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.

Hensley v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, S.D. California

March 20, 2017

LISA HENSLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER (1) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND (2) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Hon. Dana M. Sabraw United States District Judge

         On August 8, 2012, Plaintiff Lisa Hensley filed an application for disability income benefits, alleging a disability onset date of January 30, 2012. (Administrative Record (“AR”) at 9, 77.) Plaintiff alleged she was disabled due to fibromyalgia and muscle spasms. (Id. at 77.) Plaintiff's claim was denied initially and upon reconsideration, after which she requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). (Id. at 97-100, 106-10, 112-13.) ALJ Peter J. Valentino held a hearing on March 19, 2015. (Id. at 21-75.) Attorney David Shore represented Plaintiff at the hearing. (Id.) The ALJ heard testimony from Plaintiff, medical expert Charles Cooke, M.D., and vocational expert Connie Guillory. (Id.) On April 28, 2015, the ALJ issued a written decision, finding Plaintiff not disabled. (Id. at 9-16.) Plaintiff filed a request for review of that decision, which the Appeals Council denied on August 4, 2016. (Id. at 1-3.) Plaintiff filed the present case on September 7, 2016.

         Plaintiff now moves for reversal or remand of Defendant Commissioner of Social Security's decision to deny her benefits. Defendant opposes Plaintiff's motion and cross-moves for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and grants Defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a 57 year old female with past relevant work experience as a registered nurse. (AR at 76, 94.) She developed pain syndrome in 2003 or 2004, as a result of a virus. (Id. at 299.) Plaintiff's pain syndrome has been diagnosed as fibromyalgia, and she has been seeing John Qian, M.D., her pain management doctor, for treatment. (Id. 31-32, 399.)

         As relevant to the present case, Plaintiff saw Dr. Qian on July 31, 2012. (AR 392.) Plaintiff complained of moderate to severe fibromyalgia pains and severe muscle spasms. (Id.) After a physical examination, Dr. Qian noted that Plaintiff “is alert and orientated[, ]” and “[s]he is in no acute distress.” (Id. at 393.) Dr. Qian recommended that Plaintiff continue the current medical regimen, which included morphine sulfate, xanax, trazodone, neurontin, and baclofen. (Id.) Subsequently on August 27, 2012, Plaintiff saw Dr. Qian for a follow-up visit. (Id. at 390.) Dr. Qian noted Plaintiff's pain was manageable with current medication and recommended Plaintiff to continue the current medical regime. (Id. at 391.)

         On October 29, 2012 and November 26, 2012, Plaintiff returned to Dr. Qian. (AR at 378, 374.) Plaintiff complained that “she continues to struggle with chronic pain” and described her current pain as 7 on a scale of 0 to 10. (Id.) Dr. Qian, however, noted that Plaintiff's pain has been manageable with medication, and therefore, recommended Plaintiff to continue the current medication regime. (Id. at 378-79, 374-75.)

         On December 3, 2012, Plaintiff saw Thomas J. Sabourin, M.D. for a consultative orthopaedic evaluation. (AR at 299.) Plaintiff complained of pain in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, upper back, lower back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. (Id.) Dr. Sabourin conducted a physical examination and noted that Plaintiff had a normal gait, normal range of motion of her cervical spine and lumbar spine with pain throughout the range of motion, negative straight leg raise, and full range of motion of the upper and lower extremities with some diffuse tenderness. (Id. at 300-01.) Dr. Sabourin diagnosed Plaintiff with generalized pain syndrome of an undetermined etiology, and concluded that Plaintiff does not have any orthopedic restrictions. (Id. at 301.)

         On December 24, 2012, Plaintiff saw Dr. Qian and reported that she continues to have moderate to severe fibromyalgia related pains. (AR at 366.) Dr. Qian again recommended that Plaintiff continue the current medication regime because her pain was manageable with medications. (Id. at 366-37.) Plaintiff returned to Dr. Qian for follow-up visits in January 2013 through January 2015. (Id. at 318, 321, 324, 338, 342, 346, 350, 356, 361, 397, 400, 403, 406, 409, 412, 415, 418, 421.) In the progress reports documenting theses visits, Dr. Qian noted that Plaintiff continued to report moderate to severe fibromyalgia related pains, but nevertheless, opined that Plaintiff's pain was manageable with medications.

         During Plaintiff's most recent visit to Dr. Qian on February 18, 2015, Plaintiff reported that she “is able to manage pain w[ith] the current regimen…. [and is] doing fine with pain management.” (Id. at 394.) Dr. Qian noted that Plaintiff had 18/18 positive trigger points, but she was otherwise alert and oriented, not in acute distress, and “functioning at baseline.” (Id. at 395.) Dr. Qian again recommended Plaintiff to continue the current medication regimen. (Id. at 395.)

         II.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff raises two arguments in her motion for summary judgment. First, Plaintiff argues the ALJ improperly rejected her subjective complaints regarding the severity of her symptoms. Second, Plaintiff asserts the ALJ failed to properly consider the opinions of her treating physicians. Defendant disputes there was anything improper about the ALJ's analysis, and ...


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.