US man wins $450k lawsuit after unwanted surprise birthday triggered panic attacks
A Kentucky man named Kevin Berling was awarded $450,000 as compensation after his firm threw him a surprise birthday celebration despite his warnings that it would cause stress and anxiety. According to him, an uninvited 2019 birthday celebration at Gravity Diagnostics caused him to have panic attacks.
According to the lawsuit filed in Kenton County, Berling, who suffers from anxiety disorders, urged his manager not to celebrate his birthday at work as it is customary for its employees since it could trigger a panic attack and bring up unpleasant childhood memories. Despite his request, the business surprised him with a party in August 2019 which resulted in Berling rushing out of the gathering.
Berling was fired:
Mr Berling was “confronted and criticised” the next day at a meeting, where he was accused of ‘stealing his coworkers’ and for ‘acting like a little girl,’ according to the lawsuit. Gravity Diagnostics fired him on Aug 11, claiming workplace safety issues. His lawsuit claimed that the corporation discriminated against him due to his disability and that he was unfairly punished.
The jury gave Berling $450,000 after a two-day trial in late March, including $300,000 for emotional distress and $150,000 for lost wages.