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In culpa aquiliana, or quasi-delict

and contracts when breached by tort when an


act or omission causes physical injuries, or (b)
where the defendant is guilty of intentional
tort.

Torts And Damages Case Digest


Expert Travel V. CA
G.R. No. 130030 June 25, 1999
FACTS: October 7, 1987: Exper travel & Tours,
Inc. issued to Ricardo Lo 4 round-trip plane
tickets for Hongkong with
hotel accommodations and transfersfor P39,67
7.20
Failing to pay the amount due, Expert filed
a complaint for recovery plus damages

In culpa criminal, moral damages could be


lawfully due when the accused is found guilty
of physical injuries, lascivious acts, adultery or
concubinage, illegal or arbitrary detention,
illegal arrest, illegal search, or defamation.
Malicious prosecution can also give rise to a
claim for moral damages.

CA affirmed RTC: Lo remitted the Monte de


Piedad Check for P42,175.20 to Expert's
chairperson Ms. Ma. Rocio de Vega who in turn
issued City Trust Check of P50,000

The term "analogous cases," referred to in


Article 2219, following the ejusdem generis
rule, must be held similar to those expressly
enumerated by the law. Excludes clearly
unfounded civil suit

ISSUE: W/N moral damages for negligence or


quasi-delict that did not result
to physicalinjury be awarded to Lo

Jarco Marketing Corp vs. CA and Aguilars


| Villa-Real GR. No.- 129792, December
21, 1999 | 321 SCRA 375

HELD: NO. petition is GRANTED and the award


of moral damages to respondent Ricardo Lo
under the assailed decision is DELETED

FACTS Petitioner Jarco Marketing Corp is the


owner of Syvels Department Store. Petitioners
Kong, Tiope and Panelo are the stores branch
manager, operations manager and supervisor,
respectively. Private respondents are spouses
and the parents of Zhieneth Aguilar.

An award of moral damages would require


certain conditions to be met; to wit: (1) First,
there must be an injury, whether physical,
mental or psychological, clearly sustained by
the claimant; (2) second, there must be a
culpable act or omission factually established;
(3) third, the wrongful act or omission of the
defendant is the proximate cause of the injury
sustained by the claimant; and (4) fourth, the
award of damages is predicated on any of the
cases stated in Article 2219 in culpa
contractual or breach of contract.

Criselda (mom) and Zhieneth were at the 2


floor of Syvels Department Store. Criselda
was signing her credit card slip at the
payment and verification counter andwhen
she felt a sudden gust of wind and heard a
loud thud. She looked behind her and saw her
daughter on the floor, her young body pinned
by the bulk of the stores gift-wrapping
counter/structure. Zhieneth was crying and
screaming for help.

Moral damages may be recovered when the


defendant acted in bad faith or was guilty of
gross negligence (amounting to bad faith) or
in wanton disregard of his contractual
obligation and, exceptionally, when the act of
breach of contract itself is constitutive of tort
resulting in physical injuries.

With the assistance of people around,


Zhieneth was retrieved and rushed to the
Makati Med where she was operated on. The
next day, she lost her speech and 13 days
thereafter, passed away.

By special rule in Article 1764, in relation to


Article 2206, of the Civil Code moral damages
may also be awarded in case the death of a
passenger results from a breach of carriage.

After the burial of Zhieneth, her parents


demanded reimbursment of the

hospitalization, medical bills and wake and


funeral expenses, which they had

Accident and negligence are intrinsically


contradictory; one cannot exist with the other.
Accident occurs when the person concerned is
exercising ordinary care, which is not caused
by fault of any person and which could not
have been prevented by any means suggested
by common prudence.

incurred from petitioners. Upon petitioners


refusal, the parents filed a complaint for
damages.
Trial court absolved petitioners. It ruled that
the proximate cause of the fall of the counter
on Zhieneth was her act of clinging to it.
Furthermore, Criseldas negligence contributed
to her daughters accident. Basically, the court
reasoned that the counter was situated at the
end or corner of the 2 floor as a precautionary
measure and hence it could not be considered
as an attractive nuisance. The court added
that the counter has been in existence for 15
years and its structure safe and well-balanced.

