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Torts And Damages Case Digest: German Garcia Et Al., V. The Hon. Mariano M. Florido Et Al.

(1973)

G.R. No. L-35095 August 31, 1973


Lessons Applicable: Elements of Quasi-Delict (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:

 August 4, 1971: German C. Garcia, Chief of the Misamis Occidental Hospital, his wife, Luminosa
L. Garcia, and Ester Francisco, bookkeeper of the hospital, hired and boarded a PU car owned and
operated by Marcelino Inesin, and driven by respondent, Ricardo Vayson, for a round-trip from
Oroquieta City to Zamboanga City for the purpose of attending a conference
 August 4, 1971 9:30 a.m.: While the PU car was negotiating a slight curve on the national highway
at 21 km, it collided with an oncoming passenger bus owned and operated by the Mactan Transit Co.,
Inc. and driven by Pedro Tumala
 Garcia et al. sustained various physical injuries which necessitated their medical treatment and
hospitalization
 Garcia et al. filed an action for damages against both drivers and their owners for driving in
a reckless, grossly negligent and imprudent manner in gross violation of traffic rules and without due
regard to the safety of the passengers aboard the PU car
 RTC: Dismissed the case because it is not quasi-delict because there is a violation of law or traffic
rules or regulations for excessive speeding
ISSUE: W/N Garcia et al. can still file a civil action for quasi-delict despite having a criminal action.

HELD: YES. decision appealed reversed and set aside, and the court a quo is directed to proceed with the
trial of the case
 essential averments for a quasi-delictual action under Articles 2176-2194 of the New Civil Code
are present, namely:
 a) act or omission of the private respondents
 b) presence of fault or negligence or the lack of due care in the operation of the
passenger bus No. 25 by Pedro Tumala resulting in the collision of the bus with the passenger car
 c) physical injuries and other damages sustained by as a result of the collision
 d) existence of direct causal connection between the damage or prejudice and the fault
or negligence of private respondents
 e) the absence of pre-existing contractual relations between the parties
 violation of traffic rules is merely descriptive of the failure of said driver to observe for the
protection of the interests of others, that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, which failure resulted in the injury on petitioners
 petitioners never intervened in the criminal action instituted by the Chief of Police against
respondent Pedro Tumala, much less has the said criminal action been terminated either by conviction
or acquittal of said accused
 It is, therefore, evident that by the institution of the present civil action for damages, petitioners
have in effect abandoned their right to press recovery for damages in the criminal case, and have
opted instead to recover them in the present civil case
 petitioners have thereby foreclosed their right to intervene therein, or one where reservation to
file the civil action need not be made, for the reason that the law itself (Article 33 of the Civil Code)
already makes the reservation and the failure of the offended party to do so does not bar him from
bringing the action, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, We find no legal justification for
respondent court's order of dismissal

1.] Barredo vs. Garcia 73 Phil 607 (1942)

Facts:

1. At about 1:30 am on May 3, 1936, taxi driver Fontanilla guided by Dimapilis collided head on with
a “kalesa” thereby injuring and killing the 16 year old Faustino Garcia.

2. Faustino’s parents, Garcia and Alamario, filed a criminal suit against Fontanilla and reserved their
right to file a separate civil suit.

3. Fontanilla was eventually convicted.

4. After the criminal suit, on March 7, 1939, the parents of the deceased instituted a civil suit against
Barredo – the owner of the Malate taxicab (employer of Fontanilla) making him primarily and
directly responsible under culpa acquiliana of Article 2180 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

5. The suit was based on Article 1903 of the civil code (negligence of employers in the selection of
their employees).

6. Barredo’s defense was that Fontanilla’s negligence is punished by the Revised Penal Code, but
since Fontanilla was not sued for civil liability, therefore, Barredo claims that he cannot be held
liable arguing that his liability is only subsidiary and that the separate civil suit should have been
filed against Fontanilla primarily and not him.

ISSUE: Whether or not Barredo, as employer, is civilly liable for the acts of his employee, Fontanilla.
Whether or not the parents of the deceased file civil action against Fausto Barredo thus making him primarily
and directly responsible under Article 1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla.

HELD: Yes. Barredo is primarily liable under Article 1903. The parents were well within their rights in
suing him.

1. Quasi-delict or culpa acquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code of the
Philippines and is entirely distinct and independent from a delict or crime under the Revised
Penal Code.

2. In this jurisdiction, the same negligent act causing damage may produce civil liability (subsidiary)
arising from a crime under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines; or create an
action for quasi-delicto or culpa aquiliana under Articles 2179 and 2180 of the Civil Code and the
parties are free to choose which course to take.

3. And in the instant case, the negligent act of Fontanilla produces two (2) liabilities of Barredo:
First, a subsidiary one because of the civil liability of Fontanilla arising from the latter’s criminal
negligence under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, and second, Barredo’s primary and direct
responsibility arising from his presumed negligence as an employer under Article 2180 of the Civil
Code.

4. Barredo was held liable for damages. It was also proven that Barredo is negligent in hiring his
employees because it was shown that Fontanilla had had multiple traffic infractions already before
he hired him. He is not being sued for damages arising from a criminal act (his driver’s
negligence) but rather for his own negligence in selecting his employee (Article 1903).

“Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code are:

 “1. That crimes affect the public interest, while quasi-delitos are only of private concern.


 “2. That consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act, while the Civil
Code, by means of indemnification, merely repairs the damage.

 “3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because for the former are punished only
if there is a penal law clearly covering them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in
which any kind of fault or negligence intervenes. However, it should be noted that not all
violations of the penal law produce civil responsibility, such as begging in contravention
of ordinances, violation of the game laws, infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is
hurt.

Case Digest: Case Title: Elcano V Hill 77 SCRA 100 – May 26, 1977
December 4, 2017sheyiligan

FACTS: Reginal Hill was married and a minor who was then still living in care of his father, Atty. Marvin
Hill. Reginald Hill was prosecuted criminally for killing Agapito Elcano. Reginald was acquitted on the
ground that his acts were not criminal because of “lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistakes. The father
of Agapito Elcano then filed a civil action against Reginald and his father (Marvin Hill) for damages based
on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Hill argued that the civil action is barred by his son’s acquittal in the
criminal case; and that if ever, his civil liability as a parent has been extinguished by the fact that his son is
already an emancipated minor by reason of his marriage.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Marvin Hill has a vicarious liability being the father of a minor child who
committed a tort?

HELD: The law clearly stated that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child
according to Title X of Family Code; Emancipation and Age of Majority, emancipation takes place by
marriage of the minor. However, such emancipation is not absolute and full. Reginald although married,
was living with his father and still dependent from the latter. ART 2180 applies to Atty. Marvin Hill
notwithstanding the emancipation by marriage of Reginald. Therefore, Article 2180 is applicable to Marvin
Hill – the SC however ruled since at the time of the decision, Reginald is already of age, Marvin’s liability
should be subsidiary only – as a matter of equity.

Mendoza vs. Arrieta, G.R. No. L-32599, June 29, 1979

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

FACTS:
On October 22, 1969, a three-way vehicular accident occurred along Mac-Arthur Highway, Marilao
Bulacan involving Mercedes Benz Owner/ petitioner, Edgardo Mendoza, and respondents jeepney driver
Salazar and truck driver Montoya. This resulted in the filing of two separate Informations of Reckless
Imprudence resulting to Damage to Property. The first one being a Php 1604.00 Criminal case against
truck driver Montoya for hitting Salazar’s jeepney at the right rear portion causing the jeep to hit
Mendoza’s Mercedes, and the second Criminal Case was against jeepney driver Salazar for hitting the Benz
in the amount of Php 8,890.00.

On July 31, 1970, the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Bulacan rendered judgment. Truck driver Montoya
was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of crime of damage to property through reckless imprudence
and was sentence to pay jeepney driver Salazar a fine for actual damages and indemnity. Accused Rodolfo
Salazar, on the other hand, was acquitted. Mercedes Benz owner was not awarded damages.

On August 22, 1970 , after termination of criminal cases, Petitioner filed Civil Case against truck owner
Timbol and jeepney driver Salazar. Timbol filed a motion to dismiss claiming that such action is barred by
the prior judgment in criminal cases. The CFI judge granted Timbol’s Motion to Dismiss.

ISSUES:

Can Timbol be sued for damages by Mendoza after termination of criminal cases? – YES.

Should the Civil Case against jeepney driver Salazar be dismissed? YES.

RULING:

Timbol can be sued for damages.

No reservation need be made in the criminal case, it being substantive in character and is not within the
power of the Supreme Court to promulgate. Even if it were not substantive but adjective, it cannot stand
because of its inconsistency with Article 2177, an enactment of the legislature superseding the Rule of
1940.

There is no oneness in Identity in the civil and criminal cases. In the former, the truck owner, Timbol, was
made a party in the case while in the latter only the jeepney driver, Salazar, was a party in the case for the
damage to Petitioner’s Mercedes Benz. Moreover, in the criminal cases, the cause of action was the
enforcement of a civil liability arising from criminal negligence, while the August 22 Civil Case is based on
quasi delict under Art 2180 in relation to Art 2176 of the New Civil Code.

The civil case against Salazar should be dismissed.

The extinction of the penal action does not entail the extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds
from a declaration in the final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. Given
the facts of the case, the trial court pronounced that jeepney driver Salazar cannot be held liable for the
damages sustained by petitioner’s car.

Accordingly the civil action against Salazar must be held to have been extinguished in consonance with
Section 3 (c) Rule 111 of the Rules of Court.

