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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Expert Travel v. CA (1999)

G.R. No. 130030  June 25, 1999

Lessons Applicable: Cases where Moral Damage is allowed (Torts and damages)
Laws Applicable: Article 2219, Article 1764, Article 2206


  • October 7, 1987: Exper travel & Tours, Inc. issued to Ricardo Lo 4 round-trip plane tickets for Hongkong with hotel accommodations and transfers for P39,677.20
  • Failing to pay the amount due, Expert filed a complaint for recovery plus damages
  • CA affirmed RTC: Lo remitted the Monte de Piedad Check for P42,175.20 to Expert's chairperson Ms. Ma. Rocio de Vega who in turn issued City Trust Check of P50,000 
ISSUE: W/N moral damages for negligence or quasi-delict that did not result to physical injury be awarded to Lo

HELD: NO. petition is GRANTED and the award of moral damages to respondent Ricardo Lo under the assailed decision is DELETED

  • An award of moral damages would require certain conditions to be met; to wit: (1) First, there must be an injury, whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; (2) second, there must be a culpable act or omission factually established; (3) third, the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant; and (4) fourth, the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219
    • in culpa contractual or breach of contract:
      • moral damages may be recovered when the defendant acted in bad faith or was guilty of gross negligence (amounting to bad faith) or in wanton disregard of his contractual obligation and, exceptionally, when the act of breach of contract itself is constitutive of tort resulting in physical injuries
    • By special rule in Article 1764, in relation to Article 2206, of the Civil Code
      • moral damages may also be awarded in case the death of a passenger results from a breach of carriage
    • In culpa aquiliana, or quasi-delict and contracts when breached by tort
      • (a) when an act or omission causes physical injuries, or (b) where the defendant is guilty of intentional tort
    • In culpa criminal
      • moral damages could be lawfully due when the accused is found guilty of physical injuries, lascivious acts, adultery or concubinage, illegal or arbitrary detention, illegal arrest, illegal search, or defamation
    • Malicious prosecution can also give rise to a claim for moral damages
    • The term "analogous cases," referred to in Article 2219, following the ejusdem generis rule, must be held similar to those expressly enumerated by the law
    • Excludes clearly unfounded civil suit