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OBLICON CASE DIGEST 1) LEUNG BEN VS. P. J. O'BRIEN Petitioner: Leung Ben Respondent: P. J.

O'BRIEN, JAMES A OSTRAND and GEO. R. HARVEY, judges of First Instance of city of Manila Ponente: Street Facts: An action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila by P. J. O'Brien to recover the sum of P15,000 alleged to have been lost by Leung Ben to P.J. OBrien in a series of gambling, banking and percentage games conducted during the two or three months prior to the institution of the suit. In Leung Bens verified complaint, OBrien asked for an attachment against the property of Leung Ben on the ground that the latter was about to depart from the Philippine Islands with intent to defraud his creditors. This attachment was issued, and acting under that authority, the sheriff attached the sum of P15,000 which had been deposited by the OBrien with the International Banking Corporation. Leung Bien filed a motion to quash the attachment, which was dismissed by the court. Hence this application for a writ of certiorari, the purpose of which was to quash an attachment issued from the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila. Issue: Was the statutory obligation to restore money won at gaming an obligation arising from "contract, express or implied?" Ruling: Yes. Upon general principles, recognized both in the civil and common law, money lost in gaming and voluntarily paid by the loser to the winner cannot, in the absence of statute, be recovered in a civil action. But Act No. 1757 of the Philippine Commission, which defines and penalizes several forms of gambling, contains numerous provisions recognizing the right to recover money lost in gambling or in playing certain games. The original complaint filed in the Court of First Instance was not clear as to the particular section of Act No. 1757 under which the action was brought, but was alleged that the money was lost at gambling, banking, and percentage game in which the defendant was a banker. It must therefore be assumed that the action was based upon the right of recovery given in section 7 of said Act, which declared that an action maybe brought against the banker by any person losing money at a banking or percentage game. It was observed that according to the Civil Code obligations are supposed to be derived either from (1) the law, (2) contracts and quasi-contracts, (3) illicit acts and omission, or (4) acts in which some sort of blame or negligence is present. This enumeration of sources of obligations and the obligation imposed by law are different types. The obligations which in the Code are indicated as quasi-contracts, as well as those arising ex-lege, are in the common law system, merged into the category of obligations imposed by law, and all are denominated implied contracts. In the case under consideration, the duty of OBrien to refund the money which he won from Leung Ben at gaming was a duty imposed by statute. It therefore arose ex-lege. Furthermore, it was a duty to return a certain sum which had passed from OBrien to Leung Ben. By all the criteria which the common

law supplies, this is a duty in the nature of debt and is properly classified as an implied contract. It was well- settled by the English authorities that money lost in gambling or by lottery, if recoverable at all, can be recovered by the loser in an action of indebitatus assumpsit for money had and received. This meant that in the common law the duty to return money won in this way was an implied contract, or quasicontract. The phase in question should be interpreted in such a way as to include all obligations, whether arising from consent or ex-lege, because that was equivalent to eliminating all distinction between the first and the fifth paragraphs by practically striking out the first two lines of paragraph one. The Legislature had deliberately established this distinction, and while we maybe unable to see any reason why it should have been made, it was our duty to apply and interpret the law, and we were not authorized under the guise of interpretation to virtually repeal part of the statute. Nor can it be said that the relations between the parties litigant constitute a quasi-contract. In the first place, quasi- contracts are "lawful and purely voluntary acts by which the authors thereof become obligated in favor of a third person. . . ." The act which gave rise to the obligation ex-lege relied upon by Leung Ben in the court below is illicit, an unlawful gambling game. In the second place, the first paragraph of section 412 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not authorize an attachment in actions arising out of quasi-contracts, but only in actions arising out of contract, express or implied. 2) Bautista vs. Federico O. Borromeo, Inc. Petitioners: Abelardo Bautista and Roberto Tan Ting Respondent: Federico O. Borromeo, Inc. Ponente: Sanchez Respondents seek to overturn the decision of CFI of Rizal on Jan 6, 1966 granting petitioners petition for relief from judgment of Municipal Court on July 23, 1965. FACTS: On SEPTEMBER 15, 1964, Ford truck of Petitioner (Tan Ting) driven by Abelardo Bautista and Volkswagen delivery panel truck owned by Respondent (Borromeo) were involved in a traffic accident along EDSA which caused the death of Quintin Delgado, a helper in Borromeos Delivery truck. Borromeo had to pay Delgados widow P 4,444.00 representing compensation (death benefit) and funeral expenses due under Workmens Compensation Act (source of the obligation). On JUNE 17, 1965, upon the confirmation that the said vehicular accident was caused by the Petitioners negligence, Respondent started a suit in the Municipal Court of Mandaluyong to recover from petitioners the compensation and funeral expenses it paid to the widow. At the scheduled hearing of the case on JULY 23, 1965 neither petitioners nor their counsel appeared. Borromeo was then allowed to present its evidence ex parte1. On the same day, the municipal court rendered judgment in favor of Borromeo and against the petitioners in the principal sum of P 4,444.00 and P 500.00 attorneys fees, and costs. On AUGUST 6, 1965, petitioners received a copy of the municipal courts decision On AUGUST 13, 1965, petitioners moved to set aside the decision. On AUGUST 14, 1965, this motion was denied. On AUGUST 16, 1965, copy of this order of denial was sent by registered mail to counsel of petitioners. Said counsel did not receive this registered mail and the mail matter was returned to the court unclaimed. However, said counsel learned of this denial on SEPTEMBER 2, 1965 allegedly "in the course of his investigation."

by one only one party

Petitioners then filed a notice of appeal on SEPT. 2, 1965, but they only paid the docket fee only on SEPTEMBER 28, 1965which was after the lapse of the reglementary period The Petitioners did nothing until OCTOBER 26, 1965 when they lodged a petition for relief. They claimed excusable negligencefor their failure to appear in July 23rds hearing that they had a good and substantial defense that they were not in contractual relationshiop with the respondents. They also sought for preliminary injunction which was later on denied to them.