Yamada vs. Manila Railroad & Bachrach Garage

Facts: The plaintiffs with three companions hired an automobile from the defendant
Bachrach Garage & Taxicab Co. for a trip to Cavite Viejo. The automobile was hired by
the driver of the taxicab company. On the return trip to Manila, while crossing the
tracks of the railroad company, the automobile was struck by the train and the plaintiffs
were injured. Plaintiffs sued both the railroad and the taxicab companies. The lower
court absolved the railroad company and condemned the taxicab company to pay
damages to the plaintiff.

The question was whether the driver of the car was negligent and in the affirmative
whether the employer owner of the car was responsible in damages to the plaintiffs.
Held: The driver was negligent when he did not reduce his speed upon nearing the
railroad crossing to determine whether there was an oncoming train.

The defendant also contended that even if the driver was negligent, still it was not liable since it had
performed its duty to the plaintiffs when it furnished a suitable and proper car and selected a driver who
had been with the company for five or six years and who had not had an accident or misadventure before.
The Supreme Court, however, held that “it was the duty of the company not only to furnish a suitable and
proper care and select a competent operator, but also to supervise and, where necessary, instruct him
properly.” Defendant taxicab company was held liable to the plaintiffs.

LG FOODS v. Pagapong-Agraviador

FEBRUARY 26, 1996: Charles Vallereja, a 7-year old son of the spouses Florentino Vallejera and Theresa
Vallejera, was hit by a Ford Fiera van owned by the petitioners and driven at the time by their employee,
Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer. Charles died as a result of the accident. In time, an Information for
Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide was filed against the driver before the Municipal Trial Court
in Cities (MTCC), Bacolod City.

Unfortunately, before the trial could be concluded, the accused driver committed suicide, evidently
bothered by conscience and remorse. On account thereof, the MTCC, in its order of September 30, 1998,
dismissed the criminal case.

On June 23, 1999, in the RTC of Bacolod City, the spouses Vallejera filed a complaint for damages against
the petitioners as employers of the deceased driver, basically alleging that as such employers, they failed to
exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of their employees.

In their Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim, the petitioners as defendants denied liability for the death
of the Vallejeras’ 7-year old son, claiming that they had exercised the required due diligence in the selection
and supervision of their employees, including the deceased driver. They thus prayed in their Answer for the
dismissal of the complaint for lack of cause of action on the part of the Vallejera couple.

In an Order dated September 4, 2001, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit and set
the case for pre-trial. With their motion for reconsideration having been denied by the same court, the
petitioners then went on certiorari to the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 67600, imputing grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the trial judge in refusing to dismiss the basic complaint for damages in Civil Case No.
99-10845.

April 25, 2003, the CA denied the petition and upheld the trial court averring that the complaint neither
represents nor implies that the responsibility charged was the petitioner’s subsidiary liability under Art. 103,
Revised Penal Code. Accordingly, it was held that responsibility for fault or negligence under Art. 2176,
Civil Code, which is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the
Revised Penal Code. Verily, therefore, the liability under Art. 2180, Civil Code, is direct and immediate, and
not conditioned upon prior recourse against the negligent employee or prior showing of the latter’s
insolvency.”

WHETHER OR NOT THE CAUSE OF ACTION OF THE SPOUSES VALLEJERA IS FOUNDED


ON ART. 103 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE AS AVVERED BY LG FOODS OR ON ART. 2180
OF THE CIVIL CODE.
Nothing in the foregoing allegations suggests, even remotely, that the herein petitioners are being made to
account for their subsidiary liability under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. The complaint did not
even aver the basic elements for the subsidiary liability of an employer under Article 103 of the Revised
Penal Code, such as the prior conviction of the driver in the criminal case filed against him nor his
insolvency.

Clear it is, however, from the allegations of the complaint that quasi-delict was their choice of remedy
against the petitioners. To stress, the plaintiff spouses alleged in their complaint gross fault and negligence
on the part of the driver and the failure of the petitioners, as employers, to exercise due diligence in the
selection and supervision of their employees.

The spouses further alleged that the petitioners are civilly liable for the negligence/imprudence of their
driver since they failed to exercise the necessary diligence required of a good father of the family in the
selection and supervision of their employees, which diligence, if exercised, could have prevented the
vehicular accident that resulted to the death of their 7-year old son.

Corollarily, an act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to two separate civil liabilities on
the part of the offender, i.e., 1) civil liability ex delicto; and 2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a)
not arising from an act or omission complained of as felony (e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising
from law; the intentional torts; and culpa aquiliana); or (b) where the injured party is granted a right to
file an action independent and distinct from the criminal action. Either of these two possible liabilities may
be enforced against the offender.

Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the liability of the employer is direct or immediate. It is not
conditioned upon prior recourse against the negligent employee and a prior showing of insolvency of such
employee.

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.

The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by
the minor children who live in their company.

Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated persons who are under their
authority and live in their company.

The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by
their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their
functions.

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.
The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent; but not when the damage has
been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in
article 2176 shall be applicable.

Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their
pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody.

The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (1903a)

Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. (1902a)

20 / Garcia v Salvador
GR No. 168512 March 20, 2007
Ynarez-Santiago, J

Ranida Salvador worked as a trainee in the accounting department of Limay Bulk Handling Terminal. As a
prerequisite for regular employment, she underwent a medical exam at the Community Diagnostic Center
(CDC). Garcia, a medical technologies conducted the HBs Ag (Hepatitis B Surface Antigen) test and issued
the test result indicating that Ranida was “HBs Ag: Reactive.” The result bore the name and signature of
Garcia as examiner and the rubber stamp signature of Bu Castro as pathologist.

When Ranida submitted the result to company physician Dr. Sto. Domingo, the latter told her that the
result indicated that she is suffering from Hepatitis B, a liver disease. Based on the the doctor’s medical
report, the company terminated Ranida’s employment for failing the physical exam.

When she informed her father Ramon, he suffered a heard attack and was confined at Bataan Doctors
Hospital. During her father’s confinement, she had another HBs Ag test at the same hospital. The result
indicated that she is non-reactive. She informed Sto. Domingo but was told that the test by the CDC was
more reliable because it used the Mirco-Elisa Method.

She went back to CDC for confirmatory testing and the Anti-HBs test conducted on her had a Negative
result. She also had another test at the hospital using the Micro-Elisa Method and the result indicated that
she was non-reactive.

She submitted both results to the Executive Officer of the company who requested her to undergo another
similar test before her re-employment would be considered. The CDC conducted another test which
indicated a Negative result. The Med-Tech OIC of CDC issued a certification correcting the initial result
and explaining that the examining med tech Garcia interpreted the delayed reaction as positive or negative.

The company rehired Ranida. She then filed a complaint for damages against Garcia and an unknown
pathologist of CDC. She claimed that because of the erroneous interpretation of the results of the
examination, she lost her job and suffered serious mental anxiety, trauma, sleepless nights, while Ramon
was hospitalized and lost business opportunities. In an amended complaint, she named Castro as the
pathologist.

Garcia denied the allegations of gross negligence and incompetence and reiterated the scientific
explanation for the “false positive” result of the first HBs Ag tests in a letter to the respondents.

Castro claimed that as pathologist, he rarely went to CDC and only when a case was referred to him; that
he did not examine Ranida; and that the test results bore only his rubber-stamp signature.
RTC dismissed the complaint because the respondent failed to present sufficient evidence to prove the
liability of Garcia and Castro. CA reversed the RTC’s ruling and found Garcial liable for damages for
negligently issuing an erroneous HBs Ag result. The appellate court exonerated Castro for lack of
participation.

ISSUE: Whether Castro has been negligent in issuing the test result and thus liable for damages

HELD

YES.

Negligence is the failure to observe for the protection of the interest of another person that degree of care,
precaution and vigilance which the circumstance justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury.
For health care providers, the test of the existence of negligence is: did the health care provider either fail
to do something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would have done, or that he or she did
something that a reasonably prudent health care provider would not have done; and that failure or action
caused injury to the patient; if yes, then he is guilty of negligence.

Thus, the elements of actionable conduct are: 1) duty, 2) breach, 3) injury, and 4) proximate causation.

All the elements are present in the case at bar.

Owners and operators of clinical laboratories have the duty to comply with statutes, as well as rules and
regulations, purposely promulgated to protect and promote the health of the people by preventing the
operation of substandard, improperly managed and inadequately supported clinical laboratories and by
improving the quality of performance of clinical laboratory examinations. Their business is impressed with
public interest, as such, high standards of performance are expected from them.

In fine, violation of a statutory duty is negligence. Where the law imposes upon a person the duty to do
something, his omission or non-performance will render him liable to whoever may be injured thereby.

From provisions RA 4688, otherwise known as the The Clinical Laboratory Law, it is clear that a clinical
laboratory must be administered, directed and supervised by a licensed physician authorized by the Sec. of
Health, like a pathologist who is specially trained in methods of laboratory medicine; that the medical
technologist must be under the supervision of the pathologist or licensed physician; and that the results of
any examination may be released only to the requesting physician or his authorized representative upon the
direction of the laboratory pathologist.

These rules are intended for the protection of the public by preventing performance of substandard clinical
examinations by laboratories whose personnel are not properly supervised. The public demands no less
than an effective and efficient performance of clinical laboratory examinations through compliance with
the quality standards set by laws and regulations.

We find that petitioner Garcia failed to comply with these standards.


First: CDC is not administered, directed and supervised by a licensed physician as required by law.
Second: Garcia conducted the HBs Ag test of respondent Ranida without the supervision of
defendant-appellee Castro.
Third: The HBs Ag test result was released to Ranida without the authorization of defendant-appellee
Castro.

Garcia may not have intended to cause the consequence which followed after the release of the test result.
However, his failure to comply with the laws and rules promulgated and issued for the protection of public
safety and interest is failure to observe that care which a reasonably prudent health care provider would
observe. Thus, his act or omission constitutes a breach of duty.

