Final June, 20-year-old Alex Kearns died by suicide, blaming inventory buying and selling app Robinhood for his dying. He mistakenly believed he’d misplaced $730,000, and that the corporate was coming for greater than $170,000 of that cash in a matter of days. His household now agrees that it was Robinhood’s fault — on Monday, they sued the corporate for wrongful dying.
In line with the complaint, Kearns by no means owed any cash in any respect, however that didn’t cease the Robinhood app from suggesting that he did, or sending him an “quick motion required” electronic mail telling him he wanted to deposit $178,612.73 by June seventeenth.
Here’s a screenshot one among his relations shared on Twitter final June of what the app reportedly confirmed him on the time:
Kearns reportedly tried to contact Robinhood’s assist division 4 occasions, however solely received an automatic message. The day after he died, Robinhood despatched one other automated message to let him know he didn’t truly owe cash in any respect, according to a CBS News story that features an interview with Kearns’ household.
Later that month, when the information of his dying unfold, Robinhood promised to change how its app worked, educate its customers, and pledged $250,000 to the American Basis for Suicide Prevention.
The brand new lawsuit isn’t the one purpose this story is freshly related. Robinhood can also be now dealing with dozens of lawsuits for its function in the GameStop / Reddit / Wall Street Bets saga, the place particular person merchants banded collectively to govern shares that had been shorted, however some merchants are blaming them for enormous losses after Robinhood froze how a lot and once they might make investments. The corporate’s software program additionally mechanically bought some choices (though not shares, Robinhood claims) out from below merchants.
Both method, the massive run on GameStop now seems to be over, and in contrast to Kearns, many individuals could have misplaced large quantities of actual cash playing through Robinhood and different apps. If you realize somebody who did, they’ll discover the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.