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HELD: Yes. Article 32 of the Civil Code provides: ART. 32.

Any public officer or employee, or any private individual,

who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates, or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following
rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages: x xxx (6) The right against
deprivation of property without due process of law; x xxx (8) The right to the equal protection of the laws.

Article 32 was patterned after the "tort" in American law. A tort is a wrong, a tortious act which has been defined
as the commission or omission of an act by one, without right, whereby another receives some injury, directly or
indirectly, in person, property, or reputation. There are cases in which it has been stated that civil liability in tort is
determined by the conduct and not by the mental state of the tortfeasor, and there are circumstances under which
the motive of the defendant has been rendered immaterial. The reason sometimes given for the rule is that
otherwise, the mental attitude of the alleged wrongdoer, and not the act itself, would determine whether the act
was wrongful. Presence of good motive, or rather, the absence of an evil motive, does not render lawful an act
which is otherwise an invasion of another’s legal right; that is, liability in tort is not precluded by the fact that
defendant acted without evil intent. The clear intention therefore of the legislature was to create a distinct cause of
action in the nature of tort for violation of constitutional rights, irrespective of the motive or intent of the

3. Garcia v. Salvador G.R.No.168512

Facts: As a prerequisite in being hired for an accounting job, Ranida Salvador took an HBs Ag (Hepatitis B Surface
Antigen) test at the Community Diagnostic Center (CDC) run by Garcia. The result indicated that she was positive
for hepatitis thus it resulted to her not being hired. After knowing this, her father suffered a heart attack and was
taken to the Bataan Doctors Hospital. While there, Ranida took another of the same exam which later indicated that
she is negative of Hepa B. Several tests ensued proving that indeed she doesn’t have Hepatitis. She was later
rehired. Now, the respondent comes to court and asks the said Diagnostic center to pay for the damages caused by
their negligence in giving the correct result of the examination.

Issue: Whether or not the Community Diagnostic Center is liable for damages.

Ruling: Yes. Violation of a statutory duty is negligence. Where the law imposes upon a person the duty to do
something, his omission or non-performance will render him liable to whoever may be injured thereby.

Negligence is 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 other person suffers injury. For
health care providers, the test of the existence of negligence is: did the health care provider either fail to do
something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would have done, or that he or she did something that
a reasonably prudent health care provider would not have done; and that failure or action caused injury to the
patient; if yes, then he is guilty of negligence. Thus, the elements of an actionable conduct are: 1) duty, 2) breach, 3)
injury, and 4) proximate causation.

All the elements are present in the case at bar. Owners and operators of clinical laboratories have the duty to
comply with statutes, as well as rules and regulations (Section 2 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4688, otherwise known
as The Clinical Laboratory Law), purposely promulgated to protect and promote the health of the people by
preventing the operation of substandard, improperly managed and inadequately supported clinical laboratories
and by improving the quality of performance of clinical laboratory examinations. Their business is impressed with
public interest, as such; high standards of performance are expected from them.
4. Lucas vs. Tuaño G.R.No178763 13.L.G.Foods v. Philadelfa G.R.No158995 22. LRT v. Navidad G.R.No145804
31.Sicamv.Jorge G.R.No159617 40.US v. Pineda G.R.No. L-12858

4. Lucas Vs. TuanoG.R.No178763


G.R. 178763 (April 21, 2009)CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

A. Legal Issue

Whether or not the respondent, Dr. Prospero Ma. C. Tuaño, is guilty of medical malpractice.

B. Legal Facts

On 2 September 1988, complaining of a red right eye and swollen eyelid, Peter made use of his health care
insurance issued by Philamcare Health Systems, Inc. (Philamcare), for a possible consult. The Philamcare
Coordinator, Dr. Edwin Oca, M.D., referred Peter to respondent, Dr. Prospero Ma. C. Tuaño, M.D. (Dr. Tuaño), an
ophthalmologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center, for an eye consult.

The petitioners, Peter Lucas and his family, is suing respondent, Dr. Prospero Ma. C. Tuaño, for damages due to
medical malpractice on the grounds that Tuaño was negligent in treating Lucas’ conjunctivitis or “sore eyes” which
led to glaucoma which in turn made him irritable and unable to support his family. Lucas consulted Tuaño when he
had severe pain in his right eye to which the respondent performed an ocular routine examination where he
diagnosed Lucas to be suffering conjunctivitis or “sore eyes” which developed Epidemic Kerato Conjunctivitis
(EKC), a viral infection to which Tuaño prescribed a steroid-based eye drop called Maxitrol which Lucas was using
before. Lucas couldn’t get a hold of Maxitrol so Tuaño suggested Blephamide instead which was also steroid-based
and Lucas later used Maxitrol when it became available. Later on, Fatima Lucas, the wife, found out from the
accompanying literature of the medicine that prolonged use of steroid-based medication can result to glaucoma.
Lucas’s right eye pain reduced for a while but later on returned and it became severe that Tuaño referred him to
another ophthalmologist, Dr. Manuel B. Agulto, for a second opinion to which Dr. ManielAgulto wrote a letter to
Tuaño stating the Lucas sustained significant glaucoma damage.

The Regional Trial Court denied the petitioners’ claim for damages due to insufficient evidence proving Tuaño’s
medical malpractice in treating Lucas because they failed to present a medical expert that could support their claim
that what Tuaño did was indeed medical malpractice. Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals to which the
court affirmed the Regional Trial Court’s decision. Hence, the petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court.

C. Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled that respondent, Dr. Prospero Ma. C. Tuaño, is not guilty of medical malpractice.

D. Reasoning

“[t]he onus probandi was on the patient to establish before the trial court that the physicians ignored standard
medical procedure, prescribed and administered medication with recklessness and exhibited an absence of the
competence and skills expected of general practitioners similarly situated.”

The Supreme Court emphasizes that in order for medical malpractice to be proven, a medical expert should be a
witness to attest to the accused’s medical malpractice. Petitioners’ complaint for damages is merely based on a
statement in the literature of Maxitrol identifying the risks of its use and Dr. Agulto’s comment. The medical expert
sets a standard and when there is failure to present one, the courts have no standard by which to gauge the basic
issue of breach thereof by the physician or surgeon.
In medical negligence cases, also called medical malpractice suits, there exist a physician-patient relationship
between the doctor and the victim. But just like any other proceeding for damages, four essential (4) elements i.e.,
(1) duty; (2) breach; (3) injury; and (4) proximate causation, must be established by the plaintiff/s. All the four (4)
elements must co-exist in order to find the physician negligent and, thus, liable for damages.

E. Policy

The qualifications of a physician are taken into account and there is inevitable presumption that he takes the
necessary precaution and employs the best of his knowledge and skill in attending to his clients, unless the
contrary is sufficiently established. Therefore, a medical expert as a witness in essential in medical malpractice
cases to give light to the errors of the accused. Also, it serves as a reminder for people in the medical field to be
cautious and take the necessary precautions when attending to their clients to avoid medical malpractice.

5. Ocean Builders vs Spouses CubaCub

Facts:Bladimir Cubacub (Bladimir) was employed as maintenance man by petitioner company Ocean Builders
Construction Corp. at its office in Caloocan City. Bladimir was afflicted with chicken pox. Thus, he was 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, Bladimir went about his usual chores of manning the gate of the company premises and even
cleaned the company vehicles. Later in the afternoon, Hao gave Bladimir P1,000.00 and ordered Silangga, a co-
worker, to bring Bladimir to the nearest hospital.

Bladimir was brought to the Caybiga Community Hospital (Caybiga Hospital), a primary-care hospital around one
kilometer away from the office of the company. He was then confined and was not permitted to leave the hospital.
He was then transferred to the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) by his parents where he was placed in the
intensive care unit and died the following day.

The death certificate issued by the QCGH recorded Bladimir’s immediate cause of death as cardio-respiratory
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.

Bladimir’s parents filed before the RTC complaint for damages against petitioners, alleging that Hao was guilty of
negligence which resulted in the deterioration of Bladimir’s condition leading to his death. The court dismissed the
complaint and ruled that Hao was not negligent.

On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the lower court and ruled that Hao’s failure to bring Bladimir to a better-
equipped hospital constituted a violation of Article 161 of the Labor Code. Thus, making them liable for damages.

Issue: Whether or not Hao exercises due diligence as the law requires exempting him from being liable for
damages.(culpa aquiliana).


Yes, he exercised due diligence.

To successfully prosecute an action anchored on torts, three elements must be present, (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 to the employees under the Labor Code, failing which a breach is

The Implementing Rules of the Code do not enlighten what the phrase “adequate and immediate” medical
attendance means in relation to an “emergency.” It would thus appear that the determination of what it means is
left to the employer, except when a full-time registered nurse or physician are available on-site as required, also
under the Labor Code.

The Court determined that the actions taken by petitioners when Bladimir became ill, to take a 3-day rest and to
later have him brought to the nearest hospital, amounted to the “necessary assistance” to ensure “adequate and
immediate medical attendance” to Bladimir as required under Art. 161 of the Labor Code, to provide to a sick
employee in an emergency.

Chicken pox is self-limiting. Hao does not appear to have a medical background. He may not be thus expected to
have known that Bladimir needed to be brought to a hospital with better facilities than the Caybiga Hospital,
contrary to appellate court’s ruling.
Moreover, under article 1174,2178, 2179 of the civil code 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. Thus, the petitioners are not guilty of negligence.
Therefore, the petition is granted and the Decision of the CA is reversed.


FACTS: A collision occurred between a taxi driven by Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapilis.
Faustino Garcia, the passenger of carretela suffered from injuries from which he died two days later. A criminal
action was filed against Fontanilla and he was convicted. The trial court granted the reservation to bring a separate
civil action. The appellate court affirmed the sentence.

The spouses Garcia, Faustino’s parents, brought an action in the trial court against Barredo as employer. The trial
court awarded the damages. The appellate court found Barredo liable for damages for the death of Faustino caused
by the negligence of Fontanilla. The main theory of the defense was that the liability of Barredo was governed by
the Revised Penal Code and thus, his liability was only subsidiary. It argued that there has been no civil action
against Fontanilla, Barredo cannot be held liable.

ISSUE: whether the parents of the deceased may bring a separate civil action against the employer of the taxi
driver, making him primarily and directly responsible under Article 1903

RULING: The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, holding that a quasi-delict 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.”

Quasi-delict or culpa acquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code of the Philippines is entirely
distinct and independent from a delict or crime under the Revised Penal Code. In this jurisdiction, the same
negligent act causing damage may produce civil liability (subsidiary) arising from a crime under Article 103 of the
Revised Penal Code of the Philippines; or create an action for quasi-delicto or culpa aquiliana under Articles 2179
and 2180 of the Civil Code and the parties are free to choose which course to take. And in the instant case, the
negligent act of Fontanilla produces two (2) liabilities of Barredo: First, a subsidiary one because of the civil
liability of Fontanilla arising from the latter’scriminal negligence under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, and
second, Barredo’s primary and direct responsibility arising from his presumed negligence as an employer under
Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Since the plaintiffs are free to choose what remedy to take, they preferred the
second, which is within their rights. This is the more expedious and effective method of relief because Fontanilla
was either in prison or just been released or had no property. Barredo was held liable for damages.

7. G.R. No. L-12191 October 14, 1918

JOSECANGCO, plaintiff-appellant,


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 quasi-delict xxx. [W]hether negligence occurs as an incident in the course of the performance of a contractual
undertaking or is itself the source of an extra-contractual obligation, its essential characteristics are identical. There is
always an act or omission productive of damage due to carelessness or inattention on the part of the defendant. xxx
[T]he practical result is identical xxx.] The field of non-contractual obligation is much morebroader than that of
contractual obligation, comprising, as it does, the whole extent of juridical human relations. These two fields,
figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say, the mere fact that a person is bound to another by contract does not
relieve him from extra-contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the obligor may
break the contract under such conditions that the same act which constitutes a breach of the contract would have
constituted the source of an extra-contractual obligationhad no contract existed between the parties.

FACTS:On January 20, 1915, Cangco was riding the train of Manila Railroad Co (MRC). He was an employee of the
latter and he was given a pass so that he could ride the train for free. When he was nearing his destination at about
7pm, he arose from his seat even though the train was not at full stop. When he was about to alight from the train
(which was still slightly moving) he accidentally stepped on a sack of watermelons which he failed to notice due to
the fact that it was dim. This caused him to lose his balance at the door and he fell and his arm was crushed by the
train and he suffered other serious injuries. He was dragged a few meters more as the train slowed down.
It was established that the employees of MRC were negligent in piling the sacks of watermelons. MRC raised as a
defense the fact that Cangco was also negligent as he failed to exercise diligence in alighting from the train as he did
not wait for it to stop.
ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Railroad Co is liable for damages.

HELD: Yes. As pertinent to the question of contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff in this case the
following circumstances are to be noted: The company's platform was constructed upon a level higher than that of
the roadbed and the surrounding ground. The distance from the steps of the car to the spot where the alighting
passenger would place his feet on the platform was thus reduced, thereby decreasing the risk incident to stepping
off. The nature of the platform, constructed as it was of cement material, also assured to the passenger a stable and
even surface on which to alight. Furthermore, the plaintiff was possessed of the vigor and agility of young
manhood, and it was by no means so risky for him to get off while the train was yet moving as the same act would
have been in an aged or feeble person. In determining the question of contributory negligence in performing such
act — that is to say, whether the passenger acted prudently or recklessly — the age, sex, and physical condition of
the passenger are circumstances necessarily affecting the safety of the passenger, and should be considered.
Women, it has been observed, as a general rule are less capable than men of alighting with safety under such
conditions, as the nature of their wearing apparel obstructs the free movement of the limbs. Again, it may be noted
that the place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this
station. There could, therefore, be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of the step which he
was required to take or the character of the platform where he was alighting. Our conclusion is that the conduct of
the plaintiff in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly under way was not characterized by
imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of contributory negligence.

