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GAN V.

CA 165 SCRA 378 [1988] FACTS: Petitioner Hedy Gan (Gan) was convicted of the Crime of Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence by the trial court in Manila 1. In the morning of July 4, 1972, Hedy Gan was driving a car along North Bay Blvd, Tondo, Manila. While in front of a house in North Bay Blvd. there were two vehicles (truck and jeepney) parked one side of the road. 2. As the car driven by Gan approached the place where the 2 vehicles are parked, there was a vehicle coming from the opposite direction, followed by another which tried to overtake and bypass the one in front which then encroached the lane of the car driven by Gan. 3. To avoid a head-on collision with the oncoming vehicle, defendant swerve to the right, as a result, an old man was hit by the bumper of his car, who was crossing the boulevard from south to north. 4. The man was pinned against the rear of the parked jeepney. The force of the impact caused the parked jeepney to move forward hitting the truck ahead of it. 5. The old man was identified as Isidoro Casino, who was immediately brought to the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. 6. An information for Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence was filed against petitioner. She entered a plea of not guilty upon arraignment. 7. Petitioner sought for re-investigation by the City Fiscal, the trial fiscal moved for the dismissal of the case against petitioner during the resumption of hearing, on the ground of lack of interest on the part of the complaining witness to prosecute the case as evidence by an affidavit of desistance submitted to trial and lack of eyewitness to sustain the charge. 8. Trial court rendered its decision finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt. 9. On appeal, the trial courts decision was modified and petitioner was convicted only of Homicide thru Simple Imprudence. 10. The CA said that the accused should have stepped on the brakes when she saw the car going in the opposite direction followed by another which overtook the first. She should have tried to stop or lessen her speed so as not to bump into the pedestrian and jeepney. ISSUE: WON petitioner should be convicted of the crime of Homicide thru Simple Imprudence. HELD: No The test for determining whether or not a person is negligent in doing an act whereby injury or damage results to the person or property of another is this: Would a prudent man in the position of the person to whom negligence is attributed foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course about to be pursued? If so, the law imposes the duty on the doer to take precaution against its mischievous results and the failure to do so constitutes negligence. Emergency Rule On who suddenly finds himself in a place of danger, and is required to act without time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the impending danger is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a better method, unless the emergency in which he finds himself is brought about by his own negligence.

In the case at bar, the suggestion of the appellate court would seem reasonable were it not for the fact that such suggestion did not take into account the amount of time afforded petitioner to react on the situation she was in. Petitioner certainly could not be expected to act with all the coolness of a person under normal conditions. The danger confronting petitioner was real and imminent, threatening her very existence. She had no opportunity for rational thinking but only enough to heed the very powerful instinct of self-preservation. Also, the petitioner was driving within the legal limits. Therefore, the emergency rule applies with full force to the case at bar and absolves petitioner from any criminal negligence in connection with the said incident. Further, the award of damages to the heirs of the victim, who by executing a release of the claim due them, had effectively and clearly waived their right thereto.

