Orient Overseas Container Line v. UCPB General Insurance Co., Inc.


Orient Overseas Container Line v. UCPB General Insurance Co., Inc.

G.R. Nos. 237861 & 237895-96

March 29, 2023


                UCPB, as subrogee of Campos Rueda, filed a Complaint for Marine Loss Recovery against OOCL. The shipment packed in a container van was loaded on board S/S “OOCL Japan S1W26” to be shipped from Long Beach California USA. The van containing the shipment was discharged and was found short of one pallet containing 7680 spark plug pieces valued in the amount of $4,608. MeTc ruled in favor of UCPB. Perfect Express and ECU-Line filed their Notice of Appeal. OOCL filed an MR but was denied.


                Whether or not UCPB is validly subrogated to the rights of the consignee (Campos Rueda).


                Neither does the Court find merit in OOCL's argument that the timely filing by Perfect Express and ECU-Line should redound to their benefit considering that they were held solidarily liable by the MeTC. A reading of their MRs reveals that the defenses of Perfect Express and ECU-Line, on one hand, and that of OOCL, on the other hand, actually are in conflict with each other. Perfect Express and ECU-Line's MR was grounded on UCPB's failure to prove its claim by a preponderance of evidence, that there was no valid subrogation between Campos Rueda and UCPB, and that they should not be held liable as common carriers since they merely acted as commercial agents. They assert that it is OOCL which is the common carrier. On the other hand, OOCL's MR was grounded on UCPB's lack of cause of action against it, no notice of loss was given to them, and their liability, should there be any, is limited under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA).

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