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TRANSPORTATION TESORO 3D (ATENEO LAW 2014) Arboladura, Becina, Certeza, Confstantino, Ferrer, Galleon, Ilano, Leonardo, Magbanua, Pieraz,

az, Pozon, Saile, Salva, Tiu

VDA. DE NUECA v. MANILA RAILROAD CO. Facts: At 3 p.m. on Dec. 22, 1958, Fermin Nueca brought 7 sacks of palay to Manila Railroad Co. (MRC) at its station in Barrio del Rosario, Camarines Sur, to be shipped to the municipality of Libmanan of the same province. He paid P 0.70 as freight charge and was issued Way Bill No. 56515. The cargo was loaded on the freight wagon of Train 537. Passengers boarded the train and shunting operations started to hook a wagon thereto. Before the train reached the turnoff switch, its passenger coach fell on its side some 40 m from the station. The wagon pinned Nueca, killing him instantly. Nuecas widow and children bring this claim for damages, alleging that the Nueca was a passenger and his death was caused by MRCs negligence. MRC disclaimed liability stating: (1) it exercised due care in safeguarding the passengers during the shunting operation, (2) Nueca was not a passenger but a trespasser, (3) even if Nueca were a passenger, he illegally boarded the train without permission by not paying the fare, (4) the mishap was not attributable to any defect in MRC equipment, (5) that the accident happened due to force majeur.

MRC presented evidence showing there was no mechanical defect, but it did not explain why the accident occurred or show that force majeur caused the mishap. The lower court absolved MRC of liability and held that Nueca was a trespasser since he did not buy any ticket, and in any case, was not in a proper place for passengers.

Issue: 1. W/N Nueca was a passenger? 2. W/N MRC is liable? 3. Was the accident due to MRCs negligence or force majeur? 4. Is Nueca liable for contributory negligence? Held: 1. No, Nueca was not a passenger thus, MRC did not owe him extraordinary diligence. A passenger is one who travels in a public conveyance by virtue of a contract, express or implied, with the carrier as to the payment of the fare, or that which is accepted as an equivalent. The relation of passenger and carrier commences when one puts himself in the care of the carrier, or directly under its control, with the bona fide intention of becoming a passenger, and is accepted as such by the carrier as where he makes a contract for trasportation and presents himself at the proper place and in a proper manner to be transported.

TRANSPORTATION TESORO 3D (ATENEO LAW 2014) Arboladura, Becina, Certeza, Confstantino, Ferrer, Galleon, Ilano, Leonardo, Magbanua, Pieraz, Pozon, Saile, Salva, Tiu

Even disregarding the matter of tickets, and assuming Nueca intended to be a passenger, he was never accepted as such by MRC as he did not present himself at the proper place and in a proper manner to be transported. 2. Yes, the liability of railroad companies to persons upon the premises is determined by the general rules of negligence relating to duties of owners/occupiers of property. While railroad companies are not bound to the same degree of care in regard to strangers who are unlawfully upon the premises of its passengers, it may still be liable to such strangers for negligent or tortious acts. Here, Nueca was not on the track, but either unlawfully inside the baggage car or beside the track. It is normal for people to walk on the track or roadbed when there is no oncoming train and to walk beside the track when a train passes. This practice is tolerated by MRC. Generally, MRCs stations are not enclosed, and is easily accessible to the public. 3. MRC is negligent; doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applied. The train was under the complete control of the railroad company at the time of the accident. The baggage car would not have been derailed if the train had been properly operated. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence.

4. No. An invitation to stay in the premises is implied from the lack of prohibition to outsiders to keep off the premises, hence, a stranger who is injured by a derailed train while staying beside a railroad track is not guilty of contributory negligence. Note: Our law on common carriers is lifted from AngloAmerican statutes.