CANTRE V. GO [2007] FACTS: Petitioner, Dr. Milagros L. Cantre is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Dr. Jesus Delgado Memorial Hospital. She was the attending physician of respondent Nora S. Go, who was admitted at the said hospital on April 19, 1992. 1. Nora gave birth to her fourth child, a baby boy. However, Nora suffered profuse bleeding inside her womb due to some parts of the placenta which were not completely expelled from her womb after delivery. Consequently, Nora suffered hypovolemic shock, resulting in a drop in her blood pressure. 2. Petitioner and the assisting resident physician performed various medical procedure to stop the bleeding and to restore Noras blood pressure. Her BP was frequently monitored with the use of a sphygmomanometer. While petitioner was massaging Noras uterus for it to contract and stop bleeding, she ordered a droplight to warm Nora and her baby. 3. While in the recovery room, her husband, John David Z. Go noticed a fresh gaping wound in the inner portion of her left arm, close to the armpit. He asked the nurse what caused the injury and was informed it was a burn. 4. John request for investigation. In response, Dr. Abad, the medical director, called petitioner and the assisting resident physician for explanation. Petitioner said the blood pressure cuff caused the injury. 5. May 7, 1992, John David brought Nora to the NBI for a physical examination. Medicolegal officer Dr. Arizala Jr. said that Noras injury appeared to be a burn and that a droplight when place near the skin for about 10 mins could cause such burn. He dismissed the likelihood that the wound was caused by a BP cuff as the scar was not around the arm but on one side of the arm. 6. May 22, 1992, Nora was referred to a plastic surgeon for skin grafting. About a year after a scar revision was performed. 7. Noras arm would never be the same, aside from the scar, the pain in her left arm remains. Her movements are now restricted. 8. Respondent spouses filed a complaint for damages against petitioner, Dr. Abad and the hospital. 9. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTCs decision. ISSUE: Is petitioner liable for the injury suffered by respondent Nora Go? HELD: Yes The physicians are not guarantor of care and they never set out to intentionally cause injury to their patients. However, intent is immaterial in negligence cases because where negligence exists and is proven, it automatically gives the injured a right to reparation for the damage caused. DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR In cases involving medical negligence, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur allows the mere existence of an injury to justify a presumption of negligence on the part of the person who controls the instrument causing the injury, provided the following requisites concur: 1. The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someones negligence; 2. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant/s; and 3. The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated.

In the case at bar, as to the first requirement, the gaping wound on Noras arm is certainly not an ordinary occurrence in the act of delivering a baby. Such injury could not have happened unless negligence had set in somewhere. Second, whether the injury was caused by the droplight or by the BP cuff is of no moment. Both instruments are deemed within the exclusive control of the physician in charged under the captain of the ship doctrine. This doctrine holds the surgeon in charge of an operation liable for the negligence of his assistants during the time when those assistants are under the surgeons control. In the case at bar, the petitioner, being the senior consultant in charge during the delivery of Noras baby, exercised control over the assistants assigned to both the use of droplight and the taking of Noras BP. Hence, the use of the droplight and the BP cuff is within petitioners exclusive control. Third, the gaping wound on Noras left arm, by its very nature and considering her condition could only be caused by something external to her and outside her control as she was unconscious while in hypovolemic shock. Hence, Nora could not have contributed to her own injury. Clearly, under the law, petitioner is obliged to pay Nora for moral damages suffered by the latter as a proximate result of petitioners negligence. However, the SC noted that petitioner has served well as Noras obstetrician for her past 3 successful deliveries. This is the first time petitioner is being held liable for damages due to negligence in the practice of her profession. The fact that petitioner promptly took care of Noras wound before infection and other complications set in is also indicative of petitioners good intentions. The Court took noted the fact that Nora was suffering from a critical condition when the injury happened, such that saving her life became petitioners elemental concern. But all these could not justify negligence on the part of petitioner.

