Brown v. Nagelhout

84 So. 3d 304 (2012)

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Brown v. Nagelhout

Florida Supreme Court
84 So. 3d 304 (2012)

Facts

Willie Brown (plaintiff) was a passenger on a train operated by CSX Transportation (CSX) (defendant) when the train struck a truck owned by Helena Chemical Company, Inc. (Helena) (defendant) and driven by Kim Nagelhout (defendant). The accident happened in Pasco County, Florida. Nagelhout resided in Pasco County. Helena, a nonresident corporation, had a registered agent in Broward County and a business residence in Pasco County. CSX’s principal place of business was in Duval County, and CSX had a registered agent in Leon County. Brown sued Nagelhout, Helena, and CSX in Broward County on multiple counts related to the collision. Nagelhout, Helena, and CSX moved to either dismiss or to transfer the action to Pasco County, arguing that Broward County was an inappropriate venue. The trial court held that, under Florida’s joint-residency rule, Pasco County was the only appropriate venue because both Nagelhout, an individual defendant, and Helena, a corporate defendant, resided in Pasco County. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed and ordered Brown’s action transferred from Broward County to Pasco County. Brown appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, arguing that the joint-residency rule represented an erroneous interpretation of Florida’s venue statutes.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Canady, C.J.)

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