Fort Scott files class action petition against Netflix, Hulu

City Of Fort Scott Files Class Action Petition Against Netflix And Hulu 2021

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – The City of Fort Scott moves forward with litigation against Netflix and Hulu.

The City claims the companies failed to get authorization to use public rights-of-way, such as internet facilities. Kansas law requires that authorization. Therefore, Netflix and Hulu have failed to pay the related video franchise fee.

Nextflix and Hulu’s primary businesses are its video services, which offer online streaming including programming. Both companies, according to the petition, do business in Fort Scott, Kansas and other municipalities in the state.

Allegations

The services provided by Netflix and Hulu use Internet protocol technology (i.e. broadband wireline facilities located at least in part in public rights-of-way).

According to the class action petition, “As video service providers, Defendants were required to file an application with the Kansas Corporation Commission for a state-issued video service authorization prior to providing video service.”

The City of Fort Scott says the streaming companies failed to get authorization to use public rights-of-way. “An authorization would have permitted video service providers such as Defendants to use public rights-of-way, as long as said video service provider makes a franchise payment to each city in which it provides service.”

The required franchise payment must be equal to 5% of gross revenues received by the franchise holder from the provision of services in that city.

Class Action Members

The City of Fort Scott is looking to require Netflix and Hulu to pay what they owe. The City filed individually and on the behalf of other Kansas municipalities.

The petition states that the believed Class Action size to be in excess of 200 municipalities.

Count III – Unjust Enrichment

In addition to not paying and not having correct authorization, the City filed a count of Unjust Enrichment.

Count three of the Class Action states, “By not remitting video-provider fees, Netflix and Hulu have received the benefit of doing business in the geographic areas of Plaintiff and other class members without paying required fees, been aware that they were doing business without paying required fees, and accepted and retained this benefit under circumstances that are inequitable or unjust..”

Full Class Action Petition

You can read the full petition below, or, click here.

City of Fort Scott, KS vs Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC - Class Action Petition