Man Sues Employer For Throwing Him A Birthday Party He Didn’t Want And Wins £350K

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

19 Apr 2022

A man from Kentucky, US has won a lawsuit against his former employer after they threw him a surprise birthday party.

Working at Gravity Diagnostics, Kevin Berling suffered a series of panic attacks at his workplace in 2019.

Gravity Diagnostics, ignored his request and had the surprise lunchtime celebration for him with the incident eventually leading to his termination days later, according to a lawsuit he filed against the company 

Quickly leaving the party Berling finished the rest of his lunch in his car, later commnuucating to his manager his discontent with his request being denied.

He was then “confronted and criticized” during a meeting, which “triggered another panic attack,” the lawsuit says.

The company claim that during this meeting, Kevin became “very red”, closed his eyes, clenched his fists and “commanded silence, while shaking”.

Berling was said to be “stealing his co-workers” joy and was called a “little girl.”

On March 31, a jury awarded him £350,000 ($450,000), finding he suffered an “adverse employment action” because of his anxiety disability.

Founder and Chief Operating Officer Julie Brazil claims Berling was terminated for violating a “workplace violence policy”.

“My employees de-escalated the situation to get the plaintiff out of the building as quickly as possible while removing his access to the building, alerting me and sending out security reminders to ensure he could not access the building, which is exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Berling’s attorney, Tony Bucher, said in a statement that his client posed no threat.

“Kevin was an exceptional employee that went above and beyond for his employer and if they would have taken a step back it would have been clear that he did not present any danger at all.”