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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY.

JESS LOPEZ  
 
III. Negligence (Part II)
injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all
B. Negligence as Proximate Cause
constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close
causal connection within its immediate predecessor, the final event in the
21. Bataclan v. Manila (Mika)
chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the
October 22, 1957| Montemayor | Negligence as Proximate Cause
cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible
for the first event should, as an ordinarily prudent and intelligent person,
PETITIONER​: ​SALUD VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN and the minors have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an
NORMA, LUZVIMINDA, ELENITA, OSCAR and ALFREDO BATACLAN, represented injury to some person might probably result therefrom.
by their Natural guardian, SALUD VILLANUEVA VDA. DE BATACLAN,
RESPONDENTS​: MARIANO MEDINA
SUMMARY​: Bataclan, along with 18 other passengers, was riding a bus of FACTS:
Medina Transportation, owned by Mariano Medina, going to Pasay. At around Parties
● Mariano Medina: owner of Medina Transpo (bus)
2am one of the front tires burst and the vehicle began to zig-zag until it fell into a ● Conrado Saylon: driver of the bus
canal or ditch on the right side of the road and turned turtle. Some of the ● Bataclan: Petitioner and passenger; the one who died

passengers left the bus, others had to be helped or pulled out. While Bataclan and 1. Shortly after 12mn, the bus (no. 30) of Medina Transportation, owned by
the other 3 passengers could not get out of the overturned bus. There is nothing in Medina, left Cavite and going to Pasay City. The bus had a certificate of
the evidence to show that the driver/conductor, made any full attempt to pull out public convenience, was driven by Saylon and it had 18 passengers,
Bataclan and the other 3 passengers but calls or shouts for help were made to the including the driver and conductor.
houses in the neighborhood. At around 2:30am 10 men arrived and one of them 2. Bataclan was one of the passengers seated beside and to the right of the
was carrying a lighted torch made of bamboo with a wick on one end, evidently driver. Felipe Lara (Lara) was seated to the right of Bataclan and an
fueled with petroleum. These men presumably approached the overturned bus, and unknown passenger (who was called by the courts as Visaya because he’s
almost immediately, a fierce fire started, burning and all but consuming the bus, from Visayas). Lastly, Natiala Villanueava (Natalia) was seated behind all
including the 4 passengers trapped inside it. The charred bodies of Bataclan and of them.
the other 3 passengers were found on the same day. The widow of Bataclan filed a 3. 2am still in Cavite: one of the front tires burst and the vehicle began to
case for damages against Mariano Medina. CFI awarded the damages but it was zig-zag until it fell into a canal or ditch on the right side of the road and
not sufficient. Both parties appealed. turned turtle. Some of the passengers left the bus, others had to be helped or
The issues are: 1) WON the case involves a breach of contract. - YES. 2) WON pulled out. While Bataclan, Lara, Visaya, and Natalia, could not get out of
Mariano Medina is negligent. - YES. There was negligence on the part of the overturned bus.
Mariano, through his agent, Saylon (driver). 3) WON the proximate cause is the 4. The passengers who were able to leave the bus heard groans and moans
overturning of the bus. - YES. SC ruled that the proximate cause of the death of from inside the bus, particularly, shouts for help from Bataclan and Lara,
Bataclan was the overturning of the bus, this for the reason that when the vehicle who said they could not get out.
turned not only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline 5. There is nothing in the evidence to show whether or not the passengers
from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected. the coming of men of the with the already free from the wreck, including the driver and the conductor, made
torch was to be expected and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the bus, any full attempt to pull out/rescue the 4 passengers but calls or shouts for
the trapping of some of its passengers and the call for outside help. help were made to the houses in the neighborhood.
DOCTRINE: The proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the 6. 2:30am: 10 men arrived and one of them was carrying a lighted torch made
of bamboo with a wick on one end, evidently fueled with petroleum. These
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
men presumably approached the overturned bus, and almost immediately, a 4. Saylon, after the blow out, must have applied the brakes in order to stop the
fierce fire started, burning and all but consuming the bus, including the 4 bus, but because of the velocity at which the bust must have been running,
passengers trapped inside it. its momentum carried it over a distance of 150m before it fell into the canal
7. It would appear that as the bus overturned, gasoline began to leak and and turtle.
escape from the gasoline tank on the side of the chassis, spreading over and Proximate cause: overturning of the bus
permeating the body of the bus and the ground under and around it, and that 5. According to CFI: ​proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was not the
the lighted torch brought by one of the men who answered the call for help overturning of the bus, but the ​fire that burned the bus, including himself
set it on fire. and his co-passengers who were unable to leave it; that at the time the fire
8. That same day, the charred bodies of the 4 passengers were removed and started, Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical injuries, perhaps
duly identified, specially that of Bataclan. serious, was still alive, and so ​damages were awarded, not for his death, but
9. His widow, Salud Villanueva (Salud), in her name and in behalf of her 5 for the physical injuries suffered by him.
minor children, filed an action for compensatory, moral, and exemplary 6. SC disagrees. Meaning of proximate cause:
damages and atty’s fees (total: P87,150) against Mariano Medina. a. “that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence,
10. CFI awarded P1,000, plus P600 for atty’s fee, plus P100 (for the value of unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the
the merchandise being carried by Bataclan for sale which was lost in the injury, and without which the result would not have
fire). occurred”;
11. Both parties appealed to the CA but the CA endorsed the appeal to the SC b. “the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing
because of the value involved in the claim in the complaint. the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in
12. (not related to this civil case) A criminal case was filed against the driver motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of
but it was dismissed because the witness did not testify. events, each having a close causal connection within its
ISSUES: immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain
1. WON the case involves a breach of contract. - YES. immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable
2. WON Mariano Medina is negligent. - YES. result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances
3. WON the proximate cause is the overturning of the bus. - YES. that the person responsible for the first event should, as an
RATIO: ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable
Breach of Contract ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an
1. SC agrees with the CFI when it ruled that the case involves a breach of injury to some person might probably result therefrom.”
contract of transportation for hire, the Medina Transportation having 7. SC ruled that the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was the
undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to Pasay. overturning of the bus, this for the reason that when the vehicle turned
Mariano Medina is Negligent not only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the
2. SC also agrees with CFI when it ruled that there was negligence on the gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected.
part of Mariano, through his agent, Saylon. 8. The coming of the men with a lighted torch was in response to a call for
3. It was found that at the time of the blow out, the bus was speeding, and as help, made by the passengers and most probably by the driver and
shown by the fact that from the point where one of the tires burst up to the conductor themselves.
canal where the bus overturned after zig-zagging, there was a distance of 9. SC said that since it was dark, the rescuers had to carry a light with them
about 150m. (testified by the passengers and witnesses) since no lanterns or flashlights were available (rural area); what was more

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
natural than that said rescuers should innocently approach the overturned 15. All in all, there is reason to believe that the driver operated and drove the
vehicle to extend the aid and effect the rescue requested from them. bus negligently, resulting in the death of 4 passengers, physical injuries to
10. Basically, the coming of men of the with the torch was to be expected others and completed loss and destruction of the goods.
and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the bus, the trapping 16. The criminal case against the driver was dismissed because the witness
of some of its passengers and the call for outside help. failed to appear or reluctantly testify. But the record of the case before us
Negligence of the driver shows that several witnesses, passengers in that bus, willingly and
11. The burning of the bus can also in part be attributed to the negligence unhesitatingly testified in court to the effect that the said driver was
of the carrier through its driver and conductor. negligent. In the public interest, the prosecution of said erring driver should
12. According to the witnesses, the driver and the conductor were on the road be pursued, this, not only as a matter of justice, but for the promotion of the
walking back and forth. They/ driver should and must have known that in safety of passengers on public utility buses
the position in which the overturned bus was, gasoline could and must have Amount of damages
leaked from the gasoline tank and soaked the area in and around the bus, 17. SC said Salud and fam should be awarded P6,000 for compensatory, moral,
this aside from the fact that gasoline when spilled, specially over a large and other damages. They are also entitled to atty’s fees fixed at P800. The
area, can be smelt and detected even from a distance, and yet neither the award of P100 for the merch lost was sustained by the SC.
driver nor the conductor would appear to have cautioned or taken steps to
warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted torch too near the bus. Said In view of the foregoing, with the modi cation that the damages awarded by the trial court are increased
from ONE THOUSAND (P1,000) PESOS to SIX THOUSAND (P6,000) PESOS, and from SIX
negligence on the part of the agents of the carrier come under the codal
HUNDRED PESOS TO EIGHT HUNDRED (P800) PESOS, for the death of Bataclan and for attorney's
provisions Articles 1733, 1759 and 1763.1 fees, respectively, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs.
13. One of the injured passengers in the hospital, heard Mariano talk to the bus SEPARATE OPINIONS:
inspector and Mariano said that the tires must be changed immediately CONCURRING:
because they were already old and that Mariano had been telling the driver
to change the tires but he did not follow his instructions.
14. SC said that if ^ that’s true, it proves that the driver had not been diligent
and had not taken the necessary precautions to insure the safety of his
passengers. Had he changed the tires, especially those in front, as he had
been instructed to do, probably, the blow would not have occurred.

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"​ART. 1733. ​Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are bound to observe
extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the safety of the passengers transported by them,
according to all the circumstances of each case.
Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in articles 1734, 1735, and 1745, Nos. 5,
6, and 7 while the extraordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers is further set forth in articles 1755 and 1756."
"​ART. 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the negligence or wilful acts
of the former's employees, although such employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of
the orders of the common carriers.
This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of their employees."
"​ART. 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account of the wilful acts or
negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the common carrier's employees through the exercise of the diligence of
a good father of a family could have prevented or stopped the act or omission."

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
22. Urbano v. IAC (Sel) incident or more than 14 days after the infliction of the wound. Therefore, the
1988 | Gutierrez | Negligence as Proximate Cause onset time should have been more than six days. Javier, however, died on the
PETITIONER​: Filomeno Urbano second day from the onset time. The more credible conclusion is that at the time
RESPONDENTS​: Intermediate Appellate Court Javier's wound was inflicted by Urbano, the severe form of tetanus that killed
him was not yet present. Consequently, Javier's wound could have been infected
SUMMARY​: Urbano went to his ricefield at San Fabian, Pangasinan. He found with tetanus after the hacking incident. Considering the circumstance
the place where he stored his palay flooded with water coming from the surrounding Javier's death, his wound could have been infected by tetanus 2 or 3
irrigation canal nearby which had overflowed. Urbano went to the elevated or a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died. The medical findings, however,
portion of the canal to see what happened and there he saw Javier and Emilio lead us to a distinct possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus was an
cutting grass. He asked them who was responsible for the opening of the efficient intervening cause later or between the time Javier was wounded to the
irrigation canal and Javier said he was the one. Urbano then got angry and time of his death. The infection was, therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime.
demanded that Javier pay for his sokaed palay. Urbano unsheathed his bolo and There is a likelihood that the wound was but the ​remote cause and its subsequent
hacked Javier hitting him on the right palm of his hand. Later on, upon the infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with tetanus may have been
intercession of the barrio councilman, Urbano and Javier agreed to settle their the ​proximate cause​ of Javier’s death with which Urbano had nothing to do.
differences. 22 days after the incident, Javier was rushed to Nazareth General
Hospital in a very serious condition. Javier had lockjaw and was having DOCTRINE: ​A prior and remote cause cannot be made the be of an action if
convulsions. Moreover, the doctor who attended to him found that Javier’s such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the
serious serious condition was caused by tetanus toxin. He noticed the presence occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there intervened between
of a healing wound in Javier’s palm which could have been infected by tetanus. such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated, and
He died the next day. Urbano was then charged with the crime of homicide. efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have happened
Upon arraignment, Urbano pleaded not guilty. After trial, the RTC found him but for such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in the condition except
guilty as charged. The appellate court affirmed the conviction but raised the because of the independent cause, such condition was not the proximate cause.
award of indemnity from 12k to 30k. Urbano argues that the proximate cause of And if an independent negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the
Javier’s death was due to his own negligence for going back to work without his instances which result in injury because of the prior defective condition, such
wound being properly healed. Furthermore, he argued that Javier got infected subsequent act or condition is the proximate cause.
with tetanus when after 2 weeks, he returned to his farm and tended his tobacco FACTS:
plants with his bare hands exposing the wound to harmful elements like tetanus 1. At about 8am, Filomeno Urbano (Urbano) went to his ricefield at San
germs. Issue: ​Was there was an efficient intervening cause from the time Fabian, Pangasinan located about 100 meters from the tobacco seedbed of
Javier was wounded until his death which would exculpate Urbano from Marcelo Javier (Javier).
any liability for Javier’s death? YES. 2. He found the place where he stored his palay flooded with water coming
from the irrigation canal nearby which had overflowed. Urbano went to the
Proximate cause is that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, elevated portion of the canal to see what happened and there he saw Javier
unbroken by an efficient intervening cause, produced the injury, and without and Emilio cutting grass. He asked them who was responsible for the
which the result would not have occurred. Given the set of facts, it’s more opening of the irrigation canal and Javier said he was the one.
medically probable that Javier was infected only with a mild cause of tetanus 3. Urbano then got angry and demanded that Javier pay for his sokaed palay.
because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd days after the hacking A quarrel between them ensued. Urbano unsheathed his bolo (2ft long
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
including the handle and 2inches wide) and hacked Javier hitting him on the 17. The lower courts ruled that Javier’s death was the natural and logical
right palm of his hand, which was used in parrying the bolo hack. consequence of Urbano’s unlawful act. True, Javier did not die right awat
4. Javier who was then unarmed ran away but was overtaken by Urbano who but the cause of his death was due to said wound which was inflicted by
hacked him again hitting Javier on the left leg with the back portion of the Urbano.
bolo causing a swelling on said leg. When Urbano tried to hack and inflict 18. Urbano argues that the proximate cause of Javier’s death was due to his
further injury, his daughter embraced and prevented him. own negligence for going back to work without his wound being properly
5. Immediately after, Antonio, Emilio, and Felipe brought Javier to his house healed. Furthermore, he argued that Javier got infected with tetanus when
about 50 meters away from where the incident happened. after 2 weeks, he returned to his farm and tended his tobacco plants with his
6. Emilio then went to the Barangay Captain’s house but he wasn’t there so he bare hands exposing the wound to harmful elements like tetanus germs.
looked for the barrio councilman instead.
7. The barrio councilman suggested that they go to the police station to report ISSUES:
the incident. 1. Was there was an efficient intervening cause from the time Javier was
8. Javier was then brought to a physican, Dr. Padilla, a rural health physician, wounded until his death which would exculpate Urbano from any
who did not attend to Javier but instead suggested that they go to Dr. liability for Javier’s death? YES
Meneses because the former had no available medicine.
9. Dr. Meneses treated Javier. Javier then went back to Dr. Padillo who RATIO:
conducted a medico-legal exam. 1. The case involves Article 4 of the RPC: “criminal liability shall be incurred:
10. Later on, upon the intercession of the barrio councilman, Urbano and Javier (a) by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be
agreed to settle their differences. Urbano promised to pay Php700 for the different from that which he intended…”
medical expenses of Javier. Then, the two appeared before the San Fabian 2. Pursuant to such provision, an accused is criminally responsible for acts
police to formalize their amicable settlement, which was recorded in the committed by him in violation of law and for all the natural and logical
police blotter. consequences resulting from it.
11. Urbano advanced Php400 to Javier at the police station. The additional 3. It’s clear that Javier was hacked by Urbano who used a bolo as a result of
Php300 was given to Javier at Urbano’s house in the presence of the which Javier suffered a 2-inch incised wound on his right palm. 22 days
barangay captain. after the incident, Javier was rushed to the hospital in a very serious
12. Some days after, at around 1:30am, Javier was rushed to Nazareth General condition and he died from tetanus the following day.
Hospital in a very serious condition. Javier had lockjaw and was having 4. The evidence on record does not clearly show that the wound inflicted by
convulsions. Urbano was infected with tetanus at the time of the infliction of the wound.
13. Moreover, the doctor who attended to him found that Javier’s serious The evidence merely confirms that the wound, which was already healing at
serious condition was caused by tetanus toxin. He noticed the presence of a the time Javier suffered the symptoms of the fatal ailment, somehow got
healing wound in Javier’s palm which could have been infected by tetanus. infected with tetanus. However, as to when the wound was infected is not
14. At exactly 4:18pm, Javier died in the hospital. clear from the record.
15. Urbano was then charged with the crime of homicide. Upon arraignment, 5. Definition of proximate cause: That cause, which, in natural and
Urbano pleaded not guilty. After trial, the RTC found him guilty as charged. continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient intervening cause,
The appellate court affirmed the conviction but raised the award of produced the injury, and without which the result would not have
indemnity from 12k to 30k. occurred.
16. Urbano filed an MR and/or MNT. Motion was denied.
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
6. What is the nature of tetanus? The incubation period of tetanus (the time 14. A prior and remote cause cannot be made the be of an action if such
between injury and the appearance of unmistakable symptoms) ranges from remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise
2 to 56 days. However, over 80 percent of patients become symptomatic to the occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there
within 14 days. A short incubation period indicates severe disease, and intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a
when symptoms occur within 2 or 3 days of injury the mortality rate distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even
approaches 100 percent. Reflex spasm usually occur within 24 to 72 hours though such injury would not have happened but for such condition or
of the first symptom, an inerval referred to as the onset time. Also, mild occasion.
tetanus is characterized by an incubation period of at least 14 days and an 15. If no danger existed in the condition except because of the independent
onset time of more than 6 days. cause, such condition was not the proximate cause. And if an
7. Thus, medically speaking, the reaction to tetanus found inside a man’s body independent negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the
depends on the incubation period of the disease. instances which result in injury because of the prior defective
8. Given the set of facts, it’s more medically probable that Javier was condition, such subsequent act or condition is the proximate cause.
infected only with a mild cause of tetanus because the symptoms of 16. We must stress tho that our discussion of proximate cause and remote cause
tetanus appeared on the 22nd days after the hacking incident or more is limited to the crimnial aspects of this rather unusual case. It does not
than 14 days after the infliction of the wound. necessarily follow that the petitioner is also free of civil liability. The
9. Therefore, the onset time should have been more than six days. Javier, well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally liable, may still
however, died on the second day from the onset time. The more be civilly liable
credible conclusion is that at the time Javier's wound was inflicted by 17. The respondent court increased the 12k indemnification imposed by the trial
Urbano, the severe form of tetanus that killed him was not yet present. court to 30k. However, since the indemnification was based solely on the
10. Consequently, ​Javier's wound could have been infected with tetanus finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt in the homicide case, the civil
after the hacking incident. Considering the circumstance surrounding liability of the Urbano was not thoroughly examined. This aspect of the case
Javier's death, his wound could have been infected by tetanus 2 or 3 or calls for fuller development if the heirs of the victim are so minded.
a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died.
11. The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct, natural, and
logical consequence of the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. And
since we are dealing with a criminal conviction, the proof that the accused
caused the victim's death must convince a rational mind beyond reasonable
doubt.
12. The medical findings, however, lead us to a distinct possibility that the
infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause
later or between the time Javier was wounded to the time of his death.
The infection was, therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime.
13. There is a likelihood that the wound was but the ​remote cause and its
subsequent infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with
tetanus may have been the ​proximate cause of Javier’s death with which
Urbano had nothing to do.

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
23. Abrogar v. Cosmos Bottling Co. (Marian) DOCTRINE:
15 Mar. 2017 | J. Bersamin | Proximate Cause - Elements Proximate cause as defined in ​Vda. de Bataclan, et al. v. Medina is defined
extensively as: ​[NCS / EIC / I / R]
PETITIONER​: ROMULO ABROGAR and ERLINDA ABROGAR 1. that cause, which, in ​natural and continuous sequence,
RESPONDENTS​: COSMOS BOTTLING COMPANY and INTERGAMES, INC 2. unbroken by any ​efficient intervening cause,
3. produces the ​injury​ and
SUMMARY​: Rommel Abrogar joined the "1st Pop Cola Junior Marathon" 4. without which the​ result would not have occurred​.'
organized by Intergames with Cosmos as a sponsor. This race was held on a Any cause intervening between the first wrongful cause and the final injury which
10-kilometer course starting from the premises of the Interim Batasang Pambansa might reasonably have been foreseen or anticipated by the original wrongdoer is ​not
(IBP for brevity), through public roads and streets, to end at the Quezon Memorial such an efficient intervening cause.
Circle. Rommel died along the race because he was bumped by a jeepney that was
then running along the route of the marathon on Don Mariano Marcos Avenue it was FACTS:
later found that the jeep was racing against a minibus and the two vehicles were 1. This case involves a claim for damages arising from negligence causing the
trying to crowd each other. Sps. Abrogar [parents] filed a case for damages against death of a participant in an organized marathon bumped by a passenger
Cosmos and Inergames. Cosmos and Intergames denied liability putting up jeepney on the route of the race
arguments such as diligence on their part. The RTC ruled in favor of Sps. Abrogar 2. This is an appeal instituted by the parents [​Sps. Abrogar​] of the late
finding that the safeguards for the race were not sufficient to be deemed compliant Rommel Abrogar, [​Rommel​] a marathon runner, who seeks to reverse the
with the diligence required of the organizers. CA reversed the RTC and held that CA decision which reversed the RTC decision finding respondents Cosmos
Intergames had sufficient marshalls and safeguards placed for the event. ​The issue is Bottling Company (​Cosmos​), a domestic soft-drinks company whose
WON Intergames’s & Cosmos’s respective negligence were the proximate cause of products included Pop Cola, and Intergames, Inc. (​Intergames​), also a
Rommel’s death. The SC held that Intergames’s negligence is the proximate cause domestic corporation organizing and supervising the "1st Pop Cola Junior
but for Cosmos, it is not. There are three reasons why Intergames’s negligence is the Marathon"
proximate cause: 3. [T]o promote the sales of "Pop Cola", defendant Cosmos, jointly with
1. Intergames did not conduct the race in a road blocked off from vehicular Intergames, organized an endurance running contest billed as the "1st Pop
traffic, and in not properly coordinating the volunteer personnel manning Cola Junior Marathon" scheduled to be held on June 15, 1980. The
the marathon route organizers plotted a 10-kilometer course starting from the premises of the
2. The injury to the participants arising from an unfortunate vehicular accident Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP for brevity), through public roads and
on the route was an event known to and foreseeable by Intergames streets, to end at the Quezon Memorial Circle
3. Thirdly, the negligence of the jeepney driver, albeit an intervening cause, 4. Rommel applied to join the marathon and as it turned out, the Cosmos &
was ​not efficient enough to break the chain of connection between the Intergames [​C&I​] failed to provide adequate safety and precautionary
negligence of Intergames and the injurious consequence suffered by measures and to exercise the diligence required of them by the nature of
Rommel. their undertaking
a. they failed to insulate and protect the participants of the marathon
from the vehicular and other dangers along the marathon route.
Rommel was bumped by a jeepney that was then running along the
route of the marathon on Don Mariano Marcos Avenue
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
b. In spite of medical treatment given to him at the Ospital ng Bagong i. The trial court in its decision said that the accident in
Lipunan, he died later that same day due to severe head injuries. question could have been avoided if the route of the
5. Sps. Abrogar sued C&I at QC CFI to recover damages for Rommel’s death marathon was blocked off from the regular traffic, instead
a. Cosmos denied liability, insisting that it had not been the organizer of allowing the runners to run together with the flow of
of the marathon, but only its sponsor; that its participation had traffic.
been limited to providing financial assistance to Intergames ii. This Court finds that the standard of conduct used by the
b. Cosmos, in its, cross-claim against Intergames, stating that the trial court is not the ordinary conduct of a prudent man in
latter had guaranteed to hold Cosmos "completely free and such a given situation
harmless from any claim or action for liability for any injuries or iii. In this case, the marathon was allowed by the Northern
bodily harm which may be sustained by any of the entries in the Police District, MPF, Quezon City on the condition that
'1st Pop Cola Junior Marathon' or for any damage to the property the road should not be blocked off from traffic.
or properties of third parties [basically Cosmos wants Intergames Intergames had no choice. It had to comply with it or else
to be solely liable for this] the said marathon would not be allowed at all.
c. Intergames asserted that Rommel's death had been an accident iv. Spouses failed to prove that there was inadequate number
exclusively caused by the negligence of the jeepney driver; that it of marshals, police officers, and personnel because they
was not responsible for the accident; that as the marathon failed to prove what number is considered adequate. This
organizer, it did not assume the responsibilities of an insurer of the court considers that seven (7) traffic operatives, ve (5)
safety of the participants; that it nevertheless caused the motorcycle policemen, fifteen (15) patrolmen deployed
participants to be covered with accident insurance, but the along the route, fifteen (15) boyscouts, twelve (12) CATs,
petitioners refused to accept the proceeds twenty (20) barangay tanods, three (3) ambulances and
6. RTC: Awarded damages to Sps. Abrogar three (3) medical teams were sufficient to stage a safe
a. Safeguards placed by Intergames in conducting the marathon fell marathon.
short of the required due diligence for the race v. It appears that Rommel Abrogar, while running on Don
b. Intergames cannot be excused from liability by hiding behind the Mariano Marcos Avenue and after passing the Philippine
waiver executed by Rommel and the permission given to him by Atomic Energy Commission Building, was bumped by a
his parents because the waiver could only be effective for risks jeepney which apparently was racing against a minibus
inherent in the marathon, such as stumbling, heat stroke, heart and the two vehicles were trying to crowd each other. In
attack during the race, severe exhaustion and similar occurrences fact, a criminal case was filed against the jeepney driver
c. Cosmos, the sponsor of the event, had been the principal mover of by reason of his having killed Rommel Abrogar.
the event, and, as such, had derived benefits from the marathon vi. This proves that the death of Rommel Abrogar was
that in turn had carried responsibilities towards the participants and caused by the negligence of the jeepney driver. Rommel
the public; its agreement with Intergames to free Cosmos from any Abrogar cannot be faulted because he was performing a
liability had been an agreement binding only between them legal act; the marathon was conducted with the
7. CA: Set aside the decision of the RTC. permission and approval of all the city officials involved.
a. On WON Intergames was negligent → Intergames was not He had the right to be there. Neither can the appellant
negligent in organizing the said marathon. Intergames be faulted, as the organizer of the said

8
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
marathon, because it was not negligent in conducting the for the death of Rommel Abrogar, appellants-spouses are not
marathon. entitled to actual, moral, exemplary damages as well as for the
vii. In this case, appellant Romulo Abrogar himself admitted "loss of earning capacity" of their son. The third and fourth issues
that his son, Rommel Abrogar, surveyed the route of the are thus moot and academic.
marathon and even attended a briefing before the race. 8. Hence this petition.
Consequently, he was aware that the marathon would pass
through a national road and that the said road would not ISSUES:
be blocked off from traffic 1. WON Intergames' conduct of the marathon the proximate cause of the death
viii. Furthermore, where a person voluntarily participates in a of Rommel Abrogar ⇒ Yes. SC holds that the negligence of Intergames
lawful game or contest, he assumes the ordinary risks of was the proximate cause despite the intervening negligence of the jeepney
such game or contest so as to preclude recovery from the driver.
promoter or operator of the game or contest for injury or
death resulting therefrom. [citing McLeod Store v. RATIO:
Vinson] [Review of facts needed because RTC & CA’s findings are conflicting; you can
b. On WON Cosmos is solidarily liable → Cosmos must also be skip this, SC just adds facts why Intergames is negligent]
absolved from any liability in the instant case. 1. SC considers the "safeguards" employed and adopted by Intergames not
i. From the sponsorship contract, it is crystal clear that the adequate to meet the requirement of due diligence. For one, the police
role of the appellant Cosmos was limited to providing authorities specifically prohibited Intergames from blocking Don Mariano
financial assistance in the form of sponsorship. Marcos Highway in order not to impair road accessibility to the residential
ii. To hold Cosmos liable for torts, it must be clearly shown villages located beyond the IBP Lane. However, contrary to the findings of
that he is the proximate cause of the harm done to the the CA, Intergames had a choice on where to stage the marathon,
plaintiff. The nexus or connection of the cause and effect, considering its admission of the sole responsibility for the conduct of the
between a negligent act and the damage done, must be event, including the choice of location.
established by competent evidence. 2. Based on the foregoing testimony of Castro, Jr., Intergames had full
iii. In this case, Cosmos was not negligent in entering into a awareness of the higher risks involved in staging the race alongside running
contract with the Intergames considering that the record vehicles, and had the option to hold the race in a route where such risks
of the latter was clean and that it has conducted at least could be minimized, if not eliminated. But it did not heed the danger
thirty (30) road races. already foreseen, if not expected, and went ahead with staging the race
iv. Also there is no direct or immediate causal connection along the plotted route on Don Mariano Marcos Highway on the basis of its
between the financial sponsorship and the death of supposedly familiarity with the route. Such familiarity of the organizer with
Rommel Abrogar. The singular act of providing financial the route and the fact that previous races had been conducted therein
assistance without participating in any manner in the without any untoward incident were not in themselves sufficient safeguards
conduct of the marathon cannot be palmed off as such 3. The evidence presented undoubtedly established that Intergames' notion of
proximate cause. coordination only involved informing the cooperating agencies of the date
c. On WON Sps Abrogar are entitled for “loss of earning capacity” of of the race, the starting and ending points of the route, and the places along
Rommel & On WON Sps Abrogar should be compensated for the route to man. Intergames did not conduct any general assembly with all
damages → In view of the fact that both defendants are not liable of them, being content with holding a few sporadic meetings with the
9
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
leaders of the coordinating agencies. It held no briefings of any kind on the 3. Proximate cause as defined in ​Vda. de Bataclan, et al. v. Medina is defined
actual duties to be performed by each group of volunteers prior to the race. extensively as: ​[NCS / EIC / I / R]
It did not instruct the volunteers on how to minimize, if not avert, the risks a. that cause, which, in ​natural and continuous sequence,
of danger in manning the race, despite such being precisely why their b. unbroken by any ​efficient intervening cause,
assistance had been obtained in the first place. c. produces the ​injury​ and
4. Intergames had no right to assume that the volunteers had already been d. without which the​ result would not have occurred​.'
aware of what exactly they would be doing during the race. It had the 4. To be considered the proximate cause of the injury, the negligence need not
responsibility and duty to give to them the proper instructions despite their be the event closest in time to the injury; a cause is still proximate, although
experience from the past races it had organized considering that the farther in time in relation to the injury, if the happening of it set other
particular race related to runners of a different level of experience, and foreseeable events into motion resulting ultimately in the damage
involved different weather and environmental conditions, and traffic 5. Bouvier adds: The question of proximate cause is said to be determined, not
situations by the existence or non-existence of intervening events, but by their
5. It is relevant to note that the participants of the 1st Pop Cola Junior character and the natural connection between the original act or omission
Marathon were mostly minors aged 14 to 18 years joining a race of that and the injurious consequences. When the intervening cause is set in
kind for the first time. The combined factors of their youth, eagerness and operation by the original negligence, such negligence is still the proximate
inexperience ought to have put a reasonably prudent organizer on higher cause; x x x If the party guilty of the first act of negligence might have
guard as to their safety and security needs during the race, especially anticipated the intervening cause, the connection is not broken; Any number
considering Intergames' awareness of the risks already foreseen and of other of causes and effects may intervene, and if they are such as might with
risks already known to it as of similar events in the past organizer reasonable diligence have been foreseen, the last result is to be considered
as the proximate result. But whenever a new cause intervenes, which is not
[Important: The negligence of Intergames as the organizer was the proximate a consequence of the first wrongful cause, which is not under control of the
cause of the death of Rommel] wrongdoer, which could not have been foreseen by the exercise of
1. As aforementioned, CA found that Rommel, while running the marathon on reasonable diligence, and except for which the final injurious consequence
Don Mariano Marcos Avenue and after passing the Philippine Atomic could not have happened, then such injurious consequence must be deemed
Energy Commission Building, was bumped by a passenger jeepney that was too remote
racing with a minibus and two other vehicles as if trying to crowd each 6. In this case, the negligence of Intergames was the proximate cause of the
other out [Intergames insists it is not liable or if it were ​the jeepney driver death of Rommel; and that the negligence of the jeepney driver was not an
was the proximate cause of Rommel’s death​] efficient intervening cause because:
2. In ​Vda. de Gregorio v. Go Chong Bing​ it was held that: a. Intergames' is negligent in not conducting the race in a road
a. In order to establish his right to a recovery, plaintiff must establish blocked off from vehicular traffic, and in not properly coordinating
by competent evidence: the volunteer personnel manning the marathon route effectively set
i. Damages to the plaintiff. the stage for the injury complained of. Their past races which were
ii. Negligence by act or omission of which defendant accident-free just got lucky
personally or some person for whose acts it must respond, b. Secondly, injury to the participants arising from an unfortunate
was guilty. vehicular accident on the route was an event known to and
iii. The connection of cause and effect between the foreseeable by Intergames, which could then have been avoided if
negligence and the damage. only Intergames had acted with due diligence by undertaking the
10
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
race on a blocked-off road, and if only Intergames had enforced [The doctrine of assumption of risk had no application to Rommel]
and adopted more efficient supervision of the race through its 1. As a defense in negligence cases, therefore, the doctrine requires the
volunteers. concurrence of three elements, namely: (1) the plaintiff must know that the
c. Thirdly, the negligence of the jeepney driver, albeit an intervening risk is present; (2) he must further understand its nature; and (3) his choice
cause, was ​not efficient enough to break the chain of connection to incur it must be free and voluntary.
between the negligence of Intergames and the injurious 2. Rommel could not have assumed the risk of death when he participated in
consequence suffered by Rommel. An intervening cause, to be the race because death was neither a known nor normal risk incident to
considered efficient, must be "one not produced by a wrongful act running a race. Although he had surveyed the route prior to the race and
or omission, but independent of it, and adequate to bring the should be presumed to know that he would be running the race alongside
injurious results. ​Any cause intervening between the first moving vehicular traffic, such knowledge of the general danger was not
wrongful cause and the final injury which might reasonably enough, for some authorities have required that the knowledge must be of
have been foreseen or anticipated by the original wrongdoer is the specific risk that caused the harm to him
not such an efficient intervening cause as will relieve the original
wrong of its character as the proximate cause of the final injury. [Damages]
1. Article 2231 of the Civil Code stipulates that exemplary damages are to be
[Important: Cosmos is not liable for the negligence of Intergames as the awarded in cases of quasi-delict if the defendant acted with gross
organizer] negligence. In this case, there was gross negligence on Intergames’ part.
1. CA did not err in absolving Cosmos from liability 2. The RTC did not recognize the right of the petitioners to recover the loss of
2. The sponsorship of the marathon by Cosmos was limited to financing the earning capacity of Rommel. It should have, for doing so would have
race. Cosmos did nothing beyond that, and did not involve itself at all in the conformed to jurisprudence whereby the Court has unhesitatingly allowed
preparations for the actual conduct of the race. This verity was expressly such recovery in respect of children, students and other non-working or still
confirmed by Intergames, through Intergames President Castro, Jr., who unemployed victims. The legal basis for doing so is Article 2206 (1) of the
declared as follows: Civil Code
a. The sponsor has nothing to do as well as its code of the race
because they are not the ones running
b. They have no right to who (sic) suggest the location, the number of SEPARATE OPINIONS:
runners CONCURRING:
3. In the absence of evidence showing that Cosmos had a hand in the
organization of the race, and took part in the determination of the route for
the race and the adoption of the action plan, including the safety and
security measures for the benefit of the runners, we cannot but conclude that
the requirement for the direct or immediate causal connection between the
financial sponsorship of Cosmos and the death of Rommel simply did not
exist. Indeed, Cosmos' mere sponsorship of the race was, legally speaking,
too remote to be the efficient and proximate cause of the injurious
consequences.

