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.

Rutigliano v. Berryhill

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 28, 2018

JOEL ALLEN RUTIGLIANO, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF REMAND

          ALKA SAGAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         PROCEEDINGS

         On May 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint seeking review of the denial of his application for Supplemental Security Income. (Docket Entry No. 1). The parties have consented to proceed before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge. (Docket Entry Nos. 11-12). On October 17, 2017, Defendant filed an Answer along with the Administrative Record (“AR”). (Docket Entry Nos. 16-17). The parties filed a Joint Submission (“Joint Stip.”) on February 20, 2018, setting forth their respective positions regarding Plaintiff's claims. (Docket Entry No. 20).

         The Court has taken this matter under submission without oral argument. See C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-15.

         BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION

         On August 3, 2010, Plaintiff, formerly employed as a tester for a manufacturing company and a deliverer for a phone book company (see AR 57-58, 172, 179-81), filed an application for Supplemental Security Income, alleging a disability since October 31, 2005. (AR 148-54).

         On October 26, 2011 and May 7, 2012, the Administrative Law Judge, Lawrence I. Duran (“ALJ Duran”), heard testimony from Plaintiff (who was not represented by counsel), Plaintiff's mother, and vocational experts Roxanne Minkus and Corinne Porter. (See AR 31-44, 47-83). On May 17, 2012, ALJ Duran issued a decision denying Plaintiff's application. (See AR 13-24). After determining that Plaintiff had severe impairments --“left ilionguinal nerve block; status post inguinal hernia repair; nystagmus; visual acuity 20/200 in left eye; astigmatism; emmetropia; asthma; left groin pain; depressive disorder; and anxiety” (AR 15-16)[1]-- but did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments (AR 16-18), ALJ Duran found that Plaintiff had the residual functional capacity (“RFC”)[2] to perform heavy work[3] with the following limitations:

can lift and/or carry 50 pounds frequently and 100 pounds occasionally; can stand and/or walk for 6 hours out of an 8hour workday with regular breaks; can sit for 6 hours out of an 8-hour workday with regular breaks; unlimited pushing and/or pulling; can climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, handle and finger frequently; must avoid concentrated exposure to extreme heat, cold, dust, odors, fumes and pulmonary irritants; can perform simple work; can interact with co-workers, supervisors and the general public occasionally; cannot perform work that requires good visual acuity; and needs letter to be 1 inch in size, close up.

(AR 18-23).

         ALJ Duran then determined that Plaintiff was not able to perform any past relevant work (AR 23), but that jobs existed in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff can perform, and therefore found that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (AR 23-24).

         The Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of ALJ Duran's decision on August 22, 2013. (See AR 1-3, 5).

         Plaintiff filed an action in this Court seeking review of ALJ Duran's decision. On May 29, 2015, the Court issued an Order and Judgment remanding the matter to the Commissioner based on ALJ Duran's failure to fully develop the record with respect to medical records from treating sources. (See AR 416-25; see also AR 431-35 [July 23, 2015 Appeals Council Order vacating ALJ Duran's decision and remanding case to administrative law judge]).

         On July 25, 2016 and December 5, 2016 (on remand), another Administrative Law Judge (“the ALJ”), Mason Harrell, Jr., heard testimony from Plaintiff (who was represented by counsel), medical experts Wayne Kidder and Dr. Glassmeyer, and vocational experts Gregory Jones and Troy Scott. (See AR 333-57, 360-96). On February 6, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision denying Plaintiff's application. (See AR 312-23). After determining that Plaintiff had severe impairments -- “seizure disorder; history of left inguinal hernia repari; congenital nystagmus; history of pulmonary embolism; valvular heart disease; mild degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine with lower back pain; alcohol abuse; major depressive disorder; posttraumaic stress disorder (PTSD); and borderline intellectual functioning” (AR 314) -- but did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of one of the listed impairments (AR 314-16), the ALJ found that Plaintiff had the RFC to perform medium work[4] with the following limitations:

can lift, push or pull 25 pounds frequently and 50 pounds occasionally; can sit, stand or walk for 6 hours out of an 8hour workday; can climb ramps and stairs frequently; cannot climb ropes, scaffolds or ladders; can balance occasionally; can stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl frequently; cannot read fine print (smaller than 1/8 of an inch); cannot perform jobs where distant vision is critical; must avoid exposure to fumes or gases; can be exposed to “no more air pollutants than found in an air-conditioned environment”; must avoid dangerous machinery or working at heights; limited to non-complex and routine tasks; cannot have interactions with the public; can perform tasks requiring teamwork only occasionally; and might miss work once per month.

(AR 316-321).

         The ALJ then determined that Plaintiff did not have any past relevant work (AR 321), but that jobs existed in significant numbers in the national economy that Plaintiff can perform, and therefore found that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. (AR 321-23).

         The ALJ's decision then became the final decision of the Commissioner, allowing this Court to review the decision.[5] See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c); 20 U.S.C. § 416.1484(d).

         STANDARD ...


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.