Cepeda v. Colvin
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 14 Motion to Reverse Decision of the Commissioner; denying 15 Motion to Affirm the Decision of the Commissioner; adopting 17 Report and Recommendations. So Ordered by Chief Judge William E. Smith on 3/17/2017. (Jackson, Ryan)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF RHODE ISLAND
NANCY A. BERRYHILL , Acting
Commissioner, Social Security
JOANA CEPEDA, on behalf of E.G.,
C.A. No. 16-042 S
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAM E. SMITH, Chief Judge.
Before the Court are a Motion to Reverse, filed by
Joana Cepeda, on behalf of her daughter E.G. (“Plaintiff”) (ECF
Berryhill (“Defendant”) (ECF No. 15); Magistrate Judge Lincoln D.
Almond’s Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) (ECF No. 17), which was
filed on January 6, 2017, and recommends that the Court grant
Objection”) (ECF No. 18).
The R&R recommends that Final Judgment
Nancy A. Berryhill is now the Acting Commissioner of Social
Pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, Nancy A. Berryhill has been substituted for Acting
Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin as the defendant in this action.
Commissioner and remanding this matter for further administrative
Magistrate Judge Almond’s R&R concluded that it was error for
the presiding Social Security Administration’s Administrative Law
Judge (the “ALJ”), under the circumstances presented, “to rely
In reaching his decision, the ALJ relied on the opinions of
consulting psychologists, Drs. Gordon and Hughes, who in turn had
relied on records from March 2013 and July 2013, respectively.
The ALJ’s decision was in lockstep with the consulting doctors in
every area of potential limitation, and the ALJ stated that he
Decision dated 4/24/14, Administrative R. 31, ECF No. 7-2.)
Dr. Gordon and Dr. Hughes each considered the report of Dr.
Teixeira from February 28, 2013.
(Administrative R. 79, 90, ECF
But, in August 2013 (several months before the ALJ’s
school and placed in a residential program, St. Mary’s Home for
Summary, Ex. 10F, ECF No. 7-7.)
She was discharged from St.
Mary’s in February 2014, and transferred to Farnum House, a second
residential treatment program.
As the Magistrate Judge
noted, E.G.’s discharge summary notes from St. Mary’s state that
“[i]t was determined that [E.G.] needed a higher level of care in
order to best meet her educational and behavioral needs.”
rendered the opinions of Dr. Gordon and Dr. Hughes to be stale or
information regarding E.G.’s residential treatment placements, the
doctors on whose opinions he relied did not have access to that
Because both Dr. Gordon and Dr. Hughes noted that
E.G. had “no inpatient/day treatment admissions” (Administrative
R. 82-83, 93-94, ECF No. 7-3), it was error for the ALJ to rely
almost exclusively on their opinions where they were “based on a
significantly incomplete record.”
Alcantara v. Astrue, 257 F.
App’x 333, 334 (1st Cir. 2007).
In her objection, the Defendant argues that “the issue was
whether substantial evidence supported the ALJ’s conclusion that
E.G. did not have marked limitation attending and completing tasks
medication.” (Def.’s Obj. 3.)
The Court disagrees.
is some evidence that the ALJ reviewed and considered evidence of
agrees that it was error for the ALJ to give such great weight to
outdated and stale opinions by consulting doctors.
of her residential treatment placements, as well as her need for a
psychologist’s opinion not entitled to significant weight where
opinion was based on a “significantly incomplete record”).
complete set of records.
Accordingly, the Court hereby ACCEPTS the R&R (ECF No. 17);
Plaintiff’s Motion to Reverse (ECF No. 14); and DENIES Defendant’s
forthwith in favor of Plaintiff, reversing the decision of the
Commissioner and remanding the matter for further administrative
proceedings consistent with this Memorandum and Order and the R&R.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
William E. Smith
Date: March 17, 2017
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