In October, a class action lawsuit led by Isaac Gordon was filed against Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Markets, Inc. in the Superior Court of the State of Washington. The case has since been removed to Federal Court in the Eastern District of Washington by the defendants (Gordon v. Robinhood Financial LLC et al 2:19-cv-00390). This removal was made under the Class Action Fairness Act, on the basis that the class is greater than 100 people, the monetary value of the dispute is greater than 5 million dollars, and the defendants are from a different state than at least one member of the class.
In the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Robinhood sent or assisted in sending commercial text messages to the members of the class without any sort of permission to do so. The complaint says that this violates Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and Commercial Electronic Mail Act. The defendants participated in “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts of practices” while conducting their business, which violates the CPA, the complaint alleges. The complaint also explains that the CEMA specifically makes it illegal to send unsolicited commercial electronic text messages to the devices of Washington state residents.
The class is made up of consumers, business entities, and cellphone users all of whom are residents of Washington state and who received one or more of the unsolicited commercial text messages. Robinhood is a company that deals in online investment brokerage services amongst other related activities. The complaint states that all members of the class can be found in Robinhood’s contact records. The defendants run a “RAF [refer a friend] rewards program,” which is described as a way for Robinhood’s current users to send messages from their personal phones to people not currently using Robinhood. The content of the messages, as shown by an image in the complaint, is to entice the receiver of the message to use Robinhood. The messages include a link to sign up for the defendants’ brokerage services and do not include a way to stop receiving these messages in the future.
The complaint declares that due to actions and non-actions by the defendant, the class has suffered from invasion of privacy, disruption to the capacity of the class members’ devices, and unnecessary occupation of the class members’ time and attention. The plaintiff is seeking statutory damages of no less than $500 per violation, as well as exemplary damages of $1000, attorney’s fees and costs, and injunctive relief to prevent further violations.
Isaac Gordon and the class are represented by Kirk D. Miller and counsel at Cameron Sutherland. Both Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Markets Inc are being represented by Davis Wright Tremaine.