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PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as Ascendants of AgapitoElcano,

deceased, plaintiffs-appellants,
REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and Natural Guardian of said minor,

G.R. No. L-24803, May 26, 1977



Reginald Hill, a minor, married at the time of the occurrence, and his father, Marvin Hill, with whom
he was living and getting subsistence, was criminally prosecuted for killing AgapitoElcano. However,
he was acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal, because of "lack of intent to kill,
coupled with mistake."

Accordingly, the parent of Agapito then filed a complaint for recovery of damages but was eventually
dismissed on the following grounds.

1. The present action is not only against but a violation of section 1, Rule 107, which is now
Rule III, of the Revised Rules of Court;

2. The action is barred by a prior judgment which is now final and or in res-adjudicata;

3. The complaint had no cause of action against defendant Marvin Hill, because he was relieved
as guardian of the other defendant through emancipation by marriage was first denied by the
trial court.

Hence, the present appeal.


Whether or not the present civil action for damages barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal
case wherein the action for civil liability, was not reversed?

Whether or not Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code he applied against Atty. Hill,
notwithstanding the undisputed fact that at the time of the occurrence complained of Reginald,
though a minor, living with and getting subsistence from his father, was already legally married?


No. In Barredo vs. Garcia, 73 Phil. 607, the Court postulated, on the basis of a scholarly dissertation
by Justice Bocobo on the nature of culpa aquiliana in relation to culpa criminal or delito and mere
culpa or fault, with pertinent citation of decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain, the works of
recognized civilians, and earlier jurisprudence of our own, that the same given act can result in civil
liability not only under the Penal Code but also under 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”. The foregoing
provision (Article 2177) through at first sight startling is not so novel or extraordinary when we
consider the exact nature of criminal and civil negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal
law, while the latter is a "culpa aquiliana" or quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always had its own
foundation and individuality, separate from criminal negligence. Such distinction between criminal
negligence and "culpa extracontractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been sustained by decision of the
Supreme Court of Spain and maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, an
outstanding Spanish jurist. Therefore, under the proposed Article 2177, acquittal from an accusation
of criminal negligence, whether on reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil
action, not for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or
'culpa aquiliana'. But said article forestalls a double recovery."

No. The effect of Reginald's emancipation by marriage on the possible civil liability of Atty. Hill, his
father, it is also a considered opinion that the conclusion of appellee that Atty. Hill is already free
from responsibility cannot be upRULING.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 was 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."

Now under Article 2180, "The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's
own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. The father and, in
case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father and, in case of his death or
incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in
their company." In the instant case, it is not controverted that Reginald, although married, was living
with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the occurrence in question. Factually,
therefore, Reginald was still subservient to and dependent on his father, a situation which is not
unusual. Accordingly, Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill notwithstanding the emancipation by marriage
of Reginald. However, inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of age, as a matter of equity,
the liability of Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to that of his son.
FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner,

G.R. No. L-48006 July 8, 1942



At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road between Malabon and Navotas,
Province of Rizal, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven by Pedro
Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was overturned, and one of its
passengers, 16-year-old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from which he died two days later. A
criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, and he was
convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day to two years of
prisioncorreccional. The court in the criminal case granted the petition that the right to bring a
separate civil action be reserved.

Subsequently, Severino Garcia and TimoteaAlmario brought an action against FaustoBarredo as the
sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and employer of Pedro for his failure to exercise all the diligence
of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of Pedro Fontanilla to prevent damages.


May the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action against FaustoBarredo, thus making him
primarily and directly, responsible under article 1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro


Yes. A quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual is a separate and distinct legal institution, independent
from the civil responsibility arising from criminal liability, and that an employer is, under article 1903
of the Civil Code, primarily and directly responsible for the negligent acts of his employee. Authorities
clearly demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code.
Specifically they show that there is a distinction between civil liability arising from criminal negligence
(governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of
the Civil Code, and that the same negligent act may produce either a civil liability arising from a crime
under the Penal Code, or a separate responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910
of the Civil Code.

Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only establishes liability in cases of negligence, but also provides
when the liability shall cease. It says:

"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned therein prove
that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage."

From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the
negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was
negligence on the part of the matter or employer either in the selection of the servant or employee,
or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that presumption is juris tantum and
not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It follows necessarily that if the employer
shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the care and
diligence of a good father of a family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieve from liability.

This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and not
on that of his servant.

It should be said that the primary and direct responsibility of employers and their presumed
negligence are principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and employees should be carefully
chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury to the public. It is the masters or employers who
principally reap the profits resulting from the services of these servants and employees. It is but right
that they should guarantee the latter's careful conduct for the personnel and patrimonial safety of
others. As Theilhard has said, "they should reproach themselves, at least, some for their weakness,
others for their poor selection and all for their negligence." And according to Manresa, "It is much
more equitable and just that such responsibility should fall upon the principal or director who could
have chosen a careful and prudent employee, and not upon the injured person who could not
exercise such selection and who used such employee because of his confidence in the principal or

Therefore, it inescapable to conclude that the employer — in this case the defendant-
petitioner — is primarily and directly liable under article 1903 of the Civil Code.
INC., Respondents.

G.R. No. 204866, January 21, 2015



The case arose from a complaint for damages filed by Adworld against Transworld and Comark
International Corporation (Comark) before the RTC. In the complaint, Adworld alleged that it is the
owner of a 75 ft. x 60 ft. billboard structure located at EDSA Tulay, Guadalupe,
BarangkaMandaluyong, which was misaligned and its foundation impaired when, on August 11, 2003,
the adjacent billboard structure owned by Transworld and used by Comark collapsed and crashed
against it. Resultantly, on August 19, 2003, Adworld sent Transworld and Comark a letter demanding
payment for the repairs of its billboard as well asloss of rental income. On August 29, 2003,
Transworld sent its reply, admitting the damage caused by its billboard structure on Adworld’s
billboard, but nevertheless, refused and failed to pay the amounts demanded by Adworld. As
Adworld’s final demand letter also went unheeded, it was constrained to file the instant complaint,
praying for damages in the aggregate amount of ₱474,204.00, comprised of ₱281,204.00 for
materials, ₱72,000.00 for labor, and ₱121,000.00 for indemnity for loss of income.


Is Ruks jointly and severally liable with Transworld for damages sustained by Adworld?


Yes. Both Transworld and Ruks committed acts resulting in the collapse of the former’s billboard,
which in turn, caused damage to the adjacent billboard of Adworld.

Jurisprudence defines negligence as 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. It 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.

In this case, the CA correctly affirmed the RTC’s finding that Transworld’sinitial construction of its
billboard’s lower structure without the proper foundation, and that of Ruks’s finishing its upper
structure and just merely assuming that Transworld would reinforce the weak foundation are the two
(2) successive acts which were the direct and proximate cause of the damages sustained by Adworld.
Worse, both Transworld and Ruks were fully aware that the foundation for the former’s billboard was
weak; yet, neither of them took any positive step to reinforce the same. They merely relied on each
other’s word that repairs would be done to such foundation, but none was done at all. Clearly, the
foregoing circumstances show that both Transworld and Ruks are guilty of negligence in the
construction of the former’s billboard, and perforce, should be RULING liable for its collapse and the
resulting damage to Adworld’s billboard structure. As joint tortfeasors, therefore, they are solidarily
liable to Adworld. Verily, "joint tortfeasors are those who command, instigate, promote, encourage,
advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort, or approve of it after it is
done, if done for their benefit. They are also referred to as those who act together in committing
wrong or whose acts, if independent of each other, unite in causing a single injury. Under Article
2194of the Civil Code, joint tortfeasors are solidarily liable for the resulting damage. In other words,
joint tortfeasors are each liable as principals, to the same extent and in the same manner as if they
had performed the wrongful act themselves."

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.

Heirs of Purisima Nala, represented by their Attorney-in-Fact EfegeniaDignaDuyan,

ArtemioCabansag, respondent

G.R. No. 161188, June 13, 2008


ArtemioCabansag filed Civil Case No. Q-91-10541 for damages in October 1991. According to
Artemio, he bought a 50-square meter property from spouses Eugenio Gomez, Jr. and FelisaDuyan
Gomez on July 23, 1990. Said property is part of a 400-square meter lot registered in the name of the
Gomez spouses. In October 1991, he received a demand letter from Atty. Alexander del Prado (Atty.
Del Prado), in behalf of PurisimaNala (Nala), asking for the payment of rentals from 1987 to 1991
until he leaves the premises, as said property is owned by Nala, failing which criminal and civil actions
will be filed against him. Another demand letter was sent on May 14, 1991. Because of such
demands, respondent suffered damages and was constrained to file the case against Nala and Atty.
Del Prado.

Atty. Del Prado claimed that he sent the demand letters in good faith and that he was merely acting
in behalf of his client, Nala, who disputed respondent's claim of ownership. Nala alleged that said
property is part of an 800-square meter property owned by her late husband, EulogioDuyan, which
was subsequently divided into two parts. The 400-square meter property was conveyed to spouses
Gomez in a fictitious deed of sale, with the agreement that it will be merely RULING by them in trust
for the Duyan's children. Said property is covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 281115 in
the name of spouses Gomez. Nala also claimed that respondent is only renting the property which he


Is Atty. Del Prado and Purisima liable for damages?


No. In order to be liable for damages under the abuse of rights principle, the following requisites
must concur: (a) the existence of a legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for
the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.

It should be stressed that malice or bad faith is at the core of Article 19 of the Civil Code. Good faith
is presumed, and he who alleges bad faith has the duty to prove the same. Bad faith, on the other
hand, does not simply connote bad judgment to simple negligence, dishonest purpose or some moral
obloquy and conscious doing of a wrong, or a breach of known duty due to some motives or interest
or ill will that partakes of the nature of fraud. Malice connotes ill will or spite and speaks not in
response to duty. It implies an intention to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm.

In the present case, there is nothing on record which will prove that Nala and her counsel, Atty. Del
Prado, acted in bad faith or malice in sending the demand letters to respondent. In the first place,
there was ground for Nala's actions since she believed that the property was owned by her husband
EulogioDuyan and that respondent was illegally occupying the same. She had no knowledge that
spouses Gomez violated the trust imposed on them by Eulogio and surreptitiously sold a portion of
the property to respondent. It was only after respondent filed the case for damages against Nala that
she learned of such sale. The bare fact that respondent claims ownership over the property does not
give rise to the conclusion that the sending of the demand letters by Nala was done in bad faith.
Absent any evidence presented by respondent, bad faith or malice could not be attributed to
petitioner since Nala was only trying to protect their interests over the property.

Furthermore, Nala was acting well within her rights when she instructed Atty. Del Prado to send the
demand letters. She had to take all the necessary legal steps to enforce her legal/equitable rights
over the property occupied by respondent. One who makes use of his own legal right does no injury.
Thus, whatever damages are suffered by respondent should be borne solely by him.
ONG, petitioners-appellants,


G.R. No. L-12986, March 31, 1966



In the afternoon of March 18, 1948 a fire broke out at the Caltex service station at the corner of
Antipolo Street and Rizal Avenue, Manila. It started while gasoline was being hosed from a tank truck
into the underground storage, right at the opening of the receiving tank where the nozzle of the hose
was inserted. The fire spread to and burned several neighboring houses, including the personal
properties and effects inside them. Their owners, among them petitioners here, sued respondents
Caltex (Phil.), Inc. and Mateo Boquiren, the first as alleged owner of the station and the second as its
agent in charge of operation. Negligence on the part of both of them was attributed as the cause of
the fire.

Does, without proof as to the cause and origin of the fire, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should
apply so as to presume negligence on the part of appellees?


