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1. HEDY GAN y YU, v.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF situation confronting her and to ponder on which of the
APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES different courses of action would result in the least possible harm
September 19, 1988 ,G.R. No. L-44264 Fernan CJ to herself and to others.
 Due to the lack of eyewitnesses, no evidence was presented by
FACTS: the prosecution with respect to the relative distances of petitioner
 In the morning of 4 July 1972, the accused Hedy Gan was driving to the parked jeepney and the oncoming overtaking vehicle that
along North Bay Boulevard, Tondo, Manila. would tend to prove that petitioner did have sufficient time to
- There were two vehicles parked on one side of the road a reflect on the consequences of her instant decision to swerve her
truck and a jeepney, one following the other about 2-3m car to the right without stepping on her brakes.
parked.  Petitioner certainly could not be expected to act with all the
 As the car driven by Gan approached the place where the two coolness of a person under normal conditions. The danger,
vehicles were parked, there was a vehicle coming from the confronting petitioner was real and imminent, threatening her very
opposite direction, followed by another, which tried to existence. She had no opportunity for rational thinking but only
overtake the one in front of it thereby encroaching the lane of enough time to heed the very powerful instinct of self-
the car driven by Gan. preservation.
 To avoid a head-on collision, Gan swerved to the right and as a
consequence, hit an old man who was about to cross the 2. G.R. No. L-68102 July 16, 1992
street, pinning him against the rear of one of the parked GEORGE MCKEE and ARACELI KOH MCKEE, petitioners,
jeepney. vs IAC, JAIME TAYAG and ROSALINDA MANALO, respondents.
 The force of the impact caused the parked jeepney to move
forward hitting the parts truck in front of it. G.R. No. L-68103 July 16, 1992
 The pedestrian was injured, Gan's car, the jeep and the truck CARMEN DAYRIT KOH, LETICIA KOH, JULIETA KOH TUQUERO,
suffered damages. ARACELI KOH MCKEE, ANTONIO KOH and ELIZABETH KOH
 The pedestrian was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. TURLA, petitioners,
vs. IAC, JAIME TAYAG and ROSALINDA MANALO, respondents.

 Gan was convicted of Homicide thru reckless imprudence. FACTS:


 On appeal, CA modified the trial court's decision convicting Gan  It was the 8th of January in 1977, at around 9:00 or 10:00 in the
of Homicide thru simple imprudence. morning in Pulong Pulo Bridge along MacArthur Highway,
somewhere between Angeles City and San Fernando, Pampanga
ISSUE: WON Gan is guilty of homicide thru simple imprudence. a head-on-collision took place between an International
cargo truck, Loadstar, owned by Tayag & Manalo, and driven
HELD: by Ruben Galang, and a Ford Escort car driven by Jose Koh.
Test for Determining Negligence Resulting in Injury or Damages;
Failure to take precautions to avoid the mischievous results of a  Jose Koh was driving his daughter, Araceli Koh McKee, and
person’s course of action constitutes negligence.— her minor children, Christopher, George, and Kim, as well as
 The test for determining WON a person is negligent in doing an Kim’s babysitter, Loida Bondoc, from San Fernando, Pampanga in
act whereby injury or damage results to the person or property of the direction of Angeles City (northward) in a Ford Escort.
another is this: Would a prudent man in the position of the
person to whom negligence is attributed foresee harm to the  Meanwhile, a cargo truck owned by Jaime Tayag and
person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course Rosalinda Manalo, driven by Ruben Galang, was headed in the
about to be pursued? opposite direction, from Angeles City to San Fernando
 If so, the law imposes the duty on the doer to take precaution (southward), going to Manila.
against its mischievous results and the failure to do so constitutes - The cargo truck was considerable in size as it was carrying
negligence. 200 hundred cavans of rice, which weighed 10 metric tons.

Emergency Rule, Defined.—  As the Escort approached one Pulong-Pulo Bridge from the
 A corollary rule is what is known in the law as the emergency rule. southern portion, 2 boys suddenly ran from the right side of
“Under that rule, one who suddenly finds himself in a place of the road into the Escort’s lane.
danger, and is required to act without time to consider the - As the boys were going back and forth, unsure of whether to
best means that may be adopted to avoid the impending cross all the way or turn back, Jose blew his horn.
danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what - He was then forced to swerve left and into the lane Galang
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a was driving in.
better method, unless the emergency in which he finds - Jose switched his headlights on, applied his brakes, and
himself is brought about by his own negligence. attempted to return to his lane.
- However, he failed to get back into the right lane, and
Appellant is not guilty of Homicide Thru Simple Imprudence, as collided with the cargo truck.
there was no showing that she had sufficient time to analyze the - The collision occurred on the bridge.
situation and ponder on which course of action would result in
the least possible harm.—  The collision resulted in the deaths of the driver, Jose, the one-
 Applying the above tests to the case at bar, we find the petitioner year-old, Kim, and her babysitter, Loida, on whose lap she was
not guilty of the crime of Simple Imprudence resulting in sitting. Loida was seated in the passenger seat. Araceli,
Homicide. Christopher, and George, who were sitting in the back of the
 The appellate court in finding the petitioner guilty said: “The Escort, received physical injuries from the collision.
accused should have stepped on the brakes when she saw the
car going in the opposite direction followed by another which  An information was filed against Ruben Galang, charging him for
overtook the first by passing towards its left. She should not only reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical
have swerved the car she was driving to the right but should have injuries, and damage to property.
also tried to stop or lessen her speed so that she would not bump - He was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the charges
into the pedestrian who was crossing at the time but also the in the information. The conviction was affirmed by the CA
jeepney which was then parked along the street.” and achieved finality after the denial by the CA of his MR and
 The course of action suggested by the appellate court would the denial by the SC of his Petition for Review.
seem reasonable were it not for the fact that such suggestion
did not take into account the amount of time afforded  Two civil cases were filed. The first one, by the wife and
petitioner to react to the situation she was in. children of Jose Koh, and the second one by Araceli and her
 For it is undeniable that the suggested course of action husband for the death of Kim and injuries to Araceli and her other
presupposes sufficient time for appellant to analyze the children.
- The respondents were impleaded against as the employers which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other
of Ruben Galang – Galang was not included. The cases person suffers injury.’
here are based on quasi-delict. These cases were eventually
consolidated. Under what is known as the EMERGENCY RULE, “one who
suddenly finds himself in a place of danger and is required to act
TRIAL COURT: dismissed the civil cases and awarded the without time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid
respondents damages and attorney’s fees. the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt
what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a
APPEAL TO THE IAC: the dismissal was reversed. This was based on better method, unless the emergency in which he finds himself is
its finding that it was Galang’s inattentiveness or reckless imprudence brought about by his own negligence.—
that caused the accident.  On the basis of the foregoing definition, the test of
- However, upon filing by the respondents of an MR, the IAC negligence and the facts obtaining in this case, it is manifest that
set aside its original decision and upheld that of the trial no negligence could be imputed to Jose Koh.
court because the fact that Koh’s car invaded the lane of the  Any reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have
truck and the collision occurred while still in Galang’s lane tried to avoid running over the two boys by swerving the car
gave rise to the presumption that Koh was negligent. away from where they were even if this would mean entering
the opposite lane. Avoiding such immediate peril would be the
ISSUE: Was the IAC correct in reversing their original decision? natural course to take particularly where the vehicle in the
opposite lane would be several meters away and could very well
HELD: NO. The petition has merit. slow down, move to the side of the road and give way to the
oncoming car.
Procedural (not important): Given the circumstances, the cases (civil - Considering the sudden intrusion of the 2 boys into the lane
and criminal) should have been consolidated to prevent separate of the car, We find that Jose Koh adopted the best means
appreciation of the evidence. To be fair, the petitioners did move to possible in the given situation to avoid hitting them.
adopt the testimonies of the witnesses in the criminal case but the Applying the above test, therefore, it is clear that he was not
motion was denied. The non-consolidation resulted in two conflicting guilty of negligence.
decisions. In any case, the guilty verdict of Galang was deemed by the
Court as irrelevant to the case at bar. Definition of proximate cause.—
 Proximate cause has been defined as: “ ‘that cause, which,
Civil Law; Negligence; The responsibility arising from fault or in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
negligence in a quasi-delict is entirely separate and distinct from intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the
the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code.— result would not have occurred.’
 As We held in Dionisio vs. Alvendia, the responsibility arising - Applying the above definition, although it may be said that
from fault or negligence in a quasi-delict is entirely separate and the act of Jose Koh, if at all negligent, was the initial act in
distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the the chain of events, it cannot be said that the same
Penal Code. caused the eventual injuries and deaths because of the
 And, as more concretely stated in the concurring opinion of occurrence of a sufficient intervening event, the
Justice J.B.L. Reyes, “in the case of independent civil action negligent act of the truck driver, which was the actual
under the new Civil Code, the result of the criminal case, whether cause of the tragedy.
acquittal or conviction, would be entirely irrelevant to the civil o The entry of the car into the lane of the truck would
action. not have resulted in the collision had the truck
heeded the emergency signals given by the car to
In the absence of any collusion, the judgment of conviction in the slow down and give the car an opportunity to go
criminal case against Galang would have been conclusive in the back into its proper lane.
civil cases for the subsidiary liability of the Tayag and Manalo.— o Instead of slowing down and swerving to the far
 What remains to be the most important consideration as to right of the road, which was the proper
why the decision in the criminal case should not be considered in precautionary measure under the given
this appeal is the fact that private respondents were not parties circumstances, the truck driver continued at full
therein. speed towards the car.
 It would have been entirely different if the petitioners’ cause o The truck driver's negligence becomes more
of action was for damages arising from a delict, in which case apparent in view of the fact that the road is 7.50
private respondents’ liability could only be subsidiary pursuant to meters wide while the car measures 1.598 meters
Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. and the truck, 2.286 meters, in width. This would
mean that both car and truck could pass side by
In the assailed resolution, the respondent Court held that the fact that side with a clearance of 3.661 meters to spare.
the car improperly invaded the lane of the truck and that the collision o Furthermore, the bridge has a level sidewalk which
occurred in said lane gave rise to the presumption that the driver of the could have partially accommodated the truck. Any
car, Jose Koh, was negligent. On the basis of this presumed reasonable man finding himself in the given
negligence, the appellate court immediately concluded that it was Jose situation would have tried to avoid the car instead
Koh's negligence that was the immediate and proximate cause of the of meeting it head-on.
collision
- This is an unwarranted deduction as the evidence for the Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, a person driving a vehicle is
petitioners convincingly shows that the car swerved into the presumed negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating
truck's lane because as it approached the southern end of any traffic regulation.—
the bridge, 2 boys darted across the road from the right  The truck driver’s negligence is apparent in the records. He
sidewalk into the lane of the car. himself said that his truck was running at 30 miles (48 kilometers)
per hour along the bridge while the maximum speed allowed by
Definition of negligence.— law on a bridge is only 30 kilometers per hour. Under Article 2185
 Negligence was defined and described by this Court in of the Civil Code, a person driving a vehicle is presumed
Layugan vs. IAC, thus: “Negligence is the omission to do negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic
something which a reasonable man, guided by those regulation.
considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of
human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a DOCTRINE OF LAST CLEAR CHANCE; The doctrine states that
prudent and reasonable man would not do, or as Judge Cooley the contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the
defines it, ‘The failure to observe for the protection of the interests claim for damages if it is shown that the defendant might, by the
of another person, that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the
consequences of the negligence of the injured party.—
 In such cases, the person who had the last clear chance to  The doctrine is a device for imputing liability to a person
avoid the mishap is considered in law solely responsible for the where there is no relation between him and another party. In
consequences thereof. such a case, the obligation is created by law itself. But, where
Applying the foregoing doctrine, it is not difficult to rule that it there is a pre-existing contractual relation between the
was the truck driver’s negligence in failing to exert ordinary care parties, it is the parties themselves who create the obligation,
to avoid the collision which was in law the proximate cause of the and the function of the law is merely to regulate the relation thus
collision; Employers directly and primarily liable for the resulting created.
damages.—
 As employers of the truck driver, Tayag and Manalo are, Presumption of Negligence; Upon the happening of the accident,
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, directly and primarily liable the presumption of negligence at once arises, and it becomes the
for the resulting damages. duty of a common carrier to prove that he observed extraordinary
 The presumption that they are negligent flows from the diligence in the care of his passengers.—
negligence of their employee. That presumption, however, is  Now, did the driver of jeepney carry Sunga “safely as far as
only juris tantum, not juris et de jure. Their only possible human care and foresight could provide, using the utmost
defense is that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of diligence of very cautious persons, with due regard for all the
a family to prevent the damage. circumstances” as required by Art. 1755? We do not think so.
