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QUASI-DELICT

Barredo vs. Garcia


G.R. No. L-48006 July 8, 1942 14/06/2010 11:19:00

← FACTS:
← On May 3, 1936 in the province of Rizal, a head-on collision occurred
between a taxi and a carretela. The taxi was operated by Malate Taxicab and
was driven by Pedro Fontanilla while the carretela was guided by Pedro
Dimapalis. One of the passengers of the carretela – a 16 year old boy named
Faustino Garcia – suffered injuries which eventually caused his death.

← A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the CFI of Rizal. The
court in the criminal case granted the petition that a separate civil action be
reserved. The CA affirmed the decision of the CFI. On March 7, 1939, the
parents of the deceased brought an action in the CFI of Manila against
Barredo – the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab. The court awarded
damages in favor of the plaintiffs. The CA modified the court’s decision by
reducing the amount of damages.

← The CA found that defendant was careless in employing Fontanilla who
had been caught violating the Automobile Law several times – as shown in
his records with the Burea of Public Works. Defendant must therefore
indemnify the plaintiffs under the provisions of Article 1903 of the CC.

← The defendant maintains that Fontanilla's negligence is punishable by
the RPC hence according to said code his liability as an employer is only
subsidiary. However, Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his
property has not been exhausted.

← ISSUE:
← Whether the plaintiffs may bring a separate civil action against
Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly responsible under Article
1903 of the CC as Fontanilla’s employer or not.

← HELD:
← Authorities suuport the proposition that a quasi-delict or a culpa-
aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the CC with a substantivity all
on its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from
delict or crime. Upon this principle and on the wording and spirit of Article
1903 of the CC, the primary and direct respronsiblity of employers may be
safely anchored.

← It will thus be seen that while the terms of articles 1902 of the Civil
Code seem to be broad enough to cover the driver's negligence in the
instant case, nevertheless article 1093 limits cuasi-delitos to acts or
omissions "not punishable by law." But inasmuch as article 365 of the
Revised Penal Code punishes not only reckless but even simple imprudence
or negligence, the fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code
has apparently been crowded out. It is this overlapping that makes the
"confusion worse confounded." However, a closer study shows that such a
concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the
distinction between the civil liability arising from a crime and the
responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extra-contractual. The same
negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a
crime under article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, or create an action for
cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil
Code.

← The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code.
According to article 1089, one of the five sources of obligations is this legal
institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual: "los actos . . . en que
intervenga cualquier genero de culpa o negligencia." Then article 1093
provides that this kind of obligation shall be governed by Chapter II of Title
XVI of Book IV, meaning articles 1902-0910. This portion of the Civil Code is
exclusively devoted to the legal institution of culpa aquiliana.
Elcano vs. Hill
G.R. No. L-24803 May 26, 1977 14/06/2010
11:19:00


← FACTS:
← Reginald Hill was a married minor living and getting subsistence from
his father, co-defendant, Marvin. Reginald Killed Agapito Elcano – son of
petitioners, for which he was criminally prosecuted. However, he was
acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal because of “lack of
intent to kill, coupled with mistake.”

← Subsequently, petitioners filed a civil action for recovery of damages
against defendants, which the latter countered by a motion to dismiss.

← ISSUES:
← Whether the action for recovery of damages against Reginald and
Marvin Hill is barred by res judicata.

← Whether there is a cause of action against Reginald’s father, Marvin.

← HELD:
← The acquittal of Reginald Hill in the criminal case has not extinguished
his liability for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal is not a bar to the instant
action against him.

← There is need for reiteration and further clarification of the dual
character, criminal and civil, of fault or negligence as a source of obligation,
which was firmly established in this jurisdiction in Barredo vs. Garcia.

← In this jurisdiction the separate individuality of a quasi-delict, under
the CC has been fully and clearly recognized, even with regard to a negligent
act for which the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and convicted in a
criminal case and for which, after such a conviction, he could have been
sued for civil liability arising from his crime.

← Article 2177 of the NCC provides that: “Responsibility for fault or
negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from
the civil liability arising from the negligence under the Penal Code. But the
plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the
defendant.”

← Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or
acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually
charged also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, and would be
entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming
the awards made in the two cases vary. In other words, the extinction of
civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111, refers exclusively
to civil liability found on Article 100 of the RPC, whereas the civil liability for
the same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not
extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case that criminal act
charged has not happened or has not been committed by the accused.

← Under Arti. 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 the case at bar, Reginald, although married, was
living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the
killing.

← The joint and solidary liability of parents with their offending children is
in view of the parental obligation to supervise minor children in order to
prevent damage to third persons. On the other hand, the clear implication
of Art. 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.

← Marvin Hill is vicariously liable. However, since Reginald has come of
age, as a matter of equity, the former’s liability is not merely subsidiary.






14/06/2010 11:19:00