MIRASOL VS. DOLLARG.R. No. L-29721, March 27, 1929Johns, J.
Facts:Mirasol was the owner of two cases of Encyclopedia Brittanica shipped in good order and condition on board Dollar'ssteamship, President Garfield, to be transported from New York to Manila. The books arrived in bad order and damaged condition,resulting in total loss of one case and partial loss of the other. Mirasol filed claims, but Dollar refused to pay alleging that thedamage was caused by sea water and that Mirasol entered into a contract providing that Dollar will not be held liable for loss or damage of merchandise resulting from "acts of God" or "perils of the sea," and that in no case shall it be held liable beyond $250 for any article not enclosed in a package unless a higher value is stated therein and ad valorem freight paid or assessed thereon. TheLC ruled in favor of Mirasol for payment of P 2,080.Issue : WON Dollar may be held liable. YES.Held: There was no claim or pretense that Mirasol signed the bill of lading or that he knew of its contents. In that situation, he wasnot legally bound by the clause limiting Dollar's liability.
Where it appears that a bill of lading was issued to a shipper containing aclause limiting the carrier's liability, printed in fine letters on the back of the bill of lading, which the shipper did not sign and of whichhe was not advised, the shipper is not bound by the clause limiting liability and the stipulation is void or against public policy.
Shippers who are forced to ship goods in an ocean liner have legal rights. When the goods are delivered on board theship in good order and condition and the carrier delivers them to the shipper in bad order and condition, in an action for damages,the burden of proof shifted and it devolves upon the carrier to both allege and prove that the goods were damaged by reason of some act which legally exempts it from liability.Having received the boxes in good condition, its legal duty was to deliver them in the same condition as received. Dollar,having admitted that the goods were damaged while in transit and in its possession, the burden of proof then shifted and it devolvedupon him to allege and prove that the damage was caused by reason of some fact which exempted it from liability. As to when andhow the goods were damaged in transit is a matter peculiarly within the knowledge of the carrier and its employees. To requireMirasol to prove such, would force him to rely upon the EEs of Dollar's ship, which in legal effect would be to say that he could notrecover damages at all.Since Dollar was not even able to prove that the goods were wet with sea water due to a fortuitous event, it must bepresumed that the carrier was liable.
YNCHAUSTI STEAMSHIP CO. VS DEXTERG.R. No. L-15652 December 14, 1920STREET, J.
Facts:The Govt. of the Philippines, acting through the Insular Purchasing Agent, employed the services of petitioner, YnchaustiSteamship Co., a common carrier for the transportation, on board the steamship Venus, from the port of Manila to the port of Appari,Cagayan, of consignments of merchandise, consisting of 30 cases of Wine Rose mineral oil of two 5-gallon cans to the case. Onanother occasion, the Govt. also sent 96 cases of Cock brand mineral oil, ten gallons to the case. The goods were delivered by theshipper to the carrier which accordingly received them, and to evidence the contract of transportation, the parties duly executed anddelivered what is popularly called Govt. bill of lading, whereby it was stipulated that the carrier, Ynchausti, received the above-mentioned supplies in apparent good condition, obliging itself to carry said supplies to the place agreed upon.Both shipments arrived with one case missing per shipment. Ynchausti denied negligence. However, upon investigation,the Insular Auditor decided that the leakages were due to Ynchausti's negligence. The Insular Auditor deducted the amount of thelost goods from the entire amount payable to Ynchausti. Petitioner refused to accept the warrant. Hence, this action was filed.Issue : Is Ynchausti liable for the loss? YES.Held : Sec. 646 of the Administrative Code provided that when Govt. property is transmitted from one source to another by carrier, itshall be upon proper bill of lading or receipt, from such carrier; and it shall be the duty of the consignee or his representative tomake all notation of any evidence of loss, shortage, or damage, on the bill of lading or receipt before accomplishing it. It is admittedby petitioner that the consignee, at the time the goods were delivered, noted the losses in the respective bill of ladings. Suchnotation made in obedience to the code, is competent evidence to show that the shortage did exist. Inasmuch as the fact of losswas proven, it results in the presumption that the petitioner was to blame for the loss; and it was incumbent upon the petitioner torebut that presumption by proving that the loss was not due to any fault or negligence of the petitioner.
The mere proof of delivery of goods in good order to a carrier, and of their arrival at the place of destination in bad order,makes out a prima facie case against the carrier, so that if no explanation is given as to how the injury occurred, the carrier must beheld responsible.
It is incumbent upon the carrier to prove that the loss was due to accident or some other circumstanceinconsistent with its liability. Indeed, if the Govt. had instituted an action in court against petitioner to recover the value of the oil lost,it would, based on the facts, be entitled to judgment. In the absence of proof showing that the carrier was not at fault for the loss,the Insular Auditor was entitled to withhold the amount admittedly due to the petitioner for the freight charges, a sum sufficient tocover the value of the oil lost in transit.
DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. vs. AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE CORPORATIONG.R. No. 149019 August 15, 2006GARCIA, J.