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Stoughton v. Colvin

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 30, 2014

DAVID ALLEN STOUGHTON, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

ORDER

ALLISON CLAIRE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying his application for period of disability and disability insurance benefits ("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act and supplemental security income ("SSI") under Title XVI of the Act. The parties' cross motions for summary judgment are pending. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant in part plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, and will deny defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed his application for DIB on March 27, 2009, alleging disability beginning on January 15, 2008. Administrative Record ("AR") 193-95. Plaintiff's application was denied initially on May 8, 2009 and again upon reconsideration on December 2, 2010. AR 57-60, 64-68. On April 26, 2012, a hearing was held before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Carol Buck. AR 27-52. Plaintiff appeared and was represented by attorney Gail Stassinos at the hearing. Id . Plaintiff and vocational expert David Dettmer testified at the hearing. Id . In a decision dated June 4, 2012, the ALJ found plaintiff not disabled. AR 9-26.

The ALJ made the following findings (citations to 20 C.F.R. omitted):

1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act on December 31, 2008.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period from his alleged onset date of January 15, 2008 through his date last insured of December 31, 2008.
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the following severe impairments: obesity, diabetes mellitus with neuropathy of the feet, and asthma.
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have any impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1.
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that, through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except: he could have lifted, carried, pushed, and/or pulled 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; he could have stood and/or walked for about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; he could have sat for about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; he could have frequently performed postural activities, except that he could have occasionally climbed ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes, and scaffolds; and he should have avoided concentrated exposure to fumes, odors, gases, poor ventilation, and hazards.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was capable of performing past relevant work as an auto salesperson. This work did not require the performance of work-related activities precluded by the claimant's residual functional capacity.
7. The claimant was not under a disability, as defined in the Social Security Act, at any time from January 15, 2008, the alleged onset date, through December 31, 2008, the date last insured.

AR 14-21.

Plaintiff requested review of the ALJ's decision by the Appeals Council, but it denied review on May 15, 2013, leaving the ALJ's decision as the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security. AR 1-6.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Born on January 13, 1943, plaintiff was 65 years old on the alleged onset date of disability and 69 years old at the time of the administrative hearing. AR 27, 193. Plaintiff did not engage in substantial gainful activity during the period between January 15, 2008 and December 31, 2008. AR 14. Plaintiff previously worked in auto sales where he was required to work from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. AR 39. Plaintiff described the ...


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