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IV. Defenses Zacarias Sarabia and Emilio Celeste for compensation and damages.

On July 11, 1955

Sarabia filed a third-party complaint against driver of the truck of Mary Lim Line and a
a. Complete defenses certain Quintin Lim. The third-party complaint was amended on December 20, 1955
replacing Quintin Lim with the name of Maria M. Lim. Maria Lim filed a motion to
i. Plaintiff’s negligence is the proximate cause of injury dismiss contending among others that the action has already prescribed. Sarabia
- NCC Article 2179 argued that the computation of the presriptive period should be counted from April
19, 1955 the date when the main action was filed against them.
- Art. 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was
the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he Issue:
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was Whether or not the action already prescribed
only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due Held:
care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the Yes. The action which appellants(Sarabia) desire to press against appellee (Lim) is
courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. really one based on quasi-delict which prescribes in four years, and this period having
already expired when the action was taken, it is obvious that the action has prescribed.
Cases: Thus, in the third-party complaint against the appelle it is alleged that the collision
1. Paulan vs. Sarabia, 104 Phil 1050 “was the exclusive, direct and immediate result of the felonious, negligent, careless,
reckless and imprudent driving of the TPU truck of Mary Lim Line No. 108 by Juan
Cadungon xxx without any regard for traffic laws, and regulations and vehicle laws as
In the case of Diocosa Paulan, et al. vs. Zacarias Sarabia, et al., G.R. No. L-10542, to speed, blowing of horn, right of way and other rules”, which truck is owned and
promulgated July 31, 1958, this Court held that an action based on a quasi-delict is operated by appellee. And Article 1146 of the New Civil Code provides that an action
governed by Article 1150 of the Civil Code as to the question of when the based “upon a quasi-delict”prescribes in four years.
prescriptive period of four years shall begin to run, that is, "from the day (the action)
may be brought," which means from the day the quasi-delict occurred or was The law ordinarily provides that the period during which an action may be brought
committed. shall be computed from the time the right of action accrues (Articles 1144 & 1149,
New Civil Code), but nothing is provided in this respect with regard to an action based
The foregoing considerations dispose of appellants' contention that the four-year on a quasi-delict, Article 1146 (New Civil Code) simply provides that the action shall
period of prescription in this case was interrupted by the filing of the criminal action be instituted within four years. There being no provision as to when shall the period
against Jon Elordi inasmuch as they had neither waived the civil action nor reserved of four years commence to run, the provision of Article 1150 shall apply, which reads:
the right to institute it separately. Such reservation was not then necessary; without “The time for prescription for all kinds of actions, when there is no special provision
having made it they could file — as in fact they did — a separate civil action even which ordains otherwise, shall be counted from the day they may be brought.”
during the pendency of the criminal case (Pacheco v. Tumangday, L-14500, May 25, Evidently, the day therein referred to is that of the collision, for an action based on a
1960; Azucena v. Potenciano, L-14028, June 30, 1962); and consequently, as held quasi-delict can be brought now independently of the criminal action and even
in Paulan v. Sarabia, supra, "the institution of a criminal action cannot have the regardless of the outcome of the latter (Article 31, New Civil Code). There can
effect of interrupting the institution of a civil action based on a quasi-delict." therefore be no dispute that the action of appellants against the appellee should have
been brought within the period of four years counted from July 25, 1951.
July 31, 1958

On July 25, 1951, a truck owned and operated by Zacarias Sarabia and driven by Emilio
Celeste fell into a creek after it collided with another truck of the Mary Lim Line. As a
result of the collision, Gaudencio Basco who was one of the passengers of Sarabia’s 2. American Express International, Inc., vs.
Truck died. On April 19, 1955, Basco’s widow and heirs filed a complaint against Cordero, G.R. No. 138550, Oct. 14, 2005
Facts: been attributed to petitioner. If at all, the cause of respondent’s humiliation and
embarrassment was his refusal to talk to petitioner’s representative. It was thus safe
American Express International was a foreign corporation that issued charge to conclude that there was no negligence on the part of petitioner and that, therefore,
cards used to purchase goods and services at accredited merchants worldwide to its it cannot be held liable to respondent for damages.
customers. Nilda Cordero, wife of respondent Noel Cordero, was issued an American 9. The petition was granted.
Express charge card. An extension charge card, was likewise issued to respondent
Noel Cordero which he also signed. Respondent, together with his family went on a
three-day holiday trip to Hong Kong. The group went to the Watson’s Chemist Shop.
While there, Noel picked up chocolate candies and handed his American Express 10. Fernando vs. CA, 208 SCRA 714 (1992)
extension charge card to the sales clerk to pay for his purchases. Susan Chong, the
store manager, informed respondent that she had to confiscate the card. Thereupon,
she cut respondent’s American Express card in half with a pair of scissors. This, FACTS:
according to respondent, caused him embarrassment and humiliation. Hence, Nilda  November 7, 1975: Bibiano Morta, market master of the Agdao Public Market
had to pay for the purchases using her own American Express charge card. filed a requisition request with the Chief of Property of the City Treasurer's
Office for the re-emptying of the septic tank in Agdao wherein Bascon won
3. The card was placed in the Inspect Airwarn Support System, asystem utilized  November 22, 1975: bidder Bertulano with four other companions namely
by petitioner as a protection both for the company and the cardholders against the Joselito Garcia, William Liagoso, Alberto Fernando and Jose Fajardo, Jr. were
fraudulent use of their charge cards. Once a card suspected of unauthorized use is found dead inside the septic tank.
placed in the system, the person to whom the card is tendered must verify the identity  The bodies were removed by a fireman.
of the holder. If the true identity of the card owner is established, the card is  The body of Joselito Garcia, was taken out by his uncle, Danilo Garcia and taken
honored and the charges are approved. Otherwise, the card is revoked or confiscated. to the Regional Hospital but he expired there.
4. Respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court a complaint for  The City Engineer's office investigated the case and learned they entered the
damages against petitioner. He prayed for the award of moral damages and exemplary septic tank without clearance from it nor with the knowledge and consent of the
damages, as well as attorney’s fees as a result of the humiliation he suffered. market master.
According to the trial court, petitioner should have informed respondent that on  Since the septic tank was found to be almost empty, they were presumed to be
November 1, 1991, a person in Hong Kong attempted to use a charge card bearing the ones who did the re-emptying.
similar number to that of respondent’s card and that petitioner’s inexcusable failure  Dr. Juan Abear of the City Health Office found them to have died
to do so is the proximate cause of the “confiscation and cutting of respondent’s from "asphyxia" - diminution of oxygen supply in the body and intake of toxic
extension card which exposed the latter to public humiliation for which the petitioner gas
should be held liable. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s  November 26, 1975: Bascon signed the purchase order
decision.  RTC: Dismissed the case
5. Issue:  CA: Reversed - law intended to protect the plight of the poor and the needy, the
6. Whether the lower courts gravely erred in awarding moral damages, ignorant and the indigent
exemplary damages and attorney’s fees to Cordero. ISSUE: W/N Davao city is negligent and its negligence is the proximate cause
7. Ruling of the Court: therefore can be liable for damages
8. YES. The Court ruled that petitioner can revoke respondent’s card without
notice, as was done. The subject card would not have been confiscated and cut had
respondent talked to petitioner’s representative and identified himself as the genuine HELD: NO. CA affirmed.
cardholder. As explained by respondent himself, he could have used his card upon  test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case:
verification by the sales clerk of Watson that indeed he is the authorized cardholder.  Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care
That could have been accomplished had respondent talked to petitioner’s and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same
representative, enabling the latter to determine that respondent was indeed the true situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence
holder of the card. Clearly, no negligence which breached the contract could have  standard supposed to be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the
discreet pater familias of the Roman law
 Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the position of the respondents were negligent and that it should be the independent contractor L.R.
tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect harmful to another was Barte and Company which undertook said conduit system to be the one liable.The
sufficiently probable warrant his foregoing the conduct or guarding against its latter claimed to have complied with its contract and had installed necessary
consequences barricades.
 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 Issue: WON PLDT and L.R. Barte and Co. are liable.
experience and in view of the facts involved in the particular case
 Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of the suggestion born Ruling: Private Respondent´s negligence was not merely contributory but goes to the
of this provision, is always necessary before negligence can be held to exist very cause of the accident, hence he has no right to recover damages for the injuries
 Distinction must be made between the accident and the injury which he and his wife suffered. Private respondent cannot recover notwithstanding
 Where he contributes to the principal occurrence, as one of its determining the negligence he imputes on PLDT considering that he had ¨the last clear chance¨,
factors, he can not recover to avoid the injury. One who claims damages for the negligence of another has the
 Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to his own burden of proof to show existence of such fault or negligence causative thereof
injury, he may recover the amount that the defendant responsible for the event
should pay for such injury, less a sum deemed a suitable equivalent for his own
 Toilets and septic tanks are not nuisances per se as defined in Article 694 of the
New Civil Code which would necessitate warning signs for the protection of the
 While the construction of these public facilities demands utmost compliance
with safety and sanitary requirements, the putting up of warning signs is not
one of those requirements
 accident such as toxic gas leakage from the septic tank is unlikely to happen
unless one removes its covers
 Considering the nature of the task of emptying a septic tank especially one
which has not been cleaned for years, an ordinarily prudent person should
undoubtedly be aware of the attendant risks. The victims are no exception;
more so with Mr. Bertulano, an old hand in this kind of service, who is presumed
to know the hazards of the job. His failure, therefore, and that of his men to
take precautionary measures for their safety was the proximate cause of the
 proximate and immediate cause of the death of the victims was due to their
own negligence. Consequently, the petitioners cannot demand damages from
the public respondent.

