Parents of Suicide Victim Files a Federal Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the Robinhood Trading App
THE UNITED STATES - A news report on People.com states that the parents of a 20-year-old man filed a wrongful death suit against the stock trading app Robinhood alleging the app company is responsible for their son's suicide last year.*
In June 2020, the man allegedly killed himself after he ended up owing over $730,000 after making a few "risky" trades, according to court documents acquired by People.com.
According to the allegations in the wrongful death lawsuit, the young man received an email ordering him to make an immediate payment of about $170,000. The college student was unsuccessful when he tried to contact the app's customer service for help. The college student purportedly wrote several emails asking Robinhood for help. One email stated that the man told Robinhood customer service that he was "incorrectly assigned more money than [he] should have... Could someone please look into this?"
According to the civil suit, the only response he received was an automated email stating that their support team would contact him "as soon as possible, but that our response time to you may be delayed."
According to the father's interview with CBS News, the young man's father stated that his son believed that he destroyed his life and screwed up his life beyond repair.
Tragically, the day after the young man took his life, the Robinhood customer service team subsequently answered his email, and the young man did not owe any money. According to CBS News, another automated message email read, "Great news! We're reaching out to confirm that you've met your margin call, and we've lifted your trade restrictions. If you have any questions about your margin call, please feel free to reach out. We're happy to help!" The father states that the emails haunt him, and he believes his son would be alive today had the Robinhood customer service representative sent his son a prompt answer.
The victim's heartbroken mother states that she lost the love of her life, and she misses him "more than anything."
The parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking justice and accountability from Robinhood. According to the victim's mother, "We don't want another family to go through this." The wrongful death complaint alleges that Robinhood engages in "aggressive tactics and strategy to lure inexperienced and unsophisticated investors" — including the victim.
According to details in the complaint reported by People.com, the young man was permitted to invest above his level of experience and was provided with "almost no investment guidance, [the] customer 'service' was virtually non-existent, consisting of automated email replies devoid of any human contact or interaction."
The complaint states that Robinhood's communications were utterly misleading since the victim never owed any money.
According to CBS News, Robinhood has made some changes following the victim's death, including providing some users the capability to request a call. However, the company allegedly still lacks a readily available customer service telephone number for Robinhood users to contact the company on their own.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at Suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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