The plaintiff, David Taylor, was at the time when he received the injuries complained of, 15 years of age, the son of a mechanical engineer, more mature than the average boy of his age, and having considerable aptitude and training in... mechanics.
On the 30th of September, 1905, plaintiff, with a boy named Manuel Claparols, about 12 years of age, crossed the footbridge to the Isla del Provisor, for the purpose of visiting one Murphy, an employee of the defendant, who had promised to make them... a cylinder for a miniature engine. Finding on inquiry that Mr. Murphy was not in his quarters, the boys, impelled apparently by youthful curiosity and perhaps by the unusual interest which both seem to have taken in machinery, spent some time in... wandering about the company's premises.
Here they... found some twenty or thirty brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground.
They then opened one of the caps with a knife, and finding that it was filled with a yellowish substance they got matches, and David ... held the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the contents.
The caps when found appeared to the boys who picked them up to have been lying there for a considerable time, and ... from the place where they were found would seem to have been discarded as defective or worthless and fit only to be thrown upon the rubbish heap.
the facts proven at the trial do not establish the liability of the defendant company under the provisions of these articles,
the plaintiff in an action such as that under consideration, in order to establish his right to a recovery, must establish by competent... evidence:
(1) Damages to the plaintiff.
(2) Negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty.
(3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage.
It is clear that the accident could not have happened had not the fulminating caps been left exposed at the point where they were found, or if their owner had exercised due care in keeping them in an appropriate place; but it is... equally clear that plaintiff would not have been injured had he not, for his own pleasure and convenience, entered upon defendant's premises, and strolled around thereon without the express permission of the defendant, and... had he not picked up and carried away the property of the defendant which he found on its premises, and had he not thereafter deliberately cut open one of the caps and applied a match to its contents.
But counsel for plaintiff contends that because of plaintiff's youth and inexperience, his entry upon defendant company's premises, and the intervention of his action between the negligent act of defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its... premises and the accident which resulted in his injury should not be held to have contributed in any wise to the accident, which should be deemed to be the direct result of defendant's negligence in leaving the caps exposed at the place where... they were found by the plaintiff, and this latter the proximate cause of the accident which occasioned the injuries sustained by him.
the great weight of authority holds the owner of the premises liable.
we are of opinion that under all the circumstances of this case the negligence of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of the injury received by the... plaintiff, which therefore was not, properly speaking, "attributable to the negligence of the defendant," and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that plaintiff's action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting a match to its contents was the proximate cause... of the explosion and of the resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff, and that the defendant, therefore, is not civilly responsible for the injuries thus incurred.
And while there does not appear to be anything in the Civil Code which expressly lays down the law touching contributory negligence in this jurisdiction, nevertheless, the interpretation placed upon its provisions by the supreme court of Spain,... and by this court in the case of Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil. Rep., 359), clearly deny to the plaintiff in the case at bar the right to recover damages from the defendant, in whole or in part, for the injuries... sustained by him.
the immediate cause of the explosion, the accident which resulted in plaintiff's injury, was his own act in putting a match to the contents of the cap, and that haying
"contributed to the principal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he can not recover."
But is this doctrine really applicable here?
"In the case of young children, and other persons not fully sui juris, an implied license might sometimes arise when it would not on behalf of others. Thus leaving a tempting thing for children to play with exposed,... where they would be likely to gather for that purpose, may be equivalent to an invitation to them to make use of it; and, perhaps, if one were to throw away upon his premises, near the common way, things tempting to children, the same implication... should arise.