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Schmitz Transport & Brokerage Corporation vs. Transport Venture, Inc. (458 SCRA 557)

10 Dec

FACTS:

Petitioner, who was in charge of securing requisite clearances, receive the cargoes from the shipside and deliver it to the consignee  Little Giant Steel Pipe Corporation warehouse at Cainta, Rizal, hired the services of respondent Transport Venture Incorporation (TVI)’s tugboat for the hot rolled steel sheets in coil. Coils were unloaded to the barge but there was no tugboat to pull the barge to the pier. Due to strong waves caused by approaching storm, the barge was abandoned. Later, the barge capsized washing 37 coils into the sea. Consignee was executed a subrogation receipt by Industrial Insurance after the former’s filing of formal claim. Industrial Insurance filed a complaint against both petitioner and respondent herein. The trial court held that petitioner and respondent TVI were jointly and severally liable for the subrogation.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the loss of cargoes was due to fortuitous event.

RULING:

NO. In order, to be considered a fortuitous event: (1) the cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence, or the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation, must be independent of human will; (2) it must be impossible to foresee the event which constitute the caso fortuito, or if it can be foreseen it must be impossible to avoid; (3) the occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in any manner; and (4) the obligor must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor.

Petitioner and respondent TVI were jointly and severally liable for the amount of paid by the consignee plus interest computed from the date of decision of the trial court.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Case Digests, Civil Law

 

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