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Nichols v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

March 23, 2015

WILLIE NICHOLS, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

LINDA V. PARKER, District Judge.

On March 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit challenging the Commissioner of Social Security's ("Commissioner's") final decision denying Plaintiff's application for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income under the Social Security Act. On March 12, 2014, this Court referred the lawsuit to Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen for all pretrial matters 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. On February 28, 2015, Magistrate Judge Whalen issued his R&R recommending that this Court grant Plaintiff's motion, deny the Commissioner's motion, and remand the matter pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further proceedings. (ECF No. 17.)

In his R&R, Magistrate Judge Whalen concludes that the Administrate Law Judge erred in his evaluation of Plaintiff's limitations resulting from his back condition. ( Id. at 19-21.) Magistrate Judge Whalen further finds a discrepancy between the hypothetical question forming the basis of the vocational expert's job testimony and the assigned residual functional capacity. ( Id. at 21-22.) At the conclusion of the R&R, Magistrate Judge Whalen advises the parties that they may object to and seek review of the R&R within fourteen days of service upon them. ( Id. at 22-23.) He further specifically advises the parties that "[f]ailure to file specific objections constitutes a waiver of any further right to appeal." ( Id., citing Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505 (6th Cir. 1991); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981).) Neither party filed objections to the R&R.

The Court has carefully reviewed the R&R and concurs with the conclusions reached by Magistrate Judge Whalen. The Court therefore adopts Magistrate Judge Whalen's February 28, 2015 Report and Recommendation.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED, that Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Defendant's motion for summary judgment is DENIED;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that this matter is REMANDED pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further proceedings consistent with the R&R.


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