Compiled Chapter 3 Cases

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    GRATUITOUS PASSENGER

    G.R. No. L-9907 June 30, 1958

    LOURDES J. LARA, ET AL.,plaintiffs-appellants,vs.

    BRIGIDO R. VALENCIA,defendant-appellant.

    FACTS:

    This is an action for damages brought by plaintiffs against defendant in the Court of First Instance ofDavao for the death of one Demetrio Lara, Sr. allegedly caused by the negligent act of defendant. Defendantdenied the charge of negligence and set up certain affirmative defenses and a counterclaim.

    The deceased was an inspector of the Bureau of Forestry stationed in Davao with an annual salary ofP1,800. The defendant is engaged in the business of exporting logs from his lumber concession in Cotabato.Lara went to said concession upon instructions of his chief to classify the logs of defendant which were aboutto be loaded on a ship anchored in the port of Parang. The work Lara of lasted for six days during which he

    contracted malaria fever. In the morning of January 9, 1954, Lara who then in a hurry to return to Davaoasked defendant if he could take him in his pick-up as there was then no other means of transportation, towhich defendant agreed, and in that same morning the pick-up left Parang bound for Davao taking along sixpassengers, including Lara.

    Before leaving Parang, the sitting arrangement was as follows: defendant was at the wheel andseated with him in the front seat were Mrs. Valencia and Nicanor Quinain; on the back of the pick-up weretwo improvised benches placed on each side, and seated on the right bench were Ricardo Alojipan andAntonio Lagahit, and on the left one Bernardo and Pastor Geronimo. A person by the name of Leoning wasseated on a box located on the left side while in the middle Lara sat on a bag. Before leaving Parang, defendantinvited Lara to sit with him on the front seat but Lara declined. It was their understanding that upon reachingbarrio Samoay, Cotabato, the passengers were to alight and take a bus bound for Davao, but when theyarrived at that place, only Bernardo alighted and the other passengers requested defendant to allow them to

    ride with him up to Davao because there was then no available bus that they could take in going to that place.Defendant again accommodated the passengers.

    When they continued their trip, the sitting arrangement of the passengers remained the same, Larabeing seated on a bag in the middle with his arms on a suitcase and his head cove red by a jacket. Uponreaching Km. 96, barrio Catidtuan, Lara accidentally fell from the pick-up and as a result he suffered seriousinjuries. Valencia stopped the pick-up to see what happened to Lara. He sought the help of the residents ofthat place and applied water to Lara but to no avail. They brought Lara to the nearest place where they couldfind a doctor and not having found any they took him to St. Joseph's Clinic of Kidapawan. But when Laraarrived he was already dead. From there they proceeded to Davao City and immediately notified the localauthorities. An investigation was made regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Lara but nocriminal action was taken against defendant.

    Defendant merely accommodated them and did not charge them any fee for the service.

    ISSUE: Whether or not the defendant should observe the requirement of extraordinary diligence intransporting the deceased from Parang to Davao on the date in question.

    HELD:No. Defendant need observe that degree of diligence. It therefore appears that the deceased, as well hiscompanions who rode in the pick-up of defendant, were merely accommodation passengers who paid nothingfor the service and so they can be considered as invited guests within the meaning of the law. Asaccommodation passengers or invited guests, defendant as owner and driver of the pick-up owes to them

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    merely the duty to exercise reasonable care so that they may be transported safely to their destination. Thus,"The rule is established by the weight of authority that the owner or operator of an automobile owes the dutyto an invited guestto exercise reasonable care in its operation, and not unreasonably to expose him to dangerand injury by increasing the hazard of travel. Since one riding in an automobile is no less a guest because heasked for the privilege of doing so, the same obligation of care is imposed upon the driver as in the case of oneexpressly invited to ride" (5 Am. Jur., 626-627). Defendant, therefore, is only required to observe ordinary

    care, and is not in duty bound to exercise extraordinary diligence as required of a common carrier by our law.

    Even if we admit as true the facts found by the trial court, still we find that the same are not sufficientto show that defendant has failed to take the precaution necessary to conduct his passengers safely to theirplace of destination for there is nothing there to indicate that defendant has acted with negligence or withouttaking the precaution that an ordinary prudent man would have taken under similar circumstances.

    It should also be noted that defendant was not in duty bound to take the deceased in his own pick-upto Davao because from Parang to Cotabato there was a line of transportation that regularly makes trips forthe public, and if defendant agreed to take the deceased in his own car, it was only to accommodate himconsidering his feverish condition and his request that he be so accommodated. It should also be noted thatthe passengers who rode in the pick-up of defendant took their respective seats therein at their own choiceand not upon indication of defendant with the particularity that defendant invited the deceased to sit with him

    in the front seat but which invitation the deceased declined. All the circumstances therefore clearly indicatethat defendant had done what a reasonable prudent man would have done under the circumstances.

    The law also provides that "A passenger must observe the diligence of a good father of a family toavoid injury to himself" (Article 1761, new Civil Code), which means that if the injury to the passenger hasbeenproximatelycaused by his own negligence, the carrier cannot be held liable. All things considered, weare persuaded to conclude that the accident occurred not due to the negligence of defendant but tocircumstances beyond his control and so he should be exempt from liability.

    DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. vs COURT OF APPEALS and AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCECORPORATION

    Caltex Philippines entered into a contract of affreightment with Delsan Transport Lines, Inc., for aperiod of one year whereby the said common carrier agreed to transport Caltexs industrial fuel oilfrom the Batangas-Bataan Refinery to different parts of the country.

    Under the contract, petitioner took on board its vessel, MT Maysun, 2,277.314 kiloliters of industrialfuel oil of Caltex to be delivered to the Caltex Oil Terminal in Zamboanga City. The shipment wasinsured with the private respondent, American Home Assurance Corporation.

    On August 14, 1986, MT Maysun set sail from Batangas for Zamboanga City. Unfortunately, the vesselsank in the early morning of August 16, 1986 near Panay Gulf in the Visayas taking with it the entire

    cargo of fuel oil.

    Subsequently, private respondent paid Caltex the sum of Five Million Ninety-Six Thousand SixHundred Thirty-Five Pesos and Fifty-Seven Centavos (P5,096,635.57) representing the insured valueof the lost cargo. Exercising its right of subrogation under Article 2207 of the New Civil Code, theprivate respondent demanded of the petitioner the same amount it paid to Caltex.

    Due to its failure to collect from the petitioner despite prior demand, private respondent filed acomplaint with the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 137, for collection of a sum of money.

    After the trial and upon analyzing the evidence adduced, the trial court rendered a decision onNovember 29, 1990 dismissing the complaint against herein petitioner without pronouncement as tocost. The decision of the trial court, however, was reversed, on appeal, by the Court of Appeals. Theappellate court ruled that the petitioner is liable on its obligation as common carrier to herein privaterespondent insurance company as subrogee of Caltex.

    Issue:

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    Whether or not the payment made by the private respondent to Caltex for the insured value of the lost cargoamounted to an admission that the vessel was seaworthy, thus precluding any action for recovery against thepetitioner.

