Aggarwal was taking a spin class at a Virgin Athletic Club in the UK when he casually agreed with a female classmate that the music was too slow and was “unmotivating” for the pace of the class. Upon hearing the comment, the spin instructor allegedly yelled aggressively at Aggarwal, “don’t tell me how to do my job.”
“He started shouting across the room and told me my ‘opinion was bollocks’ in the middle of the class,” Aggarwal told The Daily Mail. “I stayed quiet but it made me feel horrible. He singled me out even though I only agreed with someone else. I believe this is because of my autism.”
With the help of library books and online resources, Aggarwal taught himself about the law, represented himself in court, and impressively beat Virgin Active’s legal team.
“He called me stupid twice,” he said. “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.”
“It was worth it though,” he said. “It wasn’t about the money, it was about the principle.”
As Virgin Active, a spokesman: “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.”