Wagoner v. Commissioner of Social Security
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING AND AFFIRMING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S 15 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S 10 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S 12 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. It is further ORDERED that this civil action be STRICKEN from the active docket of this Court. The Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment on this matter. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. on 12/27/16. (copy to counsel via CM/ECF) (lmm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
CHARLIE GOFF WAGONER,
Civil Action No. 5:15CV134
CAROLYN W. COLVIN,
of Social Security,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ADOPTING AND AFFIRMING MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, DENYING PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING
DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
The plaintiff, Charlie Goff Wagoner (“Wagoner”), filed an
application for Supplemental Security Income Benefits under Title
XVI of the Social Security Act.
In the application, Wagoner
shoulder, and hip problems, depression, arthritis, high blood
pressure, migraine headaches, “bone tumor on the left forearm,”
lightheadedness, and “light heart attack.”
ECF No. 7-3 at 2.
appeared with counsel at a hearing before an Administrative Law
At the hearing, Wagoner testified on his own
behalf, as did a vocational expert.
The ALJ issued a decision
degenerative disc disease, anxiety, and major depressive disorder.
However, the ALJ found that Wagoner was not disabled under the
Social Security Act.
Instead, the ALJ found that Wagoner had a
Residual Functional Capacity to perform light-level work, with
certain non-exertional restrictions, that exists in significant
numbers in the national economy.
Thus, Wagoner’s benefits were
denied. Wagoner then timely filed an appeal of the decision to the
The Appeals Council denied Wagoner’s request for
Wagoner then filed this civil action seeking judicial review
of the ALJ’s decision.
The case was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble for submission of proposed
findings of fact and recommendation for disposition under 28 U.S.C.
Both parties filed motions for summary judgment.
After consideration of those motions, the magistrate judge entered
a report recommending that Wagoner’s motion for summary judgment be
denied and that the defendant’s motion for summary judgment be
Wagoner did not file objections to the report and
As there were no objections filed to the magistrate judge’s
recommendation, his findings and recommendation will be upheld
unless they are “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.”
§ 636(b)(1)(A). Additionally, because no party filed objections to
the report and recommendation, the parties waived their right to
appeal from a judgment of this Court based thereon. Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 148-53 (1985).
Wagoner argues that the ALJ erred by affording “no weight” to
the medical opinions of his treating physician Kalapala S. Rao,
M.D. and his consulting physicians T.J. Janick, M.D. and Jason
He further argues that the ALJ erred by affording
physician, Fulvio Franyutti, M.D.
Specifically, Wagoner argues
that the ALJ completely rejected his treating and consulting
physicians’ opinions without providing adequate analysis of the
regulatory factors for evaluating medical opinions at 20 C.F.R. §
The magistrate judge correctly noted that the ALJ must “always
consider the medical opinions in . . . [the] record together with
the rest of the relevant evidence . . . receive[d].”
20 C.F.R. §
“Generally, [the ALJ will] give more weight to
opinions from . . . treating sources . . . .
If . . . a treating
source’s opinion . . . is well-supported by medically acceptable
inconsistent with the other substantial evidence in . . . [the]
record, [it is entitled to] . . . controlling weight.”
If a treating physician’s opinion is not afforded
controlling weight, the ALJ must evaluate the opinion as it would
any other medical opinion.
In evaluating medical opinions
from non-treating sources, the ALJ should consider: (1) “[h]ow long
the source has known and how frequently the source has seen the
individual;” (2) “[h]ow consistent the opinion is with other
evidence;” (3) “[t]he degree to which the source presents relevant
evidence to support an opinion;” (4) “[h]ow well the source
explains the opinion;” (5) “[w]hether the source has a specialty or
area of expertise related to the individual’s impairment(s);” and
(6) “[a]ny other factors that tend to support or refute the
opinions of Wagoner’s treating and consulting physicians.
the ALJ explained that he rejected Dr. Rao’s opinion because it was
inconsistent with Dr. Rao’s own treatment notes.
magistrate judge concluded that the ALJ adequately explained that
he gave no weight to Dr. Janick’s opinion because there was no
evidence in the record to support it.
Third, the magistrate judge
concluded that the ALJ properly explained that he rejected Dr.
Fincham’s opinion because it was not supported by his own treatment
Fourth, as to Dr. Franyutti’s opinion, the ALJ explained
that he afforded great weight to that opinion because it was
consistent with Wagoner’s treatment history and the objective
While the ALJ did not explicitly discuss each
factor of § 416.927 as to each opinion, his reasoning is clear and
traceable to those factors. Accordingly, this Court finds no clear
error in the magistrate judge’s conclusions.
For the above reasons, the magistrate judge’s report and
recommendation (ECF No. 15) is AFFIRMED and ADOPTED.
the defendant’s motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 12) is GRANTED
and the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 10) is
It is further ORDERED that this civil action be STRICKEN
from the active docket of this Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
The Clerk is DIRECTED to transmit a copy of this memorandum
opinion and order to counsel of record herein. Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 58, the Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment
on this matter.
December 27, 2016
/s/ Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR.
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?