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Espey v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

March 16, 2015

LORRA ESPEY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER (1) ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S FEBRUARY 18, 2015 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [ECF NO. 14]; (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF No. 8]; AND (3) GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 13]

LINDA V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

On November 25, 2013, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit challenging Defendant’s final decision partially denying her application for Disability and Disability Insurance Benefits under the Social Security Act.[1] On November 26, 2013, the matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Michael Hluchaniuk for all pretrial proceedings, including a hearing and determination of all non-dispositive matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and/or a report and recommendation (“R&R”) on all dispositive matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). (ECF No. 3.) The parties subsequently filed cross-motions for summary judgment. (ECF Nos. 8, 13.)

On February 18, 2015, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk issued his R&R in which he recommends that this Court deny Plaintiff’s motion, grant Defendant’s motion, and affirm Defendant’s decision finding Plaintiff not disabled under the Social Security Act. (ECF No. 14.) In the R&R, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk first finds that all of the arguments set forth in Plaintiff’s motion “are wholly insufficient and undeveloped.” (Id. at 20.) As has become the hallmark of the summary judgment motions filed by Plaintiff’s counsel, “Plaintiff offers no basis whatsoever for the Court to conclude that the ALJ’s decision is not supported by substantial evidence and offers no factual or legal basis for the Court to conclude that the ALJ committed reversible error of any sort.” (Id.)

In any event, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk finds that the ALJ’s residual functional capacity (“RFC”) for Plaintiff is “well-supported by substantial evidence and that [P]laintiff’s credible limitations were accommodated in the RFC.” (Id.) Thus the ALJ’s hypothetical question to the vocational expert was adequate. (Id. at 12.) Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk further finds no error in the vocational expert’s failure to specify DOT codes for the positions he identified Plaintiff could perform. (Id. at 22.)

Finding substantial evidence in the record to support the ALJ’s decision, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk concludes by recommending that the Court affirm Defendant’s decision. (Id. at 22-23.) At the end of his R&R, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk advises the parties that they may object to and seek review of the R&R within fourteen days of service upon them. (Id. at 23-24.) He further specifically advises the parties that “[f]ailure to file specific objections constitutes a waiver of any further right to appeal.” (Id. at 23.) Neither party filed objections to the R&R.

This Court has carefully reviewed the R&R and concurs with the conclusions reached by Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk. The Court therefore adopts the magistrate judge’s February 18, 2015 Report and Recommendation and is affirming Defendant’s decision denying Plaintiff social security benefits.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, that Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 8) is DENIED;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Defendant’s motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 13) is GRANTED.


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