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FACTS:Respondent Jose A. Espinas was driving his car along Leon Guinto Street in Manila
when he was suddenly hit by another car. Upon verifying with the LTO, Espinas learned that
the owner of the other car is Filcar. This car was assigned to Filcar's Corporate Secretary
Atty. Candido Flor and, at the time of the incident, was driven by Atty. Flor's personal
driver, Timoteo Floresca.

Espinas sued Filcar for damages. Filcar denied liability, claiming that the incident was not
due to its fault or negligence since Floresca was not its employee but that of Atty. Flor.

ISSUE: Whether or not Filcar, as registered owner of the motor vehicle which figured in an
accident, may be held liable for the damages caused to the Espinas


Filcar, as registered owner, is deemed the employer of the driver, Floresca, and is thus
vicariously liable under Article 2176 in relation with Article 2180 of the Civil Code

It is undisputed that Filcar is the registered owner of the motor vehicle which hit and caused
damage to Espinas' car. It is on this basis that Filcar is primarily and directly liable to
Espinas for damages.

As a general rule, one is only responsible for his own act or omission. Thus, a person will
generally be held liable only for the torts committed by himself and not by another. This
general rule is laid down in Article 2176 of the Civil Code.

One exception is an employer who is made vicariously liable for the tort committed by his
employee. Article 2180 of the Civil Code states:

Article 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own
acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers
acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in
any business or industry.

It is well settled that in case of motor vehicle mishaps, the registered owner of the motor
vehicle is considered as the employer of the tortfeasor-driver, and is made primarily liable
for the tort committed by the latter under Article 2176, in relation with Article 2180, of the
Civil Code.
In so far as third persons are concerned, the registered owner of the motor vehicle is the
employer of the negligent driver, and the actual employer is considered merely as an agent
of such owner.

Filcar cannot use the defense that the employee acted beyond the scope of his assigned
task or that it exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage

Neither can Filcar use the defenses available under Article 2180 of the Civil Code – that the
employee acts beyond the scope of his assigned task or that it exercised the due diligence
of a good father of a family to prevent damage – because the motor vehicle registration
law, to a certain extent, modified Article 2180 of the Civil Code by making these defenses
unavailable to the registered owner of the motor vehicle. Thus, for as long as Filcar is the
registered owner of the car involved in the vehicular accident, it could not escape primary
liability for the damages caused to Espinas.

Filcar's recourse is against the actual employer of the driver and the driver himself

This does not mean, however, that Filcar is left without any recourse against the actual
employer of the driver and the driver himself. Under the civil law principle of unjust
enrichment, the registered owner of the motor vehicle has a right to be indemnified by the
actual employer of the driver of the amount that he may be required to pay as damages for
the injury caused to another.


FACTS: Private respondent was the proprietress of Kindergarten Wonderland Canteen in

Dagupan City. In August 1989, some parents of the students complained to her that the
Coke and Sprite soft drinks sold by her contained fiber-like matter and other foreign
substances. She brought the said bottles for examination to DOH and it was found out that
the soft drinks “are adulterated.” As a result, her per day sales of soft drinks severely
plummeted that she had to close her shop on 12 December 1989 for losses. She demanded
damages from petitioner before the RTC which dismissed the same on motion by petitioner
based on the ground of Prescription. On appeal, the CA annulled the orders of the RTC.

ISSUE: WON the action for damages by the proprietress against the soft drinks
manufacturer should be treated as one for breach of implied warranty under article 1561 of
the CC which prescribes after six months from delivery of the thing sold.

RULING: Petition Denied.

The SC agrees with the CA’s conclusion that the cause of action in the case at bar is found
on quasi-delict under Article 1146 of the CC which prescribes in four years and not on
breach of warranty under article 1562 of the same code. This is supported by the allegations
in the complaint which makes reference to the reckless and negligent manufacture of
"adulterated food items intended to be sold for public consumption."

