Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Negligence; proximate cause


“x x x.

The first question to address, then, is whether or not Mendoza’s negligence was duly proven. Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the protection of the interests of another person, that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury.21

As found by the RTC, and affirmed by the CA, Mendoza was negligent in driving the subject Mayamy bus, as demonstrated by the fact that, at the time of the collision, the bus intruded on the lane intended for the Isuzu truck. Having encroached on the opposite lane, Mendoza was clearly in violation of traffic laws. Article2185 of the Civil Code provides that unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. In the case at bar, Mendoza’s violation of traffic laws was the proximate cause of the harm.

Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.22

The evidence on record shows that before the collision, the Isuzu truck was in its rightful lane, and was even at a stop, having been flagged down by a security guard of St. Ignatius Village.23 The mishap occurred when the Mayamy bus, travelling at a fast speed as shown by the impact of the collision, and going in the opposite direction as that of the Isuzu truck, encroached on the lane rightfully occupied by said Isuzu truck, and caused the latter to spin, injuring Perez, Anla, Banca, and Repisada, and considerably damaging the Isuzu truck

X x x.”