Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 17

Pilapil vs.

CA, Alatco Transportation Company Inc

G.R. No. 52159 December 22, 1989


While boarding an Alatco Transportation Company bus, Jose Pilapil, a paying
passenger, was hit by a stone thrown by a bystander in the highway. Despite
a series of treatment, Jose lost his left eye vision. Consequently, he filed
before the CFI of Camarines an action for damages against Alatco. The trial
court ruled in favour of Pilapil. On appeal by the company, the lower court
decision was reversed.

Issue: Whether Alatco should be held liable to Pilapil due to the throwing
incident by a mere bystander.

Ruling: No. 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.

Fortune Express, Inc. vs. CA, et.al

[G.R. No. 119756. March 18, 1999]

A bus of petitioner figured in an accident with a jeepney owned by Maranaos.
Upon investigation, it was found out that certain Maranaos are planning to
take revenge against petitioner. A year later, a bus of petitioner was
ambushed by three armed Maranaos. The passengers were taken out of the
vehicle to proceed with the Maranaos plan of burning the same with its
driver, however, Atty. Caorong, one of the passengers, returned to retrieve
something from the overhead rack. Seeing the shot driver, Atty. Caorong
pleaded that the driver be released. The Maranaos were adamant and in that
heated argument, Atty. Caorong was shot and subsequently died. The heirs
of Atty. Caorong brought an action for damages before the RTC of Iligan. The
lower court ruled in favour of private respondents. On appeal, the decision of
the RTC was reversed.
Issue: Whether the bus company should be held liable to the death of Atty.
Ruling: Yes. Art. 1763 of the Civil Code provides that a common carrier is
responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account of the wilful acts
of other passengers, if the employees of the common carrier could have
prevented the act the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family. In
the present case, it is clear that because of the negligence of petitioners
employees, the seizure of the bus by Mananggolo and his men was made

Belgian Overseas Chartering And Shipping NV and Jardine Davies Transport

Services vs. PFIC
[G.R. No. 143133. June 5, 2002]
Facts: 242 coils of Prime Cold Rolled Steel sheets were shipped from
Germany to Manila. The same were consigned to PSTC. Upon arrival at the
port, it was found out that 4 coils are in bad condition. Resultantly, PSTC
declared the damaged coils as total loss. Due to the refusal of PFIC to grant
PSTCs claim, Belgian instead paid the same and was subrogated to PSTCs
rights. Subsequently, Belgian instituted a complaint before the RTC of Makati
for the recovery of the amount it paid to consignee against PFIC. Upon the
dismissal of the complaint, Belgian appealed to the CA. In reversing the RTCs
decision, the appellate court ruled that petitioners failed to overcome the
presumption of negligence imposed on common carriers. .
Issue: Whether petitioner has overcome the presumption of the negligence
of negligence of a common carrier.
Ruling: No. The presumption of fault or negligence will not arise [21] if the
loss is due to any of the following causes: (1) flood, storm, earthquake,
lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity; (2) an act of the public
enemy in war, whether international or civil; (3) an act or omission of the
shipper or owner of the goods; (4) the character of the goods or defects in
the packing or the container; or (5) an order or act of competent public
authority. This is a closed list.

Corollary to the foregoing, 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. If no adequate explanation is given as to how the deterioration, the
loss or the destruction of the goods happened, the transporter shall be held
That petitioners failed to rebut the prima facie presumption of negligence
is revealed in the case at bar by a review of the records and more so by the
evidence adduced by respondent.[25]
First, as stated in the Bill of Lading, petitioners received the subject
shipment in good order and condition in Hamburg, Germany.[26]
Second, prior to the unloading of the cargo, an Inspection
Report[27] 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 No. 154979 [28] issued by Jardine Davies
Transport Services, Inc., 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.[29]
Fourth, the Certificate of Analysis[30] stated that, based on the sample
submitted and tested, the steel sheets found in bad order were wet with
fresh water.
Fifth, petitioners -- in a letter[31] addressed to the Philippine Steel Coating
Corporation and dated October 12, 1990 -- admitted that they were aware of
the condition of the four coils found in bad order and condition.
These facts were confirmed by Ruperto Esmerio, head checker of BM
Santos Checkers Agency. Pertinent portions of his testimony are reproduce
Q. Mr. Esmerio, you mentioned that you are a Head Checker. Will you
inform the Honorable Court with what company you are connected?
A. BM Santos Checkers Agency, sir.
Q. How is BM Santos Checkers Agency related or connected with
defendant Jardine Davies Transport Services?
A. It is the company who contracts the checkers, sir.
Q. You mentioned that you are a Head Checker, will you inform this
Honorable Court your duties and responsibilities?
A. I am the representative of BM Santos on board the vessel, sir, to
supervise the discharge of cargoes.

