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B. Classification of Torts

1. According to manner of commission

a. NEGLIGENCE

Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. (Art. 2176, Civil Code)

Article 2176 is not an all-encompassing enumeration of all actionable wrongs which can give rise to the liability for damages. Under the Civil Code, acts done in violation of Articles 19, 20, and 21 will also give rise to damages. (Alano v. Magud-Logmao, G.R. No. 175540, 07 April 2014)

The elements of a quasi-delict are:

1) An act or omission;

2) The presence of fault or negligence in the performance or non-performance of the act;

3) Injury;

4) A causal connection between the negligent act and the injury; and

5) no pre-existing contractual relation. (Ibid.)

However, jurisprudence specifies four (4) essential elements:

1) Duty;

2) Breach;

3) Injury; and

4) proximate causation. (Ibid.)

b. INTENTIONAL TORTS

1) Abuse of rights

a) Acts contrary to law

b) Acts contrary to morals

1) Damages resulting from breach of promise to marry

Breach of promise to marry is not actionable. (Hermosisima v. CA, En Banc, G.R. No. L-14628, 30 September 1960)

The action for breach of promise to marry has no standing in the civil law, apart from the right to recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise. (De Jesus v. Syquia, En Banc, G.R. No. L-39110, 28 November 1933)

Where damages resulted from the beach of promise to marry, such as losing one’s employment after having sex then giving birth as a result of the defendant’s promises of marriage, plaintiff is entitled to recovery. (Garcia v. Del Rosario, En Banc, G.R. No. L-7798. 14 January 1916)

Mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. But to formally set a wedding and go through all the preparation and publicity, only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21. (Wassmer v. Velez, En Banc, G.R. No. L-20089, 26 December 1964)

2) Intentional infliction of emotional distress

Requisites to recover from intentional infliction of emotional distress:

1) The conduct of the defendant was intentional or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff; 2) The conduct was extreme and outrageous;

3) There was a causal connection between the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff’s mental distress; and,

4) The plaintiff’s mental distress was extreme and severe. (MVRS Publications, Inc. v. Islamic Da’Wah Council of the Philippines, Inc., En Banc, G.R. No. 135306, 28 January 2003)

c. STRICT LIABILITY

1) Liability for product and service

NB: For more discussions, see Part XII > H. Special Liability > 2. Products liability; manufacturers or processors

2) Animal liability

The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in case the damage should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who has suffered damage. (Art. 2183, Ibid.)

Although not owners of a house, but in possession thereof, defendants were made liable for a dog who lived therein and bit a child resulting in the latter’s death a few days after. (Vestil v. IAC, G.R. No. 74431, 06 November 1989)

3) Registered owner of a vehicle

NB: For more discussions, see Part XII > H. Special Liability > 7. Owner of motor vehicle

4) LGUs for roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works

NB: For more discussions, see Part XII > H. Special Liability > 6. Provinces, cities, and municipalities

5) Proprietor of buildings or stuctures

NB: For more discussions, see Part XII > H. Special Liability > 8. Proprietor of building or structure or thing

6) Head of a family

NB: For more discussions, see Part XII > H. Special Liability > 9. Head of a family

7) Physicans violating doctrine of informed consent

a) Doctrine of informed consent for physician and patient

Under the doctrine of informed consent, liability may arise in cases where the physician fails to obtain the consent of the patient before performing any medical procedure. (Alano v. Magud-Logmao, G.R. No. 175540, 07 April 2014)

The doctrine of informed consent within the context of physician-patient relationships goes far back into English common law. As early as 1767, doctors were charged with the tort of “battery” (i.e., an unauthorized physical contact with a patient) if they had not gained the consent of their patients prior to performing a surgery or procedure. (Dr. Li v. Sps. Soliman, En Banc, G.R. No. 165279, 07 June 2011)

From a purely ethical norm, informed consent evolved into a general principle of law that a physician has a duty to disclose what a reasonably prudent physician in the medical community in the exercise of reasonable care would disclose to his patient as to whatever grave risks of injury might be incurred from a proposed course of treatment, so that a patient, exercising ordinary care for his own welfare, and faced with a choice of undergoing the proposed treatment, or alternative treatment, or none at all, may intelligently exercise his judgment by reasonably balancing the probable risks against the probable benefits. (Ibid.)

Informed consent laws in other countries generally require only a reasonable explanation of potential harms, so specific disclosures such as statistical data, may not be legally necessary. (Ibid.)

(1) Substituted informed consent

Those who consent to using their organs upon their death for the benefit of another can make their consent known prior to their death by following the requirements of the law. Should a patient die prior to making his or her informed consent known, the law provides a list of persons who may consent on his or her behalf, that is, “substituted” informed consent. (Ibid.)

b) Elements for medical practice based on doctrine of informed consent

Four essential elements a plaintiff must prove in a malpractice action based upon the doctrine of informed consent:

1) The physician had a duty to disclose material risks;

2) He failed to disclose or inadequately disclosed those risks;

3) As a direct and proximate result of the failure to disclose, the patient consented to treatment she otherwise would not have consented to; and

4) Plaintiff was injured by the proposed treatment. (Ibid.)

The gravamen in an informed consent case requires the plaintiff to point to significant undisclosed information relating to the treatment which would have altered her decision to undergo it. (Ibid.)

8) Nuisance: public and private

NB: For more discussions, see Part XII > H. Special Liability > 3. Nuisance

2. According to scope

a. GENERAL

General torts are those which fall under the generic definition of a tort or quasi-delict and is not subject to certain specific provisions.

b. SPECIFIC

Specific torts are those where specific provisions are applicable, such as those under strict liability.

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