PLDT vs. CA, G.R. No. 57079, Sept. 12, 1989

Facts: On July, 30, 1968, respondent spouses Esteban had their jeep ran over a sand
of earth and fell into an open trench, an excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT for
the installation of its underground conduit system. Respondent Antonio Esteban
failed to notice the open trench which was left uncovered because of the creeping
darkness and the lack of warning light or signs. Respondent spouses suffered
physical injuries and their jeeps windshield was shattered. PLDT alleged that the
Pantaleon vs. American Express International, Inc., G.R. No. 174269, August 25, purchase, much less one specifically contracted upon by the parties. yet this is one of
2010 those instances when “you’d know it what you’d see it,” and one hour appears to be
an awfully long, patently unreasonable length of time to approve or disapprove a
credit card purchases. It is long enough time for the customer to walk to a bank a
Facts: kilometer away, withdraw money over the counter, and return to the store.

1. The petitioner (Pantaleon) and his family, joined an escorted tour of Western Europe. The Credit Authorization System (CAS) record on the Amsterdam transaction shows
2. In Coster Diamond House, Amsterdam, Mrs. Pantaleon (wife) was about to bought a how Amexco Netherlands viewed the delay as unusually frustrating. In sequence
2.5 karat diamond brilliant cut, a pendant and a chain, all of which totaled U.S. expressed in Phoenix time from 01:20 when the charge purchased was referred for
$13,826.00. authorization:
3. To pay these purchases, around 9:15am, Pantaleon presented his American Express
Credit Card together with his passport.
4. By 9:40am, Pantaleon was already worried about further inconveniencing the tour 01:22 – the authorization is referred to manila Amexco.
group, he asked the store clerk to cancel the sale. the store manager though asked
him to wait a few more minutes.
01:32 – Netherlands gives information that the identification of the card member has
5. Around 10:00am (around 45 minutes after Pantaleon had presented his AmexCard),
been presented and he is buying jewelries worth US $13,826
Coster decided to release the items even without American Express International,
Inc.’s (herein respondent, Amex for brevity) approval of the purchase. This was 30
minutes after the tour group was supposed to have left the store. 01:33 – Netherlands asks “How long will this take?”
6. The spouses Pantelon returned. Their offers of apology were met by their tourmates
with stony silence. The tour group’s visible irritation was aggravated when the tour
guide announced that the city tour of Amsterdam was to be canceled due to lack of 02:08 – Netherlands is still asking “How long will this take?”
remaing time. Mrs. Pantaleon ended up weeping.
7. After the star-crossed tour had ended, the Pantaleon family proceeded to the United
States before returning to Manila. While in the United States, Pantaleon continued to The Amex has a right to verify whether the credit it is extending upon on a particular
use his AmEx card, several times without hassle or delay, but with two other incidents purchase was indeed contracted by the cardholder, and that the cardholder is within
similar to the Amsterdam brouhaha. his means to make such transaction. The culpable failure of respondent herein is not
the failure to timely approve petitioner’s purchase, but the more elemental failure to
timely act on the same, whether favorably or unfavorably. Even assuming the
respondent’s credit authorizers did not have sufficient basis on hand to make a
judgment, we see no reason why Amex could not have promptly informed petitioner
1. Whether or not Amex was in default or mora. the reason for the delay, and duly advised him that resolving the same could take
2. Whether Amex (Credit Card Company) is in mora solvendi or in mora accipiendi. some time. In that way, petitioner would have had informed basis on whether or not
to pursue the transaction at Coster, given the attending circumstances. instead,
Pantaleon was left uncomfortably dangling in the chilly autumn winds in a foreign land
and soon forced to confront the wrath of foreign folk.

