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1 August 2014

Mr. Bigs Amurao

Manila, Philippines

Dear Mr. Amurao:

This legal opinion seeks to answer your question whether or not you have a cause of action and
a right to relief in the form of damages against Mars Drug Corporation.

The Facts

Per our discussion, the following are the pertinent facts:

On 25 October 1993, you went to the clinic of Dr. George Sy for a medical check-up. The
following day, after undergoing several tests, Dr. Sy found that your blood sugar were above normal
levels; and gave you a prescription for DIAMICRON.

You proceeded immediately to Mars Drug in Alabang to buy the said medicine. However, the
sales lady, Anna Corpuz, misread the prescription for DIAMICRON as a prescription for DORMICUM.
What was actually sold to you was DORMICUM, a potent sleeping tablet. You were not aware then that
you were giving the wrong medicine because you fully trusted them.

You took one pill of the DORMICUM on three consecutive days: November 6 at 9:00PM;
November 7 at 6:00PM; and November 8 at 7:30PM.

On the third day of taking the medicine, you fell asleep while driving. You know you met a
collision with another car but could not remember anything about it nor felt its impact.

You immediately suspected that the tablet you took may have a bearing on your physical and
mental state. Upon return to Dr. Sys clinic, you showed the medicine and were informed that what was
sold to you was DORMICUMinstead of the prescribed DIAMICRON.

The Applicable Law

The applicable law is Article 2176 of the New Civil Code, which states:

Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence is
obliged to pay for the damages done. Such fault of negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties is called quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this chapter.

Another law that finds applicability in your case is Art. 2180 (Civil Code), which states:

The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions,
but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.

The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the
occasion of their functions.

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or

The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that
they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.

Based on the foregoing provisions, your cause of action finds relief in the form of moral damages based
on Article 2219 (Civil Code), to wit:

Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

The Applicable Jurisprudence

Interestingly, Article 2176 finds applicability in FGU Insurance Corporation vs Court of Appeals
(G.R. No. 118889, March 23, 1998). This case is a quasi-delict case against a rent-a-car company and its
insurer for fault or negligence of the car lessee in driving the rented vehicle. The Supreme Court held
therein that in order to sustain a claim based on Article 2176, the following requisites must concur: (a)
damage suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the defendant; and (c) connection of cause
and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damage incurred by the plaintiff.

Will this same principle apply to your case? The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the case of
Quezon City Government vs Dacara (G.R. No. 150304, June 15, 2005). The respondent in this case, while
driving his vehicle, rammed into a pile of earth/street diggings being repaired by the Quezon City
government. As a result, Dacarra allegedly sustained bodily injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive
damage for it turned turtle when it hit the pile of earth. The Supreme Court held in this case defined
proximate case as any cause that produces injury in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by
any efficient intervening cause, such that the result would not have occurred otherwise. Proximate
cause is determined from the facts of each case, upon a combined consideration of logic, common
sense, policy, and precedent.

The 1998 case of Laguyan vs IAC (249 Phil. 363, 373) defines negligence, as such:

the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by considerations which ordinarily
regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and
reasonable man would not do. It is the failure to observe for the protection of the interests of another
person, that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby
such other person suffers injury.

Analysis and Conclusion

Thus, taking into consideration the applicable laws and jurisprudence, your cause of action
against Mars Drug Corporation would prevail in court. I am of the considered opinion that all the
requisites to claim damages against them.

The basis for your relief is laid down in Mercury Drug Corporation vs Banking (G.R. No. 156037,
May 28, 2007)a case which is very parallel to the circumstances of your case.

The Supreme Court in this case opined, as such:

It is thus clear that the employer of a negligent employee is liable for the damages caused by the latter.
When an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee, there instantly arises a presumption of the
law that there has been negligence on the part of the employer, either in the selection of his employee
or in the supervision over him, after such selection. The presumption, however, may be rebutted by a
clear showing on the part of the employer that he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father
of a family in the selection and supervision of his employee.

The court further noted that in certain circumstances, moral damages may be awarded
whenever the defendants wrongful act or omission is the proximate cause of the plaintiffs physical
suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral
shock, social humiliation, and similar injury in the cases specified or analogous to those provided in
Article 2219 of the Civil Code.

I appreciate the opportunity to advise you regarding this matter. Please let me know if you wish to
discuss any of these issues further. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,