You are on page 1of 6

Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co., 38 Phil. 768 , No.

12191, October 1, 1918

!.R. No. "#12191 October 1, 1918
$O%& C'N!CO, plaintiff-appellant,
M'N("' R'("RO') CO., defendant-appellee.
Ramon Sotelo for appellant.
Kincaid & Hartigan for appellee.
*(%+&R, J.:
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 P!. "e lived in the
pue#lo of $an Mateo, in the province of Ri%al, which is located upon the line of the defendant railroad company& and
in coming daily #y train to the company's office in the city of Manila where he worked, he used a pass, supplied #y
the company, which entitled him to ride upon the company's trains free of charge. (pon the occasion in )uestion,
January *, +,+!, the plaintiff arose from his seat in the second class-car where he was riding and, making, his e-it
through the door, took his position upon the steps of the coach, sei%ing the upright guardrail with his right hand for
.n the side of the train where passengers alight at the $an Mateo station there is a cement platform which
#egins to rise with a moderate gradient some distance away from the company's office and e-tends 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 /milio 0u1iga, also an employee of the railroad company, got off the same car, alighting safely at
the point where the platform #egins to rise from the level of the ground. 2hen the train had proceeded a little farther
the plaintiff Jose Cangco stepped off also, #ut one or #oth 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. "is #ody at once rolled
from the platform and was drawn under the moving car, where his right arm was #adly crushed and lacerated. 3t
appears that after the plaintiff alighted from the train the car moved forward possi#ly si- meters #efore it came to a
full stop.
4he accident occurred #etween 5 and 6 o'clock on a dark night, and as the railroad station was lighted dimly
#y a single light located some distance away, o#7ects on the platform where the accident occurred were difficult to
discern especially to a person emerging from a lighted car.
4he e-planation of the presence of a sack of melons on the platform where the plaintiff alighted is found in
the fact that it was the customary season for harvesting these melons and a large lot had #een #rought to the station
for the shipment to the market. 4hey were contained in numerous sacks which has #een piled on the platform in a
row one upon another. 4he testimony shows that this row of sacks was so placed of melons and the edge of
platform& and it is clear that the fall of the plaintiff was due to the fact that his foot alighted upon one of these
melons at the moment he stepped upon the platform. "is statement that he failed to see these o#7ects in the darkness
is readily to #e credited.
4he plaintiff was drawn from under the car in an unconscious condition, and it appeared that the in7uries
which he had received were very serious. "e was therefore #rought at once to a certain hospital in the city of Manila
where an e-amination was made and his arm was amputated. 4he result of this operation was unsatisfactory, and the
plaintiff was then carried to another hospital where a second operation was performed and the mem#er was again
amputated higher up near the shoulder. 3t appears in evidence that the plaintiff e-pended the sum of P5,*.! in the
form of medical and surgical fees and for other e-penses in connection with the process of his curation.
(pon August 8+, +,+!, he instituted this proceeding in the Court of 9irst 3nstance of the city of Manila to
recover damages of the defendant company, founding his action upon the negligence of the servants and employees
of the defendant in placing the sacks of melons upon the platform and leaving them so placed as to #e a menace to
the security of passenger alighting from the company's trains. At the hearing in the Court of 9irst 3nstance, his
"onor, the trial 7udge, found the facts su#stantially as a#ove stated, and drew therefrom his conclusion to the effect
that, although negligence was attri#uta#le to the defendant #y reason of the fact that the sacks of melons were so
placed as to o#struct 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.
3t can not #e dou#ted that the employees of the railroad company were guilty of negligence in piling these
sacks on the platform in the manner a#ove 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 in7uries sustained #y the plaintiff. 3t
necessarily follows that the defendant company is lia#le for the damage there#y occasioned unless recovery is
#arred #y the plaintiff's own contri#utory negligence. 3n resolving this pro#lem it is necessary that each of these
conceptions of lia#ility, to-wit, the primary responsi#ility of the defendant company and the contri#utory negligence
of the plaintiff should #e separately e-amined.
3t is important to note that the foundation of the legal lia#ility of the defendant is the contract of carriage, and
that the o#ligation to respond for the damage which plaintiff has suffered arises, if at all, from the #reach of that
contract #y reason of the failure of defendant to e-ercise due care in its performance. 4hat is to say, its lia#ility is
direct and immediate, differing essentially, in legal viewpoint from that presumptive responsi#ility for the
negligence of its servants, imposed #y article +,*8 of the Civil Code, which can #e re#utted #y proof of the e-ercise
of due care in their selection and supervision. Article +,*8 of the Civil Code is not applica#le to o#ligations arising
e- contractu, #ut only to e-tra-contractual o#ligations : or to use the technical form of e-pression, that article
relates only to culpa a)uiliana and not to culpa contractual.
