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Marikina Auto Line transport Corp. vs.

People

FACTS:
Erlinda V. Valdellon is the owner of a two-door commercial apartment
located at No. 31 Kamias Road, Quezon City. The Marikina Auto Line
Transport Corporation (MALTC) is the owner-operator of a passenger bus with
Plate Number NCV-849. Suelto, its employee, was assigned as the regular
driver of the bus.

At around 2:00 p.m. on October 3, 1992, Suelto was driving the


aforementioned passenger bus along Kamias Road, Kamuning, Quezon City,
going towards Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). The bus suddenly
swerved to the right and struck the terrace of the commercial apartment
owned by Valdellon located along Kamuning Road. Valdellon demanded
payment of P148,440.00 to cover the cost of the damage to the terrace. The
bus company and Suelto offered a P30,000.00 settlement which Valdellon
refused.

Valdellon filed a criminal complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in


damage to property against Suelto. Valdellon also filed a separate civil
complaint against Suelto and the bus company for damages. Suelto
maintained that, in an emergency case, he was not, in law, negligent. Both
the trial court and the CA ruled in against herein petitioners.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the sudden emergency rule applies in the case at bar.

HELD:
No.

xxx

It was the burden of petitioners herein to prove petitioner Suelto’s defense


that he acted on an emergency, that is, he had to swerve the bus to the right
to avoid colliding with a passenger jeep coming from EDSA that had
overtaken another vehicle and intruded into the lane of the bus. The sudden
emergency rule was enunciated by this Court in Gan v. Court of Appeals,23
thus:

[O]ne who suddenly finds himself in a place of danger, and is required to act
without time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the
impending danger, is not guilty of negligence if he fails to adopt what
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a better
method unless the emergency in which he finds himself is brought about by
his own negligence.
Under Section 37 of Republic Act No. 4136, as amended, otherwise known as
the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, motorists are mandated to drive
and operate vehicles on the right side of the road or highway:

SEC. 37. Driving on right side of highway. – Unless a different course of action
is required in the interest of the safety and the security of life, person or
property, or because of unreasonable difficulty of operation in compliance
herewith, every person operating a motor vehicle or an animal-drawn vehicle
on a highway shall pass to the right when meeting persons or vehicles
coming toward him, and to the left when overtaking persons or vehicles
going the same direction, and when turning to the left in going from one
highway to another, every vehicle shall be conducted to the right of the
center of the intersection of the highway.

Section 35 of the law provides, thus:

Sec. 35. Restriction as to speed.—(a) Any person driving a motor vehicle on a


highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed, not greater nor
less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard for the traffic, the
width of the highway, and of any other condition then and there existing;
and no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway at such a speed
as to endanger the life, limb and property of any person, nor at a speed
greater than will permit him to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured
clear distance ahead.

In relation thereto, Article 2185 of the New Civil Code provides that "unless
there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor
vehicle has been negligent, if at the time of mishap, he was violating any
traffic regulation." By his own admission, petitioner Suelto violated the Land
Transportation and Traffic Code when he suddenly swerved the bus to the
right, thereby causing damage to the property of private respondent.

However, the trial court correctly rejected petitioner Suelto’s defense, in light
of his contradictory testimony vis-à-vis his Counter-Affidavit submitted during
the preliminary investigation:

It is clear from the photographs submitted by the prosecution (Exhs. C, D, G, H


& I) that the commercial apartment of Dr. Valdellon sustained heavy
damage caused by the bus being driven by Suelto. "It seems highly
improbable that the said damages were not caused by a strong impact.
And, it is quite reasonable to conclude that, at the time of the impact, the
bus was traveling at a high speed when Suelto tried to avoid the passenger
jeepney." Such a conclusion finds support in the decision of the Supreme
Court in People vs. Ison, 173 SCRA 118, where the Court stated that "physical
evidence is of the highest order. It speaks more eloquently than a hundred
witnesses." The pictures submitted do not lie, having been taken immediately
after the incident. The damages could not have been caused except by a
speeding bus. Had the accused not been speeding, he could have easily
reduced his speed and come to a full stop when he noticed the jeep. Were
he more prudent in driving, he could have avoided the incident or even if he
could not avoid the incident, the damages would have been less severe.

In addition to this, the accused has made conflicting statements in his


counter-affidavit and his testimony in court. In the former, he stated that the
reason why he swerved to the right was because he wanted to avoid the
passenger jeepney in front of him that made a sudden stop. But, in his
testimony in court, he said that it was to avoid a passenger jeepney coming
from EDSA that was overtaking by occupying his lane. Such glaring
inconsistencies on material points render the testimony of the witness doubtful
and shatter his credibility. Furthermore, the variance between testimony and
prior statements renders the witness unreliable. Such inconsistency results in
the loss in the credibility of the witness and his testimony as to his prudence
and diligence.

As already maintained and concluded, the severe damages sustained could


not have resulted had the accused acted as a reasonable and prudent man
would. The accused was not diligent as he claims to be. What is more
probable is that the accused had to swerve to the right and hit the
commercial apartment of the plaintiff because he could not make a full stop
as he was driving too fast in a usually crowded street.

Moreover, if the claim of petitioners were true, they should have filed a third-
party complaint against the driver of the offending passenger jeepney and
the owner/operator thereof.

Petitioner Suelto’s reliance on the sudden emergency rule to escape


conviction for the crime charged and his civil liabilities based thereon is, thus,
futile.

Ernesto Pleyto and Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. vs Maria D. Lomboy and
Carmela Lomboy

GR No. 148737, June 16, 2004

FACTS

A head-on collision between a bus and a car along McArthur Highway in


Gerona, Tarlac happened on May 16, 1995 at around 11:30am.

Petitioner Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc (PRBL), bound for Vigan, Ilocos Sur at
the time of the accident, is engaged in carrying passengers and goods for a
fare servicing various routes in Central and Northern Luzon. Its driver was
Ernesto Pleyto.

Ricardo Lomboy was a passenger to a Mitsubishi Lancer car driven by


Arnulfo Asuncion, Ricardo’s brother-in-law. Carmela, the daughter of
Ricardo, also a passenger to said car, suffered injuries requiring
hospitalization. But her father Ricardo Lomboy died.

Ricardo’s heirs filed an action for damages against Pleyto and PRBL.

A witness and one of the bus passengers, Rolly Orpilla, testified that Pleyto
tried to overtake a tricycle but hit it instead. Pleyto then swerved in to the left
opposite lane and smashed the Manila-bound car killing Arnulfo and Ricardo
Lomboy while the other passengers, Carmela and friend Rhino Daba suffered
injuries.

According to Pleyto, the tricycle suddenly stopped without warning to which


Pleyto stepped on the brakes and bus lost speed but swerved to the other
lane to avoid hitting the tricycle. Unfortunately, it collided with the Manila-
bound Mitsubishi car.

The trial court rendered decision in favor of the plaintiffs awarding


P1,642,521.00 for lost earnings of Ricardo Lomboy. It found that Pleyto is
negligent and lacked precaution when he overtook the tricycle disregarding
completely the approaching car in the other lane. Pleyto should have been
more prudent in overtaking considering the slippery road. The court held that
Pleyto violated traffic rules and regulations and was negligent under Article
2185 of the Civil Code and PRBL liable as owner of the bus and as employer
of Pleyto under Article 2180 of the Civil Code for its failure to observe the
required diligence in its supervision of its employees and the safe
maintenance of its buses.

CA affirmed the trial court’s decision with modification in the award of


damages reducing the award for loss of earning capacity to P1,152,000.00
and took note of the amounts that were duly supported by receipts only.

Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the appellate court denied it.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA erred in pegging the monthly living expenses at 50% of gross
earnings considering that no substantial proof was presented to prove
Lomboy’s gross income
HELD:
No reversible error may be attributed to the court in fixing the loss of earning
capacity at the amount P1,152,000.00.

In considering the earning capacity of the victim as an element of damages,


the net earnings, which is computed by deducting necessary expenses from
the gross earnings, and not the gross earnings, is to be utilized in the
computation. The amount of net earnings was arrived at after deducting the
necessary expenses (pegged at 50% of gross income) from the gross annual
income. This computation is in accord with settled jurisprudence. (Villa Rey
case)

The testimony of the wife, Maria Lomboy, that her husband was earning a
monthly income of P8,000.00 is sufficient to establish a basis for an estimate of
damages for loss of earning capacity.

Jurisprudence provides that the factors that should be taken into account in
determining the compensable amount of lost earnings are:

the number of years for which the victim would otherwise have lived; and,
the rate of loss sustained by the heirs of the deceased.

Factor No. 1

Life expectancy is computed by applying the formula (2/3 x [80-age at


death]) adopted from the American Expectancy Table of Mortality or the
Actuarial Combined Experience Table of Mortality.

Factor No. 2

Multiply the life expectancy by the net earnings of the deceased, i.e, the
total earnings less expenses necessary in the creation of such earnings or
income and less living and other incidental expenses. The net earning is
ordinarily computed at fifty percent of the gross earnings.

Thus, in the given case, the formula used by this Court in computing loss of
earning capacity is:

Net Earning Capacity = [2/3 x (80 – age at the time of death) x (gross annual
income – reasonable and necessary living expenses)]

= [2/3 x (80 – 44)] x [(P96,000 – 50%of P96,000)]

= [2/3 x (36)] x [(P96,000 – P48,000)]

= 24 x P48,000

= P1,152,000.00
Moral damages are awarded to enable the injured party to obtain means,
diversions or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering
he/she has undergone, by reason of the defendant’s culpable action. Its
award is aimed at restoration of the spiritual proportionate to the suffering
inflicted.

Thus, moral damages of P500,000 is reduced to P100,000 in keeping with the


purpose of the law and jurisprudence in allowing moral damages.

WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR CV No.


61300 is AFFIRMED, with the sole MODIFICATION that the award of moral
damages to the heirs of Ricardo Lomboy is reduced from P500,000.00 to
P100,000.00. No pronouncement as to costs.

Heirs of Completo v. Albayda, Jr.


Heirs of Redentor Completo, and Elpidio Abiad v. Sgt. Amando Albayda, Jr.
2010 / Nachura [Negilgence > Standard of conduct > Special circumstance]

