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TORTS AND DAMAGES ©

Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

FIRST BATCH OF CASES determination of Rebecca's liability as Joel's employer. Only after
Quasi-delicts or Article 2176 the presentation of evidences can the presumption that Rebecca
did not exercise the diligence required for the selection and
DRA. LEILA A. DELA LLANA vs. REBECCA BIONG, doing supervision of Joel.
business under the name and style of PONGKAY
TRADING | G.R. No. 182356 | December 04, 2013 | Under Article 2176 in relation to 2180, an action predicated on
Harun an employee's act or omission may be instituted against the
employer who is held liable for the negligent act or omission by
 On March 30, 2000, Juan Dela Llana was driving along with his employee.
his sister Dra. Dela Llana who was seated at the front
passenger seat. When the signal light turned red, the car On the burden of proof ̶
halted and a few seconds after, a dump truck driven by Joel In this case, the burden of proving the proximate causation
Primero , rammed into the car's rear end violently pushing between Joel's negligence and Dra dela Llana's injury rests on
the car forward Dra Dela Llana which she failed to adduce the factum probans or
 As a result of the impact, the glass was shattered puncturing the evidentiary facts by which the factum probandum or ultimate
Dra Dela Llana. Apart from these minor injuries, no other fact can be established.
visible physical injuries were found on her.
 The driver was found to be recklessly imprudent in driving The Court did not give credence to the pictures and the medical
the truck. Joel later revealed that his employer was Rebecca certificate presented by Dra Dela Llana as the former only
Biong. demonstrated the impact of the collision while the latter was not
 Thereafter, Dra Dela Llana began to feel mild to moderate admitted in evidence (for failure to present the doctor, as an
pain on the left side of her neck and shoulder and as a expert witness, who issued the med cert). (Assuming if the med
result, her health deteriorated. cert was considered, still it has no probative value for being
 She then consulted several doctors and found that she hearsay). Moreover the medical certificate did not categorically
suffered a whiplash injury, an injury caused by the state that the whiplash injury was the result of the vehicular
compression of the nerve running to her left arm and hand. accident.
She underwent 3 months of extensive therapy, but it did not Lastly, since Dra Dela Llana failed to present and testimonial and
improve her condition. After several consultations, she documentary evidence that directly shows the causal relation
underwent a cervical spine surgery which released the between the accident and her injury, the Court pointed that it
impingement of the nerve but it incapacitated Dra Dela Llana cannot take judicial notice that vehicular accidents cause
from the practice of her profession despite the surgery. whiplash injuries.
 Dra Dela Llana then demanded from Rebecca Biong, the
employer of the dump truck, a compensation for her injuries Hence, the Court denied her petition for lack of merit.
but the latter refused to pay. As a result, Dra Dela Llana
sued Rebecca for damages.
SMITH BELL DODWELL SHIPPING AGENCY vs. CATALINO
Dela Llana's contention: She alleges that she lost the mobility of
BORJA, INTL TOWAGE AND TRANSPORT CORPORATION
her arm as a result of the vehicular accident and claimed
| G.R. No. 143008 | June 10, 2002 | Andoy
150,000 for her medical expenses; that Joel's reckless driving (or
negligent act) was the proximate cause of her whiplash injury. FACTS: On September 23, 1987, Petitioner Smith Bell filed a
written request with the Bureau of Customs for the attendance of
Rebecca's contention: She asserted that Dela Llana was in
the latter’s inspection team on vessel M/T King Family which
physical good condition when they met after the vehicular
was due to arrive at the port of Manila on September 24, 1987.
accident; that she exercised the diligence of a good father of a
The vessel contained 750 metric tons of alkyl benzene and
family in the selection and supervision of the driver, Joel.
methyl methacrylate monomer. On the same day, Supervising
RTC: ruled in favor of Dela Llana. It held that the injury suffered Customs Inspector Manuel Ma. D. Nalgan instructed
by Dela Lllana was due to Joel's reckless driving. It further held Respondent Catalino Borja to board said vessel and perform
that Joel's negligence gave rise to a presumption that Rebecca his duties as customs inspector upon the vessel’s arrival until its
Biong did not exercise the diligence of a good father of a family departure.
in the supervision and selection of Joel.
At about 11 o’clock in the morning on September 24, 1987, while
CA: Reversed. It held that Dela Llana failed to establish by M/T King Family was unloading chemicals unto two (2) barges
preponderance of evidence the connection between the accident ITTC 101 and CLC-1002 owned by Respondent
and her whiplash injury. International Towage and Transport Corporation (ITTC),
a sudden explosion occurred setting the vessels afire. Upon
ISSUE: WON Joel's reckless driving is the proximate cause of hearing the explosion, Borja who was at that time inside the
Dra dela Llana's whiplash injury. NO. cabin preparing reports, ran outside to check what happened.
RULING: Again, another explosion was heard. He hurriedly jumped over
board to save himself. However, the water was likewise on fire
Dra Dela Llana failed to establish that the proximate causation of due mainly to the spilled chemicals. Despite the tremendous
her whiplash injury was the vehicular accident. heat, he swam his way for one hour until he was rescued by the
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that "whoever by act or people living in the squatters’ area and sent to San Juan De Dios
omission causes damage to another, there being fault of Hospital. After weeks of intensive care at the hospital, his
negligence, is obliged to pat for the damage done. Such fault or attending physician diagnosed him to be permanently disabled
negligence, IF THERE IS NO PRE EXISTING CONTRACTUAL due to the incident. Thus, he made demands against Smith Bell
RELATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES, is a quasi delict. Under this and ITTC for the damages caused by the explosion. However,
provision, the elements are: both denied liabilities and attributed to each other negligence.

1. Damages to the plaintiff RTC ruled in favor of Borja and held petitioner liable for damages
and loss of income. CA affirmed the decision of RTC. Hence, this
2. Negligence, by act or omission, of the defendant or petition.
by some other person for whose acts the defendant
must respond, was guilty ISSUE: Whether or not Smith Bell is liable for Borja’s injuries.

3. The connection of cause and effect between RULING: The Supreme Court ruled YES. Both the RTC and the
such negligence and the damages. CA ruled that the fire and the explosion had originated in
petitioner’s vessel as supported by substantial evidence.
Based on these requisites, Dela Llana must first establish by
preponderance of evidence the 3 elements before the
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

Negligence is conduct that creates undue risk of harm to there was a fracture in his left knee and there was no orthopedic
another. It is the failure to observe that degree of care, doctor available at PAFGH.
precaution and vigilance that the circumstances justly demand,
Albayda filed a complaint for physical injuries through
whereby that other person suffers injury. Petitioner’s vessel was
reckless imprudence. On the other hand, Completo filed a
carrying chemical cargo -- alkyl benzene and methyl
counter-charge of damage to property through reckless
methacrylate monomer. While knowing that their vessel was
imprudence against Albayda.
carrying dangerous inflammable chemicals, its officers and crew
failed to take all the necessary precautions to prevent an Albayda alleged that the proximate cause of the incident which
accident. Petitioner Smith Bell was, therefore, negligent. necessitated his stay in the hospital for approximately 7 months
was the negligence of Completo who, at the time of the accident,
The three elements of quasi-delict are: (GUIDE QUESTION
was in the employ of Abiad. The pain he suffered required him to
#4)
undergo medical physiotherapy for a number of years to regain
(a) Damages suffered by the plaintiff, normality of his left knee joint, and he claimed that he incurred
actual damages totaling P276,550.00, inclusive of his anticipated
(b) Fault or negligence of the defendant, and
operations.
(c) The connection of cause and effect between the
He further stated that aggravating the physical sufferings, mental
fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages
anguish, frights, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation,
inflicted on the plaintiff
wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation resulting
All these elements were established. Knowing fully well that it from his injuries, his wife abandoned him in May 1998, and left
was carrying dangerous chemicals, petitioner was negligent in their children in his custody. He thus demanded the amount of
not taking all the necessary precautions in transporting the P600,000.00 as moral damages. He likewise asked for exemplary
cargo. As a result of the fire and the explosion during the damages in the amount of P200,000.00 and attorney’s fees of
unloading of the chemicals from petitioner’s vessel, Respondent P25,000.00, plus P1,000.00 per court appearance.
Borja suffered damages and injuries. Hence, the owner or the
Completo alleged that, on August 27, 1997, he was carefully
person in possession and control of a vessel and the
driving the taxicab along 8th Street, VAB, when suddenly he
vessel are liable for all natural and proximate damage
heard a strange sound from the rear right side of the taxicab.
caused to persons and property by reason of negligent
When he stopped to investigate, he found Albayda lying on the
management or navigation.
road and holding his left leg. He immediately rendered assistance
As to amount of liability, the Court uses the American and brought Albayda to PAFGH for emergency treatment.
Experience/Expectancy Table of Mortality which consistently pegs
Completo also asserted that he follows traffic rules and
the life span of the average Filipino at 80 years, from which it
regulations and travelling at 20 KM per hour even before
extrapolates the estimated income to be earned by the deceased
reaching the intersection of 8th and 11th Streets. In contrast,
had he or she not been killed. For purposes of determining loss
Albayda rode his bicycle at a very high speed, causing him to
of earning capacity, life expectancy remains at 80. Otherwise, the
suddenly lose control of the bicycle and hit the rear door on the
computation of loss of earning capacity will never become final,
right side of the taxicab. The deep indentation on the rear right
being always subject to the eventuality of the victim’s death. The
door of the taxicab was caused by the impact of Albayda’s body
computation should not change even if Borja lived beyond 80
that hit the taxicab after he had lost control of the bicycle; while
years.
the slight indentation on the right front door of the taxicab was
Based on the foregoing discussion, the award for loss of earning caused by the impact of the bike that hit the taxicab after
capacity should be computed as follows: Albayda let go of its handles when he had lost control of it.

The formula for the computation of loss of earning capacity is as On the otherhand, Abiad testified that, aside from being a
follows: soldier, he was also a franchise holder of taxicabs and passenger
jeepneys. When Completo applied as a driver of the taxicab,
Net earning capacity = Life expectancy x [Gross Annual Income Abiad required the former to show his bio-data, NBI clearance,
- Living Expenses (50% of gross annual income)], where life and driver’s license. Completo never figured in a vehicular
expectancy = 2/3 (80 - the age of the deceased). accident since the time he was employed in February 1997.
Loss of earning = [2 (80-50)] x [(P2,752x12)-16,512] Abiad averred that Completo was a good driver and a good man.
capacity 3 Being the operator of taxicab, Abiad would wake up early and
personally check all the taxicabs.
= P330,240
RTC and CA rendered favorable decision to respondent.
Hence, Petitioner is ordered to pay the heirs of the victim
damages in the amount of P320,240 as loss of earning capacity, ISSUES
moral damages in the amount of P100,000, plus another P50,000 1) WON Completo caused the collision.
as attorney’s fees.
2) WON Abiad failed observe diligence of a good father of
the family.
THE HEIRS OF REDENTOR COMPLETO and ELPIDIO 3) WON the award of moral and temperate damages and
ABIAD, vs. SGT. AMANDO C. ALBAYDA, JR. | Astillo attorney’s fees to Albayda had basis.
FACTS: Respondent Amando C. Albayda, Jr. (Albayda) is a (GUIDE QUESTION #10: Who bears the burden of
Master Sergeant of the Philippine Air Force. Petitioner Redentor proving negligence?)
Completo (Completo) was the taxi driver of a Toyota Corolla,
owned and operated by co-petitioner Elpidio Abiad (Abiad). RATIO:
Albayda and Completo figured in an accident along the 1) YES!
intersection of 8th and 11th Streets, VAB. Albayda filed a
complaint for damages before the RTC of Pasay City. The instant case involved a collision between a taxicab and a
bicycle which resulted in serious physical injuries to the bicycle
The amended complaint alleged that, on August 27, 1997, while rider, Albayda. It is a rule in negligence suits that the
Albayda was on his way to the office to report for duty, riding a PLAINTIFF has the burden of proving by a preponderance
bicycle along 11th Street, the taxi driven by Completo bumped of evidence the motorist’s breach in his duty of care
and sideswiped him, causing serious physical injuries. Albayda owed to the plaintiff, that the motorist was negligent in
was brought to the Philippine Air Force General Hospital (PAFGH) failing to exercise the diligence required to avoid injury
inside VAB. However, he was immediately transferred to the to the plaintiff, and that such negligence was the
Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) because proximate cause of the injury suffered.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that whoever by act or 3) YES!
omission causes damage to another, there being fault or
The CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages by the
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or
RTC because Albayda failed to present documentary evidence to
negligence, if there is no preexisting contractual relation between
establish with certainty the amount that he incurred during his
the parties, is called a quasi-delict. In this regard, the question of
hospitalization and treatment for the injuries he suffered.
the motorist's negligence is a question of fact.
While the amount of actual damages was not duly established
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo
with certainty, the Court recognizes the fact that, indeed,
failed to exercise reasonable diligence in driving the taxicab
Albayda incurred a considerable amount for the necessary and
because he was over-speeding at the time he hit the bicycle
reasonable medical expenses, loss of salary and wages, loss of
ridden by Albayda. Such negligence was the sole and proximate
capacity to earn increased wages, cost of occupational therapy,
cause of the serious physical injuries sustained by Albayda.
and harm from conditions caused by prolonged immobilization.
Completo did not slow down even when he approached the
Thus, the Court finds the award of P100,000.00 as temperate
intersection of 8th and 11th Streets of VAB. It was also proven
damages reasonable under the circumstances. [Temperate] is
that Albayda had the right of way, considering that he reached
more than nominal but less than compensatory damages,
the intersection ahead of Completo.
recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has
It is obvious that a motor vehicle poses a greater danger of harm been suffered but its amount cannot be proved with certainty.
to a bicyclist than vice versa. Accordingly, while the duty of using
Doubtless, Albayda suffered immeasurable pain because of the
reasonable care falls alike on a motorist and a bicyclist, due to
incident caused by petitioners’ negligence.
the inherent differences in the two vehicles, more care is
required from the motorist to fully discharge the duty than from Moral damages are awarded in quasi-delicts causing physical
the bicyclist. The physical advantages that the motor vehicle has injuries. The permanent deformity and the scar left by the
over the bicycle make it more dangerous to the bicyclist than wounds suffered by Albayba will forever be a reminder of the
vice versa. pain and suffering that he had endured and continues to endure
because of petitioners’ negligence. Thus, the award of moral
2) YES!
damages in the amount of P500,000.00 is proper. The award of
Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the obligation imposed attorney’s fees is hereby deleted for failure to prove that
by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one’s own petitioners acted in bad faith in refusing to satisfy respondent’s
acts or omissions, but also for those persons for whom just and valid claim.
one is responsible. Employers shall be liable for the damages
caused by their employees, but the employers’ responsibility
shall cease upon proof that they observed all the Ilocos Norte vs. CA | Dela Cruz
diligence of a good father of the family in the selection
and supervision of their employees. On June of 1967, typhoon Gening buffeted the province of Ilocos
Norte with strong winds and heavy rains. After the storm, Isabel
When an injury is caused by the negligence of an Lao Juan ventured out of the house (located at Guerrero St.) to
employee, a legal presumption instantly arises that the check the status of her business properties (grocery stores).
employer was negligent. This presumption may be rebutted Wading on waist-deep flood, she was followed by her employees
only by a clear showing on the part of the employer that he who walked side by side at a distance behind Isabel. Suddenly,
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the Isabel screamed "Ay" and quickly sank into the water. The two
selection and supervision of his employee. If the employer employees attempted to help, but fear dissuaded them from
successfully overcomes the legal presumption of negligence, he doing so because on the spot where the deceased sank they saw
is relieved of liability. In other words, the burden of proof is on an electric wire dangling from a post and moving in
the employer. snake-like fashion in the water. The two shouted for help
and Ernesto dela Cruz tried to rescue Isabel but he turned back
The trial court’s finding that Completo failed to exercise
and said that the water is grounded. When Antonio Yabes was
reasonable care to avoid collision with Albayda at the intersection
informed by Ernesto that his mother-in law had been
of 11th and 8th Streets of VAB gives rise to liability on the part of
electrocuted, he passed by the City Hall of Laoag to request the
Completo, as driver, and his employer Abiad. The responsibility
police to ask the people of Ilocos Norte Electric Company
of two or more persons who are liable for quasi-delict is solidary.
(INELCO) to cut off the electric current.
The civil liability of the employer for the negligent acts of his
employee is also primary and direct, owing to his own negligence In another place, on that fateful date, Engr. Juan, Power Plant
in selecting and supervising his employee. The civil liability of the Engineer of the NAPOCOR at the Laoag Diesel-Electric Plant,
employer attaches even if the employer is not inside the vehicle noticed certain fluctuations in their electric meter which indicated
at the time of the collision. such abnormalities as grounded or short-circuited lines. He saw
grounded and disconnected lines. Electric lines were hanging
In the selection of prospective employees, employers are
from the posts to the ground. Since he could not see any INELCO
required to examine them as to their qualifications, experience,
lineman, he decided to go to the INELCO Office. As he turned
and service records. On the other hand, with respect to the
right at the intersection of Guerrero and Rizal, he saw an electric
supervision of employees, employers should formulate standard
wire about 30 meters long strung across the street "and the
operating procedures, monitor their implementation, and impose
other end was seeming to play with the current of the water."
disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. To establish these
factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability, INELCO asserts that on and even before June 29, 1967 the
employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary electric service system of the INELCO in the whole franchise
evidence. area, including Guerrero Street, did not suffer from any defect
that might constitute a hazard to life and property. The service
Abiad testified that before he hired Completo, he required the
lines, devices and other INELCO equipment had been newly-
latter to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and driver’s license.
installed prior to the date in question. As a public service
Abiad likewise stressed that Completo was never involved in a
operator and in line with its business of supplying electric current
vehicular accident prior to the instant case, and that, as operator
to the public, defendant had installed safety devices to prevent
of the taxicab, he would wake up early to personally check the
and avoid injuries to persons and damage to property in case of
condition of the vehicle before it is used. The protestation of
natural calamities such as floods, typhoons, fire and others.
Abiad to escape liability is short of the diligence required under
Defendant had 12 linesmen charged with the duty of making a
the law. Abiad’s evidence consisted entirely of testimonial
round-the-clock check-up of the areas respectively assigned to
evidence, and the unsubstantiated and self-serving testimony of
them.
Abiad was insufficient to overcome the legal presumption that he
was negligent in the selection and supervision of his driver.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