Indubitably, Ranida suffered injury as a direct consequence of Garcia’s failure to comply with the mandate
of the laws and rules aforequoted. She was terminated from the service for failing the physical examination;
suffered anxiety because of the diagnosis; and was compelled to undergo several more tests. All these could
have been avoided had the proper safeguards been scrupulously followed in conducting the clinical
examination and releasing the clinical report.
Art. 20, NCC provides the legal basis for the award of damages to a party who suffers damage whenever
one commits an act in violation of some legal provision. This was incorporated by the Code Commission
to provide relief to a person who suffers damages because another has violated some legal provision.

Cangco v. Manila Railroad Co. G.R. No. L-12191, 14 October 1918

FACTS:

Jose Cangco was in the employment of Manila Railroad Company. He lived in the pueblo of San Mateo, in
the province of Rizal, which is located upon the line of the defendant railroad company; and in coming
daily by train to the company’s office in the city of Manila where he worked, he used a pass, supplied by
the company, which entitled him to ride upon the company’s trains free of charge.

During his ride in the train he arose from his seat and makes his way to the exit while the train is still on
travel. When the train has proceeded a little farther Jose Cangco step down into the cement platform but
unfortunately step in to a sack of watermelon, fell down and rolled under the platform and was drawn
under the moving car which resulting to his arm to be crashed and lacerated. He was rushed to the hospital
and sued the company and the employee who put the sack of watermelon in the platform.

The accident occurred between 7 and 8 o’ clock on the dark night. It is that time of the year that may we
considered as season to harvest watermelon explaining why there are sacks of watermelon in the platform.
The plaintiff contends that it is the negligence of the Manila Railroad Co. on why they let their employees
put a hindrance in the platform that may cause serious accident. The defendant answered that it is the lack
of diligence on behalf of the plaintiff alone on why he did not wait for the train to stop before alighting the
train.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the company is liable or there is a contributory negligence on behalf of the plaintiff.

RULING:

There is no contributory negligence on behalf of the plaintiff. The Supreme Court provides some test that
may find the contributory negligence of a person. Was there anything in the circumstances surrounding the
plaintiff at the time he alighted from the train which would have admonished a person of average prudence
that to get off the train under the conditions then existing was dangerous? If so, the plaintiff should have
desisted from alighting; and his failure so to desist was contributory negligence.

Alighting from a moving train while it is slowing down is a common practice and a lot of people are doing
so every day without suffering injury. Cangco has the vigor and agility of young manhood, and it was by no
means so risky for him to get off while the train was yet moving as the same act would have been in an
aged or feeble person. He was also ignorant of the fact that sacks of watermelons were there as there were
no appropriate warnings and the place was dimly lit.

Article 1173, first paragraph: The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that
diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of that
persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of Article 1171 and
2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.

In the case the proximate cause of the accident is the lack of diligence of the company to inform their
employees to not put any hindrance in the platform like sacks of watermelon. The contract of defendant to
transport plaintiff carried with it, by implication, the duty to carry him in safety and to provide safe means
of entering and leaving its trains (civil code, article 1258). That duty, being contractual, was direct and
immediate, and its non-performance could not be excused by proof that the fault was morally imputable to
defendant’s servants. Therefore, the company is liable for damages against Cangco.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS, Petitioner,


vs.
ETHEL BRUNTY and JUAN MANUEL M. GARCIA, Respondents
FACTS:
1. Rhonda Brunty, daughter of respondent Ethel Brunty and an American citizen, came to the
Philippines for a visit sometime in January 1980.
2. Prior to her departure, she, together with her Filipino host Juan Manuel M. Garcia, traveled to
Baguio City on board a Mercedes Benz sedan driven by Rodolfo L. Mercelita.
3. It was about 12:00 midnight, January 25, 1980. By then, PNR Train No. T-71, driven by Alfonso
Reyes, was on its way to Tutuban, Metro Manila as it had left the La Union station at 11:00 p.m.,
January 24, 1980.
4. By 2:00 a.m., Rhonda Brunty, Garcia and Mercelita were already approaching the railroad crossing
at Barangay Rizal, Moncada, Tarlac.
5. Mercelita, driving at approximately 70 km/hr, drove past a vehicle, unaware of the railroad track
up ahead and that they were about to collide with PNR Train No. T-71.
6. Mercelita was instantly killed when the Mercedes Benz smashed into the train; the two other
passengers suffered serious physical injuries.
7. A certain James Harrow brought Rhonda Brunty to the Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital in
Tarlac, where she was pronounced dead after ten minutes from arrival.
8. Garcia, who had suffered severe head injuries, was brought via ambulance to the same hospital.
He was transferred to the Manila Doctor’s Hospital, and later to the Makati Medical Center for
further treatment.
9. PNR insisted among others that the sole and proximate cause of the accident was the negligence
and recklessness of Garcia and Mercelita. It insisted that it had provided adequate warning signals
at the railroad crossing and had exercised due care in the selection and supervision of its
employees.

ISSUE#1: W/N the contention of PNR as to the proximate cause correct?

HELD: NO.

RATIO: In determining whether or not there is negligence on the part of the parties in a given situation,
jurisprudence has laid down the following test: Did 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, the person is guilty of negligence.

Petitioner was found negligent because of its failure to provide the necessary safety device to ensure the
safety of motorists in crossing the railroad track. As such, it is liable for damages for violating the
provisions of Article 2176 of the New Civil Code

It was clearly established that plaintiffs-appellees (respondents herein) sustained damage or injury as a
result of the collision. That there was negligence on the part of PNR is, likewise, beyond cavil. Considering
the circumstances prevailing at the time of the fatal accident, the alleged safety measures installed by the
PNR at the railroad crossing is not only inadequate but does not satisfy well-settled safety standards in
transportation.

Pictures presented in evidence revealed that: 1) there were no flagbars or safety railroad bars;2) warning
signals were inadequate; 3) the place was not properly lighted such that even if a flagman was stationed at the
site, it would be impossible to know or see a railroad track ahead.

A vehicle coming from the Moncada side would have difficulty in knowing that there is an approaching
train because of the slight curve, more so, at an unholy hour as 2:00 a.m. Thus, it is imperative on the part
of the PNR to provide adequate safety equipment in the area.
Railroad companies owe to the public a duty of exercising a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury to
persons and property at railroad crossings, which duties pertain both in the operation of trains and in the
maintenance of the crossings.

Moreover, every corporation constructing or operating a railway shall make and construct at all points
where such railway crosses any public road, good, sufficient, and safe crossings and erect at such points, at
a sufficient elevation from such road as to admit a free passage of vehicles of every kind, a sign with large
and distinct letters placed thereon, to give notice of the proximity of the railway, and warn persons of the
necessity of looking out for trains.

Note:
In a long line of cases, the Court held that in order to sustain a claim based on quasi-delict, the following
requisites must concur: (1) damage to plaintiff; (2) negligence, by act or omission, of which defendant, or
some person for whose acts he must respond was guilty; and (3) connection of cause and effect between
such negligence and damage. Applying the foregoing requisites, the CA correctly made the following
conclusions:

It was clearly established that plaintiffs-appellees (respondents herein) sustained damage or injury as a
result of the collision. That there was negligence on the part of PNR is, likewise, beyond cavil. Considering
the circumstances prevailing at the time of the fatal accident, the alleged safety measures installed by the
PNR at the railroad crossing is not only inadequate but does not satisfy well-settled safety standards in
transportation. x x x

ISSUE#2: W/N there was a contributory negligence on Mercedita’s part?

HELD: YES.

RATIO: Contributory negligence is 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. To hold a person as having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that he performed an
act that brought about his injuries in disregard of warning or signs of an impending danger to health and
body.

To prove contributory negligence, it is still necessary to establish a causal link, although not proximate,
between the negligence of the party and the succeeding injury. In a legal sense, negligence is contributory
only when it contributes proximately to the injury, and not simply a condition for its occurrence.

Mercelita was not familiar with the road.

Yet, it was also established that Mercelita was then driving the Mercedes Benz at a speed of 70 km/hr and,
in fact, had overtaken a vehicle a few yards before reaching the railroad track. Mercelita should not have
driven the car the way he did.

However, while his acts contributed to the collision, they nevertheless do not negate petitioner’s liability.

Pursuant to Article 2179 of the New Civil Code, the only effect such contributory negligence could have is
to mitigate liability, which, however, is not applicable in this case since the relationship between Mercelita,
the driver, and Rhonda Brunty was not alleged.
DEFINITION OF NEGLIGENCE:

Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations
which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a
prudent and reasonable man would not do. In Corliss v. Manila Railroad Company, this Court held that
negligence is want of the care required by the circumstances. It is a relative or comparative, not an absolute,
term and its application depends upon the situation of the parties and the degree of care and vigilance
which the circumstances reasonably require. In determining whether or not there is negligence on the part
of the parties in a given situation, jurisprudence has laid down the following test: Did 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, the person is guilty of negligence. The law, in effect, adopts the
standard supposed to be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet pater familias of the Roman
law.
FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner, vs. SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEO ALMARIO,
respondents
No. 48006. July 8, 1942

Facts:

A head-on collision between a taxicab owned by Barredo and a carretela occurred. The carretela was
overturned and one of its passengers, a 16-year old boy, the son of Garcia and Almario, died as a result of
the injuries which he received. The driver of the taxicab, an employee of Barredo, was prosecuted for the
crime and was convicted. When the criminal case was instituted, Garcia and Almario reserved their right to
institute a separate civil action for damages. Subsequently, Garcia and Almario instituted a civil action for
damages against Barredo, the employer of the taxicab driver.

Issue:

Whether or not they can file a separate civil action against Fausto Barredo making him primarily and
directly responsible

Held:

(Foreword: The Barredo case was decided by the Supreme Court prior to the present Civil Code. However,
the principle enunciated in said case, that responsibility for fault or negligence as quasi-delict is distinct and
separate from negligence penalized under the Revised Penal Code, is now specifically embodied in Art.
2177 of the Civil Code.)