Yes. While it is the rule, that in case of non contractual negligence, or culpa aquiliana, the burden of
proof is on the plaintiff to establish that the proximate cause of his injury was the negligence of the
defendant, it is also a recognized principal that "where the thing which caused injury, without fault of
the injured person, is under the exclusive control of the defendant and the injury is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not occur if he having such control use proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence, in the absence of the explanation, that the injury arose from defendant's want
of care."And the burden of evidence is shifted to him to establish that he has observed due care and
diligence. (San Juan Light & Transit Co. v. Requena, 244, U.S. 89, 56 L. ed. 680.) This rule is known
by the name of res ipsa loquitur (the transaction speaks for itself), and is peculiarly applicable to the
case at bar, where it is unquestioned that the plaintiff had every right to be on the highway, and the
electric wire was under the sole control of defendant company. In the ordinary course of events,
electric wires do not part suddenly in fair weather and injure people, unless they are subjected to
unusual strain and stress or there are defects in their installation, maintenance and supervision; just
as barrels do not ordinarily roll out of the warehouse windows to injure passersby, unless some one
was negligent. (Byrne v. Boadle, 2 H & Co. 722; 159 Eng. Reprint 299, the leading case that
established that rule). Consequently, in the absence of contributory negligence (which is admittedly
not present), the fact that the wire snapped suffices to raise a reasonable presumption of negligence
in its installation, care and maintenance. Thereafter, as observed by Chief Baron Pollock, "if there are
any facts inconsistent with negligence, it is for the defendant to prove."Gasoline is a highly
combustible material, in the storage and sale of which extreme care must be taken. On the other
hand, fire is not considered a fortuitous event, as it arises almost invariably from some act of man.

G.R. No. 182705 July 18, 2014



At around 1:45 p.m. on April 21, 1991, a dump truck, ajeepney and a car figured in a vehicular
accident along Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City. As a result of the accident, a 45-foot wooden electricity
post, 3 75 KVA transformers, and other electrical line attachments were damaged. Upon investigation,
Meralco discovered that it was a truck registered in Josefa's name that hit the electricitypost. Meralco
demanded from Josefa reimbursement for the replacement cost of the electricity post and its
attachments, but Josefa refused to pay. Thus, Meralco sued Josefa and Pablo Manoco, the truck
driver, for damages before the RTC of Pasig City.

In its complaint, Meralco alleged that (Bautista) Manoco's reckless driving resulted in damage to its
properties. It also imputed primary liability on Josefa for his alleged negligence in the selection and
supervision of Manoco. The RTC dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence. The RTC held
that Meralco failed to establish that it was the truck that hit the electricity post. The RTC ruled that
SPO2 Galang's account of the accident was merely hearsay since he did not personally witness the
incident. It also did not give probative value to the police blotter entry dated January 7, 1994 since
the accident had long occurred in 1991.

The CA reversed the RTC ruling and held that the RTC erred in disregarding the parties' stipulation at
the pre-trial that it was the truck that hit the electricity post. The CA also found that Bautista was
Josefa's employee when the accident occurred since Josefa did not specifically deny this material
allegation in the amended complaint. It likewise noted that the sheriff's return stated that Bautista
was under Josefa's employ until 1993. The CA concluded that the fact that the truck hit the electricity
post was sufficient to hold Josefa vicariously liable regardless of whether Bautista was negligent in
driving the truck. In the same breath, the CA also stated that the employer's presumptive liability in
quasi-delicts was anchored on injuries caused by the employee's negligence. Even assuming that
Bautista was not Josefa's employee, the CA maintained that Josefa would still be liable for damages
since the law presumes that the registered owner has control of his vehicle and its driver at the time
of the accident. It thus ordered Josefa to pay Meralco. Josefa filed the present petition after the CA
denied his motion for reconsideration.


(1) Does Bautista exercised due diligence in driving when the truck hit the electricity post?

(2) DoesJosefa was the employer of driver Bautista being the registered owner of the vehicle making
the former vicariously liable for the latter’s negligence under paragraph 5, Article 2180 of the Civil


(1) Bautista did not exercise due diligence. Bautista's negligence was the proximate cause of the
property damage caused to Meralco. Bautista is presumed to be negligent in driving the truck under
the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.
Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to
pay for the damage done. This fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is called quasi-delict. Thus, for a quasi-delict case to prosper, the complainant
must establish: (1) damages to the complainant; (2) negligence, by act or omission, of the defendant
or by some person for whose acts the defendant must respond, was guilty; and (3) the connection of
cause and effect between such negligence and the damages. With respect to the third element, the
negligent act or omission must be the proximate cause of the injury.

Contrary to the CA's finding, the parties did not stipulate that the truck hit the electricity post. The
pre-trial order shows that the parties merely agreed that the truck "was involved in an accident on
April 21, 1991. Nonetheless, Meralco has sufficiently established the direct causal link between the
truck and the electricity post through Abio's testimony. Abio categorically stated during trial that he
saw the truck hit the electricity post. We find his first-hand account of the incident during the direct
examination frank and straightforward. Even without Abio's testimony, it does not escape this Court's
attention that Josefa judicially admitted in his motions and pleading that his truck hit the electricity
post. These statements constitute deliberate, clear and unequivocal admissions of the causation in
fact between the truck and the electricity post.

Contrary to the CA's opinion, the finding that it was the truck that hit the electricity post would not
immediately result in Josefa's liability. It is a basic rule that it is essentially the wrongful or negligent
act or omission that creates the vinculum juris in extra-contractual obligations. In turn, the
employee's negligence established to be the proximate cause of the damage would give rise to the
disputable presumption that the employer did not exercise the diligence of a good father of a family
in the selection and supervision of the erring employee.

The procedural effect of res ipsa loquitur in quasi-delict cases is that the defendant's negligence is
presumed. For this doctrine to apply, the complainant must show that: (1) the accident is of such
character as to warrant an inference that it would not have happened except for the defendant's
negligence; (2) the accident must have been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the
exclusive management or control of the person charged with the negligence complained of; and (3)
the accident must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the
person injured. The present case satisfies all the elements of res ipsa loquitur. It is very unusual and
extraordinary for the truck to hit an electricity post, an immovable and stationary object, unless
Bautista, who had the exclusive management and control of the truck, acted with fault or negligence.

We cannot also conclude that Meralco contributed to the injury since it safely and permanently
installed the electricity post beside the street. Thus, in Republic v. Luzon Stevedoring Corp., we
imputed vicarious responsibility to Luzon Stevedoring Corp. whose barge rammed the bridge, also an
immovable and stationary object.

(2) YES. Josefa is vicariously liable under paragraph 5, Article 2180 of the Civil Code because there is
an employer-employee relationship between Bautista and Josefa, and Josefa failed to show that he
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of Bautista.

The finding that Bautista acted with negligence in driving the truck gives rise to the applicationof
paragraph 5, Article 2180 of the Civil Code which holds the employer vicariously liable for damages
caused by his employees within the scope of their assigned tasks.

In the present case, Josefa avoids the application of this provision by denying that Bautista was his
employee at the time of the incident. Josefa cannot evade his responsibility by mere denial of
his employment relations with Bautista in the absence of proof that his truck was used
without authorization or that it was stolen when the accident occurred. In quasi-delict
cases, the registered owner of a motor vehicle is the employer of its driver in
contemplation of law. The registered owner of any vehicle, even if not used for public
service, would primarily be responsible to the public or to third persons for injuries
caused while the vehicle was being driven on highways or streets.
In order for Josefa to be relieved of his vicarious liability, he must show that he exercised due
diligence in the selection and supervision of Bautista. In concrete terms, Josefa should show by
competent object or documentary evidence that he examined Bautista as to the latter's qualifications,
experience and service records prior to employment. He should likewise prove by competent object or
documentary evidence that he formulated standard operating procedures, monitored their
implementation and imposed disciplinary measures for breach of these procedures. However,
Josefafailed to overcome the presumption of negligence against him since he waived his right to
present evidence during trial.

DR. FILOTEO A. ALANO, Petitioner,


G.R. No. 175540. April 7, 2014



Plaintiff-appellee ZenaidaMagud-Logmao is the mother of deceasedArnelitoLogmai. Defendant-

appellant Dr. FiloteoAlano is the Executive Director of the National Kidney Institute (NKI)On March 1,
1988 at 9:50pm, ArnelitoLogmao, 18 years old, was brought to the East Avenue Medical Center in
Q.C. by two sidewalk vendors who allegedly saw him fall from the overpass near Farmer’s Market,
Cubao. the clinical abstract prepared by Dr. Paterno F. Cabrera, the surgical resident on-duty at the
Emergency Room of EAMC, identified the patient as AngelitoLugmoso (and not ArnelitoLogmao)Dr.
Cabrera reported that [Logmao] was drowsy with alcoholic breath, was conscious and coherent

At around 4am on March 2, 1088, the patient developed generalized seizures, and his condition
progressively deteriorated. Admission to the ICU and mechanicalventilator support became necessary,
however there was no vacancy at East Ave, thus the patient was transferred to NKI. When the
patient arrived at the NKI, his name was recorded as AngelitoLugmoso. As Lugmoso had no relatives
around, Jennifer B. Misa, Transplant Coordinator, was asked to locate the patient’s family by enlisting
police and media assistance.

Dr. Ona,Chairman of the Department of Surgery,observed that the severity of the brain injury of
Lugmoso manifested symptoms of brain death. He requested to conduct a tissue typing and tissue
cross-matching examination on the patient, this was done on the basis that if the patient expire
despite the necessary medical care and is found to be a suitable organ donor and has his family’s
consent, the organs could be harvested and transplanted promptly to any of the compatible

At about 7am of March 3, 1988, Dr. Ona was informed that Lugmoso had been pronounced brain
dead. A repeat EEG recording exhibited a flat tracing, thereby confirming that Lugmoso was brain
dead. As the extensive search for the relatives of Lugmoso yielded no positive result and time being
of the essence in the success of organ transplantation. Dr. Ona requested Dr. Filoteo A. Alano to
authorize the removal of specific organs from the body of Lugmoso for transplantation purposes. Dr.
Ona, likewise requested Dr. Liquete to secure permission for the planned organ retrieval and
transplantation from the Medico Legal Office of the NBI, on the assumption that the death of
Lugmoso was a medico legal case.

Dr. Alano issued to Dr. Ona a memorandum to make certain that all reasonable efforts are exerted to
locate the patient’s relatives such as appeal through the radios and television as well as through
police and other government agencies and that the NBI [Medico-Legal] Section has been notified and
is aware of the case.It further stated that if all has been complied with, in accordance with the
provisions of Republic Act No. 349 as amended and P.D. 856, permission and/or authority is hereby
given to the Department of Surgery to retrieve or remove the internal organs of the deceased and to
transplant said organs to any compatible patient who may be in need of said organs to live and
survive.Despite efforts to locate the latter’s relatives, no one responded. At 3:45 in the afternoon of
March 3, 1988, a medical team conducted the removal of the heat, kidneys, pancreas, liver and
spleen of Lugmoso.On March 11, 1988, the NKI issued a press release announcing its first successful
double organ transplantation. Aida Dormal , a relative of Arnelito’s mother, saw the news on TV that
the donor was an 18yr old boy whose remains were laid at La Funeraria Oro in QC, since the name of
the donor sounded like ArnelitoLogmao. Zenaida and her children went to the funeral home where
they found Arnelito’s body.

Zenaida filed with the RTC a complaint for damages against the doctors of NKI. The RTC rendered its
decision finding Dr. Alano liable for damages. The trial court found Dr. Alano negligent for authorizing
the retrieval of the deceased patient’s organs without first exerting reasonable efforts to locate his
relatives. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC decision. Hence the petition.


Should Dr. Alano be held liable for his alleged negligence in authorizing the removal and retrieval of
Arnelito’s internal organs without Zenaida’s consent?


No. Dr. Alano did not violate the provisions of the law willfully or negligently. In accordance with the
requirements of the third paragraph of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 349, as amended, he caused the
discharge of "reasonable efforts" to locate the relatives, allowed for a reasonable time to pass, and
harvested the organs with care and prudence.
The petitioner instructed his subordinates to "make certain" that "all reasonable efforts" are exerted
to locate the patient's next of kin, even enumerating ways in which to ensure that notices of the
death of the patient would reach said relatives. It also clearly stated that permission or authorization
to retrieve and remove the internal organs of the deceased was being given ONLY IF the provisions of
the applicable law had been complied with. Such instructions reveal that petitioner acted prudently by
directing his subordinates to exhaust all reasonable means of locating the relatives of the deceased.
Verily, petitioner could not have been faulted for having full confidence in the ability of the doctors in
the Department of Surgery to comprehend the instructions, obeying all his directives, and acting only
in accordance with the requirements of the law.

Dr. Alano, therefore, should not have been found to be negligent. He did not violate Article 20 of the
Civil Code because he complied with all his duties in Republic Act No. 349, as amended.

