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Negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is the basis of action in

quasi-delict. It is the duty of the defendant to prove that he observed extraordinary
diligence in the care of his passengers, "safely as far as human care and foresight
can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with due regard for
all the circumstances

Private respondent Eliza Jujeurche G. Sunga took a passenger jeepney owned and operated
by petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was already full, Calalas gave Sunga an stool
at the back of the door at the rear end of the vehicle. Along the way, the jeepney stopped to
let a passenger off. Sunga stepped down to give way when an Isuzu truck owned by
Francisco Salva and driven by Iglecerio Verena bumped the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was
injured. Sunga filed a complaint against Calalas for violation of contract of carriage. Calalas
filed a third party complaint against Salva. The trial court held Salva liable and absolved
Calalas, taking cognisance of another civil case for quasi-delict wherein Salva and Verena
were held liable to Calalas. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision and found Calalas
liable to Sunga for violation of contract of carriage.
Whether Calalas exercised the extraordinary diligence required in the contract of carriage
We do not think so. First, the jeepney was not properly parked, its rear portion being
exposed about two meters from the broad shoulders of the highway, and facing the middle
of the highway in a diagonal angle. Second, it is undisputed that petitioner's driver took in
more passengers than the allowed seating capacity of the jeepney. The fact that Sunga was
seated in an "extension seat" placed her in a peril greater than that to which the other
passengers were exposed. Therefore, not only was petitioner unable to overcome the
presumption of negligence imposed on him for the injury sustained by Sunga, but also, the
evidence shows he was actually negligent in transporting passengers. We find it hard to give
serious thought to petitioner's contention that Sunga's taking an "extension seat" amounted
to an implied assumption of risk. It is akin to arguing that the injuries to the many victims
of the tragedies in our seas should not be compensated merely because those passengers
assumed a greater risk of drowning by boarding an overloaded ferry. This is also true of
petitioner's contention that the jeepney being bumped while it was improperly parked
constitutes caso fortuito. A caso fortuito is an event which could not be foreseen, or which,
though foreseen, was inevitable. This requires that the following requirements be present:
(a) the cause of the breach is independent of the debtor's will; (b) the event is
unforeseeable or unavoidable; (c) the event is such as to render it impossible for the debtor
to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner, and (d) the debtor did not take part in causing
the injury to the creditor. Petitioner should have foreseen the danger of parking his jeepney
with its body protruding two meters into the highway.


SC agrees with the respondent court that the petitioner failed to prove the existence of the
2nd requisite which is the fault or negligence of FILCAR because the F/N of Dahl-Jense was
sufficiently established not that of FILCAR. Liability imposed from ART 2180 arises by virtue of
the presumption juris tantum of negligence on the part of the person made responsible
thereunder, derived from their failure to exercise due care and vigilance over the acts of
subordinates to prevent them from causing damage.

On April 21, 1987, a car owned by private respondent FILCAR Transport Inc., rented to and
driven by Dahl-Jensen, a Danish tourist, swerved into the right and hit the car owned by
Lydia Soriano and driven by Benjamin Jacildone. Dahl-Jensen did not possess a Philippine
drivers license. Petitioner, as the insurer of Sorianos car, paid the latter P25,382.20 and, by
way of subrogation, sued FILCAR, Dahl-Jensen, and Fortune Insurance Corporation,
FILCARs insurer, for quasi-delict. The trial court dismissed the petition for failure to
substantiate the claim for subrogation. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision, but on
the ground that only Dahl-Jensens negligence was proven, not that of FILCAR. Hence, this
instant petition.
Whether an action based on quasi-delict will prosper against a rent-a-car company and,
consequently, its insurer for fault or negligence of the car lessee in driving the rented
We find no reversible error committed by respondent court in upholding the dismissal of
petitioner's complaint. The pertinent provision is Art. 2176 of the Civil Code which states:
"Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing
contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict . . . . ". To sustain a claim
based thereon, 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. We agree
with respondent court that petitioner failed to prove the existence of the second requisite,
i.e., fault or negligence of defendant FILCAR, because only the fault or negligence of DahlJensen was sufficiently established, not that of FILCAR. It should be noted that the damage
caused on the vehicle of Soriano was brought about by the circumstance that Dahl-Jensen
swerved to the right while the vehicle that he was driving was at the center lane. It is plain
that the negligence was solely attributable to Dahl-Jensen thus making the damage suffered
by the other vehicle his personal liability. Respondent FILCAR did not have any participation
therein. Respondent FILCAR being engaged in a rent-a-car business was only the owner of
the car leased to Dahl-Jensen. As such, there was no vinculum juris between them as
employer and employee. Respondent FILCAR cannot in any way be responsible for the
negligent act of Dahl-Jensen, the former not being an employer of the latter.


The Proximate Cause of the death of Bataclan was the overturning of the bus. The
proximate cause is not necessarily the immediate cause; it is not necessarily the
nearest time, distance or space.

The deceased Juan Bataclan was among the passengers of Medina Transportation, driven by
Conrado Saylon and operated by Mariano Medina. On its way from Cavite to Pasay, the front
tires burst and the vehicle fell into a canal. Some passengers were able to escape by
themselves or with some help, while there were 4, including Bataclan, who could not get
out. Their cries were heard in the neighbourhood. Then there came about 10 men, one of
them carrying a torch. As they approached the bus, it caught fire and the passengers died.
The fire was due to gasoline leak and the torch. Salud Villanueva Vda. de Bataclan, in her
name and on behalf of her 5 minor children, sought to claim damages from the bus
company. The CFI favored the plaintiff, and the Court of Appeals forwarded the case to the
Supreme Court due to the amount involved.
What was the proximate cause of the death of Juan and the other passengers?
We agree with the trial court that the case involves a breach of contract of transportation for
hire, the Medina Transportation having undertaken to carry Bataclan safely to his
destination, Pasay City. We also agree with the trial court that there was negligence on the
part of the defendant, through his agent, the driver Saylon. There is evidence to show that
at the time of the blow out, the bus was speeding, as testified to by one of the passengers,
and as shown by the fact that according to the testimony of the witnesses, including that of
the defense, from the point where one of the front tires burst up to the canal where the bus
overturned after zig-zaging, there was a distance of about 150 meters. The chauffeur, after
the blow-out, must have applied the brakes in order to stop the bus, but because of the
velocity at which the bus must have been running, its momentum carried it over a distance
of 150 meters before it fell into the canal and turned turtle.
There is no question that under the circumstances, the defendant carrier is liable. The only
question is to what degree. A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found in Volume
38, pages 695-696 of American jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-appellants in their brief. It
is as follows:
. . . 'that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have
occurred.' And more comprehensively, 'the proximate legal cause is that acting first and
producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all
constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection
with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury
as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances
that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent
person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury
to some person might probably result therefrom.
In the present case under the circumstances obtaining in the same, we do not hesitate to
hold that the proximate cause was the overturning of the bus, this for the reason that when
the vehicle turned not only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline
from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men with a lighted
torch was in response to the call for help, made not only by the passengers, but most

probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves, and that because it was dark (about
2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to carry a light with them, and coming as they did
from a rural area where lanterns and flashlights were not available; and what was more
natural than that said rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and
effect the rescue requested from them. In other words, the coming of the men with a torch
was to be expected and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the bus, the trapping
of some of its passengers and the call for outside help. What is more, the burning of the bus
can also in part be attributed to the negligence of the carrier, through is driver and its
conductor. According to the witness, the driver and the conductor were on the road walking
back and forth. They, or at least, the driver should and must have known that in the
position in which the overturned bus was, gasoline could and must have leaked from the
gasoline tank and soaked the area in and around the bus, this aside from the fact that
gasoline when spilled, specially over a large area, can be smelt and directed even from a
distance, and yet neither the driver nor the conductor would appear to have cautioned or
taken steps to warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted torch too near the bus.


When the RES IPSA LOQUITUR DOCTRINE is availed of by the plaintiff, expert
testimony is dispensed with because the injury itself provides the proof of
negligence.The reason is that the necessity of expert testimony applies only to such
matters w/n the domain of medical science, and not to such matters clearly within
the common knowledge which may be testified by anyone familiar with the facts.

Erlinda Ramos, a 47-year old robust woman, was normal except for her experiencing
occasional pain due to the presence of stone in her gall bladder. She was advised to undergo
an operation for its removal. The results in the examinations she underwent indicate that
she was fit for the operation. She and her husband Rogelio met Dr. Hosaka, one of the
defendants, who advised that she should undergo cholecystectomy. Dr. Hosaka assured
them that he will get a good anaesthesiologist. At 7:30 a.m. on the day of the operation at
Delos Santos Medical Center, Herminda Cruz, Erlindas sister-in-law and the dean of the
College of Nursing in Capitol Medical Center, was there to provide moral support. Dr.
Perfecta Gutierrez was to administer the anaesthesia. Dr. Hosaka arrived only at 12:15 p.
m. Herminda saw Dr. Gutierrez intubating the patient, and heard the latter say Ang hirap
ma-intubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O, lumalaki ang tiyan. Herminda saw bluish
discoloration of the nailbeds of the patient. She heard Dr. Hosaka issue an order for
someone to call Dr. Calderon. The doctor arrived and placed the patient in trendelenburg
position, wherein the head of the patient is positioned lower than the feet, which indicates a
decrease of blood supply in the brain. Herminda knew and told Rogelio that something
wrong was happening. Dr. Calderon was able to intubate the patient. Erlinda was taken to
the ICU and became comatose.
Rogelio filed a civil case for damages. The trial court ruled in his favor, finding Dr. Gutierrez,
Dr. Hosaka, and the hospital, guilty of negligence, but the Court of Appeals reversed the
decision. Hence, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals
denied for having been filed beyond the reglementary period. However, it was found that the
notice of the decision was never sent to the petitioners counsel. Rather, it was sent to the
petitioner, addressing him as Atty. Rogelio Ramos, as if he was the legal counsel. The
petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari. On the procedural issue, the Supreme Court
rules that since the notice did not reach the petitioners then legal counsel, the motion was
filed on time.
Whether a surgeon, an anaesthesiologist, and a hospital, should be made liable for the
unfortunate comatose condition of a patient scheduled for cholecystectomy
Medical malpractice cases do not escape the application of Res Ipsa Loquitur doctrine. Thus,
res ipsa loquitur has been applied when the circumstances attendant upon the harm are
themselves of such a character as to justify an inference of negligence as the cause of that
harm. Although generally, expert medical testimony is relied upon in malpractice suits to
prove that a physician has done a negligent act or that he has deviated from the standard
medical procedure, when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the need
for expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the injury itself provides the proof of
negligence. Hence, in cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the court is permitted
to find a physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to the patient, without the aid of
expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common knowledge can determine the
proper standard of care. When the doctrine is appropriate, all that the patient must do is
prove a nexus between the particular act or omission complained of and the injury sustained

while under the custody and management of the defendant without need to produce expert
medical testimony to establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa loquitur is allowed
because there is no other way, under usual and ordinary conditions, by which the patient
can obtain redress for injury suffered by him.


Doubts are present. There is a likelihood that the wound was but the remote cause
and its subsequent infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with which
the petitioner had nothing to do.