The defendant maintains that Fontanilla’s negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant’s)
liability as an employer is only subsidiary, according to said Penal Code, but Fontanilla has not been sued in
a civil action and his property has not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut thru the
tangle that has, in the minds of many, confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes
under the Penal Code and fault or negligence under Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. According to the
Supreme Tribunal of Spain:

“Authorities support the proposition 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. Upon this principle, and on the wording and spirit of Article 1903 of
the Civil Code, the primary and direct responsibility of employers may be safely anchored.

“It will thus be seen that while the terms of Article 1902 of the Civil Code seem to be broad enough to
cover the driver’s negligence in the instant case, nevertheless Article 1903 limits cuasi-delitos TO ACTS
OR OMISSIONS ‘NOT PUNISHABLE BY LAW.’ But inasmuch as Article 365 of the Revised Penal
Code punishes not only reckless but even simple imprudence or negligence, the fault or negligence under
Article 1902 of the Civil Code has apparently been crowded out. It is this overlapping that makes the
“confusion worse confounded.’ However, a closer study shows that such a concurrence of scope in regard
to negligent acts does not destroy the distinction between the civil liability arising from a crime and the
responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligent act causing damages may
produce civil liability arising from a crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code; or create an action
for cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual under Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. “Some of the
differences between crimes under the Penal Code are:

“1. That crimes affect the public interest, while quasi-delitos are only of private concern.

“2. That consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act, while the Civil Code, by
means of indemnification, merely repairs the damage.
“3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because for the former are punished only if there is a
penal law clearly covering them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which ‘ any kind of fault or
negligence intervenes.’ However, it should be noted that not all violations of the penal law produce civil
responsibility, such as begging in contravention of ordinances, violation of the game laws, infraction of the
rules of traffic when nobody is hurt.

“The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa aquiliana
under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is a distinction between civil liability arising from
criminal negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for fault or negligence under Articles
1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code, and that the same negligent act may produce either a civil liability arising
from a crime under the Penal Code, or a separate responsibility for fault or negligence under Articles 1902
to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more concretely the authorities above cited render it inescapable to
conclude that the employer – in this case the defendant-petitioner – is primarily and directly liable under
Article 1903 of the Civil Code.”

Manliclic v. Calaunan
Ponente: Chico-Nazario
Third Division
Nature: Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS:
1. The vehicles involved in this case are: (1) Philippine Rabbit Bus owned by petitioner PRBLI and
driven by petitioner Mauricio Manliclic; and (2) owner-type jeep owned by respondent Modesto
Calaunan and driven by Marcelo Mendoza
2. At approximately Kilometer 40 of the North Luzon Expressway in Barangay Lalangan, Plaridel,
Bulacan, the two vehicles collided.
- The front right side of the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear left side of the jeep causing the latter
to move to the shoulder on the right and then fall on a ditch with water resulting to further
extensive damage.
- Respondent suffered minor injuries while his driver was unhurt.
3. By reason of such collision, a criminal case was filed charging petitioner Manliclic with Reckless
Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries.
4. Subsequently on 2 December 1991, respondent filed a complaint for damages against petitioners
Manliclic and PRBLI
5. The criminal case was tried ahead of the civil case.
6. When the civil case was heard, counsel for respondent prayed that the transcripts of stenographic
notes (TSNs) of the testimonies in the criminal case be received in evidence in the civil case in as
much as these witnesses are not available to testify in the civil case.
7. The versions of the parties are summarized by the trial court as follows:

Respondent’s version:
- According to the respondent and his driver, the jeep was cruising at the speed of 60 to 70
kilometers per hour on the slow lane of the expressway when the Philippine Rabbit Bus overtook
the jeep and in the process of overtaking the jeep, the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear of the
jeep on the left side.
- At the time the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the jeep, it was about to overtake the jeep. In other
words, the Philippine Rabbit Bus was still at the back of the jeep when the jeep was hit.
- Fernando Ramos corroborated the testimony of and Marcelo Mendoza. He said that he was on
another jeep following the Philippine Rabbit Bus and the jeep of plaintiff when the incident took
place. He testified that the jeep of plaintiff swerved to the right because it was bumped by the
Philippine Rabbit bus from behind.

Petitioner’s version:
- The petitioner explained that when the Philippine Rabbit bus was about to go to the left lane to
overtake the jeep, the latter jeep swerved to the left because it was to overtake another jeep in
front of it.
- Petitioner PRBLI maintained that it observed and exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of its employee
8. RTC ruled in favor of the respondent. CA found no reversible error and affirmed the RTC’s decision.

ISSUES:
1. Whether the TSNs from the criminal case may be admitted in evidence for the civil case.
2. Whether the petitioner, Manliclic, may be held liable for the collision and be found negligent
notwithstanding the declaration of the CA in the criminal case that there was an absence of negligence
on his part.
3. Whether the petitioner, PRBLI, exercised due diligence and supervision of its employee.

HELD: The petitioner, Manliclic, is civilly liable for the damages for his negligence or reckless imprudence
based on quasi-delict. The PRBLI is held solidarily liable for the damages caused by the petitioner
Manliclic’s negligence.

1. Admissibility of the TSNs


Petitioner’s contention:
- The TSNs should not be admitted to evidence for failure to comply with the requisites of Sec. 47,
Rule 130 of the ROC
- The petitioner, PRBLI, had no opportunity to cross examine the witnesses because the criminal
case was filed exclusively against Manliclic.
- Admission of the TSNs will deprive the petitioner of due process.
Court:
- The testimonies are still admissible on the ground that the petitioner failed to object on their
admissibility.
- Failure to object to the inclusion of the evidence is a waiver on the provision of the law.
- In addition, the petitioner even offered in evidence the TSN containing the testimony of
Ganiban.
- The court disagrees that it would deprive the petitioner of due process. For the failure of the
petitioner to object at the proper time, it waived its right to object for the non compliance with
the ROC.

2. Civil liability arising from crime v. Quasi-delict/Culpa Acquiliana


Petitioner:
- The version of the petitioner deserves more credit as the petitioner was already acquitted by the
CA of the charge of Reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property with physical injuries.
Court:
- From the complaint, it can be gathered that the civil case for damages was one arising from or
based on quasi-delict: Petitioner Manliclic was sued for his negligence or reckless imprudence in
causing the collision, while petitioner PRBLI was sued for its failure to exercise the diligence of a
good father in the selection and supervision of its employees
- it appears that petitioner Manliclic was acquitted not on reasonable doubt, but on the ground
that he is not the author of the act complained of which is based on Section 2(b) of Rule 111 of
the Rules of Criminal Procedure which reads:

(b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds from a
declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist.

- In spite of said ruling, petitioner Manliclic can still be held liable for the mishap. The afore-quoted
section applies only to a civil action arising from crime or ex delicto and not to a civil action
arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana.
- The extinction of civil liability referred to in the quoted provision, refers exclusively to civil
liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same
act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration
in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not been committed by
the accused.

In sum, the court distinguished civil liability arising from a crime and that arising from quasi-delict:
CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM A CRIME
(a) if an accused is acquitted based on reasonable doubt on his guilt, his civil liability arising from the
crime may be proved by preponderance of evidence only.
(b) if an accused is acquitted on the basis that he was not the author of the act or omission
complained of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil
might arise did not exist), said acquittal closes the door to civil liability based on the crime or ex
delicto.

CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM QUASI-DELICT


- 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.
- 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. The acquittal of the accused, even if based on a finding that he is not guilty, does
not carry with it the extinction of the civil liability based on quasi delict.
- civil liability arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana, same will not be extinguished by an
acquittal, whether it be on ground of reasonable doubt or that accused was not the author of the
act or omission complained of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment that the fact from
which the civil liability might arise did not exist).
- An acquittal or conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case based on
quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana.

- The petitioners urge the court to give more credence to their version of the story however, as
they constitute a question of fact, it may not be raised as a subject for a petition for review.
Findings of the trial court and appellate court are binding on the Supreme Court.
- The testimony of the petitioner about the jeep of the respondent overtaking another vehicle in
the criminal case was not consistent with what he gave to the investigator which is evidently a
product of an after-thought
- If one would believe the testimony of the defendant, Mauricio Manliclic, and his conductor,
Oscar Buan, that the Philippine Rabbit Bus was already somewhat parallel to the jeep when the
collision took place, the point of collision on the jeep should have been somewhat on the left side
thereof rather than on its rear. Furthermore, the jeep should have fallen on the road itself rather
than having been forced off the road.

3. PRBLI’s liability
- Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, when an injury is caused by the negligence of the
employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the
master or employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him
after selection or both.
- The liability of the employer under Article 2180 is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned
upon prior recourse against the negligent employee and a prior showing of the insolvency of such
employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private respondents to prove that they exercised
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employee.

Petitioner’s contention:
- PRBLI maintains that it had shown that it exercised the required diligence in the selection and
supervision of its employees
- In the matter of selection, it showed the screening process that petitioner Manliclic underwent
before he became a regular driver.
- As to the exercise of due diligence in the supervision of its employees, it argues that presence of
ready investigators is sufficient proof that it exercised the required due diligence in the
supervision of its employees
Court:
- In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to examine them as to their
qualifications, experience and service records. In the supervision of employees, the employer
must formulate standard operating procedures, monitor their implementation and impose
disciplinary measures for the breach thereof.
- As the negligence of the employee gives rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of the
employer, the latter has the burden of proving that it has been diligent not only in the selection of
employees but also in the actual supervision of their work.
- The trial court found that petitioner PRBLI exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection but not in the supervision of its employees
- it seems that the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines has a very good procedure of recruiting its driver as
well as in the maintenance of its vehicles. There is no evidence though that it is as good in the
supervision of its personnel.
o no evidence introduced that there are rules promulgated by the bus company regarding the
safe operation of its vehicle and in the way its driver should manage and operate the vehicles
o no showing that somebody in the bus company has been employed to oversee how its driver
should behave while operating their vehicles
o The presence of ready investigators after the occurrence of the accident is not enough. Same
does not comply with the guidelines set forth with regard to the supervision.
o Regular supervision of employees, that is, prior to any accident, should have been shown and
established.
o the lack of supervision can further be seen by the fact that there is only one set of manual
containing the rules and regulations for all the drivers
- For failure to adduce proof that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
the selection and supervision of its employees, petitioner PRBLI is held solidarily
responsible for the damages caused by petitioner Manliclic’s negligence.

