Anda di halaman 1dari 43

KINDS OF NEGLIGENCE

1. ARISING FROM CRIME

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. BAYOTAS

FACTS:
Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 at the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio
respiratory arrest. Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution of May
20, 1992 dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the
Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil liability
arising from his commission of the offense charged.

ISSUE: Whether the death of the accused Bayotas extinguished his criminal
liability and civil liability based solely on the act complained.

HELD: Yes
The Supreme Court held that the death of the accused Bayotas extinguished
his criminal liability and civil liability based solely on the act complained of,
i.e., rape. The Court ruled that: (1) death of the accused pending appeal of
his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability
based solely thereon; (2) the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding
the death of accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of
obligation other than delict, such as law, contracts, quasi-contracts or quasi-
delicts; (3) where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above,
an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a
separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on
Criminal Procedure; and (4) the private offended party need not fear a
forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases
where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction,
the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action for in
such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted
during the pendency of the criminal case.

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC. VS. PEOPLE OF THE


PHILIPPINES

FACTS:
Napoleon Roman was found guilty and convicted of the crime of reckless
imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage
to property and was sentenced to suffer imprisonment and to pay damages.
The court further ruled that in the event of the insolvency of accused,
petitioner shall be liable for the civil liabilities of the accused. Evidently, the
judgment against accused had become final and executory.
Admittedly, accused had jumped bail and remained at-large. The CA ruled that
the institution of a criminal case implied the institution also of the civil action
arising from the offense. Thus, once determined in the criminal case against
the accused-employee, the employer’s subsidiary civil liability as set forth in
Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code becomes conclusive and enforceable.

ISSUE: Whether an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of its


accused-employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction independently of
the accused.

HELD: No.
It is well-established in our jurisdiction that the appellate court may, upon
motion or motu proprio, dismiss an appeal during its pendency if the accused
jumps bail. This rule is based on the rationale that appellants lose their
standing in court when they abscond.

2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure has clarified what civil actions are deemed
instituted in a criminal prosecution. When a criminal action is instituted, the
civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged
shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party
waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes
the civil action prior to the criminal action.

Only the civil liability of the accused arising from the crime charged is deemed
impliedly instituted in a criminal action; that is, unless the offended party
waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately, or institutes
it prior to the criminal action. Hence, the subsidiary civil liability of the
employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code may be enforced by
execution on the basis of the judgment of conviction meted out to the
employee.

What is deemed instituted in every criminal prosecution is the civil liability


arising from the crime or delict per se, but not those liabilities arising from
quasi-delicts, contracts or quasi-contracts. In fact, even if a civil action is filed
separately, the ex delicto civil liability in the criminal prosecution remains, and
the offended party may -- subject to the control of the prosecutor -- still
intervene in the criminal action, in order to protect the remaining civil interest
therein.

The cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare
that, strictly speaking, they are not parties to the criminal cases instituted
against their employees. Although in substance and in effect, they have an
interest therein, this fact should be viewed in the light of their subsidiary
liability. While they may assist their employees to the extent of supplying the
latter’s lawyers, as in the present case, the former cannot act independently
on their own behalf, but can only defend the accused.

As a matter of law, the subsidiary liability of petitioner now accrues. Under


Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, employers are subsidiarily liable for the
adjudicated civil liabilities of their employees in the event of the latter’s
insolvency. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court need
not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer. In the
absence of any collusion between the accused-employee and the offended
party, the judgment of conviction should bind the person who is subsidiarily
liable. In effect and implication, the stigma of a criminal conviction surpasses
mere civil liability.

To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a criminal case would
enable them to amend, nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered by a
competent court. By the same token, to allow them to appeal the final criminal
conviction of their employees without the latter’s consent would also result in
improperly amending, nullifying or defeating the judgment. The decision
convicting an employee in a criminal case is binding and conclusive upon the
employer not only with regard to the former’s civil liability, but also with
regard to its amount. The liability of an employer cannot be separated from
that of the employee.

The subsidiary liability of petitioner is incidental to and dependent on the


pecuniary civil liability of the accused-employee. Since the civil liability of the
latter has become final and enforceable by reason of his flight, then the
former’s subsidiary civil liability has also become immediately enforceable.
Respondent is correct in arguing that the concept of subsidiary liability is
highly contingent on the imposition of the primary civil liability.

2. ARISING FROM CONTRACT

AIR FRANCE VS CARASCOSO

FACTS:
Plaintiff, a civil engineer, was a member of a group of 48 Filipino pilgrims that
left Manila for Lourdes on March 30, 1958.
On March 28, 1958, the defendant, Air France, through its authorized agent,
Philippine Air Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a "first class" round trip airplane
ticket from Manila to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok, plaintiff travelled in "first
class", but at Bangkok, the Manager of the defendant airline forced plaintiff to
vacate the "first class" seat that he was occupying because, in the words of
the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a "white man", who, the Manager
alleged, had a "better right" to the seat. When asked to vacate his "first class"
seat, the plaintiff, as was to be expected, refused, and told defendant's
Manager that his seat would be taken over his dead body. After some
commotion, plaintiff reluctantly gave his "first class" seat in the plane.

ISSUE: Whether Carrascoso entitled to damages.

RULING:Yes.
The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from enjoying his right to a first
class seat; worse, he imposed his arbitrary will; he forcibly ejected him from
his seat, made him suffer the humiliation of having to go to the tourist class
compartment - just to give way to another passenger whose right thereto has
not been established. Certainly, this is bad faith. Unless, of course, bad faith
has assumed a meaning different from what is understood in law. For, "bad
faith" contemplates a "state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design
or with some motive of self-interest or will or for ulterior purpose."

For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer,
must answer. Article 21 of the Civil Code says:
ART. 21. Any person who willfully 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 contract of air carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended with a


public duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the carrier's employees, naturally,
could give ground for an action for damages.
Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to be
treated by the carrier's employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due
consideration.

Although the relation of passenger and carrier is "contractual both in origin


and nature" nevertheless "the act that breaks the contract may be also a
tort". The stress of Carrascoso's action as we have said, is placed upon his
wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the petitioner air
carrier — a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper.

3. ARISING FROM TORT

ANDAMO VS. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

FACTS:
Andamo’s land was adjacent to the land of a corporation. The corporation built
waterpaths, water conductors and contrivances including an artificial lake
within its land. The constructions inundated and eroded Andamo’s land,
caused a young man to drown, damaged Andamo’s crops and plants, washed
away costly fences, endangered the lives of Andamo and their laborers during
rainy and stormy seasons, and exposed the plants and other improvements
to destruction.

ISSUE: Whether the corporation is liable for tort.

RULING:
YES. The Court, citing the case of Castillo vs. Court of Appeals, held that “a
quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil
Code with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart
and independent from a delict or crime—a distinction exists between the civil
liability arising from a crime and the responsibility for quasi-delicts or culpa
extra contractual. The same negligence causing damages may produce civil
liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or create an action for
quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil Code. Therefore, the
acquittal or conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil
case, unless, of course, in the event of an acquittal where the court has
declared that the fact from which the civil action arose did not exist, in which
case the extinction of the criminal liability would carry with it the extinction of
the civil liability.”

CASTRO VS. PEOPLE

FACTS:
Castro, a school teacher mentioned, in a telephone conversation with a
parent, that talking to Tan was dangerous. A grave oral defamation case
was filed. The MeTC convicted Castro for grave oral defamation. The RTC
found him guilty for slight oral defamation. The CA reinstated the MeTC’s
decision

ISSUE:
Whether Castro’s conviction of grave oral defamation should stand.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “At most, petitioner could have been liable for
damages under Article 26 of the Civil Code:
“Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and
peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar
acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a
cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
xxx xxx xxx”
Petitioner is reminded that, as an educator, he is supposed to be a role
model for the youth. As such, he should always act with justice, give
everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith.”

