G.R. No. 139875, 4 December 2000, 346 SCRA 870


Sumayang, accompanied by another person, was riding a motor vehicle on a highway in Cebu. While turning left at a junction, Sumayang was violently hit by a speeding bus driven by Pestano. Sumayang and his companion died due to the accident. The heirs of Sumayang filed a civil action against Pestano and Metro Cebu Bus Company, the owner of the Bus driven by Petano. A witness named Nies accounts that before Sumayang turned left, the former had raised his left arm as a signal but was run over by the bus and was thrown 14 meters away. Pestano alleges the victims were negligent because 15-20 meters away, he had already blown the bus horn and even blew it a second time when he got near but could only step on the brake after the bus had hid the motor vehicle. RTC and CA held Pestano liable and also held Metro Cebu Bus liable for negligence.


WON Metro Cebu Bus may be liable for the acts of Pestano.


There were factual findings that the bus had a defective speedometer and the Company was held to have shown laxity in the conduct of its operations and supervision of employees. Under Articles 2180 and 2176 of the Civil Code, owners and managers are responsible for damages caused by their employees. When an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or an employee, the master or employer is presumed to be negligent either in the selection or in supervision of the employee. This presumption may be overcome only by satisfactorily showing that the employer exercised the care and the diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and the supervision of its employee. The CA said that allowing Pestano to ply his route with a defective speedometer showed laxity on the part of Metro Cebu in the operation of its business and in the supervision of its employees. The negligence alluded to here is in its supervision over its driver, not in that which directly caused the accident. The fact that Pestano was able to use a bus with a faulty speedometer shows that Metro Cebu was remiss in the supervision of its employees and in the proper care of its vehicles. It had thus failed to conduct its business with the diligence required by law.

*Case digest by AG Himang, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019