PADILLA v CA G.R. No. L-39999 May 31, 1984 ROY PADILLA, FILOMENO GALDONES, ISMAEL
GONZALGO and JOSE FARLEY BEDENIA, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, respondent.

FACTS:
1. The information states that on February 8, 1964 at around 9AM, the accused prevented Antonio
Vergara and his family to close their stall located at the Public Market, Building No. 3, Jose Panganiban,
Camarines Norte, and by subsequently forcibly opening the door of said stall and thereafter brutally
demolishing and destroying said stall and the furnitures therein by axes and other massive instruments, and
carrying away the goods, wares and merchandise

Contentions:

Vergara Family
1. accused took advantage of their public positions: Roy Padilla, being the incumbent municipal mayor, and
the rest of the accused being policemen, except Ricardo Celestino who is a civilian, all of Jose Panganiban,
Camarines Norte, and that it was committed with evident premeditation.

Roy Padilla, et al

1. finding of grave coercion was not supported by the evidence


2. the town mayor had the power to order the clearance of market premises and the removal of the
complainants' stall because the municipality had enacted municipal ordinances pursuant to which the
market stall was a nuisance per se

3. violation of the very directive of the petitioner Mayor which gave the stall owners seventy two (72)
hours to vacate the market premise

DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:


(1) Trial court: conviction. Roy Padilla, Filomeno Galdonez, Ismael Gonzalgo and Jose Parley Bedenia
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of grave coercion, and hereby imposes upon them to suffer an
imprisonment of FIVE (5) months and One (1) day; to pay a fine of P500.00 each; to pay actual and
compensatory damages in the amount of P10,000.00; moral damages in the amount of P30,000.00; and
another P10,000.00 for exemplary damages, jointly and severally, and all the accessory penalties provided
for by law; and to pay the proportionate costs of this proceedings.
(2) Court of Appeals: acquittal but ordered them to pay solidarily the amount of 9,000. The petitioners
were acquitted because these acts were denominated coercion when they properly constituted some
petitioners were acquitted because these acts were denominated coercion when they properly constituted
some other offense such as threat or malicious mischief

Roy Padilla et al for petition for review on certiorari - grounds

1. where the civil liability which is included in the criminal action is that arising from and as a consequence
of the criminal act, and the defendant was acquitted in the criminal case, (no civil liability arising from the
criminal case), no civil liability arising from the criminal charge could be imposed upon him
2. liability of the defendant for the return of the amount received by him may not be enforced in the
criminal case but must be raised in a separate civil action for the recovery of the said amount

ISSUE: whether or not the respondent court committed a reversible error in requiring the petitioners to
pay civil indemnity to the complainants after acquitting them from the criminal charge.
RULING:
No, the Court of Appeals is correct.
1. A separate civil action is not required. To require a separate civil action simply because the accused was
acquitted would mean needless clogging of court dockets and unnecessary duplication of litigation with all
its attendant loss of time, effort, and money on the part of all concerned.
Section 1 of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court states the fundamental proposition that when a criminal action
is instituted, the civil action for recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged is impliedly
instituted with it. The exceptions are when the offended party expressly waives the civil action or reserves
his right to institute it separately.
Civil liability which is also extinguished upon acquittal of the accused is the civil liability arising from the
act as a crime.
The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the liability of the accused for damages only when it includes a
declaration that the facts from which the civil might arise did not exist. Thus, the civil liability is not
extinguished by acquittal where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt.
Article 2177 of the Civil Code provides:
Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from the
civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice
for the same act or omission of the defendant. That the same punishable act or omission can create two
kinds of civil liabilities against the accused and, where provided by law, his employer. 'There is the civil
liability arising from the act as a crime and the liability arising from the same act as a quasi-delict. Either
one of these two types of civil liability may be enforced against the accused, However, the offended party
cannot recover damages under both types of liability.
Article 29 of the Civil Code, earlier cited, that "when the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on
the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the
same act or omission may be instituted."
What Article 29 merely emphasizes that a civil action for damages is not precluded by an acquittal for the
same criminal act or omission.

The Civil Code provision does not state that the remedy can be availed of only in a separate civil action. A
separate civil case may be filed but there is no statement that such separate filing is the only and exclusive
permissible mode of recovering damages. Considering moreover the delays suffered by the case in the trial,
appellate, and review stages, it would be unjust to the complainants in this case to require at this time a
separate civil action to be filed.

Dulay vs. Court of Appeals, 243 SCRA 220

By LLBe:LawLifeBuzzEtcetera

Facts: On December 7, 1988, an altercation between Benigno Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon Dulay
occurred at the “Big Bang Sa Alabang,” Alabang Village, Muntinlupa as a result of which Benigno Torzuela,
the security guard on duty at the said carnival, shot and killed Atty. Napoleon Dulay. Petitioner Maria
Benita A. Dulay, widow of the deceased Napoleon Dulay, in her own behalf and in behalf of her minor
children, filed an action for damages against Benigno Torzuela and private respondents Safeguard and/or
Superguard, alleged employers of defendant Torzuela. Respondent Superguard filed a Motion to Dismiss
on the ground that the complaint does not state a valid cause of action. Superguard claimed that Torzuela’s
act of shooting Dulay was beyond the scope of his duties, and that since the alleged act of shooting was
committed with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil liability therefor is governed by Article 100 of the Revised
Penal Code. Superguard further alleged that a complaint for damages based on negligence under Article
2176 of the New Civil Code, such as the one filed by petitioners, cannot lie, since the civil liability under
Article 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. In addition, the
respondent argued that petitioners’ filing of the complaint is premature considering that the conviction of
Torzuela in a criminal case is a condition sine qua non for the employer’s subsidiary liability. Respondent
Safeguard also filed a motion praying that it be excluded as defendant on the ground that defendant
Torzuela is not one of its employees. Petitioners opposed both motions, stating that their cause of action
against the private respondents is based on their liability under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code.
Respondent judge declared that the complaint was one for damages founded on crimes punishable under
Articles 100 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code as distinguished from those arising from, quasi-delict.

Issues:

(1) Whether or not Torzuela’ s act of shooting Napoleon Dulay constitutes a quasi-delict actionable
under Article 2176 of the New Civil Code;

(2) Whether or not Article 33 of the New Civil Code applies only to injuries intentionally committed; and

(3) Whether or not the liability or respondents is subsidiary under the Revised Penal Code.

Held:

(1) Yes. Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides that “whoever by act or omission causes damage to
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if
there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties is called a quasi-delict and is governed by
the provisions of this Chapter.” Contrary to the theory of private respondents, there is no justification for
limiting the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil Code to acts or omissions resulting from negligence.
Well-entrenched is the doctrine that article 2176 covers not only acts committed with negligence, but also
acts which are voluntary and intentional.

(2) No. The term “physical injuries” in Article 33 has already been construed to include bodily injuries
causing death. It is not the crime of physical injuries defined in the Revised Penal Code. It includes not
only physical injuries but also consummated, frustrated, and attempted homicide. Although in the Marcia
case, it was held that no independent civil action may be filed under Article 33 where the crime is the result
of criminal negligence, it must be noted, however, that Torzuela, the accused in the case at bar, is charged
with homicide, not with reckless imprudence, whereas the defendant in Marcia was charged with reckless
imprudence. Therefore, in this case, a civil action based on Article 33 lies.

(3) No. Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, when an injury is caused by the negligence of the
employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or
employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after selection or
both. The liability of the employer under Article 2180 is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned upon
prior recourse against the negligent employee and a prior showing of the insolvency of such employee.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private respondents to prove that they exercised the diligence of a
good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employee.

PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as Ascendants of AgapitoElcano,


deceased,plaintiffs-appellants,

vs.
REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and Natural Guardian of said minor,
defendants-appellees.

G.R. No. L-24803 [May 26, 1977]

Facts of the Case:

Respondent Reginald Hill killed the son of the plaintiffs named Agapito Elcano. A criminal complaint was
instituted against him but he was acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal, because of lack of
intent to kill, couple with mistake. Subsequently, plaintiffs filed a complaint for recovery of damages
against defendant Reginald Hill, a minor, married at the time of the occurrence, and his father, the
defendant Marvin Hill, with who he was living and getting subsistence, for the same killing. A motion to
dismiss was filed by the defendants. The Court of First Instance of Quezon City denied the motion.
Nevertheless, the civil case was finally dismissed upon motion for reconsideration.

Issues:

1. WON the present civil action for damages is barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case.

2. WON Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code may be applied against Atty. Hill,
notwithstanding the undisputed fact that at the time of the occurrence complained of. Reginald, though a
minor, living with and getting subsistence from his father, was already legally married.

Ruling of the Court:

1. No, the present civil action for damages is not barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case.
Firstly, there is a distinction as regards the proof required in a criminal case and a civil case. To find the
accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case,
preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay in damages. Furthermore, a civil case
for damages on the basis of quasi-delict does is independently instituted from a criminal act. As such the
acquittal of Reginald Hill in the criminal case has not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, hence that
acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against him.

2. Yes, the above mentioned provision may still be applied against Atty Marvin Hill. Although parental
authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child, emancipation by marriage is not absolute, i.e. he
can sue and be sued in court only with the assistance of his father, mother or guardian. As in the present
case, killing someone else contemplated judicial litigation, thus, making Article 2180 apply to Atty.
Hill.However, inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of age, as a matter of equity, the liability of
Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to that of his son.

Manila Railroad vs La Compania Transatlantica

Facts:

Two locomotive boilers owned by The Manila Railroad Company arrived at Manila via the Steamship
Alicante owned by Compañia Trasatlantica de Barcelona. The equipment of the ship for discharging heavy
cargo was not sufficiently strong to handle these boilers, so the Steamship Company had to procure
assistance from The Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company (hereafter called the Atlantic Company). The
service to be performed by the Atlantic Company consisted in bringing its floating crane alongside
the Alicante, lifting the boilers out of the ship's hold, and transferring them to a barge which would be
placed ready to receive them.

While the boiler was being hoisted, it was not properly done as the rivet near the head of the boiler was
caught under the edge of the hatch. The weight on the crane was thus increased by a strain estimated at
fifteen tons with the result that the cable of the sling parted and the boiler fell to the bottom of the
ship's hold. (natagak ang boiler unya nakaduha pa jud xa natagak)
The boiler was badly damaged that it had to be reshipped to England where it was rebuilt, and
afterwards was returned to Manila. The Railroad Company's damage by reason of the cost of repairs,
expenses, and loss of the use of the boiler proved to be P22,343.29; and as to the amount of the damage
so resulting there is practically no dispute. To recover these damages the present action was instituted by
the Railroad Company against the Steamship Company who in turn caused the Atlantic Company to be
brought in as a codefendant, and insisted that whatever liability existed should be fixed upon the Atlantic
Company as an independent contractor who had undertaken to discharge the boilers and had become
responsible for such damage as had been done.

The judge of the Court of First Instance gave judgment in favor of the plaintiff against the Atlantic
Company, but absolved the Steamship Company from the complaint.

Issue:

(1) Is the Steamship Company liable to the plaintiff by reason of having delivered the boiler in question in
a damaged condition? (2) Is the Atlantic Company liable to be made to respond to the steamship company
for the amount the latter may be required to pay to the plaintiff for the damage done ? (3) Is the Atlantic
Company directly liable to the plaintiff, as the trial court held?

Ruling:

The accident is to be attributed to the failure of Leyden (foreman) to exercise the degree of care which an
ordinarily competent and prudent person would have exhibited under the circumstances which then
confronted him. This conclusion of fact cannot be refuted; and, indeed, no attempt is here made by the
appellant to reverse this finding of the trial court.

It will be observed that a contractual relation existed between the Railroad Company and the Steamship
Company; and the duties of the latter with respect to the carrying and delivery of the boilers are to be
discovered by considering the terms and legal effect of that contract. A contractual relation also existed
between the Steamship Company and the Atlantic Company; and the duties owing by the latter to the
former with respect to the lifting and the transferring of the boilers are likewise to be discovered by
considering the terms and legal effect of the contract between these parties. On the other hand, no
contractual relation existed directly between the Railroad Company and the Atlantic Company.

Under the contract for transportation from England to Manila, the Steamship Company is liable to the
plaintiff for the injury done to the boiler while it was being discharged from the ship under articles 1103
and 1104 of the Civil Code, for the consequences of the omission of the care necessary to the proper
performance of its obligation. The contract to transport and deliver at the port of Manila a locomotive
boiler, which was received by it in proper condition, is not complied with by delivery at the port of
destination of a mass of iron the utility of which had been destroyed.

The Steamship Company cannot escape liability by reason of the fact that it employed a competent
independent contractor to discharge the boilers..

Defenses of Atlantic
Atlantic contends that by the terms of the engagement in accordance with which the Atlantic Company
agreed to render the service, all risk incident to the discharge of the boilers was assumed by the Steamship
Company; and secondly, that the Atlantic Company should be absolved under the last paragraph of article
1903 of the Civil Code, inasmuch as it had used due care in the selection of the employee whose negligent
act caused the damage in question.

At the hearing, the president of the Atlantic company said that the agreement was that their company
would not assume responsibility for any damage.

The Atlantic Company offered in evidence a number of letters which had been written by it at different
times, extending over a period of years, in response to inquiries made by other firms and persons in Manila
concerning the terms upon which the Atlantic Company would make heavy lifts. The company recognized
its duty to exercise due supervisory care; and the exemption from liability, whatever may have been its
precise words, had reference to disasters which might result from some inherent hidden defect in the lifting
apparatus or other unforeseen occurrence not directly attributable to negligence of the company in the
lifting operations. Neither party could have supposed for a moment that it was intended to absolve the
Atlantic Company from its duty to use due care in the work.

The court said that if the exemption should be understood in the sense which counsel for the Atlantic
Company now insists it should bear, that is, as an absolute exemption from all responsibility for negligence,
it is evident that the agreement was a most inequitable and unfair one, and hence it is one that the
Steamship Company can not be lightly assumed to have made. Understood in that sense it is the equivalent
of licensing the Atlantic Company to perform its tasks in any manner and fashion that it might please, and
to hold it harmless from the consequences.

There may have been in the minds of the officials of the Atlantic Company an idea that the promise to use
due care in the lifting operations was not accompanied by a legal obligation, such promise being intended
merely for its moral effect as an assurance to the steamship company that the latter might rely upon the
competence and diligence of the employees of the Atlantic Company to accomplish the work in a proper
way. The contract can not be permitted to operate in this one-sided manner. The two features of the
engagement, namely, the promise to use due care and the exemption from liability for damage should be so
construed as to give some legal effect to both. The result is, as already indicated, that the Atlantic Company
was bound by its undertaking to use due care and that the exemption was intended to cover accidents due
to hidden defects in the apparatus or other unforeseeable occurrences not having their origin in the
immediate personal negligence of the party in charge of the operations.

W/N Atlantic should be absolved

We now proceed to consider the contention that the Atlantic Company should be absolved from liability
to the Steamship Company under the last paragraph of article 1903 of the Civil Code, which declares that
the liability there referred to shall cease when the persons mentioned therein prove that they employed all
the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage. Even when Atlantic used proper care in the
selection of Leyden, the obligation of the Atlantic Company was created by contract, and article
1903 is not applicable to negligence arising in the course of the performance of a contractual
obligation. Article 1903 is exclusively concerned with cases where the negligence arises in the
absence of agreement.

In discussing the liability of the Steamship Company to the plaintiff Railroad Company we have already
shown that a party is bound to the full performance of his contractual engagements under articles
1101 et seq. of the Civil Code, and other special provisions of the Code relative to contractual obligations;
and if he falls short of complete performance by reason of his own negligence or that of any person to
whom he may commit the work, he is liable for the damages resulting therefrom.. It is desirable, however,
in this connection, to bring out somewhat more fully the distinction between negligence in the
performance of a contractual obligation (culpa contractual) and negligence considered as an independent
source of obligation between parties not previously bound (culpa aquiliana).

Justice Tracey, the author of the opinion from which we have quoted, proceeds to observe that Manresa, in
commenting on articles 1102 and 1104, has described these two species of negligence as contractual and
extra-contractual, the latter being the culpa aquiliana of the Roman law. "This terminology is unreservedly
accepted by Sanchez Roman (Derecho Civil, fourth section, chapter XI, article II, No. 12), and the principle
stated is supported by decisions of the supreme court of Spain, among them those of November 20, 1896
(80 Jurisprudencia Civil, No. 151), and June 27, 1894 (75 Jurisprudencia Civil, No. 182.)"

The principle that negligence in the performance of a contract is not governed by article 1903 of the Civil
Code but rather by article 1104 of the same Code was directly applied by this court in the case of Baer
Senior & Co.'s Successors vs. Compañia Maritima (6 Phil. Rep., 215); and the same idea has been impliedly
if not expressly recognized in other cases (N. T. Hashim & Co. vs. Rocha & Co., 18 Phil. Rep., 315; Tan
Chiong Sian vs. Inchausti & Co., 22 Phil. Rep., 152).

What has been said suffices in our opinion to demonstrate that the Atlantic Company is liable to the
Steamship Company for the damages brought upon the latter by the failure of the Atlantic
Company to use due care in discharging the boiler, regardless of the fact that the damage was
caused by the negligence of an employee who was qualified for the work and who had been
chosen by the Atlantic Company with due care.

Can the Atlantic Company be held directly liable to the Railroad Company?
Having regard then to the bare fact that the Atlantic Company undertook to remove the boiler from the
ship's hold and for this purpose took the property into its power and control, there arose a duty to the
owner to use due care in the performance of that service and to avoid damaging the property in the course
of such operation. This duty was obviously in existence before the negligent act was done which resulted in
damage, and said negligent act may, if we still ignore the existence of the express contract, be considered as
an act done in violation of this duty.

The duty thus to use due care is an implied obligation, of a quasi contractual nature, since it is
created by implication of law in the absence of express agreement. The conception of liability with
which we are here confronted is somewhat similar to that which is revealed in the case of the depositary, or
commodatary, whose legal duty with respect to the property committed to their care is defined by law even
in the absence of express contract; and it can not be doubted that a person who takes possession of the
property of another for the purpose of moving or conveying it from one place to another, or for the
purpose of performing any other service in connection therewith (locatio operis faciendi), owes to the owner a
positive duty to refrain from damaging it, to the same extent as if an agreement for the performance of
such service had been expressly made with the owner. The obligation here is really a species of contract le,
and it has its source and explanation in the vital fact that the active party has taken upon himself to do
something with or to the property and has taken it into his power and control for the purpose of
performing such service. (Compare art. 1889, Civil Code.)

