Sunteți pe pagina 1din 52
Block B2015 Review Operations T ORTS & D AMAGES Prof. Rommel J. Casis 1st Semester,

Block B2015 Review Operations

TORTS & DAMAGES

Prof. Rommel J. Casis

1st Semester, AY 2012-2013

Notes

Unless otherwise indicated, all provisions of law mentioned or cited are from the New Civil Code of the Philippines.

Only the relevant conceptual discussions in the cases assigned in the Conceptual Framework section of the course outline were directly quoted in this reviewer. This is so since the efforts to make a reviewer only commenced when the class started discussing the Negligence section of the course outline. In any case, most of the cases assigned were discussed in subsequent sections of the course. As such, for review of those cases, you may refer to said sections.

As for the italicized cases in the course outline, direct quotations were made. Most of them were also discussed in other parts of the outline anyway, so proceed accordingly.

Under res ipsa loquitur, the pertinent discussions in the cases were copied under the corresponding headings. The reviewer entries made for the cases are placed after the quotations from the cases.

The Prosser & Keeton citations are abbreviated and only appears in the conceptual framework section of the reviewer. An attempt to fill in the citations in the syllabus. It failed. Besides, the application of the principles enunciated therein in this jurisdiction is questionable, as they were developed from and for common law jurisdiction.

The "Spouses" in all case titles were deleted. This has nothing to do with the Committee's view of marriage, except, of course, Robert's. He plays with girls. You know that. Beware!

There are a lot of entries without the Notes field. This means that a lot of people did not fill them up online.

The provisions always come first in each section. Remember, code is king. Next are conceptual discussions in italicized cases. Finally, the cases, also known as your reviewer entries, are laid out.

This reviewer was formatted in an iPad 2. And yes, it was not easy.

Good luck!

B2015 Academics Committee October 2012

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Conceptual Framework

CONCEPT OF TORT

In Common Law

Etymology The word is derived from the Latin "tortus" or "twisted." [Prosser & Keeton] "Tort" is found in the French language, and was at one time in common use in English as a general synonym for "wrong." [Ibid.]

Definition Broadly speaking, a tort is a civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which the court will provide a remedy in the form of an action for damages. [Ibid.]

In Philippine Law

Existence Article 1902, OCC. Any person who by an act or omission causes damage to another by his fault or negligence shall be liable for the damage so done. 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 quasi-delict xxx.

Scope

Definition Essentially, "tort" consists in the violation of a right given or the omission of a duty imposed by law. Simply stated, tort is a breach of a legal duty. [Naguiat v. NLRC, 1997] A tort is a wrong, a tortious act which has been defined as the commission or omission of an act by one, without right, whereby another receives some injury, directly or indirectly, in person, property, or reputation. There are cases in which it has been stated that civil liability in tort is determined by the conduct and not by the mental state of the tortfeasor, and there are circumstances under which the motive of the defendant has been rendered immaterial. The reason sometimes given for the rule is that otherwise, the mental attitude of the alleged wrongdoer, and not the act itself, would determine whether the act was wrongful. Presence of good motive, or rather, the absence of an evil motive, does not render lawful an act which is otherwise an invasion of another's legal right; that is, liability in tort is not precluded by the fact that defendant acted without evil intent. [Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune, 2007]

Elements The traditional formula for the elements necessary to such a cause of action may be stated briefly as follows:

1. A duty, or obligation, recognized by law, requiring the

person to conform to a certain standard of conduct, for the

protection of others against unreasonable risks.

2. A failure on the person's part to conform to the

standard required: a breach of duty.

3. A reasonably close causal connection between the

conduct and the resulting injury.

4. Actual loss or damage resulting to the interests of

another. [Prosser & Keeton] Thus, the elements of an actionable conduct are: 1) duty, 2) breach, 3) injury, and 4) proximate causation. [Garcia v. Salvador, 2007] To successfully prosecute an action anchored on torts, three elements must be present, viz: (1) duty (2) breach (3) injury and proximate causation. [Ocean Builders v. Cubacub,

2011]

The Purpose of Tort Law There remains a body of law which is directed toward the compensation of individuals, rather than the public, for losses which they have suffered within the scope of the legally recognized interest generally, rather than one interest only, where the law considers that compensation is required. This is the law of torts. The law of torts, then, is concerned with the allocation of

losses arising out of human activities; and since these cover

a wide scope, so does this branch of the law. xxx The

purpose of the law of torts is to adjust these losses, and to afford compensation for injuries sustained by one person as the result of the conduct of another. [Prosser & Keeton]

CONCEPT OF QUASI-DELICT

Historical Background The individuality of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms clears and unmistakable. This legal institution is of ancient lineage, one of its early ancestors being the Lex Aquilia in the Roman Law. In fact, in Spanish legal

terminology, this responsibility is often referred to as culpa aquiliana. The Partidas also contributed to the genealogy of the present fault or negligence under the Civil Code xxx. The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code. According to Article 1089, one of the five sources of obligations is this legal institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual xxx. Then Article 1093 provides that this kind of obligation shall be governed by Chapter II of Title XVI of Book IV, meaning Articles 1902-1910. This portion of the Civil Code is exclusively devoted to the legal institution

of culpa aquiliana. [Barredo v. Garcia, 1942]

Nature Article 1089, OCC. Obligations arise from law, from contracts and quasi-contracts, and from acts and omissions which are unlawful or in which any kind of fault or negligence intervenes. Article 1157. Obligations arise from:

(1) Law;

1

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

 

(2) Contracts; (3) Quasi-contracts; (4) Acts or omissions punished by law; and (5) Quasi-delicts.

after the Garcia doctrine, no longer uses the term, "not punishable by law," thereby making it clear that the concept of culpa aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in violation of the penal law, whether

Governing Provisions Article 1162. Obligations derived from quasi-delicts shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title XVII of this Book, and by special laws.

voluntary or negligent. [Elcano v. Hill, 1977] Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligence," covers not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. [Ibid.; Andamo v. IAC, 1990]

Definition Article 1902, OCC. Any person who by an act or omission

Article 2176 xxx is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion of willfulness or intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish legal treatises as culpa aquiliana, is a civil

causes damage to another by his fault or negligence shall be liable for the damage so done. Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage

law concept while torts is an Anglo-American or common law concept. Torts is much broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only negligence, but intentional

to

another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay

criminal acts as well such as assault and battery, false

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

imprisonment and deceit. In the general scheme of the Philippine legal system envisioned by the Commission

called quasi-delict xxx.

responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, intentional and

 

Scope

malicious acts, with certain exceptions, are to be governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent acts or omissions

Intentional acts

are to be covered by Article 2176 of the Civil Code. [Baksh v. CA, 1993]

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 quasi-delict xxx.

As Manresa says the liability arising from extra-contractual culpa is always based upon a voluntary act or omission which, without willful intent, but by mere negligence or inattention, has caused damage to another. [Cangco v. Manila Railroad, 1918] Contrary to an immediate impression one might get upon

a reading of the foregoing excerpts from the opinion in

Garcia - that the concurrence of the Penal Code and the Civil Code therein referred to contemplate only acts of negligence and not intentional voluntary acts - deeper reflection would reveal that the thrust of the pronouncements therein is not so limited, but that in fact it actually extends to fault or culpa. This can be seen in the reference made therein to the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain of February 14, 1919, supra, which involved a case of fraud or estafa, not a negligent act. Indeed, Article 1093 of the Civil Code of Spain, in force here at the time of Garcia, provided textually that obligations "which are derived from acts or omissions in which fault or negligence, not punishable by law, intervene shall be the subject of Chapter II, Title XV of this book (which refers to quasi-delicts.)" And it is precisely the underlined qualification, "not punishable by law", that Justice Bocobo emphasized could lead to an undesirable construction or interpretation of the letter of the law that "killeth, rather than the spirit that giveth life" xxx. And so, because Justice Bocobo was Chairman of the Code

Commission that drafted the original text of the new Civil Code, it is to be noted that the said Code, which was enacted

2

Damage to property The concept of quasi-delict, as enunciated in Article 2176 of the Civil Code, is so broad that it includes not only injuries to persons but also damage to property. It makes no distinction between "damage to persons" on the one hand and "damage to property" on the other. Indeed, the word "damage" is used in two concepts: the "harm" done and "reparation" for the harm done. And with respect to "harm" it is plain that it includes both injuries to person and property since "harm" is not limited to personal but also to property injuries. In fact, examples of quasi-delict in the law itself include damage to property. [Cinco v. Canonoy, 1979]

Elements 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 quasi-delict xxx.

All the elements of a quasi-delict are present, to wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff. [Andamo v. IAC, 1990]

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TORT AND QUASI-DELICT

Quasi-delict, as defined in Article 2176 of the Civil Code, (which is known in Spanish legal treatises as culpa aquiliana, culpa extra-contractual or cuasi delitos) is homologous but not identical to tort under the common law, which includes not only negligence, but also intentional criminal acts, such as

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

assault and battery, false imprisonment, and deceit. [Coca- Cola Bottlers v. CA, 1993]

TORT, QUASI-DELICT, AND DELICT

Distinctions A tort is not the same thing as a crime, although the two sometimes have many features in common. The distinction between them lies in the interests affected and the remedy afforded by law. A crime is an offense against the public at

large, for which the state, as the representative of the public, will bring proceedings in the form of a criminal prosecution. [Prosser & Keeton] The civil action for a tort, on the other hand, is commenced and maintained by the injured person, and its primary purpose is to compensate for the damage suffered,

at the expense of the wrongdoer. [Ibid.] 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.

[Barredo v. Garcia, 1942] Some of the differences xxx are:

(1) That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi- 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 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. [Ibid.] [T]o 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. [Ibid.] [T]o hold that there is only one way to make, defendant's liability effective, and that is, to sue the driver and exhaust his (the latter's) property first, would be tantamount to compelling the plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is "such

a remedy under our laws, but there is also a more

expeditious way, which is based on the primary and direct responsibility of the defendant under Article 1903 of the Civil Code. [Ibid.]

Intersections 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. [Ibid.] [T]he Revised Penal Code in Article 365 punishes not only reckless but also simple negligence. If we were to hold that Articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or negligence not punished by law, according to the literal import of Article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life. Death or injury to persons and damage to property through any degree of negligence – even the slightest – would have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? [Ibid.] [B]ecause of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal Code and the Civil Code on this subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or concurrence of spheres already discussed, and for lack of understanding of the character and efficacy of the action for culpa aquiliana, there has grown up a common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there is another remedy, which is by invoking Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. [Ibid.] Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable by law. [Andamo v. IAC, 1990] Stated otherwise, victims of negligence or their heirs have

a choice between an action to enforce the civil liability arising from culpa criminal under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and an action for quasi-delict (culpa aquiliana)

under Articles 2176 to 2194 of the Civil Code. If, as here, the action chosen is for quasi-delict, the plaintiff may hold the employer liable for the negligent act of its employee, subject

to the employer's defense of exercise of the diligence of a

good father of the family. On the other hand, if the action chosen is for culpa criminal, the plaintiff can hold the employer subsidiarily liable only upon proof of prior conviction of its employee. [LG Foods v. Philadelfa, 2006]

CULPA AQUILIANA AND CULPA CONTRACTUAL

Distinctions

Source Every legal obligation must of necessity be extra- contractual or contractual. Extra-contractual obligation has its source in the breach or omission of those mutual duties which civilized society imposes upon its members, or which arise from these relations, other than contractual, of certain members of society to others, generally embraced in the concept of status. The legal rights of each member of society constitute the measure of the corresponding legal duties, mainly negative in character, which the existence of those rights imposes upon all other members of society. The breach of these general duties whether due to willful intent

or to mere inattention, if productive of injury, gives rise to an obligation to indemnify the injured party. The

3

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

fundamental distinction between obligations of this character and those which arise from contract, rests upon the fact that in cases of non-contractual obligation 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. [Cangco v. Manila Railroad, 1918]

Burden of proof When the source of the obligation upon which plaintiff's cause of action depends is a negligent act or omission, the burden of proof rests upon plaintiff to prove the negligence – if he does not his action fails. But when the facts averred show a contractual undertaking by defendant for the benefit of plaintiff, and it is alleged that plaintiff has failed or refused to perform the contract, it is not necessary for plaintiff to specify in his pleadings whether the breach of the contract is due to wilful fault or to negligence on the part of the defendant, or of his servants or agents. Proof of the contract and of its nonperformance is sufficient prima facie to warrant a recovery. [Ibid.] "As a general rule, it is logical that in case of extra- contractual culpa, a suing creditor should assume the burden of proof of its existence, xxx while on the contrary, in a case of negligence which presupposes the existence of a contractual obligation, if the creditor shows that it exists and that it has been broken, it is not necessary for him to prove the negligence." [Ibid.] In such a situation [a contract exists], a default on, or failure of compliance with, the obligation xxx 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. [FGU Insurance v. Sarmiento, 2002] Petitioner’s civil action against the driver can only be based on culpa aquiliana, which, unlike culpa contractual, would require the claimant for damages to prove negligence or fault on the part of the defendant. [Ibid.]

Applicability of doctrine of proximate cause The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasi-delict, not in actions involving breach of contract. The doctrine is a device for imputing liability to a person where there is no relation between him and another party. In such a case, the obligation is created by law itself. But, where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, it is the parties themselves who create the obligation, and the function of the law is merely to regulate the relation thus created. [Calalas v. CA, 2000]

Defense of employer for negligence of employee "From this article [Article 1903] two things are apparent:

(1) That 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 the selection, or both; and

(2) that that presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and 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." [Cangco v. Manila Railroad, 1918] On the other hand, the liability of masters and employers for the negligent acts or omissions of their servants or agents, when such acts or omissions cause damages which amount to the breach of a contract, is not based upon a mere presumption of the master's negligence in their selection or control, and proof of exercise of the utmost diligence and care in this regard does not relieve the master of his liability for the breach of his contract. [Ibid.]

Intersections 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 quasi-delict xxx.

[W]hether 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. xxx [T]he practical result is identical xxx. [Cangco v. Manila Railroad, 1918] The field of non-contractual obligation is much more broader than that of contractual obligation, comprising, as it does, the whole extent of juridical human relations. These two fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say, the mere fact that a person is bound to another by contract does not relieve him from extra-contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the obligor may break the contract under such conditions that the same act which constitutes a breach of the contract would have constituted the source of an extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed between the parties. [Ibid.] The definition of quasi-delict in Article 2176 expressly excludes cases where there is a "preexisting contractual relation between the parties." [Fores v. Miranda, 1959] And this, because, although the relation of passenger and carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature" nevertheless "the act that breaks the contract may be also a tort." [Air France v. Carrascoso, 1966] The Court has not in the process overlooked another rule that a quasi-delict can be the cause for breaching a contract that might thereby permit the application of applicable principles on tort even where there is a pre-existing contract between the plaintiff and the defendant. xxx The test (whether a quasi-delict can be deemed to underlie the breach of a contract) can be stated thusly: Where, without a pre-existing contract between two parties, an act or omission can nonetheless amount to an actionable tort by

4

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

itself, the fact that the parties are contractually bound is no

bar to the application of quasi-delict provisions to the case.

[Far East Bank v. CA, 1995] A perusal of Article 2176 shows that obligations arising from quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual

obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound

by contract, whether express or implied. However, this

impression has not prevented this Court from determining

A negligent act is an inadvertent act; it may be merely

carelessly done from a lack of ordinary prudence and may

be one which creates a situation involving an unreasonable

risk to another because of the expectable action of the other, a third person, an animal, or a force of nature. A negligent act is one from which an ordinary prudent person in the actor's position, in the same or similar circumstances, would foresee such an appreciable risk of harm to others as

the

existence of a tort even when there obtains a contract.

to

cause him not to do the act or to do it in a more careful

xxx

Air France is authority for the view that liability from

manner. [Corinthian Gardens v. Tanjangco, 2008]

tort

may exist even if there is a contract, for the act that

breaks the contract may be also a tort. [PSBA v. CA, 1992] [A] pre-existing contractual relation between the parties does not preclude the existence of a culpa aquiliana xxx. [Syquia v. CA, 1993]

[L]iability 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 contract 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. [LRT v. Navidad, 2003] The law on quasi-delict xxx is generally applicable when there is no pre-existing contractual relationship between the parties. [Consolidated Bank v. CA, 2003]

Negligence

CONCEPT OF NEGLIGENCE

In Common Law Negligence is a matter of risk – that is to say, of recognizable danger of injury. It has been defined as "conduct which involves an unreasonably great risk of

causing damage," or, more fully, conduct "which falls below

the standard established by law for the protection of others

against unreasonable risk of harm." "Negligence is conduct

and not a state of mind." [Prosser & Keeton]

In Philippine Law

Definition Article 1173. 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 the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of Articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply. If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the performance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required. Article 2178. The provisions of Articles 1172 to 1174 are

also applicable to a quasi-delict.

5

PNR v. Brunty, 2006 — A collision occurred between a car and a PNR train at 12 AM causing the death of Brunty, a passenger of the car. The car was overtaking another car, with a blind curve ahead, when it hit the train. PNR was found negligent. Doctrine: 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. The test is, did the defendant, in doing the alleged negligent act, use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not, 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. Notes: The negligence of PNR consists in the inadequate safety precautions placed in the site. The extraordinary

diligence required of common carriers is not applicable in this case since Brunty was not a passenger.

PNR v. CA, 2007 — Amores was driving when he came to

a railroad crossing. He stopped before crossing then

proceeded. But just as he was at the intersection, a PNR train turned up and collided with his car, killing him. There was neither a signal nor a crossing bar at the intersection to warn motorists and aside from the railroad track, the only visible warning sign was a dilapidated "stop, look, and listen" sign. No whistle blow was heard from the train before the collision. The SC held PNR liable, and that Amores did everything, with absolute care and caution, to avoid the collission. Doctrine: Negligence has been defined as ‘the failure to observe for the protection of the interests of another person that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury.

Determining the diligence required

Article 1173. 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 the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of Articles

1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the performance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required.

The diligence with which the law requires the individual at all times to govern his conduct varies with the nature of the situation in which he is placed and the importance of the act which he is to perform. [Sicam v. Jorge, 2007] Generally, the degree of care required is graduated according to the danger a person or property attendant upon the activity which the actor pursues or the instrumentality which he uses. The greater the danger the greater the degree of care required. What is ordinary under extraordinary of conditions is dictated by those conditions; extraordinary risk demands extraordinary care. Similarly, the more imminent the danger, the higher the degree of care. [Far Eastern Shipping v. CA, 1998]

DEGREES OF NEGLIGENCE

A different, and older, approach has recognized distinct "degrees" of negligence itself, which is to say degrees of legal fault, corresponding to required "degrees" of care. xxx It recognizes three "degrees" of negligence: slight neglige- nce, which is failure to use great care; ordinary negligence, which is failure to use ordinary care; and gross negligence, which is failure to use even slight care. [Prosser & Keeton]

Amedo v. Rio, 1954 — Managuit was a seaman. While he was on board the ship doing his job, he jumped into the water to retrieve his 2-peso bill, which was blown by the wind. He drowned. His mother was not allowed to recover because in acting as such, he was grossly negligent. Doctrine: Gross negligence is defined to be the want of even slight care and diligence. By gross negligence is meant such entire want of care as to raise a presumption that the person in fault is conscious of the probable consequences of carelessness, and is indifferent, or worse, to the danger of injury to person or property of others. It amounts to a reckless disregard of the safety of person or property. Notes: When the act is dangerous per se, doing it constitutes gross negligence.

Marinduque Iron Mines v. WCC, 1956 — Mamador was laborer. He boarded a company truck with others to go to work. When it tried to overtake another truck, it turned over and hit a coconut tree. Mamador died. Upon complaint, the defense of the company was that Mamador was notoriously negligent, for violating a company policy prohibiting riding in hauling trucks, and was, thus, barred from recovery. The SC cited Corpus Juris to the effect that violation of a rule promulgated by a commission or board is not negligence per se, much less that of a company policy. It may, however, evidence negligence. Even granting that there was negligence, it certainly was not notorious. Doctrine: Notorious negligence is the same as gross negligence, which implies a conscious indifference to consequences, pursuing a course of conduct which would

naturally and probably result in injury, or utter disregard of consequences. Notes: Mere riding or stealing a ride on a hauling truck is not negligence, ordinarily, because transportation by truck is not dangerous per se.

Ilao-Oreta v. Ronquillo, 2007 — Dr. Ilao-Oreta failed to attend to a scheduled laparoscopic operation scheduled by the spouses Ronquillo, to determine the cause of the wife's infertility. The wife already underwent pre-operation procedures at that time. Dr. Ila-Oreta claimed that she was in good faith, only failing to account the time difference between the Philippines and Hawaii, where she had her honeymoon. The SC ruled that her conduct was not grossly negligent, since the operation was only exploratory. Her "honeymoon excitement" was also considered. Doctrine: Gross negligence is the want or absence of or failure to exercise slight care or diligence or the entire absence of care. Notes: That she failed to consider the time difference was probably a big lie, since the estimated time of arrival is clearly shown in the ticket.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

Importance of Standard

The Fictitious Person Picart v. Smith, 1918 — An automobile hit a horseman, who was on the wrong side of the road. The horseman thought he did not have time to get to the other side. The car passed by too close that the horse turned its body across, with its head toward the railing. Its limb was broken, and its rider was thrown off and injured. The SC found the automobile driver negligent, since a prudent man should have foreseen the risk in his course and that he had the last fair chance to avoid the harm. Doctrine: The test to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case is: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation? The law here in effect adopts the standard suppose to be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law. The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation before him. The law considers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and prudence and determines liability by that. Notes: The Picart test is the most cited test of negligence. It introduced the use of the fictitious person. It has the markings of common law but because it uses the concept of the discreet paterfamilias, later enshrined in the Civil Code as the good father of a family, it is now a civil law test.

Sicam v. Jorge, 2007 — Jorge pawned jewelry with Agencia de R. C. Sicam. Armed men entered the pawnshop

6

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

and took away cash and jewelry from the pawnshop vault. Jorge demanded the return of the jewelry. The pawnshop failed. The SC held Sicam liable for failing to employ sufficient safeguards for the pawned goods. It held that robbery, if negligence concurred, is not a fortuitous event. Also, Article 2099 requires a creditor to take care of the thing pledged with the diligence of a good father of a family. Doctrine: The diligence with which the law requires the individual at all times to govern his conduct varies with the nature of the situation in which he is placed and the importance of the act which he is to perform. Negligence, therefore, 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. It is want of care required by the circumstances. Notes: The fictitious person is not the standard. It is his conduct.

Corinthian Gardens v. Tanjangco, 2008 — The Cuasos built their house on a lot adjoining that owned by the Tanjangcos. Their plan was approved by Corinthian Gardens. It turned out, however, that the house built encroached on the lot of the Tanjangcos. The SC found Corinthian Gardens negligent for conducting only "table inspections," when it should have conducted actual site inspections, which could have prevented the encroachment. Doctrine: A negligent act is an inadvertent act; it may be merely carelessly done from a lack of ordinary prudence and may be one which creates a situation involving an unreasonable risk to another because of the expectable action of the other, a third person, an animal, or a force of nature. A negligent act is one from which an ordinary prudent person in the actor's position, in the same or similar circumstances, would foresee such an appreciable risk of harm to others as to cause him not to do the act or to do it in a more careful manner. Notes: The test cited in the case was the Picart test.

Special Circumstances Heirs of Completo v. Albayda, 2010 — Albayda, Master Sergeant in the Philippine Air Force, was at an intersection riding his bike when he was hit by a taxi driven by Completo. Albayda suffered injuries, including breaking his knee. The SC found Completo negligent, since he was over- speeding when he reached the intersection. Also, the bike already had the right of way at the time of the incident. Doctrine: The bicycle occupies a legal position that is at least equal to that of other vehicles lawfully on the highway, and it is fortified by the fact that usually more will be required of a motorist than a bicyclist in discharging his duty of care to the other because of the physical advantages the automobile has over the bicycle. Notes: The witnesses for the same parties are of the same number. It seems odd, therefore, to apply the test of negligence when the facts are not settled by preponderance

of evidence. Thus, it appears that the court sympathized with Albayda, who was serving the government and was left by his wife, supposedly because of his injuries.

Pacis v. Morales, 2010 — Morales owned a gun shop. An employee of the shop allowed Pacis to inspect a gun brought in for repair. It turned out that the gun was loaded and when Pacis laid it down, it discharged a bullet, hitting his head. He died. The SC found Morales, as the owner, liable, since he failed to exercise the diligence required of a good father of a family, much less that required of someone dealing with dangerous weapons. Doctrine: A higher degree of care is required of someone who has in his possession or under his control an instrumentality extremely dangerous in character, such as dangerous weapons or substances. Such person in possession or control of dangerous instrumentalities has the duty to take exceptional precautions to prevent any injury being done thereby. Unlike the ordinary affairs of life or business which involve little or no risk, a business dealing with dangerous weapons requires the exercise of a higher degree of care. Notes: Two things may be considered negligent: the keeping of a defective gun loaded and the storing a defective gun in a drawer. It is strange, however, that the negligence of the employee was not discussed, when the presumption that the employer was negligent only arises after the negligence of the employee is established. Also, that the wound sustained was in the head appears to be a factual anomaly.

Children Taylor v. Manila Railroad, 1910 — David Taylor, 15 years old, and Manuel, 12, obtained fulminating caps from the compound of Manila Railroad. They experimented on them. The experiment ended with a bang, literally. The explosion caused injury to the right eye of Taylor. His father sued for damages. The defense of Manila Railroad is the entry to their compound was without its invitation. The SC held that the absence of invitation cannot relieve Manila Railroad from liability. However, it held that the proximate cause of the injury was Taylor's negligence. Doctrine: The personal circumstances of the child may be considered in determining the existence of negligence on his part. Notes: The age-bracket regime, where certain age groups are treated as incapable of negligent conduct, was not applied here. Also, the standard applied differs from that objective standard of conduct generally applied to adults.

Jarco Marketing v. CA, 1999 — Zhieneth, 6 years old, was pinned down by a gift-wrapping counter at a department store, when her mother momentarily let her go to sign a credit card slip. She died. The SC found Jarco Marketing negligent, since it did not employ safety measures even when it knew that the counter was unstable. That Zhieneth was negligent, that she climbed the counter, is incredible.

7

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Doctrine: A conclusive presumption runs in favor of children below 9 years old that they are incapable of contributory negligence. Notes: The 9-year mark was adopted from the Sangco's discussion on the matter, citing the same age mark for determining discernment in criminal law. This analogy, however, is erroneous since discernment, in criminal law, is used to determine the existence of criminal intent, which is wildly different from negligence.

Ylarde v. Aquino, 1988 — Ylarde, a 10-year old student, and other fellow students were asked by Aquino, their teacher, to help him in burying large blocks of stones. Aquino left them for a while and told them not to touch anything. After Aquino left, they played and Ylarde jumped into the hole while one of them jumped on the stone, causing it to slide into the hole. Ylarde was not able to get out of the hole in time and died. The SC ruled that Aquino was negligent in leaving his pupils in the dangerous site, and that it was natural for said pupils to play. It disregarded the claim that Ylarde was imprudent. Doctrine: The degree of care required to be exercised must vary with the capacity of the person endangered to care for himself. A minor should not be held to the same degree of care as an adult, but his conduct should be judged according to the average conduct of persons of his age and experience. The standard of conduct to which a child must conform for his own protection is that degree of care ordinarily exercised by children of the same age, capacity, discretion, knowledge and experience under the same or similar circumstances. Notes: The choice of standard of diligence for children also depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Experts

In general Those who undertake any work calling for special skills are required not only to exercise reasonable care in what they do but also possess a standard minimum of special knowledge and ability. Every man who offers his services to another, and is employed, assumes to exercise in the employment such skills he possesses, with a reasonable degree of diligence. In all these employments where peculiar skill is requisite, if one offers his services he is understood as holding himself out to the public as possessing the degree of skill commonly possessed by others in the same employment, and if his pretensions are unfounded he commits a species of fraud on every man who employs him in reliance on his public profession. [Far Eastern Shipping v. CA, 1998]

Culion v. Philippine Motors, 1930 — Culion contracted Philippine Motors to convert the engine of his fishing vessel to process crude oil instead of gasoline. When they tried to test it, a backfire broke out. When it reached the carburetor, the fire grew bigger. Apparently, the carburetor was soaked

with oil from a leak from the tubing, which was improperly fitted to the oil tank. The SC held Philippine Motor negligent for failing to use the skill that would have been exhibited by one ordinarily expert in repairing gasoline engines on boats. Ordinarily, a backfire would not be followed by a disaster. Doctrine: When a person hold himself out as being competent to do things requiring professional skill, he will be liable for negligence if he fails to exhibit the care and skill of one ordinarily skilled in the particular work which he attempts to do.

Pharmacists US v. Pineda, 1918 — Santos bought medicine in Santiago Pineda’s pharmacy for his sick horses. He was given the wrong medicine. His horses died. The SC held him criminally liable under The Pharmacy Law. Doctrine: The profession of pharmacy is one demanding care and skill. The responsibility of the druggist to use care has been variously qualified as "ordinary care," "care of a specially high degree," "the highest degree of care known to practical men." In other words, the care required must be commensurate with the danger involved, and the skill employed must correspond with the superior knowledge of the business which the law demands. Caveat emptor does not apply because the pharmacist and the customer are not in equal footing in this kind of transaction. Notes: Even when the mistake is not fatal, the pharmacist will still be held liable if the rule laid down applied. Also, caveat emptor may apply in cases of well-known medicine.

Mercury Drug v. De Leon, 2008 — Judge De Leon was given a prescription by his doctor friend for his eye. He bought them from Mercury Drug but he was given drops for the ears. When he applied the drops to his eyes, he felt searing pain. Only then did he discover that he was given the wrong medicine. Mercury Drug invoked the principle of caveat emptor. The SC held Mercury Drug and its employee liable for failing to exercise the highest degree of diligence expected of them. Doctrine: The profession of pharmacy demands care and skill, and druggists must exercise care of a specially high degree, the highest degree of care known to practical men. In other words, druggists must exercise the highest practicable degree of prudence and vigilance, and the most exact and reliable safeguards consistent with the reasonable conduct of the business, so that human life may not constantly be exposed to the danger flowing from the substitution of deadly poisons for harmless medicines.

Medical professionals Cruz v. CA, 1997 — Dr. Cruz performed a hysterectomy on Lydia Umali. The hospital was untidy, and during the operation, the family had to obtain blood, oxygen supply, and other articles necessary for the operation outside the hospital. Lydia went into shock and her blood pressure dropped. She was transferred to another hospital. Dr. Cruz

8

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

was charged with reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. The SC absolved Dr. Cruz. While the facts point to the existence of reckless imprudence, it was not shown that such imprudence caused the death of Lydia. Moral and exemplary damages were, however, awarded. Doctrine: By accepting a case, a doctor in effect represents that, having the needed training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons practicing in the same field, he will employ such training, care and skill in the treatment of his patients. He therefore has a duty to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same circumstances. It is in this aspect of medical malpractice that expert testimony is essential to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but also that the physician's conduct in the treatment and care falls below such standard. Further, inasmuch as the causes of the injuries involved in malpractice actions are determinable only in the light of scientific knowledge, it has been recognized that expert testimony is usually necessary to support the conclusion as to causation.

Professional Services v. Agana, 2007 — After her hysterectomy operation at Medical City, Natividad found out that two pieces of sponges were left inside her, which has caused her pain for a long time. The SC held Dr. Ampil, the surgeon who closed the incision, liable, ruling that leaving foreign substances in the wound after the incision has been closed in at the very least prima facie negligence. It is inconsistent with due care, raising an inference of negligence. It is even considered as negligence per se. Also, when the operation was finished, it was found out that two sponges were missing. Doctrine: Once a physician undertakes the treatment and care of a patient, the law imposes on him certain obligations. To escape liability, he must possess that reason- able degree of learning, skill and experience required by his profession. At the same time, he must apply reasonable care and diligence in the exercise of his skill and the application of his knowledge, and exert his best judgment.

Cayao-Lasam v. Ramolete, 2008 — Dr. Cayao-Lasam conducted a dilatation and curettage procedure (raspa) on Ramolete. Almost a month after, she went back to the hospital. A dead fetus was found in her womb. She underwent operations, which rendered her incapable of bering a child. The SC absolved Dr. Cayao-Lasam, since there was no expert testimony presented to the effect that she breached her professional duties, and Ramolete herself failed to attend the follow-up check-ups after the operation, which could have avoided the injury. Doctrine: There are four elements involved in medical negligence cases: duty, breach, injury and proximate causation. A physician is duty-bound to use at least the same level of care that any reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same circumstances. Breach of this duty, whereby the patient is

injured in body or in health, constitutes actionable malpractice. As to this aspect of medical malpractice, the determination of the reasonable level of care and the breach thereof, expert testimony is essential. Notes: The elements enumerated is the same as that for a tort. It, therefore, shares the same problem as that of tort, that is, lack of statutory basis. The requirement of expert testimony is understandable in this case.

Lucas v. Tuaño, 2009 — Lucas consulted Dr. Tuaño regarding his "sore eyes." He was prescribed a medicine. Not long after, however, his sore eyes turned into a viral infection. Maxitrol was then prescribed. The infection subsided. Upon discovery that Maxitrol increased the chance of contracting glaucoma, he consulted Dr. Tuaño, who brushed it aside. His right eye became blind because of glaucoma. On consultation to another physician, Lucas was informed that his condition would require long-term care. The SC absolved Dr. Tuaño. It found that Lucas failed to discharge the burden of proof by failing to present expert testimony to establish the standard of care required, breach, and proximate causation, which requires expert testimony. Doctrine: Just like any other proceeding for damages, four essential elements i.e., (1) duty; (2) breach; (3) injury; and (4) proximate causation, must be established in medical negligence cases. In accepting a case, the physician, for all intents and purposes, represents that he has the needed training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons practicing in the same field; and that he will employ such training, care, and skill in the treatment of the patient. This standard level of care, skill and diligence is a matter best addressed by expert medical testimony, because the standard of care in a medical malpractice case is a matter peculiarly within the knowledge of experts in the field. Notes: The action was primarily based on Article 2176. However, instead of using the three elements for quasi- delict, the elements of the common-law tort was used.

Establishing and Defending Claims of Negligence

PROVING NEGLIGENCE

In General Section 1, Rule 131, Rules of Court. Burden of proof. – Burden of proof is the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law.

Presumptions

In motor vehicle mishaps Article 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in

9

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

the vehicle, could have, by the use of due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months. If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of Article 2180 are applicable. Article 2185. 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 the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation.

Possession of dangerous weapons or substance Article 2188. There is prima facie presumption of negli- gence on the part of the defendant if the death or injury results from his possession of dangerous weapons or substances, such as firearms and poison, except when the possession or use thereof is indispensable in his occupation or business.

Common carriers Article 1734. Common carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods, unless the same is due to any of the following causes only:

(1) Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity; (2) Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil; (3) Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods; (4) The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers; (5) Order or act of competent public authority. Article 1735. In all cases other than those mentioned in Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the preceding article, if the goods are lost, destroyed or deteriorated, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as required in Article 1733.

