RENNER v. COLVIN
ENTRY ON JUDICIAL REVIEW - The Court has concluded that Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, did not err in finding that Renner was not disabled under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 423. Therefore, this Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner's decision. The Court will enter judgment accordingly. Signed by Judge Larry J. McKinney on 3/7/2017.(LDH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
LAURA A. RENNER,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner of the Social Security
ENTRY ON JUDICIAL REVIEW
Plaintiff Laura A. Renner (“Renner”) requests judicial review of the final decision of
Defendant Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(the “Commissioner”), who denied Renner’s application for Disability Insurance Benefits
(“DIB”) under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C § 423(d). Renner asserts that
(1) the ALJ failed to properly assess the credibility of Renner’s testimony and (2) the ALJ
did not give proper weight to the opinion of Renner’s treating physician. See generally,
Dkt. No. 10. The Commissioner contends that the substantial evidence supports the
ALJ’s findings and that the ALJ adequately explained his reasoning for finding that Renner
was not disabled. See generally, Dkt. No. 17.
Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court has substituted
Nancy A. Berryhill for Carolyn W. Colvin as the named Defendant.
A. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Renner filed her application for DIB on January 23, 2013, alleging that her disability
began on December 22, 2012. R. at 140-143. The claim was denied initially on March
27, 2013, R. at 69-72, and upon reconsideration on May 10, 2013. R. at 74-76. Renner
timely requested a hearing before the ALJ on June 5, 2013. R. at 78-79.
On October 9, 2014, the ALJ held a hearing, at which Renner, who was
represented by counsel, and a vocational expert testified. R. at 29-51. On October 30,
2014, the ALJ found that Renner was not disabled. R. at 17-25. The Appeals Council
denied Renner’s request for review on March 2, 2016, rendering the ALJ’s decision the
final decision of the Commissioner. R. at 1-7. On April 21, 2016, Renner filed the instant
appeal pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
B. AGE, EDUCATION, WORK HISTORY &
RENNER’S PERCEPTION OF HER IMPAIRMENTS
Renner was thirty-one years old at the time of the alleged onset date. She has a
high school education. Renner has past relevant work experience as a sewer line photo
inspector and as a material handler. R. at 33-34, 48. At the hearing on October 9, 2014,
Renner testified that she stopped working because of pain in her knees. R. at 35-36.
Renner stated that she tried to go back to work in 2012 after having surgery on her knees,
but was not able to get in and out of a van, as required for her work as a sewer line photo
inspector. Id. She further testified that she could not return to her company to perform a
less physical job because all of those positions were already filled. R. at 36-37. Renner
indicated that she again tried to return to work as a sewer line photo inspector on a parttime basis in May 2014 but only lasted a month before having to leave again. R. at 452
46. Renner also stated that she uses a cane on a limited basis but did not use the cane
when she attempted to work. R. at 37-38.
Renner testified that she is able to take care of her four-year old son with her
mother’s assistance. R. at 40. She further stated that her mother helps her with laundry,
vacuuming, and walking her dogs. R. at 41. Renner also testified that she is responsible
for doing the dishes but that it usually takes her twenty minutes to finish and that she must
typically take a break while doing them. R. at 41-42. Renner further indicated that that
she does not drive anymore except to drive her son down the street to his preschool and
back two days every week. R. at 40. When asked about her medical records that showed
she had contracted poison ivy, Renner stated that she contracted it simply by being
outside in her yard. R. at 38. Renner also admitted that she tried to help her mother
move a small freezer by pushing the freezer sideways. R. at 39, 43-44.
In addition to her knee pain, Renner stated that she has experienced some
migraines and symptoms of depression as a result of her condition. R. at 44. Renner
testified that she was currently taking a medication for her thyroid, Wellbutrin for
depression, and Percocet for the pain in her knees. R. at 38. She indicated that Kimberly
Franklin, M.D. (“Dr. Franklin”), had prescribed her Percocet after her prior pain specialist,
Robert Kravitz, M.D. (“Dr. Kravitz”), had retired. R. at 38-39. She also stated that she
experiences drowsiness as a side effect of her medications. R. at 45.
