Zulueta vs.

Pan American World Airways 4 SCRA 397 Facts: Plaintiff Zulueta, his wife and daughter were passengers aboard defendant’s plane from Honolulu to Manila. Upon reaching Wake Island the passengers were advised that they could disembark for a stopover for about 30 minutes. Plaintiff went to the toilet at the terminal building but finding it full walked 200 yards away. Upon returning he told an employee of the defendant that they almost made him miss the flight because of a defective announcing system. He had a discussion with either the plan captain or the terminal manager. He was told that they would open his bags which he refused and he warned them of the consequences. Just the same they opened his bags and found nothing prohibited. They forced him to go out of the plane and left him at Wake Island. His wife had to send him money and he was able to leave Wake Island and return to Manila thru Honolulu and Tokyo after two days. This action was to recover damages from the defendant. Issue: WON moral damages may be recovered. Held: “The records amply establish plaintiffs’ right to recover both moral and exemplary damages. Indeed, the rude and rough reception plaintiff received at the hands of Sitton or Captain Zentner when the latter met him at the ramp (‘What in the hell do you think you are? Get on that plane’); the menacing attitude of Zentner or Sitton and the supercilious manner in which he had asked plaintiff to open his bags (‘open your bag’, and when told that a fourth bag was missing, ‘I don’t give a damn’); the abusive language and highly scornful reference to plaintiffs as monkeys by one of PAN AM’s employees (who turning to Mrs. Zulueta remarked, “will you pull these three monkeys out of here?”); the unfriendly attitude, the ugly stares and unkind remarks to which plaintiffs were subjected, and their being cordoned by men in uniform as if they were criminals, while plaintiff was arguing with Sitton; the airline officials’ refusal to allow plaintiff to board the plane on the pretext that he was hiding a bomb in his luggage and their arbitrary and high-handed decision to leave him in Wake; Mrs. Zulueta’s having suffered a nervous breakdown for which she was hospitalized as a result of the embarrassment, insults and humiliations to which plaintiffs were exposed by the conduct of PAN AM’s employees; Mrs. Zulueta having suffered shame, humiliation and embarrassment for the treatment received by her parents at the airport – all these justify an award for moral damages resulting from mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation thereby suffered by plaintiffs”. Plaintiffs were awarded Pesos 500,000.00 and moral damages, Pesos 200,000.00 exemplary damages, Pesos 75,000.00 attorney’s fees and Pesos 5,502.85 actual damages.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful