Torts and Damages (Aquino, 2005) - TORTS AND DAMAGES By TIMOTEO B AQUINO Professor of Law San Beda College of Law University of Perpetual Help-Rizal

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Unformatted text preview: TORTS AND DAMAGES By TIMOTEO B. AQUINO Professor of Law San Beda College of Law University of Perpetual Help-Rizal, College of Law Prefect of Student Affairs San Beda College of Law Author, Notes and Cases on Banks, Negotiable Instruments and Other Commercial Documents Co-Author, Reviewer on Commercial Law, Revised Rules on Summary Procedure: Revisited and Notes and Cases on the Law on Transportation and Public Utilities SECOND EDITION 2005 Published & Distributed by 856 Nicanor Reyes, Sr. St. Tel. Nos. 736-05-67 • 735-13-64 1977 C.M. Recto Avenue Tel. Nos. 735-55-27 • 735-55-34 Manila, Philippines i Philippine Copyright, 2005 by TIMOTEO B. AQUINO ISBN-13: 978-971-23-3991-2 ISBN-10: 971-23-3991-2 No portion of this book may be copied or reproduced in books, pamphlets, outlines or notes, whether printed, mimeographed, typewritten, copied in different electronic devices or in any other form, for distribution or sale, without the written permission of the author except brief passages in books, articles, reviews, legal papers, and judicial or other official pro-ceedings with proper citation. Any copy of this book without the corresponding number and the signature of the author on this page either proceeds from an illegitimate source or is in possession of one who has no authority to dispose of the same. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR No. ____________ Printed by 84 P. Florentino St., Quezon City Tel. Nos. 712-41-08 ii • 712-41-01 For my wife Bea, my children Leona Isabelle, Lean Carlo and Lauren Margaret and our parents Bernabe, Dulia, Felisa, Salvador and Amparo iii iv PREFACE Technological advances have brought us mixed blessings. On one hand, efforts have been exerted to make the world a better and safer place to live in by providing us with new amenities or by improving existing ones. However, the same development that is meant to address human need for advancement and for betterment had resulted in the proliferation of devices, machineries and equipment that expose us to both apparent and latent risks. Take for instance the ubiquitous motor vehicle. About a century ago, the Supreme Court observed in one case that a motor vehicle was, to a horse, a shocking apparition. Now, there is hardly any nook and cranny in the archipelago where motor vehicles in one form or another, cannot be found. It would be unthinkable for us to survive or function the way we are used to without such ever present human invention. But then, it cannot also be denied that the presence of motor vehicles is likewise accompanied by risks. In fact, there is empirical basis to say that road-related accidents comprise a substantial bulk of cases pending in court or at least being investigated by different government agencies. This means that the gift of motor vehicles is also inevitably coupled with the bane of hazards. Indeed, every offering of technology also brings about causes of discontent. Although we try to correct any danger that we discover from technology’s fruits, we are still confronted with perils produced by new products or contraptions. Every age produces its own kind of risk. There is hazard in medicines, in new medical procedure, in “improved” means of transportation and even in ordinary consumer products. Add to the mix countless long standing and unavoidable natural risks, an uncontrolled population growth, and the usual congeries of stratagems, deceits and other human failings and weaknesses, what results is a wide fountain of injuries, troubles and mischief. Law seeks to reduce or, if possible, to eliminate such risks by prescribing rules and regulations and providing penalties for violations thereof and by creating administrative bodies that implement said prescriptions. Tort law, in particular, contributes towards this end by providing deterrence to harmful activities. The knowledge that v one may be exposed to liability for damage may induce him to desist from using dangerous objects or engaging in harmful activities. It is, however, impossible to totally prevent injury either because men voluntarily accept risk as a quid pro quo for their needs or because they are plainly indifferent to risk or regulation. Tort law’s alternative in this respect is to provide redress to anyone who may be victimized by such voluntary acts or indifference. In doing so, tort law touches almost every branch of law. It involves constitutional law, administrative law, civil law, criminal law, remedial law, commercial law and even the law on legal ethics. The present work is devoted to the above-mentioned specific branch of law — tort law. The book is designed to give students an overview of the framework of law and to state the fundamental concepts, principles and rules of tort law. It also supplies selected cases that illustrate the operation of the law and that provide students with ready primary or secondary authority from which they can discover on their own the doctrines and the doctrines’ inner workings. As much as possible, the reason and philosophy behind the law and doctrine, as well as their history, are presented so that they can assist in gaining firmer grasp of such law and doctrine. The cases are reproduced verbatim — except for deleted or summarized portions that are unnecessary or irrelevant to the topic concerned — because the author believes that it is only through examination and analysis of cases in the original or as written by the Supreme Court that these cases can better serve as pedagogical tools. The author dared venture in the preparation of this work and thereby expose his inadequacies, in the hope that this work will be of help to every student of law. If what is written here will be used merely as a starting point or material for a more enlightened thinking and discussion, then it has served its purpose. THE AUTHOR PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION This edition adheres to the basic aims of the first edition — to give students an overview of the fundamental framework of tort law vi and to state its concepts, principles and rules. The aims are sought to be achieved not only by resorting to expository presentation but also by providing edited cases. This second edition differs from the original work because it contains new cases and authorities. In addition, cases that were part of the original were transferred to sections where they can best serve as examples and study guides. A few cases were deleted and/ or replaced. Discussions of a number of topics were expanded and several topics that were not discussed in the first edition are now part of this