The vendor could likewise be liable for quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, and
an action based thereon may be brought by the vendee. While it may be true that the pre-
existing contract between the parties may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of the law
on quasi-delict, the liability may itself be deemed to arise fromquasi-delict, i.e., the acts
which breaks the contract may also be a quasi-delict. Thus, in Singson vs. Bank of the
Philippine Islands, 17 this Court stated:

We have repeatedly held, however, that the existence of a contract between the parties
does not bar the commission of a tort by the one against the other and the consequent
recovery of damages therefor. 18 Indeed, this view has been, in effect, reiterated in a
comparatively recent case. Thus, in Air France vs. Carrascoso, 19 involving an airplane
passenger who, despite hi first-class ticket, had been illegally ousted from his first-class
accommodation and compelled to take a seat in the tourist compartment, was held entitled
to recover damages from the air-carrier, upon the ground of tort on the latter's part, for,
although the relation between the passenger and a carrier is "contractual both in origin and
nature . . . the act that breaks the contract may also be a tort.

Otherwise put, liability for quasi-delict may still exist despite the presence of contractual

Singson v. BPI


Singson was one of the defendants in a civil case filed before the CFI Manila. Judgment was
rendered sentencing him and his co-defendants Celso Lobregat and Villa-Abrille & Co. to pay
the sum of P105,539.56 to Philippine Milling Co. Singson and Lobregat appealed, while the
decision became final and executory as to Villa-Abrille. A writ of garnishment was issued to
BPI against the Villa-Abrille’s account.

The clerk of BPI who received the writ saw the petitioner’s name and, without reading the
full text, wrote a letter for the signature of the bank President, informing Singson of the
garnishment. Subsequently, Singson issued two checks. The one issued in favor of B.M.
Glass Service was dishonoured, and so petitioner’s account with the latter was closed.
Singson wrote a letter to the bank, claiming that his account is not included in the writ of
garnishment. Having confirmed so, the bank President Santiago Friexas apologized to
Singson and rectified the mistake. Singson filed a claim for damages. The lower court ruled
that damages for quasi-delict cannot be sustained because the relationship between the
parties is contractual. Petitioner and his wife appealed the case.


Whether damages based on torts can be awarded based on a contract


Yes. The existence of a contract between the parties does not bar the commission of a tort
by the one against the order and the consequent recovery of damages therefor. The act that
breaks the contract may also be a tort.

The lower court held that plaintiffs' claim for damages cannot be based upon a tort or quasi-
delict, their relation with the defendants being contractual in nature. We have repeatedly
held, however, that the existence of a contract between the parties does not bar the
commission of a tort by the one against the order and the consequent recovery of damages
therefor.2 Indeed, this view has been, in effect, reiterated in a comparatively recent case.
Thus, in Air France vs. Carrascoso,3 involving an airplane passenger who, despite his first-
class ticket, had been illegally ousted from his first-class accommodation and compelled to
take a seat in the tourist compartment, was held entitled to recover damages from the air-
carrier, upon the ground of tort on the latter's part, for, although the relation between a
passenger and a carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature ... the act that breaks the
contract may also be a tort".


G.R. No. 188363 February 27, 2013

A collecting bank is guilty of contributory negligence when it accepted for deposit a post-
dated check notwithstanding that said check had been cleared by the drawee bank which
failed to return the check within the 24-hour reglementary period.

FACTS: On October 10, 2002, a check in the amount of P1,000,000.00 payable to "Mateo
Mgt. Group International" (MMGI) was presented for deposit and accepted at petitioner's
(Allied Bank)Kawit Branch. The check, post-dated "Oct. 9, 2003", was drawn against the
account of Marciano Silva, Jr. (Silva) with respondent BPI Bel-Air Branch. Upon receipt,
petitioner sent the check for clearing to respondent through the Philippine Clearing House
Corporation (PCHC).3

