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HERNANDEZ v.

DOLOR

*This is a case about how an employer is solidarily liable for the acts of his
employee

Facts:
Boyet Dolor and Oscar Valmocina died as a result of a collision between an owner
type jeep driven by Dolor and a passenger type jeep driven by herein petitioner
Juan Gonzales. Other passengers also suffered physical injuries. Consequently,
respondents commenced an action for damages against petitioners, driver
(Gonzales) and the owner of the vehicle (spouses Hernandez).

During the trial, the following were established:


1. The owner type jeep was travelling at a moderate speed
2. The passenger jeepney was travelling fast when it bumped into the owner
3. Petitioner Juan Gonzales obtained his professional driver’s license only 3
monthes before the accident occurred.
4. Hernandez spouses leases the jeep to the driver on a daily basis.

Hernandez spouses are contending that they should not be impleaded in the case
since they were not in the jeep during the accident. They also claimed that there is
no employer-employee relationship that exists between them and the driver since
they only lease the jeep to the latter.

Trial Court held rendered the decision in favor of the victims and held Hernandez
spouses solidarily liable. CA affirmed the decision but with a few modifications on
the amount of the damages.

Issue:
W/N Hernandez spouses are solidarily liable with Juan Gonzales

Held:
Hernandez spouses are solidarily liable.

1. Even though they were not in the jeep during the accident, they are still
answerable under several provisions of the Civil Code namely:

Article 2180… employers shall be liable for the damages caused


by their employees and household helpers acting within the
scope of their assigned tasks, even thought eh former are not
engaged in any business or activity

Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to


another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for
the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-
existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a
quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter

While the above provisions do not expressly provide for the solidary liability,
they should be read in consonance with Article 2180 – one can be liable for
the acts or omission of another whom he is responsible for, meaning that an
employer is accountable for the actions of his employees. Article 2194
categorically states that responsibility of two or more persons who are liable
for quasi-delict is solidary.

2. The Hernandez spouses maintained that Julian Gonzales is not their employee
because the latter pays them daily for the use of the jeepney. They argued
that they are practicing a lease agreement using the “boundary system”. SC
held that there exists an employer-employee relationship because by
agreeing to the Hernandez, there would be a villation of the Public Service
Law and we are going to place the riding public at the mercy of reckless and
irresponsible drivers because most drivers are in no position to pay for
damages when accidents occur.