Martinez vs Buskirk Case Digest, 18 Phil. 79

Martinez vs Buskirk Case Digest



On September 11, 1908, Martinez was riding a carromata in Ermita along the left side of the street when a delivery wagon belonging to the defendant to which a pair of horses was attached came along the street in the opposite direction at great speed. 

The horses ran into the carromata and wounded Martinez severely.

The defendant presented evidence that the cochero was a good servant and a reliable and safe cochero.

And that he was delivering stuff so he tied the driving lines of the horses to the front end of the delivery wagon and went inside the wagon to unload the stuff to be delivered.

But while unloading, another vehicle drove by whose driver cracked a whip and made some noises which frightened the horses and which made it ran away.

The cochero was thrown from the inside of the wagon and was unable to stop the horses. The horses collided with the carromata.



Whether or not the employer is liable for the negligence of his cochero.



The defendant is not liable. Cochero was not negligent. What happened was an accident.

It has been a custom or a matter of common knowledge and universal practice of merchants to leave horses in the manner which the cochero left it during the accident. This is the custom in all cities.

The public, finding itself unprejudiced by such practice has acquiesced for years.


Acts that the performance of which has not proved destructive or injurious and which have, therefore, been acquiesced in by society for so long a time that they have ripened into custom, can not be held to be of themselves unreasonable or imprudent. In fact, the very reason why they have been permitted by society is that they are beneficial rather than prejudicial.

It is the universal practice to leave the horses in the manner in which they were left at the time of the accident. Those conditions showing of themselves that the defendant’s cochero was not negligent in the management of the horse.

Martinez vs Buskirk Case Digest

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