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CASE #: 25 P.

G.R. No. 157917

August 29, 2012


RAILWAYS, and the COURT OF APPEALS Respondents.


In June 1996, Nicolas and Teresita Zarate contracted Teodoro and

Nanette Perea to transport their (Zarates) son, Aaron Zarate, to and from
school. The Pereas were owners of a van being used for private school
At about 6:45am of August 22, 1996, the driver of the said private van,
Clemente Alfaro, while the children were on board including Aaron, decided
to take a short cut in order to avoid traffic. The usual short cut was a railroad
crossing of the Philippine National Railway (PNR).
Alfaro saw that the barandilla (the pole used to block vehicles crossing the
railway) was up which means it was okay to cross. He then tried to overtake
a bus. However, there was in fact an oncoming train but Alfaro no longer saw
the train as his view was already blocked by the bus he was trying to
overtake. The bus was able to cross unscathed but the vans rear end was
hit. During the collision, Aaron, was thrown off the van. His body hit the
railroad tracks and his head was severed. He was only 15 years old.It turns
out that Alfaro was not able to hear the train honking from 50 meters away
before the collision because the vans stereo was playing loudly.
The Zarates sued PNR and the Pereas (Alfaro became at-large). Their
cause of action against PNR was based on quasi-delict. Their cause of action
against the Pereas was based on breach of contract of common carriage.
In their defense, the Pereas invoked that as private carriers they were
not negligent in selecting Alfaro as their driver as they made sure that he
had a drivers license and that he was not involved in any accident prior to
his being hired. In short, they observed the diligence of a good father in
selecting their employee.

PNR also disclaimed liability as they insist that the railroad crossing
they placed there was not meant for railroad crossing (really, thats their
The RTC ruled in favor of the Zarates. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC.
In the decision of the RTC and the CA, they awarded damages in favor of the
Zarates for the loss of earning capacity of their dead son.
The Pereas appealed. They argued that the award was improper as
Aaron was merely a high school student; hence, the award of such damages
was merely speculative. They cited the case of People vs Teehankee where
the Supreme Court did not award damages for the loss of earning capacity
despite the fact that the victim there was enrolled in a pilot school.
1. Whether or not the defense of due diligence of a good father by the
Pereas is untenable.
2. Whether or not the award of damages for loss of income is proper.
Yes, in both issues.
The Defense of Due Diligence of a Good Father of a Family is not
tenable in this case. The Pereas are common carriers. They are not merely
private carriers. (Prior to this case, the status of private transport for school
services or school buses is not well settled as to whether or not they are
private or common carriers but they were generally regarded as private
carriers). Private transports for schools are common carriers. The Pereas, as
the operators of a school bus service were: (a) engaged in transporting
passengers generally as a business, not just as a casual occupation; (b)
undertaking to carry passengers over established roads by the method by
which the business was conducted; and (c) transporting students for a fee.
Despite catering to a limited clientele, the Pereas operated as a common
carrier because they held themselves out as a ready transportation
indiscriminately to the students of a particular school living within or near
where they operated the service and for a fee.
Being a common carrier, what is required of the Pereas is not mere
diligence of a good father. What is specifically required from them by law is
extraordinary diligence a fact which they failed to prove in court. Verily,
their obligation as common carriers did not cease upon their exercise of
diligently choosing Alfaro as their employee.
On the Award of Damages for Aarons loss of earning capacity despite
him being a high school student at the time of his death, the award is proper.
Aaron was enrolled in a reputable school (Don Bosco). He was of normal
health and was an able-bodied person. Further, the basis of the computation

of his earning capacity was not on what he would have become. It was based
on the current minimum wage. The minimum wage was validly used because
with his circumstances at the time of his death, it is most certain that had he
lived, he would at least be a minimum wage earner by the time he starts
working. This is not being speculative at all.
The Teehankee case was different because in that case, the reason why
no damages were awarded for loss of earning capacity was that the
defendants there were already assuming that the victim would indeed
become a pilot hence, that made the assumption speculative. But in the
case of Aaron, there was no speculation as to what he might be but
whatever hell become, it is certain that he will at the least be earning
minimum wage.

