Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1922 > June 1922 Decisions > G.R. No. L-16879 June 1, 1922 - SALAME BERBARI v. GENERAL OIL CO.

043 Phil 414:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-16879. June 1, 1922. ]

SALAME BERBARI, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. GENERAL OIL CO., INC., Defendant-Appellee.

J. E. Blanco for plaintiff.

Felix M. Roxas, and Jose Varela Calderon for defendant.

SYLLABUS


CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT; MEASURE OF DAMAGES FOR BREACH. — In an action by an employee for wrongful discharge the measure of damages may be the full amount of the wages stipulated for the remaining portion of the term of the contract when it appears that the plaintiff has held himself in readiness during such remaining period to accept the same or similar employment, but this measure of damages cannot be applied where the actions is brought at the beginning of such period and it appears that the plaintiff left the country shortly after bringing the action and long before the expiration of the term of the contract.


D E C I S I O N


OSTRAND, J. :


On July 29, 1918, the parties to this action entered into the following contract:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"CONTRACT OF LEASE OF SERVICES BETWEEN THE ’GENERAL OIL COMPANY, INC.’ AND SALAME BERBARI

"Know all men by these presents: That we, the ’General Oil Company, Inc.’, a corporation duly organized in accordance with the laws of the Philippine Islands, as party of the first part, and Salame Berbari, of legal age, resident of this capital, as party of the second part,

"DO DECLARE AND COVENANT:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That we have agreed to enter into a contract of hire of services, and do hereby enter into it, with the following clauses and conditions, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"1. Mr. Salame Berbari, who asserts that he possesses knowledge of the manufacture of coconut oils, as well as ability to manage a factory for the manufacture of the said oils, binds himself from today to render services to the General Oil Company, Inc., as manager of the factory which the said corporation is to establish in the city of Manila, and also to perform such services and duties as the board of directors may assign him from time to time, exercising the powers that the same may give him expressly, subject always to the orders and instructions of the board of directors of the corporation.

"2. From the termination of the construction and installation of the factory and during the time in which this contract is in force, Mr. Salame Berbari is to devote all his time and attention exclusively to the business of the company.

"3. Should the board of directors so see fit, the president of the corporation may execute a power of attorney in favor of Mr. Salame Berbari, giving him such powers as may then be deemed proper and necessary.

"4. In consideration of the services which Mr. Salame Berbari is to render, as aforesaid, and as compensation therefor, he is to receive during the time in which this contract is in force, the following sums:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"(a) Ten per centum (10%) of the true profits as determined in this contract, after deducting fifteen per centum (15%) of the value of the factory, together with its machinery, installation, appliances, and equipment of the business as well as the value of the lands and buildings of the corporation.

"(b) Besides the preceding ten per centum (10%) he is to receive a salary of three hundred pesos (P300) monthly from the date the oil factory of the corporation begins to function and go into full operation.

"(c) As compensation for the labor, management, and services which Mr. Salame Berbari is bound to perform from today, as well as all those heretofore already performed by him, up to the moment that the oil factory of the corporation goes into full work and operation, the corporation is to pay him the lump sum of five hundred pesos (P500).

"5. It is expressly stipulated that the corporation, through its board of directors, has the right to make all the expenses it may deem necessary for the better running and development of its business, this contract not to be construed as giving Mr. Salame Berbari any right whatever to control the amount of said expenses, intervene in, or contest, the same, since this contract is not one of partnership or joint account, but of lease of services; provided that nothing herein stipulated shall in any way limit the rights which Mr. Berbari may have as stockholder or director of the corporation.

"6. The duration of this contract is one year from the date that the factory be declared in full work and operation.

"7. This contract may be renewed from year to year should Mr. Berbari so desire and the board of directors resolve to renew it.

"In testimony whereof the parties hereto have signed the present instrument in cuadruplicate, each copy being to one single effect, in the city of Manila, Philippines, this _____ of July, 1918.

"By GENERAL OIL COMPANY, INC.

(Sgd.) "JOSEPH G. BRIMO,

"President.

"SALAME BERBARI.

"Countersigned:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

(Sgd.) "JOSE MORENO LACALLE,

"Secretary.

"Signed in the presence of:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

(Sgd.) "F. BASCONCILLO.

"NORBERTO ANICETA."cralaw virtua1aw library

Numerous difficulties appear to have presented themselves in connection with the construction and installation of the factory, and the work progressed so slowly that in November, 1918, the defendant agreed to increase the sum mentioned in subsection (c), paragraph 4 of the contract, to P750. The factory was never completed as planned, but limited operations could have been commenced in April, 1919. As to the responsibility for the delays the parties do not agree and the evidence upon that point is very conflicting. Reading the record one gains the impression that neither the plaintiff nor the officers of the defendant corporation possessed much experience in the construction of a coconut oil factory.

On May 5, 1919, plaintiff filed his original complaint in this case, claiming the P750 for his work on said factory up to February 1, 1919, and salary of P300 per month from February 1, 1919, to April 30, 1919, and P19,740 as his part of the profits which could have been made in the operation of said factory from February 1, 1919, to the date of the filing of said suit.

After the filing of said original complaint against the defendant corporation, the plaintiff continued to render service to the defendant until about May 15, 1919, when he received a letter from the acting secretary of defendant notifying him that his services were no longer required.

Thereafter, on or about May 27, the plaintiff filed a supplementary complaint demanding wages for a year from February 1, 1919, at the rate of P300 per month, and increasing his claim for damages for loss of profits to P76,650 in addition to the P750 for his services prior to the time the factory should have been ready for operation. The total amount claimed by plaintiff was therefore P81,000.

The defendant in its answer set up a counterclaim for P96,600 by way of damages for losses caused by the plaintiff’s alleged negligence and lack of skill in the service for which he was employed.

The trial court rendered a judgment in favor of the plaintiff for P750 as compensation for services rendered, disallowing his claim for future salary and for damages and dismissing the defendant’s counterclaim. From this judgment only the plaintiff appealed.

The evidence is very fully discussed in the well-considered decision of the court below and a further discussion of it here can serve no useful purpose. Suffice it to say that we find no reversible error in the judgment appealed from. There is no evidence, properly speaking, in support of plaintiff’s rather fantastic estimate of his loss of profits; the testimony as to what might have been the earnings of the mill had it run at full capacity and under favorable conditions is, under the circumstances, purely speculative. In addition to the reasons stated by the trial court for disallowing the plaintiff’s claim for one year’s salary from February 1, 1919, we may add the further reason that while it is true that had the plaintiff waited until the expiration of his term of employment, holding himself in readiness during that period to accept the same or similar employment, the measure of damages might then have been the full amount of the salary called for by the contract. But this measure cannot be applied in the present in the present case where the plaintiff brought the action almost at the beginning of the period for which he claims wages and where it appears affirmatively that he shortly afterwards left this country for foreign parts. There is no other evidence in the record upon which we can base a finding as to the amount of damages by reason of loss of wages.

The judgment appealed from is affirmed with the costs against the appellant. So ordered.

Araullo, C.J., Malcolm, Avanceña, Villamor, and Romualdez, JJ., concur.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





June-1922 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-16879 June 1, 1922 - SALAME BERBARI v. GENERAL OIL CO.

    043 Phil 414

  • G.R. No. L-17760 June 1, 1922 - FRANCISCO A. DELGADO v. ESTEBAN DE LA RAMA

    043 Phil 419

  • G.R. No. L-17991 June 3, 1922 - CALIXTO D. BERBARI v. ALFREDO CHICOTE

    043 Phil 425

  • G.R. No. 17585 June 5, 1922 - GREGORIO DELA PENA v. GOV’T. OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS

    043 Phil 430

  • G.R. No. L-16540 June 7, 1922 - JOHN T. MACLEOD v. ESTATE OF E. H. JOHNSON

    043 Phil 435

  • G.R. No. L-17627 June 8, 1922 - IN RE: RAFAEL JOCSON v. ROSAURO JOCSON, ET AL.

