(from diagnosis to filing of the lawsuit)

To start of time-lineTo start of Round 2To 1999On to Round ThreeTo Latest
May 17, 1995Bill Silverstein was diagnosed with tendinitis at the Framingham Union Hospital.
May 22, 1995Follow-up with an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon suggested that Bill Silverstein stop working immediately and start his vacation immediately.
May 24, 1995 to June 5, 1995.Bill Silverstein went on vacation for two weeks. Being on vacation for the two weeks reduced the amount of pain that he was in.
June 23, 1995Follow-up with orthopedic surgeon. Referred to a rheumatologist.
June 30, 1995 and July 7, 1995Examined by rheumatologist to eliminate arthritis as a possibility.
Summer 1995Harassed at work by MSI's management A collection agency started harassing me and MSI aided them in the harassment. MSI includes, in its list of grounds for firing Silverstein, that he had been getting the harassing calls from a collection agency. The Framingham District Court determined that this was harassment and issued arrest warrants for the employees of that collection agency who were making those phone calls.
August 30, 1995Examined by a physiatrist. Determined that it was work related. Referred for occupational therapy. Occupational therapy had helped with the strength, but not the pain.
December 8, 1995Follow-up with physiatrist. The physiatrist made a referral for physical therapy.
December 1995, through February 5, 1996Had physical therapy with very limited success.
January 2, 1996Received a 10% merit pay increase. The consumer price index for 1995 was 2.8%.
February 6, 1996Follow-up with physiatrist. Recommended an ergonomic chair, reduced keyboarding hours, and breaks every thirty minutes.
February 7, 1996Provided MSI with copies of the written documentation of the doctor's recommendations. MSI stated that they would provide an ergonomic chair and comply with the rest of the recommendations.
February 15, 1996 to February 27, 1996Bill Silverstein got married and went on a honeymoon in Hawaii. During this period, he spent most of the time away from the keyboard. This time away from the computer helped his wrists.
March 15, 1996After waiting over one month for MSI to purchase the ergonomic chair, Silverstein asked Mason, his manager, about the chair that Silverstein was promised. Mason then instructed Silverstein to buy a chair and submit the receipt for reimbursement.
March 16, 1996Silverstein bought the chair at Staples as instructed by Mason. He then submitted the receipt on March 18, 1996. He was reimbursed on May 23, 1996.
May 10, 1996Silverstein's treating physiatrist. recommended one of the following:
  1. Change into a career that would not require use of a keyboard.
  2. See a psychologist for pain management and learn to live with the constant pain.
  3. Take three to four weeks off of work and get acupuncture. That if he didn't take the time off, the acupuncture would not be effective.

Silverstein informed Mason of this recommendation.

May 22, 1996.A friend of Silverstein recommended getting the acupuncture in China. Silverstein  emailed his medical history to his friend. The records were reviewed by  several doctors in Hong Kong and China. The doctors there confident that they would be able to help.
May 23, 1996MSI finally reimbursed Silverstein for the chair. This was the chair that was purchased on March 16, 1996. MSI was provided with this receipt on March 18, 1996. They finally made the reimbursement on May 23, 1996. That was over three months after the chair was requested.
May 30, 1996Commenced treatment with a doctor who specializes in pain management and certified in both the Japanese and French techniques of acupuncture. The doctor  tried the acupuncture, but having Silverstein only staying off the keyboard for 18 hours after each treatment. A low stress environment was recommended.
June 1, 1996MSI management further increased the amount of stress and scrutiny that they placed Silverstein under.
June 16, 1996The workers compensation insurer offered Silverstein  an ergonomic analysis of his workstation. He eagerly accepted that offer.
June, 28, 1996Acupuncture treatment commenced. The doctor prescribed time off of the keyboard in a stress free environment. MSI was not a stress free environment. MSI had a psycholigist interviewed many of the managers and employees about the amount of stress.
