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Torts and Damages

I . Concept/ Definition: Culpa Aquiliana Quasi Delitos Tort

The term Tort is of Anglo-American law-common law which is


broader in scope than the Spanish-Phil concept which is limited to
negligence while the former includes international or criminal acts. Torts in
Philippine law is the blending of common-law and civil law system.

Definition Quasi Delict or tort refers to acts or omission causes damage to


another, there is being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damages
done. If there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties,
such fault or negligence is called quasi-delict governed by Civil Code.

The law holds a person civilly liable for the damage caused by his
faulty or negligent act or omission.

Elements of Quasi Delict:

1. Damages suffered by the plaintiff


2. Fault or negligence of the defendant
3. Casual connection between the fault or negligence of the defendants act and
the damages incurred by the plaintiff (Andamo vs IAC, 191 SCRA 426, 96)
4. No pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. However, the
supreme court held that even if there is contractual relation, nevertheless the
act that break the contract may be also be tort, in cases of Air France vs
Carrascaso, 18 SCRA 155; Singson vs BPI, 23 SCRA 1117, 63; and Fabre
Jr vs CA, 259 SCRA 426, 96)

II. Distinctions

1. a. Fault signifies voluntary act or omission causing damages to the right


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

Fault is of two (2) kinds:


i. Substantive and independent fault in that there is no
pre-existing relation. This is the one referred to Art. 2176
NCC and source of an obligation. It is also known as culpa
extra contractual or culpa aquiliana covered by Art. 2176
NCC.
ii. Fault as an incident in the performance of an obligation
existing is known as contractual fault or culpa contractual
governed by Art. 1170-73 of NCC.

b. Negligence consist in the omission to do certain acts which result to


the damage to another.

2. As to Intennt to cause damage to another thru an act or omission:


a. It is culpa absence such intent, the actors liability is civil
governed by the Civil Code.
b. It is dolo presence of such intent and the act or omission
becomes crime and the actors civil liability is governed by the
provisions of the Revised Penal Code

Distinctions Importance of knowing these distinctions lies in filing the


proper cause of action against the tortfessor. The same act or omission
which is faulty or negligent causing damage produces civil liability arising
from a crime under the Revised Penal Code or create an action for quasi
delict or culpa contractual under the Civil Code. (Andamo vs IAC, 191
SCRA 203)

Illustrative Case: GSIS vs CA, 308 SCRA 559, 99

Facts: NFA National Food Authority owner of Chevrolet truck insured by


GSIS- CMVLI. Victor Uy owner of Toyota Tamaraw used as PU insured
by Mabuhay Ins and Guarrantee CMVLI. On May 9, 1979 at
Tabon-Tabon, Butuan City, the two vehicles collided resulting to death and
injuries to passengers of the Tamaraw and total wreck of the Tamaraw. 3
cases were filed

(1) Civil Case No. 2196 for quasi-delict filed by UY vs NFA & GSIS
recover damage to property. Won
(2) Civil Case No. 2225 for culpa contractual filed by injured passenger
Taer vs Victor Uy and Mabuhay. Won.
(3) Civil Case No. 2256 for quasi-delict NFA and driver Corbeta, GSIS
vs Victor Uy for culpa contractual and Mabuhay.

(Note: no criminal action was filed although it may be done had any of the
injured parties minded to. The action against the Insurers GSIS and
Mabuhay are based on the insurance contract of CMVLI whereby
passengers injured have the right to sue directly the insurers)
3. Differences between Crimes and Culpa Aquiliana:

Crimes:
1. Crimes affected the public interest.
2. Penal law punishes/ corrects the criminal act.
3. Only acts covered by Penal Law are punished (Barredo vs Garcia, 73
Phil 607; J. Bocobo, 1940 : Taxi c lied with Carretela)
4. Guilt proven beyond reasonable doubt.
5. Reservation to file separate civil action. No reservation, civil action
is impliedly instituted in the criminal action.
6. Employers liability is subsidiary.

Culpa Aquiliana:
1. Only private concern.
2. Repairs the damage by indemnification.
3. Covers all acts that are faulty or negligent.
4. Preponderance of evidence.
5. No reservation its independent from crime. (Andamo vs IAC, 191
SCRA 203)
6. Employers liability is solidary (Fabre Jr. vs CA, 259 SCRA 426,
96)

Culpa Contractual
(i) Pre-existing obligation between the parties
(ii) Fault or negligence is incidental to the performance of the
obligation
(iii) Defense of having exercised diligence of a good father of a
family is not available, just like in criminal action. Applied
doctrine of Respondent Superior, or Master and Servant Rule.

The result in the criminal case, whether acquittal, or conviction is


irrelevant in the independent civil action under the Civil Code (JBL Reyes:
Dionisio vs Alyendia, 102 Phil 443, 57, cited in Mckee vs IAC, 211 SCRA
536, 92) unless acquittal is based on the courts declaration that the fact
from which the civil action arose did not exist, hence the dismissal of
criminal action carries with the extinction of the civil liability. (Andamo vs
IAC, 191 SCRA 204, 90 J. Fernan)
III. Doctrines/ Principles applied in Quasi-Delict or Tort cases availed of as
defenses:

1. Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man,


guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct
of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a
prudent and reasonable man would not do.

The failure to observe for the protection of the interest of another


person, that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such person suffers injury.
(Mckee vs IAC, 211 SCRA 517, 92, citing Black Law Dictionary
and Judge Cooley: J. Davide Jr)

2. Emergency Rule one who suddenly finds himself in a place danger,


and is required to act without time to consider the best means that
may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty of
negligence, if he fails not to adopt what subsequently and upon
reflection may appear to be the better method, unless the emergency
in which he finds himself is brought about by his own
negligence.(Gan vs CA, 165 SCRA 378, 88, cited in McKee case)

Case: McKee vs IAC:


Facts: Two boys suddenly darted before McKees car forcing McKee to
swerve the car to avoid hitting the boys and in the process entered into the
opposite lane and collided with the oncoming cargo truck in the opposite
lane.

Cases: to illustrate the exception expressed in unless the emergency in


which he finds himself is brought about by his own negligence.

Raynera vs Hicetas, 306 SCRA 102, 99


Facts: At 2:00 A.M., Reynera was driving his motorcycle fast and bump
a cargo truck he is tailing. Raynera died.

Held: The proximate cause of the accident was his negligence of


Raynera who was traveling behind the cargo truck. He had the responsibility
of avoiding bumping the vehicle in front of him and who has control of the
situation. The cargo truck rear was fully lighted.
Proximate cause is that cause which, in the natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produce the injury
and without which the result would have not occurred.

