Liability of joint tortfeasors

According to Article 2194 of the New Civil Code, the responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for the quasi-delict is solidary. In Lafarge Cement Philippines, Inc. v. Continental Cement Corporation, it was held:
Obligations arising from tort are, by their nature, always solidary. We have assiduously maintained this legal principle as early as 1912 in Worcester v. Ocampo, in which we held:
The difficulty in the contention of the appellants is that they fail to recognize that the basis of the present action is tort. They fail to recognize the universal doctrine that each joint tortfeasor is not only individually liable for the tort in which he participates, but is also jointly liable with his tortfeasors.
It may be stated as a general rule that joint tortfeasors are all the persons who command, instigate, promote, encourage, advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort, or who approve of it after it is done, if done for their benefit. They are each liable as principals, to the same extent and in the same manner as if they had performed the wrongful act themselves. (Go v. Cordero, G.R. No. 164703, May 4, 2010)

Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which they commit. The persons injured may sue all of them or any number less than all. Each is liable for the whole damages caused by all, and all together are jointly liable for the whole damage. It is no defense for one sued alone, that the others who participated in the wrongful act are not joined with him as defendants; nor is it any excuse for him that his participation in the tort was insignificant as compared to that of the others. (Chan, Jr. v. Iglesia ni Cristo, Inc., G.R. No. 160283, October 14, 2005)

Joint tortfeasors are not liable pro rata. The damages can not be apportioned among them, except among themselves. They cannot insist upon an apportionment, for the purpose of each paying an aliquot part. They are jointly and severally liable for the whole amount.

A payment in full for the damage done, by one of the joint tortfeasors, of course satisfies any claim which might exist against the others. There can be but satisfaction. The release of one of the joint tortfeasors by agreement generally operates to discharge all. (G.R. No. 155173, November 23, 2004)

Of course, the court during trial may find that some of the alleged tortfeasors are liable and that others are not liable. The courts may release some for lack of evidence while condemning others of the alleged tortfeasors. And, this is true even though they are charged jointly and severally. (Ngo Sin Sing v. Li Seng Giap & Sons, Inc., G.R. No. 170596, November 28, 2008)

The rule is that the defendant found guilty of interference with contractual relations cannot be held liable for more than the amount for which the party who was inducted to break the contract can be held liable. (Daywalt v. Corporacion de PP. Agustinos Recoletos, 39 Phil. 587, 1919)

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