, if the very injury has
happened which was intended to be prevented by the
statute, it has been held that violation of the statute will
be deemed to be the proximate cause of the injury.
The rule on negligence per se must admit qualifications
that may arise from the logical consequences of the
facts leading to the mishap. The doctrine (and Article
2185, for that matter) is undeniably useful as a judicial
guide in adjudging liability, for it seeks to impute
culpability arising from the failure of the actor to perform
up to a standard established by a legal fiat. But the
doctrine should not be rendered inflexible so as to deny
relief when in fact there is no causal relation between the
statutory
violation
and
the
injury
sustained. Presumptions in law, while convenient, are
not intractable so as to forbid rebuttal rooted in
fact. After all, tort law is remunerative in spirit, aiming to
provide compensation for the harm suffered by those
whose interests have been invaded owing to the conduct
of others.
WHEN THERE IS AN ORDINANCE:
But the existence of an ordinance changes the situation.
If a driver causes an accident by exceeding the speed
limit, for example, we do not inquire whether his
prohibited conduct was unreasonably dangerous. It is
enough that it was prohibited. Violation of an ordinance
intended to promote safety is negligence. If by creating
the hazard which the ordinance was intended to avoid it
brings about the harm which the ordinance was intended
to prevent, it is a legal cause of the harm.
The general principle is that the violation of a statute or
ordinance is not rendered remote as the cause of an
injury by the intervention of another agency if the
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

occurrence of the accident, in the manner in which it


happened, was the very thing which the statute or
ordinance was intended to prevent.
Should the doctrine of negligence per se apply to
Villagracia, resulting from his violation of an
ordinance?
It cannot be denied that the statutory purpose for
requiring bicycles to be equipped with headlights or
horns is to promote road safety and to minimize the
occurrence of road accidents involving bicycles. At face
value, Villagracias mishap was precisely the danger
sought to be guarded against by the ordinance he
violated. However, there is the fact which we consider
as proven, that Aonuevo was speeding as he made the
left turn, and such negligent act was the proximate
cause of the accident. This reckless behavior would
have imperiled anyone unlucky enough within the path of
Aonuevos car as it turned into the intersection, whether
they are fellow motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists. We
are hard put to conclude that Villagracia would have
avoided injury had his bicycle been up to par with safety
regulations, especially considering that Aonuevo was
already speeding as he made the turn, or before he had
seen Villagracia. Even assuming that Aonuevo had
failed to see Villagracia because the bicycle was not
equipped with headlights, such lapse on the cyclists part
would not have acquitted the driver of his duty to slow
down as he proceeded to make the left turn. The failure
of the bicycle owner to comply with accepted safety
practices, whether or not imposed by ordinance or
statute, is not sufficient to negate or mitigate recovery
unless a causal connection is established between such
failure and the injury sustained. The principle likewise
finds affirmation in Sanitary Steam, wherein we declared
that the violation of a traffic statute must be shown as
the proximate cause of the injury, or that it substantially
contributed thereto. Aonuevo had the burden of clearly
proving that the alleged negligence of Villagracia was
the proximate or contributory cause of the latters injury.
FILIPINAS SYNTHETIC FIBER V. DELOS SANTOS
G.R. NO. 152033 MARCH 16, 2011
FACTS:
On the night of September 30, 1984, Teresa Elena
Legarda-de los Santos (Teresa Elena), the wife of
respondent Wilfredo de los Santos (Wilfredo), performed
at the Rizal Theater in Makati City, Metro Manila as a
member of the cast for the musical play, Woman of the
Year.
On that same night, at the request of Wilfredo, his
brother Armando de los Santos (Armando), husband of
respondent Carmina Vda. de los Santos, went to the
Rizal Theater to fetch Teresa Elena after the latter's
performance. He drove a 1980 Mitsubishi Galant Sigma
(Galant Sigma) with Plate No. NSL 559, a company car
assigned to Wilfredo.
Two other members of the cast of Woman of the Year,
namely, Annabel Vilches (Annabel) and Jerome Macuja,
joined Teresa Elena in the Galant Sigma.
Around 11:30 p.m., while travelling along the Katipunan
Road (White Plains), the Galant Sigma collided with the
shuttle bus owned by petitioner and driven by Alfredo S.
Mejia (Mejia), an employee of petitioner. The Galant
Sigma was dragged about 12 meters from the point of
impact, across the White Plains Road landing near the
perimeter fence of Camp Aguinaldo, where the Galant
Page 29

Sigma burst into flames and burned to death beyond


recognition all four occupants of the car.

evidence, that they complied with


everything that was incumbent on
them.

ISSUE:
W/N Mejia was negligent.
W/N petitioner exercised the due diligence of a good
father of a family in the selection and supervision of its
employee.
HELD:
st

1 Issue:
It was well established that Mejia was driving at a speed
beyond the rate of speed required by law, specifically
Section 35 of Republic Act No. (RA) 4136. Given the
circumstances, the allowed rate of speed for Mejia's
vehicle was 50 kilometers per hour, while the records
show that he was driving at the speed of 70 kilometers
per hour. Under the New Civil Code, unless there is
proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving
a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the
mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation.
Apparently, in the present case, Mejia's violation of the
traffic rules does not erase the presumption that he was
the one negligent at the time of the collision. Even apart
from statutory regulations as to speed, a motorist is
nevertheless expected to exercise ordinary care and
drive at a reasonable rate of speed commensurate with
all the condition's encountered which will enable him to
keep the vehicle under control and, whenever
necessary, to put the vehicle to a full stop to avoid injury
to others using the highway. To suggest that De los
Santos was equally negligent based on that sole
statement of the RTC is erroneous. The entire evidence
presented must be considered as a whole. Incidentally, a
close reading of the ruling of the CA would clearly show
the negligence of Mejia.
nd

2 Issue:
Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, when an injury
is caused by the negligence of the 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 selection or both. The liability
of the employer under Article 2180 is direct and
immediate; it is not conditioned upon prior recourse
against the negligent employee and a prior showing of
the insolvency of such employee. Therefore, it is
incumbent upon the private respondents (in this case,
the petitioner) to prove that they exercised the diligence
of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of their employee.
In Manliclic v. Calaunan, this Court ruled that:
In the selection of prospective
employees, employers are required to
examine
them
as
to
their
qualifications, experience and service
records. In the supervision of
employees, the employer must
formulate
standard
operating
procedures,
monitor
their
implementation
and
impose
disciplinary measures for the breach
thereof. To fend off vicarious liability,
employers must submit concrete
proof,
including
documentary
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

In Metro Manila Transit Corporation v.


Court of Appeals, it was explained
that:
Due
diligence
in
the
supervision of employees on
the other hand, includes the
formulation of suitable rules
and regulations for the
guidance of employees and
the issuance of proper
instructions intended for the
protection of the public and
persons with whom the
employer
has
relations
through his or its employees
and
the
imposition
of
necessary
disciplinary
measures upon employees in
case of breach or as may be
warranted to ensure the
performance
of
acts
indispensable to the business
of and beneficial to their
employer. To this, we add that
actual implementation and
monitoring
of
consistent
compliance with said rules
should be the constant
concern of the employer,
acting through dependable
supervisors
who
should
regularly report on their
supervisory functions.
In order that the defense of
due diligence in the selection
and supervision of employees
may be deemed sufficient and
plausible, it is not enough to
emptily invoke the existence
of said company guidelines
and policies on hiring and
supervision.
As
the
negligence of the employee
gives rise to the presumption
of negligence on the part of
the employer, the latter has
the burden of proving that it
has been diligent not only in
the selection of employees
but also in the actual
supervision of their work. The
mere
allegation
of
the
existence of hiring procedures
and
supervisory
policies,
without anything more, is
decidedly not sufficient to
overcome such presumption.
We emphatically reiterate our
holding, as a warning to all
employers,
that
"the
formulation
of
various
company policies on safety
without showing that they
were being complied with is
Page 30

not sufficient to exempt


petitioner from liability arising
from
negligence
of
its
employees. It is incumbent
upon petitioner to show that in
recruiting and employing the
erring driver the recruitment
procedures and company
policies on efficiency and
safety were followed." . . . .
d. Res Ipsa Loquitur
Translation: The thing speaks for itself.
Requisites:
1. Event does not ordinarily occur
o NOTE: The test is not based on rarity
but that it would not ordinarily occur in
the absence of negligence.
2. Exclusive control of defendant
3. No other cause
4. No fault on party injured
MAAO CENTRAL CO. V. CA, GR NO. 83491, AUG. 27,
1990
FACTS:
Famoso was riding with a co-employee in the caboose
or "carbonera" of Plymouth No. 12, a cargo train of the
petitioner, when the locomotive was suddenly derailed.
He and his companion jumped off to escape injury, but
the train fell on its side, caught his legs by its wheels
and pinned him down. He was declared dead on the
spot. The claims for death and other benefits having
been denied by the petitioner, the herein private
respondent filed suit in the RTC of Bago City. Judge
Hobilla-Alinio ruled in her favor but deducted from the
total damages awarded 25% thereof for the decedent's
contributory negligence and the total pension of
P41,367.60 private respondent and her children would
be receiving from the SSS for the next five years. The
widow appealed, claiming that the deductions were
illegal. So did the petitioner, but on the ground that it
was not negligent and therefore not liable at all. In its
own decision, the CA sustained the rulings of the trial
court except as to the contributory negligence of the
deceased and disallowed the deductions protested by
the private respondent.
ISSUE:
W/N the respondent court is at fault for finding the
petitioner guilty of negligence notwithstanding its
defense of due diligence under Art 2176 of the Civil
Code.
HELD:
Petitioner is guilty of negligence and cannot claim
defense under Art 2176.
DUE DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND
SUPERVISION OF EMPLOYEES; NOT EXERCISED IN
THE CASE AT BAR.
The petitioner also disclaims liability on the ground of
Article 2176 of the Civil Code, contending it has
exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision
of its employees. The Court cannot agree. The record
shows it was in fact lax in requiring them to exercise the
necessary vigilance in maintaining the rails in good
condition to prevent the derailments that sometimes
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

happened "every hour." Obviously, merely ordering the


brakemen and conductors to fill out prescribed forms
reporting derailments which reports have not been
acted upon as shown by the hourly derailments is not
the kind of supervision envisioned by the Civil Code.
CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE
We also do not see how the decedent can be held guilty
of contributory negligence from the mere fact that he
was not at his assigned station when the train was
derailed. That might have been a violation of company
rules but could not have directly contributed to his injury,
as the petitioner suggests. It is pure speculation to
suppose that he would not have been injured if he had
stayed in the front car rather than at the back and that he
had been killed because he chose to ride in the
caboose. Contributory negligence has been defined as
"the act or omission amounting to want of ordinary care
on the part of the person injured which, concurring with
the defendant's negligence, is the proximate cause of
the injury." It has been held that "to hold a person as
having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that
he performed an act that brought about his injuries in
disregard of warnings or signs of an impending danger
to health and body." There is no showing that the
caboose where Famoso was riding was a dangerous
place and that he recklessly dared to stay there despite
warnings or signs of impending danger.
RES IPSA LOQUITOR
The absence of the fish plates whatever the cause or
reason is by itself alone proof of the negligence of the
petitioner. Res ipsa loquitur. The doctrine was described
recently in Layugan v. Intermediate Appellate Court.
(167 SCRA 376) thus: Where the thing which causes
injury is shown to be under the management of the
defendant, and the accident is such as in the ordinary
course of things does not happen if those who have the
management use proper care, it affords reasonable
evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the
defendant, that the accident arose from want of care.
FF CRUZ & CO. V. CA, GR NO. 52732, AUG 29, 1988
FACTS:
The furniture manufacturing shop of F.F. Cruz in
Caloocan City was situatedadjacent to the residence of
the Mables.Sometime in August 1971, private
respondent Gregorio Mable first approached Eric Cruz,
petitioner's plant manager, to request that a firewall be
constructed between the shop and Mables residence.
The request was repeated several times but they fell on
deaf ears.In the early morning of September 6, 1974,
fire broke out in Cruzs shop.Cruzs employees, who
slept in the shop premises, tried to put out the fire,
buttheir efforts proved futile. The fire spread to the
Mables house. Both the shopand the house were
razed to the ground.The Mables collected P35,000.00
on the insurance on their house and thecontents
thereof.The Mables filed an action for damages against
the Cruzs.The TC ruled in favor of the Mables. CA
affirmed but reduced the award ofdamages.
ISSUE:
W/N the doctrine of r e s i p s a l o q u i t o r is applicable to
the case.
HELD:

Page 31

YES. The doctrine of r e s i p s a l o q u i t o r is applicable


to the case. The CA, therefore, had basis to find Cruz
liable for the loss sustained by the Mables.
The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, may be stated as
follows:
Where the thing which caused the injury
complained of is shown to be under the
management of the defendant or his servants and
the accident is such as in the ordinary course of
things does not happen if those who have its
management or control use proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence, in the absence of explanation
by the defendant, that the accident arose from want
of care. [Africa v. Caltex (Phil.),Inc., G.R. No. L12986, March 31, 1966, 16 SCRA 448.]
The facts of the case likewise call for the application of
the doctrine, considering that in the normal course of
operations of a furniture manufacturing shop,
combustible material such as wood chips, sawdust,
paint, varnish and fuel and lubricants for machinery
may be found thereon.
It must also be noted that negligence or want of care on
the part of petitioneror its employees was not merely
presumed.Cruz failed to construct a firewall between its
shop and the residenceof the Mables as required by a
city ordinance:
-

that the fire could have been caused by a


heated motor or a litcigarette

that gasoline and alcohol were used and stored


in the shop; and

that workers sometimes smoked inside the


shop

Even without applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur,


Cruz's failure to construct a firewall in accordance with
city ordinances would suffice to support a finding of
negligence.Even then the fire possibly would not have
spread to the neighboring houses were it not for
another negligent omission on the part of defendants,
namely, their failure to provide a concrete wall high
enough to prevent the flames from leaping over
it. Defendant's negligence,therefore, was not only with
respect to the cause of the fire but also with respect
tothe spread thereof to the neighboring houses.
In the instant case, with more reason should petitioner
be found guilty of negligence since it had failed to
construct a firewall between its property and private
respondents' residence which sufficiently complies with
the pertinent city ordinances. The failure to comply with
an ordinance providing for safety regulations had been
ruled by the Court as an act of negligence [Teague v.
Fernandez, G.R. No. L-29745, June 4, 1973, 51 SCRA
181.]
US V. CRAME, 30 PHIL 2

performance of his duties as a soldier. Crame alleges


that he was only going at about 10 miles per hour, and
that since Coombs suddenly appeared in front of the
car, he tried but failed to change the course of the
automobile so as to avoid hitting him. The trial court
convicted Crame of serious physical injuries by
imprudencia temeraria, on the ground that: 1) he did
not reduce his speed sufficiently, nor did he attempt to
stop to avoid an accident; 2) he did not sound his horn
or whistle or use his voice to call the attention of
Coombs to notify him that he should stop and avoid
being struck by the car; and 3) Crame was driving in
the center, or a little to the right of the center of the
street instead of on the left side thereof.
ISSUE:
W/N Crame is criminally liable for the damages caused
to Coombs.
HELD:
THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE TRIAL COURT ARE
MORE THAN SUSTAINED.
The fact that Crame did not see Coombs until the car
was very close to him is strong evidence of inattention
to duty, especially since the street was wide and
unobstructed, with no buildings on either side from
which a person can dart out so suddenly. Moreover, the
street was also well-lighted, so there is no reason why
Crame did not see Coombs long before he had reached
the position in the street where he was struck down.
The presence of the carromata was not corroborated
by any of the witnesses. Moreover, it would have
obscured his vision only for a moment. Besides, it is the
duty of automobile drivers in meeting a moving vehicle
on public streets and highways to use due care and
diligence to see to it that persons who may be crossing
behind the moving vehicle are not run down by them.
It is clearly established that Crame was driving along
the right-hand side of the streetwhen the accident
happened. According to the law of the road and the
custom ofthe country, he should have been on the lefthand side of the street. According towitnesses there
was abundant room for him to drive on such side.
There is no evidence which shows negligence on the
part of Coombs. At the time he was struck, he had a
right to be where the law fully protected him from
vehicles traveling in the direction in which the accused
was driving at the time of injury. There is no evidence
to show that the soldier was drunk at the time of the
accident. And even if he were, mere intoxication is not
negligence, nor does it establish a want of ordinary
care. It is but a circumstance to be considered with the
other evidence tending to prove negligence. If ones
conduct is characterized by a proper degree of care
and prudence, it is immaterial whether he is drunk or
sober.

FACTS:

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE;
BURDEN OF PROOF.

Mariano Crame, chauffeur of a motor vehicle, while


driving along Calle Herran in the city of Manila,
knocked down, dragged, and ran over the body of
George E. Coombs, a private in the US army, who was
then crossing the road, causing him injuries, wounds,
and bruises. Moreover, such injuries damaged his
mental faculties and incapacitated him from further

Where, in a criminal prosecution against the driver of an


automobile for running down and injuring a pedestrian
crossing a street, it appeared that at the time the injury
was produced, the injured person was where he had a
right to be, that the automobile was being driven on the
wrong side of the street, and no warning was given of its
approach, it was properly held that there was a

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

PRESUMPTIONS

AND

Page 32

presumption of negligence on the part of the driver and


that the burden of proof was on him to establish that the
accident occurred through other causes than his
negligence.

LAYUGAN V. IAC, 167 SCRA 363


FACTS:

A fire broke out at the Caltex service station in Manila.


It started while gasoline was being hosed from a tank
truck into the underground storage, right at the opening
of the receiving truck where the nozzle of the hose was
inserted. The fire then spread to and burned several
neighboring houses, including the personal properties
and effects inside them.The owners of the houses,
among them petitioners here, sued Caltex and
Boquiren (agent in charge of operation).Trial court and
CA found that petitioners failed to prove negligence and
that respondents had exercised due care in the
premises and with respect to the supervision of their
employees. Both courts refused to apply the doctrine
of res ipsaloquitur on the grounds that as to its
applicability xxx in the Philippines, there seemsto be
nothing definite, and that while the rules do not prohibit
its adoption inappropriate cases, in the case at bar,
however, we find no practical use for such doctrine.

Pedro T. Layugan filed an action for damages against


Godofredo Isidro, alleging that while at Baretbet,
Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, the Plaintiff and a companion
were repairing the tire of their cargo truck which was
parked along the right side of the National Highway; that
defendant's truck driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano
bumped the plaintiff, that as a result, plaintiff was injured
and hospitalized. Serrano bumped the truck being
repaired by Pedro Layugan, while the same was at a
stop position. From the evidence presented, it has been
established clearly that the injuries sustained by the
plaintiff was caused by defendant's driver, Daniel
Serrano. The police report confirmed the allegation of
the plaintiff and admitted by Daniel Serrano on crossexamination. The collision dislodged the jack from the
parked truck and pinned the plaintiff to the ground. As a
result thereof, plaintiff sustained injuries on his left
forearm and left foot. The left leg of the plaintiff from
below the knee was later on amputated when gangrene
had set in, thereby rendering him incapacitated for work
depriving him of his income. The trial court rendered its
decision in favor of the plaintiff, however, the
Intermediate Appellate Court reversed the decision of
the trial court and dismissed the complaint.

ISSUE:

ISSUE:

W/N without proof as to the cause and origin of the fire,


the doctrine of r e s i p s a l o q u i t u r should apply as to
presume negligence on the part of the appellees.

Whether the IAC acted correctly in applying the doctrine


or res ipsa loquitur with proper jurisprudential basis and
if not, who is negligent?

HELD:

HELD:

DOCTRINE OF R E S I P S A L O Q U I T U R APPLIES.
CALTEX IS LIABLE.

Whether the cargo truck was parked along the road or


on half the shoulder of the right side of the road would
be of no moment taking into account the warning device
consisting of the lighted kerosene lamp placed three or
four meters from the back of the truck. But despite this
warning which we rule as sufficient, the Isuzu truck
driven by Daniel Serrano, an employee of the private
respondent, still bumped the rear of the parked cargo
truck. As a direct consequence of such accident the
petitioner sustained injuries on his left forearm and left
foot.

AFRICA V. CALTEX [PHIL], GR NO.L-12986, MAR. 31,


1966
FACTS:

Res ipsa Loquitur is a rule to the effect that where the


thing which caused the injurycomplained of is shown to
be under the management of defendant or his servants
and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of
things does not happen if those who have its
management or control use proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence, in absence of explanation of
defendant, that the incident happened because of want
of care.
The gasoline station, with all its appliances, equipment
and employees, was under the control of appellees. A
fire occurred therein and spread to and burned the
neighboring houses. The person who knew or could
have known how the fire started were the appellees
and their employees, but they gave no explanation
thereof whatsoever. It is fair and reasonable inference
that the incident happened because of want of care.
The report by the police officer regarding the fire, as
well as the statement of the driver of the gasoline tank
wagon who was transferring the contents thereof into
the underground storage when the fire broke out,
strengthen the presumption of negligence. Verily, (1)
the station is in a very busy district and pedestrians
often pass through or mill around the premises; (2) the
area is used as a car barn for around 10taxicabs
owned by Boquiren; (3) a store where people hang out
and possibly smoke cigarettes is located one meter
from the hole of the underground tank; and (4) the
concrete walls adjoining the neighborhood are only
2 meters high at most and cannot prevent the flames
from leaping over it in case of fire.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

It is clear from the foregoing disquisition that the


absence or want of care of Daniel Serrano has been
established by clear and convincing evidence. It follows
that in stamping its imprimatur upon the invocation by
respondent Isidro of the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur to
escape liability for the negligence of his employee, the
respondent court committed reversible error.
DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR:
Where the thing which causes injury is shown to be
under the management of the defendant, and the
accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does
not happen if those who have the management use
proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the
absence of any explanation by the defendant, that the
accident arose from want of care.
AS DEFINED UNDER BLACKS LAW DICTIONARY:
Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Rebuttable
presumption or inference that defendant was negligent,
which arises upon proof that instrumentality causing
injury was in defendants exclusive control, and that the
Page 33

accident was one which ordinarily does not happen in


the absence of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is rule of
evidence whereby negligence of alleged wrongdoer may
be inferred from mere fact that accident happened
provided character of accident and circumstances
attending it lead reasonably to belief that in absence of
negligence it would not have occurred and that thing
which caused injury is shown to have been under
management and control of alleged wrongdoer.
RULE OF EVIDENCE:
The doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is
peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that
prima facie negligence may be established without direct
proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of
negligence. The doctrine is not a rule of substantive law
but merely a mode of proof or a mere procedural
convenience. It merely determines and regulates what
shall be prima facie evidence thereof and facilitates the
burden of plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due
care. The doctrine can only be invoked when and only
when, under the circumstances involved, direct evidence
is absent and not readily available. Hence, it has
generally been held that the presumption of inference
arising from the doctrine cannot be availed of, or is
overcome, where plaintiff has knowledge and testifies or
presents evidence as to the specific act of negligence
which is the cause of the injury complained of or where
there is direct evidence as to the precise cause of the
accident and all the facts and circumstances attendant
on the occurrence clearly appear. Finally, once the
actual cause of injury is established beyond controversy,
whether by the plaintiff or by the defendant, no
presumptions will be involved and the doctrine becomes
inapplicable when the circumstances have been so
completely elucidated that no inference of defendant's
liability can reasonably be made, whatever the source of
the evidence, as in this case.
PERLA COMPANIA DE SEGUROS, INC. V.
SPS.SARANGAYA, GR NO. 147746, OCT. 25, 2005
FACTS:
In 1986, spouses Sarangaya erected a building known
as Super A Building and was subdivided into three
doors, each of which was leased out. The two-storey
residence of the Sarangayas was behind the second
and third doors of the building.In 1988, petitioner Perla
Compania de Seguros, Inc., through its branch
manager and co-petitioner Bienvenido Pascual,
entered into a contract of lease of the first door of the
Super A Building. Perla Compania renovated its
rented space and divided it into two. The left side
wasconverted into an office while the right was used by
Pascual as a garage for a 1981model 4-door Ford
Cortina.
On July 7, 1988, Pascual left for San Fernando,
Pampanga but did not bring the car with him. Three
days later, he returned, and decided to warm up the
car. When he pulled up the handbrake and switched on
the ignition key, the engine made an odd sound and
did not start. He again stepped on the accelerator and
started the car but petitioner again heard an unusual
sound. He then saw a small flame coming out of the
engine. Startled, he turned it off, alighted from the
vehicle and started to push it out of the garage when
suddenly, fire spewed out of its rear compartment and
engulfed the whole garage. Pascual was trapped inside
and suffered burns on his face, legs and
arms.Meanwhile, respondents were busy watching
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

television when they heard two loud explosions. In no


time, fire spread inside their house, destroying all their
belongings, furniture and appliances.The city fire
marshall c submitted a report to the provincial fire
marshall and concluded that the fire was accidental.
The report also disclosed that petitioner-corporation
had no fire permit as required by law.Based on the
same report, a criminal complaint for Reckless
Imprudence Resulting to Damage in Property was filed
against petitioner Pascual. On the other hand, Perla
Compania was asked to pay the amount of P7,992,350,
inclusive of the value of the commercial building. At the
prosecutors office, petitioner Pascual moved for the
withdrawal of the complaint, which was granted.
Respondents (spouses Sarangaya) later on filed a civil
complaint based on quasi-delict against petitioners for
a sum of money and damages, alleging that Pascual
acted with gross negligence while petitioner-corporation
lacked the required diligence in the selection and
supervision of Pascual as its employee.
ISSUES:
W/N Pascual liable under res ipsa loquitur doctrine and
W/N Perla Compania liable under tort
HELD:
a.) YES, Pascual liable under res ipsa loquitur doctrine
Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase which literally
means the thing or the transaction speaks for itself. It
relates to the fact of an injury that sets out an inference
to the cause thereof or establishes the plaintiffs prima
facie case. The doctrine rests on inference and not on
presumption. The facts of the occurrence warrant the
supposition
of
negligence
and
they furnish
circumstantial evidence of negligence when direct
evidence is lacking. The doctrine is based on the theory
that the defendant either knows the cause of the
accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it
and the plaintiff, having no knowledge thereof, is
compelled to allege negligence in general terms. In
such instance, the plaintiff relies on proof of the
happening of the accident alone to establish
negligence. The doctrine provides a means by which a
plaintiff can pin liability on a defendant who, if innocent,
should be able to explain the care he exercised to
prevent the incident complained of. Thus, it is the
defendants responsibility to show that there was no
negligence on his part.
To sustain the allegation of negligence based on the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, the following requisites
must concur:
1) the accident is of a kind which does not
ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent;
2)
the cause of the injury was under the
exclusive control of the person in charge and
3) the injury suffered must not have been
due to any voluntary action or contribution on
the part of the person injured.
Under the first requisite, the occurrence must be one
that does not ordinarily occur unless there is
negligence. A flame spewing out of a car engine, when
it is switched on, is obviously not a normal event.
Neither does an explosion usually occur when a car
engine is revved. Hence, in this case, without any direct
evidence as to the cause of the accident, the doctrine
Page 34

of res ipsa loquitur comes into play and, from it, we


draw the inference that based on the evidence at hand,
someone was in fact negligent and responsible for the
accident.
Under the second requisite, the instrumentality or
agency that triggered the occurrence must be one that
falls under the exclusive control of the person in charge
thereof. In this case, the car where the fire originated
was under the control of Pascual. Being its caretaker,
he alone had the responsibility to maintain it and
ensure its proper functioning. Where the circumstances
which caused the accident are shown to have been
under the management or control of a certain person
and, in the normal course of events, the incident would
not have happened had that person used proper care,
the inference is that it occurred because of lack of such
care. The burden of evidence is thus shifted to
defendant to establish that he observed all that was
necessary to prevent the accident from happening. In
this aspect, Pascual utterly failed.
Under the third requisite, there is nothing in the
records to show that respondents contributed to the
incident. They had no access to the car and had no
responsibility regarding its maintenance even if it was
parked in a building they owned.

Monsalud, Sr. and their daughter Glenda Monsalud,


were on their way home from a Christmas party they
attended in Poblacion, Sominot, Zamboanga Del Sur.
Upon reaching Purok Paglaom in Sominot, they were
run over by a Fuso passenger jeep bearing plate number
UV-PEK-600 that was being driven by Allan Maglasang
(Allan). The jeep was registered in the name of petitioner
Oscar del Carmen, Jr. (Oscar Jr.) and used as a public
utility vehicle plying the Molave, Zamboanga del Sur to
Sominot, Zamboanga del Sur and vice versa route.
During the pendency of said criminal case, Emilia's
father, Geronimo Bacoy (Geronimo), in behalf of the six
minor children of the Monsaluds, filed Civil Case No. 9620219, an independent civil action for damages based
on culpa aquilian.
Oscar Jr.'s core defense to release him from
responsibility for the death of the Monsaluds is that his
jeep was stolen. He highlights that the unauthorized
taking of the jeep from the parking area was indeed
carried out by the clandestine and concerted efforts of
Allan and his five companions, notwithstanding the
obstacles surrounding the parking area and the weight of
the jeep.
ISSUE:

TEST TO DETERMINE NEGLIGENCE:


W/N will apply in this case.
The test to determine the existence of
negligence in a particular case may be stated
as follows: did the defendant in committing
the alleged negligent act, use reasonable
care and caution which an ordinarily prudent
person in the same situation would have
employed? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence. Here, the fact that Pascual, as
the caretaker of the car, failed to submit any
proof that he had it periodically checked (as
its year-model and condition required)
revealed his negligence. A prudent man
should have known thata14-year-old car,
constantly used in provincial trips, was
definitely prone to damage and other defects.
For failing to prove care and diligence in the
maintenance of the vehicle, the necessary
inference was that Pascual had been
negligent in the upkeep of the car.
b.) YES, COMPANIA LIABLE UNDER TORT
In the selection of prospective employees, employers
are required to examine them as to their qualifications,
experience and service records. While the petitionercorporation does not appear to have erred in
considering Pascual for his position, its lack of
supervision over him made it jointly and solidarily liable
for the fire.In the supervision of employees, the
employer
must
formulate
standard
operating
procedures, monitor their implementation and impose
disciplinary measures for the breach thereof. To fend
off vicarious liability, employers must submit concrete
proof, including documentary evidence that they
complied with everything that was incumbent on them.
CARMEN, JR. V. BACOY G.R. NO. 173870 APRIL 25,
2012
FACTS:
At dawn on New Year's Day of 1993, Emilia Bacoy
Monsalud (Emilia), along with her spouse Leonardo
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

HELD:
YES. Under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, "[w]here the
thing that caused the injury complained of is shown to be
under the management of the defendant or his servants;
and the accident, in the ordinary course of things, would
not happen if those who had management or control
used proper care, it affords reasonable evidence in
the absence of a sufficient, reasonable and logical
explanation by defendant that the accident arose from
or was caused by the defendant's want of care.
The requisites of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as
established by jurisprudence are as follows:
1) the accident is of a kind which does not ordinarily
occur unless someone is negligent;
2) the cause of the injury was under the exclusive control
of the person in charge and
3)the injury suffered must not have been due to any
voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person
injured
The above requisites are all present in this case. First,
no person just walking along the road would suddenly be
sideswiped and run over by an on-rushing vehicle unless
the one in charge of the said vehicle had been negligent.
Second, the jeep which caused the injury was under the
exclusive control of Oscar Jr. as its owner. When Oscar
Jr. entrusted the ignition key to Rodrigo, he had the
power to instruct him with regard to the specific
restrictions of the jeep's use, including who or who may
not drive it. As he is aware that the jeep may run without
the ignition key, he also has the responsibility to park it
safely and securely and to instruct his driver Rodrigo to
observe the same precaution. Lastly, there was no
showing that the death of the victims was due to any
voluntary action or contribution on their part.
Page 35

V.

DEFENSES

There are four elements involved in medical negligence


cases: duty, breach, injury and proximate causation.

a. Complete Defenses
a.1 Plaintiffs own negligence
PAULAN V. SARABIA, 104 PHIL. 1050 (cant find,
sorry)
FE CAYAO-LASAM v. RAMOLETE, G.R. No. 159132,
December 18, 2008
FACTS:
On July 28, 1994, three months pregnant Editha
Ramolete (Editha) was admitted to the Lorma Medical
Center (LMC) due to vaginal bleeding. A pelvic
sonogram was then conducted on Editha revealing the
fetus weak cardiac pulsation. The following day,
Edithas repeat pelvic sonogram showed that aside from
the fetus weak cardiac pulsation, no fetal movement
was also appreciated. Due to Edithas persistent and
profuse vaginal bleeding, petitioner performed a
Dilatation and Curettage Procedure (D&C) or "raspa."
On September 16, 1994, Editha was once again brought
at the LMC, as she was suffering from vomiting and
severe abdominal pains. Dr. Mayo allegedly informed
Editha that there was a dead fetus in the latters womb.
After, Editha underwent laparotomy, she was found to
have a massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage and a
ruptured uterus. Thus, Editha had to undergo a
procedure for hysterectomy and as a result, she has no
more chance to bear a child.
Editha and her husband filed a Complaint for Gross
Negligence and Malpractice against petitioner before the
Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).
The Board of Medicine of the PRC rendered a Decision
exonerating petitioner from the charges filed against her.
Respondents went to the PRC on appeal. The PRC
rendered a Decision reversing the findings of the Board
and revoking petitioners authority or license to practice
her profession as a physician.
Petitioner brought the matter to the CA in a Petition for
Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. Petitioner
also dubbed her petition as one for certiorari under Rule
65 of the Rules of Court. The petition was dismissed by
the CA citing that neither Rule 43 nor Rule 65 was a
proper remedy. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioner was guilty of negligence and malpractice.
HELD:
Worthy to mention that the fact that the PRC was not
among those enumerated in the list of quasi-judicial
agencies in Rule 43 does not by its fact alone, imply its
exclusion from the coverage of the said Rule. The Rule
expressly provides that it should be applied to appeals
from awards, judgments final orders or resolutions of
any quasi-judicial agency in the exercise of its quasijudicial functions.

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

A physician-patient relationship was created when


Editha employed the services of the petitioner. As
Edithas physician, petitioner was duty-bound to use at
least the same level of care that any reasonably
competent doctor would use to treat a condition under
the same circumstances. The breach of these
professional duties of skill and care, or their improper
performance by a physician surgeon, whereby the
patient is injured in body or in health, constitutes
actionable malpractice. As to this aspect of medical
malpractice, the determination of the reasonable level of
care and the breach thereof, expert testimony is
essential. Further, inasmuch as the causes of the
injuries involved in malpractice actions are determinable
only in the light of scientific knowledge, it has been
recognized that expert testimony is usually necessary to
support the conclusion as to causation.
In the present case, respondents did not present any
expert testimony to support their claim that petitioner
failed to do something which a reasonably prudent
physician or surgeon would have done.
Petitioner, on the other hand, presented the testimony of
Dr. Augusto M. Manalo, who was a specialist in
gynecology and obstetrics. He testified that the D & C
procedure was not the proximate cause of the rupture of
Edithas uterus resulting in her hysterectomy. From his
expert testimony, the D&C procedure was conducted in
accordance with the standard practice, with the same
level of care that any reasonably competent doctor
would use to treat a condition under the same
circumstances, and that there was nothing irregular in
the way the petitioner dealt with Editha.
Medical malpractice, in our jurisdiction, is often brought
as a civil action for damages under Article 2176 of the
Civil Code. The defenses in an action for damages,
provided for under Article 2179 of the Civil Code are:
Art. 2179.When the plaintiffs own negligence was
the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was
only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendants lack of due
care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the
courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.
In the present case, the Court notes the findings of the
Board of Medicine that petitioner advised her to return
on August 4, 1994 or four (4) days after the D&C.
However, complainant failed to do so. This being the
case, the chain of continuity as required in order that the
doctrine of proximate cause can be validly invoked was
interrupted. Had she returned, the respondent could
have examined her thoroughly.
Editha omitted the diligence required by the
circumstances which could have avoided the injury. The
omission in not returning for a follow-up evaluation
played a substantial part in bringing about Edithas own
injury.
Based on the evidence presented in the present case
under review, in which no negligence can be attributed
to the petitioner, the immediate cause of the accident
resulting in Edithas injury was her own omission when
Page 36

she did not return for a follow-up check up, in defiance of


petitioners orders. The immediate cause of Edithas
injury was her own act; thus, she cannot recover
damages from the injury.
Petition is GRANTED. Decision of the CA reversed and
the decision of the Board of Medicine is affirmed.
Exception: Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance
TAYLOR v. MANILA ELECTRIC RAILROAD & LIGHT
CO., supra.
ISSUE:
W/N defendant company is liable to plaintiff for damages
for having negligently failed to provide security measures
to prevent the general public from entering its premises.
HELD:
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.
On this score, the doctrine of implied invitation is
applicable. In the case of young children, and other
persons not fully sui juris, an implied license might
sometimes arise when it would not on behalf of others.
Thus leaving a tempting thing for children to play with
exposed, where they would be likely to gather for that
purpose, may be equivalent to an invitation to them to
make use of it; and, perhaps, if one were to throw away
upon his premises things tempting to children, the same
implication should arise.
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, 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, 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.
The doctrine of implied invitation does not apply where
the said youth has not been free from fault when he
willfully and deliberately cut open the detonating cap,
and placed a match to the contents, knowing that his
action would result in an explosion.
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;
and the record discloses throughout that he was
exceptionally well qualified to take care of himself. True,
he may not have known and probably did not know the
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

precise nature of the explosion which might be expected


from the ignition of the contents of the cap, 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.
We are satisfied 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.
HIDALGO ENTERPRISES, INC. v. BALANDAN, 91
Phil 488
FACTS:
Petitioner Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc. was the owner of an
ice-plant factory in the City of San Pablo, Laguna, in
whose premises were installed two tanks full of water for
cooling purposes of its engine. While the factory
compound was surrounded with fence, the tanks
themselves were not provided with any kind of fence or
top covers. Through the wide gate entrance, motor
vehicles hauling ice and persons buying said commodity
passed, and any one could easily enter the said factory,
as he pleased. There was no guard assigned on the
gate. On April 16, 1948, plaintiff's son, Mario Balandan,
an 8 year old boy, while playing with and in company of
other boys of his age entered the factory premises
through the gate, while bathing in one of the said tanks,
sank to the bottom of the tank, only to be fished out later,
already a cadaver, having been died of "asphyxia
secondary to drowning."
The CA and the CFI of Laguna, took the view that the
petitioner maintained an attractive nuisance (the tanks),
and neglected to adopt the necessary precautions to
avoid accidents to persons entering its premises.
ISSUE:
W/N the said tanks constitute an attractive nuisance.
HELD:
The doctrine of attractive nuisance may be stated, as:
One who maintains on his premises dangerous
instrumentalities or appliances of a character likely to
attract children in play, and who fails to exercise ordinary
care to prevent children from playing therewith or
resorting thereto, is liable to a child of tender years who
is injured thereby, even if the child is technically a
trespasser in the premises.
The attractive nuisance doctrine generally is not
applicable to bodies of water, artificial as well as natural,
in the absence of some unusual condition or artificial
feature other than the mere water and its location.
Nature has created streams, lakes and pools which
attract children. Lurking in their waters is always the
danger of drowning. Against this danger children are
early instructed so that they are sufficiently presumed to
know the danger; and if the owner of private property
creates an artificial pool on his own property, merely
duplicating the work of nature without adding any new
danger, (he) is not liable because of having created an
"attractive nuisance.
Page 37

The appealed decision is reversed and the Hidalgo


Enterprises, Inc. is absolved from liability.
a.2. Assumption of Risk
Art. 2179. When the plaintiffs own negligence was the
immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot
recover damages. But if his negligence was only
contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the
injury being the defendants lack of due care, the plaintiff
may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the
damages to be awarded.

In the present case, the animal was in custody and


under the control of the caretaker, who was paid for his
work as such. Obviously, it was the caretaker's business
to try to prevent the animal from causing injury or
damage to anyone, including himself. And being injured
by the animal under those circumstances, was one of
the risks of the occupation which he had voluntarily
assumed and for which he must take the consequences.
ILOCOS NORTE CO., v. CA, GR No. 53401, Nov. 6,
1989
FACTS:

Art. 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever may


make use of the same is responsible for the damage
which it may cause, although it may escape or be lost.
'This responsibility shall cease only in case the damages
should come from force majeure from the fault of the
person who has suffered damage.
Thus, in Afialda v. Hisole, a person hired as caretaker of
a carabao gored him to death and his heirs thereupon
sued the owner of the animal for damages. The
complaint was dismissed on the ground that it was the
caretaker's duty to prevent the carabao from causing
injury to any one, including himself.
AFILIADA v. HISOLE and HISOLE, 85 Phil 67
FACTS:
This is an action for damages arising from injury caused
by an animal. The complaint alleges that the now
deceased, Loreto Afialda, was employed by the
defendant spouses as caretaker of their carabaos at a
fixed compensation; that while tending the animals he
was, on March 21, 1947, gored by one of them and later
died as a consequence of his injuries; that the mishap
was due neither to his own fault nor to force majeure;
and that plaintiff is his elder sister and heir depending
upon him for support.
Plaintiff seeks to hold defendants liable under article
1905 of the Civil Code, which reads:
The possessor of an animal, or the one who uses the
same, is liable for any damages it may cause, even if
such animal should escape from him or stray away.
This liability shall cease only in case, the damage should
arise from force majeure or from the fault of the person
who may have suffered it.
ISSUE:
W/N owner of the animal is liable for the injuries caused
to the caretaker.

Inn the evening of June 28 until the early morning of


June 29, 1967, strong typhoon "Gening" buffeted the
province of Ilocos Norte, bringing heavy rains and
consequent flooding in its wake. Between 5:30 and 6:00
A.M. on June 29, 1967, when the floodwaters were
beginning to recede, the deceased Isabel Lao Juan,
ventured out of the house of her son-in-law, Antonio
Yabes, on No. 19 Guerrero Street, Laoag City, and
proceeded towards the direction of the Five Sisters
Emporium to look after her merchandise therein that
might have been damaged. The deceased was followed
by Aida Bulong and Linda Alonzo Estavillo. Aida and
Linda walked side by side at a distance of between 5
and 6 meters behind the deceased. Suddenly, the
deceased screamed "Ay" and quickly sank into the
water. The two girls attempted to help, but fear
dissuaded them because on the spot where the
deceased sank they saw an electric wire dangling from a
post and moving in snake-like fashion in the water. Upon
their shouts for help, Ernesto dela Cruz tried to go to the
deceased, but he turned back shouting that the water
was grounded.
Thereafter, Yabes requested the police to ask the people
of defendant Ilocos Norte Electric Company or INELCO
to cut off the electric current. Then the party waded to
the house on Guerrero Street. The floodwater was
receding and the lights inside the house were out
indicating that the electric current had been cut off in
Guerrero. Yabes instructed his boys to fish for the body
of the deceased. The body was recovered about two
meters from an electric post.
An action for damages was instituted by the heirs of the
deceased against INELCO. INELCO contends that the
deceased could have died simply either by drowning or
by electrocution due to negligence attributable only to
herself and not to petitioner. In this regard, it was pointed
out that the deceased, without petitioner's knowledge,
caused the installation of a burglar deterrent. Petitioner
conjectures that the switch to said burglar deterrent must
have been left on, hence, causing the deceased's
electrocution when she tried to open her gate that fateful
day. After due trial, the CFI found the facts in favor of
petitioner and dismissed the complaint. An appeal was
filed with the CA which reversed the trial courts
decision. Hence, this petition.

HELD:
ISSUE:
NO. For the statute names the possessor or user of the
animal as the person liable for "any damages it may
cause," and this for the obvious reason that the
possessor or user has the custody and control of the
animal and is therefore the one in a position to prevent it
from causing damage.

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

W/N the CA erred in not applying the legal principle of


"assumption of risk" in the present case to bar private
respondents from collecting damages.
HELD:

Page 38

In order to escape liability, petitioner ventures into the


theory that the deceased was electrocuted when she
tried to open her steel gate, which was electrically
charged by an electric wire she herself caused to install
to serve as a burglar deterrent. Petitioner suggests that
the switch to said burglar alarm was left on. But this is
mere speculation, not backed up with evidence.
While it is true that typhoons and floods are considered
Acts of God for which no person may be held
responsible, it was not said eventuality which directly
caused the victim's death. It was through the intervention
of petitioner's negligence that death took place. In times
of calamities such as the one which occurred in Laoag
City, extraordinary diligence requires a supplier of
electricity to be in constant vigilto prevent or avoid any
probable incident that might imperil life or limb. The
evidence does not show that defendant did that. On the
contrary, evidence discloses that there were no men
(linemen or otherwise) policing the area, nor even
manning its office.
The negligence of petitioner having been shown, it may
not now absolve itself from liability by arguing that the
victim's death was solely due to a fortuitous event.
"When an act of God combines or concurs with the
negligence of the defendant to produce an injury, the
defendant is liable if the injury would not have resulted
but for his own negligent conduct or omission"
Likewise, the maxim "volenti non fit injuria" relied upon
by petitioner finds no application in the case at bar. It is
imperative to note the surrounding circumstances which
impelled the deceased to leave the comforts of a roof
and brave the subsiding typhoon. A person is excused
from the force of the rule, that when he voluntarily
assents to a known danger he must abide by the
consequences, if an emergency is found to exist or if the
life or property of another is in peril. Clearly, an
emergency was at hand as the deceased's property, a
source of her livelihood, was faced with an impending
loss. Furthermore, the deceased, at the time the fatal
incident occurred, was at a place where she had a right
to be without regard to petitioner's consent as she was
on her way to protect her merchandise. Hence, private
respondents, as heirs, may not be barred from
recovering damages as a result of the death caused by
petitioner's negligence.
CALALAS v. CA, supra.
ISSUE:
W/N Calalas is liable for damages to private respondent,
Sunga.
HELD:
The petition has no merit.
The argument that Sunga is bound by the ruling in Civil
Case No. 3490 finding the driver and the owner of the
truck liable for quasi-delict ignores the fact that she was
never a party to that case and, therefore, the principle of
res judicata does not apply.
Insofar as contracts of carriage are concerned, the Civil
Code requires extraordinary diligence from common
carriers with regard to the safety of passengers as well
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

as the presumption of negligence in cases of death or


injury to passengers.
Petitioner breached the contract of carriage on two
scores. First, as found by the CA, the jeepney was not
properly parked, its rear portion being exposed about
two meters from the broad shoulders of the highway,
and facing the middle of the highway in a diagonal angle.
This is a violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic
Code
Second, it is undisputed that petitioner's driver took in
more passengers than the allowed seating capacity of
the jeepney, a violation of 32(a) of the same law.
The fact that Sunga was seated in an "extension seat"
placed her in a peril greater than that to which the other
passengers were exposed. Therefore, not only was
petitioner unable to overcome the presumption of
negligence imposed on him for the injury sustained by
Sunga, but also, the evidence shows he was actually
negligent in transporting passengers.
We find it hard to give serious thought to petitioner's
contention that Sunga's taking an "extension seat"
amounted to an implied assumption of risk. It is akin to
arguing that the injuries to the many victims of the
tragedies in our seas should not be compensated merely
because those passengers assumed a greater risk of
drowning by boarding an overloaded ferry.
NIKKO HOTEL MANILA GARDEN, ET.AL., v. REYES,
GR No. 154259, FEB. 28, 2005
FACTS:
Respondent Roberto Reyes, more popularly known by
the screen name "Amay Bisaya," alleged that in the
evening of 13 October 1994, at the lobby of Hotel Nikko,
Dr. Violeta Filart invited him to join her in a party at the
hotels penthouse in celebration of the natal day of the
hotels manager, Mr. Tsuruoka. At the penthouse, they
first had their picture taken with the celebrant after which
Mr. Reyes sat with the party of Dr. Filart. When dinner
was ready, Mr. Reyes lined-up at the buffet table but, to
his great shock, shame and embarrassment, he was
stopped by petitioner herein, Ruby Lim, who was Hotel
Nikkos Executive Secretary. In a loud voice and within
the presence and hearing of the other guests, Ruby Lim
told him to leave the party ("huwag ka nang kumain,
hindi ka imbitado, bumaba ka na lang"). Mr. Reyes tried
to explain that he was invited by Dr. Filart. Dr. Filart, who
was within hearing distance, however, completely
ignored him thus adding to his shame and humiliation.
Not long after, while he was still recovering from the
traumatic experience, a Makati policeman approached
and asked him to step out of the hotel. Mr. Reyes claims
damages in an action instituted against the hotel, Ms.
Lim and Dr. Filart.
Ruby Lim, for her part, admitted having asked Mr. Reyes
to leave the party but not under the ignominious
circumstance painted by the latter and claimed that she
asked the latter to leave in the most discreet manner.
After trial, the court a quo dismissed the complaint,
giving more credence to the testimony of Ms. Lim . The
trial court likewise ratiocinated that Mr. Reyes assumed
the risk of being thrown out of the party as he was
uninvited. On appeal, the CA reversed the ruling of the
Page 39

trial court as it found more commanding of belief the


testimony of Mr. Reyes.
ISSUE:
W/N the CA erred in not applying the doctrine of volenti
non fit injuria considering that Mr. Reyes, by its own
account, is a gate crasher.
HELD:
Petitioners Lim and Hotel Nikko contend that pursuant to
the doctrine of volenti non fit injuria, they cannot be
made liable for damages as respondent Reyes assumed
the risk of being asked to leave as he was a "gatecrasher."
The doctrine of volenti non fit injuria ("to which a person
assents is not esteemed in law as injury") refers to selfinflicted injury or to the consent to injury which precludes
the recovery of damages by one who has knowingly and
voluntarily exposed himself to danger, even if he is not
negligent in doing so. As formulated by petitioners,
however, this doctrine does not find application to the
case at bar because even if respondent Reyes assumed
the risk of being asked to leave the party, petitioners,
under Articles 19 and 21 of the New Civil Code, were still
under obligation to treat him fairly in order not to expose
him to unnecessary ridicule and shame.
From an in depth review of the evidence, we find more
credible the lower courts findings of fact.
In the absence of any proof of motive on the part of Ms.
Lim to humiliate Mr. Reyes and expose him to ridicule
and shame, it is highly unlikely that she would shout at
him from a very close distance. Ms. Lim having been in
the hotel business for twenty years wherein being polite
and discreet are virtues to be emulated, the testimony of
Mr. Reyes that she acted to the contrary does not inspire
belief and is indeed incredible.
All told, and as far as Ms. Lim and Hotel Nikko are
concerned, any damage which Mr. Reyes might have
suffered through Ms. Lims exercise of a legitimate right
done within the bounds of propriety and good faith, must
be his to bear alone.
a.3. Doctrine of Last Clear Chance; Doctrine of
Supervening Negligence; Doctrine of Discovered
Peril; or the Humanitarian Doctrine
PICART vs. SMITH, supra.
ISSUE:
W/N defendant is guilty of negligence to be liable for
damages.
HELD:

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 not longer within the power of the plaintiff
to escape being run down by going to a place of greater
safety. 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.
Plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was guilty
of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the
wrong side of the road. But as we have already stated,
the defendant was also negligent; and in such case the
problem always is to discover which agent is
immediately and directly responsible. 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.
ALLIED BANK V. BPI G.R. NO. 188363 FEBRUARY
27, 2013
FACTS:
On October 10, 2002, a check in the amount of
P1,000,000.00 payable to "Mateo Mgt. Group
International" (MMGI) was presented for deposit and
accepted at petitioner's Kawit Branch. The check, postdated "Oct. 9, 2003", was drawn against the account of
Mr. Silva with respondent Bank of the Philippine Islands
(BPI) Bel-Air Branch. Upon receipt, petitioner sent the
check for clearing to respondent through the Philippine
Clearing House Corporation (PCHC).
The check was cleared by respondent and petitioner
credited the account of MMGI with P1,000,000. On
October 22, 2002, MMGI's account was closed and all
the funds therein were withdrawn. A month later, Silva
discovered the debit of P1,000,000 from his account. In
response to Silva's complaint, respondent credited his
account with the aforesaid sum. On March 21, 2003,
respondent returned a photocopy of the check to
petitioner for the reason: "Postdated." Petitioner,
however, refused to accept and sent back to respondent
a photocopy of the check. Thereafter, the check, or more
accurately, the Charge Slip, was tossed several times
from petitioner to respondent, and back to petitioner,
until on May 6, 2003, respondent requested the PCHC to
take custody of the check. Acting on the request, PCHC
directed the respondent to deliver the original check and
informed it of PCHC's authority under Clearing House
Operating Memo (CHOM) No. 279 dated 06 September
1996 to split 50/50 the amount of the check subject of a
"Ping-Pong" controversy which shall be implemented
thru the issuance of Debit Adjustment Tickets against
the outward demands of the banks involved. PCHC
likewise encouraged respondent to submit the
controversy for resolution thru the PCHC Arbitration
Mechanism.

Defendant is liable.
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
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

However, it was petitioner who filed a complaint before


the Arbitration Committee, asserting that respondent
should solely bear the entire face value of the check due
to its negligence in failing to return the check to
petitioner within the 24-hour reglementary period as
provided in Section 20.1 of the Clearing House Rules
and Regulations. Petitioner prayed that respondent be
Page 40

ordered to reimburse the sum of P500,000 with 12%


interest per annum, and to pay attorney's fees and other
arbitration expenses.
In its Answer with Counterclaims, respondent charged
petitioner with gross negligence for accepting the postdated check in the first place. It contended that
petitioner's admitted negligence was the sole and
proximate cause of the loss.
On December 8, 2004, the Arbitration Committee
rendered its Decision 10 in favor of petitioner and
against the respondent. First, it ruled that the situation of
the parties does not involve a "Ping-Pong" controversy
since the subject check was neither returned within the
reglementary time or through the PCHC return window,
nor coursed through the clearing facilities of the PCHC.
As to respondent's direct presentation of a photocopy of
the subject check, it was declared to be without legal
basis because Section 21.1 11 of the CHRR 2000 does
not apply to post-dated checks. The Arbitration
Committee further noted that respondent not only failed
to return the check within the 24-hour reglementary
period, it also failed to institute any formal complaint
within the contemplation of Section 20.3 12 and it
appears that respondent was already contented with the
50-50 split initially implemented by the PCHC. Finding
both parties negligent in the performance of their duties,
the Committee applied the doctrine of "Last Clear
Chance" and ruled that the loss should be shouldered by
respondent alone.
ISSUE:

the payee's account. Thus, notwithstanding the


antecedent negligence of the petitioner in accepting the
post-dated check for deposit, it can seek reimbursement
from respondent the amount credited to the payee's
account covering the check.
PANTRANCO v. BAESA, GR No. 79050, Nov. 14, 1989
FACTS:
In the morning of June 12, 1981, the spouses Ceasar
and Marilyn Baesa and their children, together with 10
other persons, were aboard a passenger jeepney on
their way to a picnic to celebrate the fifth wedding
anniversary of the spouses. Upon reaching the highway,
the jeepney turned right and proceeded to Malalam
River at a speed of about 20 kph. While they were
proceeding towards Malalam River, a speeding
PANTRANCO bus from Aparri encroached on the
jeepney's lane while negotiating a curve, and collided
with it. As a result of the accident David Ico, spouses
Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their children, Harold Jim
and Marcelino Baesa, died while the rest of the
passengers suffered injuries.
Trial Court ruled in favor of respondents. Petitioner
appealed but CA dismissed the case. Petitioner faults
the Court of Appeals for not applying the doctrine of the
"last clear chance" against the jeepney driver. Petitioner
claims that under the circumstances of the case, it was
the driver of the passenger jeepney who had the last
clear chance to avoid the collision and was therefore
negligent in failing to utilize with reasonable care and
competence his then existing opportunity to avoid the
harm.

Last clear chance.


ISSUE:
HELD:
Will the doctrine of last clear chance apply in this case?
The doctrine of last clear chance, stated broadly, is that
the negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude a
recovery for the negligence of the defendant where it
appears that the defendant, by exercising reasonable
care and prudence, might have avoided injurious
consequences to the plaintiff notwithstanding the
plaintiff's negligence. The doctrine necessarily assumes
negligence on the part of the defendant and contributory
negligence on the part of the plaintiff, and does not apply
except upon that assumption. Stated differently, the
antecedent negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude
him from recovering damages caused by the
supervening negligence of the defendant, who had the
last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the
exercise of due diligence. Moreover, in situations where
the doctrine has been applied, it was defendant's failure
to exercise such ordinary care, having the last clear
chance to avoid loss or injury, which was the proximate
cause of the occurrence of such loss or injury. In this
case, the evidence clearly shows that the proximate
cause of the unwarranted encashment of the subject
check was the negligence of respondent who cleared a
post-dated check sent to it thru the PCHC clearing
facility without observing its own verification procedure.
As correctly found by the PCHC and upheld by the RTC,
if only respondent exercised ordinary care in the clearing
process, it could have easily noticed the glaring defect
upon seeing the date written on the face of the check
"Oct. 9, 2003". Respondent could have then promptly
returned the check and with the check thus dishonored,
petitioner would have not credited the amount thereof to
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

HELD:
The above contention of petitioner is manifestly devoid
of merit.
The doctrine of the last clear chance
simply, means that the negligence of a
claimant does not preclude a recovery
for the negligence of defendant where
it appears that the latter, by exercising
reasonable care and prudence, might
have avoided injurious consequences
to claimant notwithstanding his
negligence.
Contrary to the petitioner's contention, the doctrine of
"last clear chance" finds no application in this case. For
the doctrine to be applicable, it is necessary to show that
the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to
avert the accident was aware of the existence of the peril
or should, with exercise of due care, have been aware of
it. One cannot be expected to avoid an accident or injury
if he does not know or could not have known the
existence of the peril. In this case, there is nothing to
show that the jeepney driver David Ico knew of the
impending danger. When he saw at a distance that the
approaching bus was encroaching on his lane, he did
not immediately swerve the jeepney to the dirt shoulder
on his right since he must have assumed that the bus
driver will return the bus to its own lane upon seeing the
jeepney approaching from the opposite direction. As
held by this Court in the case of Vda. De Bonifacio v.
Page 41

BLTB, G.R. No. L-26810, August 31, 1970, 34 SCRA


618, a motorist who is properly proceeding on his own
side of the highway is generally entitled to assume that
an approaching vehicle coming towards him on the
wrong side, will return to his proper lane of traffic. There
was nothing to indicate to David Ico that the bus could
not return to its own lane or was prevented from
returning to the proper lane by anything beyond the
control of its driver. Leo Marantan, an alternate driver of
the Pantranco bus who was seated beside the driver
Ramirez at the time of the accident, testified that
Ramirez had no choice but to swerve the steering wheel
to the left and encroach on the jeepney's lane because
there was a steep precipice on the right [CA Decision, p.
2; Rollo, p. 45]. However, this is belied by the evidence
on record which clearly shows that there was enough
space to swerve the bus back to its own lane without any
danger [CA Decision, p. 7; Rollo, p. 50].
Considering the foregoing, the Court finds that the
negligence of petitioner's driver in encroaching into the
lane of the incoming jeepney and in failing to return the
bus to its own lane immediately upon seeing the jeepney
coming from the opposite direction was the sole and
proximate cause of the accident without which the
collision would not have occurred. There was no
supervening or intervening negligence on the part of the
jeepney driver which would have made the prior
negligence of petitioner's driver a mere remote cause of
the accident.
GLAN PEOPLES LUMBER v. IAC, GR No. 70493,
May 18, 1989
FACTS:
Engr. Calibo, Roranes, and Patos were on the jeep
owned by the Bacnotan Consolidated Industries, Inc.,
with Calibo at the wheel, as it approached from the
South Lizada Bridge going towards the direction of
Davao City in the afternoon of July 4,1979. At about that
time, the cargo truck, driven by defendant Zacarias and
owned by petitioners herein, coming from the opposite
direction of Davao City had just crossed said bridge. The
cargo truck and the jeep collided as a consequence of
which Engr Calibo died while Roranes and Patos
sustained physical injuries. Zacarias was unhurt. After
the impact, the jeep fell and rested on its right side on
the asphalted road a few meters to the rear of the truck,
while the truck stopped on its wheels on the road.
A case for damages was filed by the surviving spouse
and children of the late Engr Calibo against the driver
and owners of the cargo truck.
The Trial Court ruled that plaintiffs were unable to
establish the negligence of defendant and thus,
dismissed the case. The trial courts decision was
reversed upon appeal to the IAC.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioner is answerable for the death of Engr.
Calibo owing to the negligence of its employee,
Zacarias.
HELD:
The petition is meritorious. The IACs decision is
reversed.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

The finding that "the truck driven by defendant Zacarias


occupied the lane of the jeep when the collision
occurred" is, based on nothing more than the showing
that at the time of the accident, the truck driven by
Zacarias had edged over the painted center line of the
road into the opposite lane by a width of twenty-five (25)
centimeters. It ignores the fact that by the uncontradicted
evidence, the actual center line of the road was not that
indicated by the painted stripe, that although it was not
disputed that the truck overrode the painted stripe by
twenty-five (25) centimeters, it was still at least eleven
(11) centimeters away from its side of the true center line
of the road and well inside its own lane when the
accident occurred. By this same reckoning, since it was
unquestionably the jeep that rammed into the stopped
truck, it may also be deduced that the jeep was at the
time travelling beyond its own lane and intruding into the
lane of the truck by at least the same 11-centimeter
width of space.
Nor was the IAC correct in finding that Zacarias had
acted negligently in applying his brakes instead of
getting back inside his lane upon spying the approaching
jeep. Being well within his own lane, he had no duty to
swerve out of the jeep's way. And even supposing that
he was in fact partly inside the opposite lane, coming to
a full stop with the jeep still thirty (30) meters away
cannot be considered an unsafe or imprudent action,
there also being uncontradicted evidence that the jeep
was "zigzagging and hence no way of telling in which
direction it would go as it approached the truck.
It was rather Engr. Calibos negligence which was the
proximate cause of the accident. Evidence and
testimonies show that the jeep had been zigzagging or
was driven erratically at that time and that its driver had
been on a drinking spree on the occasion prior.
Even, however, ignoring theof negligence on the part of
Calibo, and assuming some antecedent negligence on
the part of Zacarias in failing to keep within his
designated lane, incorrectly demarcated as it was, the
physical facts, would still absolve the latter of any
actionable responsibility for the accident under the rule
of the last clear chance.
Both drivers had had a full view of each other's vehicle
from a distance of one hundred fifty meters. It is also
admitted that the truck was already at a full stop while
the jeep was still 30 meters away when thereafter, the
latter plowed into the truck. From these facts the logical
conclusion emerges that the driver of the jeep had the
last clear chance to avoid the accident, by stopping in
his turn or swerving his jeep away from the truck, either
of which he had sufficient time to do. In those
circumstances, his duty was to seize that opportunity of
avoidance, not merely rely on a supposed right to
expect, as the Appellate Court would have it, the truck to
swerve and leave him a clear path.
DE ROY vs. CA, January 29, 1988
FACTS:
The firewall of a burned-out building owned by
petitioners collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop
occupied by the family of private respondents, resulting
in injuries to private respondents and the death of
Marissa Bernal, a daughter. Private respondents had
been warned by petitioners to vacate their shop in view
Page 42

of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former failed


to do so.
The RTC rendered judgment finding petitioners guilty of
gross negligence and awarding damages to private
respondents. On appeal, the decision of the trial court
was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this
petition.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioners are free of liability since respondents
had the last clear chance of avoiding the incident.
HELD:
The petition is denied.
This Court finds that the CA committed no grave abuse
of discretion in affirming the trial court's decision holding
petitioner liable under Article 2190 of the Civil Code,
which provides that "the proprietor of a building or
structure is responsible for the damage resulting from its
total or partial collapse, if it should be due to the lack of
necessary repairs.
Nor was there error in rejecting petitioners argument that
private respondents had the "last clear chance" to avoid
the accident if only they heeded the warning to vacate
the tailoring shop and , therefore, petitioners prior
negligence should be disregarded, since the doctrine of
"last clear chance," which has been applied to vehicular
accidents, is inapplicable to this case.
PLDT vs. CA, GR No. 57079, Sept. 29, 1989
FACTS:
Private respondents spouses Esteban instituted a case
against petitioner company for the injuries they
sustained in the evening of July 30, 1968 when their jeep
ran over a mound of earth and fell into an open trench,
an excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT. The
complaint alleged that respondent Antonio Esteban
failed to notice the open trench which was left uncovered
because of the creeping darkness and the lack of any
warning light or signs.
The trial court issued a decision in favor of the private
respondents. The CA reversed the decision of the trial
court. However, after granting a second motion for
reconsideration, the CA set aside its original decision
and affirmed in toto the decision of the lower court.
Hence, this petition.

hit the accident mound. Petitioner company cannot be


held liable to the private respondents. The accident had
not occurred due to the absence of warning signals but
rather the abrupt swerving of the jeep from the inside
lane.
Secondly, the jeep was not running at 25kph when the
accident occurred, otherwise it would not have hit the
accident mound since at that speed, it could easily apply
its brakes on time.
From the above findings, the negligence of respondent
Antonio Esteban was not only contributory but rather the
very cause of the occurrence of the accident and thereby
precludes their right to recover damages. The only
purpose of warning signs was to inform and warn the
public of the presence of excavations on the site. The
private respondents already knew of the presence of
said excavations. It is basic that private respondents
cannot charge PLDT for their injuries where their own
failure to exercise due and reasonable care was the
cause thereof. Furthermore, respondent Antonio
Esteban had the last clear chance or opportunity to
avoid the accident, notwithstanding the negligence he
imputes to petitioner PLDT. As a resident of Lacson
Street, he passed on that street almost everyday and
had knowledge of the presence and location of the
excavations there. It was his negligence that exposed
him and his wife to danger; hence he is solely
responsible for the consequences of his imprudence.
ONG vs. MCWD, 104 Phil 397
FACTS:
Defendant owns and operates three recreational
swimming pools at its Balara filters in Diliman, Quezon
City to which people are invited and nominal fees are
charged.
In the afternoon of July 5, 1952, Dominador Ong, a 14year old boy, and his brothers Ruben and Eusebio,
arrived at the defendant's swimming pools. This has
th
th
been the 5 or 6 time that the three brothers had gone
to said natatorium. After paying the requisite admission
fee, they immediately went to one of the small pools
where the water was shallow. Later on, Dominador Ong
told his brothers that he was going to the locker room in
an adjoining building to drink a bottle of coke. Upon
hearing this, Ruben and Eusebio went to the bigger pool
leaving Dominador in the small pool and so they did not
see the latter when he left the pool to get a bottle of
coke. In that afternoon, there were two lifeguards on
duty in the pool compound, namely, Manuel Abao and
Mario Villanueva.

The petition is meritorious.

Between 4:40 to 4:45 p.m., some boys who were in the


pool area informed one Andres Hagad, Jr., that
somebody was swimming under water for quite a long
time. Another boy informed lifeguard Abao of the same
happening and Abao immediately jumped into the big
swimming pool and retrieved the apparently lifeless body
of Dominador Ong from the bottom. Manual artificial
respiration was applied. Despite medical attention by the
nurse and Dr. Ayuyao of UP, the boy died.

As evidenced by the factual findings of respondent court,


private respondents jeep were running along the inside
lane of Lacson street when it suddenly swerved (as
shown through the tiremarks) from the left and thereafter

Plaintiffs instituted a case to recover damages from


defendant for the death of their son in the said swimming
pool operated by defendant. After trial, the lower court
dismissed the complaint. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
W/N petitioner company is liable to private respondents
for the injuries sustained by the latter.
HELD:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Page 43

ISSUE:
Whether the death of minor Dominador Ong can be
attributed to the negligence of defendant and/or its
employees so as to entitle plaintiffs to recover damages.
HELD:
The trial courts decision is hereby affirmed.
Although the proprietor of a natatorium is liable for
injuries to a patron, resulting from lack of ordinary care in
providing for his safety, without the fault of the patron, he
is not in any sense deemed to be the insurer of the
safety of patrons. And the death of a patron within his
premises does not cast upon him the burden of excusing
himself from any presumption of negligence. Thus in
Bertalot vs. Kinnare, supra, it was held that there could
be no recovery for the death by drowning of a fifteenyear boy in defendant's natatorium, where it appeared
merely that he was lastly seen alive in water at the
shallow end of the pool, and some ten or fifteen minutes
later was discovered unconscious, and perhaps lifeless,
at the bottom of the pool, all efforts to resuscitate him
being without avail.
Appellee has taken all necessary precautions to avoid
danger to the lives of its patrons or prevent accident
which may cause their death.
Appellant posits that even if it be assumed that the
deceased is partly to be blamed for the unfortunate
incident, still appellee may be held liable under the
doctrine of "last clear chance" for the reason that, having
the last opportunity to save the victim, it failed to do so.

against petitioners Cresencia Achevara, Alfredo


Achevara and Benigno Valdez for the death of Arnulfo
Ramos, husband of Elvira Ramos and father of her two
children, in a vehicular accident that happened on April
22, 1995 at the national highway along Barangay
Tablac, Candon, Ilocos Sur. Crescencia Achevara was
sued as the operator of the passenger jeep which was
involved in the vehicular accident. Alfredo Achevara was
impleaded as the husband of the operator.
Respondents alleged that Benigno Valdez was driving a
passenger jeep in a reckless, careless, and negligent
manner. He tried to overtake a motorcycle, causing the
passenger jeep to encroach on the opposite lane and
bump the oncoming vehicle driven by Arnulfo Ramos.
The injuries sustained by Arnulfo Ramos caused his
death. Respondents alleged that Crescencia Achevara
failed to exercise due diligence in the selection and
supervision of Benigno Valdez as driver of the
passenger jeep.
Petitioners denied Benigno Valdez overtook a
motorcycle and bumped the vehicle driven by Arnulfo
Ramos. They alleged that Benigno Valdez was driving
southward at a moderate speed when he saw an ownertype jeep coming from the south and heading north,
running in a zigzag manner, and encroaching on the
west lane of the road. To avoid a collision, Valdez drove
the passenger jeep towards the shoulder of the road,
west of his lane, but the owner-type jeep continued to
move toward the western lane and bumped the left side
of the passenger jeep. Petitioners alleged that it was
Arnulfo Ramos who was careless and negligent in
driving a motor vehicle, which he very well knew had a
mechanical defect.
Both the RTC and CA ruled in favor of respondents.

