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Gashem Shookat Baksh v.

Court of Appeals

Topic: Expanded Coverage of Quasi-delict

FACTS: In August 1986, while working as a waitress in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Marilou
Gonzales, then 21 years old, met Gashem Shookat Baksh, a 29 year old exchange student from
Iran who was studying medicine in Dagupan. The two got really close and intimate. On
Marilou’s account, she said that Gashem later offered to marry her at the end of the semester.
Marilou then introduced Gashem to her parents where they expressed their intention to get
married. Marilou’s parents then started inviting sponsors and relatives to the wedding. They
even started looking for animals to slaughter for the occasion.

Meanwhile, Marilou started living with Gashem in his apartment where they had sexual
intercourse. But in no time, their relationship went sour as Gashem began maltreating Marilou.
Gashem eventually revoked his promise of marrying Marilou and he told her that he is already
married to someone in Bacolod City. So Marilou went home and later sued Gashem for

The trial court ruled in favor of Marilou and awarded her P20k in moral damages. The Court of
Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.

On appeal, Gashem averred that he never proposed marriage to Marilou and that he cannot be
adjudged to have violated Filipino customs and traditions since he, being an Iranian, was not
familiar with Filipino customs and traditions.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct.

HELD: Yes. Gashem is liable to pay for damages in favor of Marilou not really because of his
breach of promise to marry her but based on Article 21 of the Civil Code which provides:

Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals,
good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong per se. In this case, it is the deceit and
fraud employed by Gashem that constitutes a violation of Article 21 of the Civil Code. His
promise of marrying Marilou was a deceitful scheme to lure her into sexual congress. As found
by the trial court, Marilou was not a woman of loose morals. She was a virgin before she met
Gashem. She would not have surrendered herself to Gashem had Gashem not promised to
marry her. Gashem’s blatant disregard of Filipino traditions on marriage and on the reputation
of Filipinas is contrary to morals, good customs, and public policy. As a foreigner who is
enjoying the hospitality of our country and even taking advantage of the opportunity to study
here he is expected to respect our traditions. Any act contrary will render him liable under
Article 21 of the Civil Code.

The Supreme Court also elucidated that Article 21 was meant to expand the concepts of torts
and quasi delict. It is meant to cover situations such as this case where the breach complained
of is not strictly covered by existing laws. It was meant as a legal remedy for the untold number
of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish
in the statute books – such as the absence of a law penalizing a the breach of promise to marry.

The Supreme Court however agreed with legal luminaries that if the promise to marry was
made and there was carnal knowledge because of it, then moral damages may be recovered
(presence of moral or criminal seduction), Except if there was mutual lust; or if expenses were
made because of the promise (expenses for the wedding), then actual damages may be
Dulay v. Court of Appeals

Topic: Independent Civil Action

Facts: On December 7, 1988, an altercation between Benigno Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon
Dulay occurred at the “Big Bang Sa Alabang,” Alabang Village, Muntinlupa as a result of which
Benigno Torzuela, the security guard on duty at the said carnival, shot and killed Atty. Napoleon
Dulay. Petitioner Maria Benita A. Dulay, widow of the deceased Napoleon Dulay, in her own
behalf and in behalf of her minor children, filed an action for damages against Benigno Torzuela
and private respondents Safeguard and/or Superguard, alleged employers of defendant
Torzuela. Respondent Superguard filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the complaint
does not state a valid cause of action. Superguard claimed that Torzuela’s act of shooting Dulay
was beyond the scope of his duties, and that since the alleged act of shooting was committed
with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil liability therefor is governed by Article 100 of the Revised
Penal Code. Superguard further alleged that a complaint for damages based on negligence
under Article 2176 of the New Civil Code, such as the one filed by petitioners, cannot lie, since
the civil liability under Article 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses under Article 365 of the
Revised Penal Code. In addition, the respondent argued that petitioners’ filing of the complaint
is premature considering that the conviction of Torzuela in a criminal case is a condition sine
qua non for the employer’s subsidiary liability. Respondent Safeguard also filed a motion
praying that it be excluded as defendant on the ground that defendant Torzuela is not one of its
employees. Petitioners opposed both motions, stating that their cause of action against the
private respondents is based on their liability under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code.
Respondent judge declared that the complaint was one for damages founded on crimes
punishable under Articles 100 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code as distinguished from those
arising from, quasi-delict.


(1) Whether or not Torzuela’ s act of shooting Napoleon Dulay constitutes a quasi-delict
actionable under Article 2176 of the New Civil Code;

(2) Whether or not Article 33 of the New Civil Code applies only to injuries intentionally
committed; and

(3) Whether or not the liability or respondents is subsidiary under the Revised Penal Code.


(1) Yes. Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides that “whoever by act or omission causes
damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done.
Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties is
called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.” Contrary to the theory
of private respondents, there is no justification for limiting the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil
Code to acts or omissions resulting from negligence. Well-entrenched is the doctrine that
article 2176 covers not only acts committed with negligence, but also acts which are voluntary
and intentional.

