You are on page 1of 5

G.R. No. 179446 January 10, 2011 LOADMASTERS CUSTOMS SERVICES, INC., Petitioner, vs.

GLODEL BROKERAGE CORPORATION and R&B INSURANCE CORPORATION, Respondents. Facts: On August 28, 2001, R&B Insurance issued Marine Policy No. MN-00105/2001 in favor of Columbia to insure the shipment of 132 bundles of electric copper cathodes against All Risks. On August 28, 2001, the cargoes were shipped on board the vessel "Richard Rey" from Isabela, Leyte, to Pier 10, North Harbor, Manila. They arrived on the same date. Columbia engaged the services of Glodel for the release and withdrawal of the cargoes from the pier and the subsequent delivery to its warehouses/plants. Glodel, in turn, engaged the services of Loadmasters for the use of its delivery trucks to transport the cargoes to Columbias warehouses/plants in Bulacan and Valenzuela City. The goods were loaded on board twelve (12) trucks owned by Loadmasters, driven by its employed drivers and accompanied by its employed truck helpers. Six (6) truckloads of copper cathodes were to be delivered to Balagtas, Bulacan, while the other six (6) truckloads were destined for Lawang Bato, Valenzuela City. The cargoes in six truckloads for Lawang Bato were duly delivered in Columbias warehouses there. Of the six (6) trucks en route to Balagtas, Bulacan, however, only five (5) reached the destination. One (1) truck, loaded with 11 bundles or 232 pieces of copper cathodes, failed to deliver its cargo. Later on, the said truck, an Isuzu with Plate No. NSD-117, was recovered but without the copper cathodes. Because of this incident, Columbia filed with R&B Insurance a claim for insurance indemnity in the amount ofP1,903,335.39. After the requisite investigation and adjustment, R&B Insurance paid Columbia the amount ofP1,896,789.62 as insurance indemnity. R&B Insurance, thereafter, filed a complaint for damages against both Loadmasters and Glodel before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Manila (RTC), docketed as Civil Case No. 02-103040. It sought reimbursement of the amount it had paid to Columbia for the loss of the subject cargo. It claimed that it had been subrogated "to the right of the consignee to recover from the party/parties who may be held legally liable for the loss." Issue: Whether or not Loadmasters and Glodel are common carriers. Held: Under Article 1732 of the Civil Code, common carriers are persons, corporations, firms, or associations engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passenger or goods, or both by land, water or air for compensation, offering their services to the public. Based on the aforecited definition, Loadmasters is a common carrier because it is engaged in the business of transporting goods by land, through its trucking service. It is a common carrier as distinguished from a private carrier wherein the carriage is generally undertaken by special agreement and it does not hold itself out to carry goods for the general public. The distinction is significant in the sense that "the rights and obligations of the parties to a contract of private carriage are governed principally by their stipulations, not by the law on common carriers." In the same vein, Glodel is also considered a common carrier within the context of Article 1732. In its Memorandum, it states that it "is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines and is engaged in the business of customs brokering." It cannot be considered otherwise because as held by this Court in Schmitz Transport & Brokerage Corporation v. Transport Venture, Inc., a customs broker is also regarded as a common carrier, the transportation of goods being an integral part of its business.

G.R. No. 171092 March 15, 2010 EDNA DIAGO LHUILLIER, Petitioner, vs. BRITISH AIRWAYS, Respondent. Facts: On April 28, 2005, petitioner Edna Diago Lhuillier filed a Complaint 2 for damages against respondent British Airways before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City. She alleged that on February 28, 2005, she took respondents flight 548 from London, United Kingdom to Rome, Italy. Once on board, she allegedly requested Julian Halliday (Halliday), one of the respondents flight attendants, to assist her in placing her hand-carried luggage in the overhead bin. However, Halliday allegedly refused to help and assist her, and even sarcastically remarked that "If I were to help all 300 passengers in this flight, I would have a broken back!" Petitioner further alleged that when the plane was about to land in Rome, Italy, another flight attendant, Nickolas Kerrigan (Kerrigan), singled her out from among all the passengers in the business class section to lecture on plane safety. Allegedly, Kerrigan made her appear to the other passengers to be ignorant, uneducated, stupid, and in need of lecturing on the safety rules and regulations of the plane. Affronted, petitioner assured Kerrigan that she knew the planes safety regulations being a frequent traveler. Thereupon, Kerrigan allegedly thrust his face a mere few centimeters away from that of the petitioner and menacingly told her that "We dont like your attitude." Upon arrival in Rome, petitioner complained to respondents ground manager and demanded an apology. However, the latter declared that the flight stewards were "only doing their job." Thus, petitioner filed the complaint for damages, praying that respondent be ordered to pay P5 million as moral damages, P2 million as nominal damages, P1 million as exemplary damages, P300,000.00 as attorneys fees,P200,000.00 as litigation expenses, and cost of the suit. Issue: Whether Philippine courts have jurisdiction over a tortious conduct committed against a Filipino citizen and resident by airline personnel of a foreign carrier travelling beyond the territorial limit of any foreign country; and thus is outside the ambit of the Warsaw Convention. Held: The Warsaw Convention applies because the air travel, where the alleged tortious conduct occurred, was between the United Kingdom and Italy, which are both signatories to the Warsaw Convention. Article 1 of the Warsaw Convention provides: 1. This Convention applies to all international carriage of persons, luggage or goods performed by aircraft for reward. It applies equally to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking. 2. For the purposes of this Convention the expression "international carriage" means any carriage in which, according to the contract made by the parties, the place of departure and the place of destination, whether or not there be a break in the carriage or a transhipment, are situated either within the territories of two High

