DEFENSES OF COMMON CARRIER (FIRE AS CAUSE) DSR-Senator Lines and CF Sharp and Co., Inc. vs. Federal Phoenix Assurance The peril of fire is not comprehended within the exceptions in Article 1734, then the common carrier shall be presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless it proves that it has observed the extraordinary diligence required by law. Berde Plants delivered 632 units of artificial trees to CF Sharp and Company, the General Ship Agent of DSR-Senator Lines. The cardo is for delivery to Saudi Arabia. Federal Phoenix Assurance – insured the cargo. However, while in transit, the vessel and all its cargo caught fire. ISSUE: Whether CF Sharp/DSR-Senator Lines should be liable for the destruction and loss of the cargo due to fire STORM OR PERIL OF THE SEA Transimex Co. Insurance Corp. vs. Mafre Asian Facts: As soon as the vessel docketed in Albay, the fertilizer was bagged and stored insides a warehouse by employees of the consignee. When it was weighed, it was discovered that only 7,350 metric tons of fertilizer had been delivered. Because of the alleged shortage, Fertiphil filed a claim with respondent According to Transimex, the shortage in the shipment was cause by inclement weather encountered by vessel at sea. ISSUE: Is petitioner liable due to the bad weather under Civil Code or COGSA? NO RULING: It must be emphasized that not all instances of bad weather may be categorized as "storms" or "perils of the sea" within the meaning of the provisions of the Civil Code and COGSA on common carriers. To be considered absolutory causes under either statute, bad weather conditions must reach a certain threshold of severity. - Central Shipping Co. Inc. v. Insurance Company of North America According to PAGASA, a storm has a wind force of 48 to 55 knots, equivalent to 55 to 63 miles per hour The phrase "perils of the sea" carries the same connotation. = limit the application of the phrase to weather that is "so unusual, unexpected and catastrophic as to be beyond reasonable expectation." In this case, the documentary and testimonial evidence cited by petitioner indicate that M/V Meryem Ana faced winds of only up to 40 knots while at sea. This wind force clearly fell short of the 48 to 55 knots required for "storms" under Article 1734 (1) of the Civil Code based on the threshold established by PAGASA. Petitioner also failed to prove that the inclement weather encountered by the vessel was unusual, unexpected, or catastrophic. SHORE PASS REQUIREMENT Japan Airlines vs. Asuncion The power to admit or not an alien into the country is a sovereign act which cannot be interfered with even by JAL. This is not within the ambit of the contract of carriage entered into by JAL and herein respondents. Michael and Jeanette Asuncion left Manila on board Japan Airlines (JAL) Flight 742 bound for Los Angeles. Their itinerary included a stop-over in Narita and an overnight stay at Hotel Nikko Narita. vouch for the authenticity of a passport and the correctness of the entries therein. The power to admit or not an alien into the country is a sovereign act which cannot be interfered with even by JAL. This is not within the ambit of the contract of carriage entered into by JAL and herein respondents. As such, JAL should not be faulted for the denial of respondents' shore pass applications. EXERCISE OF EXTRAORDINARY DILIGENCE, INHERENT CHARACTER OF GOODS AND INADEQUACY OF PACKAGING PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC. vs. CA Upon arrival at Narita, Mrs. Noriko EtouHiguchi of JAL endorsed their applications for shore pass and directed them to the Japanese immigration official. EXERCISE OF EXTRAORDINARY DILIGENCE AND DOCTRINE OF LAST CLEAR CHANCE William Tiu vs. Pedro Arriesgado During their interview, the Japanese immigration official noted that Michael appeared shorter than his height as indicated in his passport. Because of this inconsistency, respondents were denied shore pass entries and were brought instead to the Narita Airport Rest House where they were billeted overnight. ISSUE: WON JAL breached its contract of carriage Ruling: No. It may be true that JAL has the duty to inspect whether its passengers have the necessary travel documents, however, such duty does not extend to checking the veracity of every entry in these documents. JAL could not It is a common carriers duty to transport a passenger to their destination safely, failure to do so gives rise to a presumption of negligence on the part of the common carrier. Common carriers must exercise extraordinary diligence, such is not present when the driver of the common carriers vehicle was violating traffic rules. The doctrine of last chance only applies in cases where two colliding vehicle owners are the parties. It does not apply against a passenger of a common carrier WHO DEMANDS RESPONSIBILITY FROM THE CARRIER TO ENFORCE ITS CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS. FORTUITOUS EVENT Central Shipping Co., Inc. Insurance Co. of North America ISSUE: vs. 1. 