How an Indian-origin man studied the law to successfully sue the gym that mocked him for his autism
There are some who silently bear humiliation and then there are those who do something about it. Ketan Aggarwal, a 30-year-old man from Southall in London, belongs to the latter category. Branded 'stupid', he took matters into his own hands and studied the law to beat a multi-million-pound firm in court all by himself.
Ketan, who had gone to attend a spin class at Virgin Active gym, agreed with a fellow cyclist that the music was too slow, requesting the instructor to change it to something more motivating. The instructor took this personally for some reason and as per the legal reports, called him 'stupid' over the microphone twice in front of 30-odd people. This unfortunate incident took place in May 2015, following which Ketan complained to the club, which refused to take any action. He then decided to study law and figure out the tiniest of legal details for the next two years to take them to court himself.
According to The Telegraph, Ketan said,
If I was that stupid I wouldn't have been able to successfully pursue the claim. 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.
As per the Daily Mail reports, Ketan also said,
When someone discriminates against someone with a mental disability, they don't think they are going to pick up law, submit a legal claim, and then successfully argue it in a court of law.
One of the spokespersons from Virgin Active club, which is owned by Richard Branson, has also come out and spoken regarding this. According to the Daily Mail, the spokesperson said,
We believe in offering a welcoming, inclusive, and friendly environment for our members. We are very sorry that on this occasion we failed to do that, and are committed to reviewing our ongoing training to ensure the experience for all members is of the highest quality.
Sadly, there is still very little awareness regarding mental disabilities like autism. However, there is hope that such stories will create at least some sense of awareness among people.