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Kinder v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. New York

August 21, 2014

SHAWNDELL MORICE KINDER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

DECISION AND ORDER

MICHAEL A. TELESCA, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Shawndell Morice Kinder ("Plaintiff" or "Kinder"), brings this action under Title XVI of the Social Security Act ("the Act"), claiming that the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner" or "Defendant") improperly denied her application for Supplemental Security Income ("SSI").

Currently before the Court are the parties' competing motions for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, I grant the Commissioner's motion, deny the Plaintiff's motion, and dismiss the Complaint.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 5, 2010, Plaintiff filed an application for SSI, alleging disability as of February 1, 2010, which was denied. Administrative Transcript [T.] 150-153, 161-173, 58, 60-65. At Plaintiff's request, a hearing was held on June 28, 2011 before administrative law judge ("ALJ") Lawrence Levey, at which Plaintiff, who was represented by counsel, testified, and a vocational expert ("VE") also testified. T. 68-70, 27-56. On July 8, 2011, the ALJ issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled during the relevant period. T. 16-23.

On February 27, 2013, the Appeals Councils denied Plaintiff's request for review, making the ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner. T. 4-7. This action followed.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, who was born in 1982, graduated from high school and completed some college courses but did not graduate. Plaintiff previously worked as a laborer for a landscaping company and a short order cook in a restaurant. T. 33, 45, 168, 193.

Plaintiff testified that he suffers from back pain, kidney stones, urinary problems, and diabetes. T. 33-34, 36. Plaintiff also testified that his back pain forces him to lay down, that it is difficult for him to "sit certain ways" or ride in a vehicle, and that he can sit for about 20 to 30 minutes before he has to switch positions. T. 36. Plaintiff testified further that because of his uncontrolled diabetes, he has lost hearing and neuropathy has "killed the feeling in [his] arms, legs and feet and hands." T. 36-37. Plaintiff testified that he takes pain pills for his neuropathy, but that these pills "just make him drowsy" and that his hands shake a lot which makes it is difficult for him to hold things. T. 39-40.

Plaintiff lives with his mother and his girlfriend and that they help him with preparing meals, getting dressed, doing the laundry, and cleaning the house, although he tries to help with vacuuming. T. 40. After 10 or 15 minutes of standing on his feet, Plaintiff stated that he needs to either sit or lay down. T. 41. Plaintiff testified that he sleeps the majority of the day, and reads to his two-year old son and watches television when he is awake. T. 42. Plaintiff testified that he does not have a driver's license and that he "gets rides" to and from his appointments. T. 43.

Relevant Medical Evidence

Treatment records from Rochester General Hospital show that Plaintiff was seen twice in January 2010 for urinary symptoms and blood in his urine. On the first occasion on January 10, 2010, he was diagnosed with hematuria and hypertension. On the second occasion on January 20, 2010, he was diagnosed with hematuria and discharged in satisfactory condition. T. 201-205. Plaintiff was also seen at Strong Memorial Hospital in January 2010 for blood in his ejaculate and urine, and was diagnosed with hematospermia and hematuria. T. 207-208.

On January 27, 2010, Plaintiff was seen at Rochester General Hospital, complaining of back pain and blood in his urine. Plaintiff was referred to and subsequently saw a urologist who determined that Plaintiff had a urethral obstruction and inserted a catheter until surgery could be scheduled. T. 212-213. In February 2010, Plaintiff was seen twice at Rochester General Hospital, complaining of intermittent blood in the urine and difficulty urinating. T. 216-218, 219-220. On the first occasion, he was diagnosed with hematuria and discharged to home/self care in satisfactory condition. T. 217-218. On the second occasion, he was diagnosed with hematuria and urinary retention and discharged to home/self care in satisfactory condition. T. 220.

On February 24, 2010, Plaintiff saw Dr. Mini Varghese at the Center for Urology who diagnosed hermatospermia and urinary retention. Plaintiff's physical examination for nodules or prostatic tenderness were negative. T. 245.

Plaintiff was seen again at Rochester General Hospital on February 28, 2010 and March 1, 2010 for problems involving his urinary catheter. T. 221-224. On March 3, 2010, Dr. Varghese removed the catheter and performed a cystoscopy, which revealed a blood clot and stone debris. Plaintiff's catheter was reinserted, and Dr. Varghese assessed hematuria/hematospermia with retention. T. 247.

On April 21, 2010, Plaintiff was seen at the Center for Urology by Dr. Jonah L. Marshall. A biopsy of Plaintiff's bladder showed no evidence of carcinoma, but revealed polypoid cystitis and papillary hyperplasia consistent with acute inflammation. Dr. Marshall reported that this was a benign ...


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