Legalese (2009 Week 10)


Fortuitous events – events “which could not be foreseen or which, though foreseen, were inevitable.”


ARTICLE 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is otherwise declared by stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for those events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable. (Civil Code)


As a rule, a person cannot be held liable for loss or damage suffered by another person if the loss or damage is caused by a fortuitous event. The exceptions are: (1) the law states that the person is nevertheless liable; (2) the parties agree in their contract that a contacting party is nevertheless liable; and (3) the nature of the obligations requires the assumption of risk.


B borrowed the car of L. While about to reach his destination, the car driven by L’s driver and with B as sole passenger was accidentally stoned by some “mischievous boys” playing along the road and its windshield was broken. Did B assume the risk of the car being stoned? [Source: Comments and Cases on Obligations and Contracts [2003], p. 83, citing Dioquino v. Laureano, 33 SCRA 65 (1970)]