(2) No. The term “physical injuries” in Article 33 has already been construed to include bodily
injuries causing death. It is not the crime of physical injuries defined in the Revised Penal
Code. It includes not only physical injuries but also consummated, frustrated, and attempted
homicide. Although in the Marcia case, it was held that no independent civil action may be
filed under Article 33 where the crime is the result of criminal negligence, it must be noted,
however, that Torzuela, the accused in the case at bar, is charged with homicide, not with
reckless imprudence, whereas the defendant in Marcia was charged with reckless
imprudence. Therefore, in this case, a civil action based on Article 33 lies.

(3) No. Under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, when an injury is caused by the negligence of
the employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part
of the master or employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision
over him after selection or both. The liability of the employer under Article 2180 is direct and
immediate; it is not conditioned upon prior recourse against the negligent employee and a prior
showing of the insolvency of such employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private
respondents to prove that they exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of their employee.
Natividad V. Andamo, et al., v. Intermediate Appellate Court et al.


 Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, Inc., a religious corporation, built through its
agents water paths, water conductors, and contrivances including an artificial lake
within its land. Inundated and eroded, the spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo's
land, caused a young man to drown, damaged petitioners' crops and plants, washed
away costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioners and their laborers during rainy
and stormy seasons, and exposed plants and other improvements to destruction
 July 1982: Spouses instituted a criminal action
 February 22, 1983: Spouses filed a civil case for damages
 CA affirmed trial court issued an order suspending further hearings in Civil Case until
after judgment in the related Criminal Case
 Spouses contend that the trial court and the Appellate Court erred in dismissing Civil
Case since it is predicated on a quasi-delict

ISSUE: W/N there is quasi-delict even if done in private property


 All the elements of a quasi-delict are present, to wit:

(a) damages suffered by the plaintiff

(b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must

(c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant
and the damages incurred by the plaintiff

 While the property involved in the cited case belonged to the public domain and the
property subject of the instant case is privately owned, the fact remains that petitioners'
complaint sufficiently alleges that petitioners have sustained and will continue to
sustain damage due to the water paths and contrivances built by respondent
 It must be stressed that the use of one's property is not without limitations. Article 431
of the Civil Code provides that "the owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such a
manner as to injure the rights of a third person." SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON
LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have mutual and reciprocal duties which
require that each must use his own land in a reasonable manner so as not to infringe
upon the rights and interests of others. Although we recognize the right of an owner to
build structures on his land, such structures must be so constructed and maintained
using all reasonable care so that they cannot be dangerous to adjoining landowners and
can withstand the usual and expected forces of nature. If the structures cause injury or
damage to an adjoining landowner or a third person, the latter can claim
indemnification for the injury or damage suffered.
 Article 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely
separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal
Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of
the defendant.
 Whether it be conviction or acquittal would render meaningless the independent
character of the civil action and the clear injunction in Article 31, that his action may
proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the
Air France v. Rafael Carrascoso

Topic: Quasi-delict even with a contract

Plaintiff, a civil engineer, was a member of a group of 48 Filipino pilgrims that left Manila for
Lourdes on March 30, 1958.
On March 28, 1958, the defendant, Air France, through its authorized agent, Philippine Air
Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a "first class" round trip airplane ticket from Manila to Rome. From
Manila to Bangkok, plaintiff travelled in "first class", but at Bangkok, the Manager of the
defendant airline forced plaintiff to vacate the "first class" seat that he was occupying because,
in the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a "white man", who, the Manager
alleged, had a "better right" to the seat. When asked to vacate his "first class" seat, the plaintiff,
as was to be expected, refused, and told defendant's Manager that his seat would be taken
over his dead body. After some commotion, plaintiff reluctantly gave his "first class" seat in the

ISSUE: Is Carrascoso entitled to damages?

RULING: Yes. The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from enjoying his right to a first class
seat; worse, he imposed his arbitrary will; he forcibly ejected him from his seat, made him
suffer the humiliation of having to go to the tourist class compartment - just to give way to
another passenger whose right thereto has not been established. Certainly, this is bad faith.
Unless, of course, bad faith has assumed a meaning different from what is understood in law.
For, "bad faith" contemplates a "state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or
with some motive of self-interest or will or for ulterior purpose."

For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer.
Article 21 of the Civil Code says:

ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary
to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

The contract of air carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended with a public duty. Neglect
or malfeasance of the carrier's employees, naturally, could give ground for an action for
Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to be treated by the
carrier's employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due consideration.
Although the relation of passenger and carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature"
nevertheless "the act that breaks the contract may be also a tort". The stress of Carrascoso's
action as we have said is placed upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by
the petitioner air carrier — a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper.
Picart v. Smith

Topic: Test of Negligence

Facts: Plaintiff Amado Picart was riding on his pony on the Carlatan Bridge in San Fernando, La
Union when the defendant, riding on his car, approached. Defendant blew his horn to give
warning. Plaintiff moved the horse to the right instead of moving to the left, reasoning that he
had no sufficient time to move to the right direction. Defendant continued to approach, and
when he had gotten quite near, he quickly turned to the left. The horse was frightened that it
turned his body across the bridge. His limb was broken and the rider was thrown off and got
injured. The horse died. An action for damages was filed against the defendant.

