Você está na página 1de 19

Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines v.

Phil-American might even be proven that working on a Saturday for


Forwarders the specific purpose of hauling junk would be the time
FACTS when the most work can be done, as it has less traffic.
Pineda recklessly drove a freight truck [owned by The Master-Servant doctrine in tort law cannot apply
Phil-American Forwarders] along the national either, since despite the fact that Buensalido,
highway at Pampanga, and the truck bumped the Genson’s employee, was “moonlighting” on a non-
PRBL bus driven by Pangalangan. As a result, working holiday, Buensalido’s arrangement with Arbatin
Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus was was purely private in nature, and had nothing to do with
damaged and could not be used for 79 days, thus his being employed under Genson. Thus, absent the
depriving PRBL of earnings amounting to P8,665.51. showing of malice, bad faith or gross negligence on the
Balingit was the manager of Phil-American part of Genson, he cannot be held liable for the acts
Forwarders. committed by Buensalido and Arbatin.
PRBL and Pangalangan filed a complaint for damages Martin vs CA
against Phil-American Forwarders, Balingit, and FACTS:
Pineda. Defendants said Balingit was not Pineda’s Ernesto Martin was the owner of a private car bearing
employer. Balingit moved that the complaint against him license plate No. NPA-930. At around 2 o’clock in the
be dismissed on the ground that PRBL and morning of May 11, 1982, while being driven by Nestor
Pangalangan had no cause of action against him. CFI Martin, it crashed into a Meralco electric post on Valley
dismissed the complaint against Balingit, on the Golf Road, in Antipolo, Rizal. The car was wrecked and
ground that he is not the manager of an the pole severely damaged. Meralco subsequently
establishment as contemplated in NCC 2180. demanded reparation from Ernesto Martin, but the
ISSUE AND HOLDING demand was rejected. It thereupon sued him for
WON the terms “employers” and “owners and damages in the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, alleging
managers of an establishment or enterprise” embrace that he was liable to it as the employer of Nestor
the manager of a corporation owning a truck, the Martin. The petitioner’s main defense was that Nestor
reckless operation of which allegedly resulted in the Martin was not his employee. Meralco did not present
vehicular accident from which the damage arose. NO. any evidence to prove that Nestor Martin was the
RATIO employee of Ernesto Martin and Ernesto Martin did
Those terms do not include the manager of a not rebut such allegation.
corporation. It may be gathered from the context of ISSUE:
NCC 2180 that the term “manager” (“director” in the WON Ernesto Martin can be held liable.
Spanish version) is used in the sense of “employer”. HELD:
Hence, no tortious or quasi-delictual liability can be NO. Meralco had the burden of proof, or the duty “to
imposed on Balingit as manager of Phil-American present evidence on the fact in issue necessary to
Forwarders, in connection with the vehicular accident in establish his claim” as required by Rule 131, Section 1 of
question, because he himself may be regarded as an the Revised Rules of Court. Failure to do this was fatal
employee or dependiente of Phil-American to its action. As the employment relationship between
Forwarders. Ernesto Martin and Nestor Martin could not be
CFI AFFIRMED presumed, it was necessary for the plaintiff to
Advertisements establish it by evidence. It was enough for the
Genson vs Adarle defendant to deny the alleged employment
FACTS relationship, without more, for he was not under
Arbatin was the successful bidder in a public auction obligation to prove this negative averment. This Court
of junk and other unserviceable government property has consistently applied the rule that “if the plaintiff,
in the Highway District Engineer’s Office of Roxas upon whom rests the burden of proving his cause of
City. Arbatin then employed Adarle to help him haul the action, fails to show in a satisfactory manner the facts
junk. On a non-working day, when Adarle and upon which he bases his claim, the defendant is under
Buensalido, the driver of the payloader, were at the site no obligation to prove his exception or defense.”
continuing to gather the junk, a bucket from the Petition was granted.
payloader fell and injured Adarle to the point of Cuison vs Norton & Harrison Co.
paralyzing his lower extremities. Adarle instituted an This is an action brought by the father to recover
action against Arbatin, Buensalido, Marcelino (Civil damages in the amount of P30,000 for the death of his
Engineer), and Genson (Highway District Engineer). son, alleged to have been caused by the negligence of
RTC ruled in favor of Adarle. IAC modified the the defendant. The answer pleaded the general issue.
previous ruling, absolving Marcelino from liability, The judgment in the Court of First Instance absolved
and averring that the liability of Genson is based on the defendant from the complaint, without
fault, by allowing Arbatin and his men to work on the pronouncement as to costs.
premises on a non-working day, in contravention of A succinct statement of the facts will be first
his office’s policy. Petitioner Genson then appealed the undertaken as follows: On the afternoon of August 9,
decision to the SC, stating that the facts upon which 1928, Moises Cuison, a boy 7 years of age, the son of
the IAC declared that his liability is based on fault by the plaintiff, was on his way to the Santa Mesa
allowing the men to work on a non-working holiday is School, in the City of Manila, in company with his
without basis. Furthermore, he contends that by filing sister Marciana. As they came near to the fire station,
a suit against him, Adarle is then filing a suit against some large pieces of lumber on a truck which had
the Republic, which violates the non-suability of the stopped fell from it pinning the boy beneath, and
State. causing his almost instant death. The truck in
ISSUE question was owned by Antonio Ora. It was driven by
Whether or not Genson should be held liable, Felix Jose, with Telesforo Binoya as the washing and
personally or officially? Francisco Bautista as the helper, the two latter being
HELD youths less than 18 years of age. Jose Binoya, and
NO. With regard to the non-suability contention, Bautista were employees of Ora. The truck was rented
Adarle filed a suit against Genson personally, in his by Ora to Norton & Harrison Co. On the truck were
capacity as the Highway District Engineer, and not the letters "N-H," which where the first letters of the
the State or his office. As for the main issue, there firm name. Ora was in the employ of Norton &
was no evidence to prove Genson’s presence when the Harrison Co. as a capataz. It was his duty as such
accident occurred, nor was there any basis for the lower employee to direct the loading and transportation of
courts to hold that Genson was at fault by authorizing the lumber. When the accident occurred the lumber
Arbatin and his men to work on a non-working day. It had become loosened, and it was to rearrange it that
the truck halted, without, however, the "Q. What explanation can you give the court
rearrangement having been before the pieces of accounting for the sign ’N-H’ appearing there means
lumber had fallen and killed the boy. that the lumber belongs to Norton & Harrison.
Important details were not brought out in the "Q. And as foreman of Norton & Harrison, do you
testimony, although it would have been easy to supply receive any salary? — A. Yes, sir.
those details. The most important question of fact to "Q. How much? — A. P200.
determine was the relationship of Ora to Norton & "Q. You said that you entered into a contract with
Harrison Co., whether he was a servant of the Norton & Harrison, do you have a copy of that
company or an independent contractor. In view of the contract? — A. No, sir, we had an agreement and not a
debatable facts found in the record, and in view of the contract.
propriety of obtaining as much enlightenment as "Q. Verbal agreement? — A. Yes, sir.
possible on the main issue, it is deemed advisable to "Q. How do you collect the rent of the truck, monthly
set forth a considerable portion of Ora’s testimony. He or daily? — A. It depends upon the cargo and the
testified:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph distance travelled.
"Q. Do you know the truck T-101? — A. Yes, sir. "Q. "Q. Daily? — A. If I have loaded three times, then I have
Whose is that truck? — A. Mine. three collections.
"Q. Showing you this document which I ask to be "Q. Do you issue receipts therefor? — A. Yes, sir.
marked Exhibit 1 (certificate of ownership of a truck) "Q. Have you any with you? — A. I don’t have. "Q. Can
state what is that document? — A. This is the that truck of yours be rented by anybody? — A. No, sir.
document of my truck. "Q. Only by Norton & Harrison? — A. Only for my
"Q. On August 9, 1928, when, according to the work.
complaint the boy Moises Cuison was killed, was that "Q. Do you have with you any books of account
truck used? — A. Yes, sir. pertaining to the business of your truck? — A. No, sir.
"Q. For whom? — A. For me. "Q. Not even a note? — A. I don’t have.
"Q. For what kind of work? — A. For loading lumber.
"Q. Lumber of whom? — A. Of Norton & Harrison Co. "Q. Not even the firm of Norton & Harrison? — A.
"Q. Where was the lumber to be taken? — A. To Santa They may have because the number of the truck and the
Mesa. total number of board feet appear on every receipt.
"Q. What was the agreement between you and Norton "Q. As owner of the truck, don’t you have any note? —
& Harrison regarding the transportation of lumber to A. No, sir.
Santa Mesa? "Q. Is that truck No. T-101 the only one you have? —
"A. The truck carried the lumber which I contracted A. I have some more.
with Norton & Harrison for transportation to certain "Q. Some more? — A. Yes, sir.
places. I had an agreement with Norton & Harrison to "Q. For rent? — A. For my own use.
carry and transport lumber coming from its lumber "Q. For the exclusive use of Norton & Harrison? — A. I
yard to the place of its destination. have a lime factory, and they are used for the
"Q. Did you rent the truck to Norton & Harrison transportation of lime.
monthly or annually? — A. By the cubic foot, "Q. But this truck T-101 is exclusively intended to be
depending upon the distance travelled. rented by Norton & Harrison? — A. It is not rented
"Q. Do you know Telesforo Binoya y Alminanza and exclusively to Norton & Harrison. I use it in my other
Francisco Bautista y Cruz? — A. Yes, sir. contracts to carry cargoes, and also to carry lime.
"Q. Had they anything to do with the loading of the "Q. For the exclusive use of Norton & Harrison? — A.
lumber of Norton & Harrison on the truck? No, sir, I use it also for the transportation of lime."
"A. The said Bautista and Binoya were not the ones It is evident from the foregoing that Ora was a
who did the loading on my truck. There were other contractor and an employee at the same time of
persons stronger than these two who did the loading. Norton & Harrison Co. Reverting now to the law,
"Q. What I mean to say is whether Binoya and counsel for neither party has considered it necessary
Bautista, on August 9, 1928, when the truck went to to assist the court in this regard. However, just as the
the office of Norton & Harrison to carry lumber to ascertainment of the facts is important, so is it
Santa Mesa, had anything to do with the loading of important to have before us the applicable law.
the lumber on said truck? — A. No, sir. The Penal Code makes provision for the civil liability
of persons criminally liable, and establishes
subsidiary liability for persons and corporations
engaged in any kind of industry for felonies and
"Q. In your agreement with Norton & Harrison for the misdemeanors committed by their servants in the
transportation of lumber, who was under the discharge of their duties. (Penal Code, arts. 17-20). In
obligation to load the lumber on my truck and take it this instance, recurring to facts, it should have been
to its destination. mentioned that the two youths, Binoya and Bautista,
"Q. But who was to do the loading of the lumber, your pleaded guilty to the crime of homicide through
men or their men? — A. My men. reckless negligence, and were sentenced accordingly.
"Q. You said that you are an employee? — A. Yes, sir. The basis of civil law liability is not respondeat
"Q. here are you employed? — A. In the firm of Norton & superior but the relationship of paterfamilias. This
Harrison. theory bases the liability of the master ultimately on
"Q. Since when? — A. Since 1911. his own negligence and not on that of his servant.
"Q. In what capacity? — A. As foreman. (Bahia v. Litonjua and Levnes [1915], 30 Phil., 624;
"Q. What kind of work do you have? — A. Foreman. Cango v. Manila Railroad Co. [1918], 38 Phil., 768. As
"Q. Capataz? — A. Yes, sir. to Porto Rico, see Acosta v. Porto Rico Gas Co. [1915],
"Q. And as foreman, are you in the charge of paying 7 Porto Rico Fed., 475; and Ortiz v. Ezquiaga [1918],
the wages of the workers? — A. No, sir. 10 Porto Rico Fed., 350.) Article 1902 of the Civil Code
"Q. Therefore you are the capataz who directs the provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
loading and transportation of lumber? — A. Yes, sir. "Any person who by an act or omission causes damage
"Q. Please see Exhibit I of the plaintiff and state if to another by his fault or negligence shall be liable for
truck T- 101 is what appears therein? — A. Yes, sir. the damage so done." Article 1903, paragraphs 4 and 7
"Q. Do you admit that the condition of that truck on of the same Code provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw
August 9, 1928, is as it appears in this photograph? — library
A. Yes, sir. Owners or directors of any establishment or business
are, in the same way, liable for any damages caused
by their employees while engaged in the branch of the
service in which employed, or on occasion of the independent contractor. The trial court dismissed the
performance of their duties. complaint which ruling was reversed by the Court of
"The liability imposed by this article shall cease in Appeals.
case the persons subject thereto prove that they Issue: Whether Shell should be held accountable for
exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family the damage to Camacho due to the hydro-pressure test
to prevent the damage."cralaw virtua1aw library conducted by Feliciano
It is well to repeat that under the civil law an Decision: It is a well-entrenched rule that an
employer is only liable for the negligence of his employer-employee relationship must exist before an
employees in the discharge of their respective duties. employer may be held liable for the negligence of his
The defense of independent contractor would be a employee. Respondent Court of Appeals coneluded
valid one in the Philippines just as it would be in the that Feliciano was not an independent contractor but
United States. Here Ora was a contractor, but it does was under the control and supervision of petitioner in
not necessarily follow that he was an independent the performance of the hydro-pressure test, hence, it
contractor. The reason for this distinction is that the held petitioner liable for the former’s acts and
employer retained the power of directing and omissions. We are not in accord with the above finding
controlling the work. The chauffeur and the two of respondent Court of Appeals. As aptly held by the trial
persons on the truck were the employees of Ora, the court, petitioner did not exercise control and supervision
contractor, but Ora, the contractor, was an employee over Feliciano with regard to the manner in which he
of Norton & Harrison Co., charged with the duty of conducted the hydro-pressure test.
directing the loading and transportation of the Feliciano is independently maintaining a business
lumber. And it was the negligence in loading the under a duly registered business name “JFS Repair
lumber and the use of minors on the truck which and Maintenance Service,” and is duly registered with
caused the death of the unfortunate boy. On the facts the Bureau of Domestic Trade. He does not enjoy a
and the law, Ora was not an independent contractor, fixed salary but instead charges a lump sum
but was the servant of the defendant, and for his consideration for every piece of work he accomplishes.
negligence defendant was responsible. If he is not able to finish his work, he does not get
Conceding that the record discloses a most unusual paid, as what happened in this case. Further,
