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Case Name National Association of the Deaf v. Netflix DR-MA-0005
Docket / Court NO. 11-CV-30168-MAP ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
The National Association of the Deaf and the Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing- Impaired, along with a deaf Massachusetts resident, brought this case under the Americans with Disabilities Act against Netflix for failing to provide closed captioned text to its on-demand service known ... read more >
The National Association of the Deaf and the Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing- Impaired, along with a deaf Massachusetts resident, brought this case under the Americans with Disabilities Act against Netflix for failing to provide closed captioned text to its on-demand service known as "Watch Instantly." The case was filed June 16, 2011 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

On November 11, 2011, the court (Judge Michael A. Ponsor) denied the defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The parties entered into settlement negotiations, which resulted in a settlement submitted to the district court for its approval on October 10, 2012. The settlement provides for Netflix to implement closed captions in 100% of Netflix streaming content within two years.

The announcement of the settlement explained that Netflix began its closed-captioning program in 2010, and has since increased captioning for 90% of the hours viewed but is now committed to focusing on covering all titles by captioning 100% of all content by 2014. Captions can be displayed on a majority of the more than 1,000 devices on which the service is available. The parties asked the court to maintain jurisdiction of the case for four years to assure compliance with the terms of the Decree, and plaintiffs will monitor Netflix's progress. Netflix agreed to pay $795,000 for past and future attorneys fees and costs, including monitoring costs.

- 10/10/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Movie Theater or Other Entertainment facility
Retailer
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Netflix, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Advocacy groups for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - 2016
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:11-cv-30168-MAP (D. Mass.) 04/19/2013
DR-MA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 08/09/2011
DR-MA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint (Or in the Alternative, Transfer to the Northern District of California); Memorandum of Points and Authorities 09/12/2011
DR-MA-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States of America in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint 10/03/2011
DR-MA-0005-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Regarding Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint 11/10/2011 (2011 WL 5519883) (D. Mass.)
DR-MA-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Netflix, Inc.'s Notice of Motion and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; Memorandum of Points and Authorities 05/01/2012
DR-MA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States of America in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 05/15/2012
DR-MA-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 06/11/2012
DR-MA-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Regarding Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 06/19/2012 (2012 WL 2343666) (D. Mass.)
DR-MA-0005-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Consent Decree 10/09/2012 (D. Mass.)
DR-MA-0005-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Netflix and National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Reach Historic Agreement to Provide 100% Closed Captions in On-Demand Streaming Content Within Two Years 10/09/2012
DR-MA-0005-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Consent Decree 10/09/2012 (D. Mass.)
DR-MA-0005-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ponsor, Michael Adrian (D. Mass.) [Magistrate]
DR-MA-0005-0001 | DR-MA-0005-0004 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Davidson, Joshua (California)
DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011
Lanvers, Charlotte L. (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0008 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (California)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0008 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Mayerson, Arlene Brynne (California)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0008 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0010 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Netski, Christine M. (Massachusetts)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0008 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Seligman, Brad (California)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Wakschlag, Shira T. (California)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0008 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Worthman, Catha (California)
DR-MA-0005-0002 | DR-MA-0005-0008 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Harper, Jacob M. (California)
DR-MA-0005-0003 | DR-MA-0005-0005 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
McDowell, David F. (California)
DR-MA-0005-0003 | DR-MA-0005-0005 | DR-MA-0005-0009 | DR-MA-0005-0011 | DR-MA-0005-9000
O'Neill, Julie G. (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-0006 | DR-MA-0005-0007
Jacobs, Gretchen E. (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-0006
Maisels, Amanda (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-0007 | DR-MA-0005-9000
Nichol, Allison (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-0006 | DR-MA-0005-0007
Ortiz, Carmen M. (Massachusetts)
DR-MA-0005-0006 | DR-MA-0005-0007
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
DR-MA-0005-0006 | DR-MA-0005-0007

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