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Torts and Damages Notes Outline 3 (part 3 damages)


A. Definition and Concept 
Civil Code
Art. 2195
Art. 2195. The provisions of this Title shall be respectively applicable to all obligations mentioned in Article 1157.
Art. 1157
Art. 1157. Obligations arise from:

(1) Law;

(2) Contracts;

(3) Quasi-contracts;

(4) Acts or omissions punished by law; and

(5) Quasi-delicts
Art. 2197
Art. 2197. Damages may be:

(1) Actual or compensatory;

(2) Moral;

(3) Nominal;

(4) Temperate or moderate;

(5) Liquidated; or

(6) Exemplary or corrective.
  • Heirs of Borlado vs. Vda. De Bulan G.R. 114118 (2001)
    • Summary: Spouses Bienvenido Bulan and Salvacion Borbon had a continuous, peaceful, uninterrupted, adverse and exclusive possession of the lot from February 1948 until November 4, 1972 when the heirs of Borlado forcibly entered and physically took possession.  RTC: favored the spouses awarding as damage 100 cavans of palay until the heirs vacate the premises plus P5K attorney's fees and cost of suit CA: affirmed SC: deleted the 100 cavans of palay for lack of basis as it is not of legal tender currency in the Philippines
    • Doctrines:
      • Damages should be legal tender currency in the Philippines

  • Lazatin vs. Twano 2 SCRA 842 (1961)
    • Summary:  Angel C. Twaño and Gregorio T. Castro for the recovery of P35,000 plus interest against F. L. Lazatin, et al. for their purchase from the U.S. government of 225 auto-trucks. Lazatin's property was levied and publicly auctioned of which Twaño and Castro purchased.  Lazatin deposited during the redemption period.  At the same time, filed for writ of attachment alleging that Twaño and Castro intended to dispose the property to defraud its creditors. CA affirmed RTC: Lazatin and Central Surety and Insurance Co. solidarily liable to pay P3,000 for attorney's fees, P500 for moral damages, 6% interest and costs. SC: Affirmed with modification: elimination of moral damages
    • Laws: Art. 2208, Article 2219 of the civil code (old laws)
    • Doctrines:
      • kind of damages recoverable:
        • (1) actual or compensatory and 
        • (2) moral Article 2219 provides that moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases . . . 
        • (3) malicious prosecution
      • NOTE: malicious intent is essential ingredient
      • In the absence of stipulation, attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs, cannot be covered, except:xxx
      • (4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff.
        (11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered.
B. Kinds of Damages 

1. Actual or Compensatory 

Civil Code
Art. 2216
Art. 2216. No proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order that moral, nominal, temperate, liquidated or exemplary damages, may be adjudicated. The assessment of such damages, except liquidated ones, is left to the discretion of the court, according to the circumstances of each case.
Art. 2219
Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;

(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;

(4) Adultery or concubinage;

(5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;

(6) Illegal search;

(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;

(8) Malicious prosecution;

(9) Acts mentioned in Article 309;

(10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.

The parents of the female seduced, abducted, raped, or abused, referred to in   No. 3 of this article, may also recover moral damages.
The spouse, descendants, ascendants, and brothers and sisters may bring the   action mentioned in No. 9 of this article, in the order named.
Art. 2220
Art. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the court should find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith.
Art. 205
Art. 205. Indemnities that must be paid by either spouse on account of a crime or of a quasi-delict shall be paid from the common assets, without any obligation to make reimbursement.
  • Algarra v. Sandejas (1914)
    • Summary: Algarra was injured from a car collision due to the negligence of Sandejas and is claiming for damages.  RTC: denied based on the doctrine under Marcelo vs. Velasco and Viana which does not pertain to personal injuries SC: reversed and awarded him damages: P10 for medical expenses; P100 for the 2 months of his enforced absence from his business; and P250 for the damage done to his business in the way of loss of profits = P360
    • Laws: article 1902,1106,1107 of the Civil Code (old laws)
    • Doctrines:
      • "actual damages" 
        • purpose of the law in awarding actual damages is to repair the wrong that has been done, to compensate for the injury inflicted, and not to impose a penalty
          • not dependent on nor graded by the intent with which the wrongful act is done.
        • shall be construed to include all damages that the plaintiff may he has suffered in respect to his property, business, trade, profession, or occupation, and no other damages whatever."
        • proceed from a sense of natural justice
        • indemnity comprises, not only the value of loss suffered, but also that of the prospective profit that was not realized, and the obligation of the debtor in good faith is limited to such losses and damages as were foreseen or might have been foreseen at the time the obligation was incurred and which are a necessary consequence of his failure of fulfillment
      • The measure of damages is an ultimate fact, to be determined from the evidence submitted to the court
a. Kinds 

