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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Wright v. Manila Electric (1914)

G.R. No. L-7760             October 1, 1914
Lessons Applicable: Intoxication (Torts and Damages)


  • August 8, 1909 night time: Wright who was intoxicated  drove in his calesa and as his horse leap forward along the rails of the Manila Electric company and it fell 
    • Wright was thrown and got injured
  • that the ties upon which the rails rested projected from one-third to one-half of their depth out of the ground making the tops of the rails some 5 or 6 inches or more above the level of the street
  • RTC: both parties were negligent, but that the plaintiff's negligence was not as great as defendant's and under the authority of the case of Rakes vs. A. G. & P. Co. apportioned the damages and awarded Wright a judgment of P1,000
ISSUE: W/N Wright's negligence contributed to the 'principal occurrence' or 'only to his own injury (NOT contributory) thereby he cannot recover

HELD:NO. Affirmed

  • Mere intoxication is not in itself negligence. It is but a circumstance to be considered with the other evidence tending to prove negligence. It is the general rule that it is immaterial whether a man is drunk or sober if no want of ordinary care or prudence can be imputed to him, and no greater degree of care is required than by a sober one.
  • Manila Electric or its employees were negligent by reason of having left the rails and a part of the ties uncovered in a street where there is a large amount of travel
  • If the Wright had been prudent on the night in question and had not attempted to drive his conveyance while in a drunken condition, he would certainly have avoided the damages which he received
  • Both parties were negligent and both contributed to the resulting damages, although the Wright, in the judgment of the court, contributed in greater proportion to the damages
  • no facts are stated therein which warrant the conclusion that the Wright was negligent
    • It is impossible to say that a sober man would not have fallen from the vehicle under the conditions described
  • It having been found that the plaintiff was not negligent, it is unnecessary to discuss the question presented by the appellant company with reference to the applicability of the case of Rakes vs. A. G. & P. Co. and we do not find facts in the opinion of the court below which justify a larger verdict than the one found.
Dissenting Opinion by Carson:
  • if the case is to be decided on the findings of fact by the trial judge, these findings sufficiently establish the negligence of Wright
    • The fact finding of the RTC judge, the fact that there is negligence though not fully sustained should be assumed that there were evidentiary facts disclosed which were sufficient to sustain that there is negligence