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Was the damage caused to the cargo or the

NORTH AMERICA sinking of the barge where it was loaded due to a
fortuitous event, storm or natural disaster that
FACTS: would exempt the carrier from liability
1. Macleod and Company of the PH contracted
Compaia Maritima, a shipping corporation, for HELD:
the shipment of 2,645 bales of hemp from the First Issue: YES
formers private pier at Davao City to Manila and 1. The patrons of the barges were employees of the
for their subsequent transfer to Boston. carrier with due authority to undertake the
2. The hemp was loaded in 2 barges, and the patron transportation and to sign the documents that
who manned these barges issued a carrier receipt may be necessary therefor so much so that the
which states that it is received in behalf of the SS patron of the barge signed the receipt (see fact
Bowline Knot (ship of Compania) for #2).
transshipment at Manila 2. The fact that the carrier sent its lighters free of
3. Thereafter, the 2 loaded barges left Macleods charge to take the hemp from Macleods wharf
wharf and proceeded to and moored at the does not in any way impair the contract of
governments marginal wharf. During that night, carriage already entered into between the carrier
the barges sank resulting in the damage or loss of and the shipper, for that preparatory step is but
1, 162 bales of hemp. part and parcel of said contract of carriage.
4. Macleod notified the carriers main office of its 3. Once the hemp was delivered to the carriers
liability. employees, the rights and obligations of the
5. Since Macleod insured the hemp from the parties attached thereby subjecting them to the
Petitioner, the former filed a claim for the principles and usages of maritime law.
damaged hemp with the latter which was granted. 4. Therefore, here we have a complete contract of
6. Petitioner being subrogated of the right of carriage the consummation of which has already
Macleod, filed a collection of sum of money begun: the shipper delivering the cargo to the
against Compania since the latter refused to pay carrier, and the latter taking possession thereof by
the damage. placing it on a barge manned by its authorized
7. TC: ordered to pay petitioner. employees.
8. CA: affirmed. 5. The liability and responsibility of the carrier under
a contract for carriage of goods commence on
ISSUE: their actual delivery to, or receipt by, the carrier
1. Was there a contract of carriage between the or an authorized agent.
carrier and the shipper even if the loss occurred 6. Delivery to a lighter (barge) in charge of a vessel
when the hemp was loaded on a barge and was for shipment on the vessel, where it is a custom to
not actually loaded in the SS Bowline Knot (ship) deliver that way, is a good delivery and binds the
which would carry the hemp to Manila? vessel, the liability commencing at the time.
7. Test on whether the relation of shipper and carrier loss was due, not to force majeure, but to lack of
had been established: Had the control and adequate precautions or measures taken by the
possession of the goods had been carrier to prevent the loss.
completely surrender by the shipper to the a. The ill-fated barge had cracks on its bottom
company? which admitted sea water in the same
8. Bill of Lading is not indispensable to the contract manner as rain entered "thru tank man-
of carriage. holes"
b. It should be noted that on the night of the
Second Issue: NO nautical accident there was no storm, flood,
1. The evidence fails to bear this out. Rather, it or other natural disaster or calamity.
shows that the mishap that caused the damage or