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Wallem Philippines Shipping vs. S. R.

Farms
GR No. 161849

PLAINTIFF: Wallem Philippines


DEFENDANT: SR Farms
DATE: July 9, 2010
PONENTE:
TOPIC:

TYPE OF CASE: Rule 45


VENUE:
CAUSE OF ACTION:
RESOLUTION: Petition, partly granted.

Facts:

 That Continental Enterprises loaded on boar the vessel MV Hui Yang a shipment of Indian Soya Bean Meal weighing 1k
metric tons, for transportation and delivery from India to Manila, with SR Farms as consignee. The vessel is owned and
operated by Conti-Feed with Wallem as its ship agent.
o The shipment was discharged and transferred, and that there has been a noticeable shortage in the shipment.
Upon discovery of such shortage, officials were duly notified and such shortage were surveyed.
 Plaintiff filed a complaint for damages against Conti Feed, RCS shipping (ship agent of Conti Feed) and Ocean Terminal
Services (OTSI), the arrastre operator and Cargo trade customs broker
 That on June 7, 1993, respondent filed an Amended Complaint impleading herein plaintiff as defendant alleging
that Wallem and not RCS was the who acted as Conti Feeds ship agent.
o Complaint against Cargo Trade – dismissed no cause of action
o RCS upon motion, dismissed for lack of cause of action
 OTSI filed its Answer with Counterclaim and Crossclaim denying the material allegations of the Complaint
o Claims that they exercised due diligence and care
o No damage or loss attributable to them
o Petitioner claim had been waived, abandoned or barred by laches or estoppel – attributable to its co-defendants
 Wallem denied the allegations – claimed that it is not accountable nor responsible for any alleged shortage sustained by
the shipment
o Such shortage was due to the negligent or faulty loading or unloading of the cargo
 RTC dismissed Respondents complaint, as well as the opposing parties counterclaims and cross claims
 CA, reversed RTC

Issue: W/N the Amended Complaint against the petitioner should retroact to the date of the filing of the original complaint, NO

Ruling:

In the instant case, the Court is not persuaded by respondents claim that the complaint against the petitioner was timely filed. There
is no dispute that the vessel carrying the shipment arrived at the Port of Manila on April 11, 1992 and that the cargo was completely
discharges therefrom on April 15, 1992. HOWEVER, the respondent erred in arguing that the complaint for damages, insofar as the
petitioner is concerned, was filed on March 11, 1993 – record would show, petitioner was not impleaded as a defendant in the
original complaint.
 It was only on June 7, 1993 that the Amended Complaint impleading petitioner as defendant, was filed.

The settled ruled is that the filing of an amended pleading does not retroact to the date of the filing of the original; hence, the statute
of limitation runs until the submission of the amendment.

It is true, as an exception, this Court has held that an amendment which merely supplements and amplifies facts originally alleges in
the complaint relates bck to the date of the commencement of the action and is not barred by the statute of limitations which expired
after the service of the original complaint. The exception, would not apply to the party impleaded for the first time in the
amended complaint.

The rue on the non-applicability of the curative and retroactive effect of an amended complaint, insofar as newly impleaded
defendants are concerned, has been established as early as in of Aetna Insurance vs. Luzon Stevedoring.

In the instant case, petitioner was only impleaded in the amended Complaint of June 7, 1993, or one (1) year, one (1) month and
twenty-three (23) days from April 15, 1992, the date when the subject cargo was fully unloaded from the vessel. Hence, reckoned
from April 15, 1992, the one-year prescriptive period had already lapsed.

Having ruled that the action against petitioner had already prescribed, the Court no longer finds it necessary to address the other
issues raised in the present petition.