Monday, April 7, 2014

Spouse, Legitimate and Illegitimate Descendants are Entitled to Moral Damages for One's Death. When may be denied.

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As to the amount of moral damages which was awarded to respondents, a review of the records of this case shows that there exists no cogent reason to overturn the action of the appellate court on this aspect.
Under Article 2206, the "spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish for the death of the deceased." The reason for the grant of moral damages has been explained, thus:
. . . the award of moral damages is aimed at a restoration, within the limits possible, of the spiritual status quo ante; and therefore, it must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted. The intensity of the pain experienced by the relatives of the victim is proportionate to the intensity of affection for him and bears no relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender.19
Moral damages are emphatically not intended to enrich a plaintiff at the expense of the defendant. They are awarded to allow the former to obtain means, diversion or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone due to the defendant's culpable action and must, perforce, be proportional to the suffering inflicted.20
Truly, the pain of the sudden loss of one's offspring, especially of a son who was in the prime of his youth, and who holds so much promise waiting to be fulfilled is indeed a wellspring of intense pain which no parent should be made to suffer. While it is true that there can be no exact or uniform rule for measuring the value of a human life and the measure of damages cannot be arrived at by a precise mathematical calculation,21 we hold that the Court of Appeals' award of moral damages of P100,000.00 each to the Spouses Dolor and Spouses Valmocina for the death of their respective sons, Boyet Dolor and Oscar Valmocina, is in full accord with prevailing jurisprudence.22
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Spouses Francisco M. Hernandez, et al. v. Spouses Lorenzo Dolor, et al.,  G.R. No. 160286, July 30, 2004
Read the full text of the case here.

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