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Page 1

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CHAPTER 1

TORT

“A wrong a which has a remedy in common law.”

– Salmond

Tort defi ned and explained

Tort in American law is equivalent to “quasi-delict and culpa
aquiliana.”1 It is much broader in Anglo-American jurisprudence
than the Spanish-Philippine concept of obligations arising from
contractual negligence but intentional criminal acts.2

Latin source of the word torts explained

The word “torts” comes from the Latin tortus or twisted.3

Tort is a civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained usually
in the form of damages, a breach of duty that the law imposes in the
form of damages, a breach of duty that the law imposes on everyone
in the same relation to one another involved in a given transaction.
It is the branch of law dealing with such wrongs.4

According to Houston, “we may defi ne a tort as a civil wrong for
which the remedy is a common law action for unliquidated damages,

1Quintao v. Victorias Milling Co., 61 OC 5380.
Sec Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition, p. 955.
Barron’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, citing Prosser & Keeten, Torts, Section

1, 1981 Edition.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, p. 196.
Houston, Salmond on the Law on Torts, p. 13.
2Sec Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition, p. 955.
3Barron’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, citing Prosser & Keeten, Torts, Section

1, 1981 Edition.
4Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, p. 196.

Page 2

TORTS AND DAMAGES SIMPLIFIED2

and which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of
a trust or other obligation.”5

The different kinds of tort enumerated and explained

There are different kinds of tort, namely: (1) constitutional tort
— A violation of one’s constitutional right by a government offi cer,
redressable by a civil action against the offi cer. (2) government tort
— A tort committed by the government through an agent, employee
or instrumentality under its control. It may not be actionable
because the State may not be sued without its consent. (3) mass tort
— a civil wrong that injures many people like tort emissions from a
factory. (4) intentional tort — a tort committed by someone acting
with general or specifi c intent. (5) prenatal tort — a tort committed
against a fetus. (6) prima facie tort — an unjustifi ed infl iction of
harm on another person resulting in damages. (7) personal tort —
a tort involving injury to one’s person. (8) property tort — a tort
involving damage to property. (9) quasi-tort — a tort for which a
non-perpetrator is held responsible.6

Tortious interference with contractual relations explained

A third party’s intentional inducement of a contracting party
to break a contract, causing damage to the relationship between the
contracting parties.7

Tortious interference with prospective advantage explained

An intentional damaging intrusion into another’s potential
business relationship, such as obtaining customers or employment.

Tortfeasor defi ned

A tortfeasor is one who commits a tort, a wrongdoer.

Tortious defi ned

Tortious means constituting a tort.8

5Houston, Salmond on the Law on Torts, p. 13.
6Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, pp. 1196-1197.
7Ibid.
8Ibid.

Page 97

97

Damage defi ned and explained

Damage means loss or injury to persons or property. If the
damage is the result of negligence, it is called an actionable damage.1

Damages mean money claimed, or ordered to be paid to, a
person as compensation for loss or injury.2

Kinds of damages explained

The kinds of damages are: (1) Nominal damages — a trifl ing
sum awarded when a legal injury is suffered but when there is
not substantial loss or injury to be compensated. (2) Pecuniary
damages — Damages that can be estimated and monetarily
compensated. (3) Punitive damages — Damages awarded
in addition to actual damages when the defendant acted with
recklessness. (4) Proximate damages — Damages immediately
and naturally fl owing from the acts complained of. (5) Restitution
damages — Damages awarded to a plaintiff when the defendant
has been unjustly enriched at plaintiff’s expense. (6) Speculative
damages — Damages that are so uncertain that they will not be
awarded. (7) Uncertain damages — Damages that are clearly
not the result of a wrong. (8) Stipulated damages — liquidated
damages. (9) Statutory damages — Damages provided by law,
such as wrongful death and survival status. (10) Unliquidated
damages. (11) Treble damages — Damages three times the
award. (12) Temporary damages — Damages awarded for an
intermittent or occassional wrong. (13) Substantial damages —
Damages that have been established by a verdict or award. It is a
considerable sum.3

When penalty may substitute for damages
and interests explained

Article 1226 of the Civil Code provides that in an obligation
with a penal clause, the penalty shall substitute the indemnity for
damages and the payment of interests in case of non-compliance,
if there is no stipulation to the contrary. In other words, where
the contract stipulates the rate of interest and the amount of the
penalty to be paid in case of failure to pay the obligation within a

1 Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, p. 393.
2Ibid.
3Ibid., pp. 356-357.

CHAPTER 5
DAMAGES

Page 98

TORTS AND DAMAGES SIMPLIFIED98

given period, both the penalty and the interest can be collected by
the creditor.

Rules on penalty on unpaid interest on actual
damages and when penalty on interest on actual
damages iniquitous and unconcionable explained

Penalty on unpaid actual damages is allowed. Based on existing
jurisprudence, interest on unpaid actual damages may be awarded,
as follows:

(1) When the penalty is stipulated or agreed upon in contract,
then, the interest shall be as stipulated in writing;

(2) When the penalty on interest actual damages is not
stipulated, the penalty shall be 12% per annum.

(3) But a penalty charge of 5% per month. In addition to
regular interest and attorney’s fees is iniquitous and unconscionable.

The case Gobonseng v. Unibancard
Corporation (539 SCRA 561).

In this case, the Supreme Court held inter alia that: “Article
1226 of the Civil Code provides that in obligations with a penal
clause, the penalty shall substitute for the indemnity for damages.
The case follows in toto:

This is a petition for review on certiorari4 seeking the
nullifi cation of the Decision rendered by the Court of Appeals (CA)
on February 27, 2003, and its Resolution, dated September 2, 2003,
in CA-G.R. SP No. 67510 entitled “Edmerito Ang Gobonseng, et al. v.
Unibancard Corporation.”

The facts are as follows:

Respondent Unibancard Corporation (Unicard) is engaged
in the credit card business. Petitioner Edmerito Ang Gobonseng
applied with Unicard for the issuance of a Unicard credit card in
his name with co-petitioner Eduardo Ang Gobonseng as co-obligor.
A Unicard credit card5 with a monthly credit limit of P10,000 was
issued to petitioners.

4Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
5Credit Card No. 5-1010-02261-3.

Page 195

v

CONTENTS

Pages

Preface ........................................................................................ iii

Chapter One – TORT ......................................................... 1

Chapter Two – EXTRA-CONTRACTUAL
OBLIGATIONS ........................................ 29

Chapter Three – OTHER QUASI-CONTRACTS ................. 44

Chapter Four – QUASI-DELICTS ..................................... 71

Chapter Five – DAMAGES ................................................. 96

APPENDIX A

TITLE XVII. EXTRA-CONTRACTUAL
OBLIGATIONS ............................................................. 161

TITLE XVIII. DAMAGES .................................................. 170

GENERAL INDEX ................................................................... 179

CASE INDEX ............................................................................ 183

— oOo —

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