An autistic gym-goer was slammed as being ‘stupid’ by Virgin gyms but now he’s got the last laugh having taught himself law and successfully sued them.
The autistic guy had to prove to the offensive gym-class instructor, he is absolutely not stupid, after he represented himself in court and scored a victory over the national gym-chain.
The situation arose when Ketan Aggarwal from Southall, West London, complained the music was too slow during a spin class he was attending, the Mirror reports.
Outraged, the gym-instructor ‘shouted’ at Ketan, yelling, ‘Don’t tell me how to do my job’ and disgracefully called him ‘stupid,’ in front of a class full of 30 people.
The 30-year-old was rightly horrified by this unwarranted outburst and complained to Virgin Active, but they refused to punish the instructor.
Obviously and understandably not satisfied by their handling of the situation, Ketan vowed to take them to court for disability discrimination.
Not only did Ketan decide to seek a legal a lawsuit against the club, he decided to go one step further and represent himself, showing the gym once and for all just how ‘stupid’ he was.
Ketan who works as an administrator borrowed books from the library and tracked down articles on discrimination to prepare his case.
It was a triumph for Ketan as he won the case and Virgin Active was ordered to pay him £190 in costs and £1200 in compensation, as well as an apology.
He called me stupid twice.
Calling someone with a mental disability ‘stupid’ is similar to mocking a guy in a wheelchair.
If I was that stupid I wouldn’t have been able to successfully pursue the claim against a solicitor of a billion pound company. It was two years coming and it was hard work.
I’m not a legal professional and I had to do a huge amount of paperwork.
I had to live in the library, picking up law from the books, and getting templates for submitting paperwork from the internet.
It was worth it though. It wasn’t about the money, it was about the principle.
The inexcusable incident happened at the Virgin Active Stockley Park branch, in Uxbridge in May 2015 and was heard in court last month.
The judgement read:
It is ordered that the defendant considers amending its equality training to staff and consultants and do consider amending its joining application form so non-physical conditions are included.
Ketan was over the moon about his win, saying ‘it felt amazing’ and so it should after the hard work he put in to win his case.
A Virgin Active spokesperson said:
We want everyone to feel welcome at our health clubs.
We are very sorry that one of our members had a negative experience.
It’s such a huge achievement for Ketan to win against such a wealthy company, but just goes to show if you really put your mind to something, it can be done.
Discrimination is unacceptable on any level and so was the instructor’s behaviour, regardless as to whether someone has a disability or not, humiliating a person like that is absolutely not OK.
Ketan should be hugely proud of the fact he single-handedly managed to take down major company. He’s a force to be reckoned with and certainly not stupid.