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27. VDA. DE NUECA v. MANILA RAILROAD CO.

is accepted as such by the carrier as where he makes a contract for transportation and
presents himself at the proper place and in a proper manner to be transported.
Facts:
Even disregarding the matter of tickets, and assuming Nueca intended to be a passenger, he
- At 3 p.m. on Dec. 22, 1958, Fermin Nueca brought 7 sacks of palay to Manila Railroad was never accepted as such by MRC as he did not present himself at the proper place and in a
Co. (MRC) at its station in Barrio del Rosario, Camarines Sur, to be shipped to the proper manner to be transported.
municipality of Libmanan of the same province.
2. Yes, the liability of railroad companies to persons upon the premises is determined
- He paid P0.70 as freight charge and was issued Way Bill No. 56515. by the general rules of negligence relating to duties of owners/occupiers of property.

- The cargo was loaded on the freight wagon of Train 537. Passengers boarded the While railroad companies are not bound to the same degree of care in regard to strangers who
train and shunting operations started to hook a wagon thereto. are unlawfully upon the premises of its passengers, it may still be liable to such strangers for
negligent or tortious acts.
- Before the train reached the turnoff switch, its passenger coach fell on its side some
40 m from the station. The wagon pinned Nueca, killing him instantly. Here, Nueca was not on the track, but either unlawfully inside the baggage car or beside the
track.
- Nuecas widow and children bring this claim for damages, alleging that the Nueca
was a passenger and his death was caused by MRCs negligence. It is normal for people to walk on the track or roadbed when there is no oncoming train and to
walk beside the track when a train passes. This practice is tolerated by MRC. Generally, MRCs
- MRC disclaimed liability stating: (1) it exercised due care in safeguarding the stations are not enclosed, and is easily accessible to the public.
passengers during the shunting operation, (2) Nueca was not a passenger but a
trespasser, (3) even if Nueca were a passenger, he illegally boarded the train without 3. MRC is negligent; doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applied.
permission by not paying the fare, (4) the mishap was not attributable to any defect
in MRC equipment, (5) that the accident happened due to force majeur. The train was under the complete control of the railroad company at the time of the accident.
The baggage car would not have been derailed if the train had been properly operated.
- MRC presented evidence showing there was no mechanical defect, but it did not
explain why the accident occurred or show that force majeur caused the mishap. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that
prima facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for
- The lower court absolved MRC of liability and held that Nueca was a trespasser since specific proof of negligence.
he did not buy any ticket, and in any case, was not in a proper place for passengers.
4. No.
Issue:
An invitation to stay in the premises is implied from the lack of prohibition to outsiders to keep
1. W/N Nueca was a passenger? NO off the premises, hence, a stranger who is injured by a derailed train while staying beside a
2. W/N MRC is liable? YES railroad track is not guilty of contributory negligence.
3. Was the accident due to MRCs negligence or force majeur? Negligence
4. Is Nueca liable for contributory negligence? NO

Held:

1. No, Nueca was not a passenger thus, MRC did not owe him extraordinary diligence.

A passenger is one who travels in a public conveyance by virtue of a contract, express or


implied, with the carrier as to the payment of the fare, or that which is accepted as an
equivalent.

The relation of passenger and carrier commences when one puts himself in the care of the
carrier, or directly under its control, with the bona fide intention of becoming a passenger, and