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
24. Calalas v. Court of Appeals (rhald) by law itself. But, where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between the
May 31, 2000 | Mendoza, J. | Negligence - parties, it is the parties themselves who create the obligation, and the function of
PETITIONER​: VICENTE CALALAS the law is merely to regulate the relation thus created.
RESPONDENTS​: ELIZA JUJEURCHE SUNGA and FRANCISCO SALVA
Also, SC found the following negligence on the part of Calalas: (1) the jeepney
SUMMARY​: was not properly parked, its rear portion being exposed about two meters from
Sunga, then a college freshman majoring in Physical Education at the Siliman the broad shoulders of the highway, and facing the middle of the highway in a
University, rode a passenger jeepney owned and operated by petitioner Vicente diagonal angle; (2) it is undisputed that petitioner’s driver took in more
Calalas. As the jeepney was filled to capacity of about 24 passengers, Sunga was passengers than the allowed seating capacity of the jeepney, a violation of
given by the conductor an "extension seat," a wooden stool at the back of the S32(a) of the same law; and (3) this is not a fortuitous event as Calalas should
door at the rear end of the vehicle. The jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. have foreseen the danger of parking his jeepney with its body protruding two
Someone had to step down so she had to give way. Just as she was doing so, an meters into the highway.
Isuzu truck driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco Salva bumped
the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was injured. She sustained DOCTRINE:
a fracture of the distal third of the left tibia-fibula with severe necrosis of the The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasi-delict, not
underlying skin. She filed a complaint against the Jeepney driver, Calalas, for in actions involving breach of contract.
breach of contract. Lower court took cognizance of the fact that the Calalas filed The doctrine is a device for imputing liability to a person where there is no
a case on the basis of QD against Verena (driver) and Salva (owner). Trial Court relation between him and another party. In such a case, the obligation is created
ruled that it was Salva and Verena and not Calalas who was ultimately negligent. by law itself. But, where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between the
Appeal to CA: Reversal, because the cause of action of Sunga is Breach of parties, it is the parties themselves who create the obligation, and the function of
Contract of Carriage and not of QD. Issue: Who is negligent in this case the law is merely to regulate the relation thus created. Insofar as contracts of
concerning Sunga? carriage are concerned, some aspects regulated by the Civil Code are those
respecting the diligence required of common carriers with regard to the safety of
SC said that it was Calalas. The Civil Case No. 3940 was between the jeepney passengers as well as the presumption of negligence in cases of death or injury
driver and the owner of the Isuzu van. Sunga is not a party thereto. The issue in to passengers
Civil Case No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena were liable for
quasi-delict for the damage caused to petitioner’s jeepney. The issue in this case FACTS:
is whether petitioner is liable on his contract of carriage. There is a presumption 1. At 10 o’clock in the morning of August 23, 1989, ​Eliza Jujeurche G.
triggered given that the action can be prosecuted merely by proving the Sunga​, then a college freshman majoring in ​Physical Education at the
existence of the contract and the fact that the obligor, in this case the common Siliman University, rode a passenger ​jeepney owned and operated by
carrier, failed to transport his passenger safely to his destination. petitioner Vicente Calalas​. As the jeepney was filled to capacity of about
24 passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an "extension seat," ​a
The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasi-delict, not wooden stool at the back of the door​ at the rear end of the vehicle.
in actions involving breach of contract. 2. On the way to Poblacion Sibulan, Negros Occidental, the jeepney stopped
The doctrine is a device for imputing liability to a person where there is no to let a passenger off. Someone had to step down so she had to give way.
relation between him and another party. In such a case, the obligation is created

12
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
3. Just as she was doing so, an ​Isuzu truck ​driven by ​Iglecerio Verena and 1. Whether the Verena (the driver of the Isuzu truck) is negligent and was the
owned by ​Francisco Salva​ bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. proximate cause of the injury sustained by Sunga? No. There was a contract
a. As a result, Sunga was injured. She sustained a fracture of the of carriage between Sunga and Calalas
"distal third of the left tibia-fibula with severe necrosis of the 2. Whether the pronouncement that Verana was guilty of negligence in another
underlying skin." Closed reduction of the fracture, long leg circular civil case binds Sunga? No.
casting, and case wedging were done under sedation. Her
confinement in the hospital lasted from August 23 to September 7, RATIO:
1989. Her attending physician, Dr. Danilo V. Oligario, an 1. Civil Case No. 3940 was between the jeepney driver and the owner of the
orthopedic surgeon, certified she would remain on a ​cast for a Isuzu van. Sunga is not a party thereto.
period of three months ​and would have to ambulate in crutches 2. The issue in Civil Case No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena
during said period. were liable for quasi-delict for the damage caused to petitioner’s jeepney.
4. On October 9, 1989, Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, 3. The issue in this case is whether petitioner is liable on his contract of
alleging ​violation of the contract of carriage by the former in failing to carriage​.
exercise the diligence required of him as a common carrier. a. The first, quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra
5. Calalas (the Jeepney driver), on the other hand, filed a third-party complaint contractual, has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor;
against Francisco Salva, the owner of the Isuzu truck. i. In quasi-delict, the negligence or fault should be clearly
6. The lower court rendered judgment, against Salva as third-party defendant established because it is the basis of the action.
and absolved Calalas of liability, holding that it was the driver of the b. The second, breach of contract or culpa contractual, is premised
Isuzu truck who was responsible for the accident. It took cognizance of upon the negligence in the performance of a contractual obligation;
another case (Civil Case 3490), filed by Calalas against Salva and Verena, i. in breach of contract, the action can be prosecuted merely
for quasi-delict​, in which Branch 37 of the same court held Salva and his by proving the existence of the contract and the fact that
driver Verena jointly liable to Calalas for the damage to his jeepney. the obligor, in this case the common carrier, failed to
7. On appeal to the CA, the ruling of the lower court was reversed on the transport his passenger safely to his destination.
ground that Sunga’s cause of action was based on a contract of carriage​, 4. There is, thus, no basis for the contention that the ruling in Civil Case
not quasi-delict, and that the common carrier failed to exercise the diligence No. 3490, finding Salva and his driver Verena liable for the damage to
required under the Civil Code. The appellate court dismissed the third-party petitioner’s jeepney, should be binding on Sunga.
complaint against Salva and adjudged Calalas liable for damages to Sunga. 5. It is immaterial that the proximate cause of the collision between the
8. Hence, this petition. jeepney and the truck was the negligence of the truck driver.
9. Petitioner contends that the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490 that the 6. The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for
negligence of Verena was the proximate cause of the accident negates his quasi-delict, not in actions involving breach of contract.
liability and that to rule otherwise would be to make the common carrier an 7. The doctrine is a device for imputing liability to a person where there is no
insurer of the safety of its passengers. He contends that the bumping of the relation between him and another party. In such a case, the obligation is
jeepney by the truck owned by Salva was a caso fortuito. Petitioner further created by law itself. But, ​where there is a pre-existing contractual
assails the award of moral damages to Sunga on the ground that it is not relation between the parties, it is the parties themselves who create the
supported by evidence. obligation, and the function of the law is merely to regulate the relation
thus created​. Insofar as contracts of carriage are concerned, some aspects
ISSUES: regulated by the Civil Code are those respecting the diligence required of
13
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
common carriers with regard to the safety of passengers as well as the items enumerated under Art. 2219 of the Civil Code. 5 As an
presumption of negligence in cases of death or injury to passengers exception, such damages are recoverable: (1) in cases in which the
8. In the case at bar, upon the happening of the accident, the presumption of mishap results in the death of a passenger, as provided in Art.
negligence at once arose, and it became the duty of petitioner to prove that 1764, in relation to Art. 2206(3) of the Civil Code; and (2) in the
he had to observe extraordinary diligence in the care of his passengers. cases in which the carrier is guilty of fraud or bad faith, as
9. Now, did the driver of jeepney carry Sunga "safely as far as human care and provided in Art. 2220.
foresight could provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, b. In this case, there is no legal basis for awarding moral damages
with due regard for all the circumstances" as required by Art. 1755? We do since there was no factual finding by the appellate court that
not think so. Several factors militate against petitioner’s contention. petitioner acted in bad faith in the performance of the contract of
a. First, as found by the Court of Appeals, the jeepney was not carriage. Sunga’s contention that petitioner’s admission in open
properly parked, its rear portion being exposed about two meters court that the driver of the jeepney failed to assist her in going to a
from the broad shoulders of the highway, and facing the middle of nearby hospital cannot be construed as an admission of bad faith.
the highway in a diagonal angle. The fact that it was the driver of the Isuzu truck who took her to
i. This is a violation of the R.A. No. 4136, as amended, or the hospital does not imply that petitioner was utterly indifferent to
the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which the plight of his injured passenger. If at all, it is merely implied
provides: “SECTION 54. Obstruction of Traffic. — No recognition by Verena that he was the one at fault for the accident.
person shall drive his motor vehicle in such a manner as
to obstruct or impede the passage of any vehicle, nor,
while discharging or taking on passengers or loading or
unloading freight, obstruct the free passage of other
vehicles on the highway.”
b. Second, it is undisputed that petitioner’s driver took in more
passengers than the allowed seating capacity of the jeepney, a
violation of S32(a) of the same law.
c. We find it hard to give serious thought to petitioner’s contention
that Sunga’s taking an "extension seat" amounted to an implied
assumption of risk. It is akin to arguing that the injuries to the
many victims of the tragedies in our seas should not be
compensated merely because those passengers assumed a greater
risk of drowning by boarding an overloaded ferry. This is also true
of petitioner’s contention that the jeepney being bumped while it
was improperly parked constitutes a fortuitous event. ​Petitioner
should have foreseen the danger of parking his jeepney with its
body protruding two meters into the highway.
10. However, Petitioner’s appeal as regards moral damages is proper.
a. As a general rule, moral damages are not recoverable in actions for
damages predicated on a breach of contract for it is not one of the
14
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
C. Proof of Negligence duty, and the bottom of the pool is even painted black to insure visibility. When
they retrieved Ong they also immediately tried to resuscitate him with oxygen
25. Ong v. Metropolitan Water District (Anne) tanks and called a doctor.
August 29, 1958 | BAUTISTA ANGELO, J. | Proof of Negligence
DOCTRINE: In a case of culpable negligence it is the burden of the plaintiff to
PETITIONER​: MR. AND MRS. AMADOR C. ONG show negligence of the defendant. The last clear chance rule can never apply
RESPONDENTS​: METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT ​(MWD) where the party charged is required to act instantaneously, and if the injury
cannot be avoided by application of all means at hand after peril is or should’ve
SUMMARY​: Manila Water District owns 3 swimming pools in QC, and they been discovered.
charge people to swim. Care and supervision is done by Chief Chong, Nurse
Rule, and 6 lifeguards (2 lifeguards on duty on this incident). There is also a ring FACTS:
buoy, toy roof, resuscitator, and saving kit. There is also a sanitary inspector 1. PARTIES:
who is in charge of a clinic established for the benefit of the patrons and it has a. MR. AND MRS. AMADOR C. ONG – plaintiffs-appellants
on display in a conspicuous place certain rules and regulations governing the use b. DOMINADOR ONG – child of plaintiff spouses; 14 year old boy,
of pools, one of which prohibits the swimming in the pool alone or without any high school student and a boyscout
attendant. Although defendant does not maintain a full-time physician in the c. BROTHERS – Ruben and Eusebio
swimming pool compound, it has however a nurse and a sanitary inspector ready d. METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT – defendant-appellee
to administer injections or operate the oxygen resuscitator if the need should i. owns and operates three recreational swimming pools at
arise. Dominador Ong went to the pool with his 2 other brothers. Dominador its Balara filters, Diliman, QC
told his brothers that he was going to the locker room to drink a bottle of coke. ii. People are invited and for which a nominal fee of P0.50
Upon hearing this, the 2 other brothers went to the bigger pool. A couple of for adults and P0.20 for children is charged.
bathers notified the lifeguard about Dominador who was underwater for a while. 2. One day, at 1pm, Dominador Ong (14-yr old high school student and boy
They retrieved Dominador but found that his body was lifeless. There was scout) and his brothers Ruben Eusebio went to Defendant Metropolitan
contusion on his right forehead. They tried to resuscitate him and even called a Water District’s swimming pools.
doctor from UP, but Dominador Ong was already dead. 3. The three brothers had been in those pools around 5 times before.
4. They arrived at the pools at 1:45pm. After paying the fee, they went to one
The issue here is ​WON the death of Minor Dominor Ong can be attributed of the pools where the water was shallow.
to the negligence of Metropolitan Water District and/or its employees so as 5. At 4:35pm, Dominador told his brothers that he was going to the locker
to entitle plaintiffs to recover damages- NO. In a case of culpable negligence room to drink a bottle of coke. Upon hearing this, the 2 other brothers went
it is the burden of the plaintiff to show negligence. Ong’s parents presented 2 to the bigger pool.
testimonies to try and argue that the lifeguard came late which is why Ong died. 6. Between 4:40-4:45pm, a bather name Hagad was informed by other
On the contrary however the testimonies themselves and the police investigation swimmers that somebody was swimming under water for quite a long time.
show that the lifeguard actually dove in ASAP to try and save Ong. There is also Another boy informed Abano (the lifeguard in charge at that time) of the
evidence that MWD actually took the necessary precautions. They provided a lot same thing, and Abano immediately jumped into the big swimming pool
of equipment, the rules are shown conspicuously, there is always a lifeguard on and retrieved the lifeless body of Dominador. Abano immediately applied

15
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
CPR. Soon after, Nurse Rule came to render assistance followed by 1. Whether the death of Minong Dominor Ong can be attributed to the
Sanitary Inspector Vicente who was called by the guards. negligence of Metropolitan Water District and/or its employees so as to
7. Vicente brought a resuscitator and a med kit, and upon arriving, he injected entitle plaintiffs to recover damages- NO.
the boy with camphorated oil. After the injection, Vicente left to fetch Dr. 2. Whether the Spouses Ong established by sufficient evidence the
Ayuyao from UP existence of fault or negligence on the part of Metropolitan Water
8. Meanwhile, Abano continued CPR and applied the resuscitators, but the boy District- NO.
remained dead.
9. Later that evening, the police investigated the incident. The next day, an RATIO:
autopsy by the NBI showed that the boy died due to asphyxia by THE PROVISIONS ON QUASI-DELICT APPLIES
submersion in water 1. It is settled that the owner of a resort is legally bound to exercise ordinary
10. Sps. Ong filed a CIVIL CASE FOR DAMAGES against Manila Water. care in its management and maintenance, to the end of making them
11. Manila Water’s arguments: reasonably safe for visitors.
a. the boy’s death was caused by his own negligence or by 2. Although the owner of a swimming pool is liable for injuries to a patron
unavoidable accident caused by his lack of due diligence in providing for safety, he cannot be
b. Manila Water exercised due diligence in the selection and held liable if he had no fault in the injuries. He is not an insurer of the safety
supervision of it employees of patrons. The death of a patron within his premises does not cast upon him
12. ARGUMENTS IN THE LOWER COURT the burden of excusing himself from any presumption of negligence.
a. That Dominador Ong drowned in one of its swimming pools but
avers that his death was caused by his own negligence or by BURDEN OF PROOF ON THE CLAIMANT
unavoidable accident 3. Sps. Ong failed to discharge this burden. Since this is a case for
b. That it had exercised due diligence in the selection of, and damages founded on culpable negligence, the principle to be observed is
supervision over, its employees and that the person claiming damages has the burden of proving that the
c. That it had observed the diligence required by law under the damage is caused by the fault or negligence of the person from whom
circumstances. the damage is claimed, or of one of his employees
13. COURT RULINGS
a. LOWER COURT – dismissed the complaint; action of plaintiffs DILIGENCE OF METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT
not tenable 4. There is sufficient evidence to show that appellee has taken all necessary
b. SC – Affirmed precautions to avoid danger to the lives of its patrons or prevent accidents
14. The testimony of Ruben Ong and Andres Hagad, Jr. as to the alleged failure which may cause their death:
of the lifeguard Abaño to immediately respond to their call may therefore be a. the swimming pools of appellee are provided with a ring buoy, toy
disregarded because they are belied by their written statements. roof, towing line, oxygen resuscitator and a first aid medicine kit
15. The appellant failed to establish fault or negligence on the part of the b. the bottom of the pools is painted with black colors so as to insure
appellant. clear visibility.
c. There is on display in a conspicuous place within the area certain
ISSUES: rules and regulations governing the use of the pools.
d. Appellee employs six lifeguards who are all trained as they had
taken a course for that purpose and were issued certificates of
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
proficiency. These lifeguards work on schedule prepared by their
chief and arranged in such a way as to have two guards at a time
on duty to look after the safety of the bathers.
e. There is a male nurse and a sanitary inspector with a clinic
provided with oxygen resuscitator.
f. And there are security guards who are available always in case of
emergency.
g. The record also shows that when the body of minor Ong was
retrieved from the bottom of the pool, the employees of appellee
did everything possible to bring him back to life.

LAST CLEAR CHANCE DOES NOT APPLY


5. The record does not show how the boy came into the big swimming pool.
The only thing the record discloses is that minor Ong informed his elder
brothers that he was going to the locker room to drink a bottle of coke but
from that time on, nobody knew what had happened to him until his lifeless
body was retrieved.
6. The last clear chance doctrine can never apply where the party charged
is required to act instantaneously, and if the injury can not be avoided
by the application of all means at hand.

17
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
D. Presumption of Negligence
DOCTRINE: ​In the absence of an explanation, reasonable evidence is afforded
26. Africa vs Caltex (Myling) that the injury arose from defendant's want of care when:
31 March 1966 | Makalintal, ​J​ | Res Ipsa Loquitor 1. without fault of the injured person,
2. the thing which caused injury is under the exclusive control of the
PETITIONER​: The Spouses Bernabe Africa and Soledad C. Africa, and the defendant and
Heirs of Dominga Ong 3. the injury is such as in the ordinary course of things does not occur if he
RESPONDENT​: Caltex (Phil.), Inc., Mateo Boquiren and the Court of Appeals having such control use proper care.
SUMMARY​: A fire broke out at a Caltex service station. The fire started while The burden of evidence is shifted to defendant to establish that he has observed
gasoline was being transferred through a hose from a tank truck into the due care and diligence.
underground storage, and right at the opening of the receiving tank where the The intervention of an unforeseen and unexpected cause is not sufficient to
nozzle of the hose was inserted. The fire spread and burned several neighboring relieve a wrongdoer from the consequences of negligence if such negligence
houses. The owners of the houses sued Caltex, as owner, and Mateo Boquiren, as directly and proximately cooperates with the independent cause in the resulting
an agent of Caltex in charge of operation. CFI dismissed and CA affirmed as the injury.
negligence of Caltex and Boquiren was not proved. The reports on the fire were
held inadmissible being double hearsay. The facts from the reports were said to FACTS:
not have come from official information. 1. A fire broke out at a Caltex service station. The fire started while gasoline
SC reversed and held Caltex and Boquiren liable on the basis of r​es ipsa loquitor. was being transferred through a hose from a tank truck into the underground
The gas station, including its appliances, equipment and employees, was under storage, and right at the opening of the receiving tank where the nozzle of
the control of Caltex and Boquiren. They and their employees should know or the hose was inserted. The fire spread and burned several neighboring
could have known how the fire started but they could give no explanation. It may houses.
thus be inferred that the fire happened because of their want of care. The 2. The owners of the houses, including the Africas and the heirs of Ong, sued
presumption of negligence is supported by Manila Police Department report that Caltex, as owner, and Mateo Boquiren, as an agent of Caltex in charge of
the gas station was swarming with people who at anytime may smoke or light a operation. The fire was said to be caused by negligence on the part of
cigarette; the walls were not tall enough to stop flames from leaping over it; 2 Caltex and Boquiren. However, negligence was not proved and Caltex and
other fires have occurred; and, the stations was also used as a garage for Boquiren were found to have exercised due care in the premises as well as
Boquiren’s taxi cab fleet. The driver of the truck likewise stated that there were in the supervision of their employees. Hence, CFI dismissed and CA
people a meter away while he was transferring the gas to the underground tank. affirmed.
Negligence of Caltex and Boquiren was not only with respect to the cause of the ISSUES:
fire but also with respect to its spread to the neighboring houses for its failure to 1. Can the doctrine of ​res ipsa loquitor​ apply to presume negligence on the
construct walls high enough to stop the flames from leaping over it. part of Caltex and Boquiren? ​YES
Even if Boquiren stated that the fire was caused by a person threw a lighted 2. Should Caltex be held liable for the damages caused? ​YES
match in the premises, this does not extenuate Boquiren as this is not sufficient to RULING: T​he decision appealed from is reversed and respondents-appellees
relieve him from the consequences of negligence as his negligence directly and are held liable solidarily to appellants.
proximately cooperated with the independent cause and which resulted to injury.. RATIO:
A License Agreement was submitted to establish the relationship of Boquiren 1. The reports on the fire prepared by the Manila Police and Fire Departments,
with Caltex. Although the document states that Boquiren is not an employee of and a certain Captain Tinio of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were
Caltex, certain provisions show Caltex has elected to assume control and to direct ruled out as “double hearsay” by the CA hence inadmissible. Africas, et al
the means and methods by which work has to be performed thus Caltex must then assigned this as an error and contend that:
be held liable for the negligence of those performing services under its direction. a. The reports were admitted by the TC without objection;

18
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
b. Detective Capacillo, the person who prepared the police report was 4. With the inadmissibility of above evidence, ​res ipsa loquitor was
presented but Caltex et al waived their right to cross-examine him; considered by the lower courts but summarily dismissed stating no
c. The reports are admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule definiteness in its applicability in the Philippines and finding no practical
under Section 35 of Rule 138. use for the doctrine in this case. SC cited several cases on the applicability
2. To these, SC said: of the doctrine.
a. Transcripts show that reports were objected by counsel of each 5. Espiritu vs. Philippine Power and Development Co. (PPDC) [CA case
respondent as hearsay; penned by JBL Reyes] – An electric transmission wire installed by PPDC
b. Detective Capacillo did take the witness stand. However, he was suddenly parted and one of the broken ends hit the head of Espiritu who was
not examined nor did he testify on the facts mentioned in the electrocuted causing intense pain and wounds. PPDC disclaimed liability as
report. The contents of the report thus did not become competent Espiritu failed to show any specific act of negligence. However, the CA
evidence. Nevertheless, had he testified, this would still be overruled the defense under ​res ipsa loquitor​.
objectionable with regard to information he gathered from third a. The rule in cases of quasi-delict is that the burden of proof is on
persons; the plaintiff to establish that the proximate cause of his injury was
c. Sec 35 of Rule 138 provides that "entries in official records made the negligence of the defendant.
in the performance of his duty by a public officer of the b. However, reasonable evidence is afforded that the injury arose
Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially from defendant's want of care, in the absence of an explanation,
enjoined by law, are prima facie ​evidence of the facts therein when:
stated." There are 3 requisites to admissibility under this Rule: i. without fault of the injured person,
i. The entry was made by a ​public officer​, or by another ii. the thing which caused injury is under the exclusive
person specially ​enjoined by law​ to do so; control of the defendant and
ii. It was made by the ​public officer in the performance of iii. the injury is such as in the ordinary course of things does
his duties, or by such other person in the performance of a not occur if he having such control use proper care.
duty specially ​enjoined by law​; and c. The burden of evidence is shifted to defendant to establish that he
iii. The public officer or other person had sufficient observed due care and diligence.
knowledge of the facts by him stated, which must have Espiritu had every right to be on the highway and the electric wire was
been acquired by him ​personally or through ​official under the sole control of PPDC. In the ordinary course of events, electric
information​. wires do not part suddenly unless they are subjected to unusual stress or
The third requisite was not complied. The facts in the reports were there were defects in their installation, maintenance and supervision.
not within the personal knowledge of the officers who conducted In the absence of contributory negligence, the fact that the wire snapped
the investigation. Sources of some facts were not identified. suffices to raise a reasonable presumption of negligence in its installation,
Others were said given by an employee of the gas station, the care and maintenance. Any facts inconsistent with negligence was for
driver of the truck and Boquiren but their statements cannot be PPDC to prove.
considered as official information since they did not have: 6. Similar to this present case, gasoline is a highly combustible material and
i. Personal knowledge of the facts extreme care must be taken of its storage and sale. Fire is not considered as
ii. Duty to give such statements for the record. a fortuitous event as it arises almost invariably from an act of man.
As the employee, driver and Boquiren do not have a duty to give 7. Another case cited by the SC is ​Jones vs. Shell Petroleum Corporation, et
such statements, the facts they gave cannot be considered as al. – Jones owned a building which he leased to Shell. A fire started while
official information and, therefore, cannot be considered as an gasoline was being transferred from the tank wagon to the underground
exception to the hearsay rule. tank. Jones sued Shell over the damages sustained by his building due to the
Can res ipsa loquitor apply? fire. Shell could not explain and did not know the cause of the fire. SC
held Shell liable based on ​res ipsa loquitor.​
19
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
It was held that where the thing which caused the injury complained of is b. The concrete wall was only 2 ½ meters high and beyond it were
shown to be under the management of defendant or his servants and the galvanized sheets that melted in the intense heat.
accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those 12. Boquiren admitted that the fire was caused through the acts of a stranger
who have its management or control use proper care, it affords reasonable who, without authority or permission passed through the gas station and
evidence, in absence of explanation by defendant, that the accident arose negligently threw a lighted match in the premises.
from want of care. a. However, no evidence was adduced to prove this.
8. Res ipsa loquitor applies with equal force in the present case. The gas b. Assuming this as true, it will not extenuate Boquiren’s negligence
station, including its appliances, equipment and employees, was under the c. A decision of the SC of Texas stated the rule that “those who
control of Caltex and Boquiren. They and their employees should know or distribute a dangerous article or agent owe a degree of protection
could have known how the fire started but they could give no explanation. to the public proportionate and commensurate with a danger
It may thus be inferred that the fire happened because of their want of care. involved”
9. The presumption of negligence under ​res ipsa loquitor is further d. Stated in another way, the intervention of an unforeseen and
strengthened by the report submitted by Captain Leoncio Mariano of the unexpected cause is not sufficient to relieve a wrongdoer from the
Manila Police Department. Captain Mariano submitted the report in the consequences of negligence if such negligence directly and
performance of his duties and based on his personal knowledge thus the proximately cooperates with the independent cause in the resulting
report is considered an exception to the hearsay rule. The report says that: injury.
a. The gas station was located in a very busy business district near a Should Caltex be held liable for the damages caused?
market, a railroad crossing and a thickly populated neighborhood 13. Caltex’s liability depends on whether Boquiren is an independent contractor
where people use a portion of the gas station while waiting for the or an agent of Caltex in light of the following:
bus or to cross the street, or just loafing around. Any of these a. Boquiren’s admission that he was an agent of Caltex
people may smoke or light a cigarette b. At the time of the fire, Caltex owned the gas station
b. The concrete walls of the station were only 2 ½ meters high and c. Caltex exercised control over Boquiren in the management of the
cannot stop flames from leaping over it station
c. There had been two previous cases of fire in the neighborhood d. The delivery truck that delivered the gasoline had Caltex’ name on
d. The gas station was also being used as a garage and repair shop for it
the taxi fleet numbering more than ten. e. The license to store gas at the gas station was in the name of Caltex
The above called for more stringent measures of caution than those which which paid the license fees.
would satisfy the standard of due diligence under ordinary circumstances. 14. Boquiren denies directing the truck driver to transfer the gasoline from the
10. The report of the Captain was supported by the statement of Leandro Flores, truck to the underground tank. He also alleged that he did not employ the
the driver of the gasoline tank wagon. He alone, without assistance, driver but was an employee of Caltex
transferred the gasoline to the underground storage. He mentioned there a. Later on, Boquiren amended his answer to say that he was not
were a number of people who were drinking coke at the stand about a meter acting as an agent of Caltex
away from the hole of the underground storage. It was when he went back b. In a Motion to Dismiss, Boquiren alleged no cause of action since
to the tank truck to close the valve and had his back to the hole when heard he was merely an agent of Caltex. A Motion to Dismiss admits the
someone shout “fire.” facts alleged in the complaint.
11. Negligence of Caltex and Boquiren was not only with respect to the cause 15. Caltex admitted ownership of the gas station and equipment in it but
of the fire but also with respect to its spread to the neighboring houses claimed that the business was owned and operated by Boquiren. Caltex
a. The fire spread to the neighboring houses with another negligent presented a License Agreement to support this which however appeared to
omission of Caltex, etc which is their failure to provide a concrete have been manifestly tailored for the purposes of the case:
wall high enough to prevent the flames from leaping over it. a. It was executed on 29 Nov 1948 but made effective as of 1 Jan
1948 to cover the period of the fire, 18 Mar 1948.
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
b. The retroactivity gives rise to the conclusion that the License
Agreement was designed precisely to free Caltex from
responsibility with respect to the fire.
c. The License Agreement included a clause which says that Caltex
“shall not be liable for any injury to person or property while in the
property herein licensed, it being understood and agreed that
LICENSEE (Boquiren) is not an employee, representative or agent
of LICENSOR (Caltex).”
16. Should the License Agreement govern, Boquiren can still not be considered
an independent contractor because of provisions which show the extent of
the control of Caltex over Boquiren such that the latter was virtually an
employee of the former:
a. Under that agreement Boquiren would pay Caltex the purely
nominal sum of P1.00 for the use of the premises and all the
equipment therein.
b. He could sell only Caltex Products.
c. Maintenance of the station and its equipment was subject to the
approval, in other words control, of Caltex.
d. Boquiren could not assign or transfer his rights as licensee without
the consent of Caltex.
e. The license agreement was supposed to be from January 1, 1948 to
December 31, 1948, and thereafter until terminated by Caltex upon
two days prior written notice.
f. Caltex could at any time cancel and terminate the agreement in
case Boquiren ceased to sell Caltex products, or did not conduct
the business with due diligence, in the judgment of Caltex.
Termination of the contract was therefore a right granted only to
Caltex but not to Boquiren.
17. The nature of a contract is not determined by the name or title given it by
the contracting parties but the way the contracting parties do or perform
their respective obligations stipulated or agreed upon. Should such
performance conflict with the name or title given the contract by the parties,
the former must prevail over the latter.
18. By reserving the right to terminate the contract at will, Caltex retained the
means of compelling submission to its orders. Having elected to assume
control and to direct the means and methods by which the work has to be
performed, it must be held liable for the negligence of those performing
service under its direction.
SEPARATE OPINION:​ ​None

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
27. DM Consunji v. Court of Appeals (Pamie) innocent, is practically accessible to the defendant but inaccessible to the injured
April 20, 2001 | Kapunan, ​J.​ | Res Ipsa Loquitur - Doctrine of Necessity person.

PETITIONER​: D. M. CONSUNJI, INC FACTS:


RESPONDENTS​: COURT OF APPEALS and MARIA J. JUEGO, 1. At around 1:30 p.m., November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction worker
of D. M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig
SUMMARY​: Juego fell from the 14th floor to the basement while he was working on City to his death.
the Renaissance Tower on behalf of DM Consunji. PO3 Villenueva filed a police 2. PO3 Rogelio Villanueva investigated and filed a report. The victim was
report about the incident. When Juego died, his widow filed for a complaint for rushed to Rizal Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival
damages against employer DM Consunji. ​ISSUE​: Is DM Consunji negligent? YES. As by attending physician, Dr. Errol de Yzo, at 2:15 p.m. on the same date.
a rule of evidence, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is peculiar to the law of negligence 3. Investigation showed that Juego together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso
which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct proof Destajo were performing their work as carpenters at the elevator core of the
and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. All the requisites are present 14th floor of the Tower D, Renaissance Tower Building onboard a platform
in this case, thus a reasonable presumption or inference of DM Consunji’s negligence made of channel beam steel measuring 4.8 meters by 2 meters wide with
arises. First, no worker is going to fall from the 14th floor of a building to the basement plywood flooring and cable wires attached to its four corners and hooked at
while performing work in a construction site unless someone is negligent. Second, the the 5 ton chain block. Suddenly, the bolt or pin which was merely inserted
construction site with all its paraphernalia and human resources that likely caused the to connect the chain block with the platform without a safety lock, loosened,
injury is under the exclusive control and management of DM Consunji. Third, no causing the whole platform assembly and the victim to fall down to the
contributory negligence was attributed to Juego. Fourth, the construction site is within basement of the elevator core, crushing the victim of death. His companions
the exclusive control and management of DM Consunji. The circumstances of any luckily jumped out for safety.
accident that would occur are peculiarly within the knowledge of DM Consunji. On the 4. On May 9, 1991, Juego’s widow, Maria, filed a complaint for damages
other hand, Juego is not in a position to know what caused the accident. DM against D.M. Consunji. The employer raised, among other defenses, the
Consunji’s negligence is presumed when all the requisites for the application of res widow’s prior availment of the benefits from the State Insurance Fund.
ipsa loquitur are established. 5. After trial, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow Maria.
6. On appeal, CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto.
DOCTRINE: ​Generally, negligence is not ordinarily inferred or presumed, and while
the mere happening of an accident or injury will not generally give rise to an inference ISSUE: Is DM Consunji negligent? - YES
or presumption that it was due to negligence on defendant’s part. Under the doctrine of
res ipsa loquitur, (which means, the thing or transaction speaks for itself), the facts or RATIO:
circumstances accompanying an injury may be such as to raise a presumption, or at 1. PO3 Villanueva’s testimony sufficiently proves that Jose Juego died as a
least permit an inference of negligence on the part of the defendant, or some other result of the elevator crash. He had seen Juego’s remains at the morgue,
person who is charged with negligence. making the latter’s death beyond dispute. He also conducted an ocular
inspection of the building the day after the incident and saw that the
One of the theoretical basis for the doctrine is its necessity, i.e., that necessary platform was crushed and totally damaged. He also inspected the chain
evidence is absent or not available. The inference which the doctrine permits is block and noticed that the chain was detached from the lifting machine,
grounded upon the fact that the chief evidence of the true cause, whether culpable or without any pin or bolt.
22
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
2. DM Consunji claims that PO3 Villanueva’s testimony that the cause of the (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless
fall of the platform was the loosening of the bolt from the chain block is a someone is negligent;
mere opinion. Subject to certain exceptions, the opinion of a witness is (2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the
generally not admissible. exclusive control of the person charged with negligence; and
3. DM Consunji’s contention loses relevance in the face of the application of (3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action or
res ipsa loquitur. The effect of the doctrine is to warrant a presumption that contribution on the part of the person injured.
the mere fall of the elevator was a result of the person having charge of the 9. Some courts add a fourth requirement that for res ipsa loquitur doctrine to
instrumentality was negligent. ​As a rule of evidence, the doctrine of res ipsa apply, it must appear that the injured party had no knowledge as to the
loquitur is peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima cause of the accident, or that the party to be charged with negligence has
facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes a superior knowledge or opportunity for explanation of the accident.
substitute for specific proof of negligence. 10. All the requisites are present in this case, thus a reasonable presumption or
4. Generally, negligence is not ordinarily inferred or presumed, and while the inference of appellant’s negligence arises.
mere happening of an accident or injury will not generally give rise to an First, no worker is going to fall from the 14th floor of a building to the
inference or presumption that it was due to negligence on defendant’s part. basement while performing work in a construction site unless someone is
Under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, (which means, the thing or negligent.
transaction speaks for itself), the facts or circumstances accompanying an Second, the construction site with all its paraphernalia and human resources
injury may be such as to raise a presumption, or at least permit an inference that likely caused the injury is under the exclusive control and management
of negligence on the part of the defendant, or some other person who is of DM Consunji.
charged with negligence. Third, no contributory negligence was attributed to Juego.
5. One of the theoretical based for the doctrine is its necessity, i.e., that Fourth, The construction site is within the exclusive control and
necessary evidence is absent or not available. management of DM Consunji. It has a safety engineer, a project
6. It is based partly upon the theory that the defendant in charge of the superintendent, a carpenter leadman and others who are in complete control
instrumentality which causes the injury either knows the cause of the of the situation. The circumstances of any accident that would occur are
accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it and that the plaintiff peculiarly within the knowledge of DM Consunji or its employees. On the
has no such knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege negligence in other hand, Juego is not in a position to know what caused the accident.
general terms and to rely upon the proof of the happening of the accident in
order to establish negligence. ​The inference which the doctrine permits is 11. DM Consunji argues that the presumption or inference that it was negligent
grounded upon the fact that the chief evidence of the true cause, whether did not arise since it proved that it exercised due care to avoid the accident
culpable or innocent, is practically accessible to the defendant but which befell Juego.
inaccessible to the injured person. 12. DM Consunji’s negligence is presumed or inferred when the plaintiff
7. The res ipsa loquitur doctrine proceeds on the theory that under the peculiar establishes the requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur. Once the
circumstances in which the doctrine is applicable, it is within the power of plaintiff makes out a prima facie case of all the elements, the burden then
the defendant to show that there was no negligence on his part, and direct shifts to defendant to explain. The presumption or inference may be
proof of defendant’s negligence is beyond plaintiff’s power. rebutted by other evidence and, under appropriate circumstances disputable
8. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of necessity and it applies where evidence is presumption, such as that of due care or innocence, may outweigh the
absent or not readily available, provided the following requisites are inference. It is not for the defendant to explain or prove its defense to
present: prevent the presumption or inference from arising. ​Evidence by the
23
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
defendant of say, due care, comes into play only after the circumstances for Where one lacks knowledge of a right, there is no basis upon which waiver
the application of the doctrine has been established. of it can rest. Ignorance of a material fact negates waiver, and waiver cannot
13. DM Consunji presented the affidavit of its leadman Fabro to show that the be established by a consent given under a mistake or misapprehension of
company enacted regulations for the safety and security of its workers. fact.
14. However, Fabro’s sworn statement is hearsay and inadmissible. Affidavits 21. It bears stressing that what negates waiver is lack of knowledge or a mistake
are inadmissible as hearsay, unless the affiant is placed on the witness stand of fact. In this case, the "fact" that served as a basis for nullifying the waiver
to testify. ​DM Consunji does not cite any other evidence to rebut the is the negligence of DM Consunji’s employees, of which Maria learned
inference of negligence arising from the application of res ipsa loquitur, or only after the prosecutor issued a resolution stating that there may be civil
to establish any defense relating to the incident. liability. Such a conclusion binds no one until the courts have decreed so. It
appears, therefore, that the principle that ignorance or mistake of fact
Other Issues nullifies a waiver has been misapplied.
15. DM Consunji argues that Maria had availed of the death benefits provided 22. In any event, there is no proof that Maria knew that her husband died in the
under the Labor Code and thus precluded from claiming from the elevator crash when on November 15, 1990 she accomplished her
deceased’s employer damages under the Civil Code. application for benefits from the ECC. The police investigation report is
16. In previous cases, it was ruled that an injured worker has a choice of either dated November 25, 1990, 10 days after the accomplishment of the form.
to recover from the employer the fixed amounts set by the Workmen’s Petitioner filed the application in her behalf on November 27, 1990.
Compensation Act or to prosecute an ordinary civil action against the 23. There is also no showing that she knew of the remedies available to her
tortfeasor for higher damages but he cannot pursue both courses of action when the claim before the ECC was filed. On the contrary, she testified that
simultaneously. she was not aware of her rights.
17. The exception is where a claimant who has already been paid under the 24. It is argued that ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance
Workmen’s Compensation Act may still sue for damages under the Civil therewith. Maria cannot claim ignorance of this Court’s ruling in previous
Code on the basis of supervening facts or developments occurring after he cases allowing a choice of remedies.
opted for the first remedy 25. The argument has no merit. The application of Article 3 is limited to
18. Here, the CA held that the case came under the exception because Maria mandatory and prohibitory laws. This may be deduced from the language of
was unaware of DM Consunji’s negligence when she filed her claim for the provision, which, notwithstanding a person’s ignorance, does not excuse
death benefits from the State Insurance Fund. Maria only filed the civil his or her compliance with the laws. The rule in Floresca allowing private
complaint for damages after she received a copy of the police investigation respondent a choice of remedies is neither mandatory nor prohibitory.
report and the Prosecutor’s Memorandum dismissing the criminal complaint Accordingly, her ignorance thereof cannot be held against her.
against DM Consunji’s personnel and finding out that the latter may still be
held civilly liable.
19. The CA held that not only was she ignorant of the facts, but of her rights as
well. Maria reached only elementary school for her educational attainment.
She did not know what damages could be recovered from the death of her
husband; and did not know that she may also recover more from the Civil
Code than from the ECC.
20. The choice of a party between inconsistent remedies results in a waiver by
election. But waiver is the intentional relinquishment of a known right.
24
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
28. NPC vs CA (ALEX)
the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the management
08 March 2005 | Chico-Nazario, J. | Presumption of negligence-Res Ipsa Loquitor
use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation
by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of care.

PETITIONER​: NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION


FACTS:
RESPONDENTS​: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (Ninth
1. Petitioner National Power Corporation (NPC) is a GOCC created under CA No.
Division), HADJI ABDUL CARIM ABDULLAH, CARIS ABDULLAH, HADJI 120, as amended. It is tasked to undertake the development of hydroelectric
ALI LANGCO and DIAMAEL PANGCATAN generations of power and the production of electricity from nuclear, geothermal
and other sources, as well as the transmission of electric power on a nationwide
SUMMARY​: basis. NPC has the power to construct, operate and maintain power plants,
The President issued MO no. 398. Said decree instructed the NPC to build the auxiliary plants, dams, reservoirs, pipes, mains, transmission lines, power
Agus Regulation Dam at the mouth of Agus River. Abdullah et al. were owners of stations, and substations, and other works for the purpose of developing
fishponds. All of these fishponds were sited along the Lake Lanao shore. In hydraulic power from any river, creek, lake, spring, and waterfalls in the
October and November of 1986, all the improvements were washed away when Philippines, and supplying such power to the inhabitants.
the water level of the lake escalated and the subject lakeshore area was flooded. 2. The Office of the President issued Memorandum Order (MO) no. 398. Said
Abdullah et. al. blamed the inundation on the Agus Regulation Dam built and decree instructed the NPC to build the Agus Regulation Dam at the mouth of
operated by the NPC. Abdullah et. al. filed a complaint for damages before the Agus River in Lanao del Sur at a normal maximum water level of Lake Lanao at
RTC of Marawi City. They alleged that the negligence and inexperience of NPC’s 702 meters elevation. Petitioner built and operated the said dam in 1978.
employees assigned to operate the Agus Regulation Dam were the proximate 3. Private respondents Abdullah et al. were owners of fishponds, all in Lanao del
causes of the damage caused to their properties and livelihood. NPC denied the Sur. All of these fishponds were sited along the Lake Lanao shore. Private
private respondents’ allegations and countered that: (a) the water level of Lake respondents have spent substantial amounts to construct, maintain, and stock
Lanao never went beyond 702 meters, (b) NPC employees were never remiss in their respective fishponds with fish fingerlings, and make plantings along the
the performance of their duties, and (c) the private respondents’ alleged fishponds adjoining foreshore areas between 1984 and 1986.
were either located below the 702-meter level, or must have been within the 4. In October and November of 1986, all the improvements were washed away
prohibited area. RTC conducted an ocular inspection and rendered a decision in when the water level of the lake escalated and the subject lakeshore area was
favor of Abdullah et. al. CA affirmed. Issue: WON NPC was legally answerable flooded. Private respondents blamed the inundation on the Agus Regulation
for the damages endured by the private respondents? – YES. SC held that ​NPC Dam built and operated by the NPC in 1978. They theorized that NPC failed to
had two duties​: (1) to maintain the normal maximum lake elevation at 702 increase the outflow of water even as the water level of the lake rose due to the
meters, and (2) to build benchmarks to warn the inhabitants in the area that heavy rains.
cultivation of land below said elevation is forbidden. NPC ostensibly reneged on 5. Private respondents filed a complaint for damages before the RTC of Marawi
both duties. City. They alleged that the negligence and inexperience of NPC’s employees
assigned to operate the Agus Regulation Dam were the proximate causes of the
DOCTRINE: damage caused to their properties and livelihood.
In the absence of any clear explanation on what other factors could have explained 6. NPC denied the private respondents’ allegations, and tossed back the
the flooding in the neighboring properties of the dam, it is fair to reasonably infer disputations that: (a) the water level of Lake Lanao never went beyond 702
that the incident happened because of want of care on the part of NPC to maintain meters, (b) NPC employees were never remiss in the performance of their
the water level of the dam within the benchmarks at the maximum normal lake duties, and (c) the private respondents’ alleged fishponds were either located
elevation of 702 meters. An application of the ​doctrine of res ipsa loquitur​, the below the 702-meter level, or must have been introduced when the water level
thing speaks for itself, comes to fore. Where the thing which causes injury is was abnormally low and as such, were within the prohibited area as defined in
shown to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such as in
25
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
Memorandum Order No. 398. In fine, the NPC posited that the private covered with water. This fact, by itself, constitutes an unyielding proof that the
respondents had no cause of action against it. water level did rise above the benchmarks and inundated the properties in the
7. The trial court created a committee composed of representatives of both parties area.
to conduct an ocular inspection of the dam and its surrounding areas. The trial 5. In the absence of any clear explanation on what other factors could have
court rendered a Decision in favor of the private respondents. explained the flooding in the neighboring properties of the dam, it is fair to
8. The petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of reasonably infer that the incident happened because of want of care on the part
the court a quo with modification on the award of damages. of NPC to maintain the water level of the dam within the benchmarks at the
maximum normal lake elevation of 702 meters. An application of the doctrine of
ISSUES: res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself, comes to fore. Where the thing
1. WON the CA erred in affirming the trial court’s verdict that petitioner was which causes injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, and
legally answerable for the damages endured by the private respondents? – NO. the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those
who have the management use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the
RATIO: absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of
care.
1. The factual findings of the CA affirming those of the trial court bind this Court 6. As to the second duty of NPC to build and maintain benchmarks to warn the
when such findings are supported by substantial evidence. In the case at hand, inhabitants in the area that cultivation of land below the 702-meter elevation is
no reversible error could be attributed to the Court of Appeals in espousing forbidden. Petitioner’s own witness, Principal Hydrologist Mama
conclusions of facts similar to the trial court on petitioner’s liability for the Manongguiring, testified that although the dam was built in 1978, the
damages suffered by private respondents. benchmarks were installed only in July and August of 1984 and that apparently,
2. Pursuant to MO no. 398 the duties of NPC are: (1) to maintain the normal many had already worn-out, to be replaced only in October of 1986. It was only
maximum lake elevation at 702 meters, and (2) to build benchmarks to warn the after many years from the time it was built that NPC installed said benchmarks.
inhabitants in the area that cultivation of land below said elevation is forbidden. At that time, many farms and houses were already swamped and many
NPC shall place in every town around the lake, at the normal maximum lake fishponds, including those of the private respondents, damaged.
elevation of seven hundred and two meters, benchmarks warning that cultivation 7. Consequently, even assuming that the fishponds were erected below the
of land below said elevation is prohibited. By the bulk of evidence, NPC 702-meter level, NPC must, nonetheless, bear the brunt for such damages
ostensibly reneged on both duties. inasmuch as it has the duty to erect and maintain the benchmarks precisely to
3 When the water level rises due to the rainy season, the NPC ought to release warn the owners of the neighboring properties not to build fishponds below
more water to the Agus River to avoid flooding and prevent the water from these marks. Such benchmarks, likewise, serve the evidentiary purpose of
going over the maximum level. And yet, petitioner failed to do so, resulting in extricating NPC from liability in cases of overflooding in the neighboring estates
the inundation of the nearby estates. The the trial court established that before because all NPC would have to do is point out that such constructions are below
the construction of the Agus Regulation Dam, no report of damages to the 702-meter allowable elevation. Without such points of reference, the
landowners around the lake was ever heard. After its construction and when it inhabitants in said areas are clueless whether or not their improvements are
started functioning in 1978, reports and complaints of damages sustained by within the prohibited area. Conversely, without such benchmarks, NPC has no
landowners around the lake due to overflooding became widespread. way of telling if the fishponds, subject matter of the present controversy, are
4. Petitioner adduced in evidence its company records to bear out its claim that the indeed below the prescribed maximum level of elevation.
water level of the lake was, at no point in time, higher than 702 meters. Both 8. NPC staunchly asserts that the damages, if any, were due to a fortuitous event.
courts below held that the data contained in petitioner’s records collapse in the We cannot agree with petitioner. NPC cannot escape liability on the mere excuse
face of the actual state of the affected areas. During the ocular inspection that the rise of water was due to heavy rains that were acts of God. The rainy
conducted by the lower court where representatives of both parties were present, season is an expected occurrence and the NPC cannot stop doing its duty when
it was established that in the subject areas, the benchmarks as pointed out by the the rains fall. In fact, it is during these critical times that the NPC needs to be
NPC representative, could not be seen nor reached because they were totally vigilant to make sure that the lake level does not exceed the maximum level.
26
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
Indeed, negligence or imprudence is human factor which makes the whole
occurrence humanized, as it were, and removed from the rules applicable to acts
of God.
9. NPC further enthuses that the principle of damnum absque injuria, or damage
without injury, applies in the present case. Again, we disagree. This principle
means that although there was physical damage, there was no legal injury, as
there was no violation of a legal right. The negligence of NPC as a result of its
inability to maintain the level of water in its dams has been satisfactorily and
extensively established.

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
29. Cebu Shipyard vs. William Lines (Meryl ℅ Vargas)
not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent; and (2) that the instrumentality
May 5, 1999 | Purisima, J. | Res ipsa loquitur
or agency which caused the injury was under the exclusive control of the person
charged with negligence.
PETITIONER: ​Cebu Shipyard and Engineering Works, Inc.
RESPONDENTS: ​William Lines, Inc. and Prudential Guarantee and Assurance
FACTS:
Company, Inc.
1. Characters: Cebu Shipyard (CSEW) – in the business of repairing ships
SUMMARY: ​William Lines, Inc. brought its vessel, M/V Manila City, to the
William Lines –owner of M/V Manila City (luxury passenger cargo)
Cebu Shipyard (CSEW) in Lapulapu City for annual dry-docking and repair. After
Prudential – insurance company
subject vessel was transferred to the docking quay, it caught fire and sank,
resulting in its eventual total loss. Subsequently, William Lines, Inc. filed a
2. William Lines brought its vessel, M/V Manila City to CSEW in Lapulapu City for
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES against CSEW, alleging that the fire, which
annual dry-docking and repair. For the said repair, the parties entered into contracts
broke out in M/V Manila City was caused by CSEW’s negligence and lack of
(work orders) with the following stipulations:
care. William Lines had the vessel insured by Prudential for 45 M prior to the
unfortunate incident. After William Lines had claimed said amount from
a. The Contractor shall replace at its own work and at its own cost any work or
Prudential, Prudential was subrogated to the claim of William Lines against
material which can be shown to be defective and which is communicated in
CSEW for the amount of 45 M. Both the trial court and the appellate court ruled
writing within one (1) month of redelivery of the vessel or if the vessel was not
against CSEW and held that it was negligent and liable for damages. The
in the Contractors Possession, the withdrawal of the Contractors workmen, or at
decisions of both the lower court and the Court of Appeals set forth clearly the
its option to pay a sum equal to the cost of such replacement at its own works.
evidence sustaining their finding of actionable negligence on the part of CSEW.
These conditions shall apply to any such replacements.
This factual finding is accorded great weight and is conclusive on the parties. The
court discerns no basis for disturbing such finding firmly anchored on enough
b. Save as provided in Clause 10, the Contractor shall not be under any liability
evidence. The issue in this case is WON the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur applies
to the Customer either in contract or for delict or quasi-delict or otherwise
to petitioner CSEW. The SC ruled that under the circumstances of the case, the
except for negligence and such liability shall itself be subject to the following
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies.
overriding limitations and exceptions, namely:
(a) The total liability of the Contractor to the Customer (over and above
For the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to apply to a given situation, the following
the liability to replace under Clause 10) or of any sub-contractor shall be
conditions must concur: (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily
limited in respect of any defect or event (and a series of accidents arising
occur unless someone is negligent; and (2) that the instrumentality or agency
out of the same defect or event shall constitute one defect or event) to
which caused the injury was under the exclusive control of the person charged
the sum of Pesos Philippine Currency One Million only.
with negligence. The facts of the case show said conditions are present. First, the
(b) In no circumstance whatsoever shall the liability of the Contractor or
fire that occurred and consumed M/V Manila City would not have happened in the
any Sub- Contractor include any sum in respect of loss of profit or loss
ordinary course of things if reasonable care and diligence had been exercised. In
of use of the vessel or damages consequential on such loss of use.
other words, some negligence must have occurred. Second, the agency charged
with negligence, as found by the TC and the CA and as shown by the records, is
c. The insurance on the vessel should be maintained by the customer and/or
Cebu Shipyard, which had control over subject vessel when it was docked for
owner of the vessel during the period the contract is in effect.
annual repairs.
3. While the M/V Manila City was undergoing dry-docking and repairs within the
DOCTRINE: ​For the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to apply to a given situation,
premises of CSEW, the master, officers and crew of M/V Manila City stayed in the
the following conditions must concur: (1) the accident was of a kind which does
vessel, using their cabins as living quarters. Other employees hired by William Lines
28
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
to do repairs and maintenance work on the vessel were also present during the 4. The decisions of both the lower court and the Court of Appeals set forth clearly
dry-docking. After subject vessel was transferred to the docking quay, it caught fire the evidence sustaining their finding of actionable negligence on the part of CSEW.
and sank, resulting to its eventual total loss. This factual finding is accorded great weight and is conclusive on the parties.
a. The finding by the Trial Court and the CA that M/V Manila City caught
4. At the time of the unfortunate occurrence sued upon, subject vessel was insured fire and sank by reason of the negligence of the workers of CSEW, when the
with Prudential for P45,000,000.00 pesos for hull and machinery. The Hull Policy said vessel was under the exclusive custody and control of CSEW is
included an Additional Perils (INCHMAREE) Clause covering loss of or damage to accordingly upheld.
the vessel through the negligence of, among others, ship repairmen.
b. The decisions of both the lower court and the Court of Appeals set forth
5. William Lines filed a complaint for damages against CSEW alleging that the fire clearly the evidence sustaining their finding of actionable negligence on the
which broke out in M/V Manila City was caused by CSEW’s negligence and ​lack of part of CSEW. This factual finding is accorded great weight and is conclusive
case. Prudential was impleaded as co-plaintiff by virtue of subrogation. on the parties. The court discerns no basis for disturbing such finding firmly
anchored on enough evidence.
ISSUE:
WON the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies to petitioner CSEW – YES. The 5. Under the circumstances of the case, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies. For
conditions for the application of said doctrine are present in this case. the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to apply to a given situation, the following conditions
must concur:
RATIO: (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone
is negligent; and
1. Petitioner CSEW argues that the finding of negligence by the CA is not supported (2) that the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the
by the evidence on record, and contrary to what the CA found, CSEW did not have exclusive control of the person charged with negligence.
management and control over M/V Manila City. a. The facts and evidence on record reveal the concurrence of said
conditions in the case under scrutiny. First, the fire that occurred and
• Although it was brought to the premises of CSEW for annual repair, consumed M/V Manila City would not have happened in the
William Lines, Inc. retained control over the vessel as the ship captain ordinary course of things if reasonable care and diligence had been
remained in command and the ship’s crew were still present. exercised. In other words, some negligence must have occurred.
• While it imposed certain rules and regulations on William Lines, it was in b. Second, the agency charged with negligence, as found by the trial
the exercise of due diligence and not an indication of CSEW’s exclusive court and the Court of Appeals and as shown by the records, is the
control over subject vessel. herein petitioner, Cebu Shipyard and Engineering Works, Inc., which
o Thus, CSEW maintains that it did not have exclusive control over had control over subject vessel when it was docked for annual
the M/V Manila City and the trial court and the Court of Appeals erred repairs. c. So also, as found by the regional trial court, “other
in applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. responsible causes, including the conduct of the plaintiff, and third
persons, are sufficiently eliminated by the evidence.”
2. In this case, the CA and the Trial Court of origin are agreed that the fire which
caused the total loss of subject M/V Manila City was due to the negligence of the 6. What is more, in the present case the trial court found direct evidence to prove that
employees and workers of CSEW. the workers and/or employees of CSEW were remiss in their duty of exercising due
diligence in the care of subject vessel.
3. Both courts found that the M/V Manila City was under the custody and control of
petitioner CSEW, when the ill-fated vessel caught fire. 7. The direct evidence substantiates the conclusion that CSEW was really negligent.
Thus, even without applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, in light of the direct
evidence on record, the ineluctable conclusion is that the petitioner, Cebu Shipyard
29
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
and Engineering Works, Inc., was negligent and consequently liable for damages to Inc., the former was subrogated to the right of the latter to indemnification from
the respondent, William Lines, Inc. Admissibility of the expert testimonies CSEW.

8. Petitioner maintains that the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding the


testimonies of the fire experts who testified on the probable origin of the fire in M/V
Manila City. Petitioner avers that since the said fire experts were one in their opinion
that the fire did not originate in the area of Tank Top No. 12 where the JNB workers
were doing hotworks but on the crew accommodation cabins on the portside No. 2
deck, the trial court and the Court of Appeals should have given weight to such
finding based on the testimonies of fire experts; petitioner argues.

9. But courts are not bound by the testimonies of expert witnesses. Although they
may have probative value, reception in evidence of expert testimonies is within the
discretion of the court. Section 49, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court. If from
the facts and evidence on record, a conclusion is readily ascertainable, there is no
need for the judge to resort to expert opinion evidence.

