Loss of determinate thing

The loss of a determinate thing is governed by Article 1262 of the Civil Code, to wit:

ART. 1262. An obligation which consists in the delivery of a determinate thing shall be extinguished if it should be lost or destroyed without the fault of the debtor, and before he has incurred in delay.

When by law or stipulation, the obligor is liable even for fortuitous events, the loss of the thing does not extinguish the obligation, and he shall be responsible for damages. The same rule applies when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk. (1182a) 

A thing is considered loss if it perishes, goes out of commerce or disappears in such a way that its existence is unknown or it cannot be recovered.[1][2] The general rule is that the loss of a determinate thing extinguishes the obligation. In oobrder for the obligation to be extinguished, the following requisites must be present: a) obligation to deliver a determinate thing; b) the thing is lost or destroyed without debtor's fault; and c) delay is not incurred by debtor. However, paragraph two of Article 1262 provides the instances where the debtor is still liable for damages, viz.:[3]

a) when the law or stipulation expressly provides for liability even for fortuitous event; and

b) when the nature of obligation requires assumption of risk.


[1] Paragraph 2, Article 1189, Civil Code.

[2] De Leon. (2014). Obligations and Contracts.

[3] Rabuya. (2019). Obligations and Contracts.

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