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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Raagas v. Traya (1968)

G.R. No. L-20081   February 27, 1968
Lessons Applicable: Proof and Proximate Cause (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable: 

  • April 9, 1958: Octavio Traya recklessly driving a truck owned by Canciller ran over the 3-year old son of the spouses Melquiades Raagas and Adela Laudiano Raagas causing his instantaneous death
  • Spouses Raagas prayed for actual damages of P10,000, moral, nominal and corrective damages, P1,000 as attorney's fees, P1,000 for expenses of litigation, plus costs
  • RTC: Traya and Bienvenido Canciller jointly and severally liable P10,000 for the death of their child Regino Laudiano Raagas, P2,000 for moral damages, P1,000 actual damages, P1,000 for attorney's fees, and the costs
  • Traya and Canciller appealed to CA, which certified the case to the SC because the issues raised are purely of law
ISSUE: W/N the damages should be proven

HELD: YES. hereby remanded to the court of origin for trial on the merits

  • even if the allegations regarding the amount of damages in the complaint are not specifically denied in the answer, such damages are not deemed admitted
  • an allegation is not necessary in order that moral damages may be awarded,  but it is, nevertheless, essential that the claimant satisfactorily prove the existence of the factual basis of the damage and its causal relation to defendant's acts
  • The preceding disquisition points up the inescapable need of a full-blown trial on the merits at which the parties will be afforded every opportunity to present evidence in support of their respective contentions and defenses