Issue: Whether or not the defendant in maneuvering his car in the manner above described
was guilty of negligence such as gives rise to a civil obligation to repair the damage done

Held: As the defendant started across the bridge, he had the right to assume that the horse and
rider would pass over to the proper side; but as he moved toward the center of the bridge it
was demonstrated to his eyes that this would not be done; and he must in a moment have
perceived that it was too late for the horse to cross with safety in front of the moving vehicle. In
the nature of things this change of situation occurred while the automobile was yet some
distance away; and from this moment it was no longer within the power of the plaintiff to
escape being run down by going to a place of greater safety. The control of the situation had
then passed entirely to the defendant.

The test 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. Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the
position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect harmful to another was
sufficiently probable to warrant his foregoing the conduct or guarding against its consequences.

It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was guilty of
antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the road. But as we have
already stated, the defendant was also negligent; and in such case the problem always is to
discover which agent is immediately and directly responsible. It will be noted that the negligent
acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant
succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. Under these circumstances
the law is that the person who has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to
do so is chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the
other party.
David Taylor v. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company

Topic: Standard of Conduct (Children as exception to the general rule of exercising Bonus Pater

FACTS: David Taylor was a 15 year old boy who spent time as a cabin boy at sea; he was also
able to learn some principles of mechanical engineering and mechanical drawing from his dad’s
office (his dad was a mechanical engineer); he was also employed as a mechanical draftsman
earning P2.50 a day – all said, Taylor was mature well beyond his age.

One day in 1905, he and another boy entered into the premises of Manila Electric power plant
where they found 20-30 blasting caps which they took home. In an effort to explode the said
caps, Taylor experimented until he succeeded in opening the caps and then he lighted it using a
match which resulted to the explosion of the caps causing severe injuries to his companion and
to Taylor losing one eye.

Taylor sued Manila Electric alleging that because the company left the caps exposed to children,
they are liable for damages due to the company’s negligence.

ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Electric is liable for damages.

HELD: No. The SC reiterated the elements of quasi-delict as follows:

(1) Damages to the plaintiff.

(2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for whose
acts it must respond, was guilty.

(3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage.

In the case at bar, it is true that Manila Electric has been negligent in disposing off the caps
which they used for the power plant, and that said caps caused damages to Taylor. However,
the causal connection between the company’s negligence and the injuries sustained by Taylor is
absent. It is in fact the direct acts of Taylor which led to the explosion of the caps as he even, in
various experiments and in multiple attempts, tried to explode the caps. It is from said acts that
led to the explosion and hence the injuries.

Taylor at the time of the accident was well-grown youth of 15, more mature both mentally and
physically than the average boy of his age; he had been to sea as a cabin boy; was able to earn
P2.50 a day as a mechanical draftsman thirty days after the injury was incurred; and the record
discloses throughout that he was exceptionally well qualified to take care. The evidence of
record leaves no room for doubt that he well knew the explosive character of the cap with
which he was amusing himself. The series of experiments made by him in his attempt to
produce an explosion admit of no other explanation. His attempt to discharge the cap by the
use of electricity, followed by his efforts to explode it with a stone or a hammer, and the final
success of his endeavors brought about by the applications of a match to the contents of the
cap, show clearly that he knew what he was about. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that
he had reason to anticipate that the explosion might be dangerous.
Federico Ylarde V. Edgardo Aquino

Topic: Standard of Conduct (Children as exception to the general rule)

 1962: Sergio Banez started burying huge stones which were remnants of the old school
shop that was destroyed in World War II because they were serious hazards to the
 October 7, 1963: Edgardo Aquino gathered 18 of his male pupils, aged 10 to 11, after class
dismissal and 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.
 October 8, 1963: Aquino called Reynaldo Alonso, Francisco Alcantara, Ismael Abaga and
Novelito Ylarde of the original 18 pupils to continue the digging
 they dug until the excavation was 1 meter and 40 centimeters deep
 Aquino alone continued digging while the pupils remained inside the pit throwing out the
loose soil that was brought about by the digging
 When the depth was right enough to accommodate the concrete block, they got out of the
 Aquino left the children to level the loose soil around the open hole while he went to see
Banez who was about 30 meters away to key to the school workroom where he could get
some rope
 A few minutes after Aquino left, Alonso, Alcantara and Ylarde, playfully jumped into the pit.
 without any warning at all, Abaga jumped on top of the concrete block causing it to slide
down towards the opening.
 Alonso and Alcantara were able to scramble out of the excavation on time. Unfortunately
for Ylarde, the concrete block caught him before he could get out, pinning him to the wall in
a standing position.
 Ylarde sustained the following injuries:
1. Contusion with hematoma, left inguinal region and suprapubic region.
2. Contusion with ecchymosis entire scrotal region.
3. Lacerated wound, left lateral aspect of penile skin with phimosis
4. Abrasion, gluteal region, bilateral.
5. Intraperitoneal and extrapertitoneal extravasation of blood and urine about 2 liters.
6. Fracture, simple, symphesis pubis
7. Ruptured (macerated) urinary bladder with body of bladder almost entirely separated
from its neck.
 3 days later, Novelito Ylarde died.
 Ylarde's parents filed a suit for damages against both Aquino and Soriano, principal
 lower court:
1. digging done by the pupils is in line with their course called Work Education
2. Aquino exercised the utmost diligence of a very cautious person
3. demise of Ylarde was due to his own reckless imprudence
 CA: affirmed
ISSUE: W/N Aquino and Soriano should be held liable for negligence

HELD: YES. the petition GRANTED. Edagardo Aquino to pay petitioners the following:
(1) Indemnity for the death of Child Ylarde P30,000.00
(2) Exemplary damages 10,000.00
(3) Moral damages 20,000.00

Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-
existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.

