Thereafter, the trial court rendered its May 7, 1991 Decision, which disposed as follows:IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the [petitioners] absolving Inland Trailways, Inc., from any liability whatsoever, and against xxx Philtranco Service Enterprise, Inc., ordering the latter to pay the [petitioners]1) P10,000.00 as actual damages for medical and miscellaneous expenses;2) P50,000.00 as compensatory damages for the [diminution] of the use of the right arm of [petitioner]-wife;3) P48,000.00 as unrealized profit or income;4) P50,000.00 as moral damages;5) 25% of the foregoing as contingent attorneys fees; and6) the costs.According to the trial court, the proximate cause of the accident was the bumping from behind by thePhiltranco bus with Plate No. 259 driven by Apolinar Miralles based on the Police Report and the affidavits ofpassengers, to which Philtranco did not object. As it failed to prove that it exercised due diligence in the selectionand supervision of its employees under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, Philtranco was held liable based on culpaaquiliana.Page 4of 8
Ruling of the Court of AppealsOn appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) resolved that Philtrancos liability for damages could not be predicatedupon the Police Report which had not been formally offered in evidence. The report was merely annexed to theanswer of Inland, and petitioner did not adopt or offer it as evidence. Consequently, it had no probative value and,thus, Philtranco should be absolved from liability.Instead, the appellate court found that petitioners sufficiently established a claim against Inland basedon culpa contractual. As a common carrier, Inland was required to observe extraordinary diligence under Articles1735 and 1750 of the Code. Its liability arose from its failure to transport its passengers and cargo safely, and afinding of fault or negligence was not necessary to hold it liable for damages. Inland failed to overcome thispresumption of negligence by contrary evidence; thus, it was liable for breach of its contractual obligation topetitioners under Article 2201 of the Civil Code.The liability of Inland for medical and miscellaneous expenses was reduced, as the evidence on record showedthat petitioners spent only P3,977. Deemed self-serving was Francias testimony that the use of her right arm wasdiminished and that she lost income. Thus, the award for unearned income was disallowed and the amount of moraldamages was reduced to P30,000.Hence, this petition.The IssuesIn their Memorandum,petitioners raise the following issues:[I] Whether or not public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in completely reversing thedecision of the Regional Trial Court, ordering Philtranco to indemnify petitioners and in lieu thereof,order[ing] Inland to pay petitioners for their damages.
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- Fall '16
- Appellate court, Trial court, FRANCIA N. ONG