Government v. Ynchausti (G.R. No. 14191)

Facts:

Plaintiff shipped cargo of roofing tiles from Manila to Iloilo on a vessel belonging to the defendant. The tiles were delivered by the defendant to the consignee of the plaintiff. Upon delivery it was found that some of the tiles had been damaged. Plaintiff moved to recover the sum amount equivalent to the damages but the lower court rendered judgment against it and in favor of defendant absolving the latter from all liability.

Issue:

Whether or not defendant may be held liable

Ruling: NO.

Finding as we do that the tiles in question were shipped at the owner’s risk, under the law in this jurisdiction, the carrier is only liable where the evidence shows that he was guilty of some negligence and that the damages claimed were the result of such negligence. As was said above, the plaintiff offered no proof whatever to show negligence on the part of the defendant.

The defendant herein proved, and the plaintiff did not attempt to dispute, that the tiles in question were of a brittle and fragile nature and that they were delivered by the plaintiff to the defendant without any packing or protective covering. The defendant also offered proof to show that there was no negligence on its part, by showing that the tiles were loaded, stowed, and discharged in a careful and diligent manner. In this jurisdiction there is no presumption of negligence on the part of the carriers in case like the present. The plaintiff, not having proved negligence on the part of the defendant, is not entitled to recover damages.

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