Art. 2180. x x x
xxx xxx xxx
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused
by their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody.
 As regards the principal, We hold that he cannot be made responsible for the death of the
child Ylarde, he being the head of an academic school and not a school of arts and trades
 Soriano did not give any instruction regarding the digging
 GR: teachers shall be liable for the acts of their students
 EX: where the school is technical in nature, in which case it is the head thereof who shall be
 Aquino acted with fault and gross negligence when he:
(1) failed to avail himself of services of adult manual laborers
(2) required the children to remain inside the pit even after they had finished digging,
knowing that the huge block was lying nearby and could be easily pushed or kicked aside by
any pupil who by chance may go to the perilous area
(3) ordered them to level the soil around the excavation when it was so apparent that the
huge stone was at the brink of falling
(4) went to a place where he would not be able to check on the children's safety
(5) left the children close to the excavation, an obviously attractive nuisance.
 negligent act of Aquino in leaving his pupils in such a dangerous site has a direct causal
connection to the death of the child Ylarde
 it was but natural for the children to play around
 the child Ylarde would not have died were it not for the unsafe situation created by Aquino
 the excavation should not be placed in the category of school gardening, planting trees, and
the like as these undertakings do not expose the children to any risk that could result in
death or physical injuries
 A reasonably prudent person would have foreseen that bringing children to an excavation
site, and more so, leaving them there all by themselves, may result in an accident. An
ordinarily careful human being would not assume that a simple warning "not to touch the
stone" is sufficient to cast away all the serious danger that a huge concrete block adjacent
to an excavation would present to the children. Moreover, a teacher who stands in loco
parentis to his pupils would have made sure that the children are protected from all harm in
his company.
Jarco Marketing V. CA

Topic: Standard of Conduct (Children as exception to the general rule)


Petitioner is the owner of Syvel's Department Store, Makati City. Petitioners Leonardo Kong,
Jose Tiope and Elisa Panelo are the store's branch manager, operations manager, and
supervisor, respectively. Private respondents Conrado and Criselda Aguilar are spouses and the
parents of Zhieneth Aguilar.

On May 9, 1983, Criselda and Zhieneth were at the department store. Criselda was signing her
credit card slip when she heard a loud thud. She looked behind her and beheld her daughter
pinned beneath the gift-wrapping counter structure. She was crying and shouting for help. He
was brought to Makati Medical Center, where she died after 14 days. She was 6 years old.

Private respondents demanded upon petitioners the reimbursement of the hospitalization,

medical bills and wake and funeral expenses which they had incurred. Petitioners refused to
pay. Consequently, private respondents filed a complaint for damages wherein they sought the
payment of P157,522.86 for actual damages, P300,000 for moral damages, P20,000 for
attorney's fees and an unspecified amount for loss of income and exemplary damages. The trial
court dismissed the complaint, ruling that the proximate cause of the fall of the counter was
Zhieneth’s act of clinging to it. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court. It
found that petitioners were negligent in maintaining a structurally dangerous counter. The
counter was defective, unstable and dangerous. It also ruled that the child was absolutely
incapable of negligence or tort. Petitioners now seek for the reversal of this decision.


(1) Whether the death of ZHIENETH was accidental or attributable to negligence

(2) In case of a finding of negligence, whether the same was attributable to private respondents
for maintaining a defective counter or to CRISELDA and ZHIENETH for failing to exercise due and
reasonable care while inside the store premises


(1) An accident pertains to an unforeseen event in which no fault or negligence attaches to the
defendant. It is "a fortuitous circumstance, event or happening; an event happening without
any human agency, or if happening wholly or partly through human agency, an event which
under the circumstances is unusual or unexpected by the person to whom it happens." On the
other hand, negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by
those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the
doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. Negligence is "the
failure to observe, for the protection of the interest of another person, that degree of care,
precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person
suffers injury." The test in determining the existence of negligence is: 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.
We rule that the tragedy which befell ZHIENETH was no accident and that ZHIENETH's death
could only be attributed to negligence.

(2) It is axiomatic that matters relating to declarations of pain or suffering and statements made
to a physician are generally considered declarations and admissions. All that is required for
their admissibility as part of the res gestae is that they be made or uttered under the influence
of a startling event before the declarant had the time to think and concoct a falsehood as
witnessed by the person who testified in court. Under the circumstances thus described, it is
unthinkable for ZHIENETH, a child of such tender age and in extreme pain, to have lied to a
doctor whom she trusted with her life. We therefore accord credence to Gonzales' testimony
on the matter, i.e., ZHIENETH performed no act that facilitated her tragic death. Sadly,
petitioners did, through their negligence or omission to secure or make stable the counter's

