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FORTUITOUS EVENT

ROBERTO JUNTILLA, petitioner


vs.
CLEMENTE FONTANAR, FERNANDO BANZON and
BERFOL CAMORO, respondents
G.R. No. L-45637
May 31, 1985

I. Facts
The petitioner, Roberto Juntilla, was a passenger of a public utility jeepney bearing a plate
number of PUJ -71-7 on the course of the trip from Danao City to Cebu City which was driven
by Berfol Camoro, defendant. The jeepney was under the franchise of the defendant, Clemente
Fontanar but was actually owned by Fernando Banzon, defendant. Upon the arrival of the
jeepney at Mandaue City, the right rear tire exploded causing the vehicle to turn turtle. In the
process, the plaintiff who was sitting at the front seat was thrown out of the vehicle and upon
landing on the ground, he momentarily lost consciousness. The petitioner suffered a lacerated
wound on his right palm aside from the injuries he suffered on his left arm, right thigh, and on
his back. Because of his shock and injuries, he went back to Danao City but on the way, he
discovered that his "Omega" wrist watch worth Php 852.70 was lost. When Juntilla arrived at
Danao City, he immediately entered the Danao City Hospital to attend to his injuries, and also
requested his father-in-law to proceed immediately to the place of the accident and look for the
watch which could no longer be found.
Juntilla filed a case for breach of contract with damages before the City Court of Cebu City
Branch I against Clemente Fontanar, Fernando Banzon and Berfol Camoro. Respondents in
their answer, alleged that the tire blow out was beyond their control, taking into account that
the tire that exploded was newly bought and was only slightly used at the time it blew up. The
Regional Trial Court favored the petitioner however it was reversed by the Court of First
Instance of Cebu, Branch IV since accident was due to fortuitous event.

II. Issue
Whether or not the tire blow-out is a fortuitous event?

III. Rulings
No, the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch IV appealed from is hereby
reversed and set aside, and the decision of the City Court of Cebu, Branch I is reinstated.
In the case at bar, there are specific acts of negligence on the part of the respondents. The
evidence shows that the passenger jeepney was running at a very fast speed before the accident.
A public utility jeepney running at a regular and safe speed will not jump into a ditch when its
right rear tire blows up. It was also found out that the passenger jeepney was overloaded at the
time of the accident with 3 passengers in the front seat and 14 passengers in the rear.

Caso Fortuito presents the following essential characteristics:


i. The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence, or of the failure of the debtor
to comply with his obligation, must be independent of the human will.
ii. It must be impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the caso fortuito, or if it
can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid.
iii. The occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his
obligation in a normal manner.
iv. The obligor (debtor) must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury
resulting to the creditor.

The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected incident was not independent of the human
will. The sudden blowing up could have been caused by too much air pressure injected into
the tire coupled by the fact that the jeepney was overloaded and speeding at the time of the
accident. Therefore, the said accident was caused either through the negligence of the driver
or because of mechanical defects in the tire. The source of a common carrier's legal liability is
the contract of carriage, and by entering into the said contract, it binds itself to carry the
passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence
of a very cautious person, with a due regard for all the circumstances. However, the records
show that this obligation was not met by the respondents