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R Transport Corp. vs.

Eduardo Pante 599 SCRA 747 (2009)  Petitioner, as a common carrier, is expected to exercise
extraordinary diligence, and has the duty to transport its passengers
FACTS: safely to their destination.
 R Transport operates a bus line which transports passengers from  ARTICLE 1756 OF THE CIVIL CODE: In case of death or
Cubao, Quezon City to Gapan, Nueva Ecija. injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed at fault or
 27 January 1995: Pante rode a bus from Cubao (P48 fare). Along a negligent unless they are able to prove their exercise of
highway in Bulacan, the bus hit a tree and a house due to the extraordinary diligence.
reckless driving of Johnny Mediquia.  ARTICLE 1759: Common carriers are also liable for the
 Pante sustained a “laceration frontal area, with fracture of the right negligence of their employees.
humerous1”. o The liability of common carriers does not cease upon
o His operation, confinement, and medications caused him proof that they exercised extraordinary diligence of a
P30K. He became unemployed as Goldilocks refused to good father of the family in the selection and supervision
re-employ him due to his condition. of employees.
o He had to undergo a second operation after four years. He  Petitioner cannot claim that it was denied due process which
spent another P15k. prevented it from presenting evidence in his defense. Due to the
o The only assistance petitioner gave was the amount of unexplained absences of his counsel, the hearings had to be
P7K to reimburse him for the stainless steel plate placed constantly postponed, which resulted in a 7-year delay of the case.
in his arm. Other than that, petitioner refused to assist It was given the opportunity to present its evidence, but was
Pante. considered to have waived its right.
 14 March 1995: Pante sued for damages.  Petitioner also contends that the CA and TC erred in awarding
 Petitioner in its answer denied fault claiming that it exercised the damages in favour of Pante in the amount of P22,000 based on a
diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and statement issued by the Baliuag Hospital and not based on the
supervision of employees, and that the accident was force majeure. receipt. The Court held that this was without merit since in another
 The case went on for 7 years. The delays were due to the multiple case, the Court awarded damages for hospitalization expenses
postponements and unexplained absence of petitioner’s counsel. Its based on the statement of account issued by the Makati Medical
rights to cross-examine and present evidence were eventually Center.
forfeited as a consequence.  The Court also affirmed the award of moral damages, citing
 RTC ruled in favour of Pante. CA affirmed RTC’s decision. Spouses Ong vs. CA where moral damages were given to
passengers who suffered physical injuries. It is the usual practice to
ISSUE: award moral damages for physical injuries sustained. Pante here
W/N Petitioner is liable for damages despite Pante not presenting suffered physical pain, mental anguish and anxiety as a result of
substantial evidence to support his claim. the accident. P50,000 is proper.
 An award of exemplary damages is also proper, as the driver was
HELD: manning the bus in a reckless, negligent, and imprudent manner.
YES. Petitioner is liable for damages. This will provide as an example or as a correction for the public

1 The bone that extends from shoulder to elbow.