Facts
Albayda is a Master Sergeant of the PH Air Force, and Completo was the taxi
driver of a Toyota Corolla which was owned by Abiad. Albayda was riding a
bike on his way to the office, when Completo’s taxi bumped and sideswept
him, causing serious physical injuries. He [Albayda] was brought to the PH Air
Force General Hospital, but he was transferred to the AFP Medical Center
because he sustained a fracture and there was no orthopedic doctor
available in the first hospital. He was confined from 27 Aug 1997 to 11 Feb 1998,
and again in 23 Feb to 22 Mar 1998 [approx. 7 months].
Conciliation before the barangay failed, so Albayda filed a complaint for
physical injuries through reckless imprudence against Completo before the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay. Completo filed a counter-charge of
damage to property through reckless imprudence against Albayda. The Office
of the City Prosecutor recommended the filing of an information for Albayda’s
complaint, and Completo’s complaint [against Albayda] was dismissed.
Albayda manifested his reservation to file a separate civil action for damages
against Completo and Abiad.
Albayda alleged that Completo’s negligence is the proximate cause of the
incident. He demanded the following damages and their respective
amounts: Actual damages – 276,550; Moral damages – 600,000; Exemplary
damages – 200,000; Attorney’s fees – 25,000 + 1,000 per court appearance.
On the other hand, Completo alleged that he was carefully driving the
taxicab when he heard a strange sound from the taxicab’s rear right side. He
found Albayda lying on the road, holding his left leg, so he brought Albayda
to PH Air Force General Hospital. Completo asserted that he was an
experienced driver, and that he already reduced his speed to 20km even
before reaching the intersection. In contrast, Albayda rode his bicycle at high
speed, causing him to lose control of the bicycle. Completo said that Albayda
had no cause of action.
Several people testified for each side, but here are some notes on the
testimony of the owner of the taxi driver, Abiad. Abiad said that aside from
being a soldier, he also held franchises of taxicabs and passenger jeepneys,
and being a taxicab operator, he would wake up early to personally check
the taxicabs. When Completo applied as a taxicab driver, Abiad required him
to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and driver’s license. Completo never
figured in a vehicular accident since he was employed, and according to
Abiad, he [Completo] was a good driver and good man.
RTC rendered judgment in favor of Albayda, and the defendants are
ordered to pay actual [46k] and moral [400k] damages, and attorney’s fees
[25k]. Upon appeal at the CA, the court affirmed RTC’s decision with
modifications [no more actual damages; awarded temperate damages [40k];
moral damages only 200k; Completo and Abiad are solidarily liable to pay
Albayda; added legal interest].
Issues and Holding
1. WON CA erred in finding that Completo was the one who caused the
collision. NO
2. WON Abiad failed to prove that he observed the diligence of a good
father of the family. YES
3. WON the award of moral and temperate damages and attorney’s fees for
Albayda had no basis. NO / NO / YES
Ratio
On Negligence
It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a
preponderance of evidence the motorist’s breach in his duty of care owed to
the plaintiff, that the motorist was negligent in failing to exercise the diligence
required to avoid injury to the plaintiff, and that such negligence was the
proximate cause of the injury suffered. NCC 2176 quoted, and said that the
question of the motorist’s negligence is a question of fact. Usually, more will be
required of a motorist [25mi/hr = 37ft/sec] than a bicyclist [10mi/hr = 15ft/sec]
in discharging the duty of care because of the physical advantages the former
has over the latter.
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo failed to
exercise reasonable diligence.
 He was overspeeding at the time he hit Albayda’s bicycle; he did not slow
down even when he approached the intersection
 Such negligence was the sole and proximate cause of the injuries sustained
by Albayda
 It was proven that Albayda had the right of way since he reached the
intersection ahead of Completo
NCC 2180 cited – obligation imposed by NCC 2176 is demandable also for
those persons for whom one is responsible. Employers are liable for damage
caused by employees, but the responsibility ceases upon proof that employers
observed the diligence of the good father of the family in the selection and
supervision of employees. The burden of proof is on the employer. The
responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for QD is solidary. The
employer’s civil liability for his employee’s negligent acts is also primary and
direct, owing to his own negligence in selecting and supervising them, and this
liability attaches even if the employer is not in the vehicle at the time of
collision.
In the selection of employees, employers are required to examine them as
to their qualifications, experience, and service records. With respect
to supervision, employers should formulate SOPs and monitor their
implementation, and impose disciplinary measures for breaches. To establish
these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious [secondary] liability,
employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary evidence.
ABIAD’S EVIDENCE CONSISTED ENTIRELY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE, AND THIS
IS INSUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE LEGAL PRESUMPTION THAT HE WAS
NEGLIGENT IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF COMPLETO.
On Damages
CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages because Albayda failed
to present documentary evidence to establish the amount incurred.
Temperate damages may be recovered when the court finds that some
pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot be proved with
certainty. Moral damages are awarded in QDs causing physical injuries, so the
award is proper. The award of attorney’s fees is deleted for failure to prove that
petitioners acted in bad faith in refusing to satisfy respondent’s just and valid
claim.

Guillang vs. Bedania| 167 SCRA 363 / G.R. No. 73998 | November 14, 1988

FACTS: Guillang, with three companions was driving his brand new car to
Manila. On the other hand, Bedania was driving a ten-wheeler cargo truck
towards Tagaytay. Along the highway and the road leading to the Orchard
Golf Course, Bedania negotiated a U-turn. When the truck entered the
opposite lane of the highway, Guillang's car hit the gas tank at the truck’s
right middle portion. The truck dragged Genaros car some five meters to the
right of the road.

As a consequence, all the passengers of the car were rushed to the hospital
for treatment. Because of severe injuries, one of the passengers was later
transferred to another hospital. Consequently, he died due to the injuries he
sustained from the collision. The car was a total wreck while the truck
sustained minor damage.

ISSUE: Whether Bedania was grossly negligent for recklessly maneuvering the
truck by making a sudden U-turn in the highway without due regard to traffic
rules and the safety of other motorists.
RULING: Yes. Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, unless there is proof to the
contrary, a person driving a vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of the
mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. In this case, the report showed
that the truck, while making the U-turn, failed to signal, a violation of traffic
rules. The police records also stated that, after the collision, Bedania escaped
and abandoned the petitioners and his truck. This is another violation of a
traffic regulation. Therefore, the presumption arises that Bedania was
negligent at the time of the mishap. The point of impact was on the lane
where the car was cruising. Therefore, the car had every right to be on that
road and the car had the right of way over the truck that was making a U-
turn. Clearly, the truck encroached upon the cars lane when it suddenly
made the U-turn.

It is not normal for a truck to make a U-turn on a highway. If Bedania wanted


to change direction, he should seek an intersection where it is safer to
maneuver the truck. Bedania should have also turned on his signal lights and
made sure that the highway was clear of vehicles from the opposite direction
before executing the U-turn.

STEPHEN CANG AND GEORGE NARDO Y JOSOL v. HERMINIA CULLEN


G.R. No. 163078, 25 November 2009, Third Division, Nachura, J.

Negligence is conduct that creates an undue risk of harm to others. It is


the failure to observe that degree of care, precaution and vigilance that
circumstances justly demand.

Facts:

Nardo was operating a taxi when Saycon, who was travelling on a


motorcycle without protective headgear, veered into his lane and bumped
him. After the impact, Nardo drove back to help Saycon, two traffic enforcers
ordered Nardo to take Saycon to the hospital. No sketch of the accident was
done by the enforcers. Saycon claims that it was Nardo that sideswept him
and that Nardo tried to speed away until he was flagged down by peace
officers. Cullen, the employer of Saycon, shouldered the hospital expenses of
Saycon and is now claiming damages from Nardo and Cang, the owner of the
taxi. The RTC dismissed the case stating that Cullen is not entitled to damages.
The CA reversed the RTC decision claiming that the RTC did not give credit to
a witness’ account of the accident.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA erred in awarding damages to respondent

Ruling:
YES. Saycon was operating the motor vehicle as a student-driver without
being accompanied by a duly licensed driver. Article 2185 provides that it is
presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the
time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. Negligence is
conduct that creates an undue risk of harm to others. It is the failure to observe
that degree of care, precaution and vigilance that circumstances justly
demand.

To determine whether there is negligence in a given situation, the


Supreme Court laid down this 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. Saycon was negligent since he should not have been
driving alone. The law requires that the holder of a student-driver’s permit
should be accompanied by a duly licensed driver when operating a motor
vehicle. Further, he was not wearing a helmet and he was speeding. All these
prove that he was negligent.

