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.

Moore v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division

January 26, 2018

LORAN D. MOORE PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, [1] Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HON. ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Loran D. Moore, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Commissioner) denying his claim for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits (DIB) under the provisions of Title II of the Social Security Act (Act). In this judicial review, the Court must determine whether there is substantial evidence in the administrative record to support the Commissioner's decision. See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         I. Procedural Background:

         Plaintiff protectively filed his current application for DIB on August 6, 2013, alleging an inability to work since June 27, 2013, due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, panic attacks, depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety attacks. (Tr. 71-72, 85-86). For DIB purposes, Plaintiff maintained insured status through December 31, 2016. (Tr. 71, 85). An administrative hearing was held on October 7, 2014, at which Plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified. (Tr. 30-69). Debra Steele, Vocational Expert (VE), and David Duane Gosvener, Plaintiff's friend, also testified. (Tr. 57-65).

         In a written opinion dated September 19, 2015, the ALJ found that the Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: depressive disorder, not otherwise specified; anxiety disorder, not otherwise specified; antisocial personality disorder; and obsessive compulsive disorder. (Tr. 13-14). However, after reviewing the evidence in its entirety, the ALJ determined that the Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or equal the level of severity of any listed impairments described in Appendix 1 of the Regulations (20 CFR, Subpart P, Appendix 1). (Tr. 15-16). The ALJ found Plaintiff retained the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform a full range of work at all exertional levels, with the following non-exertional limitations: Plaintiff is limited to work involving simple, routine, repetitive tasks, incidental interpersonal contact with coworkers and supervisors, no contact with the general public, and simple, direct and concrete supervision. (Tr. 16-20). With the help of VE testimony, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was unable to perform his past relevant work as a shipping order clerk and a shipping and receiving supervisor. (Tr. 20). However, based on the Plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and RFC, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff was capable of work as a poultry hanger, a sweeper cleaner, and a floor worker. The VE further testified that Plaintiff would be able to perform the job duties of a gluer, a bottle line attendant, and a sausage inspector. (Tr. 21). Ultimately, the ALJ concluded that the Plaintiff had not been under a disability within the meaning of the Social Security Act from June 27, 2013, through the date of the decision. (Tr. 22).

         Subsequently, on October 24, 2015, Plaintiff requested a review of the hearing decision by the Appeals Council. (Tr. 7). His request was denied on September 7, 2016. (Tr. 1-5). Plaintiff filed a Petition for Judicial Review of the matter on November 10, 2016. (Doc. 1). Both parties have submitted briefs, and this case is before the undersigned for report and recommendation. (Docs. 11, 12).

         The Court has reviewed the transcript in its entirety. The complete set of facts and arguments are presented in the parties' briefs and are repeated here only to the extent necessary.

         II. Evidence Submitted:

         At the hearing before the ALJ on October 7, 2014, Plaintiff testified that he was born in 1961 and had obtained his GED. (Tr. 35-36). Plaintiff's past relevant work consists of work as a shipping order clerk and a shipping and receiving supervisor. (Tr. 62).

         Prior to the relevant time period, Plaintiff underwent a DOT medical examination, was treated for dehydration at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, was treated for a motor vehicle accident at the Northwest Medical Center Emergency Room, and was treated for anxiety and hypertension at the Ear, Nose and Throat Center of the Ozarks. (Tr. 286-288, 290-293, 302-305, 315-322).

         Medical evidence during the relevant time period reflects that on October 18, 2013, Plaintiff underwent a CT examination of his head and an x-ray of his chest, both of which yielded normal results. (Tr. 346-347).

         On November 22, 2013, Dr. Robert Karas performed a General Physical Examination, wherein he noted Plaintiff's complaints of irritable bowel syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and hypertension. (Tr. 326-327). Dr. Karas also noted Plaintiff's report of headaches, acid reflux, back and knee pain, and a history of psychiatric treatment in 2005. Dr. Karas' physical examination of the Plaintiff yielded normal results, except for the inability to flex Plaintiff's middle, left finger and poor balance. (Tr. 329-330). Dr. Karas' mental examination showed that Plaintiff was alert and oriented with no evidence of psychosis, but showed evidence of obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety. (Tr. 332). Dr. Karas listed diagnoses of irritable bowel syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, depression, and hypertension, and opined that no limitations were placed on Plaintiff based upon the findings in the examination. (Tr. 332).

