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Lopez vs. Duruelo Case Digest Lopez vs.

Duruelo 52 Phil 229 Facts: On February 10, 1927, plaintiff Augusto Lopez was desirous of embarking u pon the interisland steamer San Jacinto in order to go to Cebu, the plaintiff em barked at the landing in the motorboat Jison which was engaged in conveying pass engers and luggage back and forth from the landing to the boats at anchor. As the motorboat approached San Jacinto in a perfectly quiet sea, it came too ne ar to the stern of the ship, and as the propeller of the ship had not yet ceased to turn, the blades of the propeller strucked the motorboat and sank it at once . As it sank, the plaintiff was thrown into the water against the propeller, and the revolving blades inflicted various injuries upon him. The plaintiff was hos pitalized. He filed a complaint seeking to recover damages from the defendant. T he defendant however alleged that the complaint does not have a right of action, a demurrer was submitted directed to the fact that the complaint does not alleg e that the protest had been presented by the plaintiff, within twenty-four hours after the occurrence to the competent authority at the port where the accident occurred as provided for Article 835 of the Code of Commerce. Issue: Whether the motorboat Jison is a vessel provided for by Article 835 of th e Code of Commerce? Held: The word vessel as used in the third section of tile IV, Book III of the C ode of Commerce, dealing with collisions, does not include all ships, craft or f loating structures of any kind without limitation. The said section does not app ly to minor craft engaged in a river and bay traffic.Therefore, a passenger on b oat like the Jison, is not required to make protest as a condition precedent to his right of action for the injury suffered by him in the collision described in the complaint.Article 835 of the Code of Commerce does not apply. RUBISO VS. RIVERA Case Digest RUBISO VS. RIVERA (27PHIL72) G.R. No. L- 11407 October 30, 1917 Facts: The counsel of plaintiff brought a suit alleging that his clients were th e owners of the pilot boat named Valentine, which has been in bad condition and on the date of the complaint, was stranded in the place called Tingly, of the mu nicipality of Battings. The defendant Rivera took charge or took possession of t he said boat without the knowledge or consent of the plaintiff and refused to de liver it to them, under the claim that he was the owner thereof. The refusal on the part of the defendant has caused the plaintiff damages because they were una ble to derive profit from the voyages for which the said pilot boat was customar ily used. The defendant, on the other hand, alleged that they purchased the subj ect pilot boat. The plaintiff alleged that the sale on behalf of the defendant R ivera was prior to that made at public auction to Rubio, but the registration of this latter sale was prior to the sale made to the defendant. Issue: Whether or not, the plaintiff still has the better right over the subject vessel? Held: Under the Code of Commerce, Art 573 provides: Merchant vessels constitute property that may be acquired and transferred by any of the means recognized by law. The acquisition of a vessel must be included in a written instrument, which shall not produce any effect with regard to third p ersons if not recorded in the commercial registry.

The requisite of registration in the registry of the purchase of a vessel is nec essary and indispensable in order that the purchasers rights may be maintained ag ainst a claim filed by third person. It is undeniable that Riveras right cannot p revail over those acquired by Rubiso in the ownership of the pilot boat, thought the latters acquisition of the vessel at public auction was subsequent to its pu rchase by the defendant, Rivera. Yu Con vs. Ipil | Araullo (1916) FACTS Respondent, Yu Con (Yu Con), chartered the banca Maria owned by petitioner Narciso Lauron (Lauron) with Gilcerio Ipil (Ipil) as its master and Juto Solamo (Solamo ) as it supercargo to transport certain merchandise and money from the port of C ebu to Catmon. Yu Con loaded the merchandise and delivered the money, placed in a trunk, to Ipi l and Solamo. Allegedly because there was no more room for Yu Cons trunk, Ipil and Solamo trans ferred the money to their own trunk in the stateroom. Before the ship could sail, the trunk and the money placed therein disappeared. ISSUES/HELD Are the petitioners liable for the loss? YES. RATIONALE It is therefore beyond all doubt that the loss of the money occurred through the manifest fault and negligence of Ipil and Solamo. o They failed to take the necessary precautions in order that the stateroom cont aining the trunk in which they kept the money should be properly guarded by memb ers of the crew and they also did not expressly station some person inside the s tateroom for the guarding and safe-keeping of the trunk. o All of these circumstances, together with that of its having been impossible t o know who took the trunk and the money, make the conduct of Ipil, Solamo, and t he other crew members eminently supicious and prevent our holding that the disap pearance or loss of the money was due to a fortuitous event, to force majeure. Ipil and Solamo were depositaries of the sum in question and, having failed to e xercise the diligence required by the nature of the obligation of safe-keeping a ssumed by them and by the circumstances of the time and the place, it is evident that they are liable for its loss or misplacement and must restore it. With respect to Lauron, he is also liable in accordance with the provisions of t he Code of Commerce in force because, as the proprietor and owner of the vessel who executed a contract of carriage with Yu Con, there occurred the loss, theft, or robbery of the P450 that belonged to Yu Con through the negligence of Ipil a nd Solamo and which theft does not appear to have been committed by a person not belonging to the craft. The old Code of Commerce absolved the shipowner from liability for the negligenc e of the captain and its crew but, in the light of the principles of modern law, this doctrine on the non-liability of the shipowner for the unlawful acts, crim es or quasi crimes, committed by the captain and the crew can no longer be maint ained in its absolute and categorical terms. o In maritime commerce, the shippers and passengers in making contracts with the captain do so through the confidence they have in the shipowner who appointed h im; they presume that the owner made a most careful investigation before appoint ing him, and, above all, they themselves are unable to make such an investigatio n, and even though they should do so, they could not obtain complete security, i nasmuch as the shipowner can, whenever he sees fit, appoint another captain inst ead. o Thus, it is only proper that the shipowner should be made liable.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-19540 January 29, 1923

