A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming he is an Internet addict who deserves treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal.
James Pacenza, 58, of Montgomery, N.Y., says he visits chat rooms to treat traumatic stress incurred in 1969 when he saw his best friend killed during an Army patrol in Vietnam.
In papers filed in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., Pacenza said the stress caused him to become "a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict." He claimed protection under the American with Disabilities Act.
Until he was fired, Pacenza was making $65,000 a year operating a machine at a plant in East Fishkill, N.Y., that makes computer chips.
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