- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A jury has awarded $432,500 to a woman who says fitness trainers at the North Carolina Highway Patrol hazed female cadets trying to join the force.

In court, Jennifer Martin said the trainers kept forcing her to work out despite a hip injury that ended up being so severe she now has one leg an inch shorter than the other.

But Martin said the main point of her lawsuit was to get the Highway Patrol to realize they need to treat women better.

“This isn’t about me; it isn’t about a jury award. It’s about change and accountability,” Martin told the News & Observer of Raleigh (http://bit.ly/22u4L4h ).

The Highway Patrol declined to comment about the case because is can be appealed.

Martin was a deputy in Franklin County when she decided she wanted to become a state trooper. She couldn’t finish training in 2007 because of an ankle injury, but got another chance in October 2008.

Martin said she hurt her hip, and instead of getting her medical help, the trainers told her she had to run at 6 mph on a treadmill. Martin cried from the pain.

“It’s going to be really sad when we have to tell your family you’ve been killed because you couldn’t finish your job,” one of the trainers reportedly said before speeding up the machine again.

Another trainer told other cadets to put Martin in a wheelchair. She said she felt her hip break and they still waited before getting her medical help.

Martin’s hip was so severely damaged that her left leg is now an inch shorter than her right, leaving her permanently disabled.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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