Geluz v. Court of Appeals Case Digest – G.R. No. L-16439 – July 20, 1961

Geluz vs CA Case Digest – G.R. No. L-16439 – July 20, 1961

REYES, J.B.L., J.:

FACTS

Nita Villanueva & Antonio Geluz met in 1948 through Nita’s aunt.

In 1950, she got pregnant. To conceal her pregnancy from her parents, she had an abortion.

When they got married, she got pregnant again. Since she was an employee of COMELEC and her pregnancy would be inconvenient to her, she had an abortion in Oct 1953.

In 1955, she again became pregnant after 2 years and had an abortion for the third and last time.

The last abortion constituted the plaintiff’s basis in filing an action for the award of damages. CA and the trial court granted the award of damages.


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ISSUE

Whether the husband of a woman, who voluntarily procured her abortion, could recover damages from the physician who caused the same.

HELD

The Supreme Court believed that the minimum award fixed at P3,000 for the death of a person. It does not cover cases of an unborn fetus that is not endowed with personality which the trial court and Court of Appeals predicated.

Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see that if no action for such damages could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it received, no such right of action could deliberately accrue to its parents or heirs.

In fact, even if a cause of action did accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from one that lacked juridical personality under Article 40 of the Civil Code, which expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that the child should be subsequently alive.

It is apparent that he consented to the previous abortions. It made his action questionable for why he only filed for damages on his wife’s third abortion. Also, SC held that the fetus wasn’t born yet so it has no juridical personality. The award for the death of a person does not cover the case of an unborn fetus that is not endowed with personality and incapable of having rights and obligations.


Geluz vs CA Case Digest – G.R. No. L-16439 – July 20, 1961

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