ISSUE: W/N INELCO may be held liable for the death of Isabel SAMSUNG CONSTRUCTION COMPANY PH., INC. vs. FAR
Lao. YES (There are 3 issues but I think this one is the one EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, CA | G.R. No. 129015
related to our topic) | August 13, 2004 | Mier
RULING: While it is true that typhoons and floods are FACTS: Samsung Construction, maintained a current account
considered Acts of God for which no person may be held with defendant Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC). The
responsible, it was not said with eventuality which directly sole signatory to Samsung Construction’s account was Jong Kyu
caused the victim's death. It was through the intervention of Lee (“Jong”), its Project Manager, while the checks remained in
petitioner's negligence that death took place. We subscribe to the the custody of the company’s accountant, Kyu Yong Lee (“Kyu”).
conclusions of the respondent CA when it found:
On 19 March 1992, a certain Roberto Gonzaga presented for
Conrado Asis, INELCO's electrical engineer, testified that payment FEBTC Check No. 432100 to the bank. The check,
he conducted a general inspection of the franchise area payable to cash and drawn against Samsung Construction’s
of the INELCO only on June 30, 1967, the day following current account, was in the amount of P999,500.00. Following
the typhoon. The reason he gave for the delay was that the internal banking procedures, after the teller was satisfied
all their vehicles were submerged. with the authenticity of the signature appearing on the check,
she forwarded the same to the Branch Senior Assistant Cashier,
In times of calamities such as the one which occurred in
who concluded that the check was indeed signed by Jong.
Laoag City on the night of June 28 until the early hours
of June 29, 1967, extraordinary diligence requires Finally before approval, another bank officer (Syfu) had to verify
a supplier of electricity to be in constant vigil to the check. Noticing Jose Sempio III (“Sempio”), who is well-
prevent or avoid any probable incident that known to Syfu and to the other bank officers, Syfu showed the
might imperil life or limb. The evidence does not check to Sempio, who vouched for the genuineness of Jong’s
show that defendant did that. On the contrary, evidence signature. Confirming the identity of Gonzaga Satisfied with the
discloses that there were no men (linemen or genuineness of the signature of Jong, Syfu authorized the bank’s
otherwise) policing the area, nor even manning its encashment of the check to Gonzaga.
office.
The following day, the accountant of Samsung Construction, Kyu,
Indeed, under the circumstances of the case, petitioner was examined the balance of the bank account and discovered that a
negligent in seeing to it that no harm is done to the check in the amount of P999,500.00 had been encashed. Aware
general public"... considering that electricity is an that he had not prepared such a check for Jong’s signature, Kyu
agency, subtle and deadly, the measure of care required perused the checkbook and found that the last blank check was
of electric companies must be commensurate with or missing. He reported the matter to Jong, who then proceeded to
proportionate to the danger. The duty of exercising this the bank. Jong learned of the encashment of the check, and
high degree of diligence and care extends to every place realized that his signature had been forged. The Bank Manager
where persons have a right to be" (Astudillo vs. Manila reputedly told Jong that he would be reimbursed for the amount
Electric, 55 Phil. 427). The negligence of petitioner having been of the check.
shown, it may not now absolve itself from liability by arguing that
Samsung Construction filed a Complaint on 10 June 1992 for
the victim's death was solely due to a fortuitous event. "When
violation of Section 23 of the Negotiable Instruments Law, and
an act of God combines or concurs with the negligence of
prayed for the payment of the amount debited as a result of the
the defendant to produce an injury, the defendant is
questioned check plus interest, and attorney’s fees. RTC held
liable if the injury would not have resulted but for his
that Jong’s signature on the check was forged and accordingly
own negligent conduct or omission".
directed the bank to pay or credit back to Samsung
Likewise, the maxim "volenti non fit injuria" (to one who Construction’s account the amount of P999,500.00, together with
voluntarily consents to and takes the risk, no injury is done) interest tolled from the time the complaint was filed, and
relied upon by INELCO finds no application in the case at bar. It attorney’s fees in the amount of P15,000.00.
is imperative to note the surrounding circumstances which
CA reversed the RTC Decision and absolved FEBTC from any
impelled the deceased to leave the comforts of a roof and brave
liability. The Court of Appeals concluded that Samsung
the subsiding typhoon. As testified by the two employees, the
Construction was negligent, and invoked the doctrines that
deceased, accompanied by the former two, were on their way to
“where a loss must be borne by one of two innocent person, can
the latter's grocery store "to see to it that the goods were not
be traced to the neglect or fault of either, it is reasonable that it
flooded." As such, shall We punish her for exercising her right to
would be borne by him, even if innocent of any intentional fraud,
protect her property from the floods by imputing upon her the
through whose means it has succeeded or who put into the
unfavorable presumption that she assumed the risk of personal
power of the third person to perpetuate the wrong.”
injury? Definitely not. For it has been held that a person is
excused from the force of the rule, that when he voluntarily ISSUE #1: Who bears the burden of proving negligence?
assents to a known danger he must abide by the (GUIDE QUESTION #10)
consequences, if an emergency is found to exist or if the life or
property of another is in peril or when he seeks to rescue his RULING: FEBTC
endangered property. Clearly, an emergency was at hand as the The bare fact that the forgery was committed by an employee of
deceased's property, a source of her livelihood, was faced with the party whose signature was forged cannot necessarily imply
an impending loss. Furthermore, the deceased, at the time that such party’s negligence was the cause for the forgery.
the fatal incident occurred, was at a place where she had Employers do not possess the preternatural gift of cognition as to
a right to be without regard to petitioner's consent as the evil that may lurk within the hearts and minds of their
she was on her way to protect her merchandise. Hence, employees.
the heirs may not be barred from recovering damages as a result
of the death caused by petitioner's negligence. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we can conclude that
there was no negligence on Samsung Construction’s part. The
"When a storm occurs that is liable to prostrate the wires, due presumption remains that every person takes ordinary
care requires prompt efforts to discover and repair broken lines". care of his concerns, and that the ordinary course of
The fact is that when Engr. Juan set out in the early morning of business has been followed. Negligence is not presumed,
June 29, 1967 on an inspection tour, he saw grounded and but must be proven by him who alleges it. While the
disconnected lines hanging from posts to the ground but did not complaint was lodged at the instance of Samsung Construction,
see any INELCO lineman either in the streets or at the INELCO the matter it had to prove was the claim it had alleged - whether
office. The foregoing shows that petitioner's duty to exercise the check was forged. It cannot be required as well to prove
extraordinary diligence under the circumstance was not that it was not negligent, because the legal presumption remains
observed, confirming the negligence of petitioner. that ordinary care was employed.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

