EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. HON. COURT MERCANTILE INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.

, RESPONDENTS
G.R. No. 97412 July 12, 1994 Vitug, J.

OF

APPEALS

AND

SV: shipment of ribofl !in by " stern shipping # rr stre: $etroport% bro&er: 'llie( )ro&er ge* resulte( in one (rum h !ing spill ges n( the rest of the (rums+ ,ontents -ere (ulter te(.f &e. /he lo-er ,ourt hel( to be li ble 0ointly n( se!er lly. " stern shipping rgue( th t it - s in goo( ,on(ition -hen it p sse( the (rums to $etroport n( ny ( m ge in,urre( by the (rums shoul( be the li bility of the l tter n( the bro&er. 1el(: 2ommon , rrier3s (uty to obser!e the re4uisite (iligen,e in the shipment of goo(s l sts from the time the rti,les re surren(ere( to or un,on(ition lly pl ,e( in the possession of, n( re,ei!e( by, the , rrier for tr nsport tion until (eli!ere( to, or until the l pse of re son ble time for their ,,ept n,e by, the person entitle( to re,ei!e them. 5n ny , se there - s suffi,ient e!i(en,e sho-ing th t the (rums sust ine( ( m ge -hile in their possession hen,e, " stern shipping -oul( be li ble -ith or -ithout other p rties soli( rily li ble -ith it. 1. 6n 7e,. 4, 1981, t-o fiber (rums of ribofl !in -ere shippe( from 9o&oh m , J p n for (eli!ery !essel :SS "'S/"RN 26$"/: o-ne( by (efen( nt " stern Shipping ;ines un(er )ill of ; (ing No. 9$'<8. /he shipment - s insure( un(er =l intiff3s $ rine 5nsur n,e =oli,y No. 81.>1177 for =?@,?82,4@@.?8. 2. 6n 7e,. 12, 1981, upon rri! l of shipment, it - s (is,h rge( unto the ,usto(y of (efen( nt $etro =ort Ser!i,e, 5n,. #/he l tter eA,epte( to one (rum, s i( to be in b ( or(er, -hi,h ( m ge - s un&no-n to pl intiff.* ?. 6n J n 7, 1982 (efen( nt 'llie( )ro&er ge 2orpor tion re,ei!e( the shipment from (efen( nt $etro =ort Ser!i,e, 5n,., one (rum opene( n( -ithout se l. 4. 6n J n. 8 n( 14, 1982 (efen( nt 'llie( )ro&er ge 2orpor tion m (e (eli!eries of the shipment to the ,onsignee3s - rehouse. /he l tter eA,epte( to one (rum -hi,h ,ont ine( spill ges, -hile the rest of the ,ontents - s (ulter te(.f &e. B. =l intiff rgues: o (ue to the losses.( m ge sust ine( by s i( (rum, the ,onsignee suffere( losses tot ling =19,>?2.9B, (ue to the f ult n( negligen,e of (efen( nts. #2l ims -ere presente( g inst (efen( nts -ho f ile( n( refuse( to p y the s me* 's ,onse4uen,e of the losses sust ine(, pl intiff - s ,ompelle( to p y the ,onsignee =19,>?2.9B un(er the forest te( m rine insur n,e poli,y, so th t it be, me subrog te( to ll the rights of ,tion of s i( ,onsignee g inst (efen( nts.

o

@. 7efen( nt.s rgue.s: o 's for (efen( nt " stern Shipping #, rrier* it llege( th t the shipment - s (is,h rge( in goo( or(er from the !essel unto the ,usto(y of $etro =ort Ser!i,e so th t ny ( m ge.losses in,urre( fter the shipment - s in,urre( fter the shipment - s turne( o!er to the l tter, is no longer its li bility% $etroport # rr stre oper tor* !erre( th t lthough sub0e,t shipment - s (is,h rge( unto its ,usto(y, portion of the s me - s lre (y in b ( or(er% 'llie( )ro&er ge #bro&er* llege( th t pl intiff h s no , use of ,tion g inst it, not h !ing negligent or t f ult for the shipment - s lre (y in ( m ge n( b ( or(er ,on(ition -hen re,ei!e( by it, but nonetheless, it still eAer,ise(

