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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Algarra v.

Sandejas (1914)
G.R. No. L-8385

March 24, 1914

Lessons Applicable: Actual or Compensatory Damage (Torts and


Damages)
Laws Applicable: article 1902,1106,1107 of the Civil Code (old laws)
FACTS:

Lucio Algarra filed a civil action for personal injuries received from a
car collision due to the negligence of Sixto Sandejas causing him to
be hospitalized for 10 days, four of five days of which he could not
leave his bed.

After being discharged, he still continued to receive medical


treatment and that he had done no work since he was not yet
entirely recovered. He also spent to pay the doctor P8 and medicine
P2, the expense totalling to P110

Algarra sells the products of a distillery and earns 10% commission


which averages to P50/month. He had around 20 regular customers
which took him 4 years to build who order in small quantities and
require regular and frequent deliveries. Since his accident, his wife
tried to keep up with the business but only 4 regular customers
remained.

Lower court: refused to allow him anything for his injury on the
ground that the doctrine of Marcelo vs. Velasco is opposed to such
allowance and Viada which does not pertain to personal injuries

ISSUE: W/N there is actual or compensatory damage despite absence of


malicious intent (since negligence)? How is the damage measured?
HELD: YES. judgment of the lower court is set aside, and the plaintiff is
awarded the following damages; P10 for medical expenses; P100 for the
2 months of his enforced absence from his business; and P250 for the
damage done to his business in the way of loss of profits = P360

article 1902 of the Civil Code, which reads as follows: "A person
who, by act or omission, causes damage to another where there is
fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done.

1106. Indemnity for losses and damages includes not only the
amount of the loss which may have been suffered, but also that of
the profit which the creditor may have failed to realize, reserving
the provisions contained in the following articles.

1107. The losses and damages for which a debtor in good faith is
liable, are those foreseen or which may have been foreseen, at the
time of constituting the obligation, and which may be a necessary
consequence of its nonfulfillment.

In case of fraud, the debtor shall be liable for all those which clearly may
originate from the nonfulfillment of the obligation - not in present case

GR: in order that an act omission may be the proximate cause of an


injury, the injury must be the natural and probable consequence of
the act or omission and such as might have been foreseen by an
ordinarily responsible and prudent man, in the light of the attendant
circumstances, as likely to result therefrom . .

in an action such as that under consideration, in order to establish


his right to a recovery, must establish by competent evidence:

(1)

Damages to the plaintiff.

(2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or


some person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty.
(3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the
damages.

"actual damages"
o purpose of the law in awarding actual damages is to repair the
wrong that has been done, to compensate for the injury
inflicted, and not to impose a penalty

not dependent on nor graded by the intent with which


the wrongful act is done.

o shall be construed to include all damages that the plaintiff


may he has suffered in respect to his property, business,
trade, profession, or occupation, and no other damages
whatever."
o proceed from a sense of natural justice

o indemnity comprises, not only the value of loss suffered, but


also that of the prospective profit that was not realized, and
the obligation of the debtor in good faith is limited to such
losses and damages as were foreseen or might have been
foreseen at the time the obligation was incurred and which
are a necessary consequence of his failure of fulfillment

The abstract rules for determining negligence and the measure of


damages are, however, rules of natural justice rather than manmade law, and are applicable under any enlightened system of
jurisprudence.

As to the damages resulting from the actual incapacity of the


plaintiff to attend to his business there is no question. They are, of
course, to be allowed on the basis of his earning capacity, which in
this case, is P50 per month.

evidence of damages "must rest upon satisfactory proof of the


existence in reality of the damages alleged to have been suffered."
But, while certainty is an essential element of an award of damages,
it need not be a mathematical certainty.

When it is shown that a plaintiff's business is a going concern with a


fairly steady average profit on the investment, it may be assumed
that had the interruption to the business through defendant's
wrongful act not occurred, it would have continued producing this
average income "so long as is usual with things of that nature.

When in addition to the previous average income of the business it


is further shown what the reduced receipts of the business are
immediately after the cause of the interruption has been removed,
there can be no manner of doubt that a loss of profits has resulted
from the wrongful act of the defendant.

