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G.R. No. L-12191 October 14, 1918 article 1903 of the Civil Code.

article 1903 of the Civil Code. The acts to which articles 1902
and 1903 of the Civil Code are applicable are understood to be
JOSE CANGCO, plaintiff-appellant, those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to
vs. one another. But where relations already formed give rise to
MANILA RAILROAD CO., defendant-appellee. duties, whether springing from contract or quasi-contract, then
breaches of those duties are subject to article 1101, 1103, and
Ramon Sotelo for appellant. 1104 of the same code.
Kincaid & Hartigan for appellee.
The contract of defendant to transport plaintiff carried
FISHER, J.: with it, by implication, the duty to carry him in safety and to
provide safe means of entering and leaving its trains (civil
code, article 1258). That duty, being contractual, was direct
FACTS: and immediate, and its non-performance could not be excused
by proof that the fault was morally imputable to defendant's
Jose Cangco, was a clerk of Manila Railroad Company in the servants.
capacity of clerk and in coming daily by train to the
company's office in the city of Manila where he worked, he The railroad company's defense involves the assumption
used a pass, supplied by the company, which entitled him to that even granting that the negligent conduct of its servants in
ride upon the company's trains free of charge. On January 20, placing an obstruction upon the platform was a breach of its
1915, between 7 and 8 o'clock on a dark night, when the contractual obligation to maintain safe means of approaching
plaintiff Jose Cangco stepped off the train, one or both of his and leaving its trains, the direct and proximate cause of the
feet came in contact with a sack of watermelons with the result injury suffered by plaintiff was his own contributory
that his feet slipped from under him and he fell violently on negligence in failing to wait until the train had come to a
the platform. His body at once rolled from the platform and complete stop before alighting. Under the doctrine of
was drawn under the moving car, where his right arm was comparative negligence announced in the Rakes case, if the
badly crushed and lacerated. The injuries which he had accident was caused by plaintiff's own negligence, no liability
received were very serious that he has to undergo two is imposed upon defendant's negligence and plaintiff's
amputations. negligence merely contributed to his injury, the damages
should be apportioned.
He filed a case to recover damages of the defendant company,
founding his action upon the negligence of the servants and The test by which to determine whether the
employees of the defendant in placing the sacks of melons passenger has been guilty of negligence in attempting to alight
upon the platform and leaving them so placed as to be a from a moving railway train, is that of ordinary or reasonable
menace to the security of passenger alighting from the care. It is to be considered whether an ordinarily prudent
company's trains. The Court of First Instance ruled that, the person, of the age, sex and condition of the passenger, would
plaintiff himself had failed to use due caution in alighting have acted as the passenger acted under the circumstances
from the coach. Thus, judgment was accordingly entered in disclosed by the evidence. This care has been defined to be,
favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff appealed. not the care which may or should be used by the prudent man
generally, but the care which a man of ordinary prudence
ISSUE: would use under similar circumstances, to avoid injury."
(Thompson, Commentaries on Negligence, vol. 3, sec. 3010.)
Can the Manila Railroad Company be held liable for the
accident that happened to Jose Cangco? Though the plaintiff stepped off the car without being
able to discern clearly the condition of the platform and while
HELD: the train was yet slowly moving, the plaintiff was ignorant of
the fact that the obstruction which was caused by the sacks of
The Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the Trial Court melons piled on the platform existed; and as the defendant was
bound by reason of its duty as a public carrier to afford to its
passengers facilities for safe egress from its trains, the plaintiff
The employees of the railroad company were guilty of
had a right to assume, in the absence of some circumstance to
negligence in piling these sacks on the platform which caused
warn him to the contrary, that the platform was clear.
the plaintiff to fall as he alighted from the train. It necessarily
follows that the defendant company is liable for the damage
thereby occasioned unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff's Also, the place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as it was
own contributory negligence. The foundation of the legal his daily custom to get on and of the train at this station. There
liability of the defendant is the contract of carriage, and that could, therefore, be no uncertainty in his mind with regard
the obligation to respond for the damage which plaintiff has either to the length of the step which he was required to take
suffered arises, if at all, from the breach of that contract by or the character of the platform where he was alighting. The
reason of the failure of defendant to exercise due care in its court concluded that the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking
performance. Its liability is direct and immediate, differing to alight while the train was yet slightly under way was not
essentially, in legal viewpoint from that presumptive characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not
responsibility for the negligence of its servants, imposed by guilty of contributory negligence.