March 24, 1998
Mr. Clarence P. Livingston
Silicon Impressions Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Re: Peter Hossfeld ADA Claim, Your File Number 971103-01
Dear Mr. Livingston:
As I understand it, my ethical obligations to preserve Mr. Hossfeld's confidences are waived when Mr. Hossfeld puts his physical or emotional condition in issue in a lawsuit where he is the plaintiff. I would like an opportunity to research that further, but that is my present understanding.
Given that understanding, I would, of course, be happy to give my testimony regarding Mr. Peter Hossfeld and his physical and emotional condition.
I do not presume to give you advice as to how to defend this lawsuit, but I think it would be easier to prove that Mr. Hossfeld's job performance deteriorated so dramatically that he was no longer shielded from termination by the ADA, rather than to prove that Mr. Hossfeld was not, in fact, disabled. The truth is that Mr. Hossfeld had significant and accelerating impairment that was both physical and mental in origin. My understanding of the ADA is that it requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for those employees who have or suffer disabilities. As I understand the provisions of the ADA, it does not protect an employee from termination if, despite reasonable accommodations by the employer, the employee still cannot perform his duties. Peter would fall into that catagory. I suspect that Peter's disabilities were so overwhelming as to substantial impair his job performance.
I await your further instructions.
Very truly yours,
Charles Balis, M.D.