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ONG, plaintiffs-appellants,
FACTS: Defendant owns and operates three recreational swimming pools at its Balara
filters, Diliman, Quezon City, to which people are invited and for which a nominal fee is
charged . 14 year old Dominador Ong drowned while swimming in one of those pools.
Defendant admits the fact that plaintiffs’ son was drowned in one of its swimming
pools but avers that his death was caused by his own negligence or by unavoidable
accident. Defendant also avers that it had exercised due diligence in the selection of,
and supervision over, its employees and that it had observed the diligence required by
law under the circumstances.
After trial, the lower court found that the action of plaintiffs is untenable and
dismissed the complaint without pronouncement as to costs. Plaintiffs took the case on
appeal directly to this Court because the amount involved exceeds the sum of P50,000.
ISSUE: WON the death of minor Dominador Ong can be attributed to the negligence of
defendant and/or its employees so as to entitle plaintiffs to recover damages.
HELD: No. There is sufficient evidence to show that appellee has taken all necessary
precautions to avoid danger to the lives of its patrons or prevent accident which may
cause their death. Thus, it has been shown that the swimming pools of appellee are
provided with a ring buoy, toy roof, towing line, oxygen resuscitator and a first aid
medicine kit. The bottom of the pools is painted with black colors so as to insure clear
visibility. There is on display in a conspicuous place within the area certain rules and
regulations governing the use of the pools. Appellee employs six lifeguards who are all
trained as they had taken a course for that purpose and were issued certificates of
proficiency. There is a male nurse and a sanitary inspector with a clinic provided with
oxygen resuscitator. And there are security guards who are available always in case of
The record also shows that when the body of minor Ong was retrieved from the
bottom of the pool, the employees of appellee did everything possible to bring him back
to life, from manual resuscitation to calling for a doctor. All of the foregoing shows that
appellee has done what is humanly possible under the circumstances to restore life to
minor Ong and for that reason it is unfair to hold it liable for his death.
The decision is affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs.
G.R. No. L-51806 November 8, 1988
FACTS: On December 13, 1968, Ernest E. Simke , Honorary Consul Geileral of Israel
in the Philippines, with several other persons went to the Manila International Airport to
meet his future son-in-law. In order to get a better view of the incoming passengers, he
and his group proceeded to the viewing deck or terrace of the airport. While walking on
the terrace filled with other people, he slipped over an elevation about 4 inches high at
the far end of the terrace. As a result, private respondent fell on his back and broke his
thigh bone.
The next day, December 14, 1968, private respondent was operated on for about three
hours. 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.
Petitioner contends that the National Airports Commission is the original party.
ISSUE: WON Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) was negligent as the entity
empowered "to administer, operate, manage, control, maintain and develop the Manila
International Airport
HELD: Yes. Civil Aeronautics Administration is the heir or legal representative of
National Airports Corporation, acting by the law of its creation upon its own rights and in
its own name. The better practice there should have been to make the Civil Aeronautics
Administration the third-party defendant instead of the National Airports Corporation.
CAA as an agency is not immune from suit, it being engaged in functions
pertaining to a private entity
This 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
inclination itself is an architectural anomaly for as stated by the said witness, it is neither
a ramp because a ramp is an inclined surface in such a way that it will prevent people or
pedestrians from sliding.
Article 1173 of the Civil Code, "(t)he 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 CAA in maintaining the viewing deck, a facility open to
the public, requires that CAA insure the safety of the viewers using it.
Contributory negligence under Article 2179 of the Civil Code contemplates a
negligent act or omission on the part of the plaintiff, which although not the proximate
cause of his injury, contributed to his own damage, the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s
own injury being the defendant's lack of due care. There is none in the present case.
Decision of the CA is affirmed, to wit:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff
the amount of P15,589.55 as full reimbursement of his actual medical and hospital
expenses, with interest at the legal rate from the commencement of the suit; the amount
of P20,200.00 as consequential damages; the amount of P30,000.00 as moral
damages; the amount of P40,000.00 as exemplary damages; the further amount of
P20,000.00 as attorney's fees and the costs [Rollo, p. 24].
G.R. No. L-57079 September 29, 1989
Facts: Spouses Esteban were riding their jeep when they ran over an earth mound and
fell in an open trench on the road resulting to slight injuries to the husband and serious
injuries to the wife. The windshield of the jeep was also shattered due to the accident.
Spouses Esteban accused PLDT of negligence because of lack of warning signs placed
near the manhole dug resulting on the earth mound on the road causing injuries to the
wife. PLDT contends the injuries were the result of the negligence of the independent
contractor the company hired (Barte) and should be the one held liable and not the
company. RTC ruled in favour of the spouses while the CA under Justice Agrava as
ponente reversed the decision of the RTC.

Issue: WON PLDT can be held liable for the injuries caused to spouses Esteban
Held: PLDT and Barte contends that the independent contractor placed signs on the
road and that it was the fault of Mr. Esteban because he did not diligently drive the
jeepney. Mr. Esteban had quickly swerved from the outer lane thereby hitting the earth
mound. SC finds no error in the findings of the respondent court in its original decision
that the accident which befell private respondents was due to the lack of diligence of
respondent Antonio Esteban and was not imputable to negligent omission on the part of
petitioner PLDT.
The findings clearly show that the negligence of respondent Antonio Esteban
was not only contributory to his injuries and those of his wife but goes to the very cause
of the occurrence of the accident, as one of its determining factors, and thereby
precludes their right to recover damages. The presence of warning signs could not have
completely prevented the accident; the only purpose of said signs was to inform and
warn the public of the presence of excavations on the site. The private respondents
already knew of the presence of said excavations. It was not the lack of knowledge of
these excavations which caused the jeep of respondents to fall into the excavation but
the unexplained sudden swerving of the jeep from the inside lane towards the accident
G.R. No. 1719 January 23, 1907
M. H., RAKES, plaintiff-appellee,
FACTS: 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.
ISSUE: Whether there was contributed negligence by the plaintiff.
HELD: 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
Accepting, though with some hesitation, the judgment of the trial court, fixing the
damage incurred by the plaintiff at 5,000 pesos, the equivalent of 2,500 dollars, United
States money, SC deducted therefrom 2,500 pesos, the amount fairly attributable to his
negligence, and direct judgment to be entered in favor of the plaintiff for the resulting
sum of 2,500 pesos, with cost of both instances, and ten days hereafter let the case be
remanded to the court below for proper action.
G.R. No. L-65295 March 10, 1987
FACTS: In the early morning of November 15 1975 at about 1:30 am private respondent
Leonardo Dionisio was on his way home, he lived in 1214-B Zamora Street, Bangkal,
Makati from a cocktails-and-dinner meeting with his boss, the general manager of
marketing corporation.
During these cocktails phase of the evening, Dionisio had taken “a shot or two” of
liquor. Dionisio was driving his Volkswagen car and had just crossed the intersection of
General Lacuna and General Santos Streets at Bangkal, Makati, not far from his home,
and was proceeding down General Lacuna Street, when his car headlights suddenly
failed. He switched his headlights on “bright” and thereupon he saw a Ford dumptruck,
owned by and registered in the name of petitioner Phoenix Construction Inc., was
parked on the right hand side of General Lacuna Street facing the oncoming traffic. The
dumptruck was parked askew in such a manner as to stick out onto the street, partly
blocking the way of oncoming traffic. There were no lights nor any so-called “early
warning” reflector devices set anywhere near the dumptruck, front or rear.
The dumptruck had earlier that evening been driven home by petitioner Armando
U. Carbonel, its regular driver, with the permission of his employer Phoenix, in view of
work scheduled to be carried out early the following morning, Dioniso claimed that he
tried to avoid a collision by swerving his car to the left but it was too late and his car
smashed into the dump truck. As a result of the collision, Dionisio suffered some
physical injuries including some permanent facial scars, a “nervous breakdown” and
loss of two gold bridge dentures. Dionisio commenced an action for damages in the
Court of First Instance of Pampanga.

ISSUE: Whether or not the collision is caused by the way the ford dumptruck was
parked or by the negligence of the respondent?