On October 23, 1980, petitioner Filomeno Urbano was on his way to his ricefield. He found
the place where he stored palay flooded with water coming from the irrigation canal. Urbano
went to the elevated portion to see what happened, and there he saw Marcelino Javier and
Emilio Efre cutting grass. Javier admitted that he was the one who opened the canal. A
quarrel ensued, and Urbano hit Javier on the right palm with his bolo, and again on the leg
with the back of the bolo. On October 27, 1980, Urbano and Javier had an amicable
settlement. Urbano paid P700 for the medical expenses of Javier. On November 14, 1980,
Urbano was rushed to the hospital where he had lockjaw and convulsions. The doctor found
the condition to be caused by tetanus toxin which infected the healing wound in his palm.
He died the following day. Urbano was charged with homicide and was found guilty both by
the trial court and on appeal by the Court of Appeals. Urbano filed a motion for new trial
based on the affidavit of the Barangay Captain who stated that he saw the deceased
catching fish in the shallow irrigation canals on November 5. The motion was denied; hence,
this petition.
Whether the wound inflicted by Urbano to Javier was the proximate cause of the latters
A satisfactory definition of proximate cause is... "that cause, which, in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred."And more comprehensively, "the
proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by
setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events,
each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the
chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which
first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should,
as an ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the
moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result
If the wound of Javier inflicted by the appellant was already infected by tetanus germs at
the time, it is more medically probable that Javier should have been infected with only a
mild cause of tetanus because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd dayafter the
hacking incident or more than 14 days after the infliction of the wound. Therefore, the onset
time should have been more than six days. Javier, however, died on the second day from
theonset time. The more credible conclusion is that at the time Javier's wound was inflicted
by the appellant, the severe form of tetanus that killed him was not yet present.
Consequently, Javier's wound could have been infected with tetanus after the hacking
incident. Considering the circumstance surrounding Javier's death, his wound could have
been infected by tetanus 2 or 3 or a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died.
The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct, natural, and logical consequence
of the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. And since we are dealing with a criminal
conviction, the proof that the accused caused the victim's death must convince a rational
mind beyond reasonable doubt. The medical findings, however, lead us to a distinct
possibility that the infection of the wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later

or between the time Javier was wounded to the time of his death. The infection was,
therefore, distinct and foreign to the crime.
There is a likelihood that the wound was but the remote cause and its subsequent infection,
for failure to take necessary precautions, with tetanus may have been the proximate cause
of Javier's death with which the petitioner had nothing to do. "A prior and remote cause
cannot be made the be of an action if such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the
condition or give rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there
intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive,
unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have
happened but for such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in the condition except
because of the independent cause, such condition was not the proximate cause. And if an
independent negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the instances which
result in injury because of the prior defective condition, such subsequent act or condition is
the proximate cause."


The doctrine of last clear chance simply provides that the negligence of the claimant
does not preclude recovery for the negligence of the defendant where it appears
that the latter, by exercising reasonable care and prudence might have avoided
injurious consequences to the claimant notwithstanding his negligence.

Teodorico Florenciano, Meralcos motorman, was driving the companys street car along
Hidalgo Street. Plaintiff Ignacio Del Prado ran across the street to catch the car. The
motorman eased up but did not put the car into complete stop. Plaintiff was able to get hold
of the rail and step his left foot when the car accelerated. As a result, plaintiff slipped off
and fell to the ground. His foot was crushed by the wheel of the car. He filed a complaint for
culpa contractual.
Whether there was contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff
It is obvious that the plaintiff's negligence in attempting to board the moving car was not
the proximate cause of the injury. The direct and proximate cause of the injury was the act
of appellant's motorman in putting on the power prematurely. Again, the situation before us
is one where the negligent act of the company's servant succeeded the negligent act of the
plaintiff, and the negligence of the company must be considered the proximate cause of the
injury. The rule here applicable seems to be analogous to, if not identical with that which is
sometimes referred to as the doctrine of "the last clear chance." In accordance with this
doctrine, the contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the action if it be
shown that the defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have
avoided the consequences of the negligence of the injured party. The negligence of the
plaintiff was, however, contributory to the accident and must be considered as a mitigating


A special agent is one who receives a definite and fixed order of commission, foreign
to the exercise of the ordinary duties of his office.

E. Merritt was a constructor who was excellent at his work. One day, while he was riding his
motorcycle along Calle Padre Faura, he was bumped by a government ambulance. The
driver of the ambulance was proven to have been negligent. Because of the incident, Merritt
was hospitalized and he was severely injured beyond rehabilitation so much so that he could
never perform his job the way he used to and that he cannot even earn at least half of what
he used to earn.
In order for Merritt to recover damages, he sought to sue the government which later
authorized Merritt to sue the government by virtue of Act 2457 enacted by the legislature
(An Act authorizing E. Merritt to bring suit against the Government of the Philippine Islands
and authorizing the Attorney-General of said Islands to appear in said suit). The lower court
then determined the amount of damages and ordered the government to pay the same.
Whether or not the government is liable for the negligent act of the driver of the
No. By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from suit. It does not
thereby concede its liability to plaintiff, or create any cause of action in his favor, or extend
its liability to any cause not previously recognized. It merely gives a remedy to enforce a
preexisting liability and submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right to
interpose any lawful defense. It follows therefrom that the state, by virtue of such
provisions of law, is not responsible for the damages suffered by private individuals in
consequence of acts performed by its employees in the discharge of the functions pertaining
to their office, because neither fault nor even negligence can be presumed on the part of the
state in the organization of branches of public service and in the appointment of its agents.
The State can only be liable if it acts through a special agent (and a special agent, in the
sense in which these words are employed, is one who receives a definite and fixed order or
commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a special official) so
that in representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof, he executes
the trust confided to him.
In the case at bar, the ambulance driver was not a special agent nor was a government
officer acting as a special agent hence, there can be no liability from the government. The
Government does not undertake to guarantee to any person the fidelity of the officers or
agents whom it employs, since that would involve it in all its operations in endless
embarrassments, difficulties and losses, which would be subversive of the public interest.


There can be no question in this case that the action for damages instituted by private
respondent arising from the quasidelict or alleged tortious interference" should be filed within
four (4) years from the day the cause of action accrued.