o o

/ri l 2ourt ruling: o 7efen( nts to p y pl intiff.t*% 2* =?. .onsignee in the s me . 2ourt of 'ppe ls.e to hol( it li ble #'rt.l im of (efen( nt. re of the goo(s th t re in its . ')$ *$!% ( $('i'l$" ' !$c$i.e !s.onsignee h s.h p . *lac$" i( ')$ * %%$%%i ( f. I o Ihen the goo(s shippe( re either lost or arrive in damaged condition.$!al. too. sh ll be to the eAtent of the . 1?9 S2R' 87% $etro =ort Ser!i.. o 8. ses -hen su. the ( te of filing of this . ISSUES: 1. 17?@<17?8.e in the h n(ling.>> e .ines. WON *a..>?2. WON a claim f ! "ama#$ %&%'ai($" ( a %)i*m$(' f # "% ca( +$ a % li"a!.>>>.. of .l im nt 'llie( )ro&er ge 2orpor tion.$" +.es #182 S2R' 4BB* Sin. re eA.s re.tu l in!oi. eA. se. !$f$!!$" ' a+ . a(" !$c$i.ee( DSEB>> per .tober 1.e. enumer te( in 'rti.ross<.$ ')$ !$6&i%i'$ "ili#$(c$ i( ')$ %)i*m$(' f # "% la%'% f! m ')$ 'im$ ')$ a!'icl$% a!$ %&!!$("$!$" ' ! &(c ("i'i (all.i(' a(" %$.. WON ')$ a**lica+l$ !a'$ f i('$!$%'. 2i!il 2o(e% G nGon !s. Date of the decision of the court a quo 2. ')$ a!!a%'!$ *$!a' ! a(" ')$ c&%' m% +! /$! 0.ee( =B. ' +%$!. 7ismisse( the . T)$ c mm ( ca!!i$!5% "&'. 8@?*.. 1@1 S2R' @4@% Hui ) i !s. 17?B. i% 103 ! 43 ! 1. n( there nee( not be n eApress fin(ing of negligen. f ')$ c mm ( ca!!i$!.on(ition shipment . /here re.onsignee.lusi!e. lia+ili'. 1?1 S2R' ?@B*.& ge. not one of -hi.le 17?4of the 2i!il 2o(e.ourse. until fully p i( #the li bility of (efen( nt " stern Shipping.$.r te boA or . se or the 25F ! lue of the loss. 2ourt of 'ppe ls. ! &('il ')$ la*%$ f a !$a% (a+l$ 'im$ f ! ')$i! acc$*'a(c$ +.h.>> s ttorney3s fees.>1 of the $ n gement 2ontr .eAtr or(in ry . /he 4uestion of .$!$" ' . re n( (iligen. su. 5n. 2' ffirme( the (e. n( ?* 2osts.he!er is lesser.eption l .h presumption of f ult is not obser!e( but these .ross. 7.h o o o .tion @. n be pplie( to this . -hile the li bility of (efen( nt $etro =ort Ser!i. $etro =ort Ser!i.on(ition to the . -ith the present leg l interest of 12C per nnum from 6. ')$ ca!!i$! f ! '!a(%* !'a'i ( &('il "$li. . rgo to . sh ll not eA.e it is the (uty of the 'RR'S/R" to t &e goo( .>>>.ision of the /ri l 2ourt in toto.$ ')$m #'rts. -hi.. 1982. pursu nt to Se. 5n Firem n3s Fun( 5nsur n. a presumption arises against the carrier of its f ilure to obser!e th t (iligen. 7oll r Ste mship .usto(y n( to (eli!er them in goo( .e ! lue of e . 2i!il 2o(e% =hilippine N tion l R il.9B.l ims n( . 2ourt of 'ppe ls.(eli!ery of the . se to eA.ei!e( by it.m$(' f l$#al i('$!$%' ( a( a1a!" f ! l %% ! "ama#$ i% ' +$ c m*&'$" f! m ')$ 'im$ ')$ c m*lai(' i% fil$" ! f! m ')$ "a'$ ')$ "$ci%i ( a**$al$" f! m i% !$("$!$".e !s. ses. 5n.h rging both the . 0ointly n( se!er lly: 1* /he mount of =19.e.ont iner in no .ounter. been p sse( upon by the 2ourt.ys !s.ompl ints. rrier n( the rr stre oper tor -ith the oblig tion of properly (eli!ering the goo(s to the .h . B2 =hil.

