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.

Campbell v. Saul

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

November 8, 2019

MALINDA CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW SAUL, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Malinda Campbell is suing for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income, alleging that she has been disabled since February 8, 2013, because of obesity, degenerative joint disease, carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia.[1] She contends that the administrative law judge who heard her suit erred in three respects: (1) failing to comply with SSR 01-01p of the Social Security Regulations in not considering the impact of plaintiff's obesity on her ability to work; (2) violating SSR 96-2 by not considering the effect of her mental impairments on her ability to work; and (3) violating SSR 00-4p by failing to resolve the conflict between the vocational expert's testimony and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. For the reasons that follow, I conclude that plaintiff has failed to show that the administrative law judge erred in any respect. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income will be denied.

         The following facts are drawn from the administrative record (AR).

         FACTS

         A. Social Security Application

         On May 16, 2013, plaintiff filed for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income, alleging that she had been disabled since February 8, 2013, the day after her earlier benefits had ended. (In an earlier proceeding, Administrative Law Judge Brenton Rogozen had ruled plaintiff disabled under the Social Security Act for a “closed period” from June 24, 2011until July 9, 2012, but not after that date.)

         Plaintiff's second round of claims was denied initially and upon reconsideration. Plaintiff then requested and was granted a hearing before a new administrative law judge, Thomas Springer, on January 24, 2018, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Plaintiff testified, along with William Dingess, a vocational expert. The administrative law judge denied the claims in a written opinion entered on March 22, 2018, after which plaintiff filed this lawsuit.

         B. Relevant Medical Evidence

         Rather than proposing facts in her brief, plaintiff has set out 22 pages of what appear to be excerpts from doctors' reports filed between July 7, 2012 and December 20, 2017. Dkt. #9-1. It was not necessary to do this, because the court has access to all of the medical reports filed during the period at issue and medical evidence covering any other period is irrelevant. I will consider only the evidence relating to the period starting February 8, 2013.

         The notes on plaintiff's medical history set out in dkt. #9-1 show that plaintiff has the following medical problems: morbid obesity (she was 5'8" inches tall and weighed 260 pounds at the time of her January 2018 hearing), migraines, restless leg syndrome, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She has had problems with an ankle and an Achilles tendon in the past, but she has had surgery for tarsal tunnel syndrome in her right leg and for Achilles tendinitis in her right foot. AR 733. She also has sleep apnea, but it is controlled with the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

         The record contains a No. of medical or psychiatric assessments of plaintiff. In September 9, 2014, Dr. George Walcott, a physician employed by the Social Security Administration, found that plaintiff had exertional limitations, but was capable of at least sedentary work. He found, in addition, that she could lift 10 pounds occasionally or frequently, walk or stand with normal breaks, sit for six hours with normal breaks in an eight-hour workday and had unlimited ability to push or pull, other than as limited by the restraint on her lifting or carrying. AR 156. He also found that plaintiff had no visual, communicative or environmental limitations; her carpel tunnel syndrome had improved with surgery; she had started physical therapy for her fibromyalgia but had gone to only two sessions; and she had frequent migraines, but had had a normal neurology examination. AR 146-47.

         On October 1, 2014, Social Security Administration psychologist, Eric Edelman, Ph.D., conducted a psychiatric assessment of plaintiff and concluded that she did not have any mental health impairment that would impose any limitations. He did note that plaintiff expressed anxiety. AR 154.

         On August 20, 2015, another Social Security Administration physician, Dr. Mary McLarnon, addressed plaintiff's ability to perform her past relevant work and her exertional limitations, reaching opinions identical to those of Dr. Walcott. AR 173. Dr. McLarnon considered plaintiff's migraine headaches, finding that they were “not at listing level frequency or severity.” AR 174.

         Dr. Marcus Desmonde, Psy.D., saw plaintiff in September 2015 and found that she had a depressive disorder, unspecified, with occasional anxious distress, mild to moderate. AR 717. He believed that plaintiff was capable of managing her own finances, understanding simple instructions and carrying out tasks with any limitations set by a treating physician. AR 718-19. He also found her capable of interacting with co-workers, supervisors and the general ...


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.