Neither can Cullen as Saycon’s employer be entitled to claim damages.


Cullen was negligent in the selection and supervision of her employee. When
an employee causes damage due to his own negligence while performing his
own duties, there arises the juris tantum presumption that his employer is
negligent, rebuttable only by proof of observance of the diligence of a good
father of a family. The fact that Saycon was driving alone is proof enough that
Cullen was negligent. Either she did not know that he only had a student’s
permit or she allowed him to drive alone knowing this deficiency.

Tan v. Jam Transit – Fullecido

Tan is an owner of a passenger type jitney which was involved in an accident


at an intersection along Maharlika Highway with JAM Transit passenger bus
which was driven by Eddie Dimayuga The jitney is loaded with quail egg and
duck egg The jitney is driven by Alexander Ramirez Tan alleged that Dimayuga
was reckless, negligent, imprudent, and not observing traffic rules and
regulations Essentially, it was due to the fact that Dimayuga failed to obey the
proper light directions signals in relation to negotiating a left turn towards the
feeder or barangay road which caused the collision with the jitney resulting to
the cargo being destroyed and Ramirez and helper to be injured.

Issue: WON the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor is applicable in this case

Held: No. Ratio: Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase that literally means "the thing
or the transaction speaks for itself." o Where the thing that caused the injury
complained of is shown to be under the management of the defendant or his
servants; and o the accident, in the ordinary course of things, would not
happen if those who had management or control used proper care, it affords
reasonable evidence – in the absence of a sufficient, reasonable and logical
explanation by defendant -that the accident arose from or was caused by the
defendant’s want of care This rule is grounded on the superior logic of ordinary
human experience, and it is on the basis of such experience or common
knowledge that negligence may be deduced from the mere occurrence of
the accident itself. Hence, the rule is applied in conjunction with the doctrine
of common knowledge res ipsa loquitur is not a rule of substantive law and
does not constitute an independent or separate ground for liability. Instead, it
is considered as merely evidentiary, a mode of proof, or a mere procedural
convenience In other words, mere invocation and application of the doctrine
do not dispense with the requirement of proof of negligence. The following are
the requisites o The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the
absence of someone’s negligence o It is caused by an instrumentality within
the exclusive control of the defendant or defendants; and o The possibility of
contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated
The SC deemed the following requisite are present in the case The SC do not
adhere to the finding of CA that the petitioner has direct access to the
evidence What was testified was that Ramirez drove along Maharlika Highway
Ramirez has no vivid recollection on how the passenger jitney was hit by JAM
The SC appreciated that in absence of testimonial or direct evidence, the
petitioner can still be provided with remedies. Indeed, no two motor vehicles
traversing the same lane of a highway with double yellow center lines will
collide as a matter of

course, both ending up on the opposite lane,unless someone is negligent.


Driving the bus gave Dimayuga exclusive management and control over it. no
contributory negligence could be attributed to Ramirez relative to the incident
on the basis of the available evidence No direct evidence was presented with
respect to the exact road position of the bus and the jitney at the time of the
collision such that the same can only be inferred from the pictures of the
colliding vehicles taken immediately after the incident

LAMBERT S. RAMOS v. C.O.L. REALTY CORPORATION


G.R. No. 184905 August 28, 2009 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.

Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in natural and continuous


sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury,
and without which the result would not have occurred.

FACTS:
Along Katipunan (Avenue), corner Rajah Matanda (Street), Quezon
City, a vehicular accident took place between a Toyota Altis Sedan, owned
by C.O.L. Realty Corporation, and driven by Aquilino Larin, and a Ford
Expedition, owned by Lambert Ramos and driven by Rodel Ilustrisimo. A
passenger of the sedan, Estela Maliwat sustained injuries. C.O.L. Realty filed a
Complaint for Damages based on quasi-delict against Ramos before the
MeTC. Said court exculpated Ramos from liability. RTC affirmed MeTC’s
decision. MR met the same fate as it was denied. C.O.L. Realty appealed to
the CA which affirmed the view that Aquilino was negligent in crossing
Katipunan Avenue from Rajah Matanda Street since such act is prohibited. It
likewise noted that at the time of the collision, Ramos’ vehicle was moving at
high speed in a busy area that was then the subject of an ongoing
construction. It therefore found the driver Rodel guilty of contributory
negligence for driving the Ford Expedition at high speed along a busy
intersection. Ramos filed MR but was denied.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA’s decision is contrary to law and jurisprudence, and the
evidence to support and justify the same is insufficient.

RULING:

YES. Articles 2179 and 2185 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts apply in this
case, viz: x x x Applying the foregoing principles of law to the instant case,
Aquilino’s act of crossing Katipunan Avenue via Rajah Matanda constitutes
negligence because it was prohibited by law. Moreover, it was the proximate
cause of the accident, and thus precludes any recovery for any damages
suffered by respondent from the accident. Proximate cause is defined as that
cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not
have occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is that
acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other
events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events,
each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the
final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and
probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that
the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and
intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act
or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.

If Aquilino heeded the MMDA prohibition against crossing Katipunan


Avenue from Rajah Matanda, the accident would not have happened. This
specific untoward event is exactly what the MMDA prohibition was intended
for. Thus, a prudent and intelligent person who resides within the vicinity where
the accident occurred, Aquilino had reasonable ground to expect that the
accident would be a natural and probable result if he crossed Katipunan
Avenue since such crossing is considered dangerous on account of the busy
nature of the thoroughfare and the ongoing construction of the Katipunan-
Boni Avenue underpass. It was manifest error for the Court of Appeals to have
overlooked the principle embodied in Article 2179 of the Civil Code, that when
the plaintiff’s own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his
injury, he cannot recover damages. Hence, the petition was granted.

Pestano v Sumayang
GR No. 139875
December 4, 2000

Facts: Sumayang, accompanied by another person, was riding a motor


vehicle on a highway in Cebu. While turning left at a junction, Sumayang was
violently hit by a speeding bus driven by Pestano. Sumayang and his
companion died due to the accident. The heirs of Sumayang filed a civil action
against Pestano and Metro Cebu Bus Company, the owner of the Bus driven
by Pestano. A witness named Neis accounts that before Sumayang turned left,
the former had raised his left arm as a signal but was run over by the bus and
was thrown 14 meters away. Pestano alleges the victims were negligent
because 15-20 meters away, he had already blown the bus’ horn and even
blew it a second time when he got near but could only step on the brake after
the bus had hid the motor vehicle. RTC and CA held Pestano liable and also
held Metro Cebu Bus liable for negligence.

