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Case No. 26 - MICH The CFI dismissed the complaint and moved in favor of the Vestils.

Specific Case of Liability The CA however ruled otherwise. It found that the Vestils were in
a. Possessor of Animals possession of the house and the dog and so should be responsible
under Article 2183 of the Civil Code for the injuries caused by the
dog. It also held that the child had died as a result of the dog bites
Regardless if the animal was tame or vicious or if it had been and not for causes independent thereof as submitted by the
lost and removed from the control of the Vestils, liability still appellees.
attach because one who possesses an animal for utility,
pleasure or service must answer for the damage which the Issue: Whether the Vestils are liable for damages.
animal may had caused.
Held: Yes. Theness developed hydrophobia, a symptom of rabies,
PURITA MIRANDA VESTIL and AGUSTIN VESTIL vs. as a result of the dog bites, and second, that asphyxia broncho-
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, DAVID UY and TERESITA pneumonia, which ultimately caused her death, was a complication
UY of rabies.
G.R. No. 74431 November 6, 1989
CRUZ, J. The Vestils are the possessors of the property and Purita is the only
heir residing in Cebu City. They use it as a second home and visited
Facts: On July 29, 1915, Theness Tan Uy (3 years old) was bitten weekly - renting it out to the boarders, paying for utilities and hiring
by a dog while she was playing with a child of the Vestils in the the maid who cleaned and cooked for the house occupants. An
house of the late Vicente Miranda, the father of Purita Vestil, at F. occupant of the household (Marcial Lao) testified that they maintain
Ramos Street in Cebu City. She was rushed to the Cebu General
the house for business purposes and that he is one of the boarder of
Hospital, where she was treated for "multiple lacerated wounds on
the forehead" 1 and administered an anti-rabies vaccine by Dr. said property. Liability is due to the possession of the dog,
Antonio Tautjo. She was discharged after nine days but was regardless of the ownership of the dog or property. Under Article
readmitted one week later due to "vomiting of saliva." The following 2183, regardless if the animal was tame or vicious or if it had been
day, on August 15, 1975, the child died. The cause of death was lost and removed from the control of the Vestils, liability still attach
certified as broncho-pneumonia. because one who possesses an animal for utility, pleasure or service
must answer for the damage which the animal may had caused.
Seven months later, the Uys sued for damages, alleging that the
Vestils were liable to them as the possessors of "Andoy," the dog
that bit and eventually killed their daughter. The Vestils rejected the Article 2183 reads as follows:
charge, insisting that the dog belonged to the deceased Vicente
Miranda, that it was a tame animal, and that in any case no one had The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same
witnessed it bite. Also, that the dog does not belong to her but to is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it may
Vicente Miranda, her father. She is not the sole owner of the escape or be lost. 'This responsibility shall cease only in case the
unpartitioned property, there are other heirs. damages should come from force majeure from the fault of the
person who has suffered damage.

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months from delivery of the soft drinks pursuant to Article 1571 of the
Civil Code. Geronimo claims that the cause of action is based on
CASE #27 - PAT injury to her right and can be brought within four years pursuant to
Specific Case of Liability Article 1146 of the civil code.
b. Product Liabiliy
Issue: Has the action prescribed? Can Geronimo’s action based on
Coca Cola Bottlers v. Court of Appeals quasi-delict exist despite the pre-existing contract of sale?
G.R.No. 110295 (October 18, 1993)
Held: YES. While it may be true that the pre-existing contract
The existence of a contract between the parties does not bar the between the parties may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of
commission of a tort by the one against the other and the the law on quasi-delict, the liability may itself be deemed to arise
consequent recovery of damages therefor. from quasi-delict, i.e., the act which breaks the contract may also
be a quasi-delict.
Facts: Lydia Geronimo is the proprietress of a school canteen. On In Singson vs. Bank of the Philippine Islands," this Court stated: "We
August 12, 1989, a group of parents complained before Geronimo have repeatedly held, however, that the existence of a contract
that they found fibrous material in the bottles of Coke and Sprite that between the parties does not bar the commission of a tort by the one
their children bought from her store. Geronimo examined her stock against the other and the consequent recovery of damages therefor.
and found that there were indeed fibrous materials in the unopened Indeed, this view has been, in effect, reiterated in a comparatively
soda bottles. She brought the bottles to the Department of Health recent case.
Regional Office and was informed that the soda samples she sent
were adulterated. Because of this, the canteen had to close down Thus, in Air France vs. Carrascosa, involving an airplane passenger
due to the big drop in its sales of soft drinks. On Geronimo filed a who, despite his first-class ticket, had been illegally ousted from his
complaint for damages against Coca cola. Coca-Cola moved to first-class accommodation and compelled to take a seat in the tourist
dismiss the complaint on the grounds of failure to exhaust compartment, was held entitled to recover damages from the air-
administrative remedies and prescription. According to Coca-Cola, carrier, upon the ground of tort on the latter's part, for, although the
under the law on sales on breach of warranty, more particularly relation between the passenger and a carrier is contractual both in
Article 1561, the action should have been brought within six months origin and nature x x x the act that breaks the contract may also be a
from the delivery of the goods. tort.'''

Coca cola moved to dismiss on the basis of failure to exhaust all Otherwise put, liability for quasi-delict may still exist despite the
administrative remedies and prescription. It contends that the presence of contractual relations. Therefore, Geronimo has four
existence of a contractual relation between the parties (arising from years to file the case, reckoned from the time the cause of action
the contract of sale) bars the application of the law on quasi-delicts accrued.
and that since Geronimo’s cause of action arose from the breach of
implied warranties, the complaint should have been filed within six

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Mellalos heard a shout that a boy was run over, prompting him to
jump off the jeepney to help the victim. Petitioner stopped and saw
Mellalos carrying the body of the victim. Mellalos loaded the victim on
CASE #28 – PAT a motorcycle and brought him to the hospital. Dayata was first
Negligence : Concept brought to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Based
on the autopsy, head injuries of Dayata ultimately caused his death.
Norman Gaid v People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 171636 The Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Laguindingan found
QUISUMBING, J. petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged.