Contracting Parties, or within the territory of a single High Contracting Party, if there is an agreed stopping place within a territory subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate or authority of another Power, even though that Power is not a party to this Convention. A carriage without such an agreed stopping place between territories subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate or authority of the same High Contracting Party is not deemed to be international for the purposes of this Convention. (Emphasis supplied) Thus, when the place of departure and the place of destination in a contract of carriage are situated within the territories of two High Contracting Parties, said carriage is deemed an "international carriage". The High Contracting Parties referred to herein were the signatories to the Warsaw Convention and those which subsequently adhered to it. In the case at bench, petitioners place of departure was London, United Kingdom while her place of destination was Rome, Italy. Both the United Kingdom and Italy signed and ratified the Warsaw Convention. As such, the transport of the petitioner is deemed to be an "international carriage" within the contemplation of the Warsaw Convention.

G.R. No. 186312 June 29, 2010 SPOUSES DANTE CRUZ and LEONORA CRUZ, Petitioners, vs. SUN HOLIDAYS, INC., Respondent. Facts: Spouses Dante and Leonora Cruz (petitioners) lodged a Complaint on January 25, 2001 against Sun Holidays, Inc. (respondent) with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City for damages arising from the death of their son Ruelito C. Cruz (Ruelito) who perished with his wife on September 11, 2000 on board the boat M/B Coco Beach III that capsized en route to Batangas from Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro where the couple had stayed at Coco Beach Island Resort (Resort) owned and operated by respondent. On September 11, 2000, as it was still windy, Matute and 25 other Resort guests including petitioners son and his wife trekked to the other side of the Coco Beach mountain that was sheltered from the wind where they boarded M/B Coco Beach III, which was to ferry them to Batangas. Shortly after the boat sailed, it started to rain. As it moved farther away from Puerto Galera and into the open seas, the rain and wind got stronger, causing the boat to tilt from side to side and the captain to step forward to the front, leaving the wheel to one of the crew members. The waves got more unwieldy. After getting hit by two big waves which came one after the other, M/B Coco Beach III capsized putting all passengers underwater. The passengers, who had put on their life jackets, struggled to get out of the boat. Upon seeing the captain, Matute and the other passengers who reached the surface asked him what they could do to save the people who were still trapped under the boat. The captain replied "Iligtas niyo na lang ang sarili niyo" (Just save yourselves). Help came after about 45 minutes when two boats owned by Asia Divers in Sabang, Puerto Galera passed by the capsized M/B Coco Beach III. Boarded on those two boats were 22 persons, consisting of 18 passengers and four crew members, who were brought to Pisa Island. Eight passengers, including petitioners son and his wife, died during the incident. Issue: Whether or not respondent is a common carrier. Held: The Civil Code defines "common carriers" in the following terms: Article 1732. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or associations engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both, by land, water, or air for compensation, offering their services to the public.