Res ipsa loquitur Definition/statement of the rule. This doctrine is stated thus:

“Where the thing which causes injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the management use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of care. [Layugan v. IAC, 1988; Batiquin v. CA, 1996] Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself). Rebuttable presumption or inference that defendant was negligent, which arises upon proof that instrumentality causing injury was in defendant’s exclusive control, and that the accident was one which ordinarily does not happen in absence of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence whereby negligence of alleged wrongdoer may be inferred from mere fact that accident happened provided the character of accident and circumstances attending it lead reasonably to a

belief that in the absence of negligence it would not have occurred and that thing which caused injury is shown to have been under management and control of alleged wrongdoer. Under the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur” the happening of an injury permits an inference of negligence where plaintiff produces substantial evidence that injury was caused by an agency or instrumentality under exclusive control and management of defendant, and that the occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of things would not happen if reasonable care had been used. [Layugan v. IAC, 1998, citing Black's Law Dictionary] While negligence is not ordinarily inferred or presumed, and while the mere happening of an accident or injury will not generally give rise to an inference or presumption that it was due to negligence on defendant’s part, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, which means, literally, the thing or transaction speaks for itself, or in one jurisdiction, that the thing or instrumentality speaks for itself, the facts or circumstances accompanying an injury may be such as to raise a presumption, or at least permit an inference of negligence on the part of the defendant, or some other person who is charged with negligence. [DM Consunji v. CA, 2007, citing American Jurisprudence]

Justification. It is grounded in the superior logic of ordinary human experience and on the basis of such experience or common knowledge, negligence may be deduced from the mere occurrence of the accident itself. Hence, res ipsa loquitur is applied in conjunction with the doctrine of common knowledge. [Ramos v. CA, 1999; Tan v. JAM Transit, 2009] One of the theoretical basis for the doctrine is its necessity, i.e., that necessary evidence is absent or not available. xxx The doctrine is based in part upon the theory that the defendant in charge of the instrumentality which causes the injury either knows the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it and that the plaintiff has no such knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege negligence in general terms and to rely upon the proof of the happening of the accident in order to establish negligence. The inference which the doctrine permits is grounded upon the fact that the chief evidence of the true cause, whether culpable or innocent, is practically accessible to the defendant but inaccessible to the injured person. It has been said that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur furnishes a bridge by which a plaintiff, without knowledge of the cause, reaches over to defendant who knows or should know the cause, for any explanation of care exercised by the defendant in respect of the matter of which the plaintiff complains. The res ipsa loquitur doctrine, another court has said, is a rule of necessity, in that it proceeds on the theory that 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. [DM Consunji v. CA, 2001, citing American Jurisprudence]

10

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Nature. The doctrine is not a rule of substantive law but merely a mode of proof or a mere procedural convenience. [Layugan v. IAC, 1988; Batiquin v. CA, 1996] However, much has been said that res ipsa loquitur is not a rule of substantive law and, as such, does not create or constitute an independent or separate ground of liability. Instead, it is considered as merely evidentiary or in the nature of a procedural rule. It is regarded as a mode of proof, or a mere procedural convenience. [Ramos v. CA, 1999; Professional Services v. Agana, 2007]

Effect. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. [Layugan v. IAC, 1988; Batiquin v. CA, 1998] The rule, when applicable to the facts and circumstances of a particular case, is not intended to and does not dispense with the requirement of proof of culpable negligence on the part of the party charged. It merely determines and regulates what shall be prima facie evidence thereof and facilitates the burden of plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due care. [Layugan v. IAC, 1988; Batiquin v. CA, 1996] [I]t furnishes a substitute for, and relieves a plaintiff of, the burden of producing specific proof of negligence. [Ramos v. CA, 1999; Tan v. JAM Transit, 2009] 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. The presumption or inference may be rebutted or overcome by other evidence and, under appropriate circumstances disputable presumption, such as that of due care or innocence, may outweigh the inference. It is not for the defendant to explain or prove its defense to prevent the presumption or inference from arising. Evidence by the defendant of say, due care, comes into play only after the circumstances for the application of the doctrine has been established. [DM Consunji v. CA, 2001]

Requisites. The doctrine can be invoked when and only when, under the circumstances involved, direct evidence is absent and not readily available. [Layugan v. IAC, 1988; Batiquin v. CA, 1996] Still, before resort to the doctrine may be allowed, the following requisites must be satisfactorily shown: 1. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someone’s negligence; 2. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant or defendants; and 3. The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated. [Ramos v. CA, 1999; Tan v. JAM Transit, 2009; Cantre v. Go, 2007; College Assurance v. Belfranlt Development, 2007] In the above requisites, the fundamental element is the “control of instrumentality” which caused the damage.

Such element of control must be shown to be within the dominion of the defendant. In order to have the benefit of the rule, a plaintiff, in addition to proving injury or damage, must show a situation where it is applicable, and must establish that the essential elements of the doctrine were present in a particular incident. [Ramos v. CA, 1999] From the foregoing statements of the rule, the requisites for the applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur are: (1) the occurrence of an injury; (2) the thing which caused the injury was under the control and management of the defendant; (3) the occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of things, would not have happened if those who had control or management used proper care; and (4) the absence of explanation by the defendant. Of the foregoing requisites, the most instrumental is the "control and management of the thing which caused the injury." [Professional Services v. Agana, 2007] Accordingly, some court add to the three prerequisites for the application of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine the further requirement that for the res ipsa loquitur doctrine to apply, 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. [DM Consunji v. CA, 2001, citing American Jurisprudence]

Effect of direct evidence. Hence, it has generally been held that the presumption of inference arising from the doctrine cannot be availed of, or is overcome, where plaintiff has knowledge and testifies or presents evidence as to the specific act of negligence which is the cause of the injury complained of or where there is direct evidence as to the precise cause of the accident and all the facts and circumstances attendant on the occurrence clearly appear. Finally, once the actual cause of injury is established beyond controversy, whether by the plaintiff or by the defendant, no presumptions will be involved and the doctrine becomes inapplicable when the circumstances have been so completely elucidated that no inference of defendant’s liability can reasonably be made, whatever the source of the evidence, as in this case. [Layugan v. IAC, 1988]

In medical negligence cases. Medical malpractice cases do not escape the application of this doctrine. Thus, res ipsa loquitur has been applied when the circumstances attendant upon the harm are themselves of such a character as to justify an inference of negligence as the cause of that harm. [Ramos v. CA, 1999] Although generally, expert medical testimony is relied upon in malpractice suits to prove that a physician has done a negligent act or that he has deviated from the standard medical procedure, when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the need for expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the injury itself provides the proof of negligence. The reason is that the general rule on the necessity of expert testimony applies only to such matters clearly within the domain of medical

11

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

science, and not to matters that are within the common knowledge of mankind which may be testified to by anyone familiar with the facts. Ordinarily, only physicians and surgeons of skill and experience are competent to testify as to whether a patient has been treated or operated upon with a reasonable degree of skill and care. However, testimony as to the statements and acts of physicians and surgeons, external appearances, and manifest conditions which are observable by any one may be given by non-expert witnesses. Hence, in cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the court is permitted to find a physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to the patient, without the aid of expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common knowledge can determine the proper standard of care. xxx When the doctrine is appropriate, all that the patient must do is prove a nexus between the particular act or omission complained of and the injury sustained while under the custody and management of the defendant without need to produce expert medical testimony to establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa loquitur is allowed because there is no other way, under usual and ordinary conditions, by which the patient can obtain redress for injury suffered by him. [Ibid.]

Layugan v. IAC, 1988 — A truck being repaired by Layugan was parked at the side of the road. It was hit by an oncoming truck. Layugan was pinned underneath the truck, his left forearm and left leg injured. His leg had to be amputated due to gangrene. The SC held that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, used as a defense here, need not be applied since there was direct evidence to prove the negligence of the driver of the oncoming truck. Doctrine: It has generally been held that the presumption of inference arising from the doctrine cannot be availed of, or is overcome, where plaintiff has knowledge and testifies or presents evidence as to the specific act of negligence which is the cause of the injury complained of or where there is direct evidence as to the precise cause of the accident and all the facts and circumstances attendant on the occurrence clearly appear. Notes: That the rule was invoked as a defense is strange, since it is usually used to establish negligence.

Ramos v. CA, 1999 — For her cholecystectomy, the surgeon for Ramos was late, and her anesthesiologist was incompetent. Something went wrong during the intubation, that her nailbeds became bluish. She had to be placed in a trendelenburg position, so her brain can get enough oxygen. A respiratory machine was rushed into the operating room. For lack of oxygen in her brain, she went into a comatose condition. In the action for damages, the SC held that the damage sustained presents a case for the application of res ipsa loquitur. Brain damage does not normally occur in a gall bladder operation in the absence of negligence. The anesthesia was under the exclusive control of the doctors. The patient was unconscious, incapable of

contributory negligence. The presumption of negligence arose, and remained unrebutted. Doctrine: The injury incurred by petitioner Erlinda does not normally happen absent any negligence in the administration of anesthesia and in the use of an endotracheal tube. The instruments used in the administration of anesthesia, including the endotracheal tube, were all under the exclusive control of Dr. Gutierrez and Dr. Hosaka. Thus the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor can be applied in this case. Res ipsa could apply in medical cases. In cases where it applies, expert testimony can be dispensed with. Notes: Expert testimony may be dispensed with when res ipsa loquitur applies. There were proof of negligence in this case. Nonetheless, the doctrine was still applied.

Tan v. JAM Transit, 2009 — Tan was the owner of a jitney loaded with quail eggs and duck eggs. It was negotiating a left turn when it collided with a JAM Transit bus. The jitney turned turtle. Its driver and passenger were injured. The eggs were destroyed. SC held the bus driver was negligent for overtaking when there were double yellow center lines on the road, which means overtaking is prohibited. Res ipsa loquitur was held applicable, since the incident could not have happened in the absence of negligence, the bus was under the control of the driver, and the jitney driver was not contributorily negligent. Doctrine: 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, since it furnishes a substitute for, and relieves a plaintiff of, the burden of producing a specific proof of negligence. Notes: While the SC stated that the doctrine was applicable, it still examined the evidence proving the negligence of the bus driver. This means that the doctrine was not necessary in resolving the case.

Cantre v. Go, 2007 — While unconscious during her treatment by Dr. Cantre for complications due to her pregnancy, Go sustained a gaping wound near her armpit, which appeared to be burns caused by contact with the droplight in the operating room. The SC found Dr. Cantre negligent. The wound was not an ordinary occurrence, since it is far removed from the organs treated. The instrument (droplight or blood pressure cuffs) which caused the injury was under the exclusive control of the physician. Go was incapable of contributory negligence since she was unconscious. Doctrine: In cases involving medical negligence, the doctrine allows the mere existence of an injury to justify a presumption of negligence on the part of the person who controls the instrument causing the injury, provided that the requisites concur [see Requisites above]. Notes: The requisites were matched with the facts of the case to establish the proper application of res ipsa loquitur.

12

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Batiquin v. CA, 1996 — Dr. Batiquin performed a caesarian operation on Villegas. Afterwards, she was found to be feverish. When the patient submitted herself to another surgery, she was found to have an ovarian cyst and a piece of rubber material, which looked like a piece of a rubber glove, embedded in her uterus. The elements of res ipsa loquitur were held to be present here. The entire operation was under the exclusive control of Dr. Batiquin. The injury could not have occurred unless through negligence. The resulting presumption was not rebutted. Doctrine: When the doctrine applies, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of ordinary care.

Professional Services v. Agana, 2007 — After her hysterectomy operation at Medical City, Natividad Agana found out that two pieces of sponges were left inside her, which has caused her pain for a long time. Dr. Ampil, who closed the incision, invoking res ipsa loquitur, blamed Dr. Fuentes, who conducted the operation itself. The SC absolved Dr. Fuentes, since he ceased to have control of the thing which caused the injury, when Dr. Ampil took over. On the contrary, Dr. Ampil was the lead surgeon, liable under the "captain of the ship" rule. Doctrine: The most instrumental in the requisites [see Requisites above] for the doctrine to apply is the control and management of the thing which caused the injury.

DM Consunji v. CA, 2001 — Jose Juego, a construction worker of DM Consunji, fell 14 floors to his death from a building. He was working on top of a plywood flooring when the bolts, which were merely inserted, connecting it to a 5-ton chain block, loosened, causing the whole assembly to fall. The SC found DM Consunji, who had exclusive management of the construction site, liable. It held that res ipsa loquitur applies, since no worker would fall unless someone was negligent, and Juego was not contributorily negligent. Doctrine: 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. Notes: The case mentioned that res ipsa loquitur is based on common sense and necessity.

College Assurance v. Belfranlt, 2007 — Fire razed a building owned by Belfranlt Development and leased to College Assurance Plan. damages. It was caused by an overheated coffee percolator in the store room leased to College Assurance. College Assurance assailed the report of the fireman to this effect. The SC held that even without such report, res ipsa loquitur may be applied. The fire was not an spontaneous occurrence. It originated from the store room, in the possession and control of College Assurance. Belfranlt Development had no hand in the incident, and it has no means to find out for itself the cause of the fire.

Doctrine: When the doctrine applies, it may dispense with the expert testimony to sustain an allegation of negligence. The inference of negligence is not dispelled by mere denial. Notes: The case illustrates clearly the element of control in the requisites for the application of the doctrine. Also, only College Assurance has the knowledge of, or at least it had the best opportunity to ascertain, the cause of the fire.

DEFENSES AGAINST CHARGE OF NEGLIGENCE

Plaintiff’s negligence is proximate cause Article 2179. Article 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. xxx

Bernardo v. Legaspi, 1914 — There was a collision between 2 automobiles. One sued for damages. The other counterclaimed. Th SC held that both were negligent in handling their automobiles, in such a character and extent as to prevent either from recovering. Doctrine: Where the plaintiff in a negligence action, by his own carelessness contributes to the principal occurrence, that is, to the accident, as one of the determining causes thereof, he cannot recover.

PLDT v. CA, 1989 — The jeep driven by Esteban suddenly swerved, hit a mound, and fell into an open trench, which was an excavation undertaken by PLDT. Esteban frequently drive through said street. The SC found that Esteban was negligent, since he did not exercise reasonable care and prudence, when he already knew of the perils of the road. Also, there was insufficient evidence proving the negligence of PLDT. Esteban cannot recover. Doctrine: Negligence, which is not only contributory to the injury but goes to the very cause of the occurrence of the accident, as one of its determining factors, precludes the right to recover damages. Notes: The presence of warning signs could not have prevented the accident. The proximate cause would still be the sudden swerving of the jeep. If the injury could have been prevented by the warning signs, failure place them may be the proximate cause.

Manila Electric v. Remoquillo, 1956 — Efren Magno was repairing a media agua in his stepbrother's house. With a galvanized iron sheet, he turned around. The sheet came in contact with an electric wire, causing his death by electrocution. Manila Electric was absolved. The SC found that, while Manila Electric may have been negligent in leaving the wires uninsulated, the proximate cause of the death was Magno's sudden turning around and the close proximity of the house to the electric wires, in violation of the construction permit given. Doctrine: A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of an action if such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there intervened

13

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

between such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have happened but for such condition or occasion. Notes: In relation to the discussion on experts, Magno cannot be considered as such since his job was not for pay.

Contributory negligence of plaintiff Article 2179. xxx But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. Article 2214. In quasi-delicts, the contributory negligence of the plaintiff shall reduce the damages that he may recover.

NPC v. Heirs of Casionan, 2008 — Casionan and Jimenez took bamboo poles, 14 and 18 feet, respectively, for pocket mining and walked on the only trail that led to their workplace. The trail had high-tension electrical lines sagging and dangling to the ground. When Noble turned left on a curve, his bamboo hit a wire which electrocuted him. Noble died. His heirs sued NPC. The latter asked for mitigation of its liability since Casionan was contributorily negligent. The SC did not think so. Doctrine: 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 which he is required to conform for his own protection. It is an act or omission amounting to want of ordinary care on the part of the person injured which, concurring with the defendant's negligence, is the proximate cause of the injury. Notes: The definition of contributory negligence here almost equated it to proximate cause.

Genobiagon v. CA, 1989 — An old woman was crossing the street. She started to do so when a rig was approaching, followed by another, driven by Genobiagon, which was very fast as it was trying to overtake the first rig. Genobiagon eventually bumped the old woman to her death. Tried for homicide through reckless imprudence, he claims that the reckless negligence of the woman was the proximate cause. The SC rejected his defense. Doctrine: The defense of contributory negligence does not apply in criminal cases committed through reckless imprudence, since one cannot allege the negligence of another to evade the effects of his own negligence Notes: Contributory negligence, which usually serves as a defense in civil cases, is not applicable in criminal cases.

MH Rakes v. The Atlantic & Co., 1907 — Rakes was transporting iron bars through a hand car. Rakes walked beside the hand car, which was prohibited by the foreman. When the iron bars slipped, and because of a depression in the rails caused by a recent typhoon, his feet was injured and amputated. The SC found that while he may not be

aware of the defects in the rail, his disobedience, which placed him in danger, contributed to some degree to the injury "as a proximate, although not as its primary cause." He is thus entitled only to half the amount of damages. Doctrine: Where the claimant contributes to the principal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he can not recover. Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to his own injury, he may recover the amount that the defendant responsible for the event should pay for such injury, less a sum deemed a suitable equivalent for his own imprudence. Notes: The court surveyed the common law rule of contributory negligence as a complete bar to recovery. The reason for such rule is because of the difficulty in measuring negligence and the extent to which it cause the injury. The court, however, refused to apply it, ruling instead that contributory negligence only reduces the amount recoverable, a rule now in the Civil Code. The rule was applied to actual damages in this case. Whether it may be applied to other kinds of damages is not settled.

Lambert v. Heirs of Castillon, 2005 — After a bottle of beer, Castillon was driving fast on a motorbike without helmet, when the jeep he was tailgating made a sudden left turn. He died. The SC held that, while the sudden left turn of the jeep was the proximate cause, Castillon was guilty of contributory negligence. He is entitled only to half of the damages (loss of earning capacity, death indemnity, moral). Doctrine: The underlying precept on contributory negli- gence is that a plaintiff who is partly responsible for his own injury should not be entitled to recover damages in full but must bear the consequences of his own negligence. The defendant must thus be held liable only for the damages actually caused by his negligence. The determination of the mitigation of the defendants liability varies depending on the circumstances of each case. Notes: The case cited MH Rakes v. The Atlantic as regards the mitigation of damages without discussing the reason behind the proportionate reduction.

PNR v. Brunty, 2006 — A collision occurred between a car and a PNR train at 12 AM causing the death of Brunty, a passenger of the car. The car was overtaking another car, with a blind curve ahead, when it hit the train. The SC found the car driver contributorily negligent, but did not mitigate the liability of PNR to Brunty. Her relationship with the driver was not established. Doctrine: 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.