state of facts, and conceding that the evidence is not Feliciano utilizes his own tools and equipment and
as ample as it should be, nevertheless on the record as has a complement of workers. Neither is he required
it is and on the law as it is, it is incumbent on the to work on a regular basis. Instead, he merely awaits
court to rule that error was committed in the lower calls from clients such as petitioner whenever repairs
court in not awarding the father of the dead boy and maintenance services are requested. Moreover,
damages for the wrongful death of his son. It has been Feliciano does not exclusively service petitioner
practice of this court in cases of death through because he can accept other business but not from
negligence, in the absence of special proof, to allow the other oil companies. All these are the hallmarks of an
sum of P1,000. (Manzanares v. Moreta [1918], 38 independent contractor. Being an independent
Phil., 821; Bernal and Enverso v. House and Tacloban contractor, Feliciano is responsible for his own acts
Electric & Ice Plant [1930], 54 Phil., 327.) and omissions. As he alone was in control over the
Judgment will be reversed, and in the court of origin manner of how he was to undertake the
another judgment will issue in favor of the plaintiff hydro-pressure test, he alone must bear the
and against the defendant for the sum of P1,000. So consequences of his negligence, if any, in the conduct of
ordered, without special finding as to costs in either the same.
instance. Anent the issue of damages, the same has been
Pilipinas Petroleum vs CA rendered moot by the failure of private respondent to
Facts: Clarita T. Camacho, the operator of a gasoline establish an employer-employee relationship between
station in Baguio City wherein she sells Pilipinas petitioner and Feliciano. Absent said relationship,
petitioner cannot be held liable for the acts and
Shell Petroleum Corp.’s (Shell) petroleum products,
omissions of the independent contractor, Feliciano.
requested Shell to conduct a hydro-pressure test on the
underground storage tanks of the said station in order to
De Leon Brokerage vs CA
determine whether or not the sales losses she was
Relevant Legal Doctrine: The fact of the driver’s
incurring for the past several months were due to
negligence gave rise to the presumption that the
leakages therein. Shell acceded to the said request
employer had been negligent in the selection and
and one Jesus “Jessie” Feliciano together with other
supervision of its employees. Exercise of the requisite
workers came to Clarita's station with a Job Order from care and diligence is a matter of defense for the
Shell to perform the hydro-pressure test. Jessie employer.
conducted the necessary procedures to carry out the Nature: Review of the decision of the Court of Appeals
said test.
affirming the decision of the Court of First Instance of
At around 5:30 a.m. the next day, Clarita’s husband
Manila
opened the station and started selling gasoline. At about
Facts: Respondent Angeline Steen, a pretty girl of
6:00 a.m. however, the customers who had bought
sixteen, suffered injuries as a result of the collision
gasoline returned to the station complaining that
between the passenger jeepney in which she was
their vehicles stalled because there was water in the
riding, and petitioner's cargo truck recklessly driven
gasoline that they bought. On account of this, Clarita
by its employee, Luna, and for which the latter had
was constrained to replace the gasoline sold to the
been prosecuted and convicted of the crime of
said customers. However, a certain Eduardo
homicide with physical injuries through reckless
Villanueva, one of the customers, filed a complaint
imprudence. In the criminal action against Luna (and
with the police against Camacho for selling the
the driver of the passenger jeepney, who was,
adulterated gasoline. In addition, he caused the
however, acquitted), respondent had reserved her
incident to be published in two local newspapers.
right to file a separate civil action.
Shell undertook to settle the criminal complaint filed
After a judgment of conviction had been rendered,
by Villanueva. Subsequently, Villanueva filed an
respondent filed in the CFI Manila an action for
Affidavit of Desistance. Thereafter, Camacho filed
recovery of damages against Luna and petitioner De
before the trial court a complaint for damages against
Leon Brokerage. As proof of Luna's negligence, she
Shell due to the latter’s alleged negligence in the
presented during the hearing the judgment of
conduct of the hydro-pressure test in her gasoline
conviction in the criminal case, Exh. B; and likewise
station. For its part, Shell denied liability because,
established her claim for actual, moral and exemplary
according to it, the hydro-pressure test on the
damages.
underground storage tanks was conducted by an
Defendants, that is, Luna and petitioner, sought to the civil code, not because of failure to reserve the
prove by means of the former's testimony that he was same but because she would have already received
not engaged in the performance of his duties at the indemnity for her injuries.
time of the accident. Plainly, the reservation made in the criminal action
CFI and CA: held De Leon Brokerage and Luna does not preclude a subsequent action based on a
solidarily liable to respondent for the sums of quasi-delict. It cannot be inferred therefrom that
P1,183.70 for actual expenses; P3,000.00 for unpaid respondent had chosen to file the very civil action she
medical fees; P7,000.00 as moral damages; and had reserved. The only conclusion that can reasonably
P1,000.00 as attorney's fees; all amount to earn legal be drawn is that she did not want the question of
interest from the filing of the complaint, plus costs. damages threshed out in the criminal action, but
De Leon Brokerage claims that: preferred to have this issue decided in a separate civil
(1) the allegations in respondent's complaint were so action.
ambiguous that it was not clear whether she was However, it seems that petitioner understood quite
suing for damages resulting from a quasi-delict or for well that it was being held liable under the civil code.
civil liability arising from crime, but since the In its answer, it alleged as an affirmative defense that
averments therein are more characteristic of an action in the selection and supervision of its employees and
of the latter nature, the same, as against petitioner, is drivers, it had exercised the diligence of a good father
premature for failure to allege the insolvency of its of a family — a defense available only to an employer
employee; being sued for a quasi-delict. Petitioner argues that, not
(2) the judgment of conviction Exh. B, is not knowing the nature of respondent's action and deciding
admissible against it as evidence of a quasi-delict; to play it safe, it put up defense both against a suit for
(3) the employee, Luna, was not in the discharge of his quasi-delict and against an action for civil liability
duties at the time of the accident; and arising from crime. Yet, it did not aver that the
(4) it cannot be held solidarily liable with Luna for complaint failed to alleged that its employee was
damages. insolvent — the defense consistent with an action
Issues: against an employer for subsidiary liability under the
(1) Whether or not the complaint of respondent was criminal code. What it alleged was that the complaint
based on a quasi-delict. YES. failed to state a cause of action as against it, which could
She alleged that she suffered injuries because of the not be sustained since the complaint sufficiently alleges
carelessness and imprudence of petitioner's chauffeur an action based on quasi-delict and the court could
who was driving the cargo truck belonging to validly have granted respondent's prayer for relief.
petitioner, which collided with the passenger jeepney The fact of Luna’s negligence gave rise to the
wherein she was riding. Since averment had been presumption that petitioner had been negligent in the
made of the employer-employee relationship and of selection and supervision of its employees. Petitioner
the damages caused by the employee on occasion of failed to prove that it had exercised such requisite
his function, there is a clear statement of a right of care and diligence as would relieve it from
action under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The responsibility.
complaint does not, and did not have to allege that (3) Whether or not Luna was in the performance of his
petitioner did not exercise due diligence in choosing duties at the time of the collision. YES.
and supervising Luna, because this is a matter of Luna testified that on the day of the accident he had
defense. been instructed to go to Pampanga, from there to
Respondent is holding De Leon Brokerage liable for proceed to Nueva Ecija, but that after unloading his
its own lack of care. Her allegation "that the acts of cargo in Pampanga, he at once returned to
the defendants above described consitutute gross Manila.However, his reason for immediately
negligence and recklessness", plainly refers to returning to Manila is not clear. He could have
petitioner's act of employing Luna as driver of its returned for purposes of repair. It does not appear
cargo truck, and to Luna's careless manner of driving that he was on an errand of his own. In the absence of
it. determinative proof that the deviation was so
Whatever doubts remain as to the nature of complete as would constitute a cessation or
respondent's action are resolved by her prayer that suspension of his service, petitioner should be held
petitioner and its employee be held solidarily liable liable. Since both Luna and petitioner are responsible
(2) Whether or not the action is for civil indemnity for the quasi-delict, their liablity is solidary, although
under the criminal code. NO. the latter can recover from the former whatever sums
According to petitioner, what causes confusion as to it pays to respondent.
the nature of respondent's action are the allegations of (4) Whether or not the employer only becomes
Luna's conviction (a copy of the judgment of conviction solidarily liable with the driver for any accident when
was attached of her civil action — circumstances, the owner is riding in the car at the time of the
petitioner argues, which infallibly characterize an action mishap. NO.
for civil indemnity under the criminal code. Petitioner invites attention to Art. 2184, of the Civil
But respondent clearly did not base her suit on the Code, and insists that it is only in the instance
criminal conviction. Mention of the criminal covered thereby — when the owner of the motor vehicle
conviction merely tended to support her claim that is riding therein at the time of the mishap — that the
Luna had been recklessly negligent in driving the employer becomes solidarily liable with the driver for any
truck. accident resulting from the latter's negligence. That
Respondent neither had to wait for the termination of article refers to owners of vehicles who are not included
the criminal proceeding nor to reserve in the same her in the terms of Art. 2180 "as owners of an
right to file a separate civil action. She waited for the establishment or enterprise."
results of the criminal action because she wanted to (5) Whether or not the damages should be reduced.
be sure which driver and respective employer she NO.
could rightly sue, since both Luna and the driver of The moral damages of P7,000.00 is amply justified by
the passenger jeepney were prosecuted. An she the pain and disfigurement suffered by respondent, a
reserved because otherwise, the court in the criminal pretty girl whose left arm had been scraped bare of
proceeding would have awarded her indemnity, since flesh from shoulder to elbow because of the accident.
the civil action for recovery of civil liability arising As a result, she had to undergo seven operations
from the offense is deemed instituted with the which cost P3,000.00 — a reasonable enough sum.
criminal action. In such event, she would no longer be Attorney's fees of P1,000.00 is not unconscionable
able to file the separate civil action contemplated by considering that the case was appealed to this Court.
Dispositive: Petition denied. The decision of the Court She is not expected to run the entire boulevard
of Appeals is affirmed. in search for a parking zone or turn on a dark Street
Valenzuela vs CA or alley where she would likely find no one to help her
FACTS: She stopped at a lighted place where there
June 24, 1990 2 am: While driving from her were people, to verify whether she had a flat tire and
restaurant at Araneta avenue towards the direction of to solicit help if needed
Manila, Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela noticed that she had she parked along the sidewalk, about 1½ feet
a flat tire so she parked along the sidewalk about 1 away, behind a Toyota Corona Car
1/2 feet away, place her emergency lights and seeked 3. YES.
help Not the principle of respondeat superior, which
She was with her companion Cecilia Ramon holds the master liable for acts of the servant (must
While she was pointing her tools to the man who be in the course of business), but that of pater
will help her fixed the tires, she was suddenly hit by familias, in which the liability ultimately falls upon
another Mitsubishi Lancer driven by Richard Li who the employer, for his failure to exercise the diligence
was intoxicated and she slammed accross his of a good father of the family in the selection and
windshield and fell to the ground supervision of his employees
She was sent to UERM where she stayed for 20 Ordinarily, evidence demonstrating that the
days and her leg was amputated and was replaced employer has exercised diligent supervision of its
with an artificial one. employee during the performance of the latter‘s
Her expenses totalled 147, 000 [120,000 php assigned tasks would be enough to relieve him of the
(confinement) + 27, 000 (aritificial leg)] liability imposed by Article 2180 in relation to Article
RTC: Richard Li guilty of gross negligence and 2176 of the Civil Code.
liable for damages under Article 2176 of the Civil situation is of a different character, involving a
Code. Alexander Commercial, Inc., Li’s employer, practice utilized by large companies with either their
jointly and severally liable for damages pursuant to employees of managerial rank or their
Article 2180 P41,840 actual damages, P37,500 representatives.
unrealized profits because of the stoppage of plaintiffs Moreover, Li’s claim that he happened to be on the
Bistro La Conga restaurant 3 weeks after the accident road on the night of the accident because he was
on June 24, 1990, P20,000 a month as unrealized coming from a social visit with an officemate in
profits of Bistro La Conga restaurant, from August, Parañaque was a bare allegation which was never
1990 until the date of this judgment, P30,000.00, a corroborated in the court below. It was obviously self-
month, for unrealized profits in 2 Beauty salons, serving. Assuming he really came from his
P1,000,000 in moral damages, P50,000, as exemplary officemate’s place, the same could give rise to
damages, P60,000, as reasonable attorney’s fees and speculation that he and his officemate had just been
costs. from a work-related function, or they were together to
CA: there was ample evidence that the car was discuss sales and other work related strategies.
parked at the side but absolved Li's employer Alexander Commercial, Inc. has not demonstrated,
Li: 55 kph - self serving and uncorraborated to our satisfaction, that it exercised the care and
Rogelio Rodriguez, the owner-operator of an diligence of a good father of the family in entrusting
establishment located just across the scene of the its company car to Li
accident: Valenzuela’s car parked parallel and very near 4. YES.
the sidewalk and Li was driving on a very fast speed and As the amount of moral damages are subject to this
there was only a drizzle (NOT heavy rain) Court’s discretion, we are of the opinion that the amount
ISSUE: of P1,000,000.00 granted by the trial court is in greater
1. W/N Li was driving at 55 kph - NO accord with the extent and nature of the injury -. physical
2. W/N Valenzuela was guilty of contributory and psychological - suffered by Valenzuela as a result
negligence - NO of Li’s grossly negligent driving of his Mitsubishi Lancer
3. W/N Alexander Commercial, Inc. as Li's employer in the early morning hours of the accident.
should be held liable - YES the damage done to her would not only be
4. W/N the awarding of damages is proper. - YES. permanent and lasting, it would also be permanently
