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Patricia M. Major Jester v. Michael J. Astrue

February 8, 2012

PATRICIA M. MAJOR JESTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR B. Kenton United States Magistrate Judge1

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER (Social Security Case)

This matter is before the Court for review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security denying Plaintiff's application for disability benefits. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c), the parties have consented that the case may be handled by the Magistrate Judge. The action arises under 42 U.S.C. §405(g), which authorizes the Court to enter judgment upon the pleadings and transcript of the record before the Commissioner. The parties have filed the Joint Stipulation ("JS"), and the Commissioner has filed the certified Administrative Record ("AR").

Plaintiff raises the following issues:

1. Whether the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") should have afforded the opinion of the treating doctor greater weight than the opinion of the consultative examiner;

2. Whether the ALJ failed to provide clear and convincing reasons to reject Plaintiff's subjective limitations.

(JS at 3.)

This Memorandum Opinion will constitute the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. After reviewing the matter, the Court concludes that the decision of the Commissioner must be affirmed.

I

THE ALJ PROPERLY DEPRECIATED THE OPINION OF PLAINTIFF'S TREATING PHYSICIAN In her first issue, Plaintiff disputes that portion of the ALJ's decision which accords less weight to the opinion of her treating physician, Dr. Myers, than to the opinions of two orthopedic consultative examiners ("CE"), and the medical expert ("ME") who testified at the hearing.

After exhaustively reviewing the medical evidence, the ALJ determined not to give "controlling or even great weight" to Dr. Myers' evaluation and opinion. (AR 24, opinion at 569-574; treatment notes at AR 577-650.) Several reasons are stated in the decision which include the following:

1. That Dr. Myers' opinion is contradicted by his own treatment notes;

2. That the objective medical evidence in the record did not support Dr. Myers' opinion;

3. That Dr. Myers' opinion was in conflict with the opinions of both orthopedic CEs; and

4. That the orthopedic CEs would be entitled to greater consideration because of ...


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