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SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 32958. November 8, 1930.]

BLOSSOM & COMPANY, INC., plaintiff-appellant, vs. MANILA GAS CORPORATION, defendant-

appellee.

Harvey & O'Brien for appellant.

Ross, Lawrence & Selph and John B. Miller for appellee.

SYLLABUS

1. WHEN FORMER JUDGMENT IS A BAR. — In its compliant of March 3, 1927, plaintiff seeks to recover

damages accrued since November 23, 1923, for a willful breach of a contract for the sale and delivery of water gas and

coal gas tar at stipulated prices, and for answer defendant alleges that in the former action in the Court of First Instance

of the City of Manila, in which plaintiff here was the plaintiff, and the defendant here was the defendant, and founded

upon the same cause of action alleged in the complaint that plaintiff recovered judgment against the defendant on the

merits, decreeing a breach of the same contract and awarding damages in favor of the plaintiff in the sum of P26,119.08
with legal interest from November 23, 1923, which judgment became and is now final. Held, That the judgment which

the plaintiff obtained in the former action founded upon a breach of the same contract is a bar to this action.

2. ONLY ONE CAUSE OF ACTION WHEN CONTRACT IS ENTIRE. — As a general rule, a contract to do

several things at several times is divisible, and a judgment for a single breach of a continuing contract is not a bar to a

suit for a subsequent breach. But where the contract is entire, and the breach total, there can be only one action in
which plaintiff must recover all damages.

3. WHEN CONTRACT IS INDIVISIBLE. — When the defendant terminated a continuing contract by absolute

refusal in bad faith to perform, a claim for damages for a breach is an indivisible demand, and where, as in this case, a

former final judgment was rendered, it is a bar to any damages which plaintiff may thereafter sustain.

4. WHAT PLAINTIFF SHOULD PROVE. — In an indivisible contract plaintiff should prove in the first action not

only such damages as it has then actually sustained, but also such prospective damages as it may be legally entitled

to recover by reason of the breach.

STATEMENT

In its complaint filed March 3, 1927, the plaintiff alleges that on September 10, 1918, it entered into a contract

with the defendant in which the plaintiff promised and undertook to purchase and receive from the defendant, and the
defendant agreed to sell and deliver to the plaintiff, for a period of four years, three tons of water gas tar per month

from September to January 1, 1919, and twenty tons per month after January 1, 1919, for the remaining period of the

contract; one-half ton of coal gas tar a month from September to January 1, 1919, and six tons per month after

January 1, 1919, for the remainder of the contract, delivery to be made at the plant of the defendant in the City of

Manila, without containers, and at the price of P65 per ton for each kind of gas tar, it being agreed that this price

should prevail only so long as the raw materials — coal and crude oil — used by the defendant in the manufacture of

gas should cost the defendant the same price as that prevailing at the time of the contract, and that in the event of an

increase or decrease in the cost of raw materials, there would be a corresponding increase or decrease in the price of

the tar. That on January 31, 1919, this contract was amended so that it should continue to remain in force for a period

of ten years from January 1, 1919, and it was agreed that the plaintiff should not be obliged to take the quantities of

the tars required during the year 1919, but that it might purchase tars in such quantities as it could use to advantage
at the stipulated price. That after the year 1919, the plaintiff would take at least the quantities specified in the contract

of September 10, 1918, to be taken from and after January 1, 1919, and that at its option it would have the right to

take any quantity of water gas tar in excess of the minimum quantity specified in that contract, and up to the total

amount of output of that tar of defendant's plant, and also to take any quantity of coal gas tar in excess of the

minimum quantity specified in that contract and up to 50 per cent of defendant's entire output of coal gas tar, and that

by giving the defendant ninety days' notice, it would have the right at its option to take the entire output of defendant's

coal gas tar, except such as it might need for its own use in and about its plant. That in consideration of this

modification of the contract of September 10, 1918, plaintiff agreed to purchase from the defendant a certain piece of

land lying adjacent to its plant at the price of P5 per square meter, and proof of which is evidenced by Exhibit C. That

pursuant to Exhibit C, defendant sold and conveyed the land to the plaintiff which in turn executed a mortgage

thereon to the defendant for P17,140.20, to secure the payment of the balance of the purchase price.

