United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
HONORABLE SARA LIOI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate
Judge George J. Limbert (Doc. No. 20 [“R&R”])
with respect to the request of plaintiff Curtis LeFlouria
(“LeFlouria”) for judicial review of the
Commissioner's denial of his application for Disability
Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title II of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 401, et seq.
The R&R recommends that the Commissioner's final
decision be affirmed. Plaintiff filed a single objection to
the R&R (Doc. No. 21 [“Obj.”]) and the
Commissioner filed a response (Doc. No. 22
[“Resp.”]). Upon de novo review and for
the reasons set forth below, the Court hereby overrules
LeFlouria's objection and accepts the R&R. The
Commissioner's final decision is affirmed, and this case
is dismissed and closed.
March 24, 2014, LeFlouria protectively filed an application
for DIB. (Doc. No. 12, Transcript [“TR”]
200.) His alleged disability onset date was
January 22, 2011, and his insured status expired on December
31, 