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.

Mettler v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

August 7, 2017

MICHELLE E. METTLER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUZANNE MITCHELL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Michelle E. Mettler (Plaintiff) brings this action for judicial review of the Defendant Acting Commissioner of Social Security's (Commissioner) final decision he was not “disabled” under the terms of the Social Security Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 423(d)(1)(A). The parties have consented under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Doc. 13. Following a careful review of the parties' briefs, the administrative record (AR), and the relevant authority, the court reverses and remands the Commissioner's decision.

         I. Administrative determination.

         A. Disability standard.

         The Social Security Act defines “disability” as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). “This twelve-month duration requirement applies to the claimant's inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity, and not just his underlying impairment.” Lax v. Astrue, 489 F.3d 1080, 1084 (10th Cir. 2007) (citing Barnhart v. Walton, 535 U.S. 212, 218-19 (2002)).

         B. Burden of proof.

         Plaintiff “bears the burden of establishing a disability” and of “ma[king] a prima facie showing that he can no longer engage in his prior work activity.” Turner v. Heckler, 754 F.2d 326, 328 (10th Cir. 1985). If Plaintiff makes that prima facie showing, the burden of proof then shifts to the Commissioner to show Plaintiff retains the capacity to perform a different type of work and that such a specific type of job exists in the national economy. Id.

         C. Relevant findings.

         The ALJ assigned to Plaintiff's case applied the standard regulatory analysis and concluded Plaintiff had not met her burden of proof. AR 19-32; see 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)(4); see also Wall v. Astrue, 561 F.3d 1048, 1052 (10th Cir. 2009) (describing the five-step analysis). Specifically, the ALJ found Plaintiff:

(1) was severely impaired, first, by degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, second by diabetes mellitus, third by coronary artery disease, fourth by hypertension, fifth by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sixth by obesity, seventh by hyperlipidemia, eighth by bipolar disorder, ninth by anxiety disorder, and tenth by tobacco abuse disorder;
(2) did not have an impairment or combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of a listed impairment;
(3) had the residual functional capacity (RFC)[1] to perform light work with these restrictions: occasionally sit/stand at the work station without any loss of production, occasionally push and pull, including the operation of hand and foot controls, occasionally climb ramps or stairs, but never climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds, occasionally stoop, kneel and crouch, frequently balance, never crawl, must not work at unprotected heights, around dangerous moving equipment or machinery on an uneven or unstable working surface(s), must not work around concentrations of dust, fumes, gases, noxious odors, or extremes of temperature, can understand, remember, comprehend, and carry out simple work related tasks and instructions, can work with supervisors and coworkers on a superficial working basis, cannot work with the general public, and can adapt to routine changes in the working environment;
(4) could perform no past relevant work;
(5) could perform jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy, such as bench assembler, assembler of electrical equipment, ...

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.