It is then alleged:

"VIII. That about the last part of July, 1920, the defendant herein, the Manila Gas Corporation, willfully and
deliberately breached its said contract, Exhibit C, with the plaintiff by ceasing to deliver any coal and water gas tar to it

thereunder solely because of the increased price of its tar products and its desire to secure better prices therefor than

plaintiff was obligated to pay to it, notwithstanding the frequent and urgent demands made by the plaintiff upon it to
comply with its aforesaid contract by continuing to deliver the coal and water gas tar to the plaintiff thereunder, but the

said contract, and finally on November 23, 1923, the plaintiff was forced to commence action against the defendant

herein in the Court of First Instance of Manila, being case No. 25352, of that court, entitled 'Blossom & Co., plaintiff, vs.
Manila Gas Corporation, defendant,' to recover the damages which it had up to that time suffered by reason of such

flagrant violation of said contract on the part of the defendant herein, and to obtain the specific performance of the said

contract, and after due trial of that action, judgment was entered therein in favor of the plaintiff herein and against the

said defendant, the Manila Gas Corporation, for the sum of P26,119.08, as the damages suffered by this plaintiff by the

defendant's breach of said contract from July, 1920, up to and including September, 1923, with legal interest thereon
from November 23, 1923, and for the costs but the court refused to order the said defendant to resume the delivery of

the coal and water gas tar to the plaintiff under said contract, but left the plaintiff with its remedy for damages against

said defendant for the subsequent breaches of said contract, which said decision, as shown by the copy attached hereto

as Exhibit G, and made a part hereof, was affirmed by our Supreme Court on March 3, 1926;

"IX. That after the defendant had willfully and deliberately violated its said contract, as herein-before alleged,

and the plaintiff had suffered great damage by reason thereof, the plaintiff claimed the right to off-set its damages

against the balance due from it to said defendant on account of the purchase of said land from the defendant, and

immediately thereupon and notwithstanding said defendant was justly indebted to the plaintiff at that time, as shown by

the judgment of the court, Exhibit G, in more than four times the amount due to it from the plaintiff, the said defendant

caused to be presented against the plaintiff a foreclosure action, known as the Manila Gas Corporation versus Blossom

& Company, No. 24267, of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and obtained judgment therein ordering that Blossom

& Company pay the last installment and interest due on said land or else the land and improvements placed thereon by

the plaintiff would be sold, as provided by law in such cases of satisfy the same, and the said defendant proceeded with

the sale of said property under said judgment and did everything in its power to sell the same for the sole purpose of

crushing and destroying the plaintiff's business and thus rendering it impossible for the plaintiff herein to continue with

its said contract in the event that said defendant might in the future consider it more profitable to resume performance

of the same, but fortunately the plaintiff was able to redeem its property, as well as to comply with its contract, and

continued demanding that the defendant performed its said contract and deliver to it the coal and water gas tar required

thereby."

That the defendant made no deliveries under its contract, Exhibit C, from July, 1920, to March 26, 1926, or

until after the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the lower court for damages in the sum of P26,119.08. 1

It is then alleged that:

". . . On March 26, 1926, the said defendant offered to resume delivery to the plaintiff from that

date of the minimum monthly quantities of tars stated in its contract, and the plaintiff believing that the

said defendant was at least going to try to act in good faith in the further performance of its said contract,
commenced to accept deliveries of said tars from it, and at once ascertained that the said defendant was

deliberately charging it prices much higher than the contract price, and while the plaintiff accepted

deliveries of the minimum quantities of tars stated in said contract up to and including January, 1927,
(although it had demanded deliveries of larger quantities thereunder, as hereinafter alleged) and paid the

increased prices demanded by the defendant, in the belief that it was its duty to minimize the damages

as much as possible which the defendant would be required to pay to it by reason of its violation of said
contract, it has in all cases done so under protest and with the express reservation of the right to demand

from the said defendant an adjustment of the prices charged in violation of its contract, and the right to

the payment of the losses which it had and would suffer by reason of its refusal to make additional

deliveries under said contract, and it also has continuously demanded that the said defendant furnish to
it statements supported by its invoices, showing the cost prices of its raw materials — coal and crude oil

— upon which the contract price of the tars in question is fixed, which is the only way the plaintiff has to

calculate the true price of said tars, but said defendant has and still refuses to furnish such information,

and will continue to refuse to do so, unless ordered to furnish such information to the plaintiff by the court,

and the plaintiff believes from the information which it now has and so alleges that the said defendant

has overcharged it on the deliveries of said tars mentioned in the sum of at least P10,000, all in violation

of the rights of the plaintiff under its said contract with the defendant."