The test in determining the existence of


negligence is enunciated in Picart vs. Smith,
thus: Did the defendant in doing the alleged
negligent act use that reasonable care and
caution which an ordinarily prudent person
would have used in the same situation? If not,
then he is guilty of negligence.
PETITIONER NEGLIGENT.
According to the testimony of Gerardo
Gonzales, a former gift-wrapper, who was at
the scene of the incident: While in the
emergency room the doctor asked the child
what did you do to which the child replied
nothing, I did not come near the counter and
the counter just fell on me.

Court of Appeals reversed. It found that the


petitioners were negligent in maintaining a
structurally dangerous counter. (The counter
was shaped like an inverted L with a top wider
than the base. It was top heavy and the
weight of the upper portion was neither evenly
distributed nor supported by its narrow base.
Thus the counter was defective, unstable and
dangerous.) Moreover, Zhieneth who was
below 7 years old at the time of the incident
was absolutely incapable of negligence since a
child under 9 could not be held liable even for
an intentional wrong.

Moreover, Ramon Guevarra, another former


employee, testified to the effect that the
counter needed some nailing because it was
shaky, but that it was not attended to.
Undoubtedly, petitioner Panelo and another
store supervisor knew the danger of the
unstable counter yet did not remedy the
situation.

ISSUES & ARGUMENTS


W/N death of Zhieneth was accidental or
attributable to negligence.

Anent the negligence imputed to Zhieneth,


the conclusive presumption that favors
children below 9 years old in that they are
incapable of contributory negligence, applies
(criminal cases- conclusively presumed to
have acted without discernment).

In case of a finding of negligence, whether


attributable to private respondents for
maintaining a defective counter or to Criselda
and Zhieneth
for failing to exercise due and reasonable care
while inside the store premises.

Assuming Zhieneth committed contributory


negligence when she climbed the counter, no
injury should have occurred if petitioners
theory that the counter was stable and sturdy
was true. Indeed, the physical analysis of the
counter reveal otherwise, i.e. it was not
durable after all.

HOLDING & RATIO DECIDENDI


TRAGEDY, WHICH BEFELL ZHIENETH WAS NO
ACCIDENT AND THAT HER HEATH COULD ONLY
BE ATTRIBUTED TO NEGLIGENCE.

Criselda should likewise be absolved from


contributory negligence. To be able to sign her
credit card, it was reasonable for Criselda to
momentarily release her childs hand.

Second, the jogging trainees and the rear


guards were all wearing black T-shirts, black
short pants, and black and green combat
shoes, which made them hard to make out on
that dark and cloudy night. The rear guards
had neither reflectorized vests or gloves nor
flashlights in giving hand signals. Third,
GLENN was driving on the proper side of the
road, the right lane. On the other hand, the
jogging trainees were occupying the wrong
lane, the same lane as Glenns vehicle was
traversing. Worse, they were facing the same
direction as Glenns truck such that their
backs were turned towards the oncoming
vehicles from behind. Fourth, no convincing
evidence was presented to rebut Glenns
testimony that he had been momentarily
blinded by the very bright and glaring lights of
the oncoming vehicle at the opposite direction
as his truck rounded the curve. He must have
been still reeling from the blinding effect of
the lights coming from the other vehicle when
he plowed into the group of police trainees.
Indeed, as pointed out by appellant, instinct
tells one to stop or swerve to a safe place the
moment he sees a cow, dog, or cat on the
road, in order to avoid bumping or killing the
same"; and more so if the one on the road is a
person. It would therefore be inconceivable for
GLENN, then a young college graduate with a
pregnant wife and three very young children
who were dependent on him for support, to
have deliberately hit the group with his truck.

Petition DENIED. Court of Appeals decision


AFFIRMED.