    Held:

    No. The payment made by the private respondent for the insured value of the lost cargo operates as

    waiver of its (private respondent) right to enforce the term of the implied warranty against Caltex under themarine insurance policy. However, the same cannot be validly interpreted as an automatic admission of thevessels seaworthiness by the private respondent as to foreclose recourse against the petitioner for anyliability under its contractual obligation as a common carrier. The fact of payment grants the privaterespondent subrogatory right which enables it to exercise legal remedies that would otherwise be availableto Caltex as owner of the lost cargo against the petitioner common carrier. Article 2207 of the New Civil Codeprovides that:

    Art. 2207. If the plaintiffs property has been insured, and he has received indemnity from the insurancecompany for the injury or loss arising out of the wrong or breach of contract complained of, the insurance

    company shall be subrogated to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer or the person who has violated

    the contract. If the amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cover the injury or loss, the aggrieved

    party shall be entitled to recover the deficiency from the person causing the loss or injury.

    The payment made by the private respondent (insurer) to Caltex (assured) operates as an equitableassignment to the former of all the remedies which the latter may have against the petitioner.

    In order to escape liability for the loss of its cargo of industrial fuel oil belonging to Caltex, petitionerattributes the sinking of MT Maysun to fortuitous event or force majeure. From the testimonies of JaimeJarabe and Francisco Berina, captain and chief mate, respectively of the ill-fated vessel, it appears that asudden and unexpected change of weather condition occurred in the early morning of August 16, 1986; thatat around 3:15 oclock in the morning a squall (unos) carrying strong winds with an approximate velocity of30 knots per hour and big waves averaging eighteen (18) to twenty (20) feet high, repeatedly buffeted MTMaysun causing it to tilt, take in water and eventually sink with its cargo. This tale of strong winds and bigwaves by the said officers of the petitioner however, was effectively rebutted and belied by the weatherreport from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA),the independent government agency charged with monitoring weather and sea conditions, showing that from

    2:00 oclock to 8:00 oclock in the morning on August 16, 1986, the wind speed remained at ten (10) totwenty (20) knots per hour while the height of the waves ranged from .7 to two (2) meters in the vicinity ofCuyo East Pass and Panay Gulf where the subject vessel sank. Thus, as the appellate court correctly ruled,petitioners vessel, MT Maysun, sank with its entire cargo for the reason that it was not seaworthy. There wasno squall or bad weather or extremely poor sea condition in the vicinity when the said vessel sank.

    The appellate court also correctly opined that the petitioners witnesses, Jaime Jarabe and FranciscoBerina, ship captain and chief mate, respectively, of the said vessel, could not be expected to testify againstthe interest of their employer, the herein petitioner common carrier.

    Neither may petitioner escape liability by presenting in evidence certificates that tend to show that atthe time of dry-docking and inspection by the Philippine Coast Guard, the vessel MT Maysun, was fit forvoyage. These pieces of evidence do not necessarily take into account the actual condition of the vessel at thetime of the commencement of the voyage.

    Additionally, the exoneration of MT Maysuns officers and crew by the Board of Marine Inquiry merelyconcerns their respective administrative liabilities. It does not in any way operate to absolve the petitionercommon carrier from its civil liability arising from its failure to observe extraordinary diligence in thevigilance over the goods it was transporting and for the negligent acts or omissions of its employees, thedetermination of which properly belongs to the courts. In the case at bar, petitioner is liable for the insuredvalue of the lost cargo of industrial fuel oil belonging to Caltex for its failure to rebut the presumption of faultor negligence as common carrier occasioned by the unexplained sinking of its vessel, MT Maysun, while intransit.

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    CALTEX (PHILIPPINES), INC. v. SULPICIO LINES, INC., GO SIOC SO, ENRIQUE S. GO, EUSEBIO S. GO,CARLOS S. GO, VICTORIANO S. GO, DOMINADOR S. GO, RICARDO S. GO, EDWARD S. GO, ARTURO S. GO,EDGAR S. GO, EDMUND S. GO, FRANCISCO SORIANO, VECTOR SHIPPING CORPORATION, TERESITA G.

    CAEZAL AND SOTERA E. CAEZAL

    MT Vector is a tramping motor tanker owned and operated by Vector Shipping Corporation, engagedin the business of transporting fuel products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel and crude oil. Duringthat particular voyage, the MT Vector carried on board gasoline and other oil products owned byCaltex by virtue of a charter contract between them. While MV Doa Paz is a passenger and cargovessel owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines, Inc. plying the route of Manila/ Tacloban/ Catbalogan/Manila/ Catbalogan/ Tacloban/ Manila, making trips twice a week.

    On December 19, 1987, motor tanker MT Vector left Limay, Bataan, enroute to Masbate, loaded with8,800 barrels of petroleum products shipped by petitioner Caltex. On December 20, 1987, thepassenger ship MV Dona Paz left the port of Tacloban headed for Manila with a complement of 59crew members including the master and his officers, and passengers totaling 1,493 as indicated inthe Coast Guard Clearance.

    At about 10:30 p.m. of December 20, 1987, the two vessels collided in the open sea within the vicinityof Dumali Point between Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro. All the crewmembers of MV Doa Pazdied, while the two survivors from MT Vector claimed that they were sleeping at the time of the

    incident. The MV Doa Paz carried an estimated 4,000 passengers; many indeed, were not in the passenger

    manifest. Only 24 survived the tragedy after having been rescued from the burning waters by vesselsthat responded to distress calls. Among those who perished were public school teacher SebastianCaezal (47 years old) and his daughter Corazon Caezal (11 years old), both unmanifested passengersbut proved to be on board the vessel.

    On March 22, 1988, the board of marine inquiry in after investigation found that the MT Vector, itsregistered operator Francisco Soriano, and its owner and actual operator Vector ShippingCorporation, were at fault and responsible for its collision with MV Doa Paz.

    On February 13, 1989, Teresita Caezal and Sotera E. Caezal, Sebastian Caezals wife and motherrespectively, filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8, Manila, a complaint for Damages Arisingfrom Breach of Contract of Carriage against Sulpicio Lines, Inc. (hereafter Sulpicio). Sulpicio, in turn,filed a third party complaint against Francisco Soriano, Vector Shipping Corporation and Caltex

    (Philippines), Inc. Sulpicio alleged that Caltex chartered MT Vector with gross and evident bad faithknowing fully well that MT Vector was improperly manned, ill-equipped, unseaworthy and a hazardto safe navigation; as a result, it rammed against MV Dona Paz in the open sea setting MT Vectorshighly flammable cargo ablaze.

    On September 15, 1992, the trial court rendered decision dismissing the third party complaintagainst petitioner.

    On appeal to the Court of Appeals interposed by Sulpicio Lines, Inc., on April 15, 1997, the Court ofAppeal modified the trial courts ruling and included petitioner Caltex as one of the those liable fordamages.

    Issue: Whether or not Caltex as a charterer of a sea vessel be held liable for damages resulting from a collisionbetween the chartered vessel and a passenger ship?

    Held:The charterer has no liability for damages under Philippine Maritime laws. Petitioner and Vector enteredinto a contract of affreightment, also known as a voyage charter, which leaves the general owner inpossession of the ship as owner for the voyage, the rights and the responsibilities of ownership rest on theowner. The charterer is free from liability to third persons in respect of the ship.

