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Fernando vs. Court of Appeals and the City of DavaoG.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 toBertulano, 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. Investigationby 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 thatit 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 theproximate 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 publicrespondent’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 partiesis 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 causeis that cause, which, in the natural and continuous sequence unbroken by and efficient intervening cause, produces the injury and without which the resultwould 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 publicrespondents 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 markethave 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 removesits covers. The accident occurred because the victims have ontheir own and without authority opened the tank. Bertulano who has offered his services to clean the septic tank ispresumed 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.