The check was cleared by respondent and petitioner credited the account of MMGI with
P1,000,000.00. On October 22, 2002, MMGI’s account was closed and all the funds therein
were withdrawn. A month later, Silva discovered the debit of P1,000,000.00 from his
account. In response to Silva’s complaint, respondent credited his account with the
aforesaid sum.4

Petitioner filed a complaint6 before the Arbitration Committee, asserting that respondent
should solely bear the entire face value of the check due to its negligence in failing to return
the check to petitioner within the 24-hour reglementary period as provided in Section 20.17
of the Clearing House Rules and Regulations8 (CHRR) 2000. In its Answer with
Counterclaims,9 respondent charged petitioner with gross negligence for accepting the post-
dated check in the first place. It contended that petitioner’s admitted negligence was the
sole and proximate cause of the loss.

What does the Doctrine of Last Clear Chance enunciate?

The doctrine of last clear chance, stated broadly, is that the negligence of the plaintiff does
not preclude a recovery for the negligence of the defendant where it appears that the
defendant, by exercising reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided injurious
consequences to the plaintiff notwithstanding the plaintiff’s negligence.22 The doctrine
necessarily assumes negligence on the part of the defendant and contributory negligence on
the part of the plaintiff, and does not apply except upon that assumption.23 Stated
differently, the antecedent negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude him from recovering
damages caused by the supervening negligence of the defendant, who had the last fair
chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. 24 Moreover, in
situations where the doctrine has been applied, it was defendant’s failure to exercise such
ordinary care, having the last clear chance to avoid loss or injury, which was the proximate
cause of the occurrence of such loss or injury.25

Does the Doctrine of Last Clear Chance apply in this case?

YES. In this case, the evidence clearly shows that the proximate cause of the unwarranted
encashment of the subject check was the negligence of respondent who cleared a post-
dated check sent to it thru the PCHC clearing facility without observing its own verification
procedure. As correctly found by the PCHC and upheld by the RTC, if only respondent
exercised ordinary care in the clearing process, it could have easily noticed the glaring
defect upon seeing the date written on the face of the check "Oct. 9, 2003". Respondent
could have then promptly returned the check and with the check thus dishonored, petitioner
would have not credited the amount thereof to the payee’s account. Thus, notwithstanding
the antecedent negligence of the petitioner in accepting the post-dated check for deposit, it
can seek reimbursement from respondent the amount credited to the payee’s account
covering the check.

3. WON Petitioner has contributory negligence.

Yes. What petitioner omitted to mention is that in the cited case of Philippine Bank of
Commerce v. Court of Appeals,26while the Court found petitioner bank as the culpable party
under the doctrine of last clear chance since it had, thru its teller, the last opportunity to
avert the injury incurred by its client simply by faithfully observing its own validation
procedure, it nevertheless ruled that the plaintiff depositor (private respondent) must share
in the loss on account of its contributory negligence. Thus:

The foregoing notwithstanding, it cannot be denied that, indeed, private respondent was
likewise negligent in not checking its monthly statements of account. Had it done so, the
company would have been alerted to the series of frauds being committed against RMC by
its secretary. The damage would definitely not have ballooned to such an amount if only
RMC, particularly Romeo Lipana, had exercised even a little vigilance in their financial
affairs. This omission by RMC amounts to contributory negligence which shall mitigate the
damages that may be awarded to the private respondent under Article 2179 of the New Civil
Code, to wit:

"x x x. When the plaintiff’s own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his
injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the
immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the
plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded."