ISSUE(S): WHETHER OR NOT the petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 can be invoked by the petitioners WHETHER OR NOTthe petitioners can be excused for their negligence to appear on July 23rd hearing WHETHER OR NOTthe respondents have an obligation to pay their employees widow death benefits. HELD: 1) It is a basic precept that when another remedy at law is open to a party, he cannot sue out a petition for releif under Rule 382. A petition for relief is not a substitute for appeal. The petitioners somehow waived their right to appeal because when they were informed that their motion to set aside, they could have appealed but they did not. They also did not pay the docket fees on time it was eleven days late(it must have been within 15 days of receipt of the denial of their motion to set aside).Also when they filed a petition for relief, it was way beyond the 60day period from August 6, 1965, the time when they first learned of the judgment to be set aside. Thus the petitioners petition for relief must fail. 2) Their counsel, Atty. Leopoldo Repotente, Jr., explained that he failed to attend the hearing on July 23 because he had another case before the City Court of Quezon City and that he gave permission to his associate, Atty. Lucenito Tagle, to attend for him. In Tagles sworn statement he said that he just transferred to his new office so the record of this case was misplaced or lost by his helpers. He then only found it after a few days of the said hearing in his former office. Their negligence is INEXCUSABLE, there was no plausible reason for Repotente to entrust the hearing to another lawyer. When Repotente agreed in open court to set the trial of the case on July 23, it may be very well be presumed that his other case in QC was not yet calendared for hearing otherwise he could have disagreed on the said date. He also failed to notify his clients about the hearing set on July 23 so they also failed to appear. 3) The obligation of Borromeo to pay the widow of its employee compensation and funeral expenses arose from law Sec. 23 of the Workmens Compensation Act. The same law also provides that it shall be optional with such injured employee either to claim compensation from his employer or sue another person for damages; and in case compensation is claimed and allowed in accordance with this Act, the employer who paid such compensation or was found liable to pay the same, shall succeed the injured employee to the right of recovering from such person what he paid. There is no need to establish any contractual relationship between Delgado and the petitioners because in this case there is none. The cause of action of the respondent corporation is one
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relief from judgments, orders or other proceedings SEC. 2.Grounds for compensation. - When an employee suffers personal injury from any accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, or contracts tuberculosis or other illness directly caused by such employment, or either aggravated by or the result of the nature of such employment, his employer shall pay compensation in the sums and to the person hereinafter specified

which does not spring from a creditor-debtor relationship. It arises by virtue of its subrogation4 to the right of Quintin Delgado to sue the guilty party. Such subrogation is sanctioned by the Workmen's Compensation Law aforesaid. 3) Dela Cruz vs. Northern Theatrical, 50 O.G. 4225, Sept 1954) (G.R. No. L-7089 August 31, 1954) Petitioner: Domingo De La Cruz Respondent: Northern Theatrical Enterprises Inc., et al. Ponente: Montemayor

Facts: The plaintiff, DOMINGO DE LA CRUZ, was hired as a special guard in the entrance of the movie house owned by the defendant corporation. A gate crasher, on being refused admittance, attacked the plaintiff and upon being cornered, plaintiff shot his assailant to death. After being charged and acquitted of homicide, the plaintiff brought an action against his employer to recover his legal expenses occasioned by the improper filing of the suit by the heirs of the deceased gate crasher, as well as for moral damages. Issue: W/N an employee or servant who in line of duty and while in the performance of the task assigned to him, performs an act which eventually results in his incurring in expenses, caused not directly by his master or employer or his fellow servants or by reason of his performance of his duty, but rather by a third party or stranger not in the employ of his employer, may recover said damages against his employer. Held: The Supreme Court agreed with the trial court that the relationship between the movie corporation was not that of principal and agent because the principle of representation was not in any way involved. Plaintiff was not employed to represent the defendant corporation in its dealings with third parties. He was a mere employee hired to perform a certain specific duty or task, that of acting as special guard and staying at the main entrance of the movie house to stop gate crashers and to maintain peace and order within the premises.

The Court, after finding out lack of precedents governing the casecontinued:

" ..a case involving damages caused by a stranger or outsider while said employee was in the

The substitution of one thing for another, or of one person into the place of another with respect to rights, claims, or securities.

performance of his duties presents a novel question which under the present legislation we are neither able or prepared to decide in favor of the employee.

It is to the interest of the employer to render legal assistance to its employees. But we are not prepared to say and to hold that the giving of said legal assistance to its employees is a legal obligation.While it might yet and possibly be regarded as a moral obligation, it does not at present count with sanction of man-made laws.

Since there is no legal obligation, there is no right to reimbursement. If the employer is not legally obliged to give, legal assistance to its employee and provide him with a lawyer, naturally said employee may not recover the amount he may have paid a lawyer hired by him. Viewed from another angle it may be said that the damage suffered by the plaintiff by reason of the expenses incurred by him in remunerating his lawyer, is not caused by his act of shooting to death the gate crasher but rather by the filing of the charge of homicide which made it necessary for him to defend himself with the aid of counsel. Still another point of view is that the shooting to death of the deceased by the plaintiff was not the proximate cause of the damages suffered but may be regarded as only a remote cause, because from the shooting to the damages suffered there was not that natural and continuous sequence required to fix civil responsibility. 4) Pichel vs. Alonzo, 111 SCRA 341 (G.R. No. L-36902 January 30, 1982) Petitioner: Luis Pichel Respondent: Prudencio Alonzo Ponente: Guerrero Facts: This is a petition to review on certiorari the decision of the Court of First Instance of Basilan City dated January 5, 1973 in Civil Case No. 820 entitled "Prudencio Alonzo, plaintiff, vs. Luis Pichel, defendant." Plaintiff Prudencio Alonzo was awarded by the Government that parcel of land designated as Lot No. 21 of Subdivision Plan Psd 32465 of Balactasan, Lamitan, Basilan City in accordance with Republic Act No. 477. The award was cancelled by the Board of Liquidators on January 27, 1965 on the ground that, previous thereto, plaintiff was proved to have alienated the land to another, in violation of law. In 1972, plaintiff's rights to the land were reinstated. On August 14, 1968, plaintiff and his wife sold to defendant an the fruits of the coconut trees which may be harvested in the land in question for the period, September 15, 1968 to January 1, 1976, in consideration of P4,200.00. Even as of the date of sale, however, the land was still under lease to one, Ramon Sua, and it was the agreement that part of the consideration of the sale, in the sum of P3,650.00,

