Merely Having Your Product Sold in a County Does Not Constitute Doing Business By Agent for Purposes of Venue
Ex Parte Tyson Chicken, Inc
On April 15, 2011 the Supreme Court released its opinion granting a Petition for Writ of Mandamus filed by Tyson Chicken concerning their Motion to Transfer Venue.
The plaintiff filed the workers’ compensation lawsuit in Etowah County, the county in which the plaintiff resided. It was undisputed that Tyson’s principal place of business was in Calhoun County and the plaintiff worked in the Marshall County Tyson plant. The Court addressed the section of the venue statute that states venue is proper in the county where the plaintiff resides if the corporation does business by agent in that county.
The plaintiff argued that because Tyson products were sold by stores in Etowah County that Tyson did business there via intrastate commerce. The Court pointed out that this position applied to due process for personal jurisdiction issues, not venue. The Court stated that in order to do business by agent in a county the corporation must, with some regularity, perform some of the business functions for which it was created in the county at issue. Having your product sold by another business does not meet this standard for purposes of venue.
Of note, the Court also stated that hiring employees that lived in Etowah County did not meet the requirement of doing business by agent in Etowah County as the plaintiff tried to argue. The Court said that venue is dependant on the decisions of the corporation not the person that chooses to live in a certain county and work for the corporation.
Petition for Writ of Mandamus
In re: Guyton v. Tyson Chicken, Inc.��@