HELD: Both were negligent but the cause of accident of Dionisio was the wrongful and
negligent manner in which the truck was parked without any early warning reflector
devices anywhere near it front or rear. The collision of the car and the truck is a natural
and foreseeable consequences of the truck driver’s negligence. The negligence of the
truck driver is far from being “passive and static condition” it is an indispensable and
efficient cause. The improper parking of the dumptruck created an unreasonable risk of
injury for anyone driving down General Lacuna Street and for having so created this
risk, the truck driver must be held responsible. The respondents negligence is merely
contributory and the damages therefore that he will recover is subject to mitigation by
the courts.
COURT DECISION: Turning to the award of damages and taking into account the
comparative negligence of private respondent Dionisio on one hand and petitioners
Carbonel and Phoenix upon the other hand we believe that the demands of substantial
justice are satisfied by allocating most of the damages on a 20-80 ratio. Wherefore, the
decision of the respondent appellate court is modified by reducing the aggregate
amount of compensatory damages, loss of expected income and moral damages
private respondent Dionisio is entitled 20% of such amount
Thus, 20% of the damages awarded by the respondent appellate court, except
the award of P10,000.00 as exemplary damages and P4,500.00 as attorney's fees and
costs, shall be borne by private respondent Dionisio; only the balance of 80% needs to
be paid by petitioners Carbonel and Phoenix who shall be solidarity liable therefor to the
former. The award of exemplary damages and attorney's fees and costs shall be borne
exclusively by the petitioners. Phoenix is of course entitled to reimbursement from
G.R. No. 160889 April 27, 2007
SPS. JOHN DAVID Z. GO and NORA S. GO, Respondents.
FACTS: Nora Go gave birth to her 4th child. Two hours later, she suffered profuse
bleeding inside her womb due to some placenta parts which were not completely
expelled after delivery. She then suffered hypovolemic shock, so her BP dropped to
40/0. Dr. Milagros Cantre, an Ob-Gyne specialist and Nora’s attending physician,
together with an assisting resident physician, performed various medical procedures to
stop the bleeding and to restore Nora’s BP. While Dr. Cantre was massaging Nora’s
uterus for it to contract and stop bleeding, she ordered a droplight to warm Nora and her
baby. At that time, she was unconscious.
While in the recovery room, Nora’s husband John David noticed a fresh gaping wound
(2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in) in the inner portion of her left arm near the armpit. When he asked the
nurses about the cause of the injury, he was informed that it was due to a burn. John
David filed a request for investigation. Dr. Cantre said that what caused the injury was
the blood pressure cuff. John David brought Nora to the NBI for a physical examination.
The medico-legal said that the injury appeared to be a burn and that a droplight when
placed near the skin for about 10 minutes could cause such burn. He dismissed the
likelihood that the wound was caused by a blood pressure cuff since the scar was not
around the arm, but just on one side of the arm. Nora’s injury was referred to a plastic
surgeon for skin grafting. However, her arm would never be the same–the surgery left
an unsightly scar, her movements are restricted, and the injured arm aches at the
slightest touch.
Sps. Go filed a complaint for damages against Dr. Cantre, the medical director, and the
hospital. In the RTC, parties have rested their respective cases, but the court admitted
additional exhibits [consist mostly of medical records produced by the hospital during
trial pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum] offered by Sps. Go, which were not testified
to by any witness. RTC ruled in favor of the spouses. CA affirmed RTC with modification
(complaint dismissed with respect to the medical director and the hospital; only moral
damages awarded).
ISSUE: a.) Are the questioned additional exhibits admissible in evidence
b.) Is petitioner liable for the injury suffered by respondent Nora Go
a.) Yes. The SC agrees with the Court of Appeals that said exhibits are
admissible in evidence. The questioned exhibits consist mostly of Nora’s medical
records, which were produced by the hospital during trial pursuant to a subpoena duces
tecum. Petitioner’s counsel admitted the existence of the same when they were formally
offered for admission by the trial court. In any case, given the particular circumstances
of this case, a ruling on the negligence of petitioner may be made based on the res ipsa
loquitur doctrine even in the absence of such additional exhibits.
