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International Air Transportation Conditions on Imposition of Liability place of business through which the contract has been made,

ough which the contract has been made, or before the


G.R. 171092 Lhuillier v. British Airways (March 15, 2010) court of the place of destination.
Del Castillo, J. 6. Lhuillier argues that her cause of action arose not from the contract of carriage,
but from the tortious conduct committed by airline personnel of respondent in
Lhuillier took British Airway flight 548 from London to Rome. She requested a flight attendant violation of the provisions of the Civil Code on Human Relations.
to assist her in placing her hand-carried luggage in the overhead bin but the latter allegedly a. Since her cause of action was not predicated on the contract of carriage, she
remarked that "If I were to help all 300 passengers in this flight, I would have a broken back!". asserts that she has the option to pursue this case in this jurisdiction pursuant
Lhuillier further alleged that when the plane was about to land in Rome, another flight to Philippine laws.
attendant singled her out from all the passengers in the business class section to lecture on 7. In contrast, British Airways maintains that Lhuilliers claim for damages fell within the
plane safety. Upon arrival in Rome, Lhuillier complained to British Airways ground manager ambit of Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention. As such, the same can only be filed
and demanded an apology. But the latter declared that the flight stewards were only doing before the courts of London, United Kingdom or Rome, Italy.
their job so Lhuillier filed a complaint against British Airways before the Regional Trial Court 8. The RTC dismissed the case recognizing that it does not have jurisdiction because the
(RTC) of Makati City. British Airways filed a MTD on grounds of lack of jurisdiction because Philippines a signatory to the Warsaw Convention and is thus bound to it under
only the courts of London, United Kingdom or Rome, Italy, have jurisdiction over the international law, and said treaty stipulations must be complied with following pacta sunt
complaint for damages pursuant to the Warsaw Convention, Article 28(1). The RTC servanda; hence this petition.
dismissed the case recognizing that it does not have jurisdiction because the Philippines a
signatory to the Warsaw Convention and is thus bound by its provisions. SC agreed. ISSUE with HOLDING
1. W/N Philippine courts have jurisdiction over a tortious conduct committed
against a Filipino citizen and resident by an airline personnel of a foreign carrier
DOCTRINE NO, the Warsaw Convention has the force and effect of law in this country
Art. 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention provides that: An action for damages must be brought a. In Santos III v. NOA we held that: The Republic of the Philippines is a party
at the option of the plaintiff, either before the court of domicile of the carrier or his principal to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International
place of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been Transportation by Air, otherwise known as the Warsaw Convention. It took
made, or before the court of the place of destination. effect on February 13, 1933. The Convention was concurred in by the Senate,
through its Resolution No. 19, on May 16, 1950. The Philippine instrument of
accession was signed by Pres. Elpidio Quirino on October 13, 1950, and was
FACTS deposited with the Polish government on November 9, 1950. The Convention
1. On February 28, 2005, Lhuillier took a British Airways flight 548 from London, United became applicable to the Philippines on February 9, 1951. On September 23,
Kingdom to Rome, Italy. 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay issued Proclamation No. 201, declaring
2. Once on board, she allegedly requested Julian Halliday, one of the flight attendants, to our formal adherence thereto, to the end that the same and every article and
assist her in placing her hand-carried luggage in the overhead bin. clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled in good faith by the Republic of
a. Halliday allegedly refused to help and assist her, and even sarcastically the Philippines and the citizens thereof.
remarked that "If I were to help all 300 passengers in this flight, I would have b. The Convention is thus a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the
a broken back!" Philippine government and, as such, has the force and effect of law in this
3. Lhuillier further alleged that when the plane was about to land in Rome, Italy, another country. The Warsaw Convention applies because the air travel, where the
flight attendant, Nickolas Kerrigan, singled her out from among all the passengers in alleged tortious conduct occurred, was between the United Kingdom and Italy,
the business class section to lecture on plane safety. which are both signatories to the Warsaw Convention. Article 1 of the Warsaw
a. Allegedly, Kerrigan made her appear to the other passengers to be ignorant, Convention provides:
uneducated, stupid, and in need of lecturing on the safety rules and i. This Convention applies to all international carriage of persons,
regulations of the plane. luggage or goods performed by aircraft for reward. It applies equally
4. Upon arrival in Rome, Lhuillier complained to the British Airways ground manager and to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport
demanded an apology. But the latter declared that the flight stewards were "only doing undertaking.
their job; prompting Lhuillier to file herein complaint for damages. ii. For the purposes of this Convention the expression "international
5. On April 28, 2005, Lhuillier filed a Complaint for damages against British Airways before carriage" means any carriage in which, according to the contract
the RTC of Makati City. made by the parties, the place of departure and the place of
a. British Airways filed a Motion to Dismiss on grounds of lack of jurisdiction destination, whether or not there be a break in the carriage or a
over the case and over its person. transhipment, are situated either within the territories of two High
b. It alleged that only the courts of London, United Kingdom or Rome, Italy, Contracting Parties, or within the territory of a single High
have jurisdiction over the complaint for damages pursuant to the Contracting Party, if there is an agreed stopping place within a
Warsaw Convention, Article 28(1) of which provides that: An action for territory subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate or authority
damages must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, either before the court of another Power, even though that Power is not a party to this
of domicile of the carrier or his principal place of business, or where he has a Convention. A carriage without such an agreed stopping place
between territories subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate

1
or authority of the same High Contracting Party is not deemed to be
international for the purposes of this Convention.
c. Thus, when the place of departure and the place of destination in a contract
of carriage are situated within the territories of two High Contracting Parties,
said carriage is deemed an "international carriage". The High Contracting
Parties referred to herein (UK and Italy) were the signatories to the Warsaw
Convention and those which subsequently adhered to it.
d. Under Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, the plaintiff may bring the
action for damages before:
i. the court where the carrier is domiciled;
ii. the court where the carrier has its principal place of business;
iii. the court where the carrier has an establishment by which the
contract has been made; or
iv. the court of the place of destination.
e. In this case, it is not disputed that respondent is a British corporation domiciled
in London, United Kingdom with London as its principal place of business.
Hence, under the first and second jurisdictional rules, the petitioner may bring
her case before the courts of London in the United Kingdom.
f. In the passenger ticket and baggage check presented by both the petitioner
and respondent, it appears that the ticket was issued in Rome, Italy.
Consequently, under the third jurisdictional rule, the petitioner has the option
to bring her case before the courts of Rome in Italy.
g. Finally, both the petitioner and respondent aver that the place of destination
is Rome, Italy, which is properly designated given the routing presented in the
said passenger ticket and baggage check. Accordingly, petitioner may bring
her action before the courts of Rome, Italy.
h. We thus find that the RTC of Makati correctly ruled that it does not have
jurisdiction over the case filed by the petitioner.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The October 14, 2005 Order of the Regional Trial
Court of Makati City, Branch 132, dismissing the complaint for lack of jurisdiction, is
AFFIRMED.

DIGESTER: Liana