8.Elcano v. Hill G.R.No.L-28403

Torts and Damages – Civil Liability from Quasi Delicts vs Civil Liability from Crimes
Reginald Hill, a minor, caused the death of Agapito (son of Elcano). Elcano filed a criminal case against Reginald but
Reginald was acquitted for “lack of intent coupled with mistake.” Elcano then filed a civil action against Reginald
and his dad (Marvin Hill) for damages based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Hill argued that the civil action is
barred by his son’s acquittal in the criminal case; and that if ever, his civil liability as a parent has been
extinguished by the fact that his son is already an emancipated minor by reason of his marriage.
ISSUE: Whether or not Marvin Hill may be held civilly liable under Article 2180.
HELD: Yes. The acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case does not bar the filing of a separate civil action. 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 accused 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, culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be
punishable by law.
While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child (Article 327, Civil Code), and
under Article 397, emancipation takes place “by the marriage of the minor child”, it is, however, also clear that
pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by marriage of the minor is not really full or absolute. Thus “Emancipation
by marriage or by voluntary concession shall terminate parental authority over the child’s person. It shall enable
the minor to administer his property as though he were of age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate or
encumber real property without the consent of his father or mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued in court
only with the assistance of his father, mother or guardian.” Therefore, Article 2180 is applicable to Marvin Hill – the
SC however ruled since at the time of the decision, Reginald is already of age, Marvin’s liability should be
subsidiary only – as a matter of equity.

9.Andamo vs. IAC

G.R. No. 74761 November 6, 1990

Fernan, C.J.

Doctrine: It must be stressed that the use of one’s property is not without limitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code
provides that “the owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third


Spouses Andamo, petitioner, owned a parcel of land situated in Biga Silang, Cavite which is adjacent to the property
of respondent Missionaries of Our lady of La Salette, Inc., a religious corporation. Respondent corporation
constructed water paths and contrivances, including an artificial lake, which allegedly inundated and eroded
petitioner’s land, caused a young man to drown, damaged petitioner’s crops and plants, washed away costly fences,
endangered the lives of the petitioners and their laborers and some other destructions.

This prompted petitioner spouses to file a criminal action for destruction by means of inundation under Article 324
of the RPC and a civil action for damages.


Whether petitioner spouses Andamo can claim damages for destruction caused by respondent’s waterpaths and


Yes. The aforequoted complaint shows that the civil action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on
quasi-delicts. All the elements of a quasi-delict are present,
to wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other person for
whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the
defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff.

Based from the petitioner’s complaint, the water paths and contrivances built by respondent La Sallette are alleged
to have inundated the land of petitioners. There is therefore, an assertion of a causal connection between the act of
building these water paths and the damage sustained by petitioners. Such action if proven constitutes fault or
negligence which may be the basis for the recovery of damages.

It must be stressed that the use of one’s property is not without limitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code provides
that “the owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third person.” SIC
UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have mutual and reciprocal duties which
require that each must use his own land in a reasonable manner so as not to infringe upon the rights and interests
of others. Although the owner has a right to build structures on his land, such structures must be so constructed
and maintained using all reasonable care so that they cannot be dangerous to adjoining landowners and can
withstand the usual and expected forces of nature. If the structures cause injury or damage to an adjoining
landowner or a third person, the latter can claim indemnification for the injury or damage suffered.

10. G.R. No. 97336 February 19, 1993


FACTS: Private respondent Marilou Gonzales filed a complaint for damages against GasheemShookat, an Iranian
Citizen, of breach of promise to marry. She said that both of them agreed to marry after the end of the school
semester. Marilou then introduced Gashem to her parents where they expressed their intention to get married.
Marilou’s parents then started inviting sponsors and relatives to the wedding. They even started looking for
animals to slaughter for the occasion.
Meanwhile, Marilou started living with Gashem in his apartment where they had sexual intercourse. But in no time,
their relationship went sour as Gashem began maltreating Marilou. Gashem eventually revoked his promise of
marrying Marilou and he told her that he is already married to someone in Bacolod City. So Marilou went home and
later sued Gashem for damages.
The trial court ruled in favor of Marilou and awarded her P20k in moral damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision of the trial court.
On appeal, Gashem averred that he never proposed marriage to Marilou and that he cannot be adjudged to have
violated Filipino customs and traditions since he, being an Iranian, was not familiar with Filipino customs and

ISSUE: Whether petitioner is liable for breach of promise to marry.

RULING: Yes. Gashem is liable to pay for damages in favor of Marilou not really because of his breach of promise to
marry her but based on Article 21 of the Civil Code which provides: Any person who wilfully 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
Breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong per se. In this case, it is the deceit and fraud employed by
Gashem that constitutes a violation of Article 21 of the Civil Code. His promise of marrying Marilou was a deceitful
scheme to lure her into sexual congress.
The Supreme Court also elucidated that Article 21 was meant to expand the concepts of torts and quasi delict. It is
meant to cover situations such as this case where the breach complained of is not strictly covered by existing laws.
Quasi-delict, under Article 2176, is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion of willfulness or
intent. It is committed by negligence and without willful intent to injure although the act may be voluntary. An act
may be voluntary and negligent at the same time, but it cannot be intentional in the sense that here is intent to
harm and negligent at the same time. Torts, on the other hand, is much broader than quasi-delict because it
includes not only negligence but intentional criminal acts.
11. PORFIRIO P. CINCO, petitioner-appellant, vs. HON. MATEO CANONOY, Presiding Judge of the Third
Branch of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, HON. LORENZO B. BARRIA City Judge of Mandaue City, Second
Branch ROMEO HILOT, VALERIANA PEPITO and CARLOS PEPITO, respondents-appellees. G.R. No. L-33171
May 31, 1979

FACTS: Petitioner herein filed a Complaint in the City Court of Mandaue City, Cebu, for the recovery of damages on
account of a vehicular accident involving his automobile and a jeepney driven by Romeo Hilot and operated by
ValerianaPepito and Carlos Pepito, the last three being the private respondents in this suit. Subsequent thereto, a
criminal case was filed against the driver, Romeo Hilot, arising from the same accident. At the pre-trial in the civil
case, counsel for private respondents moved to suspend the civil action pending the final determination of the
criminal suit, invoking Rule 111, Section 3 (b) of the Rules of Court. The City Court of Mandaue ordered the
suspension of the civil case. Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration thereof, having been denied, petitioner
elevated the matter on certiorari to the Court of First Instance of Cebu, respondent Judge presiding, alleging that
the City Judge had acted with grave abuse of discretion in suspending the civil action for being contrary to law and
jurisprudence. respondent Judge dismissed the Petition for certiorari on the ground that there was no grave abuse
of discretion on the part of the City Court in suspending the civil action inasmuch as damage to property is not one
of the instances when an independent civil action is proper.

ISSUE: Whether there can be an independent civil action for damage to property during the pendency of the
criminal action.

HELD: Yes, Liability being predicated on quasi-delict the civil case may proceed as a separate and independent
civil action, as specifically provided for in Article 2177 of the Civil Code. 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.

Death or injury to persons and damage to property through any degree of negligence — even the slightest would
have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising from crime.

The separate and independent civil action for a quasi-delict is also clearly recognized in section 2, Rule 111 of the
Rules of Court, reading: Sec. 2. Independent civil action. — In the cases provided for in Articles 31, 32, 33, 34 and
2177 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, are independent civil action entirely separate and distinct from the
criminal action, may be brought by the injured party during the pendency of the criminal case, provided the right is
reserved as required in the preceding section. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal
prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. Significant to note is the fact that the foregoing
section categorically lists cases provided for in Article 2177 of the Civil Code, supra, as allowing of an "independent
civil action."

12. Andamo v. IAC G.R.No.74751

Facts: The Andamos’ land is adjacent to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, Inc land in Silang, Cavite. The
respondent’s estate is aid to contain an artificial lake and waterpaths which

when damaged, caused the death of a young man, destruction of crops and fences of the Andamos. They filed a case
against the directors of the said religious corporation first as a criminal case of destruction of property through
inundation punishable under the Revise Penal Code and another of a civil case.

Issue: Whether or not the respondent corporation is liable for damages.

Ruling: Yes. The civil action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts. All the elements
of a quasi-delict are present, to wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant,
or some other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault
or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff.

While the property involved in the cited case belonged to the public domain and the property subject of the instant
case is privately owned, the fact remains that petitioners' complaint sufficiently alleges that petitioners have
sustained and will continue to sustain damage due to the waterpaths and contrivances built by respondent
corporation. Indeed, the recitals of the complaint, the alleged presence of damage to the petitioners, the act or
omission of Respondent Corporation supposedly constituting fault or negligence, and the causal connection
between the act and the damage, with no pre-existing contractual obligation between the parties make a clear case
of a quasi delict or culpa aquiliana.

Article 2176, whenever 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 the tortfeasor 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.

13.L.G.Foods v. Philadelfa (JUDGE) G.R.No158995GARCIA, J.:September 26, 2006

On February 26, 1996, Charles Vallereja, a 7-year old son of the spouses FlorentinoVallejera and Theresa Vallejera,
was hit by a Ford Fiera van owned by the petitioners and driven at the time by their employee, Vincent Norman
Yeneza y Ferrer. Charles died as a result of the accident.

In time, an Information for Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide was filed against the driver before the
Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Bacolod City, docketed as Criminal Case No. 67787, entitled People of the
Philippines v. Vincent Norman Yeneza.

Unfortunately, before the trial could be concluded, the accused driver committed suicide, evidently bothered by
conscience and remorse. On account thereof, the MTCC, in its order of September 30, 1998, dismissed the criminal

On June 23, 1999, in the RTC of Bacolod City, the spouses Vallejera filed a complaintdamages against the
petitioners as employers of the deceased driveralleging 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 Revised Penal Code. Prescinding
therefrom, they contend that there must first be a judgment of conviction against their driver as a condition sine
qua non to hold them liable. Ergo, since the driver died during the pendency of the criminal action, the sine qua non
condition for their subsidiary liability was not fulfilled, hence the of lack of cause of action on the part of the

Rtc denied (lack of merit) CA affirmed

ISSUE: WON LG foods are correct? (NO)

HELD: NO the complaint did not even aver the basic elements for the subsidiary liability of an employer under
Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, such as the prior conviction of the driver in the criminal case filed against
him nor his insolvency.
Admittedly, 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.

that civil obligation arising from criminal offenses shall be governed by penal laws subject to the provision of
Article 2177 and of the pertinent provision of Chapter 2, Preliminary Title on Human Relation, and of Title XVIII of
this Book, regulating damages. Plainly, Article 2177 provides for the alternative remedies the plaintiff may choose
from in case the obligation has the possibility of arising indirectly from the delict/crime or directly from quasi-
delict/tort. The choice is with the plaintiff who makes known his cause of action in his initiatory pleading or
complaint, and not with the defendant who can not ask for the dismissal of the plaintiffs cause of action or lack of it
based on the defendants perception that the plaintiff should have opted to file a claim under Article 103 of the
Revised Penal Code

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.

14. FGU Insurance Corporation vs. G.P. Sarmiento Trucking Corporation

G.P. Sarmiento Trucking Corporation (GPS) undertook to deliver on June 18, 1994, 30 units of Condura S.D. white
refrigerators aboard its Isuzu truck driven by Lambert Eroles, to the Central Luzon Appliances in Dagupan City.
While traversing the North Diversion Road along McArthur highway in Barangay Anupol, Bamban, Tarlac, it
collided with an unidentified truck, causing it to fall into a deep canal, resulting in damage to the cargoes.
FGU, an insurer of the shipment, paid the value of the covered cargoes (P204,450.00) to Concepcion Industries,
Inc.,. Being subrogee of CII’s rights & interests, FGU, in turn, sought reimbursement from GPS. Since GPS failed to
heed the claim, FGU filed a complaint for damages & breach of contract of carriage against GPS and Eroles with the
RTC. In its answer, respondents asserted that GPS was only the exclusive hauler of CII since 1988, and it was not so
engaged in business as a common carrier. Respondents further claimed that the cause of damage was purely
GPS filed a motion to dismiss the complaint by way of demurrer to evidence on the ground that petitioner had
failed to prove that it was a common carrier.
The RTC granted the motion to dismiss on April 30, 1996. It subsequently dismissed the complaint holding that GPS
was not a common carrier defined under the law & existing jurisprudence. The subsequent motion for
reconsideration having been denied, FGU interposed an appeal to the CA. The CA rejected the FGU’s appeal & ruled
in favor of GPS. It also denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.


Whether Sarmiento Trucking Corporation is liable for damages under article 2185 (culpa aquiliana).


Yes Article 2185 provides ,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.

Evidence for the plaintiff shows no proof that defendant was violating any traffic regulation. Hence, the
presumption of negligence is not obtaining.
GPS cannot escape from liability. In culpa contractual, the mere proof of the existence of the contract & the failure of
its compliance justify, prima facie, a corresponding right of relief. The law will not permit a party to be set free from
liability for any kind of misperformance of the contractual undertaking or a contravention of the tenor thereof. A
breach upon the contract confers upon the injured party a valid cause for recovering that which may have been
lost/suffered. The remedy serves to preserve the interests of the promisee that may include his:
1. Expectation interest – interest in having the benefit of his bargain by being put in as good a position as he would
have been in had the contract been performed;
2. Reliance interest – interest in being reimbursed for loss caused by reliance on the contract by being put in as
good a position as he would have been in had the contract not been made;
3. Restitution interest – interest in having restored to him any benefit that he has conferred on the other party.
Agreements can accomplish little unless they are made the basis for action. The effect of every infraction is to
create a new duty, or to make recompense to the one who has been injured by the failure of another to observe his
contractual obligation unless he can show extenuating circumstances, like proof of his exercise of due diligence
(normally that of the diligence of a good father of a family or, exceptionally by stipulation or by law such as in the
case of common carriers, that of extraordinary diligence) or of the attendance of fortuitous event, to excuse him
from his ensuing liability.
A default on, or failure of compliance with, the obligation gives rise to a presumption of lack of care &
corresponding liability on the part of the contractual obligor the burden being on him to establish otherwise. GPS
has failed to do so.
Eroles, on the other hand, may not be ordered to pay petitioner without concrete proof of his negligence/fault. The
driver, not being a party to the contract of carriage between petitioner’s principal and defendant, may not be held
liable under the agreement. A contract can only bind the parties who have entered into it or their successors who
have assumed their personality/juridical position. Consonantly with the axiom res inter alios acta aliis neque nocet
prodest, such contract can neither favor nor prejudice a third person. Petitioner’s civil action against the driver can
only be based on culpa aquiliana, which would require the claimant for damages to prove the defendant’s
FACTS: Eliza Sunga rode a passenger jeepney owned and operated by Calalas. As jeepney was filled to capacity,
Sunga was given by the conductor an “extension seat”, a wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end of the
vehicle. When the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off, Sunga was gave way to the outgoing passenger. Just as she
was doing so, a truck driven by Verena and owned by Salva bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result,
Sunga was injured.
Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, allaeging a violation of the contract of carriage. Calalas, on the
other hand, filed a third-party complaint against Salva. The lower court rendered judgment against Salva and
absolved Calalas of liability, holding that it wasteh driver of the truck who was responsible for the accident. It took
cognizance of another case, filed by Calalas against Salva and Verena for quasi-delict, in which the same court held
that Salva and his driver , Verena jointly liable to Calalas for the damage to his jeepney.
On appeal, it was reversed on the ground that Sunga’s cause of action was based on contract of carriage, not quasi-
delict, and that the common carrier failed to exercise the diligence required under the Civil Code. Third-party
complaint was also dismissed and adjudged Calalas as liable for damages to Sunga.

