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FGU INSURANCE CORP. VS.

CA, SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ESTATE OF ANG GUI


G.R. NO. 133777, MARCH 31, 2005

ESTATE OF ANG GUI, CO TO V. CA, SAN MIGUEL CORP AND FGU INSURANCE CORP
& G.R. NO. 140704, MARCH 31, 2005
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.

FACTS:

[This is a consolidated case] ANCO Enterprises Company (ANCO), a partnership between Ang Gui and Co
To, was engaged in the shipment business. It owned M/T ANCO tugbat and D/B Lucio barge. Since D/B
Lucio has no engine of its own, it needed to be maneuvered by M/T ANCO to move place to place.

On Sept. 23, 1997, San Miguel Corp. shipped from Mandaue, Cebu the following:

Bill of Lading No. Shipment Destination


1 25,000 cases Pale Pilsen Estancia, Iloilo
350 cases Cerveza Negra
2 15,000 cases Pale Pilsen San Jose, Antique
200 cases Cerveza Negra

On Sept. 30, 1 PM, both vessels arrived at San Jose, Antique. M/T ANCO immediately left the barge upon
reaching the destination. As the day passed, the clouds were getting darker and the waves bigger, making it
difficult for the arrastres to unload the cargoes. SMC’s Sales Supervisor, Fernando Macabuag, requested
ANCO’s representative to transfer the barge to a safer place but the latter did not heed such request. At the
time, only 10,790 cases of beer were discharged. At about 10 or 11 PM of October 1, the crew of D/B Lucio
abandoned the vessel because the barge’s rope was cut by the big waves. At midnight, the vessel was
totally swept away.

ANCO failed to deliver 29,210 cases of Pale Pilsen and 550 cases of Cerveza Negra, this prompted SMC to
claim against it the amount of Php 1,346,197. It likewise filed a complaint for breach of contract and
damages.

ANCO claimed that it had an agreement with SMC that the former would not be liable for losses due to
fortuitous event. Since it was caused by a storm, it should not be held liable.

ANCO now files a third party complaint against FGU as its insurer, to the extent of 20,000 cases with the
amount of Php 858,500 under Marine Policy No. 29591. According to ANCO, it is one of the risks insured
against.

FGU, in its answer, maintained that the event is not one of the risks insured against. According to them, they
are only liable for: (a) total loss of shipment; (b) loss of any case as a result of the sinking; (c) loss a result of
the vessel being on fire. Further, it alleged that it failed to exercise extraordinary diligence in the care and
supervision of the cargoes to prevent its loss or destruction.

The RTC ruled that the event is fortuitous, however there was failure on the part of ANCO and its
representatives to observe the required diligence to exonerate them from liability. CA affirmed.

ISSUES:

(1) W/N there was negligence on the part of ANCO and its representatives;
(2) W/N FGU can be held liable under the insurance policy to reimburse ANCO for the loss of cargoes

HELD:

(1) YES. As a rule, findings of the trial court affirmed by the appellate court, are deemed final and
conclusive. The SC cannot review especially if there had been substantial evidence. It is not the
function of this court to analyze or weigh the evidence except upon showing of grave abuse or
palpable error. Moreso, a careful study of the reason showed no cogent reason for the SC to
disturb the previous rulings.
(2) NO, it had been blatantly negligent. One of the purpose for taking our insurance is to protect the
insured against the consequences of his own negligence and that of his agents. Thus, it is a basic
rule in insurance that the carelessness and negligence of the insured or his agents constitute no
defense on the part of the insurer. This rule however presupposes that the loss has occurred due to
causes which could not have been prevented by the insured, despite the exercise of due diligence.

There was blatant negligence on the part of the employees of defendants- appellants when the
patron (operator) of the tug boat immediately left the barge at the San Jose, Antique wharf despite
the looming bad weather. Negligence was likewise exhibited by the defendants-appellants'
representative who did not heed Macabuag's request that the barge be moved to a more secure
place. The prudent thing to do, as was done by the other sea vessels at San Jose, Antique during
the time in question, was to transfer the vessel to a safer wharf The negligence of the defendants-
appellants is proved by the fact that on 01 October 1979, the only simple vessel left at the wharf in
San Jose was the D/B Lucio. The Court concludes that concludes that the blatant negligence of
ANCO's employees is of such gross character that it amounts to a wrongful act which must
exonerate FGU from liability under the insurance contract.