Issue: W/N Metro Cebu Bus may be held liable for the acts of Pestano

Held: There were factual findings that the bus had a defective speedometer
and the Company was held to have shown laxity in the conduct of its
operations and supervision of employees. Under Articles 2180 and 2176 of the
Civil Code, owners and managers are responsible for damages caused by
their employees. When an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or
an employee, the master or employer is presumed to be negligent either in the
selection or in the supervision of that employee. This presumption may be
overcome only by satisfactorily showing that the employer exercised the care
and the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and the
supervision of its employee. The CA said that allowing Pestaño to ply his route
with a defective speedometer showed laxity on the part of Metro Cebu in the
operation of its business and in the supervision of its employees. The
negligence alluded to here is in its supervision over its driver, not in that which
directly caused the accident. The fact that Pestaño was able to use a bus with
a faulty speedometer shows that Metro Cebu was remiss in the supervision of
its employees and in the proper care of its vehicles. It had thus failed to
conduct its business with the diligence required by law.
JONAS AÑONUEVO v. CA, GR No. 130003, 2004-10-20
Facts:
the accident in question occurred on 8 February 1989, at around nine in the
evening, at the intersection of Boni Avenue and Barangka Drive in
Mandaluyong (now a city). Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on
his... bicycle, while Añonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving his
Lancer car with plate number PJJ 359. The car was owned by Procter and
Gamble Inc., the employer of Añonuevo's brother, Jonathan. Añonuevo was
in the course of making a left turn towards Libertad Street when... the collision
occurred. Villagracia sustained serious injuries as a result, which necessitated
his hospitalization several times in 1989, and forced him to undergo four (4)
operations.
Villagracia instituted an action for damages against Procter and Gamble
Phils., Inc. and Añonuevo before the RTC.
Trial on the civil action ensued, and in a Decision dated 9 March 1990, the
RTC rendered judgment against Procter and Gamble and Añonuevo,
ordering them to pay Villagracia the amounts... of One Hundred Fifty
Thousand Pesos (P150, 000.00). for actual damages, Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00) for moral damages, and Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) for
attorney's fees, as well as legal costs.
the Court of Appeals Fourth Division affirmed the RTC Decision in toto
Issues:
whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code, which presumes the driver of a
motor vehicle negligent if he was violating a traffic... regulation at the time of
the mishap, should apply by analogy to non-motorized vehicles.
Should the doctrine of negligence per se apply to Villagracia, resulting from
his violation of an ordinance? It cannot be denied that the statutory purpose
for requiring bicycles to be equipped with headlights or horns is to promote
road safety and to minimize the occurrence of... road accidents involving
bicycles.
Ruling:
Añonuevo points out that Villagracia's bicycle had no safety gadgets such as
a horn or bell, or headlights, as invoked by a 1948 municipal ordinance.
Nor was it duly registered... with the Office of the Municipal Treasurer, as
required by the same ordinance.
Villagracia does not dispute these allegations, which he admitted during
the... trial, but directs our attention instead to the findings of Añonuevo's own
negligence.
Villagracia also contends that, assuming there was contributory negligence
on his part, such would not exonerate Añonuevo from payment of damages.
What Añonuevo seeks is for the Court to amend the explicit command of the
legislature, as embodied in Article 2185, a task beyond the pale of judicial
power. The Court interprets, and not creates, the law. However, since the
Court is being asked to consider the matter, it might... as well examine
whether Article 2185 could be interpreted to include non-motorized vehicles.
If Añonuevo seriously contends that... the application of Article 2185 be
expanded due to the greater interaction today of all types of vehicles, such
argument contradicts historical experience.
The more pertinent basis for the segregate... classification is the difference in
type of these vehicles.
A motorized vehicle, unimpeded by... the limitations in physical exertion. is
capable of greater speeds and acceleration than non-motorized vehicles.
At the same time, motorized vehicles are more capable in inflicting greater
injury or damage in the event of an accident or collision.
Art. 2185 was not formulated to compel or ensure obeisance by all to traffic
rules and regulations.
While the legal argument as formulated by Añonuevo is erroneous, his core
contention that Villagracia was negligent for... failure to comply with traffic
regulations warrants serious consideration, especially since the imputed
negligent acts were admitted by Villagracia himself.
The generally accepted view is that the violation of a statutory duty
constitutes negligence, negligence as a matter of law, or negligence per se.
At face value, Villagracia's mishap was precisely the danger sought to be
guarded against by the ordinance he violated. Añonuevo argues that
Villagracia's violation should bar the latter's recovery of damages, and a
simplistic interpretation of... negligence per se might vindicate such an
argument.
There is the fact which we consider as proven, that Añonuevo was speeding
as he made the left turn, and such negligent act was the proximate cause of
the accident. This reckless behavior would have imperiled anyone unlucky
enough within the... path of Añonuevo's car as it turned into the intersection,
whether they are fellow motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists.
Even assuming that Añonuevo had failed to see Villagracia because the
bicycle was not equipped with headlights, such lapse on the cyclist's part
would not have acquitted the driver of his duty... to slow down as he
proceeded to make the left turn.
The rule on negligence per se must admit qualifications that may arise from
the logical consequences of the facts leading to the mishap. The doctrine
(and Article 2185, for that matter) is undeniably useful as a judicial guide in
adjudging liability, for it seeks to... impute culpability arising from the failure of
the actor to perform up to a standard established by a legal fiat. But the
doctrine should not be rendered inflexible so as to deny relief when in fact
there is no causal relation between the statutory violation and the injury...
sustained. Presumptions in law, while convenient, are not intractable so as to
forbid rebuttal rooted in fact. After all, tort law is remunerative in spirit, aiming
to provide compensation for the harm suffered by those whose interests have
been invaded owing to the conduct of... others.
Principles:
Thus, we cannot sustain the contention that Art. 2185 should apply to non-
motorized vehicles, even if by analogy. There is factual and legal basis that
necessitates the distinction under Art. 2185
The mere fact of violation of a statute is not sufficient basis for an inference
that such violation was the proximate cause of the injury complained.
However, if the very injury has happened which was intended to be
prevented by the statute, it has been held that... violation of the statute will
be deemed to be the proximate cause of the injury
Sanitary Steam[42] is controlling in this case. The bare fact that Villagracia
was violating a municipal ordinance at the time of the accident may have
sufficiently established some degree of negligence on his part, but such
negligence is without... legal consequence unless it is shown that it was a
contributing cause of the injury.
The failure of the bicycle owner to comply with accepted safety practices,
whether or not imposed by ordinance or statute, is not sufficient to negate or
mitigate recovery unless a causal connection is established between such
failure... and the injury sustained. The principle likewise finds affirmation in
Sanitary Steam, wherein we declared that the violation of a traffic statute
must be shown as the proximate cause of the injury, or that it substantially
contributed thereto.