Austria vs CA, 327 SCRA 688, 2000


Facts: Austria driving her car very fast bumped a cargo truck
improperly parked along the road.

Held: Proximate cause of collision is Austrias driving recklessly such


that he had no chance to avoid the collision which was of her own making.
She had the last clear chance but failed to take steps to avoid hitting the
cargo truck because she had no opportunity to do so.

I. Persons Liable for Quasi Delict: Culpa Aquiliana: Tort

Every person must, in the exercise with his rights and in the
performance of his duty, act with justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honesty and good faith (Art 19 NCC)

Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes


damages to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same (Art 20
NCC) and 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 (Art 21 NCC)

Wassmer vs Velez, 12 SCRA 648 Contrary to Good Customs

Facts: W and V set their wedding for Sept 4, 1954. Invitations were
distributed to relatives and friends. Wedding dresses purchased,
reception contracted etc. 2 days before the wedding V left for home in
Mindanao and never heard again.

Held: the mere breach of promise of marry is not an accionable


wrong, but to formally set a wedding and go thru rites in preparing
and publishing incurring expenses is palpably and unjustly contrary to
good customs for which the defendant is answerable in damages
under Art. 21 NCC
Tortfeasor or Wrongdoer = Person acting with fault or negligence
causing damage to another is obliged to pay for the damages done
(Art 2176 NCC)

Liability for ones act of fault or negligence

Case: Dr Carillo va People, 229 SCRA 386 94


Anesthesiologist was convicted for negligence for the death of a child
who died a day after operation for appendicitis. The physician did not
make an intensive preparation such as administration of antibiotics,
gave and overdose of anesthesia and arbritary administration of
Nubian (pain killer) without examination of patients weight which
caused a heart attact.

Case: Batiquin vs CA, July 5, 96 - a surgeon left a piece of rubber


in the womans uterus in caesarian operation

Person Vicariously Liable for Acts of Others (Art 2180)


The basis of vicarious liability is responsibility of a person over other
persons under their legal authority, control or influence. Violation or
remission of duty arising from such relationship makes them liable
for damages caused by other person under their care or charge.

1. Parent father, if dead or incapacitated, mother are responsible


for damages caused by minor children living in their company
(Art 2180 NCC)
2. Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or
incapacitated person who are under their authority and live in
their company. (ibid)

Art 221. Family Code provides that parents and other persons
exercising parental authority shall be civilly liable for the injuries and
damages caused by the act or omission or their unemancipated
children living in their company and under parental authority subject
to the appropriate defenses provided by law.

The Basis of the civil liability which is primary-direct and solidary


imposed by law is the necessary consequence of parental authority
exercise over their children. This authority imposed a duty upon
parents to support them, keep them company, educate and instruct
them, and grand the right to correcting punish with moderation. The
parents are relieved of this liability only upon proof that they have
exercise the diligence of a good father of a family (Exconde
vs Capuno, 101 Phil 843) to prevent damage.

Case: Tamagro vs CA, 209 SCRA 519

Facts: a 10 year old boy shot and air gun a girl resulting to her death.
The boy was acquitted in the criminal suit for having acted without
discernment. However a civil suit was filed against the boys parent.

Held: The Anglo-American Tort Principle of parental liability is a


specie of Vicarious Liability, also known as Imputed Liability.

This liability is made natural as logical consequences of the duties


and responsibilities of parents exercising parental authority which
includes controlling, disciplining and instructing their children. In this
jurisdiction the parents liability is vested by law (NCC and FC)
which assumes that when a minor or unemancipated child living with
their parent, commits a tortuous act, the parents are presumed
negligent in the performance of their duty to supervice the children
under their custody. A presumption which muris tantum, not juris es
de jure, rebuttable-overcome by proof having exercised and observed
all the diligence of a good father of a family (diligentissimi patris
familias).

Note in this case the boy was adopted but it was the natural parent
who were held liable as they the actual physical custody of the boy at
the time of the shooting. The adoption was approved only after the
shooting although the adoption proceeding was filed before the
shooting and in between the time the adaptor was abroad.

Case: Cuadra vs Monfort, 35 SCRA 160

Facts: Grade 6 pupil Maria C and Maria M were assigned by teacher


to weed the grass in the school premises. M found a plastic headband
which she aloud she found an earthworm and tossed it to C hitting the
latter right eyes resulting to loss of said eye.

Held: The underlying basis of the liability imposed by Art 2176 is the
fault or negligence accompanying the act or omission there being no
willfulness or intent to cause damage thereby and in Art 2180
providing vicarious liability of parent although primarily.

It was not shown that the parent could have prevented the damage as
their child was in school and they have the right to expect their child
to be under the care and supervision of the teacher. Beside the act was
an innocent prank and unusual among children at play and which no
parent could have any special reason to anticipate much less guard
against. Parent not held liable.

Where the minor or insane person causing damage to others has no


parent or guardian/ the minor or insane persons property shall
answer the damage caused. (Art 2182)

3. Teachers or Heads of school of arts and trade (non-academic)


are liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or
apprentices remaining under custody (Art 2180 NCC)

Cases: Exconda vs Capuno, 201 Phil 843

Facts: 15 year old elementary student after attending Rizal Day


Parade boarded a jeep on the way home. He took over the wheel and
driving recklessly caused the vehicle to turn over resulting to death of
two passengers.

Held: Upon being found guilty of double homicide with reckless


imprudence filed against him, a separate civil action was filed
whereby the father was hold solidarily liable for damages under Art
1903 nor Art 2180 NCC. The school head was held no liable being
academic school.

Mercando vs CA, 108 Phil 414, 1960

Facts: A student of Lourdes Catholic School in QC during recess cut


a classmate with razor blade. Parent of the injured student sued the
culprit for damages.

Held: Reiterated Exconda case school not liable as it was not an


establishment of arts and trade (aside from the fact that it was not
sued). Parent was held to be liable.
Palisoc vs Brillantes. 41 SCRA 548, 1971
Facts: A 16 year old student of Manila Technical Institute was killed
in a fist fight by a person who was not boarding in the school and of
majority age.

Held: The school is being non-academic (arts and trade), the head of
the school and teacher in charge were solidarily liable with the
assailant.

Amadora vs CA 160 SCRA 315, 1988 J. Cruz

Facts: It was summer of 1972 Alfredo Amadora about to graduate at


the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletes was shot to death by his classmate
Pablito Daffon. Alfredo went to the school to submit his Report in
Physic.

Held: Art 2180 NCC applies to all schools, academic or


non-academic. Teachers are liable for acts of their student except
where the school is technical in nature (arts and trade establishment)
in which case the head thereof shall be answerable.

