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Amaral v. Colvin

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

February 17, 2015

KAREN S. AMARAL, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the Report and Recommendation ("R&R") of the Honorable John L. Weinberg, United States Magistrate Judge (Dkt. 30), and Plaintiff Karen Amaral's ("Amaral") objections to the R&R (Dkt. 31).

On July 7, 2014, Judge Weinberg issued the R&R recommending that the Court affirm the decision of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") that Amaral is not disabled. Dkt. 30[1]. On July 25, 2014, Amaral filed objections. Dkt. 31. On August 6, 2014, the Government responded. Dkt. 32.

The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).

In this case, Amaral objects to (1) the ALJ giving little weight to the medical opinion of treating physician Dr. David Monson and (2) the ALJ's adverse credibility determination. Dkt. 31. With regard to the former issue, Amaral essentially disagrees with the ALJ's interpretation of the evidence. It is well-established, however, that the ALJ's conclusion must be upheld even when the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation. Morgan v. Comm'r of the Soc. Sec. Admin., 169 F.3d 595, 599 (9th Cir. 1999). Even though more recent evidence is more probative, Ryan v. Astrue, 528 F.3d 1194, 1201 (9th Cir. 2008), such a proposition only shows that all of the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation. Aside from reweighing the evidence, the Court agrees with Judge Weinberg that the ALJ provided specific and legitimate reasons for discounting the opinion of Dr. Monson. See Dkt. 30 at 5-8. Therefore, the Court adopts this portion of the R&R.

With regard to the ALJ's credibility determination, Amaral's objection is based on the same theory that the ALJ improperly weighed the evidence in reaching her adverse credibility determination. Dkt. 31 at 7-9. The Court, however, agrees with Judge Weinberg that the ALJ's decision was a rational interpretation of the evidence. Dkt. 30 at 8-10. Therefore, the Court adopts the R&R on this issue as well.

The Court having considered the R&R, Amaral's objections, and the remaining record, does hereby find and order as follows:

(1) The R&R is ADOPTED;
(2) The ALJ's decision is AFFIRMED; and
(3) This action is DISMISSED.

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