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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Anuran v. Buno (1966)

G.R. Nos. L-21353 and L-21354           May 20, 1966
Lessons Applicable:  Last Clear Chance (Torts and Damages)

  • January 12, 1958 noon: passenger jeepney owned by Pedro Gahol and Luisa Alcantara and driven by Pepito Buño overloaded with (14-16 passengers) was parked on the road to Taal, Batangas when a speeding motor truck owned by Anselmo Maligaya and Ceferina Aro driven by Guillermo Razon negligently bumped it from behind, with such violence that three passengers died and two others suffered injuries that required their confinement at the Provincial Hospital for many days
    • Jeepney was parked to let a passanger alight in such a way that 1/2 of its width (the left wheels) was on the asphalted pavement of the road and the other half, on the right shoulder of the road 
  • suits were instituted by the representatives of the dead and of the injured, to recover consequently damages against the driver and the owners of the truck and also against the driver and the owners of the jeepney
  • CFI: absolving the driver of the jeepney and its owners, but it required the truck driver and the owners to make compensation
  • CA: Affirmed exoneration of the jeepney
ISSUE: W/N the doctrine of last clear chance can apply so that truck driver guilty of greater negligence which was the efficient cause of the collision will be solely liable

HELD: NO. The three defendants last mentioned are required to pay solidarily with the other defendants-respondents the amounts fixed by the appealed decision.
  • New Civil Code requires "utmost diligence" from the carriers (Art. 1755) who are "presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they have observed extraordinary diligence" (Art. 1756)
  • principle about the "last clear chance" would call for application in a suit between the owners and drivers of the two colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a passenger demands responsibility from the carrier to enforce its contractual obligations. For it would be inequitable to exempt the negligent driver of the jeepney and its owners on the ground that the other driver was likewise guilty of negligence