There is really no substantial difference distinction between the


academic and non-academic schools in so far as torts committed by
their students are concerned. The same vigilance is expected from the
teacher over the student under their control and supervision, whatever
the nature of the school where he is teaching. x x x x The
distinction no longer obtains at present. x x x

The student is in the custody of the school authorities as long as he is


under the control and influence of the school and within its premises,
whether the semester has not ended, or has ended or has not yet
begun. The term custody signifies that the student is within the
control and influence of the school authorities. The teacher in charge
is the one designated by the dean, principal, or other administrative
superior to exercise supervision over the pupils or students in the
specific classes or sections to which they are assigned. It is not
necessary that at the time of the injury, the teacher is physically
present and in a position to prevent it.

Thus, for injuries caused by the 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.

In any event, the school may be held to answer for the acts of its
teacher or the head thereof under the general principle of respondent
superior, but it may exculpate itself from liability by proof that it had
exercised the diligence of a bonus paterfamilias. Such defense they
had taken necessary precautions to prevent the injury complained of
and thus be exonerated from liability imposed by Art 2180.

Basis of teachers vicarious liability is, as such, they acting in Loco


Parentis (in place of parents). However teachers are not expected to
have the same measure of responsibility as that imposed on parent for
their influence over the child is not equal in degree. x x x The parent
can instill more lasting discipline more lasting disciple on the child
than the teacher and so should be held to a greater accountability than
the teacher or the head for the tort committed by the child.

As the teacher was not shown to have been negligent nor the school
remised in the discharged of their duties, they were exonerated of
liability.

(Note the court view on increasing students activism likely causing


violence resulting to injuries, in or out of the school premises J.
Guttierez, Jr concurringly said many student x x x view some
teachers as part of the bourgeois and or reactionary group whose
advice on behavior deportment and other non-academic matters is not
only resented but actively rejected. It seems most unfair to hold
teacher liable on a presumption juris tantum of negligence for acts of
students even under circumstances where strictly speaking there
could be no in loco parentis relationship.

The provision of Art 2180 NCC involved in this case has outlived its
purpose. The court cannot make law, it can only apply the law with
its imperfections. However the court can suggest that such a law
should be amended or repealed.

4. The state is responsible when it acts thru a special agent but not
when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the
task is done properly pertains (i.e. function or duty) in which
case Art 2176 is applied.
As a general rule, the state cannot be sued without its consent.
(principle of immunity from suit) This consent is manifested in
legislative acts enactment of laws making the state suable as in this
specific provision of the Civil Code, in RA 7160 LGC of 1991
providing that LGU and their officials are not exempt from liability
for death or injury to person or damage to property (Sec 24).

The state the state may not be sued without its consent. (Sec 3 Art
XVI 87 Constitution) This is the doctrine of immunity from suit or
principle of non liability (enuciated in the 1910 case of Forbes vs
Chuco Tiaco & Crossfield, 16 Phil 534) was originally founded upon
an old maxim that The King can do no wrong prevailing during the
medieval England when the King was generally accepted as the State
himself. With the development of democratic thoughts and institution,
the concept eventually lost is moral force, the natural person-king is
no longer the state but merely its representative who may be removed
by the people. i.e. thru impeachment. The modern basis of the
principle is that immunity from suit is inherent in all sovereign states.
The reason is based on the logical and practical ground that there can
be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which
the right depends. (Kawananakoa vs Plyblank, 206 US 349 cited by
Hector S. Deleon, 2002 Ed Textbook on the Phil Const)

The state (Govt) may be sued only with its consent which may be
given
i. expressly thru duly enacted statutes such as the ff:
a. CA NO. 327 amended by PD 14445 providing conditions
under which the state may be sued
b. Administrative Code of 1987
c. Civil Code Art 2180 state acting thru special agent
d. Charters of public corp vesting them with power to sue and
be sued, eg. RA 7610 LGC
ii. Impliedly as in the ff cases:
a. When the Govt sues to recover money from individual who
has claim against it, the latter may set a counterclaim.
b. When the Govt engages in commercial business or enters
into a contract, it can be sued upon the theory that it has
descended to the level of private individual from which it
can be implied that its has given its consent to be sued
under the contract and thereby divested itself of its
sovereign character and its immunity from suits. (National
Airport Corp vs Teodoro, 91 Phil 203, Manila Hotel
Employees Assn. Vs Manila Hotel, 73 Phil 347)

The term State used in Art 2180 NCC refers to the Govt of the
Republic of the Philippines defined in Sec 2, 1987 Revised
Administrative Code as the Corporate Governmental entity thru
which the functions of the govts are exercised throughout the Phils,
which included the various arms thru which political authority is
made effective in the Phils such as the autonomous regions and the
local govt units (province, city, municipality and barangay). The term
does not include agency or instrumentality or other entity which their
enabling laws have invested with juridical personality separate and
distinct from that of the Republic of the Philippines (Fontanilla vs
Maliaman, 194 SCRA 495 J. Paras)

The functions of govt is classified into (a) governmental or


constituent involving exercise of sovereignty and is compulsory, (b)
proprietary or ministrant which is optional (Fontanilla vs Maliaman)

The state for the governmental function the state can not be sued
without its consent. For the proprietary function of the govt may be
sued without its consent which is presumed have been given in
advance.

The state may be sued only thru its Special Agent but not when the
damage had been caused by the official to whom properly it pertained
to do the act performed (Merritt Fontanilla case, 194 SCRA 503)

Special Agents are of two kinds

a. Public officials with a particular assigned tasks but is specially


commissioned to do such task foreign to his usual assigned
governmental function.
b. Private person not a public official, commissioned to perform
non-governmental function. A govt commissioning a private
person for a special task is acting thru special agent within the
meaning of Art 2180 NCC
The state assumes the role of an ordinary employer and will be held
liable for the special agents torts (Fontanilla vs Malianan, 89)

Facts: Hugo Garcia is a regular employee of National Irrigation


Administration (NIA) a govt agency created by its charter RA 3601
amended by PD 552 for the purpose of undertaking integrated
irrigation project. Garcia driving the agency official pick-up bumped
a bicycle ridden by Fontanilla resulting to his death. The victims
parent filed a civil action against NIA and its driver Garcia who was
found guilty of driving recklessly. NIA was ordered to pay, NIA
appealed raising the issue that as govt agency performing govt
function is not liable as being a part of the state, cannot be sued.

Held: the state or govt agency performing governmental function may


be held liable for tort committed by its employees when it acts thru a
special agent.