We do not see how this doctrine may apply considering


that the record does not show how minor Ong came into
the big swimming pool. The doctrine of last clear chance
simply means that the negligence of a claimant does not
preclude a recovery for the negligence of defendant
where it appears that the latter, by exercising reasonable
care and prudence, might have avoided injurious
consequences to
claimant notwithstanding
his
negligence. Or, "As the doctrine usually is stated, a
person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of
avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts
of his opponent or the negligence of a third person which
is imputed to his opponent, is considered in law solely
responsible for the consequences of the accident."
Since it is not known how minor Ong came into the big
swimming pool and it being apparent that he went there
without any companion in violation of one of the
regulations of appellee as regards the use of the pools,
and it appearing that lifeguard Abao responded to the
call for help as soon as his attention was called to it and
immediately after retrieving the body all efforts at the
disposal of appellee had been put into play in order to
bring him back to life, it is clear that there is no room for
the application of the doctrine now invoked by appellants
to impute liability to appellee..
ECHEVARA vs. RAMOS, GR No. 175172, Sept. 29,
2009
FACTS:
Respondents Elvira Ramos and her two minor children
filed with the RTC of Ilocos Sur a Complaint for damages
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

ISSUE:
W/N petitioners are liable to respondents for the
damages incurred as a result of the vehicular accident.
HELD:
The petition is meritorious.
The testimony of respondents witness, Gamera, that the
vehicular accident occurred because the passenger jeep
driven by Valdez tried to overtake the motorcycle driven
by PO3 de Peralta and encroached on the lane of the
owner-type jeep, which resulted in the collision, was
refuted by PO3 de Peralta, who testified that the
passenger jeep did not overtake his motorcycle since he
was the one following behind the passenger jeep.
Gamera also testified that the collision took place on the
lane of the owner-type jeep, and one of its wheels was
detached and stayed immobile at the place of collision.
However, SPO2 Marvin Valdez, who investigated the
incident, found that the collision took place on the
western lane of the national highway or the lane of the
passenger jeep driven by Benigno Valdez. It was the
owner-type jeep driven by Arnulfo Ramos that
encroached on the lane of the passenger jeep.
Foreseeability is the fundamental test of negligence. To
be negligent, a defendant must have acted or failed to
act in such a way that an ordinary reasonable man
would have realized that certain interests of certain
Page 44

persons were unreasonably subjected to a general but


definite class of risks.

vehicular accident, respondents cannot recover


damages pursuant to Article 2179 of the Civil Code.

Seeing that the owner-type jeep was wiggling and


running fast in a zigzag manner as it travelled on the
opposite side of the highway, Benigno Valdez was made
aware of the danger ahead if he met the owner-type jeep
on the road. Yet he failed to take precaution by
immediately veering to the rightmost portion of the road
or by stopping the passenger jeep at the right shoulder
of the road and letting the owner-type jeep pass before
proceeding southward; hence, the collision occurred.
The CA correctly held that Benigno Valdez was guilty of
inexcusable negligence by neglecting to take such
precaution, which a reasonable and prudent man would
ordinarily have done under the circumstances and which
proximately caused injury to another.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS V. VIZCARA G.R.


NO. 190022 FEBRUARY 15, 2012

On the other hand, the Court also finds Arnulfo Ramos


guilty of gross negligence for knowingly driving a
defective jeep on the highway.
The acts of negligence of Arnulfo Ramos and Benigno
Valdez were contemporaneous when Ramos continued
to drive a wiggling vehicle on the highway despite
knowledge of its mechanical defect, while Valdez did not
immediately veer to the rightmost side of the road upon
seeing the wiggling vehicle of Ramos. However, when
the owner-type jeep encroached on the lane of the
passenger jeep, Valdez realized the peril at hand and
steered the passenger jeep toward the western shoulder
of the road to avoid a collision. It was at this point that it
was perceivable that Ramos must have lost control of
his vehicle, and that it was Valdez who had the last
opportunity to avoid the collision by swerving the
passenger jeep towards the right shoulder of the road.
The doctrine of last clear chance applies to a situation
where the plaintiff was guilty of prior or antecedent
negligence, but the defendant who had the last fair
chance to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so
is made liable for all the consequences of the accident,
notwithstanding the prior negligence of the plaintiff.
However, the doctrine does not apply where the party
charged is required to act instantaneously, and the injury
cannot be avoided by the application of all means at
hand after the peril is or should have been discovered.
The doctrine of last clear chance does not apply to
this case, because even if it can be said that it was
Valdez who had the last chance to avoid the mishap
when the owner-type jeep encroached on the western
lane of the passenger jeep, Valdez no longer had the
opportunity to avoid the collision.

a.4. Emergency Rule


VALENZUELA vs. CA, 253 SCRA 303
FACTS:
At around 2:00 in the morning of June 24, 1990, plaintiff
Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving a blue Mitsubishi
lancer from her restaurant to her home. Before reaching
A. Lake Street, she noticed something wrong with her
tires; she stopped at a lighted place where there were
people, to solicit help if needed since rear right tire was
flat and that she cannot reach her home in that car's
condition, she parked along the sidewalk, put on her
emergency lights, alighted from the car, and went to the
rear to open the trunk. She was standing at the left side
of the rear of her car pointing to the tools to a man who
will help her fix the tire when she was suddenly bumped
by a 1987 Mitsubishi Lancer driven by defendant
Richard Li. Because of the impact plaintiff was thrown
against the windshield of the car of the defendant and
then fell to the ground. Plaintiff's left leg was severed up
to the middle of her thigh and was eventually fitted with
an artificial leg.
Defendant Richard Li denied that he was negligent and
alleged that when he was driving along the inner portion
of the right lane of Aurora Blvd. he was suddenly
confronted, in the vicinity of A. Lake Street, with a car
coming from the opposite direction, travelling at 80 kph,
with "full bright lights". Temporarily blinded, he
instinctively swerved to the right to avoid colliding with
the oncoming vehicle, and bumped plaintiff's car, which
he did not see because it was midnight blue in color,
with no parking lights or early warning device, and the
area was poorly lighted. He alleged in his defense that
the plaintiff's car was improperly parked.
Both the trial court and the CA found for petitioner.
However, the latter modified the formers decision in
reducing the amount of damages. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
W/N petitioner Valenzuela is guilty of contributory
negligence to preclude her from claiming damages.
HELD:

Article 2179 of the Civil Code provides:


When the plaintiffs own negligence was the
immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was
only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendants lack of due
care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the
courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.
In this case, both Ramos and Valdez failed to exercise
reasonable care and caution. Since the gross negligence
of Arnulfo Ramos and the inexcusable negligence of
Benigno Valdez were the proximate cause of the

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

We agree with the respondent court that Valenzuela was


not guilty of contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the
injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm
he has suffered, which falls below the standard to which
he is required to conform for his own protection. Based
on the foregoing definition, the standard or act to which,
according to petitioner Li, Valenzuela ought to have
conformed for her own protection was not to park at all
at any point of Aurora Boulevard, a no parking zone. We
cannot agree.

Page 45

Courts have traditionally been compelled to recognize


that an actor who is confronted with an emergency is not
to be held up to the standard of conduct normally applied
to an individual who is in no such situation.

Elordi was charged with triple homicide through reckless


imprudence. The information was subsequently
amended to include claims for damages by the heirs of
the three victims.

Under the "emergency rule", an individual who suddenly


finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to
act without much time to consider the best means that
may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not
guilty of negligence if he fails to undertake what
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a
better solution, unless the emergency was brought by
his own negligence.

The appearance and intervention of Prosecutor Atty.


Navarro for presentation of evidence for damages was
disallowed. No appeal was taken from the order.

A woman driving a vehicle suddenly crippled by a flat tire


on a rainy night will not be faulted for stopping at a point
which is both convenient for her to do so and which is
not a hazard to other motorists. She is not expected to
run the entire boulevard in search for a parking zone or
turn on a dark street or alley where she would likely find
no one to help her. It would be hazardous for her not to
stop and assess the emergency because the hobbling
vehicle would be both a threat to her safety and to other
motorists.
Under the circumstances described, Valenzuela did
exercise the standard reasonably dictated by the
emergency and could not be considered to have
contributed to the unfortunate circumstances which
eventually led to the amputation of one of her lower
extremities. The emergency which led her to park her
car on a sidewalk in Aurora Boulevard was not of her
own making, and it was evident that she had taken all
reasonable precautions.
Obviously in the case at bench, the only negligence
ascribable was the negligence of Li on the night of the
accident. The circumstances established by the
evidence adduced in the court below plainly demonstrate
that Li was grossly negligent in driving his Mitsubishi
Lancer. It bears emphasis that he was driving at a fast
speed at about 2:00 A.M. after a heavy downpour had
settled into a drizzle rendering the street slippery. There
is ample testimonial evidence on record to show that he
was under the influence of liquor. Under these
conditions, his chances of effectively dealing with
changing conditions on the road were significantly
lessened.
ORIX METRO LEASING V. MANGALINAO G.R. NO.
174089 JANUARY 25, 2012
a.5. Prescription
Art. 1150. The time for prescription for all kinds of
actions, when there is no special provision which ordains
otherwise, shall be counted from the day they may be
brought.
CAPUNO vs. PEPSI, GR No. L-19331, Apr. 30, 1965
FACTS:
A vehicular collision occurred on January 3, 1953 in
Apalit, Pampanga which involved a Pepsi-Cola delivery
truck driven by Jon Elordi and a private car driven by
Capuno. The collision proved fatal to the latter as well as
to his passengers, the spouses Florencio Buan and
Rizalina Paras.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Judgment on the criminal case was rendered on April


15, 1959, acquitting the accused Elordi. Prior thereto, or
on September 26, 1958, however, herein appellants
commenced a civil action for damages against the Pepsi
Company and Elordi. Appellee moved to dismiss the
said action relying on the ground of prescription among
others. The motion was dismissed by the Court a quo.
Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE:
W/N the action for damages has prescribed.
HELD:
The action has prescribed.
The present action is one for recovery of damages
based on a quasi-delict, which action must be instituted
within four (4) years (Article 1146, Civil Code).
Appellants' intervention in the original action was
disallowed and they did not appeal from the Court's
order. And when they commenced the present civil
action on September 26, 1958 the criminal case was still
pending, showing that appellants then chose to pursue
the remedy afforded by the Civil Code
In filing the civil action, appellants considered it as
entirely independent of the criminal action, pursuant to
Articles 31 and 33 of the Civil Code.
In other words, the civil action for damages could have
been commenced by appellants immediately upon the
death of their decedent, Capuno and the same would not
have been stayed by the filing of the criminal action for
homicide through reckless imprudence. But the
complaint here was filed only on September 26, 1958, or
after the lapse of more than five years.
The contention that the four-year period of prescription in
this case was interrupted by the filing of the criminal
action against Jon Elordi is incorrect notwithstanding that
appellants had neither waived the civil action nor
reserved the right to institute it separately. Such
reservation was not necessary; as without having made
it they could still file as in fact they did a separate
civil action even during the pendency of the criminal
case; and consequently, the institution of a criminal
action cannot have the effect of interrupting the
institution of a civil action based on a quasi-delict.
b. Incomplete/Partial Defense
b.1. Doctrine of Contributory Negligence
Art. 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the
immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot
recover damages. But if his negligence was only
contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the
injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff
Page 46

may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the


damages to be awarded.
PHIL. NATIONAL RAILWAYS vs. TUPANG, GR No.
55347, Oct. 4, 1985
FACTS:
On September 10, 1972, Winifredo Tupang, husband of
plaintiff Rosario Tupang, boarded 'Train No. 516 of
appellant at Libmanan, Camarines Sur, as a paying
passenger bound for Manila. Due to some mechanical
defect, the train stopped at Sipocot, Camarines Sur, for
repairs, taking some two hours before the train could
resume its trip to Manila. Unfortunately, upon passing
Iyam Bridge at Lucena, Quezon, Winifredo Tupang fell
off the train resulting in his death.
Both the CFI and the CA held PNR liable for damages
for breaching the contract of carriage.
ISSUE:

On the evening of April 10, 1925, a procession was held


in Tacloban, Leyte attended by Fortunata Enverso with
her daughter Purificacion Bernal. After the procession
was over, the woman and her daughter, passed along a
public street. The little girl was allowed to get a short
distance in advance of her mother and her mothers
friends. When in front of the offices of the Tacloban
Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., an automobile appeared from
the opposite direction which frightened the child that she
turned to run, with the result that she fell into the street
gutter. At that time there was hot water in this gutter
coming from the Electric Ice Plant of J.V. House. When
the mother and her companions reached the child, they
found her face downward in the hot water. She was
taken to the provincial hospital but thereafter died. Dr.
Benitez, who attended the child, certified that the cause
of death was "Burns, 3rd Degree, whole Body.
The trial court found that the company was negligent but
dismissed the case having ruled that plaintiffs were guilty
of contributory negligence.

W/N deceased Tupang was guilty of contributory


negligence.

ISSUE:

HELD:

W/N Enverso was guilty of contributory negligence.

The appellate court found that the train boarded by the


deceased Winifredo Tupang was so over-crowded that
he and many other passengers had no choice but to sit
on the open platforms between the coaches of the train.
It is likewise undisputed that the train did not even stop,
despite the alarm raised by other passengers that a
person had fallen off the train at lyam Bridge.

HELD:

The petitioner has the obligation to transport its


passengers to their destinations and to observe
extraordinary diligence in doing so. Death or any injury
suffered by any of its passengers gives rise to the
presumption that it was negligent in the performance of
its obligation under the contract of carriage.

The mother and her child had a perfect right to be on the


principal street of Tacloban, Leyte, on the evening when
the religious procession was held. There was nothing
abnormal in allowing the child to run along a few paces
in advance of the mother. No one could foresee the
coincidence of an automobile appearing and of a
frightened child running and falling into a ditch filled with
hot water. The contributory negligence of the child and
her mother, if any, does not operate as a bar to
recovery, but in its strictest sense could only result in
reduction of the damages.

But while petitioner failed to exercise extraordinary


diligence as required by law, it appears that the
deceased was chargeable with contributory negligence.
Since he opted to sit on the open platform between the
coaches of the train, he should have held tightly and
tenaciously on the upright metal bar found at the side of
said platform to avoid falling off from the speeding train.
Such contributory negligence, while not exempting the
PNR from liability, nevertheless justified the deletion of
the amount adjudicated as moral damages. By the same
token, the award of exemplary damages must be set
aside.
RAKES vs. ATLANTIC GULF, supra.(See under ACT
OR OMISSION)
TAYLOR vs. MANILA ELECTRIC RAILROAD & LIGHT
CO..supra.(See under DOCTRINE OF ATTRACTIVE
NUISANCE)
BANAL & ENVERSO vs. TACLOBAN ELECTRIC &
HOUSE PLANT, 54 Phil 327
FACTS:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

We are shown no good reason for the departing from the


conclusion of the trial judge to the effect that the sudden
death of the child Purification Bernal was due principally
to the nervous shock and organic calefaction produced
by the extensive burns from the hot water.

JARCO MARKETING CORP. vs. CA, 321 SCRA 377


FACTS:
On 9 May 1983, CRISELDA and ZHIENETH AGUILAR
were at the 2nd floor of Syvel's Department Store owned
by herein petitioner. CRISELDA was signing her credit
card slip at the payment and verification counter when
she felt a sudden gust of wind and heard a loud thud.
She looked behind her and saw her daughters body on
the floor pinned by the store's gift-wrapping counter.
ZHIENETH was quickly rushed to the Makati Medical
Center but died a few days later. The cause of her death
was attributed to the injuries she sustained.
Petitioners denied any liability claiming that CRISELDA
was negligent in exercising care and diligence over her
daughter by allowing her to freely roam around in a store
Page 47

filled with glassware and appliances. ZHIENETH too,


was guilty of contributory negligence since she climbed
the counter, triggering its eventual collapse. Petitioners
also emphasized that the counter was made of sturdy
wood with a strong support; it never fell nor collapsed for
the past fifteen years since its construction.

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.

Private respondents asserted that ZHIENETH should be


entitled to the conclusive presumption that a child below
nine years is incapable of contributory negligence. And
even if ZHIENETH, at six years old, was already capable
of contributory negligence, still it was physically
impossible for her to have propped herself on the
counter. Also, the testimony of one of the store's former
employees, Gerardo Gonzales, who accompanied
ZHIENETH when she was brought to the emergency
room of the Makati Medical Center belied petitioners'
theory that ZHIENETH climbed the counter. Gonzales
claimed that when ZHIENETH was asked by the doctor
what she did, ZHIENETH replied, "Nothing, I did not
come near the counter and the counter just fell on me."

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. It was reasonable
and usual for CRISELDA to let go of her child.

The Trial Court ruled in favor of herein petitioners finding


that the proximate cause of ZHIENETHs injuries was
the negligence of the latter and that of her mother. Upon
appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the trial court.
Hence, this petition.

A trail existed in Dalicno and this trail was regularly used


by members of the community. Sometime in the 1970s,
petitioner NPC installed high-tension electrical
transmission lines traversing the trail. Eventually, some
of the transmission lines sagged and dangled reducing
their distance from the ground to only about eight to ten
feet.

ISSUE:
W/N petitioners should be absolved from liability
because of private respondents negligence.
HELD:
We deny the petition.Under the circumstances, 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.
Gonzales' earlier testimony on petitioners' insistence to
keep and maintain the structurally unstable gift-wrapping
counter proved their negligence. Petitioner was informed
of the danger posed by the unstable counter. Yet, it
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.
Anent the negligence imputed to ZHIENETH, we apply
the conclusive presumption that favors children below
nine 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. 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.

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

NAPOCOR vs. CASIONAN, GR No. 165969, Nov. 27,


2008
FACTS:
Respondents are the parents of Noble Casionan, 19
years old at the time of the incident that claimed his life.
He worked as a pocket miner.

On June 27, 1995, Noble and his co-pocket miner,


Melchor Jimenez, were at Dalicno. They cut two bamboo
poles for their pocket mining. Noble carried the shorter
pole while Melchor carried the longer pole. Noble walked
ahead as both passed through the trail underneath the
NPC high tension transmission lines on their way to their
work place.
As Noble was going uphill, the tip of the bamboo pole he
was carrying touched one of the dangling high tension
wires. Thereafter, Melchor saw Noble fall to the ground.
He rushed to Noble and shook him but the latter was
already dead.
Both the RTC and the CA ruled in favor of respondents.
ISSUE:
W/N Noble Casionan is guilty of contributory negligence
so as to mitigate NAPOCORs liability.
HELD:
The sagging high tension wires were an accident waiting
to happen. As established during trial, the lines were
sagging around 8 to 10 feet in violation of the required
distance of 18 to 20 feet. If the transmission lines were
properly maintained by petitioner, the bamboo pole
carried by Noble would not have touched the wires. He
would not have been electrocuted.
Moreover, We find no contributory negligence on Nobles
part.

Page 48

Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the


injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm
he has suffered, which falls below the standard which he
is required to conform for his own protection. There is
contributory negligence when the partys act showed
lack of ordinary care and foresight that such act could
cause him harm or put his life in danger.
In this case, the trail where Noble was electrocuted was
regularly used by members of the community. There
were no warning signs to inform passersby of the
impending danger to their lives should they accidentally
touch the high tension wires. Also, the trail was the only
viable way from Dalicon to Itogon. Hence, Noble should
not be faulted for simply doing what was ordinary routine
to other workers in the area.
In sum, the victim was not guilty of contributory
negligence. Hence, petitioner is not entitled to a
mitigation of its liability.
CADIENTE vs. MACAS, GR No. 161846, Nov. 14, 2008
FACTS:
Rosalinda Palero testified that on July 19, 1994, , at the
intersection of Buhangin and San Vicente Streets in
Davao City, 15-year old high school student Bithuel
Macas was standing on the shoulder of the road.
Rosalinda was about two and a half meters away from
the respondent when the latter was bumped and run
over by a Ford Fiera, driven by Cimafranca. Respondent
was rushed to the hospital where both his legs were
amputated in order to save his life.
Cimafranca had since absconded and disappeared.
Records showed that the Ford Fiera was registered in
the name of herein petitioner, Atty. Cadiente. However,
Cadiente claimed that when the accident happened, he
was no longer the owner of the Ford Fiera. He alleged
that he sold the vehicle to Engr. Jalipa with the
understanding that the latter would be the one to cause
the transfer of the registration.
The victim's father filed a complaint for torts and
damages against Cimafranca and Cadiente before the
RTC. Cadiente later filed a third-party complaint against
Jalipa.
The RTC held Cadiente and Jalipa jointly and severally
liable to respondent. Such decision was affirmed by the
CA.
ISSUE:

which was the uncemented portion of the highway. As


noted by the trial court, the shoulder was intended for
pedestrian use alone. Only stationary vehicles, such as
those loading or unloading passengers may use the
shoulder. Running vehicles are not supposed to pass
through the said uncemented portion of the highway.
However, the Ford Fiera in this case, without so much as
slowing down, took off from the cemented part of the
highway, inexplicably swerved to the shoulder, and
recklessly bumped and ran over an innocent victim.
The respondent cannot be expected to have foreseen
that the Ford Fiera, erstwhile speeding along the
cemented part of the highway would suddenly swerve to
the shoulder, then bump and run him over. Thus, we are
unable to accept the petitioner's contention that the
respondent was negligent.
Coming now to the second issue, this Court has recently
reiterated in PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. v. UCPB
General Insurance Co., Inc.,that the registered owner of
any vehicle, even if he had already sold it to someone
else, is primarily responsible to the public for whatever
damage or injury the vehicle may cause.
VI. LIABILITY FOR ACT OR OMISSION
a. By tortfeasor
LOADMASTERS CUSTOMS SERVICES V. GLODEL
BROKERAGE G.R. NO. 179446 JANUARY 10, 2011
FACTS:
On August 28, 2001, R&B Insurance issued Marine
Policy No. MN-00105/2001 in favor of Columbia to
insure the shipment of 132 bundles of electric copper
cathodes against All Risks. On August 28, 2001, the
cargoes were shipped on board the vessel "Richard
Rey" from Isabela, Leyte, to Pier 10, North Harbor,
Manila. They arrived on the same date.
Columbia engaged the services of Glodel for the release
and withdrawal of the cargoes from the pier and the
subsequent delivery to its warehouses/plants. Glodel, in
turn, engaged the services of Loadmasters for the use of
its delivery trucks to transport the cargoes to Columbia's
warehouses/plants in Bulacan and Valenzuela City.
Later on, the said truck, an Isuzu with Plate No. NSD117, was recovered but without the copper cathodes.
Because of this incident, Columbia filed with R&B
Insurance a claim for insurance indemnity in the amount
of P1,903,335.39.