14

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Notes: Causal link between negligence and injury is included in the definition of contributory negligence. Also, the negligence of the driver was external to the liability of PNR to Brunty. As such, it does not mitigate such liability.

human will. The incident was either caused by the negligence of the driver, or mechanical defects. Doctrine: The requisites of a caso fortuito are mentioned in Lasam v. Smith [see Three-step analysis above]. When the

Fortuitous event

cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence was not independent of the human will, that is, negligence of the

Definition

defendant concurred, the defense does not apply. Notes: In case mechanical defects caused the injury, the

Defense and exceptions

carrier is liable if such defects can be discovered by exercising the degree of care required. It may, however,

Elements

recover from the manufacturer. Also, while blowing-out of a

Three-step analysis Article 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is otherwise declared by stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for those events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable.

Based on the provision and on the lecture, the three-step test for determining the existence of fortuitous event, which exempts from liability, is:

newly bought tire may constitute fortuitous event, it was not so in this case since there were indications of concurrent negligence on the part of the driver.

Southeastern College v. CA, 1998 — A typhoon blew the roof of Southeastern College away. It landed on the house of the Dimaanos, damaging it. On suit for damages, the SC ruled that typhoon is a fortuitous event, and that the College was not negligent. If the roofing were not firmly anchored, it could not have withstood previous typhoons. Doctrine: In order that a fortuitous event may exempt a person from liability, it is necessary that he be free from any previous negligence or misconduct by reason of which the

Notes: The case traced the history of fortuitous event from

Sicam v. Jorge, 2007 — Jorge pawned jewelry with

First: Is the event a fortuitous event? As defined, fortuitous events are those which "could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable." Second: Is it within the exceptions in Article 1174? If yes, the defense cannot apply. The exceptions are when the liability for fortuitous event is:

(1) specified by law; (2) when it is declared by stipulation; or (3) required by the nature of the obligation. Third: Are the elements present? The elements, as laid down in Lasam v. Smith, are:

(1) The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occur- rence, or of the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation, must be independent of the human will; (2) It must be impossible to foresee the event which cons- titutes the caso fortuito, or if it can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid. (3) The occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner; (4) The debtor must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor. Note: The elements, while lacking in statutory basis, are applied by the court anyway.

loss may have been occasioned. When the effect is found to be partly the result of the participation of man – whether it be from active intervention, or neglect, or failure to act – the whole occurrence is hereby humanized, and removed from the rules applicable to fortuitous events.

Partidas. It also cited Tolentino, stating the fortuitous events may be produced by by nature or by act of man.

Agencia de R. C. Sicam. Armed men entered the pawnshop and took away cash and jewelry from the pawnshop vault. Jorge demanded the return of the jewelry. The pawnshop failed. The SC held Sicam liable for failing to employ sufficient safeguards for the pawned goods. It held that robbery, if negligence concurred, is not a fortuitous event. Doctrine: An act of God cannot be invoked to protect a person who has failed to take steps to forestall the possible adverse consequences of such a loss. One's negligence may have concurred with an act of God in producing damage and injury to another; nonetheless, showing that the immediate or proximate cause of the damage or injury was a fortuitous event would not exempt one from liability.

Juntilla v. Fontanar, 1985 — The right rear tire of the jeepney, where Juntilla was a passenger, exploded causing the vehicle to turn turtle. Juntilla, who was sitting at the front seat, was thrown out of the vehicle. He suffered injuries and his Omega watch was lost. On his complaint for breach of contract of carriage with damages, the SC ruled that the defense of fortuitous event was not present since the cause of the event was not independent of the

Plaintiff’s assumption of risk/volenti non fit injuria Afialda v. Hisole, 1949 — A caretaker of carabaos was gored by a carabao. He later died as a consequence of his injuries. In an action based on Article 1905 against the owner, the SC held that being injured by the animal under his care was one of the risks of the occupation which the caretaker voluntarily assumed and for which he must take the consequences. It held that Article 1905 does not apply.

15

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Doctrine: Article 1905 names the possessor or user of the animal as the person liable for "any damages it may cause," since he has the custody and is in a position to prevent it from causing damage. Notes: The caretaker voluntarily and knowingly assumed the inherent risk when he agreed to be employed as such.

Ilocos Norte Electric v. CA, 1989 — After a typhoon, early in the morning, Nana Belen ventured into the waist-deep flood to look after the merchandise that might have been damaged in her store. While wading through the flood, she suddenly screamed and quickly sank. On that spot, an electric wire was seen dangling from a post, moving in a snake-like fashion. In the complaint, the electric company raised the defense of volenti non fit injuria. The SC held that it is inapplicable, since Nana Belen was impelled to brave the subsiding typhoon to see to it that her goods were not flooded. At that time, she was at a place where she had a right to be, to protect her source of livelihood. Doctrine: A person is excused from the force of the rule when (1) an emergency is found to exist or if the life or property of another is in peril, or (2) when he seeks to rescue his endangered property.

Calalas v. CA, 2000 — Sunga sat in an extension seat in a jeepney. An Isuzu truck bumped the jeepney, injuring Sunga. The jeepney owner sued the truck driver and owner, based on quasi-delict. They were held liable. Sunga filed a case for breach of contract against the jeep owner, with the truck owner as third party defendant. The SC held Calalas liable. It said that taking an "extension seat" did not amount to an implied assumption of risk. Doctrine: The contention that taking an "extension seat" amounted to an implied assumption of risk is akin to arguing that the injuries to the many victims of the tragedies in our seas should not be compensated merely because those passengers assumed a greater risk of drowning by boarding an overloaded ferry.

Nikko Hotel v. Reyes, 2005 — Amay Bisaya was invited by a friend for several years to a private party in the hotel. He claimed that he was told by the executive secretary, in a loud voice and with the other guests able to hear, to leave for he was not invited. Upon his complaint based on the human relations provision, the hotel invoked volenti non fit injuria. The SC held the doctrine does not apply, since the action was based on Articles 19 and 21. Nonetheless, it found that the narration of Amang Bisaya incredible. It believed the testimony of the executive secretary, that he was asked to leave in a discreet manner, and that since intent to injure was not proven. Hence, no liability attaches under Articles 19 and 21. Doctrine: The doctrine of volenti non fit injuria (to which a person assents is not esteemed in law as injury) refers to self-inflicted injury or to the consent to injury, which precludes the recovery of damages by one who has knowingly and voluntarily exposed himself to danger, even

if he is not negligent in doing so. It does not apply in an action based on Articles 19 and 21, since even if the risk of injury is assumed, the obligation to treat others fairly under said provisions still exists. Notes: Compare with Pantaleon v. American Express as to the applicability of the doctrine when the action is based on Articles 19 and 21.

Pantaleon v. American Express, 2010 — While on a European tour, Pantaleon and his family attempted to purchase diamond pieces at Coster Diamond House using their American Express. This they did 10 minutes before their tour group had to leave for Amsterdam. The purchases were approved by American Express only after 45 minutes. The trip to Amsterdam had to be cancelled. The tour group became annoyed and irritated with them. Upon his complaint, the SC ruled that Pantaleon knew that the group will be irritated with him, when he decided to push through with the purchases. It was a natural and foreseeable consequence of his action. Thus, the doctrine of volenti non fit injuria was wholly applicable. Doctrine: The doctrine of volenti non fit injuria refers to self-inflicted injury or to the consent to injury which precludes the recovery of damages by one who has knowingly and voluntarily exposed himself to danger, even if he is not negligent in doing so. Notes: In Nikko Hotel v. Reyes, the doctrine was held inapplicable. In this case, presumably based on the Human Relations provisions also, it was applied.

Prescription Article 1146. The following actions must be instituted within four years:

(1) Upon an injury to the rights of the plaintiff; (2) Upon a quasi-delict.

Kramer v. CA, 1989 — Kramer's fishing boat collided with an inter-island vessel of Trans-Asia Shipping Lines. Upon protests of both parties before the Board of Marine Inquiry, an investigation was conducted. More than 4 years after the incident, the BMI concluded that the negligence of Tran- Asia's employees caused the collision. Almost 4 years passed when Kramer sued for damages based on quasi- delict. The SC held that the action is barred by prescription, to be reckoned from when the cause of action accrued. The aggrieved party need not wait for the determination of an administrative body. Doctrine: The prescriptive period begins from the day the quasi-delict is committed. The right of action accrues when the following concurs: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created, (2) an obligation on the part of defendant to respect such right, and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff. Notes: In cases where more than 2 vessels are involved, the decision of BMI might be needed, since determination of negligence is technical and more difficult.

16

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

The Cause

DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

Proximate Cause Bataclan v. Medina, 1957 — One of the front tires of a passenger bus bursted. It zigzagged, fell into a canal, and turned turtle. While the driver and the passengers were getting out of the bus, people living in the area arrived, with torches, to help. The torches, however, ignited the gas, which was leaking from the bus, killing the passengers, who were stuck in the bus. The SC held that the bus company liable for the death of the passengers. Doctrine: Proximate cause is 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. More comprehensively, it 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.

Mercury Drug v. Baking, 2007 — Instead of a medicine for blood sugar, Mercury Drug's saleslady gave Baking a potent sleeping tablet. He took it for 3 consecutive days, he fell asleep while driving. He figured in a vehicular accident. The SC held that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the saleslady, since it would not have happened if the correct medicine was given. Doctrine: Proximate cause is any cause that produces injury in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, such that the result would not have occurred otherwise. It is determined from the facts of each case, upon a combined consideration of logic, common sense, policy, and precedent. Notes: There is a possibility that there was contributory negligence, since a considerable amount of time has lapsed since the sale of the medicine. In any case, proximate cause is usually confused with the standard of care. Proximate causation should emphasize the connection between negligence and the injury. The case, however, only focused on the degree of care required.

Pilipinas Bank v. CA, 1994 — To cover the checks he issued, Florencio Reyes asked PCIB to withdraw from his account there and deposit it to his account at Pilipinas Bank. In the deposit slip, the account number was wrong, but the depositor's name was Florencio Reyes. The bookkeeper of Pilipinas Bank did not notice the surname, so the deposit

was credited to one Florencio Amador, the account

corresponding to the wrong account number. The checks were dishonored. The SC held that the proximate cause was the negligence of Pilipinas Bank's bookkeeper. Doctrine: Proximate cause is any cause which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the result complained of and without which would not have occurred and from which it ought to have been foreseen or reasonably anticipated by a person of ordinary care that the injury complained of or some similar injury, would result therefrom as a natural and probable cause. Notes: The definition of proximate cause is different from that in Bataclan v. Medina in that, in this case, the element of foreseeability was added.

Concurrent Cause Where several causes producing an injury are concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have happened, the injury may be attributed to all or any of the causes and recovery may be had against any or all of the responsible persons although under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was more culpable, and that the duty owed by them to the injured person was not the same. No actor's negligence ceases to be a proximate cause merely because it does not exceed the negligence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and is liable as though his acts were the sole cause of the injury. [Far Eastern Shipping v. CA, 1998]

Remote Cause Gabeto v. Araneta, 1921 — Ilano and Gayetano was on board Pagnaya’s carromata, Agaton Araneta laid hands on the reins to stop the horse, claiming that he called the carromata first. Pagnaya pulled the reins from Araneta. In the process, the bridle on the horse’s mouth loosened. Pagnaya had to pull over the horse near the curb to fix it. The horse became disturbed, moved forward, bumping a telephone box, which crashed. Frightened, the horse ran at full speed. Ilano was able to get out of the carromata, but Gayetano was was left inside. He sustained injuries which led to his death. The SC held that the stopping of the rig by Araneta was not the proximate cause, since an appreciable amount of time lapsed until the horse ran. It was too remote from the accident to be considered as such proximate cause. Doctrine: The chronology of the events may be considered to determine the proximate cause. A cause too remote from the accident cannot be considered a proximate cause.

Intervening Phoenix Construction v. IAC, 1987 — From a cocktail party where he had a shot or two of liquor, Dionisio drove his car home. His headlights then suddenly failed. When they went back on, a truck, owned by Phoenix Construction was parked askew, such that it blocked oncoming traffic. Dionisio swerved but it was too late. He suffered injuries

17

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

and nervous breakdown. The SC held that, while Dionisio was guilty of contributory negligence, one which was not an efficient intervening cause, the immediate and proximate cause was the truck driver's negligence in parking. Doctrine: If the intervening cause is one which in ordinary human experience, is reasonably to be anticipated, or one which the defendant has reason to anticipate under the particular circumstances, the defendant may be negligent, among other reasons, because of failure to guard against it; or the defendant may be negligent only for that reason. Notes: In other words, if the purported intervening cause is a foreseeable risk or is closely related to the original risk, then there is no efficient intervening cause.

TESTS IN DETERMINING PROXIMATE CAUSE

But for/sine qua non

Substantial factor

Mixed considerations There is no exact mathematical formula to determine proximate cause. It is based upon mixed considerations of logic, common sense, policy and precedent. Plaintiff must, however, establish a sufficient link between the act or omission and the damage or injury. That link must not be remote or far-fetched; otherwise, no liability will attach. The damage or injury must be a natural and probable result of the act or omission. [Dy Teban v. Ching, 2008]

Sufficient link Dy Teban v. Ching, 2008 — A prime mover suffered a tire blowout at around midnight, causing it to be parked askew, occupying a substantial portion of the highway. It did not have any early warning device. At dawn, while it was dark, a passenger bus collided with a van in an attempt to swerve to avoid the parked prime mover. The SC found that the skewed parking of the prime mover was the proximate cause of the accident. Its driver was negligent in failing to prevent or minimize the risk to oncoming motorists. Doctrine: Plaintiff must, however, establish a sufficient link between the act or omission and the damage or injury. That link must not be remote or far-fetched; otherwise, no liability will attach. The damage or injury must be a natural and probable result of the act or omission.

Cause versus Condition Cause and Condition. Many courts have sought to distinguish between the active "cause" of the harm and the existing "conditions" upon which that cause operated. If the defendant has created only a passive static condition which made the damage possible, the defendant is said not to be liable. But so far as the fact of causation is concerned, in the sense of necessary antecedents which have played an important part in producing the result, it is quite impossible to distinguish between active forces and passive situations, particularly since, as is invariably the case, the latter are the

result of other active forces which have gone before. The defendant who spills gasoline about the premises creates a "condition;" but the act may be culpable because of the danger of fire. When a spark ignites the gasoline, the condition has done quite as much to bring about the fire as the spark; and since that is the very risk which the defendant has created, the defendant will not escape responsibility. Even the lapse of a considerable time during which the "condition" remains static will not necessarily affect liability; one who digs a trench in the highway may still be liable to another who falls into it a month afterward. "Cause" and "condition" still find occasional mention in the decisions; but the distinction is now almost entirely discredited. So far as it has any validity at all, it must refer to the type of case where the forces set in operation by the defendant have come to rest in a position of apparent safety, and some new force intervenes. But even in such cases, it is not the distinction between "cause" and "condition" which is important, but the nature of the risk and the character of the intervening cause. [Phoenix Construction v. IAC, 1987, citing Prosser & Keeton]

Last Clear Chance

Definition The doctrine of last clear chance states that where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later than that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence caused the loss, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the loss but failed to do so, is chargeable with the loss. Stated differently, the antecedent negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude him from recovering damages caused by the supervening negligence of the defendant, who had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. [Consolidated Bank v. CA, 2003] This doctrine, in essence, states that where both parties are negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in time than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is chargeable with the consequences thereof. xxx [T]he rule would also mean that an antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery of damages for the supervening negligence of, or bar a defense against liability sought by another, if the latter, who had the last fair chance, could have avoided the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. [Phil Bank of Commerce v. CA, 1997] It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the road. But as we have already stated, the defendant was also negligent; and in such case the problem always is to discover which agent is immediately and directly responsible. xxx Under these circumstances the law is that the person who has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so

18

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

is chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party. [Picart v. Smith, 1918]

Application Picart v. Smith, 1918 — An automobile hit a horseman, who was on the wrong side of the road. The horseman thought he did not have time to get to the other side. The car passed by too close that the horse turned its body across, with its head toward the railing. Its limb was broken, and its rider was thrown off and injured. The SC found the automobile driver negligent, since a prudent man should have foreseen the risk in his course and that he had the last fair chance to avoid the harm. Doctrine: The person who has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party.

Bustamante v. CA, 1991 — Seven passengers of a bus were thrown out and died when it collided with a gravel and sand truck. Before the collision, about 30 meters away, the bus driver saw the front wheels of the truck wiggling and was heading toward his lane. Believing that the truck driver was merely joking, he sped up to overtake a tractor in an inclined part of the road. While overtaking, the collision happened. The heirs of the victims filed for damages. The SC held that the doctrine of last clear chance does not apply, since the case was not between the owners and drivers between colliding vehicles. Doctrine: The doctrine cannot be extended into the field of joint tortfeasors as a test of whether only one of them should be held liable to the injured person by reason of his discovery of the latter's peril, and it cannot be invoked as between defendants concurrently negligent. As against third persons, a negligent actor cannot defend by pleading that another had negligently failed to take action which could have avoided the injury. Notes: The case defined the doctrine both in terms of its effect on recovery and as a test to establish liability, that is, to determine proximate cause. However, part of the definition provided does not help at all in determining proximate cause since it even includes cases where it is impossible to determine whose negligence caused the occurrence. In other words, it seems to include those cases where proximate cause cannot be determined at all.

Phoenix Construction v. IAC, 1987 — From a cocktail party where he had a shot or two of liquor, Dionisio drove his car home. His headlights then suddenly failed. When they went back on, a truck, owned by Phoenix Construction was parked askew, such that it blocked oncoming traffic. Dionisio swerved but it was too late. He suffered injuries and nervous breakdown. One of the defense of Phoenix Construction is that Dionisio had the last clear chance to avoid the injury. The SC held that the doctrine does not apply, since there is no general concept of last clear chance that may be extracted from its common law matrix and

utilized as a general rule in a civil law jurisdiction. It held that the determination of proximate cause is not merely an exercise of chronology. Doctrine: The last clear chance doctrine of the common law was imported into our jurisdiction by Picart vs. Smith but it is a matter for debate whether, or to what extent, it has found its way into the Civil Code. The historical function of that doctrine in the common law was to mitigate the harshness of the common law doctrine of contributory negligence as an absolute bar to recovery of damages by a plaintiff who was also negligent, even if relatively minor compared to the wrongful act or omission of the defendant. Accordingly, it is difficult to see what role, if any, the common law last clear chance doctrine has to play in a jurisdiction where contributory negligence is not an absolute bar to recovery under Article 2179.