ISSUE: Whether the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490 that the negligence of Verena was the proximate cause of the
accident negates petitioner’s liability and that to rule otherwise would be to make the common carrier an insurer
of the safety of its passengers.
RULING: The Court ruled against Calalas. 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. It said that the issue in this case was whether
Calalas was liable on his contract of carriage.
The Court distinguished quasi-delict from breach of contract:
The first, quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra contractual, has as its source the negligence of
the tortfeasor. 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
In the case of common carriers, the Court explained that: 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.
There is, thus, no basis for the contention that the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490, finding Salva and his driver Verena
liable for the damage to petitioner's jeepney, should be binding on Sunga. 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 quasi-delict, 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.

16.Fores v. Miranda


The definition of quasi-delict in Article 2176 expressly

excludes cases where there is a "preexisting contractual
relation between the parties.


Respondent was one of the passengers on a jeepney driven by Eugenio Luga. While the vehicle was descending the
Sta. Mesa bridge at an excessive rate of speed, the driver lost control thereof, causing it to swerve and to his the
bridge wall. The accident occurred on the morning of March 22, 1953. Five of the passengers were injured,
including the respondent who suffered a fracture of the upper right humerus. He was taken to the National
Orthopedic Hospital for treatment, and later was subjected to a series of operations.

The driver was charged with serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence, and upon interposing a plea of
guilty was sentenced accordingly.

The contention that the evidence did not sufficiently establish the identity of the vehicle as the belonging to the
petitioner was rejected by the appellate court which found, among other things, that is carried plate No. TPU-1163,
SERIES OF 1952, Quezon City, registered in the name of Paz Fores, (appellant herein) and that the vehicle even had
the name of "Doña Paz" painted below its wind shield. No evidence to the contrary was introduced by the
petitioner, who relied on an attack upon the credibility of the two policemen who went to the scene of the incident.

A point to be further remarked is petitioner's contention that on March 21, 1953, or one day before the accident
happened, she allegedly sold the passenger jeep that was involved therein to a certain Carmen Sackerman.

Issues:WON plaintiff is liable for moral damages?

Held:NO.Anent the moral damages ordered to be paid to the respondent, the same must be discarded. We have
repeatedly ruled that moral damages are not recoverable in damage actions predicted on a breach of the contract
of transportation.

The exception to the basic rule of damages now under consideration is a mishap resulting in the death of a passenger,
in which case Article 1764 makes the common carrier expressly subject to the rule of Art. 2206, that entitles the
deceased passenger to "demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased" (Necesito
vs. Paras, 104 Phil., 84, Resolution on motion to reconsider, September 11, 1958). But the exceptional rule of Art. 1764
makes it all the more evident that where the injured passenger does not die, moral damages are not recoverable
unless it is proved that the carrier was guilty of malice or bad faith. We think it is clear that the mere carelessness of
the carrier's driver does not per se constitute of justify an inference of malice or bad faith on the part of the carrier;
and in the case at bar there is no other evidence of such malice to support the award of moral damages by the Court of
Appeals. To award moral damages for breach of contract, therefore, without proof of bad faith or malice on the part of
the defendant, as required by Art. 220, would be to violate the clear provisions of the law, and constitute unwarranted
judicial legislation.

17.Consolidated Bank v. CA G.R.No.138569

Civil Law – Secured Transactions – Simple Loan – Relation between bank and depositor
L.C. Diaz and Company (LC Diaz), an accounting firm, has a savings account with Consolidated Bank and Trust
Corporation (now called Solidbank Corporation).
On August 14, 1991, the firm’s messenger, a certain Ismael Calapre, deposited an amount with the bank but due to
a long line and the fact that he still needs to deposit a certain amount in another bank, the messenger left the firm’s
passbook with a teller of Solidbank. But when the messenger returned, the passbook is already missing.
Apparently, the teller returned the passbook to someone else.
On August 15, 1991, LC Diaz made a formal request ordering Solidbank not to honor any transaction concerning
their account with them until the firm is able to acquire a new passbook. It appears however that in the afternoon
of August 14, 1991, the amount of P300,000.00 was already withdrawn from the firm’s account.
LC Diaz demanded Solidbank to refund the said amount which the bank refused. LC Diaz then sued Solidbank.
In its defense, Solidbank contends that under their banking rules, they are authorized to honor withdrawals if
presented with the passbook; that when the P300k was withdrawn, the passbook was presented. Further, the
withdrawer presented a withdrawal slip which bore the signatures of the representatives of LC Diaz.
The RTC ruled in favor of Solidbank. It found LC Diaz to be negligent in handling its passbook. The loss of the P300k
was not the result of Solidbank’s negligence.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC. The CA used the rules on quasi-delict (Article
2176 of the Civil Code).
ISSUE: Whether or not the relations between Solidbank and LC Diaz, the depositor, is governed by quasi-delict in
determining the liability of Solidbank.
HELD: No. Solidbank is liable for the loss of the P300k but it’s liability is grounded on culpa contractual.
The contract between the bank and its depositor is governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on simple loan
(Article 1980, Civil Code). There is a debtor-creditor relationship between the bank and its depositor. The bank is
the debtor and the depositor is the creditor. The depositor lends the bank money and the bank agrees to pay the
depositor on demand. The savings deposit agreement between the bank and the depositor is the contract that
determines the rights and obligations of the parties.
Under their contract, it is the duty of LC Diaz to secure its passbook. However, this duty is also applicable to
Solidbank when it gains possession of said passbook which it did when the messenger left it to the bank’s
possession through the bank’s teller. The act of the teller returning the passbook to someone else other than
Calapre, the firm’s authorized messenger, is a clear breach of contract. Such negligence binds the bank under the
principle of respondeat superior or command responsibility.
No contract of trust between bank and depositor
The Supreme Court emphasized that the contractual relation between the bank and the depositor is that of a
simple loan. This is despite the wording of Section 2 of Republic Act 8791 (The General Banking Law of 2000)
which states that the State recognizes the “fiduciary nature of banking that requires high standards of integrity and
performance.” That “the bank is under obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with meticulous care,
always having in mind the fiduciary nature of their relationship.”
This fiduciary relationship means that the bank’s obligation to observe “high standards of integrity and
performance” is deemed written into every deposit agreement between a bank and its depositor. The fiduciary
nature of banking requires banks to assume a degree of diligence higher than that of a good father of a family.
However, the fiduciary nature of a bank-depositor relationship does not convert the contract between the bank
and its depositors from a simple loan to a trust agreement, whether express or implied. Failure by the bank to pay
the depositor is failure to pay a simple loan, and not a breach of trust.
In short, the General Banking Act simply imposes on the bank a higher standard of integrity and performance in
complying with its obligations under the contract of simple loan, beyond those required of non-bank debtors under
a similar contract of simple loan. The General Banking Law in no way modified Article 1980 of the Civil Code.


In March 1958, plaintiff Rafael Carrascoso, an engineer, together with several other Filipinos were tourists en route
to Rome from Manila. Carrascoso was issued a first class round trip ticket by Air France through its authorized
agent, the Philippine Airlines. However, upon reaching Bangkok for their stop over, he was asked by Air France’s
plane manager to vacate his seat because a white man allegedly has a “better right” than him. Plaintiff protested
and after a heated argument, Carrascoso eventually, though reluctantly, gave up his seat for the “white Man” and
transferred to the tourist section of the aircraft for the rest of the flight.

When Carrascoso was already in the Philippines, he sued Air France for damages for the inconvenience and
embarrassment he suffered during his trip. The CFI of Manila awarded damages in favor of Carrascoso which was
affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Air France however contends that the issuance of a first class ticket to Carrascoso was not an assurance that he will
be seated in first class because allegedly in truth and in fact, that was not the true intent between the parties.


Whether Air France is liable for damages.


Yes. There exists a contract of carriage between Air France and Carrascoso. There was a contract to furnish
Carrasocoso a first class passage; Second, That said contract was breached when Air France failed to furnish first
class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad faith when Air France’s employee compelled
Carrascoso to leave his first class accommodation berth “after he was already seated” and to take a seat in the
tourist class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments and humiliations, thereby causing
him mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages.

The High Court did not give credence to Air France’s claim that the issuance of a first class ticket to a passenger is
not an assurance that he will be given a first class seat. Such claim is simply incredible.

The Supreme Court also ruled, even though there is a contract of carriage between Air France and Carrascoso,
there is also a tortuous act based on culpa aquiliana. Passengers

do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to be treated by the carrier’s employees with kindness,
respect, courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to be protected against personal misconduct, injurious
language, indignities and abuses from such employees. So it is, that any rule or discourteous conduct on the part of
employees towards a passenger gives the latter an action for damages against the carrier. For the willful
malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer. Article 21 of the Civil Code provides
that 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.
Air France’s contract with Carrascoso is one attended with public duty. The stress of Carrascoso’s action is placed
upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the Air France — a case of quasi-delict. Damages
are proper.

19. G.R. No. 108164 February 23, 1995


FACTS: Far East Bank and Trust Co. (FEBTC) issued a credit card to Luis Luna at its Pasig branch. Upon his
request, the bank also issued a supplemental card to Clarita S. Luna. When Clarita’s card was lost, he informed
FEBTC. Later, Luis tendered a despedida lunch at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila. To pay for the lunch, Luis
presented his credit card. Unfortunately, it was dishonored and he was forced to pay the bill in cash and felt
embarrassed by this incident. Luis demanded the payment of damages from FEBTC. Festejo, vice-president of
FEBTC, expressed the bank’s apologies to Luis and explained that in cases when a card is reported as lost, FEBTC
undertakes necessary action to avert its unauthorized use such as tagging the card as hotlisted. Festejo also sent a
letter to the Manager of the restaurant to assure that the Lunas were “very valued clients”of FEBTC. Nevertheless,
the Lunas filed a complaint for damages.The trial court ordered FEBTC to pay the Lunas moral and exemplary
damages and attorney’s fees. The appellate court affirmed the ruling. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE: Whether FEBTC is liable for the said damages.
RULING:Spouses Luna are entitled only to nominal damages and not to moral and exemplary damages. The court
explained that in culpa contractual, moral damages may be recovered where the defendant is shown to have acted
in bad faith or with malice in the breach of the contract and that bad faith, in this context, includes gross, but not
simple, negligence. Article 2219 states that, “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;
The Court found that the bank was remiss in indeed neglecting to personally inform Luis of his own card's
cancellation, but there was nothing to sufficiently indicate any deliberate intent on the part of FEBTC to cause harm
to private respondents. Neither could FEBTC's negligence in failing to give personal notice to Luis be considered so
gross as to amount to malice or bad faith.
Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral
obliquity; it is different from the negative idea of negligence in that malice or bad faith contemplates a state of mind
affirmatively operating with furtive design or ill will.
Nominal damages were awarded because of the simple fact that the bank failed to notify Mr. Luna, thus entitle him
to recover a measure of damages sanctioned under Article 2221 of the Civil Code providing thus:
Art. 2221. Nominal damages 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 plaintiff
for any loss suffered by him.
In applying Article 21, in relation to Article 2217 and 2219 of the Civil Code, to a contractual breach the Court said:
Article 21 of the Code, it should be observed, contemplates a conscious act to cause harm. Thus, even if we are to
assume that the provision could properly relate to a breach of contract, its application can be warranted only when
the defendant's disregard of his contractual obligation is so deliberate as to approximate a degree of misconduct
certainly no less worse than fraud or bad faith. Most importantly, Article 21 is a mere declaration of a general
principle in human relations that clearly must, in any case, give way to the specific provision of Article 2220 of the
Civil Code authorizing the grant of moral damages in culpa contractual solely when the breach is due to fraud or
bad faith.

The Court has not in the process overlooked another rule that a quasi-delict can be the cause for breaching a
contract that might thereby permit the application of applicable principles on tort 9 even where there is a pre-
existing contract between the plaintiff and the defendant (Phil. Airlines vs. Court of Appeals, 106 SCRA 143;
Singson vs. Bank of Phil. Islands, 23 SCRA 1117; and Air France vs. Carrascoso, 18 SCRA 155). This doctrine,
unfortunately, cannot improve private respondents' case for it can aptly govern only where the act or omission
complained of would constitute an actionable tort independently of the contract. The test (whether a quasi-delict
can be deemed to underlie the breach of a contract) can be stated thusly: Where, without a pre-existing contract
between two parties, an act or omission can nonetheless amount to an actionable tort by itself, the fact that the
parties are contractually bound is no bar to the application of quasi-delict provisions to the case. Here, private
respondents' damage claim is predicated solely on their contractual relationship; without such agreement, the act
or omission complained of cannot by itself be held to stand as a separate cause of action or as an independent
actionable tort.

The Court finds, therefore, the award of moral damages made by the court a quo , affirmed by the appellate court,
to be inordinate and substantially devoid of legal basis.


ORDOÑEZ-BENITEZ, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 47, Regional Trial Court, Manila,
SEGUNDA R. BAUTISTA and ARSENIA D. BAUTISTA, respondents. G.R. No. 84698 February 4, 1992

FACTS:A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 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 in the Regional Trial Court of Manila presided over by Judge Regina Ordoñez-Benitez, 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.

