Waterman v. Commissioner of Social Security
ORDER ADOPTING and AFFIRMING the REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 20 in that Plaintiff's Statement of Specific Errors are OVERRULED and the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is AFFIRMED. Signed by Judge George C. Smith on 3/2/17. (sem)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
CRYSTAL GAIL WATERMAN,
Case No.: 2:16-cv-59
JUDGE GEORGE C. SMITH
Magistrate Judge Kemp
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
On January 30, 2017, the United States Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation recommending that Plaintiff’s statement of errors be overruled and that
judgment be entered in favor of the Defendant, the Commissioner of Social Security. (See
Report and Recommendation, Doc. 20). This matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff’s
Objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 21). The Court will
consider the matter de novo. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3).
Plaintiff’s objection restates the exact argument she made in her Statement of Errors, that
the ALJ failed to afford her with a “full and fair hearing by failing to solicit medical
interrogatories from an ophthalmologist.” (Pl.’s Obj. at 2). Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate
Judge failed to address her underlying argument. Specifically, she states that in this case, “the
ALJ created an obligation by soliciting expert testimony and then failed to fulfill the obligation
when the expert’s answers to interrogatories were incomplete. It was this that [sic] failure to
follow through on a recognized lack in the record that resulted in the insufficiency of the ALJ’s
The Court has carefully considered Plaintiff’s objection, but finds that there is sufficient
evidence supporting the findings of the ALJ and the Magistrate Judge. The Court agrees with
the Magistrate Judge’s analysis of the issues raised. The Magistrate Judge in his Report and
Recommendation provided a well-reasoned explanation as to why the ALJ’s decision should be
affirmed, specifically that the ALJ did not need medical expertise to evaluate Plaintiff’s visual
residual functional capacity. The Court does not find any error by the ALJ in obtaining the
additional records and supplementing the record. The ALJ initially concluded that a medical
opinion was needed and interrogatories were sent to Dr. Richards. His first response was that the
records were not complete enough to express an opinion. His second response after reviewing
additional records was that Plaintiff equaled the Listing for multiple sclerosis as of April 1, 2013,
but not before. Plaintiff has been found disabled as of April 1, 2013. There was no requirement
that the ALJ obtain any additional medical records other than those already obtained.
Based on the aforementioned and the detailed Report and Recommendation, the Court
finds that Plaintiff’s objection has been thoroughly considered and is hereby OVERRULED.
Accordingly, the Report and Recommendation, Document 20, is ADOPTED and AFFIRMED.
Plaintiff’s Statement of Specific Errors is hereby OVERRULED, and the decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security is AFFIRMED.
The Clerk shall remove Documents 20 and 21 from the Court’s pending motions list, and
enter final judgment in favor of Defendant, the Commissioner of Social Security.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ George C. Smith__________________
GEORGE C. SMITH, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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