To enable an injured party to recover actual or compensatory damages, he is required to prove the actual amount of loss with reasonable degree of certainty premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence available

As to the amount of the damages awarded by the CA, petitioner claims that it is not in accord with the evidence on record. It explained that the amounts used in computing for compensatory damages were based mainly on the assertions of the respondents as to the amount of salary being received by the two deceased at the time of their deaths.

This Court, in its ruling,16 expounded on the nature of compensatory damages, thus:

Under Article 2199 of the New Civil Code, actual damages include all the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission complained of, classified as one for the loss of what a person already possesses (daño emergente) and the other, for the failure to receive, as a benefit, that which would have pertained to him (lucro cesante). As expostulated by the Court in PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation v. Court of Appeals:17

Under Article 2199 of the Civil Code, actual or compensatory damages are those awarded in satisfaction of, or in recompense for, loss or injury sustained. They proceed from a sense of natural justice and are designed to repair the wrong that has been done, to compensate for the injury inflicted and not to impose a penalty. In actions based on torts or quasi-delicts, actual damages include all the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission complained of. There are two kinds of actual or compensatory damages: one is the loss of what a person already possesses (daño emergente), and the other is the failure to receive as a benefit that which would have pertained to him (lucro cesante).18

The burden of proof is on the party who would be defeated if no evidence would be presented on either side. The burden is to establish one’s case by a preponderance of evidence which means that the evidence, as a whole, adduced by one side, is superior to that of the other. Actual damages are not presumed. The claimant must prove the actual amount of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable. Specific facts that could afford a basis for measuring whatever compensatory or actual damages are borne must be pointed out. Actual damages cannot be anchored on mere surmises, speculations or conjectures. As the Court declared:

As stated at the outset, to enable an injured party to recover actual or compensatory damages, he is required to prove the actual amount of loss with reasonable degree of certainty premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence available. The burden of proof is on the party who would be defeated if no evidence would be presented on either side. He must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence which means that the evidence, as a whole, adduced by one side is superior to that of the other. In other words, damages cannot be presumed and courts, in making an award, must point out specific facts that could afford a basis for measuring whatever compensatory or actual damages are borne.19

The records show that the CA did not err in awarding the said amounts, nor was there any mistake in its computation. The respondents were able to establish their case by a preponderance of evidence. However, the petitioner is correct when it stated that the award of P100,000.00 as moral damages is excessive. Jurisprudence has set the amount to P50,000.00.20

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2011/march2011/152033.html#sdfootnote9anc

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About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
This entry was posted in Burden of Proof, Contract of Carriage, Driving, Torts and Damages and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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