Like us on Facebook

Please wait..10 Seconds Cancel

Torts and Damages Case Digest: Sumaplong v. CA (1997)

G.R. No. 123404  February 26, 1997

Lessons Applicable: Factors in determining amount (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable: 


  • August 6, 1982: Arsolo Ramos and his wife Leonarda were on their way home from their ricefield when Aurelio Sumalpong asked Leonarda if she knew who stoned his house. Leonarda told him to determine first who did it.  But, Aurelio angered slapped Leonarda causing her to fall to the ground and while on her hands and knees shot her on the back of her head with a .38 caliber revolver killing her. 
  • Arsolo rushed towards Aurelio who shot him twice but missed.  While grappling, Aurelio bit Arsolo's forearm and left ear causing a mutilation.
  • RTC: convicting the Aurelio of the crime of attempted homicide and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment from 6 months and 1 day of arresto mayor as minimum to 2 years, 4 months and 1 day of prision correccional as maximum. The petitioner was likewise ordered to indemnify the complainant in the amount of: (a) P16,800 for the loss of his crops due to his failure to attend to his farmwork because of the injuries inflicted upon him by the petitioner; (b) P2,000 for hospitalization expenses and (c) P5,000 by way of moral damages
  • CA: increased moral damages to P10,000 and adding nominal damages P10,000
ISSUE: W/N the award for damages is proper.

HELD: YES. CA affirmed.

  • Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
  • whenever there has been a violation of an ascertained legal right, although no actual damages resulted or none are shown, the award of nominal damages is proper
  • in the absence of competent proof of the amount of actual damages,  the complainant is entitled only to nominal damages.
  • Anent the increase in the amount of moral damages suffice it to state that the nature of the injuries and the degree of physical suffering endured by the complainant warrants the same. The tragic incident caused a mutilation of complainant's left ear and a permanent scar on his right forearm. These injuries have left indelible marks on the complainant's body and will serve as a constant reminder of this traumatic experience.