You are on page 1of 1

Ang vs.

American Steamship Agencies (19 SCRA 631) Facts: Yau Yue Commercial Bank of Hongkong agreed to sell 140 packages of galvanized steel durzinc sheets to Herminio Teves for $32,458.26. Said agreement was subject to the following terms: the purchase price should be covered by a bank draft which should be paid by Teves in exchange for the delivery to him of the bill of lading to be deposited with honking and Shanghai Bank of Manila; that Teves would present said bill of lading to carriers agent, American Steamship Agencies which would then issue the permit to deliver imported articles to be presented to the Bureau of customs to obtain the release of the articles. Yau Yue shipped the articles aboard S.S. Tensai Maru owned by Nissho Shipping Co., of which the American Shipping is the agent in the Philippines. When the Articles arrived in manila, Honkong Shanghais Bank notified Teves of the arrival of the goods and requested for the payment of the demand draft. Teves, however, failed to pay the demand draft. So, the bank returned the bill of lading and the demand draft to Yau Yue which endorsed the bill of lading to Domingo Ang. Despite his non-payment, Teves was able to obtain a bank guarantee in favor of the American Steamship Agencies, the carriers agent. Thus, Teves succeeded in securing a permit to deliver imported articles from the carriers agent, which he presented to the Bureau of Customs, that released the said articles to him. Subsequently, Domingo Ang claimed the articles from American Steamship, by presenting the indorsed bill of lading, but he was informed that it had delivered the articles to Teves. Ang filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Manila against American shipping agencies, for having wrongfully delivered the goods. The American Steamship filed for a motion to dismiss, citing the carriage of Goods by Sea Act, section 3 paragraph 4, which states: in any event, the carrier and the ship shall be discharged from all liability in respect to loss or damage unless suit is brought within one year, after delivery of goods or the date when the goods should have been delivered. Thus, the lower court dismissed the action, on the ground of prescription. Issue: Whether or not the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act Section 3, Paragraph 4, applies to the case at bar? Held: The provision of the law speaks of loss or damage. But there was no damage caused to the goods which were delivered intact to Herminio Teves. As defined by the Civil Code and as applied to section 3, paragraph 4, of the Carriage of Goods by sea Act, loss contemplates a situation where no delivery at all was made by the shipper of the goods because the same had perished, gone out of commerce, or disappeared that their existence is unknown or they cannot be recovered. It does not include a situation where there was indeed delivery, but delivery to the wrong person. The applicable rule on prescription is that found in the Civil Code, either: ten years for breach of contract or four years for quasi-delict. In either case, the plaintiffs cause of action has not yet prescribed. Thus, the case is remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings.