Fernando vs Court of Appeals and the City of Davao GR No 92087 May 8 1992 Facts

Fernando vs court of appeals and the city of davao gr

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Fernando vs. Court of Appeals and the City of Davao G.R. No. 92087 (May 8, 1992) Facts: Morta, market master of Agdao Public Market requested with the City Treasurer Office the emptying of a Septic tank in Agdao. An invitation to bid was issued to Bertulano, Catarsa, Bascon, Bolo and Suner. Bascon won the bid and signed the purchase order. Prior to the signing of purchase order, Bertulano with four other companions- Liagoso, Fernando and Fajardo Jr. was found dead inside the septic tank. While, Garcia died in the Regional Hospital after being rescued by a fireman. Autopsy revealed diminution of oxygen and intake of sulfide gas as cause of death. Investigation by the City Engineer Office learned that the 5 victims entered and re-emptied the tank without clearance and consent. The heirs of the deceased filed a case for damages contending that it was the gross negligence of the City of Davao for failing to clean the septic tank for 10 years which resulted in the accumulation of hydrogen sulfide gas, and was therefore the proximate cause of the death of the laborers. They further contend that the market master failed to supervise the area where the tank was located as a further reflection of the public respondent’s negligence. Petitioner’s also insisted on the application of Article 24 of the New Civil code. Art. 24. In all contractual , property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection. Issue: WON proximate cause of death is the own negligence of the plaintiffs? Held: Yes. Proximate cause is that cause, which, in the natural and continuous sequence unbroken by and efficient intervening cause, produces the injury and without which the result would not have occurred. While it may be true that the public respondent had been negligent in the re emptying of the septic tank annually since 1956, the negligence is not a continuing one. The public respondents have immediately responded to such issue upon invitation to bid on the service of emptying the tank. Public Respondents have also shown in court that people in the market have been using the toilet for their necessities and remained uninjured. As proven by Respondents, the septic tank was air-tight as provided for by regulations. The accident of toxic gas leakage from the tank is unlikely to happen unless one removes its covers. The accident occur red because the victims have on their own and without authority opened the tank. Bertulano who has offered his services to clean the septic tank is presumed to know the hazards of his job. His and his men’s failure to take precautionary measures for their safety is the proximate case of the accident. The Court also cited Culion vs.
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