HELD: CA modified with reinstating the RTC decision changing and adjusting to the physiologic changes
1. NO which her body would normally undergo through the
If Li was running at only about 55 kph then despite years. The replacements, changes, and adjustments
the wet and slippery road, he could have avoided will require corresponding adjustive physical and
hitting the Valenzuela by the mere expedient or occupational therapy. All of these adjustments, it has
applying his brakes at the proper time and distance been documented, are painful.
it was not even necessary for him to swerve a little Dulay vs CA
to the right in order to safely avoid a collision with the Facts: On December 7, 1988, an altercation between
on-coming car since there is plenty of space for both Benigno Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon Dulay occurred
cars, since Valenzuela car was running at the right at the “Big Bang Sa Alabang,” Alabang Village,
lane going towards Manila and the on-coming car was Muntinlupa as a result of which Benigno Torzuela, the
also on its right lane going to Cubao security guard on duty at the said carnival, shot and
2. NO. killed Atty. Napoleon Dulay. Petitioner Maria Benita
Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of A. Dulay, widow of the deceased Napoleon Dulay, in
the injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the her own behalf and in behalf of her minor children,
harm he has suffered, which falls below the standard filed an action for damages against Benigno Torzuela
to which he is required to conform for his own and private respondents Safeguard and/or
protection Superguard, alleged employers of defendant Torzuela.
emergency rule Respondent Superguard filed a Motion to Dismiss on
an individual who suddenly finds himself in a the ground that the complaint does not state a valid
situation of danger and is required to act without cause of action. Superguard claimed that Torzuela’s
much time to consider the best means that may be act of shooting Dulay was beyond the scope of his
adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty duties, and that since the alleged act of shooting was
of negligence if he fails to undertake what committed with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a liability therefor is governed by Article 100 of the
better solution, unless the emergency was brought by Revised Penal Code. Superguard further alleged that
his own negligence a complaint for damages based on negligence under
Article 2176 of the New Civil Code, such as the one
filed by petitioners, cannot lie, since the civil liability verify whether she had a flat tire and to solicit help if
under Article 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses needed. Having been told by the people present that
under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. In her rear right tire was flat and that she cannot reach
addition, the respondent argued that petitioners’ filing her home in that car’s condition, she parked along the
of the complaint is premature considering that the sidewalk, about 1½ feet away, put on her emergency
conviction of Torzuela in a criminal case is a condition lights, alighted from the car, and went to the rear to
sine qua non for the employer’s subsidiary liability. open the trunk.
Respondent Safeguard also filed a motion praying that She was standing at the left side of the rear of her car
it be excluded as defendant on the ground that pointing to the tools to a man who will help her fix the
defendant Torzuela is not one of its employees. tire when she was suddenly bumped by a 1987
Petitioners opposed both motions, stating that their Mitsubishi Lancer driven by defendant Richard Li
cause of action against the private respondents is and registered in the name of defendant Alexander
based on their liability under Article 2180 of the New Commercial, Inc. Because of the impact plaintiff was
Civil Code. Respondent judge declared that the thrown against the windshield of the car of
complaint was one for damages founded on crimes the defendant, which was destroyed, and then fell to
punishable under Articles 100 and 103 of the Revised the ground. She was pulled out from
Penal Code as distinguished from those arising from, under defendant’s car. Plaintiff’s left leg was severed up
quasi-delict. to the middle of her thigh, with only some skin and
Issues: sucle connected to the rest of the body. She was
(1) Whether or not Torzuela’ s act of shooting brought to the UERM Medical Memorial Center
Napoleon Dulay constitutes a quasi-delict actionable where she was found to have a “traumatic amputation,
under Article 2176 of the New Civil Code; leg, left up to distal thigh (above knee).” She was
(2) Whether or not Article 33 of the New Civil Code confined in the hospital for twenty (20) days and was
applies only to injuries intentionally committed; and eventually fitted with an artificial leg.
(3) Whether or not the liability or respondents is
subsidiary under the Revised Penal Code. Issues:
Held: 1.) Whether or not Li was negligent.
(1) Yes. Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides 2.) Whether or not Valenzuela was contributory
that “whoever by act or omission causes damage to negligent.
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay 3.) Whether or not Alexander Commercial, Inc. Li’s
for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there employer is liable.
is no pre-existing contractual relation between the Held:
parties is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the 1.) Yes. A witness testified that Li’s car was being
provisions of this Chapter.” Contrary to the theory of driven at a “very fast” speed, racing towards the general
private respondents, there is no justification for limiting direction of Araneta Avenue. He also saw the car
the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil Code to acts or hit Valenzuela, hurtling her against the windshield of
omissions resulting from negligence. Well-entrenched the defendant’s Mitsubishi Lancer, from where she
is the doctrine that article 2176 covers not only acts eventually fell under the defendant’s car. Moreover the
committed with negligence, but also acts which are witness declared that he observed Valenzuela’s car
voluntary and intentional. parked parallel and very near the sidewalk, contrary
(2) No. The term “physical injuries” in Article 33 has to Li’s allegation that Valenzuela’s car was close to the
already been construed to include bodily injuries causing center of the right lane.
death. It is not the crime of physical injuries defined in 2.) No. The Court held that Valenzuela was not
the Revised Penal Code. It includes not only physical negligent applying the emergency rule.
injuries but also consummated, frustrated, and Under the “emergency rule,” an individual who suddenly
attempted homicide. Although in the Marcia case, it finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to
was held that no independent civil action may be filed act without much time to consider the best means
under Article 33 where the crime is the result of that may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is
criminal negligence, it must be noted, however, that not guilty of negligence if he fails to undertake what
Torzuela, the accused in the case at bar, is charged subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a
with homicide, not with reckless imprudence, whereas better solution, unless the emergency was brought by
the defendant in Marcia was charged with reckless his own negligence.
imprudence. Therefore, in this case, a civil action Valenzuela did exercise the standard reasonably
based on Article 33 lies. dictated by the emergency and could not be considered
(3) No. Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, to have contributed to the unfortunate circumstances
when an injury is caused by the negligence of the which eventually led to the amputation of one of her
employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law lower extremities. The emergency which led her to
that there was negligence on the part of the master or park her car on a sidewalk in Aurora Boulevard was
employer either in the selection of the servant or not of her own making, and it was evident that she
employee, or in supervision over him after selection or had taken all reasonable precautions. Obviously, the
both. The liability of the employer under Article 2180 only negligence ascribable was the negligence of Li on
is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned upon the night of the accident.
prior recourse against the negligent employee and a 3.) Yes. Alexander Commercial, Inc. has not
prior showing of the insolvency of such employee. demonstrated, to the Court’s satisfaction, that it
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private exercised the care and diligence of a good father of the
respondents to prove that they exercised the diligence family in entrusting its company car to Li. No
of a good father of a family in the selection and allegations were made as to whether or not the
supervision of their employee. company took the steps necessary to determine or
MA. LOURDES VALENZUELA, petitioner, vs. ascertain the driving proficiency and history of Li, to
COURT OF APPEALS, RICHARD LI and whom it gave full and unlimited use of a company car.
ALEXANDER COMMERCIAL, INC., respondents. Not having been able to overcome the burden of
Facts: demonstrating that it should be absolved of liability
At around 2:00 in the morning of June 24, 1990, for entrusting its company car to Li, said company,
plaintiff Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving a blue based on the principle of bonus pater familias, ought
Mitsubishi lancer from her restaurant at Marcos to be jointly and severally liable with the former for
highway to her home. While travelling along Aurora the injuries sustained by Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela
Blvd., she noticed something wrong with her tires; she during the accident.
stopped at a lighted place where there were people, to
Li was an Assistant Manager of Alexander only acts committed with negligence, but also acts
Commercial, Inc. He admitted that his functions which are voluntary and intentional.
as Assistant Manager did not require him to (2) No. The term “physical injuries” in Article 33 has
scrupulously keep normal office hours as he was already been construed to include bodily injuries causing
required quite often to perform work outside the death. It is not the crime of physical injuries defined in
office, visiting prospective buyers and contacting and the Revised Penal Code. It includes not only physical
meeting with company clients. These meetings, injuries but also consummated, frustrated, and
clearly, were not strictly confined to routine hours attempted homicide. Although in the Marcia case, it
because, as a managerial employee tasked with the was held that no independent civil action may be filed
job of representing his company with its clients, under Article 33 where the crime is the result of
meetings with clients were both social as well as criminal negligence, it must be noted, however, that
work-related functions. The service car assigned to Li Torzuela, the accused in the case at bar, is charged
by Alexander Commercial, Inc. therefore enabled both with homicide, not with reckless imprudence, whereas
Li – as well as the corporation – to put up the front of a the defendant in Marcia was charged with reckless
highly successful entity, increasing the latter’s goodwill imprudence. Therefore, in this case, a civil action
before its clientele. It also facilitated meeting between based on Article 33 lies.
Li and its clients by providing the former with a (3) No. Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code,
convenient mode of travel. when an injury is caused by the negligence of the
Dulay vs. Court of Appeals employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law
Facts: On December 7, 1988, an altercation between that there was negligence on the part of the master or
Benigno Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon Dulay occurred employer either in the selection of the servant or
at the “Big Bang Sa Alabang,” Alabang Village, employee, or in supervision over him after selection or
Muntinlupa as a result of which Benigno Torzuela, the both. The liability of the employer under Article 2180
security guard on duty at the said carnival, shot and is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned upon
killed Atty. Napoleon Dulay. Petitioner Maria Benita prior recourse against the negligent employee and a
A. Dulay, widow of the deceased Napoleon Dulay, in prior showing of the insolvency of such employee.
her own behalf and in behalf of her minor children, Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private
filed an action for damages against Benigno Torzuela respondents to prove that they exercised the diligence
and private respondents Safeguard and/or of a good father of a family in the selection and
Superguard, alleged employers of defendant Torzuela. supervision of their employee.
Respondent Superguard filed a Motion to Dismiss on TEODORO C. UMALI vs. HON. ANGEL BACANI
the ground that the complaint does not state a valid (Judge, CFI Pangasinan) and FIDEL H. SAYNES
cause of action. Superguard claimed that Torzuela’s
act of shooting Dulay was beyond the scope of his Facts: On May 14, 1972, a storm with strong rain hit
duties, and that since the alleged act of shooting was the Municipality of Alcala Pangasinan. During the
committed with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil liability storm, the banana plants standing near the
therefor is governed by Article 100 of the Revised transmission line of the Alcala Electric Plant (AEP)
Penal Code. Superguard further alleged that a were blown down and fell on the electric wire. The live
complaint for damages based on negligence under electric wire was cut, one end of which was left
Article 2176 of the New Civil Code, such as the one hanging on the electric post and the other fell to the
filed by petitioners, cannot lie, since the civil liability ground. The following morning, barrio captain saw
under Article 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses Cipriano Baldomero, a laborer of the AEP, asked him
under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. In to fix it, but the latter told the barrio captain that he
addition, the respondent argued that petitioners’ filing could not do it but that he was going to look for the
of the complaint is premature considering that the lineman to fix it. Sometime thereafter, a small boy of
conviction of Torzuela in a criminal case is a 3 years and 8 months old by the name of Manuel P.
condition sine qua non for the employer’s subsidiary Saynes, whose house is just on the opposite side of the
liability. Respondent Safeguard also filed a motion road, went to the place where the broken line wire
praying that it be excluded as defendant on the ground was and got in contact with it. The boy was
that defendant Torzuela is not one of its employees. electrocuted and he subsequently died. It was only
Petitioners opposed both motions, stating that their after the electrocution that the broken wire was fixed.
cause of action against the private respondents is
based on their liability under Article 2180 of the New Issues: (1) WON the proximate cause of the boy's
Civil Code. Respondent judge declared that the death is due to a fortuitous event- storm; (2) WON
complaint was one for damages founded on crimes boy’s parents’ negligence exempts petitioner from
punishable under Articles 100 and 103 of the Revised liability.
Penal Code as distinguished from those arising from,
quasi-delict. Ruling: Decision affirmed.
Issues: (1) A careful examination of the records convinces the
(1) Whether or not Torzuela’ s act of shooting SC that a series of negligence on the part of
Napoleon Dulay constitutes a quasi-delict actionable defendants' employees in the AEP resulted in the
under Article 2176 of the New Civil Code; death of the victim by electrocution. With ordinary
(2) Whether or not Article 33 of the New Civil Code foresight, the employees of the petitioner could have
applies only to injuries intentionally committed; and easily seen that even in case of moderate winds the
(3) Whether or not the liability or respondents is electric line would be endangered by banana plants
subsidiary under the Revised Penal Code. being blown down.
Held: (2) Art. 2179 CC provides that if the negligence of the
(1) Yes. Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides plaintiff (parents of the victim in this case) was only
