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Passengers win damage suit vs PAL


The Supreme Court has finally resolved a 21-year-old suit filed against Philippine Airlines (PAL) and a travel agency by three Chinese-Filipino traders who missed two business deals in Hong Kong after being bumped off their flight to the Chinese territory.

In an Oct. 17 decision, the Supreme Court’s Third Division denied the PAL’s plea to reverse a 2005 Court of Appeals ruling that awarded damages and payment of attorney’s fees to Francisco Lao Lim, Manuel Limtong and the heirs of the late Henry Go, all of Cebu City.

“Having proven the existence of a contract of carriage between respondents Lim and Go, and the fact of nonperformance by [PAL] of its obligation as a common carrier, it is clear that [PAL] breached its contract of carriage with respondents Lim and Go,” the high court said in a 14-page decision penned by Justice Diosdado Peralta.

Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., division chair, and the three other division members, Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Roberto Abad and Jose Mendoza, concurred with the decision.

Lim, Limtong and Go bought round-trip PAL tickets from Rainbow Tours and Travel Inc. on Feb. 22, 1991, for a trip to Hong Kong on Feb. 26 where they were to purchase weighing scales and printing press equipment from two sellers.

They took off from Mactan International Airport in Cebu on Feb. 25 and landed in Manila for their morning flight to Hong Kong the following day. However, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Lim and Go learned their names were not on the passenger list.

Only Limtong was able to take the flight. Lim and Go, both wait-listed, followed on a later flight. However, as Lim and Go were late and Limtong was unable to conduct a proper negotiation, the weighing scale contract was awarded to another buyer while the seller of the printing press equipment left Hong Kong and refused to see them anymore.

The businessmen said they could have made P3.56 million from the deals and consequently sued PAL, then partly government-owned, for damages. They also each claimed P350,000 in moral damages after accusing PAL staff of scolding and humiliating them.

A regional trial court found the 344-seat flight was overbooked by 44 seats. Both the RTC and the Court of Appeals noted that PAL and Rainbow Tours officers had agreed not to tell the traders that their confirmed bookings for the Manila-Hong Kong leg had been erroneously cancelled and that the flight was on critical status due to the overbooking of passengers.

In 1996, the RTC ordered PAL and Rainbow Tours to pay each of the complainants P75,000 in temperate damages and P25,000 in attorney’s fees.

The Court of Appeals increased the award of damages to P200,000 each for exemplary, moral and temperate damages, and the attorney’s fees to P60,000. The Supreme Court modified the decision by deleting the award of moral damages to the deceased Go, as well as the award of temperate damages to Limtong, since he was able to make the flight. Jerome Aning


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Tags: Consumer Issues , Damage Suit , Justice , Philippine Airlines , Supreme Court

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-Mil/100002160424509 Fred Mil

    21 – years ang kaso, 200k and 60k ang reward for damages

    f ckng waste of time and resources

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Abdul-Rashid/100004367910013 Abdul Rashid

     May they add 1000 more SC Justices to accelerate these case and not deprive people of their basic right. It is a disgrace to hear this news.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Abdul-Rashid/100004367910013 Abdul Rashid

     Sana mag interconnect nalang ang mga servers for the sake of public service.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SSWPRQTQXXXYN2OWTTJBKJFYEQ Jose

    noon 1991 si cory aquino pa ang presidente ng pilipinas, tapos ang may ari ng philippine airlines ay ang kanyang pamangkin si tonyboy cojuangco, eh di  nung panahon cory aquino laganap din talaga ang corruption biro mo nagsabwatan ang philippine airlines na pag aari  ni tonyboy cojuangco pamangkin ni cory aquino na pinsan ni noynoy aquino at ang travel agency, dapat imbestigahan ng senado o kongreso, di ba galit si noynoy aquino sa  corruption?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SSWPRQTQXXXYN2OWTTJBKJFYEQ Jose

    noon 1991 si cory aquino pa ang presidente ng pilipinas, tapos ang may ari ng philippine airlines ay ang kanyang pamangkin si tonyboy cojuangco, eh di  nung panahon cory aquino laganap din talaga ang corruption biro mo nagsabwatan ang philippine airlines na pag aari  ni tonyboy cojuangco pamangkin ni cory aquino na pinsan ni noynoy aquino at ang travel agency, dapat imbestigahan ng senado o kongreso, di ba galit si noynoy aquino sa  corruption?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SSWPRQTQXXXYN2OWTTJBKJFYEQ Jose

    dapat nung panahon na yun ang nanay nya ang presidente si cory aquino , dapat buklatin nya uli  ang kaso magkaron ng imbestigasyon uli, tutal mahilig sya na kalkalin ang kaso ng kanyang mga kalaban sa politika dahil sa corruption, eh kalkalin din n ya ang sabawatan ng PAL at agency nung panahon ng kanyang nanay.



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