1. Yes. The Court is convinced that Amex’s delay constituted breach of its contractual
The delay committed by Amex was clearly attended by unjustified neglect and bad
obligation to act on his use of the card abroad “with special handling.:
faith, since it alleges to have consumed more than one hour to simply go over
Pantaleon’s pas credit history with Amex, his payment record and his credit and bank
Notwithstanding the popular notion that credit card purchases are approved “WITHIN
references, when all such data are already stored and readily available from its
SECONDS,” there really is no strict, legally determinative point of demarcation on how
computer. There is nothing in Pantaleon’s billing history that would warrant the
long must it take for a credit car company to approve or disapprove a customer’s
imprudent suspension of action by Amex in processing the purchase.
2. Amex is in mora solvendi. Generally, the relationship between a credit card provided HELD: No. The SC reiterated the elements of quasi delict as follows:
and its card holder is that of creditor-debtore, with the card company as a the creditor
(1) Damages to the plaintiff.
extending loans and credit to the card holder, who as debtor is obliged to repay the
creditor. The relationship already takes exception to the general rule that as between (2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for
a bank and its depositors, the bank is deemed as the debtor while the depositor is whose acts it must respond, was guilty.
considered as the creditor. In the present case, we should shift perspectives and again
(3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage.
see the credit card company as the debtor/obligor, insofar as it has the obligation to
the customer as creditor/obligee to act promptly on its purchases on credit. In the case at bar, it is true that Manila Electric has been negligent in disposing off the
caps which they used for the power plant, and that said caps caused damages to
If there was delay on the part of Amex in its normal role as creditor to the cardholder, Taylor. However, the causal connection between the company’s negligence and the
such delay would not have been in acceptance of the performance of the debtor’s injuries sustained by Taylor is absent. It is in fact the direct acts of Taylor which led to
obligation (i.e., the repayment of the debt), but it would be delay in the extension of the explosion of the caps as he even, in various experiments and in multiple attempts,
the credit in the first place. Such delay would not fall under mora accipiendi, which tried to explode the caps. It is from said acts that led to the explosion and hence the
contemplates that the obligation of the debtor, such as the actual purchases on credit injuries.
has already been instituted. The establishment of the debt itself (purchases on credit Taylor at the time of the accident was well-grown youth of 15, more mature both
of the jewelry) had not yet been perfected, as it remained pending the approval or mentally and physically than the average boy of his age; he had been to sea as a cabin
consent of the credit card company boy; was able to earn P2.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after the injury
was incurred; and the record discloses throughout that he was exceptionally well
qualified to take care. 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
Exc: Doctrine of Attractove Nuisance
explanation. His attempt to discharge the cap by the use of electricity, followed by his
Cases: efforts to explode it with a stone or a hammer, and the final success of his endeavors
brought about by the applications of a match to the contents of the cap, show clearly
1. Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad & Light Co., 16 Phil 8
that he knew what he was about. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that he had
reason to anticipate that the explosion might be dangerous.
16 Phil. 18 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Element – Quasi Delicts “The just thing is that a man should suffer the damage which comes to him through
his own fault, and that he cannot demand reparation therefor from another.”
David Taylor was a 15 year old boy who spent time as a cabin boy at sea; he was also
able to learn some principles of mechanical engineering and mechanical drawing from
his dad’s office (his dad was a mechanical engineer); he was also employed as a Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc. vs. Balandan, 91 Phil 488
mechanical draftsman earning P2.50 a day – all said, Taylor was mature well beyond
his age. FACTS:
One day in 1905, he and another boy entered into the premises of Manila Electric
It appears that the petitioner Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc. "was the owner of an ice-plant
power plant where they found 20-30 blasting caps which they took home. In an effort
factory in the City of San Pablo, Laguna, in whose premises were installed two tanks
to explode the said caps, Taylor experimented until he succeeded in opening the caps
full of water, nine feet deep, for cooling purposes of its engine. While the factory
and then he lighted it using a match which resulted to the explosion of the caps
causing severe injuries to his companion and to Taylor losing one eye. compound was surrounded with fence, the tanks themselves were not provided with
any kind of fence or top covers. The edges of the tanks were barely a foot high from
Taylor sued Manila Electric alleging that because the company left the caps exposed the surface of the ground. Through the wide gate entrance, which is continually open,
to children, they are liable for damages due to the company’s negligence. motor vehicles hauling ice and persons buying said commodity passed, and any one
ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Electric is liable for damages. could easily enter the said factory, as he pleased. There was no guard assigned on the
gate. At about noon of April 16, 1948, plaintiff's son, Mario Balandan, a boy barely 8
years old, while playing with and in company of other boys of his age entered the Loreto Afialda was a caretaker of the carabaos owned by Basilio Hisole. In March 1947,
factory premises through the gate, to take a bath in one of said tanks; and while thus without any fault from Afialda or any force majeure, one of the carabaos gored him
bathing, Mario sank to the bottom of the tank, only to be fished out later, already a thereby causing his death. Afialda’s sister, Margarita Afialda, sued Hisole arguing that
cadaver, having been died of "asphyxia secondary to drowning." under the Civil Code, “The possessor of an animal, or the one who uses the same, is
liable for any damages it may cause, even if such animal should escape from him or
DOCTRINE OF ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE stray away. This liability shall cease only in case, the damage should arise fromforce
One who maintains on his estate or premises an attractive nuisance majeure or from the fault of the person who may have suffered it.”
without exercising due case to prevent children from playing therewith
ISSUE: Whether or not Hisole is liable in the case at bar as owner of the carabao which
or resorting thereto, is liable to a child of tender years who is injured
killed Afialda.
thereby, even if the child is technically a trespasser in the premises.
(Jarco Marketing Corp. v. CA, 117 SCAD 818, 321 SCRA 375 (1991), Paras, HELD: No. The law uses the term “possessor and user of the animal”. Afialda was the
p. 741) caretaker of the animal and he was tasked and paid to tend for the carabaos. He, at
the time of the goring, is the possessor and the user of the carabao and therefore he
BASIS FOR THE LIABILITY is the one who had custody and control of the animal and was in a position to prevent
The attractiveness is an invitation to children. Safeguards to prevent the animal from causing damage. It would have been different had Afialda been a
danger must therefore be set up. stranger. Obviously, it was the caretaker’s business to try to prevent the animal from
causing injury or damage to anyone, including himself. And being injured by the animal
ELEMENTS OF ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE under those circumstances was one of the risks of the occupation which he had
1. It must be attractive voluntarily assumed and for which he must take the consequences.
2. Dangerous to childr en of tender years.
This action could have been more appropriately raised in court under the provisions
of the Workmen’s Compensation Act as the risk involve was one of occupational
A swimming pool or water tank is not an attractive nuisance, for while it
is attractive, it is merely an imitation of the work of nature. Hence, if
small children are drowned in an attractive water tank of another, the 2. Ilocos Norte Co. vs. CA, G.R. No. 53401, Nov. 6, 1989
owner is not liable even if there be no guards in the premises (Hidalgo Facts:
Enterprises v. Balandan, et. al, L‐3422 Jun. 13, 1952).
Exception: Swimming pool with dangerous slides
From the evidence of plaintiffs it appears that in the evening of June 28 until the
The doctrine of attractive nuisance does not generally apply to bod ies of early morning of June 29, 1967 a strong typhoon by the code name "Gening"
water, artificial as well as natural in the absence of some unusual buffeted the province of Ilocos Norte, bringing heavy rains and consequent flooding
condition or artificial other than the mere water and its location. in its wake. Between 5:30 and 6:00 A.M. on June 29, 1967, after the typhoon had
abated and when the floodwaters were beginning to recede the deceased Isabel Lao
Juan, fondly called Nana Belen, ventured out of the house of her son-in-law, Antonio
Yabes, on No. 19 Guerrero Street, Laoag City, and proceeded northward towards the
ii. Assumption of Risk direction of the Five Sisters Emporium, of which she was the owner and proprietress,
- NCC Article 2179 to look after the merchandise therein that might have been damaged. Wading in
waist-deep flood on Guerrero, the deceased was followed by Aida Bulong, a Salesgirl
Cases: at the Five Sisters Grocery, also owned by the deceased, and by Linda Alonzo
1. Afiliada vs. Hisole and Hisole, 85 Phil 67 Estavillo, a ticket seller at the YJ Cinema, which was partly owned by the deceased.
Aida and Linda walked side by side at a distance of between 5 and 6 meters behind
the deceased, Suddenly, the deceased screamed "Ay" and quickly sank into the
85 Phil 67 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Liability of possessors or users of water. The two girls attempted to help, but fear dissuaded them from doing so
animals – Assumption of Risk because on the spot where the deceased sank they saw an electric wire dangling
from a post and moving in snake-like fashion in the water. Upon their shouts for Cases:
help, Ernesto dela Cruz came out of the house of Antonio Yabes. Ernesto tried to go 1. Picart vs. Smith, 37 Phil. 809 (1918)
to the deceased, but at four meters away from her he turned back shouting that the
water was grounded. Aida and Linda prodded Ernesto to seek help from Antonio FACTS: On the Carlatan Bridge in La Union. Picart was riding on his pony over said
Yabes at the YJ Cinema building which was four or five blocks away. bridge. Before he had gotten half way across, Smith approached from the
opposite direction in an automobile. As the defendant neared the bridge he saw
When Antonio Yabes was informed by Ernesto that his mother-in law had been a horseman on it and blew his horn to give warning of his approach. He continued
electrocuted, he acted immediately. With his wife Jane, together with Ernesto and his course and after he had taken the bridge he gave two more successive blasts,
one Joe Ros, Yabes passed by the City Hall of Laoag to request the police to ask the as it appeared to him that the man on horseback before him was not observing
people of defendant Ilocos Norte Electric Company or INELCO to cut off the electric the rule of the road.
current. Then the party waded to the house on Guerrero Street. The floodwater was Picart saw the automobile coming and heard the warning signals. However, being
receding and the lights inside the house were out indicating that the electric current perturbed by the novelty of the apparition or the rapidity of the approach, he
had been cut off in Guerrero. Yabes instructed his boys to fish for the body of the pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the right side of the bridge instead
deceased. The body was recovered about two meters from an electric post. of going to the left. He says that the reason he did this was that he thought he did
not have sufficient time to get over to the other side. As the automobile
ISSUES: approached, Smith guided it toward his left, that being the proper side of the road
Whether petitioner may be held liable for the deceased’s death. for the machine. In so doing the defendant assumed that the horseman would
HELD: move to the other side. Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, the defendant,
While it is true that typhoons and floods are considered Acts of God for which no instead of veering to the right while yet some distance away or slowing down,
person may be held responsible, however, it was through the intervention of continued to approach directly toward the horse without diminution of speed.
petitioner’s negligence that death took place. When he had gotten quite near, there being then no possibility of the horse
Under the circumstances, petitioner was negligent in seeing to it that no harm is done getting across to the other side, the defendant quickly turned his car sufficiently
to the general public “… considering that electricity is an agency, subtle and deadly, to the right to escape hitting the horse; but in so doing the automobile passed in
the measure of care required of electric companies must be commensurate with or such close proximity to the animal that it became frightened and turned its body
proportionate to the danger. The duty of exercising this high degree of diligence and across the bridge, got hit by the car and the limb was broken. The horse fell and
care extends to every place where persons have a right to be“. “The negligence of its rider was thrown off with some violenceAs a result of its injuries the horse died.
petitioner having been shown, it may not now absolve itself from liability by arguing The plaintiff received contusions which caused temporary unconsciousness and
that the victim’s death was solely due to a fortuitous event.” When an act of God required medical attention for several days.
combines or concurs with the negligence of the defendant to produce an injury, the From a judgment of the CFI of La Union absolving Smith from liability Picart has
defendant is liable if the injury would not have resulted but for his own negligent appealed.
conduct or omission ISSUE: WON Smith was guilty of negligence such as gives rise to a civil obligation
Hence, the heirs of Nana Belen, may not be barred from recovering damages caused to repair the damage done
by petitioner’s negligence. HELD: the judgment of the lower court must be reversed, and judgment is here
Share this: rendered that the Picart recover of Smith damages
The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case
3. Nikko Hotel Manila Garden, et al. vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 154259, may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use
Feb. 28, 2005 that person would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence. The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by
iii. Doctrine of Last Clear Chance; Doctrine of Supervening reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation before him. The
Negligence; Doctrine of Discovered Peril; or the Humanitarian law considers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man of
Doctrine 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  It will be noted that the negligent acts of the two parties were not
view of the facts involved in the particular case. contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the
Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result negligence of the plaintiff (wrong side of the road) by an appreciable interval.
of the course actually pursued? If so, it was the duty of the actor to take  Under these circumstances the law is that the person who has the
precautions to guard against that harm. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is
by ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is always necessary before chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior
negligence can be held to exist. Stated in these terms, the proper criterion for negligence of the other party.
determining the existence of negligence in a given case is this: Conduct is said to
be negligent when a prudent man in the position of the tortfeasor would have
foreseen that an effect harmful to another was sufficiently probable to warrant 2. Philippine National Railways Corporation vs. Vizcara, G.R. No. 190022,
his foregoing conduct or guarding against its consequences. Feb. 15, 2012
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 Philippine National Railways (PNR) vs. CA (GR L-55347, 4 October 1985)
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 Facts:
horse and the rider as reasonable consequence of that course. Under these
On 10 September 1972, at about 9:00 p.m., Winifredo Tupang, husband of Rosario
circumstances the law imposed on the Smith the duty to guard against the
threatened harm. Tupang, boarded Train 516 of the Philippine National Railways at Libmanan,
It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was Camarines Sur, as a paying passenger bound for Manila. Due to some mechanical
guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the road. defect, the train stopped at Sipocot, Camarines Sur, for repairs, taking some two hours
But as we have already stated, Smith was also negligent; and in such case the before the train could resume its trip to Manila. Unfortunately, upon passing Iyam
problem always is to discover which agent is immediately and directly Bridge at Lucena, Quezon, Winifredo Tupang fell off the train resulting in his death.
responsible. It will be noted that the negligent acts of the two parties were not The train did not stop despite the alarm raised by the other passengers that somebody
contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the
fell from the train. Instead, the train conductor, Perfecto Abrazado, called the station
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 agent at Candelaria, Quezon, and requested for verification of the information. Police
harm and fails to do so is chargeable with the consequences, without reference authorities of Lucena City were dispatched to the Iyam Bridge where they found the
to the prior negligence of the other party. lifeless body of Winifredo Tupang. As shown by the autopsy report, Winifredo Tupang
died of cardio-respiratory failure due to massive cerebral hemorrhage due to
 The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by traumatic injury. Tupang was later buried in the public cemetery of Lucena City by the
reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation local police authorities.
before him.
 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 Upon complaint filed by the deceased’s widow, Rosario Tupang, the then CFI Rizal,
light of human experience and in view of the facts involved in the after trial, held the PNR liable for damages for breach of contract of carriage and
particular case ordered it to pay Rosario Tupang the sum of P12,000.00 for the death of Winifredo
 Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a Tupang, plus P20,000.00 for loss of his earning capacity, and the further sum of
result of the course actually pursued? If so, it was the duty of the actor to P10,000.00 as moral damages, and P2,000.00 as attorney’s fees, and cost.
take precautions to guard against that harm
On appeal, the Appellate Court sustained the holding of the trial court that the PNR
 Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the position
of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect harmful to did not exercise the utmost diligence required by law of a common carrier. It further
another was sufficiently probable to warrant his foregoing conduct increased the amount adjudicated by the trial court by ordering PNR to pay the Rosario
or guarding against its consequences Tupang an additional sum of P5,000,00 as exemplary damages. Moving for
reconsideration of the above decision, the PNR raised for the first time, as a defense,
the doctrine of state immunity from suit. The motion was denied. Hence the petition wheel of the owner-type jeep was removed, the said jeep suddenly encroached on
for review.
the western lane and bumped the left side of the passenger jeep driven by Benigno