When describing the pain in her knees, Renner testified that her knees feel restless
if she is sitting for too long. R. at 42. She stated that she can sit for about ten minutes at
a time and then has to stand. R. at 42. Renner also indicated that she can stand in place
for about five to ten minutes at a time before she begins experiencing throbbing in her
knees. R. at 42-43. She further testified that she can walk for about five to ten minutes
at a time and can lift a gallon of milk, but can no longer pick up her son. R. at 43.
C. RELEVANT MEDICAL EVIDENCE
1. Treatment Records
On January 11, 2012, Renner presented to Gregory Hardin, M.D. (“Dr. Hardin”).
R. at 207-208. Upon examination, Dr. Hardin found that Renner was guarding and held
her knee in a flexed position. R. at 207. Dr. Hardin also noted that Renner’s range of
motion was limited with regard to flexion and extension and that Renner had an antalgic
limp. R. at 207-208. Renner underwent MRIs on both of her knees that same day, which
revealed that she suffered from patellofemoral degenerative joint disease in her right knee
and a patellar cartilage defect in her left knee. R. at 194-197, 221-222. To resolve
Renner’s knee pain, Dr. Hardin performed surgeries on each of Renner’s knees in the
summer of 2012. R. at 202, 233.
On August 13, 2012, Renner returned to Dr. Hardin for a follow-up examination.
R. at 203, 225, 294. Dr. Hardin noted that Renner was “progressing well and as expected”
following her knee surgeries and that her range of motion had progressed to nearly full
range of motion. Id. During this examination, Renner also informed Dr. Hardin that she
had returned to work the previous week. Id. Renner again presented to Dr. Hardin for a
post-surgical examination on September 21, 2012.
R. at 202, 224.
examination, Dr. Hardin continued to indicate that Renner was “progressing well” and
recommended certain medications to help alleviate any further symptoms. Id.
On October 29, 2012, Renner visited Dr. Hardin, complaining of continued bilateral
knee pain. R. at 218, 239. Dr. Hardin gave Renner an injection of Synvisc One to help
alleviate her pain. Id. On November 16, 2012, Renner again visited Dr. Hardin and
indicated the injection did not help. R. at 209, 237. Dr. Hardin recommended that Renner
continue with non-surgical treatments and referred her to pain management to help
control her symptoms. R. at 210, 238.
On December 26, 2012, Renner presented to Dr. Kravitz for further treatment for
her knee pain. R. at 261. Dr. Kravitz did not believe Renner was a candidate for additional
surgery at that time. Id. He also found that Renner had some guarding and some
antalgia, but had normal strength and had “no weakness whatsoever.” Id. Dr. Kravitz
prescribed Mirapex for expected restless leg syndrome and a Votaren gel. R. at 262.
On January 25, 2013, Renner underwent an MRI, which revealed a high grade
anterior compartment chondromalacia in both of her knees. R. at 259, 263-264, 271. Dr.
Kravitz analyzed Renner’s new MRI and prescribed Percocet to help with her knee pain
on February 4, 2013. R. at 259. Dr. Kravitz also referred Renner for a surgical opinion.
On February 25, 2013, Renner presented to John B. Meding, M.D. (“Dr. Meding”),
for an evaluation and surgical opinion.
R. at 269.
Dr. Meding noted that Renner
ambulated with an antalgic component bilaterally, had no pain with flexion or internal
rotation of her hip, and had symmetric range of motion in her knees. Id. He further found
that Renner tested positive for crepitation with her active range of motion. Id. Dr. Meding
discussed his findings and the possibility of a Fulkerson tibial tubercle osteotomy surgical
procedure with Renner. R. at 270. However, Renner indicated that she did not want to
pursue this surgical treatment and could live with her condition as it was. R. at 250, 258,
On March 4, 2013, Renner reported to Dr. Kravitz that the Percocet was helping
to reduce her knee pain. R. at 250, 258. At that time, Renner rated her worst pain level
as a four out of ten and her best pain level as a two out of ten. Id. Upon review of Dr.
Meding’s findings and Renner’s opposition to surgery, Dr. Kravitz agreed that it was
acceptable for Renner to not pursue additional surgical treatment. Id.