There is no causal connection between the alleged negligent act and the damage suffered by
respondent. It should be emphasized that the internal organs of the deceased were removed only
after he had been declared brain dead; thus, the emotional pain suffered by respondent due to the
death of her son cannot in any way be attributed to petitioner.
OSCAR and ALFREDO BATACLAN, represented by their Natural guardian, SALUD
VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN,plaintiffs-appellants,
MARIANO MEDINA, defendant-appellant

G.R. No. L-10126 October 22, 1957



Shortly after midnight, on September 13, 1952 bus no. 30 of the Medina Transportation, operated
by its owner defendant Mariano Medina under a certificate of public convenience, left the town of
Amadeo, Cavite, on its way to Pasay City, driven by its regular chauffeur, ConradoSaylon. At about
2:00 o'clock that same morning, while the bus was running, one of the front tires burst and the
vehicle began to zig-zag until it fell into a canal or ditch on the right side of the road and turned

The driver, the conductor, and some passengers were able to free themselves from the bus, while
the three passengers seated beside the driver, named Bataclan, Lara and the Visayan and the
woman behind them named Natalia Villanueva, could not get out of the overturned bus. Passengers
already free from the wreck, including the driver and the conductor, did not made any attempt to
pull out and rescue the four passengers trapped inside the vehicle, but calls for help were made to
the houses in the neighborhood. Help arrived soon thereafter and as it was dark, the villagers
brought torch with them. The driver and the conductor failed to warn the would-be helpers of the
fact that gasoline has spilled from the overturned bus so a huge fire ensued which engulfed the bus
thereby killing the 4 passengers trapped inside. It was also found later in trial that the tires of the
bus were old. Bataclan’s widow, Salud Villanueva and in behalf of her five minor children, brought
the present suit to recover from Mariano Medina.


Was the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan et al the burning of the torches which ignited the
gasoline (or was it the fire?).


Yes. The case involves a breach of contract of transportation, the Medina Transportation having
undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to his destination. There was negligence on the part of the
defendant, through his agent, the driver Saylon. The driver’s negligence was the proximate cause.
A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found in Volume 38, pages 695-696 of American
jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-appellants in their brief. It is as follows:

. . . '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.' And more
comprehensively, 'the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either
immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of
events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the
chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted,
under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary
prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default
that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.

The proximate cause was the overturning of the bus which was caused by the negligence of the
driver because he was speeding and also he was already advised by Medina to change the tires yet
he did not. Such negligence resulted to the overturning of the bus. When the vehicle turned not
only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline from the tank was not
unnatural or unexpected. The torches carried by the would-be helpers are not to be blamed. It is
just but natural for the villagers to respond to the call for help from the passengers and since it is a
rural area which did not have flashlights, torches are the natural source of lighting. Further, the
smell of gas could have been all over the place yet the driver and the conductor failed to provide
warning about said fact to the villagers.

G.R. No. 172778 November 26, 2012


On July 6, 1995, at around 11:30 o’clock in the morning, along the national highway in Magtalisay,
Sangat, San Fernando, Cebu, a passenger bus of Petrus Bus Liner, driven by petitioner, collided
with a tricycle driven by Elsie Genayas, resulting in the death of four (4) persons and causing
physical injuries to five (5) others, who were all passengers of the tricycle.At the time of the
mishap, the tricycle was overtaking a Mitsubishi pick-up when it collided with a passenger bus
coming from the opposite direction.The MTC found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.

On appeal, the RTC affirmed with modification the decision of the MTC. It found the petitioner and
the tricycle driver equally guilty of negligence, the former for failing to observe the precautionary
measure when approaching a blind curve and the latter for unsuccessfully overtaking a vehicle. The
CA affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC


Wasthe said negligence of petitioner the proximate cause of the accident?


No, the totality of the evidence shows that the proximate cause of the collision was the reckless
negligence of the tricycle driver, who hastily overtook another vehicle while approaching a blind
curve, in violation of traffic laws.

Proximate cause is defined as 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. And more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the
injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and
continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor,
the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the
cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event
should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the
moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.

The evidence indubitably shows that before the collision, the passenger bus was cruising along its
rightful lane when the tricycle coming from the opposite direction suddenly swerved and encroached
on its lane. The accident would not have happened had Genayas, the tricycle driver, stayed on his
lane and did not recklessly try to overtake another vehicle while approaching a blind curve. Section 37
of R.A. No. 4136, as amended, mandates all motorists to drive and operate vehicles on the right side
of the road or highway. When overtaking another, it should be made only if the highway is clearly
visible and is free from oncoming vehicle. Overtaking while approaching a curve in the highway,
where the driver’s view is obstructed, is not allowed.Corollarily, drivers of automobiles, when
overtaking another vehicle, are charged with a high degree of care and diligence to avoid collision.
The obligation rests upon him to see to it that vehicles coming from the opposite direction are not
taken unaware by his presence on the side of the road upon which they have the right to pass.
CONSOLACION GABETO, in her own right and as guardian ad litem of her three
children, plaintiff-appellee,
AGATON ARANETA, defendant-appellant.

G.R. No. L-15674 October 17, 1921



On August 4, 1918,BasilioIlano and ProcesoGayetano took a carromata with a view to going to a

cockpit. When the driver of the carromata had started in the direction indicated, the defendant,
AgatonAraneta, stopped the horse, at the same time protesting to the driver that he himself had
called this carromata first. The driver, Julio Pagnaya, replied that he had not heard or seen the call of
Araneta. Pagnayapulled on the reins of the bridle to free the horse from the control of
AgatonAraneta, in order that the vehicle might pass on. Owing to the looseness of the bridle on the
horse's head or to the rottenness of the material of which it was made, the bit came out of the
horse's mouth, and it became necessary for the driver to get out in order to find the bridle. While
Pagnaya tried to fix the bridle, the horse, being free from the control of the bit, became disturbed
and moved forward.Meanwhile one of the passengers, Ilano, had alighted but the other, Gayetano,
had unfortunately retained his seat, and after the runaway horse had proceeded up the street
Gayetano jumped or fell from the rig, and in so doing received injuries from which he soon died.


Was the proximate cause of the accident the stopping of the horse by Araneta?


No, the stopping of the rig by Araneta was too remote from the accident that presently ensued to be
considered the legal or proximate cause thereof. Moreover, by getting out and taking his post at the
head of the horse, the driver was the person primarily responsible for the control of the animal, and
the defendant cannot be charged with liability for the accident resulting from the action of the horse
thereafter. The evidence indicates that the bridle was old, and the leather of which it was made was
probably so weak as to be easily broken. According to the witnesses for the defendant, it was Julio
who jerked the rein, thereby causing the bit to come out of the horse's mouth; and that after
alighting, led the horse over to the curb, and proceeded to fix the bridle; and that in so doing the
bridle was slipped entirely off, when the horse, feeling himself free from control, started to go away
as previously stated.
ST. MARY'S ACADEMY, petitioner,

G.R. No. 143363 February 6, 2002



St. Mary’s Academy of Dipolog City conducted an enrollment drive for the school year 1995-1996.A
facet of the enrollment campaign was the visitation of schools from where prospective enrollees were
studying.As a student of St. Mary’s Academy, Sherwin Carpitanos was part of the campaigning group.
Sherwin, along with other high school students were riding in a Mitsubishi jeep owned by defendant
Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan Elementary School. The jeep was driven by James Daniel
II then 15 years old and a student of the same school. Allegedly, the latter drove the jeep in a
reckless manner and as a result the jeep turned turtle.Sherwin Carpitanos died as a result of the
injuries he sustained from the accident.


Was the petitioner liable for damages for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos?


No, petitioner to be liable, there must be a finding that the act or omission considered as negligent
was the proximate cause of the injury caused because the negligence must have a causal connection
to the accident.

The immediate cause of the accident was not the negligence of petitioner or the reckless driving of
James Daniel II, but the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep.Hence, the cause of the
accident was not the recklessness of James Daniel II but the mechanical defect in the jeep of
Vivencio Villanueva.

The reliance onArticle 219 of the Family Code that "those given the authority and responsibility under
the preceding Article shall be principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by acts or omissions
of the unemancipated minor" was unfounded.Furthermore, there was no evidence that petitioner
school allowed the minor James Daniel II to drive the jeep of respondent Vivencio Villanueva.

Liability for the accident, whether caused by the negligence of the minor driver or mechanical
detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep, must be pinned on the minor’s parents primarily.
The negligence of petitioner St. Mary’s Academy was only a remote cause of the accident. Between
the remote cause and the injury, there intervened the negligence of the minor’s parents or the
detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep.
Considering that the negligence of the minor driver or the detachment of the steering wheel guide of
the jeep owned by respondent Villanueva was an event over which petitioner St. Mary’s Academy had
no control, and which was the proximate cause of the accident, petitioner may not be held liable for
the death resulting from such accident.

The accident occurred because of the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep, it is not
the school, but the registered owner of the vehicle who shall be held responsible for damages for the
death of Sherwin Carpitanos.

AMADO PICART, plaintiff-appellant,

FRANK SMITH, JR., defendant-appellee.

G.R. No. L-12219 March 15, 1918



On 12 December 1912, on the Carlatan Bridge, at San Fernando, La Union, Amado Picart was riding
on his pony over said bridge. Before he had gotten half way across, Frank Smith Jr. approached from
the opposite direction in an automobile. As Smith neared the bridge he saw a horseman on it and
blew his horn to give warning of his approach. He continued his course and after he had taken the
bridge he gave two more successive blasts, as it appeared to him that the man on horseback before
him was not observing the rule of the road.Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, the defendant,
instead of veering to the right while yet some distance away or slowing down, continued to approach
directly toward the horse without diminution of speed. Picart saw the automobile coming and heard
the warning signals. However, being perturbed by the novelty of the apparition or the rapidity of the
approach, he pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the right side of the bridge instead of
going to the left.
As the automobile approached, Smith guided it toward his left, that being the proper side of the road
for the machine. In so doing Smith assumed that the horseman would move to the other side.
Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, Smith, continued to approach directly toward the horse
without diminution of speed. The automobile passed in such close proximity to the animal that it
became frightened and turned its body across the bridge with its head toward the railing.The horse
fell and its rider was thrown off with some violence. As a result of its injuries the horse died. The
plaintiff received contusions which caused temporary unconsciousness and required medical attention
for several days.


Was the defendant guilty of negligence?

Yes, he is liable. The control of the situation had then passed entirely to the defendant; and it was his
duty either to bring his car to an immediate stop or, seeing that there were no other persons on the
bridge, to take the other side and pass sufficiently far away from the horse to avoid the danger of
collision. Instead of doing this, the defendant ran straight on until he was almost upon the horse.

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.
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.



G.R. No. L-51806 November 8, 1988



Ernest E. Simke, a naturalized Filipino citizen, was Honorary Consul General of Israel in the
Philippines. He went to Manila International Airport to meet his future son-in-law. As the plane was
landing, he and his companions went to the viewing deck to watch the arrival of the plane. While
walking, Simke slipped on an elevation 4 inches high and fell on his back, breaking his thigh bone in
the process. He underwent a 3-hour operation and after recovery private respondent then filed an
action for damages based on quasi-delict with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch VII against
petitioner Civil Aeronautics Administration or CAA as the entity empowered "to administer, operate,
manage, control, maintain and develop the Manila International Airport. Civil Aeronautics
Administration contended that the elevation in question "had a legitimate purpose for being on the
terrace and was never intended to trip down people and injure them. It was there for no other
purpose but to drain water on the floor area of the terrace."

Wasthe Civil Aeronautics Administration negligent?

