Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Yuchasz v. Commissioner of Social Security

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

March 9, 2017

TODD M. YUCHASZ, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [14] AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [18]

          MONA K. MAJZOUB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Todd M. Yuchasz seeks judicial review of Defendant 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. 14) and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 18). Plaintiff has also filed a reply brief in support of his Motion for Summary Judgment.[1] (Docket no. 19.) With consent of the parties, this case has been referred to the undersigned for final judgment in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73. (Docket no. 15.) The Court has reviewed the pleadings, dispenses with a hearing pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2), and is now ready to rule.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff protectively filed an application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits on April 22, 2013, alleging disability beginning February 15, 2013, due to generalized anxiety disorder, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, fatigue, morbid obesity, attention deficit disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, personality disorder NOS, depression, heavy metal exposure, autonomic neuropathy, and other disorders of the liver. (TR 118-19, 132, 136.) The Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff's claims on June 25, 2013, and Plaintiff requested a de novo hearing. (TR 57-70, 77.) On October 28, 2014, Plaintiff appeared with a representative and testified at the hearing before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Janice L. Holmes. (TR 27-56.) In a February 9, 2015 decision, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not entitled to benefits because he was capable of performing a significant number of jobs in the national economy. (TR 10-22.) The Appeals Council declined to review the ALJ's decision (TR 1-3), and Plaintiff commenced this action for judicial review. The parties then filed cross motions for summary judgment, which are currently before the Court.

         II. HEARING TESTIMONY AND MEDICAL EVIDENCE

         Plaintiff (docket no. 14 at 5-8), and the ALJ (TR 15-20) have set forth detailed, factual summaries of Plaintiff's medical record and the hearing testimony. Having conducted an independent review of Plaintiff's medical record and the hearing transcript, the undersigned finds that there are no material inconsistencies between these recitations of the record. Therefore, the undersigned will incorporate the factual recitations by reference. Additionally, the undersigned will include comments and citations to the record as necessary throughout this Opinion and Order.

         III. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S DETERMINATION

         The ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of February 15, 2013, and that Plaintiff suffered from the following severe impairments: chronic liver disease, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), affective disorders, and anxiety disorders. (TR 12.) Next, the ALJ found that Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or medically equal the severity of an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. (TR 13-14.) The ALJ then found that Plaintiff had the following residual functional capacity (RFC):

[T]he claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) except: he can frequently climb ramps or stairs; never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds; frequently balance, stoop, kneel[, ] crouch and crawl. He needs to avoid exposure to hazards, such as unprotected heights, moving mechanical parts and operation of motor vehicles. He should have no contact with the general public and only occasional contact with co-workers.

(TR 14-21.) Subsequently, in reliance on the vocational expert's (VE's) testimony, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was capable of performing a significant number of jobs in the national economy. (TR 21-22.) Therefore, the ALJ found that Plaintiff was not disabled under the Social Security Act at any time from February 15, 2013, through the date of the decision. (TR 10, 22.)

         IV. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court has jurisdiction to review the Commissioner's final decisions. Judicial review of the Commissioner's decisions is limited to determining whether his findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether he employed the proper legal standards. See Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Walters v. Comm'r, 127 F.3d 525, 528 (6th Cir. 1997). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla but less than a preponderance; it is “‘such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'” Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401 (quoting Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938)); Walters, 127 F.3d at 528. It is not the function of this Court to try cases de novo, resolve conflicts in the evidence, or decide questions of credibility. See Brainard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 889 F.2d 679, 681 (6th Cir. 1989); Garner v. Heckler, 745 F.2d 383, 387 (6th Cir. 1984).

         In determining the existence of substantial evidence, the court must examine the administrative record as a whole. See Kirk v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 667 F.2d 524, 536 (6th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 461 U.S. 957 (1983). If the Commissioner's decision is supported by substantial evidence, it must be affirmed, even if the reviewing court would decide the matter differently, Kinsella v. Schweiker, 708 F.2d 1058, 1059 (6th Cir. 1983), and even if substantial evidence also supports the opposite conclusion. See Her v. Comm'r, 203 F.3d 388, 389-90 (6th Cir. 1999); Mullen v. Bowen, 800 F.2d 535, 545 (6th Cir. 1986) (en banc) (noting that ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.