CASE # 26 P20
G.R. No. 147791

September 8, 2006

PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
and WILFREDO DATINGUINOO, respondents.
respondents Rebecca G. Estrella and her granddaughter, Rachel E. Fletcher,
boarded in San Pablo City, a BLTB bus bound for Pasay City. However, they
never reached their destination because their bus was rammed from behind
by a tractor-truck of CDCP in the South Expressway.
Thereafter, respondents filed a Complaint 5 for damages against CDCP, BLTB,
Espiridion Payunan( driver of CDCP), Jr. and Wilfredo Datinguinoo (driver of
BLTB) before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 13.
the trial court rendered a decision finding CDCP and BLTB and their
employees liable for damages
Unsatisfied with the award of damages and attorney's fees by the trial court,
respondents moved that the decision be reconsidered but was denied.

Respondents elevated the case11 to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the
decision of the trial court but modified the amount of damages
Hence, this petition.
WON the Court of appeals is correct in upholding the decision of the trial
The trial court and the Court of Appeals found petitioner solidarily liable with
BLTB for the actual damages suffered by respondents because of the injuries
they sustained. It was established that Payunan, Jr. was driving recklessly
because of the skid marks as shown in the sketch of the police investigator.
The case filed by respondents against petitioner is an action for culpa
aquiliana or quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. 13 In this regard,
Article 2180 provides that the obligation imposed by Article 2176 is
demandable for the acts or omissions of those persons for whom one is
responsible. Consequently, an action based on quasi-delict may be instituted
against the employer for an employee's act or omission. The liability for the
negligent conduct of the subordinate is direct and primary, but is subject to
the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the
employee.14 In the instant case, the trial court found that petitioner failed to
prove that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of Payunan, Jr.
It is well-settled in Fabre, Jr. v. Court of Appeals,15 that the owner of the other
vehicle which collided with a common carrier is solidarily liable to the injured
passenger of the same. We held, thus:
The same rule of liability was applied in situations where the
negligence of the driver of the bus on which plaintiff was riding
concurred with the negligence of a third party who was the driver of
another vehicle, thus causing an accident. In Anuran v. Buo, Batangas
Laguna Tayabas Bus Co. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, and Metro
Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the bus company, its
driver, the operator of the other vehicle and the driver of the
vehicle were jointly and severally held liable to the injured
passenger or the latter's heirs. The basis of this allocation of
liability was explained in Viluan v. Court of Appeals, thus:
Nor should it make any difference that the liability of petitioner [bus
owner] springs from contract while that of respondents [owner and

driver of other vehicle] arises from quasi-delict. As early as 1913, we

already ruled in Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez, 56 Phil. 177, that in case of injury to
a passenger due to the negligence of the driver of the bus on which he was
riding and of the driver of another vehicle, the drivers as well as the owners
of the two vehicles are jointly and severally liable for damages

CASE #: 27 P20
G.R. Nos. L-21353 and L-21354

May 20, 1966


AL., petitioners,


January 12, 1958 noon: passenger jeepney owned by Pedro Gahol and
Luisa Alcantara and driven by Pepito Buo overloaded with (14-16
passengers) was parked on the road to Taal, Batangas when a
speeding motor truck owned by Anselmo Maligaya and Ceferina
Aro driven by Guillermo Razon negligently bumped it from behind, with
such violence that three passengers died and two others
suffered injuries that required their confinement at the Provincial Hospital
for many days

Jeepney was parked to let a passanger alight in such a way that

1/2 of its width (the left wheels) was on the asphalted pavement of the
road and the other half, on the right shoulder of the road

suits were instituted by the representatives of the dead and of the

injured, to recover consequently damages against the driver and the
owners of the truck and also against the driver and the owners of the