Yes. The SC ruled that pursuant to Art. 1173, "the fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the
omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the
circumstances of the person, of the time, and of the place." Here, the obligation of the Civil
Aeronautics Administration in maintaining the viewing deck, a facility open to the public, requires that
Civil Aeronautics Administration insure the safety of the viewers using it. As these people come to
look to where the planes and the incoming passengers are and not to look down on the floor or
pavement of the viewing deck, the Civil Aeronautics Administration should have thus made sure that
no dangerous obstructions or elevations exist on the floor of the deck to prevent any undue harm to
the public. Upon ocular inspection by the trial court, it was found that the terrace was in poor
condition. Court during its ocular inspection also observed the dangerous and defective condition of
the open terrace which has remained unrepaired through the years. It has observed the lack of
maintenance and upkeep of the MIA terrace, typical of many government buildings and offices. Aside
from the litter allowed to accumulate in the terrace, pot holes cause by missing tiles remained
unrepaired and unattended. The several elevations shown in the exhibits presented were verified by
this Court during the ocular inspection it undertook. Among these elevations is the one where plaintiff

The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case may be stated as
follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution
which an ordinarily prudent man would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
negligence. The law here in effect adopts the standard supposed to be supplied by the imaginary
conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law. The existence of the 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. Abstract speculations cannot be of much value, but this much can be profitably said:
Reasonable men-over their conduct by the circumstances which are before them or known to them.
They are not, and are not supposed to be omniscient of the future. Hence they can be expected to
take care only when there is something before them to suggest or warn of danger. Could a prudent
man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result of the course actually pursued' If so, it
was the duty of the actor to take precautions to guard against that harm. Reasonable foresight of
harm, followed by the ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is always necessary before
negligence can be RULING to exist.... [Picart v. Smith, supra, p. 813]

The private respondent, who was the plaintiff in the case before the lower court, could not have
reasonably foreseen the harm that would befall him, considering the attendant factual circumstances.
Even if the private respondent had been looking where he was going, the step in question could not
easily be noticed because of its construction.
MERCEDES M. TEAGUE, petitioner,
ELENA FERNANDEZ, et al., respondent.

G.R. No. L-29745 June 4, 1973


The Realistic Institute, owned and operated by defendant-appellee Mercedes M. Teague was a
vocational school for hair and beauty culture situated on the second floor of the Gil-Armi Building, a
two-storey, semi-concrete edifice. The said second floor was unpartitioned, had a total area of about
400 square meters, and although it had only one stairway, of about 1.50 meters in width, it had eight
windows, each of which was provided with two fire-escape ladders, and the presence of each of said
fire-exits was indicated on the wall. A fire broke out in a store for surplus materials located about ten
meters away from the Realistic Institute. Students inside the institute panicked. Four instructresses
and six assistant instructress of the Institute were present and they, together with the registrar, tried
to calm down the students. However, the panic could not be subdued and the students, with the
exception of the few who made use of fire-escapes kept on rushing and pushing their way through
the stairs, thereby causing stampede therein. No part of the building caught fire. Butafter the panic
was over, four students, including Lourdes Fernandez, a sister of plaintiffs-appellants, were found
dead and several others injured on account of the stampede.
The deceased's five brothers and sisters filed an action for damages against Mercedes M. Teague as
owner and operator of Realistic Institute.
The decision of the appellate court declared that the defendant, hereinafter to be referred to as the
petitioner, was negligent and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the death of Lourdes
Fernandez. This finding of negligence is based primarily on the fact that the provision of Section 491
Of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Manila had not been complied with in connection with the
construction and use of the Gil-Armi building where the petitioner's vocational school was housed

Was the petitioner negligent?

Yes. Petitioner was negligent and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the death of
Lourdes Fernandez. This finding of negligence is based primarily on the fact that the provision of
Section 491 Of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Manila that requires all buildings and separate
sections of buildings or buildings otherwise known as accessorias having less than three stories,
having one or more persons domiciled therein either temporarily or permanently, and all public or
quasi-public buildings having less than three stories, such as hospitals, sanitarium, schools,
reformatories, places of human detention, assembly halls, clubs, restaurants or panciterias, and the
like, to be provided with at least two unobstructed stairways of not less than one meter and twenty
centimeters in width had not been complied with by the Gil-Armi building where the petitioner's
vocational school was housed. The alleged violation of the ordinance consisted in the fact that the
second storey of the Gil-Armi building had only one stairway, 1.5 meters wide, instead of two of at
least 1.2 meters each, although at the time of the fire the owner of the building had a second
stairway under construction. The ordinance was a measure of safety designed to prevent a specific
situation which would pose a danger to the occupants of the building. Although the mere fact of
violation of a statute is not sufficient basis for an inference that such violation was the proximate
cause of the injury complained, however the very injury has happened which was intended to be
prevented by the ordinance, it has been RULING that violation of the statute will be deemed to be
proximate cause of the injury. The overcrowding at the stairway was the proximate cause and that it
was precisely what the ordinance intended to prevent by requiring that there be two stairways
instead of only one. The principle of proximate cause therefore applies to such violation.


G.R. No. 79578, March 13, 1991


On 24th of January 1983, private respondent spouses sent a telegram of condolence to their cousins
through the herein petitioner RCPI. The telegram was in perfect resemblance as to what was
intended by the spouses however, it was written on a birthday card and was sealed in on a
“Christmasgram” envelope. Believing that the transmittal to the addressees of the aforesaid telegram
in that nonesuch manner was done intentionally and with gross breach of contract resulting to
ridicule, contempt, and humiliation of the private respondents and the addressees, including their
friends and relatives, the spouses Timan demanded an explanation. Unsatisfied with RCPI's
explanations in its letters, dated March 9 and April 20, 1983, the Timans filed a complaint for
damages. The trial court rendered its decision in favor of the spouses whereas, it was appealed in the
CA where also the judgment in the lower court was affirmed in toto. Thus, the RCPI came to Court
for relief contending issues that the CA erred in rendering such judgment. The RCPI’s defense is that
it ran out of social forms and envelope for condolence telegrams


Is the RCPI liable for breach of contract and negligence?


Yes. The SC fully agrees with the appellate court’s endorsement of the trial court’s conclusion that
RCPI, a corporation dealing in telecommunications and offering its services to the public, is engaged
in a business affected with public interest. As such, it is bound to exercise that degree of diligence
expected of it in the performance of its obligation. In the present case, it is self-evident that a
telegram of condolence is intended and meant to convey a message of sorrow and sympathy. It
seems out of this world, therefore, to place that message of condolence in a birthday card and deliver
the same in a Christmas envelope for such acts of carelessness and incompetence not only render
violence to good taste and common sense, they depict a bizarre presentation of the sender’s feelings.
When plaintiffs placed an order for transmission of their social condolence telegram, defendant did
not inform the plaintiff of the exhaustion of such social condolence forms. Defendant-appellant
accepted through its authorized agent or agency the order and received the corresponding
compensation therefor. Gross negligence or carelessness can be attributed to defendant-appellant in
not supplying its various stations with such sufficient and adequate social condolence forms when it
RULING out to the public … the availability of such social condolence forms and accepted for a fee
the transmission of messages on said forms. Knowing that there are no such forms as testified to by
its Material Control Manager and entering into a contract for the transmission of messages in such
forms, defendant-appellant committed acts of bad faith, fraud or malice.

Anyone who avails of the facilities of a telegram company like RCPI can choose to send his message
in the ordinary form or in a social form. In the ordinary form, the text of the message is typed on
plain newsprint paper. On the other hand, a social telegram is placed in a special form with the
proper decorations and embellishments to suit the occasion and the message and delivered in an
envelope matching the purpose of the occasion and the words and intent of the message. The sender
pays a higher amount for the social telegram than for one in the ordinary form.

It is clear, therefore, that when the message was being prepared, it committed a breach of contract
as well as gross negligence. It could not have been faulted had it delivered the message in the
ordinary form and reimbursed the difference in the cost to the private respondents.
ORLANDO D. GARCIA, JR., G.R. No. 168512 doing business under the name and style
- vs -

GR No. 168512 March 20, 2007



Ranida Salvador worked as a trainee in the accounting department of Limay Bulk Handling Terminal.
As a prerequisite for regular employment, she underwent a medical exam at the Community
Diagnostic Center (CDC). Garcia, medical technologist conducted the HBs Ag (Hepatitis B Surface
Antigen) test and issued the test result indicating that Ranida was “HBs Ag: Reactive.” The result
bore the name and signature of Garcia as examiner and the rubber stamp signature of Bu Castro as

When Ranida submitted the result to company physician Dr. Sto. Domingo, the latter told her that the
result indicated that she is suffering from Hepatitis B, a liver disease. Based on the doctor’s medical
report, the company terminated Ranida’s employment for failing the physical exam.

When she informed her father Ramon, he suffered a heart attack and was confined at Bataan Doctors
Hospital. During her father’s confinement, she had another HBs Ag test at the same hospital. The
result indicated that she is non-reactive. She informed Sto. Domingo but was told that the test by the
CDC was more reliable because it used the Mirco-Elisa Method.

She went back to CDC for confirmatory testing and the Anti-HBs test conducted on her had a
Negative result. She also had another test at the hospital using the Micro-Elisa Method and the result
indicated that she was non-reactive.

She submitted both results to the Executive Officer of the company who requested her to undergo
another similar test before her re-employment would be considered. The CDC conducted another test
which indicated a Negative result. The Med-Tech OIC of CDC issued a certification correcting the
initial result and explaining that the examining med tech Garcia interpreted the delayed reaction as
positive or negative.

The company rehired Ranida. She then filed a complaint for damages against Garcia and an unknown
pathologist of CDC. She claimed that because of the erroneous interpretation of the results of the
examination, she lost her job and suffered serious mental anxiety, trauma, sleepless nights, while
Ramon was hospitalized and lost business opportunities. In an amended complaint, she named Castro
as the pathologist.

Garcia denied the allegations of gross negligence and incompetence and reiterated the scientific
explanation for the “false positive” result of the first HBs Ag tests in a letter to the respondents.

Garcia maintains he is not negligent, thus not liable for damages, because he followed the
appropriate laboratory measures and procedures as dictated by his training and experience; and that
he did everything within his professional competence to arrive at an objective, impartial and
impersonal result.

RTC dismissed the complaint because the respondent failed to present sufficient evidence to prove
the liability of Garcia and Castro. CA reversed the RTC’s ruling and found Garcial liable for damages
for negligently issuing an erroneous HBs Ag result. The appellate court exonerated Castro for lack of
Has Castro been negligent in issuing the test result and thus liable for damages?


Yes.Negligence is the failure to observe for the protection of the interest of another person that
degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstance 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 actionable conduct are: 1) duty, 2) breach, 3) injury, and 4) proximate

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, 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

In fine, 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

From provisions RA 4688, otherwise known as the The Clinical Laboratory Law, it is clear that a
clinical laboratory must be administered, directed and supervised by a licensed physician authorized
by the Sec. of Health, like a pathologist who is specially trained in methods of laboratory medicine;
that the medical technologist must be under the supervision of the pathologist or licensed physician;
and that the results of any examination may be released only to the requesting physician or his
authorized representative upon the direction of the laboratory pathologist.

These rules are intended for the protection of the public by preventing performance of substandard
clinical examinations by laboratories whose personnel are not properly supervised. The public
demands no less than an effective and efficient performance of clinical laboratory examinations
through compliance with the quality standards set by laws and regulations.

We find that petitioner Garcia failed to comply with these standards.

First: CDC is not administered, directed and supervised by a licensed physician as required by
law.Second: Garcia conducted the HBs Ag test of respondent Ranida without the supervision of
defendant-appellee Castro.Third: The HBs Ag test result was released to Ranida without the
authorization of defendant-appellee Castro.

Garcia may not have intended to cause the consequence which followed after the release of the test
result. However, his failure to comply with the laws and rules promulgated and issued for the
protection of public safety and interest is failure to observe that care which a reasonably prudent
health care provider would observe. Thus, his act or omission constitutes a breach of duty.

Indubitably, Ranida suffered injury as a direct consequence of Garcia’s failure to comply with the
mandate of the laws and rules aforequoted. She was terminated from the service for failing the
physical examination; suffered anxiety because of the diagnosis; and was compelled to undergo
several more tests. All these could have been avoided had the proper safeguards been scrupulously
followed in conducting the clinical examination and releasing the clinical report.
Art. 20, NCC provides the legal basis for the award of damages to a party who suffers damage
whenever one commits an act in violation of some legal provision. This was incorporated by the Code
Commission to provide relief to a person who suffers damages because another has violated some
legal provision.