    046 Phil 701

  • G.R. No. L-16753 June 8, 1922 - ROSA GARCIA ET AL. v. PLACIDO ESCUDERO

    043 Phil 437

  • G.R. No. L-18103 June 8, 1922 - PNB v. MANILA OIL REFINING & BY-PRODUCTS CO.

    043 Phil 444

  • G.R. No. L-17107 June 9, 1922 - MATIAS GONZALEZ v. IRA L. DAVIS ET AL.

    043 Phil 468

  • G.R. No. L-17536 June 9, 1922 - VICENTE DIAZ, ET AL. v. SECUNDO MENDEZONA, ET AL.

    043 Phil 472

  • G.R. No. L-17772 June 9, 1922 - FORTUNATO RODRIGUEZ v. Jose R. BORROMEO

    043 Phil 479

  • G.R. No. L-18104 June 10, 1922 - JUANA MARTINEZ, ET AL. v. JUANA TOLENTINO ET AL.

    043 Phil 492

  • G.R. No. 17857 June 12, 1922 - IN RE: Josefa Zalamea y Abella v. ANTONIO ABELLA ET AL.

    043 Phil 494

  • G.R. No. 16936 June 13, 1922 - WARNER v. DIONISIO INZA

    043 Phil 505

  • G.R. No. 17690 June 14, 1922 - YU BIAO SONTUA & CO. v. MIGUEL J. OSSORIO

    043 Phil 511

  • G.R. No. L-16599 June 17, 1922 - VICTORIANO BETCO v. "LA FLOR DE INTAL

    043 Phil 517

  • G.R. No. L-17598 June 17, 1922 - HENRY HARDING v. SAN MIGUEL BREWERY CO.

    043 Phil 522

  • G.R. No. L-17150 June 20, 1922 - ANDRES SOLER v. EDWARD CHESLEY

    043 Phil 529

  • G.R. No. L-17709 June 20, 1922 - FAUSTINO LICHAUCO v. GREGORIO OLEGARIO, ET AL.

    043 Phil 540

  • G.R. No. L-18952 June 20, 1922 - B. A. GREEN v. SIMPLICIO DEL ROSARIO

    043 Phil 547

  • G.R. No. 18010 June 21, 1922 - BASILIO BORJA v. P. W. ADDISON, ET AL.

    044 Phil 895

  • G.R. No. 17357 June 21, 1922 - CLARO SAYO v. MANILA RAILROAD CO., ET AL.

    043 Phil 551

  • G.R. No. 17900 June 21, 1922 - EUGENIO CAGAOAN v. FELIX CAGAOAN, ET AL.

    043 Phil 554

  • G.R. No. 17043 June 22, 1922 - FLORENTINO PAMINTUAN v. PRIMITIVO SAN AGUSTIN

    043 Phil 558

  • G.R. No. L-17783 June 22, 1922 - DI SIOCK JIAN v. SY LIOC SUY ET AL.

    043 Phil 562

  • G.R. No. L-18105 June 22, 1922 - RUFINO PABICO v. ONG PAUCO

    043 Phil 572



  • G.R. No. L-17825 June 26, 1922 - IN RE: U. DE POLI. FELISA ROMAN v. ASIA BANKING CORP.

    046 Phil 705


  • G.R. No. L-16746 June 26, 1922 - THE MUNICIPALITY OF ALBAY v. CONSTANCIO BENITO in his own behalf, ET AL.

    043 Phil 576

  • G.R. No. L-17863 June 26, 1922 - CENON FERNANDEZ v. CESAR MERCADER, ET AL.

    043 Phil 581

  • G.R. No. L-19114 June 26, 1922 - SALVADOR JARANILLO v. ANDRES JACINTO

    043 Phil 588

  • G.R. No. L-17131 June 30, 1922 - SING JUCO, ET AL. v. ANTONIO SUYANTONG, ET AL.

    043 Phil 589

  • G.R. No. L-19153 June 30, 1922 - B. E. JOHANNES v. CARLOS A. IMPERIAL

    043 Phil 597