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INTRODUCTION

TO TORTS AND DAMAGES

Tort in Philippine law

“Tort” is a common law term.

It came to be used in the Philippine legal system only after

the advent of the American

regime.

Philippine Tort Law

Obligations based on law & quasi- delict

Origin and meaning of “tort

From an old French word torquerederived from the Latin

tortus” which means “twisted” or crookedIn English as a general synonym for “wrong” - its more specialized meaning as designating a class of legal wrongs

Common Law Definition of “tort”

an unlawful violation of a private legal right, not created by contract, which gives rise to a

common-law action for damages.”

Chapin on Torts, p. 1; Street, Foundations of Legal Liability, Vol. 1.

Philippine Tort Law

Sources New Civil Code

Roman Law

Spanish

French

Anglo-American Law

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Philippine Tort Law

Scope And Applicable Laws the Code Commission uses the word

quasi-delict” instead of torts

because torts in Angle American law is much broader than the Spanish-Philippine

concept of obligations arising from

noncontractual negligence. Intentional acts (considered torts in Anglo American law) are intended to be governed by the RPC in the Philippines

Many of the legal wrongs classified as “torts” in common law are actionable in Philippine law as

quasi-delicts, while others are

considered and treated as crimes

and, therefore, governed by the Revised Penal Code.

Art. 20 is the general sanction for all other provisions of law which do not especially provide their own sanctions and is broad enough to cover all legal wrongs which do not constitute violation of contract. • Defamation, fraud, physical injuries, violation of constitutional rights, negligence, interference with

contractual relations, violation of

privacy, malicious prosecution, product liability, strict liability for possession of animals, abuse of right (Art. 19, NCC), acts which violate good morals and customs (Art. 21, NCC)

“After a careful deliberation, it was agreed to use the term

quasi-delict” for those obligations which do not arise from law, contracts, quasi- contracts, or criminal offenses. They are known is Spanish legal treatises as “culpa aquiliana,” “culpa extra-contractual” or “cuasi-delitos. “ – Reports of the Code of Commission

Art. 19, 20, & 21 of the NCC enlarge the concept of tortious acts and embody in our law the

Anglo- American concept of tort.

They are “catch-all” provisions that serve as basis for any imaginable tort action.

Art. 1902 of the old Civil Code covers the broad concept of torts prior to the NCC.

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Art. 2176 of NCC covers quasi- delicts, which as observed by the SC in numerous cases includes intentional acts.

Purposes of Tort Law

General purpose: Protect different interests in the society, specifically to:

provide a peaceful means for

adjusting the rights of parties who might otherwise take the law in their hands

The study of law of torts is therefore a study of the extent to which the law will shift from the person affected to the shoulder of him who caused the loss.(Wright, Cases on Law on Torts, p.1)

Culpa aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in

violation of the penal law, whether voluntary or negligent.

deter wrongful conduct

encourage socially responsible

behavior

restore the injured parties to

their original condition, insofar as

that law can do this, by compensating them for their injury.

Reduce the risks and burden of

living in the society and to allocate them among the members of the society

Although tort law is mainly

concerned with providing compensation for personal injury and property damage caused by negligence, it also protects other interests such as reputation, personal freedom, enjoyment of property, and commercial interests.

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Fundamental principles:

These purposes of tort law are

sought to be achieved in the

pursuit of fundamental principles

upheld under the NCC. EQUITY & JUSTICE DEMOCRACY RESPECT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

EQUITY AND JUSTICE

• “the precepts of law are these, to live honestly, not to injure others, and to give each one his due.”

• “Justice is a steady and

unceasing disposition to render every man his due.”

DEMOCRACY

the very foundations of human life and happiness, cannot be overlooked by an integral civil code.

• Art. 32 provides for independent civil actions for damages against any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates, or in any manner impedes

or impairs the civil rights and

liberties of another person.

EQUITY AND JUSTICE

• NCC upholds the “spirit that giveth life rather than the letter that killeth

• Art. 21 & 26 of NCC

• justice and equity demand that persons who may have damaged by the wrongful or negligent act of another are compensated.