GR. NO. 190022, February 15, 2012



Vizcara was driving a passenger jeep headed towards Bicol to deliver onion crops.While crossing the
railroad track in Tiaong, Quezon, a PNR train, then being operated by Estranas, suddenly turned up
and rammed the passenger jeepney.It resulted death of Vizcara and his companions, while others
sustained physical injuries.
Heirs of deceased and the survivors filed for an action for damages against PNR, Estranas and Saga,
the alternate driver of the train before RTC Palayan.Victims alleged that the proximate cause of the
fatalities and injuries sustained by the victims was the PNR’s gross negligence in not providing
adequate safety measures to prevent injury to persons and properties.They pointed out that in the
railroad track of Tiaong, Quezon where the accident happened, there was no level crossing bar,
lighting equipment or bell installed to warn motorists of the existence of the track and of the
approaching train.The "Stop, Look and Listen" signage was poorly maintained. The "Stop" signage
was already faded while the "Listen" signage was partly blocked by another signboard.
PNR however alleged that they exercised due diligence in operating the train and monitoring its
roadworthiness. They asseverate that right before the collision, Estranas was driving the train at a
moderate speed; that driver was blowing his horn to warn motorists. The cars were on full stop, but
as he approached the intersection, passenger jeepney crossed the trackes. He stepped the brakes,
but it did not come to a complete stop.

RTC ruled in favor of victims. It ruled that PNR, Estranas and Saga should pay the victims.
CA affirmed with modification (as to the award of damages).PNR's failure to install sufficient safety
devices in the area, such as flag bars or safety railroad bars and signage, was the proximate cause of
the accident.

Was the proximate cause of the accident the negligence of PNR et al?


Yes. The petitioner’s negligence was the proximate cause of the accident. Negligence was defined as
the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by 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.Time-honored test was: 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 .

To emphasize, the RTC ruled that it was the petitioners’ failure to install adequate safety devices at
the railroad crossing which proximately caused the collision. This finding was affirmed by the CA; It is
a well-established rule that factual findings by the CA are conclusive on the parties and are not
reviewable by this Court.
• Both courts ruled that the petitioners fell short of the diligence expected of it, taking into
consideration the nature of its business, to forestall any untoward incident. In particular,
the petitioners failed to install safety railroad bars to prevent motorists from crossing the
tracks in order to give way to an approaching train. Failure to do so would be an
indication of negligence.
It may broadly be stated that railroad companies owe to the public a duty of
exercising a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury to persons and property
at railroad crossings, which duties pertain both to the operation of trains and
to the maintenance of the crossings.

Conduct on the part of the injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered,
which falls below the standard which he is required to conform for his own protection.Here, we
cannot see how the respondents could have contributed to their injury when they were not even
aware of the forthcoming danger. It was established during the trial that the jeepney carrying the
respondents was following a ten-wheeler truck which was only about three to five meters ahead.
When the truck proceeded to traverse the railroad track, Reynaldo, the driver of the jeepney, simply
followed through. He did so under the impression that it was safe to proceed. The accident would not
have happened had the petitioners installed reliable and adequate safety devices along the crossing
to ensure the safety of all those who may utilize the same.


Where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in point of time than
that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence brought about the
occurrence of the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm
but failed to do so, is chargeable with the consequences arising therefrom. The proximate cause of
the collision was the petitioners’ negligence in ensuring that motorists and pedestrians alike may
safely cross the railroad track. The unsuspecting driver and passengers of the jeepney did not have
any participation in the occurrence of the unfortunate incident which befell them. Likewise, they did
not exhibit any overt act manifesting disregard for their own safety. Thus, absent preceding
negligence on the part of the respondents, the doctrine of last clear chance cannot be applied.

GR No. 171212, August 4, 2014



Petitioner is a domestic corporation engaged in business of manufacturing thread for weaving.

Respondent, Engr. Adviento, was hired by petitioner to maintain its facilities in Lambakin, Marilao,
Bulacan.On August 7, 2002, respondent consulted a physician due to recurring weakness and
dizziness.Few days later, he was diagnosed with Chronic Poly Sinusitis, and thereafter, with
moderate, severe and persistent Allergic Rhinitis.Accordingly, respondent was advised by his doctor to
totally avoid house dust mite and textile dust as it will transmute into health problems. Since the
respondent’s persistent requests for better health conditions in his office were unheeded by
petitioner, respondent filed a complaint against petitioner with the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) in San Fernando, Pampanga for alleged illegal dismissal and money claims.
Subsequently, he filed another complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Aparri, Cagayan,
alleging that he contracted such occupational disease by reason of the gross negligence of petitioner
to provide him with a safe, healthy and workable environment.

In the RTC case, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss, claiming among others, lack of jurisdiction over
the subject matter of the complaint because the same falls under the original and exclusive
jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter (LA) under Article 217 (a)(4) of the Labor Code.


Does the RTC has jurisdiction over a negligent employer who failed to provide a safe and healthy
working environment?


Yes. It is obvious from the complaint that the plaintiffs have not alleged any unfair labor practice.
Theirs is a simple action for damages for tortuous acts allegedly committed by the defendants. Such
being the case, the governing statute is the Civil Code and not the Labor Code. It results that the
orders under review are based on a wrong premise.The maintenance of a safe and healthy workplace
is ordinarily a subject of labor cases. More, the acts complained of appear to constitute matters
involving employee-employer relations since respondent used to be the Civil Engineer of petitioner.
However, it should be stressed that respondent’s claim for damages is specifically grounded on
petitioner’s gross negligence to provide a safe, healthy and workable environment for its employees
— a case of quasi-delict. His is easily ascertained from a plain and cursory reading of the
Complaint, which enumerates the acts and/or omissions of petitioner relative to the conditions in the
workplace, to wit:

1. Petitioner’s textile mills have excessive flying textile dust and waste in its operations and
no effort was exerted by petitioner to minimize or totally eradicate it;

2. Petitioner failed to provide adequate and sufficient dust suction facilities;

3. Textile machines are cleaned with air compressors aggravating the dusty work place;

4. Petitioner has no physician specializing in respiratory related illness considering it is a

textile company;

5. Petitioner has no device to detect the presence or density of dust which is airborne;

6. The chemical and color room are not equipped with proper safety chemical nose mask;

7. The power and boiler plant emit too much smoke with solid particles blown to the air from
the smoke stack of the power plant emitting a brown rust color which engulfs the entire

In addition, respondent alleged that despite his earnest efforts to suggest to management to place
roof insulation to minimize, if not, eradicate the health hazards attendant in the workplace, the same
was not heeded. The pertinent provision of Article 2176 of the Civil Code which governs quasi-delict
provides that: Whoever by act or omissioncauses damageto another, there being fault or negligence,
is obliged to pay for the damagedone. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties, is called quasi-delict.

Thus, to sustain a claim liability under quasi-delict, the following requisites must concur: (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.

In the case at bar, respondent alleges that due to the continued and prolonged exposure to textile
dust seriously inimical to his health, he suffered work-contracted disease which is now irreversible
and incurable, and deprived him of job opportunities.Clearly, injury and damages were allegedly
suffered by respondent, an element of quasi-delict. Secondly, the previous contract of employment
between petitioner and respondent cannot be used to counter the element of "no pre-existing
contractual relation" since petitioner’s alleged gross negligence in maintaining a hazardous work
environment cannot be considered a mere breach of such contract of employment, but falls squarely
within the elements of quasi-delictunder Article 2176 of the Civil Code since the negligence is direct,
substantive and independent.

When, as here, the cause of action is based on a quasi-delictor tort, which has no reasonable causal
connection with any of the claims provided for in Article 217, jurisdiction over the action is with the
regular courts.
LUISITO G. YU, Respondent.

G.R. No. 174161, February 18, 2015



On December 12, 1993, 8:45am, Loreta J. Yu went down from a passenger bus. When she was
dropped off in front of Robinson’s Galleria, she was hit and run over by a bus driven by Antonio P.
Gimena, a driver of R Transport Corporation. She was declared dead on arrival at Medical City
Hospital.Her husband, Lusito G. Yu filed a complaint for Damages before the Regional Trial Court of
Makati against the said bus driver, R Transport Corporation, and Metro Manila Transport Corporation

MMTC denied liability claiming that it is merely the registered owner of the bus involved but the
actual owner thereof is R Transport Corporation.R Transport alleged that respondent had no cause of
action against it for it had exercise due diligence in the supervision and selection of its employees.
The RTC Makati rendered judgment in favor of respondent Yu ruling that R Transport Corp. failed to
prove that it exercised the diligence required of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of its employees.It also ruled that MMTC was solidarily liable with petitioner R Transport

RTC Makati ordered for the payment of damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the
RTC with modification that defendant Antonio Gimena is made solidarily liable for the damages
caused to the respondent


Was the petitioner properly made liable for the damages caused by the negligence of its employee?


Yes, Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, employers are liable for damages caused by their
employees acting within the scope of their assigned tasks.Once negligence on the part of the
employee is established, a presumption instantly arises that the employer was remiss in the selection
and/or supervision of the negligent employee.To avoid liability for the quasi-delict committed by the
employee, it is incumbent upon the employer to rebut this presumption by presenting adequate and
convincing proof that it exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
and supervision of its employees.

G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015



On 25 January 1997, the cargo ship M/V "China Joy" (the Vessel) arrived at the Mariveles Grain
Terminal Wharf, operated by plaintiffAccording to the Berth Term Grain Bills of Lading, the Vessel
carried soybean meal that had been shipped by ContiQuincy Bunge L.L.C

The unloading operations were suddenly halted when the head of Unloader No. 2 hit a flat low-
carbon or "mild" steel bar measuring around 8 to 10 inches in length, 4 inches in width, and 1 ¼ inch
in thickness that was in the middle of the mass of soybean meal. The flat steel bar lodged itself
between the vertical screws of Unloader No. 2, causing portions of screw numbers 2 and 3 to crack
and be sheared off under the torsional load.

On 4 February 1997, ATI sent a Note of Protest to the Master of the Vessel for the damages
sustained by its unloading equipment as a result of encountering the flat steel bar among the
soybean meal. When negotiations for settlement failed, ATI filed the instant Complaint for Damages
against Samsun, Inter-Asia and the "Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V ‘China Joy’" on 9 March 1999.

Defendants further averred that the soybean meal was shipped on board the M/V "China Joy" under a
Free-In-and-Out-Stowed-and-Trimmed (FIOST) Clause, which supposedly means that the
Shipper/Charterer itself (ContiQuincyBunge LLC) loaded the cargo on board the Vessel, and the latter
and her complement had no participation therein except to provide the use of the Vessel’s gear.
Similarly, under the FIOST clause, the discharge of the cargo was to be done by the consignees’
designated personnel without any participation of the Vessel and her complement.

Defendants argued that since the metal foreign object was found in the middle of the cargo, it could
not have come from the bottom of the hatch because the hatch had been inspected and found clean
prior to loading. Defendants further averred that neither could the metal bar have been part of the
Vessel that had broken off and fallen into the hatch because tests conducted on the metal piece
revealed that said metal bar was not part of the Vessel.

Defendants concluded that the metal bar could only have been already co-mingled with the soybean
meal upon loading by ContiQuincyBunge at loadport, and, therefore, defendants are not liable for the
damages sustained by the unloader of ATI.


Should the petitioner be held liable for the damages sustained in the unloading of the cargo?

Yes, the Court agrees that the petitioners are liable to ATI for the damage sustained by the latter’s
unloader. However, the Court finds the petitioners’ liability to be based on quasi-delict and not on a
contract of carriage. 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.

DR. IDOL L. BONDOC, Petitioner,


G.R. No. 203080, November 12, 2014



Respondent was admitted at the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital (OMPH) on April 3, 2009, at
around 11:00am, with referral from the Bansud Municipal Health Office. She was due to deliver her
5th child and was advised for a caesarian section because her baby was big and there was excessive
amniotic fluid in her womb. She started to labor at 7:00am and was initially brought to the Bongabon
Health Center. However, said health center also told her to proceed directly to the hospital. In her
complaint-affidavit, respondent alleged that inside the delivery room of OMPH, she was attended to
by petitioner who instructed the midwife and two younger assistants to press down on respondent’s
abdomen and even demonstrated to them how to insert their fingers into her vagina. Thereafter,
petitioner went out of the delivery room and later, his assistants also left.

After hours of being in labor, respondent pleaded for a caesarian section. The midwife and the
younger assistants pressed down on her abdomen causing excruciating pains on her ribs and made
her very weak. They repeatedly did this pressing until the bay and placenta came out. When she
regained consciousness, she was already at the recovery room, she learned that an operation was
performed on her by petitioner to removed her ruptured uterus but what depressed her most was her
stillborn baby and the loss of her reproductive capacity.

