Exemplary damages

Summary

▪ Exemplary damages may be awarded if the dismissal was effected in a wanton, oppressive or malevolent manner.

▪ If moral damages is awarded, exemplary damages may be awarded as well.

1. Concept

Under Article 2229 of the Civil Code, “[e]xemplary or corrective damages are imposed, by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.”

Exemplary damages are designed by our civil law to permit the courts to reshape behaviour that is socially deleterious in its consequence by creating negative incentives or deterrents against such behaviour. (Montinola v. PAL, G.R. No. 198656, 08 September 2014)

If the case involves a contract, Article 2332 of the Civil Code provides that “the court may award exemplary damages if the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner.” (Ibid.)

In labor cases, the court may award exemplary damages “if the dismissal was effected in a wanton, oppressive or malevolent manner.” (Ibid.)

a. Follows if moral damages are awarded, even if not pleaded nor proved

As regards exemplary damages, “there can be no question that the entitlement to moral damages having been established, exemplary damages may be awarded… even though not so expressly pleaded in the complaint nor proved.” (Coca-Cola Bottlers, Phils., Inc. v. Roque, G.R. No. 118985, 14 June 1999)

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References

Republic Act No. 386, a.k.a. Civil Code of the Philippines

Presidential Decree No. 442, a.k.a. Labor Code of the Philippines

DOLE Department Order No. 147, Series of 2015

▪ Jurisprudence or Supreme Court Decisions

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