People v. Delos Santos


Facts:
On the early morning of October 5, 1995, at
the Maitum Highway in Cagayan de Oro City, a
team of PNP members undergoing a Special
Training Course were performing an Endurance
Run. They were jogging at the right side of the
lane. A speeding Isuzu Elf ran into them,
resulting to deaths and injuries. The accused
surrendered to the Governor, and was
eventually convicted of Multiple Murder,
Multiple Frustrated Murder, and Multiple
Attempted Murder. He was sentenced to death
by the Trial Court. Hence, this automatic
review.
Issue:
Whether there was intentional killing or
attempt to kill the policemen, or a mere
reckless imprudence
Held:
From the convergence of circumstances, we
are inclined to believe that the tragic event
was more a product of reckless imprudence
than of a malicious intent on Glenns part.
First, as testified to by prosecution rebuttal
witness Danilo Olarita, the place of the
incident was "very dark," as there was no
moon. And according to PAGASAs observed
weather report within the vicinity of Cagayan
de Oro City covering a radius of 50 kilometers,
at the time the event took place, the sky was
overcast, i.e., there was absolutely no break in
the thick clouds covering the celestial dome
globe; hence, there was no way for the moon
and stars to be seen. Neither were there
lampposts that illuminated the highway.

We are convinced that the incident, tragic


though it was in light of the number of persons
killed and seriously injured, was an accident
and not an intentional felony. It is significant to
note that there is no shred of evidence that
GLENN had an axe to grind against the police
trainees that would drive him into deliberately
hitting them with intent to kill. Glenns offense
is in failing to apply the brakes, or to swerve
his vehicle to the left or to a safe place the
movement he heard and felt the first bumping
thuds. Had he done so, many trainees would
have been spared.
The test for determining whether a person is
negligent in doing an act whereby injury or
damage results to the person or property of

another is this: Could 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
actually pursued? If so, the law imposes a duty
on the actor to refrain from that course or to
take precautions to guard against its
mischievous results, and the failure to do so
constitutes negligence. Reasonable foresight
of harm, followed by the ignoring of the
admonition born of this prevision, is always
necessary before negligence can be held to
exist.

Considering that the incident was not a


product of a malicious intent but rather the
result of a single act of reckless driving,
GLENN should be held guilty of the complex
crime of reckless imprudence resulting in
multiple homicide with serious physical
injuries and less serious physical injuries.
Lopez v. Pan American World Airways
Facts:
Reservation for first class accommodation in
Pan American Airlines from Tokyo to San
Francisco was made by Delfin Faustino for
then Senator Fernando Lopez and company.
First class tickets were issued and paid for. The
party left Manila for Tokyo as scheduled.
Senator Lopez requested Minister Busuego to
contact the airlines regarding their
accommodation. However, they were informed
that there was no accommodation for them.
Because of some urgent matters to attend to
in San Francisco, they were constrained to
take the tourist flight under protest.

GLENN showed an inexcusable lack of


precaution. Article 365 of the Revised Penal
Code states that reckless imprudence consists
in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or
failing to do an act from which material
damage results by reason of inexcusable lack
of precaution on the part of the person
performing or failing to perform such act,
taking into consideration (1) his employment
or occupation; (2) his degree of intelligence;
(4) his physical condition; and (3) other
circumstances regarding persons, time and
place.

Issues:
(1) Whether the defendant acted in bad faith
for deliberate refusal to comply with its
contract to provide first-class accommodation
to the plaintiff

GLENN, being then a young college graduate


and an experienced driver, should have known
to apply the brakes or swerve to a safe place
immediately upon hearing the first bumping
thuds to avoid further hitting the other
trainees. By his own testimony, it was
established that the road was slippery and
slightly going downward; and, worse, the place
of the incident was foggy and dark. He should
have observed due care in accordance with
the conduct of a reasonably prudent man,
such as by slackening his speed, applying his
brakes, or turning to the left side even if it
would mean entering the opposite lane (there
being no evidence that a vehicle was coming
from the opposite direction). It is highly
probable that he was driving at high speed at
the time. And even if he was driving within the
speed limits, this did not mean that he was
exercising due care under the existing
circumstances and conditions at the time.

