Gerald, then three years old, was admitted at the Ospital ng Maynila for a pull-through operation. A group of doctors including the appellant. During the operation, Gerald experienced bradycardia, and went into a coma8 His coma lasted for two weeks, but he regained consciousness only after a month. He could no longer see, hear or move. The parent of Gerald lodged a complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries with the City Prosecutor’s Office of Manila against the attending physicians. The City Prosecutor’s Office filed information solely against Dr. Solidum. The RTC and the CA convicted the appellant. The SC acquitted the appellant, however;
Issue: Whether the accused acquitted from criminal liability is Civilly Liable
No, the Court clarify that the acquittal of Dr. Solidum would not immediately exempt him from civil liability. But the Court cannot now find and declare him civilly liable because the circumstances that have been established here do not present the factual and legal bases for validly doing so. His acquittal did not derive only from reasonable doubt. There was really no firm and competent showing how the injury to Gerard had been caused. That meant that the manner of administration of the anesthesia by Dr. Solidum was not necessarily the cause of the hypoxia that caused the bradycardia experienced by Gerard. Consequently, to adjudge Dr. Solidum civilly liable would be to speculate on the cause of the hypoxia. We are not allowed to do so, for civil liability must not rest on speculation but on competent evidence.
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