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Ysmael vs. Barretto G.R. No. L-28028; November 25, 1927 Keywor !

Defendants (carrier) stipulate that it is not liable for loss or damage to an amount exceeding P300 per package of silk "o#e#te! JOHN ! J" $o%tr&#e! # common carrier cannot la$full% stipulate for exemption from liabilit%! unless such exemption is &ust and reasonable and the contract is freel% and fairl% made" 'a%ts! 'n this action plaintiff! a domestic corporation! seeks to reco(er from the defendants P)!)*0")+ the alleged (alue of four cases of merchandise $hich it deli(ered to the steamship #ndres! at ,anila to be shipped to urigao! but $hich $ere ne(er deli(ered to alomon haruff! the consignee! or returned to the plaintiff" -he defendants alleged that under pro(ision ./ of the bill of lading! the carrier shall not be liable for loss or damage from an% cause or for an% reason to an amount exceeding three hundred pesos (P300) Philippine currenc% for an% single package of silk or other (aluable cargo" -hus! the defendants alleged that the% are not liable in excess of three hundred pesos (P300) for an% package of silk" -he lo$er court points out that the conditions (pro(ision) in 0uestion 1are not printed on the triplicate copies $hich $ere deli(ered to the plaintiff!1 and that b% reason thereof the% 1are not binding upon the plaintiff1 and thus rendered &udgment for the plaintiff for the full amount of its claim" (ss)e! 2hether or not pro(ision ./ in the bill of lading is reasonable" *el ! No" # common carrier cannot la$full% stipulate for exemption from liabilit%! unless such exemption is &ust and reasonable and the contract is freel% and fairl% made" (# t+e %ase at bar, the ship in 0uestion $as a common carrier and! as such! must ha(e been operated as a public utilit%" 't is a matter of common kno$ledge that large 0uantities of silk are imported in the Philippine 'slands! and that after being imported! the% are sold b% the merchants in ,anila and other large seaports! and then shipped to different points and places in the 'slands" Hence! there is nothing unusual about the shipment of silk" 'n truth and in fact! it is a matter of usual and ordinar% business" -here $as no fraud or concealment in the shipment in 0uestion" 3lause ./ abo(e 0uoted places a limit of P300 1for an% single package of silk"1 -he e(idence sho$s that .4* 1cases1 $ere shipped! and that the (alue of each case $as (er% near P/!+00" 'n this situation! the limit of defendants5 liabilit% for each case of silk 1for loss or damage from an% cause or for an% reason1 $ould put it in the po$er of the defendants to ha(e taken the $hole cargo of .4* cases of silk at a (aluation of P300 for each case! or less than one6eight of its actual (alue" 'f that rule of la$ should be sustained! no silk $ould e(er be shipped from one island to another in the Philippines" uch a limitation of (alue is unconscionable and (oid as against public polic%"