Joselito Yujuico was a ranking officer of and a member of the family which controlled
General Banking and Trust Corporation (Genbank). In 1976, he obtained a 500k loan from
said bank.
In 1977, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank issued a resolution forbidding Genbank
from doing business in the Philippines. Later that same year, a resolution was issued
ordering the liquidation of Genbank. Again, in the same year, the liquidator and Allied Bank
entered into an agreement whereby Allied Bank acquired all the assets and assumed all the
liabilities of Genbank, including the receivable due from Yujuico. Upon Yujuicos failure to
pay the loan at maturity, Allied Bank filed, in 1979, a complaint for collection against him.
In a separate case, in 1986, a ruling of the CA that the liquidation of Genbank was made in
bad faith and should be annulled became final and executory.
n 1987, Yujuico filed a third party complaint to implead the Central Bank and the liquidator
in the case. Yujuico alleged that by reason of the tortuous interference by the Central Bank
with the affairs of Genbank, he was prevented from performing his obligation under the
The RTC denied the motion to admit the third-party complaint. The CA annulled the RTCs
order and ordered the admission of the third-party complaint.
ISSUE: Whether the third-party complaint should be admitted.
HELD: It should not be admitted.
Though the third-party complaint is procedurally allowable, it is barred by prescription.
A third-party complaint is a procedural device whereby a third-party who is neither a party
nor privy to the act or deed complained of by the plaintiff, may be brought into the case
with leave of court, by the defendant, who acts as third-party plaintiff to enforce against
such third-party defendant a right for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other
relief, in respect of the plaintiffs claim.
In this case, the third-party complaint is in respect of Allied Banks claim and therefore
procedurally sound in itself. However, since the claim is based on tortuous interference,
which is a quasi-delict, the complaint should have been filed within four years from the time
the cause of action accrued [1981, or four years after the 1977 order of liquidation].
Contrary to Yujuicos claim that the prescriptive period should be counted from the CAs
decision annulling the liquidation, it is an established rule that it is from the date of the act
or omission violative of the right of a party when the cause of action arises and it is from
this date that the prescriptive period must be reckoned.


The basis of this vicarious, although primary, liability is, as in Article 2176, fault
or negligence, which is presumed from that which accompanied the causative act or
omission. The
presumption is merely prima facie and may therefore be rebutted. This is the clear and
logical inference that may be drawn from the last paragraph of Article 2180, which states
"that 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
Maria Teresa Cuadra, 12, and Maria Teresa Monfort, 13, were classmates in Grade 6. They
were assigned to weed the grass in the school premises. Monfort found a plastic headband
and jokingly said aloud that she had found an earthworm. To frighten Cuadra, Monfort
tossed the headband at her. The headband hit Cuadra in the eye. Cuadra rubbed the injured
eye and treated it with some powder. The eye swelled the next day, and Cuadra was taken
to the doctor. She underwent surgical operation, but eventually, she lost sight in her right
eye. Cuadras parents filed a civil suit against Monforts father for damages.
ISSUE: Whether Monforts father is liable for damages.
HELD: No. Article 2176 provides for liability in case of fault or negligence. When the act or
omission is that of one person for whom another is responsible, the latter becomes himself
liable under Article 2180. The basis of this vicarious liability is also fault or negligence, which
is presumed from that which accompanied the causative act or omission. The presumption is
merely prima facie and may therefore be rebutted. In this case, there is nothing from which
it may be inferred that Monforts father could have prevented the damage by the
observance of due care, or that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental
authority in failing to foresee such damage, or the act which caused it. On the contrary, his
child was at school, where it was his duty to send her, and where she was, as he had the
right to expect her to be, under the care and supervision of the teacher. And as far as the
act which caused the injury was concerned, it was an innocent prank not unusual among
children at play and which no parent, however careful, would have any special reason to
anticipate, much less guard against. Nor did it reveal any mischievous propensity, or indeed
any trait in the childs character which would reflect unfavorably on her upbringing and for
which the blame could be attributed to her parents.


While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child
(Article 327, Civil Code), and under Article 397, emancipation takes place "by the
marriage of the minor (child)", it is, however, also clear that pursuant to Article 399,
emancipation by marriage of the minor is not really full or absolute.

Reginald Hill was a minor, married, and living with and dependent on his father Marvin. He
killed Agapito Elcano, for which he was criminally prosecuted. He was acquitted on the
ground of lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake. The parents of Elcano filed an action
for damages against Reginald and Marvin Hill. Defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds
of res judicata and lack of cause of action against Marvin Hill. They claim that Marvin Hill
was relieved as guardian of Reginald through emancipation by marriage. Hence, the Elcanos
could not claim damages against Marvin Hill.
Whether Marvin Hill is liable for damages.
Yes. While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child,
and under Article 397 of the Civil Code, emancipation takes place by the marriage of a
minor child, it also clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by marriage of the
minor is not really full or absolute. The minor emancipated by marriage can sue and be sued
in court only with the assistance of his father, mother, or guardian. Under Article 2180, the
father, and in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages
caused by the minor children who live in their company. In this case, Reginald, although
married, was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the
occurrence in question. The reason behind the joint and solidary liability of parents with
their offending child under Article 2180 is that it is the obligation of the parent to supervise
their minor children in order to prevent them from causing damage to third persons. On the
other hand, the clear implication of Article 399, in providing that a minor emancipated by
marriage may not sue or be sued without the assistance of the parents is that such
emancipation does not carry with it freedom to enter into transactions or do any act that
can give rise to judicial litigation. Surely, the killing of a person invites judicial action.
Hence, Article 2180 applies to Marvin Hill.
However, since Reginald is now of age, as a matter of equity, Marvin Hills liability has
become merely subsidiary to that of his son.