    The charter party agreement did not convert the common carrier into a private carrier. The parties enteredinto a voyage charter, which retains the character of the vessel as a common carrier.

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    Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act :

    Sec. 3. (1) The carrier shall be bound before and at the beginning of the voyage to exercise due diligence to -

    (a) Make the ship seaworthy;

    (b) Properly man, equip, and supply the ship;

    xxx xxx xxx

    Thus, the carriers are deemed to warrant impliedly the seaworthiness of the ship. For a vessel to beseaworthy, it must be adequately equipped for the voyage and manned with a sufficient number of competentofficers and crew. The failure of a common carrier to maintain in seaworthy condition the vessel involved inits contract of carriage is a clear breach of its duty prescribed in Article 1755 of the Civil Code.

    The provisions owed their conception to the nature of the business of common carriers. This business isimpressed with a special public duty. The public must of necessity rely on the care and skill of commoncarriers in the vigilance over the goods and safety of the passengers, especially because with the modern

    development of science and invention, transportation has become more rapid, more complicated andsomehow more hazardous. For these reasons, a passenger or a shipper of goods is under no obligation toconduct an inspection of the ship and its crew, the carrier being obliged by law to impliedly warrant itsseaworthiness.

    The charterer of a vessel has no obligation before transporting its cargo to ensure that the vessel it charteredcomplied with all legal requirements. The duty rests upon the common carrier simply for being engaged inpublic service. The Civil Code demands diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and thatwhich corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, the time and the place. Hence, considering thenature of the obligation between Caltex and MT Vector, the liability as found by the Court of Appeals iswithout basis.

    The relationship between the parties in this case is governed by special laws. Because of the implied warranty

    of seaworthiness, shippers of goods, when transacting with common carriers, are not expected to inquire intothe vessels seaworthiness, genuineness of its licenses and compliance with all maritime laws. To demandmore from shippers and hold them liable in case of failure exhibits nothing but the futility of our maritimelaws insofar as the protection of the public in general is concerned. By the same token, we cannot expectpassengers to inquire every time they board a common carrier, whether the carrier possesses the necessarypapers or that all the carriers employees are qualified. Such a practice would be an absurdity in a businesswhere time is always of the essence. Considering the nature of transportation business, passengers andshippers alike customarily presume that common carriers possess all the legal requisites in its operation.

    Thus, the nature of the obligation of Caltex demands ordinary diligence like any other shipper in shipping hiscargoes.

    the Court SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals insofar as it held Caltex liable under the third partycomplaint to reimburse/indemnify defendant Sulpicio Lines, Inc. the damages the latter is adjudged to payplaintiffs-appellees. The Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals insofar as it orders SulpicioLines, Inc. to pay the heirs of Sebastian E. Caezal and Corazon Caezal damages as set forth therein. Third-partydefendant-appellee Vector Shipping Corporation and Francisco Soriano are held liable toreimburse/indemnify defendant Sulpicio Lines, Inc. whatever damages, attorneys fees and costs the latter isadjudged to pay plaintiffs-appellees in the case.

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    NEGROS NAVIGATION CO., INC., petitioner v. COURT OF APPEALS, RAMON MIRANDA, SPS. RICARDO

    AND VIRGINIA DE LAVICTORIA, respondents

    FACTS:

    In April of 1980, private respondent Ramon Miranda purchased from the Negros Navigation Co., Inc.four special cabin tickets (#74411, 74412, 74413 and 74414) for his wife, daughter, son and niecewho were going to Bacolod City to attend a family reunion. The tickets were for Voyage No. 457-A of

    the M/V Don Juan, leaving Manila at 1:00 p.m. on April 22, 1980.

    At about 10:30 in the evening of April 22, 1980, the Don Juancollided off the Tablas Strait in Mindoro,with the M/T Tacloban City, an oil tanker owned by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and

    the PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation (PNOC/STC).

    As a result, the M/V Don Juansank. Several of her passengers perished in the sea tragedy. The bodiesof some of the victims were found and brought to shore, but the four members of private

    respondents families were never found.

    Private respondents filed a complaint on July 16, 1980 in the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch34, against the Negros Navigation, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), and the PNOC

    Shipping and Transport Corporation (PNOC/STC), seeking damages for the death of Ardita de la

    Victoria Miranda, 48, Rosario V. Miranda, 19, Ramon V. Miranda, Jr., 16, and Elfreda de la Victoria, 26.

    In its answer, petitioner admitted that private respondents purchase of tickets; that the ticketnumbers were listed in the passenger manifest; and that the Don Juan left Pier 2, North Harbor,

    Manila on April 22, 1980 and sank that night after being rammed by the oil tanker M/T Tacloban City,

    and that, as a result of the collision, some of the passengers of the M/V Don Juan died. Petitioner,

    however, denied that the four relatives of private respondents actually boarded the vessel as shown

    by the fact that their bodies were never recovered. Petitioner further averred that the Don Juan was

    seaworthy and manned by a full and competent crew, and that the collision was entirely due to the

    fault of the crew of the M/T Tacloban City.

    On January 20, 1986, the PNOC and petitioner Negros Navigation Co., Inc. entered into a compromiseagreement whereby petitioner assumed full responsibility for the payment and satisfaction of all

    claims arising out of or in connection with the collision and releasing the PNOC and the PNOC/STC

    from any liability to it. The agreement was subsequently held by the trial court to be binding upon

    petitioner, PNOC and PNOC/STC. Private respondents did not join in the agreement.

    The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering all the defendants to pay jointlyand severally damages to the plaintiffs.

    The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts decision with modification as to the amount ofdamages awarded.

    ISSUE:

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    WON the crew members of petitioner were grossly negligent in the performance of their duties.

    HELD:

    YES. In finding petitioner guilty of negligence and in failing to exercise the extraordinary diligence required of

    it in the carriage of passengers, both the trial court and the appellate court relied on the findings of this Courtin Mecenas v. Intermediate Appellate Court, which case was brought for the death of other passengers. In that

    case it was found that although the proximate cause of the mishap was the negligence of the crew of the

    M/T Tacloban City, the crew of the Don Juan was equally negligent as it found that the latters master, Capt.

    Rogelio Santisteban, was playing mahjong at the time of collision, and the officer on watch, Senior Third Mate

    Rogelio De Vera, admitted that he failed to call the attention of Santisteban to the imminent danger facing

    them. This Court found that Capt. Santisteban and the crew of the M/V Don Juan failed to take steps to

    prevent the collision or at least delay the sinking of the ship and supervise the abandoning of the ship.

    Petitioner Negros Navigation was found equally negligent in tolerating the playing of mahjong by the ship

    captain and other crew members while on board the ship and failing to keep the M/V Don Juan seaworthy so

    much so that the ship sank within 10 to 15 minutes of its impact with the M/T Tacloban City.

    In addition, the Court found that the Don Juan was overloaded. The Certificate of Inspection, dated

    August 27, 1979, issued by the Philippine Coast Guard Commander at Iloilo City stated that the total

    number of persons allowed on the ship was 864, of whom 810 are passengers, but there were actually

    1,004 on board the vessel when it sank, 140 persons more than the maximum number that could be

    safely carried by it.