CAEDO et al vs. YU KHE THAI and RAFAEL BERNARDO

G.R. No. L-20392 December 18, 1968

FACTS:

Plaintiff Caedo was driving his Mercury car at about 5:30 in the morning of
March 24, 1958 along E. de los Santos Ave., in the vicinity of San LorenzoVillage
bound for the airport. Several members of his family were in the car. Coming
from the opposite direction was the Cadillac car of defendant Yu Khe Thai
driven by his driver Rafael Bernardo. The two cars were traveling at a moderate
speed with their headlights on. Ahead of the Cadillac was a caretela.
Defendant’s driver did not notice it until he was about eight (8) meters away.
Instead of slowing down behind the caretela defendant’s driver veered to the
left with the intention of passing by the caretela but in doing so its
rear bumper caught the ream of thecaretela’s left wheel wrenching it off.
Defendant’s car skidded obliquely to the other end and collided with the on-
coming vehicle of the plaintiff. The plaintiff on his part, slackened his speed
and tried to avoid the collision by veering to the right but the collisionoccurred
just the same injuring the plaintiff and members of his family. Plaintiff brought
an action for damages against both the driver and owner of the Cadillac car.
There was no question that defendant’s driver was negligent and liable.

ISSUE:

Whether or not defendant Yu Khe Thai, owner of the car, who was in the car,
was solidarily liable with the driver under Art. 2184, of the Civil Code.
RULING:

The applicable law is Article 2184 of the Civil Code. Under the said provision, if
the causative factor was the driver’s negligence, the owner of the vehicle who
was present is likewise held liable if he could have prevented the mishap by
the exercise of due diligence. The basis of the master’s liability in civil law is not
respondent superior but rather the relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is
that ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the master and
susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to
correct it in order to prevent injury or damage.

Negligence on the part of the owner, if any, must be sought in the immediate
setting and circumstances of the accident, that is, in his failure to detain the
driver from pursuing a course which not only gave him clear notice of the
danger but also sufficient time to act upon it. We do not see that such
negligence may be imputed. The car, as has been stated, was not running at
an unreasonable speed. The road was wide and open, and devoid of traffic
that early morning. There was no reason for the car owner to be in any special
state of alert. He had reason to rely on the skill and experience of his driver. He
became aware of the presence of the carretela when his car was only twelve
meters behind it, but then his failure to see it earlier did not constitute
negligence, for he was not himself at the wheel. And even when he did see it
at that distance, he could not have anticipated his driver’s sudden decision to
pass the carretela on its left side in spite of the fact that another car was
approaching from the opposite direction. The time element was such that
there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the risks involved
and warn the driver accordingly. The thought that entered his mind, he said,
was that if he sounded a sudden warning it might only make the other man
nervous and make the situation worse. It was a thought that, wise or not,
connotes no absence of that due diligence required by law to prevent the
misfortune. Under the facts the owner of the car was not liable.
RES IPSO LOQUITUR

Africa, et al. v. Caltex Phils


G.R. No. L-12986, March 31, 1966, 16 SCRA 448
FACTS:
On March 18, 1948 a fire broke out at the Caltex service station at the corner
of Antipolo street and Rizal Avenue, Manila St. all started while a gasoline was
being hosed from a tank truck into the underground storage, right at the
opening of the receiving tank where the nozzle of the hose was inserted. The
fire spread to and burned several neighboring house. The spouse Bernabe and
heirs of Domingo Ong herein petitioner, sued respondents Caltex (phils), Inc.
and Mateo Boquiren on negligence on the part of both of tyhem was
attributed as the cause of the fire.
In the polioce and fire report they started that during the transferring of
gasoline to the tank truck an unknown Filipino Citizen lighted a cigarette and
threw the burning match stick near the main valve of the of the paid
underground tank. Due to gasoline fumes, fire suddenly blazed. The
respondents contend that it is not their negligence why the fire broke. But there
was no evidence presented to prove this theory and no other explanation can
be had as to the reason for the fire. Apparently also, Caltex and the branch
owner failed to install a concrete firewall to contain fire if in case one happens.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Caltex and Boquiren are liable to pay for damages.
RULING:
Caltex and Boquiren are liable. Though the one who accuses the other of
negligence is the one with burden to prove, in this case the principle of res ipsa
loquitor applies. Res ipsa loquitur (the transaction speaks for itself) which states:
“where the thing which caused injury, without fault of the injured person, is
under the exclusive control of the defendant and the injury is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not occur if he having such control use proper
care, if affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of the explanation, that
the injury arose from defendant1s want of care.” Article 1173 states that, the
fault on negligence of the obligation consists in the omission of that diligence
which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the
circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence
shows bad faith, the provisions of article 1171 and 2201 paragraph 2 shall
apply. a fired occurred therein an spread to and burned the neighboring
houses. The person who knew or could have known how the fire started, were
Boquiren, Caltex and their employees, but they gave no explanation thereof
whatsoever. It is fair and reasonable inference that the incident happened
because of want of care.

Republic vs Luzon Stevedoring Corporation (GR No. L-21749, September 29,


1967)
Facts: A barge being towed by tugboats "Bangus" and "Barbero" all owned
by Luzon Stevedoring Corp. rammed one of the wooden piles of the
Nagtahan Bailey Bridge due to the swollen current of the Pasig after heavy
rains days before. The Republic sued Luzon Stevedoring for actual and
consequential damages. Luzon Stevedoring claimed it had exercised due
diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees; that the damages
to the bridge were caused by force majeure; that plaintiff has no capacity to
sue; and that the Nagtahan bailey bridge is an obstruction to navigation.