LIBI V. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, 214 SCRA 16 [1992] FACTS: Respondent spouses are the legitimate parents of Julie Ann Gotiong, who at the time of the incident which took place and died on January 14, 1979, was an 18yr old first year commerce student of the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. While petitioners are parents of Wendell Libi, then minor between 18 and 19 yrs of age living with his parents, and who also died in the same event on the same date. 1. For more than 2 years before their death, Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi were sweethearts until December 1978 when Julie Ann broke up her relationship with Wendell after she supposedly found him to be sadistic and irresponsible. 2. During the first and second weeks of January, 1979, Wendell kept pestering Julie Ann with demands of reconciliation but the latter persisted in her refusal, prompting Wendell to resort to threats against her. 3. In order to avoid him, Julie Ann stayed in the house of her best friend, Malou Alfonso, from January 7-13, 1978. 4. On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann and Wendell died, each from a single gunshot wound inflicted with the same fiream, a revolver licensed in the name of petitioner Cresencio Libi, which was recovered in the crime scene inside the residence of private respondent. 5. Private respondents submitted that Wendell caused their daughters death by shooting her with the gun and thereafter, turning the gun on himself to commit suicide. 6. On the other hand, petitioners, rejected the imputation and contended that an unknown third party, whom Wendell may have displeased or antagonized by reason of his work as a narcotics informer of the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), must have caused Wendells death and then shot Julie Ann to eliminate any witness and thereby avoid identification. 7. The parents of Julie Ann filed a case in CFI-Cebu against the parents of Wendell to recover damages arising from the latters vicarious liability under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. 8. The trial court dismissed the plaintiffs complaint for insufficiency of evidence and defendants counterclaim was denied for lack of merit. 9. On appeal, the trial courts decision was reversed and sentenced defendants jointly and solidarily liable for damages. ISSUE: WON Article 2180 of the Civil Code was correctly interpreted by respondent court to make petitioners liable for vicarious liability HELD: No The diligence of a good father of a family required by law in a parent and child relationship consists, to a large extent, of the instruction and supervision of the child. Petitioners were gravely remiss in their duties as parents in not diligently supervising the activities of their son, despite his minority and immaturity, so much so that it was only at the time of Wendells death that they allegedly discovered that he was a CANU agent and the Cresencios gun was missing from the safety deposit box. Both parents were sadly wanting in their duty and responsibility in monitoring and knowing the activities of their children. The CA correctly waved aside the protestations of diligence on the part of petitioners and said: It is still the duty of parents to know the activity of their children who may be engaged in this dangerous activity involving the menace of drugs. Had the defendant-appellees been diligent in supervising the activities of their son, Wendell, and in keeping said gun from his reach, they could have prevented Wendell from killing, Julie Ann Gotiong. Threfore, appellees are liable under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. Having been grossly

negligent in preventing Wendell Libi from having access to said gun which was allegedly kept in a safety deposit box, defendants-appellees are subsidiarily liable for the natural consequence of the criminal act of said minor who was living in their company. In the CA based its decision in the case of Fuellas vs. Cadano, which held that: The subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed by Article 2180 of the New Civil Code covers obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and criminal offenses. The subsidiary liability of parents arising from the criminal acts of their minor children who acted with discernment is determined under the provisions of Art. 2180 NCC and under Art. 101 of the Revised Penal Code, because to hold that the former only covers obligation which arise from quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from the criminal offenses, would result in the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damages caused by his or her son, no liability would be attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent. The Court agree with the conclusion of respondent court that petitioner should be held liable for the civil liability based on a crime committed by their minor son. However the categorization of their liability as being subsidiary by citing the case of Fuellas vs. Cadano, which supposedly holds that the subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed by Art. 2180 NCC covers obligations arising from both quasi-delict and criminal offenses, and not primary, in nature requires a hard second look considering previous decisions. The Court is concern that if the liability of the parents for crimes or quasi-delicts of their minor children is subsidiary, then the parents can neither invoke nor be absolved of civil liability on the defense that they acted with the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages. On the other hand, if such liability to the parents is considered direct and primary, that diligence would constitute a valid and substantial defense. The Court believed that the civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts of their minor children, as contemplated in Art. 2180 of the Civil Code is primary and not subsidiary. If Art. 2194 of said code is applied, which provides for solidary liability of joint tortfeasors, the persons responsible for the act or omission, in this case the minor and the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are solidarily liable. Accordingly, Art. 2180 provides that the responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned proved that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. Also, the liability of the parents for felonies committed by their minor children is likewise primary and not subsidiary as provided in Art. 101 RPC: First. In cases of subdivisions x x x 2, and 3 of Art. 12, the civil liability for acts committed by x x x a person under 9 yrs of age, or by one over 9 but under 15 yrs of age, who has acted without discernment, shall devolve upon those having such person under their legal authority or control, unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence on their part. The Court hereby rule that the parents are and should be held primarily liable for the civil liability arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor children under their legal authority arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor children under their legal authority or control, or who live in their company, unless it is proven that the former acted with the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent such damages. That primary liability is premised on the provisions of Art. 101 of the RPC with respect to damages ex delicto caused by their children 9 years of age or under, or over 9 but under 15 yrs of age who acted without discernment ; and with regard to their children over 9 but under 15 yrs of age who