Issue: WON there was contributory negligence on the part of Tupang. Valdez. Considering that the interval between the time the owner-type jeep
encroached on the lane of Valdez to the time of impact was only a matter of
Held: seconds, Valdez no longer had the opportunity to avoid the collision. Pantranco North
PNR has the obligation to transport its passengers to their destinations and to observe Express Inc. v. Besa[35] held that the doctrine of last clear chance can never apply
extraordinary diligence in doing so. Death or any injury suffered by any of its
where the party charged is required to act instantaneously, and if the injury cannot be
passengers gives rise to the presumption that it was negligent in the performance of
avoided by the application of all means at hand after the peril is or should have been
its obligation under the contract of carriage. PNR failed to overthrow such
presumption of negligence with clear and convincing evidence, inasmuch as PNR does discovered.
not deny, (1) that the train boarded by the deceased Winifredo Tupang was so
overcrowded that he and many other passengers had no choice but to sit on the open Petitioners assert that Arnulfo Ramos negligence in driving the owner-type
platforms between the coaches of the train, (2) that the train did not even slow down
jeep − despite knowledge of its mechanical defect, and his failure to have it repaired
when it approached the Iyam Bridge which was under repair at the time, and (3) that
neither did the train stop, despite the alarm raised by other passengers that a person first before driving, to prevent damage to life and property − did not only constitute
had fallen off the train at Iyam Bridge. contributory negligence. Ramos negligence was the immediate and proximate cause
of the accident, which resulted in his untimely demise.Benigno Valdez should not be
While PNR failed to exercise extraordinary diligence as required by law, it appears that
made to suffer the unlawful and negligent acts of Ramos. Since forseeability is the
the deceased was chargeable with contributory negligence. Since he opted to sit on
the open platform between the coaches of the train, he should have held tightly and fundamental basis of negligence, Valdez could not have foreseen that an accident
tenaciously on the upright metal bar found at the side of said platform to avoid falling might happen due to the mechanical defect in the vehicle of Ramos. It was Ramos
off from the speeding train. Such contributory negligence, while not exempting the
alone who fully knew and could foresee that an accident was likely to occur if he drove
PNR from liability, nevertheless justified the deletion of the amount adjudicated as
moral damages. his defective jeep, which indeed happened. Hence, the proximate cause of the
The Supreme Court modified the decision of the appellate court by eliminating vehicular accident was the negligence of Ramos in driving a mechanically defective
therefrom the amounts of P10,000.00 and P5,000.00 adjudicated as moral and vehicle.
exemplary damages, respectively; without costs.
In short, petitioners contend that Arnulfo Ramos own negligence in
knowingly driving a mechanically defective vehicle was the immediate and proximate
3. Echevara vs. Ramos, G.R. No. 175172, Sept. 29, 2009 – MOTOR/JEEP cause of his death, and that the doctrine of last clear chance does not apply to this