• Acting with justice involves the duty to indemnify for damages caused under Arts. 20,21,28,27; to indemnify by reason of unjust enrichment under

Arts. 22 & 23; and to protect the

weaker party under Art. 24

EQUITY AND JUSTICE

• equity is defined as justice according to natural law and right.

Justice outside legality

invoked in justifying the rule regarding mitigation of liability if the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence

RESPECT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

•Art. 26 and the provisions on moral

damages are included in order to remedy defects in old CC in so far as it did not properly exalt human personality.

The touchstone of every system of laws, of the culture and civilization of every country, is how far it dignifies man.

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CAUSE OF ACTION

Elements

The traditional formula for the elements necessary to such a cause of action may be stated briefly as follows:

1. A duty, or obligation, recognized by law, requiring the person to conform to a certain standard of conduct, for the protection of others against unreasonable risks.

Thus, the elements of an actionable conduct are: 1) duty, 2) breach, 3) injury, and 4) proximate

causation. [Garcia v. Salvador, 2007]

To successfully prosecute an action anchored on torts, three elements must be present, viz:

(1) duty (2) breach (3) injury and

proximate causation. [Ocean

Builders v. Cubacub, 2011]

Plaintiff

Any person who had been injured by

reason of a tortious conduct can sue the tortfeasor. • Plaintiff can be a natural person or juridical person.

• An unborn child is not entitled to damages. But the bereaved parents may be entitled to damages, on damages inflicted directly upon

them. (Geluz vs. CA, 2 SCRA 802)

CAUSE OF ACTION

2. A failure on the person's part to

conform to the standard required:

a breach of duty.

3. A reasonably close causal

connection between the conduct and the resulting injury.

4. Actual loss or damage resulting to the interests of another.

[Prosser & Keeton]

The primary purpose of a TORT ACTION is to provide compensation to a person who

was injured by the tortious

conduct of the defendant.

Preventive remedy is available in some cases.

Alternative compensation schemes include insurance & work employees compensation

Defendant

may be held liable even if he does not know the identity of the plaintiff at the time of the accident. • Can either be a natural or juridical being

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NEGLIGENCE

omission of that degree of diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponding to the circumstances of time, persons, and place. (Art. 1173)

Civil liability arising from

quasi-delicts

The law governing civil liability for

quasi-delicts is found in Arts. 2176 to 2194 of the Civil Code, Rep. Act. No. 386.

Quasi-Delict

• covers not only those that are not punished by law but also those acts which are voluntary and negligent

NEGLIGENCE

Kinds of Negligence:

culpa contractual (contractual negligence)

culpa aquiliana (quasi-delict)

culpa criminal (criminal negligence)

“Art.

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 provision of this chapter.

2176.

Whoever

by

act

In order that liability under Art.2176 of the Civil Code will arise, the following requisites must exist:

(a) act or omission constituting fault or negligence

(b) There must be damage or prejudice which must be proven by the party claiming it;

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and (c) There must be a direct causal connection between the damage or prejudice and the act or omission. (d) absence of contractual relation between plaintiff and defendant.

(no longer cited because an action based on quasi-delict can be maintained even if there is an existing contractual relation between the parties Air France Case)

Delict

criminal negligence elements:

that material damages results from the reckless imprudence there is an inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the offender, taking into consideration his employment or occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition, and other circumstances

TORT VS CRIME

The civil action for a tort is

commenced and maintained by the injured person himself, and its purpose is to compensate him for the damage he has suffered, at the expense of the wrongdoer.

If he is successful, he receives a judgment for a sum of money, which he may enforce by collecting it from the defendant.

Delict

criminal negligence; covered by Art. 365 of RPC • elements:

offender does or fails to do an act

that the doing or the failure to do the act is voluntary

that it be without malice

Tort VS Crime

A tort is not the same thing as a crime

A crime is an offense against the public at large, for which the state, as the representative of the public, will bring proceedings in the form of a criminal prosecution. The purpose of CRIMINAL proceeding is to protect and vindicate the interests of the public as a whole, by punishing the

offender or eliminating him from society,

either permanently or for a limited time, by reforming him or teaching him not to repeat the offense, and by deterring others imitating him.