Several factors militate against petitioner’s contention.
3. VICENTE CALALAS vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ELIZA
JUJEURCHE SUNGA and FRANCISCO SALVA G.R. No. Fortuitous Event; The taking of an “extension seat” is not an
122039. May 31, 2000 implied assumption of risk on the part of the passenger; A caso
fortuito is an event which could not be foreseen, or which, though
Facts: foreseen, was inevitable; Requisites.—
 At 10am private respondent Eliza Sunga then a college  We find it hard to give serious thought to petitioner’s
freshman majoring in Physical Education at the Siliman University, contention that Sunga’s taking an “extension seat” amounted to
took a passenger jeepney owned and operated by Vicente an implied assumption of risk.
Calalas. - It is akin to arguing that the injuries to the many victims of
 As the jeepney was filled to capacity of about 24 the tragedies in our seas should not be compensated merely
passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an "extension because those passengers assumed a greater risk of
seat," a wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end of drowning by boarding an overloaded ferry.
the vehicle.  This is also true of petitioner’s contention that the jeepney
 Along the way, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. being bumped while it was improperly parked constitutes caso
 As she was seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga gave fortuito. A caso fortuito is an event which could not be foreseen, or
way to the outgoing passenger. Just as she was doing so, an which, though foreseen, was inevitable. This requires that the
Isuzu truck driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco following requirements be present:
Salva bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result, a) the cause of the breach is independent of the debtor’s will
Sunga was injured. b) the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable;
c) the event is such as to render it impossible for the debtor to
 Sunga filed a complaint against Calalas for violation of fulfill his obligation in a normal manner; and
contract of carriage. Calalas filed a third party complaint against d) the debtor did not take part in causing the injury to the
Salva. creditor.
Petitioner should have foreseen the danger of parking his jeepney
TC: held Salva liable and absolved Calalas, taking cognizance of with its body protruding two meters into the highway.
another civil case (Civ Case 3490) for quasi-delict wherein Salva and
Verena were held liable to Calalas. Damages; As a general rule, moral damages are not recoverable
CA: reversed the decision and found Calalas liable to Sunga for in actions for damages predicated on a breach of contract for it is
violation of contract of carriage. not one of the items enumerated under Art. 2219 of the Civil Code.

Issues:  As an exception, such damages are recoverable: (1) in
(1) Whether the decision in the case for quasi delict between Calalas cases in which the mishap results in the death of a passenger, as
on one hand and Salva and Verena on the other hand, is res judicata provided in Art. 1764, in relation to Art. 2206(3) of the Civil Code;
to the issue in this case and (2) in the cases in which the carrier is guilty of fraud or bad
(2) Whether Calalas exercised the extraordinary diligence required in faith, as provided in Art. 2220.
the contract of carriage
Bad Faith; The common carrier’s admission in open court that his
Held: driver failed to assist the injured passenger in going to a nearby
In quasi-delict, the negligence or fault should be clearly hospital cannot be construed as an admission of bad faith.—
established because it is the basis of the action, whereas in  In this case, there is no legal basis for awarding moral
breach of contract, the action can be prosecuted merely by damages since there was no factual finding by the appellate
proving the existence of the contract and the fact that the obligor, court that petitioner acted in bad faith in the performance of
in this case the common carrier, failed to transport his passenger the contract of carriage.
safely to his destination.—  Sunga’s contention that petitioner’s admission in open court
 In case of death or injuries to passengers, Art. 1756 of the that the driver of the jeepney failed to assist her in going to a
Civil Code provides that common carriers are presumed to have nearby hospital cannot be construed as an admission of bad
been at fault or to have acted negligently unless they prove that faith. The fact that it was the driver of the Isuzu truck who took
they observed extraordinary diligence as defined in Arts. 1733 her to the hospital does not imply that petitioner was utterly
and 1755 of the Code. This provision necessarily shifts to the indifferent to the plight of his injured passenger. If at all, it is
common carrier the burden of proof. merely implied recognition by Verena that he was the one at fault
for the accident.
Doctrine of Proximate Cause; The doctrine of proximate cause is
applicable only in actions for quasi-delicts, not in actions
involving breach of contract.— 4. ROMULO ABROGAR and ERLINDA ABROGAR
 There is, thus, no basis for the contention that the ruling in vs. COSMOS BOTTLING COMPANY and INTERGAMES,
Civil Case No. 3490, finding Salva and his driver Verena liable INC.
for the damage to petitioner’s jeepney, should be binding on G.R. No. 164749. March 15, 2017
Sunga. It is immaterial that the proximate cause of the collision
between the jeepney and the truck was the negligence of the SUMMARY: This case involves a claim for damages arising from the
truck driver. negligence causing the death of a participant in an organized
marathon bumped by a passenger jeepney on the route of the block off from traffic the marathon route; and
race. The issues revolve on whether the organizer and the sponsor of b) Intergames' preparations for the race, including the number
the marathon were guilty of negligence, and, if so, was their of marshal during the marathon, were glaringly inadequate to
negligence the proximate cause of the death of the participant; on prevent the happening of the injury to its participants.
whether the negligence of the driver of the passenger jeepney was an 2) WON the doctrine of assumption of risk finds application to the
efficient intervening cause; on whether the doctrine of assumption of case at bar even though getting hit or run over by a vehicle is not
risk was applicable to the fatality; and on whether the heirs of the an inherent risk in a marathon race.
fatality can recover damages for loss of earning capacity of the latter - Even assuming arguendo that deceased Abrogar made such
who, being then a minor, had no gainful employment. waiver as claimed, still there can be no valid waiver of one's
right to life and limb for being against public policy.
FACTS: 3) WON Cosmos is absolved from liability to petitioners on the sole
 To promote the sales of "Pop Cola", defendant Cosmos, ground that respondent Cosmos' contract with respondent
jointly with Intergames, organized an endurance running contest Intergames contained a stipulation exempting the former from
billed as the "1st Pop Cola Junior Marathon”. liability.
- The organizers plotted a 10 km course starting from the 4) WON the petitioners are entiled to actual, moral and exemplary
premises of the Interim Batasang Pambansa, through public damages for the death of their child, Rommel Abrogar.
roads and streets, to end at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
 Plaintiffs' son Rommel applied to be allowed to participate in RULING:
the contest and after complying with defendants' requirements, 1) INTERGAMES WAS NOT NEGLIGENT IN ORGANIZING
his application was accepted and he was given an official MARATHON
number. YES. Negligence is the failure to observe for the protection of
 Consequently, at the designated time of the marathon, the interests of another person that degree of care,
Rommel joined the other participants and ran the course plotted precaution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly
by the defendants. demand, whereby such other person suffers injury.
- As it turned out, the plaintiffs' further alleged, the defendants  Under Article 1173 of the Civil Code, it consists of the
failed to provide adequate safety and precautionary "omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the
measures and to exercise the diligence required of them by obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the person,
the nature of their undertaking, in that they failed to of the time and of the place. The Civil Code makes liability for
insulate and protect the participants of the marathon negligence clear under Article 2176, and Article 20.
from the vehicular and other dangers along the  This Court finds that the standard of conduct used by the TC
marathon route. is not the ordinary conduct of a prudent man in such a given
 Rommel was bumped by a jeepney that was then situation.
running along the route of the marathon on Don Mariano - According to the said court, the only way to conduct a safe
Marcos Avenue, and in spite of medical treatment given to road race is to block off the traffic for the duration of the
him at the Ospital ng Bagong Lipunan, he died later that event and direct the cars and public utilities to take
same day due to severe head injuries. CAIHTE alternative routes in the meantime that the marathon event is
being held.
The parents Abrograr sued the Cosmos and Intergames in the then - Such standard is too high and is even inapplicable in the
CFI of Rizal to recover various damages for the untimely death of case at bar because, there is no alternative route from IBP to
Rommel. Don Mariano Marcos to Quezon City Hall.
 Cosmos denied liability, insisting that it had not been  The Civil Code provides that if the law or contract does not
the organizer of the marathon, but only its sponsor; state the diligence which is to be observed in the
- that its participation had been limited to providing financial performance of an obligation that which is expected of a good
assistance to Intergames; father of the family shall only be required.
- that the financial assistance it had extended to Intergames,  Accordingly, appellant Intergames is only bound to exercise
the sole organizer of the marathon, had been in answer to the degree of care that would be exercised by an ordinarily careful
the Government's call to the private sector to help promote and prudent man in the same position and circumstances and not
sports development and physical fitness; that of the cautious man of more than average prudence. Hence,
- that the petitioners had no cause of action against it because appellant Intergames is only expected to observe ordinary
there was no privity of contract between the participants in diligence and not extraordinary diligence.
the marathon and Cosmos; and - In this case, the marathon was allowed by the Northern
- that it had nothing to do with the organization, operation and Police District, MPF, Quezon City on the condition that the
running of the event. road should not be blocked off from traffic. Appellant
Intergames had no choice. It had to comply with it or
Intergames asserted that Rommel's death had been an accident else the said marathon would not be allowed at all
exclusively caused by the negligence of the jeepney driver;
 that it was not responsible for the accident; that as the GR: is that the party who relies on negligence for his cause of action
marathon organizer, it did not assume the responsibilities of an has the burden of proving the existence of the same, otherwise his
insurer of the safety of the participants; action fails.
 that it nevertheless caused the participants to be covered  Here, the appellants-spouses failed to prove that there was
with accident insurance, but the petitioners refused to accept the inadequate number of marshals, police officers, and personnel
proceeds thereof; because they failed to prove what number is considered
 that there could be no cause of action against it because the adequate.
acceptance and approval of Rommel's application to join the  This court considers that seven (7) traffic operatives, five (5)
marathon had been conditioned on his waiver of all rights and motorcycle policemen, fifteen (15) patrolmen deployed along the
causes of action arising from his participation in the marathon; route, fifteen (15) boyscouts, twelve (12) CA Ts, twenty (20)
 that it exercised due diligence in the conduct of the race that barangay tanods, three (3) ambulances and three (3) medical
the circumstances called for and was appropriate, it having teams were sufficient to stage a safe marathon.
availed of all its know-how and expertise, including the adoption
and implementation of all known and possible safety and  It appears that Rommel Abrogar, while running on Don
precautionary measures in order to protect the participants from Mariano Marcos Avenue and after passing the Philippine Atomic
injuries arising from vehicular and other forms of accidents. Energy Commission Building, was bumped by a jeepney which
apparently was racing against a minibus and the two vehicles
ISSUES: were trying to crowd each other. In fact, a criminal case was filed
1) WON Intergames was not negligent considering that: against the jeepney driver by reason of his having killed Rommel
a) Intergames failed to exercise the diligence of a good father Abrogar.
of the family in the conduct of the marathon in that it did not
- This proves that the death of Rommel Abrogar was caused interest of 6% per annum from the finality of this decision until full
by the negligence of the jeepney driver. Rommel Abrogar payment; and (d) costs of suit.
