Insurance Digest

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Topics: Insurance
ABOITIZ SHIPPING CORPORATION V NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY, LTD.
[CITATION]
QUISUMBING; May 2, 2006

NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS
- Societe Francaise Des Colloides loaded a cargo of textiles and auxiliary chemicals from France on board a vessel owned by Franco-Belgian Services, Inc.
- The cargo was consigned to General Textile, Inc., in Manila and insured by respondent New India Assurance Company, Ltd.
- While in Hongkong, the cargo was transferred to M/V P. Aboitiz for transshipment to Manila.
- Before departing, the vessel was advised that it was safe to travel to its destination, but while at sea, the vessel received a report of a typhoon moving within its path.
- To avoid the typhoon, the vessel changed its course. However, it was still at the fringe of the typhoon when its hull leaked.
- On October 31, 1980, the vessel sank, but the captain and his crew were saved.
- On November 3, 1980, the captain of M/V P. Aboitiz filed his “Marine Protest”, stating that the wind force was at 10 to 15 knots at the time the ship foundered and described the weather as “moderate breeze, small waves, becoming longer, fairly frequent white horse
- Petitioner notified the consignee of the total loss of the vessel and all of its cargoes.
- General Textile, lodged a claim with respondent for the amount of its loss.
- Respondent paid General Textile and was subrogated to the rights of the latter.
- Respondent hired a surveyor to investigate, and the same concluded that the cause was the flooding of the holds brought about by the vessel’s questionable seaworthiness.
- Respondent filed a complaint for damages against petitioner Aboitiz, Franco-Belgian Services and the latter’s local agent, F.E. Zuellig, Inc. (Zuellig)
- On November 20, 1989, the trial court ruled in favor of respondent and held petitioner Aboitiz liable for the total value of the lost cargo plus legal interest
- The complaint with respect to Franco and Zuellig was dismissed

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