Manresa ;vol. 6, p. <5= in his commentaries upon articles ++*8 and ++*> of the Civil Code, clearly points out
this distinction, which was also recogni%ed #y this Court in its decision in the case of Rakes vs. Atlantic, ?ulf and
Pacific Co. ;5 Phil. rep., 8!,=. 3n commenting upon article +*,8 Manresa clearly points out the difference #etween
@culpa, su#stantive and independent, which of itself constitutes the source of an o#ligation #etween persons not
formerly connected #y any legal tie@ and culpa considered as an accident in the performance of an o#ligation already
e-isting . . . .@
3n the Rakes case ;supra= the decision of this court was made to rest s)uarely upon the proposition that article
+,*8 of the Civil Code is not applica#le to acts of negligence which constitute the #reach of a contract.
(pon this point the Court saidA
4he acts to which these articles B+,* and +,*8 of the Civil CodeC are applica#le are understood to #e those
not growing out of pre-e-isting duties of the parties to one another. Dut where relations already formed give rise to
duties, whether springing from contract or )uasi-contract, then #reaches of those duties are su#7ect to article ++*+,
++*8, and ++*> of the same code. ;Rakes vs. Atlantic, ?ulf and Pacific Co., 5 Phil. Rep., 8!, at 8<!.=
4his distinction is of the utmost importance. 4he lia#ility, which, under the $panish law, is, in certain cases
imposed upon employers with respect to damages occasioned #y the negligence of their employees to persons to
whom they are not #ound #y contract, is not #ased, as in the /nglish Common Eaw, upon the principle
of respondeat superior if it were, the master would #e lia#le in every case and unconditionally : #ut upon the
principle announced in article +,* of the Civil Code, which imposes upon all persons who #y their fault or
negligence, do in7ury to another, the o#ligation of making good the damage caused. .ne who places a powerful
automo#ile in the hands of a servant whom he knows to #e ignorant of the method of managing such a vehicle, is
himself guilty of an act of negligence which makes him lia#le for all the conse)uences of his imprudence. 4he
o#ligation to make good the damage arises at the very instant that the unskillful servant, while acting within the
scope of his employment causes the in7ury. 4he lia#ility of the master is personal and direct. Dut, if the master has
not #een guilty of any negligence whatever in the selection and direction of the servant, he is not lia#le for the acts
of the latter, whatever done within the scope of his employment or not, if the damage done #y the servant does not
amount to a #reach of the contract #etween the master and the person in7ured.
3t is not accurate to say that proof of diligence and care in the selection and control of the servant relieves the
master from lia#ility for the latter's acts : on the contrary, that proof shows that the responsi#ility has never
e-isted. As Manresa says ;vol. 6, p. <6= the lia#ility arising from e-tra-contractual culpa is always #ased upon a
voluntary act or omission which, without willful intent, #ut #y mere negligence or inattention, has caused damage to
another. A master who e-ercises all possi#le care in the selection of his servant, taking into consideration the
)ualifications they should possess for the discharge of the duties which it is his purpose to confide to them, and
directs them with e)ual diligence, there#y performs his duty to third persons to whom he is #ound #y no contractual
ties, and he incurs no lia#ility whatever if, #y reason of the negligence of his servants, even within the scope of their
employment, such third person suffer damage. 4rue it is that under article +,*8 of the Civil Code the law creates
a presumption that he has #een negligent in the selection or direction of his servant, #ut the presumption is
re#utta#le and yield to proof of due care and diligence in this respect.
4he supreme court of Porto Rico, in interpreting identical provisions, as found in the Porto Rico Code, has
held that these articles are applica#le to cases of e-tra-contractual culpa e-clusively. ;Carmona vs. Cuesta, * Porto
Rico Reports, +!.=
4his distinction was again made patent #y this Court in its decision in the case of Dahia vs. Eiton7ua and
Eeynes, ;8* Phil. rep., <>=, which was an action #rought upon the theory of the e-tra-contractual lia#ility of the
defendant to respond for the damage caused #y the carelessness of his employee while acting within the scope of his
employment. 4he Court, after citing the last paragraph of article +,*8 of the Civil Code, saidA
9rom this article two things are apparentA ;+= 4hat when an in7ury is caused #y 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 selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or #oth& and ;= that that
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and conse)uently, may #e re#utted. 3t follows necessarily that if
the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has e-ercised the care and
diligence of a good father of a family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from lia#ility.
4his theory #ases the responsi#ility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and not on that of his
servant. 4his is the nota#le peculiarity of the $panish law of negligence. 3t is, of course, in striking contrast to the
American doctrine that, in relations with strangers, the negligence of the servant in conclusively the negligence of
the master.
4he opinion there e-pressed #y this Court, to the effect that in case of e-tra-contractual culpa #ased upon
negligence, it is necessary that there shall have #een some fault attri#uta#le to the defendant personally, and that the
last paragraph of article +,*8 merely esta#lishes a re#utta#le presumption, is in complete accord with the
authoritative opinion of Manresa, who says ;vol. +, p. <++= that the lia#ility created #y article +,*8 is imposed #y
reason of the #reach of the duties inherent in the special relations of authority or superiority e-isting #etween the
person called upon to repair the damage and the one who, #y his act or omission, was the cause of it.
.n the other hand, the lia#ility 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 #reach of a contact, is not #ased upon a
mere presumption of the master's negligence in their selection or control, and proof of e-ercise of the utmost
diligence and care in this regard does not relieve the master of his lia#ility for the #reach of his contract.
/very legal o#ligation must of necessity #e e-tra-contractual or contractual. /-tra-contractual o#ligation has
its source in the #reach or omission of those mutual duties which civili%ed society imposes upon it mem#ers, or
which arise from these relations, other than contractual, of certain mem#ers of society to others, generally em#raced
in the concept of status. 4he legal rights of each mem#er of society constitute the measure of the corresponding
legal duties, mainly negative in character, which the e-istence of those rights imposes upon all other mem#ers of
society. 4he #reach of these general duties whether due to willful intent or to mere inattention, if productive of
in7ury, give rise to an o#ligation to indemnify the in7ured party. 4he fundamental distinction #etween o#ligations of
this character and those which arise from contract, rests upon the fact that in cases of non-contractual o#ligation it is
the wrongful or negligent act or omission itself which creates the vinculum juris, whereas in contractual relations
the vinculum e-ists independently of the #reach of the voluntary duty assumed #y the parties when entering into the
contractual relation.
2ith respect to e-tra-contractual o#ligation arising from negligence, whether of act or omission, it is
competent for the legislature to elect : and our Eegislature has so elected : whom such an o#ligation is imposed is
morally culpa#le, or, on the contrary, for reasons of pu#lic policy, to e-tend that lia#ility, without regard to the lack
of moral culpa#ility, so as to include responsi#ility for the negligence of those person who acts or mission are
imputa#le, #y a legal fiction, to others who are in a position to e-ercise an a#solute or limited control over them. 4he
legislature which adopted our Civil Code has elected to limit e-tra-contractual lia#ility : with certain well-defined
e-ceptions : to cases in which moral culpa#ility can #e directly imputed to the persons to #e charged. 4his moral
responsi#ility may consist in having failed to e-ercise due care in the selection and control of one's agents or
servants, or in the control of persons who, #y reason of their status, occupy a position of dependency with respect to
the person made lia#le for their conduct.
4he position of a natural or 7uridical person who has undertaken #y contract to render service to another, is
wholly different from that to which article +,*8 relates. 2hen the sources of the o#ligation upon which plaintiff's
cause of action depends is a negligent act or omission, the #urden of proof rests upon plaintiff to prove the
negligence : if he does not his action fails. Dut when the facts averred show a contractual undertaking #y defendant
for the #enefit 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 #reach of the contract is due to willful 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.
As a general rule . . . it is logical that in case of e-tra-contractual culpa, a suing creditor should assume the
#urden of proof of its e-istence, as the only fact upon which his action is #ased& while on the contrary, in a case of
negligence which presupposes the e-istence of a contractual o#ligation, if the creditor shows that it e-ists and that it
has #een #roken, it is not necessary for him to prove negligence. ;Manresa, vol. 6, p. 5+ B+,*5 ed., p. 5<C=.
As it is not necessary for the plaintiff in an action for the #reach of a contract to show that the #reach was due
to the negligent conduct of defendant or of his servants, even though such #e in fact the actual cause of the #reach, it
is o#vious that proof on the part of defendant that the negligence or omission of his servants or agents caused the
#reach of the contract would not constitute a defense to the action. 3f the negligence of servants or agents could #e
invoked as a means of discharging the lia#ility arising from contract, the anomalous result would #e that person
acting through the medium of agents or servants in the performance of their contracts, would #e in a #etter position
than those acting in person. 3f one delivers a valua#le watch to watchmaker who contract to repair it, and the #ailee,
#y a personal negligent act causes its destruction, he is un)uestiona#ly lia#le. 2ould it #e logical to free him from
his lia#ility for the #reach of his contract, which involves the duty to e-ercise due care in the preservation of the
watch, if he shows that it was his servant whose negligence caused the in7uryF 3f such a theory could #e accepted,
7uridical persons would en7oy practically complete immunity from damages arising from the #reach of their
contracts if caused #y negligent acts as such 7uridical persons can of necessity only act through agents or servants,
and it would no dou#t #e true in most instances that reasona#le care had #een taken in selection and direction of
such servants. 3f one delivers securities to a #anking corporation as collateral, and they are lost #y reason of the
negligence of some clerk employed #y the #ank, would it #e 7ust and reasona#le to permit the #ank to relieve itself
of lia#ility for the #reach of its contract to return the collateral upon the payment of the de#t #y proving that due care
had #een e-ercised in the selection and direction of the clerkF
4his distinction #etween culpa aquiliana, as the source of an o#ligation, andculpa contractual as a mere
incident to the performance of a contract has fre)uently #een recogni%ed #y the supreme court of $pain.
;Sentencias of June 5, +6,>& Govem#er *, +6,<& and Hecem#er +8, +6,<.= 3n the decisions of Govem#er *, +6,<,
it appeared that plaintiff's action arose ex contractu, #ut that defendant sought to avail himself of the provisions of
article +,* of the Civil Code as a defense. 4he $panish $upreme Court re7ected defendant's contention, sayingA
4hese are not cases of in7ury caused, without any preexisting o!ligation, #y fault or negligence, such as
those to which article "#$% of the &ivil &ode relates, #ut of damages caused #y the defendant's failure to carry out
the undertakings imposed #y the contracts . . . .
A #rief review of the earlier decision of this court involving the lia#ility of employers for damage done #y the
negligent acts of their servants will show that in no case has the court ever decided that the negligence of the
defendant's servants has #een held to constitute a defense to an action for damages for #reach of contract.
3n the case of Johnson vs. Havid ;! Phil. Rep., <<8=, the court held that the owner of a carriage was not lia#le
for the damages caused #y the negligence of his driver. 3n that case the court commented on the fact that no
evidence had #een adduced in the trial court that the defendant had #een negligent in the employment of the driver,
or that he had any knowledge of his lack of skill or carefulness.
3n the case of Daer $enior I Co's $uccessors vs. Compania Maritima ;< Phil. Rep., +!=, the plaintiff sued the
defendant for damages caused #y the loss of a #arge #elonging to plaintiff which was allowed to get adrift #y the
negligence of defendant's servants in the course of the performance of a contract of towage. 4he court held, citing
Manresa ;vol. 6, pp. ,, <,= that if the @o#ligation of the defendant grew out of a contract made #etween it and the
plaintiff . . . we do not think that the provisions of articles +,* and +,*8 are applica#le to the case.@
3n the case of Chapman vs. (nderwood ;5 Phil. Rep., 85>=, plaintiff sued the defendant to recover damages
for the personal in7uries caused #y the negligence of defendant's chauffeur while driving defendant's automo#ile in
which defendant was riding at the time. 4he court found that the damages were caused #y the negligence of the
driver of the automo#ile, #ut held that the master was not lia#le, although he was present at the time, sayingA
. . . unless the negligent acts of the driver are continued for a length of time as to give the owner a reasona#le
opportunity to o#serve them and to direct the driver to desist therefrom. . . . 4he act complained of must #e
continued in the presence of the owner for such length of time that the owner #y his ac)uiescence, makes the driver's
acts his own.
3n the case of Jamada vs. Manila Railroad Co. and Dachrach ?arage I 4a-ica# Co. ;88 Phil. Rep., 6=, it is
true that the court rested its conclusion as to the lia#ility of the defendant upon article +,*8, although the facts
disclosed that the in7ury complaint of #y plaintiff constituted a #reach of the duty to him arising out of the contract
of transportation. 4he e-press ground of the decision in this case was that article +,*8, in dealing with the lia#ility
of a master for the negligent acts of his servants @makes the distinction #etween private individuals and pu#lic
enterprise&@ that as to the latter the law creates a re#utta#le presumption of negligence in the selection or direction of
servants& and that in the particular case the presumption of negligence had not #een overcome.