cannot be faulted because he was performing a legal act; the
marathon was conducted with the permission and approval 5. M. H. RAKES v. ATLANTIC
of all the city officials involved. He had the right to be there. GR No. 1719, January 23, 1907
Neither can the appellant Intergames be faulted, as the
organizer of the said marathon, because it was not negligent Summary: Rakes was at work transporting iron rails from a barge in
in conducting the marathon. the harbor to the company’s yard. At a certain spot near the water’s
edge, the track sagged, the car canted, the rails slid off and caught
 Given the facts of this case, We believe that no amount Rakes. He was amputated at about the knee. Rakes claims that only
of precaution can prevent such an accident. one hand car was used in his work. Atlantic has proved that there were
- Even if there were fences or barriers to separate the lanes two, so that the end of the rails lay upon sills secured to the cars, but
for the runners and for the vehicles, it would not prevent without side pieces to prevent them from slipping off.
such an accident in the event that a negligent driver loses
control of his vehicle. Facts:
- And even if the road was blocked off from traffic, it would still
 The M.H. Rakes was one of a gang of 8 negro laborers in
not prevent such an accident, if a jeepney driver on the other
the employment of Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company, was at
side of the road races with another vehicle loses control of
work transporting iron rails from a barge in the harbor to the
his wheel and as a result hits a person on the other side of
company's yard.
the road. Another way of saying this is: A defendant's tort
 M.H. Rakes claims that one hand car was used in this work.
cannot be considered a legal cause of plaintiffs damage if
The defendant has proved that there were two immediately
that damage would have occurred just the same even
following one another, upon which were piled lengthwise seven
though the defendant's tort had not been committed.
rails, each weighing 560 pounds, so that the ends of the rails lay
upon two crosspieces or sills secured to the cars, but without side
2) NO. The doctrine of assumption of risk means that one who
pieces or guards to prevent them from slipping off.
voluntarily exposes himself to an obvious, known and
appreciated danger assumes the risk of injury that may result
therefrom.  The rails lay upon two crosspieces or sills secured to
the cars, but without side pieces or guards to prevent them
 It rests on the fact that the person injured has consented to
from slipping off.
relieve the defendant of an obligation of conduct toward him and
- According to the testimony of the plaintiff, the men were
to take his chance of injury from a known risk, and whether the
either in the rear of the car or at its sides. According to that of
former has exercised proper caution or not is immaterial. In other
the defendant, some of them were also in front, hauling by a
words, it is based on voluntary consent, express or implied, to
rope.
accept danger of a known and appreciated risk;
- At a certain spot at or near the water's edge the track
- it may sometimes include acceptance of risk arising from the
sagged, the tie broke, the car either canted or upset, the rails
defendant's negligence, but one does not ordinarily assume
slid off and caught the plaintiff, breaking his leg, which was
risk of any negligence which he does not know and
afterwards amputated at about the knee.
appreciate.
 As a defense in negligence cases, therefore, the doctrine
 The cause of the sagging of the track and the breaking
requires the concurrence of three elements, namely;
of the tie, which was the immediate occasion of the accident,
a) the plaintiff must know that the risk is present;
is not clear in the evidence, but is found by the trial court and is
b) he must further understand its nature; and
admitted in the briefs and in the argument to have been the
c) his choice to incur it must be free and voluntary.
dislodging of the crosspiece or piling under the stringer by
- Neither was the waiver by Rommel, then a minor, an
the water of the bay raised by a recent typhoon. No effort was
effective form of express or implied consent in the
made to repair the injury at the time of the occurrence.
context of the doctrine of assumption of risk.
- There is ample authority, cited in Prosser, to the effect that a
person does not comprehend the risk involved in a known  In order to charge the defendant with negligence, it was
situation because of his youth, or lack of information or necessary to show a breach of duty on its part in failing either to
experience, and thus will not be taken to consent to assume properly secure the load of iron to the vehicles transporting it, or
the risk. Clearly, the doctrine of assumption of risk does not to skillfully build the tramway or to maintain it in proper condition,
apply to bar recovery by the petitioners. or to vigilantly inspect and repair the roadway as soon as the
depression in it became visible. It is upon the failure of the
3) YES. The sponsorship of the marathon by Cosmos was defendant to repair the weakened track, after notice of its
limited to financing the race. Cosmos did nothing beyond that, condition, that the judge below based his judgment.
and did not involve itself at all in the preparations for the actual
conduct of the race. This verity was expressly confirmed by Issues: WON the company is liable
Intergames, through Castro, Jr.
Ruling: Yes. The most controverted question in the case is that of the
4) YES. Art. 2202. In crimes and quasi-delicts, the defendant shall negligence of the plaintiff, contributing to the accident, to what extent it
be liable for all damages which are the natural and probable existed in fact and what legal effect is to be given it. In two particulars
consequences of the act or omission complained of. It is not is he charged with carelessness:
necessary that such damages have been foreseen or could have a) that having noticed the depression in the track he continued his
reasonably been foreseen by the defendant. work; and
b) that he walked on the ends of the ties at the side of the car
WHEREFORE, the Court PARTLY AFFIRMS the decision promulgated instead of along the boards, either before or behind it.
on March 10, 2004 to the extent that it absolved COSMOS BOTTLING
COMPANY, INC. from liability; REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the As to the first point, the depression in the track might indicate
decision as to INTERGAMES, INC., and REINSTATES as to it the either a serious or a trivial difficulty. There is nothing in the
judgment rendered on May 10, 1991 by the Regional Trial Court, evidence to show that the plaintiff did or could see the displaced timber
Branch 83, in Quezon City subject to underneath the sleeper.
the MODIFICATIONS that INTERGAMES, INC. is ORDERED TO  The claim that he must have done so is a conclusion drawn
PAY to the petitioners, in addition to the aw3:rds thereby allowed: (a) from what is assumed to have been a probable condition of things
the sum of ₱l13,484.52 as damages for the loss of Rommel Abrogar's not before us, rather than a fair inference from the testimony.
earning capacity; (b) interest of 6% per annum on the actual damages, While the method of construction may have been known to the
moral damages, exemplary damages and loss of earning capacity men who had helped build the road, it was otherwise with the
reckoned from May 10, 1991 until full payment; (c) compounded plaintiff who had worked at this job less than two days.
On this point we accept the conclusion of the trial judge who found as FACTS:
facts that the plaintiff did not know the cause of the one rail being  This is an appeal from a judgment of the CFI of the city of Manila
lower than the other and it does not appear in this case that the dismissing the complaint on the merits filed in an action to recover
plaintiff knew before the accident occurred that the stringers and damages for injuries sustained by plaintiff’s automobile by reason
rails joined in the same place. of defendant’s negligence in causing a collision between his
automobile and that of plaintiff.
In respect of the second charge of negligence against the plaintiff,  The court in its judgment also dismissed a cross-complaint filed
the judgment below is not so specific. by the defendant, praying for damages against the plaintiff on the
 While the judge remarks that the evidence does not justify ground that the injuries sustained by defendant’s automobile
the finding that the car was pulled by means of a rope attached to in the collision referred to, as well as those to plaintiff’s
the front end or to the rails upon it, and further that the machine, were caused by the negligence of the plaintiff in
circumstances in evidence make it clear that the persons handling his automobile.
necessary to operate the car could not walk upon the plank
between the rails and that, therefore, it was necessary for the ISSUE: WON the plaintiff is negligent in handling his automobile
employees moving it to get hold upon it as best they could, there
is no specific finding upon the instruction given by the defendant HELD:
to its employees to walk only upon the planks, nor upon the  The court found upon the evidence that both the plaintiff and the
necessity of the plaintiff putting himself upon the ties at the side in defendant were negligent in handling their automobiles and that
order to get hold upon the car. said negligence was of such a character and extent on the part of
 Therefore the findings of the judge below leave the conduct both as to prevent either from recovering. Where the plaintiff in a
of the plaintiff in walking along the side of the loaded car, upon the negligence action, by his own carelessness contributes to the
open ties, over the depressed track, free to our inquiry. principal occurrence, that is, to the accident, as one of the
determining causes thereof, he cannot recover. This is equally
Difficulty seems to be apprehended in deciding which acts of the true of the defendant; and as both of them, by their negligent acts,
injured party shall be considered immediate causes of the accident. contributed to the determining cause of the accident, neither can
The test is simple. Distinction must be made between the accident and recover.
the injury, between the event itself, without which there could have
been... no accident, and those acts of the victim not entering into it, 7. THE SPOUSES BERNABE AFRICA and SOLEDAD C.
independent of it, but contributing to his own proper hurt. AFRICA, and the HEIRS OF DOMINGA ONG vs. CALTEX
(PHIL.), INC., MATEO BOQUIREN and THE CO URT OF
Accepting, though with some hesitation, the judgment of the trial court, APPEALS
fixing the damage incurred by the plaintiff at P5,000, the equivalent of G.R. No. L-12986, March 31, 1966
$2,500, we deduct therefrom P2,500, the amount fairly attributable to
his negligence, and direct judgment to be entered in favor of the The action is for damages under Articles 1902 and 1903 of the old Civil
plaintiff for the resulting sum of P2,500. Code.

VOLENTI NON FIT INIURIA (or injuria) (Latin: "to a willing person, FACTS:
injury is not done")  It appears that in the afternoon of March 18, 1948 a fire broke out
This doctrine holds that a person who knowingly and willingly puts at the Caltex service station in Manila. It started while gasoline
himself in a dangerous situation cannot sue for any resulting injuries. was being hosed from a tank truck into the underground storage,
right at the opening of the receiving truck where the nozzle of the
CIVIL LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES.— hose was inserted. The fire then spread to and burned several
 In order to enforce the liability of an employer for injuries to his neighboring houses, including the personal properties and effects
employee, it is not necessary that a criminal action be first inside them.
prosecuted against the employer or his representative primarily  The owners of the houses, among them petitioners here, sued
chargeable with the accident. No criminal proceeding having been Caltex (owner of the station) and Boquiren (agent in charge of
taken, the civil action may proceed to judgment. operation).

LIABILITY OF EMPLOYER TO WORKMEN.— TC and CA: found that petitioners failed to prove negligence and that
 The responsibility of an employer to his employee arises out of respondents had exercised due care in the premises and with respect
the contractual relations between them and is regulated by article to the supervision of their employees.
1101 and the following articles of the Civil Code.  Both Courts refused to apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur on
the grounds that “as to its applicability in the Philippines, there
FELLOW-SERVANT RULE.— seems to be nothing definite,” and that while the rules do not
 The doctrine known as the "Fellow-servant rule," exonerating the prohibit its adoption in appropriate cases, “in the case at bar,
employer where the injury was incurred through the negligence of however, we find no practical use for such doctrine.”
a fellow-servant of the employee injured, is not adopted in
Philippine jurisprudence. ISSUE: WON without proof as to the cause and origin of the fire, the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should apply so as to presume negligence
CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE.— on the part of appellees. - YES
 The negligence of the injured person contributing to his injury but
not being one of the determining causes of the principal accident, RULING:
does not operate as a bar to recovery, but only in reduction of his Presumption of negligence under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.
damages. Each party is chargeable with damages in proportion to Where the thing which caused injury, without fault of the injured
his fault. Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil., 359, No. person, is under the exclusive control of the defendant and the
1719 January 23, 1907 injury is such as in the ordinary course of things does not occur if he
having such control use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in
6. JUAN BERNARDO vs. M. B. LEGASPI the absence of the explanation, that the injury arose from
(G.R. No. 9308. December 23, 1914) defendant's want of care.
 In the case at bar, the gasoline station, with all its appliances,
COLLISION TROUGH MUTUAL NEGLIGENCE. equipment and employees, was under the control of appellees.
