Kentucky: In yet another interesting case of lawsuit win, a Kentucky man has been awarded US$450,000 (NZ$668,600) after his former employers threw him an unwanted surprise party for his birthday despite his objections.
The plaintiff, Kevin Berling, was formerly employed by Gravity Diagnostics, a medical laboratory that processes COVID-19 tests in Covington, Kentucky.
As per reports, Berling said he subsequently suffered a panic attack from the unwanted attention and was soon fired from Gravity Diagnostics. He later filed a compensation suit against the company, according to legal docs seen by The Post.
He also alleged that the firm discriminated against him based on his disability.
"Managers started giving him a hard time for his response to the birthday celebrations," Berling's attorney, Tony Bucher, told local TV news outlet WKRC. "They actually accused him of stealing his co-workers' joy."
The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky's Kenton County. In the legal documents, Mr Berling stated that he had asked his manager not to celebrate his birthday at work as it normally does for its employees, as it could result in panic attacks and would bring back uncomfortable childhood memories. However, despite the request, the company threw him a surprise party, which triggered a panic attack.
Mr Berling left the party immediately, went to his car, practised breathing techniques, ate his lunch, and then texted his manager, upset his request had been ignored. As per the lawsuit, the following day, Mr Berling was "confronted and criticised" at a meeting, where he was accused of "stealing his co-workers' joy" and "being a little girl". The meeting again prompted a second panic attack, after which the firm sent the lab technician home.