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CIVIL PROCEDURE / VENUE / FORUM NON CONVENIENS - EX PARTE FORD MOTOR CO.

In Ex parte Ford Motor Co., [Ms. 1080438, April 2, 2010] __ So.3d __ (Ala. 2010), the Alabama Supreme Court examined the doctrine of forum non conveniens in the context of a crashworthiness product liability action. Plaintiff's decedent, a Tennessee resident, was involved in a wreck in Montgomery County. Plaintiff filed suit in Barbour County and alleged venue was proper because Ford had a dealership in Barbour County at the time of the wreck. Ford alleged improper venue and also filed a motion to transfer the case to Montgomery County based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Ford supported its motion with affidavits from all investigating officers, the paramedics who responded to the wreck, and an eyewitness, all of whom were residents of Montgomery County. The Supreme Court held that Ford met its burden of showing that the transfer was justified based on the "interest of justice" prong of the analysis from Ex parte National Sec. Ins. Co., 727 So.2d 788 (Ala. 1998), granted Ford's petition for writ of mandamus, and ordered the trial court to transfer the action to Montgomery County.

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