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.

Thornton v. Berryhill

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

February 5, 2018

BRIAN THORNTON PLAINTIFF
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Brian Thornton (“Plaintiff”) brings this action pursuant to § 205(g) of Title II of the Social Security Act (“The Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (2010), seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denying his application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the Act.

         The Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 7. Pursuant to this authority, the Court issues this memorandum opinion and orders the entry of a final judgment in this matter.

         1.Background:

         Plaintiff protectively filed his disability application on September 10, 2013. (Tr. 17, 201-204). In this application, Plaintiff alleges being disabled due to broken legs, panic attacks, left eye blindness, anxiety, damaged knee cartilage, pins in both feet, bulging discs in her back, a torn rotator cuff, colitis, and “spastic” bowels. (Tr. 224). Plaintiff alleges an onset date of March 18, 2012. (Tr. 17). This application was denied initially and again upon reconsideration. (Tr. 90-138).

         Plaintiff requested an administrative hearing on May 27, 2014. (Tr. 149-150). This request was granted, and Plaintiff's administrative hearing was held on February 11, 2015 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Tr. 35-89). At this hearing, Plaintiff was present and was represented by James Stanley. Id. Plaintiff and Vocational Expert (“VE”) Dwight Turner testified at this hearing. Id. During this hearing, Plaintiff testified he was forty-seven (47) years old, which is defined as a “younger person” under 20 C.F.R. § 404.1563(c) (2008). (Tr. 39-40). As for his education, Plaintiff testified he had completed high school and one year of college. (Tr. 40-41).

         On April 23, 2015, after the administrative hearing, the ALJ entered a fully unfavorable decision denying Plaintiff's DIB application. (Tr. 14-29). In this decision, the ALJ found Plaintiff met the insured status requirements of the Act through December 31, 2017. (Tr. 19, Finding 1). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had not engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) since March 18, 2012, his alleged onset date. (Tr. 19, Finding 2). The ALJ determined Plaintiff had the following severe impairments: generalized anxiety disorder, dysthymic disorder, degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, osteoarthritis of the knees, colitis, and vision disorder. (Tr. 19-20, Finding 3). The ALJ also determined Plaintiff's impairments did not meet or medically equal the requirements of any of the Listings of Impairments in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Regulations No. 4 (“Listings”). (Tr. 20-21, Finding 4).

         In this decision, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and determined his RFC. (Tr. 14-29). First, the ALJ evaluated Plaintiff's subjective complaints and found his claimed limitations were not entirely credible. Id. Second, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the following:

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 he cannot climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds. He can only occasionally climb ramps and stairs. He can occasionally balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. He can perform no work where reading of written material is required. Neither can he monitor of dials, gauges, or monitor screens, or visually inspect or assembly [assemble] small parts or components. Mentally, the claimant is limited to jobs involving simple, routine, repetitive tasks with only incidental interpersonal contact where supervision is simple, direct, and concrete (unskilled work).

Id.

         Considering his RFC, the ALJ determined Plaintiff did not retain the capacity to perform any of his PRW. (Tr. 28, Finding 6). The ALJ then determined whether Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform other work existing in significant numbers in the national economy. (Tr. 28-29, Finding 10). The VE testified at the administrative hearing regarding this issue. Id.

         Based upon that testimony, the ALJ determined Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform the requirements of representative occupations such as (1) motel cleaner (light, unskilled) with 370, 000 such jobs in the nation; (2) inspection worker (light, unskilled) with 120, 000 to 130, 000 such jobs in the nation; (3) assembly worker (sedentary, unskilled) with 160, 000 such jobs in the nation; and (4) machine tending label cutter (sedentary, unskilled) with 220, 000 such jobs in the nation. (Tr. 29). Because Plaintiff retained the capacity to perform this other work, the ALJ determined Plaintiff had not been under a disability, as defined by the Act, from his alleged onset date of March 18, 2012 through the date of his decision or through April 23, 2015. (Tr. 29, Finding 11).

         Plaintiff sought review with the Appeals Council. (Tr. 11-12). On October 6, 2016, the Appeals Council denied his request for review. Id. On December 5, 2016, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this action. ECF No. 1. Both Parties have filed appeal brief and have consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. ECF Nos. 7, 11-13. Plaintiff also filed a reply brief in this matter. ECF No. 13. This case is now ready for decision.

         2. Ap ...


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.