10. In the case under consideration, the testimonies of the fire experts were not the
only available evidence on the probable cause and origin of the fire. There were
witnesses who were actually on board the vessel when the fire occurred. Between the
testimonies of the fire experts who merely based their findings and opinions on
interviews and the testimonies of those present during the fire, the latter are of more
probative value. Verily, the trial court and the Court of Appeals did not err in giving
more weight to said testimonies.

Subrogation

11. Petitioner contends that Prudential is not entitled to be subrogated to the rights of
William Lines, Inc., theorizing that (1) the fire which gutted M/V Manila City was
an excluded risk and (2) it is a co-assured under the Marine Hull Insurance Policy. It
is petitioners submission that the loss of M/V Manila City or damage thereto is
expressly excluded from the coverage of the insurance because the same resulted
from want of due diligence by the Assured, Owners or Managers which is not
included in the risks insured against.

12. Again, this theory of petitioner is bereft of any factual or legal basis. It proceeds
from a wrong premise that the fire which gutted subject vessel was caused by the
negligence of the employees of William Lines, Inc. To repeat, the issue of who
between the parties was negligent has already been resolved against Cebu Shipyard
and Engineering Works, Inc. Upon proof of payment by Prudential to William Lines,

30
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
30. ​Interphil Laboratories v. OEP Philippines (Gohoc)
with the negligence complained of, (3) Accident must not have been due to any
March 20, 2019 | Reyes, Jr., J. | Negligence
voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured.

PETITIONERS: ​Interphil Laboratories, Inc. Utilizing res ipsa loquitor as a matter of evidence, a mode of proof, or a mere
RESPONDENTS: ​OEP Philippines, Inc. prcoedural convenience, relieves a plaintiff of the burden of producing a specific
proof of negligence. It recognizes that parties may establish a prima facie
SUMMARY: ​OEP and Interphil entered into a manufacturing contract where negligence without direct proof. It permits that plaintiff to present along with
OEP will supply Diltelan capsules and Interphil will pack them. OEP sends the proof of the accident, enough of the attending circumstances to invoke the
packed Diltelan capsules to Elan Taiwan. In August 2000, Elan Taiwan informs doctrine, create an inference or presumption of negligence, and thereby place on
OEP that hospitals in Taiwan noticed a defect in the packaging since 90mg the defendant the burden of proving there was no negligence on his part.
Diltelan capsules were in 120mg packaging. OEP recalls and destroys the Lot. It
sough a P5m reimbursement from Interphil who denied liability. RTC and CA
FACTS:
found Interphil liable on the basis of res ipsa loquitor. Hence, this petition.
1. OEP Philippines is a corporation engaged in the business of trading 60, 90,
Interphil claims that OEP breached the contract when it unilaterally destroyed the
120 and 180mg Diltelan capsules.
capsules without giving it a chance to fix the problem. It also stated that the foil
2. Interphil Laboratories is a corporation engaged in the business of processing
used for packaging was already mis-spliced when it arrived in its plant.
and packaging pharmaceutical projects.
3. OEP and Interphil entered into a Manufacturing Agreement, the relevant
SC affirmed. There was res ipsa loquitor. The elements of res ipsa loquitor are: (1)
portions are:
Accident is of such character as to warrant an inference that it would not have
a. [OEP] shall furnish to INTERPHIL at OEP’s expense. descriptions
happened except for the defendant’s negligence, (2) Accident must have been
and instructions concerning the methods, formulae. and standards
caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or
to be employed by INTERPHIL in the processing and packaging of
control of the person charged with the negligence complained of, (3) Accident
the Products, including such written descriptions, flow sheets.
must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the
work forms. testing methods and specifications and other process
person injured.
data as INTERPHIL determines to be necessary or desirable for the
proper performance of this Agreement.
Interphil had exclusive control in the packaging of materials. Interphil had
b. All Products processed by INTERPHIL under this Agreement shall
exclusive management and control at the time of the packaging. There was no
be prepared and packed strictly in accordance with the formulae.
contributory fault by OEP. While Interphil alleges that OEP was at fault for
processes, standards, techniques, and designs furnished by [OEP]
delivering foils that look the same and were not distinctly labeled with colored
to INTERPHIL from time to time. All materials for packaging
tape, any fault there was not the proximate cause of the immediate damages.
such products shall first he approved by [OEP] and no change in
any packaging materials shall be made by INTERPHIL without the
OEP cannot be liable for breach of contract. OEP sufficiently rebutted the
previous approval in writing of [OEP].
presumption under Art. 1170. OEP showed that it needed to recall and destroy the
c. INTERPHIL shall conduct quality control and other tests as
capsules immediately because of the danger and health risks posed to the public
[OEP] shall specify for each of the products at [OEP]'s cost
due to the wrong packaging.
and expense. ​Costs of these tests and of any special analytical
equipment required shall be charged separately to [OEP].
DOCTRINE: ​The elements of res ipsa loquitor are: (1) Accident is of such
d. Should a batch or any of the Products fail to meet the
character as to warrant an inference that it would not have happened except for the
processing or packaging standards specified by [OEPJ,
defendant’s negligence, (2) Accident must have been caused by an agency or
INTERPHIL shall either correct the deficiency in such batch
instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of the person charged
or destroy the batch on [OEP]'s instructions. ​The expenses
31
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
incurred in the correction of a deficient batch or the loss and 10. RTC Makati ruled in favor of OEP on the basis of res ipsa loquitor.
damages resulting from the destruction of the batch shall be for the Interphil was negligent in the performance of its obligations under the
account of [OEP] unless the failure of the batch to meet [OEP]'s Agreement and there was no merit in Interphil’s defense that OEP likewise
specifications can be attributed to INTERPHIL's failure to observe breached the contract without observing the agreed procedure for recall and
written instructions of [OEP] or negligence or fault of destruction. MR denied.
lNTERPHIL's personnel. a. Damages were 5.2m actual damages, 306k compensatory damages,
e. INTERPHIL agrees that it will, at all times. maintain and cause to 100k exemplary damages, 50k attorney’s fees and costs.
be maintained, the highest standards of workmanship and care in 11. CA affirmed. It stated that the proximate cause of the damage was the fact
its processing operations hereunder, to the end that INTERPHIL that Interphil erroneously packed the 90mg capsules in the 120mg foils, an
shall produce pure Products which meet the standards established action which is within their exclusive control. OEP’s act of recall and
by [OEP] or such Products. INTERPHlL shall not be responsible destruction was a prudent move in order to prevent any injury to the public.
for Product defects arising from the use of ingredients which have MR denied.
been supplied by [OEP] 12. Hence, this petition.
4. Likewise, in order to comply with a Department of Health Administrative
Order, they both issued a letter to the Bureau of Food and Drugs stating, ISSUE: ​W/N Interphil was negligent based on res ipsa loquitor? - YES.
a. Parties hereby agree to be jointly responsible for the quality of the
Product without prejudice to the liability after the determination of 13. SC takes note of the factual findings ot the RTC and CA. Great weight must
the cause in case of a defect in quality. be given to these findings absent any showing that there was arbitrariness.
b. If the cause of the defect be the manufacturing process or 14. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitor as a matter of evidentiary proof for
packaging, INTERPHIL should assume the liability ​and if the negligence was explained in Cortel v. Gepaya:
cause be·the formulae, process, methods, instructions or raw a. While negligence is not ordinarily inferred or presumed, and while
materials provided by OEP. then the latter shall x x x assume the the mere happening of an accident or injury will not generally give
liability arising out of the defect rise to an inference or presumption that it was due to the
5. After the Agreement, Interphil agreed to inspect the packaging supplies negligence of the defendant, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor
delivered to its plant. ​It charged a packaging materials inspection fee. which means the thing or transaction speaks itself, the fact or
6. Everything was fine from January 1999 to May 2000. Interphil accepted the circumstances accompanyng the injury may be such as to raise a
delivery of Diltelan capsules. After Interphil sorted, wrapped and boxed the presumption or at least permit an inference of negligence on the
capsules, they delivered it to OEP who shipped the capsults to its client, part of the defendant, or some other person who is charged with
Orient Erophardma Co./Elan Pharma Ltd. (Elan Taiwan). negligence.
7. In August 2000, OEP received urgent calls from Elan. Several hospitals in b. The elements of res ipsa loquitor are:
Taiwan called Elan informing them regarding a defect in the packaging of i. Accident is of such character as to warrant an
several 90mg Diltelan capsules which were inadvertently wrapped in foils inference that it would not have happened except for
meant and labeled for 120mg capsules and placed in boxes meant for 90mg the defendant’s negligence
capsules. ii. Accident must have been caused by an agency or
8. OEP informed Interphil. After investigation, it belonged to a single batch, instrumentality within the exclusive management or
Lot 1369. control of the person charged with the negligence
9. As a result, OEP had to recall and destroy all capsules belonging to Lot complained of
1369. ​It incurred about P5.2m in losses. OEP asked Interphil for iii. Accident must not have been due to any voluntary
reimbursement but Interphil refused. OEP filed a complaint with RTC action or contribution on the part of the person
Makati. injured.

32
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
15. Utilizing res ipsa loquitor as a matter of evidence, a mode of proof, or a have just aggravated an already precarious situation. There was no bad faith
mere prcoedural convenience, relieves a plaintiff of the burden of on the part of OEP.
producing a specific proof of negligence. It recognizes that parties may
establish a prima facie negligence without direct proof. It permits that ISSUE: ​W/N Interphil is liable for damages? - YES.
plaintiff to present along with proof of the accident, enough of the
attending circumstances to invoke the doctrine, create an inference or 23. While OEP incorrectly distinguished the damages as two separate entities,
presumption of negligence, and thereby place on the defendant the as in this jurisdiction actual and compensatory damages are one and the
burden of proving there was no negligence on his part. same, this is largely a matter of semantics and the Court finds that OEP was
16. The elements of res ipsa loquitor are present in this case. able to prove the amounts owed to them.
17. First, Interphil had exclusive control in the packaging of materials. Not only 24. Actual or compensatory damages may be awarded to reimburse an awardee
did the Agreement state Interphil’s responsibilities and degree of diligence, for either loss or the failure to receive a benefit that would have pertained to
Interphil itself mentioned that upon the delivery of materials to its plant, its said awardee, such as loss of profits.
personnel inspected the same. 25. There are two kinds of actual or compensatory damages: one is the loss of
18. Second, Interphil had exclusive management and control at the time of the what a person already possesses, and the other is the failure to receive as a
packaging. While it argues that at least one roll of 90mg foil was already benefit that which would have pertained t'o him x x x. In the latter instance,
mis-spliced, it was not proven other than its bare assertion. Interphil even the familiar rule is that damages consisting of unrealized profits, frequently
charged OEP a packaging materials inspection fee in consideration of its referred as ​"ganacias .frustradas" ​or ​"lucrum cessans,​'' are not to be granted
commitment to properly inspect the materials given to them. on the basis of mere speculation, conjecture, or surmise, but rather by
19. Third, there was no contributory fault by OEP. While Interphil alleges that reference to some reasonably definite standard such as market value,
OEP was at fault for delivering foils that look the same and were not established experience, or direct inference from known circumstances
distinctly labeled with colored tape, any fault there was not the proximate 26. Absolute certainty, however, is not necessary to establish the amount of
cause of the immediate damages. It was the erroneous packaging which ganacias frustradas ​or ​lucrum cessans. He must produce the best evidence
caused OEP to recall and destroy the products. of which his case is susceptible and if that evidence warrants the inference
20. Their letter to the BFD itself states that if the cause of the defect is the that he has been damaged by the loss of profits which he might with
manufacturing process or packaging, Interphil shall assume liability. reasonable certainty have anticipated but for the defendant's wrongful act,
he is entitled to recover.
ISSUE: ​W/N OEP can likewise be held liable for breach of contract due to its 27. Interphil is also liable for exemplary damages. The purpose of exemplary
unilateral destruction of the products? - NO. damages is to serve as a deterrent to future and subsequent parties from the
commission of a similar offense.
21. Art. 1170 states that those who are in the performance of their obligations 28. While Interphil did not necessarily act in a willful, malicious, or wanton
are guilty of fraud, negligence or delay, and those who in any manner manner, it is clear that it was grossly negligent in its defective packaging.
contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages. In culpa contractual, This gross negligence not only prejudiced the contractual relationship
the mere proof of the existence of the contract and the failure to comply between the parties, but also endangered the health of the end consumers
justify a prima facie right of relief. who received the packages, seen in the fact that the hospitals themselves
22. However in this case, the SC finds that OEP sufficiently rebutted the sent notice of the infirmity after receiving the defective items.
presumption of fault or negligence. OEP showed that it needed to recall and
destroy the capsules immediately because of the danger and health risks RULING: ​Petition denied.
posed to the public due to the wrong packaging. What was at stake was not
only the good reputation of a company, but also the possibility of
prejudicing consumers who could be adversely affected by the incorrect
contents of the capsules. It OEP allowed Interphil to fix the matter, it would
33
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
31. Ramos v. CA (Vi)
by the defendant who is charged with negligence.
December 29, 1999 | Kapunan, ​J.​ | Res Ipsa Loquitur
The requisites of ​res ipsa loquitur ​are:
PETITIONER​: ROGELIO E. RAMOS and ERLINDA RAMOS, in their own 1. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence
behalf and as natural guardians of the minors, ROMMEL RAMOS, ROY as of someone's negligence;
natural guardians of the minors, ROMMEL RAMOS, ROY RODERICK RAMOS 2. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the
and RON RAYMOND RAMOS defendant or defendants; and
RESPONDENTS​: CA, De Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC), Dr. Orlino 3. The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff
Hosaka, and Dr. Perfecta Gutierrez responsible is eliminated.
SUMMARY:
FACTS: (same facts as in the resolution - you can also read that)
In the morning of June 17, 1985, Erlinda Ramos was brought into the operating
room of the Delos Santos Medical Center for a cholecystectomy. She was then a 1. Erlinda Ramos was a 47-year-old robust woman. Married to Rogelio E.
robust woman, normal as any other except for occasional complaints of discomfort Ramos, an executive of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, she
due to pains allegedly caused by the presence of stones in her gall bladder. At has three children whose names are Rommel Ramos, Roy Roderick Ramos
around 3:00 p.m. of that day, Erlinda was taken to the Intensive Care unit of the and Ron Raymond Ramos.
hospital, comatose. On January 8, 1986, Erlinda's husband filed a civil case for 2. She had a stone in her gall bladder and because of the discomfort, she
damages against said hospital and Drs. Orlino Hosaka and Perfecta Gutierrez. The sought professional advice. She was advised to undergo an operation. She
Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The Court of Appeals, went through a series of tests (urine, blood, etc) and was fit to undergo
however, reversed the decision of the lower court and ordered the dismissal of the surgery.
complaint. Hence, this petition. The doctrine of ​res ipsa loquitur is a recognition 3. Through their mutual friend, Dr. Buenviaje, they met Dr. Hosaka who
of the postulate that, as a matter of common knowledge and experience, the very agreed to operate on her on June 17, 1985 at 9 AM. Dr. Hosaka, assured
nature of certain types of occurrences may justify an inference of negligence on Rogelio that he will get a good anesthesiologist and charged a fee of
the part of the person who controls the instrumentality causing the injury in the P16,000.00, which was to include the anesthesiologist's fee and which was
absence of some explanation by the defendant who is charged with negligence. to be paid after the operation.
The damage sustained by Erlinda in her brain prior to a scheduled gall bladder 4. A day before the scheduled date of operation, she was admitted at one of the
operation presents a case for the application of ​res ipsa loquitur.​ Brain damage, rooms of the DLSMC. Her sister-in-law, Herminda Cruz, who was the Dean
which Erlinda sustained is an injury which does not normally occur in the process of the College of Nursing at the Capitol Medical Center, was also there for
of a gall bladder operation. In fact, this kind of situation does not happen in the moral support. She was given injections. Her husband, Rogelio, was also
absence of negligence of someone in the administration of anesthesia and in the with her. At the operating room, Herminda saw about two or three nurses
use of endotracheal tube. Moreover, the instruments used in the administration of and Dr. Perfecta Gutierrez, the other defendant, who was to administer
anesthesia, including the endotracheal tube, were all under the exclusive control of anesthesia. Dr. Hosaka arrived at 12:15 PM which was about 3 hours late
private respondents, who are the physicians-in-charge. for the operation.
DOCTRINE​: 5. Cruz overheard Dr. Gutierrez say “​ang hirap ma-intubate nito, mali yata
The doctrine of ​res ipsa loquitur is a recognition of the postulate that, as a matter ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan."​, while the latter was trying to
of common knowledge and experience, the very nature of certain types of intubate Erlinda. She noticed a bluish discoloration of Erlinda’s nail beds
occurrences may justify an inference of negligence on the part of the person who and heard Dr. Hosaka instruct someone to call Dr. Calderon, another
controls the instrumentality causing the injury in the absence of some explanation anesthesiologist.

34
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
6. Dr. Calderon tried to intubate Erlinda but the latter’s nail beds remained room and for failing through its responsible officials, to cancel the
bluish. She was then placed in a trendelenburg position. At this point, Cruz scheduled operation after Dr. Hosaka inexcusably failed to arrive on time.
went to Rogelio to express her concern that the operation was not going 12. The CA reversed the ruling.
well. When she returned to the OR, she saw that Erlinda was still in the ISSUE:
trendelenburg position. 1.Whether the Court erred in applying the doctrine of ​res ipsa loquitur –
7. At almost 3 PM of the same day, Cruz saw Erlinda being taken to the ICU. NO
8. Ramos was able to talk to Dr. Hosaka who informed that something went RATIO:
wrong during the intubation. Rogelio reminded the doctor that the condition
1. Timeliness of the MR – The Court said that the records show that the
of his wife would not have happened, had he looked for a good
reason behind the delay is that the CA did not send the decision to the
anesthesiologist.
counsel on record but instead sent it Rogelio Ramos where he was
9. The doctors explained to the hospital that the patient had bronchospasm.
addressed as “Atty. Rogelio Ramos”. When a party is represented by
Erlinda Ramos stayed at the ICU for a month. About four months after, the
counsel, all notices should be sent to the party’s counsel. With a few
patient was released from the hospital. She incurred hospital bills
exceptions, notice to a litigant without notice to his counsel on record is no
amounting to P93,542.25. Since that afternoon, she has been comatosed.
notice at all.
She suffered brain damage as a result of the absence of oxygen in her brain
2. Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase which literally means "the thing or the
for 4-5 minutes. After being discharged from the hospital, she has been
transaction speaks for itself." The phrase is a maxim for the rule that the fact
staying in their residence, still needing constant medical attention, with her
of the occurrence of an injury, taken with the surrounding circumstances,
husband Rogelio incurring a monthly expense ranging from P8,000.00 to
may permit an inference or raise a presumption of negligence, or make out a
P10,000.00. She was also diagnosed to be suffering from "diffuse cerebral
plaintiff's prima facie case, and present a question of fact for defendant to
parenchymal damage".
meet with an explanation. Where the thing which caused the injury
10. The Ramoses filed a civil case for damages with the RTC of Quezon City
complained of is shown to be under the ​management of the defendant or
against respondents alleging negligence in the management and care of
his servants and the ​accident is such as in ordinary course of things ​does
Erlinda Ramos.
not happen if those who have its management or control use proper
11. The RTC ruled in favor of the Ramoses and held that the defendants were
care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of explanation by the
guilty of at least negligence in the performance of their duty to Erlinda
defendant, that the ​accident arose from or was caused by the defendant's
Ramos. The RTC said that Dr. Hosaka is liable for the acts of Dr. Gutierrez
want of care.
whom he had chosen to administer anesthesia and for arriving 3 hrs late; Dr.
3. The doctrine of ​res ipsa loquitur is simply a recognition of the postulate
Gutierrez omitted to exercise reasonable care in not only intubating the
that, as a matter of common knowledge and experience, the very nature of
patient, but also in not repeating the administration of atropine and she
certain types of occurrences may justify an inference of negligence on
committed a mistake in intubating the patient, the patient's nailbed became
the part of the ​person who controls ​the instrumentality ​causing the injury
bluish and was placed in trendelenburg position, because of the decrease of
in the absence of some explanation by the defendant who is charged with
blood supply to the patient's brain. The evidence further shows that the
negligence. It is grounded in the ​superior logic of ordinary human
hapless patient suffered brain damage because of the absence of oxygen in
experience ​and on the basis of such experience or common knowledge,
her (patient's) brain for approximately four to five minutes which, in turn,
negligence may be deduced from the mere occurrence of the acciden​t
caused the patient to become comatose. DLSMC is liable for the acts of
itself. Hence​, res ipsa loquitur is applied in conjunction with the doctrine of
negligence of the doctors in their 'practice of medicine' in the operating
common knowledge.

35
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
4. It is not a rule of substantive law and, as such, does not create an were not as such as would ordinarily have followed if due care had been
independent or separate ground of liability. Instead, it is considered as exercised.
merely evidentiary or in the nature of a ​procedural rule​. It is regarded as 10. In this case, Erlinda was to get a cholecystectomy and expected a routine
a ​mode of proof, of a mere procedural convenience since it ​relieves a general surgery. However, during the administration of anesthesia and prior
plaintiff of the burden of producing proof of negligence​. Mere to the performance of cholecystectomy she suffered irreparable damage to
invocation and application of the doctrine does not dispense with the her brain. Thus, without undergoing surgery, she went out of the operating
requirement of proof of negligence. room already decerebrate and totally incapacitated. Obviously, brain
5. The following requisites must be shown: damage is an injury which does not normally occur in the process of a gall
a. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the bladder operation. In fact, this kind of situation does not happen in the
absence of someone's negligence; absence of negligence of someone in the administration of anesthesia and in
b. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the use of endotracheal tube. Also, Erlinda was unconscious under the
the defendant or defendants; and influence of anesthesia.
c. The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the 11. Considering that the brain is injured while the patient is unconscious and
plaintiff responsible is eliminated. under the immediate and exclusive control of the physicians, the Court held
6. In the above requisites, the fundamental element is the "control of the the doctrine applies. Also, the liability of the physicians and the hospital in
instrumentality" which caused the damage. Such element of control must be this case is not predicated upon an alleged failure to secure the desired
shown to be within the dominion of the defendant. A plaintiff, in addition to results of an operation nor on an alleged lack of skill in the diagnosis or
proving injury or damage, must show a situation where it is applicable, and treatment as in fact no operation or treatment was ever performed on
must establish that the essential elements of the doctrine were present in a Erlinda.
particular incident. 12. The Court also held that the CA erred in holding that the damage was not
7. This doctrine also applies in medical malpractice cases. Generally, expert because of faulty intubation but because of an allergic reaction to the drug.
medical testimony is relied in medical malpractice cases but when ​res ipsa The Court said that the respondents were not able to disprove the
loquitur i​ s availed, the testimony is dispensed with because the injury itself presumption of negligence and that the negligence was the proximate cause.
provides the proof of negligence. 13. The Court held that Dra. Gutierrez was negligent in the care of Erlinda and
8. But, it does not automatically apply to all cases of medical negligence as to she failed to intubate the patient properly. This fact was attested to by Prof.
mechanically shift the burden of proof to the defendant to show that he is Herminda Cruz, Dean of the Capitol Medical Center School of Nursing and
not guilty of the ascribed negligence. It is generally restricted to situations petitioner's sister-in-law, who was in the operating room right beside the
in malpractice cases where a ​layman is able to say, as a matter of common patient. Cruz said that she heard Dr. Gutierrez say “​Ang hirap ma-intubate
knowledge and observation, that the consequences of professional care were nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan” and saw a bluish
not as such as would ordinarily have followed if due care had been discoloration on the nail beds of the left hand then was placed in
exercised. trendelburg position. The CA discredited her testimony by saying Cruz was
9. The Court held that ​res ipsa loquitur is applicable in this case and cited a nurse and being a layman on intubation, wasn’t competent to say whether
Voss v. Bridwell w ​ here the Kansas SC that ​res ipsa loquitur ​applies since it was a success. The Court did not agree with the CA and said that she can
the injury was one which does not ordinarily occur in a mastoid operation or testify on the statements and acts of the physician and surgeon, external
in the absence of negligence in administering the anesthetic. Under the facts appearances, and manifest conditions which are observable. She was also an
and circumstances, a layman would be able to say, as a matter of common experienced clinical nurse and the Dean of CMC School of Nursing.
knowledge and observation, that the consequences of professional treatment
36
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
14. Dra. Gutierrez also admitted that she had difficulty in inserting the tube into 18. Scientific studies show that intubation problems are responsible for 1/3 of
Erlinda’s trachea because she was obese and had a shorter neck but the deaths and serious injuries associated with anesthesia. Also, 98% or the vast
Court said that the pre-operative evaluation of a patient prior to the majority of difficult intubations may be anticipated by performing a
administration of anesthesia is universally observed to lessen the possibility thorough evaluation of the patient's airway prior to the operation. Dra.
of anesthetic accidents. Pre-operative evaluation and preparation for Gutierrez failed to observe the proper pre-operative protocol which could
anesthesia begins when the anesthesiologist reviews the patient's medical have prevented this unfortunate incident. Had appropriate diligence and
records and visits with the patient, traditionally, the day before elective reasonable care been used in the pre-operative evaluation, respondent
surgery. However, Dr. Gutierrez admitted that she saw Erlinda for the first physician could have been much more prepared to meet the contingency.
time on the day of operation itself and there was no pre-operative evaluation 19. Dr. Hosaka is responsible based on the captain-of-the-ship doctrine. His
done. Failure to follow this procedure is a clear ​indicia o​ f her negligence. negligence can be found in his failure to exercise the proper authority in not
15. Because the respondents claimed it was due to bronchospasm, Dr. Jamora, a determining if his anesthesiologist observed proper protocol. He also
pulmonologist, was presented by the respondents. The Court said that Dr. scheduled another procedure at the same time and was even 3 hours late.
Jamora was a pulmonologist and not an anesthesiologist, pharmacologist, or 20. Hospitals have a practice of filling up the hospital with consultants who are
allergologist, and therefore, is not capable of explaining the effects of not employees. Their qualifications are scrutinized before they accept the
Pentothal causing an allergic reaction leading to bronchospasm. Generally, doctors. Private hospitals, hire, fire and exercise real control over their
to qualify as an expert witness, one must ​have acquired special knowledge attending and visiting "consultant" staff. While "consultants" are not
of the subject matter about which he or she is to testify, either by the technically employees, the control exercised, the hiring, and the right to
study of recognized authorities on the subject or by practical terminate consultants all fulfill the important hallmarks of an
experience. ​Dr. Jamora does not qualify. employer-employee relationship, with the exception of the payment of
16. In view of the evidence at hand, the Court believed Ramos' stand that it was wages. In assessing whether such a relationship in fact exists, the control
the faulty intubation which was the proximate cause of Erlinda's comatose test is determining.
condition. ​Proximate cause has been defined as that which, in ​natural and 21. The basis for holding an employer solidarily responsible for the negligence
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, of its employee is found in Article 2180 of the Civil Code which considers a
produces injury, and without which the result would not have person accountable not only for his own acts but also for those of others
occurred. An injury or damage is proximately caused by an act or a failure based on the former's responsibility under a relationship of ​patria potestas.​
to act, whenever it appears from the evidence in the case, that the ​act or Such responsibility ceases when the persons or entity concerned prove that
omission played a substantial part in bringing about or actually causing they have observed the diligence of a good father of the family to prevent
the injury or damage; and that the injury or damage was either a ​direct damage. The burden of proving negligence rests on the plaintiffs, once
result or a ​reasonably probable consequence of the act or omission. It is negligence is shown, the burden shifts to the respondents.
the ​dominant, moving or producing cause​. Applying the above definition 22. DLSMC ​failed to adduce evidence showing that it exercised the diligence of
in relation to the evidence at hand, faulty intubation is undeniably the a good father of a family in the hiring and supervision of the latter nor did it
proximate cause which triggered the chain of events leading to Erlinda's show evidence with regard to the degree of supervision which it exercised
brain damage and, ultimately, her comatosed condition. over its physician.
17. This was even observed by Cruz when she heard Dr. Gutierrez say “​Ang 23. The Court held all of them liable (Dr. Gutierrez, Dr. Hosaka, DLSMC).
hirap ma-intubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang
tiyan”​.

37
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
31. Ramos v. CA - Resolution (Vi c/o Dolatre [edited]) FACTS:
April 11, 2002 | Kapunan, ​J.​ | Res Ipsa Loquitur 1. In 1985, Erlinda was advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, an operation
for the removal of a stone in her gall bladder. She was referred to a surgeon,
PETITIONER​: Rogelio and Erlinda Ramos, in their own behalf and as natural
Dr. Hosaka, who agreed to perform the operation. It was scheduled on June
guardians of the minors Ramos
17, 1985 at 9AM at DLSMC. Dr. Hosaka also recommended Dr. Gutierrez
RESPONDENTS​: CA, De Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC), Dr. Orlino
as the anesthesiologist.
Hosaka, and Dr. Perfecta Gutierrez
2. Erlinda was admitted to DLSMC the day before the operation. By 7AM the
SUMMARY:
next day, she was already being prepped for the operation. She requested
Erlinda was scheduled to have a stone in her gall bladder removed by Dr. Hosaka
that her sis-in-law, Herminda Cruz, then Dean of Capitol Medical Center’s
and anesthesiologist Dr. Gutierrez. Dr. Hosaka arrived more than 3 hours late on
College of Nursing, to accompany her in the operating room.
the day of the operation. While intubating Erlinda, her nails turned bluish and Dr.
3. At around 9:30AM, Dr. Hosaka had not yet arrived. Dr. Gutierrez tried to
Gutierrez was overheard stating that he might have inserted the tube wrong.
contact him and eventually informed Cruz that the operation might be
Erlinda was brought to the ICU, where she stayed for a month. She was released
delayed due to the late arrival of Dr. Hosaka. Meanwhile, Erlinda told Cruz
from the hospital 4 months later but was in a coma. She eventually died.
that she already wanted another doctor.
4. When Dr. Hosaka still did not arrive by 10AM, Rogelio wanted to pull his
The Ramoses filed a civil case for damages against private respondents. The SC
wife out from the operating room. Dr. Hosaka finally arrived at around
held the private respondents civilly liable for Erlinda’s comatose condition after
12:10NN, more than 3 hours late.
she delivered herself to them for their professional care and management. Hence,
5. Cruz overheard Dr. Gutierrez say “​ang hirap ma-intubate nito, mali yata
the present MR.
ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan."​, while the latter was trying to
intubate Erlinda. She noticed a bluish discoloration of Erlinda’s nail beds
The issue is whether Dr. Gutierrez is liable – YES. Applying the doctrine of ​res
and heard Dr. Hosaka instruct someone to call Dr. Calderon, another
ipsa loquitur, the injury incurred by petitioner Erlinda does not normally happen
anesthesiologist.
absent any negligence in the administration of anesthesia and in the use of an
6. Dr. Calderon tried to intubate Erlinda but the latter’s nail beds remained
endotracheal tube. the instruments used in the administration of anesthesia,
bluish. She was then placed in a trendelenburg position. At this point, Cruz
including the endotracheal tube, were all under the ​exclusive control of private
went to Rogelio to express her concern that the operation was not going
respondents Dr. Gutierrez and Dr. Hosaka​. Based on the testimony of Cruz and
well. When she returned to the OR, she saw that Erlinda was still in the
the other amicus curiae, Dr. Gutirrez should have conducted a pre-evaluation,
trendelenburg position.
recorder every act and was negligent when she failed to account for 10 minutes
7. At almost 3PM, Cruz saw Erlinda being wheeled to the ICU. The doctors
since the reason for comatose was lack of oxygen for 4-5 mins, and was not able
explained that Erlinda had bronchospasm. Erlinda stayed in the ICU for a
to intubate the first time (she tried 2 times). Based on the evidence, it was the
month and was released from the hospital only 4 months later or on Nov.
negligence of Dr. Gutierrez that caused the comatose state of Erlinda.
15, 1985. Since then, Erlinda remained in comatose condition until she died
DOCTRINE​:
on August. 3, 1999.
If the injury incurred does not normally happen absent any negligence in the
8. The Ramoses filed a civil case for damages against the private respondents
administration of anesthesia and in the use of an endotracheal tube and the
with the RTC, which ruled in their favor on the ground of negligence in the
instruments used in the administration of anesthesia, including the endotracheal
performance of duties. The CA overturned this and directed the Ramoses to
tube, were all under the exclusive control of private respondents, then the doctrine
pay their unpaid medical bills.
of ​res ipsa loquitur​ applies​.
38
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
9. The Ramoses then filed a petition for review on certiorari with the SC day of the operation itself, one hour before the scheduled operation. She
which promulgated the assailed decision, holding the private respondents auscultated the patient's heart and lungs and checked the latter's blood
civilly liable for Erlinda’s comatose condition. Hence, this MR. pressure to determine if Erlinda was indeed fit for operation. But, she did
10. In a Resolution on Feb. 21, 2000, the Court denied MRs of Dr. Hosaka and not proceed to examine the patient's airway. Had she been able to check
Gutierres who then filed second MRs. The Philippine College of Surgeons petitioner Erlinda's airway prior to the operation, Dr. Gutierrez would most
filed a Petition-in-Intervention saying that Dr. Hosaka is not liable under probably not have experienced difficulty in intubating the former, and thus
captain-of-the-ship doctrine because this doctrine has been abandoned in the the resultant injury could have been avoided.
US. 4. There is no reason for the Court to reverse the finding that it was the faulty
11. There were oral arguments and amici curiae were present during the intubation that caused the comatose state. Erlinda became comatose after
hearing. the medical procedure.
ISSUE/s: 5. Dr. Camagay said that there was no evidence to support the theory that
1.Whether Dr. Hosaka and Dr. Gutierrez are liable for negligence. – YES to Erlinda developed an allergic reaction to pentothal. He said that the
both of them symptoms of allergic reaction were not present.
2. Whether DLSMC is liable for negligence committed by their visiting 6. The Court also said that Dr. Gutierrez’s argument that intubation was
consultant surgeon and anesthesiologist. – NO successful based on the records is wrong because every single act must have
RULING: ​DLSMC is absolved from liability. Doctors are solidarily liable. been recorded and Dr. Gutierrez cannot account for 10 minutes of what
happened during the administration of anesthesia because it was not
RATIO:
recorded. This is significant because it was the absence of oxygen for 4-5
DR. GUTIERREZ mins that caused the comatose condition.
1. She claimed that the Court erred that the faulty intubation was the 7. There is also no reason to disbelieve the testimony of Cruz, Erlinda’s
proximate cause and that the facts negate negligence: sister-in-law, because she is a nurse and the Dean of the Capitol Medical
a. The outcome of the procedure was a comatose patient and not a Center School of Nursing. She heard Dr. Gutierrez say "​Ang hirap
dead one maintubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan.​ " She
b. The patient had a cardiac arrest. observed that the nailbeds of Erlinda became bluish and thereafter Erlinda
c. The patient was revived from cardiac arrest. was placed in trendelenburg position and that the abdomen of Erlinda
Hence, the intubation was a successful one. became distended.
2. The Court said that the records of the case say otherwise and that she failed 8. IMPORTANT PART - ​The injury incurred by petitioner Erlinda does not
to exercise the standard of care in administering anesthesia. Dr. Egay, normally happen absent any negligence in the administration of anesthesia
Professor and Vice-Chair for Academics, Dept. of Anesthesiology, College and in the use of an endotracheal tube. the instruments used in the
of Medicine – PGH said that the initial step is a pre-operative evaluation administration of anesthesia, including the endotracheal tube, were all under
because the anesthesiologist determines the medical status of the patient and the ​exclusive control of private respondents Dr. Gutierrez and Dr.
develops an anesthesia plan to establish identification and personal Hosaka​. In ​Voss v. Bridwell, w​ hich involved a patient who suffered brain
acquaintance, alleviate anxiety, explain techniques and risks, and establish damage due to the wrongful administration of anesthesia, the Kansas
consent. Preanesthetic/preoperative evaluation is needed to formulate a plan Supreme Court applied the doctrine of ​res ipsa loquitur,​ reasoning that the
of anesthesia care suited to the needs of the patient. injury to the patient therein was one which ​does not ordinarily take place
3. Dr. Gutierrez omitted to perform a thorough preoperative evaluation on in the absence of negligence in the administration of an anesthetic​, and
Erlinda. As she herself admitted, she saw Erlinda for the first time on the in the use and employment of an endotracheal tube. The consequences of
39
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
professional treatment were not as such as would ordinarily have followed 1. The SC previously held that DLSMC was solidarily liable with the
if due care had been exercised. Considering the application of the doctrine respondent doctors under ​Art. 2180 of the Civil Code​ since there exists an
of ​res ipsa loquitur​, the testimony of Cruz was properly given credence in employer-employee relationship between them.
the case at bar. 2. In determining whether an employer-employee relationship exists, the
DR. HOSAKA ff. elements must be present​:
1. Dr. Hosaka argues that the Court erred in finding him negligent as a surgeon a. Selection and engagement of services
by applying the Captain-of-the-Ship doctrine. He points out that b. Payment of wages
anesthesiology and surgery are two distinct and specialized fields in c. Power to hire and fire
medicine and as a surgeon, he is not deemed to have control over the acts of d. Power to control not only the end to be achieved, but the means to
Dr. Gutierrez. As an anesthesiologist, Dr. Gutierrez is a specialist in her be used in reaching such an end.
field and has acquired skills and knowledge in the course of her training 3. There is no employer-employee relationship ​between DLSMC and the
which Dr. Hosaka, as a surgeon, does not possess. He also argues that the doctors for the ff. reasons:
trend in the US is to reject this doctrine. a. The ​admission of a physician to membership in DLSMC’s medical
2. The Court said that just because there is a trend in the US doesn’t mean that staff as active or visiting consultant is first decided upon by the
we will follow that trend. Dr. Hosaka exercised a certain degree of Credentials Committe​e, which is composed of the heads of the
supervision over the procedure then being performed on Erlinda. It was Dr. various specialty departments. The Credentials Committee then
Hosaka who recommended Dr. Gutierrez. He was the attending physician recommends to the Medical Director or Hospital Administrator the
and when Erlinda was blue, gave instructions to find another acceptance or rejection of the applicant physician, and said director
anesthesiologist and resuscitate her. They worked as a team. or administrator validates the committee’s recommendation.
3. Dr. Hosaka was remiss in his duty of attending to petitioner Erlinda b. In cases where a disciplinary action is lodged against a consultant​,
promptly, because he arrived more than 3 hours late for the scheduled the same is ​initiated by the department to whom the consultant
operation. He also scheduled 2 procedures on the same day with only 30 concerned belongs and is then filed with the Ethics Committee​,
mins apart. The unreasonable delay in petitioner Erlinda's scheduled consisting of the department specialty heads. ​The medical
operation subjected her to continued starvation and the risk of acidosis. The director/hospital administrator merely acts as ​ex-officio ​member of
long period that Dr. Hosaka made Erlinda wait for him certainly aggravated said committee.
the anxiety that she must have been feeling at the time. It could be safely c. There is ​no showing that it is DLSMC which pays any of its
said that her anxiety adversely affected the administration of anesthesia on consultants for medical services rendered by the latter to their
her. respective patients​.
4. Dr. Hosaka's irresponsible conduct of arriving very late for the scheduled d. The ​contract between the consultant and his patient, which
operation of petitioner Erlinda is violative, not only of his duty as a concerns rendition of medical services by the consultant to the
physician "to serve the interest of his patients with the greatest solicitude, patient, ​is separate and distinct from that between DLSMC and the
giving them always his best talent and skill," but also of Article 19 of the patient, which concerns the provision of hospital facilities and
Civil Code which requires a person, in the performance of his duties, to act services by its staff (nurses and lab personnel).
with justice and give everyone his due. 4. Further, ​no evidence was adduced to show that Erlinda’s injury was due
DLSMC to a failure on DLSMC’s part to provide for hospital facilities and staff
necessary for her treatment.

40
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
32. Reyes v. Sisters of Mercy Hospital (Pat D.) merit among the ordinarily good physicians. Dr. Rico did not depart from the
October 3, 2000 | Mendoza, ​J.​ | Presumption of Negligence – Res Ipsa Loquitur reasonable standard recommended by the experts as she in fact observed the due
care required under the circumstances.
PETITIONER​: Leah Alesna Reyes, Rose, Johnny, and minors Lloyd and DOCTRINE​:
Kristine, all surnamed Reyes, represented by their mother Leah Alesna Reyes ● 4 elements in medical negligence: duty, breach, injury, and proximate
RESPONDENTS​: Sisters of Mercy Hospital, Sister Rose Palacio, Dr. Marvie causation.
Blanes, and Dr. Marlyn Rico (will refer to them collectively as Hospital) ● General rule on necessity of expert testimony applies only to such matters
clearly with the domain of medical science and not to matters within the
SUMMARY: ​Jorge suffered from recurring fever and chills and was brought to common knowledge of mankind which may be testified by anyone familiar
Mercy Community Clinic after he failed to get relief from home medication. He with the facts. All that the patient must do is prove a nexus between the
was attended by Dr. Rico, who concluded that he had typhoid fever, after particular act or omission complained of and the injury sustained while
administering the Widal Test and due to the fact that typhoid fever was then under the custody and management of the defendant without need to
prevalent in the locality. He was indorsed to Dr. Blanes who gave him produce expert medical testimony to establish the standard of care.
chloromycetin after he took a compatability test. The antibiotic wasa ● The elements for application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur are:
administered in 2 doses with a 3-hour interval in between. Jorge began to have (1) The accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless
high fever, chills, and convulsions and eventually died a few hours later. His someone is negligent.
wife, Leah, and their children filed for damages claiming that he died because of (2) The instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the
the wrongful administration of the antibiotic and the negligence of the doctors exclusive control of the person in charge.
and the clinic. They presented the doctor who performed the autopsy, who (3) The injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action or
concluded that he did not die of typhoid fever. The Hospital denied the charges contribution of the person injured.
and presented two doctors corroborating the correctness of the diagnosis and ● Res ipsa loquitur can have no application in a suit against a physician or a
procedures administered on Jorge. surgeon which involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment.
WoN doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies – NO. ● The standard contemplated for doctors is simply the reasonable average
Where common knowledge and experience teach that a resulting injury would merit among ordinarily good physicians.
not have occurred to the patient if due care had been exercised, an inference of
negligence may be drawn giving rise to an application of the doctrine of res ipsa FACTS:
loquitur without medical evidence, which is ordinarily required to show not only 1. Leah is the wife of the late Jorge Reyes, while the other petitioners are their
what occurred but how and why it occurred. In this case, res ipsa loquitur does children.
not apply. Although Jorge died only a few hours after he received medical 2. 5 days before his death, Jorge had been suffering from recurring fever with
assistance, there was nothing unusual or extraordinary about his death . The chills. When he failed to get relief from home medication, he decided to see a
alleged failure to observe due care was not immediately apparent to a layman as doctor.
to justify its application. 3. He was taken to Mercy Community Clinic by Leah, where he was attended to by
WoN Jorge died due to the negligence of the Hospital – NO. Dr. Rico. He was given a physical examination and his medical history was
Medical malpractice is a particular form of negligence consisting in the failure of taken. Dr. Rico noted that at the time of his admission, Jorge was conscious,
a physician/surgeon to apply to his practice of medicine that degree of care and ambulatory, oriented, coherent, and with respiratory distress.
skill which is ordinarily employed by the profession generally under similar 4. Typhoid fever was prevalent then in the locality as the clinic had been getting
conditions and in like surrounding circumstances. In this case, the Court found 15-20 cases of typhoid per month. Suspecting Jorge suffered from this, Dr. Rico
that Leah and her children failed to establish specific acts of negligence ordered a Widal test, a standard test for typhoid fever, to be performed on him.
allegedly committed by the doctors. The standard contemplated is not what is Other tests were also conducted. From the results of the test, she concluded that
actually the average merit among all known practitioners from the best to the Jorge was positive for typhoid fever. Since Dr. Rico’s shift ended at 5pm, she
worst and from the most to the least experienced, but the reasonable average indorsed Jorge to Dr. Blanes.
41
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
3
5. Dr. Blanes also took Jorge’s history and gave him a physical examination. a. Dr. Gotiong - Jorge’s history and positive Widal Test results ratio of
Similarly, she thought that Jorge had typhoid fever. Antibiotics being the 1:320 would make him suspect that he had typhoid fever. As to the
accepted treatment for such, she ordered a compatibility test with antibiotic absence of ulceration in the gastrointestinal tract, such hyperplasia in
chloromycetin. The test was administered by nurse Pagents who did not observe the intestines of a typhoid victim may be microscopic. Since the toxic
any adverse reaction. Thus, Dr. Blanes ordered the first 500mg of the antibiotic effect of typhoid fever may lead to meningitis, autopsy should have
to be administered on Jorge at around 9pm and the second dose 3 hours later. included an examination of the brain.
4
6. At around 1am the next day, Dr. Blanes was called since Jorge’s temperature b. Dr. Panopio - although he was partial to the use of the culture test for
rose to 41 degrees Celsius. He also experienced chills and exhibited respiratory its greater reliability in diagnosing typhoid fever, the Widal Test may
distress, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions. Dr. Blanes was able to ease his also be used. He agreed that the 1:320 ratio was already the maximum
convulsions. When Jorge regained consciousness, he was asked if he had a by which a conclusion of typhoid fever may be made. The autopsy was
previous heart ailment or suffered from chest pains and he said no. incomplete and thus inconclusive.
7. After about 15 minutes, he started to vomit again and have convulsions. Dr. 13. The RTC absolved the Hospital from the charges of negligence and dismissed
Blanes re-applied the emergency measures and administered valium but Jorge the action for damages.
did not respond to the treatment and slipped into cyanosis (a bluish or purplish 14. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC’s decision.
discoloration of the skin or mucous membrane due to deficient oxygenation of
the blood). ISSUE/s:
8. At around 2am, Jorge died due to Ventricular Arrythemia Secondary to 1. WoN Jorge died due to the negligence of the Hospital – NO.
Hyperpyrexia and typhoid fever. 2. WoN doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies – NO.
9. Leah and her children filed a complaint for damages before the RTC. They
claimed that: RULING: ​Petition denied.
a. Jorge did not die of typhoid fever but of wrongful administration of
chloromycetin. RATIO:
b. Had respondent doctors exercise due care and diligence, they would not 1. Leah and her children’s action is for ​medical malpractice​, which is a particular
have recommended and rushd the performance of the Widal Test, form of negligence consisting in the ​failure of a physician/surgeon to apply to
hastily concluded that Jorge suffered from typhoid fever, and his practice of medicine that degree of care and skill which is ordinarily
administered chloromycetin without first conducting sufficient employed by the profession generally under similar conditions and in like
compatibility tests. surrounding circumstances.
c. The clinic and its directress Sister Rose Palacio were negligent in 2. A patient must prove that the physician either failed to do something which a
failing to provide adequate facilities and in hiring negligent doctors. reasonably prudent physician would have done or that he did something that a
10. The Hospital denied the charges. reasonably prudent physician would not have done, and that failure/action
2
11. Leah and her children offered the testimony of Dr. Vacalares. He performed caused injury to the patient.
Jorge’s autopsy; however, he did not open the skull to examine the brain. ​He 3. 4 elements in medical negligence: ​duty, breach, injury, and proximate causation​.
found the gastrointestinal tract was normal and without any ulceration or 4. To determine the reasonable level of care and the breach thereof, expert
enlargement of nodules. He testified that Jorge did not die of typhoid fever and testimony is essential since causes of injuries in medical malpractice require
that he had not seen a patient die of typhoid fever within 5 days from onset of
the disease. 3
Diplomate in internal medicine with expertise in microbiology and infectious diseases;
12. The Hospital offered the testimonies of: consultant at Cebu City Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at South Western
University College of Medicine in Cebu; had treated over a thousand cases of typhoid patients
4
​Member of the American Board of Pathology; examiner of the Philippine Board of
Pathology from 1978-1991; fellow of the Philippine Society of Pathologists; associate
professor of Cebu Institute of Medicine; chief pathologist of the Andres Soriano Jr. Memorial
2
​Chief Pathologist at Northern Mindanao Training Hospital Hospital
42
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
scientific knowledge. However, ​expert testimony may be dispensed with and the professional medical help came too late. ​The alleged failure to observe
under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. due care was not immediately apparent to a layman as to justify its
5. Citing ​Ramos v. CA​: application.
a. When res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the need for expert 9. No presumption of negligence can be applied to Dr. Rico. A distinction must be
medical testimony is dispensed with since the injury itself provides the made between the ​failure to secure results​, and the ​occurrence of something
proof of negligence. more unusual and not ordinarily found if the service or treatment rendered
b. General rule on necessity of expert testimony applies only to such followed the usual procedure of those skilled in that particular practice​. ​Res
matters clearly with the domain of medical science and not to matters ipsa loquitur can have no application in a suit against a physician or a
within the common knowledge of mankind which may be testified by surgeon which involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment.
anyone familiar with the facts. The physician or surgeon is not required at his peril to explain why any
c. Where ​common knowledge and experience teach that a resulting particular diagnosis was not correct, or why any particular scientific treatment
injury would not have occurred to the patient if due care had been did not produce the desired result.
exercised, an inference of negligence may be drawn giving rise to 10. The Court also found that Leah and her children failed to establish specific acts
an application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur without medical of negligence allegedly committed by the doctors.
evidence​, which is ordinarily required to show not only what occurred a. Dr. Vacalares was ​not an expert witness since he was not a specialist on
but how and why it occurred. ​All that the patient must do is prove a infectious diseases like typhoid fever. Although he had extensive
nexus between the particular act or omission complained of and the experience in performing autopsies, he had yet to do one on a typhoid
injury sustained while under the custody and management of the victim’s body before Jorge. He also testified that he has treated only 3
defendant without need to produce expert medical testimony to cases of typhoid fever. He is not qualified to prove that Dr. Rico erred
establish the standard of care. in her diagnosis.
6. Leah and her children contend that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies b. The ​2 doctors presented by the Hospital were clearly experts on the
because Jorge was merely experiencing fever and chills for 5 days and was fully subjects (see footnotes 2 and 3). They vouched for the correctness of
conscious and coherent when he went to the hospital. Yet, he died only ten hours Dr. Rico’s diagnosis.
from admission. They claim that all the requisites of res ipsa loquitur were i. Dr. Gation claimed that the Widal Test was normally used and
present if the 1:320 results had been presented to him, he would have
7. The elements for application of res ipsa loquitur are​: had the same diagnosis. He also said that chloromycetin was
(1) The accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone the drug of choice in treating typhoid fever. Despite the
is negligent. measures taken by the doctors and the intravenous
(2) The instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the administration of 2 doses of chloromycetin, complications of
exclusive control of the person in charge. the disease could not be discounted.
(3) The injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action or ii. Dr. Panopio recognized that the Widal Test was used for
contribution of the person injured. typhoid patients and that it only gave a presumption and
8. Res ipsa loquitur does not apply. In the case of ​Ramos​, in applying the doctrine become more conclusive when repeated at the second and
of res ipsa loquitur, the Court ruled that mental brain damage does not normally third weeks of the disease. Danger of typhoid fever is the
occur in a gallblader operation in the absence of negligence of the possible complications which could develop. As to the 1:320
anesthesiologist and took judicial notice that anesthesia procedures had become results, no additional information could be obtained from a
so common that even an ordinary person could tell if it was administered higher ratio.
properly. In this case, ​although Jorge died only a few hours after he received 11. The ​standard contemplated is not what is actually the average merit among all
medical assistance, there was nothing unusual or extraordinary about his known practitioners from the best to the worst and from the most to the least
death. Prior to his admission, he already had fevers and chills for 5 days, experienced, but the ​reasonable average merit among the ordinarily good
untreatable by home medication. He had been suffering from a serious illness physicians. ​Dr. Marlyn Rico did not depart from the reasonable standard
43
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
recommended by the experts as she in fact observed the due care required under
the circumstances.
12. The burden of proving that Jorge Reyes was suffering from any other illness
rested with the petitioners. As they failed to present expert opinion on this,
preponderant evidence to support their contention is clearly absent.
13. Leah and her children claim that Jorge died of anaphylactic shock or possibly
from overdose as the second dose should have been administered five to six
hours after the first. The Court, citing the CA, found that it was ​still within
medically acceptable limits​, since the recommended dose of chloromycetin is
one 1g every 6 hours​.F ​ urthermore, even if Jorge suffered from an anaphylactic
shock, this, of itself, would not yet establish the negligence of the doctors for all
that the law requires of them is that they perform the standard tests and perform
standard procedures. ​The law cannot require them to predict every possible
reaction to all drugs administered​. The onus probandi was on Leah and her
children to establish that the doctors ignored standard medical procedure,
prescribed and administered medication with recklessness, and exhibited an
absence of the competence and skills expected of general practitioners similarly
situated.
14. Leah and her children also tried to assert that since common carriers and the
medical profession are both affected with public interest, physicians also have
the duty of extraordinary diligence to their patients. However, the Court ruled
that ​the standard of extraordinary diligence is peculiar to common carriers.
15. The practice of medicine is a profession engaged in only by qualified
individuals. It is a right earned through years of education, training, and by first
obtaining a license from the state through professional board examinations. Such
license may, at any time and for cause, be revoked by the government. In
addition to state regulation, the conduct of doctors is also strictly governed by
the Hippocratic Oath, an ancient code of discipline and ethical rules which
doctors have imposed upon themselves in recognition and acceptance of their
great responsibility to society. ​Given these safeguards, there is no need to
expressly require of doctors the observance of "extraordinary" diligence.
16. The standard contemplated for doctors is simply the reasonable average
merit among ordinarily good physicians​. That is reasonable diligence for
doctors or the reasonable "skill and competence that a physician in the same or
similar locality should apply."

44
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
33. United States v. Teodoro Juanillo ​(Jay-em)
is absolutely under the power and control of the driver, whereas a horse or
Oct. 3, 1912 | Trent, J | Violation of Statutes/Rules other animal can and does to some extent aid in averting an accident.
Hence, driver of an automobile must exercise greater degree of diligence.
Petitioner: United States
Respondent: Teodoro Juanillo
Facts​:
Summary: ​Juan Labrila, Ponciano Leal, and Pedro Latoja were walking 1. Ponciano Leal was killed on the public highway while going from
abreast along the road toward Santa Barbara. ​Latoja heard a noise, looked the town of Pavia to Santa Barbara, Province of Iloilo by being
back, and called out that an automobile was approaching. He then jumped struck by an automobile, of which ​defendant Teodoro Juanillo was
to the left to get out of the way of the machine, colliding with Labrila and the chauffeur.
knocking him into the ditch on the left-hand side. Leal was struck on or
a. Contention of the prosecution is that the death of Leal was
near the left hip by the lamp or fender over the left front wheel of the
due to the reckless driving of defendant Teodoro Juanillo,
automobile. The blow knocked him to the side of the machine and that
while counsel for the defense insists that the unfortunate
as a direct result of the blow, he died. The ​automobile was driven by
occurrence was purely an accident.
defendant Teodoro Juanillo. ​Contention of the prosecution is that the
death of Leal was due to the reckless driving of defendant Teodoro 2. Prosec presented 4 witnesses:
Juanillo, while counsel for the defense insists that the unfortunate a. Pedro Latoja testified that Juan Labrila, Ponciano Leal, and
occurrence was purely an accident. ​Issue​: Whether there is a violation of he were walking abreast along the road toward Santa
Art. 568 of the Penal Code. ​Ratio: ​The SC held in the affirmative. The Barbara; that he was in the middle with Leal on his right and
negligence of defendant Teodoro Juanillo in this case consisted in his Labrila on his left; that while they were going along in this
failure to recognize the great injury that would accrue to Leal from the manner carrying on an ordinary conversation, he heard a
collision. He had no right, after he saw Leal and his companions walking noise behind him, and on turning around saw an automobile
in the road ahead of him, to continue at so great a speed, at the eminent approaching; that he called out immediately that an
hazard of colliding with Leal. Great care was due from him by reason of automobile was coming and jumped to the left, colliding
the deadliness of the machine he was propelling along the highway. When with Labrila; that when he turned around to look for Leal the
one comes through the highways with a machine of such power as an latter was lying on the ground.
automobile, it is incumbent upon the driver to use great care not to drive b. Labrila also testified that he was knocked into the ditch on
against or over pedestrians the left of the road by Latoja and that when he got up he saw
Leal lying on the ground, the automobile having passed.
Doctrine​:
It is generally held that the rights and duties of pedestrians and vehicles are c. Nicolas Agraviado testified that he had just passed Leal and
equal. Each may use the highway, and each must exercise such care and his companions going in the opposite direction when the
prudence as the circumstances demand. automobile passed him.
An automobile is more dangerous than vehicles drawn by animals for the d. Petronio Leal, son of the deceased, said he was walking a
reason that the former is capable of greater destruction and further that its little ahead of his father when the latter was struck by the
machine. He did not see the machine strike his father, neither
45
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
did either of the other three witnesses see Leal at the precise a. Leal was killed just a little to the left of the center of the road. Just
moment he was struck. before the machine struck him he had been walking abreast with his
3. Latoja, Labrila, and Agraviado were country people/ natives with no companions. Neither Latoja nor Labrila heard the blowing of the
personal experience in the handling of automobiles. This was the horn or any other warning whatever until the machine was so close
first time that Latoja had been in the city of Iloilo for ten years. that Latoja and Labrila barely had time to make their escape, what
Leal, being on the left, did not have sufficient time.
4. Defense presented as witnesses all those who were riding the
automobile. [They gave detailed and long testimonies but won’t b. CFI sentenced Teodoro Juanillo with ​“negligent homicide”.
include all of them here]
a. Miller testified that the appellant was a good chauffeur, and Issue: Whether the facts constitute a violation of Article 5685 of the Penal
had never had an accident before. Code. Yes.
b. Becker testified that he saw some men in the road at a Ratio:
distance of about 300 yards ahead of the automobile; that at 1. It is generally held that the rights and duties of pedestrians and
that time the chauffeur put on his brakes, used his exhaust, vehicles are equal. Each may use the highway, and each must
and blew his horn; that when they got up to within about 30 exercise such care and prudence as the circumstances demand​.
feet of the men — some of them having gone to the right and Owners of automobiles have the same rights in the streets and
some to the left — Leal, being on the right, started to run highways that pedestrians and drivers of horses have.
across to the left side of the road to join his companions; that
a. Automobile drivers or the drivers of animals are not to use
Leal did not clear the machine and was struck by some part
the means of locomotion without regard to the rights of
of the left side of the machine, knocked down, and died​.
others having occasion to travel on the highway.
c. Dean says that the machine was about 300 yards away from
b. While an automobile is a lawful means of conveyance and
Leal and his companions when the defendant blew his horn,
has equal rights upon the roads with pedestrians, horses, and
turned on the exhaust and shut off the power; that when they
carriages, its use cannot be lawfully countenanced unless
were about 25 feet away the brakes were applied with such
accompanied with that degree of prudence in management
force that he and his companions were all thrown forward,
and consideration for the rights of others which consistent
and that the machine had been running when it struck Leal
with safety.
under its own momentum for about 150 or 200 yards.
2. The operator of an automobile is bound to exercise care in proportion
d. Defendant Bordan himself said that the machine had been
to the varying danger and risks of the highway and commensurate
going for 100 yards without gasoline, 18 feet of the last part
with the dangers naturally incident to the use of such vehicle. ​The
of the hundred yards with the brakes strongly applied, when
degree of care required in the operation of an automobile on the
Leal was struck, and continued for some 25 feet before he
public highways is correlative with the conditions confronting
could stop.
the operator, such as the presence or absence of other travellers
4. Because of the unreasonableness of the stories told by the defendant and
his witnesses, trial court only accepted the testimony of the prosec witnesses 5
"ART. 568. Any person who by reckless imprudence shall commit any act which, had it been intentional,
would constituted a grave felony shall suffer a penalty ranging from arresto mayor in it maximum degree
as to how the collision took place. ​To summarize: to prision correccional in its minimum degree; if it would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty
of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium degree shall be imposed.
46
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
and their apparent ability to care for themselves, the
unobstructedness of the view, etc.
3. In the present case, Teodoro Juanillo being in charge of the
powerful machine, capable of doing great damage if not skillfully
manipulated, was bound to use a high degree of care to avoid
injuring these native farmers, who had a common right to the
highway​.
a. A driver of an automobile, under such circumstances, is
required to use a ​greater degree of care than drivers of
animals, for the reason that the machine is capable of
greater destruction, and further more, it is absolutely under
the power and control of the some extent aid in averting an
accident. Although, perhaps somewhat disagreeable to
reduce speed when meeting or passing other travellers, a
failure to do this increases the responsibility for an accident
which occurs under such circumstances.
b. Failure to check the speed of an automobile when
meeting or passing other travellers to such an extent as to
give the driver su​ ​fficient control to avoid or avert an
accident to due to the carelessness or imprudence of his
fellow travellers, is reckless negligence.
4. The negligence of defendant Teodoro Juanillo in this case
consisted in his failure to recognize the great injury that would
accrue to Leal from the collision. He had no right, after he saw
Leal and his companions walking in the road ahead of him, to
continue at so great a speed, at the eminent hazard of colliding
with Leal.
a. Great care was due from him by reason of the deadliness
of the machine he was propelling along the highway.
When one comes through the highways with a machine of
such power as an automobile, it is incumbent upon the
driver to use great care not to drive against or over
pedestrians.