(2) Whether moral and exemplary damages


should be awarded
Held:
(1) From the evidence of defendant it is in
effect admitted that defendant - through its
agents - first cancelled plaintiffs, reservations
by mistake and thereafterdeliberately and
intentionally withheld from plaintiffs or their
travel agent the fact of said cancellation,
letting them go on believing that their first
class reservations stood valid and confirmed.
In so misleading plaintiffs into purchasing first
class tickets in the conviction that they had
confirmed reservations for the same, when in
fact they had none, defendant wilfully and
knowingly placed itself into the position of
having to breach its a foresaid contracts with

plaintiffs should there be no last-minute


cancellation by other passengers before flight
time, as it turned out in this case. Such
actuation of defendant may indeed have been
prompted by nothing more than the promotion
of its self-interest in holding on to Senator
Lopez and party as passengers in its flight and
foreclosing on their chances to seek the
services of other airlines that may have been
able to afford them first class
accommodations. All the time, in legal
contemplation such conduct already amounts
to action in bad faith. For bad faith means a
breach of a known duty through some motive
of interest or ill-will.

moral damages. In view of its nature, it should


be imposed in such an amount as to
sufficiently and effectively deter similar breach
of contracts in the future by defendant or
other airlines. In this light, we find it just to
award P75,000.00 as exemplary or corrective
damages.
Zulueta v Pan America (1972)
Zulueta spouse and daughter were aboard
PANAM from Honolulu to Manila. On its first
lag, it landed on Wake Island, the stopover
was 30 mins. Mr Z went to the CR at terminal
but was full of soldiers, he was forced to look a
CR down the beach. Upon boarding, Mr Z
could not be found. The take-off was delayed
and he blamed the EEs. Z claims that he was
stopped at the gate and asked that Z open his
luggage but he refused. He was disallowed to
board and plane and was left in the island. He
stayed there for 2 nights.

At the time plaintiffs bought their tickets,


defendant, therefore, in breach of its known
duty, made plaintiffs believe that their
reservation had not been cancelled. Such
willful-non-disclosure of the cancellation or
pretense that the reservations for plaintiffs
stood - and not simply the erroneous
cancellation itself - is the factor to which is
attributable the breach of the resulting
contracts. And, as above-stated, in this
respect defendant clearly acted in bad faith.

In relation between carrier and passenger


involves special and peculiar obligations and
duties, differing in kind and degree, from
those of almost every other legal or
contractual relation. On account of the
peculiar situation of the parties the law implies
a promise and imposes upon the carrier the
corresponding duty of protection and
courteous treatment. Therefore, the carrier is
under the absolute duty of protecting his
passengers from assault or injury by himself or
his servants.

(2) First, then, as to moral damages. As a


proximate result of defendant's breach in bad
faith of its contracts with plaintiffs, the latter
suffered social humiliation, wounded feelings,
serious anxiety and mental anguish. For
plaintiffs were travelling with first class tickets
issued by defendant and yet they were given
only the tourist class. At stop-overs, they were
expected to be among the first-class
passengers by those awaiting to welcome
them, only to be found among the tourist
passengers. It may not be humiliating to travel
as tourist passengers; it is humiliating to be
compelled to travel as such, contrary to what
is rightfully to be expected from the
contractual undertaking.

Where a conductor uses language to a


passenger which is calculated to insult,
humiliate, or wound the feelings of a person of
ordinary feelings and sensibilities, the carrier
is liable, because the contract of carriage
impliedly stipulated for decent, courteous, and
respectful treatment, at hands of the carriers
EEs. Among the factors court take into account
is assessing moral damages are the
professional, social, political and financial
standing of the offended parties on one hand,
and the business and financial position of the
offender on the other.

The rationale behind exemplary or corrective


damages is, as the name implies, to provide
an example or correction for public good.
Defendant having breached its contracts in
bad faith, the court, as stated earlier, may
award exemplary damages in addition to

Moral damages of 1M excessive, only


500K. Contributory negligence that
aggravated the gravity of situation, mainly
because of his arrogant and overbearing
attitude and behavior.

assured the risk, and can not shed


responsibility merely because the precautions
it adopted turned out to be insufficient. It is
thus liable for damages.

Republic vs Luzon Stevedoring


Corporation (GR No. L-21749, September
29, 1967)

FACTS: The furniture manufacturing shop of F.F


. Cruz in Caloocan City was situated adjacent
to the residence of the Mables.
Sometime in August 1971, private respondent
Gregorio Mable first approached Eric Cruz,
petitioner's plant manager, to request that a
firewall be constructed between the shop and
Mables residence. The request was repeated
several times but they fell on deaf ears.