WING KEE COMPRADORING COMPANY, plaintiff-appellant, vs. THE BARK "MONONGAHELA," VICTOR S. FOX & CO., INC., owner of the bark Monongahela , THE ADMIRAL LINE, and C. G. LOTHIGIUS, defendants-appellees. Luciano de la Rosa for appellant. Schwarzkopf and Ohnich for appellees. MALCOLM, J.: The plaintiff in this case, Wing Kee Compradoring Company, seeks to recover from the defendants, principally the Admiral Line, as agent for the Bark Monongahela , the sum of P17,675.64, with interest and costs, on account of goods, wares, an d merchandise sold and delivered by the plaintiff to the defendants for the use of the crew of the Bark Monongahela. The case, as submitted to the appellate cou rt, must be reconstructed as best it may, from pleadings not altogether clear an d explicit, from facts taken in part from the decision of the trial court, and i n part from the exhibits, the stenographic notes not having been written up, and from the briefs on the questions of law which are involved. Turning first to the pleadings, we find the plaintiff in its amended complaint p raying for judgment against the defendants jointly and severally for the sum of P17,675.64, meaning, thereby, we presume, that it had a just and preferred claim upon and against the Bark Monongahela, and that the debt was due from the Admir al Line, the agent; C. G. Lothigius, the captain of the boat; and the owners of the boat, either Victor S. Fox & Co., Inc., or the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation. Captain Lothigius and the Admiral Line answered. Th e owners were not cited to appear. No action against the bark was taken. Followi ng the trial, judgment was rendered dismissing the complaint, without special fi nding as to costs. Turning next to the facts, the exhibits of record show that b eginning with March 16, 1921, and ending with August 16, 1921, various supplies were furnished the Bark Monongahela by Wing Kee Compradoring Company. Most of th e bills for these goods are made out against the "Admiral Line, S.S. Monongahela ." All are considered by the master and the first steward. It appears, therefore , that the plaintiff was looking to the Admiral Line for payment. The first requisitions for the supplies are on forms headed "The Admiral Line." Then follows Manila, the date, and the name, "Wing Kee Compradoring Co." Next is the order, reading: "Please deliver to S. S. Monongahela now lying at Bay, the following goods and send bills to the Admiral Line:". After this goods are named . At the foot is found, "United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporatio n," although these words are erased in a few of the requisitions, "The Admiral L ine (Pacific Steamship Co.) Operating Agents. By J. J. Armstrong." On the side o f the requisitions in red ink is the following: "Note: This requisition must be receipted by either Chief Officer, Chief Steward or Chief Engineer and returned to the Admiral Line, with six copies of invoice immediately after delivery of go ods." After May 4, 1921, the requisitions seem to have been made out by the stew ard and the master. We deduce from these documents that the Admiral Line was the operating agent for Monongahela, and was responsible as such until the agency w as terminated.

In the Manila Daily Bulletin for August 2, 1921, appeared the following: "Notice Bark Monongahela The undersigned hereby give notice that they are not re sponsible in any manner whatsoever for any indebtedness incurred by the Bark Mon ongahela, its Master and/or Crew The Admiral Line." The trial judge found as a f act that on or before August 4, 1921, the Admiral Line had ceased to act as agen t for the Monongahela. Nevertheless, supplies were furnished the Monongahela aft er these dates by the plaintiff. Turning finally to the law, we find section 1 of Title 2 of our Code of Commerce , given up to the subject, "Owners of Vessels and Their Agents." The first artic le in this section (art. 586), and the provision of law which in our judgment is controlling, reads: The owner of a vessel and the agent shall be civilly liable for the acts of the captain and for the obligations contracted by the latter to repair, equip, and p rovision the vessel, provided the creditor proves that the amount claimed was in vested therein. By agent is understood the person intrusted with the provisioning of a vessel, o r who represents her in the port in which she happens to be. The civil law, in this respect, is not at all dissimilar to the common law. By t he general law of the United States, as well as of England and of Europe, it has been held, that when the agents buy in their own names, but really for the acco unt of their principal, the seller has an option to look to either for payment, unless (1) he trusted the agent exclusively; or (2) by the usage and understandi ng of the business the agent only is held; or (3) unless the special circumstanc es of the case show that only the agent was intended to be bound and the seller knew it or was chargeable with knowledge of it. Although the English rule that, where the agents buys in his own name for the account of a foreign principal, th e agent only is bound appears not to have been followed in the United States, ye t the general doctrine is the same, that the seller has an option to resort to e ither. (Berwind vs. Schultz [1885], 25 Fed., 912.) Applying more directly the law to the pleadings and the facts, it is first to be noted that the plaintiff has not followed out its allegation that it has a clai m against the Bark Monongahela, and might not have prospered any way, considerin g the rather dubious doctrine announced in the case of Health vs. Steamer San Ni colas ([1907], 7 Phil., 532). Not only this, but the plaintiff has made no effor t to bring the owner of the bark into the case and has pushed with no enthusiasm its case against the captain of the boat. What apparently the plaintiff wants i s for the Admiral Line, as the agent for the Bark Monongahela, to pay the claim, leaving the latter to reimburse itself, if sees fit, from the owners. To all this appellee answers that as the agency has ceased, action cannot be bro ught against the Admiral Line. To our minds this is a rather far-fetched argumen t, for, pursued to its logical conclusion, every agent for a vessel could thus a void responsibility pursuant to article 568 of the Code of Commerce, by giving u p its agency when threatened with suit to enforce the obligations of third parti es. Moreover, the bills were presented when the Admiral Line was yet the agent. In resume, therefore, we are of opinion and so hold that the Admiral Line, as ag ent for the Bark Monongahela, is liable to the plaintiff for supplies furnished the Monongahela between March 16, 1921 and August 2, 1921, but is not responsibl e for supplies furnished after that date. The mathematical additions show that t he debt of the Admiral Line to the plaintiff amounts to P16,526.29. In accordance with the foregoing, judgment is reversed, and the plaintiff shall

have and recover from the defendant, the Admiral Line, the sum of P16,526.29, wi thout interest and costs. So ordered.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-32640 December 29, 1930

WALTER A. SMITH & CO., INC., plaintiff-appellant, vs. CADWALLADER GIBSON LUMBER COMPANY, defendant-appellee. Jose Erquiaga for appellant. DeWitt, Perkins and Brady for appellee.

VILLAMOR, J.: On August 30, 1926, the steamer Helen C, belonging to the defendant, the Cadwall ader Gibson Lumber Co., under the command of Captain Miguel Lasal, in the course of its maneuvers to moor at the plaintiff s wharf in the port of Olutanga, Zamb oanga, struck said wharf, partially demolishing it and throwing the timber piled thereon into the water. Whereupon the plaintiff brought the instant action to r ecover of the defendant the sum of P9,705.83 as damages for the partial demoliti on of the wharf and for the loss of the timber piled thereon. The defendant denied the plaintiff s causes of action, and in defense alleged th at the demolition of the wharf was due to the excessive weight of thousands of b oard feet of timber piled upon it by the plaintiff to be loaded and shipped on t he steamer Helen C and to the bad condition of the piles supporting said wharf. In view of the evidence adduced by both parties, the trial court held that the d efendant was not liable for the partial collapse of the plaintiff s wharf, and f or the loss of the timber piled thereon, dismissing the complaint with costs aga inst the plaintiff. The judge who took cognizance of this cause held: The evidence shows that said wharf was built in 1921 and repaired in 1925. The r epairs, according to the deposition of Wilson C. Smith, a witness for the plaint iff, consisted in replacing 6 bents of piles leaving more than 9 old bents of pi les without being replaced. Therefore, the wharf of the plaintiff was old. The c ourt is inclined to believe that the steamer Helen C slightly struck the dock bu t not with force, for it was difficult for her to strike it with force, as herei nbefore stated, and due to the bad condition of the dock the slight impact was s ufficient to destroy it. The bent of the piles toward the east side of the dock, as may be seen from the pictures Exhibits E and F, after its destruction, does not necessarily mean that the destruction of the wharf was caused by a strong im pact, as the weight of the 60,000 board feet of lumber piled thereon, after such slight impact by the steamer against the dock, might have caused said piles to lean toward that side. We are of opinion that this finding is supported by the evidence. In this connec