While NIA is a govt agency performing governmental function,


however it is suable because its charter provides that it may be sue or
be sued, thus consent of the state for NIA to be sued has already
given, so that the rule on immunity from suit normally extended to
govt agencies performing governmental functions is no longer
available to NIA. By waiving that immunity from suit in its charter,
NIA open itself to suits.

Thus NIA was held responsible for the negligent act of its employee
Garcia who is not a special agent. (J. Padilla separate opinion in
Fontanilla vs Maliaman Resolution in 1991, 194 SCRA 499)

Palafox vs Ilocos Norte Prov, 102 Phil 1186

Facts: Provinces truck on its was to the river for gravel and sands to
be used in the construction and repair of its road (a governmental
function) runs over a pedestrian resulting to the latters death.

Held: The province was not liable because its employee driver at the
time of the accident was performing his regular duties and is not a
special agent.

Rosete vs The Auditor General, 81 Phil 453


Facts: A fire broke out in the Emergency Control Administration (a
govt office) due to the negligence of its employee in igniting
recklessly his cigarette lighter near a drum of gasoline in the offices
warehouse resulting to destruction of buildings adjoining the
warehouse. Victims sued the officers of the Emergency Control
Admin.

Held: As ECA or its officers were shown to have acted not as special
agent of the govt in storing gasoline in the warehouse, the Govt is not
responsible for the damages caused thru such negligence.

Republic vs Palacio, 23 SCRA 899

Facts: The Irrigation Service Unit, an office/agency under the Dept of


Public Works and Communication was sued for tort and the Sheriff of
Manila garnished the deposit of the ISU in the PNB, Manila.

Held: The ISU being an office in the govt and its fund is a public fund.
It is being shown that the ISU was guilty of tort, however the sate not
its fund is not liable because the ISU was not a special agent. Under
Art 2180 the state is liable only for tort caused by its special agent.

GAA vs CA, 167 SCRA 28, 88

Facts: GAA charges fees for the use of the Airports terrace or
viewing deck where one gets a better view of arriving and departing
passengers at the airport. The deck had an elevated portion (4 inches)
which caused a viewer to fall breaking his thigh bone. He sued CAA
for hospital expenses. CAA raised the defense of being a govt agency
subject of immunity from suit.

Held: While CAA is a govt agency however it is performing a


proprietary functions business and under its charter it is empowered
to sue and be sued. Thus it cannot avail the immunity from suit
accorded to govt agencies performing strictly governmental function.
(Malong vs PNR, 138 SCRA 63 which ruled that PNR is not immune
from suit as it does not exercise sovereignty but purely proprietary
business function)

NIA vs IAC, 214 SCRA 35, 92


Held: Damages caused by the officials of NIA for its negligence in
the construction of the canal which caused damages to nearby land,
NIA is liable under Art 2176 NCC as NIAs official are not special
agent in performing their official assigned duties and functions.

LGU are liable for damages for the death or injuries suffered by any
person by reason of defective conditions of roads, streets, bridges,
public building and other public works under their control or
supervision. (Art 2189)

LGUs and their official are not exempt from liability for death or
injury to persons or damage to property. (Sec 24, RA 7160 LGC of
1991)

Municipality of San Fernando, La Union vas Firme, 195 SCRA 692,


91

Facts: Municipals dump truck on way to the Naguilian River to get


gravel and sands for the repair of roads (a governmental function)
collided with a passenger jeep resulting the death of passenger of the
latter vehicle. Civil action was filed against the Municipality.

Held: Municipalities being agencies of the State, when performing


governmental functions enjoy sovereignty and thus immune from suit
unless it is shown that they are performing proprietary function.

However, they may be held liable if it can be shown acting thru a


special agent. The Municipalitys driver is not a special agent and so
the Municipal is not liable, only the driver.

Palma vs Graciano, 99 Phil 92

Facts: A governor and a Mayor filed a criminal charge which was


dismissed for being groundless. They were sued

Held: The prosecution of a crime is a governmental function, not a


corporation action. In the discharged thereof, the Province or City or
Municipality is not liable for tortuous acts of its officers. Only the
public officers acting tortuously (beyond the scope of their authority)
are personally liable because the mantle of immunity from suit
accorded to their office is not available for their tortuous acts.
Republic vs Sandoval, 20 SCRA 124, 1993

Facts: Jan 22, 1987 known as Black Saturday the Mendiola


Massacre of Rallyist who were shot as they march toward
Malacaang. Heirs of the dead rallyist sued the Republic and Military
Officers and soldiers. Judge Sandoval dismiss their suit invoking
States immunity from suit.

Held: Instances when the suit against the state


a. when the Republic is sued by name
b. when the suit is against an unincorporated govt agency
c. when the suit is against a govt officer but the ultimate liability
will fall on the state and not on the officer
d. when the govt perpetrated injustice on the citizen (De los Santos
vs IAC, 223 SCRA 11)

In this case, the state is not liable for the civil liability arising from
criminal acts of the military for violating BP Blg 880 which prohibits
unnecessary firing in dispensing public assembly. The doctrine of
immunity from suit will not be applied to the military officers who
have acted beyond the scope of their authority because in so doing
they are deemed to ceased to be a public officers but a private person
liable like any other private persons for doing wrongful acts.

De los Santos vs IAC, 223 SCRA 11, 93

Facts: Min of Public works while carrying on its project of


constructing roads and creeks took over the portion of privately
owned land without or against the consent of the owner who
sued. Immunity from suit was invoked.

Held: when a govt thru its agency takes away private property
without going to legal process of expropriation and paying just
compensation, a suit may be properly maintained against the govt.
The civil action may be based under Art 32 NCC and the
constitutional provisions on rights against privation of property
without due process of law and without just compensation.

The doctrine of immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for


the perpetration of injustice on its citizens. (J. Romero)
Resume on States liability for tort

The state is liable fro the tortuous acts only of its special agent but not
of its public officials in the performance of their assigned usual duties
and functions who are liable under Art 2176 NCC and not Art 2180
NCC

Rationale: there can be no legal rights as against the authority that


grants such rights. This is known as doctrine of immunity from suit
which is very essence of sovereignty. It is expressed in the
constitution that the state cannot be sued without its consent (Sec 3,
Art XVI). The states consent is manifested expressly in the form its
legislative enactments of statues (Art 2180 NCC, Sec 24 LGC of
1991, Act No 3083 relating money claims arising from contract) and
impliedly when the state enters into contract in its proprietary or
private capacity, or when the sate itself sues, opens itself to
counterclaim, or perpetrate injustice to its citizen.