that “whoever by act or omission causes damage to contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to the injury being the defendants' (petitioners’) lack of
pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the
there is no pre-existing contractual relation between courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. This
the parties is called a quasi-delict and is governed by law may be availed of by the petitioner but does not
the provisions of this Chapter.” Contrary to the theory exempt him from liability. Petitioner's liability for
of private respondents, there is no justification for injury caused by his employees negligence is well
limiting the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil Code to defined in par. 4, of Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
acts or omissions resulting from negligence. Well-
entrenched is the doctrine that article 2176 covers not
RAYMUNDO ODANI SECOSA v. HEIRS OF ERWIN documentary, which might obviate the apparent
SUAREZ FRANCISCO biased nature of the testimony.[10]... employers must
Facts: submit concrete proof, including documentary
Traveling behind the motorcycle driven by Francisco evidence.
was a sand and gravel truck, which in turn was being Mercury Drug Corporation vs. Sebastian Baking
tailed by the Isuzu truck driven by Secosa.
The three vehicles were traversing the southbound Facts:
lane at a fairly high speed. When Secosa overtook the Respondent Sebastian Baking went to the clinic of
sand and gravel truck, he... bumped the motorcycle Dr. Cesar Sy for a medical check-up. Subsequently,
causing Francisco to fall. The rear wheels of the Isuzu after several tests, Dr. Sy prescribed two medical
truck then ran over Francisco, which resulted in his prescriptions – Diamicron for his blood Sugar and
instantaneous death. Fearing for his life, petitioner Benalize tablets for his triglyceride.
Secosa left his truck and fled the scene of the collision. Respondent then proceeded to petitioner Mercury
Issues: Drug Store (MDC) to buy the prescribed medicines.
Hence the present petition, based on the following However, the saleslady misread the prescription for
arguments: Diamicron for Dormicrum – a potent sleeping tablet.
I. Unaware of the mistake, Respondent took it for three
THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED consecutive days. On the third day, he figured in a
WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE vehicular accident. His car collided with another car
TRIAL COURT THAT PETITIONER DASSAD DID driven by one Josie Peralta. It turned out that
NOT EXERCISE THE DILIGENCE OF A GOOD Respondent fell asleep while driving and has no idea
FATHER OF A FAMILY IN THE SELECTION AND regarding the accident. Suspecting that the tablet he
SUPERVISION OF ITS EMPLOYEES WHICH IS took may have caused the accident, he returned to Dr.
NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 2180 OF Sy and the latter was shocked because of the wrong
THE NEW CIVIL CODE AND RELATED medicine sold to his patient.
JURISPRUDENCE ON THE MATTER. Respondent thereafter filed with the Regional Trial
Ruling: Court (RTC) complaint for damages against
Based on the foregoing provisions, when an injury is petitioner.
caused by the negligence of an employee, there The RTC ruled in favour of the plaintiff; decision of
instantly arises a presumption that there was which was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals.
negligence on the part of the employer either in the Hence this present petition.
selection of his employee or in the supervision over
him after such selection. Issue: Whether or not petitioner was negligent, if so,
The presumption, however, may be rebutted by a clear whether such negligence was the proximate cause of
showing on the part of the employer that it exercised respondent’s accident?
the care and diligence of a good father of a family in
the selection and supervision of his employee. Hence, Ruling:
to evade solidary liability for quasi-delict committed YES.
by an... employee, the employer must adduce Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides that
sufficient proof that it exercised such degree of “Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
care.[6] there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
In the selection of prospective employees, employers damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no re-
are required to examine them as to their existing contractual relation between the parties, is
qualifications, experience, and service records.[13] called a quasi-delict”.
On the other hand, with respect to the supervision of The Court also enumerated the three (3) elements of
employees, employers should formulate... standard Quasi-delict, to wit:
operating procedures, monitor their implementation, Damage suffered by the plaintiff;
and impose disciplinary measures for breaches Fault or negligence of the defendant
thereof. To establish these factors in a trial involving Connection of the cause and effect between the fault
the issue of vicarious liability, employers must submit or negligence of the defendant and the damage
concrete proof, including documentary evidence. incurred by the plaintiff
Principles: The Court stressed that there is no dispute that
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides: respondent suffered damages. It is generally
Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, recognized that the drugstore business is imbued with
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for public interest. The health and safety of the people
the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is will be put into jeopardy if the drugstore employees
no pre-existing contractual relation between the will not exercise the highest degree of care and
parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by... diligence.
the provisions of this Chapter. That petitioner’s employee was grossly negligent. The
On the other hand, Article 2180, in pertinent part, care required must be commensurate with the danger
states: involved, and the skill employed must correspondent
The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable with the superior knowledge of the business which the
not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for law demands.
those of persons for whom one is responsible x x x. Hence, the Court sustained that the proximate cause
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by of the accident was the petitioner’s employee’s
their employees and household helpers acting within negligence. The vehicular accident could have not
the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the occurred had the employee been careful to his job.
former are not engaged in any business or industry x MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION and AURMELA
x x. GANZON vs.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease RAUL DE LEON
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they Facts:
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family Respondent Raul T. De Leon, a judge, noticed that his
to prevent damage. left eye was reddish. He also
Petitioner's attempt to prove its "deligentissimi patris had difficulty reading. On the same evening, he met a
familias" in the selection and supervision of employees friend who happened to be a doctor, Dr. Charles Milla.
through oral evidence must fail as it was unable to The latter prescribed the drugs “CortisporinOpthalmic”
buttress... the same with any other evidence, object or and “Ceftin” to relieve his eye problems. Before heading
to work the following morning, De Leon went to the
Betterliving, Parañaque, branch of Mercury Drug He [Albayda] was brought to the PH Air Force
StoreCorporation to buy the prescribed medicines. He General Hospital, but he was transferred to the AFP
showed his prescription to petitioner AurmelaGanzon, Medical Center because he sustained a fracture and
a pharmacist assistant. At his chambers, De Leon there was no orthopedic doctor available in the first
requested his sheriff to assist him in using the eye hospital. He was confined from 27 Aug 1997 to 11 Feb
drops. As instructed, the sheriff applied 2-3 drops on 1998, and again in 23 Feb to 22 Mar 1998 [approx. 7
respondent’s left eye. Instead of relieving his irritation, months].
respondent felt searing pain. He immediately rinsed the Conciliation before the barangay failed, so Albayda
affected eye with water, but the pain did not filed a complaint for physical injuries through reckless
subside. Only then did he discover that he was given imprudence against Completo before the Office of the
the wrong medicine, “CortisporinOtic Solution.” De City Prosecutor of Pasay. Completo filed a counter-
Leon returned to the same Mercury Drug branch, with charge of damage to property through reckless
his left eye still red and teary. When he confronted imprudence against Albayda. The Office of the City
Ganzon why he was given ear drops, instead of the Prosecutor recommended the filing of an information
prescribed eye drops, she did not apologize and for Albayda's complaint, and Completo's complaint
instead brazenly replied that she was unable to fully [against Albayda] was dismissed. Albayda manifested
read the prescription and it was her supervisor who his reservation to file a separate civil action for
apologized and informed De Leon that they do not damages against Completo and Abiad.
have stock of the needed CortisporinOpthalmic. De Albayda alleged that Completo's negligence is the
Leon wrote Mercury Drug, through its president, Ms. proximate cause of the incident. He demanded the
Vivian K. Askuna, about the day’s incident. Instead, following damages and their respective
two sales persons went to his office and informed him amounts: Actual damages - 276,550; Moral damages -
that their supervisor was busy with other matters. Having 600,000; Exemplary damages - 200,000; Attorney's
been denied his simple desire for a written apology and fees - 25,000 + 1,000 per court appearance.
explanation, De Leon filed a complaint On the other hand, Completo alleged that he was
for damagesagainst Mercury Drug. carefully driving the taxicab when he heard a strange
Issue: sound from the taxicab's rear right side. He found
Whether or not the Mercury Drug and Ganzon are Albayda lying on the road, holding his left leg, so he
liable. brought Albayda to PH Air Force General Hospital.
Ruling: Completo asserted that he was an experienced driver,
Yes. Mercury Drug and Ganzoncannot exculpate and that he already reduced his speed to 20km even
themselves from any liability. As active players in the before reaching the intersection. In contrast, Albayda
field of dispensing medicines to the public, the highest rode his bicycle at high speed, causing him to lose
degree of care and diligence is expected of control of the bicycle. Completo said that Albayda had
them. Likewise, numerous decisions, both here and no cause of action.
abroad, have laid salutary rules for the protection of Several people testified for each side, but here are
human life and human health. In the United States some notes on the testimony of the owner of the taxi
case of Tombari v. Conners, it was ruled that the driver, Abiad. Abiad said that aside from being a
profession of pharmacy demands care and skill, and soldier, he also held franchises of taxicabs and
druggists must exercise care of a specially high passenger jeepneys, and being a taxicab operator, he
degree, the highest degree of care known to practical would wake up early to personally check the taxicabs.
men. In other words, druggists must exercise the When Completo applied as a taxicab driver, Abiad
highest practicable degree of prudence and vigilance, required him to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and
and the most exact and reliable safeguards consistent driver's license. Completo never figured in a vehicular
with the reasonable conduct of the business, so that accident since he was employed, and according to
human life may not constantly be exposed to the Abiad, he [Completo] was a good driver and good man.
danger flowing from the substitution of deadly poisons RTC rendered judgment in favor of Albayda, and
for harmless medicines. the defendants are ordered to pay actual [46k] and
In cases where an injury is caused by the negligence moral [400k] damages, and attorney's fees [25k]. Upon
of an employee, there instantly arises a presumption appeal at the CA, the court affirmed RTC's decision
of law that there has been negligence on the part of with modifications [no more actual damages; awarded
the employer, either in the selection or supervision of temperate damages [40k]; moral damages only 200k;
one’s employees. This presumption may be rebutted by Completo and Abiad are solidarily liable to pay
a clear showing that the employer has exercised the Albayda; added legal interest].
care and diligence of a good father of the family.
Mercury Drug failed to overcome such presumption. Issues and Holding
Petitioners Mercury Drug and Ganzon have similarly WON CA erred in finding that Completo was the one
failed to live up to high standard of diligence expected who caused the collision. NO
of them as pharmacy professionals. They were grossly WON Abiad failed to prove that he observed the
negligent in dispensing ear drops instead of the diligence of a good father of the family. YES
prescribed eye drops to De Leon. WON the award of moral and temperate damages and
As a buyer, De Leon relied on the expertise and attorney's fees for Albayda had no basis. NO / NO /
experience of Mercury Drug and its employees in YES
dispensing to him the right medicine. This Court has Ratio
ruled that in the purchase and sale of drugs, the On Negligence
buyer and seller do not stand at arms length. There It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has
exists an imperative duty on the seller or the druggist the burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence
to take precaution to prevent death or injury to any the motorist's breach in his duty of care owed to the
person who relies on one’s absolute honesty and plaintiff, that the motorist was negligent in failing to
peculiar learning. exercise the diligence required to avoid injury to the
Heirs of Redentor Completo, and Elpidio Abiad v. Sgt. plaintiff, and that such negligence was the proximate
Amando Albayda, Jr. cause of the injury suffered. NCC 2176 quoted, and
Facts said that the question of the motorist's negligence is a
Albayda is a Master Sergeant of the PH Air Force, question of fact. Usually, more will be required of a
and Completo was the taxi driver of a Toyota Corolla motorist [25mi/hr = 37ft/sec] than a bicyclist [10mi/hr
which was owned by Abiad. Albayda was riding a bike = 15ft/sec] in discharging the duty of care because of
on his way to the office, when Completo's taxi bumped
and sideswept him, causing serious physical injuries.
the physical advantages the former has over the Negros Provincial Hospital as evidenced by the
latter. medical certificate herewith attached and marked as
Annex "A" of this complaint;
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that 4. That the said Studebaker Sedan Car with Plate No.
Completo failed to exercise reasonable diligence. 35-1138 was at the time of the accident, driven and
He was overspeeding at the time he hit Albayda's controlled by Segundino Estanda, a driver under the
bicycle; he did not slow down even when he employ of the defendant, without due care and
approached the intersection diligence and with negligence and recklessness and
Such negligence was the sole and proximate cause of violation of traffic rules and regulations;
the injuries sustained by Albayda 5. That an information was filed in the Municipal
It was proven that Albayda had the right of way since Court of the City of Bacolod which was docketed as
he reached the intersection ahead of Completo Criminal Case No. 2607 against the said Segundino
NCC 2180 cited - obligation imposed by NCC 2176 is Estanda for the crime of Slight Physical Inuries
demandable also for those persons for whom one is Through Reckless Imprudence, a copy of said
responsible. Employers are liable for damage caused information is hereto attached marked as Annex "B"
by employees, but the responsibility ceases upon proof and made an integral part of this complaint;
that employers observed the diligence of the good 6. That the said Segundino Estanda pleaded guilty to
father of the family in the selection and supervision of the crime charge in the Information and he was
employees. The burden of proof is on the finally sentenced to suffer the penalty of five (5) days
