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LRTA vs.

Natividad

Mendoza vs. PAL


LRTA vs. Natividad

G.R. No. 145804. February 6, 2003

A common carrier is required by these above statutory provisions to use utmost diligence in carrying
passengers with due regard for all circumstances. This obligation exists not only during the course of the
trip but for so long as the passengers are within its premises where they ought to be in pursuance to
then contract of carriage.

Vitug, J.:

FACTS:

Navidad was drunk when he entered the boarding platform of the LRT. He got into an altercation with
the SG Escartin. They had a fistfight and Navidad fell onto the tracks and was killed when a train came
and ran over him.

The Heirs of Navidad filed a complaint for damages against Escartin, the train driver, (Roman) the LRTA,
the Metro Transit Organization and Prudent Security Agency (Prudent). The trial court found Prudent
and Escartin jointly and severally liable for damages to the heirs. The CA exonerated Prudent and
instead held the LRTA and the train driver Romero jointly and severally liable as well as removing the
award for compensatory damages and replacing it with nominal damages.

The reasoning of the CA was that a contract of carriage already existed between Navidad and LRTA (by
virtue of his having purchased train tickets and the liability was caused by the mere fact of Navidad's
death after being hit by the train being managed by the LRTA and operated by Roman. The CA also
blamed LRTA for not having presented expert evidence showing that the emergency brakes could not
have stopped the train on time.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether or not LRTA and/or Roman is liable for the death.

(2) Whether or not Escartin and/or Prudent are liable.

(3) Whether or not nominal damages may coexist with compensatory damages.

HELD:

(1) Yes. The foundation of LRTA's liability is the contract of carriage and its obligation to indemnify the
victim arising from the breach of that contract by reason of its failure to exercise the high diligence
required of a common carrier.

(2) Fault was not established. Liability will be based on Tort under Art. 2176 of the New Civil Code.

(3) No. It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with compensatory damages.
Liability of LRTA Arts. 1755,1756, 1759 and 1763 of the New Civil Code

Art. 1763 renders a common carrier liable for death of or injury to passengers (a) through the negligence
or wilful acts of its employees or (b) on account of wilful 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. In case of such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to have been at
fault or been negligent, and by simple proof of injury, the passenger is relieved of the duty to still
establish the fault or negligence of the carrier or of its employees and the burden shifts upon the carrier
to prove that the injury is due to an unforeseen event or to force majeure.

Liability of Security Agency If Prudent is to be held liable, it would be for a tort under Art. 2176 in
conjunction with Art. 2180. Once the fault of the employee Escartin is established, the employer,
Prudent, would be held liable on the presumption that it did not exercise the diligence of a good father
of the family in the selection and supervision of its employees.

Relationship between contractual and non-contractual breach How then must the liability of the
common carrier, on the one hand, and an independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? It
would be solidary. A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the same act or omission
causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 of the
Civil Code can well apply. In fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is that
which breaches the contract. Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a breach of contract
would have itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no contract existed between
the parties, the contract can be said to have been breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to
apply.

Nominal Damages - The award of nominal damages in addition to actual damages is untenable. Nominal
damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the
defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for
any loss suffered by him. It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with
compensatory damages. The award was deleted.
JOSE MENDOZA
vs.
PHILIPPINE AIR LINES, INC.

G.R. No. L-3678 February 29, 1952

RIGHT TO PROMPT DELIVERY.Common carriers are not obligated by law to carry and to deliver
merchandise, and persons are not vested with the right to prompt delivery, unless such common carriers
previously assume the obligation. Said right and obligations are created by a specific contract entered
into by the parties

MONTEMAYOR, J.

FACTS:

In the year 1948, appellant Jose Mendoza was the owner of the Cita Theater located in the City of Naga,
Camarines Sur. The fiesta or town holiday of the City of Naga, held on September 17 and 18, yearly, was
usually attended by a great many people. As a good businessman, appellant, taking advantage of these
circumstances, decided to exhibit a film which would fit the occasion, he contracted with the LVN
pictures, Inc., a movie producer in Manila for him to show during the town fiesta the Tagalog film
entitled "Himala ng Birhenan and made extensive preparations. In pursuance of the agreement between
the LVN Pictures Inc. and Mendoza, the former on September 17th, 1948, delivered to the defendant
Philippine Airlines (PAL) the film. The can of film was supposed to be loaded on the plane and should
have been delivered at around 4pm of the same day, but due to the negligence of the employees of PAL
the film was not loaded. The can of film was found a day after the fiesta causing Mendoza to miss the
opportunity to realize large profit. To recoup his losses, Mendoza brought an action against PAL.

ISSUE:

Whether or not common carriers are obliged to prompt delivery of goods.

HELD:

No. Common carriers are not obligated by law to carry and to deliver merchandise, and persons are not
vested with the right of prompt delivery, unless such common carriers previously assume the obligation.
Said rights and obligations are created by a specific contract entered into by the parties.

Where failure to exhibit films on a certain day would spell substantial damages or considerable loss of
profits, including waste of efforts on preparations and expenses incurred in advertisements, exhibitors,
for their security, may either get hold of the films well ahead of the time of exhibition in order to make
allowance for any hitch in the delivery, or else enter into a special contract or make a suitable
arrangement with the common carrier for the prompt delivery of the films, calling the attention of the
carrier to the circumstances surrounding the case and the approximate amount of damages to be
suffered in case of delay.