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Brock v. Colvin

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

October 20, 2014

BRADLEY L. BROCK, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendants.

ORDER

FRANK D. WHITNEY, District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's "Objections to the Report and Recommendations of the United States Magistrate Judge" (Doc. No. 18), Defendant's "Response to Plaintiff's Objections" (Doc. No. 19), Plaintiff's "Motion for Summary Judgment" (Doc. No. 12), Defendant's "Motion for Summary Judgment" (Doc. No. 15) and "Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment" (Doc. No. 16), and the Magistrate Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation ("M&R") (Doc. No. 17). This matter is now ripe for review.

For the reasons that follow, the Court ACCEPTS and ADOPTS the M&R (Doc. No. 17). Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and the Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff does not lodge any specific objections to the procedural history section contained in the M&R. Likewise, Plaintiff does not specifically object to the ALJ findings of fact regarding Plaintiff's medical history. Therefore, the portion of the M&R entitled "Procedural History" is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

On December 6, 2010, Plaintiff filed an application for a period of disability and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"), alleging that he was unable to work after July 10, 2007. (Tr. 63-69, 111, 540-48).

Plaintiff's application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. (Tr. 549-603). Plaintiff subsequently requested a hearing which was held on March 23, 2012. (Tr. 606-48).

On July 26, 2012, the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued a decision finding that Plaintiff was not disabled. (Tr. 22-31).

The ALJ found that Plaintiff had not engaged in substantial gainful activity since his alleged onset date. (Tr. 24). The ALJ also found that Plaintiff suffered from degenerative disc disease, obesity, a learning disorder, and borderline intellectual functioning, which were severe impairments within the meaning of the regulations, id., but did not meet or equal any listing in 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1. Id.

The ALJ then found that Plaintiff retained the Residual Functional Capacity ("RFC") to perform:

a range of light work as defined in 20 CFR § 404.1567(b) and 416.967(b); pulling of arm or leg controls." 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(b). lift/carry push/pull twenty pounds occasionally, ten pounds frequently; sit/stand/walk about six hours of an eight hour workday; occasionally climb ladders, ropes, scaffolds, stoop and crawl; frequently climb ramps, stairs, kneel and crouch; should avoid concentrated exposure to hazards; do simple, routine, repetitive tasks at one-two step instructions for two-hour periods in an eight hour day; interact occasionally with the public, at non-production quota work; interact appropriately with coworkers and supervisors in a low social demand stable routine setting.

(Tr. 22). The ALJ further found that Plaintiff could not perform his past relevant work. (Tr. 29-30).

The ALJ then shifted the burden to the Secretary to show the existence of other jobs in the national economy that Plaintiff could perform. In response to a hypothetical that factored in the above limitations, the Vocational Expert ("V.E.") identified jobs (handpackager, cleaner and assembler) that Plaintiff could perform. The V.E. also testified that there were more than 54, 000 of those jobs available regionally. (Tr. 644).

The ALJ found Plaintiff capable of performing work existing in significant numbers in the national economy, and concluded that he was not ...


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