employer. The responsibility of two or more persons of Arresto Menor and to pay the costs in a Decision
who are liable for QD is solidary. The employer's civil rendered in said case, copy of which Decision is hereto
liability for his employee's negligent acts is also attached marked as Annex "C" and made an integral
primary and direct, owing to his own negligence in part of this complaint;
selecting and supervising them, and this liability 7. That the said Decision, Annex "C" has long become
attaches even if the employer is not in the vehicle at final and said Segundino Estanda has already served
the time of collision. the penalty metted to him by virtue thereof; .
In the selection of employees, employers are 8. That the plaintiff has suffered damages in the form
required to examine them as to their qualifications, of expenses paid for the hospitalization, medicines,
experience, and service records. With respect physicians' fees and incidental expense of his son,
to supervision, employers should formulate SOPs and Winston Ortaliz, in the amount of P446.58;
monitor their implementation, and impose 9. That the plaintiff, by reason of the accident met by
disciplinary measures for breaches. To establish these his said son, Winston Ortaliz, as above-stated,
factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious through the fault, negligence and recklessness of
[secondary] liability, employers must submit concrete Segundino Estanda for whose acts the defendant is
proof, including documentary evidence. responsible because he was at the time employed by
him (defendant) as his driver, has also suffered,
ABIAD'S EVIDENCE CONSISTED ENTIRELY OF because of the mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety,
TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE, AND THIS IS wounded feelings and moral shock, moral damages in
INSUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE LEGAL the amount of TWO THOUSAND PESOS (P2,000),
PRESUMPTION THAT HE WAS NEGLIGENT IN Philippine Currency;
THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF 10. That the boy, Winston Ortaliz, was strong, robust
COMPLETO. and happy before the accident that caused on him
physical Injuries which necessitated his
On Damages hospitalization and medical attention, and was not
CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages suffering nor had he ever suffered from any illness;
because Albayda failed to present documentary 11. That demands have been made on the defendant
evidence to establish the amount incurred. Temperate to pay the plaintiff the sum of P2,446.55 for actual,
damages may be recovered when the court finds that consequential and moral damages, but the defendants
some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount refused and still refuses to pay the same and that by
cannot be proved with certainty. Moral damages are reason of the refusal of the defendant, the plaintiff
awarded in QDs causing physical injuries, so the was forced to secure the services of an attorney paying
award is proper. The award of attorney's fees is the latter the sum of P500.
deleted for failure to prove that petitioners acted in WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that a
bad faith in refusing to satisfy respondent's just and decision be rendered;
valid claim. 1. Sentencing the defendant to pay the plaintiff the
sum of P2,446.55 for the actual, consequential and
JOSE A. ORTALIZ, plaintiff-appellant, moral damages plus an additional sum of P500 for
vs. attorney's fees;
CORADO ECHARRI, defendant-appelee. 2. To pay the costs of this suit, and
Parreno and Tonogbanua for appellant. 3. Plaintiff be granted any other remedy that is just
Hilado and Hilado for appellees. and equitable and proper in law.
Plaintiff-appellant seeks the reversal of the order of On March 18, 1953, the defendant-appellee filed a
the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental motion to dismiss wherein, after admitting the
dismissing the case on the ground that the complaint ownership of the Studebaker Sedan car with plate No.
does not state a cause of action. 35-1138, he alleged the following:
On February 19, 1953, plaintiff filed in the court (a) That the case at bar is one for recovery of damages
below a complaint wherein, after stating the legal arising from the crime of Slight Physical Injuries as
personalities of the parties, he averred the following: borne out by the allegations of the complaint itself.
2. That the plaintiff is the lawful father of the child, (b) That defendant is being sued in his capacity as the
Winston Ortaliz, had in legitimate wedlock with employer of the perpetrator of the said crime,
Elena Lucasan; Segundino Estanda, and, as deducible from the
3. That on or about December 18, 1953, at the corner allegations of the complaint, for defendant's supposed
of Washington and Justicia Streets, Bacolod City, subsidiary civil liability arising therefrom under the
Philippines, the Studebaker Sedan Car with Plate No. Revised Penal Code.
35-1138 of the defendant struck the plaintiff's son, (d) That the complaint does not allege that defendant
Winston Ortaliz, causing upon him physical injuries was nor is engaged in any business or industry in
as a result of which he was taken to the Occidental conjunction with which he has at any time used the
said car, much less on the occasion of the alleged criminal prosecution, and shall require only a
accident, nor the defendant had at any time put out preponderance of evidence.
the said car for hire. WHEREFORE, the order of dismissal entered by the
(e) That the obligation or liability of defendant, if any, lower court is hereby revoked and the case remanded
for the damages alleged in the complaint, being an to said court for further proceedings. Without costs.
obligation arising from a criminal offense, is governed Torts And Damages Case Digest: Mr. And Mrs.
by Article 1161 of the Civil Code, which, in turn, Amador C. Ong V. Metropolitan Water District (1958)
makes the penal laws applicable thereto. G.R. No. L-7664 August 29, 1958
(f) That, under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code,
it is essential, in order for an employer to be liable FACTS:
subsidiarily for felonies committed by his employee, July 5, 1952 1:45 p.m.: For the 4th or 5th time,
that the former be engaged in some kind of industry, Dominador Ong, a 14-year old high school student and
and that the employer had committed the crime in the boy scout, and his brothers Ruben and Eusebio, went
discharge of his duties in connection with such to Metropolitan Water District's recreational
industry. swimming pools charging a nominal fee (P0.50 for
(g) That, therefore, defendant cannot be held adults; P0.20 for children)
subsidiarily liable for the crime committed by his 4:35 p.m.: Dominador Ong told his brothers that he
driver as alleged in plaintiff's complaint. was going to the locker room in an adjoining building
PREMISES CONSIDERED, defendant respectfully to drink a bottle of coke
prays this Hon. Court to dismiss the complaint, the Upon hearing this, Ruben and Eusebio went to the
same having failed to state a cause of action, with bigger pool leaving Dominador in the small pool and
costs. so they did not see the latter when he left the pool to
Thereafter the parties submitted their respective get a bottle of coke.
memoranda on whether the complaint failed to state a Lifeguards Manuel Abaño (8 am - 12 nn;2 pm - 6
cause of action and the Court, after taking into pm) and Mario Villanueva (7:30-11:30 am;2:30 to 4:30
consideration the arguments advanced by the parties, pm) were on duty
dismissed the complaint. 4-5 pm: there were about 20 bathers inside the pool
Plaintiff now contends that under paragraph 2 of area and Manuel Abaño was going around the pools to
Article 2884 of the Civil Code and paragraph 1 and 5 observe the bathers in compliance with the
of Article 2180, a sufficient cause of action has been instructions of his chief
clearly alleged in the disputed complaint and 4:40-4:45 p.m: some boys who were in the pool area
therefore the same should not have been dismissed. informed a bather by the name of Andres Hagad, Jr.,
Article 2180 in part provides: that somebody was swimming under water for quite a
ART. 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is long time
demandable not only for one's own acts or omission Another boy informed lifeguard Manuel Abaño of the
but also for those of persons for whom one is same happening so he immediately jumped into the big
responsible. swimming pool and retrieved the apparently lifeless body
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by of Dominador Ong from the bottom
their employees and household helpers acting within The body was placed at the edge of the pool and Abaño
the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the immediately applied manual artificial respiration
former are not engaged in any business or industry. Soon after, male nurse Armando Rule came to render
and Article 2184 in its last paragraph provides: assistance, followed by sanitary inspector Iluminado
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the Vicente who, after being called by phone from the
provisions of Article 2180 are applicable. clinic by one of the security guards, boarded a jeep
Having in view the aforequoted provisions of law and carrying with him the resuscitator and a medicine kit,
those of Article 2176 to the effect that "Whoever by act and upon arriving he injected the boy with
or omission causes damage to another, there being camphorated oil
fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage After the injection, Vicente left on a jeep in order to
done", there seems to be good reason to support fetch Dr. Ayuyao from the University of the
plaintiff's contention that the complaint in question Philippines
states sufficient cause of action. Defendant-appellee, Meanwhile, Abaño continued the artificial manual
however, claims that there is no allegation in the respiration, and when this failed to revive him, they
complaint that "the defendant was engaged in some applied the resuscitator until the two oxygen tanks
kind of industry and that the employee had committed were exhausted
the crime in the discharge of his duties in connection Not long thereafter, Dr. Ayuyao arrived with another
with such industry," hence the defendant cannot be resuscitator, but the same became of no use because
held subsidiarily liable for the crime committed by his he found the boy already dead. The doctor ordered
driver and therefore the complaint failed to state facts that the body be taken to the clinic.
sufficient to constitute a cause of action. But The autopsy of Dr. Enrique V. de los Santos, Chief,
paragraph 5 of Article 2180 refutes this contention for Medico Legal Division of the NBI found that the death
it clearly provides that "Employers shall be liable for was due to asphyxia by submersion in water.
the damages caused by their employees acting within lower court: dismissed the complaint
the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the Mr. and Mrs. Amador C. Ong: failure of the lifeguard
former are not engaged in any business or industry." Abaño to immediately respond to their call may
Defendant-appellee also contends that when the and even if it be assumed that the deceased is partly
judgment in Criminal Case No. 2607 of the Municipal to be blamed for the unfortunate incident, defendants
Court of Bacolod was rendered against the driver may still be held liable under the doctrine of "last
Segundino Estanda, plaintiff did not reserve the civil clear chance" for the reason that, having the last
action and thus he lost his right thereto and opportunity to save the victim, it failed to do so
consequently the present action against the ISSUE: W/N the death of minor Dominador Ong can
defendant-appellee would not lie. This contention, be attributed to the negligence of Metropolitan Water
however, is untenable, for Article 33 of the Civil Code District and/or its employees
clearly provides:
ART. 33. In cases of physical injuries, a civil action for
damages, entirely separate and distinct from the HELD: NO. decision appealed from is affirmed
criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Since the present action is one for damages founded
Such civil action shall proceed independently of the on culpable negligence, the principle to be observed is
that the person claiming damages has the burden of
proving that the damage is caused by the fault or establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible
negligence of the person from whom the damage is for damages caused by their employees in the service
claimed, or of one of his employees of the branches in which the latter are employed or on
The last clear chance doctrine can never apply where the occasion of their functions. This responsibility
the party charged is required to act instantaneously, shall cease when the employers prove that they
and if the injury cannot be avoided by the application observed the diligence of a good father of a family to
of all means at hand after the peril is or should have prevent damage; hence, PEPSI-COLA shall be
been discovered; at least in cases in which any relieved from liability (rebuttable presumption of
previous negligence of the party charged cannot be negligence).
said to have contributed to the injury The decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby
Before closing, we wish to quote the following affirmed.
observation of the trial court, which we find supported
by the evidence: "There is (also) a strong suggestion RESOLUTION ON MOTION FOR
coming from the expert evidence presented by both RECONSIDERATION
parties that Dominador Ong might have dived where BENGZON, J.P., J.:
the water was only 5.5 feet deep, and in so doing he Petitioners impute to PEPSI-COLA the violation of
might have hit or bumped his forehead against the subpars M.V.O. Administrative Order No. 1 in that at
bottom of the pool, as a consequence of which he was the time of the collision, the trailer-truck, which had a
stunned, and which to his drowning. As a boy scout he total weight of 30,000 kgms., was (a) being driven at a
must have received instructions in swimming. He speed of about 30 k.p.h. or beyond the 15 k.p.h. limit
knew, or have known that it was dangerous for him to set and (b) was not equipped with a rear-vision mirror
dive in that part of the pool." nor provided with a helper for the driver. There is no
finding that the tractor-truck did not have a rear-
PLACIDO C. RAMOS and AUGUSTO L. vision mirror.
RAMOS, petitioners, Petitioners also charge PEPSI-COLA with having
vs. violated par. (b) of Sec. 8-A of the Rev. Motor Vehicle
PEPSI-COLA BOTTLING CO. OF THE P.I. and Law, alleging that the truck exceeded the dimensions
ANDRES BONIFACIO, respondents. allowed. It is not enough that the width of the tractor-
FACTS: truck exceed the limit in Sec. 8-A; in addition, it must
The car driven by Augusto Ramos (son of co-plaintiff also appear that there was no special permit granted
Placido Ramos) collided with the truck of PEPSI, under Sec. 9. Unfortunately for petitioners, that vital
driven by the driver and co-defendant Andres factual link is missing. There was no proof much less
Bonifacio. As a result, the Ramoses sued Bonifacio any finding to that effect.
and Pepsi. We are urged to apply the Anglo-American doctrine
The trial court found Bonifacio negligent and declared of respondent superior. We cannot however, abandon
that PEPSI-COLA had not sufficiently proved that it the Bahia ruling without going against the explicit
exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family mandate of the law. A motor vehicle owner is not an
to prevent the damage. PEPSI-COLA and Bonifacio, absolute insurer against all damages caused by its
solidarily, were ordered to pay the plaintiffs damages. driver. Article 2180 of our Civil Code is very explicit
The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. CA that the owner's responsibility shall cease once it
affirmed the decision of the trial court, but absolved proves that it has observed the diligence of a good
PEPSI-COLA from liability, finding that it sufficiently father of a family to prevent damage. The Bahia case
proved due diligence in the selection of its driver merely clarified what that diligence consists of,
Bonifacio. In its decision, CA stated the basis for its namely, diligence in the selection and supervision of
decision: the driver-employee.
“The uncontradicted testimony of Juan T. Anasco, Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the basis of an
personnel manager of defendant company, was to the employer's liability is his own negligence, not that of
