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TORTS

TORT
 An unlawful violation of private right, not created by contract, and which gives rise to an action for
damages.
 It is an act or omission producing an injury to another, without any previous existing lawful relation of
which the said act or omission may be said to be a natural outgrowth or incident.

NOTES:
 An unborn child is NOT entitled to damages. But the bereaved parents may be entitled to damages, on
damages inflicted directly upon them. (Geluz vs. CA, 2 SCRA 802)
 Defendants in tort cases can either be natural or artificial being. Corporations are civilly liable in the
same manner as natural persons.
 Any person who has been injured by reason of a tortious conduct can sue the tortfeasor.
 The primary purpose of a tort action is to provide compensation to a person who was injured by the
tortious conduct of the defendant.
 Preventive remedy is available in some cases.

Classes of Torts:

A. Negligent Torts
B. Intentional Torts
C. Strict Liability

A. NEGLIGENT TORTS

 Involve voluntary acts or omissions which result in injury to others without intending to cause the same
or because the actor fails to exercise due care in performing such acts or omissions.

NEGLIGENCE
 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. (Article 1173 Civil Code)

Kinds of Negligence:
1. Culpa Contractual (contractual negligence)
 Governed by CC provisions on Obligations and Contracts, particularly Arts. 1170 to 1174 of the Civil
Code.

2. Culpa Aquiliana (quasi-delict)


 Governed mainly by Art. 2176 of the Civil Code

3. Culpa Criminal (criminal negligence)


 Governed by Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code.

NOTES:

 The 3 kinds of negligence furnish separate, distinct, and independent bases of liability or causes of
action.
 A single act or omission may give rise to two or more causes of action.

Culpa Contractual Culpa Aquiliana


The foundation of the liability of the defendant It is a separate source of obligation
independent of contract
is the contract
In breach of contract committed through the In quasi-delict the presumptive
negligence of employee, the employer cannot erase responsibility for the negligence of his
his primary and direct liability by invoking exercise of servants can be rebutted by proof of the
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection exercise of due care in their selection and
and supervision of the employee. supervision.

Culpa Aquiliana Crime


Only involves private concern Affect the public interest

The Civil Code by means of indem-nification merely The Revised Penal Code punishes or
repairs the damage corrects criminal act

Includes all acts in which any kind of fault or Punished only if there is a penal law clearly
negligence intervenes covering them
Liability of the employer of the actor-
employee is subsidiary in crimes
Liability is direct and primary in quasi-delict

QUASI-DELICT

 Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence is obliged to
pay for the damage done. (Article 2176 Civil Code)

Essential Requisites for a quasi-delictual action:

1. Act or omission constituting fault or negligence;


2. Damage caused by the said act or omission; and
3. Causal relation between the damage and the act or omission.

Tests of Negligence
1. Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use the reasonable care and caution which an
ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation?
 If not then he is guilty of negligence.
2. Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result of the course pursued?
 If so, it was the duty of the actor to take precautions to guard against harm.

NOTES:
 Negligence is a conduct - the determination of the existence of negligence is concerned with what the
defendant did or did not do
 The state of mind of the actor is not important; good faith or use of sound judgment is immaterial.
The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by reference to the personal judgment
but by the behavior of the actor in the situation before him. (Picart vs. Smith)
 Negligence is a conduct that creates an undue risk of harm to others.
 The determination of negligence is a question of foresight on the part of the actor – FORESEABILITY.
 Even if a particular injury was not foreseeable, the risk is still foreseeable if possibility of injury is
foreseeable.
 Forseeability involves the question of PROBABILITY, that is, the existence of some real likelihood of
some damage and the likelihood is of such appreciable weight reasonably to induce, action to avoid it.

Calculation of Risk
 Interests are to be balanced only in the sense that the purposes of the actor, the nature of his act and
the harm that may result from action or inaction are elements to be considered.

Circumstances to consider in determining negligence: (PEST-GAP)


1. Time
2. Place
3. Emergency
 Emergency rule
GENERAL 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.
EXCEPTION: When the emergency was brought by the individual’s own negligence. (Valenzuela vs.
CA 253 SCRA 303).
4. Gravity of Harm to be avoided
5. Alternative Course of Action
 If the alternative presented to the actor is too costly, the harm that may result may be still be
considered unforeseeable to a reasonable man.
6. Social value or utility of activity
7. Person exposed to the risk

GOOD FATHER OF A FAMILY (pater familias):


- this is the standard of conduct used in the Philippines
- a man of ordinary intelligence and prudence or an ordinary reasonable prudent man
a reasonable man deemed to have knowledge of the facts that a man should be expected to know based
on ordinary human experience. (PNR vs IAC, 217 SCRA 409)
- a prudent man who is expected to know the basic laws of nature and physics, e.g. gravity.