was to be paid by defendant directly to Ramon Sua so as to release the land from the clutches of the latter. Pending said payment plaintiff refused to allow the defendant to make any harvest. In July 1972, defendant for the first time since the execution of the deed of sale in his favor, caused the harvest of the fruit of the coconut trees in the land. The lower court (through the use of construction) held that although the agreement in question is denominated by the parties as a deed of sale of fruits of the coconut trees found in the vendor's land, it actually is, for all legal intents and purposes, a contract of lease of the land itself. Issue: W/N the contract is a contract of Sale or a contract for lease W/N the Deed of Sale is valid Held: Contract of Sale of coconut fruits. Construction or interpretation of the document in question is not called for. A perusal of the deed fails to disclose any ambiguity or obscurity in its provisions, nor is there doubt as to the real intention of the contracting parties. The terms of the agreement are clear and unequivocal, hence the literal and plain meaning thereof should be observed. Such is the mandate of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides that: Art. 1370. If the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulation shall control ... . Moreover, as petitioner correctly asserts, the document in question expresses a valid contract of sale. It has the essential elements of a contract of sale as defined under Article 1485 of the New Civil Code which provides thus: Art. 1458. By the contract of sale one of the contracting parties obligates himself to transfer the ownership of and to deliver a determinate thing, and the other to pay therefor a price certain in money or its equivalent. A contract of sale may be absolute or conditional. The subject matter of the contract of sale in question are the fruits of the coconut trees on the land during the years from September 15, 1968 up to January 1, 1976, which subject matter is a determinate thing. Under Article 1461 of the New Civil Code, things having a potential existence may be the object of the contract of sale. Yes, the sale is valid. The grantee of a parcel of land under R.A. No. 477 is not prohibited from alienating or disposing of the natural and/or industrial fruits of the land awarded to him. What the law expressly disallows is the encumbrance or alienation of the land itself or any of the permanent improvements thereon. Permanent improvements on a parcel of land are things incorporated or attached to the property in a fixed manner, naturally or artificially. They include whatever is built, planted or sown on the land which is characterized by fixity, immutability or immovability. Houses, buildings, machinery, animal houses, trees and plants would fall under the category of permanent improvements, the alienation or encumbrance of which is prohibited by R.A. No. 477. While coconut trees are permanent improvements of a land, their nuts are natural or industrial fruits which are meant to be gathered or severed from the trees, to be used, enjoyed, sold or otherwise disposed of by the owner of the land. Herein respondents, as the grantee of Lot No. 21 from the Government, had the right and prerogative to sell the coconut fruits of the trees growing on the property. 5) LICUDAN vs CA Petitioner: Wilfredo D. Licudan and Christina Licudan-Campos

Respondent: Court of Appeals and Atty. Teodoro Dimalanta Ponente: Gutierrez, Jr. Facts: The respondent lawyer was retained as counsel by his brother-in-law and sister, the now deceased petitioners' parents, spouses Aurelio and Felicidad Licudan. His services as counsel pertained to two related civil cases docketed as Civil Case No. Q-12254 for partition and Civil Case No. Q-28655 for a sum of money in connection with the redemption of the property subject matter of the two cases covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 818 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. In both cases, the respondent lawyer obtained a judgment in favor of his clients. On August 13,1979, the respondent lawyer filed a Petition for Attorney's Lien with Notification to his Clients which substantially alleged that his clients executed two written contracts for professional services in his favor which provided that: a) The undersigned counsel is entitled to own 97.5 square meters of the plaintiff's share of the lot in question. b) The undersigned counsel shall have a usufructuary right for a period of ten (10) years of plaintiffs' share of the lot in question. c) And that all damages accruing to plaintiffs to be paid by the defendant is for the undersigned counsel. On September 19, 1979, the trial court handling Civil Case No. Q-12254 ordered the annotation at the back of TCT No. 818 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City of the respondent lawyer's Contract for Professional Services dated August 30, 1979 signed by petitioner Wilfredo Licudan and Aurelio Licudan on his own behalf and on behalf of his daughter, petitioner Cristina Licudan-Campos. On Appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the respondent lawyer by dismissing the appeal and the prayed for writ of preliminary injunction. Their subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied', the petitioners filed the instant petition. The petitioners fault the respondent Court for its failure to exercise its inherent power to review and determine the propriety of the stipulated attorney's fees in favor of the respondent lawyer and accuse the respondent lawyer of having committed an unfair advantage or legal fraud by virtue of the Contract for Professional Services devised by him after the trial court awarded him attorney's fees for P1,000.00 only instead of respecting the trust and confidence of the highest level reposed on him considering the close blood and affinal relationship between him and his clients. The petitioners contend that under the award for professional services, they may have won the case but would lose the entire property won in litigation to their uncle-lawyer. They would be totally deprived of their house and lot and the recovered damages considering that of the 271.5 square meters of the subject lot, the respondent lawyer is claiming 121.5 square meters and the remaining portion of 150 square meters would also go to attorney's fees since the said portion pertains to the lawyer's son by way of usufruct for ten (10) years. Issue: Whether or not the award of attorneys fees in this case is reasonable, being in the nature of contingent fees

Held: The aforesaid submissions by the petitioners merit our consideration. It is a well-entrenched rule that attorney's fees may be claimed in the very action in which the services in question have been rendered or as an incident of the main action. The fees may be properly adjudged after such litigation is terminated and the subject of recovery is at the disposition of the court. It is an equally deeply-rooted rule that contingent fees are not per se prohibited by law. They are sanctioned by Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics and Canon 20, Rule 20.01 of the recently promulgated Code of Professional Responsibility. However, as we have held in the case of Tanhueco v. De Dumo (172 SCRA 760 [1989]): . . . When it is shown that a contract for a contingent fee was obtained by undue influence exercised by the attorney upon his client or by any fraud or imposition, or that the compensation is clearly excessive, the Court must and will protect the aggrieved party. (Ulanday v. Manila Railroad Co., 45 Phil. 540 [1923]; Grey v. Insular Lumber Co., 97 Phil. 833 [1955]). On the contrary, we rule that the questioned Orders dated September 19, 1979 and October 21, 1985 cannot become final as they pertain to a contract for a contingent fee which is always subject to the supervision of the Court with regard to its reasonableness as unequivocally provided in Section 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics which reads:

13. Contingent Fees. A contract for a contingent fee, where sanctioned by law, should be reasonable under all the circumstances of the case including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation, but should alwaysbe subject to the supervision of a court, as to its reasonableness. Although the Contract for Professional Services dated August 30, 1979 was apparently voluntarily signed by the late Aurelio Licudan for himself and on behalf of his daughter, petitioner Cristina Licudan-Campos and by the petitioner Wilfredo Licudan who both manifested in open court that they gave their free and willing consent to the said contract we cannot allow the said contract to stand as the law between the parties involved considering that the rule that in the presence of a contract for professional services duly executed by the parties thereto, the same becomes the law between the said parties is not absolute but admits an exceptionthat the stipulations therein are not contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public policy or public order. Barredo vs. Garcia(QUASI-DELICT) Petitioner: Fausto Barredo Respondents: Severino Garcia and Timotra Almario Ponente: Bocobo FACTS: On the morning of MAY 3, 1936, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicabdriven by Pedro FONTANILLA employed by BARREDO and a carretela guided by Dimapalis. A 16-year-old passenger of the carretela named Faustino Garcia suffered injuries from the collision and later on died after two days from the accident.

