Watson v. Colvin
DECISION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part 7 Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings remanding the case to the Commissioner for further administrative proceedings consistent with this Decision and Order and the Report an d Recommendation; denying 12 Commissioner's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings; adopting Report and Recommendations re 16 Report and Recommendations in its entirety. (Clerk to close case.) Signed by Hon. Michael A. Telesca on 3/22/17. (JMC)-CLERK TO FOLLOW UP-
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
-vsNANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting
Commissioner of Social
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), claiming that Defendant Nancy A.
(“Commissioner” or “defendant”), improperly denied his applications
for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”) and disabled widower’s
Currently before the Court are the parties’
Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
On February 16, 2017, Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer
issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) (Docket No. 16), with
plaintiff’s motion be denied in part and granted in part, that
defendant’s motion be denied, and that the case be remanded to the
Commissioner for further administrative proceedings. As discussed
further below, the Court agrees with Judge Roemer’s findings and
adopts the Report and Recommendation in its entirety.
When specific objections are made to a magistrate judge’s
report and recommendation, the district judge makes a “de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed
findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
When no objections or only general objections are
made, the district judge reviews the report and recommendation for
clear error or manifest injustice. E.g., DiPilato v. 7-Eleven,
Inc., 662 F. Supp. 2d 333, 339 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). After conducting
the appropriate review, the district court may “accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made
by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
In this case, neither party has filed any objections to
Judge Roemer’s R&R.
As a result, the Court reviews the R&R only
for clear error.
Plaintiff filed his applications for DIB and DWB on July 14,
2011. Administrative Transcript (“T.”) 194-207. Plaintiff alleged
that he became disabled on December 26, 2007, as a result of back
problems, leg problems, shoulder problems, depression, and anxiety.
Plaintiff’s applications were denied on October 6, 2011.
At plaintiff’s request, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Marilyn D. Zahm
conducted a hearing on October 19, 2012,
during which she took testimony from plaintiff and Vocational
Expert Jay A. Steinbrenner.
At the hearing, plaintiff
amended the alleged onset fate of his disability to January 1,
The ALJ subsequently issued a decision denying
plaintiff’s claim for benefits.
On April 17, 2014, the
Appeals Council denied plaintiff’s request for review, making the
ALJ’s determination the Commissioner’s final decision.
Plaintiff then commenced this action.
Plaintiff argues in his motion for judgment on the pleadings
that the ALJ violated the treating physician rule by affording
limited weight to Dr. Kowalski’s opinion that plaintiff could stand
determination that plaintiff is capable of light work was not
considered each of these arguments in the R&R and found the
following: (1)the ALJ did not violate the treating physician rule;
(2)the ALJ’s determination that plaintiff is capable of light work
was not supported by substantial evidence because she made no
finding as to how much plaintiff could stand or walk at one time or
total over the course of an eight hour work day, and because
additional development of the record is necessary as to this point;
and (3)the Court need not reach plaintiff’s arguments regarding
credibility/work history, but the Commissioner should be instructed
on remand to reconsider these findings in light of the record as a
Judge Roemer’s findings are well-supported by the record
and applicable law.
Having found no error in the R&R, clear or
otherwise, the Court adopts it in its entirety.
For the reasons set forth in Judge Roemer’s thorough and
well-reasoned R&R, the undersigned adopts all of his conclusions.
The R&R (Docket No. 16) is hereby adopted in its entirety.
Commissioner’s motion for judgment on the pleadings (Docket No. 12)
is denied, plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings (Docket
No. 7) is denied in part and granted in part, and the case is
remanded to the Commissioner for further administrative proceedings
consistent with this Decision and Order and the R&R.
The Clerk of
Court is directed to close this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Michael A. Telesca
MICHAEL A. TELESCA
United States District Judge
March 22, 2017
Rochester, New York
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