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Feb 8, 2010

G.R. No. L-21438, Sept. 28, 1966

  • When culpa aquiliana may arise even when there is a pre-existing contract between the parties


Carrascoso, a civil engineer, was a first class passenger of Air France on his way to Rome for a pilgrimage. From Manila to Bangkok, he traveled in ‘first class,’ but at Bangkok, the Manager of Air France forced him to vacate his seat in favor of a ‘white man’ who had a ‘better right to the seat.’ Carrascoso filed for moral damages, averring in his complaint the contract of carriage between Air France and himself. Air France claims that to authorize an award for moral damages there must be an averment of fraud or bad faith, upon which Carrascoso’s complaint is silent.

  • Whether or not Carrascoso is entitled to award for moral damages


The foregoing substantially aver: First, That there was a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering, amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, That said contract was breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, That there was bad faith when petitioner’s employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his first class accommodation berth “after he was already seated” and to take a seat in the tourist class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassment and humiliation, thereby causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages. It is true that there is no specific mention of the term bad faith in the complaint. But, the inference of bad faith is there; it may be drawn from the facts and circumstances set forth therein. The contract was averred to establish the relation between the parties. But the stress of the action is put on wrongful expulsion.

NOTA BENE: Here there is a contract of carriage between the parties and such contract was breached by Air France when it wrongfully forced Carrascoso to vacate the first class seat which he paid for. The wrongful expulsion is independent of the breach since even without the contract, such wrongful expulsion may still make Air France liable for damages. In other words, the wrongful expulsion is in itself a tort.


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