Without doubt, petitioner Panelo and another store supervisor were personally informed of the
danger posed by the unstable counter. Yet, neither initiated any concrete action to remedy the
situation nor ensure the safety of the store's employees and patrons as a reasonable and
ordinary prudent man would have done. Thus, as confronted by the situation petitioners
miserably failed to discharge the due diligence required of a good father of a family. Anent the
negligence imputed to ZHIENETH, we apply the conclusive presumption that favors children
below nine (9) years old in that they are incapable of contributory negligence. Even if we
attribute contributory negligence to ZHIENETH and assume that she climbed over the counter,
no injury should have occurred if we accept petitioners' theory that the counter was stable and
sturdy. For if that was the truth, a frail six-year old could not have caused the counter to
collapse. The physical analysis of the counter by both the trial court and Court of Appeals and a
scrutiny of the evidence on record reveal otherwise, i.e., it was not durable after all. Shaped like
an inverted "L," the counter was heavy, huge, and its top laden with formica. It protruded
towards the customer waiting area and its base was not secured. CRISELDA too, should be
absolved from any contributory negligence. Initially, ZHIENETH held on to CRISELDA's waist,
later to the latter's hand. CRISELDA momentarily released the child's hand from her clutch
when she signed her credit card slip. At this precise moment, it was reasonable and usual for
CRISELDA to let go of her child. Further, at the time ZHIENETH was pinned down by the counter,
she was just a foot away from her mother; and the gift-wrapping counter was just four meters
away from CRISELDA. The time and distance were both significant. ZHIENETH was near her
mother and did not loiter as petitioners would want to impress upon us. She even admitted to
the doctor who treated her at the hospital that she did not do anything; the counter just fell on
Digest: US V. Pineda

Topic: Standard of Conduct (Experts and Professionals as exception to the general rule)

 Feliciano Santos, having some sick horses, presented a copy of a prescription obtained from
Dr. Richardson, and which on other occasions Santos had given to his horses with good
results, at Pineda's drug store for filling. (Santiago Pineda, the defendant, is a registered
 Under the supervision of Pineda, the prescription was prepared and returned to Santos in
the form of 6 papers marked Botica Pineda
 Santos, under the belief that he had purchased the potassium chlorate which he had asked
for, put two of the packages in water the doses to two of his sick horses.
 Another package was mixed with water for another horse, but was not used. The two
horses, to which had been given the preparation, died shortly afterwards.
 Santos, thereupon, took the three remaining packages to the Bureau of Science for
examination. Drs. Peña and Darjuan, of the Bureau of Science, on analysis found that the
packages contained not potassium chlorate but barium chlorate.
 At the instance of Santos, the two chemists also went to the drug store of the defendant
and bought potassium chlorate, which when analyzed was found to be barium chlorate.
(Barium chlorate, it should be noted, is a poison; potassium chlorate is not.)
 Dr. Buencamino, a veterinarian, performed an autopsy on the horses, and found that death
was the result of poisoning
 RTC: held Pineda liable

ISSUE: W/N Pineda should be liable for negligence

YES. The judgment of the lower court, sentencing the defendant to pay a fine of P100, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs, is affirmed with the
cost of this instance against the appellant, without prejudice to any civil action which may
be instituted
 Every pharmacist shall be responsible for the quality of all drugs, chemicals, medicines, and
poisons he may sell or keep for sale; and it shall be unlawful for any person whomsoever to
manufacture, prepare, sell, or administer any prescription, drug, chemical, medicine, or
poison under any fraudulent name, direction, or pretense, or to adulterate any drug,
chemical, medicine, or poison so used, sold or offered for sale. Any drug, chemical,
medicine, or poison shall be held to be adulterated or deteriorated within the meaning of
this section if it differs from the standard of quality or purity given in the United States
 The same section of the Pharmacy Law also contains the following penal provision: "Any
person violating the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of
not more than five hundred dollar." The Administrative Code, section 2676, changes the
penalty somewhat by providing that: Any person engaging in the practice of pharmacy in
the Philippine Islands contrary to any provision of the Pharmacy Law or violating any
provisions of said law for which no specific penalty s provided shall, for each offense, be
punished by a fine not to exceed two hundred pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than
ninety days, or both, in the discretion of the court.
 As a pharmacist, he is made responsible for the quality of all drugs and poisons which he
sells. And finally it is provided that it shall be unlawful for him to sell any drug or poison
under any "fraudulent name." It is the one word "fraudulent" which has given the court
trouble. What did the Legislature intend to convey by this restrictive adjective?
 Were we to adhere to the technical definition of fraud, which the appellant vigorously
insists upon, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convict any druggist of a violation of
the law. The prosecution would have to prove to a reasonable degree of certainty that the
druggist made a material representation; that it was false; that when he made it he knew
that it was false or made it recklessly without any knowledge of its truth and as positive
assertion; that he made it with the intention that it should be acted upon by the purchaser;
that the purchaser acted in reliance upon it, and that the purchased thereby suffered injury.
 Under one conception, and it should not be forgotten that the case we consider are civil in
nature, the question of negligence or ignorance is irrelevant. The druggist is responsible as
an absolute guarantor of what he sells. Instead of caveat emptor, it should be caveat
Wright V. Manila Electric

Topic: Standard of Conduct (Intoxication as exception to the general rule)


 August 8, 1909 night time: Wright who was intoxicated drove in his calesa and as his
horse leap forward along the rails of the Manila Electric company and it fell
 Wright was thrown and got injured
 The ties upon which the rails rested projected from one-third to one-half of their depth
out of the ground making the tops of the rails some 5 or 6 inches or more above the
level of the street
 RTC: both parties were negligent, but that the plaintiff's negligence was not as great as
defendant's and under the authority of the case of Rakes vs. A. G. & P. Co. apportioned
the damages and awarded Wright a judgment of P1,000


 W/N Wright's negligence contributed to the 'principal occurrence' or 'only to his own
injury (NOT contributory) thereby he cannot recover.