In the present case, we not only have the value of plaintiff's


business to him just prior to the accident, but we also have its value
to him after the accident

The value of such a business depends mainly on the ordinary profits


derived from it. Such value cannot be ascertained without showing
what the usual profits are; nor are the ordinary profits incident to
such a business contingent or speculative, in the sense that
excludes profits from consideration as an element of damages.
What they would have been, in the ordinary course of the business,
for a period during which it was interrupted, may be shown with
reasonable certainty. What effect extraordinary circumstances would
have had upon the business might be contingent and conjectural,

and any profits anticipated from such cause would be obnoxious to


the objection that they are merely speculative; but a history of the
business, for a reasonable time prior to a period of interruption,
would enable the jury to determine how much would be done under
ordinary circumstances, and in the usual course, during the given
period; and the usual rate of profit being shown, of course the
aggregate becomes only a matter of calculation.

Plaintiff having had four years' experience in selling goods on


commission, it must be presumed that he will be able to rebuild his
business to its former proportions; so that at some time in the
future his commissions will equal those he was receiving when the
accident occurred. Aided by his experience, he should be able to
rebuild this business to its former proportions in much less time
than it took to establish it as it stood just prior to the accident. One
year should be sufficient time in which to do this. The profits which
plaintiff will receive from the business in the course of its
reconstruction will gradually increase. The injury to plaintiff's
business begins where these profits leave off, and, as a corollary,
there is where defendant's liability begins. Upon this basis, we fix
the damages to plaintiff's business at P250.

OSCAR VENTANILLA, plaintiff-appellant, vs. GREGORIO CENTENO, defendant-appellee.


G.R. No. L-14333

January 28, 1961 PADILLA, J.:

an action to recover damages claimed - by the plaintiff due to the defendant's neglect in perfecting
within the reglementary period his appeal from an adverse judgment rendered by the CFI
the case sprang from a civil case, wherein Ventanilla retained the service of Atty. Centeno
decision unfavourable to Ventanilla was received by Centeno , which was not conformable to
Centeno and that he wanted to file an appeal by which Ventanilla agreed.
Atty. Centeno wrote a letter to the plaintiff enclosing forms for an appeal bond. Ventanilla,
however, instead of executing an appeal bond, and because use of his reluctance to pay the
premium on the appeal bond, decided to file a cash appeal bond of P60.00.
8/18/1955, Ventanilla went to the Office of Atty Centeno but was informed by the clerk that
Centeno was in Laguna campaigning for his candidacy as member of Provl Board
Ventanilla issued a P60.00 check and handed it to the clerk with an instruction to give it to Atty
Centeno
8/17, Centeno prepared the motion for extension of time to file the record on appeal, w/c was filed
on 8/20
8/22. centeno encash the check and went to the office of the Clerk of Court to file the appeal bond
Acdg. To Atty Centeno, it was not accepted because the period of appeal had already expired
The court does not believe Centeno, neither the Clerk of Court, or any of the employees has the
right to refuse an appeal bond that is being filed, for it is not in his power to determine whether or
not the appeal bond has been filed within the time prescribed by law. In fact the record on appeal
was accepted and filed on September 5, 1955, but no appeal bond has been filed by Atty.
Centeno
RULING: Judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED.
RATIONALE:

Art. 2199: one is entitled to an adequate compensation, referred to as actual or compensatory


damages.

by not paying the appeal bond of P60, Ventanilla lost his chance to recover from the defendants
therein P4,000 and moral & actual damages, w/c he could have recovered if the appeal had duly
been perfected

Art. 2217. Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety,
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shocks, social humiliation, and similar injury.
Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the
proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission.

Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: (1) A criminal
offense resulting in physical injuries; (2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries; (3) Seduction,
abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts; (4) Adultery or concubinage; (5) Illegal or arbitrary
detention or arrest; (6) Illegal search; (7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation; (8)
Malicious prosecution (9) Acts mentioned in article 309; (10) Acts and actions referred to in
articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.. .Art. 2219 specifically mentions "quasi-delicts
causing physical injuries," as an instance when moral damages may be allowed, thereby implying
that all other quasi-delicts not resulting in physical injuries are excluded

Torts and Damages Case Digest: PNOC v.