A criminal action was instituted against Fontanilla in CFI Rizal where he was convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day to two years of prision correccional. The said court also granted a petition to be granted the right to reserve for a separate civil action. On MARCH 7, 1939,Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario, parents of the deceased, brought an action in CFI Manila against Fausto Barredo and his employer Fontanilla. Later on CFI Manila awarded damages in favor of the plaintiff for P 2,000.00 + legal interest. It is undisputed that Fontanillas negligence was the cause of the accident as he was driving at the wrong side of the road at a high speed. As to Barredos responsibility, CA found out that he was careless in hiring Fontanilla who had been caught several times for violation of the Automobile Law and speeding which appeared in public records. Therefore he must indemnify the plaintiffs under the provisions of ART 1903 of the Civil Code. The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Barredo is governed by RPC; hence his liability is only subsidiary, and there has been no civil action against Fontanilla(person criminally liable), so Barredo cannot be held responsible in the case. CA decision is summarized: We cannot agree to the defendant's contention. The liability sought to be imposed upon him in this action is not a civil obligation arising from a felony or a misdemeanor (the crime of Pedro Fontanilla,), but an obligation imposed in article 1903 of the Civil Code by reason of his negligence in the selection or supervision of his servant or employee.

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action against Fausto Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly, responsible under article 19035 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. HELD: Quasi-Delict or Culpa Aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a substantivityon its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from delict or crime. The courts shall determine, in their sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each one shall be liable. A closer study shows that such a concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the distinction between the civil liability arising from a crime and the responsibility for quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a crime under article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, or create an action for quasi-delict or culpa extracontractual under articles 1902-1910 of the Old Civil Code. Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code and the quasi-delict under the Civil Code are:

OCC1903.The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is enforcible, not only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is responsible. xxx xxx xxx Owners or directors of an establishment or business are equally liable for any damages caused by their employees while engaged in the branch of the service in which employed, or on occasion of the performance of their duties. xxx xxx xxx The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the persons mentioned therein prove that they are exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage.

1. That crimes affect the public interest, while Quasi-Delicts 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 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. In this case, the negligent act of Fontanilla produced two liabilities of Barredo, first is the subsidiary liability from the criminal negligence of Fontanilla and second, Barredos primary and direct responsibility arising from his negligence as an employer under ART. 2180 of New civil code. In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appeals should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs against the defendant-petitioner. 7) Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez, 56 Phil 177 (G.R. No. 34840 September 23, 1931) Petitioner: Narciso Gutierrez (passenger of autobus) Respondent: BonifacioGuiterrez (automobile operator), Maria V. De Gutierrez, Manuel Gutierrez (automobile owner), Abelardo Velasco (truck driver), and Saturnino Cortez (truck owner) Ponente: Malcolm On February 2, 1930, a passenger truck and an automobile of private ownership collided while attempting to pass each other on the Talon bridge on the Manila South Road in the municipality of Las Pias, Province of Rizal which resulted in in Narciso Gutierrez, a passenger in the autobus, suffering a fracture right leg which required medical attendance for a considerable period of time, and which even at the date of the trial appears not to have healed properly. It is conceded that the collision was caused by negligence pure and simple. Issue: What are the legal obligations of the defendants that arises from fault or negligence. Held: Bonifacio was in incompetent chauffeur, that he was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and that, on approaching the bridge and the truck, he lost his head and so contributed by his negligence to the accident. The guaranty given by the father at the time the son was granted a license to operate motor vehicles

made the father responsible for the acts of his son. Based on these facts, pursuant to the provisions of article 1903 of the Civil Code, the father alone and not the minor or the mother, would be liable for the damages caused by the minor. Common Law Rule: In the United States, it is uniformly held that the head of a house, the owner of an automobile, who maintains it for the general use of his family is liable for its negligent operation by one of his children, whom he designates or permits to run it, where the car is occupied and being used at the time of the injury for the pleasure of other members of the owner's family than the child driving it. The theory of the law is that the running of the machine by a child to carry other members of the family is within the scope of the owner's business, so that he is liable for the negligence of the child because of the relationship of master and servant. The liability of the owner of the truck, and of his chauffeur rests on a different basis, namely, that of contract which, we think, has been sufficiently demonstrated by the allegations of the complaint, not controverted, and the evidence. The reason for this conclusion reaches to the findings of the trial court concerning the position of the truck on the bridge, the speed in operating the machine, and the lack of care employed by the chauffeur. While these facts are not as clearly evidenced as are those which convict the other defendant, we nevertheless hesitate to disregard the points emphasized by the trial judge. In its broader aspects, the case is one of two drivers approaching a narrow bridge from opposite directions, with neither being willing to slow up and give the right of way to the other, with the inevitable result of a collision and an accident. The defendants Velasco and Cortez further contend that there existed contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff, consisting principally of his keeping his foot outside the truck, which occasioned his injury. In this connection, it is sufficient to state that, aside from the fact that the defense of contributory negligence was not pleaded, the evidence bearing out this theory of the case is contradictory in the extreme and leads us far afield into speculative matters. 8) Picart vs. Smith, 37 P 809 (G.R. No. L-12219 March 15, 1918) Plaintiff-appellant: Amado Picart Defendant-appellee: Frank Smith Jr. Ponente: Street Facts: In this action the plaintiff, Amado Picart, seeks to recover of the defendant, Frank Smith, jr., the sum of P31,000, as damages alleged to have been caused by an automobile driven by the defendant. From a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the Province of La Union absolving the defendant from liability the plaintiff has appealed. Plaintiff was riding his pony over Carlatan bridge at San Fernando, La Union. Defendants automobile was approaching from the opposite direction. Defendant blew his horn to give warning as the plaintiff was on the wrong side of the road. However, plaintiff decided that there is not enough time to move to

the other side of the road so he pulled the pony closely against the railing. Defendant did not slow down nor change his track, when he was quite near, he swiftly moved to the other side of the road. This frightened the horse and caused it to hit the car and violently eject its rider. The rider received contusions that required medical attention for several days. The horse was injured and eventually died. Issue: W/N the defendant in maneuvering his car in the manner above described was guilty of negligence such as gives rise to a civil obligation to repair the damage done. Held: YES. Test of negligence: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use what a prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. In the situation, the defendant had the opportunity to either stop or move to the other side of the road at an earlier opportunity in case there are no other vehicles. 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. It will be noted that the negligent acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. 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 is chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party. 9.) CANGCO vs MANILA RAILROAD CO. Plaintiff: Jose Cangco Defendant: Manila Railroad Co. Ponente: Fisher