acted with discernment; or 15 years of age or over but under 21 yrs of age, such primary liability shall be imposed pursuant to Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. Under Art. 2180, the enforcement of such liability shall be effected against the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother. This was amplified by the Child and Youth Welfare Code which provides that the same shall devolve upon the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, upon the mother or, in case of her death or incapacity, upon the guardian, but the liability may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender. However, under the Family Code, this civil liability is now, without such alternative qualification, the responsibility of the parents and those who exercise parental authority over the minor offender. For civil liability arising from quasi-delicts committed by minors, the same rule shall apply in accordance with Art. 2180 and 2182 of the Civil Code. In the case at bar, whether the death of Julie Ann Gotiong was caused by a felony or a quasidelict committed by Wendell Libi, respondent court did not err in holding petitioners liable for damages arising therefrom. Subject to the preceding modifications of the premise relied upon by the CA and on the bases of the legal imperatives herein explained, the Court conjoin in its finding that said petitioners failed to exercise the requisite diligentissimi patris familias to preven such damages.

FUELLAS V CADANO, 3 SCRA 361 [1961] FACTS: Two separate actions were instituted for serious physical injuries sustained by Pepito Cadano, son of plaintiff-appellee Elpidio Cadano. A civil case for damages against Agapito Fuellas, father of the minor Rico Fuellas, who caused the injurires and criminal case against Rico Fuellas for serious physical injuries. A judgment of conviction in the criminal case was rendered, finding Rico Fuellas guilty of the offense charged. The same court rendered its decision in the civil case making defendant-appellant Agapito Fuellas liable under Art. 2180 NCC. 1. Pepito Cadano and Rico Fuellas, son of defendant-appellant Agapito Fuellas were both 13 yrs old at that time. They were classmates at St. Marys High School, Dansalan City. 2. In the afternoon of Sept 16, 1954, while Pepito was studying in their classroom, Rico took the pencil of one Ernesto Cabanok and sneakily placed it inside the pocket of Pepito. When Ernesto asked Rico to return the pencil, it was Pepito who returned the same, and act which angered Rico, who held the neck of Pepito and pushed him to the floor. Villamira, a teacher, separated the two and told them to go home. Rico went ahead, with Pepito following. 3. When Pepito had just gone down of the schoolhouse, he was met by Rico, who was still in an angry mood. Angelito Aba, a classmate, told them to shake hands, Pepito extended his hand to Rico. Instead of accepting the proffer to shake hands, Rico held Pepito by the neck and with his leg, placed Pepito out of balance and pushed him to the ground. 4. Pepito fell on his right side with his right arm under his body, then Rico rode on his left side, Pepito suddenly cried out that his arm was broken. Rico got up and went away. 5. That same evening Pepito was brought to the Lanao General Hospital for treatment. An X-ray was taken showing there was a complete fracture of the radius and ulna of the right forearm which necessitated plaster casting. 6. More than a month after Pepitos release from the hospital, the plaster cast was removed. Up to the last day of hearing, the right forearm of Pepito was seen to b shorter than the left forearm, still in bandage and could not be fully used. 7. The appellant argued the contention of the CA where it held that petitioner liable pursuant to Art. 2180[2] CC in connection with Art. 2176 of the same code; that according to the last article, the act of the minor must be one wherein fault or negligence is present; and that there being no fault or negligence on the part of petitioner-appellants minor son, but deliberate intent in the commission of an act negates the presence of fault or negligence in its commission. Appellant therefore submits that the CA erred in holding him liable for damages for the deliberate criminal act of his minor son. ISSUE: WON the petitioner was civilly liable for the criminal act of his son. HELD: Yes In the case of Araneta vs. Arreglado it provides that: the civil law liability under Art. 2180 is not respondeat superior but the relationship of pater familias which bases the liability of the father ultimately on his own negligence of his minor son, the law presumes that there was negligence on the part of his father. In the case of Exconde vs. Capuno, the Court held the defendants jointly and severally liable withi his minor son Dante for damages arising from the criminal act committed by the latter, and gave the following reason for the rule:

The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother for any damages that may be caused by the minor children who live with them, is obvious. This is a necessary consequence of parental authority they exercise over them which imposes upon the parents the duty of supporting them, keeping them in their company educating them in proportion to their means, while on the other hand, gives them the right to correct and punish them in moderation (Arts. 134 and 135, Spanish Civil Code). The only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. (Art. 1903, last paragraph, Spanish Civil Code). And a noted Spanish commentator (Manresa, 649-650): Since children and wards do not yet have the capacity to govern themselves, the law imposes upon the parents and guardians the duty of exercising special vigilance over the acts of their children and wards in order that damages to third persons due to the ignorance, lack of foresight or discernment of such children and wards may be avoided. If the parents and guardians fail to comply with this duty, they should suffer the consequence of their abandonment or negligence by repairing the damage caused It is true that under Art. 101 of the Revised Penal Code, a father is made civilly liable for the acts committed by his son only if the latter is an imbecile, an insane, under 9 years of age, or over 9 but under 15 years of age, who act without discernment, unless it appears that there is no fault or negligence on his part. This is because a son who commits the act under any of those conditions is by law exempt from criminal liability (Art. 12 [1,2&3] RPC). The idea is not to leave the act entirely unpunished but to attach certain civil liability to the person who has the delinquent minor under his legal authority or control. But a minor over 15 who has acts with discernment is not exempt from criminal liability, for which reason the Code is silent as to the subsidiary liability of his parents should he stand convicted. In that case, resort should be had to the general law which is our Civil Code. The particular law that governs this case is Art. 2180, the pertinent portion of which provides: The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. To hold that this provision does not apply to the instant case because it only covers obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from criminal offenses, would result in the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage caused by his or her son, no liability would attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent. Verily, the void apparently exists in the Revised Penal Code is subserved by this particular provision of our Civil Code, as may be gleaned from recent decisions of this Court which cover equal or identical cases. The responsibility for fault or negligence under Art. 2276 upon which the action in the present case was instituted, is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from fault of negligence under the Penal code (Art. 2177), and having in mind the reason behind the law as heretofore stated, any discussion as to the minors criminal responsibility is of no moment.

RODRIGUEZ-LUNA V. IAC, 135 SCRA 242 [1985] FACTS: The petitioners are the heirs of Roberto R. Luna who was killed in a vehicular collision. The collision took placed at the go-kart practice area in Greenhills, San Juan. Those involved were the go-kart driven by the deceased, a business executive and a Toyota car driven by Luis dela Rosa, a minor of 13 years who had no drivers license. The heirs of Roberto Luna filed a suit for damages against Luis dela Rosa and his father Jose dela Rosa in the CFI-Manila. The court sentenced Luis dela Rosa to pay, jointly and severally to the plaintiffs the sum of P1,650,000.00 as unearned net earnings of Roberto Luna, P12,000 as compensatory damages, and P50,000.00 for the loss of his companionship with legal interest; plus attorneys fees in the sum of P50,000. The defendants appealed to the CA which affirmed the trial courts decision in toto but modified by ordering to pay the plaintiffs, jointly and severally, the sum of P450,000.00 as unearned net earnings of Roberto R. Luna with legal interest. ISSUE: WON the father should be held subsidiarily liable. HELD: No The private respondent invoke Elcano vs. Hill where it was held that Art. 2180 of the Civil Code applied to Atty. Marvin Hill notwithstanding the emancipation by marriage to Reginald Hill, his son but since Reginald had attained age, as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill had become merely subsidiary to that of his son. It is now said that Luis dela Rosa, is now married and of legal age and that as a matter of equity the lilability of his father should be subsidiary only. The court did not apply equity instead of strict law in this case because to do so will not serve the ends of justice. Luis dela Rosa is abroad and beyond the reach of Philippine courts. Moreover, he does not have any property either in the Philippines or elsewhere. In fact his earnings are insufficient to support his family.