Posted: March 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


G.R. No. 116100. February 9, 1996


Private Respondent Mabasa wanted to establish an easement of right of way going into their property against petitioners who built an adobe wall in their properties which thereby restricted access to the Mabasa property. Petitioners claim that they built the wall in order to protect their persons and their property from their intrusive neighbors. The Trial Court nonetheless ordered that an easement be created.


Not satisfied, Mabasa went to the Court of Appeals which modified the decision of the trial court by awarding actual damages (p65,000.00), moral damages (p30,000.00) and exemplary damages (p10,000.00). Hence this petition. Damages were based on the fact of loss in the form of unrealized rentals on the property due to the adobe wall restricting access.


ISSUE: WON the CA erred in awarding damages.



Yes. The Court of Appeals erred, the award for damages has no legal basis. The mere fact of loss does not give rise to a right to recover damages. There must be both a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by defendant and a damage to the plaintiff resulting therefrom. Damages are merely a part of the remedy allowed for the injury caused by a breach or wrong.


An injury is an illegal invasion of a legal right, any loss, hurt and harm resulting from the injury is damage. Damages are the recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered. In this case, the petitioners merely constructed an adobe wall which was in keeping with and is a valid exercise of their rights as the owner of their respective properties—i.e. there was no abuse of right as provided for in Article 21 of the New Civil Code and where the following requisites must concur: (1) defendant acted in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy; (2) The acts should be willful and; (3) There was damage or injury to the plaintiff. None of these requisites was present in this case.

The loss was therefore not a result of a violation of a legal duty. Instances where the damage was not a result of an injury is called damnum absque injuria and the plaintiff is not normally given an award for damages.

In other words, in order that the law will give redress for an act causing damage, that act must be not only hurtful, but wrongful. There must be damnum et injuria. Damnum absque injuria – There is a material distinction between damages and injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury; and damages are the recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus, there can be damage without injury in those instances in which the loss or harm was not the result of a violation of a legal duty. These situations are often called damnum absque injuria.



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