Thus, it was incumbent upon FEBTC, in defense, to prove cashier denied the application stating that the bank did not have
the negative fact that Samsung Construction was an AU dollar account in any bank in Sydney.
negligent. While the payee, as in this case, may not have the
However, the said bank’s cashier informed Godofredo an
personal knowledge as to the standard procedures observed by
alternative. He said that respondent bank would draw a demand
the drawer, it well has the means of disputing the presumption
draft against Westpac Bank in Sydney and have Westpac-Sydney
of regularity. Proving a negative fact may be “a difficult office,”
reimburse itself from the U.S. dollar account of the respondent in
but necessarily so, as it seeks to overcome a presumption in law.
Westpac Bank in New York, PRCI conformed.
FEBTC was unable to dispute the presumption of ordinary
care exercised by Samsung Construction. The respondent bank approved the said application of PRCI and
issued Foreign Exchange Demand Draft in the sum applied for,
The CA Decision replicated the extensive efforts which FEBTC
that is AU$ 1,610.00, payable to the order of the 20th Asian
devoted to establish that there was no negligence on the part of
Racing Conference and addressed to Westpac-Sydney as the
the bank in its acceptance and payment of the forged check.
drawee bank.
However, the degree of diligence exercised by the bank
would be irrelevant if the drawer is not precluded from The foreign exchange demand draft was dishonored, with the
setting up the defense of forgery under Section 23 by his notice of dishonor stating the following: "xxx No account held
own negligence. with Westpac."
ISSUE #2: What situations require extraordinary diligence? Respondent bank again informed Westpac-Sydney of the
(GUIDE QUESTION #10) issuance of the said demand draft and informing the latter to be
reimbursed from the respondent bank's dollar account in
RULING: Bank transactions
Westpac-New York. The respondent bank on the same day
The following are the circumstances that should have aroused likewise informed Wespac-New York requesting the latter to
suspicion of the bank and necessitated the exercise of honor the reimbursement claim of Wespac-Sydney. On
extraordinary diligence: September 14, 1988, upon its second presentment for payment,
the demand draft was dishonored again.
 The fact that the check was made out in the amount of
nearly P1,000,000 . When petitioner spouses arrived in Sydney in the morning of
September 18, 1988, they were told that they could not register
 The check was also payable to cash.
because the foreign exchange demand draft for their registration
 The check was presented for payment by one Roberto fee had been dishonored for the second time.
Gonzaga, who was not designated as the payee of the
On November 23, 1988, the petitioners filed in RTC a complaint
check, and who did not carry with him any written proof that
for damages against the respondent bank due to the dishonor of
he was authorized by Samsung Construction to encash the
the said foreign exchange demand draft issued by the
check. Worse, Gonzaga was not an employee of Samsung
respondent bank. The petitioners claim that as a result of the
Construction.
dishonor of the said demand draft, they were exposed to
Given the shadiness attending Gonzaga’s presentment of the unnecessary shock, social humiliation, and deep mental anguish
check, it was not sufficient for FEBTC to have merely complied in a foreign country, and in the presence of an international
with its internal procedures, but mandatory that all earnest audience.
efforts be undertaken to ensure the validity of the check,
The petitioners contend that due to the fiduciary nature of the
and of the authority of Gonzaga to collect payment therefor.
relationship between the respondent bank and its clients, the
FEBTC alleges that Sempio was well-known to the bank officers, respondent should have exercised a higher degree of diligence
as he had regularly transacted with the bank in behalf of than that expected of an ordinary prudent person in the handling
Samsung Construction. Even assuming that FEBTC had a of its affairs as in the case at bar.
standing habit of dealing with Sempio, acting in behalf of
ISSUES:
Samsung Construction, the irregular circumstances
attending the presentment of the forged check should (1) What degree of diligence is required in this case?
have put the bank on the highest degree of alert. The Ordinary Diligence (good father)
Court recently emphasized that the highest degree of
(2) WON the bank exercised due diligence in handling the
care and diligence is required of banks.
commercial transaction? YES, therefore no liability
The Court reminds that: Banks are engaged in a business for damages.
impressed with public interest, and it is their duty to protect
RATIONALE:
in return their many clients and depositors who transact business
with them. They have the obligation to treat their client’s The facts as found by the courts a quo show that respondent
account meticulously and with the highest degree of care, bank did not cause an erroneous transmittal of its SWIFT cable
considering the fiduciary nature of their relationship. The message to Westpac-Sydney. It was the erroneous decoding of
diligence required of banks, therefore, is more than that the cable message on the part of Westpac-Sydney that caused
of a good father of a family. the dishonor of the subject foreign exchange demand draft.
Given the circumstances, extraordinary diligence dictates that An employee of Westpac-Sydney in Sydney, Australia
FEBTC should have ascertained from Jong personally that the mistakenly read the printed figures in the SWIFT cable
signature in the questionable check was his. message of respondent bank as "MT799" instead of as
"MT199".
The evidence also shows that the respondent bank exercised that
GREGORIO H. REYES and CONSUELO PUYAT-REYES, vs.
degree of diligence expected of an ordinary prudent person
THE HON. CA and FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY
under the circumstances obtaining.
| G.R. No. 118492 | August 15, 2001 | Juyo
In Philippine Bank of Commerce v. Court of Appeals15 upholding
PRCI, for brevity sent 4 delegates to the Asian Conference, so
a long standing doctrine, we ruled that the degree of diligence
the director of PRCI (Reyes) applied to the respondent bank
required of banks, is more than that of a good father of a
foreign exchange (forex) demand draft in Australian dollars.
family where the fiduciary nature of their relationship with their
Godofredo, the PRCI’s chief cashier, went to the respondent bank depositors is concerned. BUT the same higher degree of
to apply for a demand draft in the amount of AU$1,610.00 diligence is not expected to be exerted by banks in commercial
payable to the order of the 20th Asian Racing Conference transactions that do not involve their fiduciary relationship with
Secretariat of Sydney, Australia. Respondent Bank’s assistant their depositors.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
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The case at bar does not involve the handling of petitioners' the COC (Exhibit A-7), though it was not her duty. To our mind,
deposit, if any, with the respondent bank. Instead, the preparing the COC even if it was not her task, manifests an
RELATIONSHIP INVOLVED WAS THAT OF A BUYER AND intention to perpetuate the erroneous entry in the COC.
SELLER, that is, between the respondent bank as the
Neither can this Court accept petitioner’s explanation that the
seller of the subject foreign exchange demand draft, and
Board of Canvassers had no idea how the SOV (Exhibit "6") and
PRCI as the buyer of the same, with the 20th Asian
the COC reflected that private complainant had only 1,921 votes
Racing conference Secretariat in Sydney, Australia as the
instead of 6,921 votes. As chairman of the Municipal Board of
payee thereof.
Canvassers, petitioner’s concern was to assure accurate, correct
The evidence shows that the respondent bank did everything and authentic entry of the votes. Her failure to exercise
within its power to prevent the dishonor of the subject foreign maximum efficiency and fidelity to her trust deserves not only
exchange demand draft. The erroneous reading of its cable censure but also the concomitant sanctions as a matter of
message to Westpac-Sydney by an employee of the latter could criminal responsibility pursuant to the dictates of the law. The
not have been foreseen by the respondent bank. fact that the number of votes deducted from the actual votes
received by private complainant, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. was
not added to any senatorial candidate does not relieve petitioner
ARSENIA B. GARCIA, vs. HON. CA and the PP. OF THE PH of liability under Section 27(b) of Rep. Act No. 6646. The mere
| G.R. No. 157171 | March 14, 2006 | Diesto decreasing of the votes received by a candidate in an election is
already punishable under the said provision. At this point, we see
FACTS: Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., who ran in the 1995 senatorial no valid reason to disturb the factual conclusions of the appellate
elections, filed a complaint against Election Officer Arsenia B. court.
Garcia, Municipal Treasurer Herminio R. Romero, Public School
District Supervisor Renato R. Viray, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Public policy dictates that extraordinary diligence should
and Member-Secretary, respectively, of the Municipal Board of be exercised by the members of the board of canvassers
Canvassers of Alaminos, Pangasinan, tabulators Rachel Palisoc in canvassing the results of the elections. Any error on
and Francisca de Vera with violation of Section 27(b) of Rep. Act their part would result in the disenfranchisement of the
No. 6646 for willfully, and unlawfully decrease[d] the votes voters. The Certificate of Canvass for senatorial
received by senatorial candidate Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. from candidates and its supporting statements of votes
6,998 votes, as clearly disclosed in the total number of votes in prepared by the municipal board of canvassers are
the 159 precincts of the Statement of Votes by Precincts of said sensitive election documents whose entries must be
municipality, to 1,921 votes as reflected in the Statement of thoroughly scrutinized.
Votes by Precincts and Certificate of Canvass with a difference of
(GUIDE QUESTION #7) What situations require extraordinary
5,077 votes.
diligence? In this case, Canvassing the results of the
RTC acquitted all the accused for insufficiency of evidence, elections.
except petitioner who was convicted. CA affirmed with
modification the RTC Decision.
BURGOS vs. ESPERON JR. | Muñoz
On appeal, one of petitioner’s contention is that there was no
motive on her part to reduce the votes of private complainant. - These incidents stemmed from our June 22, 2010 Resolution
Respondent on the other hand contends that good faith is not a referring the present case to the Commission on Human Rights
defense in the violation of an election law, which falls under the (CHR) as the Court’s directly commissioned agency, tasked with
class of mala prohibita. the continuation of the investigation of Jonas Joseph T. Burgos’
abduction with the obligation to report its factual findings and
ISSUE (main): Is a violation of Section 27(b) of Rep. Act No.
recommendations to this Court.
6646, classified under mala in se or mala prohibita? Could good
faith and lack of criminal intent be valid defenses? - This referral was necessary as the investigation by the
Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection
RULING: (When the acts complained of are inherently immoral,
Group (PNP-CIDG), by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
they are deemed mala in se, even if they are punished by a
Provost Marshal, and even the initial CHR investigation had been
special law. in crimes that are mala prohibita, the criminal acts
less than complete.
are not inherently immoral but become punishable only because
the law says they are forbidden.) - In all of them, there were significant lapses in the handling of
the investigation. In particular, we highlighted the PNP-CIDG’s
The acts prohibited in Section 27(b) are mala in se. For
failure to identify the cartographic sketches of two (one male and
otherwise, even errors and mistakes committed due to overwork
one female) of the five abductors of Jonas, based on their
and fatigue would be punishable. Given the volume of votes to
interview with the eyewitnesses to the abduction. In this same
be counted and canvassed within a limited amount of time,
Resolution, the court also affirmed the CA’s dismissal of the
errors and miscalculations are bound to happen. And it could not
petitions for Contempt and issuance of a Writ of Amparo.
be the intent of the law to punish unintentional election canvass
errors. However, intentionally increasing or decreasing the - On March 15, 2011, the CHR submitted to the Court its
number of votes received by a candidate is inherently immoral, Investigation Report: CHR findings: Based on the facts developed
since it is done with malice and intent to injure another. Criminal by evidence obtaining in this case, the CHR finds that the
intent is presumed to exist on the part of the person who enforced disappearance of Jonas Joseph T. Burgos had
executes an act which the law punishes, unless the contrary shall transpired; and that his constitutional rights to life liberty and
appear. Thus, whoever invokes good faith as a defense has the security were violated by the Government have been fully
burden of proving its existence. determined.
Xxx there is a noticeable discrepancy in the addition of the - Most if not all the actual abductors would have been identified
subtotals to arrive at the grand total of votes received by each had it not been for what is otherwise called as evidentiary
candidate for all 159 precincts in SOV No. 008423.The grand difficulties shamelessly put up by some police and military elites.
total of the votes for private complainant, Senator Aquilino
- The deliberate refusal of TJAG Roa to provide the CHR with the
Pimentel, was only 1,921 instead of 6,921, or 5,000 votes less
requested documents does not only defy the Supreme Court
than the number of votes private complainant actually received.
directive to the AFP but ipso facto created a disputable
This error is also evident in the Certificate of Canvass (COC) No.
presumption that AFP personnel were responsible for the
436156 signed by petitioner, Viray and Romero. During trial of
abduction and that their superiors would be found accountable, if
this case, petitioner admitted that she was indeed the one who
not responsible, for the crime committed. This observation finds
announced the figure of 1,921, which was subsequently entered
support in the disputable presumption “That evidence willfully
by then accused Viray in his capacity as secretary of the board.
suppressed would be adverse if produced.”
Petitioner likewise admitted that she was the one who prepared
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
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- Interview with Virgilio Eustaquio, Chairman of the Union Masses extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the enforced
for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ), revealed that the male disappearance.
abductor of Jonas Burgos appearing in the cartographic sketch
In the present case, while Jonas remains missing, the series of
was among the raiders who abducted him and four others,
calculated directives issued by the Court outlined above and the
identified as Jim Cabauatan, Jose Curament, Ruben Dionisio and
extraordinary diligence the CHR demonstrated in its
Dennis Ibona otherwise known as ERAP FIVE. The Judge
investigations resulted in the criminal prosecution of Lt. Baliaga.
Advocate General (TJAG) turned down the request of the Team
We take judicial notice of the fact that the Regional Trial Court,
for a profile of the operatives in the so-called “Erap 5” abduction
Quezon City, Branch 216, has already found probable cause for
on the ground of relevancy and branded the request as a fishing
arbitrary detention against Lt. Baliaga and has ordered his arrest
expedition.
in connection with Jonas’ disappearance.
ISSUE: WON the AFP and the PNP accountable for having failed
The Court also emphasize that the CA in its March 18, 2013
to discharge the burden of extraordinary diligence in the
decision already ruled with finality on the entities responsible and
investigation of the enforced disappearance of Jonas.
accountable (as these terms are defined in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis)
RULING: YES. The PNP-CIDG failed to identify the cartographic for the enforced disappearance of Jonas.
sketches of two (one male and one female) of the five abductors
In the same Decision, the CA also held the AFP and the PNP
of Jonas, based on their interview with eyewitnesses to the
accountable for having failed to discharge the burden of
abduction. For this reason, the Court directly commissioned the
extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the enforced
CHR to continue the investigation of Jonas’ abduction and the
disappearance of Jonas. Thus, the CA issued the following
gathering of evidence.
directives to address the enforced disappearance of Jonas:
The Court resolve to grant the CHR access to these requested
(1) DIRECT the PNP through its investigative arm, the
documents to allow them the opportunity to ascertain the true
PNP-CIDG, to identify and locate the abductors of Jonas
identities of the persons depicted in the cartographic sketches.
Burgos who are still at large and to establish the link
At this point, we emphasize that the sworn affidavit of Eustaquio between the abductors of Jonas Burgos and those
(that attests to the resemblance of one of Jonas’ abductors to involved in the ERAP 5 incident; (2) DIRECT the
the abductors of the ERAP 5) constitutes the sought-after incumbent Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the
missing link that establishes the relevance of the requested Philippines and the Director General of the Philippines
documents to the present case. We note that this lead may help National Police, and their successors, to ensure the
the CHR ascertain the identities of those depicted in the continuance of their investigation and coordination on
cartographic sketches as two of Jonas’ abductors (one male and the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos until the
one female) who, to this day, remain unidentified. persons found responsible are brought before the bar of
justice; xxx (4) DIRECT the Armed Forces of the
To fully fulfill the objective of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo,
Philippines and the Philippine National Police to extend
further investigation using the standard of extraordinary diligence
full assistance to the Commission on Human Rights in
should be undertaken by the CHR to pursue the lead provided by
the conduct of the latter’s investigation; and (5) DIRECT
Eustaquio. We take judicial notice of the ongoing investigation
the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, the
being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), through
Director General, Philippine National Police and the
the NBI, on the disappearance of Jonas. In this regard, the Court
Chairman, Commission on Human Rights to submit a
direct the NBI to coordinate and provide direct investigative
quarterly report to the Court on the results of their
assistance to the CHR as the latter may require, pursuant to the
respective investigation.
authority granted under the Court’s June 22, 2010 Resolution.
The final ruling of the CA that confirmed the validity of the
For this purpose, the Court require the CHR to submit a
issuance of the Writ of Amparo and its determination of the
supplemental investigation report to the DOJ, copy furnished the
entities responsible for the enforced disappearance of Jonas, the
petitioner, the NBI, the incumbent Chiefs of the AFP, the PNP
court resolve to deny the petitioner’s prayer to issue the writ of
and the PNP-CIDG, and all the respondents within 60 days from
Amparo anew and to refer the case to the CA based on the newly
receipt of this Resolution. The Court note and conclude, based on
discovered evidence.
the developments highlighted above, that the beneficial purpose
of the Writ of Amparo has been served in the present case. As The emphasize that while the Rule on the Writ of Amparo
we held in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis, the writ merely embodies the accords the Court a wide latitude in crafting remedies to address
Court’s directives to police agencies to undertake specified an enforced disappearance, it cannot (without violating the
courses of action to address the enforced disappearance of an nature of the writ of Amparo as a summary remedy that provides
individual. The Writ of Amparo serves both a preventive and a rapid judicial relief) grant remedies that would complicate and
curative role. It is curative as it facilitates the subsequent prolong rather than expedite the investigations already ongoing.
punishment of perpetrators through the investigation and Note that the CA has already determined with finality that Jonas
remedial action that it directs. The focus is on procedural was a victim of enforced disappearance.
curative remedies rather than on the tracking of a specific
criminal or the resolution of administrative liabilities. The unique
nature of Amparo proceedings has led us to define terms or Maria Benita A. Dulay vs. Court of Appeals | G.R. No.
concepts specific to what the proceedings seek to achieve. In 108017 | April 3, 1995 | Quidet
Razon Jr., v. Tagitis, we defined what the terms “responsibility”
and “accountability” signify in an Amparo case. We said: BENIGNO TORZUELA is an employee of Safeguard Investigation
and Security Co., Inc., (SAFEGUARD) and/or Superguard Security
Responsibility refers to the extent the actors have been Corp. (SUPERGUARD) and, at the time of the incident complained
established by substantial evidence to have participated in of, was under their control and supervision.
whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced
disappearance, as a measure of the remedies this Court shall On December 7, 1988, an altercation between Torzuela and
craft, among them, the directive to file the appropriate criminal Atty. Napoleon Dulay occurred at the "Big Bang sa Alabang,"
and civil cases against the responsible parties in the proper Alabang Village, as a result of which Torzuela, the security
courts. Accountability, on the other hand, refers to the measure guard on duty at the said carnival, shot and killed Dulay.
of remedies that should be addressed to those who exhibited Action for damages was filed against Torzuela and
involvement in the enforced disappearance without bringing the Safeguard and/or Superguard, alleged employers of
level of their complicity to the level of responsibility defined defendant Torzuela.
above; or who are imputed with knowledge relating to the
enforced disappearance and who carry the burden of disclosure; SUPERGUARD claimed that Torzuela's act of shooting Dulay
or those who carry, but have failed to discharge, the burden of was beyond the scope of his duties, and that since the alleged
act of shooting was committed with deliberate intent (dolo),
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
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the civil liability therefor is governed by Article 100 RPC. That a Rule When an Injury is caused by the Negligence of the
complaint for damages based on negligence under Article 2176 Employee. — Under Article 2180 NCC, when an injury is caused
NCC, such as the one filed by petitioners, cannot lie, since the by the negligence of the employee, there instantly arises a
civil liability under Article 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the
under Article 365 RPC. master or employer either in the selection of the servant or
employee, or in supervision over him after selection or both
Petitioners stated that their cause of action against the private
(Layugan v. IAC,). The liability of the employer under Article
respondents is based on their liability under Article 2180 of the
2180 is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned upon prior
New Civil Code, which provides:
recourse against the negligent employee and a prior showing of
"ARTICLE 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is the insolvency of such employee (Kapalaran Bus Lines v.
demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but Coronado)
also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private respondents to prove
xxx xxx xxx that they exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
the selection and supervision of their employee.
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
Calang vs. PP | GR 190696 | Aug. 3, 2010 | Murcia
engaged in any business or industry.
FACTS: At around 2PM of April 22, 1989, Rolito Calang was
RTC ruled that the complaint did not state facts
driving Philtranco Bus No. 7001, owned by Philtranco along
necessary or sufficient to constitute a quasi-delict since
Daang Maharlika Highway in Barangay Lambao, Sta. Margarita,
it does not mention any negligence on the part of
Samar when its rear left side hit the front left portion of a Sarao
Torzuela in shooting Dulay or that the same was done
jeep coming from the opposite direction. As a result of the
in the performance of his duties. That mere allegations
collision, Cresencio Pinohermoso, the jeep’s driver, lost control of
of the concurring negligence of Safeguard without
the vehicle, and bumped and killed Jose Mabansag, a
stating the facts showing such negligence are
bystander who was standing along the highway’s shoulder. The
mere conclusions of law. It declared that the complaint
jeep turned turtle 3 times before finally stopping at about 25
was one for damages founded on crimes punishable
meters from the point of impact. 2 of the jeep’s passengers,
under Art. 100 and 103 of the RPC as distinguished
Armando Nablo and an unidentified woman, were instantly
from those arising from quasi-delict.
killed, while the other passengers sustained serious
ISSUE: WON the act of shooting Dulay constitutes a physical injuries.
quasi-delict.
The RTC found Calang guilty of reckless imprudence resulting to
RULING: YES multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to
property. It also ordered Calang and Philtranco, jointly and
Quasi-Delict; Construed. — Well-entrenched is the doctrine that severally, to pay P50,000.00 as death indemnity to the heirs of
Art. 2176 covers not only acts committed with Armando; P50,000.00 as death indemnity to the heirs of
negligence, but also acts which are voluntary and Mabansag; and P90,083.93 as actual damages to the private
intentional. As far back as the definitive case of Elcano v. Hill, complainants.
this Court already held that:
The CA ruled that Calang failed to exercise due care and
". . . Article 2176, where it refers to 'fault or negligence,' precaution in driving the Philtranco bus. According to the CA,
covers not only acts 'not punishable by law' but also acts various eyewitnesses testified that the bus was traveling fast and
criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary encroached into the opposite lane when it evaded a pushcart
or negligent. Consequently, a separate civil action lies that was on the side of the road. In addition, he failed to
against the offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is slacken his speed, despite admitting that he had already seen the
criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided jeep coming from the opposite direction when it was still half a
that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually kilometer away. The CA further ruled that Calang demonstrated a
charged also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, reckless attitude when he drove the bus, despite knowing that it
and would be entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger was suffering from loose compression, hence, not roadworthy.
award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two
cases vary. The CA added that the RTC correctly held Philtranco jointly and
severally liable with petitioner Calang, for failing to prove that it
In other words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in had exercised the diligence of a good father of the family to
Sec. 3(e), Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded prevent the accident.
on Article 100 of the RPC, whereas the civil liability for the
same act considered as quasi-delict only and not as a crime ISSUE: WON Philtranco should be held JOINTLY AND
is not extinguished even by a declaration in the SEVERALLY LIABLE with Calang?
criminal case that the criminal act charged has not
HELD: NO.
happened or has not been committed by the accused.
Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that The Court, however, hold that the RTC and the CA both erred in
culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which holding Philtranco jointly and severally liable with Calang. We
may be punishable by law." emphasize that Calang was charged criminally before the RTC.
Undisputedly, Philtranco was not a direct party in this case. Since
The same doctrine was echoed in the case of Andamo v. IAC,
the cause of action against Calang was based on delict, both the
wherein the Court held:
RTC and the CA erred in holding Philtranco jointly and severally
"Article 2176, whenever it refers to "fault or negligence," liable with Calang, based on quasi-delict under Articles 2176 and
covers not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts 2180 of the Civil Code. Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code
criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or pertain to the vicarious liability of an employer for quasi-delicts
negligent. Consequently, a civil action lies against the that an employee has committed. Such provision of law does not
offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is prosecuted or apply to civil liability arising from delict.
found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is
If at all, Philtranco’s liability may only be subsidiary. Article
not allowed, (if the tortfeasor is actually also charged
102 of the Revised Penal Code states the subsidiary civil liabilities
criminally), to recover damages on both scores, and would be
of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments,
entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the
as follows:
two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary."
In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers,
tavernkeepers, and any other persons or corporations
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shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their Hence, this petition
establishments, in all cases where a violation of
ISSUE:
municipal ordinances or some general or special police
regulations shall have been committed by them or their 1) Whether or not, without proof as to the cause and origin of
employees. the fire, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should apply so as
to presume negligence on the part of appellees.
Innkeepers are also subsidiary liable for the restitution
of goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses 2) Whether or not Caltex should be held liable for the damages
from guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the caused to appellants.
value thereof, provided that such guests shall have
notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person RULING:
representing him, of the deposit of such goods within 1) Yes. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable in the
the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the case at bar.
directions which such innkeeper or his representative
may have given them with respect to the care of and It is true of course that decisions of the CA do not lay down
vigilance over such goods. No liability shall attach in doctrines binding on the SC, but we do not consider this a reason
case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of for not applying the particular doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in the
persons unless committed by the innkeeper’s case at bar. Gasoline is a highly combustible material, in the
employees. storage and sale of which extreme care must be taken. On the
other hand, fire is not considered a fortuitous event, as it arises
The foregoing subsidiary liability applies to employers, almost invariably from some act of man. A case strikingly similar
according to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, which reads: to the one before Us is Jones vs. Shell Petroleum Corporation, et
The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding al., 171 So. 447:
article shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons, Arthur O. Jones is the owner of a building in the city of
and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for Hammon which in the year 1934 was leased to the Shell
felonies committed by their servants, pupils, workmen, Petroleum Corporation for a gasoline filling station. On
apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their October 8, 1934, during the term of the lease, while
duties. gasoline was being transferred from the tank wagon,
The provisions of the RPC on subsidiary liability – Articles 102 also operated by the Shell Petroleum Corporation, to the
and 103 – are deemed written into the judgments in cases to underground tank of the station, a fire started with
which they are applicable. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its resulting damages to the building owned by Jones.
decision, the trial court need not expressly pronounce Alleging that the damages to his building amounted to
the subsidiary liability of the employer. Nonetheless, before the $516.95, Jones sued the Shell Petroleum Corporation for
employers’ subsidiary liability is enforced, adequate evidence the recovery of that amount. The judge of the district
must exist establishing that court, after hearing the testimony, concluded that
plaintiff was entitled to a recovery and rendered
(1) They are indeed the employers of the convicted employees; judgment in his favor for $427.82. The Court of Appeals
for the First Circuit reversed this judgment, on the
(2) They are engaged in some kind of industry;
ground the testimony failed to show with reasonable
(3) The crime was committed by the employees in the discharge certainty any negligence on the part of the Shell
of their duties; and Petroleum Corporation or any of its agents or
employees. Plaintiff applied to this Court for a Writ of
(4) The execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to
Review which was granted, and the case is now before
insolvency.
us for decision.
The determination of these conditions may be done in the same
In resolving the issue of negligence, the Supreme Court of
criminal action in which the employee’s liability, criminal and civil,
Louisiana held:
has been pronounced, in a hearing set for that precise purpose,
with due notice to the employer, as part of the proceedings for Plaintiff's petition contains 2 distinct charges of
the execution of the judgment. negligence — one relating to the cause of the fire
and the other relating to the spreading of the
Calang’s culpability was affirmed by SC. No issue about it.
gasoline about the filling station.
Other than an expert to assess the damages caused plaintiff's
SPS. BERNABE AFRICA and SOLEDAD AFRICA, and HEIRS building by the fire, no witnesses were placed on the stand by
OF DOMINGA ONG vs. CALTEX PH INC., MATEO the defendant.
BOQUIREN and Court of Appeals | Remullo
Taking up plaintiff's charge of negligence relating to the cause of
Nature of the case: The action is for damages under Articles the fire, we find it established by the record that the filling
1902 and 1903 of the old Civil Code. station and the tank truck were under the control of the
defendant and operated by its agents or employees. We further
FACTS: In the afternoon of March 18, 1948 a fire broke out at find from the uncontradicted testimony of plaintiff's witnesses
the Caltex service station at the corner of Antipolo st. and Rizal that fire started in the underground tank attached to the filling
Ave., Manila. It started while gasoline was being hosed from a station while it was being filled from the tank truck and while
tank truck into the underground storage, right at the opening of both the tank and the truck were in charge of and being
the receiving tank where the nozzle of the hose was inserted. operated by the agents or employees of the defendant, extended
The fire spread to and burned several neighboring houses, to the hose and tank truck, and was communicated from the
including the personal properties and effects inside them. burning hose, tank truck, and escaping gasoline to the building
owned by the plaintiff.
Their owners, among them petitioners here, sued respondents
Caltex (Phil.), Inc. and Mateo Boquiren, the first as alleged Predicated on these circumstances and the further circumstance
OWNER of the station and the second as its AGENT in charge of of defendant's failure to explain the cause of the fire or to show
operation. Negligence on the part of both of them was attributed its lack of knowledge of the cause, plaintiff has evoked the
as the cause of the fire. doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. There are many cases in which the
doctrine may be successfully invoked and this, we think, is one of
The trial court and the CA found that petitioners failed to prove them.
negligence and that respondents had exercised due care in the
premises and with respect to the supervision of their employees. Where the thing which caused the injury complained of is shown
to be under the management of defendant or his servants and
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not really had intended to enter into, but the way the contracting
happen if those who have its management or control use proper parties do or perform their respective obligations stipulated or
care, it affords reasonable evidence, in absence of explanation by agreed upon may be shown and inquired into, and should such
defendant, that the accident arose from want of care. (45 C.J. performance conflict with the name or title given the contract by
#768, p. 1193). the parties, the former must prevail over the latter. (Shell
Company of the Philippines, Ltd. vs. Firemens' Insurance
This statement of the rule of res ipsa loquitur has been widely
Company of Newark, New Jersey, 100 Phil. 757).
approved and adopted by the courts of last resort. Some of the
cases in this jurisdiction in which the doctrine has been applied . The written contract was apparently drawn for the purpose of
creating the apparent relationship of EMPLOYER and independent
The principle enunciated in the aforequoted case applies with
contractor, and of avoiding liability for the negligence of the
equal force here. The gasoline station, with all its appliances,
employees about the station; but the company was not satisfied
equipment and employees, was under the control of appellees. A
to allow such relationship to exist. The evidence shows that it
fire occurred therein and spread to and burned the neighboring
immediately assumed control, and proceeded to direct the
houses. The persons who knew or could have known how the
method by which the work contracted for should be performed.
fire started were appellees and their employees, but they gave
By reserving the right to terminate the contract at will, it retained
no explanation thereof whatsoever. It is a fair and reasonable
the means of compelling submission to its orders. Having elected
inference that the incident happened because of want of care.
to assume control and to direct the means and methods by
2) Yes. Caltex should be liable. which the work has to be performed, it must be held liable for
the negligence of those performing service under its direction.
Caltex admits that it owned the gasoline station as well as the We think the evidence was sufficient to sustain the verdict of the
equipment therein, but claims that the business conducted at the jury.
service station in question was owned and operated by Boquiren.
But Caltex did not present any contract with Boquiren that would Caltex further argues that the gasoline stored in the station
reveal the nature of their relationship at the time of the fire. belonged to Boquiren. But no cash invoices were presented to
There must have been one in existence at that time. Instead, show that Boquiren had bought said gasoline from Caltex.
what was presented was a license agreement manifestly tailored Neither was there a sales contract to prove the same.
for purposes of this case, since it was entered into shortly before
the expiration of the one-year period it was intended to operate.
This so-called license agreement (Exhibit 5-Caltex) was executed Republic of the Philippines vs. Luzon Stevedoring
on November 29, 1948, but made effective as of January 1, 1948 Corporation | Tan
so as to cover the date of the fire, namely, March 18, 1948. This
On August 17, 1960, barge L-1892, owned by the Luzon
retroactivity provision is quite significant, and gives rise to the
Stevedoring Corporation was being towed down the Pasig river
conclusion that it was designed precisely to free Caltex from any
by tugboats "Bangus" and "Barbero" also belonging to the same
responsibility with respect to the fire, as shown by the clause
corporation, when the barge rammed against one of the wooden
that Caltex "shall not be liable for any injury to person or
piles of the Nagtahan bailey bridge, smashing the posts and
property while in the property herein licensed, it being
causing the bridge to list. The river, at the time, was swollen and
understood and agreed that LICENSEE (Boquiren) is not an
the current swift, on account of the heavy downpour of Manila
employee, representative or agent of LICENSOR (Caltex)."
and the surrounding provinces on August 15 and 16, 1960.
But even if the license agreement were to govern, Boquiren can
The Republic sued Luzon Stevedoring for actual and
hardly be considered an independent contractor. Under that
consequential damages amounting to P 200,000. Luzon
agreement Boquiren would pay Caltex the purely nominal sum of
disclaimed liability saying that it had exercised due diligence in
P1.00 for the use of the premises and all the equipment therein.
the selection and supervision of its employees, the employees
He could sell only Caltex Products. Maintenance of the station
also exercised the diligence and precaution required them in
and its equipment was subject to the approval, in other words
towing the barge and that the damages to the bridge were
control, of Caltex. Boquiren could not assign or transfer his rights
caused by force majeure.
as licensee without the consent of Caltex. The license agreement
was supposed to be from January 1, 1948 to December 31, ISSUE: Whether or not Luzon Stevedoring is liable for the
1948, and thereafter until terminated by Caltex upon two days damage caused to the Nagtahan Bailey bridge.
prior written notice. Caltex could at any time cancel and
terminate the agreement in case Boquiren ceased to sell Caltex RULING: Considering that the Nagtahan bridge was an
products, or did not conduct the business with due diligence, in immovable and stationary object and provided with adequate
the judgment of Caltex. Termination of the contract was openings for the passage of water craft, including barges like
therefore a right granted only to Caltex but not to Boquiren. that of Luzon's, it is undeniable that the unusual event that the
These provisions of the contract show the extent of the control of barge, exclusively controlled by Luzon, rammed the bridge
Caltex over Boquiren. The control was such that the latter was supports raises a presumption of negligence on the part of Luzon
virtually an employee of the former. or its employees manning the barge or the tugs that towed it.
For in the ordinary course of events, such a thing does not
Taking into consideration the fact that the operator owed his happen if proper care is used. In Anglo American Jurisprudence,
position to the company and the latter could remove him or the inference arises by what is known as the "res ipsa loquitur"
terminate his services at will; that the service station belonged to rule (the thing speaks for itself).
the company and bore its tradename and the operator sold only
the products of the company; that the equipment used by the Luzon strongly stresses the precautions taken by it on the day in
operator belonged to the company and were just loaned to the question: that it assigned two of its most powerful tugboats to
operator and the company took charge of their repair and tow down river its barge L-1892; that it assigned to the task the
maintenance; that an employee of the company supervised the more competent and experienced among its patrons, had the
operator and conducted periodic inspection of the company's towlines, engines and equipment double-checked and inspected;
gasoline and service station; that the price of the products sold that it instructed its patrons to take extra precautions; and
by the operator was fixed by the company and not by the concludes that it had done all it was called to do, and that the
operator; and that the receipts signed by the operator indicated accident, therefore, should be held due to force majeure or
that he was a mere agent, the finding of the Court of Appeals fortuitous event.
that the operator was an agent of the company and not an These very precautions, however, completely destroy the Luzon's
independent contractor should not be disturbed. defense. For caso fortuito or force majeure (which in law are
To determine the nature of a contract courts do not have or are identical in so far as they exempt an obligor from liability) by
not bound to rely upon the name or title given it by the definition, are extraordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable,
contracting parties, should thereby a controversy as to what they "events that could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen,
were inevitable" (Art. 1174, Civ. Code of the Philippines). It is,
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