Glan People's Lumber v. IAC, 1989 — Calibo was driving

a jeep, with others riding, when it collided with a cargo

truck near a bridge, leading to Calibo's death. When a complaint for damages was filed, the SC found that the drivers had a full view of each other at 150 meters, and the truck stopped at 30 meters. Calibo had the last clear chance to avoid the accident, which he failed to seize. The truck driver is thus not liable. Doctrine: The doctrine of the last clear chance provides as

valid and complete a defense to accident liability today as it did when invoked and applied in Picart v. Smith, 1918. Notes: The case affirmed the applicability of the doctrine

of last clear chance in this jurisdiction.

Pantranco v. Baesa, 1989 — A Pantranco bus encroached on the opposite lane causing its collision with a jeepney. Pantranco raised the defense that the jeepney had the last clear chance. It then claimed that it must be exonerated from liability. The SC ruled that the jeepney is not liable, since its driver was not aware of the impending peril. As such, the defense of last clear chance does not apply. The jeepney expected that the bus would return to its lane. Doctrine: For the doctrine to be applicable, it is necessary to show that the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to avert the accident was aware of the existence of the peril or should, with exercise of due care, have been aware of it. One cannot be expected to avoid an accident or injury if he does not know or could not have known the existence of the peril.

Engada v. CA, 2003 — A pick-up, driven by Engada, encroached upon the lane of a Tamaraw jeep, headed towards a head-on collision with it. When Tamaraw jeep swerved to the left to avoid the pick-up, it also returned to its lane. The vehicles collided. In the criminal complaint against criminal case for simple imprudence resulting in physical injuries and damage to property, Engada invoked the doctrine of last clear chance. The SC held that there was no clear chance to speak of, since the pick-up was fast approaching. It applied the emergency rule instead.

19

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Doctrine: The doctrine states that a person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent, is considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the accident. The chance must be clear, such that there is time and opportunity to ponder the situation. Notes: This case applied the doctrine to a criminal case.

PNR v. Brunty, 2006 — A collision occurred between a car and a PNR train at 12 AM causing the death of Brunty, a passenger of the car. The car was overtaking another car, with a blind curve ahead, when it hit the train. PNR was found negligent. The SC held that the doctrine is inapplicable. Doctrine: The antecedent negligence of plaintiff does not preclude him from recovering damages caused by the supervening negligence of defendant, who had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. The doctrine does not apply when the proximate cause has already been established.

Lapanday Corp. v. Angala, 2007 — Lapanday's crewcab bumped a pick-up on its rear, causing damage to said vehicle. Upon complaint, the SC held that both vehicles were at fault: the crewcab was speeding and the pick-up was on the wrong lane when it tried to make a U-turn. Both being negligent, the doctrine applies. The crewcab, which was the rear vehicle, had the last clear chance of avoiding the collision. Doctrine: The doctrine of last clear chance states that where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later than that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence caused the loss, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the loss but failed to do so is chargeable with the loss.

Phil Bank of Commerce v. CA, 1997 — Romeo, President of RMC, entrusted funds to his secretary, Irene, to be deposited in RMC’s account in Philippine Bank of Commerce. Irene, however, deposited said funds to her husband's account. It was only after more than a year that Romeo found the scheme out. When he sued the bank for damages, the SC found that, while he was negligent, the bank had the last clear chance in averting the injury. It ordered payment of 40% of the actual damages by the bank. Doctrine: The doctrine, also called "supervening negligence" or "discovered peril," states that where both parties are negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in time than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is chargeable with the consequences thereof. Stated differently, the rule would also mean that an antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery of damages for the supervening negligence of, or bar a defense against liability sought by another, if the latter, who had the

last fair chance, could have avoided the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. Notes: The negligence of Romeo constituted in his not checking the bank statements issued to him regularly by the bank, which led to the increase of his injury.

Canlas v. CA, 2000 — Supposedly to raise capital for a business, Canlas delivered to Manosca the titles of lots he owned. Manosca, with the help of impostors pretending to be Canlas and his wife, was able to get a long from Asian Savings Bank, secured by a mortgage over the lots. When the lots were foreclosed, Canlas sued to annul the mortgage. The SC ruled that the bank, having the last clear chance to avoid the injury, and failing to verify the identity of the supposed owners, must suffer the loss. Doctrine: The doctrine is to the effect that where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in point of time than that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence brought about the occurrence of the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm but failed to do so, is chargeable with the consequences arising therefrom. Stated differently, the rule is that the antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude recovery of damages caused by the supervening negligence of the latter, who had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by exercise of due diligence.

Consolidated Bank v. CA, 2003 — The passbook of LC Diaz was given to another by the teller of Consolidated Bank. Soon after, an unauthorized withdrawal was made. When LC Diaz sued to recover the amount withdrawn, the lower courts applied the doctrine of last clear chance and found the bank liable. The SC, after holding that the cause of action arose from culpa contractual, ruled that the doctrine does not apply in cases of breach of contract. Doctrine: In a case of culpa contractual, neither the contributory negligence of a plaintiff nor his last clear chance to avoid the loss, would exonerate a defendant from liability. Such contributory negligence or last clear chance merely serves to reduce the recovery of damages. Notes: In culpa contractual, the principle on proximate cause does not apply. As such, the doctrine, as a means to establish such proximate cause, also does not apply.

Persons Vicariously Liable

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

20

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

PERSONS EXERCISING PARENTAL AUTHORITY

Article 2180. xxx 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. xxx Article 2181. Whoever pays for the damage caused by his dependents or employees may recover from the latter what he has paid or delivered in satisfaction of the claim. Article 216, Family Code. In default of parents or a judicial- ly appointed guardian, the following persons shall exercise substitute parental authority over the child in the order indicated:

(1) The surviving grandparent, as provided in Art. 214; (2) The oldest brother or sister, over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified; and (3) The child's actual custodian, over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified. Whenever the appointment of a judicial guardian over the property of the child becomes necessary, the same order of preference shall be observed. Article 217, Family Code. In case of foundlings, abandoned, neglected or abused children and other children similarly situated, parental authority shall be entrusted in summary judicial proceedings to heads of children's homes, orphanages and similar institutions duly accredited by the proper government agency. Article 221, Family Code. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts or omissions of their unemancipated children living in their company and under their parental authority subject to appropriate defenses provided by law. Parents

Guardians

Others Libi v. IAC, 1992 — Wendell and Julie Ann were sweethearts. When they broke up and Wendell wanted to reconcile, Julie Ann refused. Wendell resorted to threats. They were found dead, each with a single gunshot from the same gun. Julie Ann's parents believed that Wendell killed their daughter. When a case based on Article 2180 was filed against Wendell's parents, the SC found that they were gravely remiss in their duties, in the safekeeping of the gun and in being unaware of the affairs of their son, who turned out to be a narcotics agent. Whether Wendell committed a quasi-delict or crime, the parents are still liable. Doctrine: The diligence of a good father of a family required by law in a parent and child relationship consists, to a large extent, of the instruction and supervision of the child. The civil liability imposed on parents for the quasi- delicts of their minor children in Article 2180 is primary. The liability of parents for felonies committed by their minor children is also primary.

Notes: The discussion of the court seems to focus on the negligence of the parents themselves, not on the negligence of their son, for which they are vicariously liable. As such, it is Article 2176, not Article 2180, which should apply.

Tamargo v. CA, 1992 — Adelberto shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle which led to her death. After the incident, Adelberto's adoption was finalized. In any case, a case for damages was filed against his natural parents, who claimed that, since adoption retroacts to the filing of the petition, the proper party to be sued are the adoptive parents. The SC held that the natural parents are still liable, since they had the actual control and custody at the time of the commission of the act. Doctrine: The retroactive effect may be given effect to permit the accrual of some benefit in favor of the child, but not to burden the adoptive parents with liability for a tortious act, which they could not have foreseen or prevented. It is inconsistent with the philosophical and policy basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. Notes: What is important is who has actual custody and control of the minor at the time of the act was committed.

TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS

Article 2180. xxx Lastly, teachers or head of establish- ments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages cause by their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody. xxx Article 218, Family Code. The school, its administrators and teachers, or the individual, entity or institution engaged in child care shall have special parental authority and responsibility over the minor child while under their supervision, instruction or custody. Authority and responsibility shall apply to all authorized activities whether inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or institution. Article 219, Family Code. Those given the authority and responsibility under the preceding Article shall be princip- ally and solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the unemancipated minor. The parents, judicial guardians or the persons exercising substitute parental authority over said minor shall be subsidiarily liable. The respective liabilities of those referred to in the preceding paragraph shall not apply if it is proved that they exercised the proper diligence required under the particular circumstances. All other cases not covered by this and the preceding articles shall be governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts.

Palisoc v. Brillantes, 1971 — Dominador Palisoc and Virgilio Daffon were classmates at the Manila Technical Institute. One afternoon during recess, in the laboratory room, Daffon and another classmate were working on a machine, while Palisoc was looking on at them. Daffon

21

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

remarked that Palisoc was acting like a foreman. An exchange of blows ensued, until Palisoc stumbled on an engine block, causing him to fall with his face downward. He became pale and fainted. He died. The SC held the school officers solidarily liable with Daffon. Doctrine: The rationale for the liability of the school is that, so long as the student remains in the custody of the school hears and teachers, they stand, to a certain extent, as to the student, in loco parentis and are called upon to exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of said child. The requirement is not that the student lived and boarded with his teacher or school officials, but that he remains in their custody, that protective and supervisory custody which the school and its heads exercise over students, again including recess time.

Amadora v. CA, 1988 — Amadora, 17, was shot by his classmate Daffon, 3 days before graduation day, at the school auditorium. Amadora was at the school, an academic institution, to submit a physics report. Daffon was convicted of homicide. On complaint for damages, the SC absolved the school officials and teachers, for failure to prove negligence on their part. On the contrary, school regulations to maintain discipline were enforced. Doctrine: Article 2180 applies to all schools, academic as well as non-academic. Where the school is academic rather than technical or vocational in nature, responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such student, following the first part of the provision. This responsibility applies as long as it can be shown that the student is in the school premises in pursuance of a legitimate student objective, in the exercise of a legitimate student right, and even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student privilege, the responsibility of the school authorities over the student continues. Notes: Unlike the parent who will be liable only for his minor child, the teacher is answerable for torts of his students regardless of the student’s age. Also, the case treats the custody broadly, but it is settled when it starts or ends.

Salvosa v. IAC, 1988 — Abon was a student and an employee of the armory of the school's RTC. One night, he shot a commerce student within school premises, using an unlicensed gun from the armory. He was convicted of homicide. In the case for damages, the SC absolved the school, since Abon was no longer under its custody when the incident happened. It held that he was not in recess, since he was no longer in attendance in the school at that time. He was already dismissed. Doctrine: The mere fact of being enrolled or being in the premises of a school without more does not constitute "attending school" or being in the "protective and supervisory custody" of the school, as contemplated in Article 2180. Notes: The case mitigates the sweeping scope of custody in Amadora v. CA. The case effectively states that the school is not liable for tortious acts of the student after dismissal.

St. Mary's Academy v. Carpitanos, 2002 — During an enrollment drive, a student, 15, drove the jeep carrying the students. The steering wheel was detached. The jeep turned turtle. A student died. In the case for damages based on the Family Code provisions, the SC found that, since there was no proof that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the school, it cannot be held liable. Doctrine: If the person under custody is a minor, those exercising special parental authority are principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the minor while under their custody. However, there must be a finding that the act or omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the injury caused. It must have a causal connection to the accident. Notes: The Family Code provisions on vicarious liability of those with special parental authority over a minor child are of the same nature as that in Article 2180. In this case, however, they were applied as if they were similar to Article 2176, such that proximate causation needs to be proven, rather than presumed.

OWNERS/MANAGERS OF ESTABLISHMENTS/EMPLOYERS

When Applicable Article 2180. xxx 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 cause 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. xxx Article 2181. Whoever pays for the damage caused by his dependents or employees may recover from the latter what he has paid or delivered in satisfaction of the claim.

xxx [The] terms ["employers" and "owners and managers

of an establishment or enterprise"] do not include the manager of a corporation. It may be gathered from the

context of Article 2180 that the term "manager" ("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of "employer". [Phil Rabbit v. Phil American, 1975] No absolutely hard and fast rule can be stated which will furnish the complete answer to the problem of whether at a given moment, an employee is engaged in his employer's business in the operation of a motor vehicle, so as to fix liability upon the employer because of the employee’s action or inaction; but rather, the result varies with each state of facts.

xxx The foregoing principles and jurisprudence [from

American Jurisprudence] are applicable in our jurisdiction albeit based on the doctrine of respondeat superior, not on the principle of bonus pater familias as in ours. Whether the fault or negligence of the employee is conclusive on his employer

as in American law or jurisprudence, or merely gives rise to the presumption juris tantum of negligence on the part of

22

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

the employer as in ours, it is indispensable that the employee was acting in his employer’s business or within the scope of his assigned task. [Castilex v. Vasquez, 1999]

Jayme v. Apostol, 2008 — Facts: A pick-up, driven by an employee of the Municipality of Koronadal, was on its way to the airport, with the mayor on board, hit Jayme, sending him 50 meters away from the point of impact. The SC held that the mayor cannot be held liable, since he was not the employer. He was merely a passenger and a fellow employee. Likewise, Koronadal is immune from suit. Doctrine: To sustain claims against employers for the acts of their employees, the following requisites must be established: (1) that the employee was chosen by the employer personally or through another, (2) that the service to be rendered in accordance with orders which the employer has the authority to give at all times, and (3) that the illicit act of the employee was on the occasion or by reason of the functions entrusted to him. Notes: The four-fold test in determining the existence of an employment relationship was applied in this case.

Filamer v. IAC, 1990 — Funtecha was a student and a janitor at Filamer Christian Institute. One evening, he was allowed by the school's driver to drive a school jeep. He struck Kapunan. In the independent civil action, the SC held that there was no employment relationship between Funtecha and the school, since, as a working student, he was not included in the payroll, and, even assuming that there was such relationship, he was not acting within the scope of his supposed employment at the time of the incident. He should bear the full brunt of his negligence. Doctrine: The liability of the employer only arises when the negligence of the employee occurred while the employee is acting within the scope of his employment. Notes: The decision relied heavily on a provision of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code to the effect that there is no employment relationship between a school and its working student.

Filamer v. IAC, 1992 — On reconsideration, the SC held that there was an employment relationship between Funtecha and the school, and that, since driving the jeep to the house of the school president after driving students to their homes was for the benefit of the school, it is liable under Article 2180 as an employer. Doctrine: The clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" for purposes of raising the presumption of liability of an employer, includes any act done by an employee, in furtherance of the interests of the employer or for the account of the employer at the time of the infliction of the injury or damage. Notes: The Implementing Rules were not applied this time. It was held that its provisions are not decisive in a civil suit for damages against a working student and a school. However, the decision did not delve on how to determine the existence of employment relationship, focusing instead

on resolving whether the employee was acting within the scope of his assigned tasks.

NPC v. CA, 1998 — A dump truck, owned by NPC and driven by an employee supplied by PHESCO, figured in a collision with a Tamaraw jeep. On suit for damages, NPC disclaimed liability claiming that the driver was not its employee. PHESCO claimed that it was merely a recruiter. The SC found that PHESCO was merely a labor-only contractor, and, as such, NPC is the direct employer. It is liable under Article 2180. Doctrine: In an action for recovery of damages as a result of quasi-delict committed by an employee supplied by a labor-only contractor, the Civil Code is the applicable law, not the Labor Code. Notes: Article 2180 is problematic in that there is no test provided to determine the existence of employment relationship. While the case stated that the liability of the employer is determined by the Civil Code, it relied on Labor Code provisions on labor-only contracting to determine the existence of employment relationship.

Castilex Corp. v. Vasquez, 1999 — At dawn, Vasquez was driving his motorcycle at a rotonda when Abad, manager of Castilex Industrial Corporation, with a company pickup, driving against the flow of traffic, collided with him. Vasquez died. In the action for damages, the SC absolve the company from liability, ruling that Abad was not acting within the scope of the functions entrusted to him when the incident happened. As such, its burden to prove that it was diligent did not arise. Doctrine: Negligent acts of employees, whether or not the employer is engaged in a business or industry, are covered so long as they were acting within the scope of their assigned task, even though committed neither in the service of the branches nor on the occasion of their functions. Notes: Circumstances surrounding the incident were considered to determine whether Abad was acting within his assigned tasks at the time of the incident. These include the fact that the area was a "lively place," and a woman shouting "daddy, daddy," when Abad was only 29.

Valenzuela v. CA, 1996 — Valenzuela was driving her car so early in the morning when she had a flat tire. She was pointing at the tools to a man who volunteered to held her, when she was hit by Li, assistant manager of Alexander Commercial and drunk at that time. Valenzuela's leg had to be amputated. In the suit to recover damages, the company was held solidarily liable, since there was no proof that it made the necessary steps, evidencing diligence in entrusting the company car to Li, such as determining his driving proficiency and history. Doctrine: The basis of the liability of the employer is not respondeat superior, but that of bonus pater familias, for failing to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of employees. In providing for a company car for business use, a company owes a

23

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

responsibility to the public to see to it that the managerial or other employees to whom it entrusts virtually unlimited use of a company issued car are able to use the company issue capably and responsibly.

