Delsan Transport Lines vs C & a Construction GR 156034

March 18, 2018 | Author: Fatima Zyra Rubillos Macapugas | Category: Negligence, Common Law, Private Law, Justice, Crime & Justice
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Delsan Transport Lines vs C & a Construction GR 156034...


6. DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC., vs. C & A Construction G.R. No. 156034. October 1, 2003 Facts: C&A Construction (C & A for brevity) was engaged by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to construct a deflector wall at the Vitas Reclamation Area in Vitas, Tondo Manila. M/V Delsan Express, a ship owned and operated by petitioner Delsan Transport Lines, Inc., (Delsan) anchored at the Navotas Fish Port for the purpose of installing a cargo pump and clearing the cargo oil tank. At around 12:00 midnight of October 20, 1994, Captain Demetrio T. Jusep of M/V Delsan Express received a report from his radio head operator in Japan that a typhoon was going to hit Manila in about eight (8) hours. At approximately 8:35 in the morning of the next day, Captain Jusep tried to seek shelter at the North Harbor but could not enter the area because it was already congested. At 10:00 am., Captain Jusep decided to drop anchor at the vicinity of Vitas mouth which is 4 miles away from a Napocor power barge. At that time, the waves were already reaching 8 to 10 feet high. Captain Jusep ordered his crew to go full ahead to counter the wind which was dragging the ship towards the Napocor power barge. To avoid collision, Captain Jusep ordered a full stop of the vessel. He succeeded in avoiding the power barge, but when the engine was re-started and the ship was maneuvered full astern, it hit the deflector wall constructed by (C & A). C&A demanded payment of the damage from Delsan but the latter refused to pay. Hence, the complaint for damages with the RTC. RTC ruled against C&A and in favor of Delsan stating absence of negligence. The CA reversed. Hence, this petition. Issues: 1. WON Captain Jusep was negligent. 2. WON Delsan is solidary liable under Article 2180 of the NCC Ruling: 1. Yes. Captain Jusep was negligent in deciding to transfer the vessel only at 8:35 in the morning of the next day when as early as 12:00 in the midnight beforehand, he received a report from his radio head operator in Japan that a typhoon was going to hit Manila after 8 hours. This, notwithstanding, he did nothing, until 8:35 of the next day. The finding of negligence cannot be rebutted upon proof that the ship could not have sought refuge at the North Harbor even if the transfer was done earlier. It is not the speculative success or failure of a decision that determines the existence of negligence in the present case, but the failure to take immediate and appropriate action under the circumstances. When he ignored the weather report notwithstanding reasonable foresight of harm, Captain Jusep showed an inexcusable lack of care and caution which an ordinary prudent person would have observed in the same situation. Furthermore, the “emergency rule” is not applicable in this case because the danger where Captain Jusep found himself was caused by his own negligence.

2. Yes. Delsan is vicariously liable for the negligent act of Captain Jusep. Under Article 2180, an employer may be held solidarily liable for the negligent act of his employee. Whenever an employee’s negligence causes damage or injury to another, there instantly arises a presumption juris tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligence in the selection or supervision of its employees. The proper defense for the employer to raise so that he may escape liability is to prove that he exercised the diligence of the good father of the family to prevent damage not only in the selection of his employees but also in adequately supervising them over their work. Delsan cannot claim that it exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees. In this case, Delsan presented no evidence that it formulated rules/guidelines for the proper performance of functions of its employees and that it strictly implemented and monitored compliance therewith. Failing to discharge the burden, Delsan should therefore be held liable for the negligent act of Captain Jusep. WHEREFORE, petition DENIED.

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