In the passage which we have already quoted from the decision in the Rakes case this Court recognized the
fact that the violation of a quasi contractual duty is subject to articles 1101, 1103, and 1104 of the Civil
Code and not within the purview of article 1903. Manresa also, in the paragraph reproduced above, is of
the opinion that negligence, considered as a substantive and independent source of liability, does not
include cases where the parties are previously bound by any other obligation. Again, it is instructive in this
connection to refer to the contents of article 1103 of the Civil Code, where it is declared that the liability
proceeding from negligence is demandable in the fulfillment of all kinds of obligations. These words
evidently comprehend both forms of positive obligations, whether arising from express contract or from
implied contract (quasi contract).

In this connection it is instructive to recall the celebrated case of Coggs vs. Bernard (2 Ld. Raym, 909),
decided in the court of the King's Bench of England in the year 1703. The action was brought by the owner
of certain casks of brandy to recover damages from a person who had undertaken to transport them from
one place to another. It was alleged that in so doing the defendant so negligently and improvidently put
them down that one of the casks was staved and the brandy lost. The complaint did not allege that the
defendant was a common carrier or that he was to be paid for his services. It was therefore considered that
the complaint did not state facts sufficient to support an action for breach of any express contract. This
made it necessary for the court to go back to fundamental principles and to place liability on the ground of
a violation of the legal duty incident to the mere fact of carriage. Said Powell, J.: "An action indeed will not
lie for not doing the thing, for want of a sufficient consideration; but yet if the bailee will take the goods
into his custody, he shall be answerable for them; for the taking of the goods into his custody is his own
act." So Gould, J.: " . . . any man that undertakes to carry goods is liable to an action, be he a common
carrier or whatever he is, if through his neglect they are lost or come to any damage: . . .." Behind these
expressions was an unbroken line of ancient English precedents holding persons liable for damage
inflicted by reason of a misfeasance in carrying out an undertaking. The principle determined by the court
in the case cited is expressed in the syllabus in these words: "If a man undertakes to carry goods safely and
securely, he is responsible for any damage they may sustain in the carriage through his neglect, though he
was not a common carrier and was to have nothing for the carriage." Though not stated in so many words,
this decision recognizes that from the mere fact that a person takes the property of another into his
possession and control there arises an obligation in the nature of an assumpsit that he will use due care with
respect thereto. This must be considered a principle of universal jurisprudence, for it is consonant with
justice and common sense and as we have already seen harmonizes with the doctrine above deduced from
the provisions of the Civil Code.

The conclusion must therefore be that if there had been no contract of any sort between the Atlantic
Company and the Steamship Company, an action could have been maintained by the Railroad Company,
as owner, against the Atlantic Company to recover the damages sustained by the former. Such damages
would have been demandable under article 1103 of the Civil Code and the action would not have been
subject to the qualification expressed in the last paragraph of article 1903.

The circumstance that a contract was made between the Atlantic Company and the Steamship Company
introduces, however, an important, and in our opinion, controlling factor into this branch of the case. It
cannot be denied that the Steamship Company had possession of this boiler in the capacity of carrier and
that, as such, it was authorized to make a contract with the Atlantic Company to discharge the same from
the ship. Indeed, it appears in evidence that even before the contract of affreightment was made the
Railroad Company was informed that it would be necessary for the Steamship Company to procure the
services of some contractor in the port of Manila to effect the discharge, as the ship's tackle was inadequate
to handle heavy cargo. It is therefore to be assumed that the Railroad Company had in fact assented to the
employment of a contractor to perform this service.

Now, it cannot be admitted that a person who contracts to do a service like that rendered by the Atlantic
Company in this case incurs a double responsibility upon entering upon performance, namely, a
responsibility to the party with whom he contracted, and another entirely different responsibility to the
owner, based on an implied contract. The two liabilities can not in our opinion coexist. It is a general rule
that an implied contract never arises where an express contract has been made.

If double responsibility existed in such a case as this, it would result that a person who had limited his
liability by express stipulation might find himself liable to the owner without regard to the limitation which
he had seen fit to impose by contract. There appears to be no possibility of reconciling the conflict that
would be developed in attempting to give effect to those inconsistent liabilities. The contract which was in
fact made, in our opinion, determines not only the character and extent of the liability of the Atlantic
Company but also the person or entity by whom the obligation is exigible. It is of course quite clear that if
the Atlantic Company had refused to carry out its agreement to discharge the cargo, the plaintiff could not
have enforced specific performance and could not have recovered damages for non-performance. (Art.
1257, Civil Code; Donaldson, Sim & Co. vs. Smith, Bell & Co., 2 Phil. Rep., 766; Uy Tam and Uy Yet vs.
Leonard, 30 Phil. Rep., 471.) In view of the preceding discussion it is equally obvious that, for lack of
privity with the contract, the Railroad Company can have no right of action to recover damages from the
Atlantic Company for the wrongful act which constituted the violation of said contract. The rights of the
plaintiff can only be made effective through the Compañia Trasatlantica de Barcelona with whom the contract
of affreightment was made.

The judgment entered in the Court of First Instance must, therefore, be reversed not only with respect to
the judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff directly against the Atlantic Company but also with respect to
the absolution of the Steamship Company and the further failure of the court to enter judgment in favor of
the latter against the Atlantic Company. The Compañia Trasatlantica de Barcelona should be and is hereby
adjudged to pay to the Manila Railroad Company the sum of twenty two thousand three hundred forty
three pesos and twenty nine centavos (P22,343.29), with interest from May 11, 1914, until paid; and when
this judgment is satisfied, the Compañia Trasatlantica de Barcelona is declared to be entitled to recover the
same amount from the Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company, against whom judgment is to this end hereby
rendered in favor of the Compañia Trasatlantica de Barcelona. No express adjudication of costs of either
instance will be made. So ordered.
||| (Manila Railroad Co. v. La Compa, G.R. No. 11318, [October 26, 1918], 38 PHIL 875-901)

Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Company

March 15, 2016

No. 12191, October 14, 1918

FISHER, J.: (Negligence by employee attributable to employer even in contractual breach)

FACTS

Jose Cangco was an employee of Manila Railroad Company as clerk. He lived in San Mateo which is
located upon the line of the defendant railroad company. He used to travel by trade to the office located in
Manila for free. On January 21, 1915, on his way home by rail and when the train drew up to the station in
San Mateo, he rose from his seat, making his exit through the door. When he stepped off from the train,
one or both of his feet came in contact with a sack of watermelons causing him to slip off from under him
and he fell violently on the platform. He rolled and was drawn under the moving car. He was badly
crushed and lacerated. He was hospitalized which resulted to amputation of his hand. He filed the civil suit
for damages against defendant in CFI of Manila founding his action upon the negligence of the employees
of defendant in placing the watermelons upon the platform and in leaving them so placed as to be a
menace to the security of passengers alighting from the train. The trial court after having found negligence
on the part of defendant, adjudged saying that plaintiff failed to use due caution in alighting from the coach
and was therefore precluded from recovering, hence this appeal.

ISSUE

Is the negligence of the employees attributable to their employer whether the negligence is based on
contractual obligation or on torts?

HELD

YES. It cannot be doubted that the employees of defendant were guilty of negligence in piling these sacks
on the platform in the manner stated. It necessarily follows that the defendant company is liable for the
damage thereby occasioned unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff’s own contributory negligence. It is to
note that the foundation of the legal liability is the contract of carriage. However Art. 1903 relates only to
culpa aquiliana and not to culpa contractual, as the Court cleared on the case of Rakes v. Atlantic Gulf. It is
not accurate to say that proof of diligence and care in the selection and control of the servant relieves the
master from liability fro the latter’s act. The fundamental distinction between obligation of this character
and those which arise from contract, rest upon the fact that in cases of non-contractual obligations it is the
wrongful or negligent act or omission itself which creates the vinculum juris, whereas in contractual
relations the vinculum exists independently of the breach of the voluntary duty assumed by the parties
when entering into the contractual relation. When the source of obligation upon which plaintiff’s cause of
action depends is a negligent act or omission, the burden of proof rest upon the plaintiff to prove
negligence. On the other hand, in contractual undertaking, proof of the contract and of its
nonperformance is suffient prima facie to warrant recovery. The negligence of employee cannot be
invoked to relieve the employer from liability as it will make juridical persons completely immune from
damages arising from breach of their contracts. Defendant was therefore liable for the injury suffered by
plaintiff, whether the breach of the duty were to be regarded as constituting culpa aquiliana or contractual.
As Manresa discussed, whether negligence occurs as an incident in the course of the performance of a
contractual undertaking or is itself the source of an extra-contractual obligation, its essential characteristics
are identical. There is always an act or omission productive of damage due to carelessness or inattention on
the part of the defendant. The contract of defendant to transport plaintiff carried with it, by implication,
the duty to carry him in safety and to provide safe means of entering and leaving its trains. Contributory
negligence on the part of petitioner as invoked by defendant is untenable. In determining the question of
contributory negligence in performing such act- that is to say, whether the passenger acted prudently or
recklessly- age, sex, and physical condition of the passenger are circumstances necessarily affecting the
safety of the passenger, and should be considered. It is to be noted that the place was perfectly familiar to
plaintiff as it was his daily routine. Our conclusion is there is slightly underway characterized by
imprudence and therefore was not guilty of contributory negligence. The decision of the trial court is
REVERSED.

Singson vs BPI

Singson vs BPI

23 SCRA 1117

FACTS: Singson, was one of the defendants in a civil case, in which judgment had been rendered
sentencing him and his co-defendants therein Lobregat and Villa-Abrille & Co., to pay a sum of money to
the plaintiff therein. Said judgment became final and executory as only against Ville-Abrille for its failure to
file an appeal. A writ of garnishment was subsequently served upon BPI — in which the Singsons had a
current account — insofar as Villa-Abrille’s credits against the Bank were concerned.