Professional Services v. Agana, 2007 — After her hysterectomy operation at Medical City, Natividad Agana found out that two pieces of sponges were left inside her, which has caused her pain for a long time. The SC held Dr. Ampil, the surgeon who closed the incision, liable, ruling that leaving foreign substances in the wound after the incision has been closed in at the very least prima facie negligence. It is inconsistent with due care, raising an inference of negligence. Some authorities even consider it negligence per se. Professional Services, owner of Medical City, was held solidarily liable as an employer of Dr. Ampil. The SC also cited the principle of apparent authority or agency by estoppel and doctrine of corporate negligence to sustain the hospital's liability. Doctrine: The nature of the relationship between the hospital and the physicians, whether consultants only or otherwise, is immaterial. For the purposes of apportioning responsibility in cases of medical negligence, an employer- employee relationship exists between them. Notes: The case surveyed the US rules, stating that, at first, hospitals were exempt from the application of respondeat superior, since physicians were considered as independent contractors. However, due to the increase in the role of hospitals in regulating medical care, the exception was abolished. Ramos v. CA is the basis for ruling that the nature of the relationship is inconsequential in our Philippine jurisdiction.

Professional Services v. Agana, 2008 — On motion for reconsideration, the SC upheld its earlier ruling. While the disposition of Ramos v. CA was reconsidered, since the hospital did not exercise control over the physician, its earlier doctrine still stands. Doctrine: For the purpose of allocating responsibility in medical negligence cases, an employer-employee relationship exists between hospitals and their consultants.

Professional Services v. Agana, 2010 — On second motion for reconsideration, the SC, "after gathering its thoughts," not on the basis of the principle of respondeat superior (supposedly referring to Article 2180) anymore, for lack of evidence showing an employment relationship, but under ostensible agency for the negligence of Dr. Ampil, and, pro hac vice, under the principle of corporate negligence for its failure to perform its duties as a hospital. Doctrine: The control test is still employed to determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship between hospital and doctor. Notes: The reference to respondeat superior is absolutely wrong. Under Article 2180, a separate negligence is presumed on the part of the employer, hence, there is only a presumption of negligence, which may be disputed by

proof to the contrary. Under the common law doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer is automatically consider- ed negligent upon finding of negligence of the employee.

Presumption of Negligence

Rebuttal of Presumption Lampesa v. De Vera, 2008 — De Vera boarded a jeepney to Baguio. It allowed a truck, then driven by Copsiyat and owned by Lampesa, to pass. However, when the jeepney moved forward, the truck moved backwards, hitting the jeep. De Vera lost a finger. The SC held that, upon determination that the negligence of Copsiyat was the proximate cause of the accident, Lampesa, as the employer, was presumed negligent. It found that the presumption was not rebutted. That Copsiyat showed his driver's license when he applied for the job is inadequate. An employer is bound to do more. He must also show that he exercised diligence in supervising his employees. Doctrine: Once negligence on the part of the employee is established, a presumption instantly arises that the employer was negligent in the selection and/or supervision of said employee. To rebut this presumption, the employer must present adequate and convincing proof that he exercised care and diligence in the selection and supervision of his employees.

Mercury Drug v. Huang, 2007 — Stephen Huang was paralyzed as a result of a collision between his car and a truck, owned by Mercury Drug. Mercury Drug claimed that it was diligence in its hiring procedure and in the supervision of its employee. The SC found that the truck driver only took the underwent the procedure when he applied as a delivery man, not as such driver. Also, the tests conducted were limited. In any case, diligence in the supervision and discipline of employees was not proven. The driver's license was confiscated at the time for reckless driving. But no disciplinary action was taken against him. Doctrine: To be relieved of liability, the employer should show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family, both in the selection of the employee and in the supervision of the performance of his duties. For selection, the employer is required to examine them as to their qualifications, experience, and service records. For supervision, the employer should formulate standard operating procedures, monitor their implementation, and impose disciplinary measures for their breach. To establish compliance with these requirements, employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary evidence. Notes: From the level of proof required, it appears that rebutting the presumption of negligence on the part of the employer is difficult to dispute.

STATE

Article 2180. xxx 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

24

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in Article 2176 shall be applicable. xxx

It has already been remarked that municipal corporations are suable because their charters grant them the competence to sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are generally not liable for torts committed by them in the discharge of governmental functions and can only be held answerable only if it can be shown that they were acting in proprietary capacity. In permitting such entities to be sued, the State merely gives the claimant the right to show that the defendant was not acting in governmental capacity when the injury was committed or that the case comes under the exceptions recognized by law. Failing this, the claimant cannot recover. [Jayme v. Apostol, 2008, citing San Fernando, La Union v. Firme]

Merritt v. Government, 1916 — Merritt was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by an ambulance of Philippine General Hospital. His skull was fractured and his leg broken. A legislation was passed waiving immunity from suit of the government. In the case filed under the Old Civil Code, the SC held that, since the ambulance driver is not a special agent, the government is not liable. Doctrine: The responsibility of the state is limited by Article 1903 to the case wherein it acts through a special agent, one who receives a definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a special official, so that in representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof, he executes the trust confided to him. This concept does not apply to any executive agent who is an employee of the active administration and who on his own responsibility performs the functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which are regulated by law. Notes: The government cannot be presumed negligent. In fact, regularity in its performance of duties is presumed.

Rosete v. Auditor General, 1948 — The employees of the Emergency Control Administration stored gasoline in a warehouse, close to Rosete's building, contrary to city ordinances of Manila. When a person lit his cigarette 5 meters from the gas drum, a fire broke out, damaging Rosete's property. The SC held that the government is not responsible, since there was no showing that whatever negligence may be imputed was done by a special agent. Doctrine: The responsibility of the state is limited to that which it contracts through a special agent, duly empowered by a definite order or commission to perform some act or charged with some definite purpose which gives rise to the claim, and not where the claim is based on acts or omissions imputable to a public official charged with some administrative or technical office who can be held to the proper responsibility.

Fontanilla v. Maliaman, 1989 — Pickup owned and operated by National Irrigation Administration bumped

Fontanilla. The SC held that held that NIA, an agency with its own juridical personality, and performing proprietary functions, is liable as an ordinary employer. Doctrine: The liability of the state has two aspects: (1) its public or governmental aspects where it is liable for the tortious acts of special agents only, and (2) its private or business aspects (as when it engages in private enterprises) where it becomes liable as an ordinary employer. Notes: Private individuals may be agents if they are hired for special governmental task.

Fontanilla v. Maliaman, 1991 — The SC denied the motion for reconsideration, concluding that NIA is a government agency with a juridical personality separate and distinct from the government. It is not a mere agency of the government but a corporate body performing proprietary functions. Therefore, it may be held liable for the damages caused by the negligent act of its driver. Doctrine: A government agency, in contracting to provide water supply, acts under its proprietary power and not under legislative, public or governmental powers.

Persons Specifically Liable

POSSESSORS OR USERS OF ANIMALS

Article 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in case the damage should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who has suffered the damage.

Vestil v. IAC, 1989 — A 3-year old child was bitten by a dog, while playing at the house of Vicente Miranda, now deceased, and father of Vestil. The child died of broncho- pneumonia, a complication of rabies. On suit for damages, Vestil's defense was that she was not the owner. The SC held her liable, since he was the possessor of the animal. She also had possession over the house, as she collected rents from its boarders. Doctrine: For liability under Article 2183, what must be determined is the possession of the animal, regardless of the ownership.

OWNERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Article 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use of due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months. If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of Article 2180 are applicable.

25

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Chapman v. Underwood, 1914 — Chapman was standing beside a car he hailed when a car, with Underwood, as the owner, on board and driven by his chauffeur, coming from the opposite direction, turned a bit to the opposite lane to avoid the oncoming traffic. The car hit Chapman. The SC absolved Underwood since it did not appear that, from the time the car took the wrong side of the road to the commission of the injury, sufficient time intervened to give Underwood an opportunity to correct the act of his driver. Doctrine: An owner who sits in his automobile and permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance of negligent acts, after he has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the act or its continuance, injures a person or violates the criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although present therein at the time the act was committed, is not responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the presence of the owner for such a length of time that the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver's act his own.

Caedo v. Yu Khe Thai, 1968 — Caedo, with his family, was driving his car, when, from the opposite direction, Yu Khe Thai's cadillac, with his driver, tried to overtake a carretela in front, despite Caedo's car on the opposite lane noticeable at a short distance. The cadillac caught the rear bumper of the carretela, was not able to recover, and collided with Caedo's car. The SC held that no negligence can be imputed to Yu Khe Thai, since his driver has been employed for many years without traffic violations, the car was running at a reasonable speed, and the time element was such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver. Doctrine: Under Article 2184, 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 for the liability is the relationship of pater familias. Notes: The test of whether there was negligence is subjective, since car owners precisely obtain the services of drivers because they are not as proficient in the activity. Also, different standards apply across the board, depending on the circumstances of the owner and the case.

PROVINCES, CITIES, MUNICIPALITIES

Article 2189. Provinces, cities, and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works under their control or supervision.

Guilatco v. Dagupan City, 1989 — Guilatco fell into a manhole on a sidewalk in a provincial road. Her right leg was fractured. In the case for damages, the SC held the city

liable, since the supervision and maintenance of manhole was the duty of the city engineer. It held that the exemption of the city from liability of the city in its charter is not applicable, since Article 2189 governs liability arising from defective streets, public buildings, and other public works. Doctrine: Under Article 2189, it is not necessary for the defective road or street to belong to the province, city, or municipality for liability to attach. It only requires that either control or supervision is exercised over the defective road or street. Notes: Article 2189 was not treated as a quasi-delict in this case, but more like strict liability, such that liability attaches when the requisites provided concur, and proximate causation is not an issue.

Quezon City v. Dacara, 2005 — Dacara's car rammed into a pile of street diggings. He sustained injuries and his car damaged. In the suit for damages against the city, the pile of earth., the SC held that the the city was negligent for failing to install even a single warning device at the area under renovation. They city was held liable under Article 2189. Doctrine: Local governments and their employees are responsible not only for the maintenance of roads and streets, but also for the safety of the public. They must therefore secure construction areas with adequate precautionary measures. Notes: If the doctrine in this case would be strictly observed, then local governments would face countless suits concerning every accident cause by improper maintenance of roads and streets.

PROPRIETORS OF BUILDINGS

Article 2190. The proprietor of a building or structure is responsible for the damages resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it should be due to the lack of necessary repairs. Article 2191. Proprietors shall also be responsible for dam- ages caused:

(1) By the explosion of machinery which has not been taken care of with due diligence, and the inflammation of explosive substances which have not been kept in a safe and adequate place; (2) By excessive smoke, which may be harmful to persons or property; (3) By the falling of trees situated at or near highways or lanes, if not cause by force majeure; (4) By emanations from tubes, canals, sewers, or deposits of infectious matter, constructed without precautions suitable to the place. Article 2192. If the damages referred to in the two preced- ing articles should be the result of any defect in the construction mentioned in Article 1723, the third person suffering damages may proceed only against the engineer or architect or contractor in accordance with said article, within the period therein fixed.

26

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

ENGINEER/ARCHITECT OF COLLAPSED BUILDING

Article 1723. The engineer of architect who drew up the plans and specifications for a building is liable for damages if within fifteen years from the completion of the structure, the same should collapse by reason of a defect in those plans and specifications, or due to the defects in the ground. The contractor is likewise responsible for the damages if the edifice falls, within the same period, on account of the defects in the construction or the use of materials of inferior quality furnished by him, or due to any violation of the terms of the contract. If the engineer or architect supervises the construction, he shall be solidarily liable with the contractor. Acceptance of the building, after completion, does not imply waiver of any of the causes of action by reason of any defect mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The action must be brought within ten years following the collapse of the building.

HEAD OF FAMILY FOR THINGS THROWN/FALLING

Article 2193. The head of a family that lives in a building or a part thereof, is responsible for damages caused by things thrown of falling from the same.

OWNERS OF ENTERPRISES/OTHER EMPLOYERS

Article 1711. Owners of enterprises and other employers are obliged to pay compensation for the death of or injuries to their laborers, workmen, mechanics or other employees even though the event may have been purely accidental or entirely due to a fortuitous cause, if the death or personal injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. The employer is also liable for compensation if the employee contracts any illness or disease cause by such employment or as the result of the nature of the employment. If the mishap was due to the employee's own notorious negligence, or voluntary act, or drunkenness, the employer shall not be liable for compensation. When the employee's lack of due care contributed to his death, or injury, the compensation shall be equitably reduced. Article 1712. If the death or injury is due to the negligence of a fellow-worker, the latter and the employer shall be solidarily liable for compensation. If a fellow-worker's intentional or malicious act is the only cause of the death or injury, the employer shall not be answerable, unless it should be shown that the latter did not exercise due diligence in the selection or supervision of the plaintiff's fellow-worker. Afable v. Singer Sewing Machine, 1933 — One Sunday, Madlangbayan, a collector for the Singer Sewing Machine Company, was on his way home from making collections in his bicycle, when he was ran over, to his death, by a truck. In the suit by his heirs under Act 3428, the SC held that the death did not arise out of or in the course of his employment as collector. Doctrine: "Arising out of" refers to the origin or cause of the accident, and is descriptive of its character. "In the course of" refers to the time, place, and circumstances under

which the accident took place. Risks to which all persons similarly situated are equally exposed and not traceable in some special degree to the particular employment are excluded.

Alarcon v. Alarcon, 1961 — Alarcon hired Urzino and Generoso to dig a well on his land. On the second day of work, Urzino died while being lowered into the hole, supposedly to dig deeper. An obnoxious odor and hot air caused his asphyxia. In the suit based on Article 1711, the SC absolved Alarcon, since he does not own any enterprise. Doctrine: Article 1711 applies only to owners of enterprises and other employers, which, by virtue of ejusdem generis, refers to persons who belong to a class analogous to "owners of enterprises," such as those operating a business or engaged in a particular industry or trade, requiring its managers to contract the services of laborers, workers, or employees.

MANUFACTURERS/PRODUCERS

Article 2187. Manufacturers and processors of foodstuffs, drinks, toilet articles and similar goods shall be liable for death or injuries cause by any noxious or harmful substances used, although no contractual relation exists between them and the consumers.

Article 97, Consumer Act. Liability for the Defective Products. Any Filipino or foreign manufacturer, producer, and any importer, shall be liable for redress, independently of fault, for damages caused to consumers by defects resulting from design, manufacturer, construction, assembly and erection formulas and handling and making up, presentation or packing of their products, as well as for the insufficient or inadequate information on the use and hazards thereof. A product is defective when it does not offer the safety rightfully expected of it, taking relevant circumstances into consideration, including but not limited to:

a) presentation of product;

b) use and hazards reasonably expected of it;

c) the time it was put into circulation.

A product is not considered defective because another better quality product has been placed in the market.

The manufacturer, builder, producer or importer shall not be held liable when its evidences:

a) that it did not place the product on the market;

b) that although it did place the product on the market

such product has no defect;

c) that the consumer or third party is solely at fault.

Article 99. Liability Defective Services. The service supplier is liable for redress, independently of fault, for damages caused to consumers by defects relating to the rendering of the services, as well as for insufficient or inadequate information on the fruition and hazards thereof. The service is defective when it does not provide the safety the consumer may rightfully expect of it, taking the relevant circumstances into consideration, including but not

limited to:

a) manner in which it is provided.

27

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

b) the result of hazards which may reasonably be expect-

ed of it;

c) the time when it was provided.

A service is not considered defective because of the use or

introduction of new techniques. The supplier of the services shall not be held liable when it is proven:

a) that there is no defect in the service rendered;

b) that the consumer or third party is solely at fault.

Article 106. Prohibition in Contractual Stipulation. The stipulation in a contract of a clause preventing, exonerating or reducing the obligation to indemnify for damages effected, as provided for in this and in preceding Articles, is hereby prohibited, if there is more than one person responsible for the cause of the damage, they shall be jointly liable for the redress established in the pertinent provisions of this Act. However, if the damage is caused by a component or part incorporated in the product or service, its manufacturer, builder or importer and the person who

incorporated the component or part are jointly liable. Section 5, RA 9803. Liability for Damages from Donated Food. A person, whether natural or juridical, shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food that a person donates in good faith for charitable purposes. This shall not apply, however, to an injury or death of an ultimate beneficiary of the donated food that results from an act or omission of a person constituting gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

PERSONS WHO INTERFERE WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS

Article 1314. Any third person who induces another to violate his contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party.

Gilchrist v. Cuddy, 1915 — Gilchrist contracted with Cuddy, to exhibit the latter's Zigomar film. Gilchrist already paid. Few days before showing, Cuddy returned the payment to Gilchrist, informing him that he made other arrangements for the film with Espejo and Zaldarriaga. Espejo knew that the film was already contracted when he engaged with Cuddy. In the case for specific performance, an injunction was issued for Espejo and Zaldarriaga to refrain from exhibiting the film. They counterclaimed for damages for wrongful issuance of the injunction. The SC dismissed the counterclaim, ruling that the issuance was justified, since Gilchrist faced an immediate prospect of diminished profits. It added to the justification that motive for profit does not relieve from liability in interference. Doctrine: That the only motive for interference with the contract was a desire to make a profit, without malice beyond that, does not relieve them of the legal liability for interfering with that contract and causing its breach. Notes: The liability for the interference, however, was not discussed, since the case was about the counterclaim.

So Ping Bun v. CA, 1999 — THT, through its managing partner, So Pek Giok, leased DCCSI's property. The lease

expired but THT still occupied the properties. When THT was dissolved and So Pek Giok already dead, his grandson, So Ping Bun, continued to occupy them. This even when another company TEC, already leased the properties from DCCSI. So Ping Bun was allowed to continue his occupation for some time. When TEC demanded that he vacate the properties, he immediately contracted with DCCSI for lease of the properties. When TEC sued to nullify So Ping Bun's contracts and for damages, the SC absolved So Ping Bun since no deliberate wrongful motives of malice were imputed on him. Doctrine: The elements of tort interference are: (1) existence of a valid contract, (2) knowledge on the part of the third person of the existence of contract, and (3)

interference of the third person is without legal justification or excuse. Where there was no malice in the interference of

a contract, and the impulse behind one’s conduct lies in a

proper business interest rather than in wrongful motives, a party cannot be a malicious interferer. Where the alleged interferer is financially interested, and such interest motivates his conduct, it cannot be said that he is an officious or malicious intermeddler. Notes: The case had the wrong interpretation of Gilchrist v. Cuddy. Also, the extent of the interest of the interferer is irrelevant in determining whether it was malicious or not.