47
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
an oncoming car upon the wrong side. Chapman in common out to board the car,
34.. Chapman v. Underwood (Patrick) was not obliged, for his own protection, to observe whether a car was coming
March 28, 1914 | ​MORELAND, ​J.​. | Negligence Presumed for Violation of Statutes upon him from his left hand. He had only to guard against those coming from
PETITIONER​: ​J. H. CHAPMAN the right. He knew that, according to the law of the road, no automobile or other
RESPONDENTS:​ ​JAMES M. UNDERWOOD vehicle coming from his left should pass upon his side of the car. He needed
only to watch for cars coming from his right, as they were the only ones under
SUMMARY​: the law permitted to pass upon that side of the street car. ​Underwood, however,
There was a single-track street-car line running along Calle Herran, with is not responsible for the negligence of his driver, under the facts and
occasional switches to allow cars to meet and pass each other. One of these circumstances of this case. the time the automobile took the wrong side of the
switches was located at the scene of the accident. Chapman had been visiting his road to the commission of the injury, sufficient time intervened to give the
friend, a man by the name of Creveling, in front of whose house the accident defendant an opportunity to correct the act of his driver. Instead, it appears with
happened. He desired to board a certain "San Marcelino" car coming from Santa fair clearness that the interval between the turning out to meet and pass the street
Ana and bound for Manila. Being told by Creveling that the car was car and the happening of the accident was so small as not to be sufficient to
approaching, he immediately, and somewhat hurriedly, passed from the gate into charge defendant with the negligence of the driver. Whether or not the owner of
the street for the purpose of signaling and boarding the car. The car was a closed an automobile driven by a competent driver, would be responsible, whether
one, the entrance being from the front or the rear platform. Chapman attempted present or not, for the negligent acts of his driver when the automobile was a
to board the front platform but, seeing that he could not reached it without extra part of a business enterprise, and was being driven at the time of the accident in
exertion, stopped beside the car, facing toward the rear platform, and waited for furtherance of the owner's business, we do not now decide
it to come abreast of him in order to board. While in this position he was struck
from behind and run over by the defendant's automobile. Underwood entered
Calle Herran at Calle Peñafrancia in his automobile driven by his chauffeur, a FACTS:
competent driver. A street car bound from Manila to Santa Ana being 1. there was a single-track street-car line running along Calle Herran, with
immediately in front of him, he followed along behind it. Just before reaching occasional switches to allow cars to meet and pass each other. One of these
the scene of the accident the street car which was following took the switch — switches was located at the scene of the accident.​.
that is, went off the main line to the left upon the switch lying alongside of the
main track. Thereupon the defendant no longer followed that the street car nor 2. Chapman had been visiting his friend, a man by the name of Creveling, in
went to the left, but either kept straight ahead on the main street-car track or a bit front of whose house the accident happened. He desired to board a certain
to the right. The car which the plaintiff intended to board was on the main line "San Marcelino" car coming from Santa Ana and bound for Manila. Being
and bound in an opposite direction to that in which the defendant was going. told by Creveling that the car was approaching, he immediately, and
When the front of the "San Marcelino" car, the one the plaintiff attempted to somewhat hurriedly, passed from the gate into the street for the purpose of
board, was almost in front of the defendant's automobile, defendant's driver signaling and boarding the car. The car was a closed one, the entrance being
suddenly went to the right and struck and ran over the Chapman. from the front or the rear platform. Chapman attempted to board the front
platform but, seeing that he could not reached it without extra exertion,
W/N Underwood’s driver was negligent? stopped beside the car, facing toward the rear platform, and waited for it to
Examination of the record leads us to the conclusion that the Underwood's driver come abreast of him in order to board. While in this position he was struck
was guilty of negligence in running upon and over the plaintiff. He was passing from behind and run over by the defendant's automobile.
48
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
2. Underwood, however, is not responsible for the negligence of his driver,
3. The Underwood entered Calle Herran at Calle Peñafrancia in his automobile under the facts and circumstances of this case.
driven by his chauffeur, a competent driver. A street car bound from Manila
to Santa Ana being immediately in front of him, he followed along behind 3. Johnson v. David: Although in the David case the owner of the vehicle was
it. Just before reaching the scene of the accident the street car which was not present at the time the alleged negligent acts were committed by the
following took the switch — that is, went off the main line to the left upon driver, the same rule applies where the owner is present, unless the
the switch lying alongside of the main track. Thereupon the defendant no negligent act of the driver are continued for such a length of time as to give
longer followed that the street car nor went to the left, but either kept the owner a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct his driver
straight ahead on the main street-car track or a bit to the right. The car to desist therefrom. An owner who sits in his automobile, or other vehicle,
which the plaintiff intended to board was on the main line and bound in an and permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the
opposite direction to that in which the defendant was going. When the front performance of negligent acts, after he has had a reasonable opportunity to
of the "San Marcelino" car, the one the plaintiff attempted to board, was observe them and to direct that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself
almost in front of the defendant's automobile, defendant's driver suddenly responsible for such acts. The owner of an automobile who permits his
went to the right and struck and ran over the Chapman. chauffeur to drive up to Escolta, for example, at a speed of 60 miles an
hour, without any effort to stop him, although he has had a reasonable
opportunity to do so, becomes himself responsible, both criminally and
4. Judgment of the trial court was for underwood. civilly, for the results produced by the acts of his chauffeur. On the other
hand, if the driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the owner
having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the acts or its continuance,
ISSUES: injures a person or violates the criminal law, the owner of the automobile,
1. W/N Underwood’s driver was negligent? although present therein at the time the act was committed, is not
responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefor. The act complained of
Ruling:​ Judgment of lower court affirmed must be continued in the presence of the owner for such a length a time that
the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver's act his own
RATIO:
1. Examination of the record leads us to the conclusion that the Underwood's 4. In the case before us it does not appear from the record that, from the time
driver was guilty of negligence in running upon and over the plaintiff. He the automobile took the wrong side of the road to the commission of the
was passing an oncoming car upon the wrong side. Chapman in common injury, sufficient time intervened to give the defendant an opportunity to
out to board the car, was not obliged, for his own protection, to observe correct the act of his driver. Instead, it appears with fair clearness that the
whether a car was coming upon him from his left hand. He had only to interval between the turning out to meet and pass the street car and the
guard against those coming from the right. He knew that, according to the happening of the accident was so small as not to be sufficient to charge
law of the road, no automobile or other vehicle coming from his left should defendant with the negligence of the driver.
pass upon his side of the car. He needed only to watch for cars coming from
his right, as they were the only ones under the law permitted to pass upon 5. Whether or not the owner of an automobile driven by a competent driver,
that side of the street car. would be responsible, whether present or not, for the negligent acts of his
driver when the automobile was a part of a business enterprise, and was

49
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being driven at the time of the accident in furtherance of the owner's
business, we do not now decide

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
35. Caedo v. Yu Khu Thai master and susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own negligence
December 18, 1968​ | MAKALINTAL, J. | Negligence Presumed for Violation of if he fails to correct it in order to prevent injury or damage.
Statutes
PETITIONER​: ​MARCIAL T. CAEDO, JUANA SANGALANG CAEDO, Negligence on the part of the owner, if any, must be sought in the immediate
and the Minors, EPHRAIM CAEDO, EILEEN CAEDO, ROSE ELAINE setting and circumstances of the accident, that is, in his failure to detain the
CAEDO, suing through their father, MARCIAL T. CAEDO, as guardian driver from pursuing a course which not only gave him clear notice of the
ad litem,​ plaintiffs-appellants, danger but also sufficient time to act upon it. We do not see that such negligence
RESPONDENTS:​ ​YU KHE THAI and RAFAEL BERNARDO may be imputed. The car, as has been stated, was not running at an unreasonable
SUMMARY​: ​Plaintiff Caedo was driving his Mercury car at about 5:30 in the speed. The road was wide and open, and devoid of traffic that early morning.
morning of March 24, 1958 along E. de los Santos Ave., in the vicinity of San There was no reason for the car owner to be in any special state of alert. He had
LorenzoVillage bound for the airport. Several members of his family were in the reason to rely on the skill and experience of his driver. He became aware of the
car. Coming from the opposite direction was the Cadillac car of defendant Yu presence of the carretela when his car was only twelve meters behind it, but then
Khe Thai driven by his driver Rafael Bernardo. The two cars were traveling at a his failure to see it earlier did not constitute negligence, for he was not himself at
moderate speed with their headlights on. Ahead of the Cadillac was a caretela. the wheel. And even when he did see it at that distance, he could not have
Defendant’s driver did not notice it until he was about eight (8) meters away. anticipated his driver’s sudden decision to pass the carretela on its left side in
Instead of slowing down behind the caretela defendant’s driver veered to the left spite of the fact that another car was approaching from the opposite direction.
with the intention of passing by the caretela but in doing so its rear bumper The time element was such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe
caught the ream of thecaretela’s left wheel wrenching it off. Defendant’s car Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver accordingly. The thought
skidded obliquely to the other end and collided with the on-coming vehicle of that entered his mind, he said, was that if he sounded a sudden warning it might
the plaintiff. The plaintiff on his part, slackened his speed and tried to avoid the only make the other man nervous and make the situation worse. It was a thought
collision by veering to the right but the collision occurred just the same injuring that, wise or not, connotes no absence of that due diligence required by law to
the plaintiff and members of his family. Plaintiff brought an action for damages prevent the misfortune. Under the facts the owner of the car was not liable.
against both the driver and owner of the Cadillac car. There was no question that
defendant’s driver was negligent and liable.

ISSUE: Whether or not defendant Yu Khe Thai, owner of the car, who was in FACTS:
the car, was solidarily liable with the driver under Art. 2184, of the Civil Code.​? 1. At about 5:30 in the morning of March 24, 1958 on Highway 54 (now E. de
– NO. los Santos Avenue) in the vicinity of San Lorenzo Village. Marcial was
driving his Mercury car on his way from his home in Quezon City to the
HELD: The applicable law is Article 2184 of the Civil Code. Under the said airport, where his son Ephraim was scheduled to take a plane for Mindoro.
provision, if the causative factor was the driver’s negligence, the owner of the 2. With them in the car were Mrs. Caedo and three daughters. Coming from
vehicle who was present is likewise held liable if he could have prevented the the opposite direction was the Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with his driver
mishap by the exercise of due diligence. The basis of the master’s liability in Rafael Bernardo at the wheel, taking the owner from his Parañaque home to
civil law is not respondent superior but rather the relationship of paterfamilias. Wack Wack for his regular round of golf.
The theory is that ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the 3. The two cars were traveling at fairly moderate speeds, considering the
condition of the road and the absence of traffic — the Mercury at 40 to 50

51
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
kilometers per hour, and the Cadillac at approximately 30 to 35 miles (48 to 7.
56 kilometers). Their headlights were mutually noticeable from a distance.
Ahead of the Cadillac, going in the same direction, was a caretella owned ISSUES:
by a certain Pedro Bautista. The ​carretela was towing another horse by 1. Whether or not defendant Yu Khe Thai, owner of the car, who was in
means of a short rope coiled around the rig's vertical post on the right side the car, was solidarily liable with the driver under Art. 2184, of the
and held at the other end by Pedro's son, Julian Bautista. Civil Code.​ – YES.
4. Rafael Bernardo testified that he was almost upon the rig when he saw it in RATIO:
front of him, only eight meters away. This is the first clear indication of his 1. There is no doubt at all that the collision was directly traceable to Rafael
negligence. The ​carretela was provided with two lights, one on each side, Bernardo's negligence and that he must be held liable for the damages
and they should have given him sufficient warning to take the necessary suffered by the plaintiffs. The next question is whether or not Yu Khe Thai,
precautions. And even if he did not notice the lights, as he claimed later on as owner of the Cadillac, is solidarily liable with the driver.
at the trial, the ​carretela should anyway have been visible to him from afar 2. The applicable law is Article 2184 of the Civil Code, which reads:
if he had been careful, as it must have been in the beam of his headlights for
a considerable while. ART. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable
5. In the meantime the Mercury was coming on its own lane from the opposite with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use
direction. Bernardo, instead of slowing down or stopping altogether behind of due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that a
the ​carretela u​ ntil that lane was clear, veered to the left in order to pass. As driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or
he did so the curved end of his car's right rear bumper caught the forward violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two
rim of the rig's left wheel, wrenching it off and carrying it along as the car months.
skidded obliquely to the other lane, where it collided with the oncoming
vehicle. On his part Caedo had seen the Cadillac on its own lane; he 3. Under the foregoing provision, if the causative factor was the driver's
slackened his speed, judged the distances in relation to the ​carretela and negligence, the owner of the vehicle who was present is likewise held liable
concluded that the Cadillac would wait behind. Bernardo, however, decided if he could have prevented the mishap by the exercise of due diligence. The
to take a gamble — beat the Mercury to the point where it would be in line rule is not new, although formulated as law for the first time in the new
with the ​carretela,​ or else squeeze in between them in any case. It was a Civil Code.
risky maneuver either way, and the risk should have been quite obvious. 4. It was expressed in Chapman vs. Underwood (1914), 27 Phil. 374, where
6. Or, since the car was moving at from 30 to 35 miles per hour (or 25 miles this Court held:
according to Yu Khe Thai) it was already too late to apply the brakes when . The same rule applies where the owner is present, unless the negligent acts
Bernardo saw the ​carretela only eight meters in front of him, and so he had of the driver are continued for such a length of time as to give the owner a
to swerve to the left in spite of the presence of the oncoming car on the reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct his driver to desist
opposite lane. As it was, the clearance Bernardo gave for his car's right side therefrom. An owner who sits in his automobile, or other vehicle, and
was insufficient. Its rear bumper, as already stated, caught the wheel of the permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance
carretela and wrenched it loose. Caedo, confronted with the unexpected of negligent acts, after he has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them
situation, tried to avoid the collision at the last moment by going farther to and to direct that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself responsible
the right, but was unsuccessful. The photographs taken at the scene show for such acts. The owner of an automobile who permits his chauffeur to
that the right wheels of his car were on the unpaved shoulder of the road at drive up the Escolta, for example, at a speed of 60 miles an hour, without
the moment of impact. any effort to stop him, although he has had a reasonable opportunity to do
52
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
so, becomes himself responsible, both criminally and civilly, for the results warning it might only make the other man nervous and make the situation
produced by the acts of the chauffeur. On the other hand, if the driver, by a worse. It was a thought that, wise or not, connotes no absence of that due
sudden act of negligence, and without the owner having a reasonable diligence required by law to prevent the misfortune.
opportunity to prevent the act or its continuance, injures a person or violates 9. The test of imputed negligence under Article 2184 of the Civil Code is, to a
the criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although present therein at great degree, necessarily subjective. Car owners are not held to a uniform
the time the act was committed, is not responsible, either civilly or and inflexible standard of diligence as are professional drivers. In many
criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the cases they refrain from driving their own cars and instead hire other persons
presence of the owner for such a length of time that the owner, by his to drive for them precisely because they are not trained or endowed with
acquiescence, makes his driver act his own. sufficient discernment to know the rules of traffic or to appreciate the
5. The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not ​respondent superior b​ ut relative dangers posed by the different situations that are continually
rather the relationship of ​paterfamilias.​ The theory is that ultimately the encountered on the road. What would be a negligent omission under
negligence of the servant, if known to the master and susceptible of timely aforesaid Article on the part of a car owner who is in the prime of age and
correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to correct it in knows how to handle a motor vehicle is not necessarily so on the part, say,
order to prevent injury or damage. of an old and infirm person who is not similarly equipped
6. In the present case the defendants' evidence is that Rafael Bernardo had 10. The law does not require that a person must possess a certain measure of
been Yu Khe Thai's driver since 1937, and before that had been employed skill or proficiency either in the mechanics of driving or in the observance
by Yutivo Sons Hardware Co. in the same capacity for over ten years. of traffic rules before he may own a motor vehicle. The test of his
During that time he had no record of violation of traffic laws and intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his omission to do that
regulations. No negligence for having employed him at all may be imputed which the evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in order to
to his master. Negligence on the part of the latter, if any, must be sought in avoid the accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a
the immediate setting and circumstances of the accident, that is, in his minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that appears to be fraught with
failure to detain the driver from pursuing a course which not only gave him danger to one passenger may appear to be entirely safe and commonplace to
clear notice of the danger but also sufficient time to act upon it. We do not another. Were the law to require a uniform standard of perceptiveness,
see that such negligence may be imputed. employment of professional drivers by car owners who, by their very
7. e car, as has been stated, was not running at an unreasonable speed. The inadequacies, have real need of drivers' services, would be effectively
road was wide and open, and devoid of traffic that early morning. There proscribed.
was no reason for the car owner to be in any special state of alert. He had
reason to rely on the skill and experience of his driver. He became aware of
the presence of the carretela when his car was only twelve meters behind it,
but then his failure to see it earlier did not constitute negligence, for he was
not himself at the wheel.
8. And even when he did see it at that distance, he could not have anticipated
his driver's sudden decision to pass the ​carretela on its left side in spite of
the fact that another car was approaching from the opposite direction. The
time element was such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe
Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver accordingly. The
thought that entered his mind, he said, was that if he sounded a sudden
53
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
36. Mallari v. CA (Patrick) Mallari Jr. who recklessly operated and drove his jeepney in a lane where
Jan. 31, 2000 | BELLOSILLO, J. | Negligence Presumed for Violation of Statutes overtaking was not allowed by traffic rules. ​Under Art. 2185 of the Civil Code,
PETITIONER​: ALFREDO MALLARI SR. and ALFREDO MALLARI JR unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a
RESPONDENTS: COURT OF APPEALS and BULLETIN PUBLISHING motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap he was
CORPORATION violating a traffic regulation. Mallari Jr. failed to overcome this legal
presumption.
SUMMARY​: October 1987, 5:00 am, a jeepney was overtaking a Fiera car on a
curved road ​along National Highway in Brgy. San Pablo, Bataan. The jeep was The negligence of Mallari Jr. is binding to Mallari Sr. as owner of the
driven by Mallari Jr., and owned by Mallari Sr. When overtaking, it encroached jeepney. As a common carrier, there’s no need for an express finding of
the opposite side of the road, and saw a delivery van, driven by Angeles and fault or negligence to hold it responsible for the payment of damages. Art.
owned by Bulletin Publishing, coming from the opposite direction. Thinking that 1755 (utmost diligence), Art 1756 (death or injury gives rise to presumption of
he has time to overtake, Mallari Jr. continued overtaking the car, and collided negligence on the part of the common carrier), and Art 1759 (liability of a
with the van. Jeep’s left rear hit the van’s left front side. The impact caused the common carrier to the death or injury of passengers due to the acts of its
jeep to turn around and fall on its left side, causing death of one Israel Reyes. employees does not stop upon proof of diligence of a good father of a family in
The wife. Claudia, filed a complaint for damages in RTC against the drivers and the selection and supervision of its employees), are applicable. Solidarily liable
owners of the Jeep and Delivery Van and N.V. Netherlands Insurance. RTC for monetary award of 1M for loss of earning capacity, 50K for civil indemnity
found Delivery van driver and owner liable since it’s the left front of the for death, 10K for attorney’s fees.
delivery van that hit the left rear of the jeep, negligence was attributable to the
delivery van. CA reversed RTC findings. It held that Jeep driver was liable since DOCTRINE: Under Art. 2185, unless there’s proof to the contrary, a
he was overtaking on a curve, saw the truck, and yet continued to overtake. person driving a motor vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of the
mishap, he was violating a traffic regulation.
ISSUE: ​WON MALLARI SR. and JR. (Owner and driver) are liable for
damages due to negligence as a common carrier resulting in the death of Israel? FACTS:
– YES. It was shown that the overtaking of the driver on a curved road was a 1. 14 October 1987, at about 5am, the passenger jeepney driven by petitioner
violation of traffic laws, and hence Mallari Jr. is presumptively negligent. Alfredo Mallari Jr. and owned by his co-petitioner Alfredo Mallari Sr.
collided with the delivery van of respondent Bulletin Publishing Corp.
HELD: ​SC held that there is evidence showing that Mallari Jr. overtook on a (BULLETIN) along the National Highway in Barangay San Pablo,
curve, and it was Mallari’s own testimony. Police sketch and spot report, not Dinalupihan, Bataan.
disputed, showed that the incident happened immediately after Mallari overtook
a car while traversing a curve on the highway. ​This act of overtaking is in 2. Mallari Jr went to the left lane of the highway and overtook a Fiera which
violation of Sec. 41 a and b of The Land Transportation and Traffic Code. had stopped on the right lane. Before he passed by the Fiera, he saw the van
of BULLETIN driven by one Felix Angeles coming from the opposite
When overtaking, it’s the duty of the driver abandoning his proper lane to direction. The sketch showed that the collision occurred after Mallari Jr.
see to it that the road is clear and not to proceed if he cannot do so in safety​. overtook the Fiera at a curve in the highway. Points of collision were the
The proximate cause of the collision resulting in the death of Israel, a passenger left rear portion of the jeepney and the left front side of the delivery van.
of the jeepney, was the sole negligence of the driver of the passenger jeepney,

54
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
3. 2 right wheels of the van were on the right shoulder of the road and pieces
of debris from the accident were found scattered along the road. The impact ISSUES:
caused the jeepney to turn around and fall on its left side resulting in 1. WON MALLARI SR. and JR. (Owner and driver) are liable for
injuries to its passengers one of whom was Israel Reyes who eventually damages due to negligence as a common carrier resulting in the death
died due to the gravity of his injuries. of Israel? – YES. It was shown that the overtaking of the driver on a
curved road was a violation of traffic laws, and hence Mallari Jr. is
4. Claudia G. Reyes (Claudia), widow of Israel, filed a complaint for damages presumptively negligent. Failed to overcome this legal presumption.
with the RTC of Olongapo City against Mallari Sr. and Mallari Jr., and
against BULLETIN, its driver Felix Angeles, and the N.V. Netherlands Ruling: Petition is DENIED and Decision of the CA reversing the decision of the
Insurance Company. She alleges that the collision which resulted in death of trial court is AFFIRMED. They ordered jointly and severally to pay Claudia G.
Israel was caused by fault and negligence of both drivers of the passenger Reyes P1,006,777.50 for loss of earning capacity, P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for
jeepney and the Bulletin Isuzu delivery van. She for P1,006,777.40 in death, and P10,000.00 for attorneys fees.
compensatory damages, P40,000.00 for hospital and medical expenses,
P18,270.00 for burial expenses plus such amounts as may be fixed by the RATIO:
trial court for exemplary damages and attorneys fees. 1. Mallari JR and SR contend that there is no evidence to show that Mallari Jr.
overtook a vehicle at a curve at the time of the accident and that the
5. Trial court found that the proximate cause was the negligence of Felix testimony of Angeles on the overtaking made by Mallari Jr. was not
Angeles, driver of the Bulletin delivery van, considering the fact that the left credible and unreliable. They contend that the trial court was in a better
front portion of the delivery truck hit and bumped the left rear portion of the position than CA to assess the evidence and observe the witnesses as well as
jeepney and ordered them to pay jointly and severally Claudia the sums of determine their credibility; hence, its finding that the proximate cause of the
P42,106.93 for medical expenses; P8,600.00 for funeral and burial collision was the negligence of Angeles, driver of delivery van owned by
expenses; P1,006,777.40 for loss of earning capacity; P5,000.00 for moral BULLETIN, should be given more weight and consideration.
damages and P10,000.00 for attorneys fees and ordered N.V. Netherlands
Insurance Company to indemnify P12,000.00 as death indemnity and 2. Mallari JR himself testified that such fact indeed did occur, Testimony:
P2,500.00 for funeral expenses which when paid should be deducted from Q:And what was that accident all about?
the liabilities of BULLETIN and Angeles. It also dismissed the complaint
against the other defendants Alfredo Mallari Sr. and Alfredo Mallari Jr. 3. A:.......Well, what happened, sir, is that at about that time 5:00 oclock in that
morning of October 14 while I was negotiating on the highway at San
6. Court of Appeals modified the decision of trial court and found no Pablo, Dinalupihan, Bataan, I was then following a blue Ford Fierra and my
negligence on Angeles and BULLETIN. CA ruled that collision was caused distance behind was about twenty (20) feet and then I passed that blue Ford
by the sole negligence of Mallari Jr. who admitted before the collision and Fierra. I overtook and when I was almost on the right lane of the highway
after he rounded a curve on the highway, he overtook a Fiera which had towards Olongapo City there was an oncoming delivery van of the Bulletin
stopped on his lane and that he had seen the van before overtaking the Fiera. Publishing Corporation which bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney
CA ordered petitioners Mallari Jr. and Mallari Sr. to compensate Claudia which I was driving and as a result of which the jeepney x x x turned around
P1,006,777.50 for loss of earning capacity, P50,000.00 as indemnity for and fell on its left side and as a result of which some of my passengers
death and P10,000.00 for attorneys fees. It absolved from any liability including me were injured, sir x x x x
BULLETIN, Felix Angeles and N.V. Netherlands Insurance Company.
55
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
4. Based on the sketch and spot report of the police authorities that the negligence of the driver of the passenger jeepney, Mallari Jr., who
collision occurred after Mallari Jr. overtook a vehicle in front of it while recklessly operated and drove his jeepney in a lane where overtaking was
traversing a curve on highway. ​This act of overtaking was in clear not allowed by traffic rules. Under Art. 2185 of the Civil Code, unless there
violation of Sec. 41, pars. (a) and (b), of RA 4136 as amended, known as is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle
The Land Transportation and Traffic Code​ which provides: has been negligent if at the time of the mishap he was violating a traffic
regulation. Mallari Jr. failed to to overcome this legal presumption.
Sec. 41. Restrictions on overtaking and passing. - (a) The driver of a vehicle shall not
drive to the left side of the center line of a highway in overtaking or passing 8. The negligence and recklessness of the driver of the passenger jeepney is
another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is binding against Mallari Sr., who admittedly was the owner of the passenger
clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead jeepney engaged as a common carrier, considering the fact that in an action
to permit such overtaking or passing to be made in safety. based on contract of carriage, the court need not make an express finding of
fault or negligence on the part of the carrier in order to hold it responsible
(b) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake or pass another vehicle proceeding in for the payment of damages sought by the passenger.
the same direction when approaching the crest of a grade, nor upon a curve
in the highway, where the drivers view along the highway is obstructed 9. Under Art. 1755 of the Civil Code, a common carrier is bound to carry the
within a distance of five hundred feet ahead except on a highway having passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide using the
two or more lanes for movement of traffic in one direction where the driver utmost diligence of very cautious persons with due regard for all the
of a vehicle may overtake or pass another vehicle: circumstances.

5. On a highway, within a business or residential district, having two or more 10. Moreover, under Art. 1756 of the Civil Code, in case of death or
lanes for movement of traffic in one direction, the driver of a vehicle may injuries to passengers, a common carrier is presumed to have been at
overtake or pass another vehicle on the right. fault or to have acted negligently, unless it proves that it observed
extraordinary diligence.
6. The rule is settled that a driver abandoning his proper lane for the
purpose of overtaking another vehicle in an ordinary situation has the 11. Art. 1759 of the same Code, it is liable for the death of or injuries to
duty to see to it that the road is clear and not to proceed if he cannot do passengers through the negligence or willful acts of the formers employees.
so in safety. When a motor vehicle is approaching or rounding a curve, This liability of the common carrier does not cease upon proof that it
there is special necessity for keeping to the right side of the road and the exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection of
driver does not have the right to drive on the left hand side relying upon its employees. By contract of carriage, the jeepney owned by Mallari Sr.
having time to turn to the right if a car approaching from the opposite assumed the express obligation to transport the passengers to their
direction comes into view. destination safely and to observe extraordinary diligence with due regard for
all the circumstances, and any injury or death that might be suffered by its
7. Mallari Jr. already saw that the BULLETIN delivery van was coming from passengers is right away attributable to the fault or negligence of the carrier.
the opposite direction and failing to consider the speed since it was still dark
at 5 am mindlessly occupied the left lane and overtook two (2) vehicles in SEPARATE OPINIONS: NONE
front of it at a curve in the highway. The proximate cause of the collision CONCURRING:
resulting in the death of Israel, a passenger of the jeepney, was the sole
56
TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
37. AÑONUEVO v. CA (tin) presumes the driver of a motor vehicle negligent if he was violating a traffic
20 Oct. 2004 | Tinga, J. | Violation of rules & statutes; applicability of Art. 2185 to regulation at the time of the mishap -- should apply by analogy to
non-motorized vehicles non-motorized vehicles, to which the Court said NO. ​Article 2185 provides:
“Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a
PETITIONER​: JONAS AÑONUEVO motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap he was violating
RESPONDENTS​: CA and JEROME VILLAGRACIA any traffic regulation.​” ​The standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on
equal footing with other types of vehicles. An automobile is capable of great
SUMMARY​: At around 9pm, Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on speed, greater than that of ordinary vehicles hauled by animals. A driver of an
his bicycle, while Añonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving his Lancer automobile is required to use a greater degree of care than drivers of animals, for
car. Añonuevo was in the course of making a left turn towards Libertad Street the reason that the machine is capable of greater destruction, and furthermore, it
when the collision occurred. The car driven by Añonuevo was owned by Proctor is absolutely under the power and control of the driver.
and Gamble. Villagracia sustained serious injuries as a result, which necessitated
his hospitalization several times and forced him to undergo four (4) operations. Añonuevo also asserts that Villagracia was negligent as the latter had
Villagracia instituted an action for damages against Procter and Gamble Phils., transgressed a municipal ordinance requiring the registration of bicycles and the
Inc. and Añonuevo before the RTC. He had also filed a criminal complaint installation of safety devices thereon. ​[2nd issue] Whether the doctrine of
against Añonuevo before the MeTC of Mandaluyong, but the latter was negligence per se applies to Villagracia, resulting from his violation of an
subsequently acquitted of the criminal charge. ordinance. -- NO. Under this doctrine, it is immaterial, in cases where a statute
has been violated, to ask whether the act or omission constituting such violation
RTC rendered judgment against Procter and Gamble and Añonuevo. Upon would have been regarded as negligence. It is enough that it was prohibited.
appeal of both, the CA affirmed the RTC Decision in ​toto​. Findings: Violation of an ordinance intended to promote safety is negligence. In this case,
● that it was Añonuevo’s vehicle which had struck Villagracia; the bare fact that Villagracia was violating a municipal ordinance at the time of
● that Añonuevo’s vehicle had actually hit Villagracia’s left mid-thigh, the accident may have sufficiently established some degree of negligence on his
thus causing a comminuted fracture; part, but such negligence is without legal consequence unless it is shown that it
● that as testified by eyewitness Alfredo Sorsano, witness for Villagracia, was a contributing cause of the injury. Añonuevo was speeding as he made the
Añonuevo was "umaarangkada," or speeding as he made the left turn left turn, and such negligent act was the proximate cause of the accident. This
into Libertad; reckless behavior would have imperiled anyone whether they are fellow
● that considering Añonuevo’s claim that a passenger jeepney was motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists. We are hard put to conclude that Villagracia
obstructing his path as he made the turn, Añonuevo had enough would have avoided injury had his bicycle been up to par with safety
warning to control his speed; regulations, especially considering that Añonuevo was already speeding as he
● and that Añonuevo failed to exercise the ordinary precaution, care and made the turn, or before he had seen Villagracia.
diligence required of him in order that the accident could have been
avoided. [3rd issue] Whether Villagracia was guilty of contributory negligence. --
NO. ​To hold a person as having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that
While Añonuevo proffers no exculpatory version of facts on his part, nor does he performed an act that brought about his injuries in disregard of warnings or
he dispute the conclusions made by the RTC and the CA, he brings this petition signs of an impending danger to health and body. In a legal sense, negligence is
asking ​[1st issue] ​whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code -- which contributory only when it contributes proximately to the injury, and not simply a