Specifically, the suit impleaded the PSBA and the following school authorities. Substantially, the plaintiffs (now
private respondents) sought to adjudge them liable for the victim's untimely demise due to their alleged
negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions, means and methods before, during and after the attack
on the victim. During the proceedings a quo, Lt. M. Soriano terminated his relationship with the other petitioners
by resigning from his position in the school.

Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed, alleging that since they are presumably sued
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action against them, as jurisprudence on the
subject is to the effect that academic institutions, such as the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of the rule in the afore-
stated article.

ISSUE: Whether PSBA can be validly sued by the respondent.

HELD: Yes. 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. For its part, the school
undertakes to provide the student with an education that would presumably suffice to equip him with the
necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or a profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to
abide by the school's academic requirements and observe its rules and regulations.

Institutions of learning must also meet the implicit or "built-in" obligation of providing their students with an
atmosphere that promotes or assists in attaining its primary undertaking of imparting knowledge. Certainly, no
student can absorb the intricacies of physics or higher mathematics or explore the realm of the arts and other
sciences when bullets are flying or grenades exploding in the air or where there looms around the school premises
a constant threat to life and limb. Necessarily, the school must ensure that adequate steps are taken to maintain
peace and order within the campus premises and to prevent the breakdown thereof.
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, supra, 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.

22. LRT v. Navidad G.R.No145804VITUG, J.:feb 6 2003

Facts: On 14 October 1993, about half an hour past seven o’clock in the evening, NicanorNavidad, then drunk,
entered the EDSA LRT station after purchasing a "token" (representing payment of the fare). While Navidad was
standing on the platform near the LRT tracks, JunelitoEscartin, the security guard assigned to the area approached
Navidad. A misunderstanding or an altercation between the two apparently ensued that led to a fist fight. No
evidence, however, was adduced to indicate how the fight started or who, between the two, delivered the first blow
or how Navidad later fell on the LRT tracks. At the exact moment that Navidad fell, an LRT train, operated by
petitioner Rodolfo Roman, was coming in. Navidad was struck by the moving train, and he was killed

08 December 1994, the widow of Nicanor, herein respondent Marjorie Navidad, along with her children, filed a
complaint for damages against JunelitoEscartin, Rodolfo Roman, the LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc.
(Metro Transit), and Prudent for the death of her husband.

judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants Prudent Security and
JunelitoEscartin ordering the latter to pay jointly and severally (about 500 k plus damages)

Prudent appealed to the Court of Appeals. CA exonerated Prudent from any liability for the death of
NicanorNavidad and, instead, holding the LRTA and Roman jointly and severally liable


HELD: The foundation of LRTA’s liability is the contract of carriage and its obligation to indemnify the victim arises
from the breach of that contract by reason of its failure to exercise the high diligence required of the common
carrier. In the discharge of its commitment to ensure the safety of passengers, a carrier may choose to hire its own
employees or avail itself of the services of an outsider or an independent firm to undertake the task. In either case,
the common carrier is not relieved of its responsibilities under the contract of carriage.

Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both from the nature of its business and for reasons
of public policy, is burdened with the duty of exercising utmost diligence in ensuring the safety of
passengers.4 The Civil Code, governing the liability of a common carrier for death of or injury to its
passengers, provides:

"Article 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight
can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the
"Article 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at
fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as
prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755."

"Article 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the negligence
or willful acts of the former’s employees, although such employees may have acted beyond the scope of
their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers.

"This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all the diligence of a
good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees."

"Article 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account of the willful
acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the common carrier’s employees through the
exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family could have prevented or stopped the act or omission."

Such duty of a common carrier to provide safety to its passengers so obligates it not only during the course of the
trip but for so long as the passengers are within its premises and where they ought to be in pursuance to the
contract of carriage

this Court is concluded by the factual finding of the Court of Appeals that "there is nothing to link (Prudent) to the
death of Nicanor (Navidad), for the reason that the negligence of its employee, Escartin, has not been duly proven.
Prudent can be held liable based on a tort base on art. 2176 and related provisions, in conjunction with Article
2180 of the Civil Code. The premise, however, for the employer’s liability is negligence or fault on the part of the
employee. Once such fault is established, (hindina establish) the employer can then be made liable on the basis of
the presumption juristantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimipatris families in the selection and
supervision of its employees.


Facts:Rhonda Brunty, daughter of respondent Ethel Brunty and an American citizen, came to the Philippines for a
visit sometime in January 1980. Prior to her departure, she, together with her Filipino host Juan Manuel M. Garcia,
traveled to Baguio City on board a Mercedes Benz sedan with plate number FU 799, driven by Rodolfo L. Mercelita.
It was about 12:00 midnight, January 25, 1980. By then, PNR Train No. T-71, driven by Alfonso Reyes, was on its
way to Tutuban, Metro Manila as it had left the La Union station at 11:00 p.m., January 24, 1980.

By 2:00 a.m., Rhonda Brunty, Garcia and Mercelita were already approaching the railroad crossing at Barangay
Rizal, Moncada, Tarlac. Mercelita, driving at approximately 70 km/hr, drove past a vehicle, unaware of the railroad
track up ahead and that they were about to collide with PNR Train No. T-71. Mercelita was instantly killed when the
Mercedes Benz smashed into the train; the two other passengers suffered serious physical injuries. A certain James
Harrow brought Rhonda Brunty to the Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital in Tarlac, where she was pronounced dead
after ten minutes from arrival. Garcia, who had suffered severe head injuries, was brought via ambulance to the
same hospital. He was transferred to the Manila Doctor’s Hospital, and later to the Makati Medical Center for
further treatment.
Ethel Brunty filed a complaint for damages against the PNR before the RTC of Manila. The case was raffled to
Branch 20 and was docketed as Civil Case No. 83-18645. They alleged that the death of Mercelita and Rhonda
Brunty, as well as the physical injuries suffered by Garcia, were the direct and proximate result of the gross and
reckless negligence of PNR in not providing the necessary equipment at the railroad crossing in Barangay Rizal,
Municipality of Moncada, Tarlac. They pointed out that there was no flagbar or red light signal to warn motorists
who were about to cross the railroad track, and that the flagman or switchman was only equipped with a hand
flashlight. The Court of Manila ruled in favor of Brunty and the CA affirmed the ruling of the court of first instance,
hence this petition for review.
Issue: Whether Brunty and Mercelita has contributory negligence barring them for claiming damages.

(culpa aquiliana).
Holding:No.Considering the circumstances prevailing at the time of the fatal accident, it ruled that the alleged
safety measures installed by the PNR at the railroad crossing were not merely inadequate – they did not satisfy the
well-settled safety standards in transportation. However, we do not agree with the RTC’s findings on the
contributory negligence of Mercelita, the driver of the Mercedes Benz. It held that Mercelita could not have
foreseen the harm that would befall him and the two other passengers under the prevailing circumstances, thus,
could not be considered guilty of contributory negligence.

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.In Corliss v. Manila Railroad Company,this Court held that negligence is want of the
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
require.In determining whether or not there is negligence on the part of the parties in a given situation,
jurisprudence has laid down the following test: Did 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, the
person is guilty of negligence. The law, in effect, adopts the standard supposed to be supplied by the imaginary
conduct of the discreet pater familias of the Roman law.

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 quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
In a long line of cases, the Court held that in order to sustain a claim based on quasi-delict, the following requisites
must concur: (1) damage to plaintiff; (2) negligence, by act or omission, of which defendant, or some person for
whose acts he must respond was guilty; and (3) connection of cause and effect between such negligence and
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 15, 2005 is AFFIRMED WITH
MODIFICATIONS. The award of actual damages is deleted, and in lieu thereof, temperate damages of P25,000.00 is
awarded to the heirs of Rhonda Brunty. The award of moral damages is reduced to P500,000.00

FACTS: Lulu Jorge pawned several pieces of jewelry with Agencia de R. C. Sicam to secure a loan.

Later, two armed men entered the pawnshop and took away whatever cash and jewelry were found inside the
pawnshop vault.

Sicam sent respondent Lulu a letter informing her of the loss of her jewelry due to the robbery incident in the
pawnshop. Respondent Lulu expressed disbelief stating that when the robbery happened, all jewelry pawned were
deposited with Far East Bank near the pawnshop since it had been the practice that before they could withdraw,
advance notice must be given to the pawnshop so it could withdraw the jewelry from the bank. Respondent Lulu
then requested petitioner Sicam to prepare the pawned jewelry for withdrawal on but petitioner Sicam failed to
return the jewelry.

Respondent Lulu is seeking indemnification for the loss of pawned jewelry and payment of damages. Petitioner is
interposing the defense of caso fortuito on the robber committed against the pawnshop.

ISSUE:Whether Sicam is liable for the loss of the pawned articles in their possession?

RULING: Yes. The Court found that Sicam failed to exercise reasonable care and caution that an ordinarily prudent
person would have used in the same situation. It ruled that Sicam was guilty of negligence in the operation of its
pawnshop business. The Court quoted from the testimony of Sicam where he admitted that the vault was open at
the time of robbery. The court explained that Sicam’s testimony revealed that there were no security measures
adopted by Sicam in the operation of pawnshop.



Generally, the degree of care required is graduated

according to the danger a person or property attendant
upon the activity which the actor pursues or the
instrumentality which he uses. The greater the danger the
greater the degree of care required. What is ordinary under
extraordinary of conditions is dictated by those conditions;
extraordinary risk demands extraordinary care. Similarly,
the more imminent the danger, the higher the degree of
care. [

Those who undertake any work calling for special skills

are required not only to exercise reasonable care in what
they do but also possess a standard minimum of special
knowledge and ability.
Every man who offers his services to another, and is
employed, assumes to exercise in the employment such
skills he possesses, with a reasonable degree of diligence. In
all these employments where peculiar skill is requisite, if
one offers his services he is understood as holding himself
out to the public as possessing the degree of skill commonly
possessed by others in the same employment, and if his
pretensions are unfounded he commits a species of fraud
on every man who employs him in reliance on his public

Review on certiorari the CA decision affirming TC decision holding FESC and Gavino solidarily liable

- On June 20, 1980, the M/V PAVLODAR, flying under the flagship of the USSR, owned and operated by the
Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESC), arrived at the Port of Manila from Vancouver, British Columbia at about
7:00 o'clock in the morning. The vessel was assigned Berth 4 of the Manila International Port, as its berthing space.
Captain Roberto Abellana was tasked by the Philippine Port Authority to supervise the berthing of the vessel.
Appellant SenenGavino was assigned by the Appellant Manila Pilots' Association (MPA) to conduct docking
maneuvers for the safe berthing of the vessel to Berth No. 4.
- Gavino boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage and stationed himself in the bridge, with the
master of the vessel, Victor Kavankov, beside him. After a briefing of Gavino by Kavankov of the particulars of the
vessel and its cargo, the vessel lifted anchor from the quarantine anchorage and proceeded to the Manila
International Port. The sea was calm and the wind was ideal for docking maneuvers. - When the vessel reached the
landmark (the big church by the Tondo North Harbor) one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered the engine
stopped. When the vessel was already about 2,000 feet from the pier, Gavino ordered the anchor dropped.
Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the bow. The left anchor, with 2 shackles, were dropped.
However, the anchor did not take hold as expected. The speed of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued
between the crew members. A brief conference ensued between Kavankov and the crew members. When Gavino
inquired what was all the commotion about, Kavankov assured Gavino that there was nothing to it. - After Gavino
noticed that the anchor did not take hold, he ordered the engines half-astern. Abellana, who was then on the pier
apron noticed that the vessel was approaching the pier fast. Kavankov likewise noticed that the anchor did not
take hold. Gavino thereafter gave the "full-astern" code. Before the right anchor and additional shackles could be
dropped, the bow of the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing considerable damage to the pier. The
vessel sustained damage too. Kavankov filed his sea protest. Gavino submitted his report to the Chief Pilot who
referred the report to the Philippine Ports Authority. Abellana likewise submitted his report of the incident. - The
rehabilitation of the damaged pier cost the Philippine Ports Authority the amount of P1,126,132.25.
- The Port of Manila is within the Manila Pilotage District which is under compulsory pilotage pursuant to
Section 8, Article III of Philippine Ports Authority Administrative Order No. 03-85:
SEC. 8. Compulsory Pilotage Service. — For entering a harbor and anchoring thereat, or passing through rivers
or straits within a pilotage district, as well as docking and undocking at any pier/wharf, or shifting from one
berth or another, every vessel engaged in coastwise and foreign trade shall be under compulsory pilotage.

- In case of compulsory pilotage, the respective duties and responsibilities of the compulsory pilot and the
master have been specified by the same regulation:
SEC. 11. Control of vessels and liability for damage. — On compulsory pilotage grounds, the Harbor Pilot
providing the service to a vessel shall be responsible for the damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at
ports due to his negligence or fault. He can only be absolved from liability if the accident is caused by force
majeure or natural calamities provided he has exercised prudence and extra diligence to prevent or minimize

The Master shall retain overall command of the vessel even on pilotage grounds whereby he can countermand
or overrule the order or command of the Harbor Pilot on board. In such event, any damage caused to a vessel or
to life and property at ports by reason of the fault or negligence of the Master shall be the responsibility and
liability of the registered owner of the vessel concerned without prejudice to recourse against said Master

Such liability of the owner or Master of the vessel or its pilots shall be determined by competent authority in
appropriate proceedings in the light of the facts and circumstances of each particular case.

SEC. 32. Duties and responsibilities of the Pilot or Pilots' Association. — The duties and responsibilities of the
Harbor Pilot shall be as follows: xxx xxxxxx

f) a pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel from the time he assumes his work as a pilot
thereof until he leaves it anchored or berthed safely; Provided, however, that his responsibility shall cease at the
moment the Master neglects or refuses to carry out his order.

- Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 issued twenty years earlier likewise provided in Chapter I thereof
for the responsibilities of pilots:

Par. XXXIX. — A Pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel from the time he assumes control
thereof until he leaves it anchored free from shoal; Provided, That his responsibility shall cease at the moment
the master neglects or refuses to carry out his instructions.


Par. XLIV. — Pilots shall properly and safely secure or anchor vessels under their control when requested to
do so by the master of such vessels.

