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DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. vs. C & A CONSTRUCTION, a. Found Capt.

Jusep guilty of negligence in


INC. deciding to transfer the vessel to the North
Harbor only at 8:35 a.m. of October 21, 1994
1. Respondent C & A Construction, Inc. was engaged by and thus held petitioner liable for damages.
the National Housing Authority (NHA) to construct a 10.Petitoners contention:
deflector wall at the Vitas Reclamation Area in Vitas, a. Capt. Jusep was not negligent in waiting until
Tondo, Manila. 8:35 in the morning of October 21, 1994 before
2. On October 9, 1994, M/V Delsan Express, a ship owned transferring the vessel to the North Harbor
and operated by petitioner Delsan Transport Lines, inasmuch as it was not shown that had the
Inc., anchored at the Navotas Fish Port for the purpose transfer been made earlier, the vessel could
of installing a cargo pump and clearing the cargo oil have sought shelter.
tank. b. It cannot be held vicariously liable under Article
3. At around 12:00 midnight of October 20, 1994, Captain 2180 of the Civil Code because respondent
Demetrio T. Jusep of M/V Delsan Express received a failed to allege in the complaint that petitioner
report from his radio head operator in Japan that a was negligent in the selection and supervision of
typhoon was going to hit Manila in about eight (8) its employees.
hours. c. Granting that Capt. Jusep was indeed guilty of
4. At approximately 8:35 in the morning of October 21, negligence, petitioner is not liable because it
1994, Capt. Jusep tried to seek shelter at the North exercised due diligence in the selection of Capt.
Harbor but could not enter the area because it was Jusep who is a duly licensed and competent
already congested. Master Mariner.
5. At 10:00 a.m., Capt. Jusep decided to drop anchor at
the vicinity of Vitas mouth, 4 miles away from a ISSUES:
Napocor power barge. At that time, the waves were 1. WON Capt. Jusep was negligent. YES
already reaching 8 to 10 feet high. Capt. Jusep ordered 2. If yes, WON petitioner is solidarily liable under Article
his crew to go full ahead to counter the wind which 2180 of the Civil Code for the quasi-delict committed
was dragging the ship towards the Napocor power by Capt. Jusep. YES
barge.
6. To avoid collision, Capt. Jusep ordered a full stop of the HELD:
vessel.[9] He succeeded in avoiding the power barge, Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that whoever by
but when the engine was re-started and the ship was act or omission causes damage to another, there being
maneuvered full astern, it hit the deflector wall fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage
constructed by respondent.[10] The damage caused done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-
by the incident amounted to P456,198.24.[11] existing contractual relation between the parties, is
7. Respondent demanded payment of the damage from called a quasi-delict. The test for determining the
petitioner but the latter refused to pay. Respondent existence of negligence in a particular case may be
filed a complaint for damages with the RTC Manila. stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the
8. RTC dismissed. alleged negligent act use the reasonable care and
a. Applying emergency rule, petitioner was not caution which an ordinary prudent person would have
guilty of negligence because it had taken all the used in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of
necessary precautions to avoid the accident. negligence.
9. CA reversed RTC.
Court of Appeals was correct in holding that Capt. unless the danger in which he finds himself is
Jusep was negligent in deciding to transfer the vessel brought about by his own negligence.
only at 8:35 in the morning of October 21, 1994. As Emergency rule is not applicable to the instant case
early as 12:00 midnight of October 20, 1994, he because the danger where Capt. Jusep found himself
received a report from his radio head operator in was caused by his own negligence.
Japan that a typhoon was going to hit Manila after 8
hours. This, notwithstanding, he did nothing, until 8:35 SECOND ISSUE: petitioner vicariously liable for the negligent
in the morning of October 21, 1994, when he decided act of Capt. Jusep.
to seek shelter at the North Harbor, which
unfortunately was already congested. Under Article 21801 of the Civil Code an employer may
The finding of negligence cannot be rebutted upon be held solidarily liable for the negligent act of his
proof that the ship could not have sought refuge at the employee.
North Harbor even if the transfer was done earlier. Whenever an employees negligence causes
It is not the speculative success or failure of a decision damage or injury to another, there instantly
that determines the existence of negligence in the arises a presumption juris tantum that the
present case, but the failure to take immediate and employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris
appropriate action under the circumstances. Capt. families in the selection (culpa in eligiendo) or
Jusep, despite knowledge that the typhoon was to hit supervision (culpa in vigilando) of its
Manila in 8 hours, complacently waited for the lapse of employees.
more than 8 hours thinking that the typhoon might To avoid liability for a quasi-delict committed by his
change direction. employee, an employer must overcome the
When he ignored the weather report notwithstanding presumption by presenting convincing proof that he
reasonable foresight of harm, Capt. Jusep showed an exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a
inexcusable lack of care and caution which an ordinary family in the selection and supervision of his
prudent person would have observed in the same employee.
situation. Had he moved the vessel earlier, he could Petitioner, who is the owner/operator of M/V Delsan
have had greater chances of finding a space at the Express, is also the employer of Capt. Jusep who at the
North Harbor considering that the Navotas Port where time of the incident acted within the scope of his duty.
they docked was very near North Harbor. Even if the The defense raised by petitioner was that it exercised
latter was already congested, he would still have time due diligence in the selection of Capt. Jusep because
to seek refuge in other ports. the latter is a licensed and competent Master Mariner.
The trial court erred in applying the emergency
rule. 1 Art. 2180. The obligation imposed in Article 2176 is demandable not only for ones
o Emergency rule - one who suddenly finds own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.x x
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himself in a place of danger, and is required to Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household
act without time to consider the best means helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are
that may be adopted to avoid the impending not engaged in any business or industry.
xxxxxxxxx
danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein
adopt what subsequently and upon reflection mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
may appear to have been a better method, prevent damage.
It should be stressed, however, that the required for the proper performance of functions of its
diligence of a good father of a family pertains employees and that it strictly implemented and
not only to the selection, but also to the monitored compliance therewith. Failing to
supervision of employees. It is not enough that discharge the burden, petitioner should
the employees chosen be competent and therefore be held liable for the negligent act of
qualified, inasmuch as the employer is still Capt. Jusep.
required to exercise due diligence in supervising Petitioner cannot disclaim liability on the basis
its employees. of respondents failure to allege in its complaint
Fabre v. CA - Due diligence in supervision requires the that the former did not exercise due diligence in
formulation of rules and regulations for the guidance of the selection and supervision of its employees.
employees and the issuance of proper instructions as Viron Transportation Co., Inc. v. Delos Santos - it was
well as actual implementation and monitoring of held that it is not necessary to state that
consistent compliance with the rules. petitioner was negligent in the supervision or
Ramos v. CA - Once negligence on the part of the selection of its employees, inasmuch as its
employees is shown, the burden of proving that he negligence is presumed by operation of
observed the diligence in the selection and supervision law. Allegations of negligence against the employee
of its employees shifts to the employer. and that of an employer-employee relation in the
In the case at bar, however, petitioner presented complaint are enough to make out a case of quasi-
no evidence that it formulated rules/guidelines delict under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.