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Murphy v. Colvin

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 8, 2013

TERYL D. MURPHY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, [1] Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

OSWALD PARADA, Magistrate Judge.

The Court[2] now rules as follows with respect to the disputed issue listed in the Joint Stipulation ("JS").[3]

I.

DISPUTED ISSUE

As reflected in the Joint Stipulation, the disputed issue raised by Plaintiff as the grounds for reversal and/or remand is whether there is an inconsistency between the Dictionary of Occupational Titles ("DOT") and the ALJ's determination that Plaintiff can perform the jobs of Small Products Assembler I and Electronics Worker. (JS at 2.)

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under 42 U.S.C. ยง 405(g), this Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine whether the Commissioner's findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether the proper legal standards were applied. DeLorme v. Sullivan , 924 F.2d 841, 846 (9th Cir. 1991). Substantial evidence means "more than a mere scintilla" but less than a preponderance. Richardson v. Perales , 402 U.S. 389, 401, 91 S.Ct. 1420, 28 L.Ed.2d 842 (1971); Desrosiers v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs. , 846 F.2d 573, 575-76 (9th Cir. 1988). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson , 402 U.S. at 401 (citation omitted). The Court must review the record as a whole and consider adverse as well as supporting evidence. Green v. Heckler , 803 F.2d 528, 529-30 (9th Cir. 1986). Where evidence is susceptible of more than one rational interpretation, the Commissioner's decision must be upheld. Gallant v. Heckler , 753 F.2d 1450, 1452 (9th Cir. 1984).

III.

DISCUSSION

A. The ALJ's Findings.

The ALJ found that Plaintiff has the medically determinable severe impairments of diabetes mellitus II; obesity; and a history of bipolar disorder. (Administrative Record ("AR") at 11.)

The ALJ concluded that Plaintiff has the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to perform a range of light work, with the following limitations: lift twenty pounds occasionally and ten pounds frequently; stand and/or walk for a total of two hours out of an eight-hour workday, but no more than 15 minutes at a time, and sit for a total of six hours out of an eight-hour workday; occasionally climb stairs, stoop, and bend; precluded from climbing ladders, power gripping, work on dangerous machinery or unprotected heights, and in environments from temperature extremes; and restricted to simple repetitive tasks involving no public contact, and no intense interaction with co-workers. (Id.)

Relying on the testimony of the vocational expert ("VE"), the ALJ determined Plaintiff was unable to perform his past relevant work. (Id. at 21.) Based on the VE's testimony, the ALJ concluded that there are jobs in the national and regional economy that exist in significant number that Plaintiff can perform, such as Assembly, Small Products I (Dictionary of Occupational Titles ("DOT") No. 706.684-022); and Electronics Worker (DOT No. 726.687-010). (AR at 22.) Although not included in the ALJ's findings regarding alternative work, the VE also testified that Plaintiff could perform the light work of Sewing Machine Operator (DOT No. ...


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