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68 Phil. 568 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Employer Not Liable When Injury Did Not Occur in the Course of Duty or Service
On April 30, 1937, Mariano Capulong, a chauffeur, without the knowledge of his employer, Bernardo Castillo, drove his boss’s car. Capulong ran over Fernanda Marquez thereby killing her. The heirs of Marquez sued Capulong and the latter was convicted. As he was insolvent, the heirs of Marquez sued Castillo for damages caused by his employee’s negligence.
ISSUE: Whether or not Castillo is liable for damages for the negligence of his chauffeur.
HELD: No. It was established that Castillo exercised due diligence in employing Capulong; that he had no knowledge of the fact that Capulong drove the car without his permission; that Castillo is not engaged in any kind of business or industry on or about April 30, 1937, the date of the accident; that Castillo was not riding in the car at the time of the accident.
It is clearly shown that the accident did not occur in the course of the performance of the duties or service for which Capulong had been hired. Castillo did not hire him to do as he pleased, using Castillo’s car as if it were his own. His duties and service were confined to driving his master’s car as the latter ordered him, and the accident did not take place under said circumstances. The subsidiary civil liability of the master, according to the provisions of Article 103 of said Revised Penal Code, arises and takes place only when the servant, subordinate or employee commits a punishable criminal act while in the actual performance of his ordinary duties and service, and he is insolvent thereby rendering him incapable of satisfying by himself his own civil liability, this is not so in the case at bar.