12 strict torts under the Civil Code

Strict liability or "strict tort," also known as "absolute liability" or "liability without fault," is a concept in tort law different from intentional tort and negligent tort. A person is liable for damages regardless of fault or negligence and regardless of intention. After certain facts have been established as a premise, liability under strict tort is almost absolute because the law expects every person to comply with certain absolute duties to make society safe. These absolute duties are required so that persons are safe from extremely hazardous circumstances because of certain presumptions that people hold every day. For example, people presume that the food they buy is safe so they eat it immediately without feeling the need to inspect with extreme care; hence, there is a need for strict tort against food makers.

Under the Civil Code of the Philippines, strict liability is imposed by Articles 1314, 1711, 1712, 1723, 2183, 2184, 2187, 2189, 2190, 2191, 2192 and 2193.

[1] Article 1314; strict tort against inducers. Any third person who induces another to violate his contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party.

[2] Article 1711; strict tort against employers. Owners of enterprises and other employers are obliged to pay compensation for the death of or injuries to their laborers, workmen, mechanics or other employees, even though the event may have been purely accidental or entirely due to a fortuitous cause, if the death or personal injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. The employer is also liable for compensation if the employee contracts any illness or disease caused by such employment or as the result of the nature of the employment. If the mishap was due to the employee's own notorious negligence, or voluntary act, or drunkenness, the employer shall not be liable for compensation. When the employee's lack of due care contributed to his death or injury, the compensation shall be equitably reduced.

[3] Article 1712; strict tort against fellow workers with solidary liability against employers. If the death or injury is due to the negligence of a fellow worker, the latter and the employer shall be solidarily liable for compensation. If a fellow worker's intentional or malicious act is the only cause of the death or injury, the employer shall not be answerable, unless it should be shown that the latter did not exercise due diligence in the selection or supervision of the plaintiff's fellow worker.

[4] Article 1723; strict tort against engineers and architects. The engineer or architect who drew up the plans and specifications for a building is liable for damages if within fifteen (15) years from the completion of the structure, the same should collapse by reason of a defect in those plans and specifications, or due to the defects in the ground. The contractor is likewise responsible for the damages if the edifice falls, within the same period, on account of defects in the construction or the use of materials of inferior quality furnished by him, or due to any violation of the terms of the contract. If the engineer or architect supervises the construction, he shall be solidarily liable with the contractor.

Acceptance of the building, after completion, does not imply waiver of any of the cause of action by reason of any defect mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

The action must be brought within ten years following the collapse of the building.
[5] Article 2183; strict tort against animal possessors. The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in case the damage should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who has suffered damage.

[6] Article 2184; strict tort against drivers with solidary liability against motor vehicle owners. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use of the due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months.

If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of article 2180 are applicable. (n)

[7] Article 2187; strict tort against manufacturers and processors. Manufacturers and processors of foodstuffs, drinks, toilet articles and similar goods shall be liable for death or injuries caused by any noxious or harmful substances used, although no contractual relation exists between them and the consumers.

[8] Article 2189; strict tort against local government units. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works under their control or supervision.

[9] Article 2190; strict tort against building owner. The proprietor of a building or structure is responsible for the damages resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it should be due to the lack of necessary repairs.

[10] Article 2191; strict tort against other owners. Proprietors shall also be responsible for damages caused: (1) By the explosion of machinery which has not been taken care of with due diligence, and the inflammation of explosive substances which have not been kept in a safe and adequate place; (2) By excessive smoke, which may be harmful to persons or property; (3) By the falling of trees situated at or near highways or lanes, if not caused by force majeure; (4) By emanations from tubes, canals, sewers or deposits of infectious matter, constructed without precautions suitable to the place.

[11] Article 2192; strict tort against owners, vis-a-vis against engineers and architects. If damage referred to in the two preceding articles should be the result of any defect in the construction mentioned in article 1723, the third person suffering damages may proceed only against the engineer or architect or contractor in accordance with said article, within the period therein fixed.

[12] Article 2193; tort against family heads. The head of a family that lives in a building or a part thereof, is responsible for damages caused by things thrown or falling from the same.

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