Parents sue Robinhood after son kills himself thinking he owes $730k.

JacksonWhite

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2011
13,305

The parents of a 20-year-old man who committed suicide after mistakenly believing he owed $730,000 to Robinhood plan to file a wrongful death suit against the stock-trading app, according to a report.

University of Nebraska student Alexander Kearns, who had begun dabbling in trading, ran into problems on June 11 when the app put a hold on his account showing that he was $730,000 in the red and that he needed to pay over $170,000 in the coming days, CBS This Morning reported.

“He thought he blew up his life,” Alex’s dad, Dan Kearns, said in an interview with the network. “He thought he screwed up beyond repair.”

Kearns had been trading options, rather than stocks, so the negative balance was probably a temporary amount that showed until the options settled to his account.

There was no customer service number for Kearns to call and while he did email Robinhood three times, he only received an automatic response that app reps would get back to him when they could, noting a possible delay in replies, the report said.

The next day, June 12, Kearns killed himself by stepping in front of an oncoming train.

He left behind a suicide note that said, “How was a 20-year-old with no income able to get assigned almost a million dollars worth of leverage?”

I can’t tell you how incredibly painful it is. It’s the kind of pain that I don’t think should be humanly possible for a parent to overcome,” the distraught mother said.

Ironically, the app got back to the amateur trader the day after his suicide, saying, “Great news! We’re reaching out to confirm that you’ve met your margin call and we’ve lifted your trade restrictions,” according to the report.

Dan said the app should have stronger checks in place to screen for trader experience.

“How are those guardrails? How does that — how does that stop an 18-year-old from making risky trades that they don’t really understand?” Dan told CBS, referring to a screener question that allows someone to trade even if they respond that they don’t have much experience.

In the suit expected to be filed Monday, the parents said Robinhood “must be held accountable,” according to the news site.

“The information they gave him was just incredibly skewed and possibly completely wrong,” said Benjamin Blakeman, the Kearns family lawyer.

Because they make it look like you owe $730,000 when you really don’t owe anything,” Blakeman told the outlet. “That could panic just about anybody.”

Another lawyer for the family, Ethan Brown, told CBS that “they provide no mechanism through a telephone call, through live email service, to get live answers to questions.”

The Kearns said their son just wanted answers and help, the report said.
 
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f00l

Well-Known Member
Jun 14, 2004
28,796
poor kid pooped his pants going crazy looking at that number in red text.
 
TS
TS
JacksonWhite

JacksonWhite

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2011
13,305
I mean... I would have awaited an email reply before making that sort of decision.
They should have a phone number tho. I lost my debit card like 6 months ago and the bank has like a 4 hour line to speak to a CSR on the phone “because of Covid”.

It’s bullshit, you are dealing with peoples money, there needs to be a minimum level of customer service involved imo
 
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A96HondaAccordCoupeEX

Silver Member
May 22, 2000
39,137
CA
They should have a phone number tho. I lost my debit card like 6 months ago and the bank has like a 4 hour line to speak to a CSR on the phone “because of Covid”.

It’s bullshit, you are dealing with peoples money, there needs to be a minimum level of customer service involved imo
There is. Through email.
 
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