1) Whether the carrier is liable for the loss of the cargo; A common carrier is presumed to be at fault or negligent. It shall be liable for the loss, destruction or deterioration of its cargo, unless it can prove that the sole and proximate cause of such event is one of the causes enumerated in Article 1734 of the Civil Code, or that it exercised extraordinary diligence to prevent or minimize the loss. In the present case, the weather condition encountered by petitioners vessel was not a storm or a natural disaster comprehended in the law. Given the known weather condition prevailing during the voyage, the manner of stowage employed by the carrier was insufficient to secure the cargo from the rolling action of the sea. The carrier took a calculated risk in improperly securing the cargo. Having lost that risk, it cannot now disclaim any liability for the loss. YES. The evidence indicated that strong southwest monsoons were common occurrences during the month of July. Thus, the officers and crew of M/V Central Bohol should have reasonably anticipated heavy rains, strong winds and rough seas. They should then have taken extra precaution in stowing the logs in the hold, in consonance with their duty of observing extraordinary diligence in safeguarding the goods. But the carrier took a calculated risk in improperly securing the cargo. Having lost that risk, it cannot now escape responsibility for the loss. After the listing of the vessel had increased to 15 degrees, the ship captain ordered his men to abandon ship and at the same day the vessel completely sank. Due to the sinking of the vessel, the cargo was totally lost. Petitioner: the vessel was fully manned, fully equipped and in all respects seaworthy; that all the logs were properly loaded and secured; that the vessels master exercised due diligence to prevent or minimize the loss before, during and after the occurrence of the storm. The proximate and only cause of the sinking of its vessel and the loss of its cargo was a natural disaster, a tropical storm which neither petitioner nor the captain of its vessel could have foreseen.] Bernales vs. Northwest Airlines -Japan – fortuitous event he and several other personalities from Bicol prominent were on their way to Honolulu, Hawaii, as the delegates of a trade and tourism mission for the province. They were economy class passengers of Northwest Airlines Flight No. 10 from Manila to Honolulu via Narita, Japan. The delegates opted to be wait-listed for Flight No. 22. The petitioner was placed last in the wait-list as he was the last economy class passenger to check in for Flight No. 10. To ensure departure before the 1:00 a.m. curfew, NWA gave out "dummy" boarding passes to the wait- listed passengers even before the priority passengers boarded the plane. proximate cause of NWA's breach of contract was a fortuitous event. The passengers of Flight 22 were called for boarding at around 11:00 p.m. and the delegates boarded the shuttle taking them to the airplane. But before the shuttle bus could leave, NWA Customer Service Agent Tsuruki Ohashi entered the shuttle and informed the petitioner that he could not take Flight 22 as no available seat was left for him. NOTICE OF CLAIM ISSUE: Whether or not Bernales is entitled to damages because of the alleged incident RULING: NO. Moral damages predicated upon a breach of a carriage contract is only recoverable in instances where the mishap results in the death of a passenger, or where the carrier is guilty of fraud or bad faith. Bad faith is not simple negligence or bad judgment; it involves ill intentions and a conscious design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose. The primary cause of NWA's delay in the fulfillment of its obligation was the unusually strong typhoon that struck Japan that evening. We take notice that this was Typhoon Higos, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit Japan as of that date. Typhoon Higos resulted in the cancellation of more than 200 flights. From this perspective, we cannot attribute bad faith or ill motives on NWA for cancelling Flight No. 10. Pushing through would have recklessly endangered the lives of the passengers and the crew. Evidently, the real and 8. Phil. Charter Insurance Corp. vs. Chemoil Lighterage Art. 366. Within twenty-four hours following the receipt of the merchandise a claim may be made against the carrier on account of damage or average found upon opening the packages, provided that the indications of the damage or average giving rise to the claim cannot be ascertained from the exterior of said packages, in which case said claim shall only be admitted at the time of the receipt of the packages. After the periods mentioned have elapsed, or after the transportation charges have