Question A.10, 2019 Legal Ethics Bar Exam

A.10.

(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%)

Suggested Answer:

No. Answer

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

Disclaimer: All information herein is for educational and general information only intended for those preparing for the bar exam. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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I, do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, I will support the Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself these voluntary obligations without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.

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