July 8, 1942, 73 Phil. 607


May 3, 1936 on the road between malabon and Navotas, province of Rizal, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven by Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was overturned, and one of its passengers, 16 years old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from which he died two days later. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla and he was convicted.

Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario, parents of the deceased on March 7, 1939, brought an action in the Court of First Instance of Manila Against Fausto Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and employer of Pedro Fontanilla.

Fausto Barredo is shown to be careless in employing Fontanilla who had been caught for several times for violation of the automobile law and speeding. The defense is that the liability is only subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action against Pedro Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo cannot be held responsible in the case.


Whether or not they can file for a separate civil action against Fausto Barredo making him primarily and directly responsible.


Whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action against Fausto Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly, responsible under Article 1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. To decide the main issue, we must cut through the tangled that has, in the minds of many confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes under the Penal Code and Fault or negligence under Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or “culpa aquiliana” is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a substantivity all its own, and individually that is entirely apart and independent from delict or crime.

 * Case digest by Lea Caipang, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018