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Singson vs.

BPI
G.R. No. L-24837
Concepcion, C.J.

June 27, 1968

Facts:
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Petitioner: one of the defendants in a civil case in which judgment has been rendered sentencing
him and his co-defendants (Celso Lobregat and Villa-Abrille & Co.) to pay the sum of
P105,539.56 to the plaintiff in that case, Philippine Milling Co.
o Petitioner and Lobregat seasonably appealed, but Villa-Abrille & Co. did not, against
which said judgment became, accordingly, final and executory.
Writ of garnishment served upon the BPI in so far as Villa-Abrilles credits against the Bank were
concerned.
o Clerk in charge of all matters of execution and garnishment did not bother to read the
body of said writ (which clearly indicated that the writ was only for the defendant VillaAbrille & Co., Valentin Teus, Fernando de Villa-Abrille and Joaquin Bona) and only read
the title of the writ which included Petitioners name. Accordingly, the clerk prepared a
letter for the signature of the President of the Bank informing the petitioner of the
garnishment of his deposits by virtue of the civil case. Another separate letter of the same
content was also given to the Special Sheriff.
o Subsequently, because of the (mistaken) garnishment of petitioners account, two checks
issued by the petitioner for two separate transactions (one for B.M. Glass Service for the
amount of P383.00, and another for Lega Corporation for the amount of P100.00) were
dishonored by the Bank. B.M. Glass informed him of the dishonored check, and said that
they have no choice but to close his credit account to them.
o Petitioner wrote to the Defendant Bank (April 19, 1963) claiming that his name was not
included in the Writ of Execution and Notice of Garnishment. President of the Bank
double-checked and found out that petitioner was telling the truth. The former sent a
letter of apology, removed the Notice of Garnishment on his account, and sent notice of
the same to the Special Sheriff.
May 8, 1963: Petitioner commenced the present action for damages against bank, and prayed for
P100k as moral damages, P20k as exemplary damages, P20k as nominal damages and P10k for
attorneys fees and expenses of litigation.
CFI: dismissed the complaint
o Petitioner cannot recover from the Bank upon the basis of quasi-delict, because the
relation between the two was contractual in nature.
Hence, this appeal.

Issues/Held:
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The existence of a contract between the parties does not bar the commission of a tort by one
against the other and the consequent recovery of damages therefor.
o Air France vs. Carrascoso: although the relation between a passenger and a carrier (as in
that case) is contractual both in origin and nature x x x the act that breaks the contract
may also be a tort.

In view, however, of the circumstances and facts in the case where the wrong done by the Bank
was rectified as soon as the President realized the mistake, the Court finds that the award of
Nominal damages to the amount of P1k in addition to the attorneys fees of P500 would suffice to
vindicate plaintiffs rights.