ISSUE WON both the pilot and the master were negligent


- The SC started by saying that in a collision between a stationary object and a moving object, there is a
presumption of fault against the moving object (based on common sense and logic). It then went on to determine
who between the pilot and the master was negligent.
- A pilot, in maritime law, is a person duly qualified, and licensed, to conduct a vessel into or out of ports, or
in certain waters. He is an expert who’s supposed to know the seabed, etc. that a master of a ship may not know
because the pilot is familiar with the port. He is charged to perform his duties with extraordinary care because the
safety of people and property on the vessel and on the dock are at stake.
- Capt. Gavino was found to be negligent. The court found that his reaction time (4 minutes) to the anchor
not holding ground and the vessel still going too fast was too slow. As an expert he should’ve been reacting quickly
to any such happenings.
- In compulsory pilotage, the pilot momentarily becomes the master of the vessel. The master, however may
intervene or countermand the pilot if he deems there is danger to the vessel because of the incompetence of the
pilot or if the pilot is drunk. - Based on Capt. Kavankov’s testimony, he never sensed the any danger even when the
anchor didn’t hold and they were approaching the dock too fast. He blindly trusted the pilot. This is negligence on
his part. He was right beside the pilot during the docking, so he could see and hear everything that the pilot was
seeing and hearing.
- The master’s negligence translates to unseaworthiness of the vessel, and in turn means negligence on the
part of FESC.
- As a general rule, that negligence in order to render a person liable need not be the sole cause of an injury.
It is sufficient that his negligence, concurring with one or more efficient causes other than plaintiff's, is the
proximate cause of the injury. Accordingly, where several causes combine to produce injuries, person is not
relieved from liability because he is responsible for only one of them, it being sufficient that the negligence of the
person charged with injury is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have resulted to as great an
extent, and that such cause is not attributable to the person injured. It is no defense to one of the concurrent
tortfeasors that the injury would not have resulted from his negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful
acts of the other concurrent tortfeasor. 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. - 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.
DispositionPetition denied. CA affirmed. Capt. Gavino and FESC are solidarily liable.

26.PNR v. CA G.R.No.157658
Philippine National Railways (PNR) vs.CA (GR L-55347, 4 October 1985)Facts:
On 10 September 1972, at about 9:00 p.m.,Winifredo Tupang, husband of Rosario Tupang, boarded Train 516 of
the PhilippineNational Railways at Libmanan, CamarinesSur, as a paying passenger bound for Manila.Due to some
mechanical defect, the trainstopped at Sipocot, Camarines Sur, forrepairs, taking some two hours before thetrain
could resume its trip to Manila.Unfortunately, upon passing Iyam Bridge atLucena, Quezon, Winifredo Tupang fell
off the train resulting in his death. The train didnot stop despite the alarm raised by theother passengers that
somebody fell fromthe train. Instead, the train conductor,Perfecto Abrazado, called the station agentat Candelaria,
Quezon, and requested forverification of the information. Policeauthorities of Lucena City were dispatched tothe
Iyam Bridge where they found the lifelessbody of Winifredo Tupang. As shown by theautopsy report, Winifredo
Tupang died of cardio-respiratory failure due to massivecerebral hemorrhage due to traumatic injury. Tupang was
later buried in the publiccemetery of Lucena City by the local policeauthorities.Upon complaint filed by the
deceased’swidow, Rosario Tupang, the then CFI Rizal,after trial, held the PNR liable for damagesfor breach of
contract of carriage andordered it to pay Rosario Tupang the sum of P12,000.00 for the death of Winifredo Tupang,
plus P20,000.00 for loss of hisearning capacity, and the further sum of P10,000.00 as moral damages, andP2,000.00
as attorney’s fees, and cost.On appeal, the Appellate Court sustained theholding of the trial court that the PNR did
notexercise the utmost diligence required bylaw of a common carrier. It further increasedthe amount adjudicated
by the trial court byordering PNR to pay the Rosario Tupang anadditional sum of P5,000,00 as exemplarydamages.
Moving for reconsideration of theabove decision, the PNR raised for the firsttime, as a defense, the doctrine of
stateimmunity from suit. The motion was denied.Hence the petition for review.
WON there was contributorynegligence on the part of Tupang.
PNR has the obligation to transport itspassengers to their destinations and toobserve extraordinary diligence in
doing so.Death or any injury suffered by any of itspassengers gives rise to the presumptionthat it was negligent in
the performance of its obligation under the contract of carriage.PNR failed to overthrow such presumption of
negligence with clear and convincingevidence, inasmuch as PNR does not deny,(1) that the train boarded by the
deceasedWinifredo Tupang was so overcrowded thathe and many other passengers had nochoice but to sit on the
open platformsbetween the coaches of the train, (2) thatthe train did not even slow down when itapproached the
Iyam Bridge which wasunder repair at the time, and (3) that neitherdid the train stop, despite the alarm raisedby
other passengers that a person had fallenoff the train at Iyam Bridge.While PNR failed to exercise
extraordinarydiligence as required by law, it appears thatthe deceased was chargeable withcontributory
negligence. Since he opted tosit on the open platform between thecoaches of the train, he should have heldtightly
and tenaciously on the upright metalbar found at the side of said platform toavoid falling off from the speeding
train.Such contributory negligence, while notexempting the PNR from liability,nevertheless justified the deletion of
theamount adjudicated as moral damages. The Supreme Court modified the decision of the appellate court by
eliminating therefromthe amounts of P10,000.00 and P5,000.00 adjudicated as moral and exemplary damages,
respectively; without costs.


FACTS: This case was instituted on October 18, 1950. In her original complaint instituted on October 18, 1950,
plaintiff Elena Amedo sought to collect from defendant Rio y Olabarrieta, Inc., the sum of P2,038.40 as
compensation for the death of her son, Filomeno Managuit, who worked for the defendant as a seaman of the M/S
Pilar II. The main allegation of said original complaint was:

That on May 27, 1949 at about 11:30 o'clock in the morning, while the deceased Filomeno Managuit was on board
M/S "Pilar II" as such seaman, he jumped into the water to retrieve a 2-peso bill belonging to him, and as a
consequence of which, he was drowned. This however was dismissed due to lack of a cause of action which
defendant filed stating that the allegation does not show that the death of plaintiff's son was due to an "accident
arising out of and in the course of employment". She was allowed to file an amended complaint which was
remanded to the trial court. Her amended complaint stated: That on May 27, 1949, at or about 11:30 o'clock in the
morning while the said Filomeno Managuit was in the course of his employment, performing his duties as such
ordinary seaman on defendant's M/S "Pilar II", which was anchored then about 1 1/2 miles from the seashore of
Arceli Dumarang, Palawan, his two-peso bill was blown by the breeze into the sea and in his effort to retrieve the
same from the waters he was drowned.


Whether Amedo could claim compensation from employer Rio


NO. Plaintiff‘s basis for appeal is the Workmen‘s Compensation Act. Sections 2 and 4 of which:

Sec. 2. Grounds for compensation

- When any employee receives a personal injury from any accident arising out of and in the course of the
employment, or contracts any illness directly caused by such employment, or the result of the nature of such
employment, his employer shall pay compensation in the sums and to the persons hereinafter specified.

Sec. 4. Injuries not covered.

* Compensation shall not be allowed for injuries caused (1) by the voluntary intent of the employee to inflict such
injury upon himself or another person; (2) by drunkenness on the part of the laborer who had the accident; (3) by
notorious negligence of the same. - from these provisions three conditions are essential to hold an employer liable.
These are: (1) the accident must arise out of the employment; (2) it must happen in the course of the employment;
and (3) it must not be caused by the "notorious negligence" of the employee. Point in question is whether the
accident was committed under these 3 conditions - "The words "arising out of" refer to the origin or cause of the
accident and are descriptive of its character, while the words `in the course of' refer to the time, place, and
circumstances under which the accident takes place - it may be conceded that the death of Filomeno took place "in
the course of" his employment, in that it happened at the "time" when, and at the "place" where-according to the
amended complaint-he was working. However, the accident which produced this tragic result did not "arise out of"
his employment.

The blowing of his 2-peso bill may have grown out of, or arisen from, his employment. It was the result of a risk
peculiar to his work as a seaman or incidental to such work. But, his death was the consequence of his decision to
jump into the water to retrieve said bill. The hazardous nature of this act was not due specially to the nature of his
employment. It was a risk to which any person on board the

M/S Pilar II, such as a passenger thereof or an ordinary visitor, would have been exposed had he, likewise, jumped
into the sea, as Filomeno had.

Filomeno’s accident was caused by his notorious negligence.

- "notorious negligence" has been held to be tantamount to "gross negligence", which, in turn, has been defined as
follows: - By gross negligence is meant "such entire want of care as to raise a presumption that the person in fault
is conscious of the probable consequences of carelessness, and is indifferent, or worse, to the danger of injury to
person or property of others."

It cannot be denied that in jumping into the sea, one mile and a half from the seashore of Arceli, Dumarang,
Palawan, Filomeno failed to exercise "even slight care and diligence," that he displayed a "reckless disregard of the
safety" of his person, that he could not have been but conscious of the probable consequences" of his carelessness
and that he was "indifferent, or worse, to the danger of injury. - this is distinguishable from cases wherein the act
done is not dangerous per se such as when an employee drops a cigarette on the pavement and picks it up. So, also,
if, while Filomeno Managuit was working, his 2-peso bill merely fell from his pocket, and as he picked up the bill
from the floor something accidentally fell upon him and injured him, he would surely be entitled to compensation,
his act being obviously innocent. - since the act done by Filomeno was dangerous, his accident could be

28. G.R. No. L-8110. June 30, 1956


FACTS:Marinduque Iron Mines Agents Inc. (MIMA) questions by certiorari the order of the Workmen’s
Compensation Commissioner confirming the referee’s award of compensation to the heirs of Pedro Mamador for
his accidental death. On August 23, 1951, at 6:00 a.m. the deceased Mamador together with other laborers of MIMA
boarded a truck belonging to the latter, which was then driven by one ProcopioMacunat, also employed by the
corporation, and on its way to their place of work at the mine camp at Talantunan, while trying to overtake another
truck on the company road, it turned over and hit a coconut tree, resulting in the death of said Mamador and injury
to the others. ProcopioMacunat was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to indemnify the heirs of the deceased.
(Criminal Case No. 1491). He has paid nothing however, to the latter.
MIMA contends that the deceased violated MIMA’s prohibition against laborers riding the haulage trucks and is
thus guilty of “notorious negligence” which, under the law, precludes recovery.
ISSUES: Whether the deceased’s violation of MIMA’s policy not to ride the truck constitutes negligence.
RULING: The Court ruled that mere riding on haulage truck or stealing a ride thereon is not negligence, ordinarily.
It couldn’t be, because transportation by truck is not dangerous per se. It is argued that there was notorious
negligence in this particular instance because there was the employer’s prohibition. Does violation of this order
constitute negligence? Many courts hold that violation of a statute or ordinance constitutes negligence per se.
Others consider the circumstances.
However there is practical unanimity in the proposition that violation of a rule promulgated by a Commission or
board is not negligence per se; but it may be evidence of negligence. This order of the employer (prohibition
rather) couldn’t be of a greater obligation than the rule of a Commission or board. And the referee correctly
considered this violation as possible evidence of negligence; but it declared that under the circumstance, the
laborer could not be declared to have acted with negligence. Correctly, it is believed, since the prohibition had
nothing to do with personal safety of the riders.
However, the Court also added that:
Nevertheless, even granting there was negligence, it surely was not “notorious” negligence, which we have
interpreted to mean the same thing as “gross” negligence— implying “conscious indifference to
consequences” “pursuing a course of conduct which would naturally and probably result in injury” “utter
disregard of consequences.” Getting or accepting a free ride on the company’s haulage truck couldn’t be
gross negligence, because as the referee found, “no danger or risk was apparent.”
The award of compensation was affirmed with costs against petitioners.
Respondents G.R. No. 172406 October 11, 2007

FACTS: Respondentshad not been blessed with a child despite several years of marriage. They thus consulted
petitioner, Dr. Ilao-Oreta, an obstetrician-gynecologist-consultant at the St. Luke’s Medical Center where she was,
at the time material to the case, the chief of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Section.

Upon Dr. Ilao-Oreta’s advice, Eva Marie agreed to undergo a laparoscopic procedure whereby a laparascope would
be inserted through the patient’s abdominal wall to get a direct view of her internal reproductive organ in order to
determine the real cause of her infertility.

The procedure was scheduled on April 5, 1999 at 2:00 p.m., to be performed by Dr. Ilao-Oreta. At around 7:00 a.m.
of said date, Eva Marie, accompanied by her husband Noel, checked in at the St. Luke’s Medical Center and
underwent pre-operative procedures including the administration of intravenous fluid and enema.

Dr. Ilao-Oreta did not arrive at the scheduled time for the procedure, however, and no prior notice of its
cancellation was received. It turned out that the doctor was on a return flight from Hawaii to, and arrived at 10:00
p.m. of April 5, 1999 in, Manila.

The Ronquillo spouses filed a complaint against Dr. Ilao-Oreta and the St. Luke’s Medical Center for breach of
professional and service contract and for damages before the RTC of Batangas City. In her Answer, Dr. Ilao-Oreta
gave her side and explains that she failed to consider the time difference between Hawaii and the Philippines,

St. Luke’s Medical Center contended that the spouses have no cause of action against it since it performed the pre-
operative procedures without delay, and any cause of action they have would be against Dr. Ilao-Oreta.
RTC of Batangas City, finding that the failure of the doctor to arrive on time was not intentional, awarded Eva Marie
only actual damages in the total amount of P9,939 and costs of suit. It found no adequate proof that Noel had been
deprived of any job contract while attending to his wife in the hospital.

On appeal by the spouses, the Court of Appeals, finding Dr. Ilao-Oreta grossly negligent, modified the trial court’s

ISSUE:Whether the petitioner acted with gross negligence.

HELD: No. "Gross negligence" implies a want or absence of or failure to exercise slight care or diligence, or the
entire absence of care. It evinces a thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting any effort to avoid
them. It is characterized by want of even slight care, acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to
act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as
other persons may be affected.