Liability under Art. 2176 may arise either from “fault” or “negligence”. In other words, liability may be incurred either by an “act” or through an “omission”. Fault requires the execution of a positive act which causes damage to another, while negligence consists in the omission to do acts which result also in damage to another. The act or omission must be without intent to cause damage, because if there is intent to cause damage, the act or omission becomes a crime and civil liability for such act or omission will be governed by the Revised Penal Code in accordance with the provisions of Art. 1161 of the Civil Code.

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The same act may be both a crime against the state and a tort against an individual. In such a

case, since the interests invaded are not the same, and the objects to be accomplished by the two

suits are different, there may be

both a civil tort action and a criminal prosecution for the same offense.

CULPA

CRIMES

ACQUILIANA

Includes all acts which any kind of fault or

Punishes only those covered by penal

negligence

laws

intervenes

Liability of employer is direct and primary

Liability of

employer is

subsidiary

TORT VS BREACH OF CONTRACT

A tort consists in the violation of a right given, or the omission to perform a duty imposed by law; while in a breach of contract the right is granted and the obligation is assumed by agreement of the parties.

CULPA

CRIMES

ACQUILIANA

Affects private

Affects public

interest

interest

CC merely repairs damages by means of indemnification

RPC punishes or corrects criminal act

Contract

governed by CC provisions on Obligations and Contracts particularly Arts. 1170-1174

• by express provision Arts. 2178,

1172 to 1174 are applicable to quasi-delict cases

TORT VS BREACH OF CONTRACT

It if be found that the right or duty was created independently of the consent of the parties concerned, the action is in tort; if because of such consent, it is on contract.

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However, the existence of a contractual relation between the parties does not necessarily imply that all obligations that may arise between them will be contractual.

The obligor may break the contract under such conditions that the same act which constitutes a breach of contract would constitute a tort if no contract existed between the parties, in which case an action in tort will lie. - The breach of contract may give rise to a tort, as for example, one who

wrongfully induces a party to a

contract to break such contract will be liable for interference of a contractual relation.

AIR FRANCE VS CARRASCOSO

(1966)

- Recover damages from air-carrier upon the ground of tort

- Although the relation between the passenger and a carrier is contractual both in origin and nature the act that breaks the contract may also be a tort.

- Authority for the view that liability

from tort may exist even if there is a

contract

CULPA

BASIS

CULPA

ACQUILIANA

CONTRACT-

UAL

There may or may not be a preexisting contractual relationship

Party

Pre-existing

Relation-

contractual

ship

relation

Defendant's

Source of

Breach of

negligent act

obligation

contract

or

omission

The fault referred to in Art. 2176 of the New Civil Code is “fault substantive and independent” which in itself is a source of obligations. This kind of fault is also known as

culpa extra-contractual” or “culpa aquiliana.”

Fault as an incident in the performance of a pre-existing

contract is known as “contractual

fault” or “culpa contractual.”

CULPA

BASIS

CULPA

ACQUILIANA

CONTRACT-

UAL

Separate

definition

Foundation

source

of

of oligation

liability is

independent

contract

of

contract

Substantive

Characte-

Incident of

and

ristic

the

independent

performance

of an

CULPA

BASIS

CULPA

ACQUILIANA

CONTRACT-

UAL

Negligence

What needs

Existence of

of the

to be

the

defendant

proven

contract and

its

breach

Proof of

Availability

Proof of diligence is not a defense

diligence is

of diligence

a valid

defense

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IMPORTANT POINTS A single act or omission can give rise to 2 or more causes of action.

Whenever a contractual obligation can be breached by a tort, it is also possible that two persons are liable for such breach even of there is only one act or omission that causes the injury.

Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or

"culpa aquiliana" is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code, with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is

entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime . [Barredo v.

Garcia, 1942]

Limitation imposed by law is the proscription against double recovery provided under Art. 2177 of the NCC.

Although an act can give rise to 2 causes of action, the plaintiff cannot recover twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.