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Lotte Phils. Co v. Dela Cruz CA: reversed and set aside the decision of LA and NLRC.

CA: reversed and set aside the decision of LA and NLRC. Thus, CA declared Lotte as
GR No. 166302 | 464 SCRA 591 | July 28, 2005 the real employer of the respondents and that 7J who engaged in the labor-only
Petition: Petition for review on certiorari contracting was merely the agent of Lotte.
Petitioner: LOTTE PHIL. CO., INC.,
Respondent: ERLINDA DELA CRUZ, LEONOR MAMAUAG, LOURDES CAUBA, Hence, this petition.
JOSEPHINE DOMANAIS, ARLENE CAGAYAT, AMELITA YAM, VIVIAN
DOMARAIS, MARILYN ANTALAN, CHRISTOPHER RAMIREZ, ARNOLD SAN ISSUE/S
PEDRO, MARISSA SAN PEDRO, LORELI JIMENEZ, JEFFREY BUENO, 1. W/N 7J is an indispensable party and should have been impleaded in the
CHRISTOPHER CAGAYAT, GERARD CABILES, JOAN ENRIQUEZ, JOSEPH DE petition.
LA CRUZ, NELLY CLERIGO, DULCE NAVARETTE, ROWENA BELLO, DANIEL
RAMIREZ, AILEEN BAUTISTA and BALTAZAR FERRERA,
RULING & RATIO

DOCTRINE 1. YES
The nonjoinder of indispensable parties is not a ground for the dismissal of an action An indispensable party is a party in interest without whom no final
and the remedy is to implead the nonparty claimed to be indispensable determination can be had of an action, and who shall be joined either as
plaintiffs or defendants. The joinder of indispensable parties is
FACTS mandatory. The presence of indispensable parties is necessary to vest the
- Lotte Phils., Inc. is a domestic corporation. RESPONDENTS were hired and court with jurisdiction, which is the authority to hear and determine a cause,
assigned to the confectionery facility operated by Lotte. the right to act in a case.
- 1995-2000, 7J Maintenance and Janitorial Services entered into a contract Thus, without the presence of indispensable parties to a suit or
with Lotte to provide manpower. proceeding, judgment of a court cannot attain real finality.
o to accommodate the needs of Lotte for workers to do and perform The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actions of
piece works, RESPONDENTS, among others, were hired and the court null and void for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent
assigned to Lotte as repackers or sealers. parties but even as to those present.
- Feb. 2000, Lotte dispensed with their services allegedly due to the expiration In Domingo v. Scheer,
of the service contract. o the nonjoinder of indispensable parties is not a ground for the
o Lotte told the respondent huwag muna kayong pumasok at dismissal of an action and the remedy is to implead the non -
tatawagan na lang kung may gawa. party claimed to be indispensable. Parties may be added by
o Unfortunately, RESPONDENTS were never called back to work. order of the court on motion of the party or on its own initiative at
- RESPONDENTS filed a labor complaint against Lotte and 7J for illegal any stage of the action and/or such times as are just. If the
dismissal. petitioner refuses to implead an indispensable party despite the
LA: ruled that 7J was the employer of the RESPONDENTS and ordered 7J to order of the court, the latter may dismiss the complaint/petition for
reinstate the respondents. the petitioner/plaintiffs failure to comply therefor.
- RESPONDENTS appealed to the NLRC praying that Lotte be declared as Although 7J was a coparty in the case before the Labor Arbiter and the
their direct employer because 7J is merely a labor-only contractor. NLRC, respondents failed to include it in their petition for certiorari in the
NLRC: affirmed the decision of the LA Court of Appeals. Hence, the Court of Appeals did not acquire jurisdiction
- RESPONDENTS filed a petition for certiorari in the CA against the NLRC over 7J.
and Lotte ONLY, insisting that their employer is Lotte and not 7J.
- Lotte, however, denied that respondents were its employees. It prayed that
DISPOSITION
the petition be dismissed for failure to implead 7J who is a party
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the consolidated petitions are hereby
interested in sustaining the proceedings in court, pursuant to Section 3,
DENIED.
Rule 46 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure.

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