Wilson v. Colvin
ORDER adopting Findings and Recommendations re 23 Findings and Recommendations. The Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED. Signed by Chief Judge Dana L. Christensen on 2/11/2015. (dle)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
DEANA K. WILSON,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security
United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch entered his Findings and
Recommendation on December 30, 2014, recommending that Plaintiff’s motion
for summary judgement be denied, and that the Commissioner’s decision be
affirmed. Plaintiff did not timely object to the Findings and Recommendation, and
so has waived the right to de novo review of the record. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
This Court will review the Findings and Recommendation for clear error.
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313
(9th Cir. 1981). Clear error exists if the Court is left with a “definite and firm
conviction that a mistake has been committed.” United States v. Syrax, 235 F.3d
422, 427 (9th Cir. 2000). There is no clear error in Judge Lynch’s Findings and
Recommendations and the Court adopts them in full. Because the parties are
familiar with the facts of this case they will only be included here as necessary to
explain the Court’s order.
Judge Lynch did not clearly err in finding that there were specific and
legitimate reasons supported by substantial evidence for rejecting Dr. Van Belois’
opinions as stated in her letters dated January 7, 2008, and March 21, 2011 or in
finding that the ALJ gave Dr. Righetti’s opinion significant weight. There is no
clear error in Judge Lynch’s finding that the ALJ properly considered Dr. Capps
and Dr. Wilson’s report and did not confuse the workers’ compensation system
and the Social Security statutory scheme.
Judge Lynch did not clearly err in finding that the ALJ provided sufficiently
clear and convincing reasons for finding Wilson’s subjective testimony only
partially believable. The ALJ’s discussion clearly discusses numerous
inconsistent statements, medical records, and other observations supporting his
finding of adverse credibility. There is no clear error in Judge Lynch’s finding
that the ALJ gave a germane reason, namely statements inconsistent with opinions
and observations by medical doctors, when discounting lay witness testimony.
There is no clear error in Judge Lynch’s finding that Wilson has not shown
how the ALJ’s evaluation of the medical evidence submitted to the Appeals
Council was erroneous. Judge Lynch did not clearly err in finding that the ALJ’s
error in finding Wilson capable of performing past relevant work was a harmless
error because the ALJ made alternative findings at step five. Similarly, the
vocational expert’s testimony did not contradict the Dictionary of Occupational
Titles so any potential error on the ALJ’s part in failing to inquire about the
conflict was harmless. Lastly, there is no clear error in Judge Lynch’s finding that
substantial evidence supported the ALJ’s decision even after Mark Schwager’s
report was made part of the record after the ALJ’s decision.
There being no clear error in Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendation,
IT IS ORDERED that Judge Lynch’s Findings and Recommendation (Doc.
23) are ADOPTED IN FULL. Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 19)
is DENIED. The Commissioner’s decision is AFFIRMED.
Dated this 11th day of February, 2015.
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