by Frank C. Morris, Jr.

Two recent decisions involving Netflix again raise the question of whether all online business activities are covered by the public accommodation requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or whether a “bricks and mortar” presence is required to invoke ADA protections. In late June, in National Association of the Deaf v. Netflix, Judge Ponson of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts denied Netflix’s motion for judgment on the pleadings that challenged the application of the ADA to its video streaming website. The court found that, despite the absence of a bricks-and-mortar business, the ADA’s requirement to provide goods and services accessible to the disabled still applied. Netflix has asked Judge Ponson to permit an immediate appeal of his ruling that the ADA applies to closed-captioning on Internet-supplied videos.

Read the full advisory online