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Pantranco North Express, Inc. V.

Maricar Baesa (1989)

G.R. 79050-51 November 14, 1989


Lessons Applicable: Last Clear Chance (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:
 Spouses Baesa, their 4 children, the Ico spouses and their son and 7 other people
boarded a passenger jeep driven by David Ico to go to a picnic in Isabela, to celebrate the
5th wedding anniversary of the Baesa spouses
 While they were proceeding towards Malalam River at a speed of about 20 kph, a
speeding PANTRANCO bus from Aparri, on a route to Manila, encroached on the jeepney’s
lane while negotiating a curve, and collided with it.
 As a result, the entire Baesa family, except for their daughter Maricar Baesa, as well as
David Ico, died, and the rest suffered from injuries. Maricar Baesa, through her guardian
filed separate actions for damages arising from quasi-delict against PANTRANCO.
 PANTRANCO: alleged David Ico's negligence as a proximate cause of the accident and
invoked the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of its driver.
 CA upheld RTC: favor of Baesa
ISSUE: W/N the last clear chance applies thereby making David Ico who had the chance to
avoid the collision negligent in failing to utilize with reasonable care and competence

HELD: NO.
 Generally, the last clear change doctrine is invoked for the purpose of making a defendant
liable to a plaintiff who was guilty of prior or antecedent negligence, although it may also
be raised as a defense to defeat claim for damages
 For the last clear chance doctrine to apply, it is necessary to show that the person who
allegedly has the last opportunity to avert the accident was aware of the existence of the
peril, or should, with exercise of due care, have been aware of it
 there is nothing to show that the jeepney driver David Ico knew of the impending danger
 When he saw at a distance that the approaching bus was encroaching on his lane, he did
not immediately swerve the jeepney to the dirt shoulder on his right since he must have
assumed that the bus driver will return the bus to its own lane upon seeing the jeepney
approaching form the opposite direction
 Even assuming that the jeepney driver perceived the danger a few seconds before the
actual collision, he had no opportunity to avoid it
 last clear chance doctrine can never apply where the party charged is required to act instantaneously, and if the
injury cannot be avoided by the application of all means at hand after the peril is or should have been discovered

Philippine Bank Of Commerce V. CA (1997)

G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997


Lessons Applicable: Last Clear Chance (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:

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 May 5, 1975 to July 16, 1976: Romeo Lipana claims to have entrusted RMC funds in the
form of cash totalling P304,979.74 to his secretary, Irene Yabut, for the purpose of
depositing said funds in the current accounts of RMC with Philippine Bank of Commerce
(PBC)
 They were not credited to RMC's account but were instead deposited to Account No. 53-
01734-7 of Yabut's husband, Bienvenido Cotas
 Romeo Lipana never checked their monthly statements of account reposing complete
trust and confidence on PBC
 Irene Yabut's modus operandi was to furnish 2 copies of deposit slip upon and both are
always validated and stamped by the teller Azucena Mabayad :
 original showed the name of her husband as depositor and his current account number -
retained by the bank
 duplicate copy was written the account number of her husband but the name of the
account holder was left blank
 After validation, Yabut would then fill up the name of RMC in the space left blank in the
duplicate copy and change the account number to RMC's account number
 This went on in a span of more than 1 year without private respondent's knowledge
 Upon discovery of the loss of its funds, RMC demanded from PBC the return of its money
and later on filed in the RTC
 RTC: PBC and Azucena Mabayad jointly and severally liable
 CA: affirmed with modification deleting awards of exemplary damages and attorney's
fees
ISSUE:
1. W/N applying the last clear chance, PBC's teller is negligent for failing to avoid the injury
by not exercising the proper validation procedure-YES
2. W/N there was contirbutory negligence by RMC - YES

HELD: 60-40 ratio. only the balance of 60% needs to be paid by the PBC

1. YES.
 The fact that the duplicate slip was not compulsorily required by the bank in accepting
deposits should not relieve the PBC of responsibility
 The odd circumstance alone that such duplicate copy lacked one vital information (Name
of the account holder) should have already put Ms. Mabayad on guard.
 Negligence here lies not only on the part of Ms. Mabayad but also on the part of the bank
itself in its lack in selection and supervision of Ms. Mabayad.
 Mr. Romeo Bonifacio, then Manager of the Pasig Branch of the petitioner bank and now its
Vice-President, to the effect that, while he ordered the investigation of the incident, he
never came to know that blank deposit slips were validated in total disregard of the
bank's validation procedures until 7 years later
 last clear chance/supervening negligence/discovered peril
 where both parties are negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in time
than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence
should be attributed to the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid
the impending harm and failed to do so is chargeable with the consequences thereof
 antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery of damages for the
supervening negligence of, or bar a defense against liability sought by another, if the
latter, who had the last fair chance, could have avoided the impending harm by the
exercise of due diligence.
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 Here, assuming that RMC was negligent in entrusting cash to a dishonest employee, yet it
cannot be denied that PBC bank, thru its teller, had the last clear opportunity to avert the
injury incurred by its client, simply by faithfully observing their self-imposed validation
procedure.
 Art. 1173. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by
the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place.
When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.
If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the
performance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required. In the
case of banks, however, the degree of diligence required is more than that of a good
father of a family. Considering the fiduciary nature of their relationship with their
depositors, banks are duty bound to treat the accounts of their clients with the highest
degree of care
2. YES.
 it cannot be denied that, indeed, private respondent was likewise negligent in not
checking its monthly statements of account. Had it done so, the company would have
been alerted to the series of frauds being committed against RMC by its secretary. The
damage would definitely not have ballooned to such an amount if only RMC, particularly
Romeo Lipana, had exercised even a little vigilance in their financial affairs. This omission
by RMC amounts to contributory negligence which shall mitigate the damages that may
be awarded to the private respondent
 Article 2179 of the New Civil Code
When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and
proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may
recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded
Mr. And Mrs. Amador C. Ong V. Metropolitan Water District (1958)

