Thursday, February 12, 2009

Consunji vs. CA

On Nov. 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction worker of D.M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his death. On May 9, 1991, Jose Juego´s widow, filed in the RTC of Pasig a compalint for damages against the deceased´s employer, D.M. Consunji, Inc. The employer raised, among other defenses, the widow´s prior availment of the benefits from the State Insurance Fund. The RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow Maria Juego, ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff. On appeal by D.M. Consunji, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto. Hence, this petition.

Issue: WON the petitioner (Consunji) is negligent and should be liable.

Ruling. The deision of the CA is affirmed.

The claims for damages sustained by workers in the course of their employment could be filed only under the Workmen´s Compensation Law, to the exclusion of all further claims under other laws. The CA held that the case at bar came under exception because private resppondent was unaware of petitioner´s negligence when she filed her claim for death benefits from the State Insurance Fund.


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