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F.C. Fisher v. Yangco Steamship Co. G.R. No. L-8095 March 31, 1915 Carson, J.

FACTS: Fisher is a stockholder in the Yangco Steamship Company. The directors of the company adopted a resolution which was thereafter ratified and affirmed by the shareholders of the company, expressly declaring and providing that the classes of merchandise to be carried by the company in its business as a common carrier do not include dynamite, powder or other explosives, and expressly prohibiting the officers, agents and servants of the company from offering to carry, accepting for carriage said dynamite, powder or other explosives. Then Acting Collector of Customs demanded and required of the company the acceptance and carriage of such explosives. He has refused and suspended the issuance of the necessary clearance documents of the vessels of the company unless and until the company consents to accept such explosives for carriage. Fisher was advised that should the company decline to accept such explosives for carriage, the respondent Attorney-General of the Philippine Islands and the respondent prosecuting attorney of the city of Manila intend to institute proceedings under the penal provisions of sections 4, 5, and 6 of Act No. 98 of the Philippine Commission against the company, its managers, agents and servants. Notwithstanding the demands of Fisher, the manager, agents and servants of the company decline and refuse the carriage of such explosives. ISSUE: WON the acts complained of had the effect of making or giving an unreasonable or unnecessary preference or advantage to any person, locality or particular kind of traffic, or of subjecting any person, locality, or particular kind of traffic to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or discrimination HELD: No. There may be some vessels engaged in business as common carriers of merchandise, which for lack of suitable deck space or storage rooms might be justified in declining to carry kerosene oil, gasoline, and similar products, even when offered for carriage securely packed in cases; and few vessels are equipped to transport those products in bulk. But in any case of a refusal to carry such products which would subject any person, locality or the traffic in such products would be necessary to hear evidence before making an affirmative finding that such prejudice or discrimination was or was not unnecessary, undue or unreasonable. The making of such a finding would involve a consideration of the suitability of the vessel for the transportation of such products; the reasonable possibility of danger or disaster resulting from their transportation in the form and under the conditions in which they are offered for carriage; the general nature of the business done by the carrier and, in a word, all the attendant circumstances which might affect the question of the reasonable necessity for the refusal by the carrier to undertake the transportation of this class of merchandise.