Man Wins $450,000 After Suing Employer For Throwing Him Unwanted Birthday Party

Posted April 16, 2022 by with 3 comments

This man is my hero, via Lexington Herald Leader:

Days before his birthday in August 2019, an employee at a Kentucky-based laboratory asked his office manager to not arrange a celebration for his birthday. It wasn’t the fear of getting older, but rather an anxiety disorder that can spur “panic attacks in stressful situations,” according to court documents. The employee, who was hired in October 2018 by Gravity Diagnostics, did not want a celebration because “being the center of attention” can trigger his disorder, the documents state. When the company threw him a lunchtime party against his wishes, it triggered a panic attack and he left abruptly to spend his break in his car.

He eventually sued Gravity Diagnostics, and this week, a jury awarded the man $450,000 in damages for his lost wages and emotional distress.

A day later after he arrived for work, he was called into a meeting with two superiors, who “confronted and criticized” him for how he reacted to the birthday party he did not want, according to the lawsuit. This caused him to have another panic attack. On Aug. 11 he received an email stating “he was being terminated because of the events of the previous week,” the lawsuit states.

The $450,000 he was awarded includes $120,000 for lost wages and $300,000 for “past, present and future mental pain and suffering, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification and loss of self-esteem,” court records show.

[Lexington Herald Leader: Employee’s unwanted birthday party nets him $450,000 after lawsuit against KY company]

The employer, which provides laboratory testing for doctors and patients, is of course appealing the verdict.