Venue - Doing Business By Agent - § 6-3-7, Ala. Code 1975
Ex parte Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., [Ms. 1170623, Jan. 4, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). (Sellers, J.; Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Main, and Mendheim, JJ., and B. Glenn Murdock, Special Justice, concur; Parker, Shaw, and Bryan, JJ. dissent). The Court grants a petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Jefferson Circuit Court to vacate its order denying Mercedes Benz’s motion to transfer the action to Tuscaloosa Circuit Court.
Plaintiff, a resident of Jefferson County, was employed as an assembly worker at Mercedes Benz Manufacturing facility in Tuscaloosa and alleged that he suffered an on-the-job injury which left him permanently and totally disabled. Ms. *2. Mercedes Benz moved to transfer the action to Tuscaloosa County, asserting that venue was improper under § 6-3-7, Ala. Code 1975, and alternatively, that transfer was warranted under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. Ms. *3.
Nix contended that venue was proper in Jefferson County because Mercedes Benz regularly transacts business with Jefferson-County-based suppliers of automotive parts. Ms. *6. The circuit court denied the motion to transfer venue and the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed on the authority of Ex parte Scott Bridge Co., 834 So. 2d 79 (Ala. 2002). Ms. *6-7.
The Court reversed, holding that
[W]e hold that there was not sufficient evidence before the trial court to support a conclusion that venue in Jefferson County was proper in this case. The regular purchasing of parts or materials from a supplier located in a certain county, by itself, does not constitute “[doing] business by agent” in that county under § 6-3-7(a)(3). To the extent that this Court's opinion in Scott Bridge held otherwise, it is hereby overruled.