onsists in the p yment of sum of money.e.ourt 4uo n( the ppell te .le 11@9of the 2i!il 2o(e.ourt t the r te of ! per annum.ys n( ne.In the absence of stipulation.urs in (el y. as well as the accrual thereof. 7 ') ')$ ARRASTRE a(" ')$ CARRIER a!$ ')$!$f !$ c)a!#$" 1i') ')$ +li#a'i ( ' "$li.ision until the p yment thereof. from 0u(i. . se -hi.h .. is impose(.Furthermore.umst n.ision. -e t &e note.h mount upon fin lity of this (e.ourt 4uo.i l or eAtr 0u(i.y of . 'rt. in ny e!ent. or !i. (epen(ing on the e4uities of e .h.. sh ll be impose( on su. /he ( te of the (e. is. of . (eli.ourse.ept -hen or until the  • .e.on.retion of the . -hi. it m y not be un-ise. i. the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially demanded . to be hel( li ble in this p rti. se.he(. i. s follo-s: • Ihen the oblig tion is bre . regardless of its source.essi!e possession of ppell nts: #the herein petitioner mong them*.e th t the shipment sust ine( ( m ge -hile in the su. lle( for (ifferent ppli.r(e( m y be impose( t the (is. n( it .ts or 4u si<(eli. of the .ts.tu l fin(ing of both the .ult to eApl in./he pro!isions un(er /itle LV555 on :7 m ges: of the 2i!il 2o(e go!ern in (etermining the me sure of re. gui(e( by the rule th t the .ontr .ient e!i(en. the li bility impose( on " stern Shipping .e of money.i l (em n( un(er n( sub0e. imply by the bo!e pronoun.. the legal interest which is six percent per annum. No interest. rrier n( not h !ing been ble to rebut the presumption of f ult.or(ingly. is th t :there is suffi. rrier.ision of the . nor th t tten( nt f .tu l .l ims or ( m ges eA.t to the pro!isions of 'rti. is bre .ir. the in(emnity for ( m ges. lo n or forbe r n. sh ll be (0u(ge( on unli4ui( te( . to suggest the follo-ing rules of thumb for future gui( n.ement th t the rr stre oper tor n( the .ts. is ine!it ble reg r(less of -hether there re others soli( rily li ble -ith it. tions.ines. in lieu of @C. there being no stipulation to the contrary.ourts re !este( -ith (is. n( in the absence of stipulation. by . se m y not ! ry the rule.he(...h m y h !e been stipul te( in -riting.e the 7isposition portion of this .ul rly to n award of interest in the concept of actual and compensatory damages..ess rily li ble soli( rily -ith the .$! ')$ # "% i( # " c ("i'i ( ' ')$ c (%i#($$. the contravenor can be held liable for damages.K ?. o Ie (o not. ' 12C interest.e:  Ihen n obligation.ourt 4uo. n interest on the amount of damages .. 22>9 22: 5f the oblig tion . l -. Noti. being the . i.responsibility lso (e!ol!es upon the 2'RR5"R.ili tion.e.es m y h !e . /he f . se. the rate of interest shall be 12 per annum to be computed from default.h s ys: J/he leg l interest to be p i( is @C on the mount (ue . 5n.ustoms bro&er re themsel!es l.he(.ul r .ourt. /he inst nt petition h s been brought solely by " stern Shipping .ines. sole petitioner in this . the interest (ue shoul( be th t -hi. on the .r( of interest. '. the r te of interest.o!er ble ( m ges Iith reg r( p rti. o /he ostensible (is.or( is not (iffi.l rifi. o o 2. ' f . n( the (ebtor in.retion.ts in gi!en . ho-e!er. Ihen n oblig tion.onsists in the p yment of sum of money. tion n( re.tsis bre . Nonetheless.ontr . se. shall be the payment of interest agreed upon.ompute( from the (e.e<!ers . not constituting a loan or forbearance of money. 4u si< . ( te( >? Febru ry 1988.

.h time the 4u ntifi. '. of the . 7isposition =etition is p rtly GR'N/"7. in ny .(em n( . 2i!il 2o(e* but -hen su.r(ing sum of money be.ompute( from the (e.omput tion of leg l interest sh ll.ision is 'FF5R$"7 -ith the $675F52'/56N th t the leg l interest to be p i( is @C on the mount (ue .h certainty cannot be so reasonably established at the time the demand is made.ision. tion of ( m ges m y be (eeme( to h !e been re son bly s.tu l b se for the . • Ihen the judgment of the court . the interest shall begin to run only from the date the judgment of the court is made # t -hi. in lieu of @C.utory. '(opte( from 22>1B 6bli. whether the case falls under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2.h mount upon fin lity of this (e. the interest shall begin to run from the time the claim is made judicially or extrajudicially #'rt.or(ingly. shall be 12 per annum from such finality until its satisfaction. ( te( >? Febru ry 1988.omes fin l n( eAe. sh ll be impose( on su. above. be on the mount fin lly (0u(ge(. -here the demand is established with reasonable certainty. /he . ' 12C interest. this interim period being deemed to be by then an equivalent to a forbearance of credit. n be est blishe( -ith re son ble .ert inty.ision until the p yment thereof.ert ine(*. the rate of legal interest. 11@9.ourt 4uo. /he ppe le( (e.on Fin ls Re!ie-er . se.