Fidel Loano, an employee of the Municipality of Koronadal, borrowed the pick-up truck
owned by Rodrigo Apostol from its current possessor Ernesto Simbulan to ferry Mayor
Miguel of Koronadal to Buayan Airport. The pick-up accidentally hit a minor, Marvin C.
Jayme, who was crossing the National Highway. The intensity of the collision sent Marvin 50
meters away from point of impact, a clear indication that Lozano was driving at a very high
speed at the time of the accident. Despite medical treatment, Marvin died six days after the

Marvin’s parents filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against the driver, the mayor,
the owner of the pick-up, Simbulan and the Municipality of Koronadal (now City), pointing
out that the proximate cause was Lozano’s negligent and reckless operation of the vehicle.
And that applying the doctrine of vicarious liability or imputed liability, Mayor Miguel should
be liable for his employee’s negligent acts. On the other hand, Apostol and Simbulan
averred that Lozano took the pick-up without their consent. Mayor Miguel and Lozano
pointed that Marvin’s sudden sprint across the highway made it impossible to avoid the

The RTC rendered judgment in favor of Marvin’s parents, absolving Simbulan and the
Municipality of Koronadal from liability. Fidel, Rodrigo and Mayor Miguel are ordered jointly
and severally liable to pay Marvin’s parents damages. In his appeal, Mayor Miguel claims
that the real employer of Lozano was the Municipality of Koronadal and not him. The CA
granted his appeal and dismissed the case.

ISSUE: Whether or not a municipal mayor be held solidarily liable for the negligent acts of
the driver assigned to him, which resulted in the death of a minor pedestrian.


Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides that a person is not only liable for one's own quasi-
delictual acts, but also for those persons for whom one is responsible for. This liability is
popularly known as vicarious or imputed liability. To sustain claims against employers for
the acts of their employees, the following requisites must be established: (1) That the
employee was chosen by the employer personally or through another; (2) That the service
to be rendered in accordance with orders which the employer has the authority to give at all
times; and (3) That the illicit act of the employee was on the occasion or by reason of the
functions entrusted to him.

Significantly, to make the employee liable under paragraphs 5 and 6 of Article 2180, it must
be established that the injurious or tortuous act was committed at the time the employee
was performing his functions.

Indeed, it was the Municipality of Koronadal who is the lawful employer of Lozano at the
time of accident. Though Mayor Miguel, also an employee of the municipality, “loaned”
Lozano to drive him to the airport, the Municipality of Koronadal remains to be Lozano’s

Significantly, no negligence may be imputed against a fellow employee although the person
may have the right to control the manner of the vehicle's operation. In the absence of an
employer-employee relationship establishing vicarious liability, the driver's negligence
should not be attributed to a fellow employee who only happens to be an occupant of the
vehicle. Whatever right of control the occupant may have over the driver is not sufficient by
itself to justify an application of the doctrine of vicarious liability.

Who are liable?

Verily, liability attaches to the registered owner, the negligent driver and his direct
employer. However, As correctly held by the trial court, the true and lawful employer of
Lozano is the Municipality of Koronadal. Unfortunately for Spouses Jayme, the municipality
may not be sued because it is an agency of the State engaged in governmental functions
and, hence, immune from suit.

Richard Li v. Ca

Facts: Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving a blue Mitsubishi lancer from her restaurant at
Marcos highway to her home in Araneta Avenue. She was with a companion. While driving
she noticed something was wrong with her tires. She stopped at a lighted place and verified
it to ask help if needed. She was told by the people present that her tire was flat and
decided to park her car and turned on the emergency lights. She alighted from her car and
assisted the man who will be fixing her tire when suddenly she was bumped by a 1987
Mitsubishi Lancer driven by Richard Li and registered under Alexander Commercial, Inc. This
accident resulted to her confinement for 20 days and amputation of her knee. The expenses
for the hospital amounted to Php 120,000 and the cost of the artificial leg was
Php 27,000 which were paid by defendants from the car insurance. Valenzuela asked for
Php 1M for moral damages, Php 100,000 for exemplary damages and Php 180,000 for other
medical and related expenses.

Richard Li denied the allegation that he was negligent. He claimed that Valenzuela’s
car was improperly parked and the area was poor lighted. He also counterclaimed for
damages for Valenzuela was negligent for driving without a license.

A witness testified that Li’s car was approaching the scene very fast. He stated that
Li was under the influence of alcohol since he could smell it.