The respondent noticed that her vulva swollen and there is an open wound which widened later on
and was re-stitched by petitioner. Petitioner was heard uttering words unbecoming of his profession
pertaining to the respondent’s states while in labor. Respondent filed then a complaint for grave
misconduct against the petitioner before the ombudsman. The petitioner resigned as medical officer
of OMPH, alleging that the complaint against him is now moot and academic.


Does petitioner’s conduct during the delivery of respondent’s baby constitute grave misconduct?

Yes. Misconduct is defined as a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more
particularly unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer, a forbidden act, a dereliction of
duty, willful in character, and implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgement. It generally
means wrongful, improper or unlawful conduct motivated by a premeditated, obstinate or intentional
purpose. The term, however does not necessarily imply corruption or criminal intent. To constitute an
administrative offense, misconduct should relate to or be connected with the performance of the
official functions and duties of a public officer. On the other hand, when the elements of corruption,
clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule are manifest, the public officer
shall be liable for grave misconduct.

In deliberately leaving the respondent to a midwife and two inexperienced assistants despite knowing
that she was under prolonged painful labor and about to give birth to a macrosomic baby by vaginal
delivery, petitioner clearly committed a dereliction of duty and a breach of his professional
obligations. The gravity of respondent’s conditions is highlighted by the expected complications she
suffered – her stillborn baby, a ruptured uterus that necessitated the immediate surgery and blood
transfusion and vulvar hematomas.
Article II section 1 of the code of medical ethics of the medical profession in the Philippines states: A
physician, should attend to his patients faithfully and conscientiously. He should secure fore them all
possible benefits that may depend upon his professional skill and care. As the sole tribunal to adjudge
the physician’s failure to fulfill his obligation to his patient is, in most cases, his own conscience,
violation of this rule on his part is discreditable and inexcusable.

A doctor’s duty to his patient is not required to be extraordinary. The standard contemplated for
doctors is simply the reasonable coverage merit among ordinarily good physicians i.e. reasonable skill
and competence. Even by this standard, petitioner fill short when he routinely delegated an important
task that requires his professional skill and competence to his subordinates who have no requisite
training and capability to make crucial decisions in difficult child births.

A physician should be dedicated to provide competent medical care with full professional skill and
accordance with the current standards of care, compassion, independence, and respect for human
DR. ARTURO IMBUIDO, DRA. NORMA IMBUIDO in their capacity as owners and operators

GR No. 192973 September 29, 2014



At around 3:00pm of February 3, 1992, Carmen was brought to Divine Spirit General Hospital’s
operating room for her caesarian section operation, which was to be performed by Dr. Nestor. By
5:30pm, of the same day, Pedrito was informed by his wife’s delivery of a baby boy.

In the early morning of February 4, 1992, Carmen experienced abdominal pains and difficulty in
urinating. She was diagnosed to be suffering from urinary tract infection (UTI), and was prescribed
medication by Dr. Norma.

On February 10, 1992, Pedrito noticed that Carmen’s stomach was getting bigger, but Dr. Norma
dismissed the patient’s condition as mere fratulence. When Carmen’s stomach still grows bigger
despite medications, Dr. Norma advised Pedrito of the possibility of a second operation on Carmen.
Dr. Norma, however, provided no details on its purpose and the doctor who would perform it. At
around 3:00pm on February 12, 1992 Carmen had her second operation. Later in the evening, Dr.
Norma informed Pedrito that “everything was going on fine with his wife.” The condition of Carmen,
however, did not improve. It instead worsened that on February 13, 1992, she vomited dark red
blood. At 9:30pm of the same day, Carmen died.

Per her death certificate upon information provided by the hospital, the immediate cause of Carmen’s
death was cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to cerebro vascular accident, hypertension and chronic
nephritis induced by pregnancy.

An autopsy report prepared by Dr. Partilano, medico-legal officer designate of Olongapo City,
however, provided that the cause of Carmen’s death was shock due to peritonitis severe with multiple
intestinal adhesions; status post caesarian section and exploratory laparotomy.

Pedrito claimed in his complaint that the respondents failed to exercise the degree of diligence
required of them as members of the medical profession, and were negligent for practicing surgery on
Carmen in the most unskilled, ignorant, and cruel manner.


Were the respondents liable for medical malpractice that resulted to Carmen’s death?


No. Medical malpractice or, more appropriately, medical negligence, is that type of claim which a
victim has available to him or her to redress a wrong committed by a medical professional which has
caused bodily harm. In order to successfully pursue such a claim, a patient, or his or her family as in
this case, must prove that healthcare provider, in most cases, a physician, either failed to do
something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would have done, or that he or she did
something that a reasonably prudent provider would not have done; and that failure or action caused
injury to the patient.Four essential elements must be established namely:

1.) duty; 2.) breach; 3.) injury and 4.) proximate causation. All four elements must be
present in order to find the physician negligent and thus, liable for damages.

For the trial court to give weight to Dr. Partilano’s report, it was necessary to show first Dr.
Partilano’s specialization and competence to testify on the degree of care, skill and
diligence needed for the treatment of Carmen’s case. Considering that it was not duly
established that Dr. Partilano practiced and was an expert on the fields that involved
Carmen’s condition, he could not have accurately identified the said degree of care, skill
and diligence and the medical procedure, that should have been applied.

TEODORO C. UMALI, Petitioner,

HON. ANGEL BACANI, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch IX of the Court of First
Instance of Pangasinan and FIDEL H. SAYNES, Respondents.

GR. No. L-40570 January 30, 1976



On May 14, 1972, a storm with strong rain hit the Municipality of Alcala Pangasinan, which started
from 2:00pm and lasted up to about midnight of the same day.During the storm, plantation crops and
debris on an elevated ground along the barrio road in San Pedro Ili and near the transmission line of
the Alcala Electric Plant were blown down and fell on the electric wire. As a result, the live electric
wire was cut, one end of which was left hanging on the electric post and the other fell to the ground

Barrio captain Luciano Bueno saw CiprianoBaldomero, a laborer of the Alcala Electric Plant near the
place and notified him right then and there of the broken line and asked him to fix it, but the latter
told the barrio captain that he could not do it but that he was going to look for the lineman to fix it.A
small boy of 3 years and 8 months old by the name of Manuel P. Saynes, whose house is just on the
opposite side of the road, went to the place where the broken line wire was and got in contact with
it.The boy was electrocuted and he subsequently died.

Petitioner claims that he could not be liable under the concept of quasi-delict or tort as owner and
manager of the Alcala Electric Plant because the proximate cause of the boy's death electrocution
could not be due to any negligence on his part, but rather to a fortuitous event-the storm that caused
the banana plants to fall and cut the electric line.

He also points out the absence of negligence on the part of his employee CiprianoBaldomero who
tried to have the line repaired and the presence of negligence of the parents of the child in allowing
him to leave his house during that time.


Should the petitioner as the owner and manager of the Electric Power Plant be held liable for the
death of the victim?


Yes, employee CiprianoBaldomero was negligent on the morning of the incident because even if he
was already made aware of the live cut wire, he did not have the foresight to realize that the same
posed a danger to life and property, and that he should have taken the necessary precaution to
prevent anybody from approaching the live wire;

The owner and manager of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on tile
occasion of their functions.The negligence of the employee is presumed to be the negligence of the
employer because the employer is supposed to exercise supervision over the work of the employees.
This liability of the employer is primary and direct.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


GR. No. L-21749 September 29, 1967

REYES, J.B.L., J.:


Barge owned by Luzon Stevedoring Corporation(defendant, LSC for brevity) was being towed down
the Pasig river by tugboats belonging to the same corporation.The barge rammed against one of the
wooden piles of the Nagtahan Bailey Bridge, smashing the posts and causing the bright to list. The
river, at that time, was swollen and the current swift, on account of the heavy downpour of Manila
and the surrounding provinces.Republic of the Philippines (PH) sued LSC for actual and consequential
damages caused by its employees.


Was the collision of LSC’s barge with the supports or piers of the Nagtahanbridge caused by
fortuitous event or force majeure?


No. Considering that the Nagtahan bridge was an immovable and stationary object and
uncontrovertibly provided with adequate openings for the passage of water craft, including barges
like of NSC’s, it is undeniable that the unusual event that the barge, exclusively controlled by
appellant, rammed the bridge supports raises a presumption of negligence on the part of appellant or
its employees manning the barge or the tugs that towed it. For in the ordinary course of events, such
a thing does not happen if proper case is used. Res ipsa loquitur.

NLS stresses the precautions (due diligence) taken by it: (1) that it assigned two of its most
powerful tugboats to tow down river its barge, and (2) that it assigned to the task the more
competent and experienced among its patrons, (3) had the towlines, engines and equipment
double-checked and inspected; (4) that it instructed its patrons to take extra precautions.
These very precautions, completely destroy the NLS’defense.

Casofortuito or force majeure by definition, are extraordinary events not foreseeable or

avoidable, events that could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable.” It is,
therefore, not enough that the event should not have been foreseen or anticipated, as is
commonly believed, but it must be one impossible to foresee or to avoid. The more difficulty to
foresee the happening is not impossibility to foresee the same. The very measures adopted by
NSC prove that the possibility of danger was not only foreseeable, but actually foreseen, and
was not casofortuito.

LSC, knowing and appreciating the perils posed by the swollen steam and its swift current,
voluntarily entered into a situation involving obvious danger; it therefore assured the risk, and
cannot shed responsibility merely because the precautions it adopted turned out to be

G.R No. L-68102 July 16, 1992

DAVIDE, Jr., J.:


On January 8, 1977, in PulongPulo Bridge along MacArthur Highway, between Angeles City and San
Fernando, Pampanga, a head-on-collision took place between an International cargo truck, Loadstar,
with Plate No. RF912-T, owned by private respondents and driven by Ruben Galang, and a Ford
Escort car bearing Plate No.S2-850, driven by Jose Koh. The collision resulted in the deaths of Jose
Koh, Kim Koh McKee and LoidaBondoc, and physical injuries to George Koh McKee, Christopher Koh
McKee and AraceliKoh McKee, all passengers of the Ford Escort. When the northbound car was about
(10) meters away from the southern approach of the bridge, two (2) boys suddenly darted from the
right side of the road and into the lane of the car. The boys were moving back and forth, unsure of
whether to cross all the way to the other side or turn back. Jose Koh blew the horn of the car,
swerved to the left and entered the lane of the truck; he then switched on the headlights of the car,
applied the brakes and thereafter attempted to return to his lane. Before he could do so, his car
collided with the truck. The collision occurred in the lane of the truck, which was the opposite lane,
on the said bridge.


Was the owner and driver of the Truck responsible for the collusion?


Yes. The proximate cause of the collision was the over speeding of the truck showing its negligence
and which the truck driver admitted that he was travelling at thirty miles per hour. The test of
negligence could be imputed to Jose Koh. Any reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have tried
to avoid running over the two boys by swerving the car away from where they were even if this
would mean entering the opposite lane. Avoiding such immediate peril would be natural course to
take particularly where the vehicle in the opposite lane would be several meters away and could very
well slow down, more to the side of the road and give way to the oncoming car. Moreover, under
what is known as the emergency rule, one who suddenly finds himself in a place of danger, and is
required to act without time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the impending
danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what subsequently and upon reflection may
appear to have been a better method, unless the emergency in which he finds himself is brought
about by his own negligence. Applying the foregoing doctrine, it is not difficult to rule, as we now
rule, that it was the truck driver's negligence in failing to exert ordinary care to avoid the collision
which was, in law, the proximate cause of the collision. As employers of the truck driver, the private
respondents are, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, directly and primarily liable for the resulting
damages. The presumption that they are negligent flows from the negligence of their employee.
APPEALS, respondents.

G.R. No. L-21512 August 31, 1966



In Barrio Halang, Municipality of Lumban, Province of Laguna, two trucks, one driven by
NicasioMudales and belonging to Laguna-Tayabas Bus Company, and the other driven by
AserLagunda and owned by Prospero Sabido, going in opposite directions met each other in a road
curve. AgripinoCustodia a passenger of LTB bus, who was hanging on the left side as truck was full of
passengers was sideswiped by the track driven by AserLagunda. As a result, AgripinoCustodio was
injured and died. Hence, the filing of the case.


Were the petitioners not guilty of negligence?