Where two automobiles, going in opposite directions collide on turning  A fire occurred therein and spread to and burned the neighboring
a street corner, and it appears from the evidence and is found by the houses. The persons who knew or could have known how the fire
trial court that the drivers thereof were equally negligent and started were appellees and their employees, but they gave no
contributed equally to the principal occurrence as determining causes explanation thereof whatsoever. It is a fair and reasonable
thereof, neither can recover of the other for the damages suffered.
inference that the incident happened because of want of 2) that it assigned to the task the more competent and
care. experienced among its patrons,
 The report by the police officer regarding the fire, as well as the 3) had the towlines, engines and equipment double-checked
statement of the driver of the gasoline tank wagon who was and inspected;
transferring the contents thereof into the underground storage 4) that it instructed its patrons to take extra precautions; and
when the fire broke out, strengthen the presumption of concludes that it had done all it was called to do, and that the
negligence. Verily accident, therefore, should be held due to force majeure or
1) the station is a very busy district and pedestrians often pass fortuitous event.
through or mill round the premises  These very precautions, however, completely destroy the
2) the area is used as a car barn for around 10 taxicabs owned appellant's defense.
by Boquiren;
3) a store where people hang out and possibly smoke Meaning of “caso fortuito” or “force majeure”. —
cigarettes is located one meter from the hole of the  Caso fortuito or force majeure (which in law are identical in so far
underground tank; and as they exempt an obligor from liability) by definition are extra-
4) the concrete walls adjoining the neighborhood are only 2 ½ ordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable, “events that could
meter high at most and cannot prevent the flames from not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable” (Art.
leaping over it in case of fire. 1174, Civil Code). It is, therefore, not enough that the event could
not have been foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly believed,
Torts; Quasi-delicts; Force majeure; Intervention of unforeseen but it must be one impossible to foresee or to avoid.
and unexpected cause.  The mere difficulty to foresee the happening is not
 The intervention of an unforeseen and unexpected cause is not impossibility to foresee the same. The very measures
sufficient to relieve a wrongdoer from consequences of adopted by appellant prove that the possibility of danger was
negligence, if such negligence directly and proximately not only foreseeable, but actually foreseen, and was not caso
cooperates with the independent cause in the resulting injury. fortuito.
 Gasoline is a highly combustible material, in the storage and sale  Otherwise stated, Luzon Stevedoring Corporation, knowing and
of which extreme care must be taken. On the other hand, fire is appreciating the perils posed by the swollen stream and its swift
not considered a fortuitous event, as it arises almost invariably current, voluntarily entered into a situation involving obvious
from some act of man. danger; it therefore assured the risk, and can not shed
responsibility merely because the precautions it adopted
8. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. turned out to be insufficient. Hence, the lower Court committed
LUZON STEVEDORING CORPORATION no error in holding it negligent in not suspending operations and in
holding it liable for the damages caused.
FACTS:
 In the early afternoon of August 17, 1960, a barge owned by the
Luzon Stevedoring Corporation was being towed down the Pasig 9. SCHMITZ TRANSPORT & BROKERAGE CORPORATION,
river by tugboats "Bangus" and "Barbero" also belonging to the petitioner, vs. TRANSPORT VENTURE, INC.,
same corporation, when the barge rammed against one of the INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE COMPANY, LTD., and BLACK
wooden piles of the Nagtahan bailey bridge, smashing the SEA SHIPPING AND DODWELL now INCHCAPE
posts and causing the bridge to list. SHIPPING SERVICES, respondents.
- The river, at the time, was swollen and the current swift, on G.R. No. 150255. April 22, 2005.
account of the heavy downpour of Manila and the J. Carpio-Morales
surrounding provinces on August 15 and 16, 1960.
FACTS.
 Sued by the RP for actual and consequential damage caused by  SYTCO Pte Ltd. Singapore shipped from Russia on board M/V
its employees, defendant Luzon Stevedoring Corporation "Alexander Saveliev" (a vessel of Russian registry and owned by
disclaimed liability, on the grounds Black Sea) 545 hot rolled steel sheets in coil.
- that it had exercised due diligence in the selection and  The cargoes, which were to be discharged at the port of Manila in
supervision of its employees; favor of the consignee, Little Giant Steel Pipe Corporation (Little
- that the damages to the bridge were caused by force Giant),were insured against all risks.
majeure;  The vessel arrived at the port of Manila and was assigned place
- that plaintiff has no capacity to sue; and of berth at the outside breakwater at the Manila South Harbor.
- that the Nagtahan bailey bridge is an obstruction to Little Giant engaged the services of Schmitz Transport to
navigation. After due trial, the court rendered judgment secure the requisite clearances, to receive the cargoes from the
holding the defendant liable for the damage. shipside, and to deliver them to its warehouse. Schmitz Transport,
in turn engaged the services of TVI through a Service Contract to
ISSUE: WON the collision of Luzon's barge with the supports or piers send a barge and tugboat at shipside.
of the Nagtahan bridge was in law caused by fortuitous event or force  TVI‘s tugboat, after positioning the barge alongside the vessel, left
majeure- NO. and returned to the port terminal. Then thearrastre operator
commenced to unload 37 of the 545 coils from the vessel unto the
Ruling: barge. The weather condition had become inclement but the
Civil law; Damages; Presumption of negligence; Case at bar— unloading unto the barge of the 37 coils was accomplished.
 Considering that the Nagtahan bridge was an immovable and However, no tugboat pulled the barge back to the pier.
stationary object and uncontrovertedly provided with adequate - Due to strong waves, the crew of the barge abandoned it
openings for the passage of water craft, including barges like and transferred to the vessel. The barge pitched and rolled
those of appellant's, it is undeniable that the unusual event with the waves and eventually capsized, washing the 37
that the barge, exclusively controlled by appellant, rammed coils into the sea. Almost two hours later, a tugboat finally
the bridge supports raises a presumption of negligence on arrived to pull the already empty and damaged barge back to
the part of appellant or its employees manning the barge or the pier.
the tugs that towed it.  Little Giant thus filed a formal claim against the insurance
 In the ordinary course of events, such a thing does not happen if company, Industrial Insurance which paid it the amount of
proper care is used. ₱5,246,113.11. In the exercise of its right of subrogation, Industrial
 In Anglo American Jurisprudence, the inference arises by what is Insurance later filed a complaint against Schmitz Transport, TVI,
known as the “res ipsa loquitur” rule. and Black Sea through its representative Inchcape for recovery of
sum of money. Industrial Insurance faulted the defendants for
The appellant strongly stresses the precautions taken by it: undertaking the unloading of the cargoes while typhoon signal No.
1) that it assigned two of its most powerful tugboats to tow 1 was raised in Metro Manila.
down river its barge
RTC Manila held all the defendants negligent for unloading the cargoes
outside of the breakwater notwithstanding the storm signal hence Common Carriers; Customs Brokers; It is settled that under a
solidarily liable for the loss of 37 hot rolled steel sheets in coil that were given set of facts, a customs broker may be regarded as a
washed overboard the barge. Defendants‘ motion for reconsideration common carrier.—
was denied.  Thus, this Court, in A.F. Sanchez Brokerage, Inc. v. The
CA affirmed the Decision and Resolution of the RTC. The appellate Honorable Court of Appeals, held: The appellate court did not err
court ruled that "each one was essential such that without each other‘s in finding petitioner, a customs broker, to be also a common
contributory negligence the incident would not have happened and that carrier, as defined under Article 1732 of the Civil Code, to wit, Art.
"although defendants obviously had nothing to do with the force of 1732. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or
nature, they however had control of where to anchor the vessel, where associations engaged in the business of carrying or transporting
discharge will take place and even when the discharging will passengers or goods or both, by land, water, or air, for
commence." compensation, offering their services to the public. x x x Article
1732 does not distinguish between one whose principal business
 Schmitz Transport (as petitioner) filed the present petition against activity is the carrying of goods and one who does such carrying
TVI, Industrial Insurance and Black Sea.Petitioner asserts that in only as an ancillary activity.
chartering the barge and tugboat of TVI, it was acting for its  The contention, therefore, of petitioner that it is not a common
principal, consignee Little Giant, hence, the transportation carrier but a customs broker whose principal function is to prepare
contract was by and between Little Giant and TVI. the correct customs declaration and proper shipping documents
 By its Comment, Black Sea argued that the cargoes were as required by law is bereft of merit. It suffices that petitioner
received by Little Giant through Schmitz Transport in good order, undertakes to deliver the goods for pecuniary consideration. And
hence, it cannot be faulted, it having had no control and in Calvo v. UCPB General Insurance Co., Inc., this Court held that
supervision thereover.For its part, TVI maintained that it acted as as the transportation of goods is an integral part of a customs
a passive party as it merely received the cargoes and transferred broker, the customs broker is also a common carrier. For to
them unto the barge upon the instruction of Schmitz Transport. declare otherwise “would be to deprive those with whom [it]
contracts the protection which the law affords them
ISSUES notwithstanding the fact that the obligation to carry goods for [its]
1. WON the loss of the cargoes was due to a fortuitous event, customers, is part and parcel of petitioner’s business.”
independent of any act of negligence on the part of Schmitz Transport,
Black Sea and TVI.  Contrary to Schmitz Transport‘s insistence, the Court reiterated
2. If there was negligence, whether or not liability for the loss may that petitioner is a common carrier. For it undertook to transport
attach to Black Sea, Schmitz Transport and TVI. the cargoes from the shipside of "M/V Alexander Saveliev" to the
consignee‘s warehouse. The testimony of its own Vice-President
RULING: and General Manager Noel Aro that part of the services it offers to
Obligations and Contracts; Negligence; Fortuitous Events; The its clients as a brokerage firm includes the transportation of
principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly requires that cargoes reflects so.
the act must be occasioned solely by the violence of nature—  As for petitioner‘s argument that being the agent of Little Giant,
human intervention is to be excluded from creating or entering any negligence it committed was deemed the negligence of its
into the cause of the mischief.— principal, it does not persuade.True, petitioner was the broker-
 In order, to be considered a fortuitous event, however, (1) the agent of Little Giant in securing the release of the cargoes. In
cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence, or the effecting the transportation of the cargoes from the shipside and
failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation, must be into Little Giant‘s warehouse, however, petitioner was discharging
independent of human will; (2) it must be impossible to foresee its own personal obligation under a contact of carriage.
the event which constitute the caso fortuito, or if it can be  As for Schmitz Transport, for it to be relieved of liability, it should,
foreseen it must be impossible to avoid; (3) the occurrence must following Article 1739of the Civil Code, prove that it exercised due
be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his diligence to prevent or minimize the loss, before, during and after
obligation in any manner; and (4) the obligor must be free from the occurrence of the storm in order that it may be exempted from
any participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the liability for the loss of the goods.While petitioner sent checkers
creditor. and a supervisoron board the vessel to counter-check the
 [T]he principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly operations of TVI, it failed to take all available and reasonable
requires that the act must be occasioned solely by the precautions to avoid the loss. After noting that TVI failed to
violence of nature. arrange for the prompt towage of the barge despite the
- Human intervention is to be excluded from creating or deteriorating sea conditions, it should have summoned the same
entering into the cause of the mischief. When the effect is or another tugboat to extend help, but it did not.
found to be in part the result of the participation of man,
whether due to his active intervention or neglect or failure to As to TVI’s liability
act, the whole occurrence is then humanized and removed Private Carriers; While a private carrier is under no duty to
from the rules applicable to the acts of God. observe extraordinary diligence, it is still required to observe
ordinary diligence.—
From a review of the records of the case, there is no indication that  Not being a party to the service contract between Schmitz
there was greater risk in loading the cargoes outside the breakwater. Transport and TVI, Little Giant cannot directly sue TVI based
As the defendants proffered, the weather remained normal with thereon but it can maintain a cause of action for negligence
moderate sea condition such that port operations continued and  In the case of TVI, while it acted as a private carrier for which it
proceeded normally. The weather data report verified by PAGASA was under no duty to observe extraordinary diligence, it was still
states that while typhoon signal No. 1 was hoisted over Metro Manila, required to observe ordinary diligence to ensure the proper and
the sea condition at the port of Manila was moderate. It cannot, careful handling, care and discharge of the carried goods.
therefore, be said that the defendants were negligent in not unloading
the cargoes upon the barge on inside the breakwater. A man of ordinary prudence would not leave a heavily loaded
That no tugboat towed back the barge to the pier after the cargoes barge floating for a considerable number of hours, at a precarious
were completely loaded by 12:30 in the morningis, however, a material time, and in the open sea, knowing that the barge does not have
fact which the appellate court failed to properly consider and any power of its own and is totally defenseless from the ravages
appreciate— the proximate cause of the loss of the cargoes. Had the of the sea.—
barge been towed back promptly to the pier, the deteriorating sea  TVI’s failure to promptly provide a tugboat did not only increase
conditions notwithstanding, the loss could have been avoided. But the the risk that might have been reasonably anticipated during the
barge was left floating in open sea until big waves set in at 5:30 a.m., shipside operation, but was the proximate cause of the loss. A
causing it to sink along with the cargoes.The loss thus falls outside the man of ordinary prudence would not leave a heavily loaded barge
"act of God doctrine." floating for a considerable number of hours, at such a precarious
time, and in the open sea, knowing that the barge does not have
As to Schmitz Transport’s liability
any power of its own and is totally defenseless from the ravages goods to the consignee was not from “pier to pier” but from the
of the sea. That it was nighttime and, therefore, the members of shipside of “M/V Alexander Saveliev” and into barges, for which
the crew of a tugboat would be charging overtime pay did not reason the consignee contracted the services of petitioner.
excuse TVI from calling for one such tugboat.  Since Black Sea had constructively delivered the cargoes to Little
Giant, through petitioner, it had discharged its duty.