Attractive nuisance IS NOT APPLICABLE TO BODIES OF WATERS in the absence of

unusual conditions or additional features other than the water and its location
David Taylor was a 15 year old boy who spent time as a cabin boy at sea; he was also able
to learn some principles of mechanical engineering and mechanical drawing from his dads
office (his dad was a mechanical engineer); he was also employed as a mechanical
draftsman earning P2.50 a day all said, Taylor was mature well beyond his age.
One day in 1905, he and another boy entered into the premises of Manila Electric power
plant where they found 20-30 blasting caps which they took home. In an effort to explode
the said caps, Taylor experimented until he succeeded in opening the caps and then he
lighted it using a match which resulted to the explosion of the caps causing severe injuries
to his companion and to Taylor losing one eye.
Taylor sued Manila Electric alleging that because the company left the caps exposed to
children, they are liable for damages due to the companys negligence.
Whether or not Manila Electric is liable for damages.
No. The SC reiterated the elements of quasi delict.
In the case at bar, it is true that Manila Electric has been negligent in disposing off the caps
which they used for the power plant, and that said caps caused damages to Taylor. However,
the causal connection between the companys negligence and the injuries sustained by
Taylor is absent. It is in fact the direct acts of Taylor which led to the explosion of the caps
as he even, in various experiments and in multiple attempts, tried to explode the caps. It is
from said acts that led to the explosion and hence the injuries.
Taylor at the time of the accident was well-grown youth of 15, more mature both mentally
and physically than the average boy of his age; he had been to sea as a cabin boy; was able
to earn P2.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after the injury was incurred;
and the record discloses throughout that he was exceptionally well qualified to take care.
The evidence of record leaves no room for doubt that he well knew the explosive character
of the cap with which he was amusing himself. The series of experiments made by him in his
attempt to produce an explosion admit of no other explanation. His attempt to discharge the
cap by the use of electricity, followed by his efforts to explode it with a stone or a hammer,
and the final success of his endeavors brought about by the applications of a match to the
contents of the cap, show clearly that he knew what he was about. Nor can there be any
reasonable doubt that he had reason to anticipate that the explosion might be dangerous.


In the instant case, the shooting of Jennifer by Adelberto with an air rifle occured
when parental authority was still lodged in respondent Bundoc spouses, the natural
parents of the minor Adelberto. It would thus follow that the natural parents who had
then actual custody of the minor Adelberto, are the indispensable parties to the suit
for damages.

In October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, minor, 10 years of age, shot Jennifer Tamargo with an
air rifle causing injuries that resulted in her death. The petitioners, natural parents of
Tamargo, filed a complaint for damages against the natural parents of Adelberto with whom
he was living the time of the tragic incident.

In December 1981, the spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt Adelberto Bundoc. Such
petition was granted on November 1982 after the tragic incident.

Whether or not parental authority concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to make
adopting parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed against the adopted child
where actual custody was lodged with the biological parents.

Parental liability is a natural or logical consequence of duties and responsibilities of parents,
their parental authority which includes instructing, controlling and disciplining the child. In
the case at bar, during the shooting incident, parental authority over Adelberto was still
lodged with the natural parents. It follows that they are the indispensable parties to the
suit for damages. Parents and guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the
child under their parental authority in accordance with the civil code.

SC did not consider that retroactive effect may be given to the decree of adoption so as to
impose a liability upon the adopting parents accruing at the time when they had no actual or
physical custody over the adopted child. Retroactivity may be essential if it permits accrual
of some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child. Under Article 35 of the Child
and Youth Welfare Code, parental authority is provisionally vested in the adopting parents
during the period of trial custody however in this case, trial custody period either had not
yet begin nor had been completed at the time of the shooting incident. Hence, actual
custody was then with the natural parents of Adelberto.


The father, for his failure to exercise due diligence over his son to prevent the
damage was held liable under the principle of imputed liability.

Dante Capuno was a 15 year old boy who was a pupil of Balintawak Elementary School. In
March 1949, he attended a boy scout parade for Dr. Jose Rizal. While they were inside a
jeep, he took control of the wheels which he later lost control of causing the jeep to go
turtle thereby killing two other students, Isidoro Caperina and one other. Isidoros mother,
Sabina Exconde, sued Dante Capuno for the death of her son. Pending the criminal action,
the mother reserved her right to file a separate civil action which she subsequently filed
against Dante and his dad, Delfin Capuno.
Whether or not Delfin Capuno, as the father of Dante is liable for damages.
Yes. 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 necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise
over them which imposes upon the parents the duty of supporting them, keeping them in
their company, educating them and instructing them in proportion to their means, while, on
the other hand, gives them the right to correct and punish them in moderation. 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 which Delfin failed to
On the other hand, the school is not liable. It is true that under the law, teachers or
directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices
while they are under their custody, but this provision only applies to an institution of arts
and trades and not to any academic educational institution.


In Article 1903 two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the
negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of a law
that there was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in the
selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after the selection,
or both; and (2) that presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and
consequently, may be rebutted. It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to
the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the
care and diligence of a good father of a family, the presumption is overcome and he
is relieved from liability.


On May 14, 1911, Mariano Leynes rented a car from International Garage owned and
operated by Ramon Ramirez. As per the arrangement, Ramirez would also provide for the
driver and a machinist; Ramirez provided a car which was actually owned by his mother,
Fausta Litonjua. Leynes was to used the car to transport people from the fiesta for profit.
The car was actually brand new and was only used a few hours. On May 16, 2011, while
driven on the road, the said automobile, by reason of a defect in the steering gear, refused
to obey the direction of the driver in turning a corner in the streets, and, as a consequence,
ran across the street and into the wall of a house against which the daughter of Juan Bahia
was leaning at the time. The front of the machine struck the child in the center of the body
and crushed her to death.
Whether or not Leynes is liable in the case at bar.
No. While it may be said that, at the time of the accident, the chauffeur who was driving the
machine was a servant of Leynes, in as much as the profits derived from the trips of the
automobile belonged to him and the automobile was operated under his direction,
nevertheless, this fact is not conclusive in making him responsible for the negligence of the
chauffeur or for defects in the automobile itself. Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only
establishes liability in cases of negligence, but also provides when that liability shall cease.
It says:
The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned therein
proved that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the
As to selection, Leynes has clearly shown that he exercised the care and diligence of a good
father of a family. He obtained the machine from a reputable garage and it was, so far as
appeared, in good condition. The workmen were likewise selected from a standard garage,
were duly licensed by the Government in their particular calling, and apparently thoroughly
competent. The car had been used but a few hours when the accident occurred and it is
clear from the evidence that Leynes had no notice, either actual or constructive, of the
defective condition of the steering gear.
While it does not appear that Leynes formulated rules and regulations for the guidance of
the drivers and gave them proper instructions, designed for the protection of the public and
the passengers, the evidence shows that the death of the child was not caused by a failure
to promulgate rules and regulations. It was caused by a defect in the car as to which Leynes
has shown himself free from responsibility.


