Illinois Family Sues Robinhood After Son Commits Suicide, Believing He Owed $730k In Stock App Error

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Alex Kearns’ parents say the 20-year-old was led to believe he’d lost $730,000 on stock trades made via the popular investment app prior to his death last year.

According to court documents filed Monday, Alex Kearns ended his life last June shortly after Robinhood allegedly led him to believe he owed $730,000 after making some stock trades.


Dan and Dorothy Kearns of Naperville, Illinois, accused Robinhood of using “aggressive tactics and strategy to lure inexperienced and unsophisticated investors” like their son, a University of Nebraska student, “to take big risks with the lure of tantalizing profits.” They are seeking unspecified damages.

According to the lawsuit, Alex Kearns attempted to reach Robinhood’s customer service on multiple occasions after receiving an email asking for a minimum deposit of more than $170,000 on what he thought was a $730,000 loss. In reality, the perceived loss was covered by other options in his account, according to the lawsuit.

“Though Alex’s panic and confusion were clearly caused by Robinhood’s misleading communications, Robinhood was impossible to reach at the most critical moment to repair the damage it created,” reads the complaint, which can be found in full here. The lack of communication “resulted in a highly distressed mental condition” that ended with Alex taking his own life.

“I lost the love of my life. I miss him more than anything,” Dorothy Kearns told “CBS This Morning” in a Monday interview. “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.”

Sadly, Alex thought he had made a mistake that was beyond repair.

Robinhood has expressed severe sadness and concern over Alex’s death and has since made changes to their options offerings on their platform.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.