5. Employers: Master
a. Owner and Manager of establishment or enterprises are
liable for damage caused by their employees in the service
of employment or on the occasion of their functions.
b. Employer of household helper though not engaged in any
business or industry are liable for damages caused by helper
acting within the scope of their assigned tasks.

Basis of Liability is not Respondent Superior (Anglo-American


doctrine where the negligence of the employee is conclusively
presumed to be the negligence of the employer) but on the
relationship of Pater-Familias, (master-servant) a theory basing the
liability of the master ultimately on his own negligence and not that
of the servant as manifested in his negligence in the selection of their
employee-servant (culpa eligiendo) or in the supervision over their
employee-servants (culpa in vigilando). This negligence is prima
facie presumption juris tantum- overcome or rebutted by proof that
they have observed and exercised all the diligence of a good father of
a family (diligantissimi bonus fater familias). The theory is deduced
from the last par of Art 2180 NCC providing the responsibility shall
cease upon proof of exercise of the diligence of a good father of a
family to prevent the damage.
The term Manager in Art 2180 is used in the sense of employer, not
employee.

Case: Phil Rabbit Bus Lines Inc vs Phil Am Forwarder, Mar 25, 1975

Facts: An action for damages was brought against Phil Am


Forwarded and its Manager Balingit for negligent act of their driver.
Balingit moved to dismiss the action against him for though he was
manager, however, he was just an employee of the company.

Held: Balingit is not liable because he was just a mere employee


though designated as Manager.

The relationship of employer-employee or master-servant must first


be established to exist before the employer/master will be held liable.

Case: Phil Shell Petroleum Co vs CA, 221 SCRA 389

Facts: Gas station proprietor was sued for selling adulterated gas with
water. He settled amicably the suit and then Phil Shell for the
negligence of Feliciano who was hired in undertaking hydro pressure
test in the underground storage tank which was cracked causing water
to seep into the tank.

Held: Phil Shell is not liable because Feliciano was not its employee.
It was shown that Phil Shell has no control over Feliciano who do
business of his own, used his own tools and worked on his own time
charging a fixed lump sum for every piece of work. Feliciano was an
independent contractor and not an employee and thus he alone is
liable.

Case: Cuison vs Norton & Harisson Co, 55 Phil 18

Facts: Ora was employed by defendant company charged in directing


and controlling transport business of the Co. On the day of the
accident, one of the companys truck was leaded with logs which
were not properly tied. The ties were loosened during the trip. They
stopped to rearrange the ties but before they could do so a child
passing beside the truck was hit by a log falling from the truck.
Held: Ora beingan employee of the company, the latter is responsible
for the negligence in the loading of logs which caused the death of the
boy.

Distinction of employers liability under Art 2180 NCC and


Revised Penal Code.

Civil Code
1. Direct and primary solidary, employer is sue even without suing
the employee
2. Defense of exercise of diligence of a good father of the family to
be relieve of liability
3. Employer is liable even if not engaged in business
4. Proof of negligence is by mere preponderance of evidence

Revised Penal Code


1. Subsidiary arising after the employees guilt
2. Diligence of a good father is not a defense
3. Must prove employer is engaged in business
4. Proof beyond reasonable doubt of evidence

5. Owners of Motor vehicle (Art 2184)


a. Owner is in the motor vehicle is solidary liable with his driver
b. Owner is not in the motor vehicle with the driver is subsidiary
liable

Case: Chapman vs Underwood, 27 Phil 374

Facts: Underwood riding in his car and his driver suddenly turned to
the wrong side of the street and hit the plaintiff. Driver was negligent.
Was the owner liable too?

Held: Where the owner had reasonable opportunity to observe his


driver and to direct the latter to cease there from, becomes himself
responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the driver, by sudden
act of negligence and without opportunity to prevent the acts or its
continuance, the owner is not responsible.

Caedo vs Tu Khe Thai, 26 SCRA 419


Facts: Yu was riding in his Cadillac driven by Bernardo saw a
carratela about 8 meters away. Instead of slowing down veered to the
left to overtake and in so doing the car hit the carratellas left wheel
and skidded obliquely hitting the on coming car of Caedo who despite
slackened speed to avoid the collision was hit resulting to the injuries
of Caedo and his passengers. Yus driver was negligent. Was Yu
liable?

Held: The basis of the master/employers liability in civil law is not


respondent superior but rather the relationship of Pater Familias. The
theory is that ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the
master and susceptible of timely correction, reflects the masters
negligence if he fails to correct it in order to prevent the injury or
damage (J. Makalintal)

The owner of the car Yu was not liable because he did not see the
carretela at a distance, however, he could not anticipated his drivers
sudden decision to pass the carretela. The time element was such that
there was not reasonable opportunity for Yu to assess the danger
involved and warn the driver accordingly.

Former owner of Motor Vehicle are liable for the tortuous acts of the
new owner

Case: Equitable Leasing Corp vs Suyom, Sept 5, 2002

Facts: Equitable sold to Lim a Fuso tractor. After the sales price
was fully paid, a deed of sale executed by Equitable in favor of Lim
who had not registered the sale with the LTO. While the tractor was
driven by Lims employee, it rammed into a house causing death and
injuries and damages.

Held: This court (SC) has consistently held that regardless of the sales
made of motor vehicle, the registered owner is the lawful operator
insofar as the public and third persons are concerned. Consequently it
is directly and primary liable for the consequences of its operation in
contemplation of the law. The owner of record is the employer of
the driver while the actual owner is considered as merely its agent.

Since Equitable remained the registered owner, it could not escape


primary liability.
Torts and damages

Intro: Concepts and Definition

The law governing damages is found in Art 2195 to 2235, NCC, which reincorporated
some of the Spanish Civil Code and adopted some principles of the American law (Civil code
commission report)

Damages (Latin Damnum or Demo = to take away) refers to the harm done and what
may be recovered.

Injury refers to the wrongful or unlawful or tortuous act. Damages is the measure of
recovery while injury is the legal wrong to be redressed.

There may be damage without injury (damnum absque injuria) and an injury without
damages. (15 Am Jur 388)

Cases (i) De la Rama Steamship vs Tan, 99 Phil 1034 Govt agency terminated contract of
agency under its right stipulated in the contract, although the agent suffered damages.

(ii) Janda vs Lepanto, 99 Phil 197, 1956 in compliance with the law (RA 529) purchaser of
shares of stock pain in pesos despite agreement to pay in dollar because at the time the law
declared stipulation as void to pay in currency other than pesos.