CULPA AQUILIANA/CULPA CONTRACTUAL/CULPA CRIMINAL

FABRE VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
Petitioners Engracio Fabre, Jr. and his wife were owners of a Mazda minibus.
They used the bus principally in connection with a bus service for school
children which they operated in Manila. It was driven by Porfirio Cabil.

On November 2, 1984 private respondent Word for the World Christian


Fellowship Inc. (WWCF) arranged with the petitioners for the transportation
of 33 members of its Young Adults Ministry from Manila to La Union and
back in consideration of which private respondent paid petitioners the
amount of P3,000.00.

The usual route to Caba, La Union was through Carmen, Pangasinan.


However, the bridge at Carmen was under repair, so that petitioner Cabil,
who was unfamiliar with the area (it being his first trip to La Union), was
forced to take a detour through the town of Ba-ay in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
At 11:30 that night, petitioner Cabil came upon a sharp curve on the
highway. The road was slippery because it was raining, causing the bus,
which was running at the speed of 50 kilometers per hour, to skid to the left
road shoulder. The bus hit the left traffic steel brace and sign along the road
and rammed the fence of one Jesus Escano, then turned over and landed on
its left side, coming to a full stop only after a series of impacts. The bus
came to rest off the road. A coconut tree which it had hit fell on it and
smashed its front portion. Because of the mishap, several passengers were
injured particularly Amyline Antonio.

Criminal complaint was filed against the driver and the spouses were also
made jointly liable. Spouses Fabre on the other hand contended that they
are not liable since they are not a common carrier. The RTC of Makati ruled
in favor of the plaintiff and the defendants were ordered to pay jointly and
severally to the plaintiffs. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the
trial court.

ISSUE: Whether the spouses Fabre are common carriers?

HELD:
Petition was denied. Spouses Fabre are common carriers.
The Supreme Court held that this case actually involves a contract of
carriage. Petitioners, the Fabres, did not have to be engaged in the business
of public transportation for the provisions of the Civil Code on common
carriers to apply to them. As this Court has held: 10 Art. 1732, Common
carriers are persons, corporations, firms or associations engaged in the
business of carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both, by land,
water, or air for compensation, offering their services to the public.

The above article makes no distinction between one whose principal


business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who
does such carrying only as an ancillary activity (in local idiom, as "a
sideline"). Article 1732 also carefully avoids making any distinction between
a person or enterprise offering transportation service on a regular or
scheduled basis and one offering such service on an occasional, episodic or
unscheduled basis. Neither does Article 1732 distinguish between a carrier
offering its services to the "general public," i.e., the general community or
population, and one who offers services or solicits business only from a
narrow segment of the general population. We think that Article 1732
deliberately refrained from making such distinctions.

CALALAS VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
A jeepney passenger was seated on a wooden stool, given by the
conductor as an extension seat, at the rear end of the vehicle. When the
jeep had stopped to unload another passenger, the jeep was hit by a truck.
The passenger sitting on the plank sustained injuries.

ISSUE:
Whether the jeepney carried its passenger with diligence.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “In the case at bar, upon the happening of the
accident, the presumption of negligence at once arose, and it became the
duty of petitioner to prove that he observed extraordinary diligence in the
care of his passengers. Now, did the driver of jeepney carry Sunga “safely
as far as human care and foresight could provide, using the utmost
diligence of very cautious persons, with due regard for all the
circumstances” as required by Art. 1755? We do not think so. Several
factors militate against petitioner’s contention.”

CONCEPT OF QUASI-DELICT
1. ELEMENTS OF A QUASI-DELICT

CINCO VS. CANONOY

FACTS:
An automobile and a jeep figured in an accident. The owner of the
automobile filed the civil case independently from the criminal case. The
judge hearing the civil case, based on a quasi-delict, suspended the trial
until after a final judgement is rendered in the criminal case.

ISSUE: Whether quasi-delict is limited to injuries to persons.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “The concept of quasi-delict, as enunciated in
Article 2176 of the Civil Code supra, is so broad that it includes not only
injuries to persons but also damage to property. It makes no distinction
between “damage to persons” on the one hand and “damage to property”
on the other. Indeed, the word “damage” is used in two concepts: the
“harm” done and “reparation” for the harm done. And with respect to
“harm” it is plain that it includes both injuries to person and property since
“harm” is not limited to personal but also to property injuries. In fact,
examples of quasi-delict in the law itself include damage to property. An
instance is Article 2191 (2) of the Civil Code which holds proprietors
responsible for damages caused by excessive smoke which may be
harmful “to persons or property.”

2. DISTINCTIONS

A. QUASI DELICT V. DELICT

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC. VS. PEOPLE OF THE


PHILIPPINES

FACTS:
Napoleon Roman was found guilty and convicted of the crime of reckless
imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and
damage to property and was sentenced to suffer imprisonment and to pay
damages. The court further ruled that in the event of the insolvency of
accused, petitioner shall be liable for the civil liabilities of the accused.
Evidently, the judgment against accused had become final and executory.

Admittedly, accused had jumped bail and remained at-large. The CA ruled
that the institution of a criminal case implied the institution also of the civil
action arising from the offense. Thus, once determined in the criminal case
against the accused-employee, the employer’s subsidiary civil liability as
set forth in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code becomes conclusive and
enforceable.

ISSUE: Whether an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of


its accused-employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction
independently of the accused.

HELD: No.
It is well-established in our jurisdiction that the appellate court may, upon
motion or motu proprio, dismiss an appeal during its pendency if the
accused jumps bail. This rule is based on the rationale that appellants lose
their standing in court when they abscond.

2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure has clarified what civil actions are
deemed instituted in a criminal prosecution. When a criminal action is
instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the
offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless
the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it
separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.

Only the civil liability of the accused arising from the crime charged is
deemed impliedly instituted in a criminal action; that is, unless the
offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it
separately, or institutes it prior to the criminal action. Hence, the
subsidiary civil liability of the employer under Article 103 of the Revised
Penal Code may be enforced by execution on the basis of the judgment of
conviction meted out to the employee.

What is deemed instituted in every criminal prosecution is the civil liability


arising from the crime or delict per se, but not those liabilities arising from
quasi-delicts, contracts or quasi-contracts. In fact, even if a civil action is
filed separately, the ex delicto civil liability in the criminal prosecution
remains, and the offended party may -- subject to the control of the
prosecutor -- still intervene in the criminal action, in order to protect the
remaining civil interest therein.

The cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly


declare that, strictly speaking, they are not parties to the criminal cases
instituted against their employees. Although in substance and in effect,
they have an interest therein, this fact should be viewed in the light of
their subsidiary liability. While they may assist their employees to the
extent of supplying the latter’s lawyers, as in the present case, the former
cannot act independently on their own behalf, but can only defend the
accused.

As a matter of law, the subsidiary liability of petitioner now accrues. Under


Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, employers are subsidiarily liable for
the adjudicated civil liabilities of their employees in the event of the latter’s
insolvency. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court
need not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer. In
the absence of any collusion between the accused-employee and the
offended party, the judgment of conviction should bind the person who is
subsidiarily liable. In effect and implication, the stigma of a criminal
conviction surpasses mere civil liability.

To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a criminal case


would enable them to amend, nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered
by a competent court. By the same token, to allow them to appeal the
final criminal conviction of their employees without the latter’s consent
would also result in improperly amending, nullifying or defeating the
judgment. The decision convicting an employee in a criminal case is
binding and conclusive upon the employer not only with regard to the
former’s civil liability, but also with regard to its amount. The liability of an
employer cannot be separated from that of the employee.

