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Torts and Damages Case Digest: Strebel v. Figueros (1954)

G.R. No. L-4722    December 29, 1954

Lessons Applicable: Who may recover (Torts and Damages)
Laws Applicable: 


  • Strebel subleased part of his lot in Sta. Mesa to Standard Vacuum Oil Company who constructed Mobilgas Station operated by a partnership Eustaquio & Co.  Then Under-Secretary of Labor Jose Figueras wanted to build a drainage through the lots of Figueras and Stebel by using his social and political influence he managed to influence Assistant City Fiscal of Manila Cornelio S. Ruperto to write an opinion granting his right.  Stebel and his parter Primo Eustaquio protested.  But the was seemingly abandoned before the property rights could be violated
  • That due to personal conflicts his wife's son-in-law Manuel Hernandez was removed form his position
  • September 15, 1949: Figueras use of his official and political influence over Ruperto and Director of Labor Felipe E. Jose to institute a Criminal Case against Strebel and his partner Eustaquio for allegedly compelling several employees to work more than 8 hours a day but was dismissed for lackof prima facie evidence
  • RTC: Dismissed the complaint of Emilio Strebel against Jose Figueras, Felipe E. Jose and Cornelio S. Ruperto
1. W/N Strebel can recover damages for the case of Hernandez - NO
2. W/N the wrongful filing of criminal charge is a ground for misconduct or malfeasance arising from an action ex delicto or a tortious act - NO


1. NO.

  • general rule, the right of recovery for mental suffering resulting from bodily injuries is restricted to the person who has suffered the bodily hurt, and there can be no recovery for distress caused by sympathy for another's suffering, or for fright due to a wrong against a third person. So the anguish of mind arising as to the safety of others who may be in personal peril from the same cause cannot be taken into consideration
  • a husband or wife cannot recover for mental suffering caused by his or her sympathy for the other's suffering
  • Strebel is not even related to Dr. Hernandez whose wife is a daughter of Mrs. Strebel by a previous marriage
2. NO.
  • Although the same article permits recovery of said damages in cases of malicious prosecution, this feature of said provision may not be availed of by the plaintiff herein, inasmuch as the acts set forth in the complaint took place in 1949, or before said Code became effective. If the fault is also punished by the previous legislation, the less severe sanction shall be applied. 
  • It is not alleged in the complaint that defendants Felipe Jose and Cornelio Ruperto had any participation whatsoever in the filing of the information for unjust vexation. Obviously, they are exempt from liability in connectiontherewith. Upon the other hand, the assistant city fiscal who signed said information and Antonio Isaac, the offended party therein, have not been included as defendants in the case at bar.