In medical negligence cases, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur allows the mere
existence of an injury to justify a presumption of negligence on the part of the person
who controls the instrument causing the injury, provided that the following requisites
1. Accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur absent
someone’s negligence. Wound not an ordinary occurrence in the act of
delivering a baby; could not have happened unless negligence set in

2. Caused by an instrumentality within defendant’s exclusive control. It

doesn’t matter WON the injury was caused by the droplight or by the blood
pressure cuff, since both are within the exclusive control of the physician
in charge [Dr. Cantre] under the captain of the ship doctrine [surgeon in
charge of an operation is held liable for his assistants’ negligence during
the time when they are under the surgeon’s control.

3. Possibility of contributing conduct which would make plaintiff

responsible is eliminated. Wound could only be caused by something
external to and outside the control of Nora since she was unconscious
while in hypervolemic shock.
All of these three requisites were present in the case at bar.
Under the captain of the ship doctrine, the surgeon in charge of the operation is
liable for the negligence of his assistants during the time when those are under the
surgeon's control.
b. Yes. The Hippocratic oath mandates physicians to give primordial
consideration to the well-being of their patients. If a doctor fails to live up to his precept,
he is accountable for his acts. This is notwithstanding, courts face a unique restraint in
adjudicating medical negligence cases because physicians are not guardians of care
and they never set out to intentionally cause injury to their patients. However, intent is
immaterial in negligence cases because where negligence exists and is proven, it
automatically gives the injured a right to reparation for the damage caused.
FACTS: Natividad Agana (Natividad) was rushed to Medical City General Hospital
(MCGH) because of difficulty in bowel movement and bloody discharge. After a series
of examinations, Dr. Miguel Ampil (Ampil) diagnosed her to be suffering from “cancer of
the sigmoid”. Natividad underwent surgery under Dr. Ampil. Dr. Juan Fuentes (Fuentes)
was then tasked to perform hysterectomy on her, with consent obtained from her
husband. Due to her left ovary was affected and thus some portions of it was removed.
It was found out after the operation that 2 sponges were missing. No one informed
Natividad of such fact.
Natividad was released from the hospital, but after a couple of days experienced
excruciating pain, thus they consulted with Dr. Ampil who said that it was normal after
receiving the surgery, and further suggested that they see an oncologist to examine the
remaining cancerous nodes that were not removed from the surgery.
They went to the US to seek further treatment, and after 4 months she was told
she was free of cancer, and thus returned to the Philippines. Upon return she still felt
pain. Her daughter then found a piece of gauze sticking out from her vagina. They
informed Dr. Ampil, who immediately proceeded to her house and extracted the gauze,
and reassured that the pains would stop. However, the pain did not cease and further
intensified. It was found later on that there was another gauze found in her vagina which
infected the same and necessitated surgery to heal the damage.
Spouses Agana filed with the RTC of Quezon city a complaint for damages
against PSI (owner of MCGH), Dr. Ampil, and Dr. Fuentes. At the same time, they also
filed an administrative complaint before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
against said doctors.
The RTC ruled in favor of the Aganas which maid PSI and the doctors to be
jointly and severally liable for damages. During which, the PRC board of Medicine
rendered its decision dismissing the case Against Dr. Fuentes, as the prosecution failed
to show that Dr. Fuentes was the one who left the 2 pieces of gauze inside Natividad’s
body, and that he concealed the fact from Natividad.
Dr. Ampil and PSI filed an appeal before the CA, but was denied. The CA
dismissed the case against Dr. Fuentes, and held Dr. Ampil and PSI liable. Dr. Ampil
filed an MR but was denied, hence this petition.
1.) Whether Dr. Ampil is liable for medical malpractice and negligence
2.) Whether it was proper for the court to dismiss the case of Dr. Fuentes
3.) Whether Psi is liable for damages due to the negligence of said doctors

1.) YES. An operation requiring the placing of sponges in the incision is not complete
until the sponges are properly removed, and it is settled that the leaving of sponges or
other foreign substances in the wound after the incision has been closed is at least
prima facie negligence by the operating surgeon.