Q. On or about August 1, 1990, were you still connected or employed with

BM Santos as a Head Checker?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And, on or about that date, do you recall having attended the
discharging and inspection of cold steel sheets in coil on board the
A. Yes, sir, I was there.
Q. Based on your inspection since you were also present at that time, will
you inform this Honorable Court the condition or the appearance of the
bad order cargoes that were unloaded from the MV/ANANGEL SKY?
Objection, Your Honor, I think the document itself reflects the condition
of the cold steel sheets and the best evidence is the document itself,
Your Honor that shows the condition of the steel sheets.
Let the witness answer.
A. The scrap of the cargoes is broken already and the rope is loosen and
the cargoes are dent on the sides.[32]
All these conclusively prove the fact of shipment in good order and
condition and the consequent damage to the four coils while in the
possession of petitioner,[33] who notably failed to explain why.[34]
Further, petitioners failed to prove that they observed the extraordinary
diligence and precaution which the law requires a common carrier to know
and to follow, to avoid damage to or destruction of the goods entrusted to it
for safe carriage and delivery.[35]
True, the words metal envelopes rust stained and slightly dented were
noted on the Bill of Lading; however, there is no showing that petitioners
exercised due diligence to forestall or lessen the loss. [36]Having been in the
service for several years, the master of the vessel should have known at the
outset that metal envelopes in the said state would eventually deteriorate
when not properly stored while in transit. [37] Equipped with the proper
knowledge of the nature of steel sheets in coils and of the proper way of
transporting them, the master of the vessel and his crew should have
undertaken precautionary measures to avoid possible deterioration of the
cargo. But none of these measures was taken. [38] Having failed to discharge
the burden of proving that they have exercised the extraordinary diligence
required by law, petitioners cannot escape liability for the damage to the
four coils.[39]

In their attempt to escape liability, petitioners further contend that they

are exempted from liability under Article 1734(4) of the Civil Code. They cite
the notation metal envelopes rust stained and slightly dented printed on the
Bill of Lading as evidence that the character of the goods or defect in the
packing or the containers was the proximate cause of the damage. We are
not convinced.
From the evidence on record, it cannot be reasonably concluded that the
damage to the four coils was due to the condition noted on the Bill of Lading.
The aforecited exception refers to cases when goods are lost or damaged
while in transit as a result of the natural decay of perishable goods or the
fermentation or evaporation of substances liable therefor, the necessary and
natural wear of goods in transport, defects in packages in which they are
shipped, or the natural propensities of animals. [41] None of these is present in
the instant case.
Further, even if the fact of improper packing was known to the carrier or
its crew or was apparent upon ordinary observation, it is not relieved of
liability for loss or injury resulting therefrom, once it accepts the goods
notwithstanding such condition.[42] Thus, petitioners have not successfully
proven the application of any of the aforecited exceptions in the present
Second Issue:
Notice of Loss
Petitioners claim that pursuant to Section 3, paragraph 6 of the Carriage
of Goods by Sea Act[44] (COGSA), respondent should have filed its Notice of
Loss within three days from delivery. They assert that the cargo was
discharged on July 31, 1990, but that respondent filed its Notice of Claim only
on September 18, 1990.[45]
We are not persuaded. First, the above-cited provision of COGSA provides
that the notice of claim need not be given if the state of the goods, at the
time of their receipt, has been the subject of a joint inspection or survey. As
stated earlier, prior to unloading the cargo, an Inspection Report [46] as to the
condition of the goods was prepared and signed by representatives of both
Second, as stated in the same provision, a failure to file a notice of claim
within three days will not bar recovery if it is nonetheless filed within one
year.[48] This one-year prescriptive period also applies to the shipper, the
consignee, the insurer of the goods or any legal holder of the bill of lading.[49]
In Loadstar Shipping Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, [50] we ruled that a claim
is not barred by prescription as long as the one-year period has not
lapsed. Thus, in the words of the ponente, Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr.:

Inasmuch as the neither the Civil Code nor the Code of Commerce states a
specific prescriptive period on the matter, the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
(COGSA)--which provides for a one-year period of limitation on claims for loss
of, or damage to, cargoes sustained during transit--may be applied
suppletorily to the case at bar.
In the present case, the cargo was discharged on July 31, 1990, while the
Complaint[51] was filed by respondent on July 25, 1991, within the one-year
prescriptive period.
Third Issue:
Package Limitation
Assuming arguendo they are liable for respondents claims, petitioners
contend that their liability should be limited to US$500 per package as
provided in the Bill of Lading and by Section 4(5)[52] of COGSA.[53]
On the other hand, respondent argues that Section 4(5) of COGSA is
inapplicable, because the value of the subject shipment was declared by
petitioners beforehand, as evidenced by the reference to and the insertion of
the Letter of Credit or L/C No. 90/02447 in the said Bill of Lading.[54]
A bill of lading serves two functions. First, it is a receipt for the goods
shipped.[55] Second, it is a contract by which three parties -- namely, the
shipper, the carrier, and the consignee -- undertake specific responsibilities
and assume stipulated obligations.[56] In a nutshell, the acceptance of the bill
of lading by the shipper and the consignee, with full knowledge of its
contents, gives rise to the presumption that it constituted a perfected and
binding contract.[57]
Further, a stipulation in the bill of lading limiting to a certain sum the
common carriers liability for loss or destruction of a cargo -- unless the
shipper or owner declares a greater value[58] -- is sanctioned by law.[59] There
are, however, two conditions to be satisfied: (1) the contract is reasonable
and just under the circumstances, and (2) it has been fairly and freely agreed
upon by the parties.[60] The rationale for, this rule is to bind the shippers by
their agreement to the value (maximum valuation) of their goods.[61]
It is to be noted, however, that the Civil Code does not limit the liability of
the common carrier to a fixed amount per package. [62] In all matters not
regulated by the Civil Code, the right and the obligations of common carriers
shall be governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws. [63] Thus, the
COGSA, which is suppletory to the provisions of the Civil Code, supplements
the latter by establishing a statutory provision limiting the carriers liability in
the absence of a shippers declaration of a higher value in the bill of lading.
The provisions on limited liability are as much a part of the bill of lading as

though physically in it and as though placed there by agreement of the

In the case before us, there was no stipulation in the Bill of
Lading[66] limiting the carriers liability. Neither did the shipper declare a
higher valuation of the goods to be shipped. This fact notwithstanding, the
insertion of the words L/C No. 90/02447 cannot be the basis for petitioners
First, a notation in the Bill of Lading which indicated the amount of the
Letter of Credit obtained by the shipper for the importation of steel sheets
did not effect a declaration of the value of the goods as required by the bill.
That notation was made only for the convenience of the shipper and the
bank processing the Letter of Credit.[68]
Second, in Keng Hua Paper Products v. Court of Appeals,[69] we held that a
bill of lading was separate from the Other Letter of Credit arrangements. We
ruled thus:
(T)he contract of carriage, as stipulated in the bill of lading in the present
case, must be treated independently of the contract of sale between the
seller and the buyer, and the contract of issuance of a letter of credit
between the amount of goods described in the commercial invoice in the
contract of sale and the amount allowed in the letter of credit will not affect
the validity and enforceability of the contract of carriage as embodied in the
bill of lading. As the bank cannot be expected to look beyond the documents
presented to it by the seller pursuant to the letter of credit, neither can the
carrier be expected to go beyond the representations of the shipper in the
bill of lading and to verify their accuracy vis--vis the commercial invoice and
the letter of credit. Thus, the discrepancy between the amount of goods
indicated in the invoice and the amount in the bill of lading cannot negate
petitioners obligation to private respondent arising from the contract of
In the light of the foregoing, petitioners liability should be computed
based on US$500 per package and not on the per metric ton price declared
in the Letter of Credit.[71] In Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Intermediate
Appellate Court[72] we explained the meaning of package:
When what would ordinarily be considered packages are shipped in a
container supplied by the carrier and the number of such units is disclosed in
the shipping documents, each of those units and not the container
constitutes the package referred to in the liability limitation provision of
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.
Considering, therefore, the ruling in Eastern Shipping Lines and the fact
that the Bill of Lading clearly disclosed the contents of the containers, the

number of units, as well as the nature of the steel sheets, the four damaged
coils should be considered as the shipping unit subject to the US$500
WHEREFORE, the Petition is partly granted and the assailed
Decision MODIFIED. Petitioners liability is reduced to US$2,000 plus interest
at the legal rate of six percent from the time of the filing of the Complaint on
July 25, 1991 until the finality of this Decision, and 12 percent thereafter until
fully paid. No pronouncement as to costs.
Sandoval-Gutierrez, and Carpio, JJ., concur.
Puno, J., (Chairman), abroad, on official leave.

