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TRANSPORTATION LAW

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.

1733 – Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are bound to
observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the safety of the passengers
transported by them, according to all circumstances of each case.

Such extraordinary diligence in vigilance over the goods is further expressed in articles 1734,
1735, and 1745, nos 5, 6, and 7, while the extraordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers is
further set forth in articles 1755 and 1756.

1734 – Common carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods, unless
the same is due to any of the following causes only:

1.) Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity;


2.) Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil;
3.) Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;
4.) The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers;
5.) Order or act of competent public authority.

1735 – In all cases other than those mentioned in Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the preceding article, if the
goods are lost, destroyed or deteriorated, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to
have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as required in
article 1733.

1744 – A stipulation between the common carrier and the shipper or owner limiting the liability of the
former for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods to a degree less than extraordinary
diligence shall be valid, provided it be:

1.) In writing, signed by the shipper or owner;


2.) Supported by a value, consideration other than the service rendered by the common carrier; and
3.) Reasonable, just and not contrary to public policy.

1745 – Any of the following or similar stipulations shall be considered unreasonable, unjust and contrary
to public policy:

1.) That the goods are transported at the risk of the owner or shipper.
2.) That the common carrier will not be liable for any loss, destruction, or deterioration of the
goods;
3.) That the common carrier need not observe any diligence in the custody of the goods;
4.) That the common carrier shall exercise a degree of diligence less than that of a good father of a
family, or of a man of ordinary prudence in the vigilance over the movables transported;
5.) That the common carrier shall not be responsible for the acts or omissions of his or its
employees;
6.) That the common carrier’s liability for acts committed by thieves, or of robbers who do not act
with grave or irresistible threat, violence or force, is dispensed with or diminished;
7.) That the common carrier is not responsible for the loss, destruction or deterioration of goods on
accounts of the defective condition of the car, vehicle, ship, airplane or other equipment used in
the contract of carriage.

1749 – A stipulation that the common carrier’s liability is limited to the value of the goods appearing in
the bill of lading, unless the shipper or owner declares a greater value, is binding.

1755 – A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can
provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the circumstances.

1757 – The responsibility of a common carrier for the safety of passengers as required in article 1733
and 1755 cannot be dispensed with or lessened by stipulation, by the posting of notices, by statements
on tickets, or otherwise.

1758 – when a passenger is carried gratuitously, a stipulation limiting the common carrier’s liability for
negligence is valid, but not for willful acts or gross negligence.

1760 – The common carrier’s responsibility prescribed in the preceding article cannot be eliminated or
limited by stipulation, by the posting of notices, by statements on the tickets or otherwise.

1761 – The passenger must observe the diligence of a good father of the family to avoid injury to
himself.

1762 – Contributory negligence vs. proximate cause

1763 – Injuries suffered by passengers on account of the willful acts or negligence of other passengers or
of strangers.

Common carrier becomes liable for death of or injury to a passenger or passengers

1. Through the negligence or willful acts of its employees.

2. On account of willful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers if the common


carriers employees through the exercise of due diligence could have prevented or stopped
the act or omission.

Fortune Express Inc. vs. CA – A common carrier can be held liable for failing to prevent a hijacking by
frisking passengers and inspecting their baggages.

DAMAGES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT OF COMMON CARRIERS

3 Kinds of fault or culpa


1. Culpa Contractual or Contractual Negligence

2. Culpa Aquiliana or Tort or quasi delict

3. Culpa Criminal or criminal negligence

Villa Rey Transit, Inc. vs. CA – Damages; Computation of Indemnity; Life Expectancy of Victim as basis in
fixing amount recoverable and earning capacity.

Dangwa Transportation Co. vs. CA – The amount recoverable by the heirs of a victim of a tort is not the
loss of the entire earnings, but the loss of that portion of the earnings which the beneficiary would have
received.

Philippine Airlines Inc. vs. CA – The contract of air carriage generates a relation attended with a public
duty, and neglect or malfeasance of carrier’s employees naturally could give ground for an action for
damages.

WARSAW CONVENTION

Article 28(1) provides “An action for damages must be brought at the option of the plaintiff either before
the court of domicile of the carrier or his principal place of business or where he has a place of business
through which the contract has been made, or before the court of the place o destination.

Edna Diago Lhuiller vs. British Airways

Philippine National Railways vs. CA – Moral and Exemplary Damages is not due in a case where a
passenger is guilty of contributory negligence.