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Case Digest in Torts and Damages

Assignment #1
1. Rakes vs Atlantic Gulf (7 Phil. 359)
Facts: Rakes was one of the laborers of defendant, transporting iron rails from the
barge in the harbor to defendants yard. Piled lengthwise on 2 hand cars were 7 rails
such that the ends of the rails protruded beyond the cars. The rails lay upon 2
crosspieces or sills secured to the cars but without side guards to prevent them from
slipping off. Near the waters edge, the tracks sagged, the tie broke, the rails slid off and
caught plaintiff, resulting in a broken leg which was subsequently amputated. Plaintiff
alleges that defendant was negligent in not provided side guards on the cars, and that
the tracks had no fishplates. Defendant admitted absence of side guards and failed to
effectively overcome the plaintiffs proof that no fishplates existed. The sagging of the
tracks was found to have been caused by the water of the bay raised by a recent
typhoon. It wasnt proved that the company inspected the track after the typhoon or that
it had any proper system of inspecting.
Issue: WON Rakes was guilty of contributory negligence to exonerate defendant from
Ruling: No. The allegation that plaintiff was at fault for continuing his work despite notice
of the sagging of the track constituted contributory negligence that exonerate defendant
is untenable. Nothing in the evidence shows that plaintiff did or could see the displaced
timber underneath. Plaintiff had worked on the job for less than two days. Where plaintiff
contributed to the principal occurrence, as one of the determining factors, he cannot
recover. Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to his own
injury, he may recover the amount that the defendant responsible for the event should
pay for such injury, less the sum deemed a suitable equivalent for his own imprudence.
2. Gilchrist vs Cuddy et. al
Facts: Cuddy was the owner of the film Zigomar and that on the 24th of April
1913 he rented it to C. S. Gilchrist for a week for P125, and it was to be delivered on the
26th of May 1913, the week beginning that day. Gilchrist paid the rental payment in
advance. A few days prior to this (26th of May 1913) Cuddy sent the money back to
Gilchrist, saying that he had made other arrangements with his film. The other
arrangement was the rental to the partners Jose Espejo and his partner Mariano
Zaldriagga for P350 for the week.
Issue: Whether or not Espejo and Zaldriagga are liable to Gilchrist for damages
because of interference in the contractual relation between Gilchrist and Cuddy?
Ruling: The liability of the Espejo and Zaldriagga arises from unlawful acts and not from
contractual obligations, as they were under no such obligations to induce Cuddy to
violate his contract with Gilchrist. So that if the action of Gilchrist had been one for
damages, it would be governed by chapter 2, title 16, book 4 of the Civil Code. Article

1902 of that code provides that a person who, by act or omission, causes damages to
another when there is fault or negligence, shall be obliged to repair the damage so
done. There is nothing in this article which requires as a condition precedent to the
liability of a tort-feasor that he must know the identity of a person to whom he causes
damages. In fact, the chapter wherein this article is found clearly shows that no such
knowledge is required in order that the injured party may recover for the damage
3. Wright vs Manila Electric
Facts: In August 1909, E.M. Wright was driving his calesa going home. He had drunk
more wine than he customarily does. Before he could be home, he would have to cross
the railroad tracks by Manila Electric. The tracks were left unmaintained by Manila
Electric so much so that their elevation above the ground is quite high. And while the
calesa was crossing the tracks, the horse tripped and the whole calesa fell down and
Wright was thrown off it.
Issue: WON Wright's negligence contributed to the 'principal occurrence' or 'only to his
own injury (NOT contributory) thereby he cannot recover
Ruling: NO. Mere intoxication is not in itself negligence. It is but a circumstance to be
considered with the other evidence tending to prove negligence. It is the general rule
that it is immaterial whether a man is drunk or sober if no want of ordinary care or
prudence can be imputed to him, and no greater degree of care is required than by a
sober one. Manila Electric or its employees were negligent by reason of having left the
rails and a part of the ties uncovered in a street where there is a large amount of travel
If the Wright had been prudent on the night in question and had not attempted to drive
his conveyance while in a drunken condition, he would certainly have avoided the
damages which he received. Both parties were negligent and both contributed to the
resulting damages, although Wright, in the judgment of the court, contributed in greater
proportion to the damages no facts are stated therein which warrant the conclusion that
the Wright was negligent. It is impossible to say that a sober man would not have fallen
from the vehicle under the conditions described
4. Samson vs Dionisio
Facts: The defendants constructed a dam closing the southern end of the Magos Creek
which empties into the Bocaue River. In consequence, the water rose during the rainy
season for lack of an outlet, and the neighboring lands, including the plaintiffs fishpond,
became flooded. About two thousand fishes valued at P100 escaped and plaintiff filed
an action for damages against the defendants.
Issue: WON Dionisio is liable for the damage caused by the dam to Samson
Held: Hence, upon the theory already proven, that the creek in question was of public
ownership, and not the property of the defendants, it is clear that the latter had no right

