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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Engada v. CA (2003)

G.R. No. 140698  June 20, 2003
Lessons Applicable: Last Clear Chance, emergency rule (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable: Section 41, paragraph (a) of R.A. 4136


  • November 29, 1989 1:30 pm: Edwin Iran was driving a blue Toyota Tamaraw jeepney with the owner Sheila Seyan as passnger.
  • The speeding Isuzu pick-up truck driven by Rogelio Engada came from the opposing direction and swerved to its left encroaching upon the lane of the Tamaraw.  In attempt to avoid the pick-up, Seyan shouted at Iran to swerve to the left but the Engada also swerved to its right hitting the Tamaraw at its right front passenger side causing its head and chassis to separate from its body.
  • Seyan was thrown out of the Tamaraw and landed on a ricefield. Seyan and Iran were brought to Barotac Nuevo Medicare Hospital.  Seyan suffered a fracture on the right femur, lacerated wound on the right foot, multiple contusions, abrasions, blunt abdominal injury, and lacerations of the upper-lower pole of the right kidney.  Upon discharge, she Seyan incurred P130,000 in medical expenses. The Toyota Tamaraw jeepney ended up in the junk heap totalling a loss of P80,000 
  • MTC: Engada guilty of damage to property through reckless imprudence with serious physical injuries
  • CA: Affirmed MTC
  • Engada appealed alleging that CA failed to consider that he already relayed his intention to go back to his lane by flashing the pick-up’s right signal light. He submits that at that moment Iran, the driver of the Tamaraw, had no more reason to swerve to his left 
ISSUE: W/N under the doctrine of last clear chance Iran should be liable.

HELD: NO. CA affirmed.
  • Engada's negligence was the proximate cause of the collision
    • in abandoning his lane, he did not see to it first that the opposite lane was free of oncoming traffic and was available for a safe passage
    • after seeing the Tamaraw jeepney ahead, he did not slow down
  • emergency rule
    • An individual who suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to act without much time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence if he fails to undertake what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a better solution, unless the emergency was brought by his own negligence - Iran cannot be faulted
  • at a distance of 30 meters from it and driving the Isuzu pick-up at a fast speed as it approached the Tamaraw, denied Iran time and opportunity to ponder the situation at all. There was no clear chance to speak of.