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condition for its occurrence. Añonuevo himself admitted having seen Villagracia when the collision occurred. Villagracia sustained serious injuries as a
from ten (10) meters away, thus he could no longer claim not having been result, which necessitated his hospitalization several times in 1989, and
sufficiently warned either by headlights or safety horns. forced him to undergo four (4) operations.
a. The car driven by Añonuevo was owned by Procter and Gamble
DOCTRINES: Inc., the employer of Añonuevo’s brother, Jonathan.
● Art. 2185 of the NCC does not apply by analogy to non-motor vehicles. 3. Villagracia instituted an action for damages against Procter and Gamble
The standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on equal footing with Phils., Inc. and Añonuevo before the RTC.
other types of vehicles. An automobile is capable of great speed, greater 4. He had also filed a criminal complaint against Añonuevo before the
than that of ordinary vehicles hauled by animals. A driver of an Metropolitan Trial Court of Mandaluyong, but the latter was subsequently
automobile is required to use a greater degree of care than drivers of acquitted of the criminal charge.
animals, for the reason that the machine is capable of greater 5. Trial on the civil action ensued, and the RTC rendered judgment against
destruction, and furthermore, it is absolutely under the power and Procter and Gamble and Añonuevo, ordering them to pay Villagracia the
control of the driver. amounts of:
a. One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (₱150, 000.00). for actual
● Under the doctrine of ​negligence per se​, it is immaterial -- in cases damages,
where a statute has been violated -- to ask whether the act or omission b. Ten Thousand Pesos (₱10,000.00) for moral damages, and
constituting such violation would have been regarded as negligence. It c. Twenty Thousand Pesos (₱20,000.00) for attorney’s fees,
is enough that it was prohibited. Violation of an ordinance intended to d. as well as legal costs.
promote safety is negligence. 6. Both defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals
Fourth Division affirmed the RTC Decision in toto.
● To hold a person as having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown 7. After the Court of Appeals denied the Motion for Reconsideration, Procter
that he performed an act that brought about his injuries in disregard of and Gamble and Añonuevo filed their respective petitions for review with
warnings or signs of an impending danger to health and body. To prove this Court.
contributory negligence, it is still necessary to establish a causal link, a. Procter and Gamble’s petition was denied by this Court
although not proximate, between the negligence of the party and the b. Añonuevo’s petition, on the other hand, was given due course, and
succeeding injury. In a legal sense, negligence is contributory only is the subject of this Decision.
when it contributes proximately to the injury, and not simply a 8. In arriving at the assailed Decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
condition for its occurrence. factual findings of the RTC. Among them:
a. that it was Añonuevo’s vehicle which had struck Villagracia;
b. that Añonuevo’s vehicle had actually hit Villagracia’s left
FACTS:
mid-thigh, thus causing a comminuted fracture;
1. The accident in question occurred on 8 February 1989, at around nine in the
c. that as testified by eyewitness Alfredo Sorsano, witness for
evening, at the intersection of Boni Avenue and Barangka Drive in
Villagracia, Añonuevo was "umaarangkada," or speeding as he
Mandaluyong (now a city).
made the left turn into Libertad;
2. Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on his bicycle, while
d. that considering Añonuevo’s claim that a passenger jeepney was
Añonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving his Lancer car.
obstructing his path as he made the turn, Añonuevo had enough
Añonuevo was in the course of making a left turn towards Libertad Street
warning to control his speed;
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
e. and that Añonuevo failed to exercise the ordinary precaution, care 16. However, since the Court is being asked to consider the matter, it might as
and diligence required of him in order that the accident could have well examine whether Article 2185 could be interpreted to include
been avoided. non-motorized vehicles.
9. Añonuevo proffers no exculpatory version of facts on his part, nor does he
dispute the conclusions made by the RTC and the Court of Appeals. ISSUES:
Notwithstanding, the present petition presents interesting questions for 1. Whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code -- which presumes the driver
resolution. of a motor vehicle negligent if he was violating a traffic regulation at the
10. Añonuevo’s arguments are especially fixated on a particular question of time of the mishap -- should apply by analogy to non-motorized vehicles. --
law: whether Article 2185 of the New Civil Code should apply by analogy NO. ​The standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on equal footing
to non-motorized vehicles. In the same vein, Añonuevo insists that with other types of vehicles.
Villagracia’s own fault and negligence serves to absolve the former of any
liability for damages. 2. Whether the doctrine of negligence per se applies to Villagracia, resulting
11. Añonuevo points out that: from his violation of an ordinance. -- ​NO. T​he bare fact that Villagracia
a. Villagracia’s bicycle had no safety gadgets such as a horn or bell, was violating a municipal ordinance at the time of the accident may
or headlights, as invoked by a 1948 municipal ordinance. have sufficiently established some degree of negligence on his part, but
b. Nor was it duly registered with the Office of the Municipal such negligence is without legal consequence unless it is shown that it
Treasurer, as required by the same ordinance. was a contributing cause of the injury.
c. Finally, as admitted by Villagracia, his bicycle did not have foot
brakes. 3. Whether Villagracia was guilty of contributory negligence. -- ​NO. In a
i. Before this Court, Villagracia does not dispute these legal sense, negligence is contributory only when it contributes
allegations, which he admitted during the trial. proximately to the injury, and not simply a condition for its occurrence.
12. Añonuevo claims that Villagracia violated traffic regulations when he failed
to register his bicycle or install safety gadgets thereon. He posits that DISPOSITION: ​WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court
Article 2185 of the New Civil Code applies by analogy. The provision of Appeals is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
reads:
RATIO:
Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a
person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the [1st ISSUE] ​The standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on equal footing
mishap he was violating any traffic regulation. with other types of vehicles.
13. Its applicability is expressly qualified to motor vehicles only, and there is no 1. At the time Article 2185 was formulated, there existed a whole array of
ground to presume that the law intended a broader coverage. non-motorized vehicles ranging from human- powered contraptions on
14. Still, Añonuevo hypothesizes that Article 2185 should apply by analogy to wheels such as bicycles, scooters, and animal-drawn carts such as calesas
all types of vehicles. He points out that modern-day travel is more complex and carromata, yet the framers of the New Civil Code chose then to exclude
now than when the Code was enacted. these alternative modes from the scope of Article 2185 with the use of the
15. What Añonuevo seeks is for the Court to amend the explicit command of term "motorized vehicles."
the legislature, as embodied in Article 2185, a task beyond the pale of 2. If Añonuevo seriously contends that the application of Article 2185 be
judicial power. The Court interprets, and not creates, the law. expanded due to the greater interaction today of all types of vehicles, such
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
argument contradicts historical experience. There is a fundamental flaw in provision to include non-motorized vehicles or for that matter,
Añonuevo’s analysis of Art. 2185, as applicable today. pedestrians. Yet, that was not the case.
a. A motorized vehicle operates by reason of a motor engine unlike a b. The fact that there has long existed a higher degree of diligence
non-motorized vehicle, which runs as a result of a direct exertion and care imposed on motorized vehicles, arising from the special
by man or beast of burden of direct physical force. nature of motor vehicle, leads to the inescapable conclusion that
b. A motorized vehicle, unimpeded by the limitations in physical the qualification under Article 2185 exists precisely to recognize
exertion is capable of greater speeds and acceleration than such higher standard.
non-motorized vehicles. c. Simply put, the standards applicable to motor vehicle are not on
c. At the same time, motorized vehicles are more capable in inflicting equal footing with other types of vehicles.
greater injury or damage in the event of an accident or collision. 6. Thus, we cannot sustain the contention that Art. 2185 should apply to
This is due to a combination of factors peculiar to the motor non-motorized vehicles, even if by analogy.
vehicle, such as the greater speed, its relative greater bulk of mass,
and greater combustability due to the fuels that they use. [2nd ISSUE] ​The bare fact that Villagracia was violating a municipal ordinance at
3. In ​U.S. v. Juanillo:​ the time of the accident may have sufficiently established some degree of
a. “An automobile is capable of great speed, greater than that of negligence on his part, but such negligence is without legal consequence unless it
ordinary vehicles hauled by animals, and beyond doubt it is highly is shown that it was a contributing cause of the injury.
dangerous when used on country roads, putting to great hazard the 7. Nevertheless, even if the legal presumption under Article 2185 should not
safety and lives of the mass of the people.” apply to Villagracia, this should not preclude any possible finding of
b. A driver of an automobile, under such circumstances, is required to negligence on his part.
use a greater degree of care than drivers of animals, for the reason 8. While the legal argument as formulated by Añonuevo is erroneous, his core
that the machine is capable of greater destruction, and furthermore, contention that Villagracia was negligent for failure to comply with traffic
it is absolutely under the power and control of the driver; whereas, regulations warrants serious consideration, especially since the imputed
a horse or other animal can and does to some extent aid in averting negligent acts were admitted by Villagracia himself.
an accident. 9. The Civil Code characterizes negligence as the omission of that diligence
4. American jurisprudence has had occasion to explicitly rule on the which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the
relationship between the motorist and the cyclist. circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. However, the
a. Motorists are required to exercise ordinary or reasonable care to existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by the personal
avoid collision with bicyclists. judgment of the actor in a given situation, but rather, it is the law which
b. While the duty of using ordinary care falls alike on the motorist determines what would be reckless or negligent.
and the rider or driver of a bicycle, it is obvious, for reasons 10. Añonuevo, asserts that Villagracia was negligent as the latter had
growing out of the inherent differences in the two vehicles, that transgressed a municipal ordinance requiring the registration of bicycles and
more is required from the former to fully discharge the duty than the installation of safety devices thereon. This view finds some support if
from the latter. anchored on the long standing principle of negligence per se.
5. Art. 2185 was not formulated to compel or ensure obeisance by all to traffic a. According to this view it is immaterial, where a statute has been
rules and regulations. violated, whether the act or omission constituting such violation
a. If such were indeed the evil sought to be remedied or guarded would have been regarded as negligence in the absence of any
against, then the framers of the Code would have expanded the
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
statute on the subject or whether there was, as a matter of fact, any d. We are hard put to conclude that Villagracia would have avoided
reason to anticipate that injury would result from such violation. injury had his bicycle been up to par with safety regulations,
b. The existence of an ordinance changes the situation. If a driver especially considering that Añonuevo was already speeding as he
causes an accident by exceeding the speed limit, for example, we made the turn, or before he had seen Villagracia.
do not inquire whether his prohibited conduct was unreasonably e. Even assuming that Añonuevo had failed to see Villagracia
dangerous. It is enough that it was prohibited. because the bicycle was not equipped with headlights, such lapse
c. Violation of an ordinance intended to promote safety is negligence. on the cyclist’s part would not have acquitted the driver of his duty
11. However, the fact that other happenings causing or contributing toward an to slow down as he proceeded to make the left turn.
injury intervened between the violation of a statute or ordinance and the 14. This court has appreciated that negligence per se, arising from the mere
injury does not necessarily make the result so remote that no action can be violation of a traffic statute, need not be sufficient in itself in establishing
maintained. liability for damages.
12. The test is to be found not in the number of intervening events or agents, but a. In ​Sanitary Steam Laundry, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, a collision
in their character and in the natural and probable connection between the between a truck and a privately-owned Cimarron van caused the
wrong done and the injurious consequence. death of three of the van’s passengers.
a. In ​Teague,​ the owner of a vocational school stricken by a fire b. The petitioner therein, the owner of the truck, argued that the
resulting in fatalities was found negligent, based on her failure to driver of the Cimarron was committing multiple violations of the
provide adequate fire exits in contravention of a Manila city Land Transportation and Traffic Code at the time of the accident.
ordinance. c. Among these violations:
b. In ​F.F. Cruz and Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals,​ the failure of the i. the Cimarron was overloaded at the time of the accident;
petitioner to construct a firewall in accordance with city ordinances ii. the front seat of the van was occupied by four adults,
sufficed to support a finding of negligence. including the driver;
c. In ​Cipriano v. Court of Appeals​, the Court found that the failure of iii. and the van had only one functioning headlight.
the petitioner to register and insure his auto rustproofing shop in d. Similar as in this case, petitioner therein invoked Article 2185 and
accordance with the statute constituted negligence per se, thus argued that the driver of the Cimarron should be presumed
holding him liable for the damages for the destruction by fire of a negligent. The Court, speaking through Justice Mendoza,
customer’s vehicle garaged therein. dismissed these arguments:
13. Should the doctrine of negligence per se apply to Villagracia, resulting from “[It] has not been shown how the alleged negligence of
his violation of an ordinance? the Cimarron driver contributed to the collision between
a. At face value, Villagracia’s mishap was precisely the danger the vehicles. Indeed, petitioner has the burden of showing
sought to be guarded against by the ordinance he violated. a causal connection between the injury received and the
b. Añonuevo argues that Villagracia’s violation should bar the latter’s violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
recovery of damages. He must show that the violation of the statute was the
c. But there is the fact which we consider as proven -- that Añonuevo proximate or legal cause of the injury or that it
was speeding as he made the left turn, and such negligent act was substantially contributed thereto. Negligence consisting in
the proximate cause of the accident. This reckless behavior would whole or in part, of violation of law, like any other
have imperiled anyone whether they are fellow motorists, negligence, is without legal consequence unless it is a
pedestrians, or cyclists. contributing cause of the injury.”
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
iii. the motorist saw the bicycle in spite of the absence of
15. Sanitary Steam​ is controlling in this case. lights thereon, or
a. The bare fact that Villagracia was violating a municipal ordinance iv. the motorist would have been unable to see the bicycle
at the time of the accident may have sufficiently established some even if it had been equipped with lights.
degree of negligence on his part, but such negligence is without 17. The failure of the bicycle owner to comply with accepted safety practices,
legal consequence unless it is shown that it was a contributing whether or not imposed by ordinance or statute, is not sufficient to negate or
cause of the injury. mitigate recovery unless a causal connection is established between such
b. If anything at all, it is but indicative of Villagracia’s failure in failure and the injury sustained.
fulfilling his obligation to the municipal government, which would a. The principle likewise finds affirmation in ​Sanitary Steam​,
then be the proper party to initiate corrective action as a result. But wherein we declared that the violation of a traffic statute must be
such failure alone is not determinative of Villagracia’s negligence shown as the proximate cause of the injury, or that it substantially
in relation to the accident. contributed thereto.
c. Negligence is relative or comparative, dependent upon the 18. Añonuevo had the burden of clearly proving that the alleged negligence of
situation of the parties and the degree of care and vigilance which Villagracia was the proximate or contributory cause of the latter’s injury.
the particular circumstances reasonably require. 19. As admitted by Añonuevo, he first saw appellee Villagracia at a distance of
d. To determine if Villagracia was negligent, it is not sufficient to about ten (10) meters before the accident. Corrolarily, therefore, he could
rely solely on the violations of the municipal ordinance, but have avoided the accident had he stopped. But according to eyewitness
imperative to examine Villagracia’s behavior in relation to the Sorsano, he saw appellant Añonuevo "umaarangkada" and hit the leg of
contemporaneous circumstances of the accident. Villagracia. Añonuevo admitted that he did not blow his horn when he
16. Under American case law, the failures imputed on Villagracia are not crossed Boni Avenue.
grievous enough so as to negate monetary relief. In the absence of statutory a. By Añonuevo’s own admission, he had seen Villagracia at a good
requirement, one is not negligent as a matter of law for failing to equip a distance of ten (10) meters. Had he been decelerating, as he should,
horn, bell, or other warning devise onto a bicycle. as he made the turn, Añonuevo would have had ample opportunity
a. In most cases, the absence of proper lights on a bicycle does not to avoid hitting Villagracia.
constitute negligence as a matter of law but is a question for the 20. Since the onus on Añonuevo is to conclusively prove the link between the
jury whether the absence of proper lights played a causal part in violations and the accident, we can deem him as having failed to discharge
producing a collision with a motorist. his necessary burden of proving Villagracia’s own liability.
b. The absence of proper lights on a bicycle at night, as required by
statute or ordinance, may constitute negligence barring or [3rd ISSUE] In a legal sense, negligence is contributory only when it contributes
diminishing recovery if the bicyclist is struck by a motorist as long proximately to the injury, and not simply a condition for its occurrence.
as the absence of such lights was a proximate cause of the 21. Neither can we can adjudge Villagracia with contributory negligence.
collision; however, the absence of such lights will not preclude or 22. The leading case in contributory negligence, ​Rakes v. Atlantic Gulf clarifies
diminish recovery if: that damages may be mitigated if the claimant "in conjunction with the
i. the scene of the accident was well illuminated by street occurrence, [contributes] only to his injury."
lights, 23. To hold a person as having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that
ii. substitute lights were present which clearly rendered the he performed an act that brought about his injuries in disregard of warnings
bicyclist visible, or signs of an impending danger to health and body.
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
24. To prove contributory negligence, it is still necessary to establish a causal
link, although not proximate, between the negligence of the party and the
succeeding injury.
25. In a legal sense, negligence is contributory only when it contributes
proximately to the injury, and not simply a condition for its occurrence.
26. Añonuevo himself admitted having seen Villagracia from ten (10) meters
away, thus he could no longer claim not having been sufficiently warned
either by headlights or safety horns.
27. The fact that Añonuevo was recklessly speeding as he made the turn
likewise leads us to believe that even if Villagracia’s bicycle had been
equipped with the proper brakes, the cyclist would not have had opportunity
to brake in time to avoid the speeding car.
28. Moreover, it was incumbent on Añonuevo to have established that
Villagracia’s failure to have installed the proper brakes contributed to his
own injury.
29. The fact that Añonuevo failed to adduce proof to that effect leads us to
consider such causal connection as not proven.
30. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of
Appeals is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

SEPARATE OPINIONS: --
CONCURRING: --

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38. ​Marinduque Iron v. Workmen's Compensation ​(Mina ℅ Siapno) Procopio Macunat, also employed by the corporation, and on its way to
June 30, 1956 | Bengzon, J​. |​ Violation of a rule promulgated by a Commission their place of work at the mine, while trying to overtake another truck on
PETITIONER​: M​arinduque Iron Mines Agents, Inc. the company road, it turned over and hit a coconut tree, resulting in the
RESPONDENT​: T​he Workmen’s Compensation Commission, The Heirs Of death of said Mamador and injury to the others.
Pedro Mamador And Geronimo Ma. Coll 3. Macunat was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to indemnify the heirs of
the deceased. (Criminal Case No. 1491). He has paid nothing however, to
SUMMARY: ​Mamador was a laborer of Marinduque Iron Mines and boarded a the latter.
truck being driven by Macunat. The truck was heading to their place of work. 4. (Not the main issue, don’t read if you’re pressed for time) In his first
Macunat was trying to overtake another truck on the company road when it proposition Marinqudue challenges the validity of the proceedings before
turned over and hit a coconut tree, resulting to Mamador’s death. Macunat was the Commission, asserting it had not been given the opportunity to
criminally prosecuted but was not able to indemnify the heirs. The heirs of cross-examine the opposing witnesses. According to ​Respondents,​ “The
Mamador filed a claim against Marinduque before the Workmen’s records show that pursuant to a request made by this Commission to
Compensation Commission (WCC). WCC rendered an award in favor of the investigate the above-entitled case, the Public Defender of Boac,
heirs. Marinduque appealed to the SC, contending that when Mamador boarded Marinduque, notified ​Respondent G ​ eronimo Ma. Coll and the general
the truck, he violated a prohibition by the company against laborers riding the manager of the ​Respondent ​company, Mr. Eric Lenze, to appear before him
haulage trucks. Mamador was not negligent. It has been held that a violation of a in an investigation. When neither of them appeared, and the second when
rule promulgated by a commission or board is not negligence ​per se, b​ ut it may only Mr. Geronimo Ma. Coll appeared. The sworn testimony of Mr. Ma.
be evidence of negligence. Here, Mamador’s act can only be considered as Coll was then taken down in a question and answer method. Through
possible evidence of neglugence. As found by the referee in the WCC, “can we Referee Ramon Villaflor, this Commission wrote the​Respondent​company to
truthfully say that he boarded the fatal truck with full apprehension of the comment on the enclosed copy of the sworn declaration of Ma. Coll. The
existence of the danger, if any at all, that an ordinary prudent man would try to Respondent ​company denied its liability under the Workmen’s
avoid?” There is no doubt that riding on a haulage truck is not negligence. Compensation Act, as amended. In an investigation conducted by the
Mamador cannot even be considered notoriously negligent in boarding the truck undersigned referee, the ​Respondent ​company thru Mr. Lenze who was
because getting or accepting a free ride on the company’s haulage truck couldn't assisted by counsel, was allowed to examine the records of the case
be gross negligence, because as the referee found, “no danger or risk was including the sworn declaration of Ma. Coll and was given all the
apparent”. opportunity to rebut the same by additional evidence.”
DOCTRINE​: Violation of a rule promulgated by a Commission or board is not 5. In its second proposition, ​Petitioner m​ aintains that this claim is barred by
negligence per se; but it may be evidence of negligence. The order or prohibition section 6 of the ​Workmen’s Compensation Law​, because (a) Macunat was
of the employer could not be of a greater obligation than the rule of a prosecuted and required to indemnify the heirs of the deceased and (b) an
Commission or board; violation of such order or prohibition is possible evidence amicable settlement was concluded between said heirs and Macunat.
of negligence. 6. Section 6 provides as follows: “Sec. 6. Liability of third parties. — In case
an ​employee suffers an injury ​for which compensation is due under this
Act by any other person ​besides his employer, it shall be optional with
FACTS: such injured employee either to claim compensation from his employer,
1. The Marinduque Iron Mines Agents Inc. questions by certiorari the order of under this Act, or sue such other person for damages​, in accordance with
the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner confirming the referee’s law; and in case ​compensation is claimed and allowed in accordance
award of compensation to the heirs of Pedro Mamador for his accidental with this Act, the employer who paid such compensation or was found
death. Only the right to compensation is disputed; not the amount. liable to pay the same, shall succeed the injured employee to the right of
2. On August 23, 1951, at 6:00 a.m. in Bo. Sumangga, Mogpog, Marinduque, recovering from such person what he paid​: Provided, That ​in case the
the deceased Mamador together with other laborers of the employer recovers from such third person damages in excess of those
Respondent​-corporation, Marinduque Iron Mines Agents Inc. (Marinduque) paid or allowed under this Act​, such excess shall be ​delivered to the
boarded a truck belonging to the latter, which was then driven by one
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
injured employee ​or any other person entitled thereto, after deduction of person” does not affect the liability of the employer to pay
the expenses of the employer and the costs of the proceedings. The sum compensation​.
paid by the employer for compensation or the amount of compensation to 3. As regards the “amicable settlement” between Mamador’s widow and
which the employee or his dependents are entitled, shall not be admissible Macunat, the contention by Marinduque may not be sustained, inasmuch
as evidence in any damage suit or action.” as​all the widow promised was to forego the offender’s criminal
7. Marinqudue’s contentions: prosecution. ​Note further that a question may be raised whether she could
a. Criminal Case No. 1491 and its outcome constituted an election by bind the other heirs of the deceased.
the employee (or his heirs) to sue the third person, such election 4. The ​most important aspect of this appeal, is the effect of the deceased’s
having the effect of releasing the employer. having violated the employer’s prohibition against laborers riding the
b. As to the alleged “amicable settlement,” it consists of an affidavit haulage trucks.​Marinduque claims such violation was the laborer’s
wherein, for the sum of 150 pesos, Mamador’s widow promised “notorious negligence” which, under the law, precludes recovery. The
“to forgive Macunat for the wrong committed and not to bring him Commission has not declared that the prohibition was known to Mamador.
before the authorities for prosecution.” Upon making such promise Yet the employer does not point out in the record evidence to that effect.
— Marinduqe argues — she elected one of the remedies, (against 5. Supposing Mamador knew the prohibition, said the referee, “can we
the third person) and is barred from the other remedy (against the truthfully say that he boarded the fatal truck with full apprehension of the
employer). existence of the danger, if any at all, that an ordinary prudent man would try
c. Mamador violated the employer’s prohibition against laborers to avoid? I do not believe so, and even in the presence of doubt, the same
riding the haulage trucks and therefore, Marinduque claims such must not be resolved in his favor. Unless of course, we can attribute to him
violation was the laborer’s “notorious negligence” which, under a desire to end his life. Nowhere in the records of this case can we find the
the law, precludes recovery. slightest insinuation of that desire.”
6. There is no doubt that mere riding on haulage truck or stealing a ride
ISSUE: thereon is not negligence, ordinarily. It couldn’t be, because transportation
1. WoN W/N the claim is barred under Sec. 6 of the Workmen’s by truck is not dangerous per se. It is argued that there was notorious
Compensation Act – NO, Criminal Case No. 1491 was not a suit for negligence in this particular instance because there was the employer’s
damages against the third person, the indemnity granted ​the heirs in a prohibition. Does violation of this order constitute negligence? Many courts
criminal prosecution of the “other person” does not affect the liability hold that violation of a statute or ordinance constitutes negligence per se.
of the employer to pay compensation Others consider the circumstances.
2. RELEVANT​: W/N Mamador can be considered negligent when he 7. However, there is practical unanimity in the proposition that ​violation of a
violated the prohibition against the boarding of trucks – NO, Violation of a rule promulgated by a Commission or board is not negligence per se;
rule promulgated by a Commission or board is not negligence per se; but it but it may be evidence of negligence.
may be evidence of negligence. 8. This ​order of the employer (prohibition rather) couldn’t be of a greater
3. WoN the proceedings before the Commission was valid – YES obligation than the rule of a Commission or board​. And the referee
correctly considered this violation as possible evidence of negligence; but it
RATIO: declared that under the circumstance, the laborer could not be declared to
1. Criminal Case No. 1491 was not a suit for damages against the third have acted with negligence. Correctly, it is believed, ​since the prohibition
person, ​it being alleged, without contradiction that the heirs did not had nothing to do with personal safety of the riders. ​Such finding is
intervene therein and have not so far received the indemnity ordered by the virtually a finding of fact which we may not overrule in this certiorari
court. proceeding
2. At any rate, we have already decided in ​Nava vs. Inchausti Co. ​1 that the 9. Nevertheless, even granting there was negligence, it surely was not
indemnity granted ​the heirs in a criminal prosecution of the “other “notorious” negligence, which we have interpreted to mean the same thing
as “gross” negligence — implying ​“conscious indifference to
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
consequences” “pursuing a course of conduct which would naturally
and probably result in injury” “utter disregard of consequences.”
10. Getting or accepting a free ride on the company’s haulage truck
couldnt be gross negligence, because as the referee found, “no danger
or risk was apparent.”
(not main issue)
11. In our opinion, P​etitioner’​ s grievance does not rest on any sound basis,
because it was given notice, and therefore had the chance, to examine (and
cross-examine) the witnesses against it. The statute even permits the
Commissioner (or his referee) to take testimony without notice (section 48
Act 3428 as amended) provided of course such ex parte evidence is reduced
to writing, and the adverse party is afforded opportunity to examine and
rebut the same which was done in this instance. Court was not shown how
its failure to cross-examine the witnesses prejudiced the ​Petitioner​’s
position.
12. SEC. 48. ​Referees—Duties and powers.— A ​ referee shall devote his entire
time to the duties of his office and shall receive compensation of not less
than three thousand six hundred pesos per annum. It shall be the duty of a
referee, under the rules and regulations of the Commissioner, to hear and
determine claims for workmen’s compensation, to conduct such hearings
and investigations and to make such orders, decisions, rules and
determinations as may be required by any order of the commissioner.

WHEREFORE, ​The award of compensation is hereby affirmed, with costs against


Petitioner.​

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
● FFC employees, who slept in the shop premises, tried to put out the fire
but their efforts proved futile.
39. FF Cruz v. CA (Pau c/o Meryl t​ y Meryl​) ● The fire spread to the Mables’ house.
August 29, 1988 | Cortes, ​J.​ | Ordinances & Statutes - Subrogation in Insurance ● Both the shop and the house were razed to the ground.
● The cause of the conflagration was never discovered.
PETITIONER: ​F.F. Cruz and Co., Inc.
RESPONDENT: Court of Appeals, Gregorio Mable (substituted by his wife, 4. Subsequently, Mables collected P35,000.00 on the insurance on their house and
Luz Almonte Mable and children) the contents thereof.
5. The Mables filed an action for damages against FFC. CFI ordered FFC to pay to
SUMMARY:
the Mables the amount of P80,000.00 for damages suffered by the Mables for
The furniture manufacturing shop of F.F. Cruz (FFC) was situated adjacent to
the residence of the Mables. Fire broke out in the shop. The fire spread to the the loss of their house, P50,000.00 for the loss of furnitures, religious images,
Mables’ house. Subsequently, Mables collected P35,000.00 on the insurance on silverwares, chinawares, jewelries, books, kitchen utensils, clothing and other
their house and the contents thereof. Then, the Mables filed an action for valuables, P5,000.00 as moral damages, P2,000.00 as exemplary damages, and
damages against FFC. FFC contends that the CA erred in not deducting the sum P5,000.00 as attorney's fees;
of P35,000.00, which the Mables recovered on the insurance on their house, 6. CA affirmed the decision of the trial court but reduced the award of damages.
from the damages awarded. FFC contends that the CA erred in not deducting the sum of P35,000.00, which
the Mables recovered on the insurance on their house.
Whether or not the CA erred in not deducting the sum of P35,000.00, which the
Mables recovered on the insurance on their house, from the damages awarded –
YES ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in not deducting the sum of P35,000.00, which the
DOCTRINE: Mables recovered on the insurance on their house – YES
Having been indemnified by their insurer, the Mables are only entitled to recover
the deficiency from FFC. On the other hand, the insurer, if it is so minded, may RATIO:
seek reimbursement of the amount it indemnified the Mables from FFC. Upon 1. SC holds that in accordance with Article 2207 of the Civil Code the amount of
payment of the loss incurred by the insured, the insurer is entitled to be
P35,000.00 should be deducted from the amount awarded as damages.
subrogated pro tanto to any right of action which the insured may have against
the third person whose negligence or wrongful act caused the loss.
● Art. 2207. If the plaintiffs property has been insured, and he has
received indemnity from the insurance company for the injury or
FACTS: loss arising out of the wrong or breach of contract complained of,
1. The furniture manufacturing shop of F.F. Cruz (FFC) was situated adjacent to the insurance company is subrogated to the rights of the insured
the residence of the Mables. against the wrongdoer or the person who violated the contract. If
2. Respondent Gregorio Mable approached Eric Cruz, FFC’s plant manager, to the amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cover the
request that a firewall be constructed between the shop and the residence of the injury or loss, the aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the
Mables. deficiency from the person causing the loss or injury.
● The request was repeated several times but they fell on deaf ears.
3. In the early morning of September 6, 1974, fire broke out in the shop. 2. Having been indemnified by their insurer, the Mables are only entitled to
recover the deficiency from FFC. ​On the other hand, the insurer, if it is so
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
minded, may seek reimbursement of the amount it indemnified the Mables
from F.F. Cruz.

● This is the essence of its right to be subrogated to the rights of the


insured, as expressly provided in Article 2207. ​Upon payment of the
loss incurred by the insured, the insurer is entitled to be
subrogated pro tanto to any right of action which the insured may
have against the third person whose negligence or wrongful act
caused the loss. ​[Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Jamila & Co., Inc]
3. Under Article 2207, the real party in interest with regard to the indemnity
received by the insured is the insurer. [Phil. Air Lines, Inc. v. Heald Lumber
Co]
4. Whether or not the insurer should exercise the rights of the insured to which
it had been subrogated lies solely within the former's sound discretion.

