Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a lot of international companies have halted their operations in Russia. Netflix is one of these companies and now, Netflix’s subscribers and users in Russia are filing a class-action lawsuit against the streaming platform for its decision. According to Russian Media outlet RIA, twenty people have successfully joined the lawsuit to meet the minimum number of people required for a class-action lawsuit in Russia.
The plaintiffs claim that the streaming platform was in a public contract with the subscribers. As a result, it can’t be subject the people to “unilateral refusal to fulfill obligations”. Under this clause, the streaming platform’s pullout from the market violates users’ rights to subscribed services as well as the country’s Civil Code and Consumer Rights Laws.
As mentioned earlier, Netflix had decided to end its service in Russia earlier last month as part of sanctions on the country. Following the suspension of the service, Netflix canceled production of originals it had planned in the country.
While we’ll have to wait to see if the lawsuit has any effect on the streaming giant, the plaintiffs are seeking 60 million Rubles in compensation in pecuniary damages. Apart from the compensation, the plaintiffs have also asked the court to fine Netflix an amount equal to 50% of the amount that the court awards in favor of the plaintiffs.
Netflix started its services in Russia back in 2016 and since then had over a million subscribers in the country. Russian subscribers were charged $9.67 per month and the streaming giant’s abrupt end of services had cost the viewers their payment. As a result, they’re seeking a hefty fee from the streaming platform.
The lawsuit is led by Chernyshov, Lukoyanov, and Partners, a Moscow-based law firm. However, neither party has officially released any statement on the matter but it’s possible that Netflix will response to the lawsuit pretty soon. Given that major studios have suspended their operations in the country, it’s unlikely that Netflix will resume its services in Russia anytime soon.