TRAVELLER’S INSURANCE & SURETY CORP V. CA, MENDOZA


G.R. NO. 82036, MAY 27, 1997
HERMOSSISIMA, JR., J.

FACTS:

At about 5:30 am, July 20, 1980, Feliza Vineza de Mendoza (78 y.o.), was on her way to hear mass at
Tayuman Cathedral. While plodding Tayuman cor. Gregorio Perfecto Sts., she was hit by a fast-running taxi,
as seen by three witnesses who gave their separate accounts, to wit:

(1) Witness 1 – Rolando Marvilla


After Mendoza was run over, he held her on his lap to help her, but Mendoza was already in shock
and could not talk. At this moment, a private jeep stopped and helped the old woman and brought
her to Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo. He likewise noticed the cab to be a Lady Love Taxi with
Plate No. 438, painted maroon, with a baggage bar attached on the compartment, and an antennae
on its right side.
(2) Witness 2 – Enesto Lopez
A jeepney driver, he was on his return tip from Rizal Avenue when he saw Vicente Mendoza
(plaintiff) and his brother crying in the accident scene. He was able to help them locate their
mother. They were advised to transfer her at National Orthopedic Hospital because of her fractured
bones, but she was instead brought to UST Hospital, where she expired at 9 am. He likewise
noticed the reflectorized decorations at the back of the cab
(3) Witness 3 – Eulogio Tabalno
Made a similar description as to the abovementioned, and said that because of the reckless and
imprudent manner of driving of the cab driver, he was only able to see the last digit of the plate
number, which was ‘8’

The police collaborated the admissions of the witnesses and proceeded to the Lady Love Taxi garage where
they impounded the vehicle matching with the statements.

Defendant Armando, Abellon, the registered owner of Lady Love Taxi bearing No. 438-HA, Pilipinas Taxi
certified that on the same date, it was driven by Rodrigo Dumlao. Rodrigo Dumlao absconded in the criminal
case.

Plaintiff filed a complaint for damages against Armando Abellon and Rodrigo Dumlao. Subsequently, the
complaint was amended to include the petitioner as compulsory insurer of the Certificate of Cover nO
1447785-3.

The RTC rendered judgement in favor of the private respondent, ordering Travellers Insurance and Surety
Corporation, Abellon and Dumlao to pay jointly and severally the following amounts:

(a) The sum of P2,924.70, as actual and compensatory damages, with interest thereon at the rate of 12%
per annum from October 17, 1980, when the complaint was filed, until the said amount is fully paid;
(b) P30,000.00 as death indemnity; 


(c) P25,000.00 as moral damages; 


(d) P10,000.00 as by way of corrective or exemplary damages, and 


(e) Another P10,000.00 by way of attorney's fees and other litigation 
 expenses.

ISSUE:

W/N Petitioner should be held liable

HELD:

NO. Where the contract provides for indemnity against liability to third persons, then third persons to whom
the insured is liable can sue the insurer. Where the contract is for indemnity against actual loss or payment,
then third persons cannot proceed against the insurer, the contract being solely to reimburse the insured for
liability actually discharged by him thru payment to third persons, said third persons' recourse being thus
limited to the insured alone. But in the case at bar, there was no contract show. What then was the basis of
the RTC and the CA to say that the insurance contract was a third-party liability insurance policy?

Consequently, the trial court was confused as it did not distinguish between the private respondent's cause
of action against the owner and the driver of the Lady Love taxicab and his cause of action against
petitioner. The former is based on torts and quasi-delicts, while the latter is based on contract.

Even assuming arguendo that there was such a contract, private respondent's cause of action cannot prevail
because he failed to file the written claim mandated by the Insurance Code Sec. 384 provided that a claim
shall be filed within 6 months from the accident, but was superseded by the ruling in Summit Guaranty and
Insurance Co., Inc v. De Guzman, which ruled that: "action or suit for recovery of damage due to loss or
injury must be brought in proper cases, with the Commissioner or the Courts within one year from denial of
the claim, otherwise the claimant's right of action shall prescribe" )

He is deemed, under thislegal provision, to have waived his rights as against petitioner-insurer.