Ex parte Interstate Freight USA, Inc., [Ms. 1141422, June 24, 2016] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2016). Here, the Supreme Court grants a petition for a writ of mandamus and directs the Baldwin Circuit Court to vacate an order denying a motion to transfer venue to St. Clair Circuit Court on the basis of the interests-of-justice prong of Alabama's forum non conveniens statute, § 6-3-21.1, Ala. Code 1975. While venue was proper in Baldwin County pursuant to § 6-3-7(a)(3) because the plaintiff resided in Baldwin County and the defendants did business by agent in Baldwin County, a plaintiff's choice of forum must give way to a forum non conveniens challenge when the plaintiff's chosen forum has a weak connection to the controversy. "With the adoption of § 6-3-21.1, trial courts now have 'the power and the duty to transfer a cause' when 'the interests of justice' requires a transfer." Ms. *14-15, quoting Ex parte Autauga Heating & Cooling, LLC, 58 So. 3d 745, 748-49 (Ala. 2010). In this case, "petitioners have established that St. Clair County has a stronger connection to the claims ... than has Baldwin County." Ms. *20. Specifically, all the alleged wrongful conduct took place in St. Clair County, not Baldwin County, and all the injuries attributable to the wrongful conduct including termination from employment and damages sustained from alleged fraudulent misrepresentation that induced the plaintiff to accept the employment agreement also occurred in St. Clair County. Ms. *22. Accordingly, "the interests-of-justice prong of the forum non conveniens statute requires that the action be transferred to St. Clair County." Ms. *26-7.
Related Documents: Ex parte Interstate Freight USA 6-24-2016