    Taking these circumstances together, and the fact that the M/V Don Juan, as the faster and better-equipped

    vessel, could have avoided a collision with the PNOC tanker, this Court held that even if the M/T Tacloban

    Cityhad been at fault for failing to observe an internationally-recognized rule of navigation, the M/V Don

    Juanwas guilty of contributory negligence.

    BELGIAN OVERSEAS CHARTERING AND SHIPPING N.V. AND JARDINE DAVIES TRANSPORT SERVICES

    INC., petitioners

    v.

    PHILIPPINE FIRST INSURANCE CO., INC., respondents

    FACTS:

    CMC Trading A.G. shipped on board the M/V Anangel Sky at Hamburg, Germany 242 coils of variousPrime Cold Rolled Steel sheets for transportation to Manila consigned to the Philippine Steel Trading

    Corporation.

    On July 28, 1990, M/V Anangel Sky arrived at the port of Manila and, within the subsequent days,discharged the subject cargo. Four coils were found to be in bad order.

    Finding the four coils in their damaged state to be unfit for the intended purpose, the consigneePhilippine Steel Trading Corporation declared the same as total loss.

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    Philippine First Insurance paid the claim of Philippine Steel and was thus subrogated. Philippine First then instituted a complaint for recovery of the amount paid to the consignee as

    insured.

    Belgian claims that the damage and/or loss was due to pre-shipment damage, to the inherent nature,vice or defect of the goods, or to perils, danger and accidents of the sea, or to insufficiency of packingthereof, or to the act or omission of the shipper of the goods or their representatives. Belgian further

    argued that their liability, if there be any, should not exceed the limitations of liability provided for in

    the bill of lading and other pertinent laws. Finally, Belgian averred that, in any event, they exercised

    due diligence and foresight required by law to prevent any damage/loss to said shipment.

    The RTC dismissed the complaint. The CA reversed and ruled that Belgian were liable for the loss or the damage of the goods shipped,

    because they had failed to overcome the presumption of negligence imposed on common carriers.

    ISSUE:

    WON there was proper storage of goods by the common carrier.

    HELD:

    NO. Mere proof of delivery of the goods in good order to a common carrier and of their arrival in bad order at

    their destination constitutes a prima facie case of fault or negligence against the carrier. In this case, Belgian

    failed to rebut the prima facie presumption of negligence. First, as stated in the Bill of Lading, Belgian

    received the subject shipment in good order and condition in Germany. Second, prior to the unloading of the

    cargo, an Inspection Report prepared and signed by representatives of both parties showed the steel bands

    broken, the metal envelopes rust-stained and heavily buckled, and the contents thereof exposed and rusty.

    Third, Bad Order Tally Sheet issued by Jardine Davies Transport Services stated that the four coils were in

    bad order and condition. Normally, a request for a bad order survey is made in case there is an apparent or a

    presumed loss or damage. Fourth, the Certificate of Analysis stated that, based on the sample submitted and

    tested, the steel sheets found in bad order were wet with fresh water. Fifth, Belgian, in a letter addressed to

    the Philippine Steel, admitted that they were aware of the condition of the four coils found in bad order and

    condition.

    G.R. No. 88052 December 14, 1989

    JOSE P. MECENAS, ROMEO P. MECENAS, LILIA P. MECENAS, ORLANDO P. MECENAS, VIOLETA M.

    ACERVO, LUZVIMINDA P. MECENAS; and OFELIA M. JAVIER, petitioners,vs.HON. COURT OF APPEALS, CAPT. ROGER SANTISTEBAN and NEGROS NAVIGATION CO.,

    INC., respondents.

    FACTS:

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    At 6:20 o'clock in the morning of 22 April 1980, the M/T "Tacloban City," a barge-type oil tanker of Philippineregistry, with a gross tonnage of 1,241,68 tons, owned by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) andoperated by the PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation (PNOC Shipping), having unloaded its cargo ofpetroleum products, left Amlan, Negros Occidental, and headed towards Bataan. At about 1:00 o'clock in theafternoon of that same day, the M/V "Don Juan," an interisland vessel, also of Philippine registry, of 2,391.31tons gross weight, owned and operated by the Negros Navigation Co., Inc. (Negros Navigation) left Manila

    bound for Bacolod with seven hundred fifty (750) passengers listed in its manifest, and a complete set ofofficers and crew members.

    On the evening of that same day, 22 April 1980, at about 10:30 o'clock, the "Tacloban City" and the "Don Juan"collided at the Talbas Strait near Maestra de Ocampo Island in the vicinity of the island of Mindoro. When thecollision occurred, the sea was calm, the weather fair and visibility good. As a result of this collision, the M/V"Don Juan" sank and hundreds of its passengers perished. Among the ill-fated passengers were the parents ofpetitioners, the spouses Perfecto Mecenas and Sofia Mecenas, whose bodies were never found despiteintensive search by petitioners.

    On 29 December 1980, petitioners filed a complaint in the then Court- of First Instance of Quezon City,docketed as Civil Case No. Q-31525, against private respondents Negros Navigation and Capt. RogerSantisteban, the captain of the "Don Juan" without, however, impleading either PNOC or PNOC Shipping. In

    their complaint, petitioners alleged that they were the seven (7) surviving legitimate children of PerfectoMecenas and Sofia Mecenas and that the latter spouses perished in the collision which had resulted from thenegligence of Negros Navigation and Capt. Santisteban. Petitioners prayed for actual damages of not less thanP100,000.00 as well as moral and exemplary damages in such amount as the Court may deem reasonable toaward to them.

    Another complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-33932, was filed in the same court by Lilia Ciocon claimingdamages against Negros Navigation, PNOC and PNOC Shipping for the death of her husband Manuel Ciocon,another of the luckless passengers of the "Don Juan." Manuel Ciocon's body, too, was never found.

    The two (2) cases were consolidated and heard jointly by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 82.On 17 July 1986, after trial, the trial court rendered a decision, the dispositive of which read as follows:

    WHEREFORE, the Court hereby renders judgment ordering:

    a) The defendant Negros Navigation Co., Inc. and Capt. Roger Santisteban jointly andseverally liable to pay plaintiffs in Civil Case No Q-31525, the sum of P400,000.00 for thedeath of plaintiffs' parents, Perfecto A. Mecenas and Sofia P. Mecenas; to pay said plaintiff'sthe sum of P15.000,00 as and for attorney's fees; plus costs of the suit.

    b) Each of the defendants Negros Navigation Co Inc. and Philippine National OilCompany/PNOC Shipping and Transportation Company, to pay the plaintiff in Civil Case No.Q-33932, the sum of P100,000.00 for the death of Manuel Ciocon, to pay said plaintiff jointlyand severally, the sum of P1 5,000.00 as and for attorney's fees, plus costs of the suit.

    Negros Navigation, Capt. Santisteban, PNOC and PNOC Shipping appealed the trial court's decision to theCourt of Appeals. Later, PNOC and PNOC Shipping withdrew their appeal citing a compromise agreementreached by them with Negros Navigation; the Court of Appeals granted the motion by a resolution dated 5September 1988, subject to the reservation made by Lilia Ciocon that she could not be bound by thecompromise agreement and would enforce the award granted her by the trial court.