July 1996Silverstein called Christine Ferro, the claims adjuster for the workers compensation insurer, to find out why there had been no word from the nurse regarding the  ergonomic analysis. Christine Ferro stated that  that Debra Gorgens had called and stated that the ergonomist was not needed.
August 1, 1996Jean Dalton, the nurse/ergonomist,  from the workers compensation carrier, finally evaluated Silverstein's workspace.
August 9, 1996Dr. Gordin decided that the time away from work was needed. The acupuncture helped, but the effectiveness was short lived. The time off of work was necessary for the treatment to have a lasting effect. Dr. Gordin placed this in writing.
August 9, 1996MSI was informed of the need for the time off.   This was provided in writing along with a copy of the letter from the medical doctor.
August 12, 1996Debra Gorgens faxed Dr. Gordin's letter to Christine Ferro, claims adjuster from the workers compensation insurer. Gorgens in this fax said, "this time off is in China, please advise."
August 14, 1996Larry Mason made more comments to Deb Gorgens about Silverstein taking time to see doctors.
August 20, 1996After  no objections being expressed by MSI, Silverstein purchased the tickets to Hong Kong. This was to depart on September 3rd.
August 20, 1996
(hours after purchasing the tickets)
Larry Mason had stated that since the documentation did not state the time off was mandatory for a specific date, that it would be personal time. That MSI would allow Silverstein personal time three weeks after the CaLANdar 4.0 release. The release date for CaLANdar 4.0 is September 3, 1996.
August 21, 1996Larry Mason placed the previous day's conversation in writing. Mason also complained about the time Silverstein had already taken for doctors appointments, therapy, and hospital visits. Mason also told Silverstein that Dick Gorgens, CEO, had offered to cover Silverstein's medical insurance if Silverstein waited until three weeks after the CaLANdar 4.0 release (currently scheduled for September 3, 1996).
August 21, 1996Silverstein had changed his departure departure to September 25, 1996, three weeks after the CaLANdar 4.0 release date. After Silverstein informed Mason, of the change, Mason then stated that CaLANdar 4.0 will "release when the pain of not releasing became greater than the pain of releasing it." MSI admits "that in early September, 1996 defendant Mason informed plaintiff that CaLANdar 4.0 did not have a specified released date;" Mason again complained about the time Silverstein had to take off for the medical treatment that he was receiving.
August 27, 1996Silverstein wrote a memo in response to Larry Mason. The memo stated that Silverstein will defer his departure until September 25, 1996. Silverstein stated that he could not defer his  medical treatment indefinitely.  MSI admits that at this point, "some marketing materials indicated a CaLANdar 4.0 release date of September 3, 1996."
September 6, 1996Silverstein's doctor recommended changing his schedule. This was to spread his hours out over the weekend to reduce further injury. Larry Mason was informed of this recommendation. Mason responded that he wanted Silverstein  to rest and recover on the weekends.
September 16, 1996Provided Larry Mason with a copy of Silverstein's updated flight schedule.
September 16, 1996Insurance medical exam (IME) for the workers compensation carrier. The doctor advised that Silverstein needs to change his lifestyle to not be on the keyboard. Dr. Stirrat said that just stopping computer usage would not be enough.
September 17, 1996Larry Mason was informed of the IME results.
September 18, 1996Larry Mason took the office keys from Silverstein.
September 24, 1996Larry Mason asked me to provide Reed Lewis with instructions to build CaLANdar 4.0 using Silverstein's personal copy of OS/2. Silverstein had been using his personal copy of Warp Connect to develop the product because the limitations of DOS and Windows.
September 24, 1996Larry requested the administrator password to SourceSafe, in case they needed to make changes while Silverstein was away. SourceSafe is a version control system that was personally licensed to Silverstein. OneTree's Source Safe has never been licensed to MSI.
September 25, 1996Silverstein left for Hong Kong at 7:00am EDT. He  arrived in Hong Kong on September 26, 1996 at 11:30am EDT.