No. The carrier and its driver were clearly guilty of negligence for having allowed AgripinoCustodio to
ride on the running board of the bus, in violation of Section 42 of Act No. 3992, and that this
negligence was the proximate cause of Agripino's death. It should be noted, however, that the lower
court had, likewise, found the petitioners guilty of contributory negligence, which was as much a
proximate cause of the accident as the carrier's negligence, for petitioners' truck was running at a
considerable speed, despite the fact that it was negotiating a sharp curve and instead of being close
to its right side of the road, said truck was driven on its middle portion and so near the passenger bus
coming from the opposite direction as to sideswipe a passenger riding on its running board.

G.R No. 130068 October 1, 1998



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. 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 manoeuvres 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 one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered the
engine stopped. When the vessel was already about 2,000 feet from the pier, he ordered the anchor
dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the bow. The left anchor, with 2
shackles, was dropped. However, the anchor did not take hold as expected and speed did not
slacken. After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not take hold, he ordered the engines half-astern.
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 and Kavankov filed his sea protest.


Were both the pilot and the master negligent?


Yes. The negligence on the part of Capt. Gavino is evident but Capt. Kabancov is no less responsible
for the allusion. The master is still in command of the vessel notwithstanding the presence of the
pilot. A perusal of Capt. Kabankov’s testimony makes it apparent that he was remiss in the discharge
of his duties as master of the ship, leaving the entire docking procedure up to the pilot, intead of
maintaining watchful vigilance over this risky maneuver. As a general rule, the 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, being sufficient that the negligence of the
person charged with injury is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have resulted and
that such cause is not attributable to the person insured.

DY TEBAN TRADING, INC., Petitioner,.


G.R. No. 161803 February 4, 2008

REYES, R. T., J.:


Rogelio Ortiz with helper Romeo Catamora was driving a Nissan van owned by petitioner DyTeban
Trading, Inc. along the National Highway in Butuan City, going to Surigao City. A Joana Paula
passenger bus was cruising on the opposite lane towards the van. In between the two vehicles was a
parked prime mover with a trailer, owned by private respondent Liberty Forest, Inc.

The night before, the prime mover with trailer suffered a tire blowout. The driver, private respondent
CresilitoLimbaga, parked the prime mover askew occupying a substantial portion of the national
highway, on the lane of the passenger bus. He parked the prime mover with trailer at the shoulder of
the road with the left wheels still on the cemented highway and the right wheels on the sand and
gravel shoulder of the highway. Limbaga placed a banana trunk with leaves on the front and the rear
portion of the prime mover to warn incoming motorists and also placed kerosene lighted tin cans on
the front and rear of the trailer.

To avoid hitting the parked prime mover occupying its lane, the incoming passenger bus swerved to
the right, onto the lane of the approaching Nissan van. Ortiz saw two bright and glaring headlights
and the approaching passenger bus. He pumped his break slowly, swerved to the left to avoid the
oncoming bus but the van hit the front of the stationary prime mover. The passenger bus hit the rear
of the prime mover. Ortiz and Catamora only suffered minor injuries. The Nissan van, however,
became inoperable as a result of the incident. Petitioner filed a complaint for damages against private
respondents. The trial court ruled that the proximate cause of the vehicular collision was the
negligence of Limbaga in parking the prime mover on the national highway without an early warning
device on the vehicle.


Was the negligence of Limbaga the proximate cause of the collision?


Yes. Proximate cause is defined as 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. More comprehensively, proximate cause is that cause acting first and producing the injury,
either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous
chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event
in the chain immediately effecting the injury as natural and probable result of the cause which first
acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act
or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.Plaintiff must, however,
establish a sufficient link between the act or omission and the damage or injury. That link must not
be remote or far-fetched; otherwise, no liability will attach. The damage or injury must be a natural
and probable result of the act or omission.



G.R. No. 179446 January 10, 2011


On August 28, 2001, R&B Insurance issued Marine Policy No. MN-00105/2001 in favor
of Columbia to insure the shipment of 132 bundles of electric copper cathodes against All Risks.On
August 28, 2001, the cargoes were shipped on board the vessel "Richard Rey" from Isabela, Leyte, to
Pier 10, North Harbor, Manila. They arrived on the same date. Columbia engaged the services of
Glodel for the release and withdrawal of the cargoes from the pier and the subsequent delivery to its
warehouses/plants. Glodel, in turn, engaged the services of Loadmasters for the use of its delivery
trucks to transport the cargoes to Columbia’s warehouses/plants in Bulacan and Valenzuela City. The
goods were loaded on board 12 trucks owned by Loadmasters, driven by its employed drivers and
accompanied by its employed truck helpers. Of the 6 trucks route to Balagtas, Bulacan, only 5
reached the destination. 1 truck, loaded with 11 bundles or 232 pieces of copper cathodes, failed to
deliver its cargo. Later on, the said truck, was recovered but without the copper cathodes. Because of
this incident, Columbia filed with R&B Insurance a claim for insurance indemnity. After the
investigation, R&B Insurance paid Columbia the insurance indemnity and thereafter, filed a complaint
for damages against both Loadmasters and Glodelbefore the Regional Trial Court.


WereGlodel and Loadmasters guilty of negligence?


Yes. Loadmasters and Glodel, being both common carriers, are mandated from the nature of their
business and for reasons of public policy, to observe the extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over
the goods transported by them according to all the circumstances of such case. The exercise of
extraordinary diligence lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally placed in the possession of,
and received by, the carrier for transportation until the same are delivered, actually or constructively,
by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person who has a right to receive them.

Whenever an employee’s negligence causes damage or injury to another, there instantly arises a
presumption that the employer failed to exercise in the selectionor supervision initsemployees.To
avoid liability for a quasi-delict committed by its employee, an employer must present convincing
proof that he exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of his employee. In this regard, Loadmasters failed. Glodel is also liable because of its
failure to exercise extraordinary diligence. It failed to ensure that Loadmasters would fully comply
with the undertaking to safely transport the subject cargo to the designated destination. It should
have been more prudent in entrusting the goods to Loadmasters by taking precautionary measures,
such as providing escorts to accompany the trucks in delivering the cargoes. Glodel, therefore, is held
liable with Loadmasters.

JOSE CANGCO, plaintiff-appellant,

MANILA RAILROAD CO., defendant-appellee.

G.R. L-12191 October 14, 1918


On January 20, 1915, Jose Cangco was riding the train of Manila Railroad Company where he was an
employee. As the train drew near to his destination, he arose from his seat. When he was about to
alight from the train, Cangco accidentally stepped on a sack of watermelons which he failed to notice
because it was already 7:00pm and it was dim when it happened. As a result, he slipped and fell
violently on the platform. His right arm was badly crushed and lacerated which was eventually

Cangco sued Manila Railroad Company on the ground of negligence of its employees placing the
sacks of melons upon the platform and in leaving them so placed as to be a menace to the security of
passenger alighting from the company’s trains.

The company’s defense was that granting that its employees were negligent in placing an obstruction
upon the platform, the direct and proximate cause of the injury suffered by plaintiff was his own
contributing negligence.


Was there a contributing negligence on the part of the plaintiff?


No. 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.The place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and off
the train at the 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. The Supreme Court’s conclusion was 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.

VICENTE CALALAS, petitioner,


G.R. No. 122039 May 31, 2000



Private respondent Eliza Jujeurche G. Sunga took a passenger jeepney owned and operated by
petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was already full, the conductor gave Sunga a stool as an
“extension seat” at the back of the door at the rear end of the vehicle.

Along the way, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. As Sunga was seated at the rear of the
vehicle, she stepped down to give way when an Isuzu truck owned by Francisco Salva and driven by
IglecerioVerena bumped the jeepney.

As a result, Sunga was injured. She sustained a fracture and was confined at the hospital for fifteen
days. Her attending surgeon certified that she would remain on a cast for a period of three months
and would have to ambulate in crutched during the said period.

Sungafiled a complaint against Calalas for violation of contract of carriage. Calalas then filed a third
party complaint against Salva.

The trial court held Salva liable and absolved Calalas, taking cognisance of another civil case for
quasi-delict wherein Salva and Verena were held liable to Calalas for the damage to his jeepney. The
Court of Appeals reversed the decision 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 required
diligence in which Calalas was found liable to Sunga for violation of contract of carriage.

Was the Appellate Court correct in ruling that the cause of action of Sunga was based on contract of
carriage and not on quasi-delict?


Yes. The cause of action of Sunga should not be based on quasi-delict but rather on the contract of
carriage. Quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra contractual, has as its source the
negligence of the tortfeasor while 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 destination.

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 petitioners 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.

In the case at bar, upon the happening of the accident, the presumption of negligence at once arose,
and it became the duty of the petitioner to prove that he had to observe extraordinary diligence in
the care of his passengers.
However, the Court found several factors the militate against the petitioner’s contention. First, that
the jeepney was not properly parked when petitioner’s driver unloaded the passenger and second, it
is undisputed that the petitioner’s driver took in more passengers that the allowed seating capacity.

The fact that Sunga was seated in an "extension seat" placed her in a peril greater than that to which
the other passengers were exposed. Therefore, not only was petitioner unable to overcome the
presumption of negligence imposed on him for the injury sustained by Sunga, but also, the evidence
shows he was actually negligent in transporting passengers.

Thus, the decision of the Court of Appeals has been affirmed.

M. H., RAKES, plaintiff-appellee,

G.R. No. 1719 January 23, 1907



The plaintiff was one of eight laborers of the defendant company. They were transporting iron rails
from a harbor to the company yard by hand car. Some laborers would push the hand car while some
would assist by pulling the hand car by a rope. The plaintiff was walking alongside the hand car. At a
certain spot at or near the water's edge, the track which guided the hand car had sagged, the tie
broke, the car either canted or upset, the rails slid off and caught the plaintiff, breaking his leg, which
was afterwards amputated at about the knee.

The plaintiff sought for damages against the defendant alleging that the accident happened through
the negligence of the defendant.

The courts found the defendant liable; that implied by the relation between the parties, the employer
is bound to provide safe appliances for the use of the employee; that it was the duty of the defendant
to build and to maintain its track in reasonably sound condition, so as to protect its workingmen from
unnecessary danger; that defendant failed in its duty, otherwise the accident could not have occurred
and, consequently, the negligence of the defendant is established.

The most controverted question in the case was whether the plaintiff committed contributed
negligence on the grounds that (1) he noticed the depression in the track he continued his work, and
(2) he walked on the ends of the ties at the side of the car instead of along the boards, either before
or behind it.


Was there a contributed negligence by the plaintiff?


The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, but deducted from the award the amount fairly attributable to
the plaintiff’s negligence.

Difficulty seems to be apprehended in deciding which acts of the injured party shall be considered
immediate causes of the accident. The test is simple. Distinction must be between the accident and
the injury, between the event itself, without which there could have been no accident, and those acts
of the victim not entering into it, independent of it, but contributing under review was the
displacement of the crosspiece or the failure to replace it. This produced the event giving occasion for
damages — that is, the shinking of the track and the sliding of the iron rails.

To this event, the act of the plaintiff in walking by the side of the car did not contribute, although it
was an element of the damage which came to himself. Had the crosspiece been out of place wholly
or partly thorough his act of omission of duty, the last would have been one of the determining
causes of the event or accident, for which he would have been responsible. Where he contributes to
the principal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he cannot recover.

Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to his own 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 imprudence.


SOTERO REMOQUILLO, in his own behalf and as guardian of the minors MANUEL,
MAGNO, SALUD MAGNO, and the COURT OF APPEALS (Second Division), Respondents.

G.R. No. L-8328 May 18, 1956



Magno went to the 3-story house of Peñaloza, his stepbrother, located on Rodriguez Lanuza Street,
Manila, to repair a “media agua” said to be in a leaking condition. The “media agua” was just below
the window of the third story. Standing on said “media agua”, Magno received from his son thru that
window a 3’ X 6’ galvanized iron sheet to cover the leaking portion, turned around and in doing so the
lower end of the iron sheet came into contact with the electric wire of the Manila Electric Company
strung parallel to the edge of the “media agua” and 2 1/2 feet from it, causing his death by

The electric wire in question was an exposed, uninsulated primary wire stretched between poles on
the street and carrying a charge of 3,600 volts. It was installed there some 2 years before Peñaloza’s
house was constructed and there was a previous accident happened there where a piece of wood
held by a carpenter touched it producing sparks.