    In time, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision dated 26 January 1989 which decreed the following:

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    We conclude that Capt. Santisteban and Negros Navigation are properly held liable for gross negligence in

    connection with the collision of the "Don Juan" and "Tacloban City" and the sinking of the "Don Juan" leading

    to the death of hundreds of passengers.

    G.R. No. L-25785 February 26, 1981

    SATURNINO BAYASEN, petitioner,vs.COURT OF APPEALS, respondent

    FACTS:

    On the morning of August 15, 1963, Saturnino Bayasen, the Rural Health Physician in Sagada, Mountain

    Province, went to barrio Ambasing to visit a patient. Two nurses from the Saint Theodore's Hospital in

    Sagada, viz., Elena Awichen and Dolores Balcita, rode with him in the jeep assigned for the use of the Rural

    Health Unit as they had requested for a ride to Ambasing. Later, at Ambasing, the girls, who wanted to gather

    flowers, again asked if they could ride with him up to a certain place on the way to barrio Suyo which he

    intended to visit anyway. Dr. Bayasen again allowed them to ride, Elena sitting herself between him and

    Dolores. On the way, at barrio Langtiw, the jeep went over a precipice About 8 feet below the road, it was

    blocked by a pine tree. The three were thrown out of the jeep. Elena was found lying in a creek further below.

    Among other injuries, she suffered a skull fracture which caused her death.

    Saturnino Bayasen was charged by with Homicide Thru Reckless Imprudence. Trial Court found Bayasen

    sentenced him to an indeterminate penalty of 4 Months and 1 Day of arresto mayor as minimum, to 1 Year, 7

    Months and 10 Days of prision correccional, as maximum, indemnify the heirs Elena Awichen P3,000.00 as

    compensatory damages, P1,000.00 as attorneys fees and P1,886.00 for burial expenses of the deceased, and

    to pay the costs. On Appeal, CA affirmed the decision of the trial court with the modifications that the

    indemnity was increased to P6,000.00; the award of attorneys fees was set aside; and that the maximum of

    the prison term was raised to 1 Year, 7 Months, and 17 Days of prision correccional. The motion for

    reconsideration of Bayasen was denied. Hence, the petition for review on certiorari.

    ISSUE:

    Whether or not the reckless driving of accused-petitioner was the proximate cause of the death of the victim.

    HELD:

    NO, the proximate cause of the tragedy was the skidding of the rear wheels of the jeep and not the

    unreasonable speed of the petitioner because there was no evidence on record to prove or support

    the finding that the petitioner was driving at an unreasonable speed. The star witness of the

    prosecution, Dolores Balcita who was one of the passengers in the jeep, testified that Saturnino Bayasen was

    driving his jeep moderately just before the accident and categorically stated that she did not know what

    caused the jeep to fall into the precipice. It is a well-known physical fact that cars may skid on greasy orslippery roads, as in the instant case, without fault on account of the manner of handling the car.

    Skidding means partial or complete loss of control of the car under circumstances not necessarily

    implying negligence. It may occur without fault.Herein, under the particular circumstances, Bayasen who

    skidded could not be regarded as negligent, the skidding being an unforeseen event, so that Bayasen had a

    valid excuse for his departure from his regular course.

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    The negligence of Bayasen has not having been sufficiently established, his guilt of the crime charged

    has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. He is, therefore, entitled to acquittal.

    EXTRAORDINARY DILIGENCE IN CARRIAGE BY LAND

    CONDITION OF VEHICLE: TRAFFIC RULES

    MALLARI v CA

    GR No. 128607 January 31, 2000

    Alfredo Mallari Sr. and Alfredo Mallari Jr., petitioners v. Court of Appeals and Bulletin Publishing

    Corporation, respondents

    FACTS:

    On October 14, 1987, at about 5 AM, the passenger jeepney driven by Alfredo Mallari Jr. andowned by Alfredo Mallari Sr. collided with the Isuzu delivery van of Bulletin Publishing Corp.

    (Bulletin, for brevity)along the National Highway in Dinalupihan, Bataan which resulted to the

    death of one Israel Reyes, a passenger of the jeepney, due to the gravity of his injuries

    Mallari Jr. testified that he went to the left lane of the highway and overtook a Fiera which hadstopped on the right lane; Before he passed by Fiera, he saw the van of Bulletin coming from

    the opposite direction driven by Felix Angeles

    The sketch of the accident showed that the collision occurred after Mallari Jr. overtook the Fierawhile negotiating a curve in the highway

    Point of collision were the left rear portion of the passenger jeepney and the left front side ofthe delivery van of Bulletin where the impact caused the former to turn around and fall on its

    left side

    Claudia Reyes, widow of deceased passenger, filed a complaint for damages against Mallari Sr. andMallari Jr. and also against Bulletin, Felix Angeles and the N.V. Netherlands Insurance Company due

    to the fault and negligence of both drivers of jeepney and van

    RTC:

    - dismissed the complaint against Mallari Sr. and Mallari Jr.; ordered Bulletin and FelixAngeles to pay jointly and severally Claudia Reyes for the medical, funeral and burial expenses,

    loss of earning capacity, moral damages and attorneys fees; also ordered N.V. Netherlands

    Insurance to indemnify Claudia for death indemnity and funeral expenses which when paid

    should be deducted from liabilities of Bulletin and Angeles to the plaintiff

    - found that the proximate cause of the collision was the negligence of Felix Angeles, consideringthat the let portion of the delivery van hit and bumped the left rear portion of the passenger

    jeepney

    CA:

    - modified the decision of RTC and found no negligence on the part of Angeles andconsequently of his employer, Bulletin; absolved Bulletin, Angeles and N.V. Netherlands

    Insurance Company from any liability

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    - ruled that the collision was caused by the sole negligence of Mallari Jr. who admitted thatimmediately before the collision and after he rounded a curve on the highway, he

    overtook a Fiera which had stopped on his lane and that he had seen the van/truck driven

    by Angeles before overtaking Fiera

    Petitioners contentions:

    - No evidence to show that Mallari Jr. overtook a vehicle at a curve on the road at the time of theaccident and that the testimony of Angeles on the overtaking made by Mallari Jr. wasnt credible

    and unreliable

    - Also submits that the RTC was in a better position than CA to assess the evidence and observethe witnesses as well as determine their credibility; Hence, its finding that the proximate cause of

    the collision was the negligence of Angeles should be given more weight and consideration

    Issue: W/N petitioners violated contract of carriage

    Ruling:

    - Yes, the proximate cause of the collision resulting in the death of Israel Reyes was the solenegligence of Mallari Jr., who recklessly operated and drove his jeepney in a lane where

    overtaking wasnt allowed by traffic rules.- By his own admission, Mallari Jr., already saw that the Bulletin delivery van was coming

    from the opposite direction and failing to consider the speed thereof since it was still dark

    at 5AM mindlessly occupied the left lane and overtook two vehicles in front of it at a curve

    in the highway.

    - The rule is settled that a driver abandoning his proper lane for the purpose of overtakinganother vehicle in an ordinary situation has the duty to see to it that the road is clear and

    not to proceed if he cannot do so in safety

    - His act of overtaking was in clear violation of Sec. 41, pars.(a) and (b) of RA 4136 asamended (The Land Transportation and Traffic Code)1

    - UnderArt. 2185 of NCC, unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a persondriving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap he was violating a

    traffic regulation; In this case, petitioners failed to present satisfactory evidence

    - The negligence and recklessness of Mallari Jr. is binding against Mallari Sr. who was the owner ofthe jeepney engaged as a common carrier

    1Sec. 41. Restrictions on overtaking and passing. - (a) The driver of a vehicle shall not drive to the left side

    of the center line of a highway in overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction,unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permitsuch overtaking or passing to be made in safety.