The standard test in determining whether a person is negligent The lower court held petitioner negligent in his driving considering
in doing an act whereby injury or damage results to the person that the victim was dragged to a distance of 5.70 meters from the
or property of another is this: could a prudent man, in the point of impact. He was also scored for "not stopping his vehicle after
position of the person to whom negligence is attributed, foresee noticing that the jeepney’s left rear tire jolted causing the vehicle to
harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of the tilt towards the right.
course actually pursued? If so, the law imposes a duty on the
actor to refrain from that course or to take precautions to guard
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed the decision of
against its mischievous results, and the failure to do so
the MCTC.
constitutes negligence. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed
by the ignoring of the admonition born of this provision, is
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment with
always necessary before negligence can be held to exist.
modification in that it found petitioner guilty only of simple negligence
resulting in homicide.
Facts: Petitioner Norman A. Gaid was charged with the crime of
reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. At around 12:00 noon
The Court of Appeals exonerated petitioner from the charge of
(the time several students were coming out of the school premises)
reckless imprudence resulting to homicide on the ground that he was
while the petitioner was driving his passenger jeepney which was
not driving recklessly at the time of the accident. However, the
filled to seating capacity along a two-lane road where the
appellate court still found him to be negligent when he failed "to
Laguindingan National High School is located. The jeepney ran over
promptly stop his vehicle to check what caused the sudden jotting of
a fourteen year-old student, Michael Dayata. A witness saw Dayata
its rear tire.
raised his left hand to flag down petitioner’s jeepney which was
traveling on the right lane of the road. However, neither did petitioner
The Court of Appeals denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.
nor the conductor, Dennis Mellalos, saw anybody flagging down the
Hence this petition.
jeepney to ride at that point. Then, the petitioner felt that the left rear
tire of the jeepney had bounced and the vehicle tilted to the right
Issue: Whether or not Gaid is liable.
side.

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Held: Not liable. The prosecution was not able to establish that the
proximate cause of the victim’s death was petitioner’s alleged The standard test in determining whether a person is negligent in
negligence. In this case, the courts below zeroed in on the fact that doing an act whereby injury or damage results to the person or
petitioner did not stop the jeepney when he felt the bouncing of his property of another is this: could a prudent man, in the position of the
vehicle, a circumstance which the appellate court equates with person to whom negligence is attributed, foresee harm to the person
negligence. Petitioner contends that he did not immediately stop injured as a reasonable consequence of the course actually
because he did not see anybody go near his vehicle at the time of pursued? If so, the law imposes a duty on the actor to refrain from
the incident. that course or to take precautions to guard against its mischievous
results, and the failure to do so constitutes negligence. Reasonable
In an American case, Hernandez v. Lukas, a motorist traveling within foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of the admonition born of
the speed limit and did all was possible to avoid striking a child who this provision, is always necessary before negligence can be held to
was then six years old only. The place of the incident was a exist.
neighborhood where children were playing in the parkways on prior
occasions. The court ruled that it must be still proven that the driver
did not exercise due care. The evidence showed that the driver was
proceeding in lawful manner within the speed limit when the child ran
into the street and was struck by the driver’s vehicle. Clearly, this
was an emergency situation thrust upon the driver too suddenly to
avoid.

If at all again, petitioner’s failure to render assistance to the victim


would constitute abandonment of one’s victim punishable under
Article 275 of the Revised Penal Code. However, the omission is not
covered by the information. Thus, to hold petitioner criminally liable
under the provision would be tantamount to a denial of due process

Negligence has been defined as the failure to observe for the


protection of the interests of another person that degree of care,
precaution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand,
whereby such other person suffers injury.

The elements of simple negligence:


(1) that there is lack of precaution on the part of the offender; and
(2) that the damage impending to be caused is not immediate or the
danger is not clearly manifest.

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damages for his failure to prove due diligence in supervising Jabon
CASE # 29 – PAT after he was hired as driver of the truck.
Negligence : Concept
Issue: Whether CA is correct in its findings.
Albert Tison and Claudio Jabon vs Spouses Pomasin, et. al.
G.R. No. 173180 August 24, 2011 Ruling: No. Petitioners are not negligent. According to Article 2176
of the Civil Code, whoever by act or omission causes damage to
No causal connection between lack of driver’s license to a another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
vehicular accident caused by another’s negligent driving. damage done. To sustain a claim based on quasi-delict, the following
requisites must concur: (a) damage suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault
Facts: A tractor-trailer and a jitney collided along Maharlika Highway or negligence of defendant; and (c) connection of cause and effect
in Albay. Laarni Pomasin was the driver of the jitney while the tractor between the fault or negligence of defendant and the damage
was driven by Claudio Jabon. Multiple death and injuries to those in incurred by the plaintiff. These requisites must be proved by a
the jitney resulted. Albert Tison, the owner of the truck, extended preponderance of evidence. The claimants, respondents in this case,
financial assistance to respondents and P200,000.00 to Cynthia must, therefore, establish their claim or cause of action by
Pomasin, sister of Laarni. Cynthia, in turn, executed an Affidavit of preponderance of evidence, evidence which is of greater weight, or
Desistance. more convincing than that which is offered in opposition to it.

Still, respondents filed a complaint for damages before the RTC of Driving without a proper license is a violation of traffic regulation.
Antipolo. They alleged that the proximate cause of the accident was Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, the legal presumption of
the negligence, imprudence and carelessness of petitioners. In their negligence arises if at the time of the mishap, a person was violating
Answer, petitioners countered that it was Laarni’s negligence which any traffic regulation. However, in Sanitary Steam Laundry, Inc. v.
proximately caused the accident. They further claimed that Cynthia Court of Appeals, the court held that a causal connection must exist
was authorized by Spouses Pomasin to enter into an amicable between the injury received and the violation of the traffic regulation.
settlement by executing an Affidavit of Desistance. It must be proven that the violation of the traffic regulation was the
proximate or legal cause of the injury or that it substantially
Petitioners subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in contributed thereto. Negligence, consisting in whole or in part, of
view of the Affidavit of Desistance executed by Cynthia. However, violation of law, like any other negligence, is without legal
the motion was denied. The trial court ruled in favor Tison giving consequence unless it is a contributing cause of the injury.
more credence to the testimony of Jabon. The CA disagreed with the
trial court and ruled that the reckless driving of Jabon caused the Likewise controlling is our ruling in Añonuevo v. Court of
vehicular collision based on the gravity of the damage caused to the Appeals where we reiterated that negligence per se, arising from the
jitney. Also, it was noted that the restriction in Jabon’s driver’s mere violation of a traffic statute, need not be sufficient in itself in
license was violated, thus, giving rise to the presumption that he was establishing liability for damages. In said case, Añonuevo, who was
negligent at the time of the accident. Tison was also held liable for driving a car, did not attempt “to establish a causal connection

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between the safety violations imputed to the injured cyclist, and the
accident itself. Instead, he relied on a putative presumption that
these violations in themselves sufficiently established negligence
appreciable against the cyclist. Since the onus on Añonuevo is to
conclusively prove the link between the violations and the accident,
we can deem him as having failed to discharge his necessary burden
of proving the cyclist’s own liability.”

The rule on negligence per se must admit qualifications that may


arise from the logical consequences of the facts leading to the
mishap. The doctrine (and Article 2185, for that matter) is undeniably
useful as a judicial guide in adjudging liability, for it seeks to impute
culpability arising from the failure of the actor to perform up to a
standard established by a legal fiat. But the doctrine should not be
rendered inflexible so as to deny relief when in fact there is no causal
relation between the statutory violation and the injury sustained.
Presumptions in law, while convenient, are not intractable so as to
forbid rebuttal rooted in fact. After all, tort law is remunerative in
spirit, aiming to provide compensation for the harm suffered by those
whose interests have been invaded owing to the conduct of other.