September 26, 1996At 5:32pm EDT. Larry Mason sent Silverstein  an email stating that if  Silverstein didn't report for work on  September 27, 1996 that he would be fired. Mason knew It was impossible to return to Boston from China that quickly. If Silverstein left the moment that the email was sent, he would not have been able to arrive at the office until after 9:00 p.m. EDT on September 27 - well after the normal business day of 8:15 am to 5:15 p.m.
September 26, 1996Silverstein was informed that due to the delays by MSI I would have to wait a few days before seeing the doctor.
September 27, 1996CaLANdar 4.0 was released.
September 27, 1996Silverstein emailed Larry Mason that he was in Hong Kong; that it was impossible to return that quickly and that Silverstein was there to be treated for a work related injury, under workers compensation act; that the condition was a disability under the American with Disability Act and that the time off is a reasonable accommodation.
September 30, 1996Larry Mason sent an email stating that Silverstein was fired retroactively to September 27, 1996. In response, Silverstein instructed MSI them to remove all his personally owned software from their systems.
October 1, 1996Silverstein received authorization to enter the Peoples Republic of China.
October 7, 1996The doctor ordered immediate treatment and complete rest from work. She also stated that the treatment that Silverstein had received before would not have worked without without resting from work.
October 11, 1996After only five days of treatment, Silverstein observed significant improvement in his condition. He  had made more progress in this one week, than the last two years.
October 22, 1996Silverstein returned from China. The treatment was a success.
October 25, 1996Silverstein went to MSI to retrieve his belongings. After MSI went through his personal notebook computer and all his belongings, MSI refused to return his personal property.
October 26, 1996Silverstein demanded that his personal property be returned. He again demanded that MSI removed all his personally licensed software from their systems. MSI refused.
November 6, 1996MSI refused Department of Labor's ("DOL") request to reinstate Silverstein. The DOL investigator advised me to file suit against MSI. MSI's attorney had admitted to the DOL that MSI violated the FMLA.
December 18, 1996MSI again refused reinstatement in accordance with the FMLA.
December 20, 1996Received a certified letter stating that this website is libelous. I emailed a response which I received no reply.
January 10, 1997Re-sent the December 20, 1996 email. Dick Gorgens acknowledged receipt.
February 3, 1997Silverstein applied for his old job, which was still posted as open on the Microsystems' website. Microsystems did not interview Silverstein for his old position or the technical support position that they had advertised. Silverstein would have been able to do technical support on the product that he had written and debugged.
March 2, 1997MSI advertised Silverstein's position in the Boston Globe . MSI, as a result of this, they hired JoH. One must wonder why she only worked there for a few months.  
March 4, 1997Complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination. The MCAD investigators found that I was a qualified handicap and recommends a finding of probable cause.
May 19, 1997A Hand surgeon, Dr. McKay,  found that Silverstein had a supracondylar process that impacted the median nerve and the brachial artery. After it was found, Silverstein was subjected to EMGs, nerve conduction studies, MRIs, second and third opinions.
June 24, 1997Deb Gorgens sent a letter to the Guardian claiming that a software engineer just "looks at a screen and hitting a singular key."  Apparently the insurance company found Deb Gorgens statement as unbelievable as I do. Read her letter and see if you find that Deb Gorgens is a liar, as I do.
June 25, 1997The disability insurance company made a determination of total disability during the entire time Silverstein was out of work for treatment (at the time he was fired by MSI). The insurance companies paid benefits for total disability. They also had paid all the medical expenses for the treatment received in China
August 20, 1997Had surgery to remove the supracondylar process and restore normal blood flow to the arm. Surgical report [page 2].
October 1997The Learning Company bought Microsystems Software.
March 27, 1998Lump-sum settlement for workers compensation benefits. The settlement never disputed disability. They only disputed how much of the injury was work related
September 24, 1998Suit filed against Microsystems Software and the Learning Company. Amended complaint filed October 5, 1998. The complaint interspliced with the defendant's answers is easier to read.
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