Wyatt v. Commissioner of Social Security
DECISION AND ENTRY Overruling 16 Plaintiff's Objections and Adopting the 15 Report and Recommendations of the United States Magistrate Judge. Signed by Judge Timothy S. Black on 9/29/17. (gs)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
JONATHON R. WYATT,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL
Case No. 1:16-cv-938
Judge Timothy S. Black
Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman
DECISION AND ENTRY
(1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF’S OBJECTIONS (Doc. 16); and
(2) ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE (Doc. 15).
This case is before the Court pursuant to the Order of General Reference in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Western Division to United
States Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman. Pursuant to such reference the
Magistrate Judge reviewed the pleadings and memoranda filed with this Court, and on
July 31, 2017, submitted a Report and Recommendations. (Doc. 15). On August 14,
2017, Plaintiff filed objections (“Objections”). (Doc. 16). On August 22, 2017, the
Commissioner filed a response to the Objections. (Doc. 17).
As required by 29 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), the Court has
reviewed the comprehensive findings of the Magistrate Judge and considered de novo all
of the filings in this matter. Upon consideration of the foregoing, the Court does
determine that such Report and Recommendations (Doc. 15) should be and is hereby
adopted in its entirety and Plaintiff’s Objections (Doc. 16) should be overruled.
First, Plaintiff argues the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred in relying on
Plaintiff’s substance abuse to find he was not disabled by severe mental impairments.
(Objections at 8). Plaintiff argues the ALJ was barred from considering this issue
because, Plaintiff contends, the effect of his substance abuse was “already considered by
the Court.” (Id.) Plaintiff points to a statement in Magistrate Judge Bowman’s May 28,
2013 Report and Recommendation—which recommended that this case be remanded for
proper evaluation of opinion evidence—noting that Dr. Sparks opined “despite the
experience of drug abuse, [Plaintiff] does appear to experience a free-standing bipolar
disorder.” (Id.; Tr. at 668). This argument fails. While this case was remanded for
reconsideration on several occasions, the Court did not make any substantive findings as
to Plaintiff’s substance abuse, and the ALJ did not err in considering Plaintiff’s substance
abuse on remand.
Second, Plaintiff asserts numerous arguments as to how the ALJ erred in
analyzing medical opinion evidence, including weighing the evidence and considering
Plaintiff’s daily activities. (Objections at 9-18). These arguments fail. The Court agrees
with the Magistrate Judge that the ALJ sufficiently explained, in great detail, his analysis
of the relevant medical opinions. (R&R at 18-35).
Third, Plaintiff argues that the ALJ erred in finding that his medical condition
stabilized with abstention from drugs and alcohol and with proper treatment. (Objections
at 13). This argument fails. The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that the Plaintiff
failed to prove his substance abuse is not a contributing factor to his mental disability,
and that the finding of non-disability is supported by substantial evidence in the record.
(R&R at 36-40).
For the foregoing reasons:
Plaintiff’s Objections (Doc. 16) are OVERRULED;
The Report and Recommendations (Doc. 15) is ADOPTED;
The Commissioner’s decision is AFFIRMED;
The Clerk shall enter judgment accordingly, whereupon this case is
TERMINATED on the docket of this Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Timothy S. Black
United States District Judge
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?