Man Successfully Sues Employer for $450K Over Unwanted Birthday Party

Man Successfully Sues Employer for $450K Over Unwanted Birthday Party

( – Anxiety can be absolutely crippling for those who are dealing with it. A Kentucky man grappled with the disorder and it was made worse when his colleagues ignored one of his requests. Now, a jury has sided with him in a lawsuit.

A jury has awarded Kevin Berling, of Kenton County, $450,000 after he sued his former employer Gravity Diagnostics, LLC for allegedly discriminating against him because of his disability and retaliating against him. The lawsuit stemmed from an August 2019 incident. According to Berling, he approached his office manager on August 2, 2019, and requested the office not celebrate his August 7 birthday because he suffered from a crippling anxiety disorder. On the day of his birthday, the company ignored his request and arranged a party anyway.

When Berling learned of the party, he had a massive anxiety attack. The next day, his managers called him in for a meeting and criticized him for his reaction to the party. He had another panic attack and asked them to stop. He began using coping mechanisms, like hugging himself, to deal with the anxiety and they asked him to stop. On August 11, the company fired him.

On March 31, a jury agreed the company was guilty of discrimination and awarded the ex-employee significant compensation for various claims of mental pain and suffering, anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, and loss of self-esteem. He was also awarded $120,000 in lost wages and $30,000 in lost future wages and benefits.

The company plans to challenge the verdict.

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