It is the duty of the carrier to deliver the transported articles in good order and condition as when received, and for failure to do so, the carrier is liable for the corresponding damage. However, it devolves upon the plaintiff to both allege and prove that the articles tendered were not the same as those, which he delivered to the carrier.
On April 12, 1927 MeeHing Chan of Hongkong shipped and delivered to Dollar Steamship Line (Dollar) on board its ship President Taft, 6 cases of goods, wares and merchandise in good order and condition, consigned to KuiPai& Co. (KuiPai). The American Consul at Hongkong then, could not and did not examine the specific contents of the boxes, by the same token and reason, Dollar did not make any examination or have any personal knowledge of the contents of the cases. These cases were however measured and weighed, after which, thecorresponding bills of lading were issued for such acceptance and Dollar agreed to deliver the same to KuiPai in Manila.
KuiPai now alleges that Dollar failed and neglected to deliver such goods, despite its payment of all freight charges due. To prove such failure, KuiPai presented records of the Manila Terminal Company showing that the 2 packages or cases lost were never landed in Manila from the ship.
Dollar denies this allegation claiming that it tendered to KuiPai 6 identical cases shipped by MeeHing Chan and that KuiPai accepted and took delivery of only 4, and refused to accept delivery of the other 2. As evidence, Dollar presented the 2 cases, which were refused by KuiPai although the marks on them were changed and the testimony of the checker at the time the ship was unloaded and that of Manila Terminal Company, that the cargo of the ship exactly tallies with the bills of lading which were issued by the defendant.
Whether or not the Dollar delivered to KuiPai in Manila the 6 identical boxes, which were delivered on board its ship?
The court ruled in favor of Dollar. It is the duty of the carrier to deliver the transported articles in good order and condition as when received, and for failure to do so, the carrier is liable for the corresponding damage. However, it devolves upon the plaintiff to both allege and prove that the articles tendered were not the same as those, which he delivered to the carrier.
In the case at bar, Dollar was able to prove that the 2 alleged missing boxes were indeed tendered. By presenting the actual cases in court, although the markings of which may have changed, it was conceded that these corresponded to the exact measurements of the boxes as to their width, length and depth that were taken at the time of delivery in Hongkong. Furthermore, it was proved the upon delivery in Hongkong, the 6 cases were loaded in hold No. 9 of the ship and that the same 6 cases were taken out of the same hold in Manila.