CFI: absolving the driver of the jeepney and its owners, but it required
the truck driver and the owners to make compensation

CA: Affirmed exoneration of the jeepney

ISSUE: W/N the doctrine of last clear chance can apply so that truck driver
guilty of greater negligence which was the efficient cause of the collision will
be solely liable

HELD: NO. The three defendants last mentioned are required to pay solidarily
with the other defendants-respondents the amounts fixed by the appealed

New Civil Code requires "utmost diligence" from the carriers (Art. 1755)
who are "presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently,
unless they prove that they have observed extraordinary diligence" (Art.

principle about the "last clear chance" would call for application in a
suit between the owners and drivers of the two colliding vehicles. It does
not arise where a passenger demands responsibility from the carrier to
enforce its contractual obligations. For it would be inequitable to exempt
the negligent driver of the jeepney and its owners on the ground that the
other driver was likewise guilty of negligence

CASE # 27 P20
G.R. No. 116617 November 16, 1998
SYSTEM, petitioners,
ROSALES, respondents.

Musa was the driver of MMTC bus no. 27 (MMTC an operator of a
passenger busses within the Metro Manila area). The spouses Rosales were
parents of Liza Rosalie who was hit by Musa, when crossing Katipunan
Avenue in Quezon City. A witness said that that Liza was already near the
center of the street when the bus hit her.
Musa is found guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and
sentenced imprisonment to maximum penalty by the Regional Trial Court.
The spouses Rosales filed an independent civil action for damages against
MMTC, Musa, MMTC Acting General Manager Conrado Tolentino, and the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). The Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City found MMTC and Musa guilty of negligence and ordered them to
pay damages and attorneys fees. The parties appealed both to the Court of
Appeals. The court affirmed the decision of the trial court with the
modification of deleting the Actual damages and awarding in lieu thereof the
death indemnity. The spouses filed a motion for reconsideration in a
resolution to partly granted by increasing the indemnity for the death of Liza
Musa and MMTC assailed the decision of Court of Appeals. The spouses
Rosales contended that the death indemnity set at Actual damages,
increasing the amount of damages awarded, and to hold all the defendantsrespondents solidarily liable. The conclusions of the Court of Appeals affirm
the trial court bars a reversal of the finding of liability against petitioners
MMTC and Musa, that such findings are whimsical, capricious, and
arbitrary can they be overturned. To the contrary both the Court of Appeals
and Regional Trial Court are anchored on the evidence submitted by the
(1) Whether or not the employers are held liable for the damages
caused by their employees(art. 2180 of Civil Code)
(2) Whether or not the question of damages are subject of the appeal

(3) Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in absolving the GSIS

:(1) The Supreme Court cannot consider the same as sufficiently
persuasive proof that there wasobservance of due diligence in the selection
and supervision of employees, they fail to submitany other evidence which
might obviate the nature of the testimony. MMTC is primarily liablefor
damages for the negligence of its employee in view of Art. 2180. Pursuant to
Art. 2181 it canrecover from its employee what it may pay; the spouses have
the option of enforcing the judgment against either MMTC or Musa. The court
held that the responsibility of two or morepersons who are liable for a quasi
delict is solidary, in view of Art. 2194.
(2) The court held the question of damages. (1) As to the indemnity for
Death, it is fixed at P50,000 to conform the Court of Appeals increased the
indemnity. (2) Actual Damages, based onArticle 2199 that one is entitled
to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary losssuffered by as
duly proved. The spouses Rosales only submitted receipts showing that
theexpenses were only P60, 226.65. Hence the spouses Rosales are entitled
to recover only theP60, 226.65.
(a) Moral Damages under Art. 2206 the ascendants of the
deceased may demandmoral damages for mental anguish by reason of
the death of the deceased. The spousesRosales presented evidence of
the intense moral suffering they had gone through as a result of the
loss of Liza Rosalie who was their youngest child; (People v Teehankee)
the Court awardedP1 million as moral damages for the loss of a minor
child. Hence the Court holds that the MMTC and Musa are solidarily
liable to the spouses Rosales in the amount of P1 million as Moral
damages for the death of Liza Rosalie.
(b) Exemplary damages. It is recovered upon the case involving
quasi-delicts if the defendants acted with gross negligence, the records
indicate that there was a pending criminal case against Musa with
another branch of the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City for reckless
imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries; it also shows that he
failed to stop his vehicle at once after the eye witnesses shouted at
him. Under the circumstances the Court deemed it reasonable to