    (b) The driver of a vehicle shall not overtake or pass another vehicle proceeding in the same direction whenapproaching the crest of a grade, nor upon a curve in the highway, where the drivers view along the highwayis obstructed within a distance of five hundred feet ahead except on a highway having two or more lanes formovement of traffic in one direction where the driver of a vehicle may overtake or pass another vehicle:

    Provided That on a highway, within a business or residential district, having two or more lanes for movementof traffic in one direction, the driver of a vehicle may overtake or pass another vehicle on the right.

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    - Under Art. 1755 of NCC, a common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far ashuman care and foresight can provide using utmost diligence of very cautious persons with due

    regard for all the circumstances

    - Pursuant to Art. 1759 of NCC, it is liable for the death of or injuries to passengers thru thenegligence or willful acts of the formers employees

    - By the contract of carriage, the carrier jeepney owned by Mallari Sr. assumed the expressobligation to transport the passengers to their destination safely and to observe extraordinary

    diligence with due regard for all the circumstances, and any injury or death that might be

    suffered by its passengers is right away attributable to the fault or negligence of the carrier

    EXTRAORDINARY DILIGENCE IN CARRIAGE BY LAND

    CONDITION OF VEHICLE: TRAFFIC RULES

    PESTAO V SUMAYANG

    G.R. No. 139875 December 4, 2000

    Gregorio Pestaoand Metro Cebu Autobus Corporation,petitionersv Spouses Teotimo Sumayangand Paz C.Sumayang, respondents

    Facts:

    - On August 9, 1986, at around 2PM, Ananias Sumayang was riding a motorcyclealong the nationalhighway in Tabagon, Cebu together with his friend Manuel Romagos

    - As they came upon a junction where the highway connected with the road leading to Tabagon, theywere hit by a passenger bus driven by Gregorio Pestaoand owned byMetro Cebu AutobusCorporation (Metro Cebu, for brevity) which had tried to overtake them, sending the motorcycle

    and its passenger hurtling upon the pavement

    - Both passengers of the motorcycle were rushed to the hospital in Sogod where Sumayang waspronounced dead on arrivalwhile Romagos succumbed to his injuries the next day in CebuDoctors Hospital

    - Pestao was charged with double homicide thru reckless imprudence as well as civil action fordamages together with Metro Cebu, and Perla Compania de Seguros , an insurer of Metro Cebu

    - Respondents rely mainly on the testimonies of Ignacio Neis, Pat. Aquiilino Dinoy and TeotimoSumayang (father of the deceased)

    - Neis: saw the incident while he was sitting on a bench beside the highway stating that both vehiclescame from the North; as the motorcycle approached the junction,Ananias signaled with his left

    arm to indicate his desire to turn leftbut was still bumped by the over speeding bus which threw

    both passengers about 14 meters away

    - Pat. Dinoy: was in the nearby house of Ruben Tiu when he heard the sound/noise caused by collisionand immediately went to the scene where he found both Sumayang and Romagos lying on the road,bleeding and badly injured; took note of the various distances which he included in his sketch that

    the probable point of impact was at the left lane of the highway and right at the junction ; based

    his conclusion on the scratches caused by the motorcycles footrest on the asphalt pavement; met

    Neis at the scene who informed him that he saw the incident

    - Petitioner Pestao: blamed Sumayang for accident stating that he blew the horn when themotorcycle was about 15 to 20 meters ahead and went to the right side of the highway; that he

    again blew the horn and accelerated in order to overtake the motorcycle; that when he was

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    SC: No, petitioners are raising a question of fact based on Pestanos testimony contradictingthat of Eyewitness Neis and on the location of the dents on the bumper and the grill; Neis

    testified that the 2 vehicles approached the junction wherein the victim even raised his left

    arm to signal but was still bumped by the over speeding bus

    - No cogent reason to reverse or modify factual findings of both RTC and CA; As a

    professional driver operating a public transport bus, he should have anticipated that

    overtaking at a junction was a perilous maneuver and should thus have exercised extreme

    caution

    - Allowing Pestano to ply his route with a defective speedometer showed laxity on

    the part of Metro Cebu in the supervision of its employees and in the proper care of its

    vehicles; thus failed to conduct its business with the diligence required by law

    (2)SC: No. The indemnity for death caused by a quasi-delict used to be pegged at P30,000, basedon Art. 2206 of the NCC. However, the amount has been gradually increased through the years

    because of the declining value of our currency; At present, prevailing jurisprudence fixes the

    amount at P50,000

    (3)Petitioners contention: CA used the wrong basis for its computation of earning capacity andcitedthe case of Villa Rey Transit, Inc. v CAwhich states thatThe determination of the indemnity

    to be awarded to the heirs of a deceased person has therefore no fixed basis xxxx The life expectancy

    of the deceased or of the beneficiary, whichever is shorter, is an important factor. Xxxxx

    SC: No, the court has consistently computed the loss of earning capacity based on the life

    expectancy of the deceased and not on that of the heir. Even Villa Rey Transit did likewise.

    The award for loss of earning capacity is based on 2 factors:

    1. The number of years on which the computation of damages is based* 2. The rate at which the loss sustained by the heirs is fixed** *refers to life expectancy, which takes into consideration the nature of the victims work, lifestyle, age

    and state of health prior to accident

    ** refers to the victims earning capacity minus the necessary living expenses; amount recoverable is

    that portion of the earnings of the deceased which the beneficiary would have received

    3.5 Extraordinary Diligence in Carriage by Land

    3.5.3 Duty to Inspect

    G.R. No. L-23733 October 31, 1969

    HERMINIO L. NOCUM, plaintiff-appellee,vs.

    LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, defendant-appellant.

    FACTS:

    Herminio Nocum was a passenger in appellant's Bus No. 120 then making a trip within the barrio of Dita,Municipality of Bay, Laguna

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    According to Severino Andaya, a witness for the Nocum, a man with a box went up the baggagecompartment of the bus where he already was and said box was placed under the seat.

    The bus conductor, Sancho Mendoza, testified that the box belonged to a passenger whose name he doesnot know and who told him that it contained miscellaneous items and clothes.

    Bus conductor Mendoza helped the owner in loading the baggage which weighed about twelve (12) kilosand because of company regulation, he charged him for it twenty-five centavos (P0.25). From its

    appearance there was no indication at all that the contents were explosives or firecrackers. Neither didhe open the box because he just relied on the word of the owner.

    Dispatcher Nicolas Cornista of bus company corroborrated the testimony of Mendoza and he said, amongother things, that he was present when the box was loaded in the truck and the owner agreed to pay itsfare. He added that they were not authorized to open the baggages of passengers because instructionfrom the management was to call the police if there were packages containing articles which were againstregulations.

