The appellate court declared correct the non-application by the trial court of the limited liability of therein defendant-appellant under the "Conditions of the Contract" contained in the air waybill
Plaintiff Gilda Mejia testified that sometime on January 27, 1990, she took defendant's plane from San Francisco, U.S.A. for Manila, Philippines
Amongst her baggages (sic) was a slightly used microwave oven with the brand name "Sharp" under PAL Air Waybill No. 0-79-1013008-3
When shipped, defendant's office at San Francisco inspected it. It was in good condition with its front glass intact. She did not declare its value upon the advice of defendant's personnel at San Francisco.
When she arrived in Manila, she gave her sister Concepcion C. Diño authority to claim her baggag(e)
and took a connecting flight for Bacolod City. When Concepcion C. Diño claimed the baggag(e)
with defendant, then with the Bureau of Customs, the front glass of the microwave oven was already broken and cannot be repaired because of the danger of radiation. They demanded from defendant thru Atty. Paco P30,000.00 for the damages although a brand new one costs P40,000.00, but defendant refused to pay.
Despite demand (Exh. "E") by counsel, defendant still refused to pay.
The damaged oven is still with defendant. Plaintiff is engaged in (the) catering and restaurant business. Hence, the necessity of the oven.
Defendant Philippine Airlines thru its employees Rodolfo Pandes and Vicente Villaruz posited that plaintiff's claim was not investigated until after the filing of the formal claim on August 13, 1990
During the investigations, plaintiff failed to submit positive proof of the value of the cargo. Hence her claim was denied. Also plaintiff's claim was filed out of time under paragraph 12, a (1) of the Air Waybill
which provides: "(a) the person entitled to delivery must make a complaint to the carrier in writing in case: (1) of visible damage to the goods, immediately after discovery of the damage and at the latest within 14 days from the receipt of the goods.
Court of Appeals similarly ruled in favor of private respondent by affirming in full the trial court's judgment in Civil Case No. 6210, with costs against petitioner.
Consequently, petitioner now impugns respondent appellate court's ruling insofar as it agrees with (1) the conclusions of the trial court that since the air waybill is a contract of adhesion
(2) the finding of the trial court that herein petitioner's liability is not limited by the provisions of the air waybill; and (3) the award by the trial court to private respondent of moral and exemplary damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses.
the rule that while the Warsaw Convention has the force and effect of law in the Philippines, being a treaty commitment by the government and as a signatory thereto, the same does not operate as an exclusive enumeration of the instances when a carrier shall be liable for breach of contract or as an absolute limit of the extent of liability, nor does it preclude the operation of the Civil Code or other pertinent laws.
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