In the instant case, no causal connection was established between


the tractor-trailer driver’s restrictions on his license to the vehicular
collision. Furthermore, Jabon was able to sufficiently explain that the
Land Transportation Office merely erred in not including restriction
code 8 in his license.

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CASE # 30 – DIVINE impact caused the parked jeepney to move forward hitting the rear of
the parked truck ahead of it. The pedestrian was injured, the Toyota
Negligence : Concept Sedan was damaged on its front, the jeep suffered damages on its
rear and front paints, and the truck sustained scratches at the
Emergency Rule: One who suddenly finds himself in a place of
wooden portion of its rear. The body of the old man named Isidoro
danger, and is required to act without time to consider the best
Casino was immediately brought to the Jose Reyes Memorial
means that may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is
Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what subsequently
and upon reflection may appear to have been a better method,
unless the emergency in which he finds himself is brought
about by his own negligence. Gan was convicted of Homicide thru reckless imprudence in the
Court of First Instance of Manila. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
modified the decision of the CFI to Homicide thru simple imprudence
with a suggested course of action that:
HEDY GAN y YU vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

G.R. No. L-44264; September 19, 1988 The accused should have stepped on the brakes when she
saw the car going in the opposite direction followed by
Fernan, C.J.
another, which overtook the first by passing towards its left.
She should not only have swerved the car she was driving to
the right but should have also tried to stop or lessen her
FACTS: speed so that she would not bump into the pedestrian who
was crossing at the time but also the jeepney which was
On July 4, 1972 at 8am, accused Hedy Gan was driving a Toyota car then parked along the street.
along North Bay Boulevard, Tondo, Manila. There were two vehicles,
a truck and a jeepney parked on one side of the road, one following
the other about two to three meters from each other. As the car
driven by the accused approached the place where the two vehicles Still unsatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeals, petitioner
were parked, there was a vehicle coming from the opposite direction, filed with the Supreme Court for a complete reversal of the judgment.
followed by another which tried to overtake and bypass the one in
front of it and thereby encroached the lane of the car driven by the
accused. To avoid a head-on collision with the oncoming vehicle, ISSUE:
accused Gan swerved to the right and as a consequence, hit an old
man who was about to cross the boulevard from south to north, Whether Gan is guilty of Homicide thru simple imprudence as held
pinning him against the rear of the parked jeepney. The force of the by the Court of Appeals.

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RULING:

NO, petitioner Gan is acquitted. The test for determining whether or


not a person is negligent in doing an act whereby injury or damage
results to the person or property of another is this: Would a prudent
man in the position of the person to whom negligence is attributed
foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of
the course about to be pursued? If so, the law imposes the duty on
the doer to take precaution against its mischievous results and the
failure to do so constitutes negligence.

The emergency rule applies. "Under that rule, one who suddenly
finds himself in a place of danger, and is required to act without time
to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the
impending danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a better
method, unless the emergency in which he finds himself is brought
about by his own negligence."

The amount of time afforded to the petitioner to react to the situation


she was in should be taken into account. It is undeniable that the
suggested course of action presupposes sufficient time for appellant
to analyze the situation confronting her and to ponder on which of
the different courses of action would result in the least possible harm
to herself and to others.

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CASE # 31 – DIVINE Isidro countered that the plaintiff was a mere bystander not a truck
helper as he was the brother in-law of the driver of the truck and that
Negligence : Concept the truck being repaired was occupying almost half of the right lane
towards Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, right after the curve; that the
When an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or
proximate cause of the incident was the failure of the driver of the
employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there
parked truck in installing the early warning device, hence the driver
was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in
of the parked car should be liable for damages sustained by the truck
the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over
of the herein defendant.
him after selection, or both.

Daniel Serrano, driver of the truck, stated that he knew the


Pedro T. Layugan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, Godofredo
responsibilities of a driver; that before leaving, he checked the truck.
Isidro, and Travellers Multi-Indemnity Corporation
The truck owner used to instruct him to be careful in driving. He
G.R. No. 73998; November 14, 1988 bumped the truck being repaired by Pedro Layugan, plaintiff, while
the same was at a stop position. He testified that, “When I was a few
Sarmiento, J. meters away, I saw the truck which was loaded with round logs. I
stepped on my foot brakes but it did not function with my many
FACTS: attempts. I have found out later that the fluid pipe on the rear right
was cut that's why the breaks did not function.”
Pedro T. Layugan filed an action for damages against Godofredo
Isidro (owner of truck driven by Daniel Serrano), alleging that on May
15, 1979 while at Baretbet, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, Layugan and a
companion were repairing the tire of their cargo truck (loaded with 10 Plaintiff points to the negligence of the defendant driver while Isidro
big round logs) which was parked along the right side of the National points to the driver of parked truck as negligent, and says that absent
Highway; that defendant's truck, driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano such proof of care, it would, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur,
bumped the plaintiff, that as a result, plaintiff was injured and evoke the presumption of negligence on the part of the driver of the
hospitalized at Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Research and Medical Center parked cargo truck as well as his helper, the petitioner herein, who
and the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital; spent Phpl0,000.00 and will was fixing the flat tire of the said truck.
incur more expenses as he recuperates from said injuries; that
because of said injuries he would be deprived of a lifetime income in
the sum of Php70,000.00; and that he agreed to pay his lawyer the
The trial court rendered its decision in favor of Pedro Layugan. Isidro
sum of Php10,000.00.
appealed to IAC and the latter reversed the decision of the trial court
and dismissed the complaint applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur
(the thing speaks for itself) stating that it is the petitioners who were

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negligent since they did not exercise caution by putting warning and diligence of a good father of a family, the presumption is
signs that their truck is park on the shoulder of the highway. overcome and he is relieved from liability.

It is clear that the driver did not know his responsibilities


because he apparently did not check his vehicle before he
ISSUE:
took it on the road. If he did he could have discovered earlier
1. Whether or not Isidro is liable as employer of Serrano. that the brake fluid pipe on the right was cut, and could have
2. Whether the doctrine res ipsa loquitur applies in the case at repaired it and thus the accident could have been avoided.
bar. Moreover, to our mind, the fact that the private respondent
used to instruct his driver to be careful in his driving, that the
driver was licensed, and the fact that he had no record of
RULING: any accident, as found by the respondent court, are not
sufficient to destroy the finding of negligence of the Regional
1. YES, Isidro is liable for the negligence of his employee Trial Court given the facts established at the trial. The private
Serrano. It was proven that the petitioner placed a warning respondent or his mechanic, who must be competent, should
sign within 3 to 4 meters from their truck in the form of a have conducted a thorough inspection of his vehicle before
lighted kerosene lamp. The existence of this warning sings allowing his driver to drive it.
was corroborated by Serrano, respondent's driver, and
further stated that when he saw a parked truck, he kept on There is paucity (small amount/insufficient) of proof that
stepping on the brake pedal but it did not function. Thus Isidro exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
despite this warning signs, the truck recklessly driven by the selection of his driver, Daniel Serrano, as well as in the
Serrano and owned by Respondent Isidro bumped the truck selection of his mechanic, if any, in order to insure the safe
of petitioner. operation of his truck and thus prevent damage to others.
Accordingly, the responsibility of Isidro as employer treated
The private respondent is sued under Art. 2176 in relation to in Article 2180, paragraph 5, of the Civil Code has not
Art. 2180, paragraph 5, of the Civil Code. In the latter, when ceased.
an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or
employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that 2. NO.
there was negligence on the part of the master or employer
either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in This doctrine is stated thus: Where the thing which causes
supervision over him after selection, or both. Such injury is shown to be under the management of the
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure and defendant, and the accident is such as in the ordinary course
consequently, may be rebutted. If follows necessarily that if of things does not happen if those who have the
the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in the management use proper care, it affords reasonable
selection and in the supervision he has exercised the care evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the defendant,

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that the accident arose from want of care. Or as Black's Law circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person
Dictionary puts it: suffers injury.”

Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself.


Rebuttable presumption or inference that defendant
The doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is
was negligent, which arises upon proof that
peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima
instrumentality causing injury was in defendant's
facie negligence may be established without direct proof and
exclusive control, and that the accident was one
furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. The
which ordinarily does not happen in absence of
doctrine is not a rule of substantive law but merely a mode of
negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is rule of evidence
proof or a mere procedural convenience. The rule, when
whereby negligence of alleged wrongdoer may be
applicable to the facts and circumstances of a particular
inferred from mere fact that accident happened
case, is not intended to and does not dispense with the
provided character of accident and circumstances
requirement of proof of culpable negligence on the part of
attending it lead reasonably to belief that in absence
the party charged. It merely determines and regulates what
of negligence it would not have occurred and that
shall be prima facie evidence thereof and facilitates the
thing which caused injury is shown to have been
burden of plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due
under management and control of alleged
care. The doctrine can be invoked when and only when,
wrongdoer. Hillen v. Hooker Const. Co. Under
under the circumstances involved, direct evidence is absent
doctrine of "res ipsa loquitur" the happening of an
and not readily available. Hence, it has generally been held
injury permits an inference of negligence where
that the presumption of inference arising from the doctrine
plaintiff produces substantial evidence that injury
cannot be availed of, or is overcome, where plaintiff has
was caused by an agency or instrumentality under
knowledge and testifies or presents evidence as to the
exclusive control and management of defendant,
specific act of negligence which is the cause of the injury
and that the occurrence was such that in the
complained of or where there is direct evidence as to the
ordinary course of things would not happen if
precise cause of the accident and all the facts and
reasonable care had been used.
circumstances attendant on the occurrence clearly appear.
Finally, once the actual cause of injury is established beyond
Negligence is the omission to do something which a controversy, whether by the plaintiff or by the defendant, no
reasonable man, guided by those considerations which presumptions will be involved and the doctrine becomes
ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or inapplicable when the circumstances have been so
the doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man completely eludicated that no inference of defendant's
would not do or as Judge Cooley defines it, "The failure to liability can reasonably be made, whatever the source of the
observe for the protection of the interests of another person, evidence, as in this case.
that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the

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CASE # 32 – DIVINE

Negligence : Standard of Conduct – Ordinary Prudent Person At the time of the accident, there was no level crossing installed at
the railroad crossing. Additionally, the Stop, Look and Listen signage
Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured was poorly maintained. The Stop signage was already faded while
party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, the Listen signage was partly blocked by another signboard.
which falls below the standard, which he is required to conform
for his own protection. It is an act or omission amounting to
want of ordinary care on the part of the person injured, which,
concurring with the defendant’s negligence is the proximate Survivors of the mishap, Joel and Dominador, together with the heirs
cause of the injury. of the deceased victims, namely, Purificacion Vizcara, Marivic
Vizcara, Cresencia Natividad and Hector Vizcara, filed an action for
damages against PNR, Estranas and Ben Saga, the alternate driver
of the train, before the RTC of Palayan City. In their complaint, the
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS CORPORATION, JAPHET respondents alleged that the proximate cause of the 
fatalities and
ESTRANAS and BEN SAGA vs. PURIFICACION VIZCARA, serious physical injuries sustained by the victims of the accident was
MARIVIC VIZCARA, CRESENCIA A. NATIVIDAD, HECTOR
the petitioner’s gross negligence in not providing adequate safety
VIZCARA, JOEL VIZCARA and DOMINADOR ANTONIO
measures to prevent injury to persons and properties. They pointed
out that in the railroad track of Tiaong, Quezon where the accident
G.R. No. 190022; February 15, 2012
happened, there was no level crossing bar, lighting equipment or bell
REYES, J.: installed to warn motorists of the existence of the track and of the
approaching train.

FACTS:
Petitioners claimed that they exercised due diligence in operating the
On May 14, 2004, at about three oclock in the morning, Reynaldo train and monitoring its roadworthiness. That right before the
Vizcara was driving a passenger jeepney headed towards Bicol to collision, Estranas was driving the train at a moderate speed. Four
deliver onion crops, with his companions, (Cresencio Vizcara, hundred (400) meters away from the railroad crossing, he started
Crispin Natividad, Samuel Natividad, Dominador Antonio and Joel blowing his horn to warn motorists of the approaching train. When
Vizcara). While crossing the railroad track in Tiaong, Quezon, a the train was only fifty (50) meters away from the intersection,
Philippine National Railways train, then being operated by respondent Estranas noticed that all vehicles on both sides of the
respondent Japhet Estranas, suddenly turned up and rammed the track were already at a full stop. Thus, he carefully proceeded at a
passenger jeepney. The collision resulted to the instantaneous death speed of twenty-five (25) kilometers per hour, still blowing the trains
of Reynaldo, Cresencio, Crispin, and Samuel. On the other hand, horn. However, when the train was already ten (10) meters away
Dominador and Joel, sustained serious physical injuries. from the intersection, the passenger jeepney being driven by

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 12


Reynaldo suddenly crossed the tracks. Estranas immediately responsibility of the railroad company to use reasonable care
stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting the jeepney but due to the to keep the signal devices in working order. Failure to do so
sheer weight of the train, it did not instantly come to a complete stop would be an indication of negligence.
until the jeepney was dragged 20 to 30 meters away from the point (cited Layugan vs. CA on definition of negligence, see case
of collision. digest.)

