Worker’s Compensation – Venue – Doing Business by Agent

Ex parte Honda Manufacturing and Development, [Ms. CL-2022-1217, Mar. 10, 2023] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2023). The court (Hanson, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore and Fridy, JJ., concur; Edwards, J., concurs in the result) issues a writ of mandamus directing the Etowah Circuit Court to transfer venue to Talladega County. Dennis Allison sued his employer Honda Manufacturing and Development of Alabama, LLC (Honda) for workers’ compensation benefits in Etowah County, where he resided, for an injury he sustained while working at Honda’s manufacturing facility located in Talladega County.

The court rejects Dennis’s argument that Honda did business by agent in Etowah County so that venue was proper under § 6-3-7, Ala. Code 1975. The court explains the facts are “aligned with the facts in Ex parte Mercedes-Benz [U.S. International, Inc., 290 So. 3d 402 (Ala. 2019)], in which the automobile-manufacturing company did not ‘do business by agent’ in the county were the plaintiff resided, even though it purchased supplies from a supplier in that county. Here, Honda leases a warehouse space, pays personal property taxes, and has suppliers in a county where it does not have a manufacturing facility or a principal place of business. Honda’s activities in Etowah County were merely a necessary incident of its business.” Ms. **11-12.

Related Documents