Like us on Facebook

Please wait..10 Seconds Cancel

Transportation Case Digest: Dangwa Transportation Co. Inc. v. CA et al. (1991)

G.R. No. 95582  October 7, 1991
Lessons Applicable: Actionable Document (Transportation)
Laws Applicable: 
Art. 1733, Art. 1755

  • May 13, 1985: Theodore M. Lardizabal was driving a passenger bus belonging to Dangwa Transportation Co. Inc. (Dangwa)  
    • The bus was at full stop bet. Bunkhouses 53 and 54 when Pedro alighted
      • Pedro Cudiamat fell from the platform of the bus when it suddenly accelerated forward
        • Pedro was ran over by the rear right tires of the vehicle
    • Theodore first brought his other passengers and cargo to their respective destinations before bringing Pedro to Lepanto Hospital where he expired
  • Private respondents filed a complaint for damages against Dangwa for the death of Pedro Cudiamat
    • Dangwa: observed and continued to observe the extraordinary diligence required in the operation of the co. and the supervision of the employees even as they are not absolute insurers of the public at large
  • RTC: in favour of Dangwa holding Pedrito as negligent and his negligence was the cause of his death but still ordered to pay in equity P 10,000 to the heirs of Pedrito
  • CA: reversed and ordered to pay Pedrito indemnity, moral damages, actual and compensatory damages and cost of the suit

ISSUE: W/N Dangwa should be held liable for the negligence of its driver Theodore

HELD: YES. CA affirmed.
  • A public utility once it stops, is in effect making a continuous offer to bus riders (EVEN when moving as long as it is still slow in motion)
    • Duty of the driver: do NOT make acts that would have the effect of increasing peril to a passenger while he is attempting to board the same
      • Premature acceleration of the bus in this case = breach of duty
  • Stepping and standing on the platform of the bus is already considered a passenger and is entitled all the rights and protection pertaining to such a contractual relation
    • Duty extends to boarding and alighting
  • GR: By contract of carriage, the carrier assumes the express obligation to transport the passenger to his destination safely and observe extraordinary diligence with a due regard for all the circumstances, and any injury that might be suffered by the passenger is right away attributable to the fault or negligence of the carrier
  • EX: carrier to prove that it has exercised extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Art. 1733 and 1755 of the Civil Code
  • Failure to immediately bring Pedrito to the hospital despite his serious condition = patent and incontrovertible proof of their negligence
    • Hospital was in Bunk 56
    • 1st proceeded to Bunk 70 to allow a passenger (who later called the family of Pedrito on his own will) to alight and deliver a refrigerator
  • In tort, actual damages is based on net earnings