Violation of a statutory duty = negligence per se

We have already held that violation of a statutory duty is negligence per se. In F.F. Cruz and Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, we held the owner of a furniture shop liable for the destruction of the plaintiff's house in a fire which started in his establishment in view of his failure to comply with an ordinance which required the construction of a firewall. In Teaque vs. Fernandez, we stated that where the very injury which was intended to be prevented by the ordinance has happened, none compliance with the ordinance was not only an act of negligence, but also the proximate cause of the death. Indeed, the existence of a contract between petitioner and private respondent does not bar a finding of negligence under the principles of quasi-delict, as we recently held in Fabre vs. Court of Appeals. Petitioner's negligence is the source of his obligation. He is not being held liable for breach of his contractual obligation due to negligence but for his negligence in not complying with a duty imposed on him by law. It is therefore immaterial that the loss occassioned to private respondent was due to a fortuitous event, since it was petitioner's negligence in not insuring against the risk which was the proximate cause of the loss. [G.R. No. 107968. October 30, 1996]

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