The family of a college student who killed himself after thinking he’d lost a fortune using Robinhood sued the free trading app Monday.
A message left behind by Alex Kearns asked how it was that a 20-year-old with no income could get access to nearly $1 million of financial leverage using Robinhood, according to the suit filed in Silicon Valley, where the app is based.
“Robinhood’s website entices young, inexperienced users,” the suit contends.
“By marketing its online trading platform like a video game, it implied that trading stock and options was a fun way to make money, perhaps even to get rich.”
The suit accuses Robinhood of causing the Illinois man’s death along with unfair business practices, and asks for unspecified damages.
In response to an AFP query, Robinhood said it was “devastated” by Kearns’ death last June and has since improved trading features along with guidance and education features for users.
“We remain committed to making Robinhood a place to learn and invest responsibly,” a spokesperson said.
Kearns was in his final year of high school when he opened a Robinhood account, according to the suit.