United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
Richard Creatura, United States Magistrate Judge
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. 4; Consent to Proceed
Before a United States Magistrate Judge, Dkt. 5). This matter
has been fully briefed. See Dkt. 11, 12, 13.
considering and reviewing the record, the Court concludes
that the ALJ erred when evaluating the medical evidence by,
in part, failing to discuss significant probative evidence of
the examination and evaluation of plaintiff by an examining
physician. The ALJ noted one sentence about depression from
the report of examining physician, Dr. Singh, but completely
failed to discuss the pages of information regarding
plaintiff's physical impairments within Dr. Singh's
report, which were the reasons for his examination.
for this and for other reasons discussed herein, this matter
is reversed and remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42
U.S.C. § 405(g) to the Acting Commissioner for further
consideration consistent with this order.
JENNIFER JUNE SHINN, was born in 1972 and was 38 years old on
the alleged date of disability onset of June 3, 2011.
See AR. 160-61. Plaintiff graduated from high school
and has some college credits. AR. 42. Plaintiff has work
history as a grocery checker and dental assistant. AR.
to the ALJ, plaintiff has at least the severe impairment of
“cervical spine disorder (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).”
time of the hearing, plaintiff was living with her husband
and two teenage daughters in the family home. AR. 42.
application for disability insurance benefits
(“DIB”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423 (Title
II) of the Social Security Act was denied initially and
following reconsideration. See AR. 17.
Plaintiff's requested hearing was held before
Administrative Law Judge Kimberly Boyce (“the
ALJ”) on May 20, 2015. See AR. 35-67. On July
27, 2015, the ALJ issued a written decision in which the ALJ
concluded that plaintiff was not disabled pursuant to the
Social Security Act. See AR. 14-34.
plaintiff's Opening Brief, plaintiff raises the following
issues: (1) Did the ALJ err by rejecting the generally
consistent opinions from plaintiff's treating primary
care physician, treating neurosurgeon and treating physical
therapist, as well as ignoring the opinion of the treating
psychiatrist and failing to find her mental impairments
“severe”; and (2) Did the ALJ cite “clear
and convincing” reasons supported by substantial
evidence to reject plaintiff's statements and testimony.
See Dkt. 11, p. 1.
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. 2005)
(citing Tidwell v. Apfel, 161 F.3d 599, 601 (9th
Did the ALJ err by rejecting the generally consistent
opinions from plaintiff's treating
primary care physician, treating neurosurgeon and treating
physical therapist, as well as ignoring the opinion of the
treating psychiatrist and failing to find her mental
presents numerous challenges to the ALJ's review of the
medical evidence. Although the Court will not discuss all of
these, the Court finds persuasive numerous of plaintiff's
argument regarding errors in the evaluation of the medical
evidence. For example, the ALJ erred when evaluating the
opinions of two of plaintiff's treating physicians, erred
by failing to consider the medical opinion of an ...