Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Holman-Bradford v. Commissioner of Social Security

April 7, 2010

BRENDA L. HOLMAN-BRADFORD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court are Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 24), Defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 25), and Plaintiff's reply (Doc. 26).

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff applied for social security benefits on October 14, 2003. In the application, plaintiff claims that her disability began on October 30, 1999. Plaintiff claims that her disability is caused by a combination of cervical degenerative disc disease, lumbar degenerative disc disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), coronary artery disease, left shoulder tendinopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome and major depressive disorder. Plaintiff's claim was initially denied.*fn1 Following denial of reconsideration, plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on April 11, 2006, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") John P. Garner. In a November 10, 2006, decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled based on the following findings:

1. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 30, 1999, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 416.920(b) and 416.971 et seq.).

2. The claimant has the following severe impairments: cervical degenerative disc disease, lumbar degenerative disc disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), coronary artery disease (CAD), left shoulder tendinopathy, and major depressive disorder (20 CFR 416.920(c)).

3. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).

4. After careful consideration of the entire record the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity for lifting and carrying 10 pounds occasionally and 5-10 pounds frequently; standing and/or walking for about 6 hours during an 8-hour workday; sitting for about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; occasionally pushing/pulling less than 10 pounds; occasionally reaching (including overhead reaching); and occasionally climbing, balancing, kneeling, crouching, crawling, and stooping. She should avoid exposure to temperature extremes, humidity/wetness, and irritating inhalants. Further, she can complete simple and some detailed tasks, and sustain persistence on same, and interact with the public in a distant way.

5. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work (20 CFR 416.965).

6. The claimant was born on June 10, 1961 and was 42 years old on the date the application was filed, which is defined as a younger individual age 18-44 (20 CFR 416.963).

7. The claimant has a limited education and is able to communicate in English (20 CFR 416.964).

8. The claimant has acquired work skills from past relevant work (20 CFR 416.968).

9. Considering the claimant's age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity, the claimant has acquired work skills from past relevant work that are transferable to other occupations with jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy (20 CFR 416.960(c), 416.966 and 416.968(d)).

10. The claimant has not been under a "disability," as defined in the Social Security Act, since October 29, 2003 (20 CFR 416.920(g)), the date the application was filed.

After the Appeals Council declined review on October 19, 2007, this appeal followed.

II. SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE

The certified administrative record ("CAR") contains the following evidence, summarized below:

A. Medical Records

1. Treatment Records

a. Physical Health*fn2

Plaintiff had an MRI of her shoulder on December 10, 2003. The impression was "No significant shoulder impingement. There is some increased linear signal in the infraspinatus tendon which may represent tendinopathy/tendonitis. No through-and-through tear is appreciated." (CAR 502).

On January 20, 2004, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Ahsan for a neurological evaluation on a referral from Plaintiff's treating physician, Dr. Bacon. (CAR 413-18). Her chief complaint was noted as neck and back pain, with a history of migraine headaches. She also complained about tingling and numbness in the right hand. Upon examination, Dr. Ahsan found Plaintiff's lungs to be clear bilaterally, no rales or wheeze; no deformity or scoliosis in her extremities. Her mood was normal, affect appropriate, speech fluent, language comprehensible, memory normal, concentration and reasoning normal, no hallucinations, no apraxia. Her muscle mass and tone were normal, power was 5/5 on both sides, upper and lower, and she had increased tone in the neck muscles. She complained of hip pain. Her reflexes were 2 all over, plantars were flexor. Pain, touch and vibratory senses were normal. Coordination, finger-nose, heel-shin and rapid alternating movements were normal. Her gait was normal.

Dr. Ahsan found her "clinical symptoms and physical examination are consistent with the diagnosis of migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome of the right hand, back pain and depression." (CAR 415). Dr. Ahsan started her on Neurontin, and suggested she continue her other medications. He ordered an EEG of the brain and MRI of the lumbar spine. He also performed nerve conduction studies on the right and left median and ulnar nerves. He found the study to be "consistent electrically with mild carpal tunnel syndrome predominantly axonal at the wrist on the right. Amplitudes were decreased on right side more than left in comparison." (CAR 417).

The cervical spine MRI Dr. Ahsan ordered was completed on February 14, 2004. The impression was:

1. Some degenerative disc changes at C5-6 with some disc bulge and spurring, eccentric and laterally prominent to the left side causing some obliteration of the ventral thecal sac and some left-sided neural foraminal narrowing as above.

2. Milder diffuse disc bulge at C4-5 as above." (CAR 501).

The thoracic spine MRI Dr. Ahsan ordered was also completed on February 14, 2004. The impression was:

1. Prominent areas of decreased signal posterior to the spinal cord, within the thecal sac. These are of uncertain significance, and this could relate to CSF flow artifact versus vascular or cystic abnormality posterior to the cord in the subarachnoid spaces. Correlation is recommended with follow-up contrast-enhanced scanning of thoracic spine as above.

2. No disc herniation or severe stenosis in the thoracic region. (CAR 500).

Finally, Plaintiff had a lumbar spine MRI also on February 14, 2004, again ordered by Dr. Ahsan. The impression was: "1. Some mild disc bulging at L5-S1, and to a lesser extent at L4-5, as above."

On May 20, 2004, Plaintiff had elective cardiac catheterization.

On December 23, 2004, Plaintiff had a heat CT scan without and with contrast for black outs. The impression was:

1. No acute intracranial abnormality.

2. Question of some subtle decreased density in the pons which may be artifactual but can be correlated clinically and evaluated further by MR, if indicated. See above. (CAR 292).

Plaintiff was seen in the emergency room on January 20, 2005 for a cough, shortness of breach and chest pain. (CAR 489-90). Upon examination, her lungs were bronchial sounding, but her chest x-ray showed no acute changes. There was no evidence of any pneumonia or infiltrate. Her urine drug screen was positive for marijuana and opiates. An EKG showed a normal sinus rhythm with no acute changes. She was diagnosed with chest pain and bronchitis, was discharged with no new medication and was referred back to her primary care doctor for follow up.

On June 28, 2005, Plaintiff was admitted into the hospital for elective permanent pacemaker placement, which she tolerated well. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.