Facts: At the time of the occurrence which gave rise to this litigation the plaintiff, Jose Cangco, was in the employment of Manila Railroad Company in the capacity of clerk, with a monthly wage of P25. He lived in the pueblo of San Mateo, in the province of Rizal, which is located upon the line of the defendant railroad company; and in coming daily by train to the company's office in the city of Manila where he worked, he used a pass, supplied by the company, which entitled him to ride upon the company's trains free of charge. Upon the occasion in question, January 20, 1915, the plaintiff arose from his seat in the second class-car where he was riding and, making, his exit through the door, took his position upon the steps of the coach, seizing the upright guardrail with his right hand for support. On the side of the train where passengers alight at the San Mateo station there is a cement platform which begins to rise with a moderate gradient some distance away from the company's office and extends along in front of said office for a distance sufficient to cover the length of several coaches. As the train slowed down another passenger, named Emilio Zuiga, also an employee of the railroad company, got off the same car, alighting safely at the point where the platform begins to rise from the level of the ground. When the train had proceeded a little farther the plaintiff Jose Cangco stepped off also, but one or both of his feet came in contact with a sack of watermelons with the result that his feet

slipped from under him and he fell violently on the platform. His body at once rolled from the platform and was drawn under the moving car, where his right arm was badly crushed and lacerated. It appears that after the plaintiff alighted from the train the car moved forward possibly six meters before it came to a full stop. The accident occurred between 7 and 8 o'clock on a dark night, and as the railroad station was lighted dimly by a single light located some distance away, objects on the platform where the accident occurred were difficult to discern especially to a person emerging from a lighted car. Issue: Difference between the primary responsibility of the defendant company and the contributory negligence of the plaintiff Held: Failure to perform a contract cannot be excused upon the ground that the breach was due to the negligence of a servant of the obligor, and that the latter exercised due diligence in the selection and control of the servant. Although negligence was attributable to the defendant by reason of the fact that the sacks of melons were so placed as to obstruct passengers passing to and from the cars, nevertheless, the plaintiff himself had failed to use due caution in alighting from the coach and was therefore precluded form recovering. Judgment was accordingly entered in favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff appealed. It cannot be doubted that the employees of the railroad company were guilty of negligence in piling these sacks on the platform in the manner above stated; that their presence caused the plaintiff to fall as he alighted from the train; and that they therefore constituted an effective legal cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It necessarily follows that the defendant company is liable for the damage thereby occasioned unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff's own contributory negligence. In resolving this problem it is necessary that each of these conceptions of liability, to-wit, the primary responsibility of the defendant company and the contributory negligence of the plaintiff should be separately examined. We are of the opinion that the correct doctrine relating to this subject is that expressed in Thompson's work on Negligence (vol. 3, sec. 3010) as follows: The test by which to determine whether the passenger has been guilty of negligence in attempting to alight from a moving railway train, is that of ordinary or reasonable care. It is to be considered whether an ordinarily prudent person, of the age, sex and condition of the passenger, would have acted as the passenger acted under the circumstances disclosed by the evidence. This care has been defined to be, not the care which may or should be used by the prudent man generally, but the care which a man of ordinary prudence would use under similar circumstances, to avoid injury." (Thompson, Commentaries on Negligence, vol. 3, sec. 3010.) Or, it we prefer to adopt the mode of exposition used by this court in Picart vs. Smith (37 Phil. rep., 809), we may say that the test is this; Was there anything in the circumstances surrounding the plaintiff at the time he alighted from the train which would have admonished a person of average prudence that to get off the train under the conditions then existing was dangerous? If so, the plaintiff should have desisted from alighting; and his failure so to desist was contributory negligence.1awph!

As the case now before us presents itself, the only fact from which a conclusion can be drawn to the effect that plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence is that he stepped off the car without being able to discern clearly the condition of the platform and while the train was yet slowly moving. In considering the situation thus presented, it should not be overlooked that the plaintiff was, as we find, ignorant of the fact that the obstruction which was caused by the sacks of melons piled on the platform existed; and as the defendant was bound by reason of its duty as a public carrier to afford to its passengers facilities for safe egress from its trains, the plaintiff had a right to assume, in the absence of some circumstance to warn him to the contrary, that the platform was clear. The place, as we have already stated, was dark, or dimly lighted, and this also is proof of a failure upon the part of the defendant in the performance of a duty owing by it to the plaintiff; for if it were by any possibility concede that it had right to pile these sacks in the path of alighting passengers, the placing of them adequately so that their presence would be revealed. It is not negligence per se for a traveler to alight from a slowly moving train. RAKES vs. ATLANTIC, GULF and PACIFIC CO. Plaintiff: M. H. Rakes Defendant: Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company Ponente: Tracey. FACTS: Rakes was one of the gang of 8 negro laborers employed by Respondent who was working by transporting iron rails from a barge in the harbor to the companys yard in Manila. There were two cars immediately following the other but without side pieces or guards to prevent them from slipping of the track. They were transporting rails each weighing 560 pounds. At a certain spot at or near the waters edge the track sagged resulting to the rails to slide off the car hitting the plaintiff and breaking his leg which was amputated. The plaintiff wanted to establish that the accident happened through the negligence of the Defendant. It was admitted by the defendant that there were no side pieces or guards on the car. The cause of the sagging of tracks and the breaking of the tie is not clear in evidence but is found by the trial court and is admitted in the briefs and in the argument to have been the dislodging of the crosspiece or piling under the stringer by the water of the bay raised by a recent typhoon. No effort was made to repair the track even though one workman already called the attention McKenna, the foreman, a day before the accident happened but no action was taken. There was a breach of duty on the part of the defendant upon its failure to repair the weakened track despite the notice of it. The Defendant contended that the remedy for injuries through negligence lies only in a criminal action in which the official criminally responsible must be made primarily liable and his employer held only subsidiarily to him. ISSUE(S): WHETHER OR NOT the Respondent is only subsidiary liable. WHETHER OR NOT the PLAINTIFF was also negligent contributing to the accident and WON this would bar him from claiming for damages.

