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Bogart v. Berryhill

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

December 15, 2017

MICHELLE BOGART, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Defendant.

          ORDER REVERSING AND REMANDING FOR FURTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

          BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Michelle Bogart appeals the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income. She contends the ALJ erred by (1) misevaluating the medical opinions of examining psychologists Owen J. Bargreen, Psy.D., and Thomas Genthe, Ph.D., and reviewing psychologist Janis Lewis, Ph.D.; (2) misevaluating the opinion of Dick Moen, MSW; (3) failing to consider lay testimony by her fiancé Karl F. Nesensohn; and (4) discrediting her symptom testimony. Dkt. 10. The Court finds that the ALJ harmfully misevaluated Dr. Bargreen's examining opinion and therefore REVERSES and REMANDS for further administrative proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         BACKGROUND

         Ms. Bogart is currently 47 years old, has a GED, and has worked as a framer and a reception clerk. Tr. 36-38. In June 2013, she applied for benefits, alleging disability as of January 2005. Tr. 193-201. After her application was denied initially and on reconsideration, the ALJ conducted a September 2015 hearing. Tr. 32-68. In a November 2015 decision, the ALJ found Ms. Bogart not disabled. Tr. 12-26. As the Appeals Council denied Ms. Bogart's request for review, the ALJ's decision is the Commissioner's final decision. Tr. 1-3.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

         Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] the ALJ found:

Step one: Ms. Bogart had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 11, 2013, the application date.
Step two: Ms. Bogart had the following severe impairments: post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, polysubstance abuse, and borderline personality disorder.
Step three: These impairments did not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Ms. Bogart can perform a full range of work at all exertional levels but with certain nonexertional limitations. She is able to understand, remember, and carry out simple, routine tasks. She can have no contact with the general public and perform no tandem tasks or tasks involving a cooperative team effort but is able to have occasional and superficial contact with coworkers. She is able to adapt to routine changes in the workplace setting.
Step four: Ms. Bogart could not perform her past work.
Step five: As there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that Ms. Bogart can perform, she not disabled.

Tr. ...


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