Orlando Garcia, Jr. vs. Ranida and Ramon Salvador

Orlando Garcia, Jr. (Community Diagnostics Center) vs. Ranida and Ramon Salvador G.R. No. 168512 March 20, 2007

Respondent Ranida Salvador underwent a medical examination at the Community Diagnostics Center (CDC) as a prerequisite for regular employment. Garcia, a medical technologist, conducted the HBs Ag (Hepatitis B Surface Antigen) test. On October 22, 1993, CDC issued the test result indicating that Ranida was “HBs Ag: Reactive.” The result bore the name and signature of Garcia as examiner and the rubber stamp signature of Dr. Castro as pathologist. When Ranida submitted the test result to Dr. Sto. Domingo, the Company physician, the latter apprised her that the findings indicated that she is suffering from Hepatitis B, a liver disease.

Thus, based on the medical report submitted by Sto. Domingo, the Company terminated Ranida’s employment for failing the physical examination. It was later determined that there was an error in the previous examination and that the respondent was not suffering from Hepatitis B. Respondent was rehired by the company. ISSUE:

Whether Garcia (CDC) is liable for damages to the respondents for issuing an incorrect HBsAG test result. HELD:

The Court held that CDC was negligent because there was no licensed physician in CDC as required by law. CDC is not administered, directed and supervised by a licensed physician as required by law, but by Ma. Ruby C. Calderon, a licensed Medical Technologist. In the License to Open and Operate a Clinical Laboratory for the years 1993 and 1996 issued by Dr. Juan R. Nañagas, M.D., Undersecretary for Health Facilities, Standards and Regulation, defendant-appellee Castro was named as the head of CDC. However, defendant pathologist is not the owner of the Community Diagnostic Center nor an employee of the same nor the employer of its employees.

Defendant pathologist comes to the Community Diagnostic Center when and where a problem is referred to him. Castro’s infrequent visit to the clinical laboratory barely qualifies as an effective administrative supervision and control over the activities in the laboratory. “Supervision and control” means the authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; direct the performance of duty; restrain the commission of acts; review, approve, revise or modify acts and decisions of subordinate officials or units. Moreover, Garcia conducted the HBsAG test of respondent Ranida without the supervision of defendant-appellee Castro. Lastly, the disputed HBsAG test result was released to respondent Ranida without the authorization of defendant-appellee Castro.

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