The above article makes no distinction between one whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who does such carrying only as an ancillary activity (in local idiom, as "a sideline"). Article 1732 also carefully avoids making any distinction between a person or enterprise offering transportation service on a regular or scheduled basis and one offering such service on an occasional, episodic or unscheduled basis. Neither does Article 1732 distinguish between a carrier offering its services to the "general public," i.e., the general community or population, and one who offers services or solicits business only from a narrow segment of the general population. We think that Article 1733 deliberately refrained from making such distinctions. Indeed, respondent is a common carrier. Its ferry services are so intertwined with its main business as to be properly considered ancillary thereto. The constancy of respondents ferry services in its resort operations is underscored by its having its own Coco Beach boats. And the tour packages it offers, which include the ferry services, may be availed of by anyone who can afford to pay the same. These services are thus available to the public. That respondent does not charge a separate fee or fare for its ferry services is of no moment. It would be imprudent to suppose that it provides said services at a loss. The Court is aware of the practice of beach resort operators offering tour packages to factor the transportation fee in arriving at the tour package price. That guests who opt not to avail of respondents ferry services pay the same amount is likewise inconsequential. These guests may only be deemed to have overpaid. G.R. No. 166250 July 26, 2010 UNSWORTH TRANSPORT INTERNATIONAL (PHILS.), INC., Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, Respondents. Facts: On August 31, 1992, the shipper Sylvex Purchasing Corporation delivered to UTI a shipment of 27 drums of various raw materials for pharmaceutical manufacturing, consisting of: "1) 3 drums (of) extracts, flavoring liquid, flammable liquid x x x banana flavoring; 2) 2 drums (of) flammable liquids x x x turpentine oil; 2 pallets. STC: 40 bags dried yeast; and 3) 20 drums (of) Vitabs: Vitamin B Complex Extract." UTI issued Bill of Lading No. C320/C15991-2, covering the aforesaid shipment. The subject shipment was insured with private respondent Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation in favor of Unilab against all risks in the amount of P1,779,664.77 under and by virtue of Marine Risk Note Number MC RM UL 0627 92 and Open Cargo Policy No. HO-022-RIU. On the same day that the bill of lading was issued, the shipment was loaded in a sealed 1x40 container van, with no. APLU-982012, boarded on APLs vessel M/V "Pres. Jackson," Voyage 42, and transshipped to APLs M/V "Pres. Taft" for delivery to petitioner in favor of the consignee United Laboratories, Inc. (Unilab). On September 30, 1992, the shipment arrived at the port of Manila. On October 6, 1992, petitioner received the said shipment in its warehouse after it stamped the Permit to Deliver Imported Goods procured by the Champs Customs Brokerage. Three days thereafter, or on October 9, 1992, Oceanica Cargo Marine Surveyors Corporation (OCMSC) conducted a stripping survey of the shipment located in petitioners warehouse. Consequently, Unilabs quality control representative rejected one paper bag containing dried yeast and one steel drum containing Vitamin B Complex as unfit for the intended purpose. On November 7, 1992, Unilab filed a formal claim for the damage against private respondent and UTI. On November 20, 1992, UTI denied liability on the basis of the gate pass issued by Jardine that the goods were in complete and good condition; while private respondent paid the claimed amount on March 23, 1993. By virtue of the Loss and Subrogation Receipt issued by Unilab in favor of private respondent, the latter filed a complaint for Damages against APL, UTI and petitioner with the RTC of Makati.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner is a common carrier. Held: Admittedly, petitioner is a freight forwarder. The term "freight forwarder" refers to a firm holding itself out to the general public (other than as a pipeline, rail, motor, or water carrier) to provide transportation of property for compensation and, in the ordinary course of its business, (1) to assemble and consolidate, or to provide for assembling and consolidating, shipments, and to perform or provide for break-bulk and distribution operations of the shipments; (2) to assume responsibility for the transportation of goods from the place of receipt to the place of destination; and (3) to use for any part of the transportation a carrier subject to the federal law pertaining to common carriers. A freight forwarders liability is limited to damages arising from its own negligence, including negligence in choosing the carrier; however, where the forwarder contracts to deliver goods to their destination instead of merely arranging for their transportation, it becomes liable as a common carrier for loss or damage to goods. A freight forwarder assumes the responsibility of a carrier, which actually executes the transport, even though the forwarder does not carry the merchandise itself. Undoubtedly, UTI is liable as a common carrier. Common carriers, as a general rule, are presumed to have been at fault or negligent if the goods they transported deteriorated or got lost or destroyed. That is, unless they prove that they exercised extraordinary diligence in transporting the goods. In order to avoid responsibility for any loss or damage, therefore, they have the burden of proving that they observed such diligence. Mere proof of delivery of the goods in good order to a common carrier and of their arrival in bad order at their destination constitutes a prima facie case of fault or negligence against the carrier. If no adequate explanation is given as to how the deterioration, loss, or destruction of the goods happened, the transporter shall be held responsible.