A former corrections officer who was forced to retire after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis has secured an $11.8 million jury verdict, including $10 million in punitives, in Mercer County Superior Court.

Shelley Pritchett, a five-year veteran of the state Juvenile Justice Commission, sought unpaid medical leave of four months for treatment of her condition but was told she would face disciplinary charges if she did not take a disability retirement, her suit said. In taking a hard line against leave, the Juvenile Justice Commission failed to engage in the interactive process that the state Law Against Discrimination requires employers to undertake when a worker seeks an accommodation, the suit claimed.

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