G.R. No. L-7664 August 29, 1958


Lessons Applicable: Neglignce (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:
 July 5, 1952 1:45 p.m.: For the 4th or 5th time, Dominador Ong, a 14-year old high
school student and boy scout, and his brothers Ruben and Eusebio, went to Metropolitan
Water District's recreational swimming pools charging a nominal fee (P0.50 for adults;
P0.20 for children)
 4:35 p.m.: Dominador Ong told his brothers that he was going to the locker room in an
adjoining building to drink a bottle of coke
 Upon hearing this, Ruben and Eusebio went to the bigger pool leaving Dominador in the
small pool and so they did not see the latter when he left the pool to get a bottle of coke.
 Lifeguards Manuel Abaño (8 am - 12 nn;2 pm - 6 pm) and Mario Villanueva (7:30-11:30
am;2:30 to 4:30 pm) were on duty
 4-5 pm: there were about 20 bathers inside the pool area and Manuel Abaño was going
around the pools to observe the bathers in compliance with the instructions of his chief
 4:40-4:45 p.m: some boys who were in the pool area informed a bather by the name of
Andres Hagad, Jr., that somebody was swimming under water for quite a long time
 Another boy informed lifeguard Manuel Abaño of the same happening so he immediately
jumped into the big swimming pool and retrieved the apparently lifeless body of
Dominador Ong from the bottom
 The body was placed at the edge of the pool and Abaño immediately applied manual
artificial respiration
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 Soon after, male nurse Armando Rule came to render assistance, followed by sanitary
inspector Iluminado Vicente who, after being called by phone from the clinic by one of the
security guards, boarded a jeep carrying with him the resuscitator and a medicine kit, and
upon arriving he injected the boy with camphorated oil
 After the injection, Vicente left on a jeep in order to fetch Dr. Ayuyao from the University
of the Philippines
 Meanwhile, Abaño continued the artificial manual respiration, and when this failed to
revive him, they applied the resuscitator until the two oxygen tanks were exhausted
 Not long thereafter, Dr. Ayuyao arrived with another resuscitator, but the same became
of no use because he found the boy already dead. The doctor ordered that the body be
taken to the clinic.
 The autopsy of Dr. Enrique V. de los Santos, Chief, Medico Legal Division of the NBI found
that the death was due to asphyxia by submersion in water.
 lower court: dismissed the complaint
 Mr. and Mrs. Amador C. Ong: failure of the lifeguard Abaño to immediately respond to
their call may and even if it be assumed that the deceased is partly to be blamed for the
unfortunate incident, defendants may still be held liable under the doctrine of "last clear
chance" for the reason that, having the last opportunity to save the victim, it failed to do
so
ISSUE: W/N the death of minor Dominador Ong can be attributed to the negligence
of Metropolitan Water District and/or its employees

HELD: NO. decision appealed from is affirmed


 Since the present action is one for damages founded on culpable negligence, the principle
to be observed is that the person claiming damages has the burden of proving that the
damage is caused by the fault or negligence of the person from whom the damage is
claimed, or of one of his employees
 The last clear chance doctrine can never apply where the party charged is required to act
instantaneously, and if the injury cannot be avoided by the application of all means at
hand after the peril is or should have been discovered; at least in cases in which any
previous negligence of the party charged cannot be said to have contributed to the injury
 Before closing, we wish to quote the following observation of the trial court, which we find
supported by the evidence: "There is (also) a strong suggestion coming from the expert
evidence presented by both parties that Dominador Ong might have dived where the
water was only 5.5 feet deep, and in so doing he might have hit or bumped his forehead
against the bottom of the pool, as a consequence of which he was stunned, and which to
his drowning. As a boy scout he must have received instructions in swimming. He knew,
or have known that it was dangerous for him to dive in that part of the pool."

Anuran V. Buno (1966)

G.R. Nos. L-21353 and L-21354 May 20, 1966


Lessons Applicable: Last Clear Chance (Torts and Damages)

FACTS:
 January 12, 1958 noon: passenger jeepney owned by Pedro Gahol and Luisa Alcantara
and driven by Pepito Buño overloaded with (14-16 passengers) was parked on the road to
Taal, Batangas when a speeding motor truck owned by Anselmo Maligaya and Ceferina
Aro driven by Guillermo Razon negligently bumped it from behind, with such violence that
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three passengers died and two others suffered injuries that required their confinement at
the Provincial Hospital for many days
 Jeepney was parked to let a passanger alight in such a way that 1/2 of its width (the left
wheels) was on the asphalted pavement of the road and the other half, on the right
shoulder of the road
 suits were instituted by the representatives of the dead and of the injured, to recover
consequently damages against the driver and the owners of the truck and also against the
driver and the owners of the jeepney
 CFI: absolving the driver of the jeepney and its owners, but it required the truck driver
and the owners to make compensation
 CA: Affirmed exoneration of the jeepney
ISSUE: W/N the doctrine of last clear chance can apply so that truck driver guilty of greater
negligence which was the efficient cause of the collision will be solely liable

HELD: NO. The three defendants last mentioned are required to pay solidarily with the other
defendants-respondents the amounts fixed by the appealed decision.
 New Civil Code requires "utmost diligence" from the carriers (Art. 1755) who are
"presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they
have observed extraordinary diligence" (Art. 1756)
 principle about the "last clear chance" would call for application in a suit between the owners and drivers of the
two colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a passenger demands responsibility from the carrier to enforce its
contractual obligations. For it would be inequitable to exempt the negligent driver of the jeepney and its owners
on the ground that the other driver was likewise guilty of negligence