The trial court found Li guilty of gross negligence and liable for damages under
Article 2176 of the Civil Code. It also held Alexander Commercial, Inc. Li’s employer jointly
and severally liable for the damages under Article 2180. The Court of Appeals sustained that
Li was liable for the damages but absolved Alexander Commercial Inc., Li’s employer, from
any liability against Valenzuela. It dismissed the defendants’ counterclaims.

Issues: 1.) Whether or not Li shall be held liable for the damages?

2.) Whether or not Valenzuela was also negligent on her part?

3.) Whether or not Alexander Commercial, Inc., Li’s employer, shall be jointly and
severally liable for the damages?

Ruling: 1. Yes. Negligence is commonly understood as the conduct which creates an undue
risk of harm to others. It is the failure to observe that degree of care, precaution and
vigilance which circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury. The
circumstances established by the evidence showed that Li was grossly negligent in driving
the Mitsubishi Lancer. It was emphasized that he was driving at a fast speed at 2:00 AM
after a heavy downpour which made the street slippery. There was also ample evidence
showing that he was under the influence of liquor.

2. No. Contributory negligence is the conduct on the part of the injured party, contributing
as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which falls below the standard to which he is
required to conform for his own protection. Valenzuela did exercise standard reasonably
dictated by emergence. It could not be considered as contributory to the accident that
happened to her. The emergency that led her to park her car on a sidewalk of Aurora
Boulevard was not her fault. It was evident that she took all the reasonable precautions.

3. Yes. Under the civil law, an employer is liable for the negligence of his employees in the
discharge of their respective duties, the basis of which liability is not respondeat superior
but the relationship of pater familias which theory bases the liability of the master
ultimately on his own negligence and not on that of his servant. Alexander Commercial, Inc.
did not demonstrate that it exercised the care and diligence of a good father of the family in
entrusting its company car to Li. It was not shown that the company took the necessary
steps in determining the driving proficiency and history of Li.

Wherefore, premises considered, the decision of the Court of Appeals is modified with the
effect of reinstating the judgment of the Regional Trial Court.

G.R. No. L-27155 May 18, 1978



ANTONIO, J.:(charm)


The contract of lease of sugar quota allotment at P2.50 per picul between Rita GuecoTapnio
and Jacobo C. Tuazon was executed on April 17, 1956. This contract was submitted to the
Branch Manager of PNB at San Fernando, Pampanga. This arrangement was necessary
because Tapnio's indebtedness to petitioner was secured by a mortgage on her standing
crop including her sugar quota allocation for the agricultural year corresponding to said
standing crop.

PNB required the parties to raise the consideration to P2.80 per picul, the minimum lease
rental acceptable to the Bank, or a total of P2,800.00.

Tuazon informed the Branch Manager, thru a letter dated August 10, 1956, that he was
agreeable to the amount and that he was ready to pay the said sum of P2,800.00 (He had
an approved loan from the Bank which he intended to use in paying for the use of the sugar

The Branch Manager submitted the contract of lease of sugar quota allocation to the Head
Office on September 7, 1956, with a recommendation for approval, which recommendation
was concurred in by the Vice-President of the Bank, Mr. J. V. Buenaventura. But, the Board
of Directors of PNB required that the consideration be raised to P3.00 per picul.

Tuazon asked for a reconsideration. On November 19, 1956, the Branch Manager submitted
the request for reconsideration and again recommended the approval of the lease at P2.80
per picul, but the Board returned the recommendation unacted, stating that the current
price prevailing at that time was P3.00 per picul.
On February 22, 1957, Tuazon wrote a letter, informing PNB that he was no longer
interested in continuing the lease of sugar quota allotment. The crop year 1956-1957 ended
and Mrs. Tapnio failed to utilize her sugar quota, resulting in her loss in the sum of
P2,800.00 which she should have received had the lease in favor of Tuazon been


WoN petitioner is liable for the damage caused-Yes


There is no question that Tapnio's failure to utilize her sugar quota for the crop year 1956-
1957 was due to the disapproval of the lease by the Board of Directors of petitioner.

