Cangco vs. MRR

July 26, 2017 | Author: Cristina Gonda | Category: Negligence, Civil Law (Legal System), Private Law, Crime & Justice, Justice
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Cangco, Jose vs. Manila Railroad Co. 38 Phil 768, October 1918, J. Fisher.

Facts: 1. Jose Cangco is a clerk working in Manila Railroad Co. 2. As an employee, he was given a pass that entitles him to ride the company’s train free of charge. 3. On the night of Jan. 20, 1915, Cangco was riding the train on his way home. When it reached the San Mateo station (where he lives) he stood up and positioned himself near the exit. A person gets off before him. When he was about to come down, he was suppose to step on a certain platform. However, that day, there were watermelons piled in that platform and he stepped on them. (The watermelons are there because it was harvest season. It was ready for shipment to the market.) 4. Since the place was lighted dimly, he couldn’t properly see if the watermelons were there or not. Also, when he got off, the train was still moving. 5. As a consequence of his fall, he was drawn to the platform and was crushed by a moving car. 6. He was taken to a hospital where is arms were amputated. Afterwards, he was taken to another hospital where his shoulders were also amputated. All in all, the expenses had a total of Php 790. 25. 7. He filed a case against MRR in CFI Manila to recover damages. However, CFI ruled in favor of MRR because there was CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE on the part of Cangco. CFI ruled that while MRR was negligent by placing the watermelons on the platform and the train failing to bring him safely, Cangco failed to exercise due caution in alighting from the train. Issue: • Is Cangco barred from recovering damages against MRR because of his own CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE? Ruling: • NO, he is not barred from recovering damages. (SC reversed the decision of the CFI) • SC said that the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY of MRR should be examined separately from the CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE of Cangco. • On the one hand, there is the contract of carriage on the part of MRR to bring Cangco safely to his destination. There is the presumption of responsibility on the part of MRR to make sure that in order to bring Cangco and other passengers safely to their destination, MRR should have exercised the proper discretion in selecting and directing its employees and workers. MRR is deemed negligent if is proven that they failed in their discretion in selecting and directing its employees. o To prove that MRR exercised DILIGENCE in this area would exonerate MRR from liability. • On the other hand, Cangco alighted from the train when the train was still moving. It is negligence on his part to have not waited the train to stop before he alighted. In that way, he should’ve seen the pile of watermelons piled in the platform. • However, in the case at bar, there were circumstances to prove that MRR did not exercise diligence. FIRST, “the place, as we have already stated, was dark, or dimly lighted, and this also is proof of a failure upon the part of the defendant in the performance of a duty owing by it to the plaintiff; for if it were by any possibility concede that it had right to pile these sacks in the

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path of alighting passengers, the placing of them adequately so that their presence would be revealed.” SECOND, “it may be noted that the place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this station. There could, therefore, be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of the step which he was required to take or the character of the platform where he was alighting.” As a conclusion, the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly under way was not characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of contributory negligence. With this, MRR should pay the damages. They are ordered to pay Php 3, 290. 25 to Cangco.

DISSENTING, Malcolm and Johnson: •

With one sentence in the majority decision, we are of full accord, namely, "It may be admitted that had plaintiff waited until the train had come to a full stop before alighting, the particular injury suffered by him could not have occurred." With the general rule relative to a passenger's contributory negligence, we are likewise in full accord, namely, "An attempt to alight from a moving train is negligence per se." Adding these two points together, should be absolved from the complaint, and judgment affirmed.

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