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G.R. No.

162894 February 26, 2008 ISSUE:

RAYTHEON INTERNATIONAL, INC., petitioner, 1. WON the complaint should be dismissed for failure to state cause of
vs. action and forum non conveniens
STOCKTON W. ROUZIE, JR., respondent. 2. WON RTC has jurisdiction over the case


Brand Marine Services, Inc. (BMSI) a corporation duly organized and existing 1. No. Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a court, in conflicts-
under the laws of State of Connecticut, USA and Respondent Stockton Rouzie, of-laws cases, may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not
Jr. entered into a contract whereby the former hired Rouzie to be its the most "convenient" or available forum and the parties are not
representative and negotiate sale of services in various government projects in precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere. Petitioner’s averments of
Philippines with an agreed remuneration of 10% of the gross receipts. the foreign elements in the instant case are not sufficient to oust the
trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and the parties involved.
One contract entered into is a service contract for the dredging of rivers
affected by Mt. Pinatubo eruption and mudflows. The propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum non
conveniens requires a factual determination; hence, it is more properly
Rouzie then filed a suit against BMSI and Rust International, Inc and others for considered as a matter of defense. While it is within the discretion of
alleged nonpayment of commissions, illegal termination and breach of the trial court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on this ground, it
employment contract. should do so only after vital facts are established, to determine
whether special circumstances require the court’s desistance.

Labor Arbiter rendered decision in favor of Rouzie ordering BMSI and RUST to
pay Respondent’s money claims. As a general rule, the elementary test for failure to state a cause of
action is whether the complaint alleges facts which if true would justify
the relief demanded. The court ruled that the documents produced in
NLRC reversed the decision upon appeal of the party. It was then elevated to hearing shows that these evidence aliunde are not quite sufficient to
Supreme Court but was dismissed thru a resolution issued on 26 November mete a ruling that the complaint fails to state a cause of action.
1997 which became final and executory.

2. Yes. On matter of jurisdiction over conflicts-of-laws problem where the

8 January 1999, Rouzie filed an action for damages in RTC naming Raytheon case is filed in a Philippine court and where the court has jurisdiction
Int’l (foreign company also), BMSI and RUST as defendants. It reiterated the over the subject matter, the parties and the res, it may or can proceed
allegations in the earlier labor case and added that three corporations had to try the case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the convenience
combined and functioned as one company. of the parties point to a foreign forum. This means exercise of
sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed.
Petitioner then sought for dismissal on the ff. grounds: a) failure to state a
cause of action b) forum non conveniens Case filed was an action for damages arising from alleged breach of
contract. Hence, the nature of action and the amount of damages
RTC denied and ruled that principle of forum non conveniens was inapplicable prayed are within the jurisdiction of the RTC. With regard to the
because the trial court could enforce judgment on petitioner, it being a foreign parties, RTC acquired jurisdiction over Rouzi upon filing of the
corporation licensed to do business in the Phils. complaint and Raytheon through its voluntary appearance in court.

Petitioner filed for Motion for Reconsideration which was denied. Rule 65 The fact that it is with stipulation that the contract shall be governed
petition was made in Court of Appeals which was also denied for lack of merit. by laws of the State of Connecticut does not suggest that Philippine
Courts for that matter are precluded from hearing the civil action.