tion, it is to be noted that the witness, Dionisio Pascua (for the plaintiff) te stified that the 60,000 board feet occupied one-fourth of the wharf. In other wo rds, by the testimony of the plaintiff s witnesses it has been proved that the p laintiff company piled up on the wharf a quantity of timber which exceeded its c apacity of resistance, because if the whole wharf had a capacity of 100,000 boar d feet of timber, one-fourth of it could sustain one-fourth of that amount, or, about 25,000 board feet of timber. But it appears that the plaintiff company loa ded 60,000 board feet, weighing over 100 tons, within a space capable of support ing only 25,000 board feet. This must have helped to bring about the collapse of the wharf on the eastern side and the consequent sliding down of the timber pil ed up on one side. The court below did not make any definite finding as to the negligence of the ca ptain, but the plaintiff apparently infers that there was negligence on his part , considering the testimony of its witness Venancio Ignacio to the effect that t he impact of the ship with the wharf was due to the excessive force with which t he captain, ordered the winches to work. This was denied by the captain, testify ing for the defendant. If, to this denial, we add the facts found by the trial c ourt that said captain dropped two anchors from the prow and the kedge-anchor fr om the poop, and besides, fastened two lines of cables to the piles ordinarily u sed by vessels in docking at that wharf, as preliminary to drawing the vessel al ongside the wharf, it will be seen that said winches must have been carefully op erated, and if any force was employed in working them, it was doubtless due to t he fact that the vessel had already dropped anchor and could not move rapidly an d the drawing of the vessel up to the wharf was against the stream which flowed from east to west. We do not believe that the mere statement of the witness Igna cio who has not been shown to possess technical knowledge of the maneuvers for d ocking vessels, is sufficient to justify a holding that the force employed by th e winches on that occasion was excessive under the circumstances of the case, es pecially so if the captain s testimony is to be considered, that the winches wer e carefully operated. The witnesses for the plaintiff state that the steamer Helen C struck the wharf twice, but the trial court, after examining the evidence, found said testimony t o be exaggerated. As has been stated, the plaintiff seeks to recover against the owner of the stea mer Helen C, with whom it had not contractual relations basing its action on the acts of Captain Lasa who was in command of the vessel when docking at the plain tiff s wharf in Olutanga, Zamboanga. In support of its contention, the plaintiff cites the doctrine laid down in the case of Ohta Development Co. vs. Steamship Pompey (49 Phil., 117), wherein it was held that the defendant company, as shipowner, was liable for the indemnities arising from the lack of skill or from neg ligence of the captain. In the case cited, the steamship Pompey, under the command of Captain Alfredo Ga lvez, was carrying cargo consisting principally of flour and rice for the plaint iff. The ship docked with her bow facing the land and fastened her cables to the posts on the pier. The evidence shows that heretofore other ships docking along side said pier had the bow facing the land and fastened a cable to a tree situat ed farther west on the beach, a precaution taken to avoid the ship getting too c lose to the pier. When the Pompey docked, at the time in question, she did not f asten the cable to the tree on the shore, nor drop her kedge-anchors from the pr ow. After being docked, they proceeded to unload the flour and rice which were f irst deposited on the pier and later transported to the plaintiff s warehouse on land, where it was officially receipted for. The work of discharging and haulin g the cargo to the plaintiff s warehouse was accomplished without any interventi on on the part of the plaintiff and exclusively by laborers and the crew of the ship. The unloading of the cargo on to the pier was hastily done and there being but fifteen or twenty laborers engaged in hauling it to the plaintiff s warehou