been paid, no claim whatsoever shall be admitted against the carrier with regard to the condition in which the goods transported were delivered. Chemical company in Korea shipped liquid chemicals to Plastic Group Phils, Inc (PGP) thru Chemoil in Manila, insured by PCIC. Upon inspection by PGP, the samples taken from the shipment showed discoloration from yellowish to amber, demonstrating that it was damaged. CA dismissed claims of PCIC against Chemoil and ruled that the notice of claim was not filed within the required period. ISSUE: WON NOTICE OF CLAIM was filed within the required period RULING: Athough a telephone call was made by Alfredo Chan (employee of PGP) to Abastillas (VP for Operations of Chemoil) informing the latter of the contamination, the court having examined the entire records of the case, they cannot find a shred of evidence that will precisely and ultimately point to the conclusion that the notice of claim was timely relayed or filed The filing of a claim with the carrier within the time limitation therefore actually constitutes a condition precedent to the accrual of a right of action against a carrier for loss of, or damage to, the goods. The shipper or consignee must allege and prove the fulfillment of the condition. If it fails to do so, no right of action against the carrier can accrue in favor of the former. The aforementioned requirement is a reasonable condition precedent; it does not constitute a limitation of action TORRES-MADRID BROKERAGE, INC. VS. FEB MITSUI MARINE INSURANCE CO., INC., ET AL Sony had engaged Torres-Madrid Brokerage Inc (TMBI) in facilitating, processing, withdrawing and delivering the shipment of various electronic goods (from Thailand and Malaysia) from the port of Manila to its warehouse in Binan, Laguna. TMBI subcontracted BMT Trucking services since it did not own any delivery truck which Sony did not object to the arrangement. � trucks left BMT’s garage but only � arrived at the warehouse. One truck was found abandoned. Both the driver and the shipment were missing. TMBI filed a complaint for “hijacking”. ISSUE: Whether or not TMBI is liable for the loss of goods. YES. For all other cases- such as theft or robbery- a common carrier is presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless it can prove that it observed extraordinary diligence. Simply put theft or robbery is not considered fortuitous event. A common carrier to be absolved of its liability for a resulting loss: 1. If it proves that it exercised extraordinary diligence in transporting and safekeeping the goods; 2. If it stipulated with the shipper or owner of the goods to limit its liability for the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods to a degree less than extraordinary diligence. However, a robbery attended by “grave or irresistible force” is a fortuitous event that absolves the common carrier from liability. TMBI failed to successfully establish that it had acted with extraordinary diligence and TMBI’s current theory that hijacking was attended by force is untenable. PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE 9. Diaz vs. CA A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the circumstances. pe�i�ioner�s �a�i, dri�en b� Arman Re�es, �as mo�ing a� an e�cessi�e speed when it rammed into the rear portion of a Hino cargo truck owned by Lantoria and Francisco. As a result, 9 passengers of taxi died including Sherly Moneno ̃ . 1. 2) Whether petitioner is liable for breach of contract? Yes. BURDEN ON COMMON CARRIER 10. Regional Container Lines (RCL) of Singapore, et al vs. The Netherlands Insurance Co. (Philippines), Inc. In all other cases not specified under Article 1734 of the Civil Code, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they observed extraordinary diligence. Temic received the shipment and found the cargo completely damaged. Temic filed a claim for cargo loss against Netherlands Insurance, with supporting claims documents. Whether the CA correctly held RCL and EDSA Shipping liable as common carriers under the theory of presumption of negligence RULING: YES. ACTS OF STRANGERS AND OTHER PASSENGERS (ART. 1763, NCC) GV Florida Transport, Inc. vs. Heirs of Romeo L. Battung, Jr. While the law requires the highest degree of diligence from common carriers in the safe transport of their passengers and creates a presumption of negligence against them, it does not, however, make the carrier an insurer of the absolute safety of its passengers. Battung boarded the bus of petitioner in Delfin Albano, Isabela, bound for Manila. He was seated at the first row behind the driver and slept during the ride. At this point, a man who was seated at the fourth row of the bus stood up, shot Battung at his head, and then left with a companion. The bus conductor, Daraoay, notified Duplio of the incident and thereafter, brought Romeo to the hospital, but the latter was