RTC found petitioners negligent for failure to install sufficient safety 2. NO. Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the
devices in the area, such as flagbars or safety railroad bars and injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he
signage, which was the proximate cause of the accident. CA has suffered, which falls below the standard, which he is
affirmed. required to conform for his own protection. It is an act or
omission amounting to want of ordinary care on the part of
the person injured, which, concurring with the defendant’s
negligence is the proximate cause of the injury.
ISSUE:

1. Whether the petitioner’s negligence was the proximate We cannot see how the respondents could have contributed
cause of the accident. to their injury when they were not even aware of the
2. Whether there was contributory negligence on the part of the forthcoming danger. The jeepney carrying the respondents
respondents. was following a ten-wheeler truck, which was only about
3. Whether the doctrine of last clear chance is applicable. three to five meters ahead. When the truck proceeded to
traverse the railroad track, Reynaldo, the driver of the
jeepney, simply followed through. He did so under the
RULING: impression that it was safe to proceed. The prevailing
circumstances immediately before the collision did not
1. YES. Petitioners fell short of the diligence expected of it, manifest even the slightest indication of an imminent harm.
taking into consideration the nature of its business, to The truck they were trailing was able to safely cross the
forestall any untoward incident. In particular, the petitioners track. Likewise, there was no crossing bar to prevent them
failed to install safety railroad bars to prevent motorists from from proceeding or, at least, a stoplight or signage to
crossing the tracks in order to give way to an approaching forewarn them of the approaching peril. Thus, relying on his
train. Aside from the absence of a crossing bar, the Stop, faculties of sight and hearing, Reynaldo had no reason to
Look and Listen signage installed in the area was poorly anticipate the impending danger. He proceeded to cross the
maintained, hence, inadequate to alert the public of the track and, all of a sudden, his jeepney was rammed by the
impending danger. A reliable signaling device in good train being operated by the petitioners. Even then, the
condition, not just a dilapidated Stop, Look and Listen circumstances before the collision negate the imputation of
signage, is needed to give notice to the public. It is the contributory negligence on the part of the respondents. What

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 13


clearly appears is that the accident would not have incident which befell them. Likewise, they did not exhibit any
happened had the petitioners installed reliable and adequate overt act manifesting disregard for their own safety. Thus,
safety devices along the crossing to ensure the safety of all absent preceding negligence on the part of the respondents,
those who may utilize the same. the doctrine of last clear chance cannot be applied.

The maintenance of safety equipment and warning signals at


railroad crossings is equally important as their installation
since poorly maintained safety warning devices court as
much danger as when none was installed at all. The
presence of safety warning signals at railroad crossing
carries with it the presumption that they are in good working
condition and that the public may depend on them for
assistance. If they happen to be neglected and inoperative,
the public may be misled into relying on the impression of
safety they normally convey and eventually bring injury to
themselves in doing so.

3. NO. The doctrine of last clear chance provides that where


both parties are negligent but the negligent act of one is
appreciably later in point of time than that of the other, or
where it is impossible to determine whose fault or negligence
brought about the occurrence of the incident, the one who
had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm
but failed to do so, is chargeable with the consequences
arising therefrom. Stated differently, the rule is that the
antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude
recovery of damages caused by the supervening negligence
of the latter, who had the last fair chance to prevent the
impending harm by the exercise of due diligence.

In the case at bar, the proximate cause of the collision was


the petitioner’s negligence in ensuring that motorists and
pedestrians alike may safely cross the railroad track. The
unsuspecting driver and passengers of the jeepney did not
have any participation in the occurrence of the unfortunate

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 14


on its way to Angeles City from San Fernando. When the northbound
car was about (10) meters away from the southern approach of the
Case # 33 - CALEB bridge, two (2) boys suddenly darted from the right side of the road
and into the lane of the car. The boys were moving back and forth,
Standard of Conduct- Ordinary Prudent Person unsure of whether to cross all the way to the other side or turn back.
Jose Koh blew the horn of the car, swerved to the left and entered
The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a the lane of the truck; he then switched on the headlights of the car,
particular case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in applied the brakes and thereafter attempted to return to his lane.
doing the alleged negligent act use that (reasonable care and Before he could do so, his car collided with the truck. The collision
caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in occurred in the lane of the truck, which was the opposite lane, on the
the same situation?) If not, then he is guilty of negligence. said bridge. In his statement to the investigating police officers
immediately after the accident, Galang admitted that he was
G.R. No. L-68102 July 16, 1992 traveling at thirty (30) miles (48 kilometers) per hour. On 1 March
1977, an Information charging Ruben Galang with the crime of
GEORGE MCKEE and ARACELI KOH MCKEE, petitioners, "Reckless Imprudence Resulting to (sic) Multiple Homicide and
vs. Physical Injuries and Damage to Property" was filed with the trial
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, JAIME TAYAG and court. In their Answer with Counterclaim in Civil Case No. 4477,
ROSALINDA MANALO private respondents asserted that it was the Ford Escort car which
"invaded and bumped (sic) the lane of the truck driven by Ruben
Facts: Galang.

Between nine and ten o'clock in the morning of 8 January 1977, in


Pulong Pulo Bridge along MacArthur Highway, between Angeles City
Issue: Whether or not Joseph Kho is negligent
and San Fernando, Pampanga, a head-on-collision took place
between an International cargo truck, Loadstar, with Plate No.
RF912-T Philippines '76 owned by private respondents, and driven
by Ruben Galang, and a Ford Escort car bearing Plate No. S2-850 Held: No. Negligence is the omission to do something which a
Pampanga '76 driven by Jose Koh. The collision resulted in the reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily
deaths of Jose Koh, Kim Koh McKee and Loida Bondoc, and regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of
physical injuries to George Koh McKee, Christopher Koh McKee and something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do
Araceli Koh McKee, all passengers of the Ford Escort. Immediately (Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 930), or as Judge Cooley
before the collision, the cargo truck, which was loaded with two defines it, "(T)he failure to observe for the protection of the interests
hundred (200) cavans of rice weighing about 10,000 kilos, was of another person, that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance
traveling southward from Angeles City to San Fernando Pampanga, which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person
and was bound for Manila. The Ford Escort, on the other hand, was suffers injury." (Cooley on Torts, Fourth Edition, vol. 3, 265). The test

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 15


by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular
case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the
alleged negligent act use that (reasonable care and caution which an
ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation?) If
not, then he is guilty of negligence. On the basis of the foregoing
definition, the test of negligence and the facts obtaining in this case,
it is manifest that no negligence could be imputed to Jose Koh. Any
reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have tried to avoid
running over the two boys by swerving the car away from where they
were even if this would mean entering the opposite lane. Avoiding
such immediate peril would be the natural course to take particularly
where the vehicle in the opposite lane would be several meters away
and could very well slow down, move to the side of the road and give
way to the oncoming car. Moreover, under what is known as the
emergency rule, "one who suddenly finds himself in a place of
danger, and is required to act without time to consider the best
means that may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not
guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what subsequently and upon
reflection may appear to have been a better method, unless the
emergency in which he finds himself is brought about by his own
negligence." Considering the sudden intrusion of the two (2) boys
into the lane of the car, We find that Jose Koh adopted the best
means possible in the given situation to avoid hitting them. Applying
the above test, therefore, it is clear that he was not guilty of
negligence.