The main issue is whether or not petitioners are liable to respondents for
Petitioners arguments are meritorious.
damages incurred as a result of the vehicular accident.
Petitioners contend that the doctrine of last clear chance is not applicable to
The Court notes that respondents version of the vehicular accident was
this case, because the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the late
rebutted by petitioners. The testimony of respondents witness, Alfredo Gamera, that
Arnulfo Ramos in knowingly driving the defective owner-type jeep. When the front
the vehicular accident occurred because the passenger jeep driven by Benigno Foreseeability is the fundamental test of negligence. To be negligent, a
Valdez tried to overtake the motorcycle driven by PO3 Baltazar de Peralta defendant must have acted or failed to act in such a way that an ordinary reasonable
and encroached on the lane of the owner-type jeep, which resulted in the collision, man would have realized that certain interests of certain persons were unreasonably
was refuted by PO3 Baltazar de Peralta, who testified that the passenger jeep did not subjected to a general but definite class of risks.[36]
overtake his motorcycle since he was the one following behind the passenger jeep.
Hence, the trial court correctly concluded that the passenger jeep did not encroach Seeing that the owner-type jeep was wiggling and running fast in a zigzag
on the lane of the owner-type jeep on the left side of the road to allegedly overtake manner as it travelled on the opposite side of the highway, Benigno Valdez was made
the motorcycle. aware of the danger ahead if he met the owner-type jeep on the road. Yet he failed to
take precaution by immediately veering to the rightmost portion of the road or by
Gamera also testified that the collision took place on the lane of the owner- stopping the passenger jeep at the right shoulder of the road and letting the owner-
type jeep, and one of its wheels was detached and stayed immobile at the place of type jeep pass before proceeding southward; hence, the collision occurred. The Court
collision, about two meters east the center line of the national highway. However, of Appeals correctly held that Benigno Valdez was guilty of inexcusable negligence by
SPO2 Marvin Valdez, who investigated the incident, found both vehicles on the neglecting to take such precaution, which a reasonable and prudent man would
western lane of the national highway. The owner-type jeep was diagonally positioned ordinarily have done under the circumstances and which proximately caused injury to
on the right, western lane; while the passenger jeep was on the western shoulder of another.
the road, diagonally facing southwest. The trial court, therefore, correctly held that it
was undeniable that the collision took place on the western lane of the national On the other hand, the Court also finds Arnulfo Ramos guilty of gross
highway or the lane of the passenger jeep driven by Benigno Valdez. It was the owner- negligence for knowingly driving a defective jeep on the highway. An ordinarily
type jeep driven by Arnulfo Ramos that encroached on the lane of the passenger jeep. prudent man would know that he would be putting himself and other vehicles he
would encounter on the road at risk for driving a mechanically defective
It must be pointed out that Herminigildo Pagaduan testified that in the early vehicle. Under the circumstances, a prudent man would have had the owner-type jeep
morning of April 22, 1995, he and Barangay Captain Gacusan, along with Arnulfo repaired or would have stopped using it until it was repaired. Ramos was, therefore,
Ramos, aborted their trip to Tamorong, Candon, Ilocos Sur, using the same owner- grossly negligent in continuing to drive on the highway the mechanically defective
type jeep because it was wiggling. Ramos was advised to have the mechanical defect jeep, which later encroached on the opposite lane and bumped the passenger jeep
repaired. Yet, later in the morning, Ramos was driving theowner-type jeep on the driven by Benigno Valdez. Gross negligence is the absence of care or diligence as to
national highway in Candon. Benigno Valdez testified that the owner-type jeep was amount to a reckless disregard of the safety of persons or property.[37] It evinces a
wiggling and running fast in a zigzag manner when its right front wheel got detached, thoughtless disregard of consequences without exerting any effort to avoid them.[38]
and the owner-type jeep suddenly bumped the passenger jeep he was driving, hitting
the left side of the passenger jeep opposite his seat. Although Valdez swerved the The acts of negligence of Arnulfo Ramos and Benigno Valdez were
passenger jeep to the western edge of the road, it was still hit by the owner-type jeep. contemporaneous when Ramos continued to drive a wiggling vehicle on the highway
despite knowledge of its mechanical defect, while Valdez did not immediately veer to
the rightmost side of the road upon seeing the wiggling vehicle of Ramos − perhaps
because it still kept to its lane and Valdez did not know the extent of its mechanical Article 2179 of the Civil Code provides:
defect. However, when the owner-type jeep encroached on the lane of the passenger
When the plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate
jeep, Valdez realized the peril at hand and steered the passenger jeep toward the and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But
western shoulder of the road to avoid a collision. It was at this point that it was if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and
proximate cause of the injury being the defendants lack of due care,
perceivable that Ramos must have lost control of his vehicle, and that it
the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the
was Valdez who had the last opportunity to avoid the collision by swerving the damages to be awarded.[41]
passenger jeep towards the right shoulder of the road.

In this case, both Arnulfo Ramos and Benigno Valdez failed to exercise
The doctrine of last clear chance applies to a situation where the plaintiff was
reasonable care and caution that an ordinarily prudent man would have taken to
guilty of prior or antecedent negligence, but the defendant − who had the last fair
prevent the vehicular accident. Since the gross negligence of Arnulfo Ramos and the
chance to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so − is made liable for all the
inexcusable negligence of Benigno Valdez were the proximate cause of the vehicular
consequences of the accident, notwithstanding the prior negligence of the
accident, respondents cannot recover damages pursuant to Article 2179 of the Civil
plaintiff.[39] However, the doctrine does not apply where the party charged is required
to act instantaneously, and the injury cannot be avoided by the application of all
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.
means at hand after the peril is or should have been discovered.[40]

4. Lapanday Agricultural and Development Corporation vs. Angala, G.R. No.

The doctrine of last clear chance does not apply to this case, because even if 153076, June 21, 2007
it can be said that it was Benigno Valdez who had the last chance to avoid the mishap
when the owner-type jeep encroached on the western lane of the passenger jeep,
The Antecedent Facts
Valdez no longer had the opportunity to avoid the collision. The Answer of
petitioners stated that when the owner-type jeep encroached on the lane of the On 4 May 1993, at about 2:45 p.m., a Datsun crewcab with plate no. PEC-903 driven
by Apolonio Deocampo (Deocampo) bumped into a 1958 Chevy pick-up with plate
passenger jeep, Benigno Valdez maneuvered his vehicle towards the western shoulder
no. MAM-475 owned by Michael Raymond Angala (respondent) and driven by
of the road to avoid a collision, but the owner-type jeep driven by Ramos continued Bernulfo Borres (Borres). Lapanday Agricultural and Development Corporation
to move to the western lane and bumped the left side of the passenger jeep. (LADECO) owned the crewcab which was assigned to its manager Manuel Mendez
(Mendez). Deocampo was the driver and bodyguard of Mendez. Both vehicles were
Thus, petitioners assert in their Petition that considering that the time the owner-type
running along Rafael Castillo St., Agdao, Davao City heading north towards Lanang,
jeep encroached on the lane of Valdez to the time of impact was only a matter of Davao City. The left door, front left fender, and part of the front bumper of the pick-
seconds, he no longer had the opportunity to avoid the collision. Although the records up were damaged.
are bereft of evidence showing the exact distance between the two vehicles when the
Respondent filed an action for Quasi-Delict, Damages, and Attorney’s Fees against
owner-type jeep encroached on the lane of the passenger jeep, it must have been LADECO, its administrative officer Henry Berenguel4 (Berenguel) and Deocampo.
near enough, because the passenger jeep driven by Valdez was unable to avoid the Respondent alleged that his pick-up was slowing down to about five to ten
kilometers per hour (kph) and was making a left turn preparatory to turning south
collision. Hence, the doctrine of last clear chance does not apply to this case.
when it was bumped from behind by the crewcab which was running at around 60 to
70 kph. The crewcab stopped 21 meters from the point of impact. Respondent intersection, except that, upon highways laned for traffic and upon one-way
alleged that he heard a screeching sound before the impact. Respondent was seated highways, a left turn shall be made from the left lane of traffic in the
beside the driver and was looking at the speedometer when the accident took place. direction in which the vehicle is proceeding.
Respondent testified that Borres made a signal because he noticed a blinking light
while looking at the speedometer.5 Petitioners further allege that since Borres was violating a traffic rule at the time of
the accident, respondent and Borres were the parties at fault. Petitioners cite Article
Respondent sent a demand letter to LADECO for the payment of the damages he 2185 of the Civil Code, thus:
incurred because of the accident but he did not receive any reply. Thus, respondent
filed the case against LADECO, Berenguel, and Deocampo. Art. 2185. 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
Deocampo alleged that the pick-up and the crewcab he was driving were both was violating any traffic regulation.
running at about 40 kph. The pick-up was running along the outer lane. The pick-up
was about 10 meters away when it made a U-turn towards the left. Deocampo We rule that both parties were negligent in this case. Borres was at the outer lane
testified that he did not see any signal from the pick-up.6 Deocampo alleged that he when he executed a U-turn. Following Section 45(b) of RA 4136, Borres should have
tried to avoid the pick-up but he was unable to avoid the collision. Deocampo stated stayed at the inner lane which is the lane nearest to the center of the highway.
that he did not apply the brakes because he knew the collision was unavoidable. However, Deocampo was equally negligent. Borres slowed down the pick-up
Deocampo admitted that he stepped on the brakes only after the collision. preparatory to executing the U-turn. Deocampo should have also slowed down when
the pick-up slowed down. Deocampo admitted that he noticed the pick-up when it
The Ruling of this Court was still about 20 meters away from him.13 Vehicular traffic was light at the time of
the incident. The pick-up and the crewcab were the only vehicles on the
The petition is partly meritorious. road.14 Deocampo could have avoided the crewcab if he was not driving very fast
before the collision, as found by both the trial court and the Court of Appeals. We
Both Drivers are Negligent sustain this finding since factual findings of the Court of Appeals affirming those of
the trial court are conclusive and binding on this Court.15 Further, the crewcab
stopped 21 meters from the point of impact. It would not have happened if
Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that Deocampo was at fault
Deocampo was not driving very fast.
because he was driving very fast prior to the collision. The Court of Appeals
sustained the trial court’s finding that Deocampo was running more than the normal
cruising speed. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals noted that the crewcab Doctrine of Last Clear Chance Applies
stopped 21 meters away from the point of impact. Deocampo admitted that he
stepped on the brakes only after the collision. Since both parties are at fault in this case, the doctrine of last clear chance applies.