pronounced dead on arrival. ISSUE: Whether petitioner is liable for damages arising from culpa contractual No. Where, as in the instant case, the injury sustained by the petitioner was in no way due to any defect in the means of transport or in the method of transporting or to the negligent or wilful acts of [the common carrier'sl employees, and therefore involving no issue of negligence in its duty to provide safe and suitable [care] as well as competent employees, with the injury arising wholly from causes created by strangers over which the carrier had no control or even knowledge or could not have prevented, the presumption is rebutted and the carrier is not and ought not to be held liable. To rule otherwise would make the common carrier the insurer of the absolute safety of its passengers which is not the intention of the lawmakers. ABSENCE OR PRESENCE CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OF Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. , Cangco was riding the train on his way home. When it reached the San Mateo station (where he lives) he stood up and positioned himself near the exit. A person gets off before him. When he was about to come down, he was suppose to step on a certain platform. However, that day, there were watermelons piled in that platform and he stepped on them. The watermelons are there because it was harvest season. It was ready for shipment to the market. Since �he place �as ligh�ed diml�, he co�ldn�� properl� see if �he watermelons were there or not. Also, when he got off, the train was still moving. As a consequence of his fall, he was drawn to the platform and was crushed by a moving car. He was taken to a hospital where his arms were amputated. Afterwards, he was taken to another hospital where his shoulders were also amputated. All in all, the expenses had a total of Php 790. 25. Is Cangco barred from recovering damages against MRR because of his own CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE? RULING: NO, he is not barred from recovering damages. SC reversed the decision of the CFI. SC said that the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY of MRR should be examined separately from the CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE of Cangco. On the one hand, there is the contract of carriage on the part of MRR to bring Cangco safely to his destination. There is the presumption of responsibility on the part of MRR to make sure that in order to bring Cangco and other passengers safely to their destination, MRR should have exercised the proper discretion in selecting and directing its employees and workers. MRR is deemed negligent if is proven that they failed in their discretion in selecting and directing its employees. To prove that MRR exercised DILIGENCE in this area would exonerate MRR from liability. However, in the case at bar, there were circumstances to prove that MRR did no� e�ercise diligence. FIRST, ��he place, as �e ha�e alread� s�a�ed, was dark, or dimly lighted, and this also is proof of a failure upon the part of the defendant in the performance of a duty owing by it to the plaintiff; for if it were by any possibility concede that it had right to pile these sacks in the path of alighting passengers, the placing of them adequately so that �heir presence �o�ld be re�ealed.� SECOND, �i� ma� be no�ed �ha� �he place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and off the train at this station. As a conclusion, the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly under way was not characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of contributory negligence. With this, MRR should pay the damages. They are ordered to pay Php 3, 290. 25 to Cangco. PNR vs. CA, et al Contributory negligence, while not exempting PNR from liability, nevertheless justified the deletion of the amount adjudicated as moral damages. Winifredo Tupang boarded a train in Camarines Sur that was bound for Manila. Due to overcrowding, Winifredo Tupang opted to sit on the open platform. Upon passing the Iyam Bridge, Winifredo Tupang fell off the train res�l�ing �o his dea�h. The �rain didn�� s�op despi�e kno�ing �ha� a passenger fell from the train. Instead the conductor requested for the verification of the information by the police. The police found the body of Winifredo Tupang. ISSUE: Whether or not there was contributory negligence on the part of Winifredo Tupang RULING: Yes. There was. It appears that the deceased was chargeable with contributory negligence. Since he opted to sit on the open platform between the coaches of the train, he should have held tightly and tenaciously on the upright metal bar found at the side of the said platform to avoid falling off from the speeding train. Such contributory negligence, while not exempting PNR from liability, nevertheless justified the deletion of the amount adjudicated as moral damages.