Autistic Man Called “Stupid” By Gym Staff Teaches Himself Law, Sues The Company And Wins

Ketan Aggarwal, a 30-year-old man from Southall, London, has won a judgement against a local gym, Virgin Active, and received an apology, representing himself in court, suing the firm, after a fitness instructor called him “stupid,” according to reports from ITV. Mr. Aggarwal, who has autism, was quoted by The Telegraph that the decision “felt amazing,” and underlined his view that the instructor, and others who seemingly hold such views, wouldn’t expect a “stupid” autist to “pick up law, submit a legal claim and then successfully argue it in a court of law.”

The incident was said to have occurred in May 2015, when Aggarwal was attending a spin class hosted with Virgin Active.

A fellow student commented that the music was “too slow,” and Ketan Aggarwal agreed. Apparently taking great offense, the instructor was said to respond by shouting “don’t tell me how to do my job” across the gym. After the class, on a microphone, in front of 30 other attendees, the instructor was reported to have called Aggarwal “stupid” twice. He stated that he believed the instructor singled him out because of his #Autism.

Several types of autism not recognized until 1994
After Virgin Active was said to have refused to censure the employee, Aggarwal, who was diagnosed as an adult, decided to sue the gym in court. Several types of autism, which, previous to 2013 where diagnosed separately, are now grouped under the more broad autism spectrum disorder. Mandy adults with ASD born before 1994, the year the previously recognized conditions were added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, were not diagnosed as children, with doctors being unaware of their existence.

Mr. Aggarwal reported that he “panics during confrontations,” is “awkward” socially, and “more into numbers.” With his diagnosis, he states that he has learned to avoid stressful situations.

— Chris Lawson (@lawsonchrisl17) March 22, 2017
The spin class student compared a gym instructor calling someone with autism “stupid,” to “mocking a guy in a wheelchair.” He described virtually taking up residence in the library, studying legal precedents, and learning how to submit a claim. Aggarwal said that he followed through with the case over the “principal,” and that it “wan’t about the money.”

Decision may open doorway for similar cases
He challenged the instructor’s assertion that he was “stupid,” and held this up against his accomplishment of single-handedly winning a civil suit against a “billion pound company.” After being offered a settlement, a judge was said to warn the plaintiff that if he won, the decision could “open other gyms to legal actions.” Ketan Aggarwal appears to have set a precedent with regard to disability discrimination that may open the doors for similar actions against other U.K. gyms. #United Kingdom

via US Blasting News