W/N victim is guilty of contributory negligence.


ISSUE:
W/N petitioner is absolved from liability by the fact that
he was no longer the owner of said vehicle.

W/N Loadmasters be legally considered as an Agent of


respondent Glodel.

HELD:
HELD:
The petition is without merit.
In this case, records show that when the accident
happened, the victim was standing on the shoulder,
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Based on the aforecited definition, Loadmasters is a


common carrier because it is engaged in the business of
transporting goods by land, through its trucking service.
Page 49

It is a common carrier as distinguished from a private


carrier wherein the carriage is generally undertaken by
special agreement and it does not hold itself out to carry
goods for the general public. The distinction is significant
in the sense that "the rights and obligations of the parties
to a contract of private carriage are governed principally
by their stipulations, not by the law on common carriers."
In the present case, there is no indication that the
undertaking in the contract between Loadmasters and
Glodel was private in character. There is no showing that
Loadmasters solely and exclusively rendered services to
Glodel.

the total damage suffered by R&B Insurance. Where


there are several causes for the resulting damages, a
party is not relieved from liability, even partially. It is
sufficient that the negligence of a party is an efficient
cause without which the damage would not have
resulted. It is no defense to one of the concurrent
tortfeasors that the damage would not have resulted
from his negligence alone, without the negligence or
wrongful acts of the other concurrent tortfeasor. As
stated in the case of Far Eastern Shipping v. Court of
Appeals,
. . . . Where several causes producing
an injury are concurrent and each is
an efficient cause without which the
injury would not have happened, the
injury may be attributed to all or any of
the causes and recovery may be had
against any or all of the responsible
persons
although
under
the
circumstances of the case, it may
appear that one of them was more
culpable, and that the duty owed by
them to the injured person was not the
same. No actor's negligence ceases
to be a proximate cause merely
because it does not exceed the
negligence of other actors. Each
wrongdoer is responsible for the entire
result and is liable as though his acts
were the sole cause of the injury.

In fact, Loadmasters admitted that it is a common


carrier.
With respect to the time frame of this extraordinary
responsibility, the Civil Code provides that the exercise
of extraordinary diligence lasts from the time the goods
are unconditionally placed in the possession of, and
received by, the carrier for transportation until the same
are delivered, actually or constructively, by the carrier to
the consignee, or to the person who has a right to
receive them.
Premises considered, the Court is of the view that both
Loadmasters and Glodel are jointly and severally liable
to R & B Insurance for the loss of the subject cargo.
Under Article 2194 of the New Civil Code, "the
responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a
quasi-delict is solidary."
Loadmasters' claim that it was never privy to the contract
entered into by Glodel with the consignee Columbia or
R&B Insurance as subrogee, is not a valid defense. It
may not have a direct contractual relation with Columbia,
but it is liable for tort under the provisions of Article 2176
of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts which expressly
provide:
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 quasidelict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.
In connection therewith, Article 2180 provides:
ART. 2180.The 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.
xxx xxx xxx
Employers shall be liable for the
damages caused by their employees
and household helpers acting within
the scope of their assigned tasks,
even though the former are not
engaged in any business or industry.
What then is the extent of the respective liabilities of
Loadmasters and Glodel? Each wrongdoer is liable for
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

There is no contribution between joint tortfeasors whose


liability is solidary since both of them are liable for the
total damage. Where the concurrent or successive
negligent acts or omissions of two or more persons,
although acting independently, are in combination the
direct and proximate cause of a single injury to a third
person, it is impossible to determine in what proportion
each contributed to the injury and either of them is
responsible for the whole injury. Where their
concurring negligence resulted in injury or damage to a
third party, they become joint tortfeasors and are
solidarily liable for the resulting damage under Article
2194 of the Civil Code.
b. Vicarious Liability
b.1. By parents
LIBI vs. IAC, GR No. 70880, Sept. 18, 1992
FACTS:
For more than two (2) years before their deaths, Julie
Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi were sweethearts until
December, 1978 when Julie Ann broke up her
relationship with Wendell after she supposedly found
him to be sadistic and irresponsible. During the first and
second weeks of January, 1979, Wendell kept pestering
Julie Ann with demands for reconciliation but the latter
persisted in her refusal, prompting the former to resort to
threats against her. In order to avoid him, Julie Ann
stayed in the house of her best friend, Malou Alfonso, at
the corner of Maria Cristina and Juana Osmea Streets,
Cebu City, from January 7 to 13, 1978.
Page 50

On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann and Wendell died, each


from a single gunshot wound inflicted with the same
firearm, a Smith and Wesson revolver licensed in the
name of petitioner Cresencio Libi, which was recovered
from the scene of the crime inside the residence of
private respondents at the corner of General Maxilom
and D. Jakosalem streets of the same city.

either crimes or quasi-delicts of their minor children, is


primary or subsidiary.

ISSUE:

Maria Teresa Cuadra, 12, and Maria Teresa Monfort, 13,


were classmates in Grade Six at the Mabini Elementary
School. On July 9, 1962 they were assigned to weed the
grass in the school premises. While thus engaged
Monfort found a plastic headband. Jokingly she said
aloud that she had found an earthworm and, evidently to
frighten Cuadra, tossed the object at her. At that precise
moment the latter turned around, and the object hit her
right eye. Smarting from the pain, she rubbed the injured
part and treated it with some powder. The next day, the
eye became swollen and had to undergo surgical
operation twice. Despite the medical efforts, however,
Maria Teresa Cuadra completely lost the sight of her
right eye.

W/N Article 2180 of the Civil Code was correctly


interpreted by respondent court to make petitioners
liable for vicarious liability.
HELD:
We believe that the civil liability of parents for quasidelicts of their minor children, as contemplated in Article
2180 of the Civil Code, is primary and not subsidiary. In
fact, if we apply Article 2194 of said code which provides
for solidary liability of joint tortfeasors, the persons
responsible for the act or omission, in this case the
minor and the father and, in case of his death of
incapacity, the mother, are solidarily liable. Accordingly,
such parental liability is primary and not subsidiary,
hence the last paragraph of Article 2180 provides that
"(t) he responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
prevent damages."
Thus, for civil liability ex quasi delicto of minors, Article
2182 of the Civil Code states that "(i)f the minor causing
damage has no parents or guardian, the minor . . . shall
be answerable with his own property in an action against
him where a guardian ad litem shall be appointed." For
civil liability ex delicto of minors, an equivalent provision
is found in the third paragraph of Article 101 of the
Revised Penal Code.
The civil liability of parents for felonies committed by
their minor children contemplated in the aforesaid rule in
Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to
Article 2180 of the Civil Code has, aside from the
aforecited case of Fuellas, been the subject of a number
of cases adjudicated by this Court, viz.: Exconde vs.
Capuno, et al., Araneta vs. Arreglado, Salen, et al. vs.
Balce, Paleyan, etc., et al. vs. Bangkili, et al., and
Elcano, et al, vs. Hill, et al. Parenthetically, the aforesaid
cases were basically on the issue of the civil liability of
parents for crimes committed by their minor children
over 9 but under 15 years of age, who acted with
discernment, and also of minors 15 years of age or over,
since these situations are not covered by Article 101,
Revised Penal Code. In both instances, this Court held
that the issue of parental civil liability should be resolved
in accordance with the provisions of Article 2180 of the
Civil Code for the reasons well expressed in Salen and
adopted in the cases hereinbefore enumerated that to
hold that the civil liability under Article 2180 would apply
only to quasi-delicts and not to criminal offenses would
result in the absurdity that in an act involving mere
negligence the parents would be liable but not where the
damage is caused with criminal intent. In said cases,
however, there are unfortunate variances resulting in a
regrettable inconsistency in the Court's determination of
whether the liability of the parents, in cases involving
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

CUADRA vs. MONFORT, GR No. L-24101, Sept. 30,


1970
FACTS:

The parents instituted a suit in behalf of their minor


daughter against Alfonso Monfort, Maria Teresa
Monfort's father. The RTC ruled in favor of plaintiff to
which the defendant appealed to SC on pure questions
of law.
ISSUE:
W/N Alfonso Monfort can be held liable for the acts of his
child which caused damage to the Cuadra daughter.
HELD:
The underlying basis of the liability imposed by Article
2176 is the fault or negligence accompanying the act or
the omission, there being no willfulness or intent to
cause damage thereby. When the act or omission is that
of one person for whom another is responsible, the latter
then becomes himself liable under Article 2180 under
the principle of vicarious liability. The presumption of
liability is merely prima facie and may therefore be
rebutted by proving that they observed all the diligence
of a good father of a family to prevent damage."
In the present case there is nothing from which it may be
inferred that the defendant could have prevented the
damage by the observance of due care, or that he was
in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental
authority in failing to foresee such damage, or the act
which caused it. On the contrary, his child was at school,
where it was his duty to send her and where she was
under the care and supervision of the teacher. And as
far as the act which caused the injury was concerned, it
was an innocent prank not unusual among children at
play and which no parent, however careful, would have
any special reason to anticipate much less guard
against. Nor did it reveal any mischievous propensity, or
indeed any trait in the child's character which would
reflect unfavorably on her upbringing and for which the
blame could be attributed to her parents.
TAMARGO vs. CA, GR No. 85044, June 3, 1992
Page 51

FACTS:
On 20 October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of
10 years of age, shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle
causing injuries which resulted in her death. Accordingly,
a complaint for damages was filed against respondent
spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc, Adelberto's natural
parents with whom he was living at the time of the tragic
incident.
Prior to the incident, or on 10 December 1981, the
spouses Rapisura had filed a petition to adopt the minor
Adelberto Bundoc. This petition for adoption was granted
on, 18 November 1982, that is, after Adelberto had shot
and killed Jennifer.
Respondent spouses Bundoc, reciting the result of the
foregoing petition for adoption, claimed that not they, but
rather the adopting parents, the spouses Rapisura, were
indispensable parties to the action since parental
authority had shifted to the adopting parents from the
moment the successful petition for adoption was filed.
Petitioners contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was
then actually living with his natural parents, parental
authority had not ceased nor been relinquished by the
mere filing and granting of a petition for adoption.
The trial court dismissed petitioners' complaint, ruling
that respondent natural parents of Adelberto indeed
were not indispensable parties to the action. The CA
dismissed the appeal having been filed out of time.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether the natural parents of Adelberto are liable for
the damages sustained by Jennifer Tamargo.
HELD:
This principle of parental liability is a specie of vicarious
liability or the doctrine of imputed negligence where a
person is not only liable for torts committed by himself,
but also for torts committed by others with whom he has
a certain relationship and for whom he is responsible.
Thus, parental liability is made a natural or logical
consequence of the duties and responsibilities of parents
their parental authority which includes the
instructing, controlling and disciplining of the child.
The civil law assumes that when an unemancipated child
living with its parents commits a tortious acts, the
parents were negligent in the performance of their legal
and natural duty closely to supervise the child who is in
their custody and control. The parental dereliction is, of
course, only presumed and the presumption can be
overturned under Article 2180 of the Civil Code by proof
that the parents had exercised all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent the damage.
In the instant case, the shooting of Jennifer by Adelberto
with an air rifle occured when parental authority was still
lodged in respondent Bundoc spouses, the natural
parents of the minor Adelberto. It would thus follow that
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

the natural parents who had then actual custody of the


minor Adelberto, are the indispensable parties to the suit
for damages.
We do not believe that parental authority is properly
regarded as having been retroactively transferred to and
vested in the adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses, at
the time the air rifle shooting happened. We do not
consider that retroactive effect may be given to the
decree of adoption so as to impose a liability upon the
adopting parents accruing at a time when adopting
parents had no actual or physically custody over the
adopted child. To hold that parental authority had been
retroactively lodged in the Rapisura spouses so as to
burden them with liability for a tortious act that they could
not have foreseen and which they could not have
prevented would be unfair and unconscionable.
Accordingly, we conclude that respondent Bundoc
spouses,
Adelberto's
natural
parents,
were
indispensable parties to the suit for damages brought by
petitioners, and that the dismissal by the trial court of
petitioners' complaint, the indispensable parties being
already before the court, constituted grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
b.2. By Guardians
ART. 217 (FC) - In case of foundlings, abandoned
neglected or abused children and other children similarly
situated, parental authority shall be entrusted in
summary judicial proceedings to heads of children's
homes, orphanages and similar institutions duly
accredited by the proper government agency. (314a)
b.3. By Owners and Managers of Establishments
SPS. VILORIA V. CONTINENTAL AIRLINES G.R. NO.
188288 JANUARY 16, 2012
FACTS:
On or about July 21, 1997 and while in the United
States, Fernando purchased for himself and his wife,
Lourdes, two (2) round trip airline tickets from San
Diego, California to Newark, New Jersey on board
Continental Airlines. Fernando purchased the tickets at
US$400.00 each from a travel agency called "Holiday
Travel" and was attended to by a certain Margaret
Mager (Mager). According to Spouses Viloria, Fernando
agreed to buy the said tickets after Mager informed them
that there were no available seats at Amtrak, an intercity
passenger train service provider in the United States.
Per the tickets, Spouses Viloria were scheduled to leave
for Newark on August 13, 1997 and return to San Diego
on August 21, 1997.
Subsequently, Fernando requested Mager to reschedule
their flight to Newark to an earlier date or August 6,
1997. Mager informed him that flights to Newark via
Continental Airlines were already fully booked and
offered the alternative of a round trip flight via Frontier
Air. Since flying with Frontier Air called for a higher fare
of US$526.00 per passenger and would mean traveling
by night, Fernando opted to request for a refund. Mager,
Page 52

however, denied his request as the subject tickets are


non-refundable and the only option that Continental
Airlines can offer is the re-issuance of new tickets within
one (1) year from the date the subject tickets were
issued. Fernando decided to reserve two (2) seats with
Frontier Air.
As he was having second thoughts on traveling via
Frontier Air, Fernando went to the Greyhound Station
where he saw an Amtrak station nearby. Fernando made
inquiries and was told that there are seats available and
he can travel on Amtrak anytime and any day he
pleased. Fernando then purchased two (2) tickets for
Washington, D.C.
From Amtrak, Fernando went to Holiday Travel and
confronted Mager with the Amtrak tickets, telling her that
she had misled them into buying the Continental Airlines
tickets by misrepresenting that Amtrak was already fully
booked. Fernando reiterated his demand for a refund but
Mager was firm in her position that the subject tickets
are non-refundable.
Upon returning to the Philippines, Fernando sent a letter
to CAI on February 11, 1998, demanding a refund and
alleging that Mager had deluded them into purchasing
the subject tickets.
In a letter dated February 24, 1998, Continental
Micronesia informed Fernando that his complaint had
been referred to the Customer Refund Services of
Continental Airlines at Houston, Texas.
In a letter dated March 24, 1998, Continental Micronesia
denied Fernando's request for a refund and advised him
that he may take the subject tickets to any Continental
ticketing location for the re-issuance of new tickets within
two (2) years from the date they were issued.
Continental Micronesia informed Fernando that the
subject tickets may be used as a form of payment for the
purchase of another Continental ticket, albeit with a reissuance fee.
On June 17, 1999, Fernando went to Continental's
ticketing office at Ayala Avenue, Makati City to have the
subject tickets replaced by a single round trip ticket to
Los Angeles, California under his name. Therein,
Fernando was informed that Lourdes' ticket was nontransferable, thus, cannot be used for the purchase of a
ticket in his favor. He was also informed that a round trip
ticket to Los Angeles was US$1,867.40 so he would
have to pay what will not be covered by the value of his
San Diego to Newark round trip ticket. aTSEcA
In a letter dated June 21, 1999, Fernando demanded for
the refund of the subject tickets as he no longer wished
to have them replaced. In addition to the dubious
circumstances under which the subject tickets were
issued, Fernando claimed that CAI's act of charging him
with US$1,867.40 for a round trip ticket to Los Angeles,
which other airlines priced at US$856.00, and refusal to
allow him to use Lourdes' ticket, breached its
undertaking under its March 24, 1998 letter.
ISSUE:
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Is CAI bound by the acts of Holiday Travels agents and


employees such as Mager?
HELD:
In actions based on quasi-delict, a principal can
only be held liable for the tort committed by its
agent's employees if it has been established by
preponderance of evidence that the principal
was also at fault or negligent or that the principal
exercise control and supervision over them.
Considering that Holiday Travel is CAI's agent, does it
necessarily follow that CAI is liable for the fault or
negligence of Holiday Travel's employees? Citing China
Air Lines, Ltd. v. Court of Appeals, et al., CAI argues that
it cannot be held liable for the actions of the employee of
its ticketing agent in the absence of an employeremployee relationship.
An examination of this Court's pronouncements in China
Air Lines will reveal that an airline company is not
completely exonerated from any liability for the tort
committed by its agent's employees. A prior
determination of the nature of the passenger's cause of
action is necessary. If the passenger's cause of action
against the airline company is premised on culpa
aquiliana or quasi-delict for a tort committed by the
employee of the airline company's agent, there must be
an independent showing that the airline company was at
fault or negligent or has contributed to the negligence or
tortuous conduct committed by the employee of its
agent. The mere fact that the employee of the airline
company's agent has committed a tort is not sufficient to
hold the airline company liable. There is no vinculum
juris between the airline company and its agent's
employees and the contractual relationship between the
airline company and its agent does not operate to create
a juridical tie between the airline company and its
agent's employees. Article 2180 of the Civil Code does
not make the principal vicariously liable for the tort
committed by its agent's employees and the principalagency relationship per se does not make the principal a
party to such tort; hence, the need to prove the
principal's own fault or negligence.
On the other hand, if the passenger's cause of action for
damages against the airline company is based on
contractual breach or culpa contractual, it is not
necessary that there be evidence of the airline
company's fault or negligence. As this Court previously
stated in China Air Lines and reiterated in Air France vs.
Gillego, "in an action based on a breach of contract of
carriage, the aggrieved party does not have to prove that
the common carrier was at fault or was negligent. All that
he has to prove is the existence of the contract and the
fact of its non-performance by the carrier."
Spouses Viloria's cause of action on the basis of
Mager's alleged fraudulent misrepresentation is clearly
one of tort or quasi-delict, there being no pre-existing
contractual relationship between them. Therefore, it was
incumbent upon Spouses Viloria to prove that CAI was
equally at fault.
However, the records are devoid of any evidence by
which CAI's alleged liability can be substantiated. Apart
from their claim that CAI must be held liable for Mager's
supposed fraud because Holiday Travel is CAI's agent,
Spouses Viloria did not present evidence that CAI was a
party or had contributed to Mager's complained act
Page 53

either by instructing or authorizing Holiday Travel and


Mager to issue the said misrepresentation.

to prove the negative averment. This


Court said:

It may seem unjust at first glance that CAI would


consider Spouses Viloria bound by the terms and
conditions of the subject contracts, which Mager entered
into with them on CAI's behalf, in order to deny Spouses
Viloria's request for a refund or Fernando's use of
Lourdes' ticket for the re-issuance of a new one, and
simultaneously claim that they are not bound by Mager's
supposed misrepresentation for purposes of avoiding
Spouses Viloria's claim for damages and maintaining the
validity of the subject contracts. It may likewise be
argued that CAI cannot deny liability as it benefited from
Mager's acts, which were performed in compliance with
Holiday Travel's obligations as CAI's agent.

"It is an old and well-settled


rule of the courts that the
burden of proving the action is
upon the plaintiff, and that if
he fails satisfactorily to show
the facts upon which he bases
his claim, the defendant is
under no obligation to prove
his exceptions. This [rule] is in
harmony with the provisions
of Section 297 of the Code of
Civil Procedure holding that
each party must prove his
own affirmative allegations,
etc." (citations omitted)

However, a person's vicarious liability is anchored on his


possession of control, whether absolute or limited, on
the tortfeasor. Without such control, there is nothing
which could justify extending the liability to a person
other than the one who committed the tort. As this Court
explained in Cangco v. Manila Railroad Co.:
With respect to extra-contractual
obligation arising from negligence,
whether of act or omission, it is
competent for the legislature to elect
and our Legislature has so elected
to limit such liability to cases in
which the person upon whom such an
obligation is imposed is morally
culpable or, on the contrary, for
reasons of public policy, to extend
that liability, without regard to the
lack of moral culpability, so as to
include responsibility for the
negligence of those persons whose
acts or omissions are imputable, by
a legal fiction, to others who are in
a position to exercise an absolute
or limited control over them. The
legislature which adopted our Civil
Code has elected to limit extracontractual liability with certain
well-defined exceptions to cases in
which moral culpability can be directly
imputed to the persons to be charged.
This moral responsibility may consist
in having failed to exercise due care in
one's own acts, or in having failed to
exercise due care in the selection and
control of one's agent or servants, or
in the control of persons who, by
reasons of their status, occupy a
position of dependency with respect to
the person made liable for their
conduct. (emphasis supplied)
It is incumbent upon Spouses Viloria to prove that CAI
exercised control or supervision over Mager by
preponderant evidence. The existence of control or
supervision cannot be presumed and CAI is under no
obligation to prove its denial or nugatory assertion. Citing
Belen v. Belen, this Court ruled in Jayme v. Apostol,
that:
In Belen v. Belen, this Court ruled that
it was enough for defendant to deny
an alleged employment relationship.
The defendant is under no obligation
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Therefore, without a modicum of evidence that CAI


exercised control over Holiday Travel's employees or
that CAI was equally at fault, no liability can be imposed
on CAI for Mager's supposed misrepresentation.
PHIL. RABBIT LINES, INC. vs. PHIL-AMERICAN
FORWARDERS, INC. G.R. No. L-25142 March 25,
1975
FACTS:
On November 24, 1962, Pineda drove recklessly a
freight truck, owned by Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.,
along the national highway at Sto. Tomas, Pampanga.
The truck bumped the bus driven by Pangalangan,
which was owned by Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc.
As a result of the bumping, Pangalangan suffered
injuries and the bus was damaged. Balingit was the
manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.
As a result of the incident, a complaint for damages was
filed against Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., Balingit and
Pineda. The CFI dismissed the case as to Balingit citing
that the latter was not the manager of an establishment
contemplated in article 2180 of the Civil Code.
ISSUE:
What is the meaning of manager as used in Art.2180 of
the NCC?
HELD:
The Civil Code provides:
ART. 2180. The 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.
xxx xxx xxx
The owners and managers of an establishment or
enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused
by their employees in the service of the branches in
which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their
functions.

