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Digest Author: Terence John Ardolph.

L Ang do so when he left the key to the drawer with a loaded gun without
leaving instructions.
Pacis v. Morales (2010) 11. On appeal, the CA reversed the decision and absolved respondent
from all liability.
12. The CA based their decision on the finding that no employer-
Petitioner: Alfredo P. Pacis and Cleopatra D. Pacis employee relationship exists because of the lack of control. Thus
Respondent: Jerome Jovanne Morales article 2180 does not apply. Even of such relationship existed, the
Ponencia: Carpio, J. mere act of locking the gun away is a sufficient act of diligence.

DOCTRINE: The liability of an employer under Article 2176 is primary ISSUES:

and direct, based on a person’s own negligence. A business dealing 1. WON the respondent was liable for damages on the ground of
with dangerous weapons requires the exercise of a higher degree of negligence under Article 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code
care as compared to that of a good father of a family.
1. Alfred Pacis was a 17-year-old college student. He visited the gun 1. Yes.
store of Jerome Morales, herein respondent. The store was called A higher degree of care is required of someone who posses
Top Gun. or controls an instrumentality of extremely dangerous
2. At the time of the incident the owner of the store was in Manila and character. Such person must then have a duty to take
the usual caretaker, Jarnague was also not around. exceptional precautions to prevent any injury from said
3. Before Morales left the store for Manila, he left a loaded gun, which instrumentality.
was sent to him for repairs in a locked drawer.
4. Jarnague left the keys with Matibag and Herbolario who were As a gun-store owner, the respondent is presumed to know
attending to the store. about firearm safety and should have known not to keep a
5. It was shown that Matibag and Herbolario brought the gun out and loaded gun in his store. In fact, the gun should clearly be
placed it on top of the table where Alfred began inspecting it. unloaded because it was being sent in for repairs.
6. Alfred was requested to return the gun but while he was handing it to
Matibag, the gun went off and a bullet struck Alfred in the head, The act then of the respondent in accepting the gun for
killing him. repair without first unloading it is an act of negligence. The
7. A criminal complaint for homicide was filed against Matibag but he respondent should have first unloaded the gun and kept it in
was acquitted on the ground of the exempting circumstance of a vault. Respondent himself was negligent for not exercising
accident. the degree of care and negligence required of a good father
8. The petitioners, parents of the deceased, then filed a complaint for of a family, and especially the degree of someone required in
damages against Morales. dealing with dangerous weapons.
9. The RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner and awarded them
P30,000.00 as indemnity for the death of Alfred Pacis, P29,437.65 There was also a failure to show whether or not the
as actual damages for the hospitalization and burial expenses respondent had a license to repair firearms.
incurred by the plaintiffs, P100,000.00 as compensatory damages
P100,000.00 as moral damages, P50,000.00 as attorneys fees. Disposition: Decision of the CA is reversed. Ruling of
10. The Trial court’s ruling was based on the finding that Matibag and the RTC is reinstated.
Herbolario were the employees of Pacis and thus respondent is
liable for the damages caused by his employees on the occasion of
their duties unless respondent prove that he observed the diligence
of a good father of a family to prevent damage. Respondent failed to