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 16


Deciding to help his colleague, private respondent Edgardo Aquino
gathered eighteen of his male pupils, aged ten to eleven, after class
dismissal on October 7, 1963. Being their teacher-in-charge, he
ordered them to dig beside a one-ton concrete block in order to
make a hole wherein the stone can be buried. The work was left
unfinished. The following day, also after classes, private respondent
Case # 34 - CALEB
Aquino called four of the original eighteen pupils to continue the
digging. These four pupils — Reynaldo Alonso, Francisco Alcantara,
Standard of Conduct- Children
Ismael Abaga and Novelito Ylarde, dug until the excavation was one
meter and forty centimeters deep. At this point, private respondent
Teachers in general shall be liable for the acts of their students Aquino alone continued digging while the pupils remained inside the
except where the school is technical in nature, in which case it pit throwing out the loose soil that was brought about by the digging.
is the head thereof who shall be answerable. Following the
canon of reddendo singula sinquilis 'teachers' should apply to
When the depth was right enough to accommodate the concrete
the words "pupils and students' and 'heads of establishments
block, private respondent Aquino and his four pupils got out of the
of arts and trades to the word "apprentices."
hole. Then, said private respondent left the children to level the loose
soil around the open hole while he went to see Banez who was
G.R. No. L-33722 July 29, 1988 about thirty meters away. Private respondent wanted to borrow from
Banez the key to the school workroom where he could get some
FEDERICO YLARDE and ADELAIDA DORONIO petitioners, rope. Before leaving. , private respondent Aquino allegedly told the
vs. children "not to touch the stone." A few minutes after private
EDGARDO AQUINO, MAURO SORIANO and COURT OF respondent Aquino left, three of the four kids, Alonso, Alcantara and
APPEALS Ylarde, playfully jumped into the pit. Then, without any warning at all,
the remaining Abaga jumped on top of the concrete block causing it
Facts:
to slide down towards the opening. Alonso and Alcantara were able
to scramble out of the excavation on time but unfortunately for
In 1963, private respondent Mariano Soriano was the principal of the
Ylarde, the concrete block caught him before he could get out,
Gabaldon Primary School, a public educational institution located in
pinning him to the wall in a standing position. As a result thereof,
Tayug, Pangasinan-Private respondent Edgardo Aquino was a
Ylarde sustained the injuries.
teacher therein. At that time, the school was fittered with several
concrete blocks which were remnants of the old school shop that
Issue:
was destroyed in World War II. Realizing that the huge stones were
serious hazards to the schoolchildren, another teacher by the name
(1) Whether or not the principal is liable
of Sergio Banez started burying them one by one as early as 1962.
(2) Whether or not Aquino is liable
In fact, he was able to bury ten of these blocks all by himself.

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 17


Held: Yes. From the foregoing, it can be easily seen that private
respondent Aquino can be held liable under Article 2180 of the Civil
1. Code as the teacher-in-charge of the children for being negligent in
his supervision over them and his failure to take the necessary
No. As regards the principal, We hold that he cannot be made precautions to prevent any injury on their persons. However, as
responsible for the death of the child Ylarde, he being the head of an earlier pointed out, petitioners base the alleged liability of private
academic school and not a school of arts and trades. This is in line respondent Aquino on Article 2176 which is separate and distinct
with Our ruling in Amadora vs. Court of Appeals, 4 wherein this Court from that provided for in Article 2180. The negligent act of private
thoroughly discussed the doctrine that under Article 2180 of the Civil respondent Aquino in leaving his pupils in such a dangerous site has
Code, it is only the teacher and not the head of an academic school a direct causal connection to the death of the child Ylarde. Left by
who should be answerable for torts committed by their students. This themselves, it was but natural for the children to play around. Tired
Court went on to say that in a school of arts and trades, it is only the from the strenuous digging, they just had to amuse themselves with
head of the school who can be held liable. In the same case, We whatever they found. Driven by their playful and adventurous
explained: “After an exhaustive examination of the problem, the instincts and not knowing the risk they were facing three of them
Court has come to the conclusion that the provision in question jumped into the hole while the other one jumped on the stone. Since
should apply to all schools, academic as well as non-academic. the stone was so heavy and the soil was loose from the digging, it
Where the school is academic rather than technical or vocational in was also a natural consequence that the stone would fall into the
nature, responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach hole beside it, causing injury on the unfortunate child caught by its
to the teacher in charge of such student, following the first part of the heavy weight. Everything that occurred was the natural and probable
provision. This is the general rule. In the case of establishments of effect of the negligent acts of private respondent Aquino. Needless to
arts and trades, it is the head thereof, and only he, who shall be held say, the child Ylarde would not have died were it not for the unsafe
liable as an exception to the general rule. In other words, teachers in situation created by private respondent Aquino which exposed the
general shall be liable for the acts of their students except where the lives of all the pupils concerned to real danger.
school is technical in nature, in which case it is the head thereof who
shall be answerable. Following the canon of reddendo singula
sinquilis 'teachers' should apply to the words "pupils and students'
and 'heads of establishments of arts and trades to the word
"apprentices." Hence, applying the said doctrine to this case, We
rule that private respondent Soriano, as principal, cannot be held
liable for the reason that the school he heads is an academic school
and not a school of arts and trades. Besides, as clearly admitted by
private respondent Aquino, private respondent Soriano did not give
any instruction regarding the digging.

2.

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 18


Department Store, Makati City. Petitioners Leonardo Kong, Jose
Tiope and Elisa Panelo are the stores branch manager,
operations manager, and supervisor, respectively. Private
respondents are spouses and the parents of Zhieneth Aguilar
(ZHIENETH). In the afternoon of 9 May 1983, CRISELDA and
ZHIENETH were at the 2nd floor of Syvels Department Store,
Makati City. CRISELDA was signing her credit card slip at the
Case # 35 - CALEB payment and verification counter when she felt a sudden gust of
wind and heard a loud thud. She looked behind her. She then
Standard of Conduct- Children beheld her daughter ZHIENETH on the floor, her young body
pinned by the bulk of the stores gift-wrapping counter/structure.
ZHIENETH was crying and screaming for help. Although
Since negligence may be a felony and a quasi-delict and
shocked, CRISELDA was quick to ask the assistance of the
required discernment as a condition of liability, either
people around in lifting the counter and retrieving ZHIENETH
criminal or civil, a child under nine years of age is, by
from the floor. ZHIENETH was quickly rushed to the Makati
analogy, conclusively presumed to be incapable of
Medical Center where she was operated on. The next day
negligence; and that the presumption of lack of
ZHIENETH lost her speech and thereafter communicated with
discernment or incapacity for negligence in the case of a
CRISELDA by writing on a magic slate. The injuries she
child over nine but under fifteen years of age is a rebuttable
sustained took their toil on her young body. She died fourteen
one, under our law. The rule, therefore, is that a child under
(14) days after the accident or on 22 May 1983, on the hospital
nine years of age must be conclusively presumed incapable
bed. She was six years old. The cause of her death was
of contributory negligence as a matter of law.
attributed to the injuries she sustained

[G.R. No. 129792. December 21, 1999] Issue: Whether or not Jarco Marketing Corporation is liable for
damages