 In LRTA v. Navidad, the Court held that liability for tort under the
provisions of Article 2176 and related provisions, in conjunction Damages; Attorney’s Fees; To award attorney’s fees to a party
with Article 2180 of the Civil Code. x xx[O]ne might ask further, just because the judgment is rendered in its favor would be
how then must the liability of the common carrier, on one hand, tantamount to imposing a premium on one’s right to litigate or
and an independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? seek judicial redress of legitimate grievances—no sufficient
It would be solidary. A contractual obligation can be breached by showing of bad faith is reflected in a party’s persistence in a case
tort and when the same act or omission causes the injury, one based on an erroneous conviction of the righteousness of his
resulting in culpa contractual and the other in culpa aquiliana, cause.—
Article 2194 of the Civil Code can well apply. In fine, a liability for  Respecting the award of attorney’s fees in an amount over
tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is that which P1,000,000.00 to Industrial Insurance, for lack of factual and legal
breaches the contract. Stated differently, when an act which basis, this Court sets it aside.
constitutes a breach of contract would have itself constituted the  While Industrial Insurance was compelled to litigate its rights,
source of a quasi-delictual liability had no contract existed such fact by itself does not justify the award of attorney’s fees
between the parties, the contract can be said to have been under Article 2208 of the Civil Code.
breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply.  For no sufficient showing of bad faith would be reflected in a
party’s persistence in a case other than an erroneous conviction
of the righteousness of his cause. To award attorney’s fees to a
When an act which constitutes a breach of contract would have party just because the judgment is rendered in its favor would be
itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no tantamount to imposing a premium on one’s right to litigate or
contract existed between the parties, the contract can be said to seek judicial redress of legitimate grievances.
have been breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to
apply.— 10. MINDEX RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT V. MORILLO
 This Court holds then that petitioner and TVI are solidarily liable
for the loss of the cargoes. Facts:
 The following pronouncement of the Supreme Court is instructive:  Petitioner agreed to verbally to lease a 6x6 cargo truck owned by
The foundation of LRTA’s liability is the contract of carriage and its the respondent Ephraim Morillo for use in MINDEX' mining
obligation to indemnify the victim arises from the breach of that operations.
contract by reason of its failure to exercise the high diligence - Unkown to Morillo the said truck was burned by unidentified
required of the common carrier. In the discharge of its persons while parked unattended after it suffered mechanical
commitment to ensure the safety of passengers, a carrier may trouble.
choose to hire its own employees or avail itself of the services of - The truck was totally burned, while its engine was partially
an outsider or an independent firm to undertake the task. In either burned.
case, the common carrier is not relieved of its responsibilities  Upon learning of the incident Morillo offered to sell the truck to
under the contract of carriage. Should Prudent be made likewise petitioner, but the latter refused. Instead it replaced the trucks
liable? If at all, that liability could only be for tort under the tires and had it towed for repair and overhauling.
provisions of Article 2176 and related provisions, in conjunction  Thereafter, Morillo sent a proposal to Mindex for the payment of
with Article 2180 of the Civil Code. x x x [O]ne might ask further, the cost of the truck in four (4) installments plus unpaid rentals but
how then must the liability of the common carrier, on one hand, due to the tight finances, petitioner instead made a counter-offer
and an independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? to pay the rent, repair and overhaul the truck and return it to
It would be solidary. Morillo.
 A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the - With the parties unable to come to an agreement, Morillo
same act or omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa pulled out the truck from Mindex' repair shop and had it
contractual and the other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 of the repaired somewhere else.
Civil Code can well apply. In fine, a liability for tort may arise even
under a contract, where tort is that which breaches the contract. The RTC found petitioner guilty for the destruction of the vehicle, which
Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a breach of was then affirmed by the CA and held petitioner responsible for its loss
contract would have itself constituted the source of a quasi- and destruction of the truck.
delictual liability had no contract existed between the parties, the
contract can be said to have been breached by tort, thereby CA modified the decision of the RTC by changing the 12% to 6% on
allowing the rules on tort to apply. the rentals and repair costs until the date of the finality of the decision
trial court and 12 percent per annum thereafter, if the amounts
As to Black Sea’s liability adjudged would remain unpaid from such date of finality until the
As for Black Sea, its duty as a common carrier extended only from the rentals and the repair costs were fully paid.
time the goods were surrendered or unconditionally placed in its
possession and received for transportation until they were delivered Hence this petition. Petitioner claims that the burning of the truck was a
actually or constructively to consignee Little Giant.Parties to a contract fortuitous event, for which it should not be held liable pursuant to Article
of carriage may, however, agree upon a definition of delivery that 1174 as well as on the basis of the letter of respondent stating that the
extends the services rendered by the carrier. burning of the truck was an “unforeseen adversity,” which renders as
The Bill of Lading No. 2 covering the shipment provides that delivery an admission that should exculpate the former from liability.
be made "to the port of discharge or so near thereto as she may safely
get, always afloat."The delivery of the goods to the consignee was not Issue:
from "pier to pier" but from the shipside of "M/V Alexander Saveliev" WON the burning is a fortuitous event
and into barges, for which reason the consignee contracted the
services of petitioner. Since Black Sea had constructively delivered the Held:
cargoes to Little Giant, through petitioner, it had discharged its duty. In No. Both the RTC and the CA found petitioner negligent and thus liable
fine, no liability may thus attach to Black Sea. for the loss or destruction of the leased truck. Though both parties may
have suffered from the burning of the truck but as found by both lower
Parties to a contract of carriage may agree upon a definition of courts, the negligence of petitioner makes it responsible for the loss.
delivery that extends the services rendered by the carrier.—
 In the case at bar, Bill of Lading No. 2 covering the shipment Obligations and Contracts; Fortuitous Events; An act of God
provides that delivery be made “to the port of discharge or so near cannot be invoked to protect a person who has failed to take
thereto as she may safely get, always afloat.” The delivery of the steps to forestall the possible adverse consequences of such a
loss-when the effect is found to be partly the result of a person’s fees is the exception rather than the rule and counsel’s fees are
participation, whether by active intervention, neglect or failure to not to be awarded every time a party wins suit. The power of the
act, the whole occurrence is humanized and removed from the court to award attorney’s fees under Article 2208 of the Civil Code
rules applicable to acts of God.— demands factual, legal, and equitable justification; its basis cannot
 In order for a fortuitous event to exempt one from liability, it is be left to speculation or conjecture.
necessary that one has committed no negligence or misconduct
that may have occasioned the loss. In the absence of stipulation, a winning party may be awarded
 An act of God cannot be invoked to protect a person who has attorney’s fees only in case plaintiff’s action or defendant’s stand
failed to take steps to forestall the possible adverse is so untenable as to amount to gross and evident bad faith.—
consequences of such a loss. One’s negligence may have  Moreover, a recent case ruled that “in the absence of stipulation,
concurred with an act of God in producing damage and injury to a winning party may be awarded attorney’s fees only in case
another; nonetheless, showing that the immediate or proximate plaintiff’s action or defendant’s stand is so untenable as to amount
cause of the damage or injury was a fortuitous event would not to gross and evident bad faith.”
exempt one from liability.  Indeed, respondent was compelled to file this suit to vindicate his
 When the effect is found to be partly the result of a person’s rights. However, such fact by itself will not justify an award of
participation—whether by active intervention, neglect or failure to attorney’s fees, when there is no sufficient showing of petitioner’s
act—the whole occurrence is humanized and removed from the bad faith in refusing to pay the said rentals as well as the repair
rules applicable to acts of God. and overhaul costs. Mindex Resources Development vs. Morillo,
379 SCRA 144, G.R. No. 138123 March 12, 2002
Requisites; The often-invoked doctrine of “fortuitous event” or
“caso fortuito” has become a convenient and easy defense to 11. PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION, INC. and ARMANDO U.
exculpate an obligor from liability.— CARBONEL, petitioners, vs THE INTERMEDIATE
 This often-invoked doctrine of “fortuitous event” or “caso fortuito” APPELLATE COURT and LEONARDO DIONISIO,
has become a convenient and easy defense to exculpate an respondents.
obligor from liability. To constitute a fortuitous event, the following G.R. No. L-65295 March 10, 1987
elements must concur: (a) the cause of the unforeseen and
unexpected occurrence or of the failure of the debtor to comply SUMMARY:
with obligations must be independent of human will; (b) it must be Dionisio who had his carlights turned off collided with a truck parked
impossible to foresee the event that constitutes the caso fortuito askew. The truck driver was negligent for providing the road hazard
or, if it can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid; (c) the and it cannot invoke the doctrine of last clear chance to deny liability.
occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor Dionisio's negligence was merely contributory.
to fulfill obligations in a normal manner; and (d) the obligor must
be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury or FACTS:
loss.  At about 1:30am, it was alleged by Leonardo Dionisio that while
driving his volkswagen car the latter's headlights turned off and
Negligence, as commonly understood, is that conduct that when he turned it up to bright, he was already 2 1/2 meters away
naturally or reasonably creates undue risk or harm to others.— and about to collide with the Ford Dump truck parked askewed at
 As can be gleaned from the foregoing testimony, petitioner failed the right side of the road, owned by petitioner. The two collided
to employ reasonable foresight, diligence and care that would near the intersection of General Lacuna and General Santos
have exempted it from liability resulting from the burning of the Streets.
truck. Negligence, as commonly understood, is that conduct that  Dionisio commenced an action for damages in the CFI of
naturally or reasonably creates undue risk or harm to others. It Pampanga basically claiming that the legal and proximate cause
may be a failure to observe that degree of care, precaution or of his injuries was the negligent manner in which Armando
vigilance that the circumstances justly demand; or to do any other Carbonel had parked the dump truck entrusted to him by his
act that would be done by a prudent and reasonable person, who employer Phoenix.
is guided by considerations that ordinarily regulate the conduct of  Phoenix and Carbonel, on the other hand, countered that the
human affairs. proximate cause of Dionisio's injuries was his own recklessness in
driving fast at the time of the accident, while under the influence
Leases; Damages; Article 1667 of the Civil Code holds the lessee of liquor (a shot or two), without his headlights on and without a
responsible for the deterioration or loss of the thing leased; curfew pass. Phoenix also sought to establish that it had
Courts begin with the assumption that compensatory damages exercised due rare in the selection and supervision of the dump
are for pecuniary losses that result from an act or omission of the truck driver.
defendant.—
 The P132,750 repair and overhaul costs was correctly granted by TC agreed with the claim of Dionisio.
