Dalton, the North Carolina Court of Appeals revisited the "last clear chance" doctrine in the context of a moped driver who was using a bicycle light at night and was struck and killed by another motorist. 130003, October 20, 2004, 441 SCRA 24, 44. They asseverate that right before the collision, Estranas was driving the train at a moderate speed. In a car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff ignored a stop sign and continued driving. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 21, 2009 in CA-G.R. A doctrine in the law of torts which states that the contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the claim for damages if it is shown that the defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the consequences of the negligence of the injured party. However, as the heirs of Rhonda Brunty undeniably incurred expenses for the wake and burial of the latter, we deem it proper to award temperate damages in the amount of ₱25,000.00 pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence.65 This is in lieu of actual damages as it would be unfair for the victim’s heirs to get nothing, despite the death of their kin, for the reason alone that they cannot produce receipts.66. The Lawphil Project. On May 14, 2004, at about three o’clock in the morning, Reynaldo Vizcara (Reynaldo) was driving a passenger jeepney headed towards Bicol to deliver onion crops, with his companions, namely, Cresencio Vizcara (Cresencio), Crispin Natividad (Crispin), Samuel Natividad (Samuel), Dominador Antonio (Dominador) and Joel Vizcara (Joel). 145291, September 21, 2005, 470 SCRA 495, 505; ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, 361 Phil. Last clear chance is a doctrine in civil law which simply states that if a plaintiff engaged in contributory negligence but the defendant could have taken action to avoid a danger, the plaintiff can still recover damages from the defendant. If not, the person is guilty of negligence. 22 Westmont Investment Corporation v. Francia, Jr., G.R. To even draw closer attention, the railroad crossing may be equipped with a device which rings a bell or turns on a signal light to signify the danger or risk of crossing. The fallo reads: WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs Ethel Brunty and Juan Manuel M. Garcia and against the defendant Philippine National Railways directing the latter to pay the former the sum of: 1. It insisted that there were adequate, visible, and clear warning signs strategically posted on the sides of the road before the railroad crossing. The CA rendered the assailed Decision34 on August 15, 2005. 32 Canlas v. Court of Appeals, 383 Phil. Stated differently, the rule is that the antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude recovery of damages caused by the supervening negligence of the latter, who had the last fair chance to prevent the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence.32 To reiterate, the proximate cause of the collision was the petitioners’ negligence in ensuring that motorists and pedestrians alike may safely cross the railroad track. As an institution established to alleviate public transportation, it is the duty of the PNR to promote the safety and security of the general riding public and provide for their convenience, which to a considerable degree may be accomplished by the installation of precautionary warning devices. Likewise, there was no crossing bar to prevent them from proceeding or, at least, a stoplight or signage to forewarn them of the approaching peril. 83491, August 27, 1990, 189 SCRA 88, 93. Considering the circumstances attendant in this case, we find that an award of ₱500,000.00 as moral damages to the heirs of Rhonda Brunty is proper. In particular, the petitioners failed to install safety railroad bars to prevent motorists from crossing the tracks in order to give way to an approaching train. It bears noting that the prevailing circumstances immediately before the collision did not manifest even the slightest indication of an imminent harm. 64 Public Estates Authority v. Chu, G.R. The CA disposed, thus: WHEREFORE, instant appeal is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The doctrine of last clear chance “contemplates a last ‘clear’ chance, not a last ‘possible’ chance to avoid the accident; it must have been such a chance as would have enabled a reasonably prudent man in like position to have acted effectively.” Battle v. Chavis, 266 N.C. 778, 781, 147 S.E.2d 387, 390 (1966). ₱200,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages to plaintiff Ethel Brunty; 2.) At least ₱64,057.61 as actual damages representing medical expenses to plaintiff Juan Manuel M. Garcia and at least ₱1,000,000.00 as unearned or lost income of said plaintiff; 5.) His failure to maintain a safe distance between the jeepney he was driving and the truck ahead of the same prevented him from seeing the PNR signage displayed along the crossing.14, In their Comment,15 the respondents reiterate the findings of the RTC and the CA that the petitioners' negligence in maintaining adequate and necessary public safety devices in the area of the accident was the proximate cause of the mishap. 194128, December 7, 2011, citing Microsoft Corp. v. Maxicorp, Inc., 481 Phil. 23 Philippine National Railways v. Brunty, G.R. No. vs. MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENOAssociate Justice. x x x, x x x An examination of the photographs of the railroad crossing at Moncada, Tarlac presented as evidence by PNR itself would yield the following: (1.) Moreover, every corporation constructing or operating a railway shall make and construct at all points where such railway crosses any public road, good, sufficient, and safe crossings, and erect at such points, at sufficient elevation from such road as to admit a free passage of vehicles of every kind, a sign with large and distinct letters placed thereon, to give notice of the proximity of the railway, and warn persons of the necessity of looking out for trains. PURIFICACION VIZCARA, MARIVIC VIZCARA, CRESENCIA A. NATIVIDAD, HECTOR VIZCARA, JOEL VIZCARA and DOMINADOR ANTONIO, Respondents. It seemed to me that losing her was just like losing my own life, or worst, and even now, there is no end to our bereavement. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 15, 2005 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATIONS. Pursuant to Article 217962 of the New Civil Code, the only effect such contributory negligence could have is to mitigate liability, which, however, is not applicable in this case, as will be discussed later.1âwphi1. Attorney’s fees equivalent to at least 15% of the total award to plaintiffs herein.12, In its Answer,13 PNR claimed that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family not only in the selection but also in the supervision of its employees.14 By way of special and affirmative defense, it stressed that it had the right of way on the railroad crossing in question, and that it has no legal duty to put up a bar or red light signal in any such crossing. The defendant has the final opportunity to prevent the harm that the plaintiff otherwise will suffer. NEGLIGENCE - CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE - LAST CLEAR CHANCE DOCTRINE - The last clear chance doctrine could be applied to an accident on a construction site that involved a forklift operator and a commercial plumber. Aggrieved, the petitioners filed the present petition for review on certiorari, raising the following grounds: THE CA ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT WAS THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE PETITIONERS; THE CA ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE DOCTRINE OF LAST CLEAR CHANCE FINDS NO APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE; THE CA ERRED IN FINDING NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE PETITIONERS OR ERRED IN NOT FINDING AT THE LEAST, CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE RESPONDENTS.13, The petitioners maintain that the proximate cause of the collision was the negligence and recklessness of the driver of the jeepney. The unsuspecting driver and passengers of the jeepney did not have any participation in the occurrence of the unfortunate incident which befell them. 809, 814 (1915); Pantranco North Express, Inc. v. Baesa, 258-A Phil. 384, 389 (2005); Pestaño v. Sps. Under the last clear chance doctrine, a defendant may still be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries if they had a chance to avoid injuring the plaintiff. Every railroad crossing must be installed with barriers on each side of the track to block the full width of the road until after the train runs past the crossing. A: I felt earnest anguish and mixed feelings of anger and extreme sorrow because she died so far away and alone, and because her death could so easily be prevented if there had been adequate and appropriate warning signals at the railroad crossing and it is just an unbearable and irreparable loss. They arise out of a sense of natural justice, aimed at repairing the wrong done. As to the amount of damages awarded, a modification of the same is in order, specifically on the award of actual and moral damages in the aggregate amount of ₱1,000,000.00. Considering the circumstances prevailing at the time of the fatal accident, it ruled that the alleged safety measures installed by the PNR at the railroad crossing were not merely inadequate – they did not satisfy the well-settled safety standards in transportation.36 However, the CA did not agree with the RTC’s findings on the contributory negligence of Mercelita, the driver of the Mercedes Benz. last clear chance doctrine, the following situation has been hypothesized to which the doctrine would be almost universally applicable. Last Clear Chance Doctrine The last clear chance doctrine is an affirmative defense usually asserted by a defendant to attempt to defeat a negligence claim. The doctrine of last clear chance is not applicable. 20 Cebu Shipyard & Eng’g Works, Inc. v. William Lines, Inc., 366 Phil. III. at 292, citing 74 C.J.S., 1347, 1348 and 44 Am Jur. Though the stated rationale has differed depending on the jurisdiction adopting the … When the train was only fifty (50) meters away from the intersection, respondent Estranas noticed that all vehicles on both sides of the track were already at a full stop. A question of fact, on the other hand, exists if the doubt centers on the truth or falsity of the alleged facts.22 Certainly, the finding of negligence by the RTC, which was affirmed by the CA, is a question of fact which this Court cannot pass upon as this would entail going into the factual matters on which the negligence was based.23 Moreover, it was not shown that the present case falls under any of the recognized exceptions24 to the oft repeated principle according great weight and respect to the factual findings of the trial court and the CA. Last clear chance is a doctrine in civil law which simply states that if a plaintiff engaged in contributory negligence but the defendant could have taken action to avoid a danger, the plaintiff can still recover damages from the defendant. 22 The doctrine necessarily assumes negligence on the … DTW-387; 1) P50,000.00, as indemnity for the death of Cresencio Vizcara; 1) P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of Samuel Vizcara; 1) P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of Crispin Natividad; 1) P9,870.00 as reimbursement for his actual expenses; 1) P63,427.00 as reimbursement for his actual expenses; Unyielding, the petitioners appealed the RTC decision to the CA. 160709, February 23, 2005, 452 SCRA 285, 290; Pestaño v. Sumayang, G.R. Mercelita, driving at approximately 70 km/hr, drove past a vehicle, unaware of the railroad track up ahead and that they were about to collide with PNR Train No. The doctrine of last clear chance simply means that the negligence of a claimant does not preclude a recovery for the negligence of defendant where it appears that the latter, by exercising reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided injurious consequences to claimant notwithstanding his negligence. 68 Macalinao v. Ong, supra. 784 (2002); Equitable Leasing Corporation v. Suyom, 437 Phil. 148-157. Moral damages are not punitive in nature, but are designed to compensate and alleviate in some way the physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury unjustly caused a person. the last clear chance doctrine was a part of Florida jurisprudence,' and in a series of cases the doctrine was defined and its boundaries were outlined. I am still on constant medication to be able to sleep and to be able to perform my duties effectively in my job but it does not take away the pain of loss.70, In People v. Teehankee, Jr.,71 and in Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals,72 we awarded moral damages in the amount of ₱1,000,000.00 to the heirs of the deceased. 8-9. Finally, the application in this case of the doctrine of last clear chance is likewise in question. It was about 12:00 midnight, January 25, 1980. 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