Carpenter v. McMannAnnotate this Case
Appellees Sherinna McMann and Childrona Holton were passengers in a car traveling on the interstate in Bibb County, Georgia when allegedly an unknown driver swerved into their car's path, causing the driver to slam on the brakes. Appellant Eric Carpenter was allegedly driving too closely behind them and rear-ended the vehicle. Doe fled the scene and was never identified. Appellees sued Doe and Carpenter for negligence in Bibb County under the Georgia uninsured motorist statute in Bibb County pursuant to OCGA 33-7-11 (d)(1), which provided that “the residence of such ‘John Doe’ defendant shall be presumed to be in the county in which the accident causing injury or damages occurred, or in the county of residence of the plaintiff, at the election of the plaintiff in the action.” Carpenter moved to transfer venue to Crawford County where he resided, but the trial court denied his motion, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Georgia Supreme Court granted Carpenter’s petition for certiorari, posing a single question: Does the venue provision of the uninsured motorist statute apply in a suit related to an automobile collision brought against a known Georgia resident and an unknown defendant under a joint tortfeasor theory? The Supreme Court answered in the affirmative, and therefore affirmed.