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13 Rakes v. Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Co.

, 7 Phil 329,
January 23, 1907


Plaintiff was at work. Plaintiff claims that but one hand car
was used in this work. The defendant has proved that there were
two immediately following one another but without side pieces or
guards to prevent them from slipping off. According to plaintiff, the
men were either in the rear of the car or at its sides. According to
defendant, some of them were also in front, hauling by a rope. At a
certain spot at or near the water's edge the track 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 cause of the sagging of the tracks and the breaking of the
tie, which was the immediate occasion of the accident to have
been the dislodging of the crosspiece or piling under the stringer
by the water of the bay raised by a recent typhoon.

Also, there was a warning frequently made known to all the

gang against walking by the side of the car, and the foreman
swears that he repeated the prohibition before the starting of his
particular load.


Whether there existed a negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

Yes. The shinking of the track and the sliding of the iron rails
produces the event for damages. 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 can not recover.

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.

Calalas vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 122039
May 31, 2000

Sunga, took a passenger jeepney owned and operated by
Calalas. As the jeepney was filled to capacity of about 24
passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an "extension
seat," a wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end of the
vehicle. The jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. As she was
seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga gave way to the outgoing
passenger. Just as she was doing so, an Isuzu truck driven by
Verena and owned by Salva bumped the jeepney. As a result,
Sunga was injured and confined for about 2 weeks.

Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, alleging

violation of the contract of carriage Calalas filed a third-party
complaint against Francisco Salva, the owner of the Isuzu
truck. Korte

The lower court rendered judgment against Salva as third-party

defendant and absolved Calalas of liability, holding that it was the
driver of the Isuzu truck who was responsible for the accident. It
took cognizance of another case (Civil Case No. 3490), filed by
Calalas against Salva and Verena, for quasi-delict, in which Branch
37 of the same court held Salva and his driver Verena jointly liable
to Calalas for the damage to his jeepney. Rtcspped

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the ruling of the lower court

was reversed on the ground that Sungas cause of action was
based on a contract of carriage, not quasi-delict, and that the
common carrier failed to exercise the diligence required under the
Civil Code. The appellate court dismissed the third-party complaint
against Salva and adjudged Calalas liable for damages to Sunga.

1. Whether the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490 that the negligence
of Verena was the proximate cause of the accident negates
his liability and that to rule otherwise would be to make the
common carrier an insurer of the safety of its passengers.


2. No. the issues in Civil Case No. 3490 and in the present case
are not the same. The issue in this case is whether petitioner
is liable on his contract of carriage. The first, quasi-delict, also
known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra contractual, has as its
source the negligence of the tortfeasor. The second, breach of
contract or culpa contractual, is premised upon the
negligence in the performance of a contractual obligation. 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. In case of death or injuries
to passengers, Art. 1756 of the Civil Code provides that
common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to
have acted negligently unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence. This necessarily shifts to the common
carrier the burden of proof. 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. In the case at bar, upon the
happening of the accident, the presumption of negligence at
once arose, and it became the duty of petitioner to prove that
he had to observe extraordinary diligence in the care of his
15. (Consolidated case)

PCIB vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 121413

January 29, 2001


G.R. No. 121413/G.R. No. 121479

Ford drew a Citibank check in favor of the CIR. The check
represents Fords tax payment. On the face of the check was
written Payees account only. The said check was however
presented to PCIB and PCIB accepted the same. PCIB then
indorsed the check for clearing to Citibank. Citibank cleared the
check and paid PCIB. CIR later informed Ford that it never received
the tax payment.
An investigation ensued and it was discovered that Fords
accountant Godofredo Rivera, when the check was deposited with
PCIB, recalled the check since there was allegedly an error in the
computation of the tax to be paid. PCIB, as instructed by Rivera,
replaced the check with two of its managers checks.
It was further discovered that Rivera was actually a member of a
syndicate and the managers checks were subsequently deposited
with the Pacific Banking Corporation by other members of the
syndicate. Thereafter, Rivera and the other members became
fugitives of justice.

