Lacey v. Social Security, Commissioner of
OPINION and ORDER (1) Adopting Magistrate Judge's 22 Report and Recommendation; (2) Granting In Part and Denying In Part Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment; (3) Denying Defendant's 20 Motion for Summary Judgment; and (4) Remanding Matter to the Commissioner of Social Security. Signed by District Judge Linda V. Parker. (RLou)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
SCOTT F. LACEY,
Civil Case No. 16-14363
Honorable Linda V. Parker
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
OPINION AND ORDER (1) ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S
FEBRUARY 15, 2018 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION; (2)
GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; (3) DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; AND (4) REMANDING MATTER TO THE
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY
Plaintiff applied for Disability and Disability Insurance Benefits under the
Social Security Act on April 24, 2014, alleging that he became disabled on April
29, 2013. The Social Security Administration denied Plaintiff’s application for
benefits initially. Upon Plaintiff’s request, Administrative Law Judge Ena
Weathers (“ALJ”) conducted a de novo hearing on October 20, 2015. The ALJ
found Plaintiff not disabled in a decision issued December 3, 2015. The ALJ’s
decision became the final decision of the Social Security Commissioner
(“Commissioner”) when the Social Security Appeals Council denied review.
On December 15, 2016, Plaintiff initiated the pending action challenging the
Commissioner’s decision. The matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Stephanie
Dawkins Davis on the same date “for determination of all non-dispositive motions
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and issuance of a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C).” (ECF No. 3.)
The parties subsequently filed cross motions for summary judgment. (ECF Nos.
On February 15, 2018, Magistrate Judge Davis issued a Report and
Recommendation (R&R) in which she recommends that this Court grant in part
and deny in part Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, deny the
Commissioner’s motion, and remand the matter to the Commissioner for further
proceedings under sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (ECF No. 22.) Magistrate
Judge Davis concludes that a remand is necessary because the ALJ’s decision does
not reflect consideration of the opinion of Plaintiff’s treating physician, Steven T.
Plomaritis, D.O., that Plaintiff has a 60 degree abduction restriction. (Id. at Pg ID
460-61.) Magistrate Davis finds that the ALJ’s omission does not constitute
harmless error because the questions posed to the vocational expert did not
encompass this restriction and it is unclear whether the restriction enabled Plaintiff
to perform the jobs listed by the vocational expert. (Id. at Pg ID 464-65.)
Magistrate Judge Davis rejects, however, Plaintiff’s argument that the ALJ failed
to include his 20 pound lifting restriction in the residual functional capacity
assessment and his challenge to the vocational expert’s qualifications and
testimony. (Id. at 458-59, 471-73.)
At the conclusion of the R&R, Magistrate Judge Davis advises the parties
that they may object to and seek review of the R&R within fourteen days of service
upon them. (Id. at Pg ID 473-74.) Neither Plaintiff nor Defendant filed objections
to the R&R.
The Court carefully reviewed the R&R and concurs with the conclusions
reached by Magistrate Judge Davis. The Court therefore adopts her February 15,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (ECF No.
16) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Commissioner’s motion for
summary judgment (ECF No. 20) is DENIED;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Commissioner’s decision denying
Plaintiff’s social security benefits is REVERSED and this matter is REMANDED
pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further proceedings consistent
with this Opinion and Magistrate Judge Davis’ February 15, 2018 R&R.
s/ Linda V. Parker
LINDA V. PARKER
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: March 7, 2018
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed to counsel of
record and/or pro se parties on this date, March 7, 2018, by electronic and/or U.S.
First Class mail.
s/ R. Loury
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?