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G.R. No.

145804

February 6, 2003

Lessons Applicable: Actionable Document (transportation)


Laws Cited: Art. 1755,Art. 1756,Art. 1759,Art. 1763
FACTS:

October 14, 1993, 7:30 p.m. : Drunk Nicanor Navidad (Nicanor) entered the

EDSA LRT station after purchasing a token.


While Nicanor was standing at the platform near the LRT tracks, the guard

Junelito Escartin approached him.


Due to misunderstanding, they had a fist fight

Nicanor fell on the tracks and killed instantaneously upon being hit
by a moving train operated by Rodolfo Roman
December 8, 1994: The widow of Nicanor, along with her children, filed a
complaint for damages against Escartin, Roman, LRTA, Metro Transit Org. Inc. and

Prudent (agency of security guards) for the death of her husband.


LRTA and Roman filed a counter-claim against Nicanor and a cross-claim

against Escartin and Prudent


Prudent: denied liability averred that it had exercised due

diligence in the selection and surpervision of its security guards


LRTA and Roman: presented evidence

Prudent and Escartin: demurrer contending that Navidad had failed

to prove that Escartin was negligent in his assigned task


RTC: In favour of widow and against Prudent and Escartin, complaint against LRT

and Roman were dismissed for lack of merit


CA: reversed by exonerating Prudent and held LRTA and Roman liable

ISSUE: W/N LRTA and Roman should be liable according to the contract of carriage
HELD: NO. Affirmed with Modification: (a) nominal damages is DELETED (CANNOT coexist w/ compensatory damages) (b) Roman is absolved.

Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both from the nature of its
business and for reasons of public policy, is burdened with the duty off exercising

utmost diligence in ensuring the safety of passengers


Civil Code:
Art. 1755. 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

Art. 1756. In case of death or injuries to passengers, common carriers


are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove

that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755
Art. 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to
passengers through the negligence or wilful acts of the formers employees,
although such employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in
violation of the orders of the common carriers
This liability of the common carriers does NOT cease upon proof that they
Exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of their employees

Art. 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a


passenger on account of the wilful acts or negligence of other passengers or of
strangers, if the common carriers employees through the exercise of the diligence

of a good father of a family could have prevented or stopped the act or omission.
Carriers presumed to be at fault or been negligent and by simple proof of injury,
the passenger is relieaved of the duty to still establish the fault or negligence of the
carrier or of its employees and the burden shifts upon the carrier to prove that the

injury is due to an unforeseen event or to force majeure


Where it hires its own employees or avail itself of the services of an outsider or
an independent firm to undertake the task, the common carrier is NOT relieved of

its responsibilities under the contract of carriage


GR: Prudent can be liable only for tort under Art. 2176 and related provisions in
conjunction with Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. (Tort may arise even under a contract,

where tort [quasi-delict liability] is that which breaches the contract)


EX: if employers liability is negligence or fault on the part of the
employee, employer can be made liable on the basis of the presumption juris
tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris families in the

selection and supervision of its employees.


EX to the EX: Upon showing due diligence in the selection and supervision

of the employee
Factual finding of the CA: NO link bet. Prudent and the death of Nicanor for the

reason that the negligence of Escartin was NOT proven


NO showing that Roman himself is guilty of any culpable act or omission, he

must also be absolved from liability


Contractual tie bet. LRT and Nicanor is NOT itself a juridical relation bet.

Nicanor and Roman


Roman can be liable only for his own fault or negligence