se, a large amount of cargo accumulated on the dock. At 11:10 that morning, the pier sank with all the merchandise. As may be noted, the facts in that case were different from those in the case in question. In the former a contract of marine transportation existed between the plaintiff and the defendant, whereas in the latter no previous contractual rela tion existed between the parties. For this reason, the case of Ohta Development Co. was decided upon articles 587 and 618 of the Code of Commerce. But the insta nt case, dealing, as it does, with an obligation arising from culpa aquiliana or negligence, must be decided in accordance with articles 1902 and 1903 of the Ci vil Code. Article 1902 of the Civil Code prescribes: Any person who by an act or omission causes damage to another by his fault or ne gligence shall be liable for the damage so done. And article 1903 of the said Code states: The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is enforcible, not only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is responsible. The father, or in case of his death, or incapacity, the mother, is liable for an y damages caused by the minor children who live with them. Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or incapacitated persons subject to their authority and living with them. Owners or directors of any establishment or business are, in the same way, liabl e for any damages caused by their employees while engaged in the branch of the s ervice in which employed, or on occasion of the performance of their duties. The State is subject to the same liability when it acts through a special agent, but not if the damage shall have been caused by the official upon whom properly devolved the duty of doing the act performed, in which case the provisions of t he next preceding article shall be applicable. Finally, teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages cau sed by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody. The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the persons subject th ereto prove that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family t o prevent the damaged. In the case of Maryland Casualty Co. vs. Matson Nav. Co. (177 Cal., 610, 612), i n an action similar to the present, the court held: . . . the plaintiff could only recover, if at all, upon a sufficient showing of negligence on the part of the defendants in the handling of their ship, as a res ult of which the injury complained of arose; and if the finding of the trial cou rt, to the effect that there was no negligence in respect to the matter complain ed of on the part of the defendants, is sustained by sufficient evidence, there is an end to the plaintiff s case. The same doctrine was upheld by the Supreme Court of Spain in its judgment of Ju ne 23, 1900, in deciding a case similar to the one at bar, where the plaintiff w as a third person without any contractual relation with the defendant before the acts were committed which gave rise to the complaint. In that judgment, the cou rt said:

. . . the action for damages caused by an act or omission arising from fault or negligence, requires an allegation of one or the other of said causes, which is the basis of said action, according to articles 1089, 1093, 1902, and 1903 of th e Civil Code; and such proof must be made by the plaintiff in accordance with th e general principle of evidence regarding obligations as laid down in article 12 14; and it is not sufficient merely to suggest what at any rate cannot be admitt ed that from the mere existence of damage, liability must be presumed and that t he defendant must rebut such a presumption. And Manresa, committing on article 1902 of the Civil Code, among other things, s ays the following: Among the questions most frequently raised and upon which the majority of cases have been decided with respect to the application of this liability, are those r eferring to the determination of the damage or prejudice, and to the fault or ne gligence of the person responsible therefor. These are the two indispensable factors in the obligations under discussion, for without damage or prejudice there can be no liability, and although this elemen t is present no indemnity ca be awarded unless arising from some person s fault or negligence. With respect to the determination of damages, it must be definite and the injury must not be occasioned by the performance of an obligation or by acts or omissi ons of the injured party himself; and for the proof of the fault or negligence, mere suggestions or inadmissible presumptions will not suffice, but such evidenc e must be adduced as to exclude all doubt regarding their existence and relation to the injury, for, in order to give rise to an obligation, there must be betwe en the fault or negligence and the evil resulting therefrom a casual relations. (12 Manresa, 601,602.). In Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. (38 Phil., 768), this court held that article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to obligations arising from contracts, but only to obligations arising without any agreement; or, to employ technical l anguage, that article refers only to culpa aquiliana and not to culpa contractua l. Manresa (vol. VIII, page 67) in his commentaries on articles 1103 and 1104 of th e Civil Code clearly sets forth this distinction, which was also recognized by t his court in the case of Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359) . In commenting upon article 1093 (Vol. VIII, page 30) Manresa points out the di fference between "culpa substantive and independent, which, by itself, gives ris e to an obligation between persons not formerly bound by any other obligation" a nd culpa considered as an "incident in the performance of an obligation which al ready existed. . . . In the Rakes case (supra), this court based its decision expressly on the princi ple that article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to a culpa not arising from a contract. On this point the court said: The acts to which these articles (1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code) are applicabl e are understood to be those not growing out or preexisting duties of the partie s to one another. But where relations already formed give rise to duties, whethe r springing from contract or quasi contract, then breaches of those duties are s ubject to articles 1101, 1103, and 1104 of the same Code. (Rakes vs. Atlantic, G ulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil., 359, 365.).