The records show that before leaving for Hawaii, Dr. Ilao-Oreta left an admitting order with her secretary for one of
the spouses to pick up, apprised Eva Marie of the necessary preparations for the procedure, and instructed the
hospital staff to perform pre-operative treatments. These acts of the doctor reflect an earnest intention to perform
the procedure on the day and time scheduled.

The doctor’s act did not, however, reflect gross negligence as defined above. Her argument that Although petitioner
failed to take into consideration the time difference between the Philippines and Hawaii, the situation then did not
present any clear and apparent harm or injury that even a careless person may perceive. Unlike in situations where
the Supreme Court had found gross negligence to exist, petitioner could not have been conscious of any foreseeable
danger that may occur since she actually believed that she would make it to the operation that was elective in
nature, the only purpose of which was to determine the real cause of infertility and not to treat and cure a life
threatening disease.

30. Picart v. Smith GR. no. l- 12219

Facts: Picart was riding his pony on the Carlatan Bridge, at San Fernando, La Union while opposite him, Smith
drives his automobile. Thinking that there will be no chance that the two could collide or that one is not any nearer
to another, Smith drove the automobile so near the said pony causing for it to injure his hind legs and die as a
result thereof. Picart was thrown off violently from the animal and sustained temporary unconsciousness.

Issue: Whether or not the defendant in maneuvering his car in the manner above described was guilty of
negligence such as gives rise to a civil obligation to repair the damage done.

Ruling: Yes. The existence of 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.
Applying this test to the conduct of the defendant in the present case we think that negligence is clearly
established. A prudent man, placed in the position of the defendant, would in our opinion, have recognized that the
course which he was pursuing was fraught with risk, and would therefore have foreseen harm to the horse and the
rider as reasonable consequence of that course. Under these circumstances the law imposed on the defendant the
duty to guard against the threatened harm.

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.

31. G.R. No. 159617 August 8, 2007

respondents.AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:

FACTS: It appears that on different dates from September to October 1987, Lulu V. Jorge (respondent Lulu)
pawned several pieces of jewelry with Agencia de R. C. Sicam located at No. 17 Aguirre Ave., BF Homes Parañaque,
Metro Manila, to secure a loan in the total amount of P59,500.00.

On October 19, 1987, two armed men entered the pawnshop and took away whatever cash and jewelry were found
inside the pawnshop vault. The incident was entered in the police blotter of the Southern Police District, Parañaque
Police Station as follows:

Investigation shows that at above TDPO, while victims were inside the office, two (2) male unidentified persons
entered into the said office with guns drawn. Suspects(sic) (1) went straight inside and poked his gun toward
Romeo Sicam and thereby tied him with an electric wire while suspects (sic) (2) poked his gun toward Divina Mata
and Isabelita Rodriguez and ordered them to lay (sic) face flat on the floor. Suspects asked forcibly the case and
assorted pawned jewelries items mentioned above.

Suspects after taking the money and jewelries fled on board a Marson Toyota unidentified plate number.

Petitioner Sicam sent respondent Lulu a letter dated October 19, 1987 informing her of the loss of her jewelry due
to the robbery incident in the pawnshop. On November 2, 1987, respondent Lulu then wrote a letter to petitioner
Sicam expressing disbelief stating that when the robbery happened, all jewelry pawned were deposited with Far
East Bank near the pawnshop since it had been the practice that before they could withdraw, advance notice must
be given to the pawnshop so it could withdraw the jewelry from the bank. Respondent Lulu then requested
petitioner Sicam to prepare the pawned jewelry for withdrawal on November 6, 1987 but petitioner Sicam failed to
return the jewelry.

On September 28, 1988, respondent Lulu joined by her husband, Cesar Jorge, filed a complaint against petitioner
Sicam with the Regional Trial Court of Makati for indemnity for the loss

Sicam filed his Answer contending that he is not the real party-in-interest as the pawnshop was incorporated on
April 20, 1987 and known as Agencia de R.C. Sicam, Inc; that petitioner corporation had exercised due care and
diligence in the safekeeping of the articles pledged with it and could not be made liable for an event that is

Respondents subsequently filed an Amended Complaint to include petitioner corporation.

RTC held that petitioner Sicam could not be made personally liable for a claim arising out of a corporate
transaction;in the Amended Complaint of respondents, they asserted that "plaintiff pawned assorted jewelries in
defendants' pawnshop"; and that as a consequence of the separate juridical personality of a corporation, the
corporate debt or credit is not the debt or credit of a stockholder.

robbery is a fortuitous event which exempts the victim from liability for the loss,
CA applied the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate entity reasoning that respondents were misled into
thinking that they were dealing with the pawnshop owned by petitioner Sicam as all the pawnshop tickets issued
to them bear the words "Agenciade R.C. Sicam";CA concluded that both petitioners should be jointly and severally
held liable

ISSUE: WON CA Correct? Yes

HELD: The CA correctly pierced the veil of the corporate fiction and adjudged petitioner Sicam liable together with
petitioner corporation. The rule is that the veil of corporate fiction may be pierced when made as a shield to
perpetrate fraud and/or confuse legitimate issues.

Petitioner Sicam had testified that there was a security guard in their pawnshop at the time of the robbery. He
likewise testified that when he started the pawnshop business in 1983, he thought of opening a vault with the
nearby bank for the purpose of safekeeping the valuables but was discouraged by the Central Bank since pawned
articles should only be stored in a vault inside the pawnshop. The very measures which petitioners had allegedly
adopted show that to them the possibility of robbery was not only foreseeable, but actually foreseen and
anticipated. Petitioner Sicam’s testimony, in effect, contradicts petitioners’ defense of fortuitous event. in order for
a fortuitous event to exempt one from liability, it is necessary that one has committed no negligence or misconduct
that may have occasioned the loss.

Petitioners were guilty of negligence in the operation of their pawnshop business.petitionerSicam's admission that
the vault was open at the time of robbery is clearly a proof of petitioners' failure to observe the care

32. Corinthian Gardens vs Sps. Tanjangcos


Reynaldo and Maria Luisa Tanjangco (the Tanjangcos) own Lots 68 and 69 covered by Transfer Certificates of Title
(TCT) No. 242245 and 282961 respectively, located at Corinthian Gardens Subdivision, Quezon City, which is
managed by petitioner Corinthian Gardens Association, Inc. (Corinthian).On the other hand, respondents-spouses
Frank and Teresita Cuaso (the Cuasos) own Lot 65 which is adjacent to the Tanjangcos lots.
Before the Cuasos constructed their house on Lot 65, a relocation survey was necessary. As Geodetic Engineer
Democrito De Dios (Engr. De Dios), operating under the business name D.M. De Dios Realty and Surveying,
conducted all the previous surveys for the subdivision's developer, Corinthian referred Engr. De Dios to the Cuasos.
Before, during and after the construction of the said house, Corinthian conducted periodic ocular inspections in
order to determine compliance with the approved plans pursuant to the Manual of Rules and Regulations of
Corinthian.[6] Unfortunately, after the Cuasos constructed their house employing the services of C.B. Paraz &
Construction Co., Inc. (C.B. Paraz) as builder, their perimeter fence encroached on the Tanjangcos Lot 69 by 87
square meters. The RTC ruled in favor of Tanjangcos and the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC.Hence this petition
for review.

Whether Corinthian was negligent under the circumstances and such negligence contributed to the injury suffered
by the Tanjangcos.(culpa aquiliana).


The instant case is obviously one for tort, as governed by Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which 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.
In every tort case filed under this provision, 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; and (3) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence and the damages incurred.
Undeniably, the perimeter fence of the Cuasos encroached on the lot owned by the Tanjangcos by 87 square meters
as duly found by both the RTC and the CA in accordance with the evidence on record. As a result, the Tanjangcos
suffered damage in having been deprived of the use of that portion of their lot encroached upon.Thus, the
primordial issue to be resolved in this case is
A negligent act is an inadvertent act; it may be merely carelessly done from a lack of ordinary prudence and may be
one which creates a situation involving an unreasonable risk to another because of the expectable action of the
other, a third person, an animal, or a force of nature. A negligent act is one from which an ordinary prudent person
in the actor's position, in the same or similar circumstances, would foresee such an appreciable risk of harm to
others as to cause him not to do the act or to do it in a more careful manner.
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 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 law, in effect, adopts the standard supplied by
the imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias in Roman law. The existence of 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 a man of ordinary intelligence and prudence, and determines
liability according to that standard.In sum, Corinthians failure to prevent the encroachment of the Cuasos
perimeter wall into Tanjangcos property despite the inspection conducted constitutes negligence and, at the very
least, contributed to the injury suffered by the Tanjangcos. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of
the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.


FACTS: The present petition seeks to bar recovery by an injured cyclist of damages from the driver of the car
which had struck him.

The accident in question occurred at the intersection of Boni Avenue and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong.
Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on his bicycle, while Aonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving
his Lancer car with plate number PJJ 359. The car was 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, which necessitated his hospitalization several
times in 1989, and forced him to undergo four (4) operations.

Villagracia instituted an action for damages against Procter and Gamble Phils., Inc. and Aonuevo before the RTC. He
had also filed a criminal complaint against Aonuevo before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Mandaluyong, but the
latter was subsequently acquitted of the criminal charge.

ISSUE: whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code, which presumes the driver of a motor vehicle negligent if he
was violating a traffic regulation at the time of the mishap, should apply by analogy to non-motorized vehicles.

RULING: Art. 2185 cannot apply to non-motorized vehicles.

The court explained that there long has been judicial recognition of the peculiar dangers posed by the motor
vehicle. As far back as 1912, in the U.S. v. Juanillo, the Court has recognized that an automobile is capable of great
speed, greater than that of ordinary vehicles hauled by animals, and beyond doubt it is highly dangerous when
used on country roads, putting to great hazard the safety and lives of the mass of the people who travel on such
In the same case, the Court emphasized:

A driver of an automobile, under such circumstances, is required to use a greater degree of care than drivers of
animals, for the reason that the machine is capable of greater destruction, and furthermore, it is absolutely under
the power and control of the driver; whereas, a horse or other animal can and does to some extent aid in averting
an accident. It is not pleasant to be obliged to slow down automobiles to accommodate persons riding, driving, or
walking. It is probably more agreeable to send the machine along and let the horse or person get out of the way in
the best manner possible; but it is well to understand, if this course is adopted and an accident occurs, that the
automobile driver will be called upon to account for his acts. An automobile driver must at all times use all the care
and caution which a careful and prudent driver would have exercised under the circumstances.

Doctrine: The bicycle occupies a legal position that is at least equal to that of other vehicles lawfully on the highway,
and it is fortified by the fact that usually more will be required of a motorist than a bicyclist in discharging his
duty of care to the other because of the physical advantages the automobile has over the bicycle.
Notes: The witnesses for the same parties are of the same number. It seems odd, therefore, to apply the test of
negligence when the facts are not settled by preponderance of evidence. Thus, it appears that the court sympathized
with Albayda, who was serving the government and was left by his wife, supposedly because of his injuries.

FACTS: Respondent Amando C. Albayda, Jr. (Albayda) is a Master Sergeant of the Philippine Air Force, at Villamor
Air Base (VAB), Pasay City. Petitioner Redentor Completo (Completo), now represented by his heirs, was the taxi
driver of a Toyota Corolla, owned and operated by co-petitioner Elpidio Abiad (Abiad). Albayda and Completo
figured in an accident along the intersection of 8th and 11th Streets, VAB. Albayda filed a complaint for damages
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay City.

The amended complaint alleged that, while Albayda was on his way to the office to report for duty, riding a bicycle
along 11th Street, the taxi driven by Completo bumped and sideswiped him, causing serious physical injuries.
Albayda was brought to the Philippine Air Force General Hospital (PAFGH) inside VAB. However, he was
immediately transferred to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) on V. Luna Road, Quezon
City, because there was a fracture in his left knee and there was no orthopedic doctor available at PAFGH.
Conciliation between the parties before the barangay failed. Thus, Albayda filed a complaint for physical injuries
through reckless imprudence against Completo before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay City. On the other
hand, Completo filed a counter-charge of damage to property through reckless imprudence against Albayda.
Albayda alleged that the proximate cause of the incident which necessitated his stay in the hospital for
approximately seven (7) months was the negligence of Completo who, at the time of the accident, was in the
employ of Abiad.
He further stated that aggravating the physical sufferings, mental anguish, frights, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation resulting from his injuries, his wife abandoned
him in May 1998, and left their children in his custody. He thus demanded the amount of Six Hundred Thousand
Pesos (P600,000.00) as moral damages. He likewise asked for exemplary damages in the amount of Two Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) and attorneys fees of Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000.00), plus One
Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) per court appearance

Completo alleged that, on August 27, 1997, he was carefully driving the taxicab along 8thStreet, VAB, when
suddenly he heard a strange sound from the rear right side of the taxicab. When he stopped to investigate, he found
Albayda lying on the road and holding his left leg. He immediately rendered assistance and brought Albayda to
PAFGH for emergency treatment.[11]

Completo also asserted that he was an experienced driver who, in accordance with traffic rules and regulations and
common courtesy to his fellow motorists, had already reduced his speed to twenty (20) kilometers per hour even
before reaching the intersection of 8th and 11th Streets. In contrast, Albayda rode his bicycle at a very high speed,
causing him to suddenly lose control of the bicycle and hit the rear door on the right side of the taxicab.

ISSUES:1. whether Abiad failed to prove that he observed the diligence of a good father of the family; and
2.whether the award of moral and temperate damages and attorneys fees to Albayda had no basis.

HELD:1.Yes. It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of
evidence the motorists breach in his duty of care owed to the plaintiff, that the motorist was negligent in failing to
exercise the diligence required to avoid injury to the plaintiff, and that such negligence was the proximate cause of
the injury suffered.[42]

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 preexisting contractual
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict. In this regard, the question of the motorist's negligence is a
question of fact.
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo failed to exercise reasonable diligence in driving the
taxicab because he was over-speeding at the time he hit the bicycle ridden by Albayda. Such negligence was the
sole and proximate cause of the serious physical injuries sustained by Albayda.

Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own
acts or omissions, but also for those persons for whom one is responsible. Employers shall be liable for the
damages caused by their employees, but the employers responsibility shall cease upon proof that they observed all
the diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of their employees.

When an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee, a legal presumption instantly arises that the employer
was negligent. This presumption may be rebutted only by a clear showing on the part of the employer that he
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his employee. If the employer
successfully overcomes the legal presumption of negligence, he is relieved of liability. In other words, the burden of
proof is on the employer.
On the other hand, with respect to the supervision of employees, employers should formulate standard operating
procedures, monitor their implementation, and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. To establish
these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability, employers must submit concrete proof, including
documentary evidence.[50]
Abiad testified that before he hired Completo, he required the latter to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and
drivers license. Abiad likewise stressed that Completo was never involved in a vehicular accident prior to the
instant case, and that, as operator of the taxicab, he would wake up early to personally check the condition of the
vehicle before it is used.

The protestation of Abiad to escape liability is short of the diligence required under the law. Abiads evidence
consisted entirely of testimonial evidence, and the unsubstantiated and self-serving testimony of Abiad was insufficient
to overcome the legal presumption that he was negligent in the selection and supervision of his driver.

2. While the amount of actual damages was not duly established with certainty, the Court recognizes the fact that,
indeed, Albayda incurred a considerable amount for the necessary and reasonable medical expenses, loss of salary
and wages, loss of capacity to earn increased wages, cost of occupational therapy, and harm from conditions
caused by prolonged immobilization. Temperate damages, more than nominal but less than compensatory
damages, may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount
cannot, from the nature of the case, be proved with certainty.[52] Temperate damages must be reasonable under the
circumstances.[53] Thus, the Court finds the award of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) as temperate
damages reasonable under the circumstances.

Doubtless, Albayda suffered immeasurable pain because of the incident caused by petitioners negligence.

Moral damages are awarded in quasi-delicts causing physical injuries. The permanent deformity and the scar left
by the wounds suffered by Albayba will forever be a reminder of the pain and suffering that he had endured and
continues to endure because of petitioners negligence. Thus, the award of moral damages in the amount of Five
Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) is proper.

Finally, an interest rate of six percent (6%) per annum is due on the amount of P100,000.00, as temperate
damages, and P500,000.00, as moral damages, which we have awarded. The 6% per annum interest rate on the
temperate and moral damages shall commence to run from the date of the promulgation of this Decision. Upon
finality of the Decision, an interest rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum shall be imposed on the amount of the
temperate and moral damages until full payment thereof.[55]

The award of attorneys fees is hereby deleted for failure to prove that petitioners acted in bad faith in refusing to
satisfy respondents just and valid claim.

35. Pacis v. Morales G.R.No.169467

Facts: Alfred Dennis Pacis, 17 years old and a first year student at the Baguio Colleges Foundation, died due to a
gunshot wound in the head which he sustained while he was at the Top Gun Firearms and Ammunitions Store
located at Upper Mabini Street, Baguio City. The gun store was owned and operated by defendant Jerome Jovanne
Morales. With Alfred Pacis at the time of the shooting were Aristedes Matibag and Jason Herbolario. They were
sales agents of the defendant, and at that particular time, the caretakers of the gun store. The bullet which killed
Alfred Dennis Pacis was fired from a gun brought in by a customer of the gun store for repair. The gun, an AMT
Automag II Cal. 22 Rimfire Magnum was left by defendant Morales in a drawer of a table located inside the gun
store. Defendant Morales was in Manila at the time. His employee Armando Jarnague, who was the regular
caretaker of the gun store, was also not around. He left earlier and requested sales agents Matibag and Herbolario
to look after the gun store while he and defendant Morales were away. Jarnague entrusted to Matibag and
Herbolario a bunch of keys used in the gun store which included the key to the drawer where the fatal gun was
kept. Matibag and Herbolario later brought out the gun from the drawer and placed it on top of the table. Attracted
by the sight of the gun, the young 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. A criminal case for homicide was filed against Matibag .However, he was acquitted of the charge against
him because of the exempting circumstance of “accident” under Art. 12, par. 4 of the Revised Penal Code. The lower
court ruled in favor of the petitioners. It held that respondent is civilly liable for the death of Alfred under Article
2180 in relation to Article 2176 of the Civil Code. The trial court held that the accidental shooting of Alfred which
caused his death was partly due to the negligence of respondent’s employee Aristedes Matibag.

Respondent appealed to the CA. It reversed the trial court’s Decision and absolved respondent from civil liability
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The CA ruled that there is no negligence on the part of the respondent and the
death of Alfred Pacis was an accident.

Issue: Was the death of Alfred Pacis an accident?

Ruling: The SC ruled that it was caused by the negligence of the respondents. This case for damages arose out of the
accidental shooting of petitioners’ son. Under Article 1161 of the Civil Code, petitioners may enforce their claim for
damages based on the civil liability arising from the crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code or they may
opt to file an independent civil action for damages under the Civil Code. In this case, instead of enforcing their claim
for damages in the homicide case filed against Matibag, petitioners opted to file an independent civil action for
damages against respondent whom they alleged was Matibag’s employer. Petitioners based their claim for
damages under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. This case involves the accidental discharge of a firearm
inside a gun store. Under PNP Circular No. 9, entitled the “Policy on Firearms and Ammunition Dealership/Repair,”
a person who is in the business of purchasing and selling of firearms and ammunition must maintain basic security
and safety requirements of a gun dealer, otherwise his License to Operate Dealership will be suspended or
canceled. Indeed, 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 ready-access 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. Indeed, respondent should never accept a
firearm from another person, until the cylinder or action is open and he has personally checked that the weapon is
completely unloaded. For failing to insure that the gun was not loaded, respondent himself was negligent.
Furthermore, it was not shown in this case whether respondent had a License to Repair which authorizes him to
repair defective firearms to restore its original composition or enhance or upgrade firearms.

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.

36. Taylor v. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co.

LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES; CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE. — When the immediate cause of an accident resulting in
an injury is the plaintiff’s own act, which contributed to the principal occurrence as one of its determining factors,
he can not recover damages for the injury.


David Taylor, plaintiff, is the son of a mechanical engineer, more mature than the average boy of his age, and having
considerable aptitude and training in mechanics. He was 15 years old at the time he received the injuries that gave
rise to this complaint. On September 30, 1905, plaintiff and Manuel Claparols, about 12 years of age, went to the
power plant owned by the defendant Manila Electric Railroad, a foreign corporation engaged in the operation of a
street railway and an electric light system in the city of Manila, to visit one Murphy, an employee. Not being able to
find Murphy on inquiry, the boys wandered around the premises and reached the place where the company
dumped in the cinders and ashes from its furnaces. They found in the premises some 20-30 fulminating caps
scattered on the ground. The caps are intended for explosion of dynamites, and have in themselves explosive
power. The boys picked up the caps and carried them home. Along the way they met Jessie Adrian, a 9-year old girl.
The three went to Manuel’s house and performed a little experiment. They opened the caps and found yellowish
substance. They lighted a match and applied it on the contents. The girl became frightened and ran away. The
substance exploded, causing a slight cut on Jessie’s neck, burns on Manuel, and loss of David’s eyesight. Plaintiff
sued the company for damages.

Whether the company could be faulted for the allowing the children to be exposed to the harmful substances


No. The Court said found that it is clear that the accident could not have happened had not the fulminating caps
been left exposed at the point where they were found, or if

their owner had exercised due care in keeping them in an appropriate place; but it is equally clear that plaintiff
would not have been injured had he not, for his own pleasure and convenience, entered upon the defendant's
premises, and strolled around thereon without the express permission of the defendant, and had picked up and
carried away the property of the defendant which he found on its premises, and thereafter deliberately cut open
one of the caps and applied a match to its contents.

But while the Court holds 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, the
Court is 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,". On the other hand, the Court is
convionced that plaintiff's 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. The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that 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 admit of no other explanation. His attempt to discharge the cap by the use of
electricity, followed 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

The Court is satisfied that the plaintiff in this case had sufficient capacity and understanding to be sensible of the
danger to which he exposed himself when he put

the match to the contents of the cap; that he was sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified him
to understand and appreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of caution which would have avoided the
injury which resulted from his own deliberate act; and that the injury incurred by him must be held to have been
the direct and immediate result of his own willful and reckless act, so 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

37. G.R. No. 129792 December 21, 1999


FACTS: Petitioner Jarco Marketing Corp is the owner of Syvel’s Department Store. Petitioners Kong, Tiope and
Panelo are the store’s branch manager, operations manager and supervisor, respectively. Private respondents are
spouses and the parents of Zhieneth Aguilar. Criselda (mom) and Zhieneth were at the 2nd floor of Syvel’s
Department Store. 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 daughter on the floor, her young
body pinned by the bulk of the store’s gift-wrapping counter/structure. Zhieneth was crying and screaming for
help. With the assistance of people around, Zhieneth was retrieved and rushed to the Makati Med where she was
operated on. The next day, she lost her speech and 13 days thereafter, passed away. After the burial of Zhieneth,
her parents demanded reimbursement of the hospitalization, medical bills and wake and funeral expenses, which
they had incurred from petitioners.

Upon petitioners’ refusal, the parents filed a complaint for damages. Trial court absolved petitioners. It ruled that
the proximate cause of the fall of the counter on Zhieneth was her act of clinging to it. Furthermore, Criselda’s
negligence contributed to her daughter’s accident. Basically, the court reasoned that the counter was situated at
the end or corner of the 2nd floor as a precautionary measure and hence it could not be considered as an attractive
nuisance. The court added that the counter has been in existence for 15 years and its structure safe and well-
balanced. Court of Appeals reversed. It found that the petitioners were negligent in maintaining a structurally
dangerous counter. (The counter was shaped like an inverted L with a top wider than the base. It was top heavy
and the weight of the upper portion was neither evenly distributed nor supported by its narrow base. Thus the
counter was defective, unstable and dangerous.) Moreover, Zhieneth who was below 7 years old at the time of the
incident was absolutely incapable of negligence since a child under 9 could not be held liable even for an
intentional wrong.

ISSUES: (1) Whether the death of ZHIENETH was accidental or attributable to negligence; and (2) In case of a
finding of negligence, whether the same was attributable to private respondents for maintaining a defective
counter or to CRISELDA and ZHIENETH for failing to exercise due and reasonable care while inside the store

RULING: (1) Accident and negligence are intrinsically contradictory; one cannot exist with the other. Accident
occurs when the person concerned is exercising ordinary care, which is not caused by fault of any person and
which could not have been prevented by any means suggested by common prudence.

The test in determining the existence of negligence is enunciated in the landmark case of Plicart v. Smith, thus: 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.

The Court ruled that the tragedy which befell ZHIENETH was no accident and that ZHIENETH's death could only be
attributed to negligence.

(2) According to the testimony of Gerardo Gonzales, a former gift-wrapper, who was at the scene of the incident:
While in the emergency room the doctor asked the child what did you do to which the child replied ‘Nothing, I did
not come near the counter and the counter just fell on me’. Moreover, Ramon Guevarra, another former employee,
testified to the effect that the counter needed some nailing because it was shaky, but that it was not attended to.
Undoubtedly, petitioner Panelo and another store supervisor knew the danger of the unstable counter yet did not
remedy the situation.

Anent the negligence imputed to Zhieneth, the conclusive presumption that favors children below 9 years old in
that they are incapable of contributory negligence, applies (criminal cases- conclusively presumed to have acted
without discernment). Assuming Zhieneth committed contributory negligence when she climbed the counter, no
injury should have occurred if petitioners theory that the counter was stable and sturdy was true. Indeed, the
physical analysis of the counter reveal otherwise, i.e. it was not durable after all. Criselda should likewise be
absolved from contributory negligence. To be able to sign her credit card, it was reasonable for Criselda to
momentarily release her child’s hand.

COURT OF APPEALS, respondents G.R. No. L-33722 July 29, 1988

FACTS: Private respondent Mariano Soriano was the principal of the Gabaldon Primary School, a public educational
institution located in Tayug, Pangasinan-Private respondent Edgardo Aquino was a teacher therein. At 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 burying them one by one as early as 1962.Deciding to help his
colleague, private respondent Edgardo Aquino gathered eighteen of his male pupils, aged ten to eleven, after class
dismissal. Being their teacher-in-charge, he ordered them to dig beside a one-ton concrete block in order to make a
hole wherein the stone can be buried. The work was left unfinished. The following day, also after classes, private
respondent Aquino called four of the original eighteen pupils to continue the digging. These four pupils —
Reynaldo Alonso, Francisco Alcantara, Ismael Abaga and NovelitoYlarde, dug until the excavation was one meter
and forty centimeters deep. At this point, private respondent Aquino alone continued digging while the pupils
remained inside the pit throwing out the loose soil that was brought about by the digging.

When the depth was right enough to accommodate the concrete block, private respondent Aquino and his four
pupils got out of the hole. Then, said private respondent left the children to level the loose soil around the open
hole while he went to see Banez who was about thirty meters away.A few minutes after private respondent Aquino
left, 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 Ylarde was caught by the
concrete block before he could get out, pinning him to the wall in a standing position.

Three days later, NovelitoYlarde died.

Ylarde's parents, petitioners in this case, filed a suit for damages against both private respondents Aquino and
Soriano. The lower court dismissed the complaint on the following grounds: (1) that the digging done by the pupils
is in line with their course called Work Education; (2) that Aquino exercised the utmost diligence of a very cautious
person; and (3) that the demise of Ylarde was due to his own reckless imprudence.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision of the lower court.

ISSUE: Whether Ylarde can be considered negligent and imprudent.

HELD: No. 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. Going back to the facts, it was not only him but the three of them who jumped into the hole while the
remaining boy jumped on the block. From this, it is clear that he only did what any other ten-year old child would
do in the same situation.

In ruling that the child Ylarde was imprudent, it is evident that the lower court did not consider his age and
maturity. This should not be the case. 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.

defendant-appellant G.R. No. L-32611 November 3, 1930

FACTS: Plaintiff Culion Ice and defendant Phili Motors are domestic corporations. Culion Ice here was registered
owner of the motor schooner Gwendoline, which was used in the fishing trade in the Philippine Islands. H.D.
Cranston was its representative. While defendant Philippine Motors Corporation was engaged in business as an
automobile agency, but, under its charter, it had authority to deal in all sorts of machinery engines and motors, as
well as to build, operate, buy and sell the same and the equipment therof. Cranston decided, if practicable, to have
the engine on the Gwendoline changed from a gasoline consumer to a crude oil burner, expecting thereby to effect
economy in the cost of running the boat. He therefore made to inquire in a firm (to McLeod & Co.) dealing in
tractors, which adviced him to inquire in Phil Motors. therafter, Cranston accordingly repaired to the office of the
Philippine Motors Corporation and had a conference with C.E. Quest, its manager. As a result of the aforesaid
interview, Quest, in company with Cranston, visited the Gwendoline and the work of effecting the change in the
engine was begun and conducted under the supervision of Quest, chiefly by a mechanic whom Quest took with him
to the boat. In this work Quest had the assistance of the members of the crew of the Gwendoline, who had been
directed by Cranston to place themselves under Quest's directions.