(iii) Saba vs CA, 189 SCRA 50 restated the doctrine of Qui Jure Suo Utitur Nullum Damnum =
one who exercise his right does no injury and if damage result, it is damnum absque injuria. The
case made the distinction between damage and injury.

Injury of loss arises from the violation if legal right while damages refer to money or pecuniary
compensation which the law impose or awarded for the injury done.

The Civil codes provisions on damages are applicable to all obligations arising from (1)
Law, (2) Contracts, (3) Quasi Contracts, (4) Delicts crimes, and (5) Quasi-delicts = tort. (Art
2195 NCC)

Compensation for workmen and other employees are governed by special law and
rules governing damages laid down in other laws shall be observed insofar as are not in conflict
with the Civil Code. (Art 2196 NCC) This makes the Civil Codes provisions on damages as the
general law.

Case: Ysmael Maritime Corp vs Avelino, 151 SCRA 333

Held:
The heirs of the deceased seaman have the choice of availing remedy to recover damages,
workmens compensation law-labor code for work connected injury, or for tort under the Civil
Code for negligence of the employer. However, once they pursue one, they are no longer free
to avail the other. (Cited Florensca vs Phil Ex, 136 SCRA 141 case of miners who died in a
cave-in.

B. Kinds of Damages
There are 6 kinds of damages, namely
1. Actual or compensatory
2. Moral
3. Nominal
4. Temperate or moderate
5. Liquidated
6. Exemplary or corrective

General Classification of damages

1. Damages capable of pecuniary computation estimable which must be duly established


or proven as in actual or compensatory damages and loss of property lost of earning
capacity.
2. Damages incapable of pecuniary estimation for which no proof is needed and the
assessment is left to discretion of the court. (Art 2216)

Damages:

For the same faulty or negligent act or omission causing damages it may produce
multiple liabilities, namely (1) criminal liability and (2) civil liability which in turn may be (a) a
Civil Liability arising from a crime under the Revised Penal Code, or (b) Civil liability arising from
culpa extra-contractual or quasi delict or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code and (c) civil liability
arising from culpa contractual or breach of contract.

The liability arising from culpa aquiliana is entirely separate and distinct the civil liability
arising from a crime. However the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or
omission. (Art 2177 NCC)

The acquittal or conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case,
unless the acquittal is declared that the fact from which the civil action arose did not exist which
extinguished the criminal liability and the civil liability. (Andamo vs IAC, 191 SCRA 204) The
aggrieved party has the option to choose which of the actions that may be filed because double
recovery or damages is prohibited. (Virata vs Ochoa, 81 SCRA 472).

Exemplary or corrective damages


These are damages imposed by way of example or correction for the public good, in
addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages (Art 2229 NCC).

This damages cannot be recovered as a matter of right. This court will decide whether
or not they should be adjudicated, (Art 2233) and any stipulation renouncing in advance such
damages shall be null and void. (Art 2234 NCC).

Condition for the award (Art 2234 NCC)


Plaintiff must prove that he is entitled to the following:
A. Compensatory Damages
B. Moral Damages
C. Temperate Damages
D. Defendant acted with fraudulent, malevolent, oppressive, reckless or wanton manner in
contracts or quasi contract case. (Art 2232 NCC)
E. Presence of aggravating circumstance in the commission of criminal offense - as a part of civil
liability. (Art. 2230 NCC).
F. Defendant acted with gross negligence in quasi-delicts.

Case: German Marine Agencies Inc. Vs NLRC, 350 SCRA 641

Facts:
The ship radio officer was taken ill while the ship was in New Zealand, Despite notice thereof by
the ship's captain, the ship proceeded with the voyage and reached the Phil in 10 days and yet
the sick radio officer was not immediately taken to hospital for medical treatment.

Held:
Ship owner is liable for moral damages for the physical suffering and mental anguish caused to
Radio Officer. P50,000 in moral damages is proper.

As the fact of negligence of the ship's captain was not only shown to have existed but it was
deliberately perpetrated by the arbitrary refusal to commit the ailing radio officer to a hospital in
New Zealand or at the nearest port resulting to his permanent partial disability, the award of
exemplary damages for P50,000 is adequate and reasonable.

In this case the awarding of the exemplary damages is to serve a correction as well as an
example for ship owners to look after the welfare of their employees first to that of their
customers-cargo-owner.

The rationale behind the exemplary damages is to provide an example or correction for public
good and not to enrich the victim. (People vs Agustin, 350 SCRA 216, '01)

Atty's fees may be recovered when exemplary damages are awarded. (Coca cola bottlers Phil vs
Roque, 305 SCRA 215)

Case: PCIB vs CA, 350 SCRA 446, '01 = Ford's case

Held:
Banks are liable for tortuous act of its officers an employee within the course or scope of thei
employment.

In this case, both the drawee and collection banks were negligent in failing to select and
supervise their employees resulting to the encashment of the check to the syndicate instead of
the rightful person.

Nominal Damages (Art 2221 NCC)

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

Nominal Damages are merely for the vindication of a right that has been violated, not
for indemnification of the losses suffered. (ventanilla vs Centeno, Jan 28, 61). Case of a lawyer
who was negligent in filing appeal time tho he was not liable for actual damages.
Case: Almeda vs Carino, Jan 13, 2003

Facts:
C sold a lot on installments to A. A last sold the same to another, and despite of demands, A
refused to pay the unpaid balance of the purchase price owing to C.

Held:
The vendor C has the right to the unpaid balance to the lot sold to A who violated such right
when he refused to pay. For this, C is entitled, aside from the payment of the unpaid balance, to
a nominal damages.

Nominal Damages may be awarded to a plaintiff whose right has been violated or
invaded by the defendant for the purpose of vindicating or recognizing that right and not for
indemnifying the plaintiff for the loss suffered. Its award is thus not for the purpose of
indemnification for a loss but for the recognition and vindication of a right. When granted by the
courts, they are treated not as an equivalent of a wrong inflicted but simply a recognition of the
existence of a technical injury. A violation of the plaintiff's right, even if only technical, is
sufficient to support an award of nominal damages. So long as there s a showing of a violation
of a right of the plaintiff, an award of nominal damages is proper.

Temperate or Moderate Damages (Art. 2224 NCC)

These are damages which are more than nominal but less compensatory damage
which may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but
the amount can not, from the nature of the case, be proved with certainty.

Case: Phil Telegraph and Telephone Corp vs CA, Sept. 3 2002.

Facts:
PT&T breached its contract in failing to remit money order sent by plaintiff on time. However the
latter failed to prove actual damages and that PT&T was in bad faith.

Held:
Either Temperate or nominal damages could be awarded.