The subsidiary liability of petitioner is incidental to and dependent on the


pecuniary civil liability of the accused-employee. Since the civil liability of
the latter has become final and enforceable by reason of his flight, then
the former’s subsidiary civil liability has also become immediately
enforceable. Respondent is correct in arguing that the concept of
subsidiary liability is highly contingent on the imposition of the primary
civil liability.

B. QUASI-DELICT V. BREACH OF CONTRACT

FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY VS. COURT OF APPEALS


FACTS:
Luna was issued a credit card while his wife was given a supplemental
card. The wife reported to the issuing bank that her card was lost. As a
matter of policy, the bank recorded the supplemental card, along with
the principal card, as a hot card or cancelled card. When Mr. Luna
presented his card for payment, the card was dishonored.

ISSUE:
Whether the application for the card gives rise to an actionable tort.

RULING:
YES. The Court held that “A quasi-delict can be the cause for breaching
a contract that might thereby permit the application of applicable
principles on tort even where there is a preexisting contract between the
plaintiff and the defendant. xxx”
The Court also held that “The test (whether a quasi-delict can be deemed
to underlie the breach of a contract) can be stated thusly: Where,
without a preexisting contract between two parties, an act or omission
can nonetheless amount to an actionable tort by itself, the fact that the
parties are contractually bound is no bar to the application of quasi-delict
provisions to the case.”

CALALAS VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
At 10 o'clock in the morning of August 23, 1989, private respondent Eliza
Jujeurche G. Sunga, then a college freshman majoring in Physical
Education at the Siliman University, took a passenger jeepney owned and
operated by petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was filled to
capacity of about 24 passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an
"extension seat," a wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end
of the vehicle.
On the way to Poblacion Sibulan, Negros Occidental, the jeepney stopped
to let a passenger off. As she was seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga
gave way to the outgoing passenger. Just as she was doing so, an Isuzu
truck driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco Salva bumped
the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was injured.
On October 9, 1989, Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas,
alleging violation of the contract of carriage by the former in failing to
exercise the diligence required of him as a common carrier. Calalas, on
the other hand, filed a third-party complaint against Francisco Salva, the
owner of the Isuzu truck.
ISSUE: Whether negligence of Verena was the proximate cause of the
accident negates his liability and that to rule otherwise would be to make
the common carrier an insurer of the safety of its passengers
In relation thereto, does the principle of res judicata apply?

RULING:
No.
The issue in Civil Case No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena
were liable for quasi-delict for the damage caused to petitioner's jeepney.
On the other hand, the issue in this case is whether petitioner is liable on
his contract of carriage.

Quasi-delict / culpa aquiliana / culpa extra contractual


1. Has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor
2. negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is the basis
of the action
3. doctrine of proximate cause is applicable
(device for imputing liability to a person where there is no relation between
him and another party, obligation is created by law itself)

Breach of contract / culpa contractual


1. premised upon the negligence in the performance of a contractual
obligation
2. action can be prosecuted merely by proving the existence of the
contract and the fact that the obligor (here, the common carrier) failed to
transport his passenger safely to his destination
3. not available; it is the parties themselves who create the obligation and
the function of the law is merely to regulate the relation thus created
In case of death or injuries to passengers, Art. 1756 of the Civil Code
provides that common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to
have acted negligently unless they prove that they observed extraordinary
diligence as defined in Arts. 1733 and 1755 of the Code. This provision
necessarily shifts to the common carrier the burden of proof.

Hence, Vicente Calalas (operator) is liable since he did not exercise utmost
diligence.
1. Jeepney was not properly parked;
2. Overloading of passengers.

NEGLIGENCE
A. CONCEPT OF NEGLIGENCE

PICART VS. SMITH, JR.


FACTS:
On the Carlatan Bridge in La Union. Picart was riding on his pony over said
bridge. Before he had gotten half way across, Smith approached from the
opposite direction in an automobile. As the defendant neared the bridge
he saw a horseman on it and blew his horn to give warning of his approach.
He continued his course and after he had taken the bridge he gave two
more successive blasts, as it appeared to him that the man on horseback
before him was not observing the rule of the road.
Picart saw the automobile coming and heard the warning signals.
However, being perturbed by the novelty of the apparition or the rapidity
of the approach, he pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the
right side of the bridge instead of going to the left. He says that the reason
he did this was that he thought he did not have sufficient time to get over
to the other side. As the automobile approached, Smith guided it toward
his left, that being the proper side of the road for the machine. In so doing
the defendant assumed that the horseman would move to the other side.
Seeing that the pony was apparently quiet, the defendant, instead of
veering to the right while yet some distance away or slowing down,
continued to approach directly toward the horse without diminution of
speed. When he had gotten quite near, there being then no possibility of
the horse getting across to the other side, the defendant quickly turned
his car sufficiently to the right to escape hitting the horse; but in so doing
the automobile passed in such close proximity to the animal that it became
frightened and turned its body across the bridge, got hit by the car and
the limb was broken. The horse fell and its rider was thrown off with some
violenceAs a result of its injuries the horse died. The plaintiff received
contusions which caused temporary unconsciousness and required medical
attention for several days.
From a judgment of the CFI of La Union absolving Smith from liability
Picart has appealed.

ISSUE: Whether Smith was guilty of negligence such as gives rise to a


civil obligation to repair the damage done

HELD:
Yes. The judgment of the lower court must be reversed, and judgment is
here rendered that the Picart recover of Smith damages
The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular
case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged
negligent act use that person would have used in the same situation? If
not, then he is guilty of negligence. The existence of negligence in a given
case is not determined by reference to the personal judgment of the actor
in the situation before him. The law considers what would be reckless,
blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and
prudence and determines liability by that. The question as to what would
constitute the conduct of a prudent man in a given situation must of course
be always determined in the light of human experience and in view of the
facts involved in the particular case.
Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a
result of the course actually pursued? If so, it was the duty of the actor to
take precautions to guard against that harm. Reasonable foresight of
harm, followed by ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is
always necessary before negligence can be held to exist. Stated in these
terms, the proper criterion for determining the existence of negligence in
a given case is this: Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man
in the position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect harmful
to another was sufficiently probable to warrant his foregoing conduct or
guarding against its consequences.
Applying this test to the conduct of the defendant in the present case we
think that negligence is clearly established. A prudent man, placed in the
position of the defendant, would in our opinion, have recognized that the
course which he was pursuing was fraught with risk, and would therefore
have foreseen harm to the horse and the rider as reasonable consequence
of that course. Under these circumstances the law imposed on the Smith
the duty to guard against the threatened harm.
It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for
he was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong
side of the road. But as we have already stated, Smith was also negligent;
and in such case the problem always is to discover which agent is
immediately and directly responsible. It will be noted that the negligent
acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since the negligence
of the defendant succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an
appreciable interval. Under these circumstances the law is that the person
who has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do
so is chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior
negligence of the other party.

PHIL. LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO., INC. VS. COURT OF


APPEALS

FACTS:
This case had its inception in an action for damages instituted in the
former Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental1 by private
respondent spouses against petitioner Philippine Long Distance
Telephone Company (PLDT, for brevity) for the injuries they sustained
in the evening of July 30, 1968 when their jeep ran over a mound of
earth and fell into an open trench, an excavation allegedly undertaken
by PLDT for the installation of its underground conduit system. The
complaint alleged that respondent Antonio Esteban failed to notice the
open trench which was left uncovered because of the creeping darkness
and the lack of any warning light or signs. As a result of the accident,
respondent Gloria Esteban allegedly sustained injuries on her arms, legs
and face, leaving a permanent scar on her cheek, while the respondent
husband suffered cut lips. In addition, the windshield of the jeep was
shattered.

ISSUE:
Who has the burden of proof in a case for damages for the negligence of
another.