Lagon v. CA, 2005 — Lagon purchased 2 parcels of land.

A few months after, Lapuz filed a complaint alleging that he

had been leasing the properties, built a building, and sub- leased it to others, and that Lagon had been collecting rentals from his sub-lessees. He claimed that Lagon induced the sellers to sell the property to him, in violation of his leasehold rights. The SC held that the requisites of

interference with contractual relations were not all present. The case is one of damnum absque injuria. Lagon was merely advancing his financial or economic interests. Doctrine: Article 1314 provides that any third person who induces another to violate his contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party. "Induce" refers to situations where a person causes another to choose one course of conduct by persuasion or intimidation. The tort recognized in the provision is known as interference with contractual relations. The interference is penalized because

it violates the property rights of a party in a contract to reap

the benefits that should result therefrom. The requisites of the tort are those laid out in So Ping Bun v. CA. Notes: There is inducement when there is deviation from the original plan due to one's persuasion. The case also misinterpreted Gilchrist v. Cuddy.

Go v. Cordero, 2010 — Cordero was an exclusive distributor of a shipping company is Brisbane. After incurring travel expenses and closing his first deal with a Cordero, he found out that the latter was directly dealing with the shipping company for the second transaction, cutting off his commissions. Worse, his lawyers also connived with the client and the shipping company to take

28

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

him out of the picture. He sued them all for conspiring in violating his exclusive distributorship in bad faith and wanton disregard of his rights. The SC held that the existence of the contract and knowledge by the alleged interferers was not disputed. As to the legal justification, it found that while the motive was to reduce the price of the transaction, the bounds of permissible financial interest was transgressed, since Go already incurred expenses in closing the deal, and the lawyers still demanded their cut from him, despite going behind his back in procuring another deal. Doctrine: The elements of tort interference are: (1) existence of a valid contract, (2) knowledge on the part of the third person of the existence of a contract, and (3) interference of the third person is without legal justification. As to the third element, to sustain a case for tortuous interference, the defendant must have acted with malice or must have been driven by purely impure reasons to injure the plaintiff. Notes: Without So Ping Bun v. CA and Lagon v. CA, this would have been a case for tortious interference. The SC had to rely in Article 19, to uphold its ruling that there was tortious interference. All of this when Article 1314 does not in itself require malice.

Independent Civil Action

VIOLATION OF CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

Article 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly and indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:

(1) Freedom of religion; (2) Freedom of speech; (3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a period- ical publication; (4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention; (5) Freedom of suffrage; (6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law; (7) The right to a just compensation when private prop- erty is taken for public use; (8) The right to the equal protection of the laws; (9) The right to be secured in one's person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures; (10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same; (11) The privacy of communication and correspondence; (12) The right to become a member of associations or so- cieties for the purposes not contrary to law; (13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to peti- tion the Government for redress of grievances; (14) The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form; (15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;

(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in his behalf; (17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's self, or from being forced to confess guilt or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession, except when the person confessing becomes a State witness; (18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared unconstitutional; and (19) Freedom of access to the courts. In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted) and may be proved by preponderance of evidence. The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated. The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a

violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.

MHP Garments v. CA, 1994 — The Boy Scouts of the Philippines awarded an exclusive franchise to MHP to distribute its official uniforms, as well as the authority to undertake or cause to be undertaken the prosecution in court of all illegal sources of such uniforms. It instigated the seizing of such items, with the help of police authorities but without warrant. In the case for damages, the SC held that the seizure was illegal. MHP, as a private individual, can also be held liable under Article 32. Doctrine: Under Article 32, the wrong may be civil or criminal. Malice or bad faith is not necessary. Otherwise, it would defeat the main purpose of the provision, which is the effective protection of individual rights. Good faith is not a defense. Also, the provision makes liable an officer or a person directly or indirectly responsible for the violation of the rights. Notes: The determination of whether rights have been violated employs tests in constitutional and criminal law.

Silahis v. Soluta, 2006 — The hotel officers and guards, in barong tagalog, searched the union office without warrant and allegedly found a plastic bag of marijuana. A case against the union officers and members were filed for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act was dismissed, since the evidence was inadmissible. In the complaint for malicious prosecution and illegal search against the hotel, the SC held that the search stinks of illegality. The hotel had ample time to obtain a warrant, but it did not. They

29

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

orchestrated an illegal search for which they are liable, under Article 32. Doctrine: The basis of the action is Article 32 of the Civil Code. It may be invoked against a private individual who violated a constitutional right of another. It speaks of a public officer or a person directly or indirectly responsible for such violation. It is not the actor alone who must answer for the damages/injury caused to the aggrieved party. It is not even necessary that the defendant under this article should have acted with malice or bad faith, otherwise, it would defeat its main purpose, which is the effective protection of individual rights. It suffices that there is a violation of the constitutional right of the plaintiff. As constitutional rights occupy a lofty position in every civilized and democratic community and not infrequently susceptible to abuse, their violation, whether constituting a penal offense or not, by both public officers and private individuals, must be guarded against. That is why it is not even necessary that the defendant should have acted with malice or bad faith, otherwise, it would defeat its main purpose. It suffices that there is a violation of the constitutional right of the plaintiff. Notes: While the hotel owned the union office, the union officers and members, who were its legal occupants, are entitled to the rights against illegal search.

Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune, 2007 — Vinzons-Chato, as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, reclassified Champion, Hope, and More, from locally manufactured cigarettes bearing foreign brand, increasing its ad valorem tax. Fortune, the manufacturer, moved for reconsideration of the reclassification but was denied. However, the SC eventually invalidated it. When Fortune sued for damages, Vinzons- Chato moved to dismiss on the ground that there was not allegation of bad faith. The SC, applying Article 32, instead of Section 38 of the Administrative Code, which required bad faith, held that no allegation of bad faith was necessary. Doctrine: It is not necessary that the defendant, under Article 32, should have acted with malice or bad faith. Otherwise, it would defeat its main purpose, which is the effective protection of individual rights. It suffices that there is a violation of the constitutional right of the plaintiff.

Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune, 2008 — When the case was referred to the SC en banc, the court distinguished between duty owing to the public collectively and duty owing to particular individuals. In the former, the remedy is political, except when the individual suffers a particular or special injury. In the latter, the individual may sue when he suffers an injury on account of the officer's improper performance or non-performance of his duty. In this case, the duty involved is one owed to the public in general. No particular injury was proven. Doctrine: An individual can never be suffered to sue for an injury which, technically, is one to the public only; he must show a wrong which he specially suffers, and damage alone does not constitute a wrong. A contrary precept will

lead to a deluge of suits, for if one man might have an action, all men might have the like.

DEFAMATION, FRAUD, AND PHYSICAL INJURIES

Article 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

The article in question uses the words 'defamation', 'fraud' and 'physical injuries.' Defamation and fraud are used in their ordinary sense because there are no specific provisions in the Revised Penal Code using these terms as means of offenses defined therein, so that these two terms defamation and fraud must have been used not to impart to them any technical meaning in the laws of the Philippines, but in their generic sense. With this apparent circumstance in mind, it is evident that the terms 'physical injuries' could not have been used in its specific sense as a crime defined in the Revised Penal Code, for it is difficult to believe that the Code Commission would have used terms in the same article – some in their general and another in its technical sense. In other words, the term 'physical injuries' should be understood to mean bodily injury, not the crime of physical injuries, because the terms used with the latter are general terms. In any case the Code Commission recommended that the civil action for physical injuries be similar to the civil action for assault and battery in American Law, and this recommendation must have been accepted by the Legislature when it approved the article intact as recommended. If the intent has been to establish a civil action for the bodily harm received by the complainant similar to the civil action for assault and battery, as the Code Commission states, the civil action should lie whether the offense committed is that of physical injuries, or frustrated homicide, or attempted homicide, or even death. [Madeja v. Caro, 1983, citing Carandang v. Santiago] Can Article 33 above cited be made applicable to an employer in a civil action for subsidiary liability? The answer to this question is undoubtedly in the negative. What this Article 33 authorizes is an action against the employee on his primary civil liability. It cannot apply to an action against the employer to enforce his subsidiary civil liability as stated above, because, such liability arise only after conviction of the employee in the criminal case. Any action brought against him before the conviction of his employee is premature. [Joaquin v. Aniceto, 1964] Despite being defined in the Revised Penal Code, libel can also be instituted as a purely civil action, the cause of action for which is provided by Article 33. It adopts the elements of criminal libel. [Yuchengco v. Manila Chronicle, 2009]

Arafiles v. Phil Journalists, 2004 — A complaint based on Article 33, for damages was filed by Arafiles, Director of the National Institute for Atmospheric Science against Morales

30

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

of People’s Tonight, who wrote an article based on the interview he made with a complainant, who charged Arafiles of forcible abduction with rape and forcible abduction with attempted rape, and on the police blotter report. Arafiles claimed that the article was grossly malicious and overly sensationalized. The SC held that the article, viewed as a whole, sufficiently informs the reader that the narration is based on the account of the victim. Doctrine: Article 33 contemplates a civil action for the recovery of damages that is entirely unrelated to the purely criminal aspect of the case. A civil action for libel under the provision shall be instituted and prosecuted to final judgment and proved by preponderance of evidence separately from and entirely independent of the institution, pendency or result of the criminal action because it is governed by the provisions of the Civil Code and not by the Revised Penal Code. Notes: There is no malicious sensationalization of facts in

a published article when the sources come from an official public document, such as police blotter, and from the interview made with the victim.

MVRS v. Islamic Council, 2003 — MVRS published in its tabloid an article stating that the Muslims do not eat pigs because they are consider them as gods. Islamic Da'wah Council sued for damages, based on Article 33, representing not only Muslims in the Philippines, but the entire Muslim world. The SC held that the article does not relate to the Council or to any individual in particular. It found that it was not directly referred or alluded to. This element of identifiability was lacking, owing to the size of the group. Doctrine: Declarations made about a large class of people cannot be interpreted to advert to an identified or identifiable individual. Absent circumstances specifically pointing or alluding to a particular member of a class, no member of such class has a right of action without at all impairing the equally demanding right of free speech and expression, as well as of the press. Notes: Defamation has to be a negative comment. This case makes defamation of larger groups difficult.

Heirs of Simon v. Chan, 2011 — Chan, aside from filing a criminal case for violation of BP 22, sued for collection of the amount of the checks, claiming that the action is independent of the criminal case, based on Article 33. The SC held that the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which applies retroactively, provides that the civil liability in BP 22 can only be enforced in the criminal case, since a separate

civil action for violations of said law is prohibited. Article 33 may be availed of in estafa, but not in this case. Doctrine: The criminal action for violation of BP 22 is deemed to necessarily include the corresponding civil action, and no reservation to file such civil action separately

is allowed or recognized.

Notes: It appears that the rule-making powers of the SC here limited the remedies that may be availed of under the Civil Code, to enforce civil liability.

Capuno v. Pepsi-Cola, 1965 — A truck, owned by Pepsi, collided with the private vehicle, driven by Capuno, who, together with his 2 passengers, died. The truck driver was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. An action for damages was also filed, but the SC held that such claim, based on Article 33, has already prescribed, since more than 4 years had lapsed since the death. Doctrine: The term "physical injuries" in Article 33 includes bodily injuries causing death.

Corpus v. Paje, 1969 — An accident between a Victory Liner bus, driven by Paje, and a jeepney, driven by Marcia. Marcia died and 2 other persons were injured. Paje was charged with homicide and double serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence. The right to institute a separate civil action was reserved. After Paje's conviction by the trial court, he appealed to the CA. Meanwhile, the action for damages was filed. The CA then acquitted Paje, with the finding that the reckless imprudence charged against him did not exist, as collision was pure accident. He moved to dismiss the action for damages, citing his acquittal. The SC held that the acquittal barred the action. Doctrine: Criminal negligence or reckless imprudence is not one of the crimes mentioned in Article 33, which authorizes the institution of an independent civil action, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal case and shall be proved by preponderance of evidence.

Bonite v. Zosa, 1988 — Bonite was hit by a truck. His heirs filed a criminal complaint for homicide through reckless imprudence. It was dismissed, on the ground that guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. The heirs then filed a case for damages. The SC held that the filing of the case was proper, under Article 29 and 2176. Article 33 was not applicable, since criminal negligence is not among the crimes stated therein. Doctrine: Article 33 assumes a defamation, fraud, or physical injuries intentionally committed, not through criminal negligence.

Jervoso v. People, 1983 — Jervoso was convicted of homicide. He was also adjudged to indemnify the family of the deceased, despite the fact that there was a reservation to file a separate civil action. The SC held that, since there was a reservation, the award of damages was erroneous. Doctrine: The term "physical injuries" in Article 33 is used in a generic sense. It includes consummated, frustrated, or attempted homicide.

Dulay v. CA, 1995 — Torzuela, a security guard of Safeguard shot Dulay to death, using his service gun. A case for homicide was filed. The separate action for damages by Dulay's wife was dismissed on the ground that the liability sought to be enforced arose from a crime. The SC ruled that the action was based on Articles 2176 and 33. It may proceed independently of the criminal proceeding.

31

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Doctrine: The term "physical injuries" under Article 33 includes 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. Prior conviction is unnecessary, since the civil action can proceed independently of the criminal action.

NEGLECT OF DUTY

Article 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action.

CATCH-ALL INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION

Article 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal offense, charges another with the same, for which no independent civil action is granted in this Code or any special law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, or the prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the complainant may bring a civil action for damages against the alleged offender. Such civil action may be supported by a preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant's motion, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the defendant in case the complaint should be found to be malicious. If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be suspended until the termination of the criminal proceedings.

Human Relations Torts

ABUSE OF RIGHTS

Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.

Velayo v. Shell Company, 1956 — Shell Philippines was among the creditors of the Commercial Airlines (CALI), who was about to file for insolvency. To avoid such insolvency proceedings, CALI met its creditors to discuss liquidation. Fitzgerald represented Shell, and was made a member of the committee to supervise the liquidation. However, upon knowledge that a plane of CALI was in the US, Shell assigned its rights to Shell America, allowing it to attach said plane. The insolvency proceeding was then instituted. The administrator of CALI's assets filed a case

for damages against Shell Philippines. The SC awarded damages based on Article 19, as implemented by Article 21. Doctrine: It may be said that Article 19 only contains declarations of principles. While such statement may be is essentially correct, it is implemented by Article 21. With this rule, the legislator vouchsafed adequate legal remedy for untold numbers of moral wrong, impossible for human foresight to provide for specifically in statutes. Notes: Based on this case, an action based solely on Article 19 cannot prosper, since it is not self-executory.

Globe Mackay v. CA, 1989 — Tobias was accused of his boss, Globe Mackay General Manager Hendry of being privy to various fictitious purchases and fraudulent transactions in the company. He was forced to take a leave. The police investigators, however, cleared him from liability. Despite this, Globe Mackay lodged 6 criminal complaints against him. Finding himself with no work, Tobias sought employment at another company. Hendry, at his own behest, wrote that company stating that Tobias was dismissed for dishonesty. The SC ruled that imputation of guilt without basis, the pattern of harassment during the investigations, the writing of letter to a prospective employer, and the filing of the criminal complaints, transgress the standards of human conduct set forth in Article 19 in relation to Article 21. The right of the employer to dismiss an employee should not be confused with the manner in which the right is exercised and the effects flowing therefrom. If the dismissal is done abusively, then the employer is liable for damages. Doctrine: Article 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of abuse of rights, sets certain standards which must be observed not only in the exercise of one's rights but also in the performance of one's duties. These standards are the following: to act with justice, to give everyone his due, and to observe honesty and good faith. However, while it lays down a rule of conduct, it does not provide a remedy for its violation. Generally, an action for damages under either Articles 20 or 21 would be proper.

Notes: There is no rigid test in determining whether there is an abuse of right. The specific circumstances of each case is considered.

Albenson v. CA, 1993 — Albenson Enterprises delivered mild steel plates to Guaranteed Industries. Checks were issued as payment. They were dishonored. Albenson traced the origin of the check to one Eugenio S. Baltao. Thus, Albenson demanded from him, but he denied. A complaint for violation of BP 22 was filed but was dismissed. It was found out that the person who issued the checks was his son, with the same name. Baltao then filed for damages for malicious prosecution, but the SC found that there was no abuse of right, since Albenson only filed the complaint after it made inquiries. Baltao did not inform Albenson that the checks were issued by his son. He instead waited in ambush to sue for damages.

32

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Doctrine: The elements of an abuse of right under Article 19 are: (1) there is a legal right or duty, (2) which is exercised in bad faith, (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. Article 19 and 21 requires that the act be intentional. There is no hard and fast rule which can be applied to determine whether or not the principle of abuse of rights may be invoked. Whether or not the principle of abuse of rights has been violated depends on the circumstances of each case. Notes: Elements (2) and (3) are quite the same. Also, the requirement of that prejudicing or injuring another be the sole intent is problematic. As long as one can point to another motivation, the requisite is no longer present.

Amonoy v. Gutierrez, 2001 — A mortgage over lots was executed to secure the payment of Amonoy, as counsel for the heirs of Cantolos. Since the settlement of the estate took too long, however, Amonoy filed for the judicial foreclosure of the mortgage. The heirs opposed, so they were ordered to pay, or else the lots will be auctioned. They failed to pay and the the mortgage was foreclosed. Amonoy caused the demolition of the structures in the lots, despite a TRO issued by the SC. When the heirs sought to annul the foreclosure, the SC found that Amonoy, by proceeding with the demolition despite the TRO, abused his rights. Worse, it was an invalid exercise of a suspended right. Doctrine: The exercise of a right ends when the right disappears, and it disappears when it is abused, especially to the prejudice of others. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held responsible.