therefore, not enough that the event should not have been CA: Reversed the trial court’s decision finding that the evidence
foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly believed, but it must be presented failed to establish negligence on the part of the
one impossible to foresee or to avoid. The mere difficulty to respondents and compliance with the other requisites.
foresee the happening is not impossibility to foresee the same.
ISSUE/S:
The very measures adopted by Luzon prove that the possibility of
danger was not only foreseeable, but actually foreseen, and was 1. Whether or not MALAYAN failed to overcome the burden of
not caso fortuito. proof required to establish the negligence of the respondents.
NO
Otherwise stated, Luzon Stevedoring Corporation, knowing and
appreciating the perils posed by the swollen stream and its swift 2. Whether or not the pieces of evidence presented by MALAYAN
current, voluntarily entered into a situation involving obvious are sufficient to claim for the amount of damages. YES
danger; it therefore assured the risk, and can not shed
responsibility merely because the precautions it adopted turned RULING:
out to be insufficient. (GUIDE QUESTION # 11: RES IPSA LOQUITUR
On the issue that the bridge was an obstruction to navigation: DOCTRINE)

It avails Luzon naught to argue that the bridge were improperly SC ruled that despite the inadmissibility of the police report,
located. Even if true, these circumstances would merely respondents Alberto and Reyes cannot evade liability by virtue of
emphasize the need of even higher degree of care on Luzon's the res ipsa loquitur.
part in the situation involved in the present case. Luzon whose The concept of res ipsa loquitur has been explained in this wise:
barges and tugs travel up and down the river everyday, could not
safely ignore the danger posed by these allegedly improper While negligence is not ordinarily inferred or presumed, and
constructions that had been erected, and in place, for years. while the mere happening of an accident or injury will not
generally give rise to an inference or presumption that it was due
SC affirmed CFI's ruling: Luzon liable for the damage caused to to negligence on defendant’s part, under the doctrine of res ipsa
the bridge. loquitur, which means, literally, the thing or transaction speaks
for itself, or in one jurisdiction, that the thing or instrumentality
MALAYAN INSURANCE CO., INC. vs. RODELIO ALBERTO speaks for itself, the facts or circumstances accompanying an
and ENRICO ALBERTO REYES| G.R. No. 194320 | injury may be such as to raise a presumption, or at least permit
February 1, 2012 | Harun an inference of negligence on the part of the defendant, or some
other person who is charged with negligence.
On December 17, 1995, an accident occurred at the corner of
EDSA and Ayala Avenue, Makati City involving 4 vehicles, to wit: One of the theoretical bases for the doctrine is its necessity, i.e.,
1. a NISSAN BUS operated by Aladdin Transit; 2. an ISUZU that necessary evidence is absent or not available.
TANKER; 3. a FUZO CARGO TRUCK and; 4. a MITSUBISHI The res ipsa loquitur doctrine is based in part upon the theory
GALANT. that the defendant in charge of the instrumentality which causes
Based on the police report, the ISUZU TANKER was in front of the injury either knows the cause of the accident or has the best
the MITSUBISHI GALANT, with the NISSAN BUS on their right opportunity of ascertaining it and that the plaintiff has no such
side before the vehicular accident. All 3 vehicles were at a halt knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege negligence in
along EDSA facing the south direction when the FUZO CARGO general terms and to rely upon the proof of the happening of the
TRUCK simultaneously bumped the rear portion of the accident in order to establish negligence. The inference which
MITSUBISHI GALANT and the rear left portion of the NISSAN the doctrine permits is grounded upon the fact that the chief
BUS. Due to the strong impact, these 2 vehicles were shoved evidence of the true cause, whether culpable or innocent, is
forward and the front left portion of the MISTUBISHI GALANT practically accessible to the defendant but inaccessible to the
rammed into the rear portion of the ISUZU TANKER. injured person.

