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Seach v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 13, 2015

MICHAEL JOSEPH SEACH, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant

For Michael Seach, Plaintiff: Richard J. Doud, Davidson Breen & Doud, P.C., Saginaw, MI.

For Social Security, Commissioner of, Defendant: Andrew J. AUSA Lievense, U.S. Attorney's Office, Detroit, MI; Linda Januszyk, Social Security Administration, Office of Regional Counsel, Chicago, IL.

MONA K. MAJZOUB, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE. DISTRICT JUDGE MARK A. GOLDSMITH.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

MONA K. MAJZOUB, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Plaintiff Michael Joseph Seach seeks judicial review of Defendant the Commissioner of Social Security's determination that he is not entitled to social security benefits for his physical and mental impairments under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Docket no. 1.) Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 9) and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 13). The motions have been referred to the undersigned for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). (Docket no. 2; see also docket no. 8.) The Court has reviewed the pleadings, dispenses with a hearing pursuant to Eastern district of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2), and issues this Report and Recommendation.

I. RECOMMENDATION:

The undersigned recommends that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 9) be DENIED and that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 13) be GRANTED.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

Plaintiff filed applications for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income with protective filing dates of June 24, 2010, alleging that he had been disabled since June 10, 2006, due to headaches, back pain, a torn left bicept and left rotator cuff, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, obesity, and depression. ( See TR 22, 24.) The Social Security Administration denied benefits, and Plaintiff requested a de novo hearing, which was held on January 13, 2012, before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ronald Herman, who subsequently found that Plaintiff was not entitled to benefits because he was capable of performing a significant number of jobs in the national economy. (TR 22-34.) The Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's decision, and Plaintiff commenced this action for judicial review. The parties then filed their instant Motions.

III. PLAINTIFF'S TESTIMONY, MEDICAL EVIDENCE, AND VOCATIONAL EXPERT'S TESTIMONY

A. Plaintiff's Testimony and the Medical Evidence of Record

In his brief, Plaintiff sets forth a short procedural history of this matter and discusses the ALJ's basis for denying his benefits. (Docket no. 9 at 5-6.) Notably, Plaintiff's brief fails to make a single reference to the medical record. ( See docket no. 9.) Further, Plaintiff's discussion of his testimony is limited to the following:

The claimant testified at the hearing that sitting and standing for too long causes pain and that he has trouble doing both for extended periods of time. (Tr. 32) In addition, when he does sit for too long, there is numbness and tingling that goes down his legs. (Tr. 56) He would need a sit/stand option, which was not given in the hypothetical. Therefore, the hypothetical is flawed.
Additionally, beside the numbness and tingling due to the low back pain, he also suffers from severe headaches, called cluster headaches. (Tr. 42) These are sudden and debilitating headaches that last a full day, occur multiple times per month, and cause him to lie down to try and alleviate the stress and pressures associated with these headaches. (Tr. 56)

(Docket no. 9 at 9.) The ALJ and Defendant each set forth a detailed overview of Plaintiff's medical history. (TR 27-32; docket no. 13 at 4-7.) The undersigned has reviewed the hearing transcript and Plaintiff's medical record, but for the reasons discussed infra, it is unnecessary to summarize them herein. Plaintiff's medical record and testimony as set forth in the ALJ's decision (TR 27-32) are adopted; the ...


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