United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
CARLA J. LONG, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
H. Rice District Judge
SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Michael J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Social Security disability benefits appeal case is before the
Court on the objection of the Commissioner of Social
Security. Doc. 10. The undersigned responds to the
Commissioner's objection (doc. 10) as follows:
Commissioner's objection is essentially a mere
"cut-and-paste" of the exact arguments set forth in
the memorandum in opposition. Compare doc. 8 at
PagelD 678-85 with doc. 10 at PagelD 710-17. Such
objections are generally insufficient to preserve error.
Goldschmidt v. Astrue, No. 3:12-CV-132, 2013 WL
157564, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 15, 2013) (finding that a
plaintiffs "exact resubmission of her Statement of
Errors with general references to the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation" as an objection was
"insufficient to preserve error").
undersigned finds no merit to the Commissioner's
contention that the opinion of treating clinical psychologist
Kristin Rodzinka, Ph.D. is not a "medical opinion"
under 20 C.F.R § 404.1527(a)(2) that must be weighed in
accordance with 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c). See
doc. 7 at PageID 680; doc. 10 at PageID 712. Dr. Rodzinka
specifically opined that Plaintiff's mental impairments
have “impacted her functioning, ” such that she
suffers from “severe anxiety and panic attacks
resulting in an inability to attend work, social withdrawal
from friends and family, and avoidance of formerly valued
activities.” Doc. 5 at PageID 604. Such statement
appears to the undersigned as a statement by Dr.
Rodzinka's reflecting her “judgment about the
nature and severity of [Plaintiff's] impairment(s),
including [Plaintiff's] symptoms, diagnosis and
prognosis, what [she] can still do despite [her]
impairment(s), and [her] physical or mental
restrictions.” See 20 C.F.R. §
404.1527(a)(2); see also Matlock v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., No. 1:13 CV 2250, 2015 WL 151026, at *20 (N.D.
Ohio Jan. 12, 2015) (concluding that a treating
physician's statement -- that a plaintiff's
impairments “would impact her ability to respond
appropriately to workplace pressures including decision
making, attendance, and maintaining a schedule” --
“constitutes a medical opinion under the
Despite the Commissioner's insistence on appeal that Dr.
Rodzinka's statement is not a “medical
opinion” and did not have to be weighed, it is clear
that the ALJ did, in fact, weigh Dr. Rodzinka's opinion
-- albeit without conducting a controlling weight analysis as
required by 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(c). The Commissioner
does not challenge the undersigned's conclusion that the
ALJ failed to conduct the required controlling weight
analysis for this treating source, see doc. 9 at
PageID 706, and instead argues only that “substantial
evidence supports the Commissioner's decision.”
See doc.10 at PageID 718. The Commissioner's
general objection in this regard overlooks Sixth Circuit
precedent concluding that, even where “substantial
evidence otherwise supports the decision of the Commissioner
. . . reversal is required [where] the agency failed to
follow its own procedural regulation[, ]” such as
conducting the controlling weight analysis required by the
treating physician rule. See Wilson v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 2004).
upon the foregoing, and for all the reasons set forth in the
Report and Recommendations (doc. 9), the undersigned's
recommendation remains unchanged.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), any party may serve and file specific,
written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations within FOURTEEN days after being served with
this Report and Recommendation. This period is not extended
by virtue of Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(d) if served on you by electronic
means, such as via the Court's CM/ECF filing system. If,
however, this Report and Recommendation was served upon you
by mail, this deadline is extended to SEVENTEEN DAYS by
application of Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(d). Parties may seek an
extension of the deadline to file objections by filing a
motion for extension, which the Court may grant upon a
showing of good cause.
objections filed shall specify the portions of the Report and
Recommendation objected to, and shall be accompanied by a
memorandum of law in support of the objections. If the Report
and Recommendation is based, in whole or in part, upon
matters occurring of record at an oral hearing, the objecting
party shall promptly arrange for the transcription of the
record, or such portions of it as all parties may agree upon
or the Magistrate Judge deems sufficient, unless the assigned
District Judge otherwise directs.
may respond to another party's objections within FOURTEEN
days after being served with a copy thereof. As noted above,
this period is not extended by virtue of Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(d) if
served on you by electronic means, such as via the
Court's CM/ECF filing system. If, however, this Report
and Recommendation was served upon you by mail, this deadline
is extended to SEVENTEEN DAYS by application of Fed.R.Civ.P.
to make objections in accordance with this procedure may
forfeit rights on appeal. See Thomas v. Arn, 474
U.S. 140, 153-55 (1985); United States v. Walters,
638 F.2d 947, 949-50 (6th Cir. 1981).