Coquia v. Fieldmen’s Insurance
26 SCRA 172
> On Dec. 1, 1961, Fieldmen’s Insurance co. Issued in favor of the Manila Yellow Taxicab a common carrier insurance policy with a stipulation that the company shall indemnify the insured of the sums which the latter wmy be held liable for with respect to “death or bodily injury to any faire-paying passenger including the driver and conductor”.
> The policy also stated that in “the event of the death of the driver, the Company shall indemnify his personal representatives and at the Company’s option may make indemnity payable directly to the claimants or heirs of the claimants.”
> During the policy’s lifetime, a taxicab of the insured driven by Coquia met an accident and Coquia died.
> When the company refused to pay the only heirs of Coquia, his parents, they institued this complaint. The company contends that plaintiffs have no cause of action since the Coquias have no contractual relationship with the company.
Whether or not plaintiffs have the right to collect on the policy.
Athough, in general, only parties to a contract may bring an action based thereon, this rule is subject to exceptions, one of which is found in the second paragraph of Article 1311 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, reading: "If a contract should contain some stipulation in favor of a third person, he may demand its fulfillment provided he communicated his acceptance to the obligor before its revocation. A mere incidental benefit or interest of a person is not sufficient. The contracting parties must have clearly and deliberately conferred a favor upon a third person." This is but the restatement of a well-known principle concerning contracts pour autrui, the enforcement of which may be demanded by a third party for whose benefit it was made, although not a party to the contract, before the stipulation in his favor has been revoked by the contracting parties
In the case at bar, the policy under consideration is typical of contracts pour autrui this character being made more manifest by the fact that the deceased driver paid fifty percent (50%) of the corresponding premiums, which were deducted from his weekly commissions. Under these conditions, it is clear that the Coquias — who, admittedly, are the sole heirs of the deceased — have a direct cause of action against the Company, and, since they could have maintained this action by themselves, without the assistance of the insured it goes without saying that they could and did properly join the latter in filing the complaint herein.