Issue/s: What are the liabilities of each party?

G.R. No. 121413/G.R. No. 121479:
PCIB is liable for the amount of the check. PCIB, as a collecting
bank has been negligent in verifying the authority of Rivera to
negotiate the check. It failed to ascertain whether or not Rivera
can validly recall the check and have them be replaced with PCIBs
managers checks as in fact, Ford has no knowledge and did not
authorize such. A bank) which cashes a check drawn upon another
bank, without requiring proof as to the identity of persons
presenting it, or making inquiries with regard to them, cannot hold
the proceeds against the drawee when the proceeds of the checks
were afterwards diverted to the hands of a third party. Hence, PCIB
is liable for the amount of the embezzled check.

But the Supreme Court ruled that in the consolidated cases, that
PCIB and Citibank are not the only negligent parties. Ford is also
negligent for failing to examine its passbook in a timely manner
which could have avoided further loss. But this negligence is not
the proximate cause of the loss but is merely contributory.
Nevertheless, this mitigates the liability of PCIB and Citibank

Picart vs. Smith

G.R. No. L-12219

March 15, 1918


Plaintiff was riding on his pony. Before he had gotten half way
across, the defendant approached from the opposite direction in
an automobile. As the defendant 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.

The plaintiff, it appears, saw the automobile coming and heard the
warning signals. 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. When he had gotten quite
near, there being then no possibility of the horse getting across to
the other side, the defendant quickly turned his car to the right to
escape hitting the horse alongside of the railing where it as then
standing; but in so doing the animal became frightened and
turned its body across the bridge with its head toward the railing.
As struck on the hock of the left hind leg and the limb was broken.
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.

Whether or not the defendant in maneuvering his car in the

manner above described was guilty of negligence.


Yes. The control of the situation had then passed entirely to the
defendant; 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 the defendant ran straight on
until he was almost upon the horse. When the defendant exposed
the horse and rider to this danger he was, in our opinion, negligent
in the eye of the law.

Negligence is clearly established. A prudent man, placed in the

position of the defendant, would in our opinion, have recognized
that the course which he was pursuing was fraught with risk, and
would therefore have foreseen harm to the horse and the rider as
reasonable consequence of that course. Under these
circumstances the law imposed on the defendant the duty to
guard against the threatened harm.
MARCH 7, 1929)

Manila Electric Company, is engaged in operating street cars,
Florenciano was in charge of car No. 74. After the car had stopped
at its appointed place for taking on and letting off passengers it
resumed its course at a moderate speed under the guidance of the
motorman. The car had proceeded only a short distance when Del
Prado ran across the street to catch the car, his approach being
made from the left. The plaintiff arrived at the front entrance of
the car at the moment when the car was passing. However, before
the plaintiff's position had become secure the motorman applied
the power giving the car a slight lurch forward. This sudden
impulse to the car caused the plaintiff's foot to slip and his hand
was jerked loose from the handpost. He fell to the ground, and his
right foot was caught and crushed by the moving car.

Whether or not plaintiff his act of riding the moving car is the
proximate cause.
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


AND LIGHT COMPANY (16 PHIL 8, March 22, 1910)
David Taylor 15 years old and another boy entered into the
premises of Manila Electric power plant where they found 20-30
blasting caps which they took home. In an effort to explode the
said caps, Taylor experimented until he succeeded in opening the
caps and then he lighted it using a match which resulted to the
explosion of the caps causing severe injuries to his companion and
to Taylor losing one eye. Taylor sued Manila Electric alleging that
because the company left the caps exposed to children, they are
liable for damages due to the companys negligence.

Whether or not Manila Electric is liable for damages

NO, Manila Electric cannot be held liable for damages in the
instant case.