It is not true that proof of due diligence and care in the selection of and inst ructions to a servant relieves the master of liability for the former s acts; on the contrary, such proof shows that the liability never existed. As Manresa (vo l. VIII, page 68) says, the liability arising from an extra-contractual wrong is always based upon a voluntary act or omission, which, while free from any wrong ful intent, and due to mere negligence or carelessness, causes damaged to anothe r. A master who takes all possible precaution in selecting his servants or emplo yees, bearing in mind the qualifications necessary for the performance of the du ties to be entrusted to them, and instructs them with equal care, complies with his duty to all third parties to whom he is not bound under contract, and incurs no liability if, by reason of the negligence of such servants though it be duri ng the performance of their duties as such, third parties should suffer damages. It is true that under article 1903 of the Civil Code, the law presumes that the master, if regarded as an establishment, has been negligent in the selection of , or instruction to, its servants, but that is a mere juris tantum presumption a nd is destroyed by the evidence of due care and diligence in this respect. The Supreme court of Porto Rico, construing identical provisions in the Civil Co de of Porto Rico, held that these articles are applicable only to cases of extra -contractual wrong. (Carmona vs. Cuesta, 20 Porto Rico Reports, 215.) This distinction was clearly stated by this court in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leyn es (930 Phil., 624), wherein the action was based on the defendant s extra-contr actual liability for damages occasioned by the carelessness of an employee of hi s, in the performance of his duty as such. This court, after citing the last par agraph of article 1903 of the Civil Code, held: From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in th e selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after the sel ection, or both; and (2) that the presumption is juris tantum and not juris et d e jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. it follows necessarily that if the em ployer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family, the presum ption is overcome and he is relieved from liability.lawphi1>net This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own neglige nce and not on that of his servant. This is the notable peculiarity of the Spani sh law of negligence. It is, of course, in striking contrast to the American doc trine that, in relations with strangers, the negligence of the servant is conclu sively the negligence of the master. The opinion of this court is thus expressed, to the effect that in case of extra -contractual wrong, some fault personally imputable to the defendant must exist, and that the last paragraph of article 1903 only establishes a rebuttable presu mption and is on all fours with Manresa s authoritative opinion (Vol. XII, page 611), that the liability created by article 1903 is enforced by reason of non-pe rformance of duties inherent in the special relations of authority or superiorit y existing between the person liable for the damage done and the person who by h is act or omission has caused it. The defendant contends in its answer that the captain and all the officers of th e steamer Helen C were duly licensed and authorized to hold their respective pos itions at the time when the wharf in question collapsed, and that said captain, officers, and all the members of the crew of the steamer had been chosen for the ir reputed skill in directing and navigating the steamer Helen C, safely, carefu lly, and efficiently. The evidence shows that Captain Lasa at the time the plain tiff s wharf collapse was a duly licensed captain, authorized to navigate and di rect a vessel of any tonnage, and that the appellee contracted his services beca

use of his reputation as a captain, according to F. C. Cadwallader. This being s o, we are of opinion that the presumption of liability against the defendant has been overcome by the exercise of the care and diligence of a good father of a f amily in selecting Captain Lasa, in accordance with the doctrines laid down by t his court in the cases cited above, and the defendant is therefore absolved from all liability.lawphi1>net By virtue of the foregoing, the judgment appealed from must be as it is hereby, affirmed, with costs against the appellant. So ordered. Johnson, Street, Malcolm, Ostrand, Johns, Romualdez and Villa-Real, JJ., concur. The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation

Yu Biao Sontua & Co. vs. Ossorio | Romualdez (1922) FACTS On March 12, 1920, 2K cases of petroleum and 8,473 cases of gasoline were loaded in the motor boat Alfonso o The loading was done without the permission from the customs authorities o The cases were loaded by means of straps supporting 10-12 cases at a time o The cases were placed in the hold of the ship, which is 14ft from the boiler o f the main engine and 4ft from the boiler of the smaller engine On March 13, the smaller engine was in operation preparatory to the departure Subsequently, a fire broke out with an explosion on board Alfonso followed by a violent expulsion of gasoline and petroleum Due to the magnitude of the fire and the inflammability of the materials and the proximity of the steamer Y. Sontua, the fire spread to the said steamer Sontua brought this action to recover from Ossorio, the owner of Alfonso, allegi ng that the damages were due to the negligence of the agents and employees of Os sorio Ossorio contended that the damages were caused by a fortuitous event and are not imputable to his or any of his agents/employees/mandataries negligence CFI ruled in favor of Sontua and held that: o The explosion was due to the negligence of the persons in charge of Alfonso o Ossorio is liable for the negligence of his agents and employees ISSUES/HELD WoN the explosion was due to the negligence of the persons in charge of Alfonso? YES. WoN Ossorio, the owner of the motorboat, was liable for the negligence of his ag ents and employees? YES. RATIONALE Issue #1 Expert testimony introduced by Sontua shows the explosion and fire, which caused the damages, are imputable to the negligence of the persons having charge of Al fonso at that time. It was shown that: o Due to the manner by which the cases were loaded, the cases would receive bump s resulting in damage to the cans and consequent leakage (use of straps) o The gases formed by the volatilization are apt to accumulate in a compartment without sufficient ventilation (hold of a ship) o This accumulation will cause the gases to ignite upon comin gin contact with a spark or upon temperature being sufficiently raised (smaller engine was in oper ation) Issue #2 The rule is that where the vessel is one of freight, a public concern or public

utility, it owner or agent is liable for the tortuous acts of his agents The Code of Commerce further provides that the general liability of a vessel own er extends to losses by fire arising from other than a natural or other excepted cause, whether occurring on the ship, or communicated from other vessel, or fro m the shore. This means that losses by fire are not within the exceptions (act o f God or peril of the sea except by local custom) UNLESS proximately caused by o ne of the exceptions Re: allegation that obligations under Art. 612 of the Code of Commerce are inher ent in the master, the SC said that although such duties are inherent to the mas ter, it does not Far Eastern Shipping Co. v. CA, G.R. No. 130068, Oct. 1, 1998 As a general rule, negligence in order to render a person liable need not be the sole cause of an injury. It is sufficient that his negligence, concurring with one or more efficient causes other than plaintiffs, is the proximate cause of the injury. Accordingly, where several causes combine to produce injuries, a person is not relieved from liability because he is responsible for only one of them, it being sufficient that the negligence of the person charged with injury is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have resulted to as great an extent, and that such cause is not attributable to the person injured. CONCURRENT NEGLIGENCE: It is no defense to one of the concurrent tortfeasors that the injury would not have resulted from his negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other concurrent tortfeasor. Where several causes producing an injury ar e concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which the injury would not h ave happened, the injury may be attributed to all or any of the causes and recov ery may be had against any or all of the responsible persons although under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was more culpable, and that the duty owed by them to the injured person was not the same. No actors neg ligence ceases to be a proximate cause merely because it does not exceed the neg ligence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and is liable as though his acts were the sole cause of the injury. Contributory Negligence where both the plaintiff and the defendant are negligent , the damages to be awarded may be reduced by the courts (Thermochem Inc. v. Nav al, G.R. No. 131541, Oct. 20, 2000) Burden of Proof Q: Who has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent? A: As a general rule, the person alleging negligence has the burden of proving t he same. But there are two notable exceptions to the rule: (1) where the law its elf provides for instances where negligence is presumed; and (2) when the thing speaks for itself (res ipsa loquitor). Exceptions (1) Presumption of Negligence Art. 2184: It is disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months. Art. 2185: Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that person driv ing a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was viol

ating any traffic regulation.

