United States District Court, C.D. California
CHARLES F. EICK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
filed a complaint on December 10, 2015, seeking review of the
Commissioner's denial of benefits. The parties consented
to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge on January
12, 2016. Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on
May 19, 2016. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment
on June 20, 2016. The Court has taken the motions under
submission without oral argument. See L.R. 7-15;
"Order, " filed December 14, 2015.
AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION
1978 through at least the end of 2009, Plaintiff performed
work as a bricklayer, which required heavy exertion
throughout the work day (Administrative Record
("A.R.") 32-34, 46, 67, 181-88, 216). According to
Plaintiff, on the first day of 2010, he became physically
disabled from performing any work whatsoever (A.R. 31, 167,
174). The claimed disappearance of Plaintiff's ability to
perform any work allegedly resulted not from any sudden
illness or trauma, but from a "gradually" worsening
back problem (A.R. 34-36, 82). This "gradually"
worsening problem reportedly began when Plaintiff was 15
years of age (A.R. 35, 82). Plaintiff also claimed to be
disabled as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
("COPD") and alleged problems with his right wrist
and left knee (A.R. 81).
Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") examined the
medical record and heard testimony from Plaintiff and a
vocational expert (A.R. 10-257, 259-380). The ALJ found
Plaintiff has severe disc disease of the lumbar spine and
COPD, but retains the residual functional capacity to perform
a limited range of medium work (A.R. 15-20). In reliance on
the testimony of the vocational expert, the ALJ determined
that a person having this residual functional capacity could
not work as a bricklayer, but could perform several
identified jobs existing in significant numbers in the
national economy (A.R. 20-22, 47-49).
finding Plaintiff not disabled, the ALJ deemed
Plaintiff's statements concerning the alleged severity of
his subjective symptomatology "not entirely
credible" (A.R. 18). The ALJ also rejected the opinions
of Dr. Matthew Root and Dr. Seong Kang, who are alleged to
have been two of Plaintiff's treating physicians (A.R.
Appeals Council considered additional evidence, but denied
review (A.R. 1-5, 258, 381-82).
OF PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS
1. The administrative decision is not supported by
2. The ALJ failed to state sufficient reasons for rejecting
the opinions of Dr. Root;
3. The ALJ failed to state sufficient reasons for rejecting
the opinions of Dr. Kang; and
4. The ALJ should have developed the record more fully.
42 U.S.C. section 405(g), this Court reviews the
Administration's decision to determine if: (1) the
Administration's findings are supported by substantial
evidence; and (2) the Administration used correct legal
standards. See Carmickle v. Commissioner, 533 F.3d
1155, 1159 (9th Cir. 2008); Hoopai v. Astrue, 499
F.3d 1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 2007); see also Brewes v.
Commissioner, 682 F.3d 1157, 1161 (9th Cir. 2012).
Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion." Richardson ...