G.R. No. L-20099, 7 July 1966, 17 SCRA 606


Shewaram, petitioner herein, is a Hindu from Davao. He boarded a PAL plane for a trip to Manila. He checked in 3 pieces of baggage, a suitcase and 2 other pieces. One of the suitcases were mistagged by the defendant and as a result the said suitcase did not arrive with him in Manila. Among his things in the suitcase was a Rollflex camera and Transistor Radio 7. His baggage was later on returned but the camera and radio were missing. He demanded indemnity for his loss from PAL. The latter offered to pay P100 for his loss but Shewaram. Defendant herein claimed that the PAL ticket, on the reverse side, stated in fine print that if the value of baggage is not stated, and the baggage is lost, the maximum liability of PAL is P100.00. If value in excess of P100.00 is stated, PAL will charge extra because PAL is being held liable for an amount exceeding P100.00. Shewaram rejected the offer and demanded full payment of P800.00 for the amount of the things he lost. PAL refused to do so.


Whether the stipulation limiting the liability of PAL shall apply in the case at bar.


The Court held that PAL is liable for the loss of the petitioner herein. The stipulation in at the back of the ticket shall not be binding against the petitioner. Article 1750 of the NCC provides that the pecuniary liability of a common carrier may, by contract, be limited to a fixed amount. It is required, however, that the contract must be “reasonable and just under the circumstances and has been fairly and freely agreed upon.” In this case, the court believes that the requirements of said article have not been met. It cannot be said that the petitioner had actually entered into a contract with the PAL, embodying the conditions as printed at the back of the ticket stub that was to the petitioner. The fact that those conditions are printed at the back of the ticket stub in letters so small that they are hard to read would not warrant the presumption that the petitioner was aware of those conditions such that he had “fairly and freely agreed” to those conditions.

*Case digest by Margaret R. Manjaal, LLB-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019