RULING:
The Court held that “A person claiming damages for the negligence of
another has the burden of proving the existence of such fault or
negligence causative thereof. The facts constitutive of negligence must
be affirmatively established by competent evidence. Whosoever relies on
negligence for his cause of action has the burden in the first instance of
proving the existence of the same if contested, otherwise his action must
fail.”

B. PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE
C. RES IPSA LOQUITOR

LAYUGAN VS. IAC

FACTS:
1. While Layugan and a companion was fixing a truck parked along the
right side of the highway, a cargo truck driven by Serrano bumped
Layugan, causing injury resulting to amputation. Based on the
testomony ofthe cargo truck driver, there was a problem in the breaks.
2. Layugan sued the cargo truck owner, Isidro for damages.
3. Isidro, in his defense, claimed that the driver of the parked truck failed
to install early warning device which was the proximate cause of the
incident.
4. RTC ruled in favor of Layugan. But IAC reversed the decision of RTC.

ISSUE: Whether or not Layugan, as found by iac, is the one who is


negligent (under res ipsa).

HELD:
No. It is Isidro who is negligent.
RATIO: On res ipsa:Res ipsa posits that "where the thing which causes
injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant and the
accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if
those who have the management use proper care, it affords a reasonable
evidence in the absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the
acciddent arose from want of care." In this case, res ipsa does not apply
because the cause of injury is established, which is the bumping. In res
ipsa, precisely the cause of injury is not known and resort to this rule is
necessary in the absence of direct evidence of fact of injury.

On the liability of Isidro: He is liable because he failed to prove exercise


of diligence of a good father in supervising his driver and the mechanic.
Also, Isidro should have checked the vehicle before allowing his driver
to drive it. Granted

BATIQUIN VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
A patient died when a piece of a surgical glove was left in her body during
the patient’s cesarean operation.

ISSUE:
What is the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor.

RULING:
The Court held that “As such, the rule of res ipsa loquitur comes to fore.
This Court has had occasion to delve into the nature and operation of
this doctrine. This doctrine [res ipsa loquitur] is stated thus: “Where the
thing which causes injury is shown to be under the management of the
defendant, and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things
does not happen if those who have the management use proper care, it
affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the
defendant, that the accident arose from want of care.” Or as Black’s Law
Dictionary puts it:
Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Rebuttable presumption or
inference that defendant was negligent, which arises upon proof that
[the] instrumentality causing injury was in defendant’s exclusive control,
and that the accident was one which ordinarily does not happen in
absence of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is [a] rule of evidence whereby
negligence of [the] alleged wrongdoer may be inferred from [the] mere
fact that [the] accident happened provided [the] character of [the]
accident and circumstances attending it lead reasonably to belief that in
[the] absence of negligence it would not have occurred and that thing
which caused injury is shown to have been under [the] management and
control of [the] alleged wrongdoer . . . . Under [this] doctrine . . . the
happening of an injury permits an inference of negligence where plaintiff
produces substantial evidence that [the] injury was caused by an agency
or instrumentality under [the] exclusive control and management of
defendant, and that the occurrence was such that in the ordinary course
of things would not happen if reasonable care had been used.
xxx
The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is peculiar to the
law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be
established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific
proof of negligence. The doctrine is not a rule of substantive law, but
merely a mode of proof or a mere procedural convenience. The rule,
when applicable to the facts and circumstances of a particular case, is
not intended to and does not dispense with the requirement of proof of
culpable negligence on the party charged. It merely determines and
regulates what shall be prima facie evidence thereof and facilitates the
burden of plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due care. The
doctrine can be invoked when and only when, under the circumstances
involved, direct evidence is absent and not readily available.”

RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR

CASTILEX INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION VS. VASQUEZ, JR.

FACTS:
A motorcycle and a car collided which resulted in the death of the driver
of the motorcycle. The court ordered the company driver and the owner
of the vehicle liable.

ISSUE:
Whether the employer should also be held liable.

RULING:
YES. The Court held that “The foregoing principles and jurisprudence
are applicable in our jurisdiction albeit based on the doctrine of
respondeat superior, not on the principle of bonus pater familias as in
ours. Whether the fault or negligence of the employee is conclusive on
his employer as in American law or jurisprudence, or merely gives rise
to the presumption juris tantum of negligence on the part of the
employer as in ours, it is indispensable that the employee was acting
in his employer’s business or within the scope of his assigned task.”
VIOLATION OF TRAFFIC RULES

CAEDO VS YU KHE THAI AND BERNARDO

FACTS:
Caedo and family were traveling Highway 54 on the way to the airport.
Private respondents were traveling on the opposite direction. Bernardo
was the personal riverof Yu. Both vehicles were running at moderate
speeds when a carritela was traveling the same direction as
Bernardo’s. The latter overtook the caritella and took the lane Caedos
were traveling and caused multiple injuries and damage to the Caedos.
Bernardo was held liable.

ISSUE: Whether the owner of the vehicle who was riding with the
driver at the time of the accident be held solidarily liable.

RULING:
The court ruled that if the causative factor was the driver’s negligence,
the owner of the vehicle who was present is likewise held liable if he
could have prevented the mishap by the existence of due diligence.
The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not respondent
superior but rather the relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is that
ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the master and
susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own negligence if
he fails to correct it in order to prevent injury or damage.

BLT BUS & ARMANDO PON VS. IAC

FACTS
A bus owned by petitioner BLTB and driven by petitioner Pon collided
with a bus owned by Superlines, when the former tried to overtake a
car just as the Superlines' Bus was coming from the opposite direction.
The collision resulted in the death of Rosales, Pamfilo and Neri, as well
as injuries to the wife of Rosales, and Sales. These people were
passengers of the petitioner's bus.
Rosales and Sales, as well as the surviving heirs of Pamfilo, Rosales
and Neri instituted separate cases ih the CFI against BLTB and
Superlines, together with their drivers. Criminal cases against the
drivers were also filed in a different CFI.
CFI ruled that only BLTB and Pon should be liable, and they were
ordered jointly and severally to pay damages. On appeal, the IAC
affirmed the CFI's ruling.
Petitioners contended that the CFI erred in ruling that the actions of
private respondents are based on culpa contractual, since if it were
private respondents' intention to file an action based on culap
contractual, they could have done so by merely impleading BLTB and
Pon. Instead the respondents filed an action against all defendants
based on culpa aquiliana or tort.

ISSUE: Whether IAC erred in ruling that the actions of private


respondents are based on culpa contractual

HELD:
IAC anchored its decision on both culpa contractual and culpa aquiliana

The proximate cause of the death and injuries of the passengers was
the negligence of the bus driver Pon, who recklessly overtook a car
despite knowing that that the bend of highway he was negotiating on
had a continuous yellow line signifying a “no-overtaking” zone.
It is presumed that a a person driving a motor vehicle has been
negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic
regulation.
In the instant case, the driver of the BLTB bus failed to act with
diligence demanded by the circumstances. Pon should have
remembered that when a motor vehicle is approaching or rounding a
curve there is special necessity for keeping to the right side of the road
and the driver has not the right to drive on the left hand side relying
upon having time to turn to the right if a car is approaching from the
opposite direction comes into view.
As to the liability of the petitioners, Pon is primarily liable for his
negligence in driving recklessly the truck owned by BLTB. The liability
of the BLTB itself is also primary, direct and immediate in view of the
fact that the deat of or injuries to its passengers was through the
negligence of its employee.
The common carrier's liability for the death of or injuries to its
passengers is based on its contractual obligation to carry its
passengers safely to their destination. They are presumed to have
acted negligently unless they prove that they have observed
extaordinary diligence. In the case at bar, the appellants acted
negligently.
BLTB is also solidarly liable with its driver even though the liability of
the driver springs from quasi delict while that of the bus company from
contract.
DEFENSES
A. CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

RAKES VS. ATLANTIC, GULF AND PACIFIC CO.