3t is evident, therefore that in its decision Jamada case, the court treated plaintiff's action as though founded
in tort rather than as #ased upon the #reach of the contract of carriage, and an e-amination of the pleadings and of
the #riefs shows that the )uestions of law were in fact discussed upon this theory. Kiewed from the standpoint of the
defendant the practical result must have #een the same in any event. 4he proof disclosed #eyond dou#t that the
defendant's servant was grossly negligent and that his negligence was the pro-imate cause of plaintiff's in7ury. 3t also
affirmatively appeared that defendant had #een guilty of negligence in its failure to e-ercise proper discretion in the
direction of the servant. Hefendant was, therefore, lia#le for the in7ury suffered #y plaintiff, whether the #reach of
the duty were to #e regarded as constituting culpa aquiliana or culpa contractual. As Manresa points out ;vol. 6, pp.
, and <,= whether negligence occurs an incident in the course of the performance of a contractual undertaking or
its itself the source of an e-tra-contractual undertaking o#ligation, its essential characteristics are identical. 4here is
always an act or omission productive of damage due to carelessness or inattention on the part of the defendant.
Conse)uently, when the court holds that a defendant is lia#le in damages for having failed to e-ercise due care,
either directly, or in failing to e-ercise proper care in the selection and direction of his servants, the practical result is
identical in either case. 4herefore, it follows that it is not to #e inferred, #ecause the court held in the Jamada case
that defendant was lia#le for the damages negligently caused #y its servants to a person to whom it was #ound #y
contract, and made reference to the fact that the defendant was negligent in the selection and control of its servants,
that in such a case the court would have held that it would have #een a good defense to the action, if presented
s)uarely upon the theory of the #reach of the contract, for defendant to have proved that it did in fact e-ercise care in
the selection and control of the servant.
4he true e-planation of such cases is to #e found #y directing the attention to the relative spheres of
contractual and e-tra-contractual o#ligations. 4he field of non- contractual o#ligation is much more #roader than
that of contractual o#ligations, comprising, as it does, the whole e-tent of 7uridical human relations. 4hese two
fields, figuratively speaking, concentric& that is to say, the mere fact that a person is #ound to another #y contract
does not relieve him from e-tra-contractual lia#ility to such person. 2hen such a contractual relation e-ists the
o#ligor may #reak the contract under such conditions that the same act which constitutes the source of an e-tra-
contractual o#ligation had no contract e-isted #etween the parties.
4he contract of defendant to transport plaintiff carried with it, #y implication, the duty to carry him in safety
and to provide safe means of entering and leaving its trains ;civil code, article +!6=. 4hat duty, #eing contractual,
was direct and immediate, and its non-performance could not #e e-cused #y proof that the fault was morally
imputa#le to defendant's servants.
4he railroad company's defense involves the assumption that even granting that the negligent conduct of its
servants in placing an o#struction upon the platform was a #reach of its contractual o#ligation to maintain safe
means of approaching and leaving its trains, the direct and pro-imate cause of the in7ury suffered #y plaintiff was his
own contri#utory negligence in failing to wait until the train had come to a complete stop #efore alighting. (nder the
doctrine of comparative negligence announced in the Rakes case ;supra=, if the accident was caused #y plaintiff's
own negligence, no lia#ility is imposed upon defendant's negligence and plaintiff's negligence merely contri#uted to
his in7ury, the damages should #e apportioned. 3t is, therefore, important to ascertain if defendant was in fact guilty
of negligence.
3t may #e admitted that had plaintiff waited until the train had come to a full stop #efore alighting, the
particular in7ury suffered #y him could not have occurred. Hefendant contends, and cites many authorities in support
of the contention, that it is negligence per se for a passenger to alight from a moving train. 2e are not disposed to
su#scri#e to this doctrine in its a#solute form. 2e are of the opinion that this proposition is too #adly stated and is at
variance with the e-perience of every-day life. 3n this particular instance, that the train was #arely moving when
plaintiff alighted is shown conclusively #y the fact that it came to stop within si- meters from the place where he
stepped from it. 4housands of person alight from trains under these conditions every day of the year, and sustain no
in7ury where the company has kept its platform free from dangerous o#structions. 4here is no reason to #elieve that
plaintiff would have suffered any in7ury whatever in alighting as he did had it not #een for defendant's negligent
failure to perform its duty to provide a safe alighting place.