CA (1998)
G.R. No. 107518 October 8, 1998
Lessons Applicable: Kinds of Damages (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable:
FACTS:

September 21, 1977 early morning: M/V Maria Efigenia XV, owned
by Maria Efigenia Fishing Corporation on its way to Navotas, Metro
Manila collided with the vessel Petroparcel owned by the Luzon
Stevedoring Corporation (LSC)

Board of Marine Inquiry, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant


Simeon N. Alejandro found Petroparcel to be at fault

Maria Efigenia sued the LSC and the Petroparcel captain, Edgardo
Doruelo praying for an award of P692,680.00 representing the value
of the fishing nets, boat equipment and cargoes of M/V Maria
Efigenia XV with interest at the legal rate plus 25% as attorneys
fees and later on amended to add the lost value of the hull less the
P200K insurance and unrealized profits and lost business
opportunities

During the pendency of the case, PNOC Shipping and Transport


Corporation sought to be substituted in place of LSC as it acquired
Petroparcel

Lower Court: against PNOC ordering it to pay P6,438,048 value of


the fishing boat with interest plus P50K attorney's fees and cost of
suit

CA: affirmed in toto

ISSUE: W/N the damage was adequately proven


HELD: YES. affirming with modification actual damages of P6,438,048.00
for lack of evidentiary bases therefor. P2M nominal damages instead.

in connection with evidence which may appear to be of doubtful


relevancy or incompetency or admissibility, it is the safest policy to
be liberal, not rejecting them on doubtful or technical grounds, but
admitting them unless plainly irrelevant, immaterial or incompetent,
for the reason that their rejection places them beyond the
consideration of the court.
o If they are thereafter found relevant or competent, can easily
be remedied by completely discarding or ignoring them

two kinds of actual or compensatory damages:


o loss of what a person already possesses (dao emergente)
o failure to receive as a benefit that which would have pertained
to him

in the case of profit-earning chattels, what has to be assessed is the


value of the chattel to its owner as a going concern at the time and
place of the loss, and this means, at least in the case of ships, that
regard must be had to existing and pending engagements

If the market value of the ship reflects the fact that it is in any case
virtually certain of profitable employment, then nothing can be
added to that value in respect of charters actually lost, for to do so
would be pro tanto to compensate the plaintiff twice over.

if the ship is valued without reference to its actual future


engagements and only in the light of its profit-earning potentiality,
then it may be necessary to add to the value thus assessed the
anticipated profit on a charter or other engagement which it was
unable to fulfill.

damages cannot be presumed and courts, in making an award must


point out specific facts that could afford a basis for measuring
whatever compensatory or actual damages are borne

proven through sole testimony of general manager without


objection from LSC

Admissibility of evidence refers to the question of whether or not


the circumstance (or evidence) is to considered at all. On the other
hand, the probative value of evidence refers to the question of
whether or not it proves an issue
o Hearsay evidence whether objected to or not has no probative
value.

In the absence of competent proof on the actual damage suffered,


private respondent is `entitled to nominal damages which, as the
law says, is adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which
has been violated or invaded by defendant, may be vindicated and
recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for
any loss suffered
o awarded in every obligation arising from law, contracts, quasicontracts, acts or omissions punished by law, and quasidelicts, or in every case where property right has been
invaded.
o damages in name only and not in fact
o amount to be awarded as nominal damages shall be equal or
at least commensurate to the injury sustained by private
respondent considering the concept and purpose of such
damages

Ordinarily, the receipt of insurance payments should diminish the


total value of the vessel quoted by private respondent in his

complaint considering that such payment is causally related to the


loss for which it claimed compensation.

Its failure to pay the docket fee corresponding to its increased claim
for damages under the amended complaint should not be
considered as having curtailed the lower courts jurisdiction since
the unpaid docket fee should be considered as a lien on the
judgment

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