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The American is compensated with 450 thousand dollars after the company celebrated his birthday unwillingly

The American is compensated with 450 thousand dollars after the company celebrated his birthday unwillingly

A Kentucky man has been awarded $450.000 after his company threw him a birthday party despite his warnings that it would cause him stress and anxiety.

Plaintiff Kevin Berling claims an unwanted 2019 birthday party at Gravity Diagnostics caused him to suffer a series of panic attacks, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

Berling's lawsuit alleges the company discriminated against him because of his disability. Meanwhile, the company has denied any malice.

According to the lawsuit, Berling - who suffers from anxiety disorders - had asked his manager not to throw him a birthday party at work as he usually does with his employees, as it could result in a panic attack and it would bring him back to unpleasant childhood memories.

Despite Berling's request, the company, which performs tests for COVID-19, threw him a surprise party in August 2019, causing him to have a panic attack. He quickly left the party and finished his lunch in his car.

The lawsuit states that Berling was "confronted and berated" in a meeting the next day, where he was accused of "stealing the joy of his colleagues." The tense meeting caused him to have a second panic attack, after which the company sent him home for the remainder of August 8 and August 9.

On August 11, Gravity Diagnostics fired him, citing workplace safety concerns.

His lawsuit now claims the company discriminated against him because of a disability and unfairly retaliated against him.

After a two-day trial in late March, the court ruled that he should be awarded $450,000 in damages, including $300,000 for emotional distress and $150,000 for lost wages.

The company's chief operating officer, Julie Brazil, told local media outlet Link NKY that Gravity Diagnostics is behind its decision to fire Berling.

"Our employees were the victims in this case, not the plaintiff," she said, adding that the company is contesting the decision and considering an appeal.

Berling's lawyer, Tony Bucher, told the BBC there was "absolutely no evidence" that he posed a threat to anyone at Gravity who would seek his dismissal.

Data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that over 40 million Americans - nearly 20% of the population - suffer from anxiety disorders.