Inter-Orient Maritime Enterprises, Inc. vs. NLRC | Feliciano (1994) RATIO DECIDENDI A ships captain must be accorded a reasonable measure of discretionary authority to decide what the safety of the ship and of its crew and cargo specifically req uires on a stipulated ocean voyage. FACTS Captain Tayong was hired by Trenda World Shipping and Sea Horse Ship Management through Inter-Orient Maritime Enterprises for a period of 1 year. He took command of Inter-Orients vessel in Hong Kong. o He was instructed to replenish bunker and diesel fuel, to sail forthwith to Ri chard Bay, South Africa, and there to load 120, 000 metric tons of coal. Since a storm would hit Hong Kong, precautionary measures were taken to secure t he vessels safety considering that the turbo-charger was leaking and the vessel w as 14 years old. Captain Tayong followed-up the requisition by the former Captain for supplies of oxygen and acetylene, necessary for the welding-repair of the turbo-charger and economizer. The vessel sailed to Singapore. o On the way to Singapore, the vessel stopped in the middle of the ocean for 6 h ours and 45 minutes due to a leaking economizer. o He was instructed to shut down the economizer and use the auxiliary boiler ins tead. When the vessel arrived in Singapore, the Chief Engineer reminded Captain Tayong that the oxygen and acetylene supplies had not been delivered. o Upon inquiry, the Captain was informed that the supplies could only be deliver ed on Aug. 1 as the stores had closed. Captain Tayong called the shipowner, Seahorse Ship Management and informed them that the departure of the vessel for South Africa may be affected because of the delay in the delivery of the supplies. o He was advised to contact Mr. Clark, the Technical Director. o According to Mr. Clark, after being informed that the ship cannot travel witho ut the supplies, Captain Tayong agreed with him when he said by shutting off the water to the turbo chargers and using the auxiliary boilers, there should be no further problem. o According to Captain Tayong, he was informed by Sea Horse to wait for the supp lies. Captain Tayong immediately sailed for South Africa upon the delivery of the supp lies. Upon reaching South Africa, Captain Tayong was instructed to turn-over his post to the new captain. He was thereafter repatriated to the Philippines. o He was not informed of the charges against him. He then instated a complaint for illegal dismissal. ISSUES/HELD WoN Captain Tayong was illegally dismissed? YES. RATIONALE Confidential and managerial employees cannot be arbitrarily dismissed at any tim e, and without cause as reasonably established in an appropriate investigation. o They are also entitled to security of tenure, fair standards of employment and the protection of labor laws. The captain of a vessel is a confidential and managerial employee. A captain commonly performs 3 distinct roles: (1) he is a general agent of the s

hipowner; (2) he is also commander and technical director of the vessel; and (3) he is a representative of the country under whose flag he navigates. o The most important is the role performed by the captain as the commander of th e vessel. Such a role analogous to that of Chief Executive Officer of a present-da y corporate enterprise. A ships captain must be accorded a reasonable measure of discretionary authority to decide what the safety of the ship and of its crew and cargo specifically req uires on a stipulated ocean voyage. o The captain is held responsible for such safety. The captain has control of all departments of service in the vessel, and reasona ble discretion as to its navigation. It is the right and duty of the captain, in the exercise of sound discretion and in good faith, to do all things with respect to the vessel and its equipment an d conduct of the voyage which are reasonably necessary for the protection and pr eservation of the interests under his charge. o It is a basic principle of admiralty law that in navigating a merchantman, the master must be left free to exercise his own best judgment. o The requirements of safe navigation compel us to reject any suggestion that th e judgment and discretion of the captain of a vessel may be confined within a st raight jacket. The master is entitled to delay for such a period as may be reasonable under the circumstances. Captain Tayong had reasonable grounds to believe that the safety of the vessel a nd crew required him to wait for the delivery of the supplies needed. o The vessel had stopped mid-ocean for 6 hours and 45 minutes on its way to Sing apore because of its leaking economizer. o Captain Tayong did not maliciously and arbitrarily delay the voyage to South A frica. The decision of Captain Tayong did not constitute a legal basis for his summary dismissal. Sweet Lines Inc, vs. CA Case Digest Sweet Lines Inc, vs. Court of Appeals (121 SCRA 769) Facts: Herein private respondents purchased first-class tickets from petitioner at the latters office in Cebu City. They were to board M/V Sweet Grace bound for Catbalogan, Western Samar. Instead of departing at the scheduled hour of about m idnight on July 8, 1972, the vessel set sail at 3:00 am of July 9, 1972 only to be towed back to Cebu due to engine trouble, arriving there on the same day at a bout 4:00 pm. The vessel lifted anchor again on July 10, 1972 at around 8:00 am. Instead of docking at Catbalogan (the first port of call), the vessel proceeded direct to Tacloban. Private respondents had no recourse but to disembark and bo ard a ferry boat to Catbalogan. Hence, the suit for breach of contract of carria ge. Issue: Whether or not the mechanical defect constitutes a fortuitous event which would exempt the carrier from liability. Held: No. As found by the trial court and the Court of Appeals, there was no for tuitous event or force majeure which prevented the vessel from fulfilling its un dertaking of taking the private respondents to Catbalogan. In the first place, m echanical defects in the carrier are not considered a caso fortuito that exempts the carrier from responsibility. In the second place, even granting arguendo th at the engine failure was a fortuitous event, it accounted on for the delay of d eparture. When the vessel finally left the port, there was no longer any force m ajeure that justified by-passing a port of call.