That on January 31, 1926, and pursuant to Exhibit C, plaintiff notified the defendant in writing that

commencing with the month of August, 1926, it desired to take delivery of 50 per cent of defendant's coal tar

production for that month, and that on November 1, 1926, it desired to take the entire output of defendant's coal gas

tar, but that the defendant refused and still refuses to make such deliveries, unless plaintiff would take all of its water

gas tar production with the desired quantity of coal gas tar, which refusal was a plain violation of the contract. That on

January 29, 1927, and in accord with Exhibit C, plaintiff notified the defendant in writing that within ninety days after

the initial delivery to it of its total coal gas tar production, or in February, 1927, it would require 50 per cent of its total

water gas tar production, and that in April, 1927, it would require the total output of the defendant of both coal and

water gas tars, and that it refused to make either of such deliveries.

It is then alleged:

"XIV. That as shown by the foregoing allegations of this complaint, it is apparent that notwithstanding the plaintiff

in this case has at all times faithfully performed all the terms and conditions of said contract, Exhibit C, on its part to be

performed, and has at all times and is now ready, able and willing to accept and pay for the deliveries of said coal and

water gas tar required by said contract and the notices given pursuant thereto, the said defendant, the Manila Gas
Corporation, does not intent to comply with its said contract, Exhibit C, and deliver to the plaintiff at the times and under

the terms and conditions stated therein the quantities of coal and water gas tars required by said contract, and the

several notices given pursuant thereto, and that it is useless for the plaintiff to insist further upon its performance of the
said contract, and for that reason the only feasible course for the plaintiff to pursue is to ask the court for the rescission

of said contract and for the full damages which the plaintiff has suffered from September, 1923, and will suffer for the

remainder of said contract by reason of the defendant's failure and refusal to perform the same, and the plaintiff has no
notified the said defendant."

That since September, 1923, by reason of the bad faith of the defendant, the plaintiff has been damages in

the sum of P300,000, for which it prays a corresponding judgment, and that the contract, Exhibit C, be rescinded and

declared void and without force and effect.


After the filing and overruling of its demurrer, the defendant filed an answer in the nature of a general and

specific denial, and on April 10, 1928, and upon stipulation of the parties, the court appointed W. W. Larkin referee,

"to take the evidence and, upon completion of the trial, to report his findings of law and fact to the court."

July 18, 1928, the defendant filed an amended answer in which it alleged as an affirmative defense, first, that

the complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action for the reason that a prior adjudication has

been had of all the issues involved in this action, and, second, "that on or about the 16th day of June, 1925, in an

action brought in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila, Philippine Islands, before the Honorable Geo. R.

Harvey, Judge, by Blossom & Company, plaintiff, vs. Manila Gas Corporation, defendant, being civil case No. 25352,

of said court, for the same cause of action as that set forth in the complaint herein, said plaintiff recovered judgment

upon the merits thereof, against said defendant, decreeing a breach of the contract sued upon herein, and awarding

damages therefor in the sum of P26, 119.08 with legal interest from November 23, 1923, and costs of suit, which

judgment was upon appeal affirmed by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands, in case G.R. No. 24777 of said

court, on the 3d day of March, 1926, and reported in volume 48 Philippine Reports at page 848," and it prays that

plaintiff's complaint be dismissed, with costs.

After the evidence was taken, the referee made an exhaustive report of sixty-six pages in which he found that

the plaintiff was entitled to P56,901.53 damages, with legal interest from the date of filing of the complaint, to which

both parties filed numerous exceptions.

In its decision the court says:

"Incidental references have been made to the referee's report. It was admirably prepared.

Leaving aside the question of damages and the facts upon which the referee assessed them, the facts

are not in dispute — at least not in serious dispute. They appear in the documentary evidence and this

decision is based upon documents introduced into evidence by plaintiff. If I could have agreed with the
referee in respect to the question of law, I should have approved his report in toto. If defendant is liable

for the damages accruing from November 23, 1923, the date the first complaint was filed, to April 1st,

1926, the date of resumption of relations; and if defendant, after such resumption of relations, again
violated the contract, the damages assessed by the referee, are, to my way of thinking, as fair as could

be estimated. He went to tremendous pains in figuring out the details upon which he based his decision.

Unfortunately, I cannot agree with his legal conclusions and the report is set aside except wherein
specifically approved.

"It is unnecessary to resolve specifically the many exceptions made by both parties to the

referee's report. It would take much time to do so. Much time has already been spent in preparing this

decision. Since both parties have informed me that in case of adverse judgment, an appeal would be

taken, I desire to conclude the case so that delay will be avoided.

