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G.R. No.

88013 March 19, 1990


Simex has a checking account in Traders Royal Bank in its Cubao branch.
o Simex is a private corporation engaged in the exportation of local food products to the
US, Canada and the Middle East. Most of its exports are purchased by the Simex on
Simex deposited to its account in the said bank P100K
Subsequently, Simex issued 8 checks against its deposit but was surprised to learn later that they
had been dishonored for insufficient funds because the sum of P100K had not been credited to
Simexs account.
o California Manufacturing, Malabon Long Life Trading, and G. and U. Enterprises sent
letters of demand to the petitioner, threatening prosecution if the dishonored check issued
to it was not made good. It also withheld delivery of the order made by the petitioner.
Having been informed of its error in not crediting the deposit to Simex, the bank did not
immediately correct it but did so only 1 week later or 23 days after the deposit was made.
o Later, the dishonored checks were eventually paid.
Simex filed a complaint in CFI Rizal claiming from Traders Royal Bank moral damages of P1M
and exemplary damages of P500K, plus 25% attorney's fees, and costs.
CFI held that moral and exemplary damages were not called for. It only ordered respondent bank
to pay nominal damages of P20K plus P5K attorney's fees and costs.
o This decision was affirmed by CA
Whether Simex is entitled to moral and exemplary damages
YES. AS TO MORAL DAMAGES: Proper award is P20K
Simex suffered injury because of the banks negligence. The immediate consequence was that its
prestige was impaired because of the bouncing checks and confidence in it as a reliable debtor
was diminished. The initial carelessness of the bank, aggravated by the lack of promptitude in
repairing its error, justifies the grant of moral damages. This rather lackadaisical attitude toward
the complaining depositor constituted the gross negligence, if not wanton bad faith.
However, Simexs claim of moral damages in the amount of P1M is of preposterous. Its business
certainly is not that big, or its name that prestigious, to sustain such an extravagant pretense.
Moreover, a corporation is not as a rule entitled to moral damages because, not being a
natural person, it cannot experience physical suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings,
serious anxiety, mental anguish and moral shock.
o The only exception to this rule is where the corporation has a good reputation that is
debased, resulting in its social humiliation.
Article 2205 of the Civil Code provides that actual or compensatory damages may be received for
injury to the plaintiff s business standing or commercial credit. Moral damages are not susceptible
of pecuniary estimation. The determination of the amount to be awarded is left to the sound
discretion of the court according to the circumstances of each case.
The bank must treat its depositors account with the utmost fidelity. As a business affected with
public interest, the bank is under obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with meticulous
care, always having in mind the fiduciary nature of their relationship
Attorney's fees of P5K and costs were also awarded