the lower courts. Article 1667 of the Civil Code holds the lessee IAC sustained the same ruling but reduced the moral exemplary and
responsible for the deterioration or loss of the thing leased. In damages for loss of expected income
addition, Article 1665 of the same Code provides that “the lessee
shall return the thing leased, upon the termination of the lease, The petitioners, however, urge that the truck driver's negligence was
just as he received it, save what has been lost or impaired by the merely a "passive and static condition" and that private respondent
lapse of time, or by ordinary wear and tear, or from an inevitable Dionisio's negligence was an "efficient intervening cause and that
cause.” consequently Dionisio's negligence must be regarded as the legal and
 Courts begin with the assumption that compensatory damages proximate cause of the accident rather than the earlier negligence of
are for pecuniary losses that result from an act or omission of the Carbonel.
defendant. Having been found to be negligent in safeguarding the
leased truck, petitioner must shoulder its repair and overhaul ISSUE: WON Phoenix and Carbonel may be absolved from liability on
costs to make it serviceable again. Such expenses are duly the ground that Dionisio had the last clear chance to avoid the injury
supported by receipts; thus, the award of P132,750 is definitely in
order. RULING:
Private respondent had no curfew pass during the night the
Attorney’s Fees; Where granted, the court must explicitly state in accident took place. The certification by a major assigned in
the body of the decision, and not only in the dispositive portion Pampanga that respondent has a curfew pass is not credible as it
thereof, the legal reason for the award of attorney’s fees.— lacks the necessary details.—
 We find the award of attorney’s fees to be improper. The reason  Private respondent Dionisio was not able to produce any curfew
which the RTC gave—because petitioner had compelled pass during the trial. Instead, he offered the explanation that his
respondent to file an action against it—falls short of our family may have misplaced his curfew pass. He also offered a
requirement in Scott Consultants and Resource Development v. certification (dated two years after the accident) issued by one
CA, from which we quote: “It is settled that the award of attorney’s Major Benjamin N. Libarnes of the Zone Integrated Police
Intelligence Unit of Campo Olivas, San Fernando, Pampanga,  The petitioners, however, urge that the truck driver's negligence
which was said to have authority to issue curfew passes for was merely a "passive and static condition" and that private
Pampanga and Metro Manila. respondent Dionisio's negligence was an "efficient intervening
 This certification was to the effect that private respondent cause," and that consequently Dionisio's negligence must be
Dionisio had a valid curfew pass. This certification did not, regarded as the legal and proximate cause of the accident rather
however, specify any pass serial number or date or period of than the earlier negligence of Carbonel. We note that the
effectivity of the supposed curfew pass. We find that private petitioners' arguments are drawn from a reading of some of the
respondent Dionisio was unable to prove possession of a valid older cases in various jurisdictions in the United States but we are
curfew pass during the night of the accident and that the unable to persuade ourselves that these arguments have any
preponderance of evidence shows that he did not have such a validity for our jurisdiction. We note, firstly, that even in the United
pass during that night. The relevance of possession or non- States, the distinctions between "cause" and "condition" which the
possession of a curfew pass that night lies in the light it tends to petitioners would have us adopt have already been "almost
shed on the other related issues: whether Dionisio was speeding entirely discredited." Professors Prosser and Keeton make this
home and whether he had indeed purposely put out his headlights quite clear: x x x.
before the accident, in order to avoid detection and possibly arrest
by the police in the nearby police station for travelling after the The improper parking of truck created an unreasonable risk for
onset of curfew without a valid curfew pass. anyone driving on that street for which the truck driver should be
held responsible as the negligence of a car driver bumping that
Information gathered by a traffic investigator from persons who truck was no more than a forseeable consequence of the risk
saw how the accident took place is admissible as part of the res created by the truck driver.—
gestae.—  We believe, secondly, that the truck driver's negligence far from
 We think that an automobile speeding down a street and suddenly being a "passive and static condition" was rather an indispensable
smashing into a stationary object in the dead of night is a and efficient cause. The collision between the dump truck and the
sufficiently startling event as to evoke spontaneous, rather than private respondent's car would in all probability not have occurred
reflective, reactions from observers who happened to be around had the dump truck not been parked askew without any warning
at that time. The testimony of Patrolman Cuyno was therefore lights or reflector devices. The improper parking of the dump truck
admissible as part of the res gestae and should have been created an unreasonable risk of injury for anyone driving down
considered by the trial court. Clearly, substantial weight should General Lacuna Street and for having so created this risk, the
have been ascribed to such testimony, even though it did not, as it truck driver must be held responsible. In our view, Dionisio's
could not, have purported to describe quantitatively the precise negligence, although later in point of time than the truck driver's
velocity at which Dionisio was travelling just before impact with negligence and therefore closer to the accident, was not an
the Phoenix dump truck. efficient intervening or independent cause. What the petitioners
describe as an "intervening cause" was no more than a
Petitioner's theory that respondent deliberately shut off his foreseeable consequence of the risk created by the negligent
headlights as he turned the intersection where his car later on manner in which the truck driver had parked the dump truck. In
bumped a parked dumptruck is more credible than respondent's other words, the petitioner truck driver owed a duty to private
claim that his car's lights suddenly turned off.— respondent Dionisio and others similarly situated not to impose
 A third related issue is whether Dionisio purposely turned off his upon them the very risk the truck driver had created. Dionisio's
headlights, or whether his headlights accidentally malfunctioned, negligence was not of an independent and overpowering nature
just moments before the accident. The Intermediate Appellate as to cut, as it were, the chain of causation in fact between the
Court expressly found that the headlights of Dionisio's car went off improper parking of the dump truck and the accident, nor to sever
as he crossed the intersection but was non-committal as to why the juris vinculum of liability.
they did so. It is the petitioners' contention that Dionisio purposely
shut off his headlights even before he reached the intersection so Negligence of car driver who bumps an improperly parked truck is
as not to be detected by the police in the police precinct which he merely contributory.—
(being a resident in the area) knew was not far away from the  We hold that private respondent Dionisio's negligence was "only
intersection. We believe that the petitioners' theory is a more contributory," that the "immediate and proximate cause" of the
credible explanation than that offered by private respondent injury remained the truck driver's "lack of due care" and that
Dionisio—i.e., that he had his headlights on but that, at the crucial consequently respondent Dionisio may recover damages though
moment, these had in some mysterious if convenient way such damages are subject to mitigation by the courts (Article
malfunctioned and gone off, although he succeeded in switching 2179, Civil Code of the Philippines).
his lights on again at "bright" split seconds before contact with the
dump truck. Doctrine of "last clear chance" is a common-law theory adopted
to mitigate the harshness of the "contributory negligence of the
The fact that a driver smelled of liquor does not necessarily mean plaintiff rule under which in common-law countries plaintiff is
he is drunk.—A fourth and final issue relates to whether Dionisio was barred from any recovery, unlike in our system of law where the
intoxicated at the time of the accident. The evidence here consisted of Civil Code expressly states that it will merely reduce the amount
the testimony of Patrolman Cuyno to the effect that private respondent to be recovered.—
Dionisio smelled of liquor at the time he was taken from his smashed  Petitioners also ask us to apply what they refer to as the "last
car and brought to the Makati Medical Center in an unconscious clear chance" doctrine. The theory here of petitioners is that while
condition. This testimony has to be taken in conjunction with the the petitioner truck driver was negligent, private respondent
admission of Dionisio that he had taken "a shot or two" of liquor before Dionisio had the "last clear chance" of avoiding the accident and
dinner with his boss that night. We do not believe that this evidence is hence his injuries, and that Dionisio having failed to take that "last
sufficient to show that Dionisio was so heavily under the influence of clear chance" must bear his own injuries alone. The last clear
liquor as to constitute his driving a motor vehicle per se an act of chance doctrine of the common law was imported into our
reckless imprudence. There simply is not enough evidence to show jurisdiction by Picart vs. Smith but it is a matter for debate
how much liquor he had in fact taken and the effects of that upon his whether, or to what extent, it has found its way into the Civil Code
physical faculties or upon his judgment or mental alertness. We are of the Philippines. The historical function of that doctrine in the
also aware that "one shot or two" of hard liquor may affect different common law was to mitigate the harshness of another common
people differently. law doctrine or rule—that of contributory negligence. The common
law rule of contributory negligence prevented any recovery at all
The theory of petitioners that the negligence of the truck driver in by a plaintiff who was also negligent, even if the plaintiff s
parking his truck on the street without any early warning devices negligence was relatively minor as compared with the wrongful
is merely a passive and static condition, while the negligence of act or omission of the defendant. The common law notion of last
the car driver in ramming against the truck was the efficient, clear chance permitted courts to grant recovery to a plaintiff who
intervening cause, is a theory that has already been almost had also been negligent provided that the defendant had the last
entirely discredited.— clear chance to avoid the casualty and failed to do so.
Accordingly, it is difficult to see what role, if any, the common law
last clear chance doctrine has to play in a jurisdiction where the impossible to determine whose fault or negligence brought about the
common law concept of contributory negligence as an absolute occurrence of the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity
bar to recovery by the plaintiff, has itself been rejected, as it has to avoid the impending harm but failed to do so, is chargeable with the
been in Article 2179 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. consequences arising therefrom.
The antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude recovery of
Doctrine of last clear chance in common law cannot be applied as damages caused by the supervening negligence of the latter, who had
a general rule in negligence cases in our civil law system.— the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of
 Is there perhaps a general concept of "last clear chance" that may due diligence.
be extracted from its common law matrix and utilized as a general FACTS:
rule in negligence cases in a civil law jurisdiction like ours? We do  August, 1982: Osmundo S. Canlas executed a Special Power of
not believe so. Under Article 2179, the task of a court, in technical Attorney authorizing Vicente Mañosca to mortgage 2 parcels of
terms, is to determine whose negligence—the plaintiffs or the land situated in BF Homes Paranaque in the name of his wife
defendant's—was the legal or proximate cause of the injury. That Angelina Canlas.
task is not simply or even primarily an exercise in chronology or  Subsequently, Osmundo Canlas agreed to sell the lands
physics, as the petitioners seem to imply by the use of terms like to Mañosca for P850K, P500K payable within 1 week, and the
"last" or "intervening" or "immediate." The relative location in the balance serves as his investment in the business. Mañosca
continuum of time of the plaintiff s and the defendant's negligent issued 2 checks P40K and P460K. The P460K lacked sufficient
acts or omissions, is only one of the relevant factors that may be funds.
taken into account. Of more fundamental importance are the
nature of the negligent act or omission of each party and the September 3, 1982: Mañosca mortgage to Atty. Manuel Magno the
character and gravity of the risks created by such act or omission parcels of lands for P100K with the help of impostors who
for the rest of the community. The petitioners urge that the truck misrepresented themselves as the Spouses Canlas.
driver (and therefore his employer) should be absolved from
responsibility for his own prior negligence because the September 29, 1982: Mañosca was granted a loan by the respondent
unfortunate plaintiff failed to act with that increased diligence Asian Savings Bank (ASB) for P500K with the parcels of land as
which had become necessary to avoid the peril precisely created security and with the help of the same impostors. The loan was left
by the truck driver's own wrongful act or omission. To accept this unpaid resulting in an extrajudicially foreclosure on the lots.
proposition is to come too close to wiping out the fundamental
principle of law that a man must respond for the forseeable January 15, 1983: Canlas wrote a letter informing ASB that the
consequences of his own negligent act or omission. Our law on mortgage was without their authority. He also requested the sheriff
quasi-delicts seeks to reduce the risks and burdens of living in Maximo Contreras to hold or cancel the auction.
society and to allocate them among the members of society. To - Both parties refused.
accept the petitioners' proposition must tend to weaken the very
bonds of society. The spouses Canlas filed a case for annulment of deed of real estate
mortgage with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction
Employer's failure to exercise vigilance over its employee evident
from the improper parking of the truck on the street at night along RTC Ruling
employee's residence.— Restrained the sheriff from issuing a Certificate of Sheriff’s
 Petitioner Carbonel's proven negligence creates a presumption of Sale and annulled the mortgage
negligence on the part of his employer Phoenix in supervising its CA Ruling
employees properly and adequately. The respondent appellate Reversed holding Canlas estopped for coming to the bank
court in effect found, correctly in our opinion, that Phoenix was not with Mañosca and letting himself be introduced as Leonardo Rey
able to overcome this presumption of negligence. The ISSUE:
circumstance that Phoenix had allowed its truck driver to bring the Whether or not the ASB had was negligent due to the doctrine of last
dump truck to his home whenever there was work to be done clear chance
early the following morning, when coupled with the failure to show HELD:
any effort on the part of Phoenix to supervise the manner in which Yes, petition is granted.