Children, wherever they go, must be expected to act upon childlike

instincts and impulses; and others who are chargeable with a duty
of care and caution toward them must calculate upon this, and
take precautions accordingly. If they leave exposed to the
observation of children anything which would be tempting to
them, and which they in their immature judgment might naturally
suppose they were at liberty to handle or play with, they should
expect that liberty to be taken.
The circumstances of this case the negligence of the defendant in
leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate
cause of the injury received by the plaintiff, which therefore was
not, properly speaking, "attributable to the negligence of the
defendant," and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that plaintiffs
action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting match to its
contents was the proximate cause of the explosion and of the
resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff, and that the
defendant, therefore is not civilly responsible for the injuries thus

David well knew the explosive character of the cap with which he
was amusing himself. His attempt to discharge the cap by the use
of electricity, followed by his efforts to explode it with a stone or a
hammer, and the final success of his endeavors brought about by
the application of a match to the contents of the caps, show
clearly that he knew what he was about. Nor can there be any
reasonable doubt that he had reason to anticipate that the
explosion might be dangerous, in view of the fact that the little
girl, 9 years of age, who was within him at the time when he put
the match to the contents of the cap, became frightened and ran
19. PBC V CA ( 296 SCRA 711, March 14, 1997)
RMC has two accounts with PBC The RMC General Manager Lipana
entrusted to Irene Yabut RMC funds amounting to P300,000+ for
the purpose of depositing it to RMCs account with PBC. However,
it turned out that Yabut deposited the amounts in her husbands
account instead of RMC. Lipana never checked his monthly
statement of accounts regularly furnished by PBC so that Yabuts
modus operandi went on for the span of more than one year.

WON the banks negligence, through its teller in validating the
deposit slips, is the proximate cause of the loss
YES. The bank teller was negligent in validating, officially stamping
and signing all the deposit slips prepared and presented by Yabut,
despite the glaring fact that the duplicate copy was not completely
accomplished contrary to the self-imposed procedure of the bank
with respect to the proper validation of deposit slips, original or

The bank tellers negligence, as well as the negligence of the bank

in the selection and supervision of its bank teller, is the proximate
cause of the loss suffered by the private respondent, not the
latters entrusting cash to a dishonest employee. Even if Yabut had
the fraudulent intention to misappropriate the funds, she would
not have been able to deposit those funds in her husbands
current account, and then make plaintiff believe that it was in the
latters accounts wherein she had deposited them, had it not been
for the bank tellers aforesaid gross and reckless negligence.

20. LILIUS V MERALCO (59 PHIL 758, March 24, 1934)

Aleko Lilius, his wife Sonja, and his 4-year old daughter Brita, left
Manila for Pagsanjan. He was entirely unacquainted with the
conditions of the road at said points and had no knowledge of the
existence of a railroad crossing at Dayap. Before reaching the
crossing in question, there was nothing to indicate its existence
and inasmuch as there were many houses, shrubs and trees along
the road, it was impossible to see an approaching train. At about
seven or eight meters from the crossing, coming from Calauan, the
he saw an autotruck parked on the left side of the road. Several
people, who seemed to have alighted from the said truck, were
walking on the opposite side. He slowed down and sounded his
horn for the people to get out of the way. With his attention thus
occupied, he did not see the crossing but he heard two short
whistles. Immediately afterwards, he saw a huge black mass fling
itself upon him, which turned out to be locomotive No. 713 of the
defendant company's train. The locomotive struck the plaintiff's
car right in the center.

WON the accident was due to negligence on the part of the
defendant-appellant company


YES. The accident was due to negligence on the part of MERALCO

for not having had on that occasion any semaphore at the crossing
at Dayap, to serve as a warning to passers-by of its existence in
order that they might take the necessary precautions before
crossing the railroad, and on the part of its employees. Although it
is probable that MERALCO employed the diligence of a good father
of a family in selecting its aforesaid employees, however, it did not
employ such diligence in supervising their work and the discharge
of their duties because, otherwise, it would have had a semaphore
or sign at the crossing and, on previous occasions as well as on
the night in question, the flagman and switchman would have
always been at his post at the crossing upon the arrival of a train.
The diligence of a good father of a family, which the law requires
in order to avoid damage, is not confined to the careful and
prudent selection of subordinates or employees but includes
inspection of their work and supervision of the discharge of their
21. UMALI vs. BACANI (69 SCRA 263, January 30 1976)

A storm with strong rain hit Pangasinan. During the storm, the
banana plants standing near the transmission line of AEP were
blown down and fell on the electric wire. The live electric wire was
cut, one end of which was left hanging on the electric post and the
other fell to the ground. The following morning, barrio captain saw
Baldomero, a laborer of the AEP, 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. Sometime thereafter, 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. It was only
after the electrocution that the broken wire was fixed.

