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A vehicular accident occurred on August 5, 1979, when Martin Belmonte, while driving a cargo truck belonging to petitioner Vicente Vergara, rammed the store-residence of private respondent Amadeo Azarcon, causing damage assessed at P53,024.22. The trial court rendered decision in favor of private respondent, ordering the petitioner to pay, jointly and severally with Traveller’s Insurance and Surety Corporation, the following: (a) P53,024.22 as actual damages; (b) P10,000.00 as moral damages; (c) P10,000.00 as exemplary damages; and (d) the sum of P5,000.00 for attorney's fees and the costs. The insurance company was sentenced to pay to the petitioner the following: (a) P50,000.00 for third party liability under its comprehensive accident insurance policy; and (b) P3,000.00 for and as attorney's fees. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in toto; hence, this instant petition for certiorari.
Whether the petitioner is guilty of quasi-delict
It was established by competent evidence that the requisites of a quasi-delict are present in the case at bar. These requisites are: (1) damages to the plaintiff; (2) negligence, by act or omission, of which defendant, or some person for whose acts he must respond, was guilty; and (3) the connection of cause and effect between such negligence and the damages. The fact of negligence may be deduced from the surrounding circumstances thereof. According to the police report, "the cargo truck was travelling on the right side of the road going to Manila and then it crossed to the center line and went to the left side of the highway; it then bumped a tricycle; and then another bicycle; and then said cargo truck rammed the store warehouse of the plaintiff." According to the driver of the cargo truck, he applied the brakes, but the latter did not work due to mechanical defect. Contrary to the claim of the petitioner, a mishap caused by defective brakes cannot be considered as fortuitous in character. Certainly, the defects were curable and the accident preventable.
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