Page 54

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by


their employees and household helpers acting within the
scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former
are not engaged in any business or industry.
xxx xxx xxx
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
prevent damage. (1903a)
We are of the opinion that the term manager does not
include the manager of a corporation. It may be gathered
from the context of article 2180 that the term "manager"
("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of
"employer".
Hence, under the allegations of the complaint, no
tortious or quasi-delictual liability can be fastened on
Balingit as manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.,
in connection with the vehicular accident already
mentioned because he himself may be regarded as an
employee or dependiente of his employer, Phil-American
Forwarders, Inc.
CASTILEX INDUSTRIAL CORP. vs. VASQUEZ G.R.
No. 132266 December 21, 1999
FACTS:
On 28 August 1988, at around 1:30 to 2:00 in the
morning, Vasquez, was driving a Honda motorcycle
around Fuente Osmea Rotunda. He was traveling
counter-clockwise, (the normal flow of traffic in a
rotunda) but only carrying a Student's Permit to Drive at
the time. Upon the other hand, Benjamin Abad was
manager of Appellant Castilex Industrial Corporation,
registered owner of a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up. On the
same date and time, Abad drove the said company car
out of a parking lot but instead of going around the
Osmea rotunda he made a short cut against the flow of
the traffic in proceeding to his route to General Maxilom
St. or to Belvic St.
In the process, the motorcycle of Vasquez and the pickup of Abad collided with each other causing severe
injuries to the former. Abad stopped his vehicle and
brought Vasquez to the Southern Islands Hospital and
later to the Cebu Doctor's hospital where he died a few
days after.
An action for damages was commenced by the parents
of the deceased against Abad and Castilex. The trial
court ruled in favor of private respondents. Upon appeal,
the CA affirmed the ruling of the trial court holding ABAD
and CASTILEX liable but held that the liability of the
latter is "only vicarious and not solidary" with the former.
ISSUE:
Whether an employer may be held vicariously liable for
the death resulting from the negligent operation by a
managerial employee of a company-issued vehicle.
HELD:
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Under the fifth paragraph of Article 2180, whether or not


engaged in any business or industry, an employer is
liable for the torts committed by employees within the
scope of his assigned tasks. But it is necessary to
establish the employer-employee relationship; once this
is done, the plaintiff must show, to hold the employer
liable, that the employee was acting within the scope of
his assigned task when the tort complained of was
committed. It is only then that the employer may find it
necessary to interpose the defense of due diligence in
the selection and supervision of the employee.
The court a quo and the Court of Appeals were one in
holding that the driving by a manager of a companyissued vehicle is within the scope of his assigned tasks
regardless of the time and circumstances.
We do not agree. The mere fact that ABAD was using a
service vehicle at the time of the injurious incident is not
of itself sufficient to charge petitioner with liability for the
negligent operation of said vehicle unless it appears that
he was operating the vehicle within the course or scope
of his employment.
In the case at bar, it is undisputed that ABAD did some
overtime work at the petitioner's office, which was
located in Cabangcalan, Mandaue City. Thereafter, he
went to Goldie's Restaurant in Fuente Osmea, Cebu
City where he had snacks with friends. It was when
ABAD was leaving the restaurant that the incident in
question occurred. A witness then testified that at the
time of the incident, ABAD was with a woman inside his
car.
To the mind of this Court, ABAD was engaged in affairs
of his own not in line with his duties at the time he
figured in a vehicular accident which was about 2:00
a.m. of 28 August 1988. ABAD's working day had
ended; his overtime work had already been completed.
His being at a place which, as petitioner put it, was
known as a "haven for prostitutes, pimps, and drug
pushers and addicts," had no connection to petitioner's
business; neither had it any relation to his duties as a
manager.
Since there is paucity of evidence that ABAD was acting
within the scope of the functions entrusted to him,
petitioner CASTILEX had no duty to show that it
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
providing ABAD with a service vehicle. Thus, justice and
equity require that petitioner be relieved of vicarious
liability for the consequences of the negligence of ABAD
in driving its vehicle.
b.4. By Employers
MAMARIL V. BOY SCOUT OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R.
NO. 179382 JANUARY 14, 2013
FACTS:
Spouses Benjamin C. Mamaril and Sonia P. Mamaril
(Sps. Mamaril) are jeepney operators since 1971. They
would park their six (6) passenger jeepneys every night
at the Boy Scout of the Philippines' (BSP) compound
Page 55

located at 181 Concepcion Street, Malate, Manila for a


fee of P300.00 per month for each unit. On May 26,
1995 at 8 o'clock in the evening, all these vehicles were
parked inside the BSP compound. The following
morning, however, one of the vehicles with Plate No.
DCG 392 was missing and was never recovered.
According to the security guards Cesario Pea (Pea)
and Vicente Gaddi (Gaddi) of AIB Security Agency, Inc.
(AIB) with whom BSP had contracted for its security and
protection, a male person who looked familiar to them
took the subject vehicle out of the compound.
ISSUE:
W/N Boy Scout of the Philippines can be held liable as
an employer.
HELD:
The petition lacks merit.
Article 20 of the Civil Code provides that every person,
who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes
damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the
same. Similarly, Article 2176 of the Civil Code states:
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 preexisting contractual relation between the
parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.
In this case, it is undisputed that the proximate cause of
the loss of Sps. Mamaril's vehicle was the negligent act
of security guards Pea and Gaddi in allowing an
unidentified person to drive out the subject vehicle.
Proximate cause has been defined as that cause, which,
in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury or loss,
and without which the result would not have occurred.
Moreover, Pea and Gaddi failed to refute Sps.
Mamaril's contention that they readily admitted being at
fault during the investigation that ensued.
On the other hand, the records are bereft of any finding
of negligence on the part of BSP. Hence, no reversible
error was committed by the CA in absolving it from any
liability for the loss of the subject vehicle based on fault
or negligence.
Neither will the vicarious liability of an employer under
Article 2180 of the Civil Code apply in this case. It is
uncontested that Pea and Gaddi were assigned as
security guards by AIB to BSP pursuant to the Guard
Service Contract. Clearly, therefore, no employeremployee relationship existed between BSP and the
security guards assigned in its premises. Consequently,
the latter's negligence cannot be imputed against BSP
but should be attributed to AIB, the true employer of
Pea and Gaddi.
In the case of Soliman, Jr. v. Tuazon, the Court
enunciated thus:
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

It is settled that where the security agency, as here,


recruits, hires and assigns the work of its watchmen or
security guards, the agency is the employer of such
guards and watchmen. Liability for illegal or harmful acts
committed by the security guards attaches to the
employer agency, and not to the clients or customers of
such agency. As a general rule, a client or customer of a
security agency has no hand in selecting who among the
pool of security guards or watchmen employed by the
agency shall be assigned to it; the duty to observe the
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection of
the guards cannot, in the ordinary course of events, be
demanded from the client whose premises or property
are protected by the security guards. The fact that a
client company may give instructions or directions to the
security guards assigned to it, does not, by itself, render
the client responsible as an employer of the security
guards concerned and liable for their wrongful acts or
omissions. Those instructions or directions are ordinarily
no more than requests commonly envisaged in the
contract for services entered into with the security
agency.
BALIWAG TRANSIT INC. vs. CA G.R. No. 116624
September 20, 1996
FACTS:
On 2 November 1990, petitioner's Baliwag Transit Bus
No. 117 was driven by Juanito Fidel to its terminal for
repair of its brake system. Fidel told mechanic Mario
Dionisio to inform the headman about the matters so that
proper order to the mechanics could be made. Fidel then
alighted from the bus and told the gasman to fill up the
gas tank.
Shortly after, Fidel returned to the bus and sat on the
driver's seat. Suddenly the bus moved; he felt something
was hit. When he went down to investigate he saw Mario
Dionisio lying on the ground bleeding and convulsive,
sandwiched between Bus No. 117 and another bus
parked thereat. Mario Dionisio was rushed to the
hospital but died a few days after.
Thereafter a complaint for damages was lodged by
private respondents Divina Vda. de Dionisio, for herself
and in behalf of her minor children. The trial court
rendered a decision in favor of private respondents.
Upon appeal, the CA affirmed the decision. Hence, this
petition.
ISSUE:
W/N Baliwag Transit is liable solidarily with Fidel for the
death of Dionisio.
HELD:
The petition must fail. The circumstances clearly show
that the proximate cause of the death of Dionisio was the
negligence of driver Fidel when he failed to take the
necessary precaution to prevent the accident. Driver
Fidel should have parked the bus properly and safely.
After alighting from the bus to tell the gasman to fill the
tank, he should have placed a stopper or any hard object
Page 56

against a tire or two of the bus. But without taking the


necessary precaution he boarded Bus No. 117 causing it
to move and roll, pinning down the deceased which
resulted in his eventual death. The reckless imprudence
of Fidel makes him liable to the heirs of offended party
for damages together with his employer.
When an injury is caused by the negligence of an
employee there instantly arises a presumption of the law
that there was negligence on the part of the employer
either in the selection of his employee or in the selection
of his employee or in the supervision over him after such
selection. The presumption however may be rebutted by
a clear showing on the part of the employer that it had
exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of his employee.
Hence, to escape solidary liability for quasi-delict
committed by an employee, the employer must adduce
sufficient proof that it exercised such degree of care.
Petitioner's failure to prove that it exercised the due
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of its driver Juanito Fidel will make it
solidarily liable with the latter for damages caused by
him.
ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL vs. CA, G.R. No. 82465
February 25, 1991
FACTS:
Ferdinand Castillo, then a freshman student of Section
1-C at the St. Francis High School, joined a school picnic
undertaken by Class I-B and Class I-C at Talaan Beach,
Sariaya, Quezon.
During the picnic and while the students were in the
water, one of the female teachers was apparently
drowning. Some of the students, including Ferdinand,
came to her rescue, but in the process, it was Ferdinand
himself who drowned. His body was recovered but
efforts to resuscitate him ashore failed.
Thereupon, respondent spouses filed a complaint for
damages against the St. Francis High School and the
teachers, contending that the death of their son was due
to the failure of the petitioners to exercise the proper
diligence of a good father of the family in preventing their
son's drowning.
The trial court found in favor of the respondents but
absolved the school from liability. The CA, upon appeal,
ruled in favor of respondents and held the school liable
under the doctrine in Art. 2180 of the NCC.
ISSUE:
W/N St. Francis High School is liable for the death of
Ferdinand Castillo by applying Art. 2180 of the NCC.

Hence, it cannot be said that they are guilty at all of any


negligence. Consequently they cannot be held liable for
damages of any kind.
Article 2180, par. 4 states that:
The 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.
xxx xxx xxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused
by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
though the former are not engaged in any business
or industry.
Under this paragraph, it is clear that before an employer
may be held liable for the negligence of his employee,
the act or omission which caused damage or prejudice
must have occurred while an employee was in the
performance of his assigned tasks.
In the case at bar, the teachers were not in the actual
performance of their assigned tasks. The incident
happened not within the school premises, not on a
school day and most importantly while the teachers and
students were holding a purely private affair, a picnic.
This picnic had no permit from the school head or its
principal because this picnic is not a school sanctioned
activity neither is it considered as an extra-curricular
activity.
As earlier pointed out by the trial court, mere knowledge
by the principal of the planning of the picnic by the
students and their teachers does not in any way or in
any manner show acquiescence or consent to the
holding of the same. The application therefore of Article
2180 has no basis in law and neither is it supported by
any jurisprudence.
Finally, no negligence could be attributable to the
petitioners-teachers to warrant the award of damages to
the respondents-spouses. Petitioners Connie Arquio the
class adviser of I-C, the section where Ferdinand
belonged, did her best and exercised diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent any untoward incident or
damages to all the students who joined the picnic. In
fact, Connie invited co-petitioners Tirso de Chavez and
Luisito Vinas who are both P.E. instructors and scout
masters who have knowledge in First Aid application and
swimming. The records also show that both petitioners
Chavez and Vinas did all what is humanly possible to
save the child.
FILAMER CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE vs. CA, G.R. No.
75112 October 16, 1990

HELD:
FACTS:
The petition is impressed with merit. In the instant case,
petitioners are neither guilty of their own negligence nor
guilty of the negligence of those under them.

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Private respondent Potenciano Kapunan, Sr., an 82-year


old retired schoolteacher, was struck by the Pinoy jeep
owned by petitioner Filamer and driven by its alleged
Page 57

employee, Funtecha, as Kapunan, Sr. was walking along


Roxas Avenue, Roxas City at 6:30 in the evening of
October 20, 1977. As a result of the accident, Kapunan,
Sr. suffered multiple injuries for which he was
hospitalized.
Funtecha, who only had a student driver's permit, was
driving after having persuaded Allan Masa, the
authorized driver, to turn over the wheels to him. The
two fled from the scene after the incident.
Kapunan, Sr. commenced a civil case for damages. The
trial court rendered judgment finding not only petitioner
Filamer and Funtecha to be at fault but also Allan Masa,
a non-party to the case. The Appellate Court affirmed
the trial court's decision in toto.
ISSUE:
W/N the term "employer" as used in Article 2180 is
applicable to petitioner Filamer with reference to
Funtecha.
HELD:
It is petitioner Filamer's basic contention that it cannot be
held responsible for the tortious act of Funtecha on the
ground that there is no existing employer-employee
relationship between them. We agree.
In disclaiming liability, petitioner Filamer has invoked the
provisions of the Labor Code, 7 specifically Section 14,
Rule X of Book III which reads:
Sec. 14.Working scholars. There is no
employer-employee relationship between students
on the one hand, and schools, colleges or
universities on the other, where students work for
the latter in exchange for the privilege to study free
of charge; provided the students are given real
opportunity, including such facilities as may be
reasonable, necessary to finish their chosen court
under such arrangement.
It is manifest that under the just-quoted provision of law,
petitioner Filamer cannot be considered as Funtecha's
employer. Funtecha belongs to that special category of
students who render service to the school in exchange
for free tuition Funtecha worked for petitioner for two
hours daily for five days a week. He was assigned to
clean the school passageways from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00
a.m. with sufficient time to prepare for his 7:30 a.m.
classes. As admitted by Agustin Masa in open court,
Funtecha was not included in the company payroll.
But even if we were to concede the status of an
employee on Funtecha, still the primary responsibility for
his wrongdoing cannot be imputed to petitioner Filamer
for the plain reason that at the time of the accident, it has
been satisfactorily shown that Funtecha was not acting
within the scope of his supposed employment. His duty
was to sweep the school passages for two hours every
morning before his regular classes. Taking the wheels of
the jeep from the authorized driver and then driving the
vehicle in a reckless manner resulting in multiple injuries
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

to a third person were certainly not within the ambit of


his assigned tasks. It is but fair therefore that Funtecha
should bear the full brunt of his tortious negligence.
YAMBAO vs. ZUIGA, G.R. No. 146173. December 11,
2003
FACTS:
Petitioner Yambao is the registered owner of Lady Cecil
and Rome Trans passenger bus. On May 6, 1992, the
bus owned by the petitioner was being driven by
Venturina along EDSA. Suddenly, the bus bumped
Zuiga, a pedestrian. Zuiga thereafter died despite being
given medical attention.
Private respondents, as legal heirs of Zuiga, filed a
Complaint against petitioner and her driver, Venturina,
for damages. Both the trial court and the CA ruled in
favor of private respondents. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether petitioner exercised the diligence of a good
father of a family in the selection and supervision of her
employees, thus absolving her from any liability.
HELD:
Petitioners claim that she exercised due diligence in the
selection and supervision of her driver deserves but
scant consideration. Her allegation that before she hired
Venturina she required him to submit his drivers license
and clearances is worthless, in view of her failure to offer
in evidence certified true copies of said license and
clearances. Moreover, as the court a quo aptly
observed, petitioner contradicts herself. She declared
that Venturina applied with her sometime in January
1992 and she then required him to submit his license
and clearances. However, the record likewise shows that
she did admit that Venturina submitted the said
requirements only on May 6, 1992, or on the very day of
the fatal accident itself. In other words, petitioners own
admissions clearly and categorically show that she did
not exercise due diligence in the selection of her bus
driver.
In any case, assuming arguendo that Venturina did
submit his license and clearances when he applied with
petitioner, the latter still fails the test of due diligence in
the selection of her bus driver. Petitioner failed to
present convincing proof that she went to the extent of
verifying Venturinas qualifications, safety record, and
driving history. The presumption juris tantum that there
was negligence in the selection of her bus driver, thus,
remains unrebutted.
Nor did petitioner show that she exercised due
supervision over Venturina after his selection. Petitioner
did not present any proof that she drafted and
implemented training programs and guidelines on road
safety for her employees. In fact, the record is bare of
any showing that petitioner required Venturina to attend
periodic seminars on road safety and traffic efficiency.
Hence, petitioner cannot claim exemption from any
liability arising from the recklessness or negligence of
Venturina.

Page 58

In sum, petitioners liability to private respondents for the


negligent and imprudent acts of her driver, Venturina,
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code is both manifest and
clear.
SYKI vs. BEGASA, G.R. No. 149149
2003

October 23,

FACTS:
On June 22, 1992, respondent Salvador Begasa and his
three companions flagged down a passenger jeepney
driven by Espina and owned by Pisuena. While
respondent was boarding the passenger jeepney (his
right foot already inside while his left foot still on the
boarding step of the passenger jeepney), a truck driven
by Sablayan and owned by petitioner Syki bumped the
rear end of the passenger jeepney. Respondent fell and
fractured his left thigh bone.
Respondent filed a complaint for damages for breach of
common carriers contractual obligations and quasi-delict
against Pisuena, the owner of the passenger jeepney;,
herein petitioner Syki, the owner of the truck;, and
Sablayan, the driver of the truck.
The trial court dismissed the complaint against Pisuena
but ordered petitioner Syki and Sablayan, to pay
respondent Begasa, jointly and severally, actual and
moral damages plus attorneys fees. The CA affirmed
the decision in toto.

without doubt, insufficient to overcome the legal


presumption that petitioner was negligent in the selection
and supervision of his driver. Accordingly, we affirm the
ruling of the Court of Appeals that petitioner is liable for
the injuries suffered by respondent.
AGUILA vs. BALDOVISO, G.R. No. 163186 February
28, 2007
FACTS:
On April 19, 1993, Lisbos was driving, along EDSA in
Caloocan City, a van, registered under the name of
petitioner Reyes. The van sideswiped Fausto who was
walking along the pedestrian lane and crossing EDSA.
Fausto fell on the pavement and suffered injuries, and
was brought to the hospital but subsequently died.
Faustos wife, Carmen R. Baldovizo, and children filed
before the RTC a complaint for damages against Lisbos,
Reyes, Emerlito F. Aguila, the actual operator and
possessor of the van, and Times Surety and Insurance
Company, the insurer of the van under a third-party
liability insurance contract.
The trial court ruled in favor of respondents. The CA
denied the appeal ruling that Reyes and Aguila has lost
their right to appeal.
ISSUE:

ISSUE:

Do the petitioners have the right to appeal the amended


decision after the original decision had become final and
executory?

W/N petitioner exercised due diligence of a good father


in the selection and supervision of his employees as to
absolve him from liability.

HELD:
We find petitioners contentions devoid of merit.

HELD:
The petition has no merit.
Petitioners attempt to prove its "deligentissimi patris
familias" in the selection and supervision of employees
through oral evidence must fail as it was unable to
buttress the same with any other evidence, object or
documentary, which might obviate the apparent biased
nature of the testimony.
Petitioner testified that before he hired Sablayan, he
required him to submit a police clearance in order to
determine if he was ever involved in any vehicular
accident. He also required Sablayan to undergo a driving
test with conducted by his mechanic, Esteban Jaca.
Petitioners mechanic, Esteban Jaca, on the other hand,
testified that Sablayan passed the driving test and had
never figured in any vehicular accident except the one in
question.
Petitioner, however, never presented the alleged police
clearance given to him by Sablayan, nor the results of
Sablayans driving test. Petitioner also did not present
records of the regular inspections that his mechanic
allegedly conducted. The unsubstantiated and selfserving testimonies of petitioner and his mechanic are,
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

While the Resolution dated August 13, 2001, correcting


the March 7, 2000 Decision, stated that the name of
Lisbos was inadvertently included in the dispositive
portion, hence, said name was ordered stricken off, the
ensuing Amended Decision rendered on August 13,
2001 is null and void because any amendment or
alteration made which substantially affects the final and
executory judgment is null and void.
Besides, it is not necessary to amend the original
decision holding the petitioners, Lisbos, and the
insurance company solidarily liable. In an action based
on quasi-delict, the liability of the employer is direct and
primary, subject to the defense of due diligence in the
selection and supervision of the employee. Thus, even if
the driver was included albeit not served with summons,
petitioners are directly and primarily liable. Thus,
petitioners Aguila and Reyes as employer and registered
owner or possessor-operator of the van, respectively,
are solidarily liable in accordance with Article 2180 in
relation to Articles 2184 and 2194 of the Civil Code.
SPS. JAYME vs. APOSTOL, G.R. No. 163609
November 27, 2008
FACTS:
Page 59

On February 5, 1989, Mayor Miguel of Koronadal, South


Cotabato was on board the Isuzu pick-up truck driven by
Fidel Lozano, an employee of the Municipality. The pickup truck was registered under the name of Rodrigo
Apostol, but it was then in the possession of Ernesto
Simbulan.
The pick-up truck accidentally hit Marvin C. Jayme, a
minor, who was then crossing the National Highway in
Poblacion, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Marvin sustained severe head injuries. Despite medical
attention, Marvin expired six (6) days after the accident.
Petitioners spouses Jayme, the parents of Marvin, filed a
complaint for damages against respondents.
The RTC ruled in favor of petitioners. However, the CA
absolved Miguel from liability upon appeal, citing that the
latter was not the employer of Lozano. Hence, this
petition.
ISSUE:
May a municipal mayor be held solidarily liable for the
negligent acts of the driver assigned to him, which
resulted in the death of a minor pedestrian?
HELD:
The doctrine of vicarious liability or imputed liability finds
no application in the present case.
To sustain claims against employers for the acts of their
employees, the following requisites must be established:
(1) That the employee was chosen by the employer
personally or through another; (2) That the service to be
rendered in accordance with orders which the employer
has the authority to give at all times; and (3) That the
illicit act of the employee was on the occasion or by
reason of the functions entrusted to him.
Furthermore, the employer-employee relationship cannot
be assumed. It is incumbent upon the plaintiff to prove
the relationship by preponderant evidence
In resolving the present controversy, it is imperative to
find out if Mayor Miguel is, indeed, the employer of
Lozano and therefore liable for the negligent acts of the
latter. To determine the existence of an employment
relationship, We rely on the four-fold test. This involves:
(1) the employer's power of selection; (2) payment of
wages or other remuneration; (3) the employer's right to
control the method of doing the work; and (4) the
employer's right of suspension or dismissal.
Applying the foregoing test, it was the Municipality of
Koronadal which was the lawful employer of Lozano at
the time of the accident. It is uncontested that Lozano
was employed as a driver by the municipality. That he
was subsequently assigned to Mayor Miguel during the
time of the accident is of no moment.
Even assuming arguendo that Mayor Miguel had
authority to give instructions or directions to Lozano, he
still can not be held liable. Mere giving of directions to
the driver does not establish that the passenger has
control over the vehicle.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Verily, liability attaches to the registered owner, the


negligent driver and his direct employer.
Compare: Subsidiary Liability under Art. 103 of the
RPC
SPS. FRANCO vs. IAC, G.R. No. 71137 October 5,
1989
FACTS:
On October 18, 1974, Macario Yuro swerved the
northbound Franco Bus he was driving to the left to
avoid hitting a truck parked along the cemented
pavement of the MacArthur Highway at Barrio Talaga,
Capas Tarlac, thereby taking the lane of an incoming
Isuzu Mini Bus driven by one Magdaleno Lugue and
making a collision between the two vehicles an
unavoidable and disastrous eventuality.
The collision resulted in the deaths of the two drivers
and two passengers of the mini bus, Romeo Bue and
Fernando Chuay.
Consequently, Antonio Reyes, the registered owner of
the Isuzu Mini Bus, Mrs. Susan Chuay, the wife of victim
Fernando Chuay, and Mrs. Lolita Lugue, the wife of
driver-victim Magdaleno Lugue, filed an action for
damages.
The trial court in its decision said that the act of the
Franco Bus driver was a negligent act punishable by law
resulting in a civil obligation arising from Article 103 of
the Revised Penal Code and not from Article 2180 of the
Civil Code. Said decision was affirmed by the IAC.
ISSUE:
Whether the action for recovery of damages instituted by
herein private respondents was predicated upon crime
or quasi-delict.
HELD:
We find merit in this contention. Distinction should be
made between the subsidiary liability of the employer
under the RPC and the employer's primary liability under
the NCC which is quasi-delictual or tortious in character.
The first type of liability is governed by Article 103 of the
Revised Penal Code which provide as follows:
Art. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. The
subsidiary liability established in the next preceding
article shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons,
and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for
felonies committed by the servants, pupils, workmen,
apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their
duties;
While the second kind is governed by Articles 2176,
2177 and 2180 of the Civil Code.
Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, liability
originates from a delict committed by the employee who
is primarily liable therefor and upon whose primary
liability his employer's subsidiary liability is to be based.
Page 60