To put it simply, such act is considered so inconsistent with due care as to raise
an inference of negligence. There are even legions of authorities to the effect that such
act is negligence per se. Dr. Ampil’s contention that it might be Dr. Fuente are merely
conjectures for he has not provided with any evidence to support his claim.
To prove that there is medical malpractice or medical negligence it is tasked
upon the patient to prove the following: duty, breach, injury and proximate causation. Dr,
Ampil, as the lead surgeon, had the duty to remove all foreign objects, such as gauzes,
from Natividad’s body before closure of the incision. When he failed to do so, it was his
duty to inform Natividad about it. Dr. Ampil breached both duties.
Such breach caused injury to Natividad, necessitating her further examination by
American doctors and another surgery. That Dr. Ampil’s negligence is the proximate
cause of Natividad’s injury could be traced from his act of closing the incision despite
the information given by the attending nurses that two pieces of gauze were still missing
2.) YES, Res Ipsa Loquitur will not lie because the absence of control and management
of the thing which caused the injury to be wanting. The following are the requisites of
the doctrine.
(a) The occurrence of an injury;
(b) The thing which caused the injury was under the control and management of
the defendant;
(c) The occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of things, would not
have happened if those who had control or management used proper care; and
(d) The absence of explanation by the defendant Under the "Captain of the Ship"
rule, the operating surgeon is the person in complete charge of the surgery room and all
personnel connected with the operation.
Their duty is to obey his orders. As stated before, Dr. Ampil was the lead
surgeon. In other words, he was the "Captain of the Ship." That he discharged such role
is evident from his following conduct: (1) calling Dr. Fuentes to perform a hysterectomy;
(2) examining the work of Dr. Fuentes and finding it in order; (3) granting Dr. Fuentes’
permission to leave; and (4) ordering the closure of the incision. To our mind, it was this
act of ordering the closure of the incision notwithstanding that two pieces of gauze
remained unaccounted for, that caused injury to Natividad’s body. Clearly, the control
and management of the thing which caused the injury was in the hands of Dr. Ampil, not
Dr. Fuentes.
3.) YES, under the following reasons
a) Ramos v. CA doctrine on E-E relationship -For purposes of apportioning
responsibility in medical negligence cases, an employer-employee relationship in effect
exists between hospitals and their attending and visiting physicians.
b) Agency principle of apparent authority / agency by estoppel - Imposes
liability because of the actions of a principal or employer in somehow misleading the
public into believing that the relationship or the authority exists [see NCC 1869] - PSI
publicly displays in the Medical City lobby the names and specializations of their
physicians. Hence, PSI is now estopped from passing all the blame to the physicians
whose names it proudly paraded in the public directory, leading the public to believe
that it vouched for their skill and competence. - If doctors do well, hospital profits
financially, so when negligence mars the quality of its services, the hospital should not
be allowed to escape liability for its agents’ acts.
c) Doctrine of corporate negligence / corporate responsibility – This is the
judicial answer to the problem of allocating hospital’s liability for the negligent acts of
health practitioners, absent facts to support the application of respondent superior. -
This provides for the duties expected [from hospitals]. In this case, PSI failed to perform
the duty of exercising reasonable care to protect from harm all patients admitted into its
facility for medical treatment. PSI failed to conduct an investigation of the matter
reported in the note of the count nurse, and this established PSI’s part in the dark
conspiracy of silence and concealment about the gauzes. - PSI has actual / constructive
knowledge of the matter, through the report of the attending nurses + the fact that the
operation was carried on with the assistance of various hospital staff - It also breached
its duties to oversee or supervise all persons who practice medicine within its walls and
take an active step in fixing the negligence committed
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiffs ordering the
FUENTES to pay to the plaintiffs, jointly and severally, except in respect of the award
for exemplary damages and the interest thereon which are the liabilities of defendants
Dr. Ampil and Dr. Fuentes only, as follows:
1. As actual damages, the following amounts:
a. The equivalent in Philippine Currency of the total of US$19,900.00 at the rate
of P21.60-US$1.00, as reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in the United
States of America;
b. The sum of P4,800.00 as travel taxes of plaintiffs and their physician daughter;
c. The total sum of P45,802.50, representing the cost of hospitalization at Polymedic
Hospital, medical fees, and cost of the saline solution;