As observed by the trial court, time is of the essence in the approval of the lease of sugar
quota allotments, since the same must be utilized during the milling season, because any
allotment which is not filled during such milling season may be reallocated by the Sugar
Quota Administration to other holders of allotments.There was no proof that there was any
other person at that time willing to lease the sugar quota allotment of private respondents
for a price higher than P2.80 per picul. "The fact that there were isolated transactions
wherein the consideration for the lease was P3.00 a picul", according to the trial court,
"does not necessarily mean that there are always ready takers of said price. "

The unreasonableness of the position adopted by the petitioner's Board of Directors is

shown by the fact that the difference between the amount of P2.80 per picul offered by
Tuazon and the P3.00 per picul demanded by the Board amounted only to a total sum of
P200.00. Considering that all the accounts of Rita GuecoTapnio with the Bank were secured
by chattel mortgage on standing crops, assignment of leasehold rights and interests on her
properties, and surety bonds and that she had apparently "the means to pay her obligation
to the Bank, as shown by the fact that she has been granted several sugar crop loans of the
total value of almost P80,000.00 for the agricultural years from 1952 to 1956", there was
no reasonable basis for the Board of Directors of petitioner to have rejected the lease
agreement because of a measly sum of P200.00.

While petitioner had the ultimate authority of approving or disapproving the proposed lease
since the quota was mortgaged to the Bank, the latter certainly cannot escape its
responsibility of observing, for the protection of the interest of private respondents, that
degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand in
approving or disapproving the lease of said sugar quota. The law makes it imperative that
every person "must in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act
with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. This petitioner
failed to do. Certainly, it knew that the agricultural year was about to expire, that by its
disapproval of the lease private respondents would be unable to utilize the sugar quota in
question. In failing to observe the reasonable degree of care and vigilance which the
surrounding circumstances reasonably impose, petitioner is consequently liable for the
damages caused on PR.
Under Article 21 of the New Civil Code, "any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage." The afore-cited provisions on human relations were
intended to expand the concept of torts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal
remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to
specifically provide in the statutes.

G.R. No. 141480 November 29, 2006CARLOS B. DE GUZMAN, Petitioner,vs. TOYOTA

CUBAO, INC., Respondent.

On November 27, 1997, petitioner purchased from respondent a brand new white Toyota
Hi-Lux. The vehicle was delivered to petitioner two days later. On October 18, 1998, Mr. de
Guzman demanded for the replacement of the engine of the vehicle because it showed a
crack during a trip that passes Marcos Highway during a heavy rain. Mr. De Guzman
demanded for the Toyota dealer to replace the engine with a new one based on an implied

On the other hand, Toyota Cubao maintains that Mr De Guzman's claim for replacement was
already barred by the statute of limitations amd had therefore prescribed under Article 1571
of the Civil Code for claiming cause of action for more than six months from the time the
vehicle was purchased and/or delivered. Respondent reiterates that Article 169 of Republic
Act No. 7394 does not apply.

ISSUE: WON the cause of action is prescribed.


Yes. Under Article 1599 of the Civil Code, once an express warranty is breached, the buyer
can accept or keep the goods and maintain an action against the seller for damages. In the
absence of an existing express warranty on the part of the respondent, as in this case, the
allegations in petitioner’s complaint for damages were clearly anchored on the enforcement
of an implied warranty against hidden defects, in which in this case, that the engine of the
vehicle which Toyota had sold to Mr. de Guzman was not defective.

By filing this case, Mr. de Guzman wants to hold Toyota responsible for breach of implied
warranty for having sold a vehicle with defective engine. Such being the case, petitioner
should have exercised this right within six months from the delivery of the thing sold. Since
petitioner filed the complaint on April 20, 1999, or more than nineteen months counted
from November 29, 1997 (the date of the delivery of the motor vehicle), his cause of action
had prescribed.