2e are of the opinion that the correct doctrine relating to this su#7ect is that e-pressed in 4hompson's work on
Gegligence ;vol. 8, sec. 8*+*= as followsA
4he test #y which to determine whether the passenger has #een guilty of negligence in attempting to alight
from a moving railway train, is that of ordinary or reasona#le care. 3t is to #e considered whether an ordinarily
prudent person, of the age, se- and condition of the passenger, would have acted as the passenger acted under the
circumstances disclosed #y the evidence. 4his care has #een defined to #e, not the care which may or should #e used
#y the prudent man generally, #ut the care which a man of ordinary prudence would use under similar
circumstances, to avoid in7ury.@ ;4hompson, Commentaries on Gegligence, vol. 8, sec. 8*+*.=
.r, it we prefer to adopt the mode of e-position used #y this court in Picartvs. $mith ;85 Phil. rep., 6*,=, we
may say that the test is this& 2as 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 e-isting was dangerousF 3f so, the plaintiff should have desisted from alighting& and his failure so to
desist was contri#utory negligence."awph'
As the case now #efore us presents itself, the only fact from which a conclusion can #e drawn to the effect that
plaintiff was guilty of contri#utory negligence is that he stepped off the car without #eing a#le to discern clearly the
condition of the platform and while the train was yet slowly moving. 3n considering the situation thus presented, it
should not #e overlooked that the plaintiff was, as we find, ignorant of the fact that the o#struction which was
caused #y the sacks of melons piled on the platform e-isted& and as the defendant was #ound #y reason of its duty as
a pu#lic carrier to afford to its passengers facilities for safe egress from its trains, the plaintiff had a right to assume,
in the a#sence of some circumstance to warn him to the contrary, that the platform was clear. 4he 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 #y it to the plaintiff& for if it were #y any possi#ility concede that it had right to pile
these sacks in the path of alighting passengers, the placing of them ade)uately so that their presence would #e
As pertinent to the )uestion of contri#utory negligence on the part of the plaintiff in this case the following
circumstances are to #e notedA 4he company's platform was constructed upon a level higher than that of the road#ed
and the surrounding ground. 4he distance from the steps of the car to the spot where the alighting passenger would
place his feet on the platform was thus reduced, there#y decreasing the risk incident to stepping off. 4he nature of
the platform, constructed as it was of cement material, also assured to the passenger a sta#le and even surface on
which to alight. 9urthermore, the plaintiff was possessed of the vigor and agility of young manhood, and it was #y
no means so risky for him to get off while the train was yet moving as the same act would have #een in an aged or
fee#le person. 3n determining the )uestion of contri#utory negligence in performing such act : that is to say,
whether the passenger acted prudently or recklessly : the age, se-, and physical condition of the passenger are
circumstances necessarily affecting the safety of the passenger, and should #e considered. 2omen, it has #een
o#served, as a general rule are less capa#le than men of alighting with safety under such conditions, as the nature of
their wearing apparel o#structs the free movement of the lim#s. Again, it may #e noted that the place was perfectly
familiar to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this station. 4here could, therefore, #e
no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of the step which he was re)uired to take or the character
of the platform where he was alighting. .ur conclusion is that the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking to alight
while the train was yet slightly under way was not characteri%ed #y imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty
of contri#utory negligence.
4he evidence shows that the plaintiff, at the time of the accident, was earning P! a month as a copyist clerk,
and that the in7uries he has suffered have permanently disa#led him from continuing that employment. Hefendant
has not shown that any other gainful occupation is open to plaintiff. "is e-pectancy of life, according to the standard
mortality ta#les, is appro-imately thirty-three years. 2e are of the opinion that a fair compensation for the damage
suffered #y him for his permanent disa#ility is the sum of P,!**, and that he is also entitled to recover of defendant
the additional sum of P5,*.! for medical attention, hospital services, and other incidental e-penditures connected
with the treatment of his in7uries.
4he decision of lower court is reversed, and 7udgment is here#y rendered plaintiff for the sum of P8,,*.!,
and for the costs of #oth instances. $o ordered.
Arellano, C.J., 4orres, $treet and Avance1a, JJ., concur.