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[COLLISION]

17 G. Urrutia & Co. v. Baco River Plantation Ruling:


March 25, 1913 | Moreland, J. | W/N Baco was negligent and is not entitled to recover damages – NO, Baco is
Petitioner/s: G. URRUTIA & COMPANY entitled to damages.
Respondent/s: BACO RIVER PLANTATION CO, M. GARZA (intervener-appellant)  Art. 20 of the IRPCS: “If two ships, one of which is a sailing ship and the
other a steam ship, are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of
Doctrine: collision, the steam ship shall keep out of the way, of the sailing ship.”
There is a presumption in favor of a sailing vessel when it has collided with a  Art. 21: “where by any of these rules one of two vessels is to keep out of the
steamer. way, the other shall keep her course and speed.”
 In collisions between vessels, there are three divisions of time or zones:
In collisions between vessels, there are three divisions of time or zones: o First: the time up to the moment when the risk of collision may be
First: the time up to the moment when the risk of collision may be said to said to have begun
have begun o Second: the time between the moment when the risk of collision
Second: the time between the moment when the risk of collision begins and begins and the moment when it has become a practical certainty
the moment when it has become a practical certainty o Third: the time between the moment when collision has become a
Third: the time between the moment when collision has become a practical practical certainty and the moment of actual contact
certainty and the moment of actual contact  It was during the third zone that Mangyan changed its course to port to
avoid the collision.
Facts: o It may be said that thi sact was done in extremis, and even if
 Steamship Nuestra Señora del Pilar owned by G. Urrutia & Co. and schooner wrong, Mangyan is not responsible for the result.
Mangyan owned by Baco River Plantation Co. collided on April 8, 2010 in Verde  But the question arises over Mangyan’s action in keeping her course through
Island North Passage. the second zone.
 Nuestra by seen by those on board Mangyan some time before the actual  There is a presumption in favor of Mangyan in cases of this character.1
collision, sailing erratically. o Several authors state that a steamer should keep out of the way of
 Mangyan kept its course until just before the actual contact when its helmsman a sail vessel.
threw its hard to part in an effort to avoid the collision. However, it was o It was also consistently held in several cases that the sailing vessel
unsuccessful and Mangyan rammed Nuestra on the starboard quarter. has a right to keep her course and it is the duty of the steamer to
 Nuestra sank and eight (8) people died. adopt measures to avoid the sailing vessel. (Note: check original
 Mangyan was considerably injured. text for the cited cases.)
 G. Urrutia filed an action against Baco to recover the value of the steamer and  Following the authorities and considering the facts of the case, Baco is
damages, alleging that Mangyan was negligent. entitled to recover such damages as reasonably and naturally flowed from
o Baco denied the material allegations of the complaint and set the collision.
up a counterclaim for damages for the injuries sustained by  It was proved upon the trial that it would require an expenditure of P3,525 to
Mangyan, alleging that they were due to the gross negligence of put the sail vessel in the condition in which it was before the injury; that it
those handling Nuestra. cost 245 to get the vessel to Manila after the injury; that the value of the
 M. Garza made an application to intervene, alleging that the Nuestra was supplies lost was P240.99.
carrying for him several thousand pesos’ worth of merchandise as freight, which  The trial court was correct in dismissing the complaint of the intervener,
was lost due to the collision. having no legal interest in the matter in litigation.
 The trial court held that those managing Nuestra were guilty of gross  The ruling in Philippine Shipping Co. v. Vergara, wherein it was held that a
negligence, hence G. Urrutia cannot recover. defendant cannot be held liable for damages when the ship was wholly lost
o The case turned upon the question of which of the vessels was because of the accident, is not applicable, for the reason that the vessel lost
negligent in failing to conform to the International Rules for the was insured and the owner was able to collect the insurance.
Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS).
o Mangyan had its light properly on. Dispositive
o Nuestra, being bound to keep out of the course of Mangyan, and Judgment affirmed.
suddenly seeing it very close, went over hard to port and crossed Notes
its course.
o Mangyan, notwithstanding the erratic movements of Nuestra,
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proceeded directly on its course regardless of consequences when Subject to the general rules of evidence in collision cases as to the burden of proof, in the case
it could have easily manuevered to avoid the collision. Hence, it is of a collision between a steam vessel and a sail vessel, the presumption is against the steam
also not entitled to recover damages. vessel, and she must show that she took the proper measures to avoid a collision.