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TORTS AND DAMAGES QUESTIONS

Submitted by: Francis Rafael A. Pacayra


2003
QUESTION:

If a pregnant woman passenger of a bus were to suffer an
abortion following a vehicular accident due to the gross
negligence of the bus driver, may she and her husband
claim damages from the bus company for the death of their
unborn child !"plain. #$
ANSWER:
%es, they can recover damages from the bus company, however, only
damages arising from the in&uries suffered by the wife for the loss of her fetus
being part of her internal organ due the accident there being gross negligent on
the part of the bus driver and for moral damages being accounted for her mental
anguish that attended the loss of her unborn child. 'ut only such damages may
be awarded by the court, no actual damages may be allowed because an
unborn child, according to the law, is not yet considered a person, and the law
only allows indemnity only to loss of life of a person.
QUESTION:
As a result of a collision between the ta"icab owned by A
and another ta"icab owned by ', (, a passenger of the first
ta"icab, was seriously in&ured. ( later filed a criminal action
against both drivers.
)ay both ta"icab owners raise the defense of due diligence in
the selection and supervision of their drivers to be absolved
from liability for damages to ( Reason. #$
ANSWER:
If the action is against them is based on damges arising from *uasi+delict,
they may raise such defense of having e"ercised diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of their employees. ,owever, if the action
is based on culpa contractual and delict, they cannot raise such defense.
QUESTION:
As a result of a collision between the ta"icab owned by A
and another ta"icab owned by ', (, a passenger of the first
ta"icab, was seriously in&ured. ( later filed a criminal action
against both drivers.
Is it necessary for ( to reserve his right to institute a civil
action for damages against both ta"icab owners before he
can file a civil action for damages against them -hy
ANSWER:
It will depend on the circumstances, if the separate civil action is to
recover damages arising from the criminal act, it will need reservation. ,owever,
if such separate civil action is to recover damages based on culpa contractual or
*uasi+delict, no reservation is necessary.
1994
QUESTION:
.ohny )aton/s conviction for homicide was affirmed by the 0ourt of
Appeals and, in addition, although the prosecution had not appealed at all, the
appellate court increased the indemnity for death from P12,2222 to P#2,2222.
3n his appealto the Supreme 0ourt, among the other things .ohnt )aton brought
to the high court/s attention, was the increase of indemnity imposed by the 0ourt
of Appeals despite the clear fact that the People had not appealed from the
appellate court/s decisions.
Is .ohny )aton correct
ANSWER:
4o, such contention is not correct, because upon appeal to the appallate
court, the court ac*uired &urisdiction over the entire case, criminal as well as civil.
Since the conviction of homicide had been appealed, there is no finality in the
amount of indemnity because the civil liability arising from the crime and
&udgement on the crime has not yet become final.
QUESTION:
5ino sued 'en for damages because the latter had failed to deliver the
anti*ue )ercedes 'en6 car 5ino had purchased from 'en, which was by
agreement due for delivery on 5ecember 17, 7881. 'en, in his answer to 5ino/s
complaint, said 5ino/s claim has no basis for the suit, because as the car was
being driven to be delivered to 5ino on .anuary 7,7889, a rec:less truc: driver
had rammed into )ercede6 'en6. ;he ;rial court dismissed 5ino/s complaint,
saying 'en/s obligation had, indeed, been e"tinguished by force ma&eure.
Is the ;rial 0ourt correct
ANSWER:
4o, the trial court is incorrect. <oss of a thing due to a fortuitous event
with regard to its delivery may only be accounted for in cases where the debtor is
not yet in default during such delivery and during such fortuitous event . ;hus, in
the case involved, 5ino, being in default already when the car was being
delivered, cannot be absolved due to fortuitous event.
1976
QUESTION:
5uring a brawl in a bas:etball game, A attac:s ' with a bottle and causes
physical in&uries. If ' files a civil case against A for damages and during its
pendency a criminal case was filed against A, should the civil case be suspended
meanwhile !"plain.
ANSWER:
4o, because according to law, civil action for damages arising from
physical in&uries is an independent civil action and is entirely separate and
distinct from those which arise from the criminal action.
QUESTION:
If a criminal case is filed first, may the civil case be filed during the
pendency of the criminal case or later, even without reservation
ANSWER:
%es, the civil case may be filed during the pendency of the criminal action,
because such action is an independent civil action.
QUESTIONS:
5oes Article 11 of the 0ivil 0ode on separate civil action for damages
arising from in&uries re*uire that there be a reservation in the criminal case to file
a separate civil action
ANSWER:
4o, because such action for damages are separate and distinct from the
criminal action and may proceed independently from criminal action. Such is a
substantive right and cannot be rendered nugatory by the Rules of 0ourt.

(PS. There are no Tor! an" Da#a$e! %ar &'e!(on! "'r(n$
19)*+