G.R. No. 179446. January 09, 2011 (Case Brief / Digest)

### Title: Loadmasters Customs Services, Inc. vs. Glodel Brokerage Corporation and R&B Insurance Corporation

### Facts:
This case revolves around the loss of shipment insured by R&B Insurance Corporation for Columbia Wire and Cable Corporation, wherein Loadmasters Customs Services, Inc., was engaged by Glodel Brokerage Corporation to transport the insured cargo. Upon the loss of part of the shipment, R&B Insurance compensated Columbia and then sought reimbursement by filing a complaint against both Loadmasters and Glodel in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. The RTC held Glodel liable, dismissing claims against Loadmasters. Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA), which found Loadmasters equally liable, leading to the present petition for review on certiorari by the Supreme Court.

### Issues:
1. Whether Loadmasters can be held liable to Glodel without a cross-claim filed against it.
2. Whether Loadmasters can be legally considered as an agent of Glodel.
3. The nature of liability of Loadmasters and Glodel for the lost cargo.

### Court’s Decision:
The Supreme Court clarified that Loadmasters and Glodel, being in the business of transporting goods, are both considered common carriers and are therefore held to an extraordinary standard of diligence. The Court found that Loadmasters and Glodel are jointly and severally liable to R&B Insurance for the loss of the cargo due to their failure to observe the extraordinary diligence expected of them. It rejected Loadmasters’ contention that it was not an agent of Glodel, stating no principal-agent relationship existed but emphasized their direct and independent contractual liabilities. The Supreme Court also addressed the procedural issue about Glodel’s failure to file a cross-claim against Loadmasters and proceeded to hold that both were liable for the loss, regardless of this procedural lapse.

### Doctrine:
– **Common Carriers**: Both Loadmasters and Glodel were deemed common carriers, subject to the duty of observing extraordinary diligence over the goods transported from the moment of acceptance until delivery.
– **Joint and Several Liability in Quasi-Delicts**: When damage results from the concurrent negligence of multiple parties, each party is liable for the entirety of the damages, in accordance with Article 2194 of the New Civil Code, establishing their solidary liability.

### Class Notes:
– **Common Carriers**: Defined under Article 1732 of the Civil Code, emphasizing their obligation to exercise extraordinary diligence as per Article 1733.
– **Quasi-Delicts**: Article 2176 defines this as the act of causing damage to another through fault or negligence not arising from pre-existing contractual relations.
– **Agency**: Defined in Article 1868 of the Civil Code, emphasizing on consent, object, representation, and authority as essential elements.
– **Solidary Liability**: Under Article 2194, when several acts of negligence result in a singular injury, each negligent party is liable for the entirety of the damages.

### Historical Background:
This case illustrates the robust application of the principle of extraordinary diligence required from common carriers in Philippine jurisprudence. It underscores the policy of protecting the public and the consignees from the potential negligence of entities engaged in public transportation and service. The Supreme Court’s decision reinforces this principle by ensuring that those responsible for the transport of goods are held to the highest standard of care, reflecting a commitment to ensuring the integrity and safety of transported commodities in commercial transactions.


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