United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Terrence G. Berg United States District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKTS. 13, 14)
STEPHANIE DAWKINS DAVIS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Proceedings in this Court
17, 2018, plaintiff Steven Garavaglia filed the instant suit.
(Dkt. 1). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local
Rule 72.1(b)(3), District Judge Terrence G. Berg referred
this matter to the undersigned for the purpose of reviewing
the Commissioner's unfavorable decision denying
plaintiff's claim for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits. (Dkt. 3). This matter is
before the Court on cross-motions for summary judgment. (Dkt.
filed an application for a period of disability and
disability insurance benefits on November 2, 2015, alleging
disability beginning on November 2, 2015. (Tr.
The claims were initially disapproved by the Commissioner on
January 14, 2016. Plaintiff requested a hearing and on July
17, 2017, he appeared with counsel, before Administrative Law
Judge (“ALJ”) Patricia S. McKay, who considered
the case de novo. (Tr. 14-23). In a decision dated
September 29, 2017, the ALJ found that plaintiff was not
disabled. (Tr. 22). The ALJ's decision became the final
decision of the Commissioner when the Appeals Council, on May
27, 2018, denied plaintiff's request for review. (Tr.
1-5); Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d
541, 543-44 (6th Cir. 2004).
reasons set forth below, the undersigned
RECOMMENDS that plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment be DENIED, that
defendant's motion for summary judgment be
GRANTED, and that the findings of the
Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
born July 19, 1967, was 48 years old on the alleged
disability onset date. (Tr. 21). He has past relevant work as
a carpenter. (Id.). He claims he cannot work because
of sharp back pain. (Tr. 41). He injured his back at work
when he was 22 or 23 years old. (Tr. 42-43).
applied the five-step disability analysis and found at step
one that Garavaglia had not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since November 2, 2015, the alleged onset date. (Tr.
16). At step two, the ALJ found that Garavaglia's history
of degenerative disc disease/osteoarthritis and herniated
lumbar discs and hypertension with syncope were
“severe” within the meaning of the second
sequential step. (Tr. 17). However, at step three, the ALJ
found no evidence that plaintiff's impairments singly or
in combination met or medically equaled one of the listings
in the regulations. (Tr. 18).
the ALJ assessed plaintiff's residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) as follows:
After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) except only occasional climbing of stairs,
crouching, crawling, kneeling, and stopping/bending [sic];
and must avoid workplace hazards such as dangerous, moving
machinery and unprotected heights, which precludes climbing
ladders, ropes, and scaffolding.
(Tr. 18). At step four, the ALJ found that plaintiff was
unable to perform any past relevant work. (Tr. 21). At step
five, the ALJ denied plaintiff benefits because she found
that there were jobs that exist in significant numbers in the
national economy that plaintiff can perform. (Tr. 21-22).