  • PNOC v. CA (1998)
    • Summary:  M/V Maria Efigenia XV, owned by Maria Efigenia Fishing Corporation on its way to Navotas, Metro Manila collided with the vessel Petroparcel owned by the Luzon Stevedoring Corporation (LSC) though the fault of Petroparcel captain, Edgardo Doruelo so Efigenia sued against LSC and its captain.  Soon, LSC is substituted by PNOC, the new owner of Petroparcel. RTC: awarded actual damages of P6,438,048 CA: affirmed SC: affirmed with modification deleted the actual damaged for lack of basis and instead awarded P2M nominal damage
    • Doctrines:
      • two kinds of actual or compensatory damages: 
        • loss of what a person already possesses (daño emergente)
        • failure to receive as a benefit that which would have pertained to him
      • nominal damages
        • In the absence of competent proof on the actual damage suffered, it is adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded, may be vindicated and recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying any loss suffered
        • awarded in every obligation arising from law, contracts, quasi-contracts, acts or omissions punished by law, and quasi-delicts, or in every case where property right has been invaded
        • damages in name only and not in fact
        • shall be equal or at least commensurate to the injury sustained by private respondent considering the concept and purpose of such damages
  • Integrated Packing v. CA (2000)
    • Summary: Integrated Packaging Corp agreed to deliver to Fil-anchor paper co., inc. 3,450 reams of printing paper. Materials were to be paid within 30-90 days.  Then Integrated entered into a contract with Philippine Appliance Corporation (Philacor) to print three volumes of "Philacor Cultural Books". Integrated paid P97,200.00 which was applied to its back accounts covered by delivery invoices dated September 29-30, 1980 and October 1-2, 1980.  Integrated entered into an additional printing contract with Philacor but it failed to comply so Philacor demanded compensation for the delay and damage it suffered on account of Integrated's failure.  Fil-anchor filed a collection suit of P766,101.70 against Integrated representing unpaid purchase price of printing paper bought on credit.  RTC: held that Integrated is entitled to compensatory and moral damages.  CA: reversed and set aside ordered to pay Fil-anchor P763,101.70 for unpaid printing paper and deleted the award of P790,324.30 as compensatory damages as well as the award of moral damages and attorney's fees, for lack of factual and legal basis only mere est. based on self-claim of Integrated
    • Doctrines:
      • indemnification for damages comprehends not only the loss suffered, that is to say actual damages (damnum emergens), but also profits which the obligee failed to obtain, referred to as compensatory damages (lucrum cessans).
        • However, to justify a grant of actual or compensatory damages, it is necessary to prove with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable by the injured party, the actual amount of loss 
      • Moral damages may be awarded when in a breach of contract the defendant acted in bad faith, or was guilty of gross negligence amounting to bad faith, or in wanton disregard of his contractual obligation.
        • eletion of the award of moral damages is proper, since private respondent could not be held liable for breach of contract.  
      • Since the award of moral damages is eliminated, so must the award for attorney's fees be also deleted.
b. Extent 

Civil Code
Art. 2201
Art. 2201. In contracts and quasi-contracts, the damages for which the obligor who acted in good faith is liable shall be those that are the natural and probable consequences of the breach of the obligation, and which the parties have foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen at the time the obligation was constituted.

