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G.R. No. L-22143 April 30, 1966 believes otherwise.

It is of common knowledge
that a delivery truck fully loaded with cases of soft
LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS CO., petitioner, vs.
drinks is a slower-moving vehicle than a
ANTONIO TIONGSON and FELICITAS J.
passenger bus. A passenger bus is necessarily
TIONGSON, respondents.
designed for speed because travellers usually
FACTS: want to arrive at their destinations within the
shortest possible time, whereas soft drinks
On June 3, 1958, in Bay, Laguna, LTB’s bus no. delivery trucks are built for the safety of its
204 (coming from San Pablo going to Manila), bottled cargo than for speed.
collided with a 7-Up delivery truck from the
opposite direction. As a consequence, the bus fell Also, it would seem that he applied the brakes too
on its right side, on the shoulder of the road. The late. He was not unaware of such depression, and
passengers of the bus were injured, and Ricardo the location thereof for he had been travelling on
Tiongson and another woman passenger died. the same route for a considerable length of time
prior to 3 June 1958.
The Bay Chief of Police made an on-the spot
investigation and prepared a sketch of the spot Also, only two weeks before the fatal collision,
where the collision occurred. It appeared that the Samonte had been apprehended for
asphalt road had a rectangular depression on the overspeeding. The Court of Appeals therefore
left side (direction going to Manila). expressly found that petitioner not only failed to
disprove the presumption of negligence arising
Samonte, the bus driver, claims that around against it (Articles 1733, 1755, and 1756 of the
5:30pm that day of the accident, when he saw the New Civil Code) but that, on the contrary, its
7-Up truck, he was running at 30kph and negligence had been established by more than
thereafter slacked his speed and applied brakes. mere preponderance of evidence.
He maneuvered to the right side of the road but
the truck still hit his left front mudguard. ISSUE: W/N award of moral damages is
proper.
Both the drivers of the LTB bus and the 7-Up
delivery truck were prosecuted for double HELD/RATIO: Yes.
homicide, multiple serious physical injuries and Award of moral damages is proper because
damage to property thru reckless imprudence. although the genereal rule as stated in Art. 2220
However, a separate action for damages for of the NCC states that there can be no recovery of
breach of contract of carriage was filed by moral damages for a breach of contract in the
Tiongson’s heirs against LTB. absence of fraud or bad faith, an exception to the
LTB answered that it should not be held liable rule is when the violation of the contract leads to
because it observed utmost diligence in operating the death of a passenger.
the bus and such accident was a fortuitous event
as far as it was concerned. It further alleges that "Art. 1764. Damages in cases comprised in this
the proximate cause of the death of Tiongson was section shall be awarded in accordance with Title
the negligence of the employer and driver of the XVIII of this Book, concerning Damages. Article
7-Up delivery truck, or in the alternative, the 2206 shall also apply to the death of a passenger
highway authorities in failing to keep and maintain caused by the breach of contract by a common
the national roads in good condition. carrier.
TC ruled in favor of Tiongson and held LTB liable
for P50,000 as actual, compensatory and moral "Art. 2206. x x x xxx xxx
damages, and P5000 attys fees.
"(3) The spouse, legitimate and illegitimate
Meanwhile, CFI Laguna acquitted Samonte, LTB’s descendants and ascendants of the deceased may
driver in the criminal case, on ground of demand moral damages for mental anguish by
reasonable doubt. reason of the death of the deceased."
Then, CA affirmed TC’s decision in the civil case.
ISSUE: W/N LTB successfully discharged its Also, the award is not excessive. The deceased
burden of disproving its preemptive Ricardo C. Tiongson, at the time of his death on
negligence and had established its defense June 3, 1958, was only thirty-two years old. He
of fortuitous event. was a Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Far
Eastern University - 1949) and obtained
HELD/RATIO: No. employment with the San Pablo City Branch of the
People's Bank in 1954 with a starting monthly
Although Samonte would like the court to believe
salary of P150.00 which, after six months in the
that it was not negligent in the collision, because
service, was increased to P175.00. While thus
it was running at only around 30kph, the court
employed with the People's Bank, he was also
administering his mother's farm in Calamba,
Laguna. He was the only son of respondent
spouses Antonio Tiongson and Paz Cailles
Tiongson, and had been married hardly three
years when he died. The foregoing circumstances,
in our opinion, fully justify the damages awarded
in the appealed decision which are substantially in
accord with the rules of law contained in Articles
1764 and 2206, Nos. 1 and 3 of the New Civil
Code.