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Hidalgo Enterprises v.

Balandan

FACTS:
Hidalgo Enterprises was the owner of an ice-plant factory in Sand Pedro, Laguna. In its premises, two
9-feet deep tanks full of water were installed for cooling purposes of the factorys engine. The tanks
were not surrounded with fence, although the factory compound was. Despite this, ingress and egress
was easily made because the factorys gate is always open and no guard is assigned in the said gate.

Mario, the 8-year-old son of the respondents, while playing with other boys of his age entered the
factory premises to take a bath in one of said tanks and while doing so, he sank to the bottom causing
his death. Respondents were in Manila when this happened. They are now asking Hidalgo Enterprises
to pay damages for the death of their son for the amount of P2,000.

CFI and CA ruled in favor of the spouses Balandan. Hence, this appeal before the Court.

ISSUE/HELD:
1. W/N the tanks are classified as attractive nuisance to which petitioner is required to adopt
necessary precautions to avoid accidents. NO.
2. W/N the respondents are precluded from claiming for damages. YES.

RATIO:
1. CFI and CA took the view that the doctrine of attractive nuisance is applicable in this case.
The doctrine may be stated, in short, as follows: One who maintains on his premises
dangerous instrumentalities or appliances of a character likely to attract children
in play, and who fails to exercise ordinary care to prevent children from playing
therewith or resorting thereto, is liable to a child of tender years who is injured
thereby, even if the child is technically a trespasser in the premises.

The principal reason for the doctrine is that the condition or appliance in question although
its danger is apparent to those of age, is so enticing or alluring to children of tender years as
to induce them to approach, get on or use it, and this attractiveness is an implied invitation to
such children. A swimming pool or water tank is not an instrumentality or appliance
likely to attract little children in play.

Nature has created streams, lakes and pools which attract children. Lurking in their waters
is always the danger of drowning. Against this danger, children are early instructed so that
they are sufficiently presumed to know the danger; and if the owner of private property
creates an artificial pool on his own property, merely duplicating the work of nature
without adding any new danger he is not liable because of having created an
attractive nuisance.

2. The parents of the boy were guilty of contributory negligence precluding recovery, because they
left for Manila on that unlucky day leaving their son under the care of no responsible
individual. For this reason, petitioner is absolved from liability.