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Julius B.

Soroan
Transportation Law|Sun|4-6PM
UNEP

PHILIPPINE AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY (PHILAMGEN),
petitioner
VS
PKS SHIPPING COMPANY (PKS), respondent
GR. No. 149038, April 9, 2003

FACTS:
PHILAMGEN is Davao Union Marketing Corporation’s (DUMC) insurance.
One time, DUMC contracted the services of PKS to ship its 75,000 bags of
cement via the latter’s barge. While PKS’ barge was being towed by its own
tugboat, it sank, despite its being seaworthy, a couple of miles because it was
suddenly tossed by waves of extraordinary height of 6-8 ft. and buffeted by
strong winds of 1.5 knots resulting in the entry of water into the barge’s
hatches.
PHILAMGEN paid the full amount of DUMC’s claim but PKS refused to
reimburse PHILAMGEN, hence this suit filed by PHILAMGEN against PKS.
The case reached the CA and it ruled that: 1) PKS is not a common
carrier because its peculiar method, as a shipping company, of carrying goods
for others was not generally held out as a business but as a casual occupation;
2) not being a common carrier, PKS was not expected to observe the stringent
extraordinary diligence required of common carriers in the care of goods, and;
3) the loss of the goods was due to a fortuitous event.

ISSUES:
1) Is PKS a common carrier and should therefore observe extraordinary
diligence required in the care of goods?
2) Was the loss of goods due to a fortuitous event?

RULING:
1) YES. Art. 1732, in defining “common carriers”, 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. Said article also makes no 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

storm. common carriers are exempt from liability for loss. destruction. lightning. Under Art. there was no way that the barges or the tugboats crew could have prevented the sinking of the vessel because it was tossed by waves of extraordinary height despite its seaworthiness. earthquake. No distinction as well between a carrier offering its services to the “general public” and one who offers services or solicits business only from a narrow segment of the general population. unscheduled basis. or other natural disaster or calamity….In the present case. . The regularity of PKS’ activities indicates more than just a casual occupation contrary to CA’s findings. 1733. NCC. or deterioration of the goods due to any of the following: 1)Flood. 2) YES. Neither can a concept of common carrier change merely because individual contracts are executed or entered into with patrons of the carrier.