Petitioners allege that Borres did not take the proper lane before executing the U- The doctrine of last clear chance states that where both parties are negligent but the
turn. Petitioners allege that Borres violated Section 45(b) of RA 4136 and it was his negligent act of one is appreciably later than that of the other, or where it is
recklessness that was the proximate cause of the accident. impossible to determine whose fault or negligence caused the loss, the one who had
the last clear opportunity to avoid the loss but failed to do so is chargeable with the
Section 45(b) of RA 4136 states: loss.16 In this case, Deocampo had the last clear chance to avoid the collision. Since
Deocampo was driving the rear vehicle, he had full control of the situation since he
was in a position to observe the vehicle in front of him.17 Deocampo had the
Sec. 45. Turning at intersections. x x x
responsibility of avoiding bumping the vehicle in front of him.18 A U-turn is done at a
much slower speed to avoid skidding and overturning, compared to running straight
(b) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left shall approach such
ahead.19 Deocampo could have avoided the vehicle if he was not driving very fast
intersection in the lane for traffic to the right of and nearest to the center
while following the pick-up. Deocampo was not only driving fast, he also admitted
line of the highway, and, in turning, shall pass to the left of the center of the
that he did not step on the brakes even upon seeing the pick-up. He only stepped on At about 4:45 a.m., D Rough Riders passenger bus with plate number PBP-724 driven
the brakes after the collision. by Virgilio Te Laspiñas was cruising along the national highway of Sitio Aggies,
Poblacion, Compostela, Cebu. The passenger bus was also bound for Cebu City, and
Petitioners are Solidarily Liable had come from Maya, Daanbantayan, Cebu. Among its passengers were the Spouses
Pedro A. Arriesgado and Felisa Pepito Arriesgado, who were seated at the right side of
LADECO alleges that it should not be held jointly and severally liable with Deocampo the bus, about three (3) or four (4) places from the front seat.
because it exercised due diligence in the supervision and selection of its employees.
Aside from this statement, LADECO did not proffer any proof to show how it As the bus was approaching the bridge, Laspiñas saw the stalled truck, which was then
exercised due diligence in the supervision and selection of its employees. LADECO about 25 meters away. He applied the breaks and tried to swerve to the left to avoid
did not show its policy in hiring its drivers, or the manner in which it supervised its hitting the truck. But it was too late; the bus rammed into the trucks left rear. The
drivers. LADECO failed to substantiate its allegation that it exercised due diligence in impact damaged the right side of the bus and left several passengers injured. Pedro
the supervision and selection of its employees. Arriesgado lost consciousness and suffered a fracture in his right colles. His wife,
Felisa, was brought to the Danao City Hospital. She was later transferred to the
Southern Island Medical Center where she died shortly thereafter.
Hence, we hold LADECO solidarily liable with Deocampo.
Respondent Pedro A. Arriesgado then filed a complaint for breach of contract of
Respondent is Entitled to Moral Damages
carriage, damages and attorneys fees before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City,
Branch 20, against the petitioners, D Rough Riders bus operator William Tiu and his
We sustain the award of moral damages. Moral damages are awarded to allow a driver, Virgilio Te Laspiñas on May 27, 1987. The respondent alleged that the
plaintiff to obtain means, diversion, or amusement that will serve to alleviate the passenger bus in question was cruising at a fast and high speed along the national
moral suffering he has undergone due to the defendant’s culpable action.20 The trial road, and that petitioner Laspiñas did not take precautionary measures to avoid the
court found that respondent, who was on board the pick-up when the collision took accident.
place, suffered shock, serious anxiety, and fright when the crewcab bumped his pick-
up. We sustain the trial court and the Court of Appeals in ruling that respondent The petitioners, for their part, filed a Third-Party Complaint against the following:
sufficiently showed that he suffered shock, serious anxiety, and fright which entitle respondent Philippine Phoenix Surety and Insurance, Inc. (PPSII), petitioner Tiu’s
him to moral damages. insurer; respondent Benjamin Condor, the registered owner of the cargo truck; and
respondent Sergio Pedrano, the driver of the truck. They alleged that petitioner
Laspiñas was negotiating the uphill climb along the national highway of Sitio Aggies,
Poblacion, Compostela, in a moderate and normal speed. It was further alleged that
5. Tiu vs. Arriesgado, 437 SCRA 426 (2004) the truck was parked in a slanted manner, its rear portion almost in the middle of the
highway, and that no early warning device was displayed. Petitioner Laspiñas promptly
applied the brakes and swerved to the left to avoid hitting the truck head-on, but
Facts: At about 10:00 p.m. of March 15, 1987, the cargo truck marked "Condor Hollow despite his efforts to avoid damage to property and physical injuries on the
Blocks and General Merchandise" bearing plate number GBP-675 was loaded with passengers, the right side portion of the bus hit the cargo truck’s left rear.
firewood in Bogo, Cebu and left for Cebu City. Upon reaching Sitio Aggies, Poblacion,
Compostela, Cebu, just as the truck passed over a bridge, one of its rear tires exploded. HELD:
The driver, Sergio Pedrano, then parked along the right side of the national highway
and removed the damaged tire to have it vulcanized at a nearby shop, about 700 The Doctrine of
meters away. Pedrano left his helper, Jose Mitante, Jr. to keep watch over the stalled Last Clear Chance
vehicle, and instructed the latter to place a spare tire six fathoms away behind the Is Inapplicable in the
stalled truck to serve as a warning for oncoming vehicles. The trucks tail lights were Case at Bar
also left on. It was about 12:00 a.m., March 16, 1987.
Contrary to the petitioners contention, the principle of last clear chance is
inapplicable in the instant case, as it only applies in a suit between the owners and
drivers of two colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a passenger demands warning lights or reflector devices to alert oncoming vehicles, and that such failure
responsibility from the carrier to enforce its contractual obligations, for it would be created the presumption of negligence on the part of his employer, respondent
inequitable to exempt the negligent driver and its owner on the ground that the other Condor, in supervising his employees properly and adequately. As we ruled in Poblete
driver was likewise guilty of negligence.[43] The common law notion of last clear chance v. Fabros:[47]
permitted courts to grant recovery to a plaintiff who has also been negligent provided
that the defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the casualty and failed to do so. It is such a firmly established principle, as to have virtually formed part of the law
Accordingly, it is difficult to see what role, if any, the common law of last clear chance itself, that the negligence of the employee gives rise to the presumption of
doctrine has to play in a jurisdiction where the common law concept of contributory negligence on the part of the employer. This is the presumed negligence in the
negligence as an absolute bar to recovery by the plaintiff, has itself been rejected, as selection and supervision of employee. The theory of presumed negligence, in
it has been in Article 2179 of the Civil Code.[44] contrast with the American doctrine of respondeat superior, where the negligence of
the employee is conclusively presumed to be the negligence of the employer, is
Thus, petitioner Tiu cannot escape liability for the death of respondent
clearly deducible from the last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code which
Arriesgados wife due to the negligence of petitioner Laspias, his employee, on this
provides that the responsibility therein mentioned shall cease if the employers prove
that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent
Respondents Pedrano and damages. [48]
Condor were likewise
Negligent The petitioners were correct in invoking respondent Pedranos failure to observe
Article IV, Section 34(g) of the Rep. Act No. 4136, which provides:
In Phoenix Construction, Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court,[45] where therein
respondent Dionisio sustained injuries when his vehicle rammed against a dump truck (g) Lights when parked or disabled. Appropriate parking lights or flares visible one
parked askew, the Court ruled that the improper parking of a dump truck without any hundred meters away shall be displayed at a corner of the vehicle whenever such
warning lights or reflector devices created an unreasonable risk for anyone driving vehicle is parked on highways or in places that are not well-lighted or is placed in
within the vicinity, and for having created such risk, the truck driver must be held such manner as to endanger passing traffic.
responsible. In ruling against the petitioner therein, the Court elucidated, thus:
The manner in which the truck was parked clearly endangered oncoming traffic
In our view, Dionisios negligence, although later in point of time than the truck on both sides, considering that the tire blowout which stalled the truck in the first
drivers negligence, and therefore closer to the accident, was not an efficient place occurred in the wee hours of the morning. The Court can only now surmise that
intervening or independent cause. What the petitioners describe as an intervening the unfortunate incident could have been averted had respondent Condor, the owner
cause was no more than a foreseeable consequence of the risk created by the of the truck, equipped the said vehicle with lights, flares, or, at the very least, an early
negligent manner in which the truck driver had parked the dump truck. In other warning device.[49] Hence, we cannot subscribe to respondents Condor and Pedranos
words, the petitioner truck driver owed a duty to private respondent Dionisio and claim that they should be absolved from liability because, as found by the trial and
others similarly situated not to impose upon them the very risk the truck driver had appellate courts, the proximate cause of the collision was the fast speed at which
created. Dionisios negligence was not that of an independent and overpowering petitioner Laspias drove the bus. To accept this proposition would be to come too
nature as to cut, as it were, the chain of causation in fact between the improper close to wiping out the fundamental principle of law that a man must respond for the
parking of the dump truck and the accident, nor to sever the juris vinculum of foreseeable consequences of his own negligent act or omission. Indeed, our law on
liability. quasi-delicts seeks to reduce the risks and burdens of living in society and to allocate
them among its members. To accept this proposition would be to weaken the very
We hold that private respondent Dionisios negligence was only contributory, that bonds of society.[50]
the immediate and proximate cause of the injury remained the truck drivers lack of
due care.[46]

iv. Fortuitous Event

In this case, both the trial and the appellate courts failed to consider that
- NCC Article 1174
respondent Pedrano was also negligent in leaving the truck parked askew without any
Cases: The owner or proprietor of a place of public amusement impliedly
1. Gotesco vs. Chatto, 210 SCRA 18 (1992) warrants that the premises, appliances and amusement devices
are safe for the purpose for which they are designed, the doctrine
FACTS: being subject to no other exception or qualification than that he
does not contract against unknown defects not discoverable by
The evidence shows that in the afternoon of June 4, 1982 plaintiff Gloria ordinary or reasonable means. 14
E. Chatto, and her 15-year old daughter, plaintiff Lina Delza E. Chatto
went to see the movie "Mother Dear" at Superama I theater, owned by This implied warranty has given rise to the rule that:
defendant Gotesco Investment Corporation. They bought balcony
tickets but even then were unable to find seats considering the number Where a patron of a theater or other place of public amusement is
of people patronizing the movie. Hardly ten (10) minutes after entering injured, and the thing that caused the injury is wholly and
the theater, the ceiling of its balcony collapsed. The theater was plunged exclusively under the control and management of the defendant,
into darkness and pandemonium ensued. Shocked and hurt, plaintiffs and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of events would
managed to crawl under the fallen ceiling. As soon as they were able to not have happened if proper care had been exercised, its
get out to the street they walked the nearby FEU Hospital where they occurrence raises a presumption or permits of an inference of
were confined and treated for one (1) day. negligence on the part of the defendant. 15

That presumption or inference was not overcome by the petitioner.

Besides, even assuming for the sake of argument that, as petitioner vigorously
Petitioner could have easily discovered the cause of the collapse if indeed it were
insists, the cause of the collapse was due to force majeure, petitioner would still be
due to force majeure. To Our mind, the real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain
liable because it was guilty of negligence, which the trial court denominated as gross.
the cause or reason is that either he did not actually conduct the investigation or
As gleaned from Bouvier's definition of and Cockburn's elucidation on force
that he is, as the respondent Court impliedly held, incompetent. He is not an
majeure for one to be exempt from any liability because of it, he must have
engineer, but an architect who had not even passed the government's examination.
exercised care, i.e., he should not have been guilty of negligence.
Verily, post-incident investigation cannot be considered as material to the present
proceedings. What is significant is the finding of the trial court, affirmed by the
respondent Court, that the collapse was due to construction defects. There was no
2. Servando vs. Philippne Steam Navigation Co., 117 SCRA 832
evidence offered to overturn this finding. The building was constructed barely four
(4) years prior to the accident in question. It was not shown that any of the causes
denominates as force majeure obtained immediately before or at the time of the
collapse of the ceiling. Such defects could have been easily discovered if only
 Clara Uy Bico (1,528 cavans of rice worth P40,907.50) and Amparo Servando (44
petitioner exercised due diligence and care in keeping and maintaining the premises.
cartons of colored paper toys and general merchandise worth
But as disclosed by the testimony of Mr. Ong, there was no adequate inspection of
P1,070.50) loaded on board Philippine Steam Navigation Co.'s vessel, FS-176 for
the premises before the date of the accident. His answers to the leading questions
carriage from Manila to Pulupandan, Negros Occidental
on inspection disclosed neither the exact dates of said. inspection nor the nature and
 Bill of Lading:
extent of the same. That the structural designs and plans of the building were duly
 Clause 14. Carrier shall not be responsible for loss or damage to shipments
approved by the City Engineer and the building permits and certificate of occupancy
billed 'owner's risk' unless such loss or damage is due to negligence of carrier.
were issued do not at all prove that there were no defects in the construction,
Nor shall carrier be responsible for loss or damage caused by force majeure,
especially as regards the ceiling, considering that no testimony was offered to prove
dangers or accidents of the sea or other waters; war; public enemies; . . . fire . ...
that it was ever inspected at all.
 Upon arrival of the vessel at Pulupandan, in the morning of November 18, 1963,
the cargoes were discharged, complete and in good order, unto the warehouse
It is settled that:
of the Bureau of Customs
 2 pm: warehouse was razed by fire Zosimo Mercado (another shipper and consignee) likewise delivered cargo to
 Before the fire, 907 cavans of rice were delivered by Uy Bico petitioner consisting of two (2) cartons of plastic toys and Christmas decor, one (1) roll
 Uy Bico and Servando filed a claim for the value but was rejected by Philippine of floor mat and one (1) bundle of various or assorted goods. This is under Bill of Lading
Steam No. 59, valued in the amount of P14,000.00
 CFI: favored UY Bico and Sercando
 delivery of the shipment in question to the warehouse of the Bureau of Customs Feliciana Legaspi (owner of the goods) insured the cargo, covered by BOL Nos. 59 and
is not the delivery contemplated by Article 1736 No. 58, with the UCPB General Insurance Co., Inc., [respondent]. No. 59 was insured
ISSUE: W/N Philippine Steam should not be liable because of the stipulation in the for P100,000 while No. 58 for P50,000. [*Note that both amounts are far from the
bill of lading exempting it from fortuitous event actual and declared value in the BOLs issued by Cokaliong]