FACTS:
This is an action for damages. The plaintiff, one of a gang of eight
negro laborers in the employment of the defendant, was at work
transporting iron rails from a barge in the harbor to the company's
yard near the Malecon in Manila. Plaintiff claims that but one hand
car was used in this work. The defendant has proved that there were
two immediately following one another, upon which were piled
lengthwise seven rails, each weighing 560 pounds, so that the ends
of the rails projected beyond the cars both in front and behind. The
rails lay two crosspieces or sills secured to the cars, but without side
pieces or guards to prevent them from slipping off. According to the
testimony of the plaintiff, the men were either in the rear of the car
or at its sides. According to that of the defendant, some of them were
also in front, hauling by a rope. At a certain spot at or near the
water's edge the track sagged, the tie broke, the car either canted
or upset, the rails slid off and caught the plaintiff, breaking his leg,
which was afterwards amputated at about the knee.

ISSUE:
What is contributory negligence

RULING:
The Court held that “The negligence of the injured person
contributing to his injury but not being one of the determining causes
of the principal accident, does not operate as a bar to recovery, but
only in reduction of his damages. Each party is chargeable with
damages in proportion to his fault.”

B. ASSUMPTION OF RISK

AFIALDA VS. HISOLE

FACTS:
This is an action for damages arising from injury caused by an
animal. The complaint alleges that the now deceased, Loreto
Afialda, was employed by the defendant spouses as caretaker of
their carabaos at a fixed compensation; that while tending the
animals he was, on March 21, 1947, gored by one of them and later
died as a consequence of his injuries; that the mishap was due
neither to his own fault nor to force majeure; and that plaintiff is
his elder sister and heir depending upon him for support.

ISSUE:
Whether the action filed was correct.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “In a decision of the Spanish Supreme
Court, cited by Manresa in his Commentaries (Vol. 12, p. 578), the
death of an employee who was bitten by a feline which his master
had asked him to take to his establishment was by said tribunal
declared to be "a veritable accident of labor" which should come
under the labor laws rather than under article 1905 of the Civil
Code.”

C. LAST CLEAR CHANCE

PICART VS. SMITH, JR.


FACTS:
On the Carlatan Bridge in La Union. Picart was riding on his pony
over said bridge. Before he had gotten half way across, Smith
approached from the opposite direction in an automobile. As the
defendant neared the bridge he saw a horseman on it and blew his
horn to give warning of his approach. He continued his course and
after he had taken the bridge he gave two more successive blasts,
as it appeared to him that the man on horseback before him was
not observing the rule of the road.
Picart saw the automobile coming and heard the warning signals.
However, being perturbed by the novelty of the apparition or the
rapidity of the approach, he pulled the pony closely up against the
railing on the right side of the bridge instead of going to the left.
He says that the reason he did this was that he thought he did not
have sufficient time to get over to the other side. As the automobile
approached, Smith guided it toward his left, that being the proper
side of the road for the machine. In so doing the defendant
assumed that the horseman would move to the other side. Seeing
that the pony was apparently quiet, the defendant, instead of
veering to the right while yet some distance away or slowing down,
continued to approach directly toward the horse without diminution
of speed. When he had gotten quite near, there being then no
possibility of the horse getting across to the other side, the
defendant quickly turned his car sufficiently to the right to escape
hitting the horse; but in so doing the automobile passed in such
close proximity to the animal that it became frightened and turned
its body across the bridge, got hit by the car and the limb was
broken. The horse fell and its rider was thrown off with some
violenceAs a result of its injuries the horse died. The plaintiff
received contusions which caused temporary unconsciousness and
required medical attention for several days.
From a judgment of the CFI of La Union absolving Smith from
liability Picart has appealed.

ISSUE: Whether Smith was guilty of negligence such as gives rise


to a civil obligation to repair the damage done

HELD:
Yes. The judgment of the lower court must be reversed, and
judgment is here rendered that the Picart recover of Smith
damages
The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a
particular case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing
the alleged negligent act use that person would have used in the
same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. The
existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by
reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation
before him. The law considers what would be reckless,
blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and
prudence and determines liability by that. The question as to what
would constitute the conduct of a prudent man in a given situation
must of course be always determined in the light of human
experience and in view of the facts involved in the particular case.
Could a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee
harm as a result of the course actually pursued? If so, it was the
duty of the actor to take precautions to guard against that harm.
Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by ignoring of the
suggestion born of this prevision, is always necessary before
negligence can be held to exist. Stated in these terms, the proper
criterion for determining the existence of negligence in a given case
is this: Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the
position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect
harmful to another was sufficiently probable to warrant his
foregoing conduct or guarding against its consequences.
Applying this test to the conduct of the defendant in the present
case we think that negligence is clearly established. A prudent man,
placed in the position of the defendant, would in our opinion, have
recognized that the course which he was pursuing was fraught with
risk, and would therefore have foreseen harm to the horse and the
rider as reasonable consequence of that course. Under these
circumstances the law imposed on the Smith the duty to guard
against the threatened harm.
It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from
fault, for he was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself
on the wrong side of the road. But as we have already stated, Smith
was also negligent; and in such case the problem always is to
discover which agent is immediately and directly responsible. It will
be noted that the negligent acts of the two parties were not
contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant
succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval.
Under these circumstances the law is that the person who has the
last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is
chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior
negligence of the other party.

SPOUSES ONG VS. METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT

FACTS:
Plaintiffs spouses seek to recover from defendant, a government-
owned corporation, the sum of P50,000 as damages, P5,000 as
funeral expenses, and P11,000 as attorneys' fees, for the death
of their son Dominador Ong in one of the swimming pools
operated by defendant.

ISSUE:
What is the doctrine of last clear chance.

RULING:
The doctrine of last clear chance simply means that the
negligence of a claimant does not preclude a recovery for the
negligence of defendant where it appears that the latter, by
exercising reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided
injurious consequences to claimant notwithstanding his
negligence. Or, "As the doctrine usually is stated, a person who
has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an accident,
notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent or the
negligence of a third person which is imputed to his opponent, is
considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the
accident."

D. PRESCRIPTION

FERRER VS. ERICTA

FACTS:
Mr. and Mrs. Francis Pfleider were the owners or operators of a
Ford pick-up car. At about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon of
December 31, 1970, their son, defendant Dennis Pfleider, who
was then only sixteen (16) years of age, without proper official
authority, drove the for pick-up, without due regard to traffic
rules and regulations, and without taking the necessary
precaution to prevent injury to persons or damage to property.
The pickup car was overturned, causing physical injuries to
plaintiff Annette Ferrer, who was then a passenger therein, which
injuries paralyzed her and required medical treatment and
confinement at different hospitals for more than two (2) years;
that as a result of the physical injuries sustained by Annette, she
suffered unimaginable physical pain, mental anguish, and her
parents also suffered mental anguish, moral shock and spent a
considerable sum of money for her treatment.

ISSUE:
Whether prescription is waived when not alleged the pleadings.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “the defense of prescription, even if not
raised in a motion to dismiss or in the answer, is not deemed
waived unless such defense raises issues of fact not appearing
upon the preceding pleading.”
The court also held that “Actions for damages arising from
physical injuries because of a tort must be filed within four years.
The four-year period begins from the day the quasi-delict is
committed or the date of the accident.”

KRAMER, JR. VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
A fishing boat owned by the petitioners Ernesto Kramer, Jr. and
Marta Kramer, was navigating its way from Marinduque to
Manila. Somewhere near Maricabon Island and Cape Santiago,
the boat figured in a collision with an inter-island vessel, the
M/V Asia Philippines owned by the private respondent Trans-
Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. As a consequence of the collision, the
F/B Marjolea sank, taking with it its fish catch.