"Let judgment be entered awarding damages to plaintiff in the sum of P2,219.60, with costs."
From which plaintiff only appealed and assigns twenty-four different errors, of which the following are material

to this opinion:

"I. The trial court erred in holding that this suit is so far as the damages from November, 1923, to March 31,

1926, are concerned, is res adjudicata.

"II. The trial court erred in holding that the defendant repudiated the contract in question as a whole, and that

the plaintiff when it brought its first suit to collect damages had already elected and consented to the dissolution of the

contract, and its choice once made, being final, it was estopped to claim that the contract was alive when that suit was

brought.

xxx xxx xxx

"VII. The trial court erred in refusing to sustain plaintiff's third exception to the legal interpretation placed on the
contract in this case by the referee with reference to quantity of tars and his conclusion with respect to the terms thereof

that:

"'1. Plaintiff must take and defendant must deliver either the minimum or maximum quantity of water gas tar
and not any quantity from the minimum to the maximum and/or

"'2. Plaintiff must take either the minimum and any quantity up to fifty per cent of entire output of coal gas tar.

"'3. With ninety days' notice by plaintiff to defendant the former must take and the latter must deliver total output
of both tars, except such as might be needed by defendant for use in and about its plant and not any quantity from the

minimum up to total output of both tars.' (See page 47, Referee's report.)

"And in holding that the option contained in said contract, taking into consideration the purpose

of both parties in entering into the contract, was as claimed by defendant: all the water gas tar and 50 per

cent of the coal gas tar upon immediate notice, and all tars upon ninety days' notice.

"VIII. The trial court erred in refusing to sustain plaintiff's fourth exception to the finding and conclusion of the

referee that from the correspondence between the parties, it was apparent that plaintiff did not make a right use of its
option, and that the letter of June 25, 1926, and the subsequent demands, with exception of the letter of July 31, 1926,

were not made in pursuance to the terms of the contract, and that defendant had no liability in refusing to comply

therewith, and in allowing plaintiff damages only for the failure of the defendant to deliver quantities shown in Exhibits
Ref. 21 and 22. (See pages 51, 52, Referee's report.)

"IX. The trial court erred in finding and holding that the demands of plaintiff for additional tars under its contract
with the defendant were extravagant and not made in good faith, and that when it wrote to defendant that it desired

maximum quantities of coal gas tars and only minimum of water gas tars, but with the reservation of going back to

minimum quantities of both at any time it chose, it announced its intention of breaching the contract, the defendant was

under no obligation to deliver maximum quantities of either tars, and since this was the efficient cause of the failure of

defendant to deliver or plaintiff to accept tars, the blame is attributable to plaintiff, and it cannot recover for a rescission.
xxx xxx xxx

"XXIII. The trial court erred in refusing to sustain plaintiff's seventeenth exception to the finding and conclusion

of the referee that the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant only the following sums:

Water gas tar (Exhibit Ref. 21) P 38,134.60

Coal gas tar (Exhibit Ref. 22) 16,547.33

Overcharges on deliveries (Exhibit Ref. 23) 2,219.60

__________

or a total of 56,901.53

with interest, and in not awarding to the plaintiff as damages in this case the sum of P319,253.40,

with legal interest thereon from the date of filing the complaint in this case, in the manner and form

computed by it, and in awarding damages to the plaintiff for the sum of only P2,219.60, with costs."

xxx xxx xxx

DECISION

JOHNS, J p:

In this action plaintiff seeks to recover damages from the defendant which it claims to have sustained after

September, 1923, arising from, and growing out of, its original contract of September 10, 1918, as modified on

January 1, 1919, to continue for a period of ten years from that date.

In paragraph VIII of its complaint, plaintiff alleges that about the last part of July, 1920, the defendant "willfully

and deliberately breached its said contract," and that it "flatly refused to make any deliveries under said contract, and

finally on November 23, 1923," it was force to commence action in the Court of First Instance against the defendant,

known as case No. 25352, to recover the damages which it had then sustained by reason of such flagrant violation of

said contract on the part of the defendant, in which judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the

defendant for P26,119.08, as damages "suffered by his plaintiff by the defendant's breach of said contract from July,

1920, up to and including September, 1923, with legal interest thereon from November 23, 1923, and for the costs," in

which the court refused to order the defendant to resume the delivery of the coal and water gas tar to the plaintiff, in

accord with said contract, but left it with its remedy for damages against the defendant for any subsequent breaches

of the contract. A copy of that judgment, which was later affirmed by this court, at attached to, marked Exhibit G, and

made a part of, the complaint in this action.


