G.R. No. 173297, 6 March 2013
Marañon filed a complaint with an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment in the RTC against the Cuencas and Tayactac for the collection of a sum of money and damages. Enforcing the writ of preliminary attachment, the sheriff levied upon the equipment, supplies, materials and various other personal property belonging to Arc Cuisine, Inc., to which the respondents where stockholders. But the levied properties were ordered by the CA to be delivered back to the Cuencas and Tayactac due to the damages sustained from the enforcement of the writ.
During the inventory, however, the levied properties were reportedly lost and allegedly seen in a bakeshop owned by Maranon. Cuencas and Tayactac prayed that said attached properties be immediately deliver to them; Stronghold Insurance be directed to pay them the damages under the surety bond for P1 Million; Marañon be held personally liable to them considering the insufficiency of the amount of the surety bond; and the latter to be held liable for moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s fees.
Whether the Cuencas and Tayactac can recover damages arising from the wrongful attachment of the assets of Arc Cuisine, Inc.
NO. The SC held that only Arc Cuisine, Inc. had the right under the substantive law to claim and recover such damages. The Cuencas and Tayactac cannot recover damages because they are not the real-party in interest. Accordingly, a person , to be a real party in interest in whose name an action must be prosecuted, should appear to be the present real owner of the right sought to be enforced, that is, his interest must be a present substantial interest, not a mere expectancy, or a future, contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest.
There is no dispute that the properties subject to the levy on attachment belonged to Arc Cuisine, Inc. alone, not to the Cuencas and Tayactac in their own right. They were only stockholders of Arc Cuisine, Inc., which had a personality distinct and separate from that of any or all of them. The damages occasioned to the properties by the levy on attachment, wrongful or not, prejudiced Arc Cuisine, Inc., not them.
Given the separate and distinct legal personality of Arc Cuisine, Inc., the Cuencas and Tayactac lacked the legal personality to claim the damages sustained from the levy of the former’s properties.
*Case digest by Earl M. Acoymo, Refresher, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020