award the spouses Rosales Exemplary damages in the amount of

P5000, 000.
(c) Attorneys Fees. In pursuant of Article 2208,attorneys fees
may be recovered when, exemplary damages are awarded. We held an
award of attorneys fees to be reasonable (Sulpicio Lines V Court of
Appeals) the death of a minor child in the sinking of the vessel.
(d) Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity. The compensation
of this nature is awarded not for loss of earnings but for loss of
capacity to earn money. (People vTeehankee) compensation should be
allowed for loss of earning capacity resulting from the death of a minor.
Evidence shows that Liza Rosalie was a good student, promising artist,
and obedient child. The total net earning capacity (life expectancy is
equivalent to 2/3 multiply by the difference of eighty (80) and the
age of the deceased) amounts to P321, 870.12.
(3) With respect to the GSIS, they contended that it was the insurer in
a contract for third party liability it had with the MMTC. In Article 2180 (4)
mentions managers this term is used in the sense of employers.
Thus, Tolentino and Celebrado cannot be held for the tort of Pedro Musa. The
GSIS admitted in its answer that it was the insurer of the MMTC for the
third party liability with respect to MMTC Bus no. 27 to the extent of P
50,000. Hence the spouses have the option to claim the said amount from
the GSIS.

CASE #: 27 P20
G.R. Nos. 74387-90 November 14, 1988
PON, petitioners,

VDA. DE ROSALES, respondents

A bus owned by petitioner BLTB and driven by petitioner Pon collided
with a busowned by Superlines, when the former tried to overtake a car just
as the Superlines'Bus was coming from the opposite direction. The collision
resulted in the death of Rosales, Pamfilo and Neri, as well as injuries tothe
wife of Rosales, and Sales. These people were passengers of the petitioner's
Rosales and Sales, as well as the surviving heirs of Pamfilo, Rosales
and Neriinstituted separate cases ih the CFI against BLTB and Superlines,
together with theirdrivers. Criminal cases against the drivers were also filed
in a different CFI.
CFI ruled that only BLTB and Pon should be liable, and they were
ordered jointly and severally to pay damages. On appeal, the IAC affirmed
the CFI's ruling.
Petitioners contended that the CFI erred in ruling that the actions of
privaterespondents are based on culpa contractual, since if it were private
respondents'intention to file an action based on culap contractual, they could
have done so by merely impleading BLTB and Pon. Instead the respondents
filed an action against alldefendants based on culpa aquiliana or tort.
WON erred in ruling that the actions of private respondents are based
onculpa contractual
IAC anchored its decision on both culpa contractual and culpa aquiliana.
The proximate cause of the death and injuries of the passengers was
the negligence of the bus driver Pon, who recklessly overtook a car despite
knowing that that the bend of highway he was negotiating on had a
continuous yellow line signifying a no-overtaking zone.
It is presumed that a a person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if
at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation.

