May A Foreign Personal Injury Case Be Filed in The Philippines?
According to retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Alicia V. Sempio-Diy in her book, Handbook in Conflict of Laws, a personal injury case that occurred in a foreign country may be the subject of an action for damages here in the Philippines. However, certain requirements must first be met, namely:
Retired Associate Justice Sempio-Diy further illustrates the principles above in the example below:
X and Y, both Filipinos were vacationing in Hongkong. One day, while driving a rented car, X ran over Y who was walking, causing the latter to be hospitalized in Hongkong. Upon the return of both to the Philippines, Y sued X for damages arising from the tort (personal injury) committed by the latter while they were in Hongkong. Will the action prosper?
Yes, provided it is filed within the period prescribed by Hongkong Law, the lex loci delicti commissii (the law of the place where the injury occurred), since the period of prescription is substantive and not procedural. The kinds and measures of damages recoverable by Y, and the defenses that X may put up, should also be governed by Hongkong Law, which is the lex loci delicti commissii. But all procedural matters like the period for filing the answer, the period for appeal, etc., should be governed by the lex fori (law of the place where the case is filed), which is Philippine Law.