the dump truck is parked when away from company premises, is
an affirmative showing of culpa in vigilando on the part of Civil Law; Negligence; Degree of diligence required of banks is
Phoenix. more than that of a good father of a family.—
 The degree of diligence required of banks is more than that of a
Contributory negligence may result in 20% reduction of damages. good father of a family; in keeping with their responsibility to
— exercise the necessary care and prudence in dealing even on a
 Turning to the award of damages and taking into account the register or titled property. The business of a bank is affected with
comparative negligence of private respondent Dionisio on one public interest, holding in trust the money of the depositors, which
hand and petitioners Carbonel and Phoenix upon the other hand, bank deposits the bank should guard against loss due to
we believe that the demands of substantial justice are satisfied by negligence or bad faith, by reason of which the bank would be
allocating most of the damages on a 20-80 ratio. Thus, 20% of the denied the protective mantle of the land registration law, accorded
damages awarded by the respondent appellate court, except the only to purchasers or mortgagees for value and in good faith.
award of P10,000.00 as exemplary damages and P4,500.00 as
attorney's fees and costs, shall be borne by private respondent Article 1173. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the
Dionisio; only the balance of 80% needs to be paid by petitioners omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the
Carbonel and Phoenix who shall be solidarily liable therefor to the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, of
former. The award of exemplary damages and attorney's fees and the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the
costs shall be borne exclusively by the petitioners. Phoenix is of provisions of articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.
course entitled to reimbursement from Carbonel. We see no
sufficient reason for disturbing the reduced award of damages The degree of diligence required of banks is more than that of a
made by the respondent appellate court. Phoenix Construction, good father of a family.
Inc. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 148 SCRA 353, No. L- - Not even a single identification card was exhibited by
65295 March 10, 1987 the said impostors to show their true identity.
- They acted simply on the basis of the residence certificates
12. G.R. No. 112160, Osmundo S. Canlas and Angelina bearing signatures which tended to match the signatures
Canlasvs. Court of Appeals, Asian Savings Bank, affixed on a previous deed of mortgage to Atty. Magno
Maximo Contrares and Vicente Mañosca, February 28, - Previous deed of mortgage did not bear the tax account
2000 number of the spouses as well as the Community Tax
Points of Law: Certificate of Angelina Canlas
Where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is
appreciably later in point of time than that of the other, or where it is
Doctrine of Last Clear Chance; The rule is that the antecedent deposits, on all occasions, were not credited to RMC's account
negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery of but were instead deposited to the account of Yabut's husband,
damages caused by the supervening negligence of the latter, who Bienvenido Cotas who likewise maintains an account with the
had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the same bank. During this period, petitioner bank had, however,
exercise of due diligence.—– been regularly furnishing private respondent with monthly
 Under the doctrine of last clear chance, “which is applicable here, statements showing its current accounts balances. Unfortunately,
the respondent bank must suffer the resulting loss. In essence, it had never been the practice of Romeo Lipana to check these
the doctrine of last clear chance is to the effect that where both monthly statements of account reposing complete trust and
parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably confidence on petitioner bank.
later in point of time than that of the other, or where it is  Irene Yabut's modus operandi is far from complicated. She would
impossible to determine whose fault or negligence brought about accomplish two (2) copies of the deposit slip, an original and a
the occurrence of the incident, the one who had the last clear duplicate. The original showed the name of her husband as
opportunity to avoid the impending harm but failed to do so, is depositor and his current account number. On the duplicate copy
chargeable with the consequences arising therefrom. Stated was written the account number of her husband but the name of
differently, the rule is that the antecedent negligence of a person the account holder was left blank. PBC's teller, Azucena
does not preclude the recovery of damages caused by the Mabayad, would, however, validate and stamp both the original
supervening negligence of the latter, who had the last fair chance and the duplicate of these deposit slips retaining only the original
to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. copy despite the lack of information on the duplicate slip. The
second copy was kept by Irene Yabut allegedly for record
Where both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is purposes. After validation, Yabut would then fill up the name of
appreciably later in point of time than that of the other, or where it RMC in the space left blank in the duplicate copy and change the
is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence brought account number written thereon, which is that of her husband's,
about the occurrence of the incident, the one who had the last and make it appear to be RMC's account number. With the daily
clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm but failed to do so, remittance records also prepared by Ms. Yabut and submitted to
is chargeable with the consequences arising therefrom. private respondent RMC together with the validated duplicate
 The antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude slips with the latter's name and account number, she made her
recovery of damages caused by the supervening negligence of company believe that all the while the amounts she deposited
the latter, who had the last fair chance to prevent the impending were being credited to its account when, in truth and in fact, they
harm by the exercise of due diligence. were being deposited by her and credited by the petitioner bank in
the account of Cotas. This went on in a span of more than one (1)
Antecedent Negligence: Osmundo Canlas was negligent in giving year without private respondent's knowledge.
Vicente Mañosca the opportunity to perpetrate the fraud, by entrusting  Upon discovery of the loss of its funds, RMC demanded from
him the owner's copy of the transfer certificates of title of subject petitioner bank the return of its money, but as its demand went
parcels of land unheeded, it filed a collection suit before the RTC. The trial court
found petitioner bank negligent. The appellate court affirmed RTC
Supervening Negligence: Failing to perform the simple expedient of decision
faithfully complying with the requirements for banks to ascertain the
identity of the persons transacting with them. ISSUE: What is the proximate cause of the loss suffered by the private
 Canlas went to ASB with Mañosca and he was introduced respondent RMC — petitioner bank's negligence or that of private
as Leonardo Rey. He didn't correct Mañosca. However, he did respondent's?
not know that the lots were being used as a security for he was
there to make sure that Mañosca pays his debt so he cannot be RULING: The proximate cause is the bank’s negligence because
estopped from assailing the validity of the mortgage absent the act of Ms. Mabayad in negligently validating the incomplete
 But being negligent in believing the misrepresentation duplicate copy of the deposit slip, Ms. Irene Yabut would not have the
by Mañosca that he had other lots and that the lot was not to be facility with which to perpetrate her fraudulent scheme with impunity.
used as a security, Canlas was negligent and undeserving of The bank's teller, Ms. Azucena Mabayad, was negligent in validating,
Attorney's fees. officially stamping and signing all the deposit slips prepared and
presented by Ms. Yabut, despite the glaring fact that the duplicate copy
Dispositive Portion was not completely accomplished contrary to the self-imposed
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered. procedure of the bank with respect to the proper validation of deposit
1. ORDERING the petitioner, Atty. Patemo Canlas, to pay to the private slips, original or duplicate. The odd circumstance alone that such
respondent, Francisco Herrera, the sum of P326,000.00, as and for duplicate copy lacked one vital information — that of the name of the
damages; account holder — should have already put Ms. Mabayad on guard.
2. ORDERING the petitioner to SHOW CAUSE why no disciplinary It was this negligence of Ms. Azucena Mabayad, coupled by the
action may be imposed on him for violation of his oath, as a lawyer, negligence of the petitioner bank in the selection and supervision of its
within ten (10) days from notice, after which the same will be bank teller, which was the proximate cause of the loss suffered by the
consolidated with AC No. 2625; private respondent, and not the latter's act of entrusting cash to a
3. DISMISSING this petition and REMANDING the case to the dishonest employee, as insisted by the petitioners.
respondent Court of Appeals for execution; and Furthermore, under the doctrine of "last clear chance" (also referred to,
4. ORDERING the petitioner to pay costs. at times as "supervening negligence" or as "discovered peril"),
SO ORDERED. petitioner bank was indeed the culpable party. This doctrine, in
essence, states that where both parties are negligent, but the negligent
13. G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 act of one is appreciably later in time than that of the other, or when it
PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMERCE, now absorbed by PHILIPPINE is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence should be
COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK, ROGELIO LACSON, attributed to the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to
DIGNA DE LEON, MARIA ANGELITA PASCUAL, et al., petitioners, avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is chargeable with the
vs. consequences thereof. 19Stated differently, the rule would also mean
THE COURT OF APPEALS, ROMMEL'S MARKETING CORP., that an antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude the
represented by ROMEO LIPANA, its President & General recovery of damages for the supervening negligence of, or bar a
Manager, respondents. defense against liability sought by another, if the latter, who had
the last fair chance, could have avoided the impending harm by the
FACTS: exercise of due diligence. Here, assuming that private respondent
 From May 5, 1975 to July 16, 1976, petitioner Romeo Lipana RMC was negligent in entrusting cash to a dishonest employee, thus
claims to have entrusted Rommel's Marketing Corporation (RMC) providing the latter with the opportunity to defraud the company, as
funds in the form of cash totalling P304,979.74 to his secretary, advanced by the petitioner, yet it cannot be denied that the petitioner
Irene Yabut, for the purpose of depositing said funds in the current bank, thru its teller, had the last clear opportunity to avert the injury
accounts of RMC with PBC. It turned out, however, that these incurred by its client, simply by faithfully observing their self-imposed
validation procedure.
At this juncture, it is worth to discuss the degree of diligence ought to  In the case of banks, however, the degree of diligence required is
be exercised by banks in dealing with their clients. In the case of more than that of a good father of a family. Considering the
banks, the degree of diligence required is more than that of a good fiduciary nature of their relationship with their depositors, banks
father of a family. Considering the fiduciary nature of their relationship are duty bound to treat the accounts of their clients with the
with their depositors, banks are duty bound to treat the accounts of highest degree of care.
their clients with the highest degree of care.
A blunder on the part of the bank, such as the failure to duly
Civil Law; Negligence; Elements of a Quasi-delict.— credit him his deposits as soon as they are made, can cause the
 There are three elements of a quasi-delict: depositor not a little embarrassment if not financial loss and
a) damages suffered by the plaintiff; perhaps even civil and criminal litigation.—
b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other person  As elucidated in Simex International (Manila), Inc. v. Court of
for whose acts he must respond; and Appeals, in every case, the depositor expects the bank to treat his
c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or account with the utmost fidelity, whether such account consists
negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by only of a few hundred pesos or of millions. The bank must record
the plaintiff. every single transaction accurately, down to the last centavo, and
as promptly as possible. This has to be done if the account is to
Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable reflect at any given time the amount of money the depositor can
man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate dispose as he sees fit, confident that the bank will deliver it as and
the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of to whomever he directs. A blunder on the part of the bank, such
something which a prudent and reasonable man would do.— as the failure to duly credit him his deposits as soon as they are
 Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable made, can cause the depositor not a little embarrassment if not
man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the financial loss and perhaps even civil and criminal litigation.
conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something
which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. It cannot be denied that private respondent was likewise negligent
 The 78-year old, yet still relevant, case of Picart v. Smith, provides in not checking its monthly statements of account.—
the test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a  The foregoing notwithstanding, it cannot be denied that, indeed,
particular case which may be stated as follows: Did the defendant private respondent was likewise negligent in not checking its
in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and monthly statements of account. Had it done so, the company
caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in would have been alerted to the series of frauds being committed
the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. The law against RMC by its secretary. The damage would definitely not
here in effect adopts the standard supposed to be supplied by the have ballooned to such an amount if only RMC, particularly
imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law. Romeo Lipana, had exercised even a little vigilance in their
The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by financial affairs. This omission by RMC amounts to contributory
reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation negligence which shall mitigate the damages that may be
before him. The law considers what would be reckless, awarded to the private respondent under Article 2179 of the New
blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and Civil Code.
prudence and determines liability by that.