Case: Araneta vs Bank of America, 40 SCRA 144

Facts:
A issued checks in payment of jewels purchased. The checks were dishonored despite of the
sufficiency of fund to cover the checks. The bank apologized for the errors of its employee.
Again, similar incidents subsequently occurred. Thus a sued the bank.

Held:
While A may not be able to prove the profit he would have net had the jewelry transaction been
pushed thru, his claim for temperate damages is justified.

B. Kinds of damages: General classification

2. Damages incapable of pecuniary estimation. While proofs is not needed, however, it is


essential that the complainant must satisfactorily show the existence of the factual basis of the
damage (Art 2217) and its casual connection to the defendants wrongful acts. (Malonzo vs
Galang, 100 Phil 16; Raagas vs Traja, 22 SCRA 836) These damages, nominal damages,
temperate damages and exemplary or corrective damages.

The principles of the general law on damages are adopted insofar as they are not
inconsistent with the Civil Code (Art 2198).

The fundamental principle of law of damages


is that one injured by a breach of contract or by the negligent act or omission shall have fair and
just compensation commensurate with the loss sustained in the consequence of the defendant's
act which give to the action. Thus actual pecuniary compensation is the indemnity for his loss
and to be placed as near as may be in condition which he would have occupied had he not
suffered the injury complained of. On the other hand, the defendant shall not be liable for
damages more than the actual loss which he has inflicted by his wrong.

Only proximate, not remote, damages are recoverable.

While the same faulty or negligent act or omission may give rise to multiplicity of suits,
however under Art 2177, NCC, the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or
omission, If the plaintiff recovers from the defendant under the civil code, he cannot recover
damage from the same defendant under Revised Penal Code on the premise that person
criminally liable is also civilly liable.

Case: Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co vs CA, 64 SCRA 427

Facts:
Bus collided with a car driven by Reyes resulting to death of Reyes and injuries to his passengers
Cardena. Cardena and heirs of Elizondo sued the Bus operator whose driver was found
negligent.

The defendant bus operator contended that it was premature to proceed with the civil case
pending final resolution of the criminal case against their driver.

Held:
Employer's liability is made clear under Art 2180 and under Art 2177 is entirely separate and
distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under Revised Penal Code. But the plaintiff
cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission

Culpa aquiliana is an independent source of obligation between two persons not


formerly bound by any juridical tie. (Manressa)

It is not required that the injured party should not seek out a third person crimirnally
liable whose prosecution must be a condition precedent to the enforcement of the civil right.
(Rakes vs AGP Co, 7 Phil 359) The civil liability under quasi delict is contracted without
agreement or consent, thus culpa extra contractual, on the principle that where harm, loss or
damage has been caused to a person thru fault or negligent act the aggrieve party is entitled to
be indemnified. (Cangco vs MRR, 38 Phil 768)

MORAL DAMAGES
4. Cases where Moral Damages may be recovered or Awarded

a. Acts mentioned in Art 309 - disrespect to the dead or wrongful interference with funeral
b. Arts and actions referred in Articles on human relation - 21, 26, to 30, 32 to 35

c. Willful injury to property committed maliciously or fraudulently (Art 2220, Francisco vs GSIS,
Mar 30, '63)

d. Breaches of contracts where the defendant acted with fraudulently or in bad faith. (Art 2220)

Breaches of contract of carriage resulting to death or injury of passengers (Art 1764 in


relation to Art 2206 (3) Phil Rabbit bus lines inc vs Easguerra, 117 SCRA 741)

Case: Calalas vs CA, 332 SCRA 356, 2000

Facts:
Calalas' jeep was improperly parked with its rear portion protruding from the board shoulder of
the road (violation of LTTC). Passenger Sunga who was sited on wooden stool as extended seat
alighted to give way to another passenger alighting from the inside and in the process he was
bumped by an overtaking truck owned by Salinas.

Sunga sued Calalas - breach of carriage


Calalas sued Salvas - Tort

Held:
While moral damages are not recoverable in actions for breach of contract for it is not one of the
items enumerated in Art 2219, NCC, however, the exception is in the cases of mishap resulting
to the death or injury of passenger unddder Art 1764 in relation to Art 2206 (3) NCC and in cases
in which the carrier is guilty of fraud or in bad faith.

In this case the ruling in Calamas vs Salvas is not binding in the case of Sunga vs Calalas. Res
Judicata does not apply because Sunga is not a party to the tort case where Salva was found at
fault and liable to Calalas. Thought both cases has the same issue of negligence, however, each
is distinct and separate from the other. (Breach of contract and tort)

Defense of proximate cause is not available in breach of contract of carriage: only in tort cases.
Neither is the defense of caso fortuitous where it is attended to by negligence which in Calalas
case were overloading and parking improrely which are vioation of tle LTTC.

Moral damages cannot be award in the absence of any injury or factual basis. There
must be pleading and proof of moral suffering, mental anguish, fright, wounded feelings ad
similar injury. (Brent Hospital Inc vs NLRC, 292 SCRA 304, '98; People vs Aguilar, 349 SCRA 292,
'98)

MORAL DAMAGES, Arts 2217 to 2220, NCC

1. Moral damages are not intended to enrich a complainant at the expense of the defendant.
They are awarded only to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversion or amusements
that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone by reason of the defendant's
culpable action. (J. Paraz, Prudencio vs Alliance Transport, Mar 16 '87)

2. Concept - Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, freight, serious anxiety,
dismirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury.
Thought incapable of pecuniary computation, it may recover if they are the proximate
result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission. (2217)

Moral damages are not punitive in nature, but are designed to compensate and
alleviate in some way the physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, etc. This is
so because moral damages are in the category of an award designed to compensate the
claimant for actual injury suffered, not to impose a penalty in the wrongdoer. (Equitable Leasing
Corp vs Suyom et al, Sept 5, '02)

Corporation are not entitled to moral damages because an artificial person existing only
in legal contemplation-legal fiction, have no feelings no emotions, no senses and therefore, it
cannot experience physical suffering and mental anguish, sorrows and grief of life- all of which
can not be suffered by artificial person. (National Power Corp vs Phil Brothers Oceanio, Inc, Nov
21, 2001)

3. Conditions to recover moral damages while no proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order
to recover and the assessment is left to the discretion of the court (Art 2216 NCC). However, the
complainant must satisfactory show the ff:

1. factual basis for the award which is the injury or wrong doing of the defendant
2. the injury, i.e. physical suffering etc are the proximate result of the defendants
wrongful act or omission (2217)
3. casual connection or relation between the actual injury and the wrongful act or omission
of the defendant. (Equitable Leasing Corp vs Suyom)

