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Gerringer v. Berryhill

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

March 5, 2018

CAROL ANN WALLS GERRINGER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          ORDER AFFIRMING COMMISSIONER'S FINAL DECISION

          THOMAS S. ZILLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Carol Ann Walls Gerringer seeks review of the denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income and Disability Insurance Benefits. Ms. Walls Gerringer contends the ALJ erred by (1) rejecting the opinion of her treating physician, Jack Goldman, M.D.; (2) rejecting her own symptom testimony; and (3) rejecting the testimony of two lay witnesses. Dkt. 9 at 1. As relief, Ms. Walls Gerringer contends this matter should be reversed and remanded for payment of benefits. Id. As discussed below, the Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's final decision and DISMISSES the matter with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 28, 2013, Ms. Walls Gerringer applied for benefits, alleging disability as of June 30, 2013. Tr. 13. Her applications were denied initially and on reconsideration. Tr. 13. After the ALJ conducted a hearing on March 18, 2015, she issued a decision finding Ms. Walls Gerringer not disabled. Tr. 13-19.

         THE ALJ'S DECISION

Utilizing the five-step disability evaluation process, [1] the ALJ found:
Step one: Ms. Walls Gerringer has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 30, 2013, the alleged onset date.
Step two: Ms. Walls Gerringer has the following severe impairments: colitis.
Step three: This impairment does not meet or equal the requirements of a listed impairment.[2]
Residual Functional Capacity: Ms. Walls Gerringer can perform light work. She is able to lift or carry up to 20 pounds occasionally and up to 10 pounds frequently. She can stand or walk for approximately 6 hours, and sit for approximately 6 hours per 8 hour work day with normal breaks. She can frequently climb ramps or stairs. She can never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds. She can frequently stoop. She must avoid moderate exposure to workplace hazards such as dangerous machinery or working at unprotected heights. She needs access to a restroom on the worksite and may need to take a brief break to use the bathroom at least once between each normally scheduled break, so once very hour.
Step four: Ms. Walls Gerringer can perform past relevant work as a buyer and print shop supervisor and, as such, is not disabled.
Step five: Because the ALJ found Ms. Walls Gerringer not disabled at step four, she did not reach step five.

Tr. 13-19. The Appeals Council denied Ms. Walls Gerringer's request for review making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's ...


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