(1) WON the proximate cause of the boy's death is due to a
fortuitous event- storm;
Decision affirmed. (1) A careful examination of the records
convinces the SC that a series of negligence on the part of
defendants' employees in the AEP resulted in the death of the
victim by electrocution. With ordinary foresight, the employees of
the petitioner could have easily seen that even in case of
moderate winds the electric line would be endangered by banana
plants being blown down..


Preciolita V. Corliss husband an air police of the Clark
Airforce Base, was driving a jeep on one evening at the railroad in
Pampanga. As the train approached, about 300 meters away, it
blew the siren and repeated it in compliance with the regulations.
The jeep slowed down before reaching the crossing but did not
make a full stop. The jeep and the train collided that caused the
death of Corliss Jr. and injury to the PC Soldier. Plaintiff filed a
complaint for recovery of damages but the lower court dismissed
the case. Hence, this appeal.
Whether or not there was negligence committed by
NO. "A person in control of an automobile who crosses a
railroad, even at a regular road crossing, and who does not
exercise that precaution and that control over it as to be able to
stop the same almost immediately upon the appearance of a train,
is guilty of criminal negligence, providing a collision occurs and
injury results. Considering the purposes and the general methods
adopted for the management of railroads and railroad trains, we
think it is incumbent upon one approaching a railroad crossing to
use all of his faculties of seeing and hearing. He should approach a
railroad crossing cautiously and carefully. He should look and listen
and do everything that a reasonably prudent man would do before
he attempts to cross the track."

A prudent man under similar circumstances would have acted

in this manner. This, unfortunately, Corliss, Jr. failed to do."


MOTORS CORP., (1930)
Plaintiff was the owner of the motor schooner Gwendoline.
H.D. Cranston was the representative of the plaintiff in the City of
Manila. Cranston decided, if practicable, to have the engine on the
Gwendoline changed from a gasoline consumer to a crude oil
burner, expecting thereby to effect economy in the cost of running
the boat.
The Philippine Motors Corporation was at this time engaged in
business as an automobile agency,. Quest, as general manager,
had full charge of the corporations in all its branches.
The work of effecting the change in the engine was begun and
conducted under the supervision of Quest, chiefly by a mechanic
whom Quest took with him to the boat. In the course of the
preliminary work upon the carburetor and its connections, it was
observed that the carburetor was flooding. This fact was called to
Quest's attention, but he appeared to think lightly of the matter
and said that, when the engine had gotten to running well, the
flooding would disappear.
After preliminary experiments and adjustments had been made
the boat was taken out into the bay for a trial run. At about 7:30
p.m. and when passing near Cavite, the engine stopped, and
connection again had to be made with the gasoline line to get a
new start. After this had been done the mechanic, or engineer,
switched to the tube connecting with the new mixture. A moment
later a back fire occurred in the cylinder chamber. This caused a
flame to shoot back into the carburetor, and instantly the
carburetor and adjacent parts were covered with a mass of flames,
which the members of the crew were unable to subdue.
Whether Quest is liable for negligence?
YES. The Court affirmed the judgment appealed from,
awarding damages to the plaintiff. I
A study of the testimony lead us to the conclusion that the loss of
this boat was chargeable to the negligence and lack of skill of
The proof shows that Quest had had ample experience in
fixing the engines of automobiles and tractors, but it does not
appear that he was experienced in the doing of similar work on
boats. A person skilled in that particular sort of work would, we
think have been sufficiently warned from those circumstances to
cause him to take greater and adequate precautions against the
danger. In other words Quest did not use the skill that would have
been exhibited by one ordinarily expert in repairing gasoline
engines on boats. There was here, in our opinion, on the part of
Quest, a blameworthy antecedent inadvertence to possible harm,
and this constitutes negligence. The burning of the Gwendoline
may be said to have resulted from accident, but this accident was
in no sense an unavoidable accident. It would not have occured
but for Quest's carelessness or lack of skill. The test of liability is
not whether the injury was accidental in a sense, but whether
Quest was free from blame.