JARCO MARKETING CORPORATION, LEONARDO KONG, JOSE


TIOPE and ELISA PANELO, petitioners, vs. Held: Yes. Negligence is the omission to do something which a
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, CONRADO C. reasonable man, guided by those considerations which
AGUILAR and CRISELDA R. AGUILAR, respondents. ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the
doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man would
Facts:
not do. Negligence is the failure to observe, for the protection of
the interest of another person, that degree of care, precaution
Petitioner Jarco Marketing Corporation is the owner of Syvels

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 19


and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby child under nine years of age must be conclusively presumed
such other person suffers injury. Accident and negligence are incapable of contributory negligence as a matter of law.
intrinsically contradictory; one cannot exist with the other.
Even if we attribute contributory negligence to ZHIENETH and
Accident occurs when the person concerned is exercising
assume that she climbed over the counter, no injury should have
ordinary care, which is not caused by fault of any person and
occurred if we accept petitioners theory that the counter was stable
which could not have been prevented by any means suggested
and sturdy. For if that was the truth, a frail six-year old could not
by common prudence. The test in determining the existence of
have caused the counter to collapse. The physical analysis of the
negligence is enunciated in the landmark case of Picart v.
counter by both the trial court and Court of Appeals and a scrutiny of
Smith, thus: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act
the evidenceon record reveal otherwise, i.e., it was not durable after
use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily
all. Shaped like an inverted L, the counter was heavy, huge, and its
prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not,
top laden with formica. It protruded towards the customer waiting
then he is guilty of negligence. We rule that the tragedy which
area and its base was not secured.i CRISELDA too, should be
befell ZHIENETH was no accident and that ZHIENETHs death
absolved from any contributory negligence. Initially, ZHIENETH held
could only be attributed to negligence.
on to CRISELDAs waist, later to the latters hand. CRISELDA
Without doubt, petitioner Panelo and another store supervisor momentarily released the childs hand from her clutch when she
were personally informed of the danger posed by the unstable signed her credit card slip. At this precise moment, it was reasonable
counter. Yet, neither initiated any concrete action to remedy the and usual for CRISELDA to let go of her child. Further, at the time
situation nor ensure the safety of the stores employees and ZHIENETH was pinned down by the counter, she was just a foot
patrons as a reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have away from her mother; and the gift-wrapping counter was just four
done. Thus, as confronted by the situation petitioners miserably meters away from CRISELDA. The time and distance were both
failed to discharge the due diligence required of a good father of significant. ZHIENETH was near her mother and did not loiter as
a family. In our jurisdiction, a person under nine years of age is petitioners would want to impress upon us. She even admitted to the
conclusively presumed to have acted without discernment, and doctor who treated her at the hospital that she did not do anything;
is, on that account, exempt from criminal liability. The same the counter just fell on her
presumption and a like exemption from criminal liability obtains
in a case of a person over nine and under fifteen years of age,
unless it is shown that he has acted with discernment. Since
negligence may be a felony and a quasi-delict and required
discernment as a condition of liability, either criminal or civil, a
child under nine years of age is, by analogy, conclusively
presumed to be incapable of negligence; and that the
presumption of lack of discernment or incapacity for negligence
in the case of a child over nine but under fifteen years of age is
a rebuttable one, under our law. The rule, therefore, is that a

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 20


chemotherapy was suggested by Dr. Tamayo and referred Angelica
to another doctor at SLMC, herein petitioner Dr. Rubi Li, a medical
oncologist. On July 23, 1993, petitioner saw the respondents at the
hospital after Angelica’s surgery and discussed with them Angelica’s
condition. Petitioner told respondents that Angelica should be given
2-3 weeks to recover from the operation before starting the
chemotherapy. Respondents were apprehensive due to financial
constraints as Reynaldo earns only from P70,000-150,000 a year
from his jewelry and watching repair business. Petitioner, however,
CASE # 36 BOSSHARD, HANS 😊 assured them not to worry about her professional fee and told them
to just save up for medicines to be used. As the chemotherapy
STANDARD OF CONDUCT: PROFESSIONALS session started, day by day, Angelica experience worsening
condition and other physical effect on the body such as discoloration,
CASE DOCTRINE: Medical Malpractice or Medical negligence is
nausea, and vomiting.
that type of claim which a victim has available to him or her to
redress a wrong committed by a medical professional which has Petitioner claimed, that she explained to respondents that even when
caused bodily harm. In order to successfully pursue such claim, a a tumor is removed, there are still small lesions undetectable to the
patient must prove that a health care provider in most cases a naked eye and that adjuvant chemotherapy is needed to clean out
physician, either failed to do something which a reasonably prudent the small lesions in order to lessen the chance of cancer to recur.
health care provider would have done or that he or she did She did not give the respondents any assurance that chemotherapy
something that a reasonably health care provider would not have will cure Angelica’s cancer. During these consultations with
done; and that failure or action caused injury to the patient. respondents, she explained the following side effects of
chemotherapy treatment to respondents: 1.) Falling hair; 2.) nausea
DR. RUBI LI VS SPOUSES LINA AND REYNALDO SOLIMAN G.R.
and vomiting; 3.) loss of appetite; 4.) low count of WBC, RBC, and
165279 JUNE 7, 2011
platelets; 5.) possible sterility due to the effects on Angelica’s ovary;
FACTS: On July 7, 1993, respondents 11 year old daughter, 6.) Damage to kidney and heart; 7.) darkening of the skin especially
Angelica Soliman underwent a biopsy of the mass located in her when exposed to sunlight. She actually talked to the respondents
lower extremity at the St. Lukes Medical Center (SLMC). Results four times, once at the hospital after the surgery, twice at her clinic
showed that Angelica was suffering from osteosaucoma, ostiobiostic and fourth when Angelica’s mother called her through long distance.
type, a high-grade (highly malignant) cancer of the bone which This was disputed by respondents who countered that petitioner
usually affects teenage children. Following this diagnosis, Angelica’s gave them assurance that there is 95% chance of healing for
right leg was amputated by Dr. Tamayo in order to remove the Angelica if she undergoes chemotherapy and that the only side
tumor. As a adjuvant treatment to eliminate any remaining cancer effects were nausea, vomiting and hair loss. Those were the only
cells, and hence minimizing the chances of recurrence and prevent side effects of chemotherapy mentioned by petitioner.
the decease from spreading to other parts of the patient’s body,

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 21


She died eleven (11) days after the (intravenous) administration of plaintiff was injured by the proposed treatment. The gravamen in an
chemotherapy first cycle. Respondents brought their daughter’s body informed consent requires the plaintiff to point to significant
to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory at Camp undisclosed information relating to the treatment which could have
Crame for post-mortem examination after the refusal of the hospital altered her decision to undergo it.
to release the death certificate without full payment of bills. The
Medico-Legal Report showed that the cause of death as Examining the evidence, we hold that there was adequate disclosure
"Hypovolemic shock secondary to multiple organ hemorrhages and of material risks inherent in chemotherapy procedure performed with
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation. The respondents filed the consent of Angelica’s parents. Respondents could not have been
charges against the SLMC and physicians involve for negligence and unaware in the course of initial treatment and amputation of
failure to observe the essential precautions in to prevent Angelica’s Angelica’s lower extremity that her immune system was already
untimely death. Petitioner denied the allegation for damages as she weak on account of the malignant tumor in her knee. When
observed best known procedures, highest skill and knowledge in the petitioner informed the respondents beforehand of the side effects of
administration of chemotherapy drugs despite all efforts the patient chemotherapy which includes lowered counts of white and red blood
died. The trial court was in favor of the petitioner and ordered to pay cells, decrease in blood platelets, possible kidney or heart damage
their unpaid hospital bill in the amount of P139, 064.43, but the Court and skin darkening, there is reasonable expectation on the part of
of Appeals reversed the decision supporting the respondents pray. the doctor that the respondents understood very well that the
severity of these side effects will not be the same for all patients
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner committed medical malpractice. undergoing the procedure. In other words, by the nature of the
disease itself, each patients reaction to the chemical agents even
HELD: No. The type of lawsuit which has been called medical with pre-treatment laboratory tests cannot be precisely determined
malpractice or more appropriately, medical negligence, is that type of by the physician. That death can possibly result from complications
claim which a victim has available to him or her to redress a wrong of the treatment or the underlying cancer itself, immediately or
committed by a medical professional which has caused bodily harm. sometime after the administration of chemotherapy drugs, is a risk
In order to successfully pursue such claim, a patient must prove that that cannot be ruled out, as with most other major medical
a health care provider in most cases a physician, either failed to do procedures, but such conclusion can be reasonably drawn from the
something which a reasonably prudent health care provider would general side effects of chemotherapy already disclosed.
have done or that he or she did something that a reasonably health
care provider would not have done; and that failure or action caused
injury to the patient.

There are four essential elements a plaintiff must proved in a


malpractice action based upon the doctrine of informed consent: 1.)
the physician had a duty to disclose material risks; 2.) he failed to
disclose or inadequately disclosed those risks; 3.) as a direct and
proximate result of the failure to disclose, the patient consented to
treatment she otherwise would not have consented to; and 4.)

TORTS: 2ND BATCH_CASES 26-37_PAT, DIVI, CALEB, HANS | 22


operation must be done as scheduled. During the operation, the
assisting doctor of the petitioner, Dr. Ercillo went out of the operating
room and asked that tagmet ampules be bought which was followed
by another instruction to buy a bag of blood. After the operation,
when Lydia came out of the OR, another bag of blood was requested
to be bought, however, the same was not bought due to
unavailability of type A from the blood bank. Thereafter a person
arrived to donate blood which was later transferred to Lydia. Rowena
then noticed her mother, who was attached to an oxygen tank,
gasping for breathe apparently, the oxygen tank is empty, so her
husband and petitioner’s driver bought an oxygen. Later, without the
CASE # 37 BOSSHARD, HANS
knowledge of Lydia’s relatives, she was decided by the doctors to be
STANDARD OF CONDUCT: PROFESSIONALS transferred to San Pablo District Hospital were she was supposed to
be re-operated. After Lydia experienced shocks, she died.
CASE DOCTRINE: In litigations involving medical negligence, the
plaintiff has the burden of establishing appellant’s negligence and for ISSUE: Whether the circumstances are sufficient to sustain a
a reasonable conclusion of negligence, there must be proof of judgment of conviction against Dr. Cruz for reckless imprudence
breach of duty on the part of the surgeon as well as causal resulting in homicide.
connection of such breach and the resulting death of his patient
HELD: No, Dr. Cruz is acquitted but she is still civilly liable.
FACTS: On March 22, 1991, prosecution witness, Rowena Umali de
Elements of reckless imprudence
Ocampo, accompanied her mother to the Perpetual Help Clinic and
General Hospital situated in Balagtas Street, San Pablo City, 1. Offender does / fails to do an act
Laguna. They arrived at the said hospital at around 4:30 in the
afternoon of the same day. Prior to March 22, 1991, Lydia was 2. Doing / failure to do act is voluntary
examined by the petitioner who found a “Myoma” in her uterus, and
scheduled her for a hysterectomy operation on March 23, 1991. 3. Without malice
Rowena and her mother slept in the clinic on the evening of March
4. Material damage results from reckless imprudence
22, 1991 as the latter was to be operated on the next day at 1pm.
According to Rowena, she noticed that the clinic was untidy and the 5. There is inexcusable lack of precaution, taking into
windows and the floor were very dusty prompting her to ask the consideration offender’s employment, degree of intelligence, physical
attendant fora rag to wipe the window and floor with. Prior to the condition, other circumstances re: persons, time, place
operation, Rowena tried to convince her mother to not proceed with
the operation and even asked petitioner for it to be postponed, Standard of care observed by other members of the profession in
however it still pushed through after the petitioner told Lydia that good standing under similar circumstances, bearing in mind the

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advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment or the The testimonies of the doctors presented by the prosecution
present state of medical science. When the physician’s qualifications establish hemorrhage / hemorrhagic shock as the cause of death,
are admitted, there is an inevitable presumption that in proper cases, which may be caused by several different factors. Autopsy did not
he takes the necessary precaution and employs the best of his reveal any untied cut blood vessel, nor was there a tie of a cut blood
knowledge and skill in attending to his clients, unless the contrary is vessel that became loose. The findings of the doctors do not
sufficiently established by expert testimony. preclude the probability that a clotting defect (DIC) caused the
hemorrhage and consequently, Lydia’s death.
Expert testimony is essential to establish standard of care of the
profession, as well as that the physician’s conduct in the treatment The Court has no recourse but to rely on the expert testimonies that
and care falls below such standard. It is also usually necessary substantiate Dr. Cruz’ allegation that the cause of Lydia’s death was
to support the conclusion as to causation. There is an absence of DIC, which cannot be attributed to Dr. Cruz’ fault or negligence. This
any expert testimony re: standard of care in the case records. NBI probability was unrebutted during trial
doctors presented by the prosecution only testified as to the possible
cause of death.

While it may be true that the circumstances pointed out by the lower
courts constitute reckless imprudence, this conclusion is still best
arrived not through the educated surmises nor conjectures of
laymen, including judges, but by the unquestionable knowledge of
expert witnesses. The deference of courts to the expert opinion of
qualified physicians stems from the realization that the latter
possess unusual technical skills which laymen are incapable of
intelligently evaluating.

Burden of establishing medical negligence on plaintiff

Plaintiff has the burden to establish this, and for a reasonable


conclusion of negligence, there must be proof of breach of duty on
the part of the surgeon, as well as a causal connection of such
breach and the resulting death of patient. Negligence cannot create
a right of action unless it is the proximate cause of the injury
complained of (Chan Lugay v. St. Luke’s Hospital, Inc.). In this case,
no cogent proof exists that the circumstances caused Lydia’s death,
so the 4th element of reckless imprudence is missing.

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