Before the employer's subsidiary liability may be


proceeded against, it is imperative that there should be a
criminal action whereby the employee's criminal
negligence or delict and corresponding liability therefor
are proved. If no criminal action was instituted, the
employer's liability would not be predicated under Article
103.
In the case at bar, no criminal action was instituted.
Thus, petitioners' subsidiary liability has no leg to stand
on considering that their liability is merely secondary to
their employee's primary liability. Logically therefore,
recourse under this remedy is not possible.
To hold the employer liable under Article 103 of the RPC
sans prior conviction is erroneous. It is erroneous
because the conviction of the employee primarily liable
is a condition sine qua non for the employer's subsidiary
liability and, at the same time, absurd because we will be
faced with a situation where the employer is held
subsidiarily liable even without a primary liability being
previously established.
Thus the present case must be decided on the basis of
civil liability of the employer as a result of the tortious act
of its employee and not subsidiary liability under Art. 103
of the RPC.
BERMUDEZ vs. HON. MELENCIO-HERRERA, G.R.
No. L-32055 February 26, 1988
FACTS:
A cargo truck, driven by Pontino and owned by Cordova
Ng Sun Kwan, bumped a jeep on which Rogelio, a sixyear old son of plaintiffs-appellants, was riding. The boy
sustained injuries which caused his death. As a result, a
criminal case filed against Pontino. Plaintiffs-appellants
filed in the said criminal case "A Reservation to File
Separate Civil Action."
On July 28,1969, the plaintiffs-appellants filed a civil
case for damages. Finding that the plaintiffs instituted
the action "on the assumption that defendant Pontino's
negligence constituted a quasi-delict," the trial court
stated that plaintiffs had already elected to treat the
accident as a "crime" by reserving in the criminal case
their right to file a separate civil action. That being so,
the trial court decided to order the dismissal of the
complaint against defendant Cordova Ng Sun Kwan and
to suspend the hearing of the case against Pontino until
after the criminal case is finally terminated. Hence, this
appeal.
ISSUE:
Whether the civil action filed by the plaintiffs-appellants
is founded on crime or on quasi-delict.
HELD:
We find the appeal meritorious.
To begin with, obligations arise from law, contract, quasicontract, crime and quasi-delict. According to appellant,
her action is one to enforce the civil liability arising from
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

crime. It is now settled that for an employer to be


subsidiarily liable, the following requisites must be
present:
(1) that an employee has committed a crime in the
discharge of his duties;
(2) that said employee is insolvent and has not satisfied
his civil liability;
(3) that the employer is engaged in some kind of
industry.
Without the conviction of the employee, the employer
cannot be subsidiarily liable.
In cases of negligence, the injured party or his heirs has
the choice between an action to enforce the civil liability
arising from crime under Article 100 of the Revised
Penal Code and an action for quasi- delict under Article
2176-2194 of the Civil Code. If a party chooses the
latter, he may hold the employer solidarily liable for the
negligent act of his employee, subject to the employer's
defense of exercise of the diligence of a good father of
the family.
In the case at bar, the action filed b appellant was an
action for damages based on quasi-delict. The fact that
appellants reserved their right in the criminal case to file
an independent civil action did not preclude them from
choosing to file a civil action for quasi-delict.
ALVAREZ vs. CA, G.R. No. L-59621 February 23,
1988
FACTS:
Renato Ramos was charged with Double Homicide in
the CFI of Quezon Province. After trial, the court
rendered judgment against the accused.
The accused appealed to the CA which affirmed the trial
court's decision but deleted that part thereof making
herein petitioner, as employer of Renato Ramos,
subsidiarily liable for payment of the adjudged
indemnities to the offended parties, ruling that -Maximiliano Alvarez is not a party in this action. It is
true that the judgment of conviction in the criminal
case binds the person subsidiarily liable with the
accused, and it is therefore the duty of the employer
to participate in the defense. The law, however,
does not authorize that the subsidiary liability of the
employer be adjudged in the criminal action. This is
because, in the criminal proceeding, the employer,
not being a party, is denied the opportunity to
present his defense against such subsidiary liability.
Due regard to due process and observance of
procedural requirements demand that a separate
action should be filed against the supposed
employer to enforce the subsidiary liability under
Article 103 of the RPC.
The CAs decision was not appealed. Meanwhile, on 14
December 1978, Pajarito v. Seneris was decided by this
Court, holding inter alia that-Page 61

Considering that the judgment of conviction,


sentencing a defendant employee to pay an
indemnity under Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised
Penal Code, is conclusive upon the employer not
only with regard to the latter's civil liability but also
with regard to its amount, . . . in the action to enforce
the employer's subsidiary liability, the court has no
other function than to render decision based upon
the indemnity awarded in the criminal case and has
no power to amend or modify it even if in its opinion
an error has been committed in the decision.
In view of the foregoing principles, it would serve no
important purpose to require petitioner to file a
separate and independent action against the
employer for the enforcement of the latter's
subsidiary civil liability. At any rate, the proceeding
for the enforcement of the subsidiary civil liability
may be considered as part of the proceeding for the
execution of the judgment.
After finality of the CA judgment, the case was
remanded to the RTC for execution on the strength of
the Pajarito decision.
ISSUE:
W/N a separate civil action is necessary to enforce the
employers subsidiary liability.
HELD:
The petition is not impressed with merit.
The subsidiary liability of an employer automatically
arises upon his employee's conviction, and subsequent
proof of inability to pay. In this light, the application of
Pajarito is merely the enforcement of a procedural
remedy designed to ease the burden of litigation for
recovery of indemnity by the victims of a judiciallydeclared criminally negligent act.
A separate civil action may be warranted where
additional facts have to be established or more evidence
must be adduced or where the criminal case has been
fully terminated and a separate complaint would be just
as efficacious or even more expedient than a timely
remand to the trial court where the criminal action was
decided for further hearings on the civil aspects of the
case. These do not exist in this case. Considering
moreover the delays suffered by the case in the trial,
appellate, and review stages, it would be unjust to the
complainants in this case to require at this time a
separate civil action to be filed.
CEREZO vs. TUAZON,
23, 2004

G.R. No. 141538

March

FACTS:
On 26 June 1993, a Country Bus Lines passenger
collided with a tricycle. On 1 October 1993, tricycle driver
Tuazon filed a complaint for damages against Mrs.
Cerezo, as owner of the bus line and bus driver
Foronda.

The trial court ruled in Tuazons favor. The trial court


made no pronouncement on Forondas liability because
there was no service of summons on him. The trial court
held Mrs. Cerezo solely liable for the damages sustained
by Tuazon arising from the negligence of Mrs. Cerezos
employee, pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
Mrs. Cerezo resorted to petition for relief from judgment,
petition for certiorari and annulment of judgment. Mrs.
Cerezo insisted that trial court never acquired jurisdiction
over the case considering there was no service of
summons on Foronda, whom the Cerezo spouses
claimed was an indispensable party. All of the actions
were denied for lack of merit.
ISSUE:
W/N Foronda was an indispensable party to the action
so as to enforce Mrs. Cerezos liability.
HELD:
The petition has no merit.
Mrs. Cerezos contention proceeds from the point of
view of criminal law and not of civil law, while the basis
of the present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict under the
Civil Code, not delict under the Revised Penal Code.
The same negligent act may produce civil liability arising
from a delict under Article 103 of the RPC, or may give
rise to an action for a quasi-delict under Article 2180 of
the NCC. An aggrieved party may choose between the
two remedies.
Tuazon chose to file an action for damages based on a
quasi-delict. Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos assertion,
Foronda is not an indispensable party to the case.
Moreover, an employers liability based on a quasi-delict
is primary and direct, while the employers liability based
on a delict is merely subsidiary. Although liability under
Article 2180 originates from the negligent act of the
employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer
directly. When an employee causes damage, the law
presumes that the employer has himself committed an
act of negligence in not preventing or avoiding the
damage.
In contrast, an action based on a delict seeks to enforce
the subsidiary liability of the employer for the criminal
negligence of the employee as provided in Article 103 of
the RPC. To hold the employer liable in a subsidiary
capacity under a delict, the aggrieved party must initiate
a criminal action where the employees delict and
corresponding primary liability are established. If the
present action proceeds from a delict, then the trial
courts jurisdiction over Foronda is necessary. However,
the present action is clearly for the quasi-delict of Mrs.
Cerezo and not for the delict of Foronda.
L.G. FOODS CORPORATION vs. HON. PAGAPONGAGRAVIADOR, G.R. No. 158995
September
26, 2006
FACTS:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Page 62

On February 26, 1996, Charles Vallereja, a 7-year old


son of the spouses Vallejera, was hit by a Ford Fiera van
owned by the petitioners and driven at the time by their
employee, Yeneza. Charles died as a result of the
accident.
A criminal case was filed against the driver.
Unfortunately, before the trial could be concluded, the
accused driver committed suicide. On account thereof,
the MTCC dismissed the criminal case.
Thereafter, the spouses Vallejera filed a complaint for
damages against the petitioners as employers of the
deceased driver, basically alleging that as such
employers, they failed to exercise due diligence in the
selection and supervision of their employees.
The defendant petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss,
principally arguing that the complaint is basically a "claim
for subsidiary liability against an employer" under the
provision of Article 103 of the RPC.
The trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of
merit. The CA denied the petition for certiorari and
upheld the trial court.
ISSUE:
Whether the spouses Vallejeras' cause of action is
founded on Article 103 of the RPC or derived from
Article 2180 of the NCC.
HELD:
The complaint did not explicitly state that plaintiff
Vallejeras were suing the defendant petitioners for
damages based on quasi-delict. Clear it is, however,
from the allegations of the complaint that quasi-delict
was their choice of remedy against the petitioners. To
stress, the plaintiff spouses alleged in their complaint
gross fault and negligence on the part of the driver and
the failure of the petitioners, as employers, to exercise
due diligence in the selection and supervision of their
employees, which diligence, if exercised, could have
prevented the vehicular accident that resulted to the
death of their 7-year old son.
Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the liability of the
employer is direct or immediate. It is not conditioned
upon prior recourse against the negligent employee and
a prior showing of insolvency of such employee.
b.5 Owner of Vehicle
In the vehicle
Not in the vehicle
Art. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is
solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in
the vehicle, could have, by the use of the due diligence,
prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that
a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty or
reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least
twice within the next preceding two months.
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions
of Article 2180 are applicable. (n)
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Art. 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is


presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has
been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was
violating any traffic regulation. (n)
Art. 2186. Every owner of a motor vehicle shall file with
the proper government office a bond executed by a
government-controlled corporation or office, to answer
for damages to third persons. The amount of the bond
and other terms shall be fixed by the competent public
official. (n)
DUAVIT vs. CA, G.R. No. 82318 May 18, 1989
FACTS:
On July 28, 1971 plaintiffs Sarmiento and Catuar were
aboard a jeep. Catuar was driving the said jeep and
while approaching Roosevelt Avenue, Catuar slowed
down. Suddenly, another jeep driven by defendant
Sabiniano hit and bumped plaintiff's jeep. Catuar was
thrown to the middle of the road; his wrist was broken
and he sustained contusions on the head; that likewise
plaintiff Sarmiento was trapped inside the fallen jeep,
and one of his legs was fractured.
The plaintiffs have filed this case both against Sabiniano
as driver, and against Duavit as owner of the jeep.
Defendant Duavit, while admitting ownership of the other
jeep, denied that the other defendant (Sabiniano) was
his employee.
Defendant Sabiniano categorically admitted that he took
the jeep from the garage of defendant Duavit without the
consent or authority of the latter
The trial court found Sabiniano negligent but absolved
Duavit from liability. Upon appeal, the CA rendered the
decision holding the petitioner jointly and severally liable
with Sabiniano.
ISSUE:
W/N the owner of a private vehicle which figured in an
accident can be held liable under Article 2180 of the
NCC when the said vehicle was neither driven by an
employee of the owner nor taken with the consent of the
latter.
HELD:
As early as in 1939, we have ruled that an owner of a
vehicle cannot be held liable for an accident involving
the said vehicle if the same was driven without his
consent or knowledge and by a person not employed by
him.
Herein petitioner does not deny ownership of the vehicle
involved in tire mishap but completely denies having
employed the driver Sabiniano or even having
authorized the latter to drive his jeep. The jeep was
virtually stolen from the petitioner's garage. To hold,
therefore, the petitioner liable for the accident caused by
the negligence of Sabiniano who was neither his driver
nor employee would be absurd as it would be like
Page 63

holding liable the owner of a stolen vehicle for an


accident caused by the person who stole such vehicle.
JUANIZA vs. JOSE,
30, 1979

G.R. No. L-50127-28

March

FACTS:
Jose was the registered owner and operator of the
passenger jeepney involved in an accident of collision
with a freight train of the Philippine National Railways
which resulted in the death to 7 and physical injuries to 5
of its passengers. At the time of the accident, Jose was
legally married to Socorro Ramos but had been
cohabiting with defendant-appellant, Arroyo, for 16 years
in a relationship akin to that of husband and wife.
The CFI rendered a decision against Jose and Arroyo.
The lower court based her liability on the provision of
Article 144 of the Civil Code which reads:
When a man and woman living together as husband and
wife, but they are not married, or their marriage is void
from the beginning, the property acquired by either or
both of them through their work or industry or their
wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on
co-ownership.
ISSUE:
W/N Arroyo who is not a registered owner of the jeepney
can be held jointly and severally liable for damages with
the registered owner of the same.
HELD:
The co-ownership contemplated in Article 144 of the
NCC requires that the man and the woman living
together must not in any way be incapacitated to
contract marriage. Since Jose is legally married to
Socorro Ramos, there is an impediment for him to
contract marriage with Arroyo. Under the aforecited
provision of the Civil Code, Arroyo cannot be a co-owner
of the jeepney. There is therefore no basis for the liability
of Arroyo for damages arising from the death of, and
physical injuries suffered by, the passengers of the
jeepney. It is settled in our jurisprudence that only the
registered owner of a public service vehicle is
responsible for damages that may arise from
consequences incident to its operation, or maybe
caused to any of the passengers therein.
ANONUEVO vs. CA, supra.
FGU INSURANCE CORP. vs. CA, G.R. No. 118889
March 23, 1998
FACTS:
On 21 April 1987, 2 vehicles, cruising along EDSA,
figured in a traffic accident. The car owned by Soriano
was being driven by Jacildone, while the other car,
owned by respondent FILCAR, was driven by DahlJensen as lessee. Upon approaching the corner of
Pioneer Street, the car owned by FILCAR swerved to the
right hitting the left side of the car of Soriano.
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

As a consequence, petitioner FGU Insurance


Corporation, in view of its insurance contract with
Soriano, paid the latter. By way of subrogation, it sued
Dahl-Jensen and respondent FILCAR for quasi-delict.
Unfortunately, summons was not served on Dahl-Jensen
since he was no longer staying at his given address.
Both the RTC and CA dismissed the complaint for failure
of petitioner to substantiate its claim of subrogation.
ISSUE:
May an action based on quasi-delict prosper against a
rent-a-car company for fault or negligence of the car
lessee in driving the rented vehicle?
HELD:
We find no reversible error committed by respondent
court in upholding the dismissal of petitioner's complaint.
To sustain a claim based on Art. 2176, the following
requisites must concur:
(a) damage suffered by the plaintiff;
(b) fault or negligence of the defendant; and,
(c) connection of cause and effect between the fault
or negligence of the defendant and the damage
incurred by the plaintiff.
We agree with respondent court that petitioner failed to
prove the existence of the second requisite, i.e., fault or
negligence of FILCAR, because only the fault or
negligence of Dahl-Jensen was sufficiently established.
It is plain that the negligence was solely attributable to
Dahl-Jensen thus making the damage suffered by the
other vehicle his personal liability. FILCAR did not have
any participation therein.
Art. 2180 is not applicable in this case. FILCAR being
engaged in a rent-a-car business was only the owner of
the car leased to Dahl-Jensen. As such, there was no
vinculum juris between them as employer and employee.
Respondent FILCAR cannot in any way be responsible
for the negligent act of Dahl-Jensen, the former not
being an employer of the latter.
CADIENTE vs. MACAS, supra.
b.6. By State
REPUBLIC vs. HON. PALACIO, G.R. No. L-20322
May 29, 1968
FACTS:
Ildefonso Ortiz instituted a case against the Handong
Irrigation Association, Inc. to recover possession, with
damages, of a lot located in Camarines Sur, which the
Irrigation Association allegedly entered and occupied.
The Solicitor General, on behalf of the Republic, filed an
urgent motion to lift the order of garnishment against the
deposits and/or pump irrigation trust fund in the account
of the Irrigation Service Unit at the PNB, Manila, for the
Page 64

reason that the funds subject matter thereof are public


funds and exempt from attachment or execution. Upon
denial of this motion, the Solicitor General commenced
the present certiorari and prohibition proceeding in the
CA. The appellate court sustained the propriety of the
said order. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE:
W/N the pump irrigation trust fund may be garnished to
satisfy a money-judgment against the Handog Irrigation
Asso.
HELD:
An infirmity of the decision under appeal originates from
its ignoring the fact that the initial complaint against the
Irrigation Service Unit was that it had induced the
Handong Irrigation Association, Inc., to invade and
occupy the land of the plaintiff Ildefonso Ortiz. The ISU
liability thus arose from tort and not from contract; and it
is a well-entrenched rule in this jurisdiction, embodied in
Article 2180 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, that the
State is liable only for torts caused by its special agents,
specially commissioned to carry out the acts complained
of outside of such agent's regular duties There being no
proof that the making of the tortious inducement was
authorized, neither the State nor its funds can be made
liable therefor.
MERITT vs. GOVT OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS, G.R. No.
L-11154
March 21, 1916
FACTS:
Plaintiff was riding a motorcycle along Taft Avenue when
the General Hospital ambulance turned suddenly and
unexpectedly and long before reaching the center of the
street, into the right side of Taft Avenue, without having
sounded any whistle or horn and in violation of the Motor
Vehicle Act, by which movement it struck the plaintiff.
By reason of the resulting collision, the plaintiff was so
severely injured that, as a consequence, plaintiff
suffered in the efficiency of his work as a contractor.
ISSUE:
W/N the govt can be held liable for the damages
resulting from the negligence of the chauffeur.
HELD:
The plaintiff was authorized to bring this action against
the Government by virtue of Act No. 2457 in order to fix
the responsibility for the collision between his motorcycle
and the ambulance of the General Hospital and to
determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which
Mr. E. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision, . . .
."
Plaintiff claims that by the enactment of this law the
legislature admitted liability on the part of the state for
the acts of its officers, and that the suit now stands just
as it would stand between private parties. It is difficult to
see how the act does, or was intended to do, more than
remove the state's immunity from suit. It simply gives
authority to commence suit for the purpose of settling
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

plaintiff's controversies with the estate. It did not pass


upon the question of liability, but left the suit just where it
would be in the absence of the state's immunity from
suit.
Paragraph 5 of article 1903 of the Civil Code reads:
The state is liable in this sense when it acts through
a special agent, but not when the damage should
have been caused by the official to whom properly it
pertained to do the act performed, in which case the
provisions of the preceding article shall be
applicable.
That the responsibility of the state is limited by article
1903 to the case wherein it acts through a special agent
(and a special agent, in the sense in which these words
are employed, is one who receives a definite and fixed
order or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties
of his office if he is a special official) so that in
representation of the state and being bound to act as an
agent thereof, he executes the trust confided to him.
This concept does not apply to any executive agent who
is an employee of the acting administration and who on
his own responsibility performs the functions which are
inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which
are regulated by law and the regulations."
It is, therefore, evidence that the is only liable for the
acts of its agents, officers and employees when they act
as special agents within the meaning of paragraph 5 of
article 1903, supra, and that the chauffeur of the
ambulance of the General Hospital was not such an
agent.
b.7.. By Teachers
EXCONDE vs. CAPUNO,
29, 1957

G.R. No. L-10134 June

FACTS:
Dante Capuno was a student of the Bilintawak
Elementary School and on March 31, 1949 he attended
a parade upon instruction of the city school's supervisor.
From the school, Dante, with other students, boarded a
jeep and when the same started to run, he took hold of
the wheel and drove it while the driver sat on his left
side. They have not gone far when the jeep turned turtle
and two of its passengers, Amado Ticzon and Isidore
Caperia, died as a consequence. It further appears that
Delfin Capuno, father of Dante, was not with his son at
the time of the accident, nor did he know that his son
was going to attend a parade. He only came to know it
when his son told him after the accident that he attended
the parade upon instruction of his teacher.
Delfin Capuno contends that he is not liable for damages
since at the time of the incident, he was not in
supervision, custody and control of his son. The RTC
sustained the defense and the case was certified by the
CA to the SC on the ground of pure questions of law.
ISSUE:

