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O'Grady v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 11, 2018

TIFFANY O'GRADY, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          FOR PLAINTIFF: GORTON LAW OFFICE

          FOR DEFENDANT: HON. GRANT C. JAQUITH U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York

          PETER A. GORTON, ESQ.

          VERNON NORWOOD, ESQ. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney

          ORDER

          DAVID E. PEEBLES, CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Currently pending before the court in this action, in which plaintiff seeks judicial review of an adverse administrative determination by the Acting Commissioner, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g), 1383(c)(3), are cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings.[1] Oral argument was conducted in connection with those motions on January 10, 2018, during a telephone conference held on the record. At the close of argument, I issued a bench decision in which, after applying the requisite deferential review standard, I found that the Acting Commissioner's determination did not result from the application of proper legal principles and is not supported by substantial evidence, providing further detail regarding my reasoning and addressing the specific issues raised by the plaintiff in this appeal.

         After due deliberation, and based upon the court's oral bench decision, a transcript of which is attached and incorporated herein by reference, it is hereby

         ORDERED, as follows:

(1) Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED.
(2) The Acting Commissioner's determination that plaintiff was not disabled at the relevant times, and thus is not entitled to benefits under the Social Security Act, is VACATED.
(3) The matter is hereby REMANDED to the Acting Commissioner, with a directed finding of disability, for the purpose of calculating benefits owing to the plaintiff.
(4) The clerk is respectfully directed to enter judgment, based upon this determination, remanding the matter to the Acting Commissioner pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) and closing this case.

         Transcript of a Decision on January 10, 2018, at the James Hanley Federal Building, 100 South Clinton Street, Syracuse, New York, the HONORABLE DAVID E. PEEBLES, United States Magistrate Judge, Presiding.

         (Time noted: 10:21 a.m.)

         (In Chambers, Counsel present by telephone.)

         THE COURT: All right. I have before me a request for judicial review of an adverse determination by the Acting Commissioner pursuant to 42 United States Code Sections 405(g) and 1383(c)(3).

         The background is as follows: Plaintiff was born in April of 1988, is currently 29 years old. She is 5'5" tall and, at least in June of 2016, weighed 243 pounds. She has been characterized as being obese.

         She has a ninth grade education and no GED. While in school, she attended regular classes. She was generally a good student, but dropped out at age 14 and moved in with her boyfriend and his mother.

         It's unclear where she currently lives at the time. At one point, she lived in Binghamton, but she may have moved out of state to North Carolina.

         Plaintiff last worked for one year in a Dell call center either one year or two years. At one point in the administrative transcript it's listed as June 2007 to February 2008. She was fired for absenteeism. She has also worked in a fast food setting at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and in another call center in Florida.

         Plaintiff suffers from both physical and mental impairments. She suffers back pain and has been treated by Dr. Sae -- S-A-E-J-O-U-N, Park. She was also referred to an orthopedic specialist, Dr. Kamlesh, K-A-M-L-E-S-H, Desai, D-E-S-A-I. She's been diagnosed as having lumbar scoliosis with mild pelvic obliquity, but her disc spacing appears to be maintained and there's no evidence of subluxation.

         She underwent MRI testing back in 2007 that showed mild facet arthropathy and synovitis at ¶ 3-L4 and L5-Sl, but with no compressive discopathy. The plaintiff has been diagnosed, at least at one point by her treating physician, Dr. Park, as ...


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