In the course of the preliminary work upon the carburetor and its connections, it was observed that the carburetor
was flooding, and that the gasoline, or other fuel, was trickling freely from the lower part to the carburetor to the
floor. This fact was called to Quest's attention, but he appeared to think lightly of the matter and said that, when
the engine had gotten to running well, the flooding would disappear. After a new carburetor had been introduced
and a new fuel tank installed, the boat was taken for trial, in the course of which a back fire took place in the
cylinder of the engine, and flames were communicated, through the curberator, to the outside, with thw result that
the boat was destroyed.

ISSUE: Whether the lost of boat was attributable to the negligence or lack of skill on the part of Quest.

RULING: YES a person holds himself out as being competent to do things requiring professional skill, he will be
held liable for negligence if he fails to exhibit the care and skill of one ordinarily skilled in the particular work
which he attempts to do. The proof shows that Quest had had ample experience in fixing the engines of
automobiles and tractors, but it does not appear that he was experienced in the doing of similar work on boats. For
this reason, possibly the dripping of the mixture form the tank on deck and the flooding of the carburetor did not
convey to his mind an adequate impression of the danger of fire. But a person skilled in that particular sort of work
would, we think have been sufficiently warned from those circumstances to cause him to take greater and
adequate precautions against the danger. In other words Quest did not use the skill that would have been exhibited
by one ordinarily expert in repairing gasoline engines on boats. There was here, in our opinion, on the part of
Quest, a blameworthy antecedent inadvertence to possible harm, and this constitutes negligence. The burning of
the Gwendoline may be said to have resulted from accident, but this accident was in no sense an unavoidable
accident. It would not have occured but for Quest's carelessness or lack of skill. The test of liability is not whether
the injury was accidental in a sense, but whether Quest was free from blame.

times owing no doubt to the use of an improper mixture of fuel. In the course of the trial Quest remained outside of
the engine compartment and occupied himself with making distillate, with a view to ascertaining what proportion
of the two elements would give best results in the engine.As the boat was coming in from this run, at about 7:30
p.m. and when passing near Cavite, the engine stopped, and connection again had to be made with the gasoline line
to get a new start. After this had been done, the mechanic, or engineer, switched to the tube connecting with the
new mixture. A moment later a back fire occurred in the cylinder chamber. This caused a flame to shoot back into
the carburetor, and instantly the carburetor and adjacent parts were covered with a mass of flames, which the
members of the crew were unable to subdue. They were therefore compelled, as the fire spread, to take to a boat,
and their escape was safely effected, but the Gwendoline was reduced to a mere hulk. The salvage from, the wreck,
when sold, brought only the sum of P150. The value of the boat, before the accident occured, as the court found,
was P10,000.

40. THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. SANTIAGO PINEDA, defendant-appellant G.R. No. L-12858 January
22, 1918

FACTS: Feliciano Santos, having some sick horses, presented a copy of a prescription obtained from Dr. Richardson,
and which on other occasions Santos had given to his horses with good results, at Pineda's drug store for filling.
Santiago Pineda, the defendant, is a registered pharmacist. Under the supervision of Pineda, the prescription was
prepared and returned to Santos in the form of 6 papers marked Botica Pineda. Santos, under the belief that he had
purchased the potassium chlorate which he had asked for, put two of the packages in water the doses to two of his
sick horses. Another package was mixed with water for another horse, but was not used. The two horses, to which
had been given the preparation, died shortly afterwards.

Santos, thereupon, took the three remaining packages to the Bureau of Science for examination. Drs. Peña and
Darjuan, of the Bureau of Science, on analysis found that the packages contained not potassium chlorate but
barium chlorate. At the instance of Santos, the two chemists also went to the drug store of the defendant and
bought potassium chlorate, which when analyzed was found to be barium chlorate. (Barium chlorate, it should be
noted, is a poison; potassium chlorate is not.) Dr. Buencamino, a veterinarian, performed an autopsy on the horses,
and found that death was the result of poisoning. RTC: held Pineda liable

ISSUE: whether Pineda should be liable for negligence

RULING: The profession of pharmacy, it has been said again and again, is one demanding care and skill. The
responsibility of the druggist to use care has been variously qualified as "ordinary care," "care of a special high
degree," "the highest degree of care known to practical men." The "skill" required of a druggist is denominated as
"high" or "ample."In other words, 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.

The rule of caveat emptor cannot apply to the purchase and sale of drugs. The vendor and the vendee do not stand
at arms length as in ordinary transactions. An imperative duty is on the druggist to take precautions to prevent
death or serious injury to anyone who relies on his absolute honesty and peculiar leaning. The nature of drugs is
such that examination would not avail the purchaser anything. Consequently, it must be that the druggist warrants
that he will deliver the drug called for.

In civil cases, the druggist is made liable for any injury approximately resulting from his negligence. "Pharmacists
or apothecaries who compound or sell medicines, if they carelessly label a poison as a harmless medicine, and sent
it so labeled into the market, are liable to all persons who, without fault on their part, are injured by using it as such
medicine, in consequence of the false label; the rule being that the liability in such a case arises not out of any
contract or direct privity between the wrong-doer and the person injured, but out of the duty which the law
imposes on him to avoid acts in their nature dangerous to the lives of others." (Nat. Savings Bank vs. Ward [1879],
100 U. S., 195, following Thomas vs. Winchester [1852], 2 Seld. [N. Y.], 387.)

41. Mercury vs De leon

Facts:Raul De leon consulted Dr. Milla about his irritated left eye.The latter prescribed the drugs Cortisporin
Opthalmic and Ceftin to relieve his eye problems.Before heading to work the following morning,
De leon went to the Betterliving, Paranaque, branch of Mercury Drug Store Corporation to buy the prescribed
medicines.He showed his prescription to petitioner Aurmela Ganzon, a pharmacist assistant.Subsequently, he paid
for and took the medicine handed over by Ganzon. at his chambers,
De leon requested his sheriff to assist him in using the eye drops. As instructed, the sheriff applied 2-3 drops on
respondents left eye.Instead of relieving his irritation, respondent felt searing pain. He immediately rinsed the
affected eye with water, but the pain did not subside.Only then did he discover that he was given the wrong
medicine, Cortisporin Otic Solution. He returned to the same Mercury Drug branch, with his left eye still red and
teary. When he confronted Ganzon why he was given ear drops, instead of the prescribed eye drops, she did not
apologize and instead brazenly replied that she was unable to fully read the prescription. In fact, it was her
supervisor who apologized and informed De Leon that they do not have stock of the needed Cortisporin
Opthalmic.He then wrote a letter through the president of Mercury Drug, Ms. Vivian K. Askuna, about the days
incident.It did not merit any response.Instead, two sales persons went to his office and informed him that their
supervisor was busy with other matters.Having been denied his simple desire for a written apology and
explanation, De Leon filed a complaint for damages against Mercury Drug. Mercury claimed that De leon's injury
was brought by his own negligence, he should have check the name of the medicine before putting on his eyes. The
RTC ruled in favor of De leon and the Ca affirmed the decision of the RTC, hence this petition for certiorari
Whether Mercury and Guanzon was negligent.(Culpa Contractual).
This Court once more reiterated that the profession of pharmacy demands great care and skill.It reminded
druggists to exercise the highest degree of care known to practical men.In cases where an injury is caused by the
negligence of an employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there has been negligence on the part of
the employer, either in the selection or supervision of ones employees.This presumption may be rebutted by a clear
showing that the employer has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of the family. Mercury Drug failed
to overcome such presumption.
Petitioners Mercury Drug and Ganzon have similarly failed to live up to high standard of diligence expected of them
as pharmacy professionals.They were grossly negligent in dispensing ear drops instead of the prescribed eye drops
to De Leon.Worse, they have once again attempted to shift the blame to their victim by underscoring his own failure
to read the label.As a buyer, De Leon relied on the expertise and experience of Mercury Drug and its employees in
dispensing to him the right medicine.This Court has ruled that in the purchase and sale of drugs, the buyer and
seller do not stand at arms length.There exists an imperative duty on the seller or the pharmacist to take
precaution to prevent death or injury to any person who relies on ones absolute honesty and peculiar learning.
Article 2229 allows the grant of exemplary damages by way of example or correction for the public good. As
mentioned earlier, the drugstore business is affected by public interest. Petitioner should have exerted utmost
diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees. On the part of the employee concerned, she should have
been extremely cautious in dispensing pharmaceutical products. Due to the sensitive nature of its business,
petitioner must at all times maintain a high level of meticulousness. Therefore, an award of exemplary damages in
the amount of P25,000.00 is in order.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Decisions of the CA and the RTC in Paranaque City are
AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION, in that the award of moral and exemplary damages is reduced to P50,000.00 and
P25,000.00, respectively.

42. DR. NINEVETCH CRUZ, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LYDIA UMALI, respondents.

FACTS: Dr. Ninevetch cruz was a anaesthesiologist and surgeon in in perpetual C Help Clinic and General Hospital.
LYDIA Umali, deceased respondent, was her patient who was accompanied by respondent daughter umali. She was
examined by dr. Cruz and found a " myoma" in her uterus and was thereafter scheduled for hysterectomy
operation. Rowena and her mother slept in the clinic and noticed the untidiness if the clinic. Rowena tried to
pursuade her mother to postponed the operation. When Lydia asked Dr. Cruz, the latter ingormed that she had
must be operated. Thereafter, the operation proceeded while the relatives of Lydia where waiting, Dr. Ercilla
instructed them to buy a blood for Lydia. After lapse of hours, they were informed that the operation was finished.
But again instructed to buy a blood, unfortunately there were no blood A in the blood bank of the clinic. Rowena
noticed that her mother was attached to an oxygen tank, gasping for breath. Apparently the oxygen run out of
supply and Rowena had to go to another hospital to ger kxgen.

Lydia was given fresh supply of oxygen but later she went into shock had unstable vondition which necessitated
her to transfer to San Pablo District Hospital. Such was without prior consent of rowena nor of other relatives.
Thereafter, she was reoperated but Dr. Angeles, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department informed them
that there was nothing he can do as Lydia ws already in shock as her blood pressure was 0/0. MTCC found dr.
Cruzand Dr. Ercilla guilty of negligence. The RTC reiterated the abovementioned findings of the MTCC and upheld
the latter's declaration of "incompetency, negligence and lack of foresight and skill of appellant (herein petitioner)
in handling the subject patient before and after the operation." And likewise affirming the petitioner's conviction,
the Court of Appeals echoed similar observations.hence, this case.

ISSUE: Whether or not a physician has committed an "inexcusable lack of precaution" in the treatment of his
patient is to be determined according to the standard of care observed by other members of the profession in good
standing under similar circumstances bearing in mind the advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment
or the present state of medical science.

RULING: NO. In the recent case of Leonila Garcia-Rueda v. Wilfred L. Pacasio, et. al., this Court stated that in
accepting a case, a doctor in effect represents that, having the needed training and skill possessed by physicians
and surgeons practicing in the same field, he will employ such training, care and skill in the treatment of his
patients. He therefore has a duty to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor
would use to treat a condition under the same circumstances. It is in this aspect of medical malpractice that expert
testimony is essential to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but also that the physician's
conduct in the treatment and care falls below such standard. 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.

For whether a physician or surgeon has exercised the requisite degree of skill and care in the treatment of his
patient is, in the generality of cases, a matter of expert opinion. The deference of courts to the expert opinion of
qualified physicians stems from its realization that the latter possess unusual technical skills which laymen in most
instances are incapable of intelligently evaluating. Expert testimony should have been offered to prove that the
circumstances cited by the courts below are constitutive of conduct falling below the standard of care employed by
other physicians in good standing when performing the same operation. In litigations involving medical negligence,
the plaintiff has the burden of establishing appellant's negligence and for a reasonable conclusion of negligence,
there must be proof of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon as well as a casual connection of such breach and
the resulting death of his patient. In Chan Lugay v. St Luke's Hospital, Inc., where the attending physician was
absolved of liability for the death of the complainant's wife and newborn baby, this court held that: "In order that
there may be a recovery for an injury, however, it must be shown that the 'injury for which recovery is sought must
be the legitimate consequence of the wrong done; the connection between the negligence and the injury must be a
direct and natural sequence of events, unbroken by intervening efficient causes.' In other words, the negligence
must be the proximate cause of the injury. For, 'negligence, no matter in what it consists, cannot create a right of
action unless it is the proximate cause of the injury complained of.' And 'the proximate cause of an injury is 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.''


FACTS: two vehicles, a tractor- trailer and a jitney, figured in a vehicular collisionalong Maharlika Highway. Laarni
Pomasin was driving the jitney towards the direction of Legaspi City while the tractor-trailer, driven by Claudio
Jabon, was trasversing the opposite lane going towards the Naga City. Multiple death and injuries to those in the
jitney resulted from the collision. The sposes Pomasin filed a complaint for damages against Albert Tison, the
owner of the truck, and Jabon. The trial court dismissed the complaint but the appellate court reversed it, finding
that it was the reckless driving of Jabon that caused the collision. The appellate court also noted that therestriction
to Jabon's driver's license was violated, thus giving rise to the presumption that hewas negligent at the time of the

ISSUE: 1. Whether the Claudio Jabon, driver of tractor-trailer was the negligent as such should be. -NO 2. Whether
violation of traffic regulation is a proximate cause that contribute to the injury as such Claudio Jabon should be
held negligent.- NO

RULING: 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.

The trial court found that the jitney driver was negligent. We give weight to this finding greater than the opposite
conclusion reached by the appellate court that the driver of the tractor-trailer caused the vehicular collision.
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.

In the instant case, no causal connection was established between the tractor-trailer drivers 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.

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