Although Renner had presented to Dr. Franklin in 2011, R. at 321-324, Dr. Franklin
became Renner’s primary physician in May 2014, after being “fired” by her prior pain clinic
and Dr. Kravitz’s retirement. R. at 39, 315-316. On May 5, 2014, Dr. Franklin noted that
Renner had run out of Percocet and had been experiencing 10-out-of-10 pain in her knees
daily. R. at 316. Renner presented to Dr. Franklin again on July 8, 2014, after running
out of Percocet a second time. R. at 314. Dr. Franklin noted that Renner did not appear
to be in any distress at that time and refilled Renner’s prescription for Percocet. Id.
On September 10, 2014, Dr. Franklin completed a physical residual functional
capacity assessment regarding Renner’s condition. R. at 286-288. In her assessment,
Dr. Franklin opined that Renner could sit, stand, and walk for fifteen minutes each,
continuously; and for a total of fifteen minutes in an eight hour work day. R. at 286. She
also found that Renner could frequently lift and carry up to five pounds but never lift or
carry more than five pounds.
Dr. Franklin further indicated that Renner could
occasionally flex her neck but could never bend or rotate her trunk, squat, kneel, crawl,
climb, reach over her head, or extend her arms. R. at 287. She additionally opined that
Renner could frequently grasp with both hands but could not use pushing or pulling arm
controls or perform fine manipulation with either hand and could not use her feet to
perform frequent repetitive movements. Id. Moreover, Dr. Franklin determined that
Renner should be completely restricted from work involving unprotected heights, being
around moving machinery, exposure to temperature changes and humidity, driving, and
exposure to dust, gases, and fumes. Id. Dr. Franklin indicated that she was Renner’s
“attending physician” and that her opinions were based on Renner’s subjective complaints
and clinical observations. R. at 288. When prompted for additional comments, Dr.
Franklin merely stated “Bilateral PatelloFemoral Chondromalacia.” Id.
2. Social Security Administration Consultative Reviews
Although the state agency did not request a consultative examination of Renner,
state agency medical consultants, J.V. Corcoran, M.D. (“Dr. Corcoran”), and Bruce
Whitley, M.D. (“Dr. Whitley”), performed consultative reviews of Renner’s medical
records. R. at 52-68. On March 26, 2013, after reviewing all of the medical evidence
available at that time, Dr. Corcoran opined that Renner could lift or carry twenty pounds
occasionally and ten pounds frequently. R. at 55. He also stated that Renner could sit
for a total of six hours in an eight-hour workday and could stand or walk for a total of two
hours in an eight-hour workday. Id. Dr. Corcoran further opined that Renner could
occasionally climb ramps, stairs, ladders, ropes, and scaffolds and could occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. Id. Moreover, Dr. Corcoran indicated that Renner
would have limited ability to push or pull with her lower extremities and should avoid
walking on wet, uneven surfaces and climbing at unprotected heights. R. at 55-56. Based
on his evaluation, Dr. Corcoran determined that Renner was not disabled and
recommended that Renner could perform sedentary work based on her limitations. R. at
57. Dr. Whitley also reviewed all of Renner’s medical records and affirmed Dr. Corcoran’s
conclusions on May 10, 2013. R. at 63-68.
D. VOCATIONAL EXPERT TESTIMONY
Vocational expert, Constance Brown (“VE”), testified at the hearing on October 9,
2014. R. at 48-50. The VE reviewed Renner’s relevant work history as well as the
exertion level and other skill levels associated with them. R. at 48. The ALJ asked the
VE to opine on what jobs would be available for a hypothetical person of Renner’s age,
education, and work experience that could lift, carry, push or pull ten pounds occasionally
and five pounds frequently; could stand and walk for five to ten minutes at a time and for
a total of two hours in an eight-hour workday; could sit without limitation; could not crouch,
kneel or crawl but could occasionally balance and stoop; and could occasionally climb
stairs or ramps but no ladders, scaffolds, or ropes. R. at 48-49. The VE testified that
such an individual could not perform Renner’s past work as a sewer line photo inspector
or material handler, which required medium skilled work, but that this hypothetical person
could perform other jobs requiring sedentary, unskilled work. Id. The VE stated that an
individual meeting these standards could be a Credit Authorizer, with over 400 available
jobs in Indiana and over 52,000 available jobs nationally; an Audit Clerk, with over 1,300
available jobs in Indiana and over 70,000 available jobs nationally; or a New Account
Clerk, with over 800 available jobs in Indiana and over 55,000 available jobs nationally.