4. Cases where moral damages may be recovered or awarded (2219)

1. Criminal offenses resulting to physical injuries (Art 33 NCC and Madeja Caro, 126 SCRA
293)
2. Quasi-delict causing physical injuries
3. Adultery and concubinage
4. Abduction, Rape, Seduction and other malicious act, victim and parent are entitled
5. Illegal search
6. Illegal arbitrary detention or arrest
7. Libel, slander or other form of defamation (Art 33)
8. Malicious prosecution

Torts and Damages

Obligations and liabilities arising from human relation

The civil codes provisions dealing on human relation (Chap 2


Preliminary Title) are now, not based in the Spanish Civil Code, formulated
some basic principles that are to be observed for the rightful relationship
between human beings and for the stability of social order. It was designed
to indicate certain norms that spring from the fountain of good and
conscience. (Report, Code Commission, p. 39)
These provisions provide for specie of Special Torts

1. The catch all provisions

1. Abuse of rights every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in
the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honesty and good faith. (Art 19) The elements are the ff:
i. There must be a legal right or duty
ii. Exercise of such right or duty in bad faith
iii. Prejudices or causes damage to another

2. Sanction Penalty every person who, contrary to law, willfully or


negligently causes damages to another, shall indemnify the latter for the
same (Art 20)

This reiterated in Art 2176 and 2194 dealing on quasi delicts holding that
person are liable for damages caused by their fault or negligence. (Prof.
Jarencio opined that this provision refers to willful or negligent acts contrary
to law not constituting quasi delict or delict)

3. Contra Bonus Mores- any person who willfully causes losses or injury to
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public
policy shall compensate the latter for damage (Art 21)

Case: Quisimbing vs Icao, 34 SCRA 132


Held: under Art 21, for a married man to force a woman not his wife to yield
to his lust constitutes a clear violation of the rights of his victim that entitles
her to claim for compensation for the damage caused. Mans act is contrary
to moral, good customs or public policy.

Case: Pe et al vs Pe, 5 SCRA 200


Defendant is married separated and correlative of the plaintiff unmarried
woman, 24 years of age. Defendant frequently visited the girls house on the
pretext of teaching her how to pray the rosary. They fell in love and had
clandestine trust until they disappeared.

Held: No conclusion can be drawn from the fact that defendant, not only
deliberately, but thru a clever strategy, succeeded in winning the affection
and love to the woman to the extent of having illicit relations with her. The
wrong caused to her and her family is contrary to morals etc as
contemplated in Art 21.
Case: Wassmer vs Velez, 12 Scra 648

Facts: W & V applied for a license to contract of marriage. The wedding


was set, invitations were printed and distributed to relatives, friends.
Wedding dresses purchased (bridal, flower girls maid of honor, etc),
reception and other amenities reserved. But before the wedding, the boy left
for Mindanao and never returned.

Held: The mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. But
to formally set a wedding and go thru all those preparation and expenses and
publicity only to walk out is contrary to good custom for which defendant is
held answerable for damages under Art 21.

B. Unjust enrichment

1. Every Person thru an act or performance by another or any other


means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the
latter without just or legal ground shall return the same to him (Art 22)

Prof. Jarencion Illustration

A community was raised by lawless elements and took personal


belongings of the helpless residents. When the Govt forces came driving the
lawless elements and restoring peace and order, the owner of the house
occupied by the lawless element found several personal belongings of other
left by the fleeing outlaws. The person owning those personal belonging
taken by the outlaws have the right to recover them from the finder under
Art 22.

2. Even when an act or event causing damage to anothers property


was not due to the fault or negligent of the defendant, the latter shall be
liable for indemnity if thru the act or event he was benefited (Art 23)

Illustration given by the Code Commission

Without As knowledge, a flood drive his cattle to the cultivated


highland of B. As cattle were saved but Bs crop were destroyed because
they were eaten by the cattle. While A was not at fault however he was
benefited when his cattle were saved from the flood aside from being well
fed. It is butt right and equitable that A should indemnify B for the loss of
his crop. Otherwise the injured party B would be unjustly enriched at the
expense of the party who received the benefit.

See Arts 2142 and 2143

C. Violation of dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of neighbors


and other persons (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 the privacy of another's residence:

(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 religious beliefs, lowly


station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.

D. Dereliction of official duty by public official (Art 27)

Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant


or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official
duty may file an action for damages and other relief against he latter,
without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be
taken.

This provision was designed to redress complaints of the people that


in dealing with public officials and employees that they are not properly
attended to while those who are rich influential and powerful are given
prompt and even servile attention. Worst is some public officials/ employee
took advantage of their position, expectly or demand bribe for the
performance of their duty which lowered the morals of public service and
seriously undermined public confidence of the govt.

Case: Zulueta vs Nicolas, 102 Phil 844

Facts: Z filed a complaint against the Governor of Rizal for libel. After
investigation the Fiscal absolved the Governor on the ground that there was
no prima facie evidence for filing the libel complaint.

Z then filed a civil action against under Art 27 NCC

Held: The fiscal of absolving the Governor upon finding no sufficient


evidence to establish a prima facie case is not refusal without just cause to
perform his official duty to file the complaint for libel. The fiscal is vested
with authority and discretion to determine whether or not there is sufficient
evidence to justify the filing of an action, and having control of the
prosecution of a criminal case, the fiscal cannot be subjected to direction
from the offended party. Action dismissed.

E. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or


in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any
other unjust, oppressive or highhanded method shall give rise to a right of
action by the person who thereby suffers damage. (Art 28)

F. Acquittal in criminal case on the ground that guilt has not been proved
beyond reasonable doubt. A civil action for damages for the same act or
omission may be instituted and such action requires only preponderance of
evidence. (Art 29)

The rationale for this is provided in Art 2177 NCC which states the
responsibility for fault or negligence is entirely separate and distinct from
the civil liability arising from negligence under the Revised Penal Code but
the plaintiff cannot recover twice for the same act or omission.

However, if the acquittal is based on proof that the accused did not
commit a crime, or that no crime was committed, or because he is justified
or exempt from criminal liability, no civil action may be instituted because
the acquittal on those ground constitutes res adjudicate.

Case: PNB vs Capiton, 98 Phil 286


Held: Acquittal of an accused in Estafa case on the ground that his guilt has
not been satisfactorily established is equivalent to one on reasonable doubt
and does not preclude filing of civil action for the same act or omission
under Art 29 NCC.

However to protect the person from harassment, the law authorizes


defendant to file a motion in court requiring the plaintiff to file a bond to
answer for damages in case complaint should be found malicious.