In case of fraud, bad faith, malice or wanton attitude, the obligor shall be responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the non-performance of the obligation.
Art. 2202
Art. 2202. In crimes and quasi-delicts, the defendant shall be liable for all damages which are the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission complained of. It is not necessary that such damages have been foreseen or could have reasonably been foreseen by the defendant.

c. Certainty 

  • DBP v. CA (1998)
    • Summary: Lydia P. Cuba is a grantee of a Fishpond Lease Agreement from the Government who executed 2 Deeds of Assignment of her Leasehold Rights as security.  Upon failure to pay, without foreclosure proceedings it was appropriated and DBP executed in turn a Deed of Conditional Sale of the Leasehold Rights in her favor which she offered to repurchase but failed so it was appropriated. Cuba filed against the DBP since no foreclosure proceedings was done thus, contrary to Article 2088 of the Civil Code. RTC: favored Cuba that it was a pactum commissorium returning her leasehold rights and entitling P1,067,500 actual damages, P100,000 moral and P50,000 exemplary damages and P100,000 attorney’s fees.  CA: reversed - leasehold rights to Caperal as valid but same damages SC: CA reversed except the P50,000 as moral damages for lack of basis
    • Doctrines:
      • The award of actual damages should, therefore, be struck down for lack of sufficient basis
        • Other than the testimony of CUBA and her caretaker, there was no proof as to the existence of those items before DBP took over the fishpond in question neithr was the prevention expressed in her letter 7 months after DBP took the leasehold rights
      • Exemplary or corrective damages in the amount of P25,000 should likewise be awarded by way of example or correction for the public good. There being an award of exemplary damages, attorney’s fees are also recoverable
  • Fuentes v.CA (1996)
    • Summary:  Alejandro Fuentes, Jr. was witnessed by Alberto Toling and Honorio Osok who knew him for quite some time to have stabbed Malaspina in the abdomen with a hunting knofe.  But, Alejandro Fuentes, Jr. and his uncle Felicisimo contends that it was Zoilo Fuentes, Jr. a.k.a "Jonie" who did it and fleed but it was dismissed because only hearsay  RTC: guilty of murder qualified by treachery-indeterminate prison term of 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor as minimum to 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal as maximum, to indemnify the heirs of Malaspina P50,000.00,P8,300.00 as actual damages plus costs. CA: Affirmed SC: changed to reclusion perpetua and deleted actual damages
    • Doctrines: the Court can only give credence to those supported by receipts and which appear to have been genuinely expended in connection with the death of the victim
d. Damage to property 

  • PNOC v. CA (1998), supra (see above)
    • Doctrines:
      • in the case of profit-earning chattels, what has to be assessed is the value of the chattel to its owner as a going concern at the time and place of the loss, and this means, at least in the case of ships, that regard must be had to existing and pending engagements
      • If the market value of the ship reflects the fact that it is in any case virtually certain of profitable employment, then nothing can be added to that value in respect of charters actually lost, for to do so would be pro tanto to compensate the plaintiff twice over.
      • if the ship is valued without reference to its actual future engagements and only in the light of its profit-earning potentiality, then it may be necessary to add to the value thus assessed the anticipated profit on a charter or other engagement which it was unable to fulfill.
      • damages cannot be presumed and courts, in making an award must point out specific facts that could afford a basis for measuring whatever compensatory or actual damages are borne
e. Personal Injury and Death 

Civil Code
Art. 2206
Art. 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there may have been mitigating circumstances. In addition:
(1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter; such indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the court, unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability not caused by the defendant, had no earning capacity at the time of his death;

(2) If the deceased was obliged to give support according to the provisions of Article 291, the recipient who is not an heir called to the decedent's inheritance by the law of testate or intestate succession, may demand support from the person causing the death, for a period not exceeding five years, the exact duration to be fixed by the court;

(3) The spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the   deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased.

  • Ramos v. CA (1999)
    • Summary: Erlinda Ramos, 47-year old robust woman underwent on an operation to the stone at her gall bladder removed after being tested that she was fit for "cholecystectomy" operation performed by Dr. Orlino Hozaka.  Dr. Hosaka charged a fee of P16,000.00, which was to include the anesthesiologist's fee and which was to be paid after the operation.  He assured Rogelio E. Ramos, husband that he will get a good anesthesiologist who was Dra. Perfecta Gutierrez. Dra. Perfecta Gutierrez failed to intubate Erlinda and due to insufficiency of blood in the brain caused her to be comatosed incurring one month hospitalization expenses and monthly expenses totalling to P93,542.25.  The Ramos' filed against Dr. Hosaka and Dra. Perfecta Gutierrez. RTC: favor the Ramos' warding P8,000 as actual monthly expenses totalling to P632,000 as of April 15, 1992, P100,000 atty. fees, P800,000 moral damages,P200,000 exemplary damages and cost of suit. CA: reversed and asked then to pay unpaid bills. SC: affirmed with modification 1,352,000 actual damages computed as of the date of promulgation plus a monthly payment of P8,000.00 up to the time that petitioner Erlinda Ramos expires or miraculously survives; 2) P2,000,000 moral damages, 3) P1,500,000 temperate damages; 4) P100,000 exemplary damages and P100,000  attorney's fees; and, 5) the costs of the suit.
    • Doctrines:
      • The application of res ipsa loquitur in medical negligence cases presents a question of law since it is a judicial function to determine whether a certain set of circumstances does, as a matter of law, permit a given inference. 
        • doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is availed by the plaintiff, the need for expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the injury itself provides the proof of negligence - applicable in this case
        • doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no application in a suit against a physician or surgeon which involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific treatment
      • Generally, to qualify as an expert witness, one must have acquired special knowledge of the subject matter about which he or she is to testify, either by the study of recognized authorities on the subject or by practical experience.
        • Hermina - With her clinical background as a nurse, the Court is satisfied  
        • Dr. Jamora - not an anesthesiologist - not credible
      • Temperate damages can and should be awarded on top of actual or compensatory damages in instances where the injury is chronic and continuing. The reason is that these damages cover two distinct phases
      • family's moral injury and suffering charged with moral responsibility
      • Finally, by way of example, exemplary damages are awarded. Considering the length and nature of the instant suit attorney's fees likewise proper.
  • Gatchalian v. Delim (1991)
    • Summary: Gatchalian was injured in her leg, arm and forehead due to a Thames mini-bus accident where there was a snapping sound and the bus turtled.  Delim visited the injured passengers and paid for their hospital bills and even gave Gatchalian transportation expenses.  She was also made to sign a joint affidavit where it stated that they are not interested to file a case against Thames owner and driver. Later, she filed against Delim because she had a conspicuous white scar measuring 1 by 1/2 inches on the forehead, generating mental suffering and an inferiority complex on her part CFI: dismissed because of the Joint Affidavit CA: affirmed SC: REVERSED and SET ASIDE 1) P15,000 actual or compensatory damages to cover the cost of plastic surgery for the removal of the scar on petitioner's forehead; 2) P30,000 moral damages; and 3) P1,000 attorney's fees, the aggregate amount to bear interest at the legal rate of 6% per annum counting from the promulgation of this decision until full payment thereof
    • Doctrines: 
      • A waiver, to be valid and effective, must in the first place be couched in clear and unequivocal terms which leave no doubt as to the intention of a person to give up a right or benefit which legally pertains to him.
        • while reading the same, she experienced dizziness but that, seeing the other passengers who had also suffered injuries sign the document, she too signed without bothering to read the Joint Affidavit in its entirety. Considering these circumstances there appears substantial doubt whether petitioner understood fully the import of the Joint Affidavit
        • To uphold a supposed waiver of any right to claim damages by an injured passenger, under circumstances like those exhibited in this case, would be to dilute and weaken the standard of extraordinary diligence exacted by the law from common carriers and hence to render that standard unenforceable. 
        • Court of Appeals, however, found that at the time of the accident, she was no longer employed in a public school since, being a casual employee and not a Civil Service eligible, she had been laid off. Her employment as a substitute teacher was occasional and episodic, contingent upon the availability of vacancies for substitute teachers. 
        • person is entitled to the physical integrity of his or her body; if that integrity is violated or diminished, actual injury is suffered for which actual or compensatory damages are due and assessable. Petitioner Gatchalian is entitled to be placed as nearly as possible in the condition that she was before the mishap. A scar, especially one on the face of the woman, resulting from the infliction of injury upon her, is a violation of bodily integrity, giving raise to a legitimate claim for restoration to her conditio ante. If the scar is relatively small and does not grievously disfigure the victim, the cost of surgery may be expected to be correspondingly modest. 
        • moral damages may be awarded where gross negligence on the part of the common carrier - driver did not check after the snapping sound