    There is no question that Bus No. 120 was road worthy when it left its Manila Terminal for Lucena thatmorning of December 5, 1960. The injuries suffered by the plaintiff were not due to mechanical defectsbut to the explosion of firecrackers inside the bus which was loaded by a co-passenger.

    The bus left Azcarraga at about 11:30 in the morning and when the explosion occurred, he was thrownout.

    Nocum was injured as a consequence of the firecracker explosion. PC investigation report states thatthirty seven (37) passengers were injured.

    TRIAL COURT: Laguna Tayabas bus company liable to pay Nocum the sum of P1,351.00 for actualdamages and P500.00 as attorney's fees with legal interest from the filing of the complaint plus costs

    TC Rationale: The service manual, exhibits "3" and "3-A," prohibits the employees to allow explosives,such as dynamite and firecrackers to be transported on its buses. To implement this particular rule for 'thesafety of passengers, it was therefore incumbent upon the employees of the company to make the properinspection of all the baggages which are carried by the passengers.

    ISSUES:

    1. Should Laguna Tayabas Bus Company be liable for a passengers act of misrepresenting the contentsof his luggage?

    HELD:NO. It was shown in this case that the bus company has exercised extraordinary diligence for the safety of itspassengers

    In this particular case before Us, it must be considered that while it is true the passengers of appellant's busshould not be made to suffer for something over which they had no control, as enunciated in the decision ofthe Trial Court, fairness demands that in measuring a common carrier's duty towards its passengers,allowance must be given to the reliance that should be reposed on the sense of responsibility of all thepassengers in regard to their common safety.

    It is to be presumed that a passenger will not take with him anything dangerous to the lives and limbs ofhis co-passengers, not to speak of his own.

    Not to be lightly considered must be the right to privacy to which each passenger is entitled. He cannotbe subjected to any unusual search, when he protests the innocuousness of his baggage and nothingappears to indicate the contrary, as in the case at bar.

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    In other words, inquiry may be verbally made as to the nature of a passenger's baggage when suchis not outwardly perceptible, but beyond this, constitutional boundaries are already in danger of

    being transgressed.

    There is need for evidence of circumstances indicating cause or causes for apprehension that thepassenger's baggage is dangerous and that it is failure of the common carrier's employee to act in the face

    of such evidence that constitutes the cornerstone of the common carrier's liability in cases similar to thepresent one.

    Explosive or Dangerous Contents.A carrier is ordinarily not liable for injuries to passengers from firesor explosions caused by articles brought into its conveyances by other passengers, in the absence of anyevidence that the carrier, through its employees, was aware of the nature of the article or had any reason toanticipate danger therefrom. (Bogard v. Illinois C. R Co. 144 Ky. 649, 139 S. W. 855, 36 L. R. A.[N. S.] 337;Clarke v. Louisville & N. R. Co. 101 Ky. 34, 39 S. W. 840, 36 L. R. A. 123 [explosion of can of gasoline]; EastIndian R. Co. v. Mukerjee [1901] A. C. [Eng.] 396, 3 B. R. C. 420 P. C. [explosion of fireworks]; Annotation:37 L. R. A. [N. S.] 725.)

    This court holds that appellant has succeeded in rebutting the presumption of negligence by showing that ithas exercised extraordinary diligence for the safety of its passengers, "according to the circumstances of the

    (each) case", We deem it unnecessary to rule whether or not there was any fortuitous event in this case.

    ACCORDINGLY, the appealed judgment of the trial court is reversed and the case is dismissed, without costs.

    3.6 Extraordinary Diligence in Carriage by Air

    G.R. No. 114061 August 3, 1994

    KOREAN AIRLINES CO., LTDvs.COURT OF APPEALS and JUANITO C. LAPUZ

    FACTS:

    - Juanito C. Lapuz, an automotive electrician, was contracted for employment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for aperiod of 1 year through Pan Pacific Overseas Recruiting Services, Inc.

    -November 8, 1980, Pan Pacific Recruiting Services Inc. coordinated with KAL for the departure of 30 contractworkers, of whom only 21 were confirmed and 9 were wait-listed passengers.

    -The agent of Pan Pacific, Jimmie Joseph, after being informed that there was a possibility of having one ortwo seats becoming available, gave priority to Perico, who was one of the supervisors of the hiringcompany in Saudi Arabia.

    -Lapuz was supposed to leave on November 8, 1980, via Korean Airlines (KAL). Initially wait-listed but thenwas given one of the two unclaimed seats together with another man, Perico.

    -Lapuz was allowed to check in with one suitcase and one shoulder bag at the check-in counter of KAL. Hewas passenger No. 157 of KAL Flight No. KE 903.

    - Just as he was taking the steps on the ramp leading to the aircraft door, a KAL officer rudely shouted "Down!Down!, while pointing at him. He was barred from taking the flight.

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    (The breach of contract was aggravated in this case when, instead of courteously informing Lapuz of hisbeing a "wait-listed" passenger, a KAL officer rudely shouted "Down! Down!" while pointing at him, thuscausing him embarrassment and public humiliation)

    However, Court of Appeals was justified in decreasing the award of actual damages even if the issue was notassigned as an error by KAL.

    A review of the record of this case shows that the injury suffered by Lapuz is not so serious or extensiveas to warrant an award of P1.5 million (Lapuz appeal that he be awarded such). The assessment ofP100,000 as moral and exemplary damages in his favor is, in our view, reasonable and realistic.

    -The respondent court did not err in sustaining the trial court's dismissal of KAL's counterclaim against PanPacific Overseas Recruiting Services Inc., whose responsibility ended with the confirmation by KAL of Lapuzas its passenger in its Flight No. 903.

    -The appealed judgment is AFFIRMED, but with the modification that the legal interest on the damagesawarded to private respondent should commence from the date of the decision of the trial court onNovember 14, 1990. The parties shall bear their own costs

    PHILIPPINE AIR LINES, INC., Petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and JESUS V. SAMSON,

    Respondents.

    [G.R. No. L-46558 : July 31, 1981.]

    GUERRERO,J.:

    FACTS:

    Jesus V. Samson, private respondent herein, averred that on January 8, 1951, he flew as co-pilot on aregular flight from Manila to Legaspi with stops at Daet, Camarines Norte and Pili, Camarines Sur,

    with Captain Delfin Bustamante as commanding pilot of a C-47 plane belonging to Philippine Air

    Lines, Inc.

    on attempting to land the plane at Daet airport, Captain Delfin Bustamante due to his very slowreaction and poor judgment overshot the airfield and as a result, notwithstanding the diligent efforts

    of the plaintiff co-pilot to avert an accident, the airplane crashlanded beyond the runway that the jolt caused the head of the plaintiff to hit and break through the thick front windshield of the

    airplane causing him severe brain concussion, wounds and abrasions on the forehead with intense

    pain and suffering

    that as a consequence of the brain injury sustained by plaintiff from the crash, he had been havingperiodic dizzy spells and had been suffering from general debility and nervousness

    that defendant airline company instead of submitting the plaintiff to expert medical treatment,discharged the latter from its employ on December 21, 1953 on grounds of physical disability,

    thereby causing plaintiff not only to lose his job but to become physically unfit to continue as aviator

    due to defendants negligence in not giving him the proper medical attention

    Plaintiff prayed for damages in the amount of P180,000.00 representing his unearned income,P50,000.00 as moral damages, P20,000.00 as attorneys fees and P5,000.00 as expenses, or a total of

    P255,000.00.