Magno’s widow and children filed for damages against Manila Electric wherein the RTC rendered
judgment in respondent’s favour.


Should Manila Electric Company be held liable for Magno’s death?


No. The death of Magno was primarily caused by his own negligence and in some measure by the too
close proximity of the “media agua” or rather its edge to the electric wire of the company by reason
of the violation of the original permit given by the city and the subsequent approval of said illegal
construction of the “media agua.”

Although the city ordinance called for a distance of 3 feet of its wires from any building, there was a
distance of 7 feet and 2 3/4 inches of the wires from the side of the house of Peñaloza. Had the
house owner followed the terms of the permit given him by the city for the construction of his “media
agua”, namely, one meter or 39 3/8 inches wide, the distance from the wires to the edge of said
“media agua” would have been 3 feet and 11 3/8 inches. The house owner disregarding the permit,
exceeded the one meter fixed by the same by 17 3/8 inches and leaving only a distance of 2 1/2 feet
between the “Media agua” as illegally constructed and the electric wires. And added to this violation
of the permit by the house owner, was its approval by the city through its agent.

When he was called by his stepbrother to repair the “media agua” just below the third story window,
it is to be presumed that due to his age and experience he was qualified to do so. But unfortunately,
in the instant care, his training and experience failed him, and forgetting where he was standing,
holding the 6-feet iron sheet with both hands and at arms length, evidently without looking, and
throwing all prudence and discretion to the winds, he turned around swinging his arms with the
motion of his body, thereby causing his own electrocution.

A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of an action if such remote cause did nothing
more than furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible, if
there intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated,
and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have happened but for such
condition or occasion.

If no danger existed in the condition except because of the independent cause, such condition was
not the proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or defective condition sets into
operation the circumstances which result in injury because of the prior defective condition, such
subsequent act or condition is the proximate cause.

In view of all the foregoing, the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby reversed and the
complaint filed against the Company is hereby dismissed.
BUTARO YAMADA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

G.R. L-10073 December 24, 1915



The plaintiffs, together with three companions, hired an automobile from the defendant taxicab
company for a trip to Cavite Viejo. The automobile was secured at a certain price hour and was
driven and controlled by a chauffeur supplied by the taxicab company. The journey to Cavite Viejo
was made without incident but, on the return trip, while crossing the tracks of defendant railroad
company in the barrio of San Juan, municipality of Cavite Viejo, the automobile was struck by a train
and the plaintiffs injured.
The trial court dismissed the complaint on the merits as to the Manila Railroad Company and held the
defendant taxicab company liable for damages to the plaintiffs in various amounts. The taxicab
company appealed.

However, the trial court found out the driver of the automobile drove his machine upon the railroad
tracks without observing the precautions which ordinary care and prudence would require, without
reducing speed and without taking any precautions looking to determining whether there was danger
from any train or locomotive. The driver was likewise guilty of gross negligence and that said
negligence was the proximate cause of the accident. Further, the driver had been instructed by the
taxicab company to approach and pass over railroad tracks in the manner and form followed.


Should the defendant taxicab company and the defendant railroad company be both held liable upon
the injuries suffered by plaintiffs?


No. The defendant taxicab company should only be the one held liable for the plaintiffs.

The defendant taxicab company failed to comply with one of the essential requirements of the law of
negligence in this jurisdiction, that of supervision and instruction, including the promulgation of
proper rules and regulations and the formulation and publication of proper instructions for their
guidance in cases where such rules and regulations and instructions are necessary.

It was the custom of the driver to approach and pass over railroad crossings without adequate
precautions, and that such custom was known to and had been sanctioned by the officials of the
taxicab company.

In addition, the driver was negligent. it was clearly the duty of the driver to reduce the speed of his
car and the noise to such an extent that he would be able to determine from the unrestricted and
uninterrupted use of all his faculties whether or not a train was near. It is the law that a person must
use ordinary care and prudence in passing over a railroad crossing.

However, the records show that the chauffeur drove upon the tracks without investigation or
precaution of any kind.

Practice which is dangerous to human life cannot ripen into a custom which will protect anyone who
follows it. To go upon a railroad crossing without making any effort to ascertain the approach of a
train is so hazardous an act and one so dangerous to life, that no one may be permitted to excuse
himself who does it, provided injury result.

GNACIO DEL PRADO, plaintiff-appellee,

MANILA ELECTRIC CO., defendant-appellant.

G.R. L-29462 March 7, 1929


TeodoricoFlorenciano, Meralco’s motorman, was driving the company’s street car along Hidalgo
Street. Plaintiff Ignacio Del Prado ran across the street to catch the car. The motorman eased up but
did not put the car into complete stop. Plaintiff was able to get hold of the rail and step his left foot
when the car accelerated. As a result, plaintiff slipped off and fell to the ground. His foot was crushed
by the wheel of the car. He filed a complaint for culpa contractual.


(1) Was the motorman negligent?

(2) Should MERALCO be liable for breach of contract of carriage?
(3) Was there contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff?


(1) It was observed at the outset that there is no obligation on the part of a street railway company
to stop its cars to let on intending passengers at other points than those appointed for stoppage.
Nevertheless, although the motorman of this car was not bound to stop to let the plaintiff on, it was
his duty to do no act that would have the effect of increasing the plaintiff's peril while he was
attempting to board the car. The premature acceleration of the car was, in our opinion, a breach of
this duty.

(2) The relation between a carrier of passengers for hire and its patrons is of a contractual nature;
and a failure on the part of the carrier to use due care in carrying its passengers safely is a breach of
duty (culpa contractual). Furthermore, the duty that the carrier of passengers owes to its patrons
extends to persons boarding the cars as well as to those alighting therefrom.

Where liability arises from a mere tort (culpa aquiliana), not involving a breach of positive obligation,
an employer, or master, may exculpate himself by proving that he had exercised due diligence to
prevent the damage; whereas this defense is not available if the liability of the master arises from a
breach of contractual duty (culpa contractual). In the case before us the company pleaded as a
special defense that it had used all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage
suffered by the plaintiff; and to establish this contention the company introduced testimony showing
that due care had been used in training and instructing the motorman in charge of this car in his art.
But this proof is irrelevant in view of the fact that the liability involved was derived from a breach of

(3) It is obvious that the plaintiff's negligence in attempting to board the moving car was not the
proximate cause of the injury. The direct and proximate cause of the injury was the act of appellant's
motorman in putting on the power prematurely. Again, the situation before us is one where the
negligent act of the company's servant succeeded the negligent act of the plaintiff, and the
negligence of the company must be considered the proximate cause of the injury. The rule here
applicable seems to be analogous to, if not identical with that which is sometimes referred to as the
doctrine of "the last clear chance." In accordance with this doctrine, the contributory negligence of
the party injured will not defeat the action if it be shown that the defendant might, by the exercise of
reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the consequences of the negligence of the injured party.
The negligence of the plaintiff was, however, contributory to the accident and must be considered as
a mitigating circumstance.

G.R. No. 129792 December 21, 1999


When respondent Criselda was signing her credit card slip at payment and verification counter in
Syvels Department Store in Makati, she felt a sudden gust of wind a heard a loud sound. She looked
behind her and saw her daughter Zhieneth (6 years old) on the floor pinned by the bulk of the stores
gift-wrapping counter.

She was rushed to the hospital but died after 14 days.

Private respondents filed a complaint for damages.

Petitioners on the other hand, denied any liability imputing the negligence to Criselda for allowing her
daughter to roam freely in the department store. Alleging further, that the deceased committed
contributory negligence when she climbed the counter. Also herein petitioners defense is that they
have exercised due diligence of a good father of a family in the selection, supervision and control of
their employees.

Trial Court favored petitioners, contemplating that Zhieneth’s action is the proximate cause of the

CA favored respondents on it declared that ZHIENETH, who was below seven (7) years old at the
time of the incident, was absolutely incapable of negligence or other tort. It reasoned that since a
child under nine (9) years could not be held liable even for an intentional wrong, then the six-year old
ZHIENETH could not be made to account for a mere mischief or reckless act. It also absolved
CRISELDA of any negligence, finding nothing wrong or out of the ordinary in momentarily allowing
ZHIENETH to walk while she signed the document at the nearby counter.


(1) Was Zhieneth guilty of contributory negligence?

(2) Was the death of Zhieneth accidental or attributable to negligence?


(1) No. Anent the negligence imputed to Zhieneth, the Court apply the conclusive presumption that
favors children below nine (9) years old in that they are incapable of contributory negligence

In our jurisdiction, a person under nine years of age is conclusively presumed to have acted without
discernment, and is, on that account, exempt from criminal liability. The same presumption and a like
exemption from criminal liability obtain in a case of a person over nine and under fifteen years of age,
unless it is shown that he has acted with discernment.

(2) Negligence. An accident pertains to an unforeseen event in which no fault or negligence attaches
to the defendant.

Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations
which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a
prudent and reasonable man would not do.
The Court ruled that the tragedy which befell Zhieneth was no accident and that Zhieneth’s death
could only be attributed to negligence.

Part of res gestae. Statements made by a person while a startling occurrence is taking place or
immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof, may be given in
evidence as part of the res gestae. So, also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to
the issue, and giving it a legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae.
CAGAYAN II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., represented by its General Manager and
Chief Executive Officer, GABRIEL A. TORDESILLAS, Petitioner,

G.R. No.199886 December 3, 2014


At around 9:00 pm, a motorcycle incident with 3 passengers figured in mishap along the National
Highway of Maddalero, Buguey, Cagayan. It was driven by CamilioTangonan who died from the
accident, while his companions Allan Rapanan and Erwin Coloma Suffered injuries. The common law
wife of Camilio, Mary GineTangonan filed before the RTC a complaint for damages against Cagayan II
Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CECI) for damages.

Rapanan and Coloma alleged that they were hit by a live tension wire due to strong winds from one
of the electric posts owned by CECI. The mishap was due the failure of CECI to fix said tension wire
despite being immediately informed by residents in the area that it might pose an immediate danger
to persons, animals and vehicles passing along the highway. Due to such incident they suffered
physical injuries including burns from the live tension wire.

On the other hand, CECI alleges that it was due to the storm that the poles fell and the wires cut,
that they moved them to the side 5m away from the road, and that it was probably due to the
negligence pf Camilio.

The Rapanan and Coloma, along with the body of Camilio were brought to Alfonso Ponce Medical
Memorial District Hospital and were attended by Dr. Tiffany Hassim who alleged that there were no
burn marks as alleged by Rapanan and Coloma, and the autopsy of Camilio also did not show burn
marks but instead strangle marks, probably due to the wires.

For CECI’s witnesses they presented SPO2 Pedro Tactac who testified that there was a skid mark 30m
from the motorcycle and that it was caused by the foot rest and was probably due to the motorcycle
over speeding. TranquilinoRasos and Rodolfo Adviento corroborated that there was a typhoon and
the lines were cut and poles fell, and that they moved the debris 5m away from the road.

The RTC ruled in favor of CECI, but CA reversed said decision.


Was CECI’s negligence in maintenance of its facilities the proximate cause of the death of Camilio and
injuries of Rapanan?


No. The foregoing shows that the motorcycle was probably running too fast that it lost control and
started tilting and sliding eventually which made its foot rest caused the skid mark on the road.
Therefore, the mishap already occurred even while they were on the road and away frompetitioner’s
electric wires and was not caused by the latter as alleged by respondents. It just so happened that
after the motorcycle tilted and slid, the passengers were thrown off to the shoulder where the electric
wires were.

This Court hence agrees with the trial court that the proximate cause of the mishap was the
negligence of Camilo. Had Camilo driven the motorcycle at an average speed, the three passengers
would not have been thrown off from the vehicle towards the shoulder and eventually strangulated
by the electric wires sitting thereon. Moreover, it was also negligent of Camilo to have allowed two
persons to ride with him and for Rapanan to ride with them when the maximum number of
passengers of a motorcycle is two including the driver. This most likely even aggravated the situation
because the motorcycle was overloaded which made it harder to drive and control. When the
plaintiff’s own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover
damages. As to the second issue, assuming arguendo that petitioner was indeed negligent, the
appellate court erred in awarding damages in favor of Camilo’s legal heirs since they were not
impleaded in the case. It should be noted that it was Mary Gine, the common law wife of Camilo, who
is the complainant in the case. As a mere common law