Rice v. Social Security
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING Plaintiff's 11 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying and DENYING 14 Motion for Summary Judgment--Signed by Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti. (MWil)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
ROGER LEE RICE, JR.,
Case No. 2:16-cv-11775
Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DE 11), DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DE 14), REVERSING THE DECISION OF
THE COMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY and REMANDING FOR
Plaintiff, Roger Lee Rice, Jr., brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for
review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) denying his applications for disability insurance and
supplemental security income. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for
summary judgment (DE 11), the Commissioner’s cross-motion for summary
judgment (DE 14), and the administrative record (DE 9).
The parties have consented to my authority. (DE 16.) A hearing was held
on June 23, 2017, at which Plaintiff’s counsel (Kenneth F. Laritz) appeared in
person and Defendant’s counsel (AUSA Amelia E. Stewart) appeared by
For the reasons stated on the record, all of which are hereby incorporated by
this reference as though fully restated herein, the Court concludes that the
Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ’s) findings as to Plaintiff’s migraine headaches
and as to the reduced weight given to the opinions of Plaintiff’s treating physician
are not supported by substantial evidence. In sum, but with reference to the more
specific reasons and criticisms stated from the bench, the ALJ’s January 15, 2015
decision: (1) does not include migraine headaches as a severe impairment at Step
2, even though this impairment was included at Step 2 in the June 19, 2013
decision; (2) does not discount Plaintiff’s migraine headaches with reference to
accurate and substantial evidence; (3) does not clarify how Plaintiff’s welldocumented migraine headaches (see, e.g., R. at 30-35, 897) are accounted for in
the Step 4 RFC determination; and (4) does not cite accurate and substantial
evidence in support of discounting the opinion of treating physician Jennifer E.
Castillo, M.D. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED (DE 11),
Defendant’s motion is DENIED (DE 14), the ALJ’s decision is REVERSED, and
the case is REMANDED to the Commissioner of Social Security for a new
hearing and determination consistent with this Opinion and Order. On remand, the
Commissioner is DIRECTED to:
Re-examine whether Plaintiff’s migraine headaches should be
included as a severe impairment at Step 2;
Fully and accurately explain how Plaintiff’s migraine
headaches are accounted for in the Step 4 RFC determination;
Re-evaluate and re-weigh the opinion evidence of Dr. Castillo;
As necessary, conduct a new Step 5 evaluation.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: June 26, 2017
s/Anthony P. Patti
Anthony P. Patti
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was sent to parties of record
on June 26, 2017, electronically and/or by U.S. Mail.
Case Manager for the
Honorable Anthony P. Patti
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