f. Attorney's Fees 

Civil Code
Art. 2208
Art. 2208. In the absence of stipulation, attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs, cannot be recovered, except:

(1) When exemplary damages are awarded;

(2) When the defendant's act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to litigate   with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his interest;

(3) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against the plaintiff;

(4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff;

(5) Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiff's plainly valid, just and demandable claim;

(6) In actions for legal support;

(7) In actions for the recovery of wages of household helpers, laborers and skilled workers;

(8) In actions for indemnity under workmen's compensation and employer's liability laws;

(9) In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;

(10) When at least double judicial costs are awarded;

(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered.

In all cases, the attorney's fees and expenses of litigation must be reasonable. 
  • Quirante v. IAC  (1989) 
    • Summary: Dr. Casasola, thru his counsel, Atty. John Quirante, sued both Guerrero for failing to perform and Philamgen as bondsman of Guerrero.  RTC: in favor of Dr. Indalecio Casasola by rescinding the contract ordering Guerrero and Philamgen to pay actual damages of P129,430, moral damages of P50,000, exemplary damages of P40,000 and attorney's fees of P30,000 ordering Guerrero alone to pay liquidated damages of P300/day from December 15, 1978 to July 16, 1979 and ordering Philamgen to pay  Dr. Casasola the amount of the surety bond equivalent to P120,000. Quirante filed a motion in the trial court for the confirmation of his attorney's fees. RTC: granted the motion for confirmation SC: affirmed RTC decision that it is premature
    • Doctrines:
      • attorney's fees may be asserted either in:
        • the very action in which the services in question have been rendered -as in this case
          • the Court may pass upon said claim, even if its amount were less than the minimum prescribed by law for the jurisdiction of said court, upon the theory that the right to recover attorney's fees is but an incident of the case in which the services of counsel have been rendered
          • rests on the assumption that the court trying the case is to a certain degree already familiar with the nature and extent of the lawyer's services
          • The rule against multiplicity of suits will in effect be served
        • a separate action
      • 2 Kinds of Attorney's fees
        • 1. item of damages provided for under Article 2208 of the Civil Code wherein the award is made in favor of the litigant, not of his counsel, and the litigant, not his counsel, is the judgment creditor who may enforce the judgment for attorney's fees by execution
        • 2. claims are based on the contract for professional services, with the attorney as the creditors and the clients as the debtors
      • It is further observed that the supposed contract alleged by petitioners as the basis for their fees provides that the recovery of the amounts claimed is subject to certain contingencies
      • We are of the considered view that the orderly administration of justice dictates that such issue be likewise determined by the court a quo inasmuch as it also necessarily involves the same contingencies in determining the propriety and assessing the extent of recovery of attorney's fees by both petitioners herein. The court below will be in a better position, after the entire case shall have been adjudicated
      • We, therefore, take exception to and reject that portion of the decision of the respondent court which holds that the alleged confirmation to attorney's fees should not adversely affect the non-signatories thereto, since it is also premised on the eventual grant of damages to the Casasola family, hence the same objection of prematurity obtains and such a holding may be pre-emptive of factual and evidentiary matters that may be presented for consideration by the trial court.
g. Interest 