Whether or not engaged in any business or industry, the employer under Article 2180
is liable for the torts committed by his employees within the scope of their assigned
task. But it is necessary first to establish the employment relationship. Once this is
done, the plaintiff must show, to hold the employer liable, that the employee was
acting within the scope of his assigned task when the tort complained of was
committed. It is only then that the defendant, as employer, may find it necessary to

interpose the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the
employee as allowed in that article.
It was enough for the defendant to deny the alleged employment relationship,
without more, for he was not under obligation to prove this negative averment.

Ernesto Martin was the owner of a private car bearing license plate No. NPA-930. At around
2 oclock in the morning of May 11, 1982, while being driven by Nestor Martin, it crashed
into a Meralco electric post on Valley Golf Road, in Antipolo, Rizal. The car was wrecked and
the pole severely damaged. Meralco subsequently demanded reparation from Ernesto
Martin, but the demand was rejected. It thereupon sued him for damages in the Regional
Trial Court of Pasig, alleging that he was liable to it as the employer of Nestor Martin. The
petitioners main defense was that Nestor Martin was not his employee. Meralco did not
present any evidence to prove that Nestor Martin was the employee of Ernesto Martin and
Ernesto Martin did not rebut such allegation.

Whether or not Ernesto Martin can be held liable.

NO. Meralco had the burden of proof, or the duty to present evidence on the fact in issue
necessary to establish his claim as required by Rule 131, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of
Court. Failure to do this was fatal to its action. As the employment relationship between
Ernesto Martin and Nestor Martin could not be presumed, it was necessary for the plaintiff
to establish it by evidence. It was enough for the defendant to deny the alleged employment
relationship, without more, for he was not under obligation to prove this negative averment.
This Court has consistently applied the rule that if the plaintiff, upon whom rests the
burden of proving his cause of action, fails to show in a satisfactory manner the facts upon
which he bases his claim, the defendant is under no obligation to prove his exception or
Petition was granted.


Note that in order to impute negligence to a passenger, at least one of these two
things must exist:

1. That the driver is actually the passengers agent in all respect

2. The passengers have cooperated in producing the injury complained of.
In January 1913, Yamada et al hired a taxi owned and operated by Bachrach Garage so that
they may travel to Cavite Viejo. The trip was safe going to said place but when they were
going back from said place the taxi was hit by a train owned by Manila Railroad. Yamada et
al sued the driver, Bachrach, and Manila Railroad. They claimed that the driver was
negligent as he did not slow down while he was approaching the railroad tracks. The driver
said there was no way for him to see the train coming because of the tall growing bushes
and trees. Bachrach said that it is not liable as an employer because prior to hiring the
driver, the driver has been of good record for 5 years and had had no traffic infractions prior
to the collision; and that the negligence of the driver is also imputable to Yamada et al they
being the ones in control of the vehicle; that Yamada et al should have controlled the driver
and instructed him to slow down. Manila Railroad said that it is not liable as well because its
engineers provided proper warning signals on their approach and that there were no tall
trees or bushes at the time of the accident.
Yamadas counsel presented the president of Bachrach who alleged that all their drivers
habitually drove their taxis over railroad crossings without slowing down or investigating
whether a train is coming such practice being allowed and tolerated by Bachrach.
Whether or not Bachrach Garage Manila railroad should be liable.

It was established that the driver was negligent. A prudent driver should have slowed down
approaching a railroad crossing regardless if he could see a train or not regardless of the
presence of tall bushes.
Manila Railroad and its employees are not negligent as showed by the evidence which were
uncontroverted hence no liability can be had against them.
Bachrach Garage however is liable for damages as an employer. Although they did establish
that they have done their diligence in properly selecting their driver and in providing said
driver with a good car, they have failed to provide proper supervision and control over their
employee. Bachrach Garage did not perform its full duty when it furnished a safe and proper
car and a driver with a long and satisfactory record. It failed to comply with one of the
essential requirements of the law of negligence in this jurisdiction, that of supervision and
instruction, including the promulgation of proper rules and regulations and the formulation
and publication of proper instructions for their guidance in cases where such rules and
regulations and instructions are necessary.
Bachrachs contention that Yamada et al were also negligent because they failed to properly
instruct the driver is untenable. Those on a cab do not become responsible for the
negligence of the driver if they exercise no control over him further than to indicate the
route they wish to travel or the places to which they wish to go.


The applicability of Art. 2185 is expressly qualified to motor vehicles only, and there
is no ground to presume that the law intended a broader coverage.

Villagracia was traveling along Boni Ave. on his bicycle, while Aonuevo, traversing the
opposite lane was driving a Lancer car owned by Procter and Gamble Inc., the employer of
Aonuevos brother. Aonuevo was in the course of making a left turn towards Libertad
Street when the collision occurred. Villagracia sustained serious injuries and had to undergo
four operations. Villagracia instituted an action for damages against P&G Phils., Inc. and
Aonuevo before the RTC. He had also filed a criminal complaint against Aonuevo before
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Mandaluyong, but the latter was subsequently acquitted of
the criminal charge. Aonuevo claims that Villagracia violated traffic regulations when he
failed to register his bicycle or install safety gadgets.
He posits that Article 2185 of the Civil Code applies by analogy. Article 2185. Unless there
is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been
negligent if at the time of the mishap he was violating any traffic regulation.
Whether or not Art. 2185 of the New Civil Code should apply to non-motorized vehicles,
making Villagracia presumptively negligen
There is pertinent basis for segregating between motorized and non-motorized vehicles. A
motorized vehicle, unimpeded by the limitations in physical exertion. is capable of greater

speeds and acceleration than non-motorized vehicles. At the same time, motorized vehicles
are more capable in inflicting greater injury or damage in the event of an accident or
collision. This is due to a combination of factors peculiar to the motor vehicle, such as the
greater speed, its relative greater bulk of mass, and greater combustibility due to the use of


JOIN TORT FEASORS are all the persons who command, instigate, promote,
encourage, advice countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort,
as who approve of it after it is done, for its benefit.