Calvo vs. UCPB

G.R. No. 148496

March 19, 2002

Facts: Petitioner Virgines Calvo is the owner of Transorient Container
Terminal Services, Inc. (TCTSI), a sole proprietorship customs broker.
Petitioner entered into a contract with SMC for the transfer of reels from
Manila Port to SMC warehouse. The goods were insured by UCPB. SMC
however received damaged reels. SMC thereafter claimed from UCPB. In turn
UCPB was subrogated to the rights of SMC, who then filed a complaint to
recover the damage. The trial court and CA found petitioner liable to
Issue: Whether petitioner is a common carrier that must observe
extraordinary diligence in its carriage.
Ruling: Yes.

The contention has no merit. Considering the circumstances in the case,

there is greater reason for holding petitioner to be a common carrier because
the transportation of goods is an integral part of her business. Moreover, the
rule is that if the improper packing or, in this case, the defect/s in the
container, is/are known to the carrier or his employees or apparent upon
ordinary observation, but he nevertheless accepts the same without protest
or exception notwithstanding such condition, he is not relieved of liability for
damage resulting therefrom. In this case, petitioner accepted the cargo
without exception despite the apparent defects in some of the container
vans. Hence, for failure of petitioner to prove that she exercised
extraordinary diligence in the carriage of goods in this case or that she is
exempt from liability, the presumption of negligence as provided under Art.
173515 holds.

Southern Lines, Inc. vs. CA, and City of Iloilo

G.R. No. L-16629
January 31, 1962
Iloilo City requisitioned for rice from NARIC in Manila. Thereafter, NARIC
shipped the citys order on board a vessel owned by Southern Lines, Inc. The
City received the shipment however with shortage prompting them to file a
complaint to recover the amount it had previously paid equivalent to the
shortage. The lower court absolved NARIC from its liabilities but found
Southern Lines, Inc. liable to pay the Citys claim. On appeal, the CA affirmed
the decision of the lower court.

Issue: Whether defendant-carrier is liable for the loss or shortage of the rice

Ruling: Yes. Under the provisions of Article 361, the defendant-carrier in

order to free itself from liability, was only obliged to prove that the damages
suffered by the goods were "by virtue of the nature or defect of the articles."
Under the provisions of Article 362, the plaintiff, in order to hold the
defendant liable, was obliged to prove that the damages to the goods by
virtue of their nature, occurred on account of its negligence or because the
defendant did not take the precaution adopted by careful persons. In this
case, if the fact of improper packing, as argued by defendant, is known to
the carrier or his servants, or apparent upon ordinary observation, but
accepts the goods notwithstanding such condition, it is not relieved of
liability for loss or injury resulting thereform. According to the Court of
Appeals, "appellant (petitioner) itself frankly admitted that the strings that
tied the bags of rice were broken; some bags were with holes and plenty of
rice were spilled inside the hull of the boat, and that the personnel of the
boat collected no less than 26 sacks of rice which they had distributed
among themselves." This finding, which is binding upon this Court, shows
that the shortage resulted from the negligence of petitioner.

Philippine Charter Insurance Corp vs. Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V
National Honor, National Shipping Corp of the Philippines and
International Container Services, Inc.
[G.R. No. 161833. July 8, 2005]


Facts: PCIC is the insurer of a shipment on board the vessel M/V National
Honor, represented in the Philippines by its agent, NSCP. The M/V National
Honor arrived at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT). The
International Container Terminal Services, Incorporated (ICTSI) was furnished
with a copy of the crate cargo list and bill of lading, and it knew the contents
of the crate. The following day, the vessel started discharging its cargoes
using its winch crane. The crane was operated by Olegario Balsa, a
winchman from the ICTSI, exclusive arrastre operator of MICT.
Denasto Dauz, Jr., the checker-inspector of the NSCP, along with the crew and
the surveyor of the ICTSI, conducted an inspection of the cargo. They

inspected the hatches, checked the cargo and found it in apparent good
condition. Claudio Cansino, the stevedore of the ICTSI, placed two sling
cables on each end of Crate No. 1. No sling cable was fastened on the midportion of the crate. In Dauzs experience, this was a normal procedure. As
the crate was being hoisted from the vessels hatch, the mid-portion of the
wooden flooring suddenly snapped in the air resulting in extensive damage
to the shipment. PCIC paid the damage, and as subrogee, filed a case
against M/V National Honor, NSCP and ICTSI. Both RTC and CA dismissed the







