Ketan Aggarwal, 30, proved he was anything but stupid by hitting the library books to learn law and single-handedly beat the multi-million pound company’s legal team.
He was in a spin class when he agreed with a fellow cyclist the music was too slow – prompting the instructor to apparently yell ‘don’t tell me how to do my job’. (Nigerian style).
When the class ended the instructor ‘shouted’ at him again – twice calling him ‘stupid’ down the microphone in front of 30 people, legal documents alleged.
Mr Aggarwal complained, but when Virgin Active refused to punish the worker he took them to court.
The administrator borrowed books from the library, scoured online articles on discrimination, and consulted previous cases to prepare for his court room battle.
Representing himself against Virgin Active’s lawyer, he single- handedly argued he had been the victim of disability harassment.
Virgin Active was ordered to pay him costs and compensation, apologize and to look into training staff on equality.
Mr Aggarwal, from Southall, London , said: ‘He called me stupid twice.
‘Calling someone with a mental disability “stupid” is similar to mocking a guy in a wheelchair’.
‘If I was that stupid I wouldn’t have been able to successfully pursue the claim against a solicitor of a billion pound company. 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 principal‘.
Mr Aggarwal said he was diagnosed with autism as an adult and has always been ‘socially awkward’ and ‘more into numbers’, and panics during confrontations.
There is ability in disability.