Merrit vs Govt of the Philippine Island; G.R. No. L-11154; 21 Mar 1916; 34 Phil 311

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Merritt was riding a motorcycle along Padre Faura Street when he was bumped by the ambulance of the General Hospital. Merritt sustained several injuries rendering him unable to return to work. The legislature later enacted Act 2457 authorizing Merritt to file a suit against the Government in order to fix the responsibility for the collision and to determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which he is entitled.

Whether or not the Government, in enacting Act 2457, waived its immunity from suit and conceded its liability to Merritt.

NO. By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from suit. It does not thereby concede its liability, or create any cause of action in his favor, or extend its liability to any cause not previously recognized. It merely gives a remedy to enforce a pre-existing liability and submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right to interpose any lawful defense.


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