ISSUE:
What is the prescriptive period of a tort and when does it
commence.

RULING:
The Court held that “an action based upon a quasi-delict must
be instituted within four (4) years. The prescriptive period
begins from the day the quasi-delict is committed.”

E. FORCE MAJEURE

GOTESCO INVESTMENT CORPORATION VS. CHATTO

FACTS:
Assailed in this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court are both the Decision1 promulgated on 27 July 1988
and the Resolution dated 14 March 19892 of the respondent
Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CV No. 09699 which,
respectively affirmed in toto the decision of Branch XXI of the
Regional Trial Court of Cebu in Civil Case No. R-22567 entitled
“Gloria Chatto, et al. versus Gotesco Investment
Corporation”, and denied petitioner’s motion to reconsider the
same.

ISSUE:
Whether force majeure is a defense when negligent.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “Besides, even assuming for the sake
of argument that, as petitioner vigorously insists, the cause
of the collapse was due to force majeure, petitioner would still
be liable because it was guilty of negligence, which the trial
court denominated as gross. As gleaned from Bouvier’s
definition of and Cockburn’s elucidation on force majeure, for
one to be exempt from any liability because of it, he must
have exercised care, i.e., he should not have been guilty of
negligence.”

NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION VS. COURT OF


APPEALS

FACTS:
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of
the Revised Rules of Court urging this Court to set aside the
19 August 1991 consolidated Decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV Nos. 27290-931 which reversed the
Decision of Branch 5 of the then Court of First Instance (now
Regional Trial Court) of Bulacan, and held petitioners
National Power Corporation (NPC) and Benjamin Chavez
jointly and severally liable to the private respondents for
actual and moral damages, litigation expenses and
attorney’s fees.

ISSUE:
Whether damnum absque injuria applies when negligent.

RULING:
The Court held that “In any event, We reiterate here Our
pronouncement in the latter case that Juan F. Nakpil & Sons
vs. Court of Appeals is still good law as far as the concurrent
liability of an obligor in the case of force majeure is
concerned. In the Nakpil case, We held:
“To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174 of
the Civil Code, for a breach of an obligation due to an ‘act
of God,’ the following must concur: (a) the cause of the
breach of the obligation must be independent of the will of
the debtor; (b) the event must be either unforeseeable or
unavoidable; (c) the event must be such as to render it
impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal
manner; and (d) the debtor must be free from any
participation in, or aggravation of the injury to the creditor.”

F. EXERCISE OF DILIGENCE

RAMOS, ET AL. VS. PEPSI-COLA BOTTLING CO. OF


THE P.I., ET AL.

FACTS:
On June 30, 1958 Placido and Augusto Ramos sued
PepsiCola Bottling Co. of the P.I.1 and Andres Bonifacio in
the Court of First Instance of Manila as a consequence of
a collision, on May 10, 1958, involving the car of Placido
Ramos and a tractor-truck and trailer of PEPSICOLA. Said
car was at the time of the collision driven by Augusto
Ramos, son and co-plaintiff of Placido. PEPSICOLA’s
tractor-truck was then driven by its driver and co-
defendant Andres Bonifacio.

ISSUE:
Whether diligence in the hiring of employees is a defense.

RULING:
YES. The Court held that “Where it was proven that the
employer had carefully examined the erring driver as to
his qualifications, experience and record of service, such
evidence is sufficient to show that the employer exercised
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
of the driver and rebuts the juris tantum presumption that
the employer was negligent in selecting said driver.”

G. MISTAKE AND WAIVER

GATCHALIAN VS. DELIM

FACTS:
At noon time on 11 July 1973, petitioner Reynalda
Gatchalian boarded, as a paying passenger, respondent’s
“Thames” minibus at a point in San Eugenio, Aringay, La
Union, bound for Bauang, of the same province. On the
way, while the bus was running along the highway in
Barrio Payocpoc, Bauang, La Union, “a snapping sound”
was suddenly heard at one part of the bus and, shortly
thereafter, the vehicle bumped a cement flower pot on the
side of the road, went off the road, turned turtle and fell
into a ditch. Several passengers, including petitioner
Gatchalian, were injured.

ISSUE:
Whether a vague waiver is a defense.

RULING:
NO. The Court held that “A waiver, to be valid and
effective, must in the first place be couched in clear and
unequivocal terms which leave no doubt as to the
intention of a person to give up a right or benefit which
legally pertains to him. A waiver may not casually be
attributed to a person when the terms thereof do not
explicitly and clearly evidence an intent to abandon a right
vested in such person.”

H. DAMNUM ABSQUE INJURIA

NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION VS. COURT OF


APPEALS

FACTS:
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
of the Revised Rules of Court urging this Court to set
aside the 19 August 1991 consolidated Decision of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV Nos. 27290-931 which
reversed the Decision of Branch 5 of the then Court of
First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Bulacan, and
held petitioners National Power Corporation (NPC) and
Benjamin Chavez jointly and severally liable to the
private respondents for actual and moral damages,
litigation expenses and attorney’s fees.

ISSUE:
Whether force majeure is defense when negligent.

RULING:
We reiterate here in Our pronouncement in the latter
case that Juan F. Nakpil & Sons vs. Court of Appeals is
still good law as far as the concurrent liability of an
obligor in the case of force majeure is concerned. In the
Nakpil case, We held:
To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174
of the Civil Code, for a breach of an obligation due to an
"act of God," the following must concur: (a) the cause
of the breach of the obligation must be independent of
the will of the debtor; (b) the event must be either
unforseeable or unavoidable; (c) the event must be such
as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his
obligation in a moral manner; and (d) the debtor must
be free from any participation in, or aggravation of the
injury to the creditor. (Vasquez v. Court of Appeals, 138
SCRA 553; Estrada v. Consolacion, 71 SCRA 423;
Austria v. Court of Appeals, 39 SCRA 527; Republic of
the Phil. v. Luzon Stevedoring Corp., 21 SCRA 279;
Lasam v. Smith, 45 Phil. 657).
Thus, if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an
act of God, there concurs a corresponding fraud,
negligence, delay or violation or contravention in any
manner of the tenor of the obligation as provided for in
Article 1170 of the Civil Code, which results in loss or
damage, the obligor cannot escape liability.
The principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly
requires that the act must be one occasioned exclusively
by the violence of nature and all human agencies are to
be excluded from creating or entering into the cause of
the mischief. When the effect, the cause of which is to
be considered, is found to be in part the result of the
participation of man, whether it be from active
intervention or neglect, or failure to act, the whole
occurrence is thereby humanized, as it were, and
removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. (1
Corpus Juris, pp. 1174-1175).
Thus it has been held that when the negligence of a
person concurs with an act of God in producing a loss,
such person is not exempt from liability by showing that
the immediate cause of the damage was the act of God.
To be exempt from liability for loss because of an act of
God, he must be free from any previous negligence or
misconduct by which that loss or damage may have
been occasioned. (Fish & Elective Co. v. Phil. Motors, 55
Phil. 129; Tucker v. Milan, 49 O.G. 4379; Limpangco &
Sons v. Yangco Steamship Co., 34 Phil. 594, 604; Lasam
v. Smith, 45 Phil. 657).

