11. 134362-1987-Sea-Land_Service_Inc._v._Intermediate20190415-5466-137s43n.pdf - FIRST DIVISION[G.R No 75118 SEA-LAND SERVICE INC petitioner vs

11. 134362-1987-Sea-Land_Service_Inc._v._Intermediate20190415-5466-137s43n.pdf

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FIRST DIVISION [G.R. No. 75118. August 31, 1987.] SEA-LAND SERVICE, INC. SEA-LAND SERVICE, INC., petitioner , vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and PAULINO CUE, doing business under the name and style of COURT and PAULINO CUE, doing business under the name and style of "SEN HIAP HING, "SEN HIAP HING," respondents . D E C I S I O N D E C I S I O N NARVASA NARVASA, J p : The main issue here is whether or not the consignee of seaborne freight is bound by stipulations in the covering bill of lading limiting to a 7xed amount the liability of the carrier for loss or damage to the cargo where its value is not declared in the bill. The factual antecedents, for the most part, are not in dispute. On or about January 8, 1981, Sea-Land Service, Inc. (Sea-Land for brevity), a foreign shipping and forwarding company licensed to do business in the Philippines, received from Seaborne Trading Company in Oakland, California a shipment consigned to Sen Hiap Hing, the business name used by Paulino Cue in the wholesale and retail trade which he operated out of an establishment located on Borromeo and Plaridel Streets, Cebu City. The shipper not having declared the value of the shipment, no value was indicated in the bill of lading. The bill described the shipment only as "8 CTNS on 2 SKIDS-FILES." 1 Based on volume measurements Sea-land charged the shipper the total amount of US$209.28 2 for freightage and other charges. The shipment was loaded on board the MS Patriot, a vessel owned and operated by Sea-Land, for discharge at the Port of Cebu. The shipment arrived in Manila on February 12, 1981, and there discharged in Container No. 310996 into the custody of the arrastre contractor and the customs and port authorities. 3 Sometime between February 13 and 16, 1981, after the shipment had been transferred, along with other cargoes to Container No. 40158 near Warehouse 3 at Pier 3 in South Harbor, Manila, awaiting trans-shipment to Cebu, it was stolen by pilferers and has never been recovered. 4 On March 10, 1981, Paulino Cue, the consignee, made formal claim upon Sea- Land for the value of the lost shipment allegedly amounting to P179,643.48. 5 Sea-Land offered to settle for US$4,000.00, or its then Philippine peso equivalent of P30,600.00. asserting that said amount represented its maximum liability for the loss of the shipment under the package limitation clause in the covering bill of lading. 6 Cue rejected the offer and thereafter brought suit for damages against Sea-Land in the then Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch X. 7 Said Court, after trial, rendered judgment in favor of Cue, sentencing Sea-Land to pay him P186,048.00 representing the Philippine currency value of the lost cargo, P55,814.00 for unrealized pro7t with one (1%) percent monthly interest from the 7ling of the complaint until fully paid, P25,000.00 for attorney's fees and P2,000.00 as litigation expenses.
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