United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
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, Dkt. 3; Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 4). This matter has been fully briefed ( see Dkt. 10, 11, 12).
After considering and reviewing the record, the Court concludes that the ALJ failed to evaluate properly the medical evidence. Although the ALJ found that Dr. Symonds' opinions with respect to lifting and carrying do not appear to be based on objective examination findings, Dr. Symonds specifically indicates that objective examination findings support his opinion regarding lifting and carrying, noting "[o]bjective evidence of tenderness with pain with range of motion and lifting and reaching" (AR. 491). Hence, the Court concludes herein that the ALJ's failure to credit fully all of the opinions from Dr. Symonds is not supported by specific and legitimate reasons based on substantial evidence in the record as a whole.
Therefore, this matter should be reversed pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and remanded to the Acting Commissioner for further consideration consistent with this order.
Plaintiff, WAYNE ALLEN PIDARSON, was born in 1959 and was 51 years old on the amended alleged date of disability onset of January 28, 2011 ( see AR. 20, 44, 48, 226-32, 232-37). Plaintiff has an 8th grade education and has not obtained his GED (AR. 60-61). Plaintiff has work experience as an auto electrical rebuilder (AR. 277-78).
According to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairments of "tendinitis/bursitis of the right upper extremity and neuropathy of the left lower extremity (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c))" (AR 22).
At the time of the hearing, plaintiff was living in an apartment with his mother (AR. 46-47).
Plaintiff's applications for disability insurance ("DIB") benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423 (Title II) and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1382(a) (Title XVI) of the Social Security Act were denied initially and following reconsideration ( see AR. 73-85, 86-98, 101-13, 114-28). Plaintiff's requested hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge Robert P. Kingsley ("the ALJ") on December 4, 2012 ( see AR. 38-68). On February 28, 2013, the ALJ issued a written decision in which the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to the Social Security Act ( see AR. 17-38).
In plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following issues: (1) Did the ALJ err in failing to apply Sedentary Grid rule 201.10; (2) Did the ALJ err in failing to find plaintiff's right wrist fusion to be a severe impairment at step 2 of the sequential evaluation process; (3) Did the ALJ err in rejecting the medical opinions of the Consultative Examiner, James K. Symonds M.D.; and (4) Were the ALJ's errors harmless ( see Dkt. 10, p. 1).
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. ...