Malayan Insurance (MALAYAN) paid the damages sustained by It has been said that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur furnishes a
the MISTUBISHI GALANT amounting to 700,000. Having been bridge by which a plaintiff, without knowledge of the cause,
subrogated to the rights of the assured upon its payment of the reaches over to defendant who knows or should know the cause,
insurance, Malayan sent several demand letters to respondents for any explanation of care exercised by the defendant in respect
RODELIO ALBERTO (ALBERTO) and ENRICO ALBERTO REYES of the matter of which the plaintiff complains. The res ipsa
(REYES), the registered owner and the driver, respectively, of the loquitur doctrine, another court has said, is a rule of necessity, in
FUZO CARGO TRUCK but both refused to settle their liability. that it proceeds on the theory that under the peculiar
Malayan then filed a complaint for damages against Alberto and circumstances in which the doctrine is applicable, it is within the
Reyes. power of the defendant to show that there was no negligence on
his part, and direct proof of defendant’s negligence is beyond
ALBERTO AND REYES’ contention: They contend that the plaintiff’s power. Accordingly, some courts add to the three
proximate cause of the vehicular accident was the reckless prerequisites for the application of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine
driving of the NISSAN BUS driver hence they cannot be held the further requirement that for the res ipsa loquitur doctrine to
liable. They further contend that the speeding bus, maneuvered apply, it must appear that the injured party had no knowledge or
its way towards the middle lane without due regard to Reyes’ means of knowledge as to the cause of the accident, or that the
right of way. When the Nissan Bus abruptly stopped, Reyes party to be charged with negligence has superior knowledge or
stepped hard on the brakes but the braking action could not opportunity for explanation of the accident.
cope with the inertia and failed to gain sufficient traction. As a
consequence, the Fuzo Cargo Truck hit the rear end of the In other words, the defendant’s negligence is presumed or
Mitsubishi Galant, which, in turn, hit the rear end of the vehicle inferred when the plaintiff establishes the requisites for the
in front of it. The Nissan Bus, on the other hand, sideswiped the application of res ipsa loquitur. Once the plaintiff makes out a
Fuzo Cargo Truck, causing damage to the latter. prima facie case of all the elements, the burden then shifts to
defendant to explain. The presumption or inference may be
MALAYAN’s contention: It content that since Reyes, the driver of rebutted or overcome by other evidence and, under appropriate
FUZO CARGO TRUCK, bumped into the rear of the MITSUBISHI circumstances a disputable presumption, such as that of due care
GALANT, he is presumed to be negligent unless proved otherwise or innocence, may outweigh the inference. It is not for the
and that the respondents failed to present any evidence to defendant to explain or prove its defense to prevent the
overturn the presumption of negligence. presumption or inference from arising. Evidence by the
defendant of say, due care, comes into play only after the
RTC: Ruled in favor of MALAYAN and held respondents liable for
circumstances for the application of the doctrine has been
damages.
established.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

In this case, all the requsities for the application of the rule of res However, testimony as to the statements and acts of physicians,
ipsa loquitur are present. To reiterate, res ipsa loquitur is a rule external appearances, and manifest conditions which are
of necessity which applies where evidence is absent or not observable by any one may be given by non-expert witnesses.
readily available. As explained in D.M. Consunji, Inc., it is partly Hence, in cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the
based upon the theory that the defendant in charge of the court is permitted to find a physician negligent upon proper proof
instrumentality which causes the injury either knows the cause of of injury to the patient, without the aid of expert testimony,
the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it and where the court from its fund of common knowledge can
that the plaintiff has no such knowledge, and, therefore, is determine the proper standard of care. Where common
compelled to allege negligence in general terms and to rely upon knowledge and experience teach that a resulting injury would not
the proof of the happening of the accident in order to establish have occurred to the patient if due care had been exercised, an
negligence. inference of negligence may be drawn giving rise to an
application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur without medical
As mentioned above, the requisites for the application of the res
evidence, which is ordinarily required to show not only what
ipsa loquitur rule are the following:
occurred but how and why it occurred. In the case at bench, we
(1) the accident was of a kind which does not give credence to the testimony of Mrs. Santiago by applying the
ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent; doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.
(2) the instrumentality or agency which caused The petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was
the injury was under the exclusive control of the denied by the CA. Hence, this petition.
person charged with negligence; and
ISSUE:
(3) the injury suffered must not have been due to
[1] Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable
any voluntary action or contribution on the part
in this case.
of the person injured.
[2] Whether or not the petitioners are liable for criminal.
In the instant case, the Fuzo Cargo Truck would not have had hit
the rear end of the Mitsubishi Galant unless someone is RULING:
negligent. Also, the Fuzo Cargo Truck was under the exclusive
[1] The Supreme Court ruled NO. The CA is correct in finding
control of its driver, Reyes. Even if respondents avert liability by
that there was negligence on the part of the petitioners.
putting the blame on the Nissan Bus driver, still, this allegation
However, the Court is not convinced that the petitioners are
was self-serving and totally unfounded. Finally, no contributory
guilty of criminal negligence complained of. The Court is also of
negligence was attributed to the driver of the Mitsubishi Galant.
the view that the CA erred in applying the doctrine of res ipsa
Consequently, all the requisites for the application of the doctrine
loquitur in this particular case.
of res ipsa loquitur are present, thereby creating a reasonable
presumption of negligence on the part of respondents. (GUIDE QUESTION #11) This doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur means "Where the thing which causes injury is shown
It is worth mentioning that just like any other disputable
to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident
presumptions or inferences, the presumption of
is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if
negligence may be rebutted or overcome by other
those who have the management use proper care, it affords
evidence to the contrary. However, in this case, the
reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the
respondents failed to present any evidence before the
defendant, that the accident arose from want of care."
trial court. Thus, the presumption of negligence remains.
The Black's Law Dictionary defines the said doctrine. Thus:
Consequently, the CA erred in dismissing the complaint for
Malayan Insurance’s adverted failure to prove negligence on the The thing speaks for itself. Rebuttable presumption or
part of respondents. inference that defendant was negligent, which arises upon proof
that the instrumentality causing injury was in defendant's
exclusive control, and that the accident was one which ordinarily
Dr. EMMANUEL JARCIA, Jr. and Dr. MARILOU BASTAN vs. does not happen in absence of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is a
PP. OF THE PHILIPPINES | G.R. No. 187926 | February rule of evidence whereby negligence of the alleged wrongdoer
15, 2012 | Andoy may be inferred from the mere fact that the accident happened
provided the character of the accident and circumstances
FACTS: Belinda Santiago (Mrs. Santiago) lodged a
attending it lead reasonably to belief that in the absence of
complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against
negligence it would not have occurred and that thing which
the petitioners, Dr. Emmanuel Jarcia, Jr. (Dr. Jarcia) and Dr.
caused injury is shown to have been under the management and
Marilou Bastan (Dr. Bastan), for their alleged neglect of
control of the alleged wrongdoer. Under this doctrine, the
professional duty which caused her son, Roy Alfonso
happening of an injury permits an inference of negligence where
Santiago (Roy Jr.), to suffer serious physical injuries. Upon
plaintiff produces substantial evidence that the injury was caused
investigation, the NBI found that Roy Jr. was hit by a taxicab and
by an agency or instrumentality under the exclusive control and
he was rushed to the Manila Doctors Hospital for an emergency
management of defendant, and that the occurrence was such
medical treatment. An X-ray of the victim’s ankle was ordered
that in the ordinary course of things would not happen if
and that the result showed no fracture as read by Dr. Jarcia. Dr.
reasonable care had been used.
Bastan entered the emergency room and, after conducting her
own examination of the victim, informed Mrs. Santiago that since The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is unusual
it was only the ankle that was hit, there was no need to examine to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima
the upper leg. Eleven days later, Roy Jr. developed fever, facie negligence may be established without direct proof and
swelling of the right leg and misalignment of the right foot and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. The
that Mrs. Santiago brought him back to the hospital. The X-ray doctrine, however, is not a rule of substantive law, but merely a
revealed a right mid-tibial fracture and a linear hairline fracture in mode of proof or a mere procedural convenience. The rule, when
the shaft of the bone. applicable to the facts and circumstances of a given case, is not
meant to and does not dispense with the requirement of proof of
On June 14, 2005, the petitioners were found guilty beyond
culpable negligence on the party charged. It merely determines
reasonable doubt of the crime of Simple Imprudence
and regulates what shall be prima facie evidence thereof and
Resulting to Serious Physical Injuries. Dissatisfied, the
helps the plaintiff in proving a breach of the duty. The doctrine
petitioners appealed to the CA. As earlier stated, the CA affirmed
can be invoked when and only when, under the circumstances
the RTC decision in toto which said:
involved, direct evidence is absent and not readily available.11
“Ordinarily, only physicians and surgeons of skill and experience
The requisites for the application of the doctrine of res
are competent to testify as to whether a patient has been treated
ipsa loquitur are:
or operated upon with a reasonable degree of skill and care.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

(1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur
unless someone is negligent;
DR. FERNANDO P. SOLIDUM, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
(2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was PHILIPPINES | Astillo
under the exclusive control of the person in charge; and
Petitioner Solidum is a physician-anesthesiologist who has been
(3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary pronounced guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in serious
action or contribution of the person injured. physical injuries by the RTC and the CA. He had been part of the
team of anesthesiologists during the surgical pull-through
In this case, the circumstances that caused patient Roy Jr.’s
operation conducted on a three-year old patient born with an
injury and the series of tests that were supposed to be
imperforate anus.
undergone by him to determine the extent of the injury suffered
were not under the exclusive control of Drs. Jarcia and Bastan. It Gerald Albert Gercayo (Gerald) was born on June 2, 1992 with an
was established that they are mere residents of the Manila imperforate anus. Two days after his birth, Gerald underwent
Doctors Hospital at that time who attended to the victim at the colostomy, a surgical procedure to bring one end of the large
emergency room. While it may be true that the circumstances intestine out through the abdominal wall, enabling him to excrete
pointed out by the courts below seem doubtless to constitute through a colostomy bag attached to the side of his body.
reckless imprudence on the part of the petitioners, this
On May 17, 1995, Gerald, then 3 years old, was admitted at the
conclusion is still best achieved, not through the scholarly
Ospital ng Maynila for a pull-through operation. Dr. Leandro
assumptions of a layman like the patient’s mother, but by the
Resurreccion headed the surgical team and the anesthesiologists
unquestionable knowledge of expert witnesses. As to whether
included Dr. Fernando Solidum (Dr. Solidum). During the
the petitioners have exercised the requisite degree of skill and
operation, Gerald experienced bradycardia, and went into a
care in treating patient Roy, Jr. is generally a matter of expert
coma. His coma lasted for two weeks, but he regained
opinion.
consciousness only after a month. He could no longer see, hear
[2] The Supreme Court ruled NO. The totality of the evidence on or move.
record clearly points to the negligence of the petitioners. At the
Agitated by her son’s helpless and unexpected condition, Ma. Luz
risk of being repetitious, the Court, however, is not satisfied that
Gercayo (Luz) lodged a complaint for reckless imprudence
Dr. Jarcia and Dr. Bastan are criminally negligent in this case.
resulting in serious physical injuries with the City Prosecutor’s
Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the protection Office of Manila against the attending physicians.
of the interests of another person that degree of care,
Upon a finding of probable cause, the City Prosecutor’s Office
precaution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand,
filed an information solely against Dr. Solidum,13 alleging: –
whereby such other person suffers injury. Reckless imprudence
consists of voluntarily doing or failing to do, without malice, an … the said accused, being then an anesthesiologist at
act from which material damage results by reason of an the Ospital ng Maynila, did then and there willfully,
inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person unlawfully and feloniously fail and neglect to use the
performing or failing to perform such act. The elements of simple care and diligence as the best of his judgment would
negligence are: (1) that there is lack of precaution on the part of dictate under said circumstance, by failing to monitor
the offender, and (2) that the damage impending to be caused is and regulate properly the levels of anesthesia
not immediate or the danger is not clearly manifest. In this case, administered to said GERALD ALBERT GERCAYO
the Court is not convinced with moral certainty that the and using 100% halothane and other anesthetic
petitioners are guilty of reckless imprudence or simple medications, causing as a consequence of his said
negligence. The elements thereof were not proved by the carelessness and negligence, said GERALD ALBERT
prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. GERCAYO suffered a cardiac arrest and consequently a
defect called hypoxic encephalopathy meaning
The Court, nevertheless, finds the petitioners civilly liable for
insufficient oxygen supply in the brain, thereby
their failure to sufficiently attend to Roy Jr.’s medical needs when
rendering him to be incapable of moving his body,
the latter was rushed to the ER, for while a criminal conviction
seeing, speaking or hearing, to his damage and
requires proof beyond reasonable doubt, only a preponderance
prejudice.
of evidence is required to establish civil liability. Taken into
account also was the fact that there was no bad faith on their RTC found the accused guilty, which was affirmed by the CA. CA
part. ruled that the case appears to be a textbook example of res
ipsa loquitur.
To repeat for clarity and emphasis, if these doctors knew from
the start that they were not in the position to attend to Roy Jr., a ISSUE
vehicular accident victim, with the degree of diligence and
commitment expected of every doctor in a case like this, they 1) Whether or not Res Ipsa Loquitor is applicable in this
should have not made a baseless assurance that everything was case.
all right. By doing so, they deprived Roy Jr. of adequate medical 2) Whether or not SOLIDUM is negligent in this case.
attention that placed him in a more dangerous situation than he
was already in. What petitioners should have done, and could 3) Whether or not OSPITAL NG MAYNILA is solidarily liable.
have done, was to refer Roy Jr. to another doctor who could HELD:
competently and thoroughly examine his injuries.
1. NO!
The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 29, 2008 is
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. A new judgment is In order to allow resort to the doctrine, therefore, the following
entered ACQUITTING Dr. Emmanuel Jarcia, Jr. and Dr. Marilou essential requisites must first be satisfied, to wit: (1) the
Bastan of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to serious accident was of a kind that does not ordinarily occur
physical injuries but declaring them civilly liable in the amounts unless someone is negligent; (2) the instrumentality or
of: agency that caused the injury was under the exclusive
control of the person charged; and (3) the injury suffered
(1) P 3,850.00 as actual damages; must not have been due to any voluntary action or
(2) P 100,000.00 as moral damages; contribution of the person injured.29