Jose Cangco, an employee of Manila Railroad, took the
companys train for free on a daily basis. One day the train was
approaching the San Mateo station where the plaintiff would a
alight on his way home. As the train slowed down, plaintiff stepped
off but one or both of his feet came in contact with a sack of
watermelons with the result that his feet slipped from under him
and he fell violently on the platform. His body at once rolled from
the platform and was drawn under the moving car, where his right
arm was badly crushed and lacerated. It appears that after the
plaintiff alighted from the train the car moved forward possibly six
meters before it came to a full stop. Plaintiff received serious
injuries and instituted a proceeding to recover damages.
Whether Cangco is liable for contributory Negligence?

NO. The test by which to determine whether the passenger

has been guilty of negligence in attempting to alight from a
moving railway train, is that of ordinary or reasonable care. It is to
be considered whether an ordinarily prudent person, of the age,
sex and condition of the passenger, would have acted as the
passenger acted under the circumstances disclosed by the
It may be noted that the place was perfectly familiar to the
plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this
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. Our
conclusion is 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.

25. PLDT V. CA ( 178 SCRA 94, September 29, 1989)

One evening the jeep of the private respondents ran over a
mound of earth and fell into an open trench, an excavation
allegedly undertaken by petitioner, pldt for the installation of its
underground conduit system. Because of the accident, private
respondents allegedly sustained injuries. In their complaint, they
alleged that Antonio Esteban failed to notice the open trench
which was left uncovered because of the creeping darkness and
the lack of any warning lights or signs.

On the other hand, petitioner, in its answer, denies liability on

the ground that the injuries sustained by respondent spouses were
the result of their own negligence and that the entity which should
be held responsible, if at at all, is L.R. Barte and Company (Barte),
an independent contractor which undertook the construction of
the manhole and the conduit system.

Whether or not petitioner, PLDT, is liable in the present case

No. 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.
Such findings were reached after an exhaustive assessment and
evaluation of the evidence on record. The negligence of
respondent Antonio 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 precludes their
right to recover damages. The perils of the road were known to,
hence appreciated and assumed by private respondents. By
exercising reasonable care and prudence, Antonio could have
avoided the injurious consequences of his act.
There was insufficient evidence to prove any negligence on the
part of PLDT. There was an absence of a police report of the
incident and non-submission of a medical report from the hospital
where respondents were allegedly treated have not even been
satisfactorily explained.

26. NAPOCOR V. CA (161 SCRA 334, May 16, 1988)

ECI, entered a contract with NAWASA. A typhoon hit Central
Luzon passing through NAPOCOR Angat Hydro-Electric Project Dam
in Bulacan. Since the water level had reach the danger height of
212 meters above sea level, NAPOCOR caused the opening of the
spillway gates. This action by NAPOCOR had an extraordinary large
volume of water rushed and hit the installations and construction
works of ECI. The negligent manner of opening the spillway gates
by NAPOCOR had washed away, lost or destroyed ECIs facilities
and structures. Thus, the private respondent filed a suit for
damages against petitioner. NAPOCOR alleged that the destruction
and loss was due to force majeure.
Whether or not NAPOCOR is liable