2. As moral damages, the sum of P2,000,000.00;
3. As exemplary damages, the sum of P300,000.00;
4. As attorney’s fees, the sum of P250,000.00;
5. Legal interest on items 1 (a), (b), and (c); 2; and 3 hereinabove, from date of filing of
the complaint until full payment; and
6. Costs of suit.
G.R. No. 127934 August 23, 2000
FACTS: A truck owned by the petitioner and driven by its employee, Jesus dela Cruz
collided with a passenger jeepney owned by Isabelito Rivera, driven by Rodolfo Parma.
A motorcycle was bumped and dragged by the jeepney and the rider, Fidel Abiva was
run over by the truck causing his death. Fidel Abiva left behind a wife, respondent
Ederlina Abiva and their three (3) children. A criminal information for reckless
imprudence was filed against the two drivers before the RTC of Quezon City. When the
criminal action was pending, the private respondent filed a separate civil action against
the two drivers, as well as against the petitioner and Isabelito Rivera, the owners of the
vehicles involved in the accident.
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss bringing to the trial courts attention the fact
that a criminal action was pending before another branch of the same court, and that
under the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, the filing of an independent civil action
arising from a quasi-delict is no longer allowed.
The trial court dismissed the action for damages on the ground that no civil action
shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution in a case for reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the
trial court. While pre-trial proceedings were still being set and reset upon motions of the
parties, the RTC rendered judgment and found both drivers guilty of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide and ordered to pay the heirs of the deceased P50,000
as indemnification for his death and P4,000 by way of actual damages. After the trial for
civil case, the Court granted the reliefs and remedies which in her complaint the plaintiff
prays for.
1. WON in an action for damages arising from a vehicular accident plaintiff may
recover damages against the employer of the accused driver both in the criminal
case (delict) and the civil case for damages based on quasi delict, but not
recover twice for the same act;

2. WON the Court of Appeals erred in not lifting the order declaring petitioner as in
default for failure to appear at the pre-trial conference; and

3. WON the damages awarded in the civil case were excessive, much more than
the previous award in the criminal case.
1. Yes. In Padua v. Robles, the SC held that "Civil liability coexists with criminal
responsibility. In negligence cases, the offended party (or his heirs) has the
option between an action for enforcement of civil liability based on culpa criminal
under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code and an action for recovery of
damages based on culpa aquiliana under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. x x x
Article 2177 of the Civil Code, however, precludes recovery of damages twice for
the same negligent act or omission."
Consequently, a separate civil action for damages lies against the offender in a
criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted,
provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally,
to recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality only to
the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary.
Hence, in this case, respondent Abiva shall have the choice which of the awards
to take, naturally expecting that she would opt to recover the greater amount. It has not
been shown that she has recovered on the award in the criminal case, consequently,
she can unquestionably recover from petitioner in the civil case.
2. No. Petitioner was rightly declared as in default for its failure to appear during the
pre-trial conference despite due notice. This is a factual question resolved by the
Court of Appeals.

3. Yes. The award of actual damages must be supported by preponderant

evidence. "Basic is the rule that to recover actual damages, the amount of loss
must not only be capable of proof but must actually be proven with reasonable
degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof or best evidence obtainable
of the actual amount thereof.”
However, there is no basis for the award of moral damages, which is hereby
deleted. The person claiming moral damages must prove the existence of bad faith
by clear and convincing evidence for the law always presumes good faith. It is not
enough that one merely suffered sleepless nights, mental anguish, serious anxiety
as the result of the actuations of the other party. Invariably such action must be
shown to have been willfully done in bad faith or with ill motive. The attorney's fees
awarded is reduced to P20,000.00 which is ten (10%) percent of the amount of
actual damages.
The Court deletes the award of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) as moral
damages, and reduces the attorney fees to twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00).
G.R. No. 131280 October 18, 2000
FACTS: Petitioner Aureliana Catacutan is the registered owner and operator of a
jeepney, driven by the accused Porferio Vendiola, which bumped a tricycle on April 11,
1991, in Banilad, Bacong, Negros Oriental, thereby causing the death of its driver,
Norman Kadusale, and its passenger, Lito Amancio, and serious physical injuries to
another passenger, respondent Gil B. Izon.
