United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JESSE A. PAYNE, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
ORDER: (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS
[Doc. 17]; (2) ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [Doc.
16]; (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Doc. 12]; AND (4) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Doc. 15]
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge
August 16, 2017, Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub issued a
Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) [Doc.
16], recommending that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. 12] be DENIED and Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. 15] be GRANTED. Plaintiff objects to
the R & R. [Doc. 17].
following reasons, the Court OVERRULES
Plaintiff's objections [Doc. 17] and
ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Majzoub's R
& R [Doc. 16].
Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 15] is
GRANTED; Plaintiffs Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. 12] is DENIED.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3), a district judge is
required to determine de novo any part of a
magistrate judge's report and recommendation that has
been properly objected to. Id.; see also 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). This de novo review
requires the Court to re-examine all relevant evidence
previously reviewed by the magistrate judge to determine
whether the recommendation should be accepted, rejected, or
modified in whole or in part. Cole v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 105 F.Supp.3d 738, 741 (E.D. Mich. 2015); 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
sets forth two objections to the R & R. First, Plaintiff
argues that Magistrate Judge Majzoub “engaged in
impermissible post hoc rationalizations in reviewing
the [Administrative Law Judge's (“ALJ”)]
opinion, basing conclusions not upon findings rendered by the
ALJ but instead upon her own rationalizations for those
findings.” [Doc. 17, PgID 804]. This objection concerns
the ALJ's inaccurate reference to the results of an
August 2010 tilt table test (conducted by Dr. Edward Robles)
as “normal” instead of “abnormal.”
Although the ALJ mistakenly indicated that the test results
were normal, he accurately summarized the detailed findings
of the test - which included irregular/adverse results.
that the ALJ “essentially recited the results of
Plaintiff's tilt table test verbatim, ” Magistrate
Judge Majzoub found that:
[The ALJ's] error in reciting the test results . . . [was
not] a fundamental mischaracterization of the evidence
sufficient to warrant remand of this matter, particularly in
light of the fact that (1) the ALJ also noted the abnormal
results of the test, e.g., hypotension, bradycardia, and near
syncope; and (2) despite noting the abnormal results of the
tilt table test in several of his reports regarding
Plaintiff's treatment, Dr. Robles did not assess any
greater functional limitations to Plaintiff as a result of
this test than the ALJ assessed in determining
Plaintiff's RFC. Notably, Plaintiff fails to mention that
on multiple occasions, Dr. Robles opined that Plaintiff was
able to work, except he should not work around prisoners
until his syncopal episodes improved. (See TR 629,
632, 636, 639-42, 646). The ALJ's RFC assessment is not
inconsistent with Dr. Robles's opinion; in fact, it
actually assesses greater functional limitations to Plaintiff
than Dr. Robles did after considering Plaintiff's
abnormal tilt test. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion
should be denied with regard to this issue.
[Doc. 16, PgID 796].
says the Magistrate Judge erred: (1) “in overlooking
the ALJ's mischaracterization of Dr. Robles' tilt
table test result as ‘normal' when it is plainly
‘abnormal'”; and (2) “chock[ing] up the
ALJ's plain error as typographic in nature.” [Doc.
17, PgID 805-06].
fails to show that the ALJ's error in reciting the test
results constitutes reversible error, especially considering
that: (1) the ALJ accurately recited the adverse findings
from the test; (2) the ALJ assessed greater functional
limitations than Dr. Robles (who did not mischaracterize the
results of the test); (3) the August 2010 test was only one
of many medical records in the evidence during the period at
issue (i.e., June 2010 to December 2015); and (4) the ALJ
accurately summarized all of the other relevant medical
records in the decision. This alone is fatal to
Plaintiff's first objection. However, this objection also
fails when considering Plaintiff's arguments.
argument that the Magistrate Judge “overlook[ed]”
the ALJ's mischaracterization of the test result lacks
support. Based on the above excerpt from the R & R, it is
clear that Magistrate Judge Majzoub did not
“overlook” the ALJ's error in reciting the
test results. Rather, she acknowledged the error and found
that it was not a fundamental ...