SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Massachusetts federal court has awarded a former Springfield teacher $900,000 as a result of her complaints against the Springfield Public Schools (SPS).
Deryl Blanks filed a lawsuit against SPS for not providing her with “reasonable accommodation for her disabilities” when she was transferred to an alternative school where her medical conditions of anxiety and stress escalated.
According to a news release sent to 22News from Blanks’ attorney Terrence Coles, before being transferred to the alternative school she had an excellent record since becoming a teacher in Springfield in 1976. After being moved to the new school in 2011 she had trouble with anxiety and stress due to physical attacks and threats at the school. She asked for a transfer to a non-alternative school after an order from her physician, and was denied. She claimed the department tried to have her terminated based on her performance at the new school.
After more than two years of trying to get a transfer, Blanks retired and filed her lawsuit.
Read the original complaint filed at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts:
A jury awarded Blanks $303,599 for lost earnings, $100,000 for emotional distress, and $500,000 in punitive damages.
Read the Jury Verdict form here:
22News contacted Springfield Public Schools for a statement, but they declined to comment.