Page 65

W/N Delfin Capuno can be held civilly liable, jointly and


severally with his son Dante, for damages resulting from
the death of Isidoro Caperia.
HELD:
Article 1903 of the Spanish Civil Code, paragraph 1 and
5, provide:
ART. 1903. The obligation impossed by the next
preceding articles is enforceable not only for
personal acts and omissions, but also for those of
persons for whom another is responsible.
The father, and, in case of his death or incapacity,
the mother, are liable for any damages caused by
the minor children who live with them.
xxx

xxx

The deceased Dominador Palisoc and the defendant


Virgilio Daffon were classmates in Manila Technical
Institute. On March 10, 1966, they, together with another
classmate Desiderio Cruz were in the laboratory room.
Desiderio Cruz and Virgilio Daffon were working on a
machine while Dominador Palisoc was merely looking on
at them. Daffon made a remark to the effect that Palisoc
was acting like a foreman. Because of this remark
Palisoc slapped slightly Daffon on the face. Daffon, in
retaliation, gave Palisoc a strong flat blow on the face,
which was followed by other fist blows on the stomach.
Palisoc retreated apparently to avoid the fist blows, but
Daffon followed him and both exchanged blows until
Palisoc stumbled on an engine block which caused him
to fall face downward. First aid was administered to him
but he was not revived, so he was immediately taken to
a hospital where he eventually died.

xxx

Finally, teachers or directors of arts and trades are


liable for any damages caused by their pupils or
apprentices while they are under their custody.
Plaintiff contends that defendant Delfin Capuno is liable
for the damages in question because at the time the
Dante committed the negligent act which resulted in the
death of the victim, he was a minor and was then living
with his father, and inasmuch as these facts are not
disputed, the civil liability of the father is evident.
We find merit in this claim. It is true that under the law
above quoted, "teachers or directors of arts and trades
are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or
apprentices while they are under their custody", but this
provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades
and not to any academic educational institution. Here
Dante Capuno was then a student of the Balintawak
Elementary School and as part of his extra-curricular
activity, he attended the parade in honor of Dr. Jose
Rizal upon instruction of the city school's supervisor. In
the circumstances, it is clear that neither the head of that
school, nor the city school's supervisor, could be held
liable for the negligent act of Dante because he was not
then a student of an institute of arts and trades as
provided by law.
The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father
is obvious. This is necessary consequence of the
parental authority they exercise over them which
imposes upon the parents the "duty of supporting them,
keeping them in their company, educating them and
instructing them in proportion to their means", while, on
the other hand, gives them the "right to correct and
punish them in moderation". The only way by which they
can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that
they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a
family to prevent the damage. This, defendants failed to
prove.
SPS.PALISOC vs. BRILLANTES, G.R. No. L-29025
October 4, 1971
FACTS:

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Plaintiff-appellants, as parents of the deceased, filed a


case against Daffon, Brillantes as member of the Board
of Directors of the Institute, Valenton as president and
Quibulue as instructor thereof.
The trial court found defendant Daffon liable for the
quasi delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. The trial
court, however, absolved from liability the three other
defendants-officials of the Manila Technical Institute,
ruling that teachers or heads of establishments of arts
and trades shall be only liable for damages caused by
their pupils and students and apprentices where the
latter are under their custody.
ISSUE:
W/N defendants-school officials are liable as tortfeasors
with defendant Daffon for damages resulting from
Palisocs death.
HELD:
The Court holds that under the Art. 2180 of the NCC,
defendants head and teacher of the Manila Technical
Institute are liable jointly and severally for damages to
plaintiffs-appellants for the death of the latter's minor son
at the hands of defendant Daffon at the school's
laboratory room. No liability attaches to defendant
Brillantes as a mere member of the school's board of
directors. The school itself cannot be held similarly
liable, since it has not been properly impleaded as party
defendant.
The rationale of such liability of school heads and
teachers for the tortious acts of their pupils and students,
so long as they remain in their custody, is that they
stand, to a certain extent, as to their pupils and students,
in loco parentis and are called upon to "exercise
reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child." In
the law of torts, the governing principle is that the
protective custody of the school heads and teachers is
mandatorily substituted for that of the parents, and
hence, it becomes their obligation as well as that of the
school itself to provide proper supervision of the
students' activities during the whole time that they are at
attendance in the school, including recess time, as well
Page 66

as to take the necessary precautions to protect the


students in their custody from dangers and hazards that
would reasonably be anticipated, including injuries that
some student themselves may inflict willfully or through
negligence on their fellow students. .
The lower court therefore erred in law in absolving
defendants-school officials on the ground that they could
be held liable under Article 2180, Civil Code, only if the
student who inflicted the fatal fistblows on his classmate
and victim "lived and boarded with his teacher or the
other defendants officials of the school." As stated
above, the phrase used in the cited article "so long as
(the students) remain in their custody" means the
protective and supervisory custody that the school and
its heads and teachers exercise over the pupils and
students for as long as they are at attendance in the
school. There is nothing in the law that requires that for
such liability to attach the pupil or student who commits
the tortious act must live and board in the school, as
erroneously held by the lower court, and the dicta in
Mercado (as well as in Exconde) on which it relied, must
now be deemed to have been set aside by the present
decision. .

establishments of arts and trades, it is the head thereof,


and only he, who shall be held liable as an exception to
the general rule.
There is really no substantial distinction between the
academic and the non-academic schools insofar as torts
committed by their students are concerned. The same
vigilance is expected from the teacher over the students
under his control and supervision, whatever the nature of
the school where he is teaching. The suggestion in the
Exconde and Mercado Cases is that the provision would
make the teacher or even the head of the school of arts
and trades liable for an injury caused by any student in
its custody but if that same tort were committed in an
academic school, no liability would attach to the teacher
or the school head.
These questions, though, may be asked: If the teacher
of the academic school is to be held answerable for the
torts committed by his students, why is it the head of the
school only who is held liable where the injury is caused
in a school of arts and trades? And in the case of the
academic or non- technical school, why not apply the
rule also to the head thereof instead of imposing the
liability only on the teacher?

AMADORA vs. CA, G.R. No. L-47745 April 15, 1988


FACTS:
Alfredo Amadora was a graduating student of Colegio de
San Jose-Recoletos. On April 13, 1972, while they were
in the auditorium of their school, a classmate, Pablito
Damon, fired a gun that mortally hit Alfredo.
The herein petitioners, as the victim's parents, filed a
civil action for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil
Code against the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, its
rector the high school principal, the dean of boys, and
the physics teacher, together with Damon and two other
students, through their respective parents. The
complaint against the students was later dropped. The
trial court held the remaining defendants liable to the
plaintiffs. On appeal to the CA, however, the decision
was reversed and all the defendants were completely
absolved.
ISSUE:
W/N Art. 2180 was applicable as the Colegio de San
Jose-Recoletos was not a school of arts and trades but
an academic institution of learning.
W/N the students were in the custody of the school at
the time of the incident as the semester had already
ended.

The reason for the disparity can be traced to the fact that
historically the head of the school of arts and trades
exercises a closer tutelage over his pupils than the head
of the academic school. By contrast, the head of the
academic school is not as involved with his students and
exercised only administrative duties over the teachers
who were the persons directly dealing with the students.
Consequently, while he could not be directly faulted for
the acts of the students, the head of the school of arts
and trades, because of his closer ties with them, could
be so blamed.
It is conceded that the custody requirement signify that
that the student should be within the control of the
school authorities at the time of the occurrence of the
injury. However, this does not necessarily mean that
such, custody be co-terminous with the semester.
As long as it can be shown that the student is in the
school premises in pursuance of a legitimate student
objective, the responsibility of the school authorities over
the student continues. At the time Alfredo Amadora was
fatally shot, he was still in the custody of the authorities
of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos notwithstanding that
the fourth year classes had formally ended. It was
immaterial if he was in the school auditorium to finish his
physics experiment or merely to submit his physics
report for what is important is that he was there for a
legitimate purpose.

HELD:
The Court has come to the conclusion that the provision
in question should apply to all schools, academic as well
as non-academic. Where the school is academic rather
than technical or vocational in nature, responsibility for
the tort committed by the student will attach to the
teacher in charge of such student, following the first part
of the provision. This is the general rule. In the case of
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

During all these occasions, it is obviously the teacher-incharge who must answer for his students' torts. It is not
necessary that at the time of the injury, the teacher be
physically present and in a position to prevent it.
Custody does not connote immediate and actual
physical control but refers more to the influence exerted
on the child and the discipline instilled in him as a result
of such influence. Thus, for the injuries caused by the
Page 67

student, the teacher and not the parent shall be held


responsible if the tort was committed within the premises
of the school at any time when its authority could be
validly exercised over him.

which the former took from the armory of the ROTC Unit
of the BCF. As a result, Napoleon Castro died and Abon
was prosecuted for, and convicted of the crime of
Homicide.

The rector, the high school principal and the dean of


boys cannot be held liable because none of them was
the teacher-in-charge. Each of them was exercising only
a general authority over the student body and not the
direct control and influence exerted by the teacher
placed in charge of particular classes or sections and
thus immediately involved in its discipline. The evidence
of the parties does not disclose who the teacher-incharge of the offending student was. The mere fact that
Alfredo Amadora had gone to school that day in
connection with his physics report did not necessarily
make the physics teacher, respondent Celestino Dicon,
the teacher-in-charge of Alfredo's killer.

Subsequently, the heirs of Napoleon Castro sued for


damages,
impleading
Abon,
Ungos
(ROTC
Commandant), school officials and the BCF as party
defendants. The Trial Court rendered a decision in favor
of Castro. On appeal by petitioners, the respondent
Court affirmed with modification the decision of the Trial
Court.

At any rate, assuming that he was the teacher-in-charge,


there is no showing that Dicon was negligent in
enforcing discipline upon Damon or that he had waived
observance of the rules and regulations of the school or
condoned their non-observance. His absence when the
tragedy happened cannot be considered against him
because he was not supposed or required to report to
school on that day. And while it is true that the offending
student was still in the custody of the teacher-in-charge
even if the latter was physically absent when the tort was
committed, it has not been established that it was
caused by his laxness in enforcing discipline upon the
student. On the contrary, the private respondents have
proved that they had exercised due diligence, through
the enforcement of the school regulations, in maintaining
that discipline.

In line with the case of Palisoc, a student not "at


attendance in the school" cannot be in "recess" thereat.
A "recess," as the concept is embraced in the phrase "at
attendance in the school," contemplates a situation of
temporary adjournment of school activities where the
student still remains within call of his mentor and is not
permitted to leave the school premises, or the area
within which the school activity is conducted. Recess by
its nature does not include dismissal. Likewise, the mere
fact of being enrolled or being in the premises of a
school without more does not constitute "attending
school" or being in the "protective and supervisory
custody' of the school, as contemplated in the law.

Finally, the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos cannot be


held directly liable under the article because only the
teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades is
made responsible for the damage caused by the student
or apprentice. Neither can it be held to answer for the
tort committed by any of the other private respondents
for none of them has been found to have been charged
with the custody of the offending student or has been
remiss in the discharge of his duties in connection with
such custody.
SALVOSA vs. IAC, G.R. No. 70458 October 5, 1988
FACTS:
Baguio Colleges Foundation (BCF) is an academic
institution. However, it is also an institution of arts and
trade.
The BCF ROTC Unit had Jimmy B. Abon as its duly
appointed armorer. As armorer of the ROTC Unit, Abon
received his appointment from the AFP and received his
salary from the AFP, as well as orders from Captain
Ungos, the Commandant of the Baguio Colleges
Foundation ROTC Unit. Abon was also a commerce
student of the BCF.
On 3 March 1977, Abon shot Napoleon Castro a student
of the University of Baguio with an unlicensed firearm
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

ISSUE:
W/N petitioners can be held solidarity liable with Abon
for damages under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code.
HELD:

Upon the foregoing considerations, we hold that Abon


cannot be considered to have been "at attendance in the
school," or in the custody of BCF, when he shot
Napoleon Castro. Logically, therefore, petitioners cannot
under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code be held solidarity liable
with Abon for damages resulting from his acts.
Besides, the record shows that before the shooting
incident, Ungos, ROTC Unit Commandant, had
instructed Abon "not to leave the office and to keep the
armory well guarded." Apart from negating a finding that
Jimmy B. Abon was under the custody of the school
when he committed the act for which the petitioners are
sought to be held liable, this circumstance shows that
Abon was supposed to be working in the armory with
definite instructions from his superior, the ROTC
Commandant, when he shot Napoleon Castro.
ART. 218. The school, its administrators and teachers,
or the individual, entity or institution engaged in child are
shall have special parental authority and responsibility
over the minor child while under their supervision,
instruction or custody.
Authority and responsibility shall apply to all authorized
activities whether inside or outside the premises of the
school, entity or institution. (349a)
ART. 219. Those given the authority and responsibility
under the preceding Article shall be principally and
solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or
Page 68

omissions of the unemancipated minor. The parents,


judicial guardians or the persons exercising substitute
parental authority over said minor shall be subsidiarily
liable.
The respective liabilities of those referred to in the
preceding paragraph shall not apply if it is proved that
they exercised the proper diligence required under the
particular circumstances.
All other cases not covered by this and the preceding
articles shall be governed by the provisions of the Civil
Code on quasi-delicts. (n)
ST. MARYS ACADEMY vs. CARPITANOS, G.R. No.
143363. February 6, 2002
FACTS:
St. Marys Academy of Dipolog City conducted an
enrollment drive for the school year 1995-1996. As a
student of St. Marys Academy, Sherwin Carpitanos was
part of the campaigning group. Accordingly, on the
fateful day, Sherwin, along with other high school
students were riding in a Mitsubishi jeep owned by
defendant Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan
Elementary School. The jeep was driven by James
Daniel II then 15 years old and a student of the same
school. Allegedly, the latter drove the jeep in a reckless
manner and as a result the jeep turned turtle. Sherwin
Carpitanos died as a result of the injuries he sustained
from the accident.
Thereafter, his parents filed a case for damages against
James Daniel II and his parents, Villanueva and St.
Marys Academy. The RTC found the St. Marys
Academy liable while Daniels parents were subsidiarily
liable. Villanueva was absolved from liability. Said
decision was affirmed by the CA.

Evidence shows, and this the respondents did not


dispute, that the immediate cause of the accident was
not the negligence of petitioner or the reckless driving of
James Daniel II, but the detachment of the steering
wheel guide of the jeep.
Hence, liability for the accident, whether caused by the
negligence of the minor driver or mechanical detachment
of the steering wheel guide of the jeep, must be pinned
on the minors parents primarily. The negligence of
petitioner St. Marys Academy was only a remote cause
of the accident.
Incidentally, there was no question that the registered
owner of the vehicle was respondent Villanueva. The
registered owner of any vehicle, even if not used for
public service, would primarily be responsible to the
public or to third persons for injuries caused the latter
while the vehicle was being driven on the highways or
streets. Hence, with the overwhelming evidence
presented by petitioner and the respondent Daniel
spouses that the accident occurred because of the
detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep, it is
not the school, but the registered owner of the vehicle
who shall be held responsible for damages for the death
of Sherwin Carpitanos.
b.8.
Family

Defense: Diligence of a Good Father of

c. Provinces, Cities and Municipalities


Art. 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be
liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered
by, any person by reason of the defective condition of
roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public
works under their control or supervision. (n)
JIMENEZ vs. CITY OF MANILA, G.R. No. 71049 May
29, 1987

ISSUE:
FACTS:
W/N petitioner is liable for the death of Carpitanos.

Under Article 219 of the Family Code, if the person


under custody is a minor, those exercising special
parental authority are principally and solidarily liable for
damages caused by the acts or omissions of the
unemancipated minor while under their supervision,
instruction, or custody.

Petitioner alleged that on August 15, 1974 he, together


with his neighbors, went to Sta. Ana public market to buy
"bagoong" at the time when the public market was
flooded with ankle deep rainwater. On his way home, he
stepped on an uncovered opening obscured by the dirty
rainwater, causing a dirty and rusty four-inch nail, stuck
inside the uncovered opening, to pierce the left leg of
petitioner. After administering first aid treatment at a
nearby drugstore, his companions helped him hobble
home. Petitioner became ill and his leg swelled with
great pain and was thereafter hospitalized. After
discharge, he had to walk around in crutches. His injury
prevented him from attending to the school buses he is
operating.

However, for petitioner to be liable, there must be a


finding that the act or omission considered as negligent
was the proximate cause of the injury caused because
the negligence must have a causal connection to the
accident. In this case, the respondents failed to show
that the negligence of petitioner was the proximate
cause of the death of the victim.

Petitioner sued for damages the City of Manila and the


Asiatic
Integrated
Corporation
under
whose
administration the Sta. Ana Public Market had been
placed. The trial court dismissed the complaint. Upon
appeal, the IAC held the Asiatic Integrated Corporation
liable for damages but absolved respondent City of
Manila.

HELD:
Under Article 218 of the Family Code, the following shall
have special parental authority over a minor child while
under their supervision, instruction or custody: (1) the
school, its administrators and teachers; or (2) the
individual, entity or institution engaged in child care.

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

Page 69

ISSUE:
W/N the IAC erred in not ruling that respondent City of
Manila should be jointly and severally liable with Asiatic
Integrated Corporation for the injuries petitioner suffered.

been covered, petitioner could not have fallen into it.


Thus the negligence of the City of Manila is the
proximate cause of the injury suffered. The City is
therefore liable for the injury suffered by the petitioner.

HELD:

CITY OF MANILA vs. TEOTICO,


January 29, 1968

The petition is impressed with merit.

FACTS:

Respondent City of Manila maintains that it cannot be


held liable for the injuries sustained by the petitioner
because under the Management and Operating
Contract, Asiatic Integrated Corporation assumed all
responsibility for damages which may be suffered by
third persons for any cause attributable to it.

Genaro Teotico fell inside an uncovered and unlighted


manhole on P. Burgos Avenue as he stepped down from
the curb of the street to board a jeepney. Teotico
suffered serious injuries due to the fall.

It has also been argued that the City of Manila cannot be


held liable under the Revised Charter of Manila which
provides:
The City shall not be liable or held for damages or
injuries to persons or property arising from the failure of
the Mayor, the Municipal Board, or any other City
Officer, to enforce the provisions of this chapter, or any
other law or ordinance, or from negligence of said
Mayor, Municipal Board, or any other officers while
enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions.

G.R. No. L-23052

As a consequence thereof, Teotico filed a complaint for


damages against the City of Manila, its mayor, city
engineer, city health officer, city treasurer and chief of
police. The complaint was dismissed by the CFI. The
decision was affirmed by the CA except insofar as the
City of Manila was concerned which was ordered to
indemnify Teotico. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE:
W/N the City of Manila is liable for the damages incurred
by Teotico.
HELD:

Upon the other hand, Article 2189 of the Civil Code of


the Philippines provides that:
Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for
damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by any
person by reason of defective conditions of roads,
streets, bridges, public buildings and other public works
under their control or supervision.
Thus, it is clear that the Revised Charter of Manila refers
to liability arising from negligence, in general, regardless
of the object, thereof, while Article 2189 of the Civil Code
governs liability due to "defective streets, public
buildings and other public works" in particular and is
therefore decisive on this specific case.
Under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not necessary
for the liability therein established to attach, that the
defective public works belong to the province, city or
municipality from which responsibility is exacted. What
said article requires is that the province, city or
municipality has either "control or supervision" over the
public building in question.
In the case at bar, there is no question that the Sta. Ana
Public Market, despite the Management and Operating
Contract between respondent City and Asiatic Integrated
Corporation remained under the control of the former.
There is no argument that it is the duty of the City of
Manila to exercise reasonable care to keep the public
market reasonably safe for people frequenting the place
for their marketing needs.
Petitioner had the right to assume that there were no
openings in the middle of the passageways and if any,
that they were adequately covered. Had the opening
Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

The CA applied the Civil Code instead of Act. No. 409


(Charter of Manila), and, we think, correctly. It is true
that, insofar as its territorial application is concerned,
Republic Act No. 409 is a special law and the Civil Code
a general legislation; but, as regards the subject-matter
of the provisions above quoted, Section 4 of Republic
Act 409 establishes a general rule regulating the liability
of the City of Manila. Upon the other hand, Article 2189
constitutes a particular prescription making "provinces,
cities and municipalities . . . liable for damages for the
death of, or injury suffered by any person by reason"
specifically "of the defective condition of roads,
streets, bridges, public buildings, and other-public works
under their control or supervision.
Under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not necessary
for the liability therein established to attach that the
defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or
municipality from which responsibility is exacted. What
said article requires is that the province, city or
municipality have either "control or supervision" over
said street or road. Even if P. Burgos Avenue were,
therefore, a national highway, this circumstance would
not necessarily detract from its "control or supervision"
by the City of Manila.
GUILATCO vs. CITY OF DAGUPAN, G.R. No. 61516
March 21, 1989
FACTS:
Guilatco was about to board a motorized tricycle at a
sidewalk located at Perez Blvd. (a National Road, under
the control and supervision of the City of Dagupan) when
she accidentally fell into a manhole. As a result thereof,
she had to be hospitalized and operated on. From the
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time of the mishap on July 25, 1978 up to the present,


plaintiff has not yet reported for duty as court interpreter,
as she has difficulty of locomotion.
The trial court ruled in favor of herein petitioner. On
appeal, the appellate court reversed the lower court
findings on the ground that no evidence was presented
by the plaintiff- appellee to prove that the City of
Dagupan had "control or supervision" over Perez
Boulevard.

partial collapse, if it should be due to the lack of


necessary repairs. (1907)

Art. 2191. Proprietors shall also be responsible for


damages caused:
(1) By the explosion of machinery which has not been
taken care of with due diligence, and the inflammation of
explosive substances which have not been kept in a safe
and adequate place;

ISSUE:
W/N control or supervision over a national road by the
City of Dagupan exists, in effect binding the city to
answer for damages in accordance with article 2189 of
the Civil Code.
HELD:
We grant the petition.
Under Art. 2189, it is not necessary for the defective
road or street to belong to the province, city or
municipality for liability to attach. The article only
requires that either control or supervision is exercised
over the defective road or street.
In the case at bar, this control or supervision is provided
for in the charter of Dagupan and is exercised through
the City Engineer who has the following duties:

(2) By excessive smoke, which may be harmful to


persons or property;
(3) By the falling of trees situated at or near highways or
lanes, if not caused by force majeure;
(4) By emanations from tubes, canals, sewers or
deposits of infectious matter, constructed without
precautions suitable to the place. (1908)

Art. 2192. If damage referred to in the two preceding


articles should be the result of any defect in the
construction mentioned in Article 1723, the third person
suffering damages may proceed only against the
engineer or architect or contractor in accordance with
said article, within the period therein fixed. (1909)
DE ROY V. CA, SUPRA

Sec. 22.The City Engineer--His powers, duties and


compensation-There shall be a city engineer, who
shall be in charge of the department of Engineering
and Public Works. He shall receive a salary of not
exceeding three thousand pesos per annum. He
shall have the following duties:
xxx
(j) He shall have the care and custody of the public
system of waterworks and sewers, and all sources of
water supply, and shall control, maintain and
regulate the use of the same, in accordance with the
ordinance relating thereto; shall inspect and regulate
the use of all private systems for supplying water to
the city and its inhabitants, and all private sewers,
and their connection with the public sewer system.
xxx
The same charter of Dagupan also provides that the
laying out, construction and improvement of streets,
avenues and alleys and sidewalks, and regulation of
the use thereof, may be legislated by the Municipal
Board. Thus the charter clearly indicates that the city
indeed has supervision and control over the
sidewalk where the open drainage hole is located.
d. Proprietors of building, engineer, architect,
contractor
Art. 2190. The proprietor of a building or structure is
responsible for the damages resulting from its total or

Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

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Torts Digest Midterms (Rm. 404)

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