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Samson, Jr. vs.

G.R. No. 150487, July 10, 2003 | 405 SCRA 607
Samson, Jr. filed an action for damages against BPI. As a client/depositor of thebank, he
deposited a Prudential Bank check into his savings account worthP3,500.00. Later, he
asked his daughter to withdraw P2,000, but declined due toinsufficient funds. As a result,
he suffered embarrassment as he could not producethe required cash to fulfill an
obligation towards a creditor who had waited at hisresidence.
Subsequently, Samson deposited P5,500.00. Here, he discovered that hi
balanceremained P342.38, and that the earlier deposit of P3,500.00 had not been
When Samson asked about the discrepancy, BPI confirmed the deposited check
butcould not account for the same. Upon investigation, it was found out that theirsecurity
guard had encashed the check and that, despite knowledge of theirregularity, BPI had not
informed Samson. Moreover, manager Cayanga allegedly displayed arrogance,
indifference, and discourtesy towards Samson.
The trial court rendered a decision in favor of Samson. CA affirmed by reducing
theamount of damages from P200,000.00 to P50,000.00. Hence this petition.
W/N the reduction of moral damages by the trial court was proper.HOLDING & RATIO
Moral damages are meant to compensate the claimant for any physical
suffering,mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
feelings,moral shock, social humiliation and similar injuries unjustly caused.
Although incapable of pecuniary estimation, the amount must somehow beproportional
to and in approximation of the suffering inflicted. Moral damages arenot punitive in
nature and were never intended to enrich the claimant at the expenseof the defendant.
No hard-and-fast rule in determining moral damages; each case must be governedby its
own peculiar facts. Trial courts are given discretion in determining theamount, with the
limitation that it should not be palpably and scandalously excessive.
Moral damages are awarded to achieve a spiritual status quo, i.e. to enable theinjured
party to obtain means, diversions, amusements that will serve to alleviate themoral
suffering undergone.
The social standing of the aggrieved party is essential to the determination of theproper
amount of the ward. Otherwise, the goal of enabling him restore the spiritual status quo

may not be achieved.

Award should be increased to P100,000.00 since a) petitioner is a businessman

andthe highest lay person in the United Methodist Church; b) was regarded
witharrogance and a condescending manner, and c) BPI successfully
postponedcompensating him for more than a decade. His alleged delay in
reporting the matterdid not at all contribute to his injury.

Petition partly granted. Decision modified. Award increased to P100,000.00.

Davao Light v. Dinopol

GR. No. 75195 August 29, 1988
On July 31, 1984, rivate respondent Abundio T. Merced doing business under thename
and style of southern Engineering Works, filed an action in the trial court fordamages with
preliminary mandatory injunction against petitioner Davao Light andPower Co., Inc., for
abruptly disconnecting his electric meter as a result of which hesuffered moral damages,
loss of business and credit standing, and loss of profits.
On Dec. 11, 1985 and Jan. 27, 1986, petitioner filed a motion and supplementalmotion,
respectively, to require private respondent to pay additional docket fees onhis qualified
claims for damages. On Feb. 14, 1986, respondent Judge Dinopoldenied two motions to
require private respondent to pay additional docket fees.Upon motion for reconsideration,
four months had elapsed without respondentjudge resolving the same.
Hence, this petition
(1) WON the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion.(2) WON Abundio
Merced should be awarded damages.
When respondent judge refused to order the re-assessment, he committedgrave abuse
of discretion. He acted in contravention of Rule 11 of the InterimRules of court which was
laready in effect when the complaint for damages wasbrought before his sala. Such
actuation calls for the corrective writ of certiorari.

Merced should specify the amount of damages being sought, not only in thebody of the
pleading but also in the prayer, or his action will be dismiss.