F.F. Cruz vs. CA


G.R. No. L-52732 August 29, 1988 |SCRA

Facts: A barge being towed by tugboats


"Bangus" and "Barbero" all owned by Luzon
Stevedoring Corp. rammed one of the wooden
piles of the Nagtahan Bailey Bridge due to the
swollen current of the Pasig after heavy rains
days before. The Republic sued Luzon
Stevedoring for actual and consequential
damages. Luzon Stevedoring claimed it had
exercised due diligence in the selection and
supervision of its employees; that the
damages to the bridge were caused by force
majeure; that plaintiff has no capacity to sue;
and that the Nagtahan bailey bridge is an
obstruction to navigation.

In the early morning of September 6, 1974,


fire broke out in Cruzs shop.
Cruzs employees, who slept in the shop
premises, tried to put out the fire, but their
efforts proved futile. The fire spread to the
Mables house. Both the shop and the house
were razed to the ground.
The Mables collected P35,000.00 on the
insurance on their house and the contents
thereof.

Issue: Whether or not the collision of


appellant's barge with the supports or piers of
the Nagtahan bridge was in law caused by
fortuitous event or force majeure.

The Mables filed an action for damages


against the Cruzs.

Held: There is a presumption of negligence on


part of the employees of Luzon Stevedoring,
as the Nagtahan Bridge is stationary. For caso
fortuito or force majeure (which in law are
identical in so far as they exempt an obligor
from liability) by definition, are extraordinary
events not foreseeable or avoidable, "events
that could not be foreseen, or which, though
foreseen, were inevitable" (Art. 1174, Civ.
Code of the Philippines). It is, therefore, not
enough that the event should not have been
foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly
believed, but it must be one impossible to
foresee or to avoid. The mere difficulty to
foresee the happening is not impossibility to
foresee the same. Luzon Stevedoring knew the
perils posed by the swollen stream and its
swift current, and voluntarily entered into a
situation involving obvious danger; it therefore

The TC ruled in favor of the Mables. CA


affirmed but reduced the award of damages.
ISSUES & ARGUMENTS: W/N the doctrine of
res ipsa loquitor is applicable to the case.
HOLDING & RATIO DECIDENDI Yes. The
doctrine of res ipsa loquitor is applicable to
the case.
The CA, therefore,had basis to find Cruz liable
for the loss sustained by the Mables.
The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur , may be
stated as follows:
Where the thing which caused the
injury complained of is shown to be under the
management of the defendant or his servants

and the accident is such as in the ordinary


course of things does not happen if those who
have its management or control use proper
care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the
absence of explanation by the defendant, that
the accident arose from want of care. [Africa v.
Caltex (Phil.),Inc., G.R. No. L-12986, March 31,
1966, 16 SCRA 448.]

ordinance providing for safety regulations had


been ruled by the Court as an act of
negligence [Teague v. Fernandez, G.R. No. L29745, June 4, 1973, 51 SCRA 181.]
NIA vs Fontanilla
Facts: Hugo Garcia is a regular employee of
National Irrigation Administration (NIA) a govt
agency created by its charter RA 3601
amended by PD 552 for the purpose of
undertaking integrated irrigation project.
Garcia driving the agency official pick-up
bumped a bicycle ridden by Fontanilla
resulting to his death. The victims parent filed
a civil action against NIA and its driver Garcia
who was found guilty of driving recklessly. NIA
was ordered to pay, NIA appealed raising the
issue that as govt agency performing govt
function is not liable as being a part of the
state, cannot be sued.

The facts of the case likewise call for the appli


cation of the doctrine,considering that in the
normal course of operations of a furniture
manufacturing shop, combustible material
such as wood chips, sawdust, paint, varnish
and fuel and lubricants for machinery may
be found thereon.
It must also be noted that negligence or want
of care on the part of petitioner or its
employees was not merely presumed.
Cruz failed to construct a firewall between its
shop and the residence of the Mables as
required by a city ordinance that the fire could
have been caused by a heated motor or a lit
cigarette that gasoline and alcohol were used
and stored in the shop; an that workers
sometimes smoked inside the shop

Held: the state or govt agency performing


governmental function may be held liable for
tort committed by its employees when it acts
thru a special agent.
While NIA is a govt agency performing
governmental function, however it is suable
because its charter provides that it may be
sue or be sued, thus consent of the state for
NIA to be sued has already given, so that the
rule on immunity from suit normally extended
to govt agencies performing governmental
functions is no longer available to NIA. By
waiving that immunity from suit in its charter,
NIA open itself to suits.

