Miguel A Cadena v. Carolyn W Colvin

Filing 19

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER by Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh; the ALJ's decision is affirmed and the action is dismissed with prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. See order for details. (jy)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 MIGUEL A. CADENA, Plaintiff, v. 13 14 15 16 CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant. ) Case No.: ED CV 13-2066-PJW ) ) ) ) MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 I. INTRODUCTION Plaintiff appeals a decision by Defendant Social Security Administration (“the Agency”), denying his application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”). He claims that the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred when he determined that Plaintiff could perform the work of an assembler despite the fact that he was blind in one eye. For the reasons discussed below, the Court concludes that the ALJ did not err. 26 27 28 1 II. 1 SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS In May 2011, Plaintiff applied for DIB, alleging that he 2 3 was disabled due to the fact that, among other things, he could 4 not see out of his right eye. 5 43, 145-46.) 6 reconsideration. 7 and was granted a hearing before an ALJ. 8 2012, he appeared with counsel and testified at the hearing. 9 (AR 37-52.) (Administrative Record (“AR”) 40, The Agency denied the application initially and on (AR 53-60, 63-70.) Plaintiff then requested (AR 79-84.) In June The ALJ subsequently issued a decision denying 10 benefits. (AR 24-32.) Plaintiff appealed to the Appeals 11 Council, which denied review. 12 action. III. 13 (AR 1-4.) He then commenced this ANALYSIS The ALJ found that Plaintiff had no vision in his right 14 15 eye. 16 he concluded that, despite this limitation, Plaintiff could 17 perform the jobs of plastic hospital products assembler, 18 Dictionary of Occupational Titles (“DOT”) No. 712.687-010, and 19 small products assembler, DOT No. 739.687-030. 20 Plaintiff contends that the ALJ erred in reaching this 21 conclusion because these two jobs require frequent and constant 22 depth perception, which Plaintiff does not have because he is 23 blind in his right eye. 24 as described in the DOT are incompatible with the limitation of 25 Mr. Cadena from having no vision in his right eye.”).) 26 Court does not find this argument persuasive. 27 28 (AR 27.) Relying on the testimony of a vocational expert, (AR 31, 50.) (Joint Stip. at 7 (“The visual demands The The underlying premise of Plaintiff’s appeal is that vision in both eyes is necessary for depth perception. 2 (Joint Stip. at 1 7.) Plaintiff, however, does not cite any authority for this 2 proposition. 3 And, given the chance at the hearing to explore this claim, 4 Plaintiff’s counsel elected not to. Nor is there any support for it in the record. (AR 51.) The Agency cites authority for the opposite proposition, 5 6 i.e., that vision in both eyes is not required for depth 7 perception. 8 Sept. 4, 2012.). 9 fact that the claimant had “no useful vision in the right eye,” 10 he could still work as a small products assembler, the same job 11 the ALJ determined Plaintiff could perform here. 12 The claimant appealed, arguing that his lack of vision in one 13 eye prevented him from performing the job of assembler because 14 that job required depth perception and he had none due to the 15 loss of vision in one eye. 16 rejected this argument. 17 perception was not synonymous with binocular vision” and cited 18 authority in the medical literature to support that proposition. 19 Id. 20 See Alsup v. Astrue, 2012 WL 3817795, at *8 (D. Or. In Alsup, the ALJ determined that, despite the Id. at *7-8. Id. at *8. Id. at *3. The district court It concluded that “depth The same result must obtain here. Plaintiff has not 21 provided the Court with any support for his argument that depth 22 perception requires vision in both eyes. 23 support for that proposition in the record. 24 testified to that fact and the doctors never endorsed it. 25 is there any outside authority before the Court that depth 26 perception is dependent on vision in both eyes. 27 discussed, the only authority the Court has reviewed stands for 28 3 And there is no Plaintiff never Nor In fact, as 1 the opposite proposition. 2 is affirmed and the action is dismissed with prejudice.1 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 DATED: For that reason, the ALJ’s decision   January 7, 2015 5 6 PATRICK J. WALSH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 S:\PJW\Cases-Social Security\CADENA, 2066\Memorandum Opinion and Order.docx 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1    Plaintiff contends that the ALJ erred when he failed to “describe and quantify” Plaintiff’s limitations with respect to his lack of vision in his right eye. (Joint Stip. at 13-14.) Again, the Court disagrees. The ALJ told the vocational expert that Plaintiff had “no vision in the right eye.” (AR 49.) Cleary, the vocational expert understood what that meant and how it might impact Plaintiff’s ability to work. To the extent that Plaintiff believes that the ALJ should have also stated that lack of vision prevented Plaintiff from perceiving depth, as discussed above, there is no support for that proposition in the record.   4

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