If You Rented Online DVDs from Netflix,
A Class Action lawsuit And A Settlement could Affect You.
In 2009, a Class Action lawsuit was filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Walmart.com USA LLC (together called “Wal-Mart”) and Netflix, Inc. (“Netflix”) involving the price of online DVD rentals. The Class Action sought money for current and former Netflix online subscribers. Wal-Mart and Netflix believed the lawsuit had no basis.
A Settlement was reached with Wal-Mart in July 2011. On November 22, 2011, the District Court granted Netflix’s Motion for Summary Judgment, resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit against Netflix. On March 29, 2012, the District Court granted Final Approval of the settlement with Wal-Mart and awarded fees and expenses to the attorneys representing the Class. On April 20, 2012, the District Court partially awarded Netflix its requested Taxation of Costs.
In 2012, several appeals of these rulings were presented to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Plaintiffs appealed the Summary Judgment decision, certain Objectors appealed the Final Approval decision with respect to the settlement with Wal-Mart, and Plaintiffs and Netflix appealed the Taxation of Costs decision. Oral argument was held on all appeals on February 13, 2014 and the Ninth Circuit took them under advisement.
On February 27, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinions on all appeals. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the Final Approval decision with respect to the settlement with Wal-Mart, affirmed the Summary Judgment decision dismissing the lawsuit against Netflix, and affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the Taxation of Costs decision.
Click here to view the Ninth Circuit Order - Walmart Settlement
Click here to view the Ninth Circuit Order - Netflix Dismissal
Following the Ninth Circuit’s rulings, on March 13, 2015, one of the Objectors, Ted Frank, petitioned for a rehearing, or rehearing en banc, of the appeal of the Final Approval decision with respect to the settlement with Wal-Mart. The Ninth Circuit denied Frank's petition on June 18, 2015, and the Ninth Circuit issued its final mandate on June 29, 2015. The parties cannot at this time predict whether this Ninth Circuit decision will be further appealed. The parties therefore cannot predict at this time whether and when the Settlement Approval will become final and settlement payments can be issued. We will update this website with additional information once we get it.
On March 19, 2015, the District Court approved terms for Plaintiffs’ counsel to pay Netflix the portion of costs affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. At this time the parties believe that the litigation against Netflix has been concluded.