Issue: Whether or not the collision of appellant's barge with the supports or
piers of the Nagtahan bridge was in law caused by fortuitous event or force
majeure.

Held: There is a presumption of negligence on part of the employees of Luzon


Stevedoring, as the Nagtahan Bridge is stationary. For caso fortuito or force
majeure (which in law are identical in so far as they exempt an obligor from
liability) by definition, are extraordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable,
"events that could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were
inevitable" (Art. 1174, Civ. Code of the Philippines). It is, therefore, not enough
that the event should not have been foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly
believed, but it must be one impossible to foresee or to avoid. The
mere difficulty to foresee the happening is not impossibility to foresee the
same. Luzon Stevedoring knew the perils posed by the swollen stream and its
swift current, and voluntarily entered into a situation involving obvious
danger; it therefore assured the risk, and can not shed responsibility merely
because the precautions it adopted turned out to be insufficient. It is thus
liable for damages.

Layugan vs. IAC; Torts- vicarious liability of owner of a truck

7/15/2013

0 Comments

G.R. No. 73998 November 14, 1988

Facts:
Pedro T. Layugan filed an action for damages against Godofredo Isidro,
alleging that while at Baretbet, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, the Plaintiff and a
companion were repairing the tire of their cargo truck which was parked along
the right side of the National Highway; that defendant's truck, driven recklessly
by Daniel Serrano bumped the plaintiff, that as a result, plaintiff was injured
and hospitalized where he incurred and will incur more expenses as he
recuperates from said injuries; Plaintiff's right leg was amputated and that
because of said injuries he would be deprived of a lifetime income.
To free themselves from liability, defendants Isidro [owner] and Serrano [driver]
averred that he knows his responsibilities as a driver and further contends that
it was the negligence of plaintiff that was the proximate cause of the accident.
They alleged that plaintiff parked his truck in a manner which occupied a part
of the highway and he did not even put a warning sign.

Subsequently, a third-party complaint was filed by the defendant against his


insurer, the Travellers Multi Indemnity Corporation; that the third-party plaintiff
[Isidro], without admitting his liability to the plaintiff, claimed that the third-party
defendant [Travellers] is liable to the former for contribution, indemnity and
subrogation by virtue of their insurance contract which covers the insurer's
liability for damages arising from death, bodily injuries and damage to
property. The Insurance company argued that it is only liable for the amount
agreed in the policy and the complaint was premature since no claim was
made to it.

The RTC ruled in favor of the Petitioners. The CA reversed the decision, stating
that it is the petitioners who were negligent since they did not exercise
caution by putting warning signs that their truck is park on the shoulder of the
highway.

Issue:
Whether or not Isidro is liable as employer of Serrano.

Ruling:
Yes!

The SC held that the CA erroneously appreciated the evidence. It was proven
that the petitioner placed a warning sign within 3 to 4 meters from their truck
in the form of a lighted kerosene lamp. The existence of this warning sings was
corroborated by Serrano, respondent's driver, and further stated that when he
saw a parked truck, he kept on stepping on the brake pedal but it did not
function. Thus despite this warning signs, the truck recklessly driven by Serrano
and owned by Respondent Isidro bumped the truck of petitioner.

The private respondent is sued under Art. 2176 in relation to Art. 2180,
paragraph 5, of the Civil Code. In the latter, when an injury is caused by the
negligence of a servant or 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. Such presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure and
consequently, may be rebutted. If follows necessarily that if the employer
shows to the satisfaction of the court that in the selection and in the supervision
he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family, the
presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability. In disclaiming liability
for the incident, the private respondent stresses that the negligence of his
employee has already been adequately overcome by his driver's statement
that he knew his responsibilities as a driver and that the truck owner used to
instruct him to be careful in driving.

We do not agree with the private respondent in his submission. In the first place,
it is clear that the driver did not know his responsibilities because he apparently
did not check his vehicle before he took it on the road. If he did he could have
discovered earlier that the brake fluid pipe on the right was cut, and could
have repaired it and thus the accident could have been avoided. Moveover,
to our mind, the fact that the private respondent used to intruct his driver to be
careful in his driving, that the driver was licensed, and the fact that he had no
record of any accident, as found by the respondent court, are not sufficient to
destroy the finding of negligence of the Regional Trial Court given the facts
established at the trial. The private respondent or his mechanic, who must be
competent, should have conducted a thorough inspection of his vehicle
before allowing his driver to drive it.

In the light of the circumstances obtaining in the case, we hold that Isidro failed
to prove that the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of his
employees which would exculpate him from solidary liability with his driver to
the petitioner. But even if we concede that the diligence of a good father of
a family was observed by Isidro in the supervision of his driver, there is not an
iota of evidence on record of the observance by Isidro of the same quantum
of diligence in the supervision of his mechanic, if any, who would be directly in
charge in maintaining the road worthiness of his (Isidro's) truck. But that is not
all. There is paucity of proof that Isidro exercised the diligence of a good father
of a family in the selection of his driver, Daniel Serrano, as well as in the selection
of his mechanic, if any, in order to insure the safe operation of his truck and
thus prevent damage to others. Accordingly, the responsibility of Isidro as
employer treated in Article 2180, paragraph 5, of the Civil Code has not
ceased.

Consunji v CA (Torts)
CONSUNJI v CA (2001)
G.R. No. 137873 April 20, 2001 D. M. CONSUNJI, INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS and MARIA J. JUEGO, respondents.

FACTS:
At around 1:30 p.m., November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction worker of
D. M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his
death. PO3 Rogelio Villanueva of the Eastern Police District investigated the
tragedy and filed a report dated November 25, 1990, stating that:
x x x. [The] [v]ictim was rushed to [the] Rizal Medical Center in Pasig, Metro
Manila where he was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) by the attending
physician, Dr. Errol de Yzo[,] at around 2:15 p.m. of the same date.
Investigation disclosed that at the given time, date and place, while victim
Jose A. Juego together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso Destajo
[were] performing their work as carpenter[s] at the elevator core of the
14th floor of the Tower D, Renaissance Tower. It is thus manifest that Jose A.
Juego was crushed to death when the [p]latform he was then on board and
performing work, fell. And the falling of the [p]latform was due to the removal
or getting loose of the pin which was merely inserted to the connecting
points of the chain block and [p]latform but without a safety lock. On May 9,
1991, Jose Juego’s widow, Maria, filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Pasig a complaint for damages against the deceased’s employer, D.M.
Consunji, Inc.