effect that defendant driver was first hired as a his employees. The former is made responsible for
member of the bottle crop in the production failing to properly and diligently select and supervise
department; that when he was hired as a driver, ' we his erring employees. We do not — and have never —
had size [sic] him by looking into his background, followed the respondent superior rule.8 So, the
asking him to submit clearances, previous experience, American rulings cited by petitioners, based as they
physical examination and later on, he was sent to the are on said doctrine, are not authoritative here.
pool house to take the usual driver's examination , In view of the foregoing, the motion for
consisting of: first, theoretical examination and reconsideration is hereby denied.
second, the practical driving examination, all of which
he had undergone, and that the defendant company
was a member of the Safety Council. Our Supreme Filamer v. IAC
Court had put it down as a rule that ‘In order that the
defendant may be considered as having exercised all Facts: Funtecha was a working student of Filamer
the diligence of a good father of a family, he should Christian Institute. Being a part-time janitor and a
not have been satisfied with the mere possession of a scholar of petitioner Filamer, he was considered an
professional driver's license; he should have carefully employee even if he was assigned to clean the
examined the applicant for employment as to his premises for just 2 hours every day.
qualifications, his experiences and record of service.’
Defendant Company has taken all these steps.” Allan Masa, the son of Filamer’s president Mr. Agustin
ISSUE: Whether PEPSI-COLA exercised due Masa, was the official driver of the school’s vehicle.
diligence in the selection of its employee. Since Funtecha and Allan lived in the same house,
HELD: Funtecha, holder of a student driver’s license,
The appellants contended that Añasco, being PEPSI- requested Allan to take over the vehicle and drive it
COLA's employee, is a biased and an interested home. Allan Masa turned over the vehicle to Funtecha
witness. This is a question of fact, and the SC would only after driving down a road, negotiating a sharp
not disturb the findings of CA. dangerous curb, and viewing that the road was clear. A
It should perhaps be stated that in the instant case no fast moving truck with glaring lights nearly hit them
question is raised as to due diligence in the so they swerved to the right to avoid collision. Upon
supervision by PEPSI-COLA of its driver. Article 2180 swerving, they heard a sound as if something had
points out that the owners and managers of an bumped against the vehicle, but they did not stop to
check. Unfortunately, their jeep swerved towards the
pedestrian, Potenciano Kapunan who was walking in injured party shall have recourse against the servant
his lane in the direction against vehicular traffic, and as well as the petitioner for whom, at the time of the
hit him. incident, the servant was performing an act in
furtherance of the interest and for the benefit of the
The heirs of Kapunan filed an action against Filamer petitioner. Funtecha allegedly did not steal the school
for damages. In its defense, Filamer alleged that jeep nor use it for a joy ride without the knowledge of
Funtecha acted outside of his scope of his authority. the school authorities.
Therefore, it was only Funtecha who was liable and After a re-examination of the laws relevant to the
not Filamer. facts found by the trial court and the appellate court,
the Court reconsiders its decision. We reinstate the
Issue: Whether or not Filamer Christian Institute is Court of Appeals' decision penned by the late Justice
liable for the acts of Funtecha Desiderio Jurado and concurred in by Justices Jose C.
Campos, Jr. and Serafin E. Camilon. Applying Civil
Held: Yes, Filamer is liable for the acts of Funtecha. Code provisions, the appellate court affirmed the trial
court decision which ordered the payment of the
Ratio: In learning how to drive while taking the P20,000.00 liability in the Zenith Insurance
vehicle home in the direction of Allan's house, Corporation policy, P10,000.00 moral damages,
Funtecha definitely was not having a joy ride. P4,000.00 litigation and actual expenses, and
Funtecha was not driving for the purpose of his P3,000.00 attorney's fees.
enjoyment or for a "frolic of his own" but ultimately, It is undisputed that Funtecha was a working
for the service for which the jeep was intended by the student, being a part-time janitor and a scholar of
petitioner school. Therefore, the Court is constrained petitioner Filamer. He was, in relation to the school,
to conclude that the act of Funtecha in taking over the an employee even if he was assigned to clean the
steering wheel was one done for and in behalf of his school premises for only two (2) hours in the morning
employer for which act the petitioner-school cannot of each school day.
deny any responsibility by arguing that it was done Having a student driver's license, Funtecha requested
beyond the scope of his janitorial duties. He need not the driver, Allan Masa, and was allowed, to take over
have an official appointment for a driver's position in the vehicle while the latter was on his way home one
order that the petitioner may be held responsible for late afternoon. It is significant to note that the place
his grossly negligent act, it being sufficient that the where Allan lives is also the house of his father, the
act of driving at the time of the incident was for the school president, Agustin Masa. Moreover, it is also
benefit of the petitioner. Hence, the fact that the house where Funtecha was allowed free board
Funtecha was not the school driver or was not acting while he was a student of Filamer Christian Institute.
within the scope of his janitorial duties does not Allan Masa turned over the vehicle to Funtecha only
relieve the petitioner of the burden of rebutting the after driving down a road, negotiating a sharp
presumption that there was negligence on its part dangerous curb, and viewing that the road was clear.
either in the selection of a servant or employee, or in (TSN, April 4, 1983, pp. 78-79) According to Allan's
the supervision over him. The petitioner has failed to testimony, a fast moving truck with glaring lights
show proof of its having exercised the required nearly hit them so that they had to swerve to the right
diligence of a good father of a family over its to avoid a collision. Upon swerving, they heard a
employees Funtecha and Allan. sound as if something had bumped against the
vehicle, but they did not stop to check. Actually, the
Pinoy jeep swerved towards the pedestrian,
What does supervision of employee include? Potenciano Kapunan who was walking in his lane in
the direction against vehicular traffic, and hit him.
It includes the formulation of suitable rules Allan affirmed that Funtecha followed his advise to
and regulations for the guidance of its employees and swerve to the right. (Ibid., p. 79) At the time of the
the issuance of proper instructions intended for the incident (6:30 P.M.) in Roxas City, the jeep had only
protection of the public and persons with whom the one functioning headlight.
employer has relations through his employees. Allan testified that he was the driver and at the same
time a security guard of the petitioner-school. He
Was there any showing that Filamer provided rules further said that there was no specific time for him to
and regulations? be off-duty and that after driving the students home
at 5:00 in the afternoon, he still had to go back to
None. school and then drive home using the same vehicle.
Driving the vehicle to and from the house of the school
Therefore: president where both Allan and Funtecha reside is an
act in furtherance of the interest of the petitioner-
Petitioner Filamer has an obligation to pay school. Allan's job demands that he drive home the
damages for injury arising from the unskilled manner school jeep so he can use it to fetch students in the
by which Funtecha drove the vehicle. The liability of morning of the next school day.
Filamer is primary and solidary. It has, however, It is indubitable under the circumstances that the
recourse against the negligent employee for whatever school president had knowledge that the jeep was
damages it has paid. routinely driven home for the said purpose. Moreover,
it is not improbable that the school president also had
FULL TEXT knowledge of Funtecha's possession of a student
FILAMER CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE, petitioner, driver's license and his desire to undergo driving
vs. lessons during the time that he was not in his
HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, HON. classrooms.
ENRIQUE P. SUPLICO, in his capacity as Judge of In learning how to drive while taking the vehicle
the Regional Trial Court, Branch XIV, Roxas City and home in the direction of Allan's house, Funtecha
POTENCIANO KAPUNAN, SR., respondents. definitely was not having a joy ride. Funtecha was not
The private respondents assert that the circumstances driving for the purpose of his enjoyment or for a "frolic
obtaining in the present case call for the application of of his own" but ultimately, for the service for which
Article 2180 of the Civil Code since Funtecha is no the jeep was intended by the petitioner school. (See L.
doubt an employee of the petitioner. The private Battistoni v. Thomas, Can SC 144, 1 D.L.R. 577, 80
respondents maintain that under Article 2180 an ALR 722 [1932]; See also Association of Baptists for
World Evangelism, Inc. v. Fieldmen's Insurance Co., exercised the required diligence of a good father of a
Inc. 124 SCRA 618 [1983]). Therefore, the Court is family over its employees Funtecha and Allan.
constrained to conclude that the act of Funtecha in The Court reiterates that supervision includes the
taking over the steering wheel was one done for and formulation of suitable rules and regulations for the
in behalf of his employer for which act the petitioner- guidance of its employees and the issuance of proper
school cannot deny any responsibility by arguing that instructions intended for the protection of the public
it was done beyond the scope of his janitorial duties. and persons with whom the employer has relations
The clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" through his employees. (Bahia v. Litonjua and
for purposes of raising the presumption of liability of Leynes, supra, at p. 628; Phoenix Construction, v.
an employer, includes any act done by an employee, in Intermediate Appellate Court, 148 SCRA 353 [1987])
furtherance of the interests of the employer or for the An employer is expected to impose upon its employees
account of the employer at the time of the infliction of the necessary discipline called for in the performance
the injury or damage. (Manuel Casada, 190 Va 906, 59 of any act indispensable to the business and beneficial
SE 2d 47 [1950]) Even if somehow, the employee to their employer.
driving the vehicle derived some benefit from the act, In the present case, the petitioner has not shown that
the existence of a presumptive liability of the it has set forth such rules and guidelines as would
employer is determined by answering the question of prohibit any one of its employees from taking control
whether or not the servant was at the time of the over its vehicles if one is not the official driver or
accident performing any act in furtherance of his prohibiting the driver and son of the Filamer
master's business. (Kohlman v. Hyland, 210 NW 643, president from authorizing another employee to drive
50 ALR 1437 [1926]; Jameson v. Gavett, 71 P 2d 937 the school vehicle. Furthermore, the petitioner has
[1937]) failed to prove that it had imposed sanctions or
Section 14, Rule X, Book III of the Rules warned its employees against the use of its vehicles by
implementing the Labor Code, on which the petitioner persons other than the driver.
anchors its defense, was promulgated by the Secretary The petitioner, thus, has an obligation to pay damages
of Labor and Employment only for the purpose of for injury arising from the unskilled manner by which
administering and enforcing the provisions of the Funtecha drove the vehicle. (Cangco v. Manila
Labor Code on conditions of employment. Particularly, Railroad Co., 38 Phil. 768, 772 [1918]). In the absence
Rule X of Book III provides guidelines on the manner of evidence that the petitioner had exercised the
by which the powers of the Labor Secretary shall be diligence of a good father of a family in the
exercised; on what records should be kept; maintained supervision of its employees, the law imposes upon it
and preserved; on payroll; and on the exclusion of the vicarious liability for acts or omissions of its
working scholars from, and inclusion of resident employees. (Umali v. Bacani, 69 SCRA 263 [1976];
physicians in the employment coverage as far as Poblete v. Fabros, 93 SCRA 200 [1979]; Kapalaran
compliance with the substantive labor provisions on Bus Liner v. Coronado, 176 SCRA 792 [1989]; Franco
working conditions, rest periods, and wages, is v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 178 SCRA 331
concerned. [1989]; Pantranco North Express, Inc. v. Baesa, 179
In other words, Rule X is merely a guide to the SCRA 384 [1989]) The liability of the employer is,
enforcement of the substantive law on labor. The under Article 2180, primary and solidary. However,
Court, thus, makes the distinction and so holds that the employer shall have recourse against the
Section 14, Rule X, Book III of the Rules is not the negligent employee for whatever damages are paid to
decisive law in a civil suit for damages instituted by the heirs of the plaintiff.
an injured person during a vehicular accident against It is an admitted fact that the actual driver of the
a working student of a school and against the school school jeep, Allan Masa, was not made a party
itself. defendant in the civil case for damages. This is quite
The present case does not deal with a labor dispute on understandable considering that as far as the injured
conditions of employment between an alleged pedestrian, plaintiff Potenciano Kapunan, was
employee and an alleged employer. It invokes a claim concerned, it was Funtecha who was the one driving
brought by one for damages for injury caused by the the vehicle and presumably was one authorized by the
patently negligent acts of a person, against both doer- school to drive. The plaintiff and his heirs should not
employee and his employer. Hence, the reliance on the now be left to suffer without simultaneous recourse
implementing rule on labor to disregard the primary against the petitioner for the consequent injury
liability of an employer under Article 2180 of the Civil caused by a janitor doing a driving chore for the
Code is misplaced. An implementing rule on labor petitioner even for a short while. For the purpose of
cannot be used by an employer as a shield to avoid recovering damages under the prevailing
liability under the substantive provisions of the Civil circumstances, it is enough that the plaintiff and the
Code. private respondent heirs were able to establish the
There is evidence to show that there exists in the existence of employer-employee relationship between
present case an extra-contractual obligation arising Funtecha and petitioner Filamer and the fact that
from the negligence or reckless imprudence of a Funtecha was engaged in an act not for an
person "whose acts or omissions are imputable, by a independent purpose of his own but in furtherance of
legal fiction, to other(s) who are in a position to the business of his employer. A position of
exercise an absolute or limited control over (him)." responsibility on the part of the petitioner has thus
(Bahia v. Litonjua and Leynes, 30 Phil. 624 [1915]) been satisfactorily demonstrated.
Funtecha is an employee of petitioner Filamer. He
need not have an official appointment for a driver's
position in order that the petitioner may be held
responsible for his grossly negligent act, it being
sufficient that the act of driving at the time of the
incident was for the benefit of the petitioner. Hence,
the fact that Funtecha was not the school driver or
was not acting within the scope of his janitorial duties
does not relieve the petitioner of the burden of
rebutting the presumption juris tantum that there
was negligence on its part either in the selection of a
servant or employee, or in the supervision over him.
The petitioner has failed to show proof of its having
ISSUE:
Whether or not the school was negligent for the boy’s
accidental fall.

