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Cardey v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

June 12, 2014

JAMES B. CARDEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant.

ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

J. RICHARD CREATURA, Magistrate Judge.

This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed.R.Civ.P. 73 and Local Magistrate Judge Rule MJR 13 ( see also Notice of Initial Assignment to a U.S. Magistrate Judge and Consent Form, ECF No. 3; Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge, ECF No. 4). This matter has been fully briefed ( see ECF Nos. 11, 12, 13).

After considering and reviewing the record, the Court finds that the ALJ did not resolve the conflicts between the Dictionary of Occupational Titles ("DOT") regarding job requirements for identified jobs that plaintiff could perform and plaintiff's abilities and limitations as set forth in plaintiff's RFC.

Therefore, this matter is reversed and remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to the Acting Commissioner for further consideration.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, JAMES B. CARDEY, was born in 1967 and was 38 years old on the alleged date of disability onset of February 15, 2006 ( see Tr. 174). Plaintiff believes he completed high school and took a small engine course at a community college during his last year at high school (Tr. 48-49). Plaintiff has work experience doing maintenance for a construction supply company, as director of sales for a pre-fab home company and as a caulker for a sealing company (Tr. 202-205).

The ALJ found that plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of "malingering; depression versus bipolar disorder; anxiety disorder, NOS; opiate dependence, intermittent; lumbar strain; cervical degeneration with strain; borderline personality disorder with dependent traits; right shoulder impingement (20 CFR 404.1520(c))" (Tr. 21).

At the time of the hearing, plaintiff was living in a "clean and sober" house with his girlfriend, his girlfriend's father and three other people (Tr. 51).

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff's application for disability insurance ("DIB") benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423 (Title II) of the Social Security Act was denied initially and following reconsideration (Tr. 102-09, 111-18, 174-77). Plaintiff's requested hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge Mattie Harvin-Woode ("the ALJ") on June 7, 2012 ( see Tr. 39-100). On July 27, 2012, the ALJ issued a written decision in which she concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to the Social Security Act ( see Tr.16-38).

In plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following issues: (1) Did the Commissioner err in failing to address and analyze plaintiff's medically determinable impairment of terrors; (2) Did the Commissioner err in failing to find that plaintiff's mental health conditions satisfied the requirements of the listings; (3) Did the Commissioner err in her evaluation of the medical evidence in arriving at her credibility assessment and residual functional capacity assessment; (4) Did the Commissioner err in arriving at an internally inconsistent residual functional capacity assessment; and (5) Did the Commissioner err by relying on the testimony of a vocational expert which is inconsistent with the Dictionary of Occupational Titles ( see ECF No. 11, p. 2).

Because the Court has concluded that the ALJ erred at step five of the sequential disability evaluation process, the majority of plaintiff's contentions will not be discussed.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court may set aside the Commissioner's denial of social security benefits if the ALJ's findings are based on legal error or not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Bayliss v. Barnhart, 427 F.3d 1211, 1214 n.1 (9th Cir. ...


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