Commercial Law,  Legally Yours

Prudenciado v. Alliance Transport System

Commercial Law. Transportation. Actions for Damages.
Prudenciado v. Alliance Transport System
G.R. No. L-33836, March 16, 1987
Paras, J.

FACTS:
While crossing Taft Avenue, Dra. Sofia Prudenciado was suddenly bumped by Jose Leyson who was driving a taxicab owned and operated by Alliance Transport System, Inc. As a result, Dra. Prudenciado suffered physical injuries in different parts of her body, including brain concussion which subjected her to several physical examinations.

After due hearing, Jose Leyson was found guilty of negligence in the performance of his duties as a taxicab driver which is the proximate cause of the accident and that Alliance Transport System failed to prove that it had exercised the required diligence of a good father of a family in the selection, supervision, and control of its employees.

Petitioner questions the award of the damages of the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals is justified in modifying the grant of damages by the trial court.

HELD:
YES and NO. A careful review of the record makes it readily apparent that the injuries sustained by Dra. Prudenciado are not as serious or extensive as they were claimed to be, which proof merely consisted in her own uncorroborated testimony, and which are not enough to warrant the damages awarded by the trial court.

On the other hand, the reduction of the damages made by the Court of Appeals is both too drastic and unrealistic to pass the test of reasonableness. Being a doctor by profession, petitioner’s fears can be more real and intense than an ordinary person, thus, she is undeniably a proper recipient of moral damages which are proportionate to her suffering.

With regard to exemplary damages, Article 2231 of the Civil Code provides that exemplary damages may be had if the defendant acted with grave negligence. A driver running at full speed on a rainy day, on a slippery road in complete disregard of the hazards to life and limbs of other people cannot be said to be acting in anything less than gross negligence. The frequent incidence of accidents of this nature caused by taxi drivers indeed demands corrective measures.

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