14. G.R. No. 116100 February 9, 1996
Proximate Cause; Definition Of.— SPOUSES CRISTINO and BRIGIDA CUSTODIO and SPOUSES
 Proximate cause is determined on the facts of each case upon LITO and MARIA CRISTINA SANTOS ,petitioners,
mixed considerations of logic, common sense, policy and vs.
precedent. Vda. de Bataclan v. Medina, reiterated in the case of COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS OF PACIFICO C. MABASA and
Bank of the Phil. Islands v. Court of Appeals, defines proximate REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASIG, METRO MANILA, BRANCH
cause as “that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, 181, respondents.
unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury,
and without which the result would not have occurred. x x x.” In FACTS:
this case, absent the act of Ms. Mabayad in negligently validating  Pacifico Mabasa filed a case for the grant of an easement of right
the incomplete duplicate copy of the deposit slip, Ms. Irene Yabut of way against Sps. Custodio, Sps. Santos and Rosalina Morato.
would not have the facility with which to perpetrate her fraudulent Pacifico died during the pendency of the case and was
scheme with impunity. substituted by his surviving spouse Ofelia Mabasa and their
children.
Essence of the Doctrine of “Last Clear Chance.”—  Pacifico owns a parcel of land with an apartment thereon at P.
 Furthermore, under the doctrine of “last clear chance” (also Burgos Street, Taguig. Said property is surrounded by other
referred to, at times as “supervening negligence” or as “dis- immovables owned by Sps. Custodio, Sps. Santos, and Morato.
covered peril”), petitioner bank was indeed the culpable party. Going to Pacifico‘s property, the row of houses on the left are as
This doctrine, in essence, states that where both parties are follows: the house of Sps. Custodio, that of Sps. Santos, and that
negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in time of Ofelia Mabasa. On the right side is that of Rosalino Morato and
than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose then a Septic Tank.
fault or negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one  From Pacifico‘s property, the passageway to access P. Burgos
who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm Street is one meter wide. It is the path in between the previously
and failed to do so is chargeable with the consequences thereof. mentioned row of houses.
Stated differently, the rule would also mean that an antecedent  Tenants were occupying the apartment. When Pacifico went to
negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery of see the premises, he saw that there had been built an adobe
damages for the supervening negligence of, or bar a defense fence in the passageway making it narrower in width. Said adobe
against liability sought by another, if the latter, who had the last fence was constructed by Sps. Santos along their property which
fair chance, could have avoided the impending harm by the is along the passageway. Morato constructed adobe fence and
exercise of due diligence. Here, assuming that private respondent even extended said fence in such a way that the entire
RMC was negligent in entrusting cash to a dishonest employee, passageway was enclosed. It was then that the tenants of the
thus providing the latter with the opportunity to defraud the apartment vacated the area. Cristina Santos testified that she
company, as advanced by the petitioner, yet it cannot be denied constructed said fence because there was an incident when her
that the petitioner bank, thru its teller, had the last clear daughter was dragged by a bicycle pedalled by one of the tenants
opportunity to avert the injury incurred by its client, simply by along the passageway. She mentioned other inconveniences of
faithfully observing their self-imposed validation procedure. having a pathway in front of her house, such as when some of the
tenants were drunk and would bang their doors and windows.
Considering the fiduciary nature of their relationship with their Some of their footwear were even lost.
depositors, banks are duty bound to treat the accounts of their
clients with the highest degree of care.—
RTC ordered Sps. Custodio and Sps. Santos to give the Mabasas 1) The defendant should have acted in a manner that is
permanent access ingress and egress, to the public street. It also contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
ordered the Mabasas to pay the Custodios and Santoses indemnity for 2) The acts should be willful; and (3) There was damage or
the permanent use of the passageway. CA affirmed the RTC decision injury to the plaintiff.
and awarded damages in favor of Mabasa.
There is no cause of action for lawful acts done by one person on
ISSUE: Whether or not the award of damages is proper. his property although such acts incidentally caused damage or
loss to another.—
HELD  A person has a right to the natural use and enjoyment of his own
 NO. The award of damages has no substantial basis. property, according to his pleasure, for all the purposes to which
such property is usually applied. As a general rule, therefore,
Civil Law; Action; Damages; To warrant the recovery of damages, there is no cause of action for acts done by one person upon his
there must be a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by the own property in a lawful and proper manner, although such acts
defendant, and damage resulting to the plaintiff.— incidentally cause damage or an unavoidable loss to another, as
 However, the mere fact that the plaintiff suffered losses does not such damage or loss is damnum absque injuria. When the owner
give rise to a right to recover damages. To warrant the recovery of of property makes use thereof in the general and ordinary manner
damages, there must be both a right of action for a legal wrong in which the property is used, such as fencing or enclosing the
inflicted by the defendant, and damage resulting to the plaintiff same as in this case, nobody can complain of having been
therefrom. Wrong without damage, or damage without wrong, injured, because the inconvenience arising from said use can be
does not constitute a cause of action, since damages are merely considered as a mere consequence of community life.
part of the remedy allowed for the injury caused by a breach or
wrong. One may use any lawful means to accomplish a lawful purpose
and though the means adopted may cause damage to another, no
Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right, damage is the harm cause of action arises in the latter’s favor.—
which results from the injury and damages are the compensation  The proper exercise of a lawful right cannot constitute a legal
awarded for the damage suffered.— wrong for which an action will lie, although the act may result in
 There is a material distinction between damages and injury. Injury damage to another, for no legal right has been invaded. One may
is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, hurt, or use any lawful means to accomplish a lawful purpose and though
harm which results from the injury; and damages are the the means adopted may cause damage to another, no cause of
recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered. action arises in the latter’s favor. Any injury or damage
Thus, there can be damage without injury in those instances in occasioned thereby is damnum absque injuria. The courts can
which the loss or harm was not the result of a violation of a legal give no redress for hardship to an individual resulting from action
duty. These situations are often called damnum absque injuria. reasonably calculated to achieve a lawful end by lawful means.

To maintain an action for injuries, plaintiff must establish that 15. BACOLOD-MURCIA MILLING CO., INC. V. FIRST
such injuries resulted from a breach of duty which the defendant FARMERS MILLING CO.
owed to the plaintiff.—
 In order that a plaintiff may maintain an action for the injuries of This is an appeal taken by Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co., Inc. from the
which he complains, he must establish that such injuries resulted order dated November 28, 1967 issued by the CFI of Rizal, Branch VI
from a breach of duty which the defendant owed to the plaintiff—a (Pasig), in Civil Case No. 9185, as well as the Order dated March 5,
concurrence of injury to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by the 1968 denying the Motion for its reconsideration.
person causing it. The underlying basis for the award of tort
damages is the premise that an individual was injured in FACTS:
contemplation of law. Thus, there must first be the breach of some  Plaintiff-appellant had commenced, on March 18, 1966, an action
duty and the imposition of liability for that breach before damages for Injunction and Prohibition with Damages against defendants
may be awarded; it is not sufficient to state that there should be First Farmers Milling Co., Inc. (FFMC), various named planters
tort liability merely because the plaintiff suffered some pain and nearby, and Ramon Nolan being the Administrator of the Sugar
suffering. Quota Administration.
 It was alleged, that in the year of 1964, the defendant FFMC that
The law affords no remedy for damages resulting from an act operated a sugar central known as the First Farmers Sugar
which does not amount to a legal injury or wrong.— Central.
 Many accidents occur and many injuries are inflicted by acts or  Then, for the crop years 1964-65 and 1965-66, the defendants
omissions which cause damage or loss to another but which transferred their quota allotments to their co-defendants FFMC
violate no legal duty to such other person, and consequently and are actually milling their sugar with FFMC.
create no cause of action in his favor. In such cases, the - This illegal transfer of the quota allotments was done over
consequences must be borne by the injured person alone. The the protest and objections of the plaintiff, but with the
law affords no remedy for damages resulting from an act which unjustified illegal approval of their co-defendant the Sugar
does not amount to a legal injury or wrong. Quota Administration.

In order that the law will give redress for an act causing damage,  After the defendants (FFMC, the adhering planters, and the Sugar
that act must not only be hurtful, but also wrongful.— Quota Administrator) had filed their respective answers, the
 In other words, in order that the law will give redress for an act plaintiff-appellant filed a Motion to admit Amended and
causing damage, that act must be not only hurtful, but wrongful. Supplemental Complaint.
There must be damnum et injuria. If, as may happen in many  PNB(Philippine National Bank) and NIDC (National Investment
cases, a person sustains actual damage, that is, harm or loss to and Development Corporation) as party defendants, “who
his person or property, without sustaining any legal injury, that is, became creditors of defendant FFMC central prior to the
an act or omission which the law does not deem an injury, the institution of the instant case, and who therefore are necessary
damage is regarded as damnum absque injuria. parties, is fatal to the complaint.”
- It was alleged, that defendants NIDC and PNB extended
Civil Law; Article 21, Civil Code; Principle of Abuse of Right; loans to FFMC in the amount of P12,210,000.00 on June
Requisites.— 18,1965 and P4,000,000.00 on Dec. 14, 1966, to assist in
 In the case at bar, although there was damage, there was no legal the illegal creation and operation of said mill, hence a joint
injury. Contrary to the claim of private respondents, petitioners tortfeasors in the trespass of plaintiff’s rights.
could not be said to have violated the principle of abuse of right. - It was prayed that they be ordered to jointly and severally
In order that the principle of abuse of right provided in Article 21 of pay plaintiff actual and exemplary damages of not less that
the Civil Code can be applied, it is essential that the following P1 million pesos.
requisites concur:
 Then the defendant filed their respective answer. In their answer,
the PNB and NIDC had contended that they had no participation
whatsoever either directly or indirectly on the alleged illegal
transfer of the defendant planters from the plaintiff to the
defendant mill.
 In addition, the granting of loans by the defendants PNB and
NIDC in favor of the defendant mill did not violate any rights of the
plaintiff because these loans were extended in the ordinary and
usual course of business as authorized by their charter. Hence,
the latter defendants did not commit any tortious action against
the plaintiffs and, consequently the plaintiffs have no cause of
action against the defendants (PNB and NIDC).

ISSUE: WON the allegations of the Amended and Supplemental


Complaint constituted a sufficient cause of action against PNB and
NIDC

RULING:
NO.
 It is basic that the complaint must contain a concise statement of
the ultimate facts constituting the plaintiff’s cause of action.
“Ultimate facts” are the important and substantial facts, which
either directly form and basis of the plaintiff’s primary right, and
duty, or directly make up the wrongful acts or omissions by the
defendant.
 When the ground for dismissal is that the complaint states that the
Complaint states no cause of action, the rule is that its sufficiency
can only be determined by considering the facts alleged in the
Complaint and no other. The allegations in the complaint must be
accepted as true and it is not permissible to go beyond and
outside of them for date or facts. And the test of sufficiency of the
facts alleged is whether or not the Court could render a valid
judgment as prayed for accepting as true exclusive facts set forth
in the Complaint.
 The subject Amended and Supplemental Complaint fails to meet
the test. It is not supported by well-pleased averment of facts.
Nowhere is it alleged that defendants-appellees had notice,
information or knowledge of any flaw, much less any illegality, in
their co-defendants’ actuations, assuming that there was such a
flaw or illegality. Although it is averred that the defendant’s acts
were done in bad faith, the Complaint does not contain any
averment of facts showing that the acts were done in the manner
alleged.

Doing of an act, like extension of credit, which is lawful, does not


render one liable for tort simply because the act enables another
to accomplish a wrong.—
 What appears from the record is that PNB and NIDC came into
the picture in the ordinary and usual course of its business after
the borrowing entity had established itself as capable of being
treated as a new milling district (FFMC) is officially designated as
Mill District No, 49) because it could already operate and had its
array of adhering planters. “The doing of an act which is in itself is
perfectly lawful will not render one liable as for a tort, simply
because the unintended effect of such act is to enable or assist
another person to do or accomplish a wrong”, assuming, of
course, that there was such a wrong.

Bad faith is never presumed (Art. 527, NCC). And it has been held that
“to support a judgment for damages, facts which justify the inference of
a lack or absence of good faith must be alleged and proven.”