● Since the insurer is not a party to the case, its identity is not of record
and no claim is made on its behalf, the private respondent's insurer has
to claim his right to reimbursement of the P35,000.00 paid to the
insured.

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
40. CIPRIANO v. CA ​(Maye)
October 30, 1996| Mendoza, J. | Violation of a statutory duty FACTS:
1. Elias S. Cipriano is the owner of E.S. Cipriano Enterprises, which is
PETITIONERS: ​Elias Cipriano and/or E.S Cipriano Enterprises engaged in the rustproofing of vehicles, under the style Mobilkote.
RESPONDENTS: ​CA, Maclin Electronics, Inc. 2. On April 30, 1991, private respondent Maclin Electronics, Inc., through an
employee, brought a 1990 model Kia Pride People’s car to Cipriano’s shop
SUMMARY: Cipriano owns ES Cipriano Enterprise which is engaged in the for rustproofing. The car was purchased from Integrated Auto Sales, Inc. for
rustproofing of vehicles. Maclin Electronics brought a car to the shop for P252,155.00.
rustproofing. Cipriano said that the car was brought at 10am and was ready for 3. Cipriano alleged that the car was brought to his shop at 10am of April 30
release in the afternoon as it took only 6 hours to complete. On the next day, fire and was ready for release later that afternoon, as it took only six hours to
broke out at the Lambat restaurant, also owned by Cipriano, adjoining the complete the process of rustproofing.
rustproofing shop, which burned both the shop and resto including the car inside 4. On May 1, 1991, a fire broke out at the Lambat restaurant, which Cipriano
the shop. Cipriano claims that there was not enough time to get it out unlike 3 also owned, adjoining his Mobilkote shop.
other cars which were parked near the entrance. Maclin sent a demand letter for a. The fire destroyed both the shop and the restaurant, and
reimbursement but Cipriano denied liability for a fortuitous event. Maclin filed a respondent’s Kia Pride.
case for damages alleging that the vehicle was lost due to the negligence and b. Kia Pride had been kept inside the building, to protect it from theft.
imprudence of Cipriano citing their failure to register the business with DTI Despite efforts, petitioner could not save the Kia Pride, although it
under PD 1572 and to insure it as required in the implementing rules. Cipriano was able to save 3 cars, which were parked near the entrance.
contends that it was a fortuitous event entirely independent of his will and that 5. On May 8 1991, Maclin sent a letter to Cipriano, demanding
Maclin’s delay in claiming was the cause of the loss. RTC ruled the failure of reimbursement for the value of the Kia Pride. Cipriano refused to pay and
Cipriano to comply with PD 1572 was a manifest act of negligence rendering denied liability saying the fire was a fortuitous event.
him liable for loss even if it was caused by a fire. CA affirmed the decision 6. Maclin then brought this suit for the value of its vehicle and for damages
saying that he was required by the implementing rules to have fire insurance against petitioner. Maclin alleged that its vehicle was lost due to the
coverage and assumes the risk of loss of their customer’s property. negligence and imprudence of Cipriano, as he failed to register his business
with DTI under PD 1572, and to insure it as required in the rules.
WON Cipriano was deemed negligent when he failed to register his business? 7. Cipriano invoked Art. 1174 and denied liability as the loss was due to a
YES. ​See doctrine. C​ ipriano’s negligence is the source of his obligation. He is fortuitous event.
not being held liable for breach of contract, but for his negligence in not a. He testified that he employed an electrician who regularly
complying with a duty imposed by law. It is immaterial that the loss occasioned inspected both the restaurant and the rustproofing shop.
to Maclin was due to a fortuitous event, since it was his negligence in not b. He also installed fire-fighting devices and that the fire was an
insuring against the risk, which was the proximate cause of the loss. ​
P​ D 1572 accident entirely independent of his will and devoid of any
requires service and repair enterprises to register with DTI and a condition for negligence.
registration is an insurance policy.​
​There is a statutory duty imposed on c. Maclin’s car was ready for release as early as afternoon of April
Cipriano and his failure to comply with this duty renders him negligent and 30. Hence, Maclin’s delay in claiming was the cause of the loss.
liable for damages to Maclin, notwithstanding that the fire was a fortuitous d. The materials and chemicals he used are not inflammable, hence,
event.​
 he could not be made to assume the risk of loss due to fire.
e. He claimed that he was not required to register his business with
DOCTRINE: A violation of a statutory duty is negligence per se. It has been the DTI because he was not covered by P.D. 1572.
held previously that where the very injury which was intended to be prevented 8. Maclin argued that Cipriano was liable for the loss even if it was caused by
by the ordinance has happened, non-compliance with the ordinance was not only a fortuitous event. The nature of Cipriano’s business required him to assume
an act of negligence, but also the proximate cause.​

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
the risk as he was required to insured his property as well as those of his maintenance together with a copy of the official receipt covering the full
customers under PD 1572. payment of premium.
9. RTC – in favor of Maclin. Failure of Cipriano to comply with PD 1572 is 7. Thus, there is a statutory duty imposed on petitioner and it is for his
in effect a manifest act of negligence, which renders him liable for the loss failure to comply with this duty that he was guilty of negligence
of the car even if the same was caused by fire. rendering him liable for damages to private respondent.
a. Business of rustproofing is covered by PD 1572. Since Cipriano 8. While the fire in this case may be considered a fortuitous event, ​this
did not register and insure his business, he must bear the cost of circumstance cannot exempt petitioner from liability for loss.
loss. 9. However, CA erred in sustaining the award of atty’s fees. Reasons or
10. CA affirmed. CA ruled that the provisions of the Civil Code are not grounds for such an award must be set forth in the decision. They cannot be
applicable to this case, and that the law applicable to the case is P.D. No. left to inference as the CA held in this case. It is not sound policy to
1572, the purpose of which is to protect customers who entrust their penalize the right to litigate.
properties to service and repair enterprises.
a. CA held that by PD 1572 and its IRR, which require fire insurance WHEREFORE, ​CA decision is AFFIRMED with modification that the award of
coverage prior to accreditation, ​owners of service and repair atty.’s fees is deleted.
enterprises assume the risk of loss of their customers property.

ISSUE: ​WON petitioner was required to insure his business and the vehicles
received by him in the course of his business in line with P.D. No. 1572; if so, is
petitioner therefore liable for his negligence in not complying with P.D. No. 1572?
YES. Petitioner is liable for the loss.

RATIO:
1. SC already held that ​violation of a statutory duty is negligence per se.
2. F.F. Cruz and ​Co., Inc. v. CA:​ ​SC held the owner of a furniture shop liable
for the destruction of the plaintiff’s house in a fire which started in his
establishment in view of his failure to comply with an ordinance which
required the construction of a firewall.
3. Teague v. Fernandez:​ ​SC stated that ​where the very injury, which was
intended to be prevented by the ordinance has happened,
non-compliance with the ordinance was not only an act negligence, but
also the proximate cause of the death.
4. The existence of a contract between Cipriano and Maclin does not bar a
finding of negligence under quasi-delict, as held in ​Fabre v. CA​.
5. Cipriano's negligence is the source of his obligation. He is not being held
liable for breach of his contractual obligation due to negligence but for his
negligence in not complying with a duty imposed on him by law
6. P.D. No. 1572, requires service and repair enterprises for motor vehicles,
like that of petitioners to register with the Department of Trade and
Industry. As condition for such registration or accreditation, ​one of the
requirements is a submission of a ​copy of Insurance Policy of the shop
covering the property entrusted by its customer for repair, service or
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
41. Sanitary Steam Laundry v. CA (Sylina) FACTS:
10 Dec. 1998 | J. Mendoza | Statutes and Ordinance - Traffic Rules 1. Passengers of the Cimarron were mostly employees of the Project
Management Consultants, Inc. (PMCI), who just visited a construction site
PETITIONER​: SANITARY STEAM LAUNDRY, INC. of a company project in Lian, Batangas.
RESPONDENTS​: THE COURT OF APPEALS, NICANOR BERNABE III, 2. Some passengers were with family and friends whom they invited to an
JOSEFINA BERNABE, in their individual capacities and as HEIRS OF JASON excursion to the beach after. (hereinafter PMCI group)
BERNABE, JOHN JOSEPH BERNABE, VICTOR IGNACIO, JULIETA 3. They decided to go back to Manila at 5:30 p.m.
ENRIQUEZ and RAMON ENRIQUEZ, RENE TABLANTE, LEOMAR 4. The Cimarron was owned by Salvador Salenga, father of one of the
MACASPAC, JR., CHARITO ESTOLANO, NENITA SALUNOY, in their employees of PMCI.
individual capacities and as HEIRS OF DALMACIO SALUNOY 5. At about 8:00 p.m., as the Cimarron was traveling along Aguinaldo
Highway in Imus, Cavite, driven by Rolando Hernandez, the Cimarron was
SUMMARY​: At about 8:00 p.m., as the Cimarron was traveling along hit on its front portion by Sanitary’s Mercedez Benz panel truck, which was
Aguinaldo Highway in Imus, Cavite, driven by Rolando Hernandez, the traveling the opposite direction.
Cimarron was hit on its front portion by Sanitary’s Mercedez Benz panel truck, 6. The panel truck was on its way to Sanitary's plant in Dasmariñas, Cavite
which was traveling the opposite direction. The driver of the panel truck, after delivering some linen to the Makati Medical Center.
Herman Hernandez, claimed that a jeepney in front of him suddenly stopped. He 7. The driver of the panel truck, Herman Hernandez, claimed that a jeepney in
said he stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting the jeepney and that this caused his front of him suddenly stopped.
vehicle to swerve to the left and encroach on a portion of the opposite lane. As a 8. He said he stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting the jeepney and that this
result, his panel truck collided with the Cimarron on the north-bound lane. All caused his vehicle to swerve to the left and encroach on a portion of the
those who died (3 including driver Rolando) and injured were passengers of the opposite lane. As a result, his panel truck collided with the Cimarron on the
Cimarron. Sanitary was claiming that the driver of the Cimarron was guilty of north-bound lane.
contributory negligence and, therefore, its liability should be mitigated, if not 9. Rolando Hernandez, and two of his passengers, namely, Jason Bernabe and
totally extinguished. The main issue in this case is WON violation of Rolando of Dalmacio Salunoy, died. Several of the other passengers of the Cimarron
the traffic rules is a contributory negligence hence making Sanitary not liable to were injured and taken to various hospitals.
which the court held in the negative. It has not been shown how the alleged 10. RTC Pasig branch: ruled in favor of the PMCI group. Sanitary was ordered
negligence of the Cimarron driver contributed to the collision between the to pay damages, moral damages, and unearned income (only for those who
vehicles. Sanitary has the burden of showing a causal connection between the died).
injury received and the violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. 11. CA affirmed the decision.
He must show that the violation of the statute was the proximate or legal cause 12. Sanitary contends that the driver of the Cimarron was guilty of contributory
of the injury or that it substantially contributed thereto. Negligence, consisting in negligence and, therefore, its liability should be mitigated, if not totally
whole or in part, of violation of law, like any other negligence, is without legal extinguished.
consequence unless it is a contributing cause of the injury. 13. Rolando was guilty of violation of traffic rules and regulations at the time of
DOCTRINE: Negligence, consisting in whole or in part, of violation of law, the mishap. Hence, in accordance with Art. 2185 of the Civil Code, he was
like any other negligence, is without legal consequence unless it is a contributing presumed to be negligent.
cause of the injury. a. The Cimarron was overloaded because there were from 20 to 25
passengers inside when the passenger capacity of the vehicle was
only 17.
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
b. The front seat of the Cimarron was occupied by four adults, 1. WON violation of Rolando of the traffic rules is a contributory negligence
including the driver. hence making Sanitary not liable. NO. Violation of the traffic rules is not a
c. The Cimarron had only one headlight on (its right headlight) as its contributory negligence in this case thus Sanitary is liable.
left headlight was not functioning. 2. WON Sanitary exercised due diligence in the selection pf driver. NO
14. Sanitary sites 3. WON the awarding of damages is right.
a. Art. III, § 2 of R.A. No. 4136, known as the Land Transportation
and Tra c Code, which provides that "No person operating any RATIO:
vehicle shall allow more passengers or more freight or cargo in his
vehicle than its registered carry capacity and; WON violation of Rolando of the traffic rules is a contributory negligence hence
b. Art. IV, § 3(e) which states that "Every motor vehicle of more than making Sanitary not liable.
one meter of projected width, while in use on any public highway 1. It has not been shown how the alleged negligence of the Cimarron driver
shall bear two headlights . . . which not later than one-half hour contributed to the collision between the vehicles.
after sunset and until at least one-half hour before sunrise and 2. Sanitary has burden of showing a causal connection between the injury
whenever weather conditions so require, shall both be lighted. received and the violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
15. Sanitary asserts that its panel truck encroached on a portion of the lane of 3. Must show that the violation of the statute was the proximate or legal cause
the Cimarron does not show that its driver was negligent. of the injury or that it substantially contributed thereto.
a. Bayasen v. CA: sudden swerving of a vehicle caused by its driver 4. Negligence, consisting in whole or in part, of violation of law, like any
stepping on the brakes is not negligence per se. Sanitary further other negligence, is without legal consequence unless it is a contributing
claims that even if petitioner's swerving to the lane of respondents cause of the injury.
were considered proof of negligence, this fact would not negate the 5. There was no “decreased visibility” and “decreased maneuverability” on the
presumption of negligence on the part of the other driver arising Cimarron as mere allegations such as these are not su cient to discharge its
from his violations of trffic rules and regulations. burden of proving clearly that such alleged negligence was the contributing
b. Mckee v. IAC: driver who invaded the opposite lane and caused a cause of the injury.​cdll
collision between his car and a truck coming from the opposite 6. There was no way that Rolando would have avoided the situation.
lane, was exonerated based on the doctrine of last clear chance, 7. The panel truck driver's testimony is consistent with the testimonies of
which states that a person who has the last clear chance or private respondents that the panel truck went out of control and simply
opportunity of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent smashed into the Cimarron in which they were riding.
acts of his opponent, is solely responsible for the consequences of 8. Charito Estolano, another passenger who was seated in front of the
the accident. Cimarron, similarly testified that they just saw the panel truck hurtling
i. although the driver of the panel truck was initially toward them.
negligent, the driver of the Cimarron had the last 9. Testimonies show that the driver of the panel truck lost control of his
opportunity to avoid the accident. However, because of vehicle and bumped the Cimarron.
his negligence, he was not able to avoid a collision with 10. Even if both headlights of the Cimarron were lighted, it would have been
the panel truck.​cd bumped just the same because the driver of the panel truck could not stop
despite the fact that he applied the brakes
ISSUES: 11. The police investigator did not state in his report or in his testimony that
the Cimarron had only one headlight on.
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
12. Nor is there any basis in fact for petitioner's contention that because of WON Sanitary exercised due diligence in the selection pf driver.
overcrowding in the front seat of the Cimarron there was "decreased 24. Sanitary contends that the non-submission of the NBI clearance and police
maneuverability" which prevented the Cimarron driver from avoiding the clearance of its driver does not mean that it failed to exercise the diligence
panel truck. of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of its
13. Cimarron, particularly Charito Estolano, who was seated in front, which employees. It argues that there is no law requiring employees to submit NBI
suggest that the driver had no elbow room for maneuvering the vehicle and police clearance prior to their employment. Hence, petitioner's failure to
14. Driver of the Cimarron tried to avoid the collision but because of the require submission of these documents does not mean that it did not
emergency created by the speeding panel truck coming from the opposite exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees.
direction he was not able to fully move his Cimarron away from the path of 25. And that Herman Hernandez as a driver means that he had passed the
the oncoming vehicle. screening tests of the company, including submission of the aforementioned
15. No "maneuvering" which the Cimarron driver could have done would have documents.
avoided a collision with the panel truck, given the suddenness of the events. 26. Sanitary likewise contends that the CA's position that it failed to exercise
Clearly, the overcrowding in the front seat was immaterial.​Cdpr due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees by not
16. Proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of petitioner's driver requiring its prospective employees to undergo psychological and physical
17. Swerving of petitioner's panel truck to the opposite lane could mean not tests before employment has no basis in law because there is no law
only that petitioner's driver was running the vehicle at a very high speed but requiring such tests prior to hiring employees.​llc
that he was tailgating the passenger jeepney ahead of it as well. 27. CA Appeals did not say that petitioner's failure to submit NBI and police
18. If the panel truck had enough distance with the jeep, the truck would have clearances of its driver was proof that petitioner failed to exercise due
no difficulty stopping. . It is very probable that the driver did not really diligence in the selection of its employees. What the Court of Appeals said
apply his brakes (which is why there were no skid marks) but that nding the was that petitioner's policy of requiring prospective employees to submit
jeepney in front of him to be in close proximity, he tried to avoid hitting it NBI and police clearance and to have at least two (2) years experience as
by swerving his vehicle to the left. driver prior to employment was not enough to prove the exercise of due
19. He invaded a portion of the opposite lane and consequently hit the diligence and that even this policy petitioner failed to prove by its failure to
Cimarron. present the driver's NBI and police records during the trial.​prcd
20. Herman even testified that he was running 60 miles per hour (later changed 28. With respect to the requirement of passing psychological and physical tests
statement to km per hour) prior to his employment, although no law requires it, such circumstance
21. Be that as it may, whether the driver meant 60 miles per hour or 60 km per would certainly be a reliable indicator of the exercise of due diligence
hour, the fact remains that the panel truck was overspeeding bec the max 29. Sanitary must go beyond the minimum requirements fixed by law.
allowable speed for trucks and buses on open country roads, such as the
Aguinaldo Highway is only 50 km per hour. With respect to damages
22. Bayasen cannot apply in this case. There was no swerving of the vehicle in 30. No reversible error committed in the award of actual damages
that case but skidding, and it was caused by the fact that the road was wet 31. To justify an award of actual damages, there must be competent proof of the
and slippery. actual amount of loss. Credence can be given only to claims which are duly
23. McKee case is also misplaced. e driver of the vehicle at fault, a truck, had supported by receipts.
an opportunity to avoid the collision but he ignored the signals from the 32. Here, the actual damages claimed by private respondents were duly
other vehicle, a car, to slow down and allow it to safely pass the bridge supported by receipts and appear to have been really incurred.​cda
33. Moral damages awarded are also reasonable and necessary.
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
a. to allow the victims to obtain means, diversion, or amusement to
alleviate the moral suffering they had undergone due to the
defendant's culpable action.
b. Within the meaning of Art. 2217 of the Civil Code, they suffered
sleepless nights, mental anguish, serious anxiety, and wounded
feelings. An award of moral damages in their favor is thus
justified.
34. The award of P50,000.00 to the heirs of Jason Bernabe as death indemnity
is likewise in accordance with law
35. The award of P100,000 to the heirs of Dalmacio Salunoy, denominated in
the decision of the trial court as "moral damages and unearned income"
cannot be upheld as the heirs were already included among those awarded
moral damages.
36. In addition, the heirs of Dalmacio Salunoy should be paid P50,000.00 as
death indemnity.​prcd
37. The award of attorney's fees should be disallowed as the trial court did not
give any justi cation for granting it in its decision.

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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
42. Dela Cruz v. Octaviano (PAT) 3. The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the
26 July 2017 | J. Peralta | Statutes and Ordinance - Traffic Code and Municipal damage
Ordinance on Tricycle Passenger Limit

FACTS:
PETITIONER​: Al Dela Cruz 1. Around 9:00 p.m. on April 1, 1999, Captain Renato Octaviano6, Wilma
RESPONDENTS​: Capt. Renato Octaviano & Wilma Octaviano Octaviano,7 and Janet Octaviano,8 rode a tricycle driven by Eduardo Y.
Padilla. Wilma and Janet were inside the sidecar of the vehicle, while
SUMMARY​: Renato rode at the back of the tricycle driver.
This case involves a collision between a Honda civic driven by Dela Cruz 2. They then proceeded to Naga Road. Renato was asking his mother for a
and a tricycle boarded by Renato Octaviano and his mother Wilma. At around 9 change to complete his P10.00 bill when he looked at the road and saw a
pm, Dela Cruz’s car hit the back of the tricycle boarded by the Octavianos. light from an oncoming car which was going too fast.
Renato, who was seated behind the tricycle driver ended up on the gutter of the 3. The car, driven by Dela Cruz, hit the back portion of the tricycle where
street after the collision. He was momentarily unconscious because of his severe Renato was riding. The force of the impact caused the tricycle to turn
injuries. The people in the area went to help the Octavianos and called on Dela around and land on the pavement near the gutter.
Cruz to bring them to the hospital. Dela Cruz first dropped by his home before 4. Renato was thrown from the tricycle and landed on the gutter about two
bringing the Octavianos to a clinic and then to a hospital. Renato’s injury was so meters away. Renato felt severe pain in his lower extremities and went
severe that his leg had to be amputated. He underwent 9 months of rehabilitation momentarily unconscious and when he regained consciousness, he heard his
and had to be operated on thrice for bone infection. He had a prosthetic attached sister shouting for help.
afterwards. Renato and Wilma filed a case for damages against Dela Cruz. RTC 5. A man came followed by other people. The first man who answered Janet's
dismissed the claim and found that it was the negligence of the tricycle driver in call for help shouted to another man at a distance saying: "Ikaw, dalhin mo
boarding 3 passengers when a Municipal Ordinance limits the passengers of a yung sasakyan mo dito. Ikaw ang nakabangga sa kanila. Dalhin mo sila sa
tricycle to 3 people only, including the driver. The Court of Appeals reversed ospital."
this decision and found that Dela Cruz was drunk at the time of the accident and 6. They pulled Renato out of the gutter and carried him to the car. Dela Cruz
therefore in violation of the Traffic Code. brought them to his house and alighted thereat for two to three minutes and
The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the CA ruling and found Dela Cruz’s then he brought the passengers to a clinic. Renato insisted on being brought
negligence as the proximate cause of the accident. Had Dela Cruz slowed down to a hospital because he realized the severity of his injuries. Thus, Renato,
or stopped a short while to let the tricycle pass clear of the van, then the incident his mother, and Janet were brought to Perpetual Help Medical Center where
would not have happened. The reasonable foresight required of a cautious driver Renato's leg was amputated from below the knee on that same night.
was not exercised by defendant Dela Cruz. 7. Medical treatments of Renato:
a. Perpetual Help Medical Center
DOCTRINE: ​In order to establish his right to a recovery, the plaintiff must b. AFP Medical Center at V. Luna General Hospital → nine months
establish by competent evidence: for rehabilitation.
1. Damages to the plaintiff.
2. Negligence by act or omission of which Defendant personally or some 6
​A military dentist assigned at the Office of the Chief Dental Service, Armed Forces
person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty. of the Philippines, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
7
​Renato's mother
8
​Renato's sister
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TORTS AND DAMAGES | ATTY. JESS LOPEZ  
 
c. Fort Bonifacio Hospital → 3 operations for bone infection. and his companions to help board the injured man and the latter's
Thereafter, he was treated at the same hospital for six months. co-passengers of the tricycle in the car he was driving. Thereafter,
d. V. Luna → he had a prosthetic attached to his leg at V. Luna at his he drove them to Perpetual Help Hospital where the man was
own expense. treated for his injuries
e. TOTAL BILL: P623,268.00 11. Martinez, the traffic enforcer testified that he proceeded to the area and
8. Renato and Wilma filed a civil case for damages against Dela Cruz. They arrived there around 9:00 p.m but nobody was there and that the vehicles
presented the S/Sgt. Lacuesta who testified that he saw an oncoming vehicle involved in the collision were no longer there. At the scene of the accident,
with bright lights and also saw a tricycle which was not moving fast and he saw splinters of glass on the road but there was no blood and he also saw
after the latter passed him by, it collided with the vehicle. He then saw an Elf van parked along the street fronting CAA.
someone fell down near him and when he saw that the car was about to a. He then proceeded to Perpetual Help Hospital after he received a
move, he told his companions to stop the car from leaving. call on his radio that the people involved in the accident were
a. Thereafter, he noticed that the person who landed in front of him already at the said hospital. At the hospital, he was able to talk
was already unconscious so he helped him and called one of his with Dela Cruz..
companions to carry the injured man to the car. b. Thereafter, he called up his base and informed the base that the
b. He told the driver of the car "Isakay mo ito, nabangga mo ito," and driver of the Honda Civic was at the hospital. Later on, Sgt.
then proceeded to board the injured man in front of the car, while Soriano, the investigator-on-duty arrived at the hospital and
he told the other passengers of the tricycle to board at the back of instructed Sgt. Martinez to accompany Dela Cruz to the
the car. headquarters because some relatives Renato were asking that he
c. His companions forcibly took ("pinilas") the license plate of the be brought to Fort Bonifacio.
car and he also noticed that the driver of the car was drunk 12. RTC → dismissed the claim because Dela Cruz’s version of the incident
("nakainom"). After the car left, he and his companions stayed in was more believable because it was corroborated by Sgt. Martinez who
the area wherein a policeman later arrived and towed the tricycle. testified that he saw an Elf van parked along the street. Dela Cruz did
9. Witness Antonio Fernnandez corroborated Lacuesta’s testimony everything that was expected of a cautious driver.
10. Dela Cruz’s version of events: a. The owner of the Honda Civic, Isagani Cirilo could not be held
a. When he was along Naga Road, he noticed a tricycle from a liable because Dela Cruz was a family friend who merely
distance of about 100 to 120 meters away and was going the borrowed the car and not his driver nor his employee.
opposite direction. He also noticed an Elf van parked along the b. The liability rests on the tricycle driver who drove without license
road on the opposite side. and Dela Cruz’s contributory negligence in riding at the back of
b. He flashed his low beam and high beam light to signal the tricycle. the driver in violation of Municipal Ordinance No. 35-88 that
The tricycle then slowed down and stopped a bit, hence, he also limits the passengers of a tricycle to three persons including the
slowed down. Suddenly, the tricycle picked up speed from its stop driver.
position and the two vehicles collided. He then stopped his car a 13. Octaviano appealed. CA → reversed the RTC decision and found that Dela
few meters away from the collision site and made a u-turn to Cruz was negligent as shown in the police report.
confront the driver of the tricycle. a. He tested positive for alcoholic breath, thus, he violated Republic
c. He also noticed that there were already about a dozen people Act (R.A.) No. 4136 that prohibits any person from driving a
around the site of the collision. He saw a man sitting on the gutter motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or narcotic
and proceeded to move the car towards the former and asked him drug.
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b. The owner of the vehicle is equally responsible and liable for the Renato Octaviano's right leg was crushed by the impact of the
accident and the resulting injuries that the victims sustained. Honda Civic driven by Dela Cruz against the tricycle where the
14. Hence the present petition. Octavianos were riding and as a result thereof, Renato's right leg
15. Dela Cruz argues that was amputated. Wilma Octaviano suffered traumatic
a. he was not negligent and that the driver of the tricycle was the one injuries/hematoma on different parts of her body
at fault b. Second element: Negligence by act or omission → Dela Cruz was
b. the investigation report relied upon by the CA should not have negligent. Two witnesses testified that Dela Cruz appeared to be
been used in determining what actually transpired because the drunk on that fateful night. Joey Lacuesta and Antonio Fernandez
traffic investigator was not presented as a witness and Dela Cruz were there on the spot when the incident happened. They were the
was not able to confront or cross-examine him regarding the first ones to assist the victim Renato Octaviano who was slumped
report. unconscious in the gutter. Lacuesta was the one who boarded the
c. he was not drunk when the incident happened and that the CA injured Renato into the front seat of the car and he noticed that the
erred in appreciating the mere opinions of the witnesses that he driver was drunk. The law prohibits drunk driving. Republic Act
appeared drunk at that time. No. 4136, Chapter IV, Article V, Section 53 known as Land
Transportation and Traffic Code provides that no person shall
ISSUES: drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor or
1. Whether Dela Cruz was negligent - YES narcotic drug. It is established by plaintiff's evidence that
defendant Dela Cruz drove the Honda Civic while under the
RATIO: influence of alcohol thus proving his negligence.
1. Negligence is the failure to observe for the protection of the interests of c. Third element: Connection of cause and effect → Had Dela Cruz
another person that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the exercised caution, his Honda Civic would not have collided with
circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury. the tricycle and plaintiff's leg would not be crushed necessitating
2. The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular its amputation. The cause of the injury or damage to the plaintiff's
case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged leg is the negligent act of defendant Dela Cruz.
negligent act use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily 5. Even if Dela Cruz was sober, he would still be liable. His negligence was
prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is the proximate cause of the accident. Proximate cause is "that which, in
guilty of negligence natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any new cause, produces an
3. In order to establish his right to a recovery, the plaintiff must establish by event, and without which the event would not have occurred."
competent evidence: 6. If it were true that as far as about 100-120 meters away he already saw the
a. Damages to the plaintiff. parked Elf van and the tricycle, he could have slowed down or stopped to
b. Negligence by act or omission of which Defendant personally or give way to the tricycle to avoid collision. In fact, if the collision point was
some person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty. right ahead of the front of the parked Elf van, it means that the tricycle was
c. The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the already past the parked Elf and it was Dela Cruz who forced his way into
damage. the two-way road. More evident is that the tricycle was hit at the back
4. CA correctly appreciated the evidence presented in this case. portion meaning it was already turning after passing the parked Elf. Had
a. First Element: Damage to the plaintiff → There is no question that Dela Cruz slowed down or stopped a short while to let the tricycle pass
the plaintiffs suffered damage due to the incident on April 1, 1999. clear of the van, then the incident would not have happened. The reasonable
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foresight required of a cautious driver was not exercised by defendant Dela
Cruz.
7. Neither is it correct to impute contributory negligence on the part of the
tricycle driver and Renato when the latter had violated a municipal
ordinance that limits the number of passengers for each tricycle for hire to
three persons including the driver.
8. Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured party,
contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which falls below
the standard to which he is required to conform for his own protection. To
hold a person as having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that he
performed an act that brought about his injuries in disregard of warning or
signs of an impending danger to health and body.
9. To prove contributory negligence, it is still necessary to establish a causal
link, although not proximate, between the negligence of the party and the
succeeding injury.
10. In a legal sense, negligence is contributory only when it contributes
proximately to the injury, and not simply a condition for its occurrence.
11. In this case, the causal link between the alleged negligence of the tricycle
driver and Renato was not established. This court has appreciated that
negligence per se, arising from the mere violation of a traffic statute, need
not be sufficient in itself in establishing liability for damages.
12. Octavianos are entitled to payment of moral damages. It was duly proven
that defendant Al Dela Cruz acted with gross disregard for the suffering of
his victims when he refused to board them in his car and only did so when
forced by the by-standers who assisted the victims, when he drove to his
house first before driving to a clinic then to [the] hospital when it was
obvious that Renato Octaviano's wound was severe and needed immediate
professional attention. These insensitivity of defendant caused suffering to
the plaintiffs that must be compensated
13. Since exemplary damages are awarded, the award of attorney's fees is
necessary.

SEPARATE OPINIONS: ​None

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