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Workers' Compensation - Forum Non Conveniens

Ex parte Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., [Ms. 2190468, Apr. 24, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2020). The court (Edwards, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore, Donaldson, and Hanson, JJ., concur) issues a writ of mandamus to the Mobile Circuit Court directing it to transfer a workers’ compensation action to Baldwin County where the on-the-job injury occurred.

The court concludes transfer was required in the interest of justice because “[t]he connections between Martin’s action and Mobile County – Martin’s residency and Wal-Mart’s operation of stores in Mobile County that have no relation to Martin’s alleged accident – are weak. In contrast, the connections between Martin’s action and Baldwin County, as described above, clearly are strong. Because Wal-Mart offered evidence indicating that Baldwin County has a strong connection to Martin’s action and the evidence likewise would support only the conclusion that Mobile County has a weak connection to Martin’s action, Mobile County must not be burdened with Martin’s action. Accordingly, the trial court exceeded its discretion by denying Wal-Mart’s motion to transfer; the interest of justice requires the transfer of Martin’s action to Baldwin County.” Ms. *13.

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