UE v. Jader, 2000 — Jader was a law student at the University of the East. He took a removal examination for one subject, but the grade was released late. In the meantime, he was allowed to graduate. He was reviewing for the bar examination when he learned that he failed the removal exam. On suit for damages, the SC held that UE is under a contractual obligation to promptly inform the student of his status in the school and the remedies he may avail of. Failure to do so constituted bad faith, which makes it liable for damages under Article 19, more so since Jader was allowed to graduate and after he had prepared to the bar examinations. Doctrine: Article 19 was intended to expand the concept of torts by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to provide specifically in statutory law. In civilized society, men must be able to assume that others will do them no intended injury – that others will commit no internal aggressions upon them, that their fellowmen, when they act affirmatively will do so with due care which the ordinary understanding and moral sense of the community exacts and that those with whom they deal in the general course of society will act in good faith.

Notes: If the elements stated in Albenson v. CA were applied here, the action would have not prospered.

Barons Marketing v. CA, 1998 — Barons had an unpaid account with Phelps. It requested to settle the amount through payment by installments, but instead Phelps filed a collection suit. Barons now contends that Phelps abused its right to collect payment, but the SC, holding that good faith is always presumed, held that bad faith was not proven. Also, it found that Phelps was driven by legitimate reasons in rejecting the offer. It held that the case is a mere exercise of rights, not an abuse thereof. Doctrine: To constitute an abuse of rights under Article 19, the defendant must have acted with bad faith or intent to prejudice the plaintiff. In practice, courts, in the sound exercise of their discretion, will have to determine all the facts and circumstances when the exercise of a right is unjust, or when there has been an abuse of right. Notes: This case is different from Velayo v. Shell since there was no prior understanding that no suit will be filed.

Diaz v. Davao Light, 2007 — A dispute regarding electrical connection, where Diaz unilaterally installed a meter and Davao Light caused its disconnection, was settled by a compromise agreement. In any case, Davao Light still filed a complaint for theft against Diaz, but was dismissed for lack of probable cause. When Diaz claimed for damages, the SC held that the case was of a damnum absque injuria, since it was his acts which resulted to the filing of the complaint, and that the sole intent to prejudice was not proven in evidence. Doctrine: The elements of abuse of rights are the following: (a) the existence of a legal right or duty, (b) which is exercised in bad faith, and (c) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. Good faith refers to the state of the mind which is manifested by the acts of the individual concerned. It consists of the intention to abstain from taking an unconscionable and unscrupulous advantage of another. It is presumed and he who alleges bad faith has the duty to prove the same.

Pantaleon v. American Express, 2009 — While on a European tour, Pantaleon and his family attempted to purchase diamond pieces at Coster Diamond House using their American Express. This they did 10 minutes before their tour group had to leave for Amsterdam. The purchases were approved by American Express only after 45 minutes. The trip to Amsterdam had to be cancelled. The tour group became annoyed and irritated with them. Upon his complaint, the SC ruled that American Express had not duty to act upon the purchases within a specific period of time. As such, there was not breach of duty. Also, it had the right to review and either approve or disapprove of the purchases. While it is bound by the principle of abuse of rights, no bad faith was shown on its part. Notes: Whether or not Article 19 can stand alone, without invoking Article 21, is not settled.

33

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

ILLEGAL ACTS

Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the damage.

Article 20 does not distinguish. The act may be done either willfully or negligently. [Albenson v. CA, 1993]

Garcia v. Salvador, 2007 — Salvador, who was then a trainee, was required by her employer to undergo medical tests as a prerequisite for regular employment. Garcia, a medical technologist, conducted the test. The result showed that she was positive for hepatitis. She did not qualify for regularization. Subsequent tests, however, revealed that she was negative for the disease. She was rehired. In her complaint for damages, the SC awarded damages based on Article 20, for the actionable conduct of Garcia. The testing center was not supervised by a licensed physician, the test was administered without supervision of a pathologist, and the result was released directly to Salvador, without authorization from a pathologist, all in violation of law regulating clinical laboratories. Doctrine: Article 20 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 damage because another has violated some legal provision.

ACTS CONTRA BONUS MORES

Article 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Velayo v. Shell Company, 1956 — Shell Philippines was among the creditors of the Commercial Airlines (CALI), who was about to file for insolvency. To avoid such insolvency proceedings, CALI met its creditors to discuss liquidation. Fitzgerald represented Shell, and was made a member of the committee to supervise the liquidation. However, upon knowledge that a plane of CALI was in the US, Shell assigned its rights to Shell America, allowing it to attach said plane. The insolvency proceeding was then instituted. The administrator of CALI's assets filed a case for damages against Shell Philippines. The SC awarded damages based on Article 19, as implemented by Article 21. Doctrine: The legislators, in providing for Article 21, vouchsafed adequate legal remedy for untold numbers of moral wrongs, which is impossible for human foresight to provide for specifically in the statutes, such that a wrong or injury, contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy, should be compensated by damages.

Albenson v. CA, 1993 — Albenson Enterprises delivered mild steel plates to Guaranteed Industries. Checks were issued as payment. They were dishonored. Albenson traced

the origin of the check to one Eugenio S. Baltao. Thus, Albenson demanded from him, but he denied. A complaint for violation of BP 22 was filed but was dismissed. It was found out that the person who issued the checks was his son, with the same name. Baltao then filed for damages for malicious prosecution, but the SC found that there was no

abuse of right, since Albenson only filed the complaint after

it made inquiries. Baltao did not inform Albenson that the

checks were issued by his son. He instead waited in ambush to sue for damages. Doctrine: Article 21 deals with acts contra bonus mores, with the following elements: (1) there is an act which is legal, (2) but which is contrary to morals, good custom, public order, or public policy, (3) and it is done with intent to injure. The act must be intentional. As for malicious prosecution, there must be proof that the prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex and humiliate a person, and that it was initiated deliberately by the defendant knowing that

his charges were false and groundless. The mere act of submitting a case to the authorities for prosecution does not make one liable for malicious prosecution. The action may be based on Articles 19, 20, 26, 29, 32, 33, 35, and 2219 (8). Three (3) elements must be present in such cases: (1) the fact of the prosecution and the further fact that the defendant was himself the prosecutor, and that the action was finally terminated with an acquittal, (2) that in bringing the action, the prosecutor acted without probable cause, (3) the prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal malice.

Wassmer v. Velez, 1964 — Only 2 days before their scheduled wedding, Velez left a note for Wassmer stating that the wedding had to be postponed due to the disapproval of his mother. The next day, he sent a telegram stating that the wedding would push through. After such telegram, however, he neither appeared nor was he heard

from again. In the suit for damages, the SC held that, while

a breach of promise to marry is not actionable, the case is

not of mere breach of promise to marry. To formally set a wedding and go through all the preparation and publicity, only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized, is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to good customs, for which Velez must be held answerable for damages, under Article 21. Doctrine: A breach of promise to marry is not actionable, but the manner in which it is done (if contrary to law, morals, good customs, or public policy, under NCC 21) may give rise to damages. Notes: What was probably considered in the case is not the breach itself, but the manner by which it was done and its effects.

Tanjanco v. CA, 1966 — Claiming that she consented to his pleas for carnal knowledge in consideration of his promise to marry, only to be broken, Santos sued Tanjanco for damages. The SC found that there was no seduction in the case, am essential feature in the illustration of Article 21, by the Code Commission. It is the essence of the injury.

34

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

Santos maintained intimate secual relations with Tanjanco for a whole year, with repeated acts of intercourse. This is incompatible with the idea of seduction. Doctrine: The essential feature is seduction, that in law is more than mere sexual intercourse, or a breach of a promise of marriage. It connotes essentially the idea of deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of the seducer to which the woman has yielded. Notes: The decision seems to imply that the length of time that the relationship has persisted is the factor considered in determining whether there was seduction or not.

Baksh v. CA, 1993 — Baksh, an Iranian exchange medical student, courted and promised to marry Gonzales, a waitress. Baksh went with her to her hometown to ask for the consent of her parents, who agreed. They then lived together in his apartment. Marilou was a virgin before the relationship. Baksh was able to deflower her. When Marilou demanded marriage, Baksh claimed that he was already married. She sued for damages under Article 21. The SC held that, since Gonzales surrendered her virginity because of moral seduction, Baksh is liable under Article 21. Doctrine: Where a man's promise to marry is the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause of the giving of herself unto him in a sexual congress, proof that he had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her to accept him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act, could justify the award of damages pursuant to Article 21, not because of such promise to marry but because of the fraud and deceit behind it and the willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential that such injury should have been committed in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.

Pe v. Pe, 1962 — As an adopted son of Lolita's relative, they grew close together, learning the rosary. They fell in love. Lolita's parents forbade her from seeing Alfonso, but the relationship continued. Soon after, Lolita disappeared. Her parents and siblings sued Alfonso, who turned out to be already married, based on Article 21. The SC found that the circumstances cannot but show that he, through ingenious scheme and trickery, seduced Lolita. He has committed injury to the family in a manner contrary to morals, good customs, and public policy. Doctrine: The injury under Article 21, aside from that sustained by the seduced person, also includes that upon the reputation of the family. Also, the circumstances surrounding the incident may be considered to determine whether there was seduction. Notes: The award of damages was made just because Alfonso was married at the time.

Que v. IAC, 1989 — Nicolas ordered a stop payment for the checks he gave to Que in payment of the canvass

strollers delivered. He claimed that the goods were defective. Que instituted a BP 22 case against him. It was only at this time when Que sent back the strollers. The case was dismissed by the city fiscal. Nicolas then filed for damages arising from malicious prosecution. The SC ruled that Que acted with probable cause, considering that the checks were dishonored and were not funded despite demand, and that the strollers were not returned immediately. As such, Que had reason to believe that Nicolas intended to deceive him from the start. Doctrine: To constitute malicious prosecution, there must be proof that the prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex and humiliate a person that it was initiated deliberately by the defendant knowing that his charges were false and groundless. The mere act of submitting a case to the authorities for prosecution does not make one liable for malicious prosecution. Also, dismissal of the criminal complaint by the fiscal's office did not create a cause of action because the proceedings therein did not involve an exhaustive examination of the elements of malicious prosecution. Notes: The case illustrates the fact that probable cause in criminal procedure is not the same as probable cause as an element in malicious prosecution. Also, its existence is determined not on the level of the prosecutor, but on the part of the person, who instituted the case alleged to be malicious.

Drilon v. CA, 1997 — Responding to a letter requesting investigation of the failed coup attempt in December of 1989. The preliminary investigation led to the filing of an information for rebellion with murder and frustrated murder against, among others, Adaza. Upon such filing, Adaza sued Drilon and the prosecutors for damages, claiming that they were engaged in a deliberate, willful and malicious experimentation by filing the charges, when they were fully aware that there were no such crimes. The SC held that the suit stated no cause of action, since the criminal has not been terminated. Also, there was a finding of probable cause, which also signifies the absence of malice. As to the Hernandez ruling, ruling that rebellion cannot be complexed, it was held that such doubtful question of law may be the basis of good faith. Doctrine: The statutory basis for a civil action for damages for malicious prosecution are found in Articles 19, 20, 21, 26, 29, 32, 33, 35, 2217 and 2219(8). In order for such suit to prosper, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the fact of the prosecution and the further fact that the defendant was himself the prosecutor and that the action finally terminated with an acquittal, (2) that in bringing the action, the prosecutor acted without probable cause, and (3) that the prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal malice, that is by improper or sinister motive.

Magbanua v. Junsay, 2007 — Magbanua, a househelper, was impleaded as an accused in a robbery case filed by her employer, Junsay. When she was acquitted, she filed for

35

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

Torts & Damages

damages against Junsay for malicious prosecution. The SC held that there was probable cause in filing the criminal complaint against her, as she admitted her participation. That her admission was later declared inadmissible does not detract from that fact. Also, there was no proof that the filing of the complaint was impelled by legal malice. Doctrine: Malicious prosecution is an action for damages brought by one against whom a criminal prosecution, civil suit, or other legal proceeding has been instituted maliciously and without probable cause, after the termination of such prosecution, suit, or other proceeding in favor of the defendant. Thus, for a malicious prosecution suit to prosper, the plaintiff must prove that: (1) the prosecution did occur, and the defendant was himself the prosecutor or that he instigated its commencement, (2) the criminal action finally ended with an acquittal, (3) in bringing the action, the prosecutor acted without probable cause, and (4) the prosecution was impelled by legal malice, an improper or a sinister motive. The gravamen of malicious prosecution is not the filing of a complaint based on the wrong provision of law, but the deliberate initiation of an action with the knowledge that the charges were false and groundless. Notes: The malicious prosecution includes civil and administrative proceedings.

Grand Union Supermarket v. Espino, 1979 — Espino forgot to pay for a cylindrical rattail. He offered to pay, but he was instead paraded to the the back of the supermarket to fill up an incident report. He was dubbed a shoplifter by the guards. When he was about to pay for the rattail, his money was taken, supposedly to be given to guards who apprehend those who steal from the supermarket. Many people witnessed the incident. In his complaint for damages based on Article 21, the SC found that the manner in which he was detained, interrogated, fined, and threatened, in the presence of many people, rendered the supermarket liable for damages under Articles 19 and 21. It was contrary to morals, good customs, and public policy. Doctrine: Everyone must respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and others (Article 26). One must act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith (Article 19).

Carpio v. Valmonte, 2004 — Valmonte was the coordinator in the wedding. Carpio was an aunt of the bride. She accused Valmonte of stealing her diamond jewelry. She also caused the searching of her personal belongings. Valmonte, when the police arrived, was bodily searches, interrogated, and trailed. She filed for damages against Carpio. The SC held that Carpio's accusation was uncalled for and without proof, and by any standard of law, impermissible and contrary to morals and good customs, in violation of Article 19 in relation to Article 21. Doctrine: Complementing Article 19, Articles 20 and 21 provide the legal bedrock for the award of damages to a party who suffers damage whenever one commits an act in

violation of some legal provision, or an act which though not constituting a transgression of positive law, nevertheless violates certain rudimentary rights of the party aggrieved.

Quisaba v. Sta. Ines, Inc., 1974 — When Quisaba was relieved from duty to carry out the instructions of his employer, which he has refused to do previously since it is beyond his tasks, he filed a complaint for illegal termination. He did not pray for reinstatement or backwages. A motion to dismiss was filed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The SC held that the case is intrinsically concerned with a civil, not labor, dispute. It has to do with an alleged violation of Quisaba's rights as a member of society, and does not involve an existing employee- employer relation, properly cognizable by regular courts. Doctrine: The right of an employer to dismiss an employee should not be confused with the manner in which the right was exercised and the effects flowing therefrom. Dismissal, done anti-socially or oppressively, is in violation of Article 1701 and Article 21.

VIOLATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY

Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:

(1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence; (2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another; (3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends; (4) Vexing or humiliating another in account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.

St. Louis Realty v. CA, 1984 — St. Louis Realty caused to be published an advertisement which displayed the house of Aramil, representing it as belonging to Arcadio. Aramil noticed the mistake. Accordingly, he wrote to St. Louis telling them that he did not permit the publication of the advertisement. Claiming that the advertisement not only amounted to transgressions of his private property but also damaging to his prestige in the medical profession, he sued for damages based on Article 21, in relation to Article 2219. The SC found that, because of the advertisement, Aramil's private life was mistakenly and unnecessarily exposed, and he suffered diminution of income. It held that St. Louis was grossly negligent. Doctrine: Prying into the privacy of another's residence, meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, produces a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief.

Gregorio v. CA, 2009 — Sansio Philippines instituted a BP 22 case against Gregorio. A wrong address was stated in the

36

of 50

B2015 Review Operations

TORT & QUASI-DELICT

complaint, such that Gregorio was not able to controvert the allegations against her. She was arrested. It turned out, however, that she did not issue the said checks. The criminal case was dismissed. She sued for damages. Sansio moved to dismiss, claiming that the case was for malicious prosecution, and it does not allege bad faith. The SC held that the basis for the action was Article 2176 in relation to Article 26, and that no allegation of bad faith was necessary. Doctrine: Article 26 grants a cause of action for damages, prevention, and other relief in cases of breach, though not necessarily constituting a criminal offense, of: (1) right to personal dignity; (2) right to personal security; (3) right to family relations; (4) right to social intercourse; (5) right to privacy; and (6) right to peace of mind.

Guanio v. Makati Shangri-la, 2011 — Spouses Guanio booked at the Shangri-la Hotel for their wedding reception. However, at the reception, the catering director and the sales manager did not show up, the service of dinner was delayed, certain items in the published menu were unavailable, the waiters were rude, among other disappointments. When they sued for breach of contract, the SC held that it was the Guanios who breached the contract since they did not inform Shangri-la of the change in expected number of guests. In any case, Shangri-la could have done better. Nominal damages were thus awarded, under considerations of equity. Doctrine: Every person is entitled to respect of his dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind.

DERELICTION OF DUTY

Article 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken.

UNFAIR COMPETITION

Article 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or high-handed method shall give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.

37

of 50

Torts & Damages

B2015 Review Operations

DAMAGES

Torts & Damages

Concept of Damages

Doctrine: The mere fact that the plaintiff suffered losses

does not give rise to a right to recover damages. To warrant

 

the recovery of damages, there must be both a right of

IMPORTANCE AND DEFINITION

 

action for a legal wrong inflicted by the defendant, and damage resulting to the plaintiff therefrom. Wrong without damage, or damage without wrong, does not constitute a cause of action, since damages are merely part of the remedy allowed for the injury caused by a breach or wrong. Notes: There has to be damnum et injuria for recovery.

Damages may be defined as the pecuniary compensation, recompense, or satisfaction for an injury sustained, or as otherwise expressed, the pecuniary consequences which the law imposes for the breach of some duty or the violation of some right. [People v. Ballesteros, 1998] There is a material distinction between damages and

injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage

LAW ON DAMAGES

 

is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury; and damages are the recompense or compensation awarded for

the damage suffered. Thus, there can be damage without

Article

2195.

The

provisions

of

this

Title

shall

be

respectively applicable to all obligations mentioned in Article 1157.

injury in those instances in which the loss or harm was not

Article

2198.

The

principles

of

the

general

law

on

the result of a violation of a legal duty. These situations are

damages are hereby

adopted