British Airways v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 121824, 29 January 1998, 285 SCRA 450

FACTS:

On April 16, 1989, Mahtani is on his way to Bombay, India from Manila. His trip was Manila-Hong Kong via PAL and then Hong Kong-India via British Airways. Prior to his departure, he checked in two pieces of luggage containing his clothing and other personal effects, confident that the same would be transferred to his BA flight. Unfortunately, when he arrived in India, he discovered that his luggage was missing.
The RTC awarded Mahtani damages which was affirmed by CA.

ISSUE:

Whether or not in a contract of air carriage a declaration by the passenger is needed to recover a greater amount?

RULING:

American jurisprudence provides that an air carrier is not liable for the loss of baggage in an amount in excess of the limits specified in the tariff which was filed with the proper authorities, such tariff being binding on the passenger regardless of the passenger’s lack of knowledge thereof or assent thereto. This doctrine is recognized in this jurisdiction.
The inescapable conclusion that BA had waived the defense of limited liability when it allowed Mahtani to testify as to the actual damages he incurred due to misplacement of his luggage, without any objection.
It is a well-settled doctrine that where the proponent offers evidence deemed by counsel of the adverse party to be inadmissible for any reason, the latter has the right to object. However, such right is a mere privilege which can be waived. Necessarily, the objection must be made at the earliest opportunity, in case of silence when there is opportunity to speak may operate as a waiver of objections.

*Case digest by Sol Christian C. Sayre, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019

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