Reduction of exemplary damages proper
Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. In quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant acted with gross negligence.
Celedonio Tan’s death and the destruction of the petitioners’ home and tailoring shop were unquestionably caused by the respondents’ gross negligence. The law allows the grant of exemplary damages in cases such as this to serve as a warning to the pubic and as a deterrent against the repetition of this kind of deleterious actions. The grant, however, should be tempered, as it is not intended to enrich one party or to impoverish another. From this perspective, we find the CA’s reduction of the exemplary damages awarded to the petitioners from P500,000.00 to P200,000.00 to be proper.