(3) P 50,000.00 as exemplary damages; and The Court considers the application here of the doctrine
of res ipsa loquitur inappropriate. Although it should be
(4) Costs of the suit with interest at the rate of 6% per conceded without difficulty that the second and third elements
annum from the date of the filing of the Information. The rate were present, considering that the anesthetic agent and the
shall be 12% interest per annum from the finality of judgment instruments were exclusively within the control of Dr. Solidum,
until fully paid.
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

and that the patient, being then unconscious during the competent to testify as to whether a patient has been
operation, could not have been guilty of contributory negligence, treated or operated upon with a reasonable degree of
the first element was undeniably wanting. Luz delivered skill and care. However, testimony as to the statements
Gerald to the care, custody and control of his physicians for a and acts of physicians and surgeons, external
pull-through operation. Except for the imperforate anus, Gerald appearances, and manifest conditions which are
was then of sound body and mind at the time of his submission observable by any one may be given by non-expert
to the physicians. Yet, he experienced bradycardia during the witnesses. Hence, in cases where the res ipsa loquitur is
operation, causing loss of his senses and rendering him applicable, the court is permitted to find a physician negligent
immobile. Hypoxia, or the insufficiency of oxygen supply to the upon proper proof of injury to the patient, without the aid of
brain that caused the slowing of the heart rate, scientifically expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common
termed as bradycardia, would not ordinarily occur in the process knowledge can determine the proper standard of care. Where
of a pull-through operation, or during the administration of common knowledge and experience teach that a resulting injury
anesthesia to the patient, but such fact alone did not prove would not have occurred to the patient if due care had been
that the negligence of any of his attending physicians, exercised, an inference of negligence may be drawn giving rise
including the anesthesiologists, had caused the injury. In to an application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur without
fact, the anesthesiologists attending to him had sensed in the medical evidence, which is ordinarily required to show not only
course of the operation that the lack of oxygen could have been what occurred but how and why it occurred. When the doctrine
triggered by the vago-vagal reflex, prompting them to administer is appropriate, all that the patient must do is prove a nexus
atropine to the patient.30 between the particular act or omission complained of and the
injury sustained while under the custody and management of the
Res ipsa loquitur is literally translated as "the thing or the
defendant without need to produce expert medical testimony to
transaction speaks for itself." The doctrine res ipsa loquitur
establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa loquitur is
means that "where the thing which causes injury is shown to be
allowed because there is no other way, under usual and ordinary
under the management of the defendant, and the accident is
conditions, by which the patient can obtain redress for injury
such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those
suffered by him.
who have the management use proper care, it affords reasonable
evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the defendant, Thus, courts of other jurisdictions have applied the
that the accident arose from want of care."24 It is simply "a doctrine in the following situations: leaving of a foreign
recognition of the postulate that, as a matter of common object in the body of the patient after an operation,
knowledge and experience, the very nature of certain types of injuries sustained on a healthy part of the body which
occurrences may justify an inference of negligence on the part of was not under, or in the area, of treatment, removal of
the person who controls the instrumentality causing the injury in the wrong part of the body when another part was
the absence of some explanation by the defendant who is intended, knocking out a tooth while a patient’s jaw was
charged with negligence. It is grounded in the superior logic of under anesthetic for the removal of his tonsils, and loss
ordinary human experience and on the basis of such experience of an eye while the patient plaintiff was under the
or common knowledge, negligence may be deduced from the influence of anesthetic, during or following an operation
mere occurrence of the accident itself. for appendicitis, among others.
Hence, res ipsa loquitur is applied in conjunction with the Nevertheless, despite the fact that the scope of res ipsa loquitur
doctrine of common knowledge."25 has been measurably enlarged, it does not automatically apply to
all cases of medical negligence as to mechanically shift the
Jarcia, Jr. v. People has underscored that the doctrine is not a
burden of proof to the defendant to show that he is not guilty of
rule of substantive law, but merely a mode of proof or a mere
the ascribed negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is not a rigid or
procedural convenience. The doctrine, when applicable to the
ordinary doctrine to be perfunctorily used but a rule to be
facts and circumstances of a given case, is not meant to and
cautiously applied, depending upon the circumstances of each
does not dispense with the requirement of proof of culpable
case. It is generally restricted to situations in malpractice cases
negligence against the party charged. It merely determines and
where a layman is able to say, as a matter of common
regulates what shall be prima facie evidence thereof, and helps
knowledge and observation, that the consequences of
the plaintiff in proving a breach of the duty. The doctrine can
professional care were not as such as would ordinarily have
be invoked when and only when, under the
followed if due care had been exercised. A distinction must be
circumstances involved, direct evidence is absent and not
made between the failure to secure results, and the occurrence
readily available.
of something more unusual and not ordinarily found if the service
The applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in medical or treatment rendered followed the usual procedure of those
negligence cases was significantly and exhaustively explained in skilled in that particular practice. It must be conceded that
Ramos v. Court of Appeals, where the Court said – the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no application
in a suit against a physician or surgeon which involves
Medical malpractice cases do not escape the application the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment. The
of this doctrine. Thus, res ipsa loquitur has been applied physician or surgeon is not required at his peril to explain why
when the circumstances attendant upon the harm are any particular diagnosis was not correct, or why any particular
themselves of such a character as to justify an inference scientific treatment did not produce the desired result. Thus, res
of negligence as the cause of that harm. The application ipsa loquitur is not available in a malpractice suit if the
of res ipsa loquitur in medical negligence cases presents only showing is that the desired result of an operation or
a question of law since it is a judicial function to treatment was not accomplished. The real question,
determine whether a certain set of circumstances does, therefore, is whether or not in the process of the
as a matter of law, permit a given inference. operation any extraordinary incident or unusual event
Although generally, expert medical testimony is relied upon in outside of the routine performance occurred which is
malpractice suits to prove that a physician has done a negligent beyond the regular scope of customary professional
act or that he has deviated from the standard medical procedure, activity in such operations, which, if unexplained would
when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, themselves reasonably speak to the average man as the
the need for expert medical testimony is dispensed with negligent cause or causes of the untoward consequence.
because the injury itself provides the proof of negligence. If there was such extraneous intervention, the doctrine of res
The reason is that the general rule on the necessity of expert ipsa loquitur may be utilized and the defendant is called upon to
testimony applies only to such matters clearly within the explain the matter, by evidence of exculpation, if he could.
domain of medical science, and not to matters that are 2. NO!
within the common knowledge of mankind which may be
testified to by anyone familiar with the facts. Ordinarily, Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the protection
only physicians and surgeons of skill and experience are of the interests of another person that degree of care,
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

precaution, and vigilance that the circumstances justly demand, for the anastomosis, had bradycardia. The anesthesiologists,
whereby such other person suffers injury. Reckless imprudence, sensing that the cause thereof was the triggering of the vago-
on the other hand, consists of voluntarily doing or failing to do, vagal reflex, administered atropine to block it but despite the
without malice, an act from which material damage results by administration of the drug in two doses, cardiac arrest ensued.
reason of an inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the As the records show, prompt resuscitative measures were
person performing or failing to perform such act.33 administered and spontaneous cardiac function re-established in
less than 5 minutes and that oxygen was continuously being
In litigations involving medical negligence, the plaintiff has the
administered throughout, unfortunately, as later become
burden of establishing appellant's negligence and for a
manifest, patient suffered permanent irreversible brain damage.
reasonable conclusion of negligence, there must be proof
of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon as well as a In view of the actuations of the anaesthesiologists and the
causal connection of such breach and the resulting death administration of anaesthesia, the committee find that the same
of his patient. In Chan Lugay v. St Luke's Hospital, Inc., where were all in accordance with the universally accepted standards of
the attending physician was absolved of liability for the death of medical care and there is no evidence of any fault or negligence
the complainant’s wife and newborn baby, this Court held that: on the part of the anaesthesiologists.
"In order that there may be a recovery for an injury, however, it 3. NO!
must be shown that the ‘injury for which recovery is
Although the result now reached has resolved the issue of civil
sought must be the legitimate consequence of the wrong
liability, we have to address the unusual decree of the RTC, as
done; the connection between the negligence and the
affirmed by the CA, of expressly holding Ospital ng Maynila civilly
injury must be a direct and natural sequence of events,
liable jointly and severally with Dr. Solidum. The decree was
unbroken by intervening efficient causes.’ In other
flawed in logic and in law.
words, the negligence must be the proximate cause of
the injury. For, ‘negligence, no matter in what it consists, In criminal prosecutions, the civil action for the recovery of civil
cannot create a right of action unless it is the proximate liability that is deemed instituted with the criminal action refers
cause of the injury complained of.’ And ‘the proximate only to that arising from the offense charged.48 It is puzzling,
cause of an injury is that cause, which, in natural and therefore, how the RTC and the CA could have adjudged
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening Ospital ng Maynila jointly and severally liable with Dr.
cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would Solidum for the damages despite the obvious fact that
not have occurred.’" Ospital ng Maynila, being an artificial entity, had not
been charged along with Dr. Solidum. The lower courts
In the medical profession, specific norms or standards to protect
thereby acted capriciously and whimsically, which
the patient against unreasonable risk, commonly referred to as
rendered their judgment against Ospital ng Maynila void
standards of care, set the duty of the physician to act in respect
as the product of grave abuse of discretion amounting to
of the patient. Unfortunately, no clear definition of the duty
lack of jurisdiction.
of a particular physician in a particular case exists.
Because most medical malpractice cases are highly Not surprisingly, the flawed decree raises other material concerns
technical, witnesses with special medical qualifications that the RTC and the CA overlooked. We deem it important,
must provide guidance by giving the knowledge then, to express the following observations for the instruction of
necessary to render a fair and just verdict. As a result, the the Bench and Bar.
standard of medical care of a prudent physician must be
determined from expert testimony in most cases; and in the case For one, Ospital ng Maynila was not at all a party in the
of a specialist (like an anesthesiologist), the standard of care by proceedings. Hence, its fundamental right to be heard
which the specialist is judged is the care and skill commonly was not respected from the outset. The R TC and the CA
possessed and exercised by similar specialists under similar should have been alert to this fundamental defect. Verily,
circumstances. The specialty standard of care may be higher no person can be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an
than that required of the general practitioner. action or proceeding in which he was not made a party.
Such a rule would enforce the constitutional guarantee of
The standard of care is an objective standard by which the due process of law.
conduct of a physician sued for negligence or malpractice may be
measured, and it does not depend, therefore, on any individual Moreover, Ospital ng Maynila could be held civilly liable only
physician’s own knowledge either. In attempting to fix a standard when subsidiary liability would be properly enforceable pursuant
by which a court may determine whether the physician has to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. But the subsidiary
properly performed the requisite duty toward the patient, expert liability seems far-fetched here. The conditions for subsidiary
medical testimony from both plaintiff and defense experts is liability to attach to Ospital ng Maynila should first be complied
required. The judge, as the trier of fact, ultimately determines with. Firstly, pursuant to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code,
the standard of care, after listening to the testimony of all Ospital ng Maynila must be shown to be a corporation "engaged
medical experts. in any kind of industry." The term industry means any
department or branch of art, occupation or business, especially
Here, the Prosecution presented no witnesses with special one that employs labor and capital, and is engaged in industry.
medical qualifications in anesthesia to provide guidance to the However, Ospital ng Maynila, being a public hospital, was not
trial court on what standard of care was applicable. It would engaged in industry conducted for profit but purely in charitable
consequently be truly difficult, if not impossible, to determine and humanitarian work. Secondly, assuming that Ospital ng
whether the first three elements of a negligence and malpractice Maynila was engaged in industry for profit, Dr. Solidum must be
action were attendant. shown to be an employee of Ospital ng Maynila acting in the
discharge of his duties during the operation on Gerald. Yet, he
Although the Prosecution presented Dr. Benigno Sulit, Jr., an
definitely was not such employee but a consultant of the
anesthesiologist himself who served as the Chairman of the
hospital. And, thirdly, assuming that civil liability was adjudged
Committee on Ethics and Malpractice of the Philippine Society of
against Dr. Solidum as an employee (which did not happen
Anesthesiologists that investigated the complaint against Dr.
here), the execution against him was unsatisfied due to his being
Solidum, his testimony mainly focused on how his Committee
insolvent.
had conducted the investigation. Even then, the report of his
Committee was favorable to Dr. Solidum, to wit:
Presented for review by this committee is the case of a 3 year Air France vs. Carrascoso | Dela Cruz
old male who underwent a pull-thru operation and was
administered general anesthesia by a team of anesthesia Carrascoso went on a pilgrimage from Manila to Rome with a
residents. The patient, at the time when the surgeons was "first class" ticket issued by Air France (AF) through its agent,
manipulating the recto-sigmoid and pulling it down in preparation PAL. From Manila to Bangkok, he travelled in "first class".
However, in Bangkok, he was forced by the Manager of AF to
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

vacate his seat and transfer to the "tourist class" as a "white the same substances as well; she brought the said bottles to
man" had a better right to the seat. He did so under protest. the Regional Health Office of DOH for examination;
subsequently, they informed her that the samples "are
AF contends that there is a need to confirm the ticket before the
adulterated”
passenger can actually take the "first class" seat. Carrascoso filed
a case claiming for moral and exemplary damages. AF contended  Her sales of soft drinks severely plummeted from the usual
that the issuance of a first class ticket was no guarantee that he 10 cases per day to as low as 2 to 3 cases per day resulting
would have a first class ride, but that such would depend upon in losses of from P200.00 to P300.00 per day
the availability of first class seats.
 On 12 December 1989, she had to lose shop; she became
ISSUE: W/N AF is liable to pay damages for the tortious acts of jobless and destitute
its employee (Manager) in favor of Carrascoso. YES
 On 7 May 1990, she filed a complaint for damages
RULING: It is evident that: First, There was a contract to
 RTC: Dismissed the case. CA: Reversed such dismissal.
furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering, amongst others,
the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, That said contract was  Geronimo’s contention: Her cause of action is based on
breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class quasi-delict under Article 2176, the prescriptive period
transportation at Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad faith therefore is 4 years in accordance with Article 1144, thus the
when petitioner's employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his filing of the complaint was well within the said period
first class accommodation berth "after he was already,
seated" and to take a seat in the tourist class, by reason of which  Coca-cola’s contention: The case is one for breach of
he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments and humiliations, implied warranty against hidden defects or merchantability
thereby causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded under Article 1561 which prescribes within 6 months from
feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages. The delivery of the softdrinks pursuant to Article 1571. No quasi-
stress of the action is put on wrongful expulsion. delict since there is a pre-existing contractual obligation
between them
The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of its
employees is well settled in law. For the willful malevolent act of ISSUE/S:
petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer. (GUIDE QUESTION #13) Is the rule that there must be no
Article 21 of the Civil Code says: pre-existing contractual relations bet. Parties in a quasi-delict
ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury absolute?
to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good While it may be true that the pre-existing contract between the
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for parties may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of the law on
the damage. quasi-delict, the liability may itself be deemed to arise from
In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal precept; quasi-delict. Otherwise put, liability for quasi-delict may
and, we held that upon the provisions of Article 2219 (10), Civil still exist despite the presence of contractual relations.
Code, moral damages are recoverable. Under American law, the liabilities of a manufacturer or seller of
A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and injury-causing products may be based on negligence, breach of
degree from any other contractual relation. And this, because of warranty, tort, or other grounds such as fraud, deceit, or
the relation which an air-carrier sustains with the public. Its misrepresentation.
business is mainly with the travelling public. It invites people to (GUIDE QUESTION #2) Quasi-delict, as defined in Article 2176
avail of the comforts and advantages it offers. The contract of air of the Civil Code, (which is known in Spanish legal treaties as
carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended with a public culpa aquiliana, culpa extra-contractual or cuasi-delitos) is
duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the carrier's employees, homologous but NOT identical to tort under the common law,
naturally, could give ground for an action for damages. which includes not only negligence, but also intentional criminal
Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have acts, such as assault and battery, false imprisonment and deceit.
a right to be treated by the carrier's employees with kindness, Main Issue: WON the action for damages is to be treated as
respect, courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to be BREACH OF WARRANTY or on the basis of QUASI-DELICT?
protected against personal misconduct, injurious language, (latter)
indignities and abuses from such employees. So it is, that any
rule or discourteous conduct on the part of employees towards a RULING: The vendee's remedies against a vendor with respect
passenger gives the latter an action for damages against the to the warranties against hidden defects of or encumbrances
carrier. upon the thing sold are not limited to those prescribed in Article
1567 (which covers 1561). The vendee may also ask for the
Although the relation of passenger and carrier is annulment of the contract upon proof of error or fraud, in which
"contractual both in origin and nature" nevertheless "the case the ordinary rule on obligations shall be applicable. The
act that breaks the contract may be also a tort". vendor could likewise be liable for quasi-delict under
Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso is one attended with public Article 2176.
duty. The stress of Carrascoso's action is placed upon his Geronimo’s action was neither an action for rescission nor for
wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the proportionate reduction of the price (under 1567), but for
petitioner air carrier — a case of quasi-delict. Damages are DAMAGES arising from a quasi-delict. The CA was correct in
proper. ruling that the existence of a contract did not preclude the action
for quasi-delict.