HELD: 1) The respondent is not only subsidiary liable by virtue of a contractual obligation, implied from the relation and perhaps so inherent in its nature to be invariable by the parties, binds the employer to provide safe appliances for the use of the employee. On these principles it was the duty of the defendant to build and to maintain its track in reasonably sound condition, so as to protect its workingmen from unnecessary danger. It is plain that in one respect or the other it failed in its duty, otherwise the accident could not have occurred; consequently the negligence of the defendant is established. 2) First point is whether or not he continued his work in spite having noticed a depression in the tracks. There is nothing in the evidence to show that the plaintiff did or could see the displaced timber underneath the sleeper.While the method of construction may have been known to the men who had helped build the road, it was otherwise with the plaintiff who had worked at this job less than two days.The Supreme Court upheld the conclusion of the trial court that,the plaintiff did not know the cause of the one rail being lower than then other" and "it does not appear in this case that the plaintiff knew before the accident occurred that the stringers and rails joined in the same place." Second point is that he walked on the ends of the ties at the side of the car instead of along the boards, either before or behind it.While the trial court judge remarks that the evidence does not justify the finding that the car was pulled by means of a rope attached to the front end or to the rails upon it, and further that the circumstances in evidence make it clear that the persons necessary to operate the car could not walk upon the plank between the rails and that, therefore, it was necessary for the employees moving it to get hold upon it as best they could, there is no specific finding upon the instruction given by the defendant to its employees to walk only upon the planks, nor upon the necessity of the plaintiff putting himself upon the ties at the side in order to get hold upon the car. Distinction must be between the accident and the injury, between the event itself, without which there could have been no accident, and those acts of the victim not entering into it, independent of it, but contributing under review was the displacement of the crosspiece or the failure to replace it. The act of the plaintiff walking by the side of the car did not contribute in so far as to the displaced railings but it was an element of the damage to him. It is important to note that if the plaintiff contributed to the PRIMARY/PRINCIPAL cause, he may not recover any damages but if 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. Accepting, though with some hesitation, the judgment of the trial court, fixing the damage incurred by the plaintiff at 5,000 pesos, the equivalent of 2,500 dollars, United States money, we deduct therefrom 2,500 pesos, the amount fairly attributable to his negligence, and direct judgment to be entered in favor of the plaintiff for the resulting sum of 2,500 pesos, with cost of both instances, and ten days hereafter let the case be remanded to the court below for proper action. SO ORDERED. 11)Nakpil vs. CA, 144 SCRA 596 (G.R. No. L-47851 October 3, 1986)

Petitioner: Juan F. Nakpil& Sons (architects) and Juan F. Nakpil Respondent: CA, United Construction Company, Inc., Juan J. Carlos and PBA Ponente: Paras Facts: PBA decided to construct an office building in Manila. The plans and specifications for the building were prepared by Juan F. Nakpil& Sons. Two years after its completion, an unusually strong earthquake hit Manila and its environs and the building in question sustained major damage. The tenants vacated the building in view of its precarious condition. PBAcommenced an action for the recovery of damages arising from the partial collapse of the building against United Construction, Inc. and its President and General Manager Juan J. Carlos. PBA alleges that the collapse of the building was accused by defects in the construction, the failure of the contractors to follow plans and specifications and violations by the defendants of the terms of the contract. Defendants in turn filed a third-party complaint against the architects who prepared the plans and specifications, alleging in essence that the collapse of the building was due to the defects in the said plans and specifications. Upon the issues being joined, a pre-trial was conducted, during which among others, the parties agreed to refer the technical issues involved in the case to a Commissioner. Meanwhile, plaintiff moved twice for the demolition of the building on the ground that it may topple down in case of a strong earthquake. The motions were opposed by the defendants and the matter was referred to the Commissioner. Finally, on April 30, 1979 the building was authorized to be demolished at the expense of the plaintiff, but not another earthquake of high intensity on April 7, 1970 followed by other strong earthquakes on April 9, and 12, 1970, caused further damage to the property. The actual demolition was undertaken by the buyer of the damaged building. The Commissioner submitted his report with the findings that while the damage sustained by the PBA building was caused directly by the August 2, 1968 earthquake whose magnitude was estimated at 7.3 they were also caused by the defects in the plans and specifications prepared by the third-party defendants' architects, deviations from said plans and specifications by the defendant contractors and failure of the latter to observe the requisite workmanship in the construction of the building and of the contractors, architects and even the owners to exercise the requisite degree of supervision in the construction of subject building. Issue: W/N an act of God-an unusually strong earthquake-which caused the failure of the building, exempts from liability, parties who are otherwise liable because of their negligence. Held: No.

The applicable law governing the rights and liabilities of the parties herein is: (Art. 1723, New Civil Code) The engineer or 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 damage if the edifice fags within the same period on account of 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. On the other hand, the general rule is that no person shall be responsible for events which could not be foreseen or which though foreseen, were inevitable (Article 1174, New Civil Code). An act of God has been defined as an accident, due directly and exclusively to natural causes without human intervention, which by no amount of foresight, pains or care, reasonably to have been expected, could have been prevented. There is no dispute that the earthquake of August 2, 1968 is a fortuitous event or an act of God. To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174 of the Civil Code, for a breach of an obligation due to an "act of God," the following must concur: a) the cause of the breach of the obligation must be independent of the will of the debtor; b) the event must be either unforseeable or unavoidable; c) the event must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner; and d) the debtor must be free from any participation in, or aggravation of the injury to the creditor. Thus, if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God, there concurs a corresponding fraud, negligence, delay or violation or contravention in any manner of the tenor of the obligation as provided for in Article 1170 of the Civil Code, which results in loss or damage, the obligor cannot escape liability. The principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly requires that the act must be one occasioned exclusively by the violence of nature and all human agencies are to be excluded from creating or entering into the cause of the mischief. When the effect, the cause of which is to be considered, is found to be in part the result of the participation of man, whether it be from active intervention or neglect, or failure to act, the whole

occurrence is thereby humanized, as it were, and removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. Thus it has been held that when the negligence of a person concurs with an act of God in producing a loss, such person is not exempt from liability by showing that the immediate cause of the damage was the act of God. To be exempt from liability for loss because of an act of God, he must be free from any previous negligence or misconduct by which that loss or damage may have been occasioned. The negligence of the defendant and the third-party defendants petitioners was established beyond dispute both in the lower court and in the Intermediate Appellate Court. Defendant United Construction Co., Inc. was found to have made substantial deviations from the plans and specifications and to have failed to observe the requisite workmanship in the construction as well as to exercise the requisite degree of supervision; while the third-party defendants were found to have inadequacies or defects in the plans and specifications prepared by them. As correctly assessed by both courts, the defects in the construction and in the plans and specifications were the proximate causes that rendered the PBA building unable to withstand the earthquake of August 2, 1968. For this reason the defendant and thirdparty defendants cannot claim exemption from liability. In any event, the relevant and logical observations of the trial court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals that "while it is not possible to state with certainty that the building would not have collapsed were those defects not present, the fact remains that several buildings in the same area withstood the earthquake to which the building of the plaintiff was similarly subjected," cannot be ignored. There should be no question that the NAKPILS and UNITED are liable for the damage resulting from the partial and eventual collapse of the PBA building as a result of the earthquakes. Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez: There is no question that an earthquake and other forces of nature such as cyclones, drought, floods, lightning, and perils of the sea are acts of God. It does not necessarily follow, however, that specific losses and suffering resulting from the occurrence of these natural force are also acts of God. We are not convinced on the basis of the evidence on record that from the thousands of structures in Manila, God singled out the blameless PBA building in Intramuros and around six or seven other buildings in various parts of the city for collapse or severe damage and that God alone was responsible for the damages and losses thus suffered. The record is replete with evidence of defects and deficiencies in the designs and plans, defective construction, poor workmanship, deviation from plans and specifications and other imperfections. These deficiencies are attributable to negligent men and not to a perfect God. The cutting of the spirals in column A5, ground floor is the subject of great contention between the parties and deserves special consideration.