Yes. Petitioner, NAPOCOR, was negligent and did not exercised
extraordinary care in the opening of the spillway gates of the
Angat Dam. Maintainers of the dam knew very well that it was far
safer to open them gradually. But the spillway gates were opened
only when typhoon Whelming was already at its height. It has
been held that when the negligence of a person concurs with an
act of God in producing a loss, such person is not exempt from
liability by showing that the immediate cause of the damage was
the act of God. To be exempt from liability for loss because of an
act of God, he must be free from any previous negligence or
misconduct by which the loss or damage may have been
27. LBC V. COURT OF APPEALS (241 SCRA 619, February 23,
Rogelio Monterola was traveling on board his motorcycle. At
about the same time, a cargo van driven by Tano was coming from
the opposite direction. When Tano Jr. was approaching the airport
entrance on his left, he saw two vehicles racing against each other
from the opposite direction. Thus, Tano stopped the van and
waited for the 2 vehicles to pass by. The dust made the visibility
extremely bad and instead of waiting, Tano started to make a
sharp left turn. Then when Tano Jr. was about to reach the center
of the right lane, the motorcycle driven by Monterola suddenly
emerged from the dust and smashed head-on against the LBC van
and this caused the death of Monterola.
A criminal case for homicide thru reckless imprudence was
filed against Tano Jr. and a civil case was instituted against Tano,
Fernando Yu as the manager and LBC for the recovery of damages.
The trial court dismissed the cases filed. On appeal, the Court
appeals reversed the decision of the lower court.

Hence, this petition.

Whether or not the negligence of Monterola is the proximate cause
of the accident

Yes. The proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of
Tano who, despite extremely poor visibility, hastily executed a left
turn (towards the Bislig airport road entrance) without first waiting
for the dust to settle. It was this negligent act of Tano, which had
placed his vehicle (LBC van) directly on the path of the motorcycle
coming from the opposite direction, that almost instantaneously
caused the collision to occur. Simple prudence required him not to
attempt to cross the other lane until after it would have been safe
from and clear of any oncoming vehicle. Petitioners poorly invoke
the doctrine of "last clear chance." In the instant case, the victim
was travelling along the lane where he was rightly supposed to be.
The incident occurred in an instant. No appreciable time had
elapsed that could have afforded the victim a last clear
opportunity to avoid the collision. However, the deceased had
contributed with his negligence since he is evidently speeding.The
Court held that the contributory negligence on the victim's part
that warrants a mitigation of petitioner's liability for damages.

28. AFRICA VS CALTEX (16 SCRA 448, March 31, 1966)

A tank truck was hosing gasoline into the underground storage of
Caltex. Apparently, a fire broke out from the gasoline station and
the fire spread and burned several houses including the house of
Spouses Bernabe and Soledad Africa. Allegedly, someone (a
passerby) threw a cigarette while gasoline was being transferred
which caused the fire. But there was no evidence presented to
prove this theory and no other explanation can be had as to the
real reason for the fire. Apparently also, Caltex and the branch
owner (Mateo Boquiren) failed to install a concrete firewall to
contain fire if in case one happens.

Whether or not Caltex and Boquiren are liable to pay for damages.

Yes. The principle of res ipsa loquitur (the transaction speaks for
itself) which states: 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 defendants want of care. The gasoline station,
with all its appliances, equipment and employees, was under the
control of Caltex and Boquiren. A fire occurred therein and spread
to and burned the neighboring houses. The persons who knew or
could have known how the fire started were Boquiren, Caltex and
their employees, but they gave no explanation thereof
whatsoever. It is a fair and reasonable inference that the incident
happened because of want of care.
Note that ordinarily, he who charges negligence shall prove it.
However, res ipsa loquitur is the exception because the burden of
proof is shifted to the party charged of negligence as the latter is
the one who had exclusive control of the thing that caused the
injury complained of.

29. F.F. CRUZ VS CA (164 SCRA 731, August 29, 1988)

Furniture manufacturing shop of F.F. Cruz situated in Caloocan is
adjacent to the residence of private respondents. Private
respondent approached petitioners plant manager requesting to
construct a firewall between the shop and private respondent's
house. Request was repeated several times to no avail. In Sept.
1974, a fire broke out in petitioners shop and spread to private
respondent's house, razing both the shop and house to the

The lower courts ruled in favor of private respondent applying the

res ipsa loquitor and ordering that damaged be paid to private

Whether or not the lower court erred in applying the doctrine of
res ipsa loquitor.

