McDonald v. Commissioner of Social Security
Opinion & Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 1/11/17. The Court adopts in whole Magistrate Judge Limbert's findings of fact and conclusions of law and incorporates them fully herein by reference. The Court vacates the Commissioner's denial of benefits and remands this case to the Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings. (Related Docs. 1 and 15 ) (D,MA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
-----------------------------------------------------LAURENCE JOSEPH MCDONALD,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security
CASE NO. 1:16-CV-217
OPINION & ORDER
[Resolving Doc. 1-1]
-----------------------------------------------------JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
On November 15, 2012, Plaintiff Laurence Joseph McDonald applied for Disability
Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income under the Social Security Act.1 After his
application was denied, McDonald requested that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) evaluate
On March 16, 2015, the ALJ determined that Plaintiff McDonald was not disabled within
the meanings of the Social Security Act.3 The Appeals Council denied McDonald’s request for
On January 29, 2016, Plaintiff McDonald filed this complaint for wrongful denial of
disability benefits.5 Consistent with Local Rule 72.2, the Court referred the matter to Magistrate
Judge George J. Limbert. On December 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge Limbert issued a Report and
Recommendation, finding the ALJ’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence.6
Doc. 9 at 198-204.
Id. at 156-57.
Id. at 14-24.
Id. at 1-6.
Doc. 1-1. Although Plaintiff’s suit was originally filed in the Southern District of Ohio, Magistrate Judge King
transferred the case to this District on January 29, 2016. Doc. 2.
Doc. 15 at 26.
Case No. 1:16-CV-217
Specifically, the ALJ failed to set forth “good reasons” for discounting the opinions of
McDonald’s treating physicians.7 Magistrate Limbert recommended that this Court vacate the
Commissioner’s denial of disability benefits and remand the case back to the ALJ for further
The Federal Magistrates Act requires a district court to conduct a de novo review only of
those portions of a Report and Recommendation to which the parties have made an objection.9
On January 3, 2017, the Social Security Commissioner filed notice that the Social Security
Commissioner would not object to Magistrate Judge Limbert’s report and recommendation.10
Absent objection, a district court may adopt the magistrate judge’s report without
review.11 Moreover, having conducted its own review of the parties’ briefs in this case, the Court
agrees with the conclusions of Magistrate Judge Limbert.
Accordingly, the Court ADOPTS in whole Magistrate Judge Limbert’s findings of fact
and conclusions of law and incorporates them fully herein by reference. The Court thus
VACATES the Commissioner’s denial of benefits and REMANDS this case to the
Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: January 11, 2017
James S. Gwin
JAMES S. GWIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Id. at 22-26.
Id. at 27-28.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985).
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