Upon receipt of the said Writ of Garnishment, a clerk of the bank, upon reading the name of the Singson
in the title of the Writ of Garnishment as a party defendants, without further reading the body and
informing himself that said garnishment was merely intended for the deposits of defendant Villa-Abrille &
Co., et al, prepared a letter informing Singson of the garnishment of his deposits by the plaintiff in that
case.

Subsequently, two checks issued by the plaintiff Julian C. Singson, one in favor of B. M. Glass Service and
another in favor of the Lega Corporation, were dishonored by the bank. B. M. Glass Service then wrote to
Singson that the check was not honored by BPI because his account therein had already been garnished
and that they are now constrained to close his credit account with them.

Singson wrote to BPI, claiming that his name was not included in the Writ of Execution and Notice of
Garnishment, which was served upon the bank. The defendants lost no time to rectify the mistake that
had been inadvertently committed.

Thus this action for damages.

ISSUE: WON the existence of a contract between the parties bars a plaintiff’s claim for damages based on
torts?

HELD: NO. 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 therefore. Indeed, this view has been, in
effect, reiterated in a comparatively recent case. Thus, in Air France vs. Carrascoso, 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”.

In view, however, of the facts obtaining in the case at bar, and considering, particularly, the circumstance,
that the wrong done to the plaintiff was remedied as soon as the President of the bank realized the mistake
he and his subordinate employee had committed, the Court finds that an award of nominal damages — the
amount of which need not be proven — in the sum of P1,000, in addition to attorney’s fees in the sum of
P500, would suffice to vindicate plaintiff’s rights.

Tort distinguished from breach of contract

JUAN J. SYQUIA, CORAZON C. SYQUIA, CARLOTA C. SYQUIA, CARLOS C. SYQUIA and


ANTHONY C. SYQUIA vs.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, and THE MANILA MEMORIAL PARK CEMETERY,
INC.

G.R. No. 98695, January 27, 1993, J. Campos, Jr.


FACTS:

Juan Syquia, father of the deceased Vicente Syquia, entered in a contract of Deed of Sale and Interment

Order with Manila Memorial Park Cemetery Inc (MMPCI). In the contract, there contained a provision
which stated

that the coffin would be placed in a sealed concrete vault to protect the remains of the deceased from the
elements.

During the preparation for the transfer of Vicente’s remains in the newly bought lot in Manila Memorial, it
was

discovered that there was a hole in the concrete vault which caused total flooding inside, damaged the
coffin as

well as the body of the deceased and covered the same with filth.

Syquia filed a complaint for recovery of damages arising from breach of contract and/or quasi-delict

against the MMPCI for failure to deliver a defect-free concrete vault to protect the remains of the deceased.
In its

defense, MMPCI claimed that the boring of the hole was necessary in order to prevent the vault from
floating when

water fills the grave. The trial court dismissed the complaint holding that there was no quasi-delict because
the

defendant is not guilty of any fault or negligence and because there was a pre-existing contract between the

parties. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the private respondent is guilty of tort

HELD:

Denied. Decision of the CA affirmed.

We are more inclined to answer the foregoing questions in the negative. There is not enough ground, both

in fact and in law, to justify a reversal of the decision of the respondent Court and to uphold the pleas of
the

petitioners. Although a pre-existing contractual relation between the parties does not preclude the
existence of a

culpa aquiliana, We find no reason to disregard the respondent’s Court finding that there was no
negligence.

“Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is

obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between

the parties, is called a quasi-delict x x x.”

In this case, it has been established that the Syquias and the Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc., entered
into a contract entitled “Deed of Sale and Certificate of Perpetual Care” on August 27, 1969. That
agreement

governed the relations of the parties and defined their respective rights and obligations. Hence, had there
been

actual negligence on the part of the Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc., it would be held liable not for a
quasidelict or culpa aquiliana, but for culpa contractual as provided by Article 1170 of the Civil Code, to
wit: “Those who

in the performance of their obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any
manner

contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages.”

Air France vs. Carrascoso, G.R. No. L-21438, September 28, 1966

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

FACTS:

Air France, through Philippine Airlines (PAL), issued Carrascoso a first-class round trip ticket from Manila
to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok, he travelled in first class but in Bangkok, PAL manager forced him to
vacate his seat because there was a white man who the manager alleged had a “better right” to the seat.
Carrascoso refused to vacate his seat, but was later convinced by some Filipino passengers to give up his
seat.

Carrascoso filed a case for damages against Air France. The Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila
ordered Air France to pay Carrascoso moral and exemplary damages as well as the difference in fare
between first class and tourist class for the portion of the trip.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals slightly reduced the refund of the ticket, but otherwise affirmed the CFI
decision.

Petitioner Air France now claims that the first class ticket did not represent the true and complete intent
and agreement of the parties. It asserts that Carrascoso knew that he did not have confirmed reservations
for first class though he had tourist class protection. Thus, the ticket was no guarantee that he would have
a first class seat since such would depend on the availability of first class seats.

ISSUES:

Was Carrascoso was entitled to the first class seat? – YES.

Can he claim moral damages? – YES.

RATIO:

There is a contract of carriage between Air France and Carrascoso.

He is entitled to first-class seat by the mere fact that he paid for and was issued a first-class ticket. Also, if,
as petitioner claims, a first-class-ticket holder is not entitled to a first-class seat, stability in the relations
between passenger and air carrier as well as the passenger’s security would be adversely affected. Petitioner
also failed to establish whether or not a prior reservation was made by the white man, so he had no claim
to the seat.

Carrascoso can claim moral damages.

Air France argues that Carrascoso’s action is based on breach of contract. Thus, to authorize an award for
moral damages, there must be an averment of fraud or bad faith as per Art. 2220.
The Court established that:

There was a contract

The contract was breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok

There was bad faith when petitioner’s employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his first class seat, causing
him mental anguish, humiliation and wounded feelings resulting in moral damages.

Though there was no specific claim of bad faith in the complaint, inference of bad faith may be drawn
from the facts of the case. Also, during the trial, evidence of bad faith was presented without objection
from the petitioner. Thus, the deficiency in the complaint was cured by evidence.

Petitioner’s contract with Carrascoso is attended with public duty. Though based on breach of contract,
the stress of Carrascoso’s action is put on wrongful expulsion. Moreover, an act that breaks a contract is a
tort. Thus, being a violation of public duty, it is a quasi-delict.

The wrongful expulsion is independent of the breach. Two sources of obligations are implicated in this
case— contract and quasi-delict. Petitioner is still be liable for moral damages.

LRT vs. NAVIDAD


G.R. No. 145804. February 6, 2003

FACTS:
Navidad was drunk when he entered the boarding platform of the LRT. He got into an altercation with the
SG Escartin. They had a fistfight and Navidad fell onto the tracks and was killed when a train came and
ran over him.

The Heirs of Navidad filed a complaint for damages against Escartin, the train driver, (Roman) the LRTA,
the Metro Transit Organization and Prudent Security Agency (Prudent). The trial court found Prudent and
Escartin jointly and severally liable for damages to the heirs. The CA exonerated Prudent and instead held
the LRTA and the train driver Romero jointly and severally liable as well as removing the award for
compensatory damages and replacing it with nominal damages.

The reasoning of the CA was that a contract of carriage already existed between Navidad and LRTA (by
virtue of his havA ing purchased train tickets and the liability was caused by the mere fact of Navidad's
death after being hit by the train being managed by the LRTA and operated by Roman. The CA also
blamed LRTA for not having presented expert evidence showing that the emergency brakes could not
have stopped the train on time.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or not LRTA and/or Roman is liable for the death.
(2) Whether or not Escartin and/or Prudent are liable.
(3) Whether or not nominal damages may coexist with compensatory damages.

HELD:
(1) Yes. The foundation of LRTA's liability is the contract of carriage and its obligation to indemnify the
victim arising from the breach of that contract by reason of its failure to exercise the high diligence
required of a common carrier.
(2) Fault was not established. Liability will be based on Tort under Art. 2176 of the New Civil Code.
(3) No. It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with compensatory damages.

RATIO:

Liability of LRTA – Read Arts. 1755,1756, 1759 and 1763 of the New Civil Code

A common carrier is required by these above statutory provisions to use utmost diligence in carrying
passengers with due regard for all circumstances. This obligation exists not only during the course of the
trip but for so long as the passengers are within its premises where they ought to be in pursuance to then
contract of carriage.

Art. 1763 renders a common carrier liable for death of or injury to passengers (a)
through the negligence or wilful acts of its employees or (b) on account of willful acts or
negligence of other passengers or of strangers if the common carrier’s employees through
theexercise of due diligence could have prevented or stopped the act or omission. In case of
such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to have been at fault or been
negligent, and by simple proof of injury, the passenger is relieved of the duty to
still establish the fault or negligence of the carrier or of its employees and the
burden shifts upon the carrier to prove that the injury is due to an unforeseen
event or to force majeure.

Liability of Security Agency – If Prudent is to be held liable, it would be for a tort under Art. 2176 in
conjunction with Art. 2180. Once the fault of the employee Escartin is established, the employer, Prudent,
would be held liable on the presumption that it did not exercise the diligence of a good father of the family
in the selection and supervision of its employees.

Relationship between contractual and non-contractual breach – How then must the liability of the
common carrier, on the one hand, and an independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? It
would be solidary. A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the same act or omission
causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 of the Civil
Code can well apply. In fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is that which
breaches the contract. Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a breach of ontract would have
itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no contract existed between the parties, the
contract can be said to have been breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply.

Nominal Damages - The award of nominal damages in addition to actual damages is untenable. Nominal
damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by
the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for
any loss suffered by him. It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with compensatory
damages. The award was deleted.