In their respective briefs, opposing counsel have much to say about the purpose and intent of that judgment,

and it is vigorously asserted that it was never intended that it should be or become a bar to another action by the

plaintiff to recover any damages it may have sustained after September, 1923, during the remainder of the ten-year

period of that contract. Be that as it may, it must be conceded that the question as to what would be the legal force

and effect of that judgment in that case was never presented to, or decided by, the lower court or this court. In the

very nature of things, neither court in that case would have the power to pass upon or decide the legal force and effect

of its own judgment, for the simple reason that it would be premature and outside of the issues of any pleading, and

could not be raised or presented until after the judgment became final, and then only by an appropriate plea, as in this

case.

Plaintiff specifically alleges that the the defendant willfully and deliberately breached the contract, and "flatly

refused to make any deliveries under said contract," by reason of which it was forced to and commenced its former

action in which it was awarded P26,119.08 damages against the defendant by reason of its breach of the contract

from July, 1920, to September, 1923.

In the final analysis, plaintiff in this action seeks to recover damages growing out of, and arising from, other

and different breaches of that same contract after November, 1923, for the remainder of the ten-year period, and the

question is thus squarely presented as to whether the rendition of the former judgment is a bar to the right of the

plaintiff to recover damages from the after September, 1923, arising from, and growing out of, breaches of the original

contract of September 10, 1918, as modified on January 1, 1919. That is to say, whether the plaintiff, in a former

action, having recovered judgment for the damages which it sustained by reason of a breach of its contract by the

defendant up to September, 1923, can now in this action recover damages it may have sustained in this action

recover damages it may have sustained after September, 1923, arising from, and growing out of, a breach of the

same contract, upon and for which it recovered its judgment in the former action.

In the former action in which the judgment was rendered, it is alleged in the complaint:

"'7. That about the last part of July or the first part of August, 1920, the Manila Gas Corporation,

the defendant herein, without any cause ceased delivering coal and water gas tar to the plaintiff herein;
and that from that time up to the present date, the plaintiff corporation, Blossom & Company, has

frequently and urgently demanded of the defendant, the Manila Gas Corporation, that it comply with its

aforesaid contract Exhibit A by continuing to deliver coal and water gas tar to this plaintiff - but that the
said defendant has refused, and still refused, to deliver to the plaintiff any coal and water gas tar

whatsoever under the said contract Exhibit A, since the said month of July, 1920.

xxx xxx xxx

"'9. That owing to the bad faith of the said Manila Gas Corporation, defendant herein, in not living

up to its said contract Exhibit A, made with this plaintiff, and refusing now to carry out the terms of the

same, by delivering to this plaintiff the coal and water gas tar mentioned in the said Exhibit A, has caused
to this plaintiff great and irreparable damages amounting to the sum total of one hundred twenty-four

thousand eight hundred forty-eight pesos and seventy centavos (P124,848.70); and that the said

defendant corporation has refused, and still refuses, to pay to this plaintiff the whole or any part of the

aforesaid sum.

"'10. That the said contract Exhibit A, was to be in force until January 1, 1929, that it to say, for

ten (10) years counted from January 1, 1919; and that, unless the defendant again commence to furnish

and supply this plaintiff with coal and water gas tar, as provided for in the said contract Exhibit A, the

damages already suffered by this plaintiff will continually increase and become larger and larger in the

course of years preceding the termination of the said contract on January 1, 1929.'"

In that action plaintiff prays for judgment against the defendant:

"'(a) That upon trial of this cause judgment be rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the

defendant for the sum of P124,848.70, with legal interests thereon from November 23, 1923;

"'(b) That the court specifically order the defendant to resume the delivery of the coal and water

gas tar to the plaintiff under the terms of the said contract Exhibit A of this complaint.'"

In the final analysis, plaintiff must stand or fall on its own pleadings, and tested by that rule, it must be

admitted that the plaintiff's original cause of action, in which it recovered judgment for damages, was founded on the

ten-year contract, and that the damages which it then recovered were recovered for a breach of that contract.

Both actions are founded on one and the same contract. By the terms of the original contract of September

10, 1918, the defendant was to sell and the plaintiff was to purchase three tons of water gas tar per month from

September to January 1, 1919, and twenty tons of water gas tar per after from January 1, 1919, one-half ton of coal

gas tar per month from September to January 1, 1919, and six tons of coal gas tar per month after January 1, 1919.