COCA-COLA Bottlers PH vs. CA and Ms. Lydia GERONIMO


| G.R. No. 110295 | October 1993 | Javier KHRISTINE REA M. REGINO, Assisted and Represented
 Geronimo is the owner of Kindergarten Wonderland by ARMANDO REGINO vs. PANGASINAN COLLEGES OF
Canteen, an enterprise engaged in the sale of softdrinks and SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, RACHELLE A. GAMUROT and
other goods to the students of Kindergarten Wonderland and ELISSA BALADAD | G.R. No. 156109 | November 18,
to the public 2004 | Juyo

 On or about 12 August 1989, some parents of the students Petitioner Regino was a first year computer science student at
complained to her that the Coke and Sprite sold by her Respondent PCST. The said school held a fund raising campaign.
contained fiber-like matter and other foreign substances or Each student was required to pay for two tickets at the price of
particles; he then went over her stock of softdrinks and saw P100 each. The students who purchased tickets will have
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

additional points in their test scores; those who refused to pay "Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his
were denied the opportunity to take the final examinations. rights and in the performance of his duties, act with
justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and
Financially strapped and prohibited by her religion from attending
good faith."
dance parties and celebrations, Regino refused to pay for the
tickets. Next day, Baladad, after announcing to the entire class "Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury
that she was not permitting petitioner and another student to to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
take their statistics examinations for failing to pay for their customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for
tickets, allegedly ejected them from the classroom. Petitioner's the damage."
pleas ostensibly went unheeded by Gamurot and Baladad, who
"Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity,
unrelentingly defended their positions as compliance with PCST's
personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors
policy.
and other persons. The following and similar acts,
Petitioner filed, as a pauper litigant, a Complaint5 for damages though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall
against PCST, Gamurot and Baladad. produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and
other relief:
Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of
petitioner's failure to exhaust administrative remedies. (1) Prying into the privacy of another's
Respondents anchored their Motion to Dismiss on petitioner's residence;
alleged failure to exhaust administrative remedies before
(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life
resorting to the RTC. According to them, the determination of
or family relations of another;
the controversy hinge on the validity, the wisdom and the
propriety of PCST's academic policy. (3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated
from his friends;
Thus, the Complaint should have been lodged in the CHED.
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account
Petitioner counters that the doctrine finds no relevance to the
of his beliefs, lowly station in life, place of
present case since she is praying for damages, a remedy beyond
birth, physical defect, or other personal
the domain of the CHED and well within the jurisdiction of the
condition."
courts.
Generally, liability for tort arises only between parties not
ISSUES:
otherwise bound by a contract. An academic institution, however,
(1) WON this a civil case for damages. YES. Therefore, may be held liable for tort even if it has an existing contract with
exhaustion of admin remedies does not apply. its students, since the act that violated the contract may also be
a tort.
(2) WON respondents are liable for tort. The court a quo
is yet to find out. Case was remanded. In sum, the Court holds that the Complaint alleges sufficient
causes of action against respondents, and that it should not have
RATIONALE:
been summarily dismissed. Needless to say, the Court is not
Petitioner is correct. First, the doctrine of exhaustion of holding respondents liable for the acts complained of. That will
administrative remedies has no bearing on the present case. have to be ruled upon in due course by the court a quo.

Petitioner is not asking for the reversal of the policies of PCST.


Neither is she demanding it to allow her to take her final
LOADMASTERS CUSTOMS SERVICES, INC. vs. GLODEL
examinations; she was already enrolled in another educational
BROKERAGE CORPORATION and R&B INSURANCE
institution. A reversal of the acts complained of would not
CORPORATION | G.R. No. 179446 | January 10, 2011 |
adequately redress her grievances; under the circumstances, the
Diesto
consequences of respondents' acts could no longer be undone or
rectified. FACTS: R&B Insurance issued Marine Policy in favor of Columbia
to insure the shipment of 132 bundles of electric copper cathodes
Second, exhaustion of administrative remedies is applicable when
against All Risks. On August 28, 2001, the cargoes were shipped
there is competence on the part of the administrative body to act
on board the vessel "Richard Rey" from Isabela, Leyte, to Pier
upon the matter complained of. Administrative agencies are not
10, North Harbor, Manila. They arrived on the same date.
courts; they are neither part of the judicial system, nor are they
deemed judicial tribunals. Specifically, the CHED does not have Columbia engaged the services of Glodel for the release and
the power to award damages. Hence, petitioner could not have withdrawal of the cargoes from the pier and the subsequent
commenced her case before the Commission. delivery to its warehouses/plants. Glodel, in turn, engaged the
services of Loadmasters for the use of its delivery trucks to
Third, the exhaustion doctrine admits of exceptions, one of which
transport the cargoes to Columbia’s warehouses/plants in
arises when the issue is purely legal and well within the
Bulacan and Valenzuela City.
jurisdiction of the trial court. Petitioner's action for damages
inevitably calls for the application and the interpretation of the The goods were loaded on board twelve (12) trucks owned by
Civil Code, a function that falls within the jurisdiction of the Loadmasters, driven by its employed drivers and accompanied by
courts. its employed truck helpers. Six (6) truckloads of copper cathodes
were to be delivered to Balagtas, Bulacan, while the other six (6)
Liability for Tort ̶
truckloads were destined for Lawang Bato, Valenzuela City. The
In her Complaint, petitioner also charged that private cargoes in six truckloads for Lawang Bato were duly delivered in
respondents "inhumanly punish students x x x by reason only of Columbia’s warehouses there. Of the six (6) trucks en route to
their poverty, religious practice or lowly station in life, which Balagtas, Bulacan, however, only five (5) reached the
inculcated upon [petitioner] the feelings of guilt, disgrace and destination. One (1) truck, loaded with 11 bundles or 232 pieces
unworthiness;" as a result of such punishment, she was allegedly of copper cathodes, failed to deliver its cargo.
unable to finish any of her subjects for the second semester of
Later on, the said truck, an Isuzu, was recovered but without the
that school year and had to lag behind in her studies by a full
copper cathodes. Because of this incident, Columbia filed with
year.
R&B Insurance a claim for insurance indemnity in the amount
The acts of respondents supposedly caused her extreme ofP1,903,335.39. After the requisite investigation and
humiliation, mental agony and "demoralization of unimaginable adjustment, R&B Insurance paid Columbia the amount
proportions" in violation of Articles 19, 21 and 26 of the Civil ofP1,896,789.62 as insurance indemnity.
Code. These provisions of the law state thus:
R&B Insurance, thereafter, filed a complaint for damages against
both Loadmasters and Glodel. It sought reimbursement of the
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
Atty. Jess Zachael Espejo | Ateneo de Davao University | Uno Manresa & Friends Case Pool | 2014 to 2015

amount it had paid to Columbia for the loss of the subject cargo. liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is
It claimed that it had been subrogated "to the right of the that which breaches the contract. In the present case, Phoenix
consignee to recover from the party/parties who may be held and McGee are not suing for damages for injuries arising
legally liable for the loss."2 from the breach of the contract of service but from the
alleged negligent manner by which Mindanao Terminal
RTC rendered a decision3 holding Glodel liable for damages for
handled the cargoes belonging to Del Monte Produce. Despite
the loss of the subject cargo and dismissing Loadmasters’
the absence of contractual relationship between Del Monte
counterclaim for damages and attorney’s fees against R&B
Produce and Mindanao Terminal, the allegation of negligence on
Insurance. CA partly granted the appeal by holding that
the part of the defendant should be sufficient to establish a
Loadmasters as agent of Glodel is also liable to R&B Insurance in
cause of action arising from quasi-delict. [Emphases supplied]
the same amount as of that of Glodel.
In connection therewith, Article 2180 provides: The obligation
ISSUE (main): Who, between Glodel and Loadmasters, is liable
imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one’s own
to pay R&B Insurance for the amount of the indemnity it paid
acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is
Columbia.
responsible.
RULING: Glodel and Loadmasters are solidarily liable.
xxxx
Loadmasters and Glodel, being both common carriers,
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
are mandated from the nature of their business and for
employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their
reasons of public policy, to observe the extraordinary
assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any
diligence in the vigilance over the goods transported by
business or industry.
them according to all the circumstances of such case, as
required by Article 1733 of the Civil Code. When the Court It is not disputed that the subject cargo was lost while in the
speaks of extraordinary diligence, it is that extreme measure of custody of Loadmasters whose employees (truck driver and
care and caution which persons of unusual prudence and helper) were instrumental in the hijacking or robbery of the
circumspection observe for securing and preserving their own shipment. As employer, Loadmasters should be made answerable
property or rights.15 This exacting standard imposed on common for the damages caused by its employees who acted within the
carriers in a contract of carriage of goods is intended to tilt the scope of their assigned task of delivering the goods safely to the
scales in favor of the shipper who is at the mercy of the common warehouse. Whenever an employee’s negligence causes damage
carrier once the goods have been lodged for shipment.16 Thus, in or injury to another, there instantly arises a presumption juris
case of loss of the goods, the common carrier is presumed to tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris
have been at fault or to have acted negligently.17This families in the selection (culpa in eligiendo) or supervision (culpa
presumption of fault or negligence, however, may be rebutted by in vigilando) of its employees.20 To avoid liability for a quasi-
proof that the common carrier has observed extraordinary delict committed by its employee, an employer must overcome
diligence over the goods. the presumption by presenting convincing proof that he
exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in
With respect to the time frame of this extraordinary
the selection and supervision of his employee. In this regard,
responsibility, the Civil Code provides that the exercise of
Loadmasters failed.
extraordinary diligence lasts from the time the goods are
unconditionally placed in the possession of, and received by, the Glodel is also liable because of its failure to exercise
carrier for transportation until the same are delivered, actually or extraordinary diligence. It failed to ensure that Loadmasters
constructively, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person would fully comply with the undertaking to safely transport the
who has a right to receive them.18 subject cargo to the designated destination. It should have been
more prudent in entrusting the goods to Loadmasters by taking
Premises considered, the Court is of the view that both
precautionary measures, such as providing escorts to accompany
Loadmasters and Glodel are jointly and severally liable to R & B
the trucks in delivering the cargoes. Glodel should, therefore, be
Insurance for the loss of the subject cargo. Under Article 2194 of
held liable with Loadmasters. Its defense of force majeure is
the New Civil Code, "the responsibility of two or more persons
unavailing.
who are liable for a quasi-delict is solidary."
ISSUE 2: What then is the extent of the respective liabilities of
Loadmasters’ claim that it was never privy to the contract
Loadmasters and Glodel?
entered into by Glodel with the consignee Columbia or R&B
Insurance as subrogee, is not a valid defense. It may not have a RULING: Each wrongdoer is liable for the total damage suffered
direct contractual relation with Columbia, but it is liable for tort by R&B Insurance. Where there are several causes for the
under the provisions of Article 2176 of the Civil Code on quasi- resulting damages, a party is not relieved from liability, even
delicts which expressly provide: ART. 2176. Whoever by act or partially. It is sufficient that the negligence of a party is an
omission causes damage to another, there being fault or efficient cause without which the damage would not have
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or resulted. It is no defense to one of the concurrent tortfeasors
negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation that the damage would not have resulted from his negligence
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is alone, without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other
governed by the provisions of this Chapter. concurrent tortfeasor. As stated in the case of Far Eastern
Shipping v. Court of Appeals x x x Where several causes
Pertinent is the ruling enunciated in the case of Mindanao
producing an injury are concurrent and each is an efficient cause
Terminal and Brokerage Service, Inc. v. Phoenix Assurance
without which the injury would not have happened, the injury
Company of New York,/McGee & Co., Inc.19 where this Court
may be attributed to all or any of the causes and recovery may
held that a tort may arise despite the absence of a contractual
be had against any or all of the responsible persons although
relationship, to wit:
under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of
We agree with the Court of Appeals that the complaint filed by them was more culpable, and that the duty owed by them to the
Phoenix and McGee against Mindanao Terminal, from which the injured person was not the same. No actor's negligence ceases
present case has arisen, states a cause of action. The present to be a proximate cause merely because it does not exceed the
action is based on quasi-delict, arising from the negligent and negligence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the
careless loading and stowing of the cargoes belonging to Del entire result and is liable as though his acts were the sole cause
Monte Produce. Even assuming that both Phoenix and McGee of the injury.
have only been subrogated in the rights of Del Monte Produce,
There is no contribution between joint tortfeasors whose liability
who is not a party to the contract of service between Mindanao
is solidary since both of them are liable for the total damage.
Terminal and Del Monte, still the insurance carriers may have a
Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions
cause of action in light of the Court’s consistent ruling that the
of two or more persons, although acting independently, are in
act that breaks the contract may be also a tort. In fine, a
combination the direct and proximate cause of a single injury to
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a third person, it is impossible to determine in what proportion pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code are
each contributed to the injury and either of them is as follows:
responsible for the whole injury. Where their concurring
CIVIL CODE - ART. 1089, 1092, 1093, 1902, 1903, 1904
negligence resulted in injury or damage to a third party, they
become joint tortfeasors and are solidarily liable for the resulting REVISED PENAL CODE - Art. 100, 101, 102, 103, 365.
damage under Article 2194 of the Civil Code. [Emphasis supplied]
It will thus be seen that while the terms of article 1902 of the
(GUIDE QUESTION #7) What situations require extraordinary Civil Code seem to be broad enough to cover the driver's
diligence? In this case, when you are a common carrier. negligence in the instant case, nevertheless article 1093 limits
Note: Kamo na pangita sa ubang issue related sa atong cuasi-delitos to acts or omissions "not punishable by law." But
topic. inasmuch as article 365 of the Revised Penal Code punishes not
only reckless but even simple imprudence or negligence, the fault
or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code has apparently
Barredo vs. Garcia | GR 48006 | July 8, 1942 | Muñoz been crowded out. It is this overlapping that makes the
"confusion worse confounded."
- On the road between Malabon and Navotas, Province of Rizal,
there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate However, a closer study shows that such a concurrence of scope
Taxicab driven by Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the distinction
Pedro Dimapilis. between the civil liability arising from a crime and the
responsibility for cuasi- delitos or culpa extra-contractual. The
- The carretela was overturned, and one of its passengers, 16-
same negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability
year-old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from which he
arising from a crime under article 100 of the Revised Penal Code,
died two days later. - A criminal action was filed against
or create an action for cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual
Fontanilla in the CFI of Rizal, and he was convicted and
under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. The individuality of
sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day
cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms clear and
to two years of prision correccional.
unmistakable. In Spanish legal terminology, this responsibility is
- The court in the criminal case granted the petition that the right often referred to as culpa aquiliana. The distinctive nature of
to bring a separate civil action be reserved. cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code. According to article 1089,
one of the five sources of obligations is this legal institution of
- Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario, parents of the deceased, cuasi-delito or culpa extra- contractual. Then article 1093
on March 7, 1939, brought an action in the CFI of Manila against provides that this kind of obligation shall be governed by Chapter
Fausto Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and II of Title XVI of Book IV, meaning articles 1902-1910. This
employer of Pedro Fontanilla. portion of the Civil Code is exclusively devoted to the legal
- CFI of MANILA awarded damages in favor of the plaintiffs. CA institution of culpa aquiliana.
modified by reducing the damages to P1,000 with legal interest Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code
from the time the action was instituted. It is undisputed that and the culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito under the Civil Code are:
Fontanilla's negligence was the cause of the mishap, as he was
driving on the wrong side of the road, and at high speed. As to 1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are
Barredo's responsibility. only of private concern.