Ruling: Yes. The common carriers duty to observe the requisite diligence in
the shipment of goods lasts from the time the articles are surrendered to or
unconditionally placed in the possession of, and received by, the carrier for
transportation until delivered to, or until the lapse of a reasonable time for
their acceptance, by the person entitled to receive them. When the goods
shipped are either lost or arrive in damaged condition, a presumption arises
against the carrier of its failure to observe that diligence, and there need not
be an express finding of negligence to hold it liable. To overcome the
presumption of negligence in the case of loss, destruction or deterioration of
the goods, the common carrier must prove that it exercised extraordinary
diligence. Nevertheless, the presumption of negligence does not apply to the
circumstances enumerated in Art. 1734. Evidences showed that defendants
were negligent in their duties over the shipment. They failed to rebut the

Gacal vs. PAL

G.R. No. L-55300 March 15, 1990
Facts: Sps. Gacal, Sps. Anislag and de Guzman were passengers of PAL in a
flight from Davao to Manila. It was unknown to them that they are with MNLF
members. A few minutes after the planes take off, MNLF members
announced the hijacking of the aircraft. It was only on the second day of the
hijacking when the passengers were allowed to eat and the relatives of the
hijackers were allowed to board the plane. When their relatives went out of

the plane, the battle between the military and the hijackers commenced
causing the death of de Guzman and injuries to the spouses. Hence, plaintiffs
instituted a complaint for damages against PAL. In dismissing the complaint,
the trial court ruled that the incident is a force majeure.
Issue: Whether hijacking or air piracy during martial law and under the
circumstances, is a caso fortuito or force majeure which would exempt an
aircraft from payment of damages to its passengers whose lives were put in
jeopardy and whose personal belongings were lost during the incident.
Ruling: No. In order to constitute a caso fortuito or force majeure that would
exempt a person from liability, it is necessary that the following elements
must concur: (a) the cause of the breach of the obligation must be
independent of the human will (the will of the debtor or the obligor); (b) the
event must be either unforeseeable or unavoidable; (c) the event must be
such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a
normal manner; and (d) the debtor must be free from any participation in, or
aggravation of the injury to the. Applying the above guidelines to the case at
bar, the failure to transport petitioners safely from Davao to Manila was due
to the skyjacking incident staged by six (6) passengers of the same plane, all
members of the MNLF, without any connection with private respondent,
hence, independent of the will of either the PAL or of its passengers. Under
normal circumstances, PAL might have foreseen the skyjacking incident
which could have been avoided had there been a more thorough frisking of
passengers and inspection of baggages as authorized by R.A. No. 6235. But
the incident in question occurred during Martial Law where there was a
military take-over of airport security including the frisking of passengers and
the inspection of their luggage preparatory to boarding domestic and
international flights.

Juntilla vs. Fontanar

G.R. No. L-45637 May 31, 1985
Facts: Plaintiff was a passenger of a public utility jeepney driven by Barfol
Camoro, registered under the franchise of Clemente Fontanar but actually
owned by Fernando Banzon. When the jeepney reached in a city, the right

rear tire exploded causing the vehicle to turn turtle. Plaintiff sustained
injuries and even lost his watch because of the incident. This prompted
plaintiff to file a complaint for breach of contract with damages. On appeal to
the CFI of Cebu, the defendants were exonerated from their liabilities.
Issue: Whether the tire blow-out is a fortuitous event.
Ruling: Yes. Generally, a tire blow-out does not constitute negligence unless
the tire was already old and should not have been used at all. While it may
be true that the tire that blew-up was still good because the grooves of the
tire were still visible, this fact alone does not make the explosion of the tire a
fortuitous event. No evidence was presented to show that the accident was
due to adverse road conditions or that precautions were taken by the
jeepney driver to compensate for any conditions liable to cause accidents.
The sudden blowing-up, therefore, could have been caused by too much air
pressure injected into the tire coupled by the fact that the jeepney was
overloaded and speeding at the time of the accident.