The proper placing of the main reinforcements and spirals in column A5, ground floor, is the responsibility of the general contractor which is the UCCI. The burden of proof, therefore, that this cutting was done by others is upon the defendants. Other than a strong allegation and assertion that it is the plumber or his men who may have done the cutting (and this was flatly denied by the plumber) no conclusive proof was presented. The engineering experts for the defendants asserted that they could have no motivation for cutting the bar because they can simply replace the spirals by wrapping around a new set of spirals. This is not quite correct. There is evidence to show that the pouring of concrete for columns was sometimes done through the beam and girder reinforcements which were already in place as in the case of column A4 second floor. If the reinforcement for the girder and column is to subsequently wrap around the spirals, this would not do for the elasticity of steel would prevent the making of tight column spirals and loose or improper spirals would result. The proper way is to produce correct spirals down from the top of the main column bars, a procedure which can not be done if either the beam or girder reinforcement is already in place. The engineering experts for the defendants strongly assert and apparently believe that the cutting of the spirals did not materially diminish the strength of the column. This belief together with the difficulty of slipping the spirals on the top of the column once the beam reinforcement is in place may be a sufficient motivation for the cutting of the spirals themselves. The defendants, therefore, should be held responsible for the consequences arising from the loss of strength or ductility in column A5 which may have contributed to the damages sustained by the building. The lack of proper length of splicing of spirals was also proven in the visible spirals of the columns where spalling of the concrete cover had taken place. This lack of proper splicing contributed in a small measure to the loss of strength. The effects of all the other proven and visible defects although nor can certainly be accumulated so that they can contribute to an appreciable loss in earthquake-resistant strength. The engineering experts for the defendants submitted an estimate on some of these defects in the amount of a few percent. If accumulated, therefore, including the effect of eccentricity in the column the loss in strength due to these minor defects may run to as much as ten percent. To recapitulate: the omission or lack of spirals and ties at the bottom and/or at the top of some of the ground floor columns contributed greatly to the collapse of the PBA building since it is at these points where the greater part of the failure occurred. The liability for the cutting of the spirals in column A5, ground floor, in the considered opinion of the Commissioner rests on the shoulders of the defendants and the loss of strength in this column contributed to the damage which occurred. It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that the proven defects, deficiencies and violations of the plans and specifications of the PBA building contributed to the damages which resulted during the earthquake of August 2, 1968 and the vice of these defects and deficiencies is that they not only increase but also aggravate the weakness mentioned in the design of the structure. In other words, these defects and deficiencies not only tend to add but also to multiply the effects of the shortcomings in the design of the building. We may say, therefore, that the defects and deficiencies in the construction contributed

greatly to the damage which occurred. Since the execution and supervision of the construction work in the hands of the contractor is direct and positive, the presence of existence of all the major defects and deficiencies noted and proven manifests an element of negligence which may amount to imprudence in the construction work. As the parties most directly concerned with this portion of the Commissioner's report, the defendants voiced their objections to the same on the grounds that the Commissioner should have specified the defects found by him to be "meritorious"; that the Commissioner failed to indicate the number of cases where the spirals and ties were not carried from the floor level to the bottom reinforcement of the deeper beam, or where the spacing of the spirals and ties in the columns were greater than that called for in the specifications; that the hollow in column A4, second floor, the eccentricities in the columns, the lack of proper length of splicing of spirals, and the cut in the spirals in column A5, ground floor, did not aggravate or contribute to the damage suffered by the building; that the defects in the construction were within the tolerable margin of safety; and that the cutting of the spirals in column A5, ground floor, was done by the plumber or his men, and not by the defendants. Answering the said objections, the Commissioner stated that, since many of the defects were minor only the totality of the defects was considered. As regards the objection as to failure to state the number of cases where the spirals and ties were not carried from the floor level to the bottom reinforcement, the Commissioner specified groundfloor columns B-6 and C-5 the first one without spirals for 03 inches at the top, and in the latter, there were no spirals for 10 inches at the bottom. The Commissioner likewise specified the first storey columns where the spacings were greater than that called for in the specifications to be columns B-5, B-6, C-7, C-6, C-5, D-5 and B-7. The objection to the failure of the Commissioner to specify the number of columns where there was lack of proper length of splicing of spirals, the Commissioner mentioned groundfloor columns B-6 and B-5 where all the splices were less than 1-1/2 turns and were not welded, resulting in some loss of strength which could be critical near the ends of the columns. He answered the supposition of the defendants that the spirals and the ties must have been looted, by calling attention to the fact that the missing spirals and ties were only in two out of the 25 columns, which rendered said supposition to be improbable. The Commissioner conceded that the hollow in column A-4, second floor, did not aggravate or contribute to the damage, but averred that it is "evidence of poor construction." On the claim that the eccentricity could be absorbed within the factor of safety, the Commissioner answered that, while the same may be true, it also contributed to or aggravated the damage suffered by the building. The objection regarding the cutting of the spirals in Column A-5, groundfloor, was answered by the Commissioner by reiterating the observation in his report that irrespective of who did the cutting of the spirals, the defendants should be held liable for the same as the general contractor of the building. The Commissioner further stated that the loss of strength of the cut spirals and inelastic deflections of the supposed lattice work defeated the purpose of the spiral containment in the column and resulted in the loss of strength, as evidenced by the actual failure of this column.