Even without applying the doctrine of res ipsa


loquitur , Cruz's failure to construct a firewall
in accordance with city ordinances would
suffice to support a finding of negligence.
Even then the fire possibly would not have
spread to the neighboring houses were it not
for another negligent omission on the part
of defendants, namely, their failure to provide
a concrete wall high enough to prevent the
flames from leaping over it.

Thus NIA was held responsible for the


negligent act of its employee Garcia who is not
a special agent. (J. Padilla separate opinion in
Fontanilla vs Maliaman Resolution in 1991,
194 SCRA 499)

Defendant's negligence, therefore, was not


only with respect to the cause of the fire but
also with respect to the spread thereof to the
neighboring houses.
In the instant case, with more reason should
petitioner be found guilty of negligence since
it had failed to construct a firewall between its
property and private respondents' residence
which sufficiently complies with the pertinent
city ordinances. The failure to comply with an

DUMLAO CASE --- digest mo


JIMENEZ v CITY OF MANILA
FACTS: Jimenez bought bagoong at the Santa
Ana public market at the time that it was

flooded withankle-deep water. As he turned


around to go home, he stepped on an
uncovered opening w/c could notbe seen
because of dirty rainwater.A dirty and rusty 4inch nail, stuck inside the uncovered opening,
pierced his left leg to a depth of 1 inches.
His left leg swelled and he developed fever. He
was confined for 20 days, walked w/crutches
for 15 days and could not operate his school
buses. He sued City of Manila and Asiatic
Integrated Corp under whose administration
the Sta. Ana had been placed by virtue of
Management and Operating Contract.TC found
for respondent. CA reversed and held Asiatec
liable and absolved City of Manila.

2.Mayor Bagatsing of Manila admitted such


control and supervision in his letter to Finance
Sec.Virata (The City retains the power
of supervision and control over its
public markets)
3.City employed a market master for the Sta.
Ana public Market whose primary duty is to
take direct supervision and control of
that particular public market
4.Sec. 30 of Tax Code The treasurer
shall exercise direct and immediate
supervision, administration and control over
public markets
It is thus the duty of the City to exercise
reasonable care to keep the public market
reasonably safe for people frequenting the
place for their marketing needs. Ordinary
precautions could have been taken during
good weather to minimize danger to life and
limb. The drainage hole could have been
placed under the stalls rather than the
passageways. The City should have seen to it
that the openings were covered. It was evident
that the certain opening was already
uncovered, and 5 months after this incident it
was still uncovered. There were also findings
that during floods, vendors would remove the
iron grills to hasten the flow of water. Such
acts were not prohibited nor penalized by the
City. No warning sign of impending danger was
evident. Petitioner had the right to assume
there were no openings in the middle of the
passageways and if any, that they were
adequately covered. Had it been covered,
petitioner would not have fallen into it. Thus
the negligence of the City is the proximate
cause of the injury suffered. Asiatec and City
are joint tortfeasors and are solidarily liable

ISSUE: WON City of Manila should be jointly


and solidarily liable with Asiatec
HELD: YES
RATIO: In the City of Manila v Teotico case, it
was held that Art 1, Sec 4 of RA 409, which
City of Manila is invoking in this case,
establishes a general rule regulating the
liability of City Of Manila while Art 2189CC
governs the liability due to defective streets,
public buildings and other public works in
particular andis therefore decisive in this case.
It was also held that for liability under 2189 to
attach, control and supervision by the
province, city or municipality over the
defective public building in question is
enough. It is not necessary that such belongs
to such province, city or municipality. In the
case at bar, there is no question that Sta. Ana
public market remained under the control
of the City as evidenced by:
1.the contract bet Asiatec and City which
explicitly states that prior approval of the
City is still needed in the operations.