Civil Code
Art. 2209
Art. 2209. If the obligation consists in the payment of a sum of money, and the debtor incurs in delay, the indemnity for damages, there being no stipulation to the contrary, shall be the payment of the interest agreed upon, and in the absence of stipulation, the legal interest, which is six per cent per annum
Art. 2210
Art. 2210. Interest may, in the discretion of the court, be allowed upon damages awarded for breach of contract.
Art. 2211
Art. 2211. In crimes and quasi-delicts, interest as a part of the damages may, in a proper case, be adjudicated in the discretion of the court.
Art. 2212
Art. 2212. Interest due shall earn legal interest from the time it is judicially demanded, although the obligation may be silent upon this point.
Art. 2213
Art. 2213. Interest cannot be recovered upon unliquidated claims or damages, except when the demand can be established with reasonably certainty.
  • Crismina Garments v. CA (1999)
    • Summary: Crismina Garments, Inc. contracted the services of D'Wilmar Garments, for the sewing of 20,762 pieces of assorted girls denims for P76,410 of which he did not pay.  RTC: favored D'Wilmar P76,140 at 12% per annum, P5,000 attorney's fees and cost of suit CA: affirmed deleting attoryney's fees. SC: MODIFIED. The rate of interest shall be 6%/annum (since piece of work), computed from the time of the filing of the Complaint in the trial court until the finality of the judgment. If the adjudged principal and the interest (or any part thereof) remain unpaid thereafter, the interest rate shall be 12% per annum computed from the time the judgment becomes final and executory until it is fully satisfied.
    • Laws:
      • Article 1589 on the Civil Code
        • owe interest for the period between the delivery of the thing and the payment of the price . . . should he be in default from the time of judicial or extrajudicial demand for the payment of the price.
      • Article 2209 of the Civil Code (see above)
      • Usury Law
        • rate of interest for the loan or forbearance of any money, goods or credits and the rate allowed in judgments, in the absence of express contract as to such rate of interest, shall be 12% per annum
    • Doctrines:
      • award of interest in the concept of actual and compensatory damages, the rate of interest, as well as the accrual thereof
        • When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan or forbearance of money, the interest due should be that which may have been stipulated in writing
          • interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially demanded
          • In the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 12% per annum to be computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and subject to the provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code
        • When an obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of money, is breached, an interest on the amount of damages awarded may be imposed at the discretion of the court at the rate of 6% per annum.
          • No interest, however, shall be adjudged on unliquidated claims or damages except when or until the demand can be established with reasonable certainty
          • where the demand is established with reasonable certainty, the interest shall begin to run from the time the claim is made judicially or extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code) but when such certainty cannot be so reasonably established at the time the demand is made, the interest shall begin to run only from the date the judgment of the court is made (at which time the quantification of damages may be deemed to have been reasonably ascertained). 
          • The actual base for the computation of legal interest shall, in any case, be . . . the amount finally adjudged.
        • When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money becomes final and executory, the rate of legal interest, whether the case falls under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 12% per annum from such finality until its satisfaction, this interim period being deemed to be by then an equivalent to forbearance of credit
h. Mitigation of Liability 