Rima & Alegre were host of FBNI radio program Expose. Respondent Ago was the owner of
the Medical & Educational center, subject of the radio program Expose. AMEC claimed that
the broadcasts were defamatory and owner Ago and school AMEC claimed for damages. The
complaint further alleged that AMEC is a reputable learning institution. With the supposed
expose, FBNI, Rima and Alegre transmitted malicious imputations and as such, destroyed
plaintiffs reputation. FBNI was included as defendant for allegedly failing to exercise due
diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees. The trial court found Rimas
statements to be within the bounds of freedom of speech and ruled that the broadcast was
libelous. It ordered the defendants Alegre and FBNI to pay AMEC 300k for moral damages.
Whether or not AMEC is entitled to moral damages.
A juridical person is generally not entitled to moral damages because, unlike a natural
person, it cannot experience physical suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings,
serious anxiety, mental anguish or moral shock. Nevertheless, AMECs claim, or moral
damages fall under item 7 of Art 2219 of the NCC.

This provision expressly authorizes the recovery of moral damages in cases of libel, slander
or any other form of defamation. Art 2219 (7) does not qualify whether the plaintiff is a
natural or juridical person. Therefore, a juridical person such as a corporation can validly
complain for libel or any other form of defamation and claim for moral damages. Moreover,
where the broadcast is libelous per se, the law implied damages. In such a case, evidence of
an honest mistake or the want of character or reputation of the party libeled goes only in
mitigation of damages. In this case, the broadcasts are libelous per se. thus, AMEC is
entitled to moral damages. However, we find the award P500,000 moral damages
unreasonable. The record shows that even though the broadcasts were libelous, per se,
AMEC has not suffered any substantial or material damage to its reputation. Therefore, we
reduce the award of moral damages to P150k.



Quasi-Delicts; When an act which constitutes a breach of contract would have itself constituted
the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no contract existed between the parties, the contract
can be said to have been breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply.

Petitioner, who was in charge of securing requisite clearances, receive the cargoes from the
shipside and deliver it to the consignee Little Giant Steel Pipe Corporation warehouse at
Cainta, Rizal, hired the services of respondent Transport Venture Incorporation (TVI)s
tugboat for the hot rolled steel sheets in coil. Coils were unloaded to the barge but there
was no tugboat to pull the barge to the pier. Due to strong waves caused by approaching
storm, the barge was abandoned. Later, the barge capsized washing 37 coils into the sea.
Consignee was executed a subrogation receipt by Industrial Insurance after the formers
filing of formal claim. Industrial Insurance filed a complaint against both petitioner and
respondent herein. The trial court held that petitioner and respondent TVI were jointly and
severally liable for the subrogation.
Whether or not the loss of cargoes was due to fortuitous event.
NO. In order, to be considered a fortuitous event: (1) the cause of the unforeseen and
unexpected occurrence, or the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation, must be
independent of human will; (2) it must be impossible to foresee the event which constitute
the caso fortuito, or if it can be foreseen it must be impossible to avoid; (3) the occurrence
must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in any manner;
and (4) the obligor must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury
resulting to the creditor.
Petitioner and respondent TVI were jointly and severally liable for the amount of paid by the
consignee plus interest computed from the date of decision of the trial court.


Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omission of two or more

persons, although acting independently of each other, are, in combination the direct
and proximate cause of a single injury to a third person and it is impossible to
determine in what proportion each contributed to the injury, either is responsible for
the whole injury, even though his act alone might not have caused the entire injury,
or the same damage might have resulted from the acts of the other tort-feasor

On 18 November 1985, petitioner Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC)
executed a contract of lease with private respondents, stipulating to pay rent for the use of
land, at the monthly rate of P 20,000.00 payable yearly in advance. The said land is to be
used by petitioner as site for a rock crushing plant. The term of lease is for five years,
commencing on the date of issuance of an industrial clearance by the Ministry of Human
Settlements (Ministry).On 7 January 1986 PNCC obtained a Temporary Use Permit from the
Ministry for the proposed rock crushing project. Nine days later private respondents wrote
to PNCC, asking for the first annual rental, and assuring that they have stopped considering
proposals of other aggregates plants in favor of PNCC. In reply, PNCC argued that the

contract must commence on the date of issuance by the Ministry of an industrial clearance
in their favor. It also expressed its desire to terminate the contract it executed with
respondents, due to
financial, as well as technical difficulties
. Respondents refused to accede to PNCCs request for pre termination and on 19 May
1986,instituted an action against PNCC for Specific Performance with Damages. Trial court
ruled in favor of respondents and ordered PNCC to pay rentals for two years, with legal
interests plus attorneys fees. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court
upon appeal by PNCC; hence, this case.
Whether or not PNCC should be released from its contract with respondents due to
unforeseen events and causes beyond its control
PNCC cites Art. 1266, asserting that it should be released from the obligatory force of the
contract because its purpose did not materialize due to unforeseen events and causes
beyond its control. However, this article applies only to obligations to do and not to give,
while obligation arising out of said contract is an obligation to do. Further, PNCC executed
the contract with open eyes on the deteriorating conditions of the country and mere
pecuniary inability to fulfill an engagement does not discharge a contractual obligation
. The unforeseen events and causes beyond its control cited by PNCC are not the legal and
physical impossibilities contemplated in Art. 1266.


In a vehicular accident, a mechanical defect will not release the defendant from
liability if it is shown that the accident could have been prevented had he properly
maintained and taken good care of the vehicle.

