What is the liability of the school for the tortious act of its students/employees?

March 5, 2014
  • Torts Liability of Schools in the Philippines
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Below are links to the landmark cases decided by the Supreme Court in determining the liability of a school for the tortious act committed by its employees and students.

As far as the tortious acts of students are concerned, the school is only subsidiarily liable. The controlling case is the case of Amadora vs Court of Appeals.

List of Cases:

Exconde vs Capuno (1957): Liability only applies to schools of arts and trades (obiter dictum, school was not actually a party here). Full Text | Case Digest

Mercado vs vs Court of Appeals (1960): Reiterated Exconde Case (also obiter because school was not a party); school may only be liable if student is under their custody particularly if they are boarding and lodging therein. Full Text | Case Digest

Palisoc vs Brillantes (1971): Reversed the Exconde Case and the Mercado Case; Liability applies even if student is not boarding at the school, school here is non-academic (here the school owner was impleaded in the case); Ponentia states that it cannot decide yet on liability of academic schools; Minority of student immaterial.  Full Text | Case Digest

Amadora vs Court of Appeals (1988): Liability applies to ALL schools, academic or non-academic; For academic schools, the teacher is liable; For non-academic schools, the head of the school is liable; Minority of student immaterial; School, whether or not academic, not directly liable but merely subsidiarily. Full Text | Case Digest

Filamer Christian Institute vs Intermediate Appellate Court (1992): For purposes of the law on torts and damages, a working student is an employee of the school; for purposes of determining employer-employee relationship and the enforcement of substantive labor rights, a working student is not an employee of the school. Full Text | Case Digest

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