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Republic of the Philippines Issues : a) Has the Court erred in sustaining the decision holding that the

SUPREME COURT petitioners were liable for the accident which caused by a blow-out of one of the
Manila tires of the bus without considering the same as “caso fortuito”?

No. Court has not erred in deciding that the accident was not due to a case of misfortune
EN BANC
however neglect on the part of the driver and for the company for not inspecting the bus
well.
G.R. No. L-21486 May 14, 1966
The appellate Court there made no findings of any specified acts of negligence on the
LA MALLORCA and PAMPANGA BUS COMPANY, petitioner, part of the defendants and confined itself to the question of whether or not a tire blow-
vs. out, by itself alone and without a showing as to the causative factors, would generate
VALENTIN DE JESUS, MANOLO TOLENTINO and COURT OF liability. In the present case, the cause of the blow-out was known. The inner tube of the
APPEALS, respondents. left front tire, according to petitioner's own evidence and as found by the Court of
Appeals "was pressed between the inner circle of the left wheel and the rim which had
slipped out of the wheel." This was, said Court correctly held a mechanical defect of the
Manuel O. Chan for petitioners. conveyance or a fault in its equipment which was easily discoverable if the bus had been
Sixto T. Antonio for respondents. subjected to a more thorough, or rigid check-up before it took to the road that morning.

Facts: La Mallorca and Pampanga Bus Company Inc. filed this appeal by certiorari However, both trial court and Court of Appeals found as a fact that the bus was running
from the decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision rendered by the quite fast immediately before the accident. Considering that the tire which exploded was
Court of First Instance of Bulacan in an earlier case entitled: “Valentin de Jesus et al vs not new, the plea of “caso fortuito” cannot be entertained.
La Mallorca-Pambusco.
b) Has the court erred in holding petitioners liable for moral damages?
The suit was based on a head-on collision between the Petitioner’s bus and a freight
truck traveling the opposite direction which caused the death of 20-year old Lolita de In this jurisdiction, moral damages are recoverable by reason of the death of a
Jesus, the daughter of Valentin de Jesus and wife of Manolo Tolentino. The immediate passenger caused by the breach of a contract of a common carrier. This is provided in
cause of the collision was the fact that the driver of the bus lost control of the wheel Article 1764 which uses Title 18 as reference for damages in relation to Article 2206
when its left front tire suddenly exploded. On a decision by the trial court and affirmed which provides the amount of damages to be paid to the decease not less than P3,000; all
by the Court of Appeals sentenced the Petitioner to pay the plaintiffs the amount of of which are provided by the Civil code.
P2,132.50 for actual damages; P14,400.00 as compensatory damages; P10,000.00 to
each plaintiff by way of moral damages; and P3,000.00 as counsel fees.”
These articles have been applied by this Court in a number of cases, among them
Necesito, etc. vs. Paras, et al., L-10605-06, June 30, 1958; Mercado vs. Lira, L-13328-
Petitioner claimed that a tire-blow out is a fortuitous event and gives rise to no liability 29, Sept. 29, 1961; Villa-Rey Transit vs. Bello, L-18957, April 23, 1963.
for negligence citing the rulings of the Court of Appeals in the following cases: a)
Rodriguez vs Red Line Transportation Co, and b) People vs Palapad. However, the
court had seen that these rulings were based on considerations quite different from the Decision: Judgment affirmed. Petitioner shall pay the Plaintiffs. Cost against
case at bar. petitioners.

La Mallorca and Pampanga Bus Company VS CA digested by Arce with original words from SCRA copyleft 1
2010