- CA found: There is no proof that Fontanilla's employer 2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the
(Barredo) exercised the diligence of a good father of a family to criminal act, while the Civil Code, by means of indemnification,
prevent the damage. He was careless in employing Fontanilla merely repairs the damage.
who had been caught several times for violation of the
3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the
Automobile Law and speeding violations. Therefore, he must
former are punished only if there is a penal law clearly covering
indemnify plaintiffs under the provisions of article 1903 of the
them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any
Civil Code.
kind of fault or negligence intervenes."
- The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Fausto
However, it should be noted that not all violations of the penal
Barredo is governed by the Revised Penal Code; hence, his
law produce civil responsibility, such as begging in contravention
liability is only subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action
of ordinances, violation of the game laws, infraction of the rules
against Pedro Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo
of traffic when nobody is hurt. The foregoing authorities clearly
cannot be held responsible in this case.
demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa
- CA insists on applying in this case article 1903 of the Civil Code. aquiliana under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there
Article 1903 of the Civil Code is found in Chapter II, Title 16, is a distinction between civil liability arising from criminal
Book IV of the Civil Code. This fact makes said article negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for
inapplicable to a civil liability arising from a crime as in the case fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code,
at bar simply because Chapter II of Title 16 of Book IV of the and that the same negligent act may produce either a civil
Civil Code, in the precise words of article 1903 of the Civil Code liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or a separate
itself, is applicable only to "those (obligations) arising from responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910
wrongful or negligent acts or omissions not punishable by law. of the Civil Code. Still more concretely, the authorities above
cited render it inescapable to conclude that the employer
- CA held Fausto Barredo, liable in damages for the death of (BARREDO) - in this case the defendant-petitioner - is primarily
Faustino Garcia caused by the negligence of Pedro Fontanilla, a and directly liable under article 1903 of the Civil Code.
taxi driver employed by said Fausto Barredo.
Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only
ISSUE: WON Fausto Barredo is primarily and directly responsible reckless but also simple negligence. If we were to hold that
under article 1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or
Fontanilla. negligence not punished by law, according to the literal import of
RULING: YES. (CA’s decision is affirmed) article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual
A quasi-delict or "culpa aquiliana" is a separate legal institution life. Death or injury to persons and damage to property through
under the Civil Code, with a substantivity all its own, and any degree of negligence even the slightest would have to be
individuality that is entirely apart and independent from a delict indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising from
or crime. Upon this principle, and on the wording and spirit of a crime. We are loath to impute to the lawmaker any intention to
article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct bring about a situation so absurd and anomalous.
responsibility of employers may be safely anchored. The
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Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of the left or the lane on which De los Reyes was travelling. The
guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case, bus hit the car which resulted to de los Reyes’ and his niece’s
preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant death, and causing serious injuries to the other car passengers.
pay in damages. There are numerous cases of criminal
2 civil cases (for damages arising from the vehicular accident)
negligence which cannot be shown beyond reasonable doubt, but
were filed against Ilagan and BLTB Co. Thereafter, a criminal
can be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such cases,
action (reckless imprudence resulting to homicide) was filed
the defendant can and should be made responsible in a civil
against Ilagan.
action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Otherwise,
there would be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. Then both RTC and CA ruled (in the civil cases) that the collision
was caused by the negligence of Ilagan.
Thirdly, to hold that there is only one way to make defendant's
liability effective, and that is, to sue the driver and exhaust his To avoid the consequences of such culpable conduct, BLTB Co.
(the latter's) property first, would be tantamount to compelling invoked Corpus v. Paje that the CRIMINAL action against its
the plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of driver must first be resolved and, until final resolution, it is
obtaining relief. True, there is such a remedy under our laws, but premature to proceed in the civil cases.
there is also a more expeditious way, which is based on the
primary and direct responsibility of the defendant under article ISSUE:
1903 of the Civil Code. Our view of the law is more likely to WON civil action based on culpa aquiliana needs to await the
facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure outcome of criminal action. NO
indicated by the defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it
being a matter of common knowledge that professional drivers of RULING:
taxis and similar public conveyances usually do not have The principal reliance of BLTB Co is on that portion of the opinion
sufficient means with which to pay damages. In construing the of Justice Capistrano in Corpus v. Paje which reads thus:
laws, courts have endeavored to shorten and facilitate the
pathways of right and justice. At this juncture, it should be said As reckless imprudence or criminal negligence is not one
that the primary and direct responsibility of employers and their to the three crimes mentioned in Art.33 of the Civil
presumed negligence are principles calculated to protect society. Code, there is no independent civil action for damages
Workmen and employees should be carefully chosen and that may be instituted in connection with said offense.
supervised in order to avoid injury to the public. It is the masters Hence, homicide through reckless imprudence or
or employers who principally reap the profits resulting from the criminal negligence comes under the general rule that
services of these servants and employees. It is but right that the acquittal of the defendant in the criminal action is a
they should guarantee the latter's careful conduct for the bar to his civil liability based upon the same criminal act
personnel and patrimonial safety of others. Many jurists also notwithstanding that the injured party reserved his right
base this primary responsibility of the employer on the principle to institute a separate civil action.
of representation of the principal by the agent. All these
From which, they would infer that "the criminal action against
observations acquire a peculiar force and significance when it driver Ilagan must first be resolved by respondent CA and, until
comes to motor accidents, and there is need of stressing and
final resolution thereon, it is premature to proceed in the 2 civil
accentuating the responsibility of owners of motor vehicles. cases”.
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both
However, the facts are dissimilar, and therefore Corpus vs. Paje
the Penal Code and the Civil Code on this subject, which has
ruling cannot control. It cannot escape attention likewise that
given rise to the overlapping or concurrence of spheres already
less than a majority of the Court gave their approval to the
discussed, and for lack of understanding of the character and
opinion penned by Justice Capistrano. The most serious objection
efficacy of the action for culpa aquiliana, there has grown up a
though is that the interpretation sought to be fastened by
common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil
petitioners, considering that as pointed out in the appealed
responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there is
decision this is an action based on culpa aquiliana, is its
another remedy, which is by invoking articles 1902-1910 of the
disregard of codal provisions as well as of an impressive number
Civil Code. Although this habitual method is allowed by our laws,
of pronouncements of this Tribunal.
it has nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the
more expeditious and effective remedy based on culpa aquiliana BLTB Co, moreover, ignored the crucial distinction that is readily
or culpa extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked to discernible between the facts in Corpus v. Paje and the facts in
help perpetuate this usual course. But we believe it is high time the present case. As was pointed out in the opinion of Justice
we pointed out to the harm done by such practice and to restore Capistrano, the civil action for damages was made to rest "upon
the principle of responsibility for fault or negligence under articles the same criminal negligence" of which the defendant Felardo
1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high time we Paje was acquitted in the criminal action.
caused the stream of quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its
From the opening paragraph of the opinion of the CA, now
own natural channel, so that its waters may no longer be
sought to be reviewed, it is quite apparent that the liability of
diverted into that of a crime under the Penal Code. This will, it is
petitioners was NOT predicated on criminal negligence but
believed, make for the better safeguarding of private rights
rather on a quasi-delict which, as is clearly pointed out by
because it re-establishes an ancient and additional remedy, and
the Civil Code, is an independent source of obligation.
for the further reason that an independent civil action, not
depending on the issues, limitations and results of a criminal As a matter of fact, in Corpus case, the civil complaint was
prosecution, and entirely directed by the party wronged or his dismissed by the lower court precisely on the ground that the
counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and efficacious action based upon the quasi-delict had prescribed. That certainly
redress. cannot be said of the present litigation. In this case, from the
beginning, both parties were fully aware that it was the
negligence of Ilagan as driver of BLTB Co, Inc. that gave rise to
BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, INC. (BLTB the civil suit. It does not admit of doubt, therefore the invocation
Co.) and ANDRES I. ILAGAN vs. COURT OF APPEALS | of Corpus v. Paje is misplaced considering the dissimilarity in
G.R. Nos. L-33138-39 | June 27, 1975 | Quidet the facts of the case and the equally relevant consideration that
the portion of the ponencia of Justice Capistrano, insofar as it
Andres I. Ilagan is a driver of petitioner Batangas Laguna
could be made to lend support to petitioner's plea, is not
Tayabas Bus Company, Inc. (BLTB Co).
doctrinal in character, lacking one vote for it to be the expression
Ricardo de los Reyes while driving his Chevrolet car bound for of the opinion of this Court.
Manila, upon reaching Manila South Super Highway, BTCO bus It is to misread the opinion of Justice Capistrano in Corpus case if
driven by Ilagan, and coming from the opposite direction
it is made to yield a significance that would under the
suddenly overtook a big cargo truck. In so doing, the bus took
TORTS AND DAMAGES ©
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circumstances of this case reduce to a barren form of words the  On August 13, 1976 the defendants, private respondents
jural concept of a quasi-delict as an independent source of filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that there is another
obligation. The law is anything but that. The Civil Code speaks action, Criminal Case No. 3162-P, pending between the
unequivocally to the contrary. Article 2176 provides: same parties for the same cause
"Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,  On September 8, 1976 the Court of First Instance of Rizal at
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the Pasay City a decision in Criminal Case No. 3612-P acquitting
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre- the accused Maximo Borilla on the ground that he caused an
existing contractual relations between the parties, is called a injury by name accident
quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this
ISSUE: WON the heirs of Arsenio Virata, can prosecute an action
Chapter."
for the damages based on quasi-delict against Maximo Borilla
The liability of an employer is made clear under Art. 2180 in this and Victoria Ochoa
wise:
(GUIDE Q. #14: What is prohibited under Art. 2177?)
"Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
HELD: YES. It is settled that in negligence cases the aggrieved
employees and household helpers acting within the scope of
parties may choose between an action under the Revised Penal
their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged
Code or of quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the
in any business or industry."
Philippines. What is PROHIBITED by Article 2177 of the Civil
So it was under the former Civil Code, although there is a slight Code of the Philippines is to recover twice for the same
difference in phraseology. What is more, there is this new negligent act.
provision in Article 2177: "Responsibility for fault or negligence
Article 2176, where it refers to fault, covers not only acts 'not
under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from
punishable by law' but also criminal in character, whether
the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code.
intentional and voluntary, and consequently, a separate civil
But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act
action lies against the accused in a criminal act, whether or not
or omission of the defendant."
he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty and acquitted,
Then, in 1907 in the leading case of Rakes v. Atlantic, Manresa provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually
was quoted to the effect that culpa or negligence or culpa charged also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, and
aquiliana is an independent source of obligation between 2 would be entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of
persons not so formerly bound by any juridical tie. The civil the, two assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In
liability that may arise according to Justice Tracey in his opinion other words the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (c) of
"was not intended to be merged in the criminal… Where an Section 13, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded
individual is civilly liable for a negligent act or omission, it is not on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil
required that the injured party should seek out a third person liability for the same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not
criminally liable whose prosecution must be a condition as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration in the
precedent to the enforcement of the civil right." criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or
has not been committed by the accused. Brief stated, We hold,
Employers and Employees; Civil Action Based on Culpa Aquiliana
that culpa aquilina includes voluntary and negligent acts which
Need Not Await the Outcome of Criminal Action. — If the liability
may be punishable by law. 3
of the employer for the negligence of an employee is not
predicated on criminal negligence but rather on a quasi-delict The petitioners are not seeking to recover twice for the same
which by the Civil Code (Art. 1157 in relation to Art. 2180, 2176 negligent act. Before Criminal Case No. 3162-P was decided, they
and 2177) is an independent source of obligation, the contention manifested in said criminal case that they were filing a separate
that the criminal action against the employee must first be civil action for damages against the owner and driver of the
resolved will be rejected as without basis. passenger jeepney based on quasi-delict. The acquittal of the
driver, Maximo Borilla, of the crime charged in Criminal Case No.
Culpa Aquiliana Defined. (GUIDE QUESTION #9) — Culpa or
3162-P is not a bar to the prosecution of Civil Case No. B-134 for
negligence or culpa aquiliana is an independent source of
damages based on quasi-delict The source of the obligation
obligation between two persons not so formerly bound by any
sought to be enforced in Civil Case No. B-134 isquasi-delict, not
juridical tie. And the civil liability that may arise therefrom is not
an act or omission punishable by law. Under Article 1157 of the
intended to be merged in the criminal. Thus, where an individual
Civil Code of the Philippines, quasi-delict and an act or omission
is civilly liable for a negligent act or omission, it is not required
punishable by law are two different sources of obligation.
that the injured party should seek out a third person criminally
liable. Moreover, for the petitioners to prevail in the action for damages,
Civil Case No. B-134, they have only to establish their cause of
action by preponderance of the evidence.
Virata vs. Ochoa | GR L- 46179 | Jan. 31, 1978, Murcia
 On September 24, 1975 one Arsenio Virata died as a result
oOo
of having been bumped while walking along Taft Avenue,
Pasay City by a passenger jeepney driven by Maximo Borilla
and registered in the name Of Victoria Ochoa
 Borilla is the employer of Ochoa
 For the death of Arsenio Virata, an action for homicide
through reckless imprudence was instituted on September
25, 1975 against Maximo Borilla in the Court of First
Instance of Rizal
 On June 29, 1976 the heirs of Arsenio Virata reserved their
right to institute a separate civil actionon July 19, 1977 the
heirs of Arsenio Virata, petitioners herein, commenced Civil
No. B-134 in the Court of First Instance of Cavite for
damages based on quasi-delict against the driver Maximo
Borilla and the registered owner of the jeepney, Victorio
Ochoa