edition. Moreover, certain portions of the original edition were transferred to the “Notes” at the end of this new edition. The “Notes” also contain supplemental annotations on selected topics. The author extends his heartfelt gratitude to all those who supported him in the preparation of this work. THE AUTHOR Teresa, Rizal January, 2005 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am grateful to all those who helped me in the preparation of this book. I have been fortunate to have been exposed to many teachers and students whose ideas helped shape this work. To all these teachers vii viii and students, appreciative thanks. In particular, I would like to thank the encouragement and support of Assistant Dean Domingo Navarro of the San Beda College of Law. The past and present Deans of the same institution, Justice Florenz D. Regalado, Dean Jose Sundiang and Dean Virgilio Jara, as well as University of Perpetual Help of Rizal, College of Law Dean Justice Isagani Cruz, have likewise been very supportive and have given me venues for academic work. Special thanks are due to my law partners, Maria Paz TagleChua and Edmundo A. Cruz. Our secretary, Rowena J. Portes, had been indispensable in the preparation of the manuscript while the rest of our staff Olive Lagasca-Velo, Dennis Caballero and Angelito Bisquera contributed in their own way to this endeavor. I also greatly appreciate the assistance of many persons who helped secure materials that were included in the work. Particularly, I would like to thank my classmates Atty. Caroline O. Peralta and Judge Eduardo B. Peralta, Jr., my former student, Atty. Gudelia Cacdac-Guese, Mrs. Jocelyn Silverio, the staff of the College of Law and College of Arts and Sciences Libraries of San Beda College and the staff of the Office of the Dean of the San Beda College of Law. I would also like to thank Mr. Jose Maria Estrada for translating Spanish text of cases that are now integral parts of this work. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Juanito F. Fontelera and Atty. Ernesto C. Salao of Rex Bookstore, Inc. for making the publication of this work possible. THE AUTHOR ix x TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface ....................................................................................... v Preface to the Second Edition................................................... vii Acknowledgments...................................................................... ix CHAPTER 1 — GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 1. Tort Defined ....................................................................... 1 2. Philippine Tort Law .......................................................... 2 A. Sources ......................................................................... 2 B. Scope and Applicable Laws......................................... 4 a. Catch-all Provisions.............................................. 5 b. Expanded Scope of Quasi-Delict .......................... 6 c. View that Art. 2176 is limited to negligence........ 10 3. Purposes of Tort Law......................................................... 10 A. Major Purposes ........................................................... 10 B. Balancing of Conflicting Interests............................... 11 4. Fundamental Principles .................................................... 12 A. Equity and Justice....................................................... 12 B. Democracy.................................................................... 14 C. Human Personality Exalted ....................................... 15 5. Justifications of Tort Liability .......................................... 15 A. Moral Perspective........................................................ 16 B. Social and Economic Perspective................................ 17 6. Persons who can sue and be sued for Tort........................ 19 A. Plaintiffs: Persons who are entitled to damages........ 19 B. Defendants: Persons who may be held liable ............ 19 7. Remedies ............................................................................ 20 8. Alternative Compensation Schemes ................................. 21 A. Insurance...................................................................... 21 B. Worker’s Compensation............................................... 22 CHAPTER 2 — NEGLIGENCE 1. Kinds of Negligence ........................................................... 23 A. Statutory Basis and Requisites................................... 23 xi a. Quasi-Delict........................................................... 23 b. Delict ................................................................... 23 c. Contract................................................................. 25 B. Distinctions.................................................................. 25 a. Culpa Aquiliana distinguished from Culpa Contractual .......................................... 25 b. Culpa Aquiliana distinguished from Crimes ...... 26 C. Concurrence of Causes of Action ................................ 26 2. Concept of Negligence ....................................................... 28 A. Definition and Test of Negligence............................... 29 B. Negligence is Conduct ................................................. 31 C. Unreasonable or Undue Risks .................................... 32 D. Forseeability ................................................................ 32 Cases: 3. Ong vs. Metropolitan Water District ......................... 33 Civil Aeronautics Adm. vs. CA ................................... 37 E. Probability ................................................................... 41 Calculation of Risk............................................................. 42 A. Risk Benefit Analysis .................................................. 42 B. Rule in the Philippines ............................................... 44 a. Circumstances to consider.................................... 46 1) Time ............................................................. 46 2) Place ............................................................. 47 3) Emergency....................................................... 47 4) Gravity of Harm to be Avoided ...................... 48 5) Alternative Course of Action ......................... 49 6) Social Value or Utility of Activity.................. 49 7) Person Exposed to the Risk ........................... 51 Case: Valenzuela vs. CA ....................................................... 57 4. Standard of Conduct: Good Father of a Family ............... 63 A. Attributes of a Good Father of a Family .................... 66 a. Knowledge and Experience of the Actor .............. 66 b. Children ................................................................ 67 Cases: Julian Del Rosario vs. Manila Electric Co.................. 70 Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co..... 72 Federico Ylarde vs. Edgardo Aquino........................... 78 c. Physical Disability ................................................ 81 xii Cases: United States vs. Bonifacio......................................... 82 Roberts vs. State of Louisiana..................................... 84 d. Experts and Professionals..................................... 86 Case: Culion Ice, Fish, & Electric Co. vs. Phil. Motors Corp. ......................................................... 88 e. Nature of Activity.................................................. 91 f. Intoxication ........................................................... 92 Case: E.M. Wright vs. Manila Electric R.R. & Light Co.............................................................. 93 g. Insanity ................................................................. 96 h. Women ................................................................... 97 5. Standard vs. Specific Rules................................................ 101 Cases: Baltimore & Ohio R.R. vs. Goodman ......................... 104 Pokora vs. Wabash Ry. Co........................................... 105 Preciolilta V. Corliss vs. The Manila Railroad Co............................................................ 107 Cusi & Pobre vs. Phil. National Railways.................. 111 6. Other Factors to Consider in Determining Negligence.................................................................... 115 A. Violation of Rules and Statutes................................... 115 a. Statutes and Ordinances ...................................... 115 b. Administrative Rules............................................ 116 c. Private Rules of Conduct ...................................... 117 d. Proximate Cause.................................................... 117 Case: Vda. De Gregorio vs. Go Ching Bing .......................... 120 e. Negligence Per Se Rule Reconsidered.................. 123 B. Practice and Custom.................................................... 125 Case: xiii S.D. Martinez vs. William Van Buskirk .................... 126 C. Compliance with Rules and Statutes ......................... 131 7. Degrees of Negligence........................................................ 131 Cases: Negros Navigation Co., Inc. vs. CA............................. 132 Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. vs. CA.................. 135 8. Proof of Negligence............................................................. 138 A. Burden of Proof............................................................ 138 B. Presumptions............................................................... 139 C. Res Ipsa Loquitur ........................................................ 139 a. Rationale................................................................ 141 b. Cases when the doctrine was applied................... 142 c. Cases when doctrine was held inapplicable......... 148 d. Culpa contractual.................................................. 150 Cases: Espiritu vs. Phil. Power and Dev. Co. ........................ 150 RCPI vs. CA ................................................................. 152 1. 2. CHAPTER 3 — AFFIRMATIVE DUTIES AND MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES Duty to Rescue ................................................................... 155 A. Duty to the Rescuer .................................................... 155 B. Duty to Rescue............................................................. 157 Owners, Proprietors and Possessors................................. 159 A. Trespassers................................................................... 159 a. Tolerated Possession ............................................ 160 b. Visitors................................................................... 161 c. Children and Attractive Nuisance Rule............... 163 Case: Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc. vs. Balandan...................... 165 d. State of Necessity ................................................. 167 B. Use of Property that Injures Others .......................... 168 C. Liability of Proprietors of Buildings .......................... 169 3. Employers and Employees................................................. 170 A. Employers .................................................................... 170 B. Employees..................................................................... 171 xiv Case: Ma-ao Sugar Central Co. vs. Hon. CA ....................... 171 4. Banks ................................................................................ 173 Case: Phil. Bank of Commerce vs. CA ................................. 175 5. Common Carriers............................................................... 176 6. Doctors ..........................................................................177 A. Standard of Care.......................................................... 178 B. Captain of the Ship Doctrine....................................... 180 C. Not Warrantors............................................................ 181 D. Proof.............................................................................. 183 E. Liability of Hospitals and Consultants....................... 188 Cases: Cruz vs. Court of Appeals ........................................... 191 7. Lawyers............................................................................... 198 CHAPTER 4 — DEFENSES IN NEGLIGENCE CASES 1. Plaintiff’s Conduct and Contributory Negligence............. 200 A. Plaintiff’s Own Negligence as the Proximate Cause ................................................... 200 Cases: Phil. Long Distance Tel. Co. vs. CA............................ 202 Kim vs. Phil. Aerial Taxi Co........................................ 205 B. Contributory Negligence.............................................. 207 Cases: Rakes vs. The Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co................ 209 Phoenix Construction, Inc. vs. IAC ............................ 220 2. Imputed Contributory Negligence..................................... 224 3. Fortuitous Event................................................................ 226 Cases: National Power Corp. vs. CA ...................................... 228 Southeastern College, Inc. vs. CA............................... 233 4. Assumption of Risk............................................................. 237 xv A. Requisites..................................................................... 237 B. Kinds............................................................................. 238 a. Express Waiv...
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