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Case Name: Layugan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court By: Del Rosario, Keren Michelle P.

GR No. L-73998 Topic: Doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor


Date: November 14, 1988

FACTS
Layugan (plaintiff) filed an action for damages against Isidro (defendant) alleging the following:
o He was repairing his tire of the cargo truck parked alongside the National Highway, defendants truck driven by
Serrano bumped him
o As a result, he sustained injuries and was hospitalized at Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Research and Medical Center and
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
o He spent P10,000 and will incur more expenses as he recovers from the injuries
o Due to the said injuries, he was deprived of a lifetime income of P70,000, and also prayed for P10,000 attorneys
fees
Defendant alleged the following:
o He was the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident driven by Serran. The truck which was allegedly repaired
occupied half of the lane, right after the curve. The proximate cause of the incident was failure of the plaintiff to
install an early warning device
o He contends that any immobile object along the highway, like a parked truck, poses serious danger to a moving
vehicle which has the right to be on the highway, and it was incumbent to the plaintiff to exercise extreme care so
the motorist on the road will be extremely forewarned.
o The burden of proof to prove diligence was observed was shifted to plaintiff since he has the right of way on the
road. Absent such proof of care, Isidro concludes, would, under the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur, evoke the
presumption of negligence on the part of the driver of the parked cargo truck as well as his helper, the petitioner
herein, who was fixing the flat tire of the said truck
o Hence, plaintiff is liable for damages sustained by the truck in the amount of more than P20,000
Trial Court: Defendant is liable to pay plaintiff P70,000 for actual and compensatory damages, P2,000 for attorneys fees,
P5,000 for moral damages, and to pay for the costs of the suit
IAC: reversed the trial court and dismissed the complaint
Hence, this petition
ISSUE/S:
1. Who between the plaintiff and defendant is negligent?
2. W/N the defendant rightfully invoked the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in his favor
HELD
1. Defendant Isidro and driver Serano are negligent.
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 test
by which to determine the existence of negligence: 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.

In the present case, the admission of driver Serano shows that about 3 to 4 meters from the rear of the parked truck, a kerosene
lamp was placed. He claims that he was blinded by the intense glare of the light that is why he did not notice the parked truck.
Despite warning, the truck driven by Serano, an employee of defendant Isidro still bumped the rear of plaintiffs truck.
Consequently, plaintiff sustained injuries. Hence, defendant was negligent

2. The lower court erred in upholding defedants theory of res ipsa loquitur or the thing speaks for itself.
It is a rule of evidence peculiar to law of negligence which recognizes the prima facie negligence on the part of the
defendant. The rule is not intended to and does not dispense with the requirement of proof of culpable negligence on the part of
the party charged. It merely determines the prima facie evidence of proving a breach of duty. It can only be invoked when
direct evidence is absent and not readily available.

Under doctrine of "res ipsa loquitur" the happening of an injury permits an inference of negligence where plaintiff produces
substantial evidence that injury was caused by an agency or instrumentality under exclusive control and management of
defendant, and that the occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of things would not happen if reasonable care had been
used.

In this case, defendant Isidro was sued under Article 2176 of the Civil Code in relation to Article 2180(5), which the law gives
the presumption of negligence on the part of the employer over the acts of the employee. He failed to prove the diligence of a
good father of the family over his supervision of his driver.
Doctrine Notes

Under doctrine of "res ipsa loquitur" the happening of an injury permits an


inference of negligence where plaintiff produces substantial evidence that injury
was caused by an agency or instrumentality under exclusive control and
management of defendant, and that the occurrence was such that in the ordinary
course of things would not happen if reasonable care had been used.

It is a rule of evidence peculiar to law of negligence which recognizes the prima


facie negligence on the part of the defendant. The rule is not intended to and does
not dispense with the requirement of proof of culpable negligence on the part of the
party charged. It merely determines the prima facie evidence of proving a breach of
duty. It can only be invoked when direct evidence is absent and not readily
available.