That from and after January 1, 1919, plaintiff would take at least the quantities specified in the contract of September

10, 1918, and that at its option, it would have the right to take the total output of water gas tar of defendant's plant and
50 per cent of the gross output of its coal gas tar, and upon giving ninety days' notice, it would have the right to the

entire output of coal gas tar, except such as the defendant might need for its own use. That is to say, the contract

provided for the delivery to the plaintiff from month to month of the specified amounts of the different tars as ordered
and requested by the plaintiff. In other words, under plaintiff's own theory, the defendant was to make deliveries from

month to month of the tars during the period of ten years, and it is alleged in both complaints that the defendant broke

its contract, and in bad faith refused to make any more deliveries.

In 34 Corpus Juris, p. 839, it is said:

"As a general rule a contract to do several things at several times is divisible in its nature, so as

to authorize successive actions; and a judgment recovered for a single breach of a continuing contract or

covenant is no bar to a suit for a subsequent breach thereof. But where the covenant or contract is entire,

and the breach total, there can be only action, and the plaintiff must therein recover all his damages."
In the case of Roehm vs. Horst, 178 U.S., 1; 44 Law. ed., 953, that court said:

"An unqualified and positive refusal to perform a contract, though the performance thereof is not

yet due, may, if the renunciation goes to the whole contract, be treated as a complete breach which will

entitled the injured party to bring his action at once."

15 Ruling Case Law, 966, 967, sec. 441, says:

"Similarly if there is a breach by the vendor of a contract for the sale of goods to be delivered and

paid for in installments, and the vendee maintains an action therefor and recovers damages, he cannot

maintain a subsequent action to recover for the failure to deliver later installments."

In Pakas vs. Hollingshead, 184 N. Y., 211; 77 N. E., 40; 3 L. R. A. (N.S.), 1042, the syllabus says:

"Upon refusal, by the seller, after partial performance, longer to comply with his contract to sell

and deliver a quantity of articles in installments, the buyer cannot keep the contract in force and maintain

actions for breaches as they occur, but must recover all his damages in one suit."

And on page 1044 of its opinion, the court says:

"The learned counsel for the plaintiff contends that the former judgment did not constitute a bar

to the present action, but that the plaintiff had the right to elect to waive or disregard the breach, keep the

contract in force, and maintain successive actions for damages from time to time as the installments of

goods were to be delivered, however numerous these actions for damages from time to time as the

installments of goods were to be delivered, however numerous these actions might be. It is said that this

contention is supported in reason and justice, and has the sanction of authority at least in other

jurisdictions. We do not think that the contention can be maintained. There is not, as it seems to us, any

judicial authority in this state that gives it any substantial support. On the contrary, we think that the cases,

so far as we have been able to examine them, are all the other way, and are to the effect that, inasmuch
as there was a total breach of the contract by the defendant's refusal to deliver, the plaintiff cannot split

up his demand and maintain successive actions, but must either recover all his damages in the first suit

or wait until the contract matured or the time for the delivery of all the goods had arrived. In other words,

there can be but one action for damages for a total breach of an entire contract to deliver goods, and the

fact that they were to be delivered in installment from time to time does not change the general rule."

The case of L. Bucki & Son Lumber Co. vs. Atlantic Lumber Co. (109 Federal, 411), of the United States

Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is very similar.

The syllabus says:

"1. CONTRACTS — CONSTRUCTION — ENTIRE CONTRACT. — A contract was made for the

sale of a large quantity of logs to be delivered in monthly installments during a period of eight years,
payments to be made also in installments at times having relations to the deliveries. It contained

stipulations as to such payments, and guaranties as to the average size of the logs to be delivered in
each installment. Held, that it was an entire contract, and not a number of separate and independent

agreements for the sale of the quantity to be delivered and paid for each month, although there might be

breaches of the minor stipulations and warranties with reference thereto which would warrant suits without

a termination of the contract.

"2. JUDGMENTS — MATTERS CONCLUDED — ACTION FOR BREACH OF INDIVISIBLE

CONTRACT. — The seller declared the contract terminated for alleged breaches by the purchaser, and

brought suit for general and special damages, the latter covering payments due for installment of logs

delivered. By way of set-off and recoupment against this demand, the purchaser pleaded breaches of the

warranty as to the size of the logs delivered during the months for which payment has not been

made. Held, that the judgment is such action was conclusive as to all claims or demands of either party

against the other growing out of the entire contract, and was a bar to a subsequent suit brought by the

purchaser to recover for other breaches of the same warranty in relation to deliveries made in previous

months."