RULING:
YES. In every tort case filed under Article 2176 of the
Civil Code, plaintiff has to prove by a
preponderance of evidence: (1) the damages suffered
by the plaintiff; (2) the fault or negligence of the
defendant or some other person for whose act he must
respond; and (3) the connection of cause and effect
between the fault or negligence and the damages
incurred.

In this tort case, respondents contend that CLC failed


to provide precautionary measures to avoid harm and
injury to its students in two instances: (1) failure to
fix a defective door knob despite having been notified
of the problem; and (2) failure to install safety grills
on the window where Timothy fell from. During trial,
it was found that the lock was defective. The architect
witness testified that he did not verify if the doorknob
at the comfort room was actually put in place.
Further, the fact that Timothy fell out through the
window shows that the door could not be opened from
the inside. That sufficiently points to the fact that
something was wrong with the door, if not the door
knob, under the principle of res ipsa loquitor. The
doctrine of res ipsa loquitor applies where (1) the
accident was of such character as to warrant an
inference that it would not have happened except for
the defendant’s negligence; (2) the accident must have
been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the
exclusive management or control of the person
charged with the negligence complained of; and (3) the
accident must not have been due to any voluntary
action or contribution on the part of the person
injured. Petitioners are clearly answerable for failure
to see to it that the doors of their school toilets are at
all times in working condition. The fact that a student
had to go through the window, instead of the door,
shows that something was wrong with the door. As to
the absence of grills on the window, petitioners
contend that there was no such requirement under
CHILD LEARNING CENTER, INC. and the Building Code. Nevertheless, the fact is that such
SPOUSES EDGARDO L. LIMON and SYLVIA S. window, as petitioners themselves point out, was
LIMON, vs. approximately 1.5 meters from the floor, so that it was
TIMOTHY TAGARIO, assisted by his parents within reach of a student who finds the regular exit,
BASILIO TAGORIO and HERMINIA TAGORIO the door, not functioning.