R. at 49. When the ALJ asked the VE to consider the same hypothetical person but
added that this person would also be off task for approximately ten to fifteen minutes
every hour, the VE stated that this limitation would preclude competitive employment. Id.
In response to questions from Renner’s counsel, the VE further opined that a
person of Renner’s age, education, and experience meeting the description of the ALJ’s
initial hypothetical person but that would be absent from work approximately three days
each month could not sustain competitive full-time employment. R. at 50.
E. RELEVANT ASPECTS OF THE ALJ’S DECISION
The ALJ found that Renner met the insured statute requirements of the Social
Security Act through December 31, 2017. R. at 19. He also found that Renner had not
engaged in substantial gainful activity since the alleged onset date of December 22, 2012,
despite Renner’s unsuccessful attempts to work on multiple occasions for less than three
months at a time.
Further, the ALJ found that Renner suffered from severe
impairments of degenerative joint disease of the knees and mild obesity. Id. The ALJ
declined to consider Renner’s history of infrequent migraine headaches as a severe
impairment because her migraines caused no more than minimal limitations in Renner’s
ability to perform basic work activities. R. at 20.
Moreover, the ALJ concluded that Renner did not have any impairment or
combination of impairments that met or medically equaled the severity of the listed
impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d),
404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d) and 416.926). Id. To make this conclusion, the ALJ
considered Renner’s physical impairments in relation to Listing 1.02, Major Dysfunction
of the Joint(s) (Due to Any Cause); however, the ALJ determined that the medical
evidence did not demonstrate that Renner had (1) an anatomical deformity or chronic
joint pain and stiffness with signs of limitations of motion or abnormal motion in the
affected joints or (2) joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankyloses in the affected
joints creating an inability to ambulate effectively. Id. Despite noting that no listing exists
for obesity, the ALJ also considered Listings 1.00Q, 3.00I, and 4.00F in relation to
Renner’s obesity, but he found that Renner’s condition did not meet any of these Listings.
After carefully considering the entire record, the ALJ determined that Renner had
the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §
404.1567(a) except that she can only lift, carry, push, or pull ten pounds occasionally and
five pounds frequently. Id. The ALJ further found that Renner can stand and walk for two
hours in an eight-hour workday at brief intervals of five to ten minutes spread evenly
throughout the day and can sit for up to eight hours per day but must have the opportunity
to stand at her workstation for up to five minutes each hour at her discretion. Id. The ALJ
also determined that Renner could occasionally stoop, balance, and climb stairs or ramps
but could never crouch; crawl; kneel; or climb ladders, ropes or scaffolds. Id.
In determining Renner’s residual functional capacity, the ALJ found that Renner’s
testimony was not entirely credible in light of the medical evidence available, including
evidence that Renner had no weakness in her lower extremity in December 2012, and
evidence that Renner showed improvement from her treatments and had declined
additional surgical treatment.
R. at 21-22.
The ALJ also considered evidence
demonstrating that Renner persisted in a variety of daily living activities, such as taking
care of her child, attempting to move a freezer, and going outside, that were consistent
with the residual functional capacity he had assigned to her. R. at 23. The ALJ further
noted that Renner had attempted to return to medium exertional level work since her
alleged onset date. Id. The ALJ found that Renner’s testimony regarding the severity of
her symptoms was inconsistent with the medical evidence, including treatment notes from
Dr. Franklin indicating that Renner appeared well and was not in distress. Id. The ALJ
further stated that Renner had made several inconsistent statements that detract from
her credibility, such as testifying that she does not drive but later admitting that she drives
her son to preschool. Id.
The ALJ gave great weight to the opinions of Dr. Corcoran and Dr. Whitley because
their opinions were consistent with the record as a whole and supported by the objective
medical evidence. Id. The ALJ, however, gave minimal weight to the physical residual
functional capacity opinion rendered by treating physician Dr. Franklin on September 10,
2014, because the extreme restrictions Dr. Franklin found were supported by Renner’s
subjective complaints but not the objective medical evidence. R. at 23-24.