Defense:
he widow’s prior availment of the benefits from the State Insurance Fund.

DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:


(1) RTC: judgment is hereby rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff (2)
CA: affirmed RTC.

ISSUE:
Whether the company is liable

RULING:
Yes.
The effect of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is to warrant a presumption or
inference that the mere fall of the elevator was a result of the person having
charge of the instrumentality was negligent. As a rule of evidence, the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is peculiar to the law of negligence which
recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct
proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. One of the
theoretical based for the doctrine is its necessity, i.e., that necessary
evidence is absent or not available.
under the peculiar circumstances in which the doctrine is applicable, it is
within the power of the defendant to show that there was no negligence on
his part, and direct proof of defendant’s negligence is beyond plaintiff’s
power.
it must appear that the injured party had no knowledge or means of
knowledge as to the cause of the accident, or that the party to be charged
with negligence has superior knowledge or opportunity for explanation of the
accident.
As stated earlier, the defendant’s negligence is presumed or inferred when
the plaintiff establishes the requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur.
Once the plaintiff makes out a prima facie case of all the elements, the
burden then shifts to defendant to explain
an injured worker has a choice of either to recover from the employer the
fixed amounts set by the Workmen’s Compensation Act or to prosecute an
ordinary civil action against the tortfeasor for higher damages but he cannot
pursue both courses of action simultaneously
Example: although the other petitioners had received the benefits under the
Workmen’s Compensation Act, such my not preclude them from bringing an
action before the regular court because they became cognizant of the fact
that Philex has been remiss in its contractual obligations with the deceased
miners only after receiving compensation under the Act. Had petitioners
been aware of said violation of government rules and regulations by Philex,
and of its negligence, they would not have sought redress under the
Workmen’s Compensation Commission which awarded a lesser amount for
compensation. The choice of the first remedy was based on ignorance or a
mistake of fact, which nullifies the choice as it was not an intelligent choice.

As to the contention that the action should be barred due to prior claim with
the State Insurance Fund - private respondent’s case came under the
exception because private respondent was unaware of petitioner’s
negligence when she filed her claim for death benefits from the State
Insurance Fund.
FGU Insurance vs. GPS Trucking
This case is with reference to Art 1159 of the New Civil Code

Case of FGU INSURANCE CORPORATION vs. G.P.S TRUCKING CORPORATION


and LAMBERT M. EROLES
G.R.No. 141910 06August2002

FACTS OF THE CASE:


G.P. Sarmiento Trucking Corporation (GPS) undertook to deliver on 18 June
1994 thirty (30) units of Condura S.D. white refrigerators aboard one of its Isuzu
truck, driven by Lambert Eroles. While the truck was traversing the north
diversion road along McArthur highway in Barangay Anupol, Bamban, Tarlac,
it collided with an unidentified truck, causing it to fall into a deep canal,
resulting in damage to the cargoes.
FGU Insurance Corporation (FGU), an insurer of the shipment, paid to
Concepcion Industries, Inc., the value of the covered cargoes: P204, 450.00.
FGU, in turn, being the subrogee of the rights and interests of the insured sought
reimbursement of the amount, from GPS. Since GPS failed to heed the claim,
FGU filed a complaint for damages and breach of contract of carriage against
GPS and its driver with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 66, of Makati City. In its
answer, respondents asserted that GPS was the exclusive hauler only of
Concepcion Industries, Inc., since 1988, and it was not so engaged in business
as a common carrier. Respondents further claimed that the cause of damage
was purely accidental. GPS, instead of submitting its evidence, filed with leave
of court a motion to dismiss the complaint by way of demurrer to evidence on
the ground that petitioner had failed to prove that it was a common carrier.
The RTC and CA both ruled in favor of the Respondent.

ISSUES OF THE CASE:

WHETHER RESPONDENT GPS, EITHER AS A COMMON CARRIER OR A PRIVATE


CARRIER, MAY BE PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN NEGLIGENT WHEN THE GOODS IT
UNDERTOOK TO TRANSPORT SAFELY WERE SUBSEQUENTLY DAMAGED WHILE IN
ITS PROTECTIVE CUSTODY AND POSSESSION.

- In culpa contractual, upon which the action of petitioner rests as being the
subrogee of Concepcion Industries, Inc., the mere proof of the existence of the
contract and the failure of its compliance justify, prima facie, a corresponding
right of relief. Thus, FGU has a claim for the amount paid out.
- The law, recognizing the obligatory force of contracts, will not permit a party
to be set free from liability for any kind of misperformance of the contractual
undertaking or a contravention of the tenor thereof
- GPS recognizes the existence of a contract of carriage between it and
petitioner’s assured, and admits that the cargoes it has assumed to deliver
have been lost or damaged while in its custody. In such a situation, a default
on, or failure of compliance with, the obligation in this case, the delivery of the
goods in its custody to the place of destination - gives rise to a presumption of
lack of care and corresponding liability on the part of the contractual obligor
the burden being on him to establish otherwise. GPS has failed to do so.

HELD:
The decision of the lower courts insofar as Lambert M. Eroles is concerned is
affirmed but assailed decision with regard to GPS trucking is reversed. It, is
hereby ordered to pay FGU Insurance Corporation the value of the damaged
and lost cargoes in the amount of P204, 450.00

Obligations and Contracts Terms:

• expectation interest- the interest in having the benefit of his bargain by being
put in as good a position as he would have been in had the contract been
performed
• reliance interest- the interest in being reimbursed for loss caused by reliance
on the contract by being put in as good a position as he would have been in
had the contract not been made
• Restitution interest- which is his interest in having restored to him any benefit
that he has conferred on the other party.
• Subrogee- the person or entity that assumes the legal right to attempt to
collect a claim of another (subrogor) in return for paying the other's expenses
or debts which the other claims against a third party. A subrogee is usually the
insurance company which has insured the party whose expenses were paid.