Autistic Man Called ‘Stupid’ By Gym Staff Taught Himself Law And Successfully Sued Them
Nowadays it seems like there’s nothing but negative stuff in the news, with mass shootings, political upheaval and the constant threat of nuclear war.
So we thought it would it would be worth bringing you one of our most inspirational stories in recent memory, in which an autistic man showed a bunch of ignorant people who was boss.
30-year-old Ketan Aggarwal is autistic. He was at a Virgin Active club spin class in Uxbridge when staff members branded him ‘stupid’.
So what did Ketan do? He taught himself law and represented himself in court, when he sued them.
It all started when Ketan and another cyclist opined the music was too slow for the routine which was being taught, at which point the instructor yelled:
Don’t tell me how to do my job.
Yet this wasn’t all, the spin class shouted at him a number of times, calling him ‘stupid’ in front of 30 people.
After the class, Ketan did what anyone would do and took a complaint to Virgin Active, though no action was taken against the employee.
At this point, Ketan decided to take matters into his own hands and sued the company for disability discrimination.
In his professional life, Ketan worked as an administrator, but he went to his local library and used online resources to teach himself about the law on disability discrimination.
It took him two years of dedicated learning, but by the time he walked into the courtroom, he was ready for the challenge.
Ketan won the case and Virgin Active was ordered to pay him costs, compensation and to formally apologise.
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.
Ketan said he didn’t get his diagnosis of autism until he was an adult, but he always said he was ‘socially awkward’.
As a result of his hard efforts and strong moral compass, Ketan now has £1200 compensation, as well as £190 in costs and an official written apology.
Yet the court didn’t stop there, with this little nugget being handed down in the judgment:
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.
This just goes to show, the ‘little guy’ can win sometimes. Important to know in these dark times.
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