Landingin and Bocasas vs. Pangasinan Transportation Co

G.R. No. L-28014-15 May 29, 1970
Facts: Plaintiffs alleged that the bus where their daughters were riding was
open in one side and enclosed in the other in violation of the Public Service
Commission rules. Moreover, PANTRANCO, defendant and owner of the bus,
was in bad faith as it pretended to have secured a permit for the special trip.
Plaintiffs further alleged that due to the fault and mishandling of the driver,

the bus suddenly swerved and steered toward a mountainside thereby

causing their daughters and some passengers to be thrown out of the bus
through the open side. The passengers suffered injuries but
plaintiffs[ daughters died. Aside from a separate criminal complaint filed by
plaintiffs, they are also filing complaints for damages. The trial court found
PANTANCO not negligent thus it is not liable to plaintiffs. The CA affirmed the
findings of the lower court but ordered defendants to pay an amount as
sympathy or goodwill to the families.
Issue: Whether PANTRANCO is liable to plaintiffs.
Ruling: Yes, as the bus company was negligent contrary to the finding of the
lower courts. It is settled that accident caused by defects in the automobile
is not a caso fortuito. The rationale of the carrier's liability is the fact that
"the passenger has neither the choice nor control over the carrier in the
selection and use of the equipment and appliances in use by the carrier."
When a passenger dies or is injured, the presumption is that the common
carrier is at fault or that it acted negligently (Article 1756). This presumption
is only rebutted by proof on the carrier's part that it observed the
"extraordinary diligence" required in Article 1733 and the "utmost diligence
of very cautious persons" required in Article 1755 (Article 1756).

Jose Son vs. Cebu Autobus Company

G.R. No. L-6155
April 30, 1954

Facts: Plaintiff was a passenger of defendant in one of its truck. Allegedly

due to the negligence of the driver or defective engine, the truck fell into a
canal causing plaintiff to receive serious injuries and to kill two of his hogs
(loaded therein). This prompted plaintiff to institute a complaint for damages
against the company. The trial court and the CA ruled in favour of plaintiff.
Issue: Whether the bus company must be held liable.
Ruling: Yes. The defense of defendant, that the breakage of the drag-link
spring could not be foreseen and if foreseen was inevitable, is untenable. It
was already held that an accident cause either by defects in the automobile
or through the negligence of its driver is not a caso fortuito. As such, the
company must be held liable.

La Mallorca vs. CA, Mariano Beltran et al

G.R. No. L-20761
July 27, 1966
Facts: As soon as Mariano and his family stopped at their destination, they
went off the La Mallorca bus where they are on board. To retrieve their
remaining personal belongings, Mariano left his family 4 or 5 meters away
from the bus and waited the conductor in the running board. He however did
not notice that his child, Raquel, followed him. At that time, the engine of the
bus was not shut off. Notwithstanding that the conductor has not given the
driver the signal to start, the bus started moving forward. Incidentally, when
the bus was again in complete stop, it has already travelled 10 meters away
from where Mariano has gotten off. Sensing that the bus is in motion again,
Mariano jumped from the running board without getting his personal
belonging from the conductor. He then found out that Raquel was run over
by the bus. For the death of Raquel, the family brought a complaint for
damages against the bus company. The trial court found defendant liable for
breach of contract of carriage thereby liable for damages. Sustaining as well
the ruling of the trial court, the appellate court found defendant also guilty of
quasi delict.
Issue: Whether as to the child, who was already led by the father to a place
about 5 meters away from the bus, the liability of the carrier for her safety
under the contract of carriage also persisted.
Ruling: Yes. As a rule the relation of carrier and passenger does not cease at
the moment the passenger alights from the carrier's vehicle at a place
selected by the carrier at the point of destination, but continues until the
passenger has had a reasonable time or a reasonable opportunity to leave
the carrier's premises. Moreover, it cannot be claimed that the carrier's
agent had exercised the "utmost diligence required by Article 1755 of the
Civil Code to be observed by a common carrier in the discharge of its
obligation to transport safely its passengers. Applying the above principles,
the Court concluded that the bus companys agent was indeed negligent.
The driver, although stopping the bus, nevertheless did not put off the
engine. Secondly, he started to run the bus even before the bus conductor
gave him the signal to go and while the latter was still unloading part of the
baggages of the passengers Mariano Beltran and family.