On page 415 of the opinion, the court says:

"When the contract was ended, the claims of each party for alleged breaches and damages

therefor constituted an indivisible demand; and when the same, or any part of the same, was pleaded,

litigation had, and final judgment rendered, such suit and judgment constitute a bar to subsequent

demands which were or might have been litigated. (Baird vs. U.S., 96 U.S., 430; 24 L. ed., 703.)"

In Watts vs. Weston (238 Federal, 149), Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, the syllabus says:

"1. JUDGMENT — 593 — JUDGMENT AS BAR — MATTERS CONCLUDED. — Where a

continuing contract was terminated by the absolute refusal of the party whose action was necessary to

further perform, a claim for damages on account of the breach constituted an indivisible demand, and
when the same of any part of the same was pleaded, litigated, and final judgment rendered, such suit

and judgment constitute a bar to subsequent demands which were or might have been litigated therein."

And on page 150 of the opinion, the court says:

"It is enough to show the lack of merit in the present contention to point out as an inexorable rule
of law that, when Knevals' contract was discharged by his total repudiation thereof, Watts' claims for

breaches and damages therefor 'constituted an indivisible demand, and when the same, or any part of

the same, was pleaded, litigation had and final judgment rendered, such suit and judgment constitute a
bar to subsequent demands which were or might have been litigated.' (Bucki, etc., Co. vs. Atlantic, etc.,

Co., 109 Fed. at page 415; 48 C. C. A., 459; Cf. Landon vs. Bulkley, 95 Fed., 344; 37 C. C. A., 96.)
"The rule is usually applied in cases of alleged or supposed successive breaches, and

consequently severable demands for damages; but if the contract has been discharged by breach, if suit

for damages is all that is left, the rule is applicable, and every demand arising from that contract and

possessed by any given plaintiff must be presented (at least as against any given defendant) in one

action; what the plaintiff does not advance he foregoes by conclusive presumption."

In Abbott vs. 76 Land and Water Co. (118 Pac., 425; 161 Cal., 42), at page 428, the court said:

"In Fish vs. Folley, 6 Hill (N.Y.), 54, it was held, in accord with the rule we have discussed, that,

where the defendant had covenanted that plaintiff should have a continual supply of water for his mill

from a dam, and subsequently totally failed to perform for nine years, and plaintiff brought an action for

the breach and recovered damages sustained by him to that time, the judgment was a bar to a second

action arising from subsequent failure to perform, on the theory that, although the covenant was a

continuing one in one sense, it was an entire contract, and a total breach put an end to it, and gave

plaintiff the right to sue for an equivalent in damages.

"In such a case it is no warrant for a second action that the party may not be able to actually

prove in the first action all the items of the demand, or that all the damage may not then have been

actually suffered. He is bound to prove in the first action not only such damage as has been actually

suffered, but also such prospective damage by reason of the breach as he may be legally entitled to, for

the judgment he recovers in such action will be a conclusive adjudication as to the total damage on

account of the breach."

It will thus be seen that, where there is a complete and total breach of a continuous contract for a term of

years, the recovery of a judgment for damages by reason of the breach is a bar to another action on the same

contract for and on account of the continuous breach.

In the final analysis, there is no real dispute about any material fact, and the important and decisive question

is the legal construction of the pleadings in the former case and in this case, and of the contract between the plaintiff
and the defendant of January 1, 1920.

The complaint in the former case specifically alleges that the defendant "has refused, and still refuses, to
deliver to the plaintiff any coal and water gas tar whatsoever under the said contract Exhibit A, since the said month of

July, 1920." "That owing to the bad faith of the said Manila Gas Corporation, defendant herein, in not living up to its

said contract Exhibit A, made with this plaintiff, and refusing now to carry out the terms of the same." That is a specific
allegation not only of a breach of the contract since the month of July, 1920, but of the bad faith of the defendant in its

continuous refusal to make deliveries of any coal and water gas tar. That amended complaint was filed on July 11,

1924, or four years after the alleged bad faith in breaking the contract.

Having recovered damages against it, covering a period of four years, upon the theory that the defendant

broke the contract, and in bad faith refused to make deliveries of either of the tars, how can the plaintiff now claim and
assert that the contract is still in force and effect? In the instant case the plaintiff alleges and relies upon the ten-year

contract of January 1, 1920, which in bad faith was broken by the defendant. If the contract was then broken, how can

it be enforced in this action?

It is admitted that the defendant never made any deliveries of any tar from July, 1920, to April, 1926. Also that

it made nine deliveries to plaintiff of the minimum quantities of coal and water gas tar from April 7, 1926, to January 5,

1927.