whatever to construct the aid dam, closing its entrance into and communication with the
Bocaue River; and, inasmuch as they did it without any authority to the loss and
prejudice of the plaintiff, they are under obligation to indemnify the latter for the reasons
alleged by him in his complaint, in accordance with the provisions of Article 1902 of the
Civil Code.
5. Uy Piaoco vs Osmea
Facts: The defendant sheriff levied a writ of attachment upon certain properties alleged
to belong to Dy-Siongco and Uy Chiam-Liong who were defendants in a civil case
instituted against them by one Martina Rodriguez. Upon the levy of the attachment the
plaintiff through his attorney filed with the defendant sheriff an affidavit claiming that the
attached properties belonged to him and not to Dy-Siongco and Uy Chiam-Liong. The
defendant, however, refused to lift the attachment and the plaintiff filed a suit against the
defendant sheriff to recover damages for the wrongful attachment. During the trial the
plaintiff proved that the properties attached belonged to him and not to DySiongco and
Uy Chiam-Liong.
Held: The defendant sheriff in disregarding the claim of the plaintiffs attorney-in-fact
and maintaining the attachment on the property of the said plaintiff, the same not being
subject to the liability of the Chinese by depriving him of the possession of his personal
property for about seventy-five days, and in consequence thereof is bound to repair the
injury caused, in accordance with the provisions of Article 1902 of the Civil Code, which
treats of obligation arising from fault of negligence.
6. Barredo vs Garcia
Facts: A head-on collision between a taxicab owned by Barredo and a carretela
occurred. The carretela was overturned and one of its passengers, a 16-year old boy,
the son of Garcia and Almario, died as a result of the injuries which he received. The
driver of the taxicab, a employee of Barredo, was prosecuted for the crime and was
convicted. When the criminal case was instituted, Garcia and Almario reserved their
right to institute a separate civil action for damages. Subsequently, Garcia and Almario
instituted a civil action for damages against Barredo, the employer of the taxicab driver.
Held: The pivotal question in this case is whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate
civil action against Fausto Barredo thus making him primarily and directly responsible
under Article 1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. The defendant
maintains that Fontanillas negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his
(defendants) liability as an employer is only subsidiary, according to said Penal Code,
but Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his property has not been
exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut thru the tangle that has, in the minds
of many, confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes under the
Penal Code and fault or negligence under Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. This
should be done because justice may be lost in a labyrinth, unless principles and
remedies are distinctly envisaged. Fortunately, we are aided in our inquiry by the

luminous presentation of this perplexing subject by renowned jurists and we are likewise
guided by the decisions of this Court in previous cases as well as by the solemn clarity
of the considerations in several sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain.
Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate
legal institution under the Civil Code, with a substantivity all its own, and individuality
that is entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime. Upon this principle, and on
the wording and spirit of Article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct
responsibility of employers may be safely anchored.
7. Guillang vs Bedania
FACTS: Guillang, with three companions was driving his brand new car to Manila. On
the other hand, Bedania was driving a ten-wheeler cargo truck towards Tagaytay. Along
the highway and the road leading to the Orchard Golf Course, Bedania negotiated a Uturn. When the truck entered the opposite lane of the highway, Guillang's car hit the gas
tank at the trucks right middle portion. The truck dragged Genaros car some five meters
to the right of the road.
As a consequence, all the passengers of the car were rushed to the hospital for
treatment. Because of severe injuries, one of the passengers was later transferred to
another hospital. Consequently, he died due to the injuries he sustained from the
collision. The car was a total wreck while the truck sustained minor damage.
ISSUE: Whether Bedania was grossly negligent for recklessly maneuvering the truck by
making a sudden U-turn in the highway without due regard to traffic rules and the safety
of other motorists.
RULING: Yes. Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, unless there is proof to the contrary,
a person driving a vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was
violating any traffic regulation. In this case, the report showed that the truck, while
making the U-turn, failed to signal, a violation of traffic rules. The police records also
stated that, after the collision, Bedania escaped and abandoned the petitioners and his
truck. This is another violation of a traffic regulation. Therefore, the presumption arises
that Bedania was negligent at the time of the mishap. The point of impact was on the
lane where the car was cruising. Therefore, the car had every right to be on that road
and the car had the right of way over the truck that was making a U-turn. Clearly, the
truck encroached upon the cars lane when it suddenly made the U-turn.
It is not normal for a truck to make a U-turn on a highway. If Bedania wanted to change
direction, he should seek an intersection where it is safer to maneuver the truck.
Bedania should have also turned on his signal lights and made sure that the highway
was clear of vehicles from the opposite direction before executing the U-turn.