OANDA seeks to rebuff former customer allegations in civil case

Maria Nikolova

OANDA refers to the doctrines of unclean hands and estoppel, as it seeks to defend itself against fraud and stress infliction claims made by its former customer Antonio Medina.

Online trading services provider OANDA Corporation has sought to rebuff all allegations made by its former customer Antonio Medina, who has targeted the broker and its ex-CEO Ed Eger in a civil case at the New York Southern District Court.

In its most recent filing with the court, seen by FinanceFeeds, OANDA briefly states that it denies all allegations made by Mr Medina. Let’s recall that he accuses OANDA et al of: (1) breach of warranty; (2) false advertising; (3) breach of oral contract; (4) breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (5) breach of fiduciary duty; (6) fraud; and (7) infliction of emotional distress.

In its reply, OANDA enlists several affirmative defenses, including that the plaintiff fails to state a claim.

Also, in its fifth affirmative defense, the broker states that “Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrine of estoppel”.

This doctrine prevents a person from adopting a position, asserting a fact or a right inconsistent with an earlier position if this would lead to an injury to someone else. For instance, equitable estoppel prevents one party from taking a different position at trial than the one taken at an earlier time if the other party would be hurt by the change.

OANDA’s sixth affirmative defense also refers to a strictly legal concept – that of the doctrine of unclean hands.

This doctrine prevents one party in a lawsuit from receiving a particular outcome to a case because that party has also engaged in bad behavior. This concept reflects an idea of basic fairness: one party should not be allowed to stop another from doing a bad action if the first party is also doing it.

The last, seventh affirmative defense outlined by OANDA states that:

“The Defendant is not liable as Plaintiff’s account was a purely self-directed account and not subject to any trading authority or advisory oversight whatsoever on the part of Oanda. Oanda’s fx trade platform is an automated trade matching system which provided Medina direct access to prices and liquidity originating with a variety of third parties. Oanda had no fiduciary or other duty with respect to Medina’s trading decisions.”

The latter paragraph apparently refers to Medina’s claims about his attempts to reach out to OANDA’s representatives and their alleged failure to provide competent service. In his Complaint, Mr Medina also alleges that “as a proximate result of the Defendants’ acts and omissions, Plaintiff suffered mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, and has been injured in his mind and body as follows: Plaintiff has lost sleep, become ill, developed anxiety, and gastralgia”.

The Court has scheduled a telephonic conference for the parties for September 21, 2017.

The case, captioned Medina v. OANDA Corporation (1:17-cv-02316), continues at the New York Southern District Court.

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