FACTS: Petitioners, with the due diligence of a good father of


Timothy Tagoria was a grade IV student at the family, should have anticipated that a student,
Marymount School, an academic institution operated locked in the toilet by a non-working door, would
and maintained by Child Learning Center, Inc. (CLC). attempt to use the window to call for help or even to
One afternoon, he found himself locked inside the get out. Considering all the circumstances, therefore,
boy’s comfort room in Marymount. He started to panic there is sufficient basis to sustain a finding of liability
so he banged and kicked the door and yelled for help. on petitioners’ part.
No help arrived. He then decided to open the window
to call for help. As he opened the window, Timothy Petitioners’ argument that CLC exercised the due
went right through and fell down three stories. diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
Timothy was hospitalized and given medical supervision of its employees is not decisive. Due
treatment for serious multiple physical injuries. He, diligence in the selection and supervision of employees
assisted by his parents, filed a civil action against the is applicable where the employer is being held
CLC, the members of its Board of Directors which responsible for the acts or omissions of others under
includes the Spouses Limon. They claim that the Article 2180 of the Civil Code. In this case, CLC’s
school was negligent for not installing iron grills at liability is under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, premised
the window of the boy’s comfort room. CLC, in its on the fact of its own negligence in not ensuring that
defense, maintained that there was nothing defective all its doors are properly maintained. The Court’s
about the locking mechanism of the door and that the fall pronouncement that Timothy climbed out of the window
of Timothy was not due to its fault or negligence. CLC because he could not get out using the door, negates
further maintained that it had exercised the due care petitioners’ other contention that the proximate cause of
and diligence of a good father of a family to ensure the the accident was Timothy’s own negligence. The injuries
safety, well-being and convenience of its students. The he sustained from the fall were the product of a natural
trial court ruled in favor of the respondents. The and continuous sequence, unbroken by any intervening
respondents proceeded their appeal to the Court of cause, that originated from CLC’s own negligence
Appeals who affirmed the trial court’s ruling in toto.
1. WON DEL ROSARIO IS NEGLIGENT?
2. WON MERCURY DRUG IS LIABLE?
RULING
1. YES! The evidence does not support petitioners
claim that at the time of the accident, the truck was at
the left inner lane and that it was respondent Stephen
Huangs car, at its right, which bumped the right front
side of the truck. Firstly, petitioner Del Rosario could
not precisely tell which part of the truck was hit by
the car,[6] despite the fact that the truck was snub-
nosed and a lot higher than the car. Petitioner Del
Rosario could not also explain why the car landed on
the opposite lane of C-5 which was on its left side. He
said that the car did not pass in front of him after it
hit him or under him or over him or behind him.[7] If
MERCURY DRUG VS HUANG the truck were really at the left lane and the car were
FACTS: at its right, and the car hit the truck at its front right
Petitioner Mercury Drug Corporation (Mercury Drug) side, the car would not have landed on the opposite
is the registered owner of a six-wheeler 1990 side, but would have been thrown to the right side of
Mitsubishi Truck with plate number PRE 641 the C-5 Highway. Noteworthy on this issue is the
(truck). It has in its employ petitioner Rolando J. del testimony of Dr. Marlon Rosendo H. Daza, an expert
Rosario as driver. Respondent spouses Richard and in the field of physics. He conducted a study based on
Carmen Huang are the parents of respondent Stephen the following assumptions provided by respondents:
Huang and own the red 1991 Toyota Corolla GLI 1. Two vehicles collided;
Sedan with plate number PTT 775 (car). 2. One vehicle is ten times heavier, more massive
These two vehicles figured in a road accident on than the other;
December 20, 1996 at around 10:30 p.m. within the 3. Both vehicles were moving in the same direction
municipality of Taguig, Metro Manila. Respondent and at the same speed of about 85 to 90 kilometers
Stephen Huang was driving the car, weighing 1,450 per hour;
kg., while petitioner Del Rosario was driving the 4. The heavier vehicle was driving at the innermost
truck, weighing 14,058 kg. Both were traversing the left lane, while the lighter vehicle was at its right.
C-5 Highway, north bound, coming from the general Dr. Daza testified that given the foregoing
direction of Alabang going to Pasig City. The car was assumptions, if the lighter vehicle hits the right front
on the left innermost lane while the truck was on the portion of the heavier vehicle, the general direction of
next lane to its right, when the truck suddenly the light vehicle after the impact would be to the right
swerved to its left and slammed into the front right side of the heavy vehicle, not the other way
side of the car. The collision hurled the car over the around. The truck, he opined, is more difficult to move
island where it hit a lamppost, spun around and as it is heavier. It is the car, the lighter vehicle, which
landed on the opposite lane. The truck also hit a would move to the right of, and away from the
lamppost, ran over the car and zigzagged towards, truck. Thus, there is very little chance that the car
and finally stopped in front of Buellah Land Church. will move towards the opposite side, i.e., to the left of
At the time of the accident, petitioner Del Rosario the truck.
only had a Traffic Violation Receipt (TVR). His drivers Dr. Daza also gave a further study on the basis of the
license had been confiscated because he had been same assumptions except that the car is on the left
previously apprehended for reckless driving. side of the truck, in accordance with the testimony of
The car, valued at P300,000.00, was a total respondent Stephen Huang. Dr. Daza concluded that
wreck. Respondent Stephen Huang sustained massive the general direction of the car after impact would be
injuries to his spinal cord, head, face, and to the left of the truck. In this situation, the middle
lung. Despite a series of operations, respondent island against which the car was pinned would slow
Stephen Huang is paralyzed for life from his chest down the car, and enable the truck to catch up and hit
down and requires continuous medical and the car again, before running over it.[8]
rehabilitation treatment. To support their thesis, petitioners tried to show the
Respondents fault petitioner Del Rosario for damages that the truck sustained at its front right
committing gross negligence and reckless imprudence side. The attempt does not impress. The photographs
while driving, and petitioner Mercury Drug for failing presented were taken a month after the accident, and
to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in Rogelio Pantua, the automechanic who repaired the
the selection and supervision of its driver. truck and authenticated the photographs, admitted
In contrast, petitioners allege that the immediate and that there were damages also on the left side of the
proximate cause of the accident was respondent truck.[9]
Stephen Huangs recklessness. According to petitioner Worse still, petitioner Del Rosario further admitted
Del Rosario, he was driving on the left innermost lane that after the impact, he lost control of the truck and
when the car bumped the trucks front right tire. The failed to apply his brakes. Considering that the car
truck then swerved to the left, smashed into an was smaller and lighter than the six-wheeler truck,
electric post, crossed the center island, and stopped on the impact allegedly caused by the car when it hit the
the other side of the highway. The car likewise truck could not possibly be so great to cause petitioner
crossed over the center island and landed on the same to lose all control that he failed to even step on the
portion of C-5. Further, petitioner Mercury Drug brakes.
claims that it exercised due diligence of a good father We therefore find no cogent reason to disturb the
of a family in the selection and supervision of all its findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals. The
employees. evidence proves petitioner Del Rosarios negligence as
The trial court, in its Decision dated September 29, the direct and proximate cause of the injuries suffered
2004, found petitioners Mercury Drug and Del Rosario by respondent Stephen Huang. Petitioner Del Rosario
jointly and severally liable to pay respondents actual, failed to do what a reasonable and prudent man would
compensatory, moral and exemplary damages, have done under the circumstances.
attorneys fees, and litigation expenses. 2. YES
Hence, this appeal. Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage
ISSUE: to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged
to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, it exercised due diligence in the selection and
if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between supervision of its employee, petitioner Del Rosario.
the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by
the provisions of this Chapter.
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is
demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions,
but also for those of persons for whom one is
responsible.
xxx
The owners and managers of an establishment or
enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the
branches in which the latter are employed or on the
occasion of their functions.
xxx
The liability of the employer under Art. 2180 of the
Civil Code is direct or immediate. It is not conditioned Africa vs. Caltex, 16 SCRA 448
on a prior recourse against the negligent employee, or Facts: In the afternoon of March 18, 1948, a fire broke
a prior showing of insolvency of such employee. It is out at the Caltex service station at the corner of
also joint and solidary with the employee.[11] Antipolo St. and Rizal Avenue, Manila. It started
To be relieved of liability, petitioner Mercury Drug while gasoline was being hosed from a tank truck into
should show that it exercised the diligence of a good the underground storage, right at the opening of the
father of a family, both in the selection of the receiving tank where the nozzle of the hose was
employee and in the supervision of the performance of inserted. The fire spread to and burned several
his duties. Thus, in the selection of its prospective houses. The owners, among them petitioner spouses
employees, the employer is required to examine them Africa and heirs of Ong, sued respondents Caltex
as to their qualifications, experience, and service Phil., Inc., the alleged owner of the station, and Mateo
records.[12] With respect to the supervision of its Boquiren, the agent in charge of its operation, for
employees, the employer should formulate standard damages. The CFI and CA found that the petitioners
operating procedures, monitor their implementation, failed to prove negligence of the respondents, and that
and impose disciplinary measures for their breach. To there was due care in the premises and with respect
establish compliance with these requirements, to the supervision of their employees.
employers must submit concrete proof, including Issue: Whether or not, without proof as to the cause
documentary evidence.[13] and origin of the fire, the doctrine of res ipsa
In the instant case, petitioner Mercury Drug loquitur should apply so as to presume negligence on
presented testimonial evidence on its hiring the part of the respondents.
procedure. According to Mrs. Merlie Caamic, the Held: Yes. Res ipsa loquitur literally means “the thing
Recruitment and Training Manager of petitioner or transaction speaks for itself.” For the doctrine of res
Mercury Drug, applicants are required to take ipsa loquitur to apply, the following requisites should
theoretical and actual driving tests, and psychological be present: (a) the accident is of a kind which
examination. In the case of petitioner Del Rosario, ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someone’s
however, Mrs. Caamicadmitted that he took the negligence; (b) it is caused by an instrumentality within
driving tests and psychological examination when he the exclusive control of the defendant or defendants; and
applied for the position of Delivery Man, but not when (c) the possibility of contributing conduct which would
he applied for the position make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated. In the case
of Truck Man. Mrs. Caamic also admitted that at bar, the gasoline station, with all its appliances,
petitioner Del Rosario used a Galant which is a light equipment and employees, was under the control of
vehicle, instead of a truck during the driving respondents. A fire occurred therein and spread to
tests. Further, no tests were conducted on the motor and burned the neighboring houses. The persons who
skills development, perceptual speed, visual attention, knew or could have known how the fire started were
depth visualization, eye and hand coordination and respondents and their employees, but they gave no
steadiness of petitioner Del Rosario. No NBI and explanation thereof whatsoever. It is a fair and
police clearances were also presented. Lastly, reasonable inference that the incident happened
petitioner Del Rosario attended only three driving because of want of care. The negligence of the
seminars on June 30, 2001, February 5, 2000 and July employees was the proximate cause of the fire, which
7, 1984. In effect, the only seminar he attended before in the ordinary course of things does not happen.
the accident which occurred in 1996 was held twelve Therefore, the petitioners are entitled to the award for
years ago in 1984. damages.
It also appears that petitioner Mercury Drug does not
provide for a back-up driver for long trips. At the time
of the accident, petitioner Del Rosario has been out on
the road for more than thirteen hours, without any
alternate. Mrs. Caamic testified that she does not
know of any company policy requiring back-up drivers VICENTE LAMIS and SANDIGAN PROTECTIVE &
for long trips.[14] INVESTIGATION AGENCY, INC., petitioners, vs.
Petitioner Mercury Drug likewise failed to show that DAVID Y. ONG, respondent.
it exercised due diligence on the supervision and FACTS:
discipline over its employees. In fact, on the day of the Sandigan Protective and Investigation Agency, Inc.
accident, petitioner Del Rosario was driving without a (Sandigan), petitioner, was the security agency
license. He was holding a TVR for reckless driving. He providing security services at the Manila Chinese
testified that he reported the incident to his superior, Cemetery. The visiting hours were at 6:00 a.m. to 6:00
but nothing was done about it. He was not suspended p.m. Sandigan instructed the security guards not to
or reprimanded.[15] No disciplinary action whatsoever allow any one to enter the cemetery from 6:00 p.m. to
was taken against petitioner Del Rosario. We 6:00 a.m.
therefore affirm the finding that petitioner Mercury On September 20, 1994, Vicente Lamis, also a
Drug has failed to discharge its burden of proving that petitioner, was the guard assigned at the south gate of
the cemetery for the 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. slot.
Around 3:00 in the morning, a Mitsubishi Lancer, witnesses when they testified during the trial and,
with a PSM 679 plate, driven by David Y. Ong, herein therefore, is in a better position to determine their
respondent, arrived at the south gate of the cemetery. credibility.[6] Thus, we find no compelling reason to
He beeped his car and continued doing so, but Lamis overturn the factual findings and conclusion of law by
did not open the gate. Eventually, he went outside the the Court of Appeals relative to the first and second
gate and informed respondent that being beyond issues.
visiting hours, he cannot enter the cemetery. With respect to the third issue, petitioners maintain
Suddenly, respondent accelerated the speed of his car, that there is no legal basis for the trial courts award
trying to enter the cemetery. This irked Lamis. He of damages.
closed the gate and took a shot gun entrusted to him As earlier stated, the trial court found that Lamis act
by one of the roving guards. of shooting the respondent was deliberate and
About thirty minutes thereafter, respondents car intentional, hence, both petitioners are jointly and
returned at full speed toward the closed gate where solidarily liable to respondent for damages.
Lamis was standing. He fired a warning shot but Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that Whoever
respondent did not stop his car. Lamis fired another by an act or omission causes damage to another, there
warning shot. Respondent then alighted from his car. being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
Seeing it was closed, he got inside the car, but before damage done. x x x. The obligation imposed by this
he could do so, Lamis shot him, hitting his right arm, Article is demandable not only for ones own wrongful
left hip, and right waist. He managed to drive to the acts or omissions, but also for those persons for whom
Chinese General Hospital where he was examined one is responsible.[7] Thus, petitioner Sandigan, being
and treated. Thereafter, the hospital guard reported the employer of petitioner Lamis, is likewise liable for
the incident to the police who immediately conducted damages caused by the latter.[8]
an investigation. As stated earlier, petitioner Sandigan already paid
Petitioner Sandigan conducted its own investigation the medical expenses (or actual damages) incurred by
but did not turn over to the police the firearm used by respondent.
Lamis. We find, however, that the trial court erred in
Subsequently, Sandigan paid Lamis mother the awarding to respondent moral damages in the sum
amount spent for his medical expenses. Meanwhile, of P500,000.00, exemplary damages of P300,000.00
he was given another job but he absented from work and attorneys fee in the amount of P50,000.00. These
without leave. Thus, he was suspended and amounts are quite excessive. We have held that
eventually dismissed from the service. although the trial court is given the discretion to
On March 16, 1994, respondent filed with the determine the amount of such damages, the appellate
Regional Trial Court, Branch 45, Manila a complaint court may modify or change the amount awarded
for frustrated homicide against Lamis, docketed as when it is inordinate,[9] as in this case.
Criminal Case No. 94-J-27836. It bears stressing that the award of moral damages is
ISSUES: 1. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS meant to compensate the claimant for any physical
CORRECTLY HELD PETITIONER SANDIGAN suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety,
LIABLE DESPITE THE FACT THAT SANDIGAN besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral
EXERCISED DUE DILIGENCE IN THE shock, social humiliation, and similar injury unjustly
SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS caused by the defendants wrongful acts.[10] Although
SECURITY GUARDS. incapable of pecuniary estimation, the amount must
2. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS, DESPITE somehow be proportional to and in approximation of
LACK OF BASIS TO SUPPORT ANY FINDING OF the suffering inflicted.[11] Moral damages are not
LIABILITY AGAINST PETITIONERS, CORRECTLY intended to impose a penalty to the
AWARDED DAMAGES IN FAVOR OF wrongdoer,[12] neither to enrich the claimant at the
RESPONDENT. expense of the defendant.[13] There is no hard-and-fast
rule in determining what would be a fair and
RULING: reasonable amount of moral damages, since each case
Anent the first and second issues, petitioners contend must be governed by its own peculiar facts. Trial
that the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that: (a) courts are given discretion in determining the
petitioner Lamis did not act in self-defense, and (b) amount, with the limitation that it should not be
petitioner Sandigan failed to prove that it exercised palpably and scandalously excessive.[14] We hold that
due diligence in the selection and supervision of its an award to respondent of P30,000.00, instead
security guards. of P500,000.00, as moral damages is reasonable.
The first two issues are obviously questions of fact. Likewise, we are convinced that the award of
Certainly, such matters mainly require a calibration exemplary damages should be reduced
of the evidence or a determination of the credibility of from P300,000.00 to P25,000.00. Such damages are
the witnesses presented by the parties and the imposed not to enrich the claimant and impoverish
existence and relevancy of specific surrounding the defendant but to serve as a deterrent against, or
circumstances, their relation to each other and to the as a negative incentive to curb, socially deleterious
whole, and the probabilities of the situation.[3] actions.[15]
The well-entrenched rule is that questions of fact may Finally, an award of P20,000.00 as attorneys fee is
not be the subject of an appeal by certiorari under deemed sufficient considering that the suit involved is
Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as merely for damages. Attorneys fee may be awarded
amended, as this recourse is generally confined when a party is compelled to litigate or incur expenses
to questions of law.[4] Under the said Rule, the to protect his interest by reason of an unjustified act
jurisdiction of this Court over cases brought to it is of the other party,[16] as in the present case.
limited to the review and rectification of errors of law WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed
committed by the lower court. Decision dated March 13, 2001 and Resolution dated
Moreover, it is doctrinally settled that where the trial June 28, 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV
courts factual findings are adopted and affirmed by No. 61034 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in
the Court of Appeals, as in this case, the same are the sense that petitioners are ordered to pay
final and conclusive and may not be reviewed by this respondent (a) P30,000.00 as moral damages,
Court.[5] It bears emphasis that in the appreciation of (b) P25,000.00 as exemplary damages, and
evidence, the Appellate Court accords due deference to (c) P20,000.00 as attorneys fee. Costs against
the trial courts factual findings because the latter had petitioners.
the opportunity to observe the demeanor of the Cerezo vs Tuazon
FACTS: Art. 2180 originates from the negligent act of the
employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer
Noontime, June 26, 1993 -- A Country Bus Lines directly. When an employee causes damage, the law
passenger bus collided with a tricycle in Pampanga. presumes that the employer has himself committed an
The driver of the tricycle Tuazon filed a complaint for act of negligence in not preventing or avoiding the
damages against Mrs. Cerezo, the owner of the bus damage. This is the fault that the law condemns.
lines, her husband, Atty. Cerezo, and bus driver While the employer is civilly liable in a subsidiary
Foronda. capacity for the employee's criminal negligence, the
employer is also civilly liable directly and separate for
According to the facts alleged in the complaint, his own civil negligence in failing to exercise due
Tuazon was driving on the proper lane. There was a diligence in selecting and supervising his employee.
"Slow Down" sign which Foronda ignored. After the The idea that the employer's liability is wholly
complaint was filed, alias summons was served upon subsidiary is wrong.
the person of Atty. Cerezo, the Tarlac Provincial
Prosecutor. The action can be brought directly against the person
responsible (for another) without including the author
In their reply, Mrs. Cerezo contended that the trial of the act. The action against the principal is
court did not acquire jurisdiction because there was accessory in the sense that it implies the existence of
no service of summons on Foronda. Moreover, Tuazon a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but is
failed to reserve his right to institute a separate civil not subsidiary in the sense that it cannot be instituted
action for damages in the criminal action. till after the judgment against he author of the act or
at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action;
ISSUE: action for responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a
principal action.

Whether or not Mrs. Cerezo is liable for damages In contrast, an action based on a delict seeks to
enforce the subsidiary liability of the employer for the
HELD: criminal negligence of the employee as provided in
Art. 103, RPC. To hold the employer liable in a
Mrs. Cerezo's contention is wrong. Tuazon's case is subsidiary capacity under a delict, the aggrieved party
not based on criminal law but on quasi-delict under must initiate a criminal action where the employee's
the Civil Code. delict and corresponding primary liability are
established. If the present action proceeds from a
The same negligent act may produce civil liability delict, then the trial court's jurisdiction over Foronda
arising from a delict under Art. 103, RPC, or may give is necessary.
rise to an action for quasi-delict under Art. 2180, C.C.
An aggrieved party may choose between the two However, the action filed by Tuazon was based on a
remedies. An action based on quasi-delict may proceed quasi-delict, which is separate and independent from
independently from the criminal action. There is, an action based on a delict. Hence, there was no need
however, a distinction between civil liability arising to reserve the filing of a separate civil action. The
from a delict and civil liability arising from a quasi- purpose of allowing the filing the of an independent
delict. The choice of remedy whether to sue for a delict action based on quasi-delict against the employer is to
or a quasi-delict, affects the procedural and facilitate the remedy for civil wrongs.
jurisdictional issues of the action.

Tuazon's action is based on quasi-delict under Art.


2180: Employer's liability.

Foronda is not an indispensable party, contrary to


Mrs. Cerezo's contention. An indispensable party is
one whose interest is affected by the court's action in
the litigation, and without whom no final resolution of
the case is possible. However, Mrs. Cerezo's liability
as an employer in action for quasi-delict is not only
solidary, it is also primary and direct.

The responsibility of two or more persons who are


liable for a quasi-delict is solidary. Where there is a
solidary liability on the part of the debtors, as in this
case, each debtor is liable for the entire obligation.
Hence, each debtor is liable to pay for the entire
obligation in full. There is no merger or renunciation
of rights, but only mutual representation. Where the
obligation of the parties is solidary, either of the
parties is indispensable, and the other is not even a
necessary party because complete relief is available
from either. Therefore, jurisdiction over Foronda is
not even necessary as Tuazon may collect from Mrs.
Cerezo alone.

Moreover, an employer's liability based on a quasi-


delict is primary and direct, while the employer's
liability based on a delict is merely subsidiary. The
words "primary and direct," as contrasted with
"subsidiary," refers to the remedy provided by law for
enforcing the obligation rather than to the character
and limits of the obligation. Although liability under