Vendiola was convicted of reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide with
physical injuries and damages to property and was sentenced to imprisonment & to pay
damages. The writ of execution was returned unsatisfied as the driver had nothing to
pay off the damages in the decision. A subsidiary writ of execution was served on his
employer, Catacutan.
Petitioner opposed claiming that she was never a party to the criminal case, and
to proceed against her would violate due process.
ISSUE: WON. a subsidiary writ of execution may issue against the employers of an
accused, against whom a judgment of conviction had been entered, even when said
employers never took part in the criminal proceedings where the accused was charged,
tried and convicted.
HELD: Yes. Even if she was not able to participate in the criminal action, it cannot be
said that the employer was not given due process. She was furnished a copy of the
motion for subsidiary writ of execution to which she filed her opposition. Thus, she is
deemed to have been given notice and hearing.
No pronouncement as to costs.
G.R. No. 160355 May 16, 2005
FACTS: This is a petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the
Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicting the accused Ernesto Ancheta of
reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Ernesto Ancheta was employed by the
Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. (PRBLI) as driver of one of its passenger buses. On
July 23, 1993, an Information was filed with the RTC of Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66,
charging Ancheta with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. The accused was
assisted by Atty. Crispiniano Lamorena, Jr., whom the PRBLI assigned as counsel de
parte. Atty. Andres Pangilinan entered his appearance as private prosecutor.
The trial court rendered judgment convicting the accused of the crime charged.
The accused appealed the decision to the CA. CA dismissed the appeal due Ancheta’s
failure to file his brief as accused-appellant. The resolution of the CA dismissing the
appeal became final and executor. The PRBLI, as Ancheta’s employer, filed a Notice of
Appeal of the decision of the RTC claiming among others that the decision of the trial
court convicting the employee is binding and conclusive upon the employer not only
with regard to the civil liability but also, with regard to its amount," should not apply in
the case because they are not served with a copy of the decision of the RTC; hence,
could not have appealed the same.
ISSUE: Whether or not PRBLI can be held subsidiarily liable for the offenses committed
by the employee
HELD: Yes. The petitioner, as the employer of the said accused, had no right to appeal
from the said decision because, in the first place, it was not a party in the said case.
While the subsidiary liability provided for by Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal
Code may render the petitioner a party in substance and, in effect, it is not, for this
reason, entitled to be furnished a copy of the decision of the RTC, as well as the
resolution and decision of the CA.
It is true that an employer, strictly speaking, is not a party to the criminal case
instituted against his employee but in substance and, in effect, he is considering the
subsidiary liability imposed upon him by law. It is his concern, as well as of his
employee, to see to it that his interest be protected in the criminal case by taking virtual
participation in the defense of his employee. He cannot leave him to his own fate
because his failure is also his. And if because of his indifference or inaction the
employee is convicted and damages are awarded against him, he cannot later be heard
to complain, if brought to court for the enforcement of his subsidiary liability, that he was
not given his day in court.
Supplemental notes: In Ozoa v. Vda. de Madula, the Court explained the effect of a
judgment of conviction against the employee on the subsidiary liability of the employer,
as follows: To be sure, the correctness of the legal principles cited by the Court a quo
cannot be gainsaid. A person criminally liable is also civilly liable; and upon the
institution of the criminal action, the civil action for the recovery of the civil liability arising
from the crime is also impliedly instituted unless waived, or the filing of a separate
action therefor is reserved. The employer is subsidiarily answerable for the adjudicated
civil liability ex delicto of his employee in the event of the latter’s insolvency; and the
judgment in the criminal action pronouncing the employee to be also civilly liable is
conclusive on the employer not only as to the actuality of that liability but also as to its

G.R. No. L-19441 June 30, 1964
FACTS: According to Conrado Uichangco an operator of a Shell service station and
who has been losing during the first eight and ten months of operation of his station,
although he had money to back up his losses, when a certain F. Pecson Lozano, in
agent of the defendant, repaired at his station and "tried to convince me that Insoil is a
good oil". As a matter of fact, he tried to show me a chemical analysis of Insoil which he
claimed was very close to the analysis of Shell oil; and he also told me that he could sell
this kind of oil (Insoil) to me at a much cheaper price so that I could make a bigger
margin of profits.