    PAL denied the substantial averments in the complaint, alleging among others, that the accident wasdue solely and exclusively to inevitable unforeseen circumstances whereby plaintiff sustained only

    superficial wounds and minor injuries which were promptly treated by defendants medical

    personnel c

    Further, defendant alleged that by the very nature of its business as a common carrier, it is bound toemploy only pilots who are proficient and in good mental, emotional and physical condition; that the

    pilot, Captain Delfin Bustamante, was a competent and proficient pilot, and although he was already

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    afflicted with a tumor of the nasopharynx even before the accident of January 8, 1951, the Civil

    Aeronautics Administration, in passing upon the fitness of pilots, gave Capt. Bustamante a waiver of

    physical standards to enable him to retain his first class airman certificate since the affliction had not

    in the least affected his proficiency

    The CFI of Albay rendered a decision in favour of Respondent. The Court of Appeals modified the said decision, entitling the respondent of interest for the unearned

    income. Motion for reconsideration was denied.

    ISSUE: WON PAL is liable for the loss and damages caused to Samson.

    HELD:

    We agree with the respondent court in finding that the dizzy spells, headache and general debility ofprivate respondent Samson was an after-effect of the crash-landing and We find that such holding is

    supported by substantial evidence

    We also find the imputation of gross negligence by respondent court to PAL for having allowed Capt.Delfin Bustamante to fly on that fateful day of the accident on January 8, 1951 to be correct (First

    Pilot Bustamante has a long standing tumor of the Nasopharynx for which reason he was grounded

    since November 1947 is admitted in the letter cranad(Exh. 69-A) of Dr. Bernardo to the Medical

    Director of the CAA requesting waiver of physical standards.)

    Assuming that the pilot was not sick or that the tumor did not affect the pilot in managing the plane,the evidence shows that the overshooting of the runway and crash-landing at the mangrove was

    caused by the pilot for which acts the defendant must answer for damages caused thereby. And for

    this negligence of defendants employee, it is liable cranad(Joaquin vs. Aniceto, 12 SCRA 308). At

    least, the law presumes the employer negligent imposing upon it the burden of proving that it

    exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of its employees.

    Petitioner is a common carrier engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passengers orgoods or both, by land, water, or air, for compensation, offering their services to the public, as defined

    in Art. 1732, New Civil Code. The law is clear in requiring a common carrier to exercise the highest

    degree of care in the discharge of its duty and business of carriage and transportation under Arts.

    1733, 1755 and 1756 of the New Civil Code.

    The duty to exercise the utmost diligence on the part of common carriers is for the safety ofpassengers as well as for the members of the crew or the complement operating the carrier,

    the airplane in the case at bar.And this must be so for any omission, lapse or neglect thereof will

    certainly result to the damage, prejudice, nay injuries and even death to all aboard the plane,

    passengers and crew members alike.

    the judgment of the appellate court is hereby affirmed with slight modification in that the correctamount of compensatory damages is P204,000.00.

    G.R. No. 104235 November 18, 1993

    SPOUSES CESAR & SUTHIRA ZALAMEA and LIANA ZALAMEA, petitioners,vs.HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and TRANSWORLD AIRLINES, INC., respondents.

    FACTS:

    Cesar C. Zalamea and Suthira Zalamea, and their daughter, Liana Zalamea, purchased three (3) airlinetickets from the Manila agent of respondent TransWorld Airlines, Inc. for a flight to New York to Los

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    Angeles on June 6, 1984. The tickets of petitioners-spouses were purchased at a discount of 75%

    while that of their daughter was a full fare ticket. All three tickets represented confirmed

    reservations.

    On the appointed date, however, petitioners checked in at 10:00 a.m., an hour earlier than thescheduled flight at 11:00 a.m. but were placed on the wait-list because the number of passengers who

    had checked in before them had already taken all the seats available on the flight.

    As it were, those holding full-fare tickets were given first priority among the wait-listed passengers.Mr. Zalamea, who was holding the full-fare ticket of his daughter, was allowed to board the plane;

    while his wife and daughter, who presented the discounted tickets were denied boarding. According

    to Mr. Zalamea, it was only later when he discovered the he was holding his daughter's full-fare

    ticket.

    Even in the next TWA flight to Los Angeles Mrs. Zalamea and her daughter, could not beaccommodated because it was also fully booked. Thus, they were constrained to book in another

    flight and purchased two tickets from American Airlines at a cost of Nine Hundred Eighteen

    ($918.00) Dollars.

    Upon their arrival in the Philippines, petitioners filed an action for damages based on breach ofcontract of air carriage before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. the lower court ruled in favor of

    petitioners.

    CA DECISION: On appeal, the respondent Court of Appeals held that moral damages are recoverable in a damage

    suit predicated upon a breach of contract of carriage onlywhere there is fraud or bad faith. Since it is

    a matter of record that overbooking of flights is a common and accepted practice of airlines in the

    United States and is specifically allowed under the Code of Federal Regulations by the Civil

    Aeronautics Board, no fraud nor bad faith could be imputed on respondent TransWorld Airlines.

    it also held that there was no bad faith in placing petitioners in the wait-list along with forty-eight(48) other passengers where full-fare first class tickets were given priority over discounted tickets.

    ISSUE: WON PAL is liable for moral damages for breach of contract of carriage against Zalamea.

    HELD:

    That there was fraud or bad faith on the part of respondent airline when it did not allow petitionersto board their flight for Los Angeles in spite of confirmed tickets cannot be disputed. The U.S. law or

    regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has never been proved. Foreign laws do not prove

    themselves nor can the courts take judicial notice of them.

    Existing jurisprudence explicitly states that overbooking amounts to bad faith, entitling thepassengers concerned to an award of moral damages.

    A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other contractualrelation. So ruled this Court inZulueta v. Pan American World Airways, Inc. 12This is so, for a contract

    of carriage generates a relation attended with public duty a duty to provide public service and

    convenience to its passengers which must be paramount to self-interest or enrichment.

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    Existing jurisprudence explicitly states that overbooking amounts to bad faith, entitling thepassengers concerned to an award of moral damages.

    Even on the assumption that overbooking is allowed, respondent TWA is still guilty of bad faith in notinforming its passengers beforehand that it could breach the contract of carriage even if they have

    confirmed tickets if there was overbooking. Respondent TWA should have incorporated stipulations

    on overbooking on the tickets issued or to properly inform its passengers about these policies so that

    the latter would be prepared for such eventuality or would have the choice to ride with another

    airline.

    Moreover, respondent TWA was also guilty of not informing its passengers of its alleged policy ofgiving less priority to discounted tickets.

    The respondent court erred, however, in not ordering the refund of the American Airlines ticketspurchased and used by petitioners Suthira and Liana. The evidence shows that petitioners Suthira

    and Liana were constrained to take the American Airlines flight to Los Angeles not because they

    "opted not to use their TWA tickets on another TWA flight" but because respondent TWA could not

    accommodate them either on the next TWA flight which was also fully booked.

    In accordance with Article 2201, New Civil Code, respondent TWA should, therefore, be responsiblefor all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the non-performance of its obligation.