The ALJ adopted the VE’s opinion that Renner could not perform her past relevant
work. R. at 24. The ALJ further adopted the VE’s opinion that a person with Renner’s
residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience could perform the
following jobs, which were available in significant numbers in the national and local
economy: Credit Authorizer, Audit Clerk, and New Account Clerk.
R. at 24-25.
Accordingly, the ALJ concluded that Renner was not disabled. R. at 25.
To be eligible for DIB, a claimant must have a disability under 42 U.S.C. § 423.
“Disability” means the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of
any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. 42 U.S.C. § 423
(d)(1)(A). To determine whether or not a claimant is disabled, the ALJ applies a five-step
process set forth in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4):
If the claimant is employed in substantial gainful activity, the claimant
is not disabled.
If the claimant does not have a severe medically determinable
physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that
meets the duration requirement, the claimant is not disabled.
If the claimant has an impairment that meets or is equal to an
impairment listed in the appendix to this section and satisfies the
duration requirement, the claimant is disabled.
If the claimant can still perform the claimant’s past relevant work
given the claimant’s residual functional capacity, the claimant is not
If the claimant can perform other work given the claimant’s residual
functional capacity, age, education, and experience, the claimant is
The burden of proof is on the claimant for the first four steps, but then it shifts to the
Commissioner at the fifth step. See Young v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs., 957 F.2d
386, 389 (7th Cir. 1992).
The Social Security Act, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), provides for judicial review
of the Commissioner’s denial of benefits. When the Appeals Council denies review of the
ALJ’s findings, the ALJ’s findings become findings of the Commissioner. See Craft v.
Astrue, 539 F.3d 668, 673 (7th Cir. 2008); Hendersen v. Apfel, 179 F.3d 507, 512 (7th
Cir. 1999). This Court will sustain the ALJ’s findings if they are supported by substantial
evidence. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Craft, 539 F.3d at 673; Nelson v. Apfel, 131 F.3d 1228,
1234 (7th Cir. 1999). “Substantial evidence is ‘such evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion.’” Craft, 539 F.3d at 673 (quoting Barnett v.
Barnhart, 381 F.3d 664, 668 (7th Cir. 2004)). In reviewing the ALJ’s findings, the Court
may not decide the facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute its judgment for that
of the ALJ. Nelson, 131 F.3d at 1234.
The ALJ “need not evaluate in writing every piece of testimony and evidence
submitted.” Carlson v. Shalala, 999 F.2d 180, 181 (7th Cir. 1993). However, the “ALJ’s
decision must be based upon consideration of all the relevant evidence.” Herron v.
Shalala, 19 F.3d 329, 333 (7th Cir. 1994). See also, Craft, 539 F.3d at 673. Further, “[a]n
ALJ may not discuss only that evidence that favors his ultimate conclusion, but must
articulate, at some minimum level, his analysis of the evidence to allow the [Court] to trace
the path of his reasoning.” Diaz v. Chater, 55 F.3d 300, 307 (7th Cir. 1995). See also,
Craft, 539 F.3d at 673 (stating that not all evidence needs to be mentioned, but the ALJ
“must provide an ‘accurate and logical bridge’ between the evidence and the conclusion”
(quoting Young v. Barnhart, 362 F.3d 995, 1002 (7th Cir. 2004))). An ALJ’s articulation
of his analysis enables the Court to “assess the validity of the agency’s ultimate findings
and afford [the] claimant meaningful judicial review.” Craft, 539 F.3d at 673.
Renner asserts that the ALJ improperly discredited her hearing testimony. Dkt.
No. 10 at 11-20. Specifically, Renner argues (1) that her credibility should have been
enhanced, rather than diminished, because she attempted to go back to work and (2) that
the ALJ did not properly address all of the factors articulated in SSR 96-7p when
minimizing Renner’s credibility. Id. In response, the Commissioner asserts that the ALJ
is not required to address each of the SSR 96-7p factors in his opinion and that the ALJ’s
credibility determination was well supported by the evidence in the record. Dkt. No. 17 at
Because an ALJ is in the best position to determine a claimant’s truthfulness, a
reviewing court “will not overturn an ALJ’s credibility determination unless it is patently
wrong.” Shideler v. Astrue, 688 F.3d 306, 310-11 (7th Cir. 2012) (internal quotations
omitted). When assessing the credibility determination, the Court “merely examine[s]
whether the ALJ’s determination was reasoned and supported.” Elder v. Astrue, 529 F.3d
408, 413 (7th Cir. 2008). Only when the determination lacks any explanation or support
will it be considered patently wrong. Id. at 413-14.