The incident between petitioner's operator and respondent's agent, brought
about a case for damages on the allegation of unfair competition and a Criminal Case
No. 42020 under the Revised Penal Code (Art. 189) against Donald Mead, Manager,
Pedro Kayanan and F. Tecson Lozano. In the criminal case, the accused therein were
acquitted. In the civil case, the trial court ruled in favor of Shell. However, it was
reversed by CA. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: WON, the defendant is guilty of unfair competition
HELD: No. Any person who shall employ deception or any other means contrary to
good faith by which he shall pass off the goods manufactured by him or in which he
deals, ... for those of the one having established such goodwill, or who shall commit any
act calculated to produce said result, shall be guilty of unfair competition, and shall be
subject to an action therefor. The single transaction at bar will not render defendant's
act an unfair competition, much in the same way that the appearance of one swallow
does not make a season, summer.
It was found by the Court of Appeals that in all transactions of the low-grade
Insoil, except the present one, all the marks and brands on the containers used were
erased or obliterated. The drum in question did not reach the buying public. It was
merely a shell dealer or an operator of a Shell Station who purchased the drum not to
be resold to the public, but to be sold to the petitioner company, with a view of obtaining
evidence against someone who might have been committing unfair business practices,
for the dealer had found that his income was dwindling in his gasoline station.
The existence of connivance or conspiracy, between dealer Uichangco and
Agent Lozano has not in the least been insinuated.
G.R. No. L-10134 June 29, 1957
SABINA EXCONDE, plaintiff-appellant,
DELFIN CAPUNO and DANTE CAPUNO, defendants-appellees.
FACTS: Dante Capuno was a member of the Boy Scouts and a student of the
Balintawak Elementary School. On March 31, 1949, he attended a school parade in
honor of Jose Rizal upon the instruction of the school supervisor. From the school, he
boarded a jeep along with other students and when it began to run, he took the wheels
from the driver and drove the jeep.
The jeep didn’t reach far before it turned turtle wherein its two passengers,
Amado Ticzon and Isidoro Caperiña, died. At the time, Dante’s father, Delfin, was not
with his son and was not aware of the school event.
Dante was found guilty of double homicide through reckless imprudence. During
the trial, the mother of one of the deceased, the petitioner, reserved the right to bring a
separate civil action against Dante and his father. She asked for P2,959 in damages.
The trial court, however, sustained Delfin’s defense and awarded the damages only to
Upon appeal, plaintiff argued that Delfin should be held jointly and severally liable
with his son because at the time the latter committed the negligent act which resulted in
the death of the victim, he was a minor and was then living with his father
ISSUE: WON defendant Delfin Capuno can be held civilly liable, jointly and severally
with his son Dante, for damages caused by the negligent act of minor Dante Capuno.
HELD: YES. The case comes under Article 1903 of the Spanish Civil Code, paragraph
1 and 5, which provides:
"Art. 1903. The1 obligation imposed by the next preceding1 articles is enforceable not
only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is
The father, and, in the case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are liable for
any damages caused by the minor children who live with them.
Finally, teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages
caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody."
It is true that under the law above quoted, "teachers or directors of arts and
trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they arc
under their custody", but this provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades
and not to any academic educational institution
Here Dante was then a student of the Balintawak Elementary School and as part
of his extra-curricular activity, he attended the parade in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal upon
instruction of the city school's supervisor.
The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father for any damages that
may be caused by the minor children who live with them, is obvious.
This is a necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over
them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of supporting them, keeping them in
their company, educating them and instructing them in proportion to their means", while,
on the other hand, gives them the "right to correct and punish them in moderation"
The decision appealed from is modified in the sense that defendants Delfin
Capuno and Dante Capuno shall pay to plaintiff, jointly and severally, the sum of
P2,959.00 as damages, and the costs of action.