         On November 26, 2013, a Mental Diagnostic Examination was performed by examining physician, Dr. Mary J. Sonntag, Psy.D. Dr. Sonntag's records revealed Plaintiff's complaints of panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and an inability to sleep more than three to four hours per night. (Tr. 335). Plaintiff reported that he participated in counseling in the Psychology Department at the University of Arkansas, where he was given techniques to battle anxiety and depression. (Tr. 335). Plaintiff shared that he saw improvement after his counseling at the University. (Tr. 335). Plaintiff also reported that finances were an obstacle to treatment. Plaintiff shared that he did not need assistance with activities of daily living, that he served a three-year jail sentence for a theft of property conviction, that he did not have trouble getting along with others and that he quit his last job due to anxiety attacks, which occurred several times a day. (Tr. 336). During Plaintiff's mental examination, Plaintiff was noted to have average hygiene, no trouble walking, a good and cooperative attitude, anxious behavior, logical speech, and no evidence of delusions or bizarre obsessions. (Tr. 337). Plaintiff admitted suicidal thoughts, but denied any suicide attempts. (Tr. 337). Based on her observations, Dr. Sonntag diagnosed Plaintiff with anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and a GAF score of 58-60. (Tr. 338). Dr. Sonntag also noted that Plaintiff could drive familiar and unfamiliar routes, could handle his finances, was capable of performing activities of daily living independently, and could participate in social events such as church. (Tr. 338). Dr. Sonntag also opined that Plaintiff communicated and interacted within normal limits, spoke intelligibly and effectively, attended and sustained concentration, persisted on tasks of evaluation, had no problems with testing, was cooperative, gave great effort, and showed no symptoms of exaggeration or malingering. (Tr. 339).

         On November 29, 2013, Dr. Martha Lancaster completed a Case Analysis, where she determined that the medical records would support a rating of non-severe. (Tr. 76-77).

         On December 12, 2013, Plaintiff presented at the Ear, Nose and Throat Center of the Ozarks where he was examined by Carolyn Nutter, a physician assistant-certified. (Tr. 343). At that visit, Plaintiff complained of anxiety and high blood pressure. Ms. Nutter's notes indicated that Plaintiff's symptoms for both anxiety and high blood pressure were mild. (Tr. 343). Plaintiff was instructed to continue with the prescribed diet, exercise and medication for his high blood pressure and to continue with the prescribed medication for his depression. (Tr. 345).

         On January 7, 2014, Dr. Jay Rankin performed a Psychiatric Review Technique, where he opined that Plaintiff had mild restriction of his activities of daily living; Plaintiff had moderate difficulty in maintaining social function; Plaintiff had mild difficulty in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; and Plaintiff had no episodes of decompensation. (Tr. 78). In Dr. Rankin's Mental RFC, he concluded that, based on Plaintiff's medical record, he had the capacity for work where interpersonal contact is routine but superficial, e.g., grocery checker; complexity of task is learned by experience, several variables, judgment within limits; and supervision is little for routine but detailed for non-routine. (Tr. 80).

         On February 13, 2014, Dr. Abesie Kelly, Ph.D. performed a Psychiatric Review Technique, where she opined that Plaintiff had mild restriction of his activities of daily living; Plaintiff had moderate difficulty in maintaining social function; Plaintiff had mild difficulty in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; and Plaintiff had no episodes of decompensation. (Tr. 92). Dr. Abesie also performed a Mental RFC, where she concluded that, based on Plaintiff's medical record, he had the capacity for work where interpersonal contact is routine but superficial, e.g., grocery checker; complexity of task is learned by experience, several variables, judgment within limits; and supervision is little for routine but detailed for non-routine. (Tr. 95).

         On February 14, 2014, Dr. Lucy Sauer reviewed the information in Plaintiff's file and determined that the decision of Dr. Martha Lancaster should be affirmed. (Tr. 91-92).

         On March 25, 2014, Plaintiff was seen by Ms. Nutter for medication refills and complaints of arthritis and hypertension. (Tr. 380). Plaintiff's physical examination was normal, and he was given refills and instructed to continue his ...


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.