Civil Code
Art. 2203
Art. 2203. The party suffering loss or injury must exercise the diligence of a good father of a family to minimize the damages resulting from the act or omission in question.
Art. 2204
Art. 2204. In crimes, the damages to be adjudicated may be respectively increased or lessened according to the aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
Art. 2214
Art. 2214. In quasi-delicts, the contributory negligence of the plaintiff shall reduce the damages that he may recover.
Art. 2215
Art. 2215. In contracts, quasi-contracts, and quasi-delicts, the court may equitably mitigate the damages under circumstances other than the case referred to in the preceding article, as in the following instances:

(1) That the plaintiff himself has contravened the terms of the contract;

(2) That the plaintiff has derived some benefit as a result of the contract;

(3) In cases where exemplary damages are to be awarded, that the defendant   acted upon the advice of counsel;

(4) That the loss would have resulted in any event;

(5) That since the filing of the action, the defendant has done his best to lessen the plaintiff's loss or injury.
  • Cerrano v. Tan (1918)
    • Summary: Tan Chuco,owner of casco, rented it to Vivencio Cerrano for P70/month payable at the end of each month. No duration was stipulated.  Tan notified Cerrano that it was necessary to repair it at Malabon.  Cerrano was interested to rent it after the repair but Tan told him that it was already for P80/month.  A week before the end of the repair, Tan sold it to Siy Cong Bieng & Co. J.  After the casco had been in possession of Santos for some three months, the replevin suit  held that casco was the property of Siy Cong Bieng & Co. at the time of the suit was commenced, and that the "illegal detention" of the casco by Santos had caused damages of  P457.98 to Siy Cong Bieng & Co.  Cerrano paid the judgment in favor of Siy Cong Bieng & Co. and the attorney's fees of Santos which shows that Santos was only a nominal defendant in the replevin suit,which was entirely controlled by Cerrano.  CFI: casco was rented 10 months at the rate of P60, P457.98 for damages and P500 for attorney's fees. RTC: reversed P50 damage (damage by Cerrano only excluding damage cause by Santos since NOT the proximate cause as Cerrano's own impreudence is the proximate cause) and his costs in the CFI 
    • Laws: 
      • article 1581 of the Civil Code provides that when no definite agreement has been made regarding its duration, the lease of a house is deemed to have been made from day to day, from month to month, or from year to year, according to whether a daily, monthly, or yearly rent is to be paid.
      • Article 1106 of the Civil Code establishes the rule that prospective profits may be recovered as damages
      • Article 1107 of the same Code provides that the damages recoverable for the breach of obligations not originating in fraud (dolo) are those which were or might have been foreseen at the time the contract was entered into. 
    • reasonable presumption that one who agrees to pay a monthly rent intends that his tenancy is to endure for a like period, subject to indefinite tacit renewals at the end of each month as long as the arrangement is agreeable to both parties
    • it is unquestionable that defendant must be deemed to have foreseen at the time he made contract that in the event of his failure perform it, the plaintiff would be damaged by the loss of the profit he might reasonably have expected to derive from its use
    • GR: plaintiff may recover compensation for any gain which he can make it appear with reasonable certainty the defendant's wrongful act prevented him from acquiring
      • plaintiff would have earned a net profit of P50 from the use of the casco in the month during which he was entitled to its possession
      • damages resulting from avoidable consequences of the breach of a contract or other legal duty are not recoverable
        • It is the duty of one injured by the unlawful act of another to take such measures as prudent men usually take under such circumstances to reduce the damages as much as possible.
          • burden of proof rests upon the defendant to show that the plaintiff might have reduced the damages - none in this case
      • The contract of lease or hiring does not create a right in rem in favor of the lessee, except in the case of a recorded lease of real estate  
        • Santos' attempt to retain possession of it against the lawful owners by whom he had been placed in charge of it, was unlawful
          • if Cerrano is unable to recover from Santos the money paid by him will not justify us in imposing the burden of repaying this money to him
      • TORRES, J., dissenting: should be affirmed