In the instant case, the driver of the BLTB bus failed to act with diligence
demanded by the circumstances. Pon should have remembered that when a
motor vehicle is approaching or rounding a curve there is special necessity
for keeping to the right side of the road and the driver has not the right to
drive on the left hand side relying upon having time to turn to the right if a
car is approaching from the opposite direction comes into view.
As to the liability of the petitioners, Pon is primarily liable for his negligence i
ndriving recklessly the truck owned by BLTB. The liability of the BLTB itself is
also primary, direct and immediate in view of the fact that the death of or
injuries to its passengers was through the negligence of its employee.
The common carrier's liability for the death of or injuries to its passengers
is based on its contractual obligation to carry its passengers safely to their
destination. They are presumed to have acted negligently unless they prove
that they have observed extra-ordinary diligence. In the case at bar, the
appellants acted negligently.

CASE # 28 P21
LUIS JOSEPH, petitioner
VILLANUEVA, respondents.
Respondent Patrocinio Perez is the owner of a cargo truck with Plate No. 25-2
YT Phil. '73 for conveying cargoes and passengers for a consideration from
Dagupan City to Manila. On January 12, 1973, said cargo truck driven by
defendant Domingo Villa was on its way to Valenzuela, Bulacan from
Pangasinan. Petitioner, with a cargo of livestock, boarded the cargo truck at
Dagupan City after paying the sum of P 9.00 as one way fare to Valenzuela,
Bulacan. While said cargo truck was negotiating the National Highway
proceeding towards Manila, defendant Domingo Villa tried to overtake a
tricycle likewise proceeding in the same direction. At about the same time, a
pick-up truck with Plate No. 45-95 B, supposedly owned by respondents
Antonio Sioson and Jacinto Pagarigan, then driven by respondent Lazaro
Villanueva, tried to overtake the cargo truck which was then in the process of
overtaking the tricycle, thereby forcing the cargo truck to veer towards the

shoulder of the road and to ram a mango tree. As a result, petitioner

sustained a bone fracture in one of his legs. 1
Petitioner filed a complaint for damages against respondent Patrocinio Perez,
as owner of the cargo truck, based on a breach of contract of carriage and
against respondents Antonio Sioson and Lazaro Villanueva, as owner and
driver, respectively, of the pick-up truck, based on quasi-delict.
respondent judge issued the questioned order dismissing the case, and a
motion for the reconsideration thereof was denied. Hence, this petition
WON the the two causes of action embodied in the petitioner complaint is
A cause of action is understood to be the delict or wrongful act or omission
committed by the defendant in violation of the primary rights of the
plaintiff. 3 It is true that a single act or omission can be violative of various
rights at the same time, as when the act constitutes juridically a violation of
several separate and distinct legal obligations. However where there is only
one delict or wrong, there is but a single cause of action regardless of the
number of rights that may have been violated belonging to one person. 4
The singleness of a cause of action lies in the singleness of the- delict or
wrong violating the rights of one person. Nevertheless, if only one injury
resulted from several wrongful acts, only one cause of action arises. 5 In the
case at bar, there is no question that the petitioner sustained a single injury
on his person. That vested in him a single cause of action, albeit with the
correlative rights of action against the different respondents through the
appropriate remedies allowed by law.
The trial court was, therefore, correct in holding that there was only one
cause of action involved although the bases of recovery invoked by
petitioner against the defendants therein were not necessarily Identical since
the respondents were not identically circumstanced. However, a recovery by
the petitioner under one remedy necessarily bars recovery under the other.
This, in essence, is the rationale for the proscription in our law against
double recovery for the same act or omission which, obviously, stems from
the fundamental rule against unjust enrichment.

There is no question that the respondents herein are solidarily liable to

petitioner. On the evidence presented in the court below, the trial court
found them to be so liable. It is undisputed that petitioner, in his amended
complaint, prayed that the trial court hold respondents jointly and severally
liable. Furthermore, the allegations in the amended complaint clearly
impleaded respondents as solidary debtors. We cannot accept the vacuous
contention of petitioner that said allegations are intended to apply only in
the event that execution be issued in his favor. There is nothing in law or
jurisprudence which would countenance such a procedure.