HELD: YES. set aside After the vessel had passed by the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge, fire ensued in the engine
room, and, despite earnest efforts of the officers and crew of the vessel, the fire
 Agreement was in iteration of engulfed and destroyed the entire vessel resulting in the loss of the vessel and the
 Article 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is cargoes therein.
otherwise declared by stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation requires
the assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for those events which Feliciana Legaspi filed a claim, with [respondent], for the value of the cargos insured.
could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable. The latter approved the claim. For Bill of Lading No. 59, Legaspi received from UCPB
 'caso fortuito' presents the following essential characteristics: (1) the cause of P99,000.00 while for No. 58, P60,338.00.
the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence, or of the failure of the debtor to
comply with his obligation, must be independent of the human will; (2) it must UCPB as subrogee of Legaspi, filed a complaint anchored on torts against petitioner,
be impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the 'caso fortuito', or if it with the RTC of Makati City, for the collection of the total principal amount
can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid; (3) the occurrence must be of P148,500.00. Respondent alleged that the loss of the cargo was due to the
such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal negligence of the petitioner
manner; and (4) the obligor must be free from any participation in the
aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor." In the case at bar, the Petitioner alleged that: (a) It was cleared by the Board of Marine Inquiry of any
burning of the customs warehouse was an extraordinary event which happened negligence in the burning of the vessel; and (b) it cannot be held liable for the loss of
independently of the will of the appellant. The latter could not have foreseen the cargo beyond the value thereof declared in the Bill of Lading.
the event.
 nothing in the record to show that appellant carrier ,incurred in delay in the ISSUES:
performance of its obligation (1) Is petitioner liable for the loss of the goods? YES
(2) If it is liable, what is the extent of its liability? According to what was reflected in the
Bill of Lading
3. Edgar Cokaliong Shipping Lines vs. UCPB General Insurance
Company, G.R. No. 146018, June 25, 2003 HELD:
(1) Petitioner’s argument: the cause of the loss of the goods, subject of this case,
Limiting the Amount of Liability was force majeure. It adds that its exercise of due diligence was adequately
Cokaliong Shipping vs. UCPB proven by the findings of the Philippine Coast Guard.

December 11, 1991: Nestor Angelia (shipper and consignee) delivered to the SC: We are not convinced. The uncontroverted findings of the Philippine Coast
petitioner Edgar Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc. (now Cokaliong Shipping Lines), a cargo Guard show that the M/V Tandag sank due to a fire, which resulted from a crack
consisting of one (1) carton of Christmas decor and two (2) sacks of plastic toys, to be in the auxiliary engine fuel oil service tank. The crack was located on the side of
transported on board the M/V Tandag from Cebu City for Tandag, Surigao del Sur. This the fuel oil tank, which had a mere two-inch gap from the engine room walling,
cargo is under Bill of Lading No. 58, in the amount of P6,500.00. thus precluding constant inspection and care by the crew
Having originated from an unchecked crack in the fuel oil service tank, the fire A stipulation that limits liability is valid as long as it is not against public policy.
could not have been caused by force majeure. Broadly speaking, force majeure Following provisions apply in the present case:
generally applies to a natural accident, such as that caused by a lightning, an
earthquake, a tempest or a public enemy. Art. 1749. A stipulation that the common carriers liability is limited to the value
of the goods appearing in the bill of lading, unless the shipper or owner declares
Hence, fire is not considered a natural disaster or calamity. It does not fall within a greater value, is binding.
the category of an act of God unless caused by lighting or by other natural Art. 1750. A contract fixing the sum that may be recovered by the owner or
disaster or calamity. It may even be caused by the actual fault or privity of the shipper for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods is valid, if it is
carrier. reasonable and just under the circumstances, and has been freely and fairly
agreed upon.
Peril of fire is not comprehended within the exceptions in Article 1734; Article
1735 applies (please see provision) Pursuant to the afore-quoted provisions of law, it is required that the stipulation
limiting the common carriers liability for loss must be reasonable and just under
Where loss of cargo results from the failure of the officers of a vessel to inspect the circumstances, and has been freely and fairly agreed upon.
their ship frequently so as to discover the existence of cracked parts, that loss
cannot be attributed to force majeure, but to the negligence of those officials. In the present case, the stipulation limiting petitioner’s liability is not contrary to
public policy.
Ensuring the seaworthiness of the vessel is the first step in exercising the
required vigilance. Petitioner did not present sufficient evidence showing what The shippers/consignees may recover the full value of the goods by the simple
measures or acts it had undertaken to ensure the seaworthiness of the vessel. expedient of declaring the true value of the shipment in the Bill of Lading. Other
than the payment of a higher freight, there was nothing to stop them (Legaspi,
It failed to show when the last inspection and care of the auxiliary engine fuel oil et.al) from placing the actual value of the goods therein.
service tank was made, or some other evidence to establish that it had exercised
extraordinary diligence. In fact, they committed fraud against the common carrier by deliberately
undervaluing the goods in their Bill of Lading, thus depriving the carrier of its
It merely stated that constant inspection and care were not possible, and that proper and just transport fare.
the last time the vessel was dry-docked was in November 1990.
Concededly, the purpose of the limiting stipulation in the Bill of Lading is to
(2) Respondent’s contention: petitioner’s liability should be based on the actual protect the common carrier. Such stipulation obliges the shipper/consignee to
insured value of the goods, subject of this case. notify the common carrier of the amount that the latter may be liable for in case
Petitioner’s: its liability should be limited to the value declared by the of loss of the goods. The common carrier can then take appropriate measures --
shipper/consignee in the Bill of Lading. getting insurance, if needed, to cover or protect itself. This precaution on the
part of the carrier is reasonable and prudent.
SC: Petitioner should not be held liable for more than what was declared by the
shippers/consignees as the value of the goods in the bills of lading.

Ratio: The records show that the Bills of Lading covering the lost goods contain
the stipulation that in case of claim for loss or for damage to the shipped
merchandise or property, [t]he liability of the common carrier x x x shall not
exceed the value of the goods as appearing in the bill of lading.
Emergency Rule

1. Gan vs. CA, G.R. No. L-44264, Sept. 19, 1988

2. Valenzuela vs. CA, G.R. Nos. 115024 & 117944, Feb. 7, 1996
3. Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corporation vs. Mangalinao, G.R. Nos. 174089 & 174266, Jan. 25, 2012


NCC Article 1150


1. Capuno vs. Pepsi, G.R.No. L-19331, April 30, 1965

2. De Guzman vs. Toyota Cubao, Inc., G.R. No. 141480, November 29, 2006

b. Incomplete/Partial Defense

i. Doctrine of Contributory negligence

- NCC Article 2179

1. Rakes vs. The Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company, 7 Phil 359 (1907)

2. NPC vs. Casionan, G.R. No. 165969, Nov. 27, 2008

3. Lambert vs. Heirs of Rey Castillon, 452 SCRA 285 (2005) Estacion vs. Bernardo, G.R. No. 144723, Feb. 27, 2006

V. Vicarious Liability
(NCC: Articles 2180, 2181 & 2182) a. Parents and Guardians

- Family Code (as amended by RA 6809) Articles 217, 219, 221, 236


1. Libi vs. IAC, G.R. No. 70880, Sept. 18, 1992

2. Exconde vs Capuno, 101 Phil 843 (1957)
3. Cuadra vs. Monfort, G.R. No. L-24101, Sept. 30, 1970

4. Tamargo vs. CA, 209 SCRA 518

5. St. Mary’s Academy vs. Carpitanos, G.R. No.143363,
February 6, 2002

b. Owners and Managers of Establishment Cases:

Phil. Bus Rabbit vs. Phil-Am Forwarders, G.R. No. L-25142, March 25, 1975

1. Castilex Industries vs. Varquez, 321 SCRA 393 (1999)

c. EmployeEE