Plaintiff contends that such deliveries were made under and in continuation of the old contract.

March 26, 1926, after the decision of this court affirming the judgment in the original action, plaintiff wrote the

defendant;

". . . It is our desire to take deliveries of at least the minimum quantities set forth therein and shall
appreciate to have you advise us how soon you will be in a position to make deliveries; . . .

". . . In view of the fact that you have only effected settlement up to November 23, 1923, please

inform us what adjustment you are willing to make for the period of time that has since elapsed without

your complying with the contract."

In response to which on March 31, 1926, the defendant wrote this letter to the plaintiff:

"In reply to your letter of March 26th, 1926, in regard to tar, we beg to advise you that we are

prepared to furnish the minimum quantities of coal and water gas tars as per your letter, viz: twenty tons

of water gas tar and six tons of coal gas tar. The price figured on present costs of raw materials is P39.01

(Thirty-nine and 01/100 Pesos) per ton of water gas and P33.59 (Thirty-three and 59/100 Pesos) per ton

of coal tar.

"We shall expect you to take delivery and pay for the above amount of tars at our factory on or
before April 7th prox.

"Thereafter we shall be ready to furnish equal amounts on the first of each month. Kindly make
your arrangements accordingly."

On January 29, 1927, the plaintiff wrote the defendant that:

"On July 31st last, we made demand upon you, under the terms of our tar contract, for 50 per

cent of your total coal tar production for that month and also served notice on you that beginning 90 days
from August 1st we would require your total output of coal tar monthly; this in addition to the 20 tons of

water gas tar provided for in the contract to be taken monthly.

xxx xxx xxx

"We are here again calling on you for your total output of coal tar immediately and the regular

minimum monthly quantity of water gas tar. In this connection we desire to advise you that within 90 days
of your initial delivery to us to your total coal tar output we will require 50 per cent of your total water gas

tar output, and, further, that two months thereafter we will require your total output of both tars."

February 2, 1927, the defendant wrote the plaintiff:

"Replying to your letter of Jan. 29, we would say that we have already returned to you the check

enclosed therewith. As we have repeatedly informed you we disagree with you as to the construction of

your contract and insist that you take the whole output of both tars if you wish to secure the whole of the

coal tar.

"With regard to your threat of further suits we presume that you will act as advised. If you make

it necessary we shall do the same."

From an analysis of these letters if clearly appears that the plaintiff then sought to rely upon and enforce the

contract of January 1, 1920, and that defendant denied plaintiff's construction of the contract, and insisted "that you

take the whole output of both tars if you wish to secure the whole of the coal tar."

February 28, 1927, the plaintiff wrote the defendant:

"In view of your numerous violations of and repeated refusal and failure to comply with the terms

and provisions of our contract dated January 30-31, 1919, for the delivery to us of water and coal gas

tars, etc., we will commence action," which it did.

The record tends to show that the tars which the defendant delivered after April 7, 1926, were not delivered

under the old contract of January 1, 1920, and that at all times since July, 1920, the defendant has consistently

refused to make any deliveries of any tars under that contract.

The referee found as a fact that plaintiff was entitled to P2,219.60 for and on account of overcharges which

the defendant made for the deliveries of fifty-four tons of coal gar tar, and one hundred eighty tons of water gas tar

after April, 1926, and upon that point the lower court says:

"The fourth charge that plaintiff makes is meritorious. The price was to be fixed on the basis of

raw materials. The charge for deliveries during 1926 were too high. In this I agree with entirely with the
referee and adopt his findings of fact and calculations. (See Referee's report, p. 83). The referee awarded

for overcharge during the period aforesaid, the sum of P2,219.60. The defendant was trying to discourage

plaintiff from buying tars and made the price of raw material appear as high as possible."

That finding is sustained upon the theory that the defendant broke its contract which it made with the plaintiff

for the sale and delivery of the tars on and after April, 1926.

After careful study of the many important questions presented on this appeal in the exhaustive brief of the
appellant, we are clearly of the opinion that, as found by the lower court, the plea of res judicata must be sustained.

The judgment of the lower court is affirmed.


It is so ordered, with costs against the appellant.

Johnson, Street, Malcolm, Villamor, Ostrand, Romualdez and Villa-Real, JJ., concur.
||| (Blossom & Co., Inc. v. Manila Gas Corp., G.R. No. 32958, [November 8, 1930], 55 PHIL 226-248)