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Delgado Bros. Inc v. Home Insurance Co.

G.R. No. L-16567

March 27, 1961
Lessons Applicable: Ancillary Contracts (Transportation)

February 17, 1955: Victor Bijou & Co. shipped at New York for Manila aboard the
vessel S.S. Leoville and consigned to the Judy Philippines, Inc. of Manila, a shipment
of 1 case Linen Handkerchiefs and 2 cases cotton piece goods, for which, the New
York agent of said vessel, the Barber Steamship Lines, Inc., issued Bill of Lading No.

shipment as insured with Home Insurance, Inc. by the shipper and/or


March 30, 1955: vessel arrived at the Port of Manila and delivered
1 case of Linen Handkerchiefs in bad order, with a shortage of 503 yards of Linen
Print Handkerchiefs, to the prejudice, loss and damage of shipper and or consignee
in the sum of P1,287.20 so they filed a claim against Home Insurance Inc.

March 7, 1956: Home Insurance Inc. filed against contractor Delgado Brothers

Trial Court: dismissed the case in favor of Home based on its special defenses
invoked in its answer

since no claim was filed within the 15-day period from the date of the
arrival of the goods before they could file a suit in the court of proper jurisdiction
within 1 year from the date of said arrival at the Port of Manila, it is completely
relieved and released of any and all liability for loss or damage under the law and in
accordance with the pertinent provisions of the management Contract with the
Bureau of Customs, covering the operation of the Arrastre Service for the Port of
Manila; and that petitioner in no way acts as an agent of the carrying vessel or of
the importer or consignee

CA: reversed because of lack of jurisdiction it being a maritime contract should

be handled by the Municipal Court
ISSUE: W/N the case has prescribed according to maritime law (arrastre being a
maritime case)

In case of controversy involving both maritime and nonmaritime subject matter,

where the principal matter involved belongs to the jurisdiction of a court of common
law or of equity, admiralty will not take cognizance of incidental maritime matters
connected therewith but will relegate the whole controversy to the appropriate

Both as to the nature of the functions and the place of their performance (upon
wharves and piers shipside), Brother's services are clearly not maritime but arrastre

they are no different from those of a depositary or warehouseman

To give admiralty jurisdiction over a contract as maritime, such contract must

relate to the trade and business of the sea; it must be essentially and fully maritime
in its character; it must provide for maritime services, maritime transactions, or
maritime casualties.

Delgado Brothers, Inc. has nothing to do with the loading or unloading of

cargoes to and from the ships. Its operation on and its responsibility for the
merchandise and goods begins from the time they are placed upon the wharves or
piers or delivered along sides of ships
Court of First Instance of Manila has jurisdiction in cases where suit is brought
directly against the carrier or ship owner.
Respondent cannot invoke the rule against multiplicity of suits, for the simple
reason that said rule has to be subservient to the superior requirement that the
court must have jurisdiction

July 31, 1981
Plaintiff Jesus Samson, a license aviator (Pilot), was employed by defendant
PAL a few years prior to January 8, 1951 as a regular co-pilot on guaranteed basic
salary of P750 a month. He was paired with pilot Delfin Bustamante.
In December 1950, Samson complained to PAL about the slow reaction and
poor judgment of Bustamante. Notwithstanding said complaint, PAL allowed the
pilot to continue flying.
On January 8, 1951, the two manned the regular PAL afternoon flight from
Manila to Legaspi, with stops at Daet, Camarines Norte, and Pili, Camarines Sur.
Upon making a landing at Daet, the pilot, with his slow reaction and poor judgment,
overshoot the airfield and, as a result of and notwithstanding diligent efforts of
Samson to avert the accident, the airplane crash-landed beyond the runway into the
mangrove. The jolt and impact caused the plaintiff to hit his head upon the front of
the windshield of the plan thereby causing concussions and wounds on the
forehead, with concomitant intense pain.
Issue: WON PAL exercise the needed diligence for a common carrier?
We find the imputation of gross negligence by the CA to PAL for having
allowed Capt. Delfin Bustamante to fly on that fateful day of the accident on January
8, 1951 to be correct:
The pilot was sick. He admittedly had tumor of the nasopharynx (nose). He
is now in the Great Beyond. The spot is very near to the brain and the eyes. Tumor
on the spot will affect the sinus, the breathing, the eyes which are very near it. No
one will certify the fitness to fly a plane of one suffering from the disease.
The fact that Bustamante has a long standing tumor of the nasopharynx for
which reason he was grounded since November 1947 is admitted in the letter of Dr.
Bernardo, PAL company doctor, to the Medical Director of the CAA requesting waiver
of physical standards.

PAL is a common carrier engaged in the business of carrying or transporting

passengers or goods or both, by land, water or air, for compensation, offering their
services to the public, as defined in Art. 1732 of the NCC. The law is clear in
requiring a common carrier to exercise the highest degree of care in the diligence of
its duty and business of carriage and transportation under Art. 1733, 1755 and 1756
of the NCC.
The duty to exercise the utmost diligence on the part of common carriers is
for the safety of the passengers as well as for the members of the crew or the
complement operating the carrier, the airplane in the case at bar. And this must be
so for any omission, lapse or neglect thereof will certainly result to the damage,
prejudice, many injuries and even death to all aboard the plane, passengers and
crew members alike.
Judgment affirmed with slight modifications.