(Question A.10, Civil Law, 2019 Bar Exam)
Village H and Village L are adjoining residential villages in a mountainous portion of Antipolo City, Rizal, with Village L being lower in elevation than Village H. In an effort to beautify Village H, its developer, X, Inc., constructed a clubhouse which included an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an artificial lagoon on a portion of land overlooking Village L.
During the monsoon season, the continuous heavy rains caused Village H’s swimming pool and artificial lagoon to overflow, resulting into a massive spillover that damaged various properties in Village L. Aggrieved, the homeowners of Village L filed a complaint for damages against X, Inc. In defense, X, Inc. contended that pursuant to the Civil Code, Village L, as the lower estate, was obliged to receive the waters descending from Village H, the higher estate. Hence, it cannot be held liable for damages.
Is X, Inc.’s position tenable? Explain. (3%)
Under the Civil Code, lower estates are obliged to receive the waters which naturally and without the intervention of man descend from the higher estates, as well as the stones or earth which they carry with them. Rule
In the case at bar, the source of the water came from the Olympic-sized swimming pool and an artificial lagoon. These are not natural bodies of water. Instead, they are man-made. Apply
Thus, X. Inc.’s position is not tenable. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
Lawyer, Author, Mentor