The Court concludes that the ALJ reasonably evaluated the credibility of Renner’s
hearing testimony. While the ALJ described the SSR 96-7p factors for determining a
claimant’s credibility, such as the claimant’s daily living activities; the location, frequency,
duration, and intensity of the claimant’s pain or symptoms; and effects of the claimant’s
medications and other treatments, R. at 23, the ALJ was not required to address each
individual factor when determining Renner’s credibility as long as he provided enough
reasoning to build a logical bridge between the evidence available and his conclusions.
See Simila v. Astrue, 573 F.3d 503, 516 (7th Cir. 2009); see also, Craft, 539 F.3d at 673;
Diaz, 55 F.3d at 307.
The ALJ cited objective medical evidence that showed Renner’s pain had
improved with treatment, which is inconsistent with the severe symptoms Renner
described in her hearing testimony. R. at 21-23. The ALJ also explained that he believed
Renner’s credibility suffered because her testimony included several inconsistencies,
including her testimony that she does not drive but that she drives her son to preschool.
R. at 23. Moreover, the ALJ indicated that Renner’s daily living activities, such as taking
care of her son, were consistent with the residual functional capacity he assigned to her.
The ALJ further explained that Renner’s belief that she could perform medium
exertional level work and her attempts to return to such work despite her knee
impairments demonstrated that Renner could likely at least perform sedentary work. R.
at 24. Based on these justifications, the ALJ was not “patently wrong” when he found that
Renner’s testimony was not entirely credible.
Renner also argues that the ALJ failed to give proper weight to Dr. Franklin’s
physical residual functional capacity opinion because a treating physician’s opinion is
generally given controlling weight. Dkt. No. 10 at 21-23. The Commissioner, however,
contends that the ALJ properly gave Dr. Franklin’s opinion little weight because it is based
only on Renner’s subjective complaints and is not supported by objective medical
evidence. Dkt. No. 17 at 15-19.
“A treating physician’s opinion is entitled to controlling weight so long as it is
supported by objective medical evidence and is consistent with other substantial evidence
in the record.” Luster v. Astrue, 358 Fed. Appx. 738, 740 (7th Cir. 2010) (citing 20 C.F.R.
§ 404.1527(d)(2); Bauer v. Astrue, 532 F.3d 606, 608 (7th Cir. 2008); Steele v. Barnhart,
290 F.3d 936, 941 (7th Cir. 2002)). An ALJ may reject a treating physician’s opinion if
there is no objective evidence or if substantial evidence of record contradicts the treating
physician’s opinion, but he “must articulate good reason for doing so.” Luster, 358 Fed.
Appx. at 740.
Indicating that the medical evidence does not support the treating
physician’s opinion is considered a “good reason” for an ALJ to discredit that treating
physician’s opinion. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c)(3).
The Court agrees with the Commissioner that the ALJ provided sufficient
reasoning to discredit Dr. Franklin’s physical residual functional capacity opinion. The
ALJ explained that Dr. Franklin’s opinion, which provided for extreme restrictions, was
supported by Renner’s subjective complaints, rather than the objective medical findings.
R. at 23-24. The ALJ also described in detail the objective medical evidence in the record,
including Dr. Franklin’s own objective findings, which did not support Dr. Franklin’s
suggested strict restrictions. R. at 21-22. Because the objective medical evidence was
not consistent with the extreme restrictions Dr. Franklin recommended for Renner, it was
reasonable for the ALJ to conclude that Dr. Franklin’s opinion did not deserve controlling
For the reasons stated herein, the Court has concluded that Defendant Nancy A.
Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, did not err in finding that Renner was
not disabled under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 423. Therefore, this
Court AFFIRMS the Commissioner’s decision. The Court will enter judgment accordingly.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 7th day of March, 2017.
LARRY J. McKINNEY, JUDGE
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
Charles D. Hankey
Kathryn E. Olivier
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
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