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Torts and Damages Case Digest: J Marketing v. Sia (1998)

G.R. No. 127823  January 29, 1998
Lessons Applicable:Unfounded Suits (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable: 


  • April 24, 1983: J. Marketing Corporation received from Kawasaki Motors (Phils.) brand new Kawasaki motorcycle
  • April 20, 1987: the motorcycle was missing and was reported to the police
  • J. Marketing was alleged that the motorcycle was found to be with Felicidad Sia, Jr. who allegedly bought from Renato Pelande, Jr. who bought from J. Marketing but with a different model
  • J. Marketing filed with the RTC against Felicidad C. Sia Jr. who filed a third party complaint against Renato Pelante Jr. 
  • RTC: dismissed but awarded damages and attorney’s fees to Sia
  • CA: affirmed 
ISSUE: W/N J. Marketing should be penalized for damages and attorney's fees for litigating an unfounded suit

HELD: NO. AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATION that the award of damages, attorney’s fees and cost to private respondent is deleted
  • it cannot be said that the institution of the replevin suit was tainted with gross and evident bad faith or was done maliciously to harass, embarrass, annoy or ridicule private respondent.
  • No damages can be charged on those who may exercise such precious right in good faith, even if done erroneously.
  • There being no bad faith reflected in petitioner’s persistence in pursuing its case, other than an erroneous conviction of the righteousness of its cause, attorney’s fees cannot be recovered as cost.