The "deviations made by the defendants from the plans and specifications caused indirectly the damage sustained and that those deviations not only added but also aggravated the damage caused by the defects in the plans and specifications prepared by third-party defendants. The afore-mentioned facts clearly indicate the wanton negligence of both the defendant and the thirdparty defendants in effecting the plans, designs, specifications, and construction of the PBA building and We hold such negligence as equivalent to bad faith in the performance of their respective tasks. Relative thereto, the ruling of the Supreme Court in Tucker v. Milanwhich may be in point in this case reads: One who negligently creates a dangerous condition cannot escape liability for the natural and probable consequences thereof, although the act of a third person, or an act of God for which he is not responsible, intervenes to precipitate the loss. The destruction was not purely an act of God. Truth to tell hundreds of ancient buildings in the vicinity were hardly affected by the earthquake. Only one thing spells out the fatal difference; gross negligence and evident bad faith, without which the damage would not have occurred. 12) Sia vs. CA, 222 SCRA 24 (G.R. No. L-102970 May 13, 1993) Petitioner: Luzan Sia Respondents: CA and Security Bank and Trust Co. Ponente: Davide Jr. Facts: In 1985, plaintiff rented a safety deposit box of the defendant bank at its Binondo Branch, where he placed his collection of stamps. During the floods that took place in 1985 and 1986, floodwater entered into the defendant bank's premises, seeped into the safety deposit box leased by the plaintiff and caused, according to the plaintiff, damage to his stamps collection. The defendant bank rejected the plaintiff's claim for compensation for his damaged stamps collection, so, the plaintiff instituted an action for damages against the defendant bank. Issue: W/N the bank was guilty of negligence Held: (TC-in favor of Sia, CA reversed) Yes. Article 1174 of the Civil Code provides: "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.' In relation to contracts, a "caso fortuito" has the following essential characteristics: (1) the cause of the unforeseen ands unexpected occurrence, 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 constitutes 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 one debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner; and (4) the obligor must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor. The fourth element is absent. SBTC's negligence aggravated the injury or damage to the stamp collection. SBTC was aware of the floods of 1985 and 1986; it also knew that the floodwaters inundated the room where Safe Deposit Box No. 54 was located. In view thereof, it should have lost no time in notifying the petitioner in order that the box could have been opened to retrieve the stamps, thus saving the same from further deterioration and loss. In this respect, it failed to exercise the reasonable care and prudence expected of a good father of a family, thereby becoming a party to the aggravation of the injury or loss. Accordingly, the aforementioned fourth characteristic of a fortuitous event is absent Article 1170 of the Civil Code, which reads: Those who in the performance of their obligation are guilty of fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages. The destruction or loss of the stamp collection which was, in the language of the trial court, the "product of 27 years of patience and diligence" caused the petitioner pecuniary loss; hence, he must be compensated therefor. 13) REPUBLIC vs LUZON STEVEDORING CORPORATION Plaintiff: Republic of the Philippines Defendant: Luzon Stevedoring Corporation Ponente: J.B.L. Reyes Facts: In the early afternoon of August 17, 1960, barge L-1892, owned by the Luzon Stevedoring Corporation was being towed down the Pasig river by tugboats "Bangus" and "Barbero"1 also belonging to the same corporation, when the barge rammed against one of the wooden piles of the Nagtahan bailey bridge, smashing the posts and causing the bridge to list. The river, at the time, was swollen and the current swift, on account of the heavy downpour of Manila and the surrounding provinces on August 15 and 16, 1960. Sued by the Republic of the Philippines for actual and consequential damage caused by its employees, amounting to P200,000 (Civil Case No. 44562, CFI of Manila), defendant Luzon Stevedoring Corporation disclaimed liability therefor, on the grounds that it had exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees; that the damages to the bridge were caused by force majeure; that plaintiff has no capacity to sue; and that the Nagtahan bailey bridge is an obstruction to navigation. After due trial, the court rendered judgment on June 11, 1963, holding the defendant liable for the damage caused by its employees and ordering it to pay to plaintiff the actual cost of the repair of the Nagtahan bailey bridge which amounted to P192,561.72, with legal interest thereon from the date of the filing of the complaint. Issue: 1) Whether or not the collision of appellant's barge with the supports or piers of the Nagtahan bridge was in law caused by fortuitous event or force majeure, and

2) Whether or not it was error for the Court to have permitted the plaintiff-appellee to introduce additional evidence of damages after said party had rested its case. Held: As to the first question, considering that the Nagtahan bridge was an immovable and stationary object and uncontrovertedly provided with adequate openings for the passage of water craft, including barges like of appellant's, it is undeniable that the unusual event that the barge, exclusively controlled by appellant, rammed the bridge supports raises a presumption of negligence on the part of appellant or its employees manning the barge or the tugs that towed it. For in the ordinary course of events, such a thing does not happen if proper care is used. In Anglo American Jurisprudence, the inference arises by what is known as the "res ipsa loquitur" rule. For caso fortuito or force majeure (which in law are identical in so far as they exempt an obligor from liability)2 by definition, are extraordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable, "events that could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable" (Art. 1174, Civ. Code of the Philippines). It is, therefore, not enough that the event should not have been foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly believed, but it must be one impossible to foresee or to avoid. The mere difficulty to foresee the happening is not impossibility to foresee the same: "un hecho no constituye caso fortuito por la sola circunstancia de que su existencia haga mas dificil o mas onerosa la accion diligente del presento ofensor" (Peirano Facio, Responsibilidad Extra-contractual, p. 465; Mazeaud Trait de la Responsibilite Civil, Vol. 2, sec. 1569). The very measures adopted by appellant prove that the possibility of danger was not only foreseeable, but actually foreseen, and was not caso fortuito. Otherwise stated, the appellant, Luzon Stevedoring Corporation, knowing and appreciating the perils posed by the swollen stream and its swift current, voluntarily entered into a situation involving obvious danger; it therefore assured the risk, and can not shed responsibility merely because the precautions it adopted turned out to be insufficient. Hence, the lower Court committed no error in holding it negligent in not suspending operations and in holding it liable for the damages caused. It avails the appellant naught to argue that the dolphins, like the bridge, were improperly located. Even if true, these circumstances would merely emphasize the need of even higher degree of care on appellant's part in the situation involved in the present case. The appellant, whose barges and tugs travel up and down the river everyday, could not safely ignore the danger posed by these allegedly improper constructions that had been erected, and in place, for years. On the second point: appellant charges the lower court with having abused its discretion in the admission of plaintiff's additional evidence after the latter had rested its case. There is an insinuation that the delay was deliberate to enable the manipulation of evidence to prejudice defendant-appellant. We find no merit in the contention. Whether or not further evidence will be allowed after a party offering the evidence has rested his case, lies within the sound discretion of the trial Judge, and this discretion will not be reviewed except in clear case of abuse. In the present case, no abuse of that discretion is shown. What was allowed to be introduced, after plaintiff had rested its evidence in chief, were vouchers and papers to support an item of P1,558.00 allegedly spent for the reinforcement of the panel of the bailey bridge, and which item already appeared in Exhibit GG. Appellant, in fact, has no reason to charge the trial court of being unfair, because it was

also able to secure, upon written motion, a similar order dated November 24, 1962, allowing reception of additional evidence for the said defendant-appellant.