NO. The facts of the case likewise call for the application of the
doctrine, considering that in the normal course of operations of a
furniture manufacturing shop, combustible material such as wood
chips, sawdust, paint, varnish and fuel and lubricants for
machinery may be found thereon. Even without applying the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, the negligence or want of care on the
part of the petitioner or its employees was not merely presumed.
The failure on the part of the petitioner to construct a firewall in
accordance with city ordinances amounts to negligence on their


FACTS: Mrs. Villegas is a married woman who submitted to Dr.
Batiquin for prenatal care as the latter's private patient.
Dr. Batiquin, performed a simple cesarian section on Mrs. Villegas
to deliver her first child, Rchel Acogido with the assistance of Dr.
Doris Teresita Sy anf some nurses. Plaintiff remained confined until
Spetember 27, and the next dayshe was discharged. Soon after
leaving the Hospital Mrs. Villegas began to suffer abdominal pains
and complained of being feverish. Mrs. Villegas decided to consult
Dr. Ma. Salud Kho at Holy Childs Hospital in Dumaguete City. After
undergoing examinations, Dr. Kho suggested that Mrs. Villegas
should undergo another surgery to which the latter agreed. When
Dr. Kho opened the abdomen of Mrs. Villegas she found a piece of
rubber materials on the right side of the uterus. This material is
the cause of the infection of the ovaries of Mrs. Villegas and her

Whether or not Dr. Batiquin may be held liable.

Doctrine of Res ipsa loquitor is applicable in this case. First, the
entire proceedings of the cesarean section were under the
exclusive control of Dr. Batiquin. In this light, the private
respondents were bereft of direct evidence as to the actual culprit
or the exact cause of the foreign object finding its way into private
respondent Villegas' body, which, needless to say, does not occur
unless through the intervention of negligence. Second, since aside
from the cesarean section, private respondent Villegas underwent
no other operation which could have caused the offending piece of
rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to reason that such could
only have been a by-product of the cesarean section performed by
Dr. Batiquin. The petitioners, in this regard, failed to overcome the
presumption of negligence arising from resort to the doctrine of
res ipsa loquitur. Dr. Batiquin is therefore liable for negligently
leaving behind a piece of rubber in private respondent Villegas'
abdomen and for all the adverse effects thereof.


45985, May 18, 1990)
Plaintiff purchased a plane ticket for Manila-Taipei-Hongkong-
Manila flight from Transaire Travel Agency, the said agency
through Cecilia Baron contacted Manila Hotel branch of defendant
PAL which at the time was a sales and ticketing agent of defendant
CAL. A plane ticket was issued through its ticketing clerk
defendant Roberto Espiritu. One hour before the scheduled time,
the plaintiff arrived at the airport but was informed that the plane
to Taipei had left at 10:20 in the morning of that day. PAL
employees made appropriate arrangements for the plaintiff to take
the flight to Taipei the next day. The plaintiff took the flight and
arrived at noon.
The plaintiff through its counsel made a formal demand on
defendant PAL for damages that he allegedly suffered as a result
of failure to take the flight stated in his plane ticket. The Court A
quo rendered judgment laying the blame for the erroneous entry
in the ticket s to the time of departure to defendant Roberto
Espiritu, ticketing agent of PAL and that no employee of CAL
contributed to such erroneous entry.
1. Whether or not PAL is liable for damages caused by Espiritu

Yes. When an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee,
there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was
negligence on the part of the employer either in the selection of
the employee or in the supervision over him after such selection.
The presumption, however, may be rebutted by a clear showing on
the part of the employer that it has exercised the care and
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of his employee. PAL failed to overcome the

For his negligence, Espiritu is primarily liable to respondent

Pagsibigan under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. For the failure of
PAL to rebut the legal presumption of negligence in the selection
and supervision of its employee, it is also primarily liable under
Article 2180 of the same code which explicitly provides that
employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their
assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any
business or industry.
PAL, however, can demand from Espiritu reimbursement of the
amount which it will have to pay the offended party's claim.