Deaf Netflix Subscribers Don’t Have a ‘Tax’ Case
Netflix will not have to face claims that it discriminated against deaf subscribers by not providing captions of most titles available for streaming, forcing deaf users to pay for the more expensive DVD-by-mail service, a federal judge ruled.
Donald Cullen, who is deaf, filed a federal class action against Netflix, which offers subtitles with only a small portion of its offerings.
Though the site has been adding more titles with closed captions, Culen says the roll-out has taken an unreasonable amount of time.
One executive allegedly promised in February 2011 that Netflix planned to have closed captioning for 80 percent of its streaming content by the end of that year.
Cullen says he and other dead customers relied on such statements to keep their DVD rental plans, which cost up to $11.99 a month.
Failure to timely caption the streaming movies imposed a “deaf tax” on them, according to Cullen’s second amended complaint.