In 1986, Spouses Gaudencio Sarangaya III and Primitiva Sarangaya erected Super A
Building, a semi-concrete, semi-narra, one-storey commercial building fronting the
provincial road of Santiago, Isabela .It has three doors which were leased out
The two-storey residence of the Sarangayas was behind the second and third doors of the
On the left side of the commercial building stood the office of the Matsushita Electric
Philippine Corporation (Matsushita)
1988: Perla Compania de Seguros, Inc. through its branch manager Bienvenido Pascual,
entered into a contract of lease of the first door beside the Matsushita office
It was converted into a two door so he had a garage where he parked a company car 1981
model 4-door Ford Cortina which he used to supervise different towns
July 7, 1988: Pascual went to San Fernando, Pampanga leaving the car

3 days later: When he returned and warmed up the car, it made an odd sound. On the
second try, there was again an odd sound and a small flames came out of its engine so he
was startled, stopped the car, went out and pushed it out of the garage
Soon, fire spewed out of its rear compartment and burned the whole garage where he was
trapped so he suffered burns in the face, legs and arms
The spouses were busy atching TV when they heard 2 loud explosions, smelt of gasoline and
fire burned all their belongings
city fire marshall investigated and concluded that the fire was accidental
Spouses filed a complaint against Pascual for gross negligence and Perla for lacking the
required diligence in the selection and supervision of its employee.
Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable
YES. Res ipsa loquitur ,Latin phrase which literally means the thing or the transaction
speaks for itself.
It relates to the fact of an injury that sets out an inference to the cause thereof or
establishes the plaintiffs prima facie case
The doctrine rests on inference and not on presumption facts of the occurrence warrant the
supposition of negligence and they furnish circumstantial evidence of negligence when direct
evidence is lacking
based on the theory that the defendant either knows the cause of the accident or has the
best opportunity of ascertaining it and the plaintiff, having no knowledge thereof, is
compelled to allege negligence in general terms.Plaintiff relies on proof of the happening of
the accident alone to establish negligence provides a means by which a plaintiff can pin
liability on a defendant who, if innocent, should be able to explain the care he exercised to
prevent the incident complained of defendants responsibility to show that there was no
negligence on his part
Requisites of Res Ipsa Loquitur
1) the accident is of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent
Ordinary refers to the usual course of events
Flames spewing out of a car engine, when it is switched on, is obviously not a normal
event. Neither does an explosion usually occur when a car engine is revved.
Pascual, as the caretaker of the car, failed to submit any proof that he had it periodically
checked - negligence
2) the cause of the injury was under the exclusive control of the person in charge and
3) the injury suffered must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on
the part of the person injured.
When there is caso fortuito:
(a) the cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence was independent of the
human will
human agency must be entirely excluded as the proximate cause or contributory cause
of the injury or loss -Not because car not maintained
(b) it was impossible to foresee the event which constituted the caso fortuito or, if it
could be foreseen, it was impossible to avoid - NOT under the control of pascual
(c) the occurrence must be such as to render it impossible to perform an obligation in a
normal manner - Spouses had no access nor obligation for the maintenance
(d) the person tasked to perform the obligation must not have participated in any course
of conduct that aggravated the accident


Res ipsa loquitur

recognizes that parties may establish prima facie negligence without direct proof, thus, it
allows the principle to substitute for specific proof of negligence
permits the plaintiff to present along with proof of the accident, enough of the attending
circumstances to invoke the doctrine, create an inference or presumption of negligence
and thereby place on the defendant the burden of proving that there was no negligence
on his part
Sebastian instructed Macalinao, Ong and 2 other truck helpers to deliver a heavy piece of
machinery to Sebastians manufacturing plant in Angat, Bulacan
While delivering, the Genetrons Isuzu Elf truck driven by Ong bumped the front portion of a
private jeepney. Both vehicles incurred severe damages while the passengers sustained
physical injuries as a consequence of the collision.
Macalinao was brought to Sta. Maria District Hospital for first aid treatment then
to Philippine Orthopedic Center then to Capitol Medical Center and lastly, to Philippine
General Hospital due to financial considerations. His body was paralyzed and immobilized

from the neck down. He filed against Ong and Sebastian. A criminal case for reckless
imprudence resulting to serious physical injuries was instituted but was not ensued.
Macalinao died and was substituted by his parents.
The RTC ruled that: Ong was negligent and Sebastian failed to exercise the diligence of a
good father of a family in the selection and supervision of Ong thus ordering them jointly
liable to pay actual, moral, and exemplary damages as well as civil indemnity for
Macalinaos death
The CA reversed the ruling for lack of evidence.
Whether or not Ong may be held liable under the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur
YES, photographs clearly shows that the road where the mishap occurred is marked by a
line at the center separating the right from the left lane. While ending up at the opposite
lane is not conclusive proof of fault in automobile collisions, the position of the two vehicles
gives rise to the conclusion that it was the Isuzu truck which hit the private jeepney rather
than the other way around.
Based on the angle at which it stopped, the private jeepney obviously swerved to the right
in an unsuccessful effort to avoid the Isuzu truck.
Since respondents failed to refute the contents of the police blotter, the statement therein
that the Isuzu truck hit the private jeepney and not the other way around is deemed
While not constituting direct proof of Ongs negligence, the foregoing pieces of evidence
justify the application of res ipsa loquitur, a Latin phrase which literally means the thing or
the transaction speaks for itself
Res ipsa loquitur, based on the theory that defendant in charge of the instrumentality which
causes the injury either knows the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of
ascertaining it while the plaintiff has no such knowledge, and is therefore compelled to
allege negligence in general terms and rely upon the proof of the happening of the accident
in order to establish negligence can be invoked only when under the circumstances, direct
evidence is absent and not readily available grounded upon the fact that the chief evidence
of the true cause, whether culpable or innocent, is practically accessible to the defendant
but inaccessible to the injured person
Requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur:
(1) The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someones
negligence; - No two motor vehicles traversing opposite lanes will collide as a matter of
course unless someone is negligent

(2) It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant or

defendants - Driving the Isuzu truck gave Ong exclusive management and control over it
(3) The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff responsible is
(4) defendant fails to offer any explanation tending to show that th injury was caused
by his or her want of due care
Petitioners, while substituting their son as plaintiff, have no actual knowledge about the
event since they were not present at the crucial moment evidence as to the true cause of
the accident is, for all intents and purposes, accessible to respondents but not to
Two truck helpers who survived, both employees of Sebastian, and Ong, who is not only
Sebastians previous employee but his co-respondent in this case as well