CAUSATION
PROXIMATE CAUSE
A. DEFINITION

FERNANDO VS CA

FACTS:
November 7, 1975: Bibiano Morta, market master of the
Agdao Public Market filed a requisition request with the
Chief of Property of the City Treasurer's Office for the re-
emptying of the septic tank in Agdao wherein Bascon won
November 22, 1975: bidder Bertulano with four other
companions namely Joselito Garcia, William Liagoso,
Alberto Fernando and Jose Fajardo, Jr. were found dead
inside the septic tank.
The bodies were removed by a fireman.
The body of Joselito Garcia, was taken out by his uncle,
Danilo Garcia and taken to the Regional Hospital but he
expired there.
The City Engineer's office investigated the case and
learned they entered the septic tank without clearance
from it nor with the knowledge and consent of the market
master.
Since the septic tank was found to be almost empty, they
were presumed to be the ones who did the re-emptying.
Dr. Juan Abear of the City Health Office found them to
have died from "asphyxia" - diminution of oxygen supply
in the body and intake of toxic gas
November 26, 1975: Bascon signed the purchase order
RTC: Dismissed the case
CA: Reversed - law intended to protect the plight of the
poor and the needy, the ignorant and the indigent

ISSUE: Whether Davao city is negligent and its negligence


is the proximate cause therefore can be liable for damages

HELD:
NO. CA affirmed test by which to determine the existence
of negligence in a particular case:
Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use
that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily
prudent person would have used in the same situation? If
not, then he is guilty of negligence
standard supposed to be supplied by the imaginary
conduct of the discreet pater familias of the Roman law
Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the
position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an
effect harmful to another was sufficiently probable
warrant his foregoing the conduct or guarding against its
consequences
The question as to what would constitute the conduct of a
prudent man in a given situation must of course be always
determined in the light of human experience and in view
of the facts involved in the particular case
Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of
the suggestion born of this provision, is always necessary
before negligence can be held to exist
Distinction must be made between the accident and the
injury
Where he contributes to the principal occurrence, as one
of its determining factors, he can not recover
Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes
only to his own injury, he may recover the amount that
the defendant responsible for the event should pay for
such injury, less a sum deemed a suitable equivalent for
his own imprudence
Toilets and septic tanks are not nuisances per se as
defined in Article 694 of the New Civil Code which would
necessitate warning signs for the protection of the public
While the construction of these public facilities demands
utmost compliance with safety and sanitary requirements,
the putting up of warning signs is not one of those
requirements
accident such as toxic gas leakage from the septic tank is
unlikely to happen unless one removes its covers
Considering the nature of the task of emptying a septic
tank especially one which has not been cleaned for years,
an ordinarily prudent person should undoubtedly be aware
of the attendant risks. The victims are no exception; more
so with Mr. Bertulano, an old hand in this kind of service,
who is presumed to know the hazards of the job. His
failure, therefore, and that of his men to take
precautionary measures for their safety was the proximate
cause of the accident.
proximate and immediate cause of the death of the victims
was due to their own negligence. Consequently, the
petitioners cannot demand damages from the public
respondent.

PILIPINAS BANK VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
This is a petition for review of the Decision of the
respondent court1 in CA-G.R. CV No. 29524 dated May
13, 1992 which ordered petitioner to pay the private
respondent the sum of P50,000.00 as moral damages,
P25,000.00 as attorney’s fees and cost of suit.

ISSUE:
What is the concept of proximate cause.

RULING:
The concept of proximate cause is well defined in our
corpus of jurisprudence as “any cause which, in natural
and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the result complained of
and without which would not have occurred and from
which it ought to have been forseen or reasonably
anticipated by a person of ordinary case that the injury
complained of or some similar injury, would result
therefrom as a natural and probable consequence.

B. DISTINGUISHED FROM OTHER KINDS

a. REMOTE

URBANO VS. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

FACTS:
At about 8:00 o’clock in the morning of October 23,
1980, petitioner Filomeno Urbano went to his ricefield
at Barangay Anonang, San Fabian, Pangasinan located
at about 100 meters from the tobacco seedbed of
Marcelo Javier. He found the place where he stored his
palay flooded with water coming from the irrigation
canal nearby which had overflowed. Urbano went to
the elevated portion of the canal to see what happened
and there he saw Marcelo Javier and Emilio Erfe cutting
grass. He asked them who was responsible for the
opening of the irrigation canal and Javier admitted that
he was the one. Urbano then got angry and demanded
that Javier pay for his soaked palay. A quarrel between
them ensued. Urbano unsheathed his bolo (about 2
feet long, including the handle, by 2 inches wide) and
hacked Javier hitting him on the right palm of his hand,
which was used in parrying the bolo hack. Javier who
was then unarmed ran away from Urbano but was
overtaken by Urbano who hacked him again hitting
Javier on the left leg with the back portion of said bolo,
causing a swelling on said leg. When Urbano tried to
hack and inflict further injury, his daughter embraced
and prevented him from hacking Javier.

ISSUE:
What is the difference between proximate and remote
cause.

RULING:
A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of
an action if such remote cause did nothing more than
furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by
which the injury was made possible, if there
intervened between such prior or remote cause and
the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated, and
efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury
would not have happened but for such condition or
occasion. If no danger existed in the condition except
because of the independent cause, such condition was
not the proximate cause. And if an independent
negligent act or defective condition sets into operation
the circumstances, which result in injury because of
the prior defective condition, such subsequent act or
condition is the proximate cause.
b. CONCURRENT

FAR EASTERN SHIPPING COMPANY VS. COURT


OF APPEALS

FACTS:
These consolidated petitions for review on certiorari
seek in unison to annul and set aside the decision1
of respondent Court of Appeals of November 15,
1996 and its resolution2 dated July 31, 1997 in CA-
G.R. CV No. 24072, entitled “Philippine Ports
Authority, Plaintiff-Appellee vs. Far Eastern Shipping
Company, Senen C. Gavino and Manila Pilots’
Association, Defendants-Appellants,” which affirmed
with modification the judgment of the trial court
holding the defendants-appellants therein solidarily
liable for damages in favor of herein private
respondent.

ISSUE:
What is the difference between proximate and
concurrent cause.

RULING:
It may be said, as a general rule, that negligence in
order to render a person liable need not be the sole
cause of an injury. It is sufficient that his negligence,
concurring with one or more efficient causes other
than plaintiff’s, is the proximate cause of the injury.
Accordingly, where several causes combine to
produce injuries, a person is not relieved from
liability because he is responsible for only one of
them, it being sufficient that the negligence of the
person charged with injury is an efficient cause
without which the injury would not have resulted to
as great an extent, and that such cause is not.
________________

SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Far Eastern Shipping Company vs. Court of Appeals
attributable to the person injured. It is no defense to
one of the concurrent tortfeasors that the injury
would not have resulted from his negligence alone,
without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other
concurrent tortfeasor. Where several causes
producing an injury are concurrent and each is an
efficient cause without which the injury would not
have happened, the injury may be attributed to all
or any of the causes and recovery may be had
against any or all of the responsible persons
although under the circumstances of the case, it may
appear that one of them was more culpable, and that
the duty owed by them to the injured person was not
the same. No actor’s negligence ceases to be a
proximate cause merely because it does not exceed
the negligence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is
responsible for the entire result and is liable as
though his acts were the sole cause of the injury.

VICARIOUS LIABILITY

1. PARENTS AND GUARDIANS

CANLAS VS. CHAN LIN PO

FACTS:
Erlinda Ramos sought professional medical help
and was advised to undergo an operation for the
removal of a stone in her gall bladder. She was
referred to Dr. Hosaka, a surgeon who agreed to
perform the operation at De Los Santos Medical
Center (DLSMC). Dr. Hosaka recommended Dr.
Gutierrez as the anesthesiologist.
On the scheduled day of the operation, Dr. Hosaka
was late for three hours. Finally, on the operating
room, Dr. Gutierrez had a hard time intubating the
patient. Hence, she was place in a position where
her head was lower than her feet. After the
surgery, Erlinda was place in Intensive Care Unit,
where the doctors explained that she had
bronchospasm. Erlinda was in comatose until she
died.

ISSUE:
Whether Dr. Gutierrez (anesthesiologist) is
negligent and hence liable?
Whether the Captain of the Ship Doctrine applies?

RULING:
Dr. Gutierrez is negligent and Dr. Hosaka is liable
for the acts of his team. Dr. Gutierrez failed to
exercise the standards of care and administration
of anesthesia on the patient. The conduct of the
preoperative evaluation whether elective or
emergency cannot be dispensed with. Such
evaluation is necessary for the formulation of a
plan of anesthesia care suited to the needs of the
patient Erlinda.
Dr. Gutierrez examined the patient’s heart and
lungs and Erlinda’s blood pressure but failed to
check on the patient’s airways. Had she done the
latter act, Dr. Gutierrez would not have difficulty in
intubating the patient and thus the resultant injury
could have been avoided.
The captain of the ship doctrine, which Dr. Hosaka
vehemently denies application, applies. First, it
was Dr. Hosaka who recommended to petitioners
the services of Dr. Gutierrez. In effect, he
represented to petitioners that Dr. Gutierrez
possessed the necessary competence and skills.
Drs. Hosaka and Gutierrez had worked together
since 1977. Second, Dr. Hosaka himself admitted
that he was the attending physician of Erlinda.
Thus, when Erlinda showed signs of cyanosis, it
was Dr. Hosaka who gave instructions to call for
another anesthesiologist and cardiologist to help
resuscitate Erlinda. Third, it is conceded that in
performing their responsibilities to the patient, Drs.
Hosaka and Gutierrez worked as a team. Their
work cannot be placed in separate watertight
compartments because their duties intersect with
each other.

2. TEACHERS AND HEADS OF


ESTABLISHMENTS

MERCADO VS. CT. OF APPEALS, ET AL.

FACTS:
Augusto Mercado and Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. are
both pupils of the Lourdes Catholic School,
Kanlaon, Quezon City. A ‘pitogo’ (an empty
nutshell used by children as a piggy bank)
belonged to Augusto Mercado but he lent it to
Benedicto Lim and in turn Benedicto lent it to
Renato Legaspi.
Renato was not aware that the ‘pitogo’ belonged
to Augusto. Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. thought it
was Benedicto’s, so when Augusto attempted to
get the ‘pitogo’ from Renato, Manuel, Jr. told him
not to do so because Renato was better at putting
the chain into the holes of the ‘pitogo’. Augusto
resented his remark and pushed Manuel, Jr.,
which started the fight. After successive blows to
Manuel, Jr., Augusto cut him on the right cheek
with a piece of razor. Manuel, Jr. and his father
filed a complaint against Ciriaco Mercado,
Augusto’s
father.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the teacher or head of the school
should be held responsible instead of the father?
RULING:
No. the children were not in their custody.
Petitioner rests his claim on the last paragraph of
Article 2180 of the Civil Code stated as follows:
“Lastly, teachers or heads of establishment of
arts and trade shall be liable for damages caused
by their pupils and students or apprentices, so
long as they remain in their custody.”
The above-quoted clause contemplates a
situation where the pupil lives and boards with
the teacher, such that the control and influence
on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. In
these circumstances, the control or influence
over the conduct and actions of the pupil would
pass from the father and mother to the teacher
and so would the responsibility for the torts of
the pupil. Such situation did not appear in the
case at bar. The pupils appear to go to school
during school hours and went back home to their
homes after school hours is over.

3. OWNERS AND MANAGERS OF


ESTABLISHMENTS

ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL VS. COURT


OF APPEALS

FACTS:
Ferdinand Castillo was a freshman student of
Section 1-C at the St. Francis High School who
wanted to join a school picnic undertaken by
Class I-B and Class I-C at Talaan beach. His
parents, Dr. Romulo Castillo and Lilia Castillo
did not allow him to join but merely allowed him
to bring food to the teachers for the picnic with
the directive that he should go home after
doing so. However, because of persuasion of
the teachers, Ferdinand went on with them to
the beach.
On the beach, one of the female teachers was
apparently drowning and some students
including Ferdinand went to the rescue but in
the process, it was Ferdinand who drowned. His
body was recovered but efforts to resuscitate
him failed. The parents filed a complaint
against the school. The trial court found for the
Castillos but dismissed the case against the
school principal Illumin. The appellate court
held Illumin liable under Article 2176 of the
Civil Code.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there was negligence
attributable to the school officials which would
warrant the award of damages?
Is Article 2180 in relation to 2176 of the Civil
Code applies?

RULING:
No. There was no negligence on the part of the
school officials. They are neither guilty of their
own negligence nor guilty of the negligence of
those under them.
Article 2180 in relation to 2176 is not applicable
in the case at bar. Before any employer may be
held liable for the negligence of his employee,
the act or omission which caused the damage
or prejudice must have occurred while an was
in the performance of his assigned task.
The teachers were not in the actual
performance of their assigned task. The
incident happened outside of the school
premises, not on school day, and most
importantly, while the teachers and students
are having a private affair, a picnic. The picnic
has no permit from the school head or its
principal. It is not a sanctioned school activity.

4. EMPLOYERS

MARTIN VS. COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:
Ernesto was the owner of a private bearing
license. Around 2 am, May 11, 1982, while
being driven by Nestor Martin, it crashed into
a MERALCO electric post. MERALCO then
demanded reparation from Ernesto and upon
rejection, sued him for damages based on
tort11, alleging that he was the employer of
Nestor.
Ernesto’s main defense was that Nestor was
not his employee. RTC ruled in favor of
MERALCO which the CA affirmed.

ISSUE:
Who bears the burden of proving employer-
employee relationship between the car owner
and the driver at the time of the accident?

RULING:
He who alleges must prove his allegation.
MERALCO has the burden of proof to present
evidence on the fact in issue necessary to
establish its claim as required by Rule 131 of
the Revised Rules of Court.
Whether or not engaged in any business or
industry, the employer under Article 2180 is
liable for torts provided the following are
shown:
a. Employment relationship;
b. Employee was acting within the
scope of his assigned task when the
tort complained of was committed.
No evidence was adduced by MERALCO to the
show the employment relationship. The trial
court merely presumed its existence.

METRO MANILA TRANSIT


CORPORATION VS. COURT OF APPEALS
ET AL.

FACTS:
Nenita boarded as paying passenger a public
utility jitney bearing Plate No. D7 305 PUJ
Pilipinas 1979, driven by Calebag and owned
by Lamayo. While the jitney was travelling in
a fast clip, a Metro Manila Transit Corporation
bus driven by Leonardo collided with each
other. The collision impact casued Nenita to
hit the front windshield and subsequently
thrown out to the pavement. She was
hospitalized and regained consciousness only
after a week and failed to work for more than
3 three days.

ISSUE:
Was Metro Manila Transit Corporation able to
establish its due diligence in the selection and
supervision of its employee?

RULING:
No. the Court of Appeals was correct in ruling
that “due diligence in the selection and
supervision of employees is not proved by
mere testimonies to the effect that its
applicant has complied with all of the
company’s requirements before one is
admitted as an employee but without proof
thereof”.
While there is no rule that testimonial
evidence must be corroborated with
documentary evidence, inasmuch as the
witnesses’ testimonies dwelt on mere
generalities, the sufficiency and
persuasiveness of the evidence adduced must
be struck down for its failure to establish the
exercise of due diligence on the selection and
supervision of employees.
Whether or not the diligence of a good father
of a family has been observed by petitioner is
a matter of proof which under the
circumstances in the case at bar has not been
clearly established. It is not felt by the Court
that there is enough evidence on record as
would overturn the presumption of
negligence, and for failure to submit all
evidence within its control, assuming the
putative existence thereof, petitioner Metro
Manila Transit Corporation must suffer the
consequences of its own inaction and
indifference.