 NO.
 Mere intoxication is not in itself negligence. It is but a circumstance to be considered
with the other evidence tending to prove negligence. It is the general rule that it is
immaterial whether a man is drunk or sober if no want of ordinary care or prudence can
be imputed to him, and no greater degree of care is required than by a sober one.
 Manila Electric or its employees were negligent by reason of having left the rails and a
part of the ties uncovered in a street where there is a large amount of travel
 If the Wright had been prudent on the night in question and had not attempted to drive
his conveyance while in a drunken condition, he would certainly have avoided the
damages which he received
 Both parties were negligent and both contributed to the resulting damages, although
the Wright, in the judgment of the court, contributed in greater proportion to the
 no facts are stated therein which warrant the conclusion that the Wright was negligent
 It is impossible to say that a sober man would not have fallen from the vehicle under the
conditions described
 It having been found that the plaintiff was not negligent, it is unnecessary to discuss the
question presented by the appellant company with reference to the applicability of the
case of Rakes vs. A. G. & P. Co. and we do not find facts in the opinion of the court
below which justifies a larger verdict than the one found.
Professional Services Inc. v. Agana

Topic: Res ipsa loquitur


Natividad Agana was rushed to Medical City because of difficulty of bowel movement and
bloody anal discharge. Dr. Ampil diagnosed her to be suffering from cancer of the sigmoid. Dr.
Ampil performed an anterior resection surgery on her, and finding that the malignancy spread
on her left ovary, he obtained the consent of her husband, Enrique, to permit Dr. Fuentes to
perform hysterectomy on her. After the hysterectomy, Dr. Fuentes showed his work to Dr.
Ampil, who examined it and found it in order, so he allowed Dr. Fuentes to leave the operating
room. Dr. Ampil was about to complete the procedure when the attending nurses made some
remarks on the Record of Operation: “sponge count lacking 2; announced to surgeon search
done but to no avail continue for closure” (two pieces of gauze were missing). A “diligent
search” was conducted but they could not be found. Dr. Ampil then directed that the incision
be closed.
A couple of days after, she complained of pain in her anal region, but the doctors told her
that it was just a natural consequence of the surgery. Dr. Ampil recommended that she consult
an oncologist to examine the cancerous nodes which were not removed during the operation.
After months of consultations and examinations in the US, she was told that she was free of
cancer. Weeks after coming back, her daughter found a piece of gauze (1.5 in) protruding from
her vagina, so Dr. Ampil manually extracted this, assuring Natividad that the pains will go away.
However, the pain worsened, so she sought treatment at a hospital, where another 1.5 in piece
of gauze was found in her vagina. She underwent another surgery.
Sps. Agana filed a complaint for damages against PSI (owner of Medical City), Dr. Ampil,
and Dr. Fuentes, alleging that the latter are liable for negligence for leaving 2 pieces of gauze in
Natividad’s body, and malpractice for concealing their acts of negligence. Enrique Agana also
filed an administrative complaint for gross negligence and malpractice against the two doctors
with the PRC (although only the case against Dr. Fuentes was heard since Dr. Ampil was
abroad). Pending the outcome of the cases, Natividad died (now substituted by her
children). RTC found PSI and the two doctors liable for negligence and malpractice. PRC
dismissed the case against Dr. Fuentes. CA dismissed only the case against Fuentes.


1. WON CA erred in holding Dr. Ampil liable for negligence and malpractice. NO; DR. AMPIL
2. WON CA erred in absolving Dr. Fuentes of any liability. NO
3. WON PSI may be held solidarily liable for Dr. Ampil’s negligence. YES
His arguments are without basis [did not prove that the American doctors were the ones who
put / left the gauzes; did not submit evidence to rebut the correctness of the operation record
(re: number of gauzes used); re: Dr. Fuentes’ alleged negligence, Dr. Ampil examined his work
and found it in order].
Leaving foreign substances in the wound after incision has been closed is at least prima
facie negligence by the operating surgeon. Even if it has been shown that a surgeon was
required to leave a sponge in his patient’s abdomen because of the dangers attendant upon
delay, still, it is his legal duty to inform his patient within a reasonable time by advising her of
what he had been compelled to do, so she can seek relief from the effects of the foreign object
left in her body as her condition might permit. What’s worse in this case is that he misled her by
saying that the pain was an ordinary consequence of her operation.

Medical negligence; standard of diligence

To successfully pursue this case of medical negligence, a patient must only prove that a health
care provider either failed to do something [or did something] which a reasonably prudent
health care provider would have done [or wouldn’t have done], and that the failure or action
caused injury to the patient.
 Duty – to remove all foreign objects from the body before closure of the incision; if he fails to
do so, it was his duty to inform the patient about it
 Breach – failed to remove foreign objects; failed to inform patient
 Injury – suffered pain that necessitated examination and another surgery
 Proximate Causation – breach caused this injury; could be traced from his act of closing the
incision despite information given by the attendant nurses that 2 pieces of gauze were still
missing; what established causal link: gauze pieces later extracted from patient’s vagina


The res ipsa loquitur [thing speaks for itself] argument of the Aganas’ does not convince the
court. Mere invocation and application of this doctrine does not dispense with the requirement
of proof of negligence.

Requisites for the applicability of res ipsa loquitur

1. Occurrence of injury
2. Thing which caused injury was under the control and management of the defendant [DR.
3. Occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of things, would not have happened if
those who had control or management used proper care
4. Absence of explanation by defendant
Under the Captain of the Ship rule, the operating surgeon is the person in complete charge of
the surgery room and all personnel connected with the operation. That Dr. Ampil discharged
such role is evident from the following:
 He called Dr. Fuentes to perform a hysterectomy
 He examined Dr. Fuentes’ work and found it in order
 He granted Dr. Fuentes permission to leave
 He ordered the closure of the incision

Previously, employers cannot be held liable for the fault or negligence of its professionals.
However, this doctrine has weakened since courts came to realize that modern hospitals are
taking a more active role in supplying and regulating medical care to its patients, by employing
staff of physicians, among others. Hence, there is no reason to exempt hospitals from the
universal rule of respondeat superior. Here are the Court’s bases for sustaining PSI’s liability:
 Ramos v. CA doctrine on E-E relationship

o For purposes of apportioning responsibility in medical negligence cases, an employer-

employee relationship in effect exists between hospitals and their attending and visiting
physicians. [LABOR LESSON: power to hire, fire, power of control]
 Agency principle of apparent authority / agency by estoppel

o Imposes liability because of the actions of a principal or employer in somehow misleading
the public into believing that the relationship or the authority exists [see NCC 1869]
o PSI publicly displays in the Medical City lobby the names and specializations of their
physicians. Hence, PSI is now estopped from passing all the blame to the physicians whose
names it proudly paraded in the public directory, leading the public to believe that it
vouched for their skill and competence.

 If doctors do well, hospital profits financially, so when negligence mars the quality of its
services, the hospital should not be allowed to escape liability for its agents’ acts.
 Doctrine of corporate negligence / corporate responsibility

o This is the judicial answer to the problem of allocating hospital’s liability for the negligent
acts of health practitioners, absent facts to support the application of respondeat superior.
o This provides for the duties expected [from hospitals]. In this case, PSI failed to perform
the duty of exercising reasonable care to protect from harm all patients admitted into its
facility for medical treatment. PSI failed to conduct an investigation of the matter
reported in the note of the count nurse, and this established PSI’s part in the dark
conspiracy of silence and concealment about the gauzes.

 PSI has actual / constructive knowledge of the matter, through the report of the
attending nurses + the fact that the operation was carried on with the assistance of
various hospital staff
o It also breached its duties to oversee or supervise all persons who practice medicine within
its walls and take an active step in fixing the negligence committed
 PSI also liable under NCC 2180

o It failed to adduce evidence to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of the
family in the accreditation and supervision of Dr. Ampil
DM Consunji vs. Court of Appeals
Topic: Res ipsa loquitur
At around 1:30 p.m., November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction worker of D. M. Consunji,
Inc., fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his death. On May 9, 1991, Jose
Juego’s widow, Maria, filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig a complaint for damages
against the deceased’s employer, D.M. Consunji, Inc. The employer raised, among other
defenses, the widow’s prior availment of the benefits from the State Insurance Fund. After trial,
the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow Maria Juego.
On appeal by D. M. Consunji, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto.
D. M. Consunji then sought the reversal of the CA decision.
1. Whether or not the petitioner is held liable under the grounds of negligence.

1. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (the thing or transaction speaks for itself) is peculiar to the
law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without
direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. It has the following
requisites: (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is
negligent; (2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the exclusive
control of the person charged with negligence; and (3) the injury suffered must not have been
due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured. All the requisites
for the application of the rule of res ipsa loquitur are present in the case at bar, thus a
reasonable presumption or inference of appellant’s negligence arises. Petitioner does not cite
any other evidence to rebut the inference or presumption of negligence arising from the
application of res ipsa loquitur, or to establish any defense relating to the incident.
Marcelo Macalinao, Et Al., V. Eddie Medecielo Ong

Topic: Res ipsa loquitur


 April 1992: Sebastian instructed Macalinao, Ong and 2 other truck helpers to deliver a
heavy piece of machinery to Sebastian’s manufacturing plant in Angat, Bulacan
 While delivering, the Genetron’s Isuzu Elf truck driven by Ong bumped the front portion
of a private jeepney. Both vehicles incurred severe damages while the passengers
sustained physical injuries as a consequence of the collision.
 Macalinao was brought to Sta. Maria District Hospital for first aid treatment then
to Philippine Orthopedic Center then to Capitol Medical Center and lastly, to Philippine
General Hospital due to financial considerations. His body was paralyzed and
immobilized from the neck down. He filed against Ong and
Sebastian. A criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical
injuries was instituted but was not ensued.
 November 7 1992: Macalinao died and was substituted by his parents.
 RTC: Ong negligent and Sebastian failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of Ong thus ordering them jointly liable to
pay actual, moral, and exemplary damages as well as civil indemnity for Macalinao’s
 CA: reversed for lack of evidence

ISSUE: W/N Ong may be held liable under the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur


 Photographs clearly shows that the road where the mishap occurred is marked by a line
at the center separating the right from the left lane
 While ending up at the opposite lane is not conclusive proof of fault in automobile
collisions, the position of the two vehicles gives rise to the conclusion that it was the
Isuzu truck which hit the private jeepney rather than the other way around.
 Based on the angle at which it stopped, the private jeepney obviously swerved to the
right in an unsuccessful effort to avoid the Isuzu truck.
 Since respondents failed to refute the contents of the police blotter, the statement
therein that the Isuzu truck hit the private jeepney and not the other way around is
deemed established.
 While not constituting direct proof of Ong’s negligence, the foregoing pieces of evidence
justify the application of res ipsa loquitur, a Latin phrase which literally means “the thing
or the transaction speaks for itself
 Res ipsa loquitur
 recognizes that parties may establish prima facie negligence without direct proof, thus,
it allows the principle to substitute for specific proof of negligence
 permits the plaintiff to present along with proof of the accident, enough of the
attending circumstances to invoke the doctrine, create an inference or presumption of
negligence and thereby place on the defendant the burden of proving that there was no
negligence on his part
 based on the theory that defendant in charge of the instrumentality which causes the
injury either knows the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining
it while the plaintiff has no such knowledge, and is therefore compelled to allege
negligence in general terms and rely upon the proof of the happening of the accident in
order to establish negligence
 can be invoked only when under the circumstances, direct evidence is absent and not
readily available
 grounded upon the fact that the chief evidence of the true cause, whether culpable or
innocent, is practically accessible to the defendant but inaccessible to the injured
 requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur:

(1) The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someone’s
negligence; - No two motor vehicles traversing opposite lanes will collide as a matter of course
unless someone is negligent

(2) It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant or

defendants - Driving the Isuzu truck gave Ong exclusive management and control over it

(3) The possibility of contributing conduct which would make the plaintiff responsible is

(4) defendant fails to offer any explanation tending to show that the injury was caused by his or
her want of due care (Based on American Jurisprudence) - defendant fails to offer any
explanation tending to show that the injury was caused by his or her want of due care

 Macalinao could no longer testify as to the cause of the accident since he is dead.
Petitioners, while substituting their son as plaintiff, have no actual knowledge about the
event since they were not present at the crucial moment
 evidence as to the true cause of the accident is, for all intents and purposes, accessible
to respondents but not to petitioners
 two truck helpers who survived, both employees of Sebastian, and Ong, who is not only
Sebastian’s previous employee but his co-respondent in this case as well
Batiquin v. Court of Appeals
Topic: Res ipsa loquitur

 On Sept 1988, Petitioner Dr. Batiquin performed a simple caesarean section on
Respondent Mrs. Villegas when the latter gave birth. Soon after leaving the hospital,
respondent began to suffer abdominal pains and complained of being feverish.
 The abdominal pains and fever kept on recurring and this prompted respondent to
consult with another doctor, Dr. Kho (not Hayden). When Dr. Kho opened the
abdomen of respondent to check her out respondent’s infection, she discovered that a
piece of rubber material, which looked like a piece of rubber glove and was deemed a
foreign body, was the cause of the respondent’s infection.
 Respondent then sued petitioner for damages. RTC held in favor of petitioner. CA
reversed, ruling for the respondent.

 W/N petitioner is liable to respondent.


 Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. Rebuttable presumption or inference that
defendant was negligent, which arises upon proof that the instrumentality causing
injury was in defendant's exclusive control, and that the accident was one which
ordinary does not happen in absence of negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of
evidence whereby negligence of the alleged wrongdoer may be inferred from them
ere fact that the accident happened provided the character of the accident and
circumstances attending it lead reasonably to belief that in the absence of negligence
it would not have occurred and that thing which caused injury is shown to have been
under the management and control of the alleged wrongdoer. Under this doctrine the
happening of an injury permits an inference of negligence where plaintiff produces
substantial evidence that the injury was caused by an agency or instrumentality under
the exclusive control and management of defendant, and that the occurrence was
such that in the ordinary course of things would not happen if reasonable care had
been used.

 The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is peculiar to the law of
negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without
direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence. The doctrine is
not a rule of substantive law, but merely a mode of proof or a mere procedural
convenience. The rule, when applicable to the facts and circumstances of a particular
case, is not intended to and does not dispense with the requirement of proof of
culpable negligence on the party charged. It merely determines and regulates what
shall be prima facie evidence thereof and facilitates the burden of plaintiff of proving a
breach of the duty of due care. The doctrine can be invoked when and only when,
under the circumstances involved, direct evidence is absent and not readily available.
 In the instant case, all the requisites for recourse to the doctrine are present. First, the
entire proceedings of the caesarean section were under the exclusive control of
Dr. Batiquin. In this light, the private respondents were bereft of direct evidence as to
the actual culprit or the exact cause of the foreign object finding its way into private
respondent Villegas's body, which, needless to say, does not occur unless through the
intersection of negligence. Second, since aside from the caesarean section, private
respondent Villegas underwent no other operation which could have caused the
offending piece of rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to reason that such could
only have been a by-product of the caesarean section performed by Dr.Batiquin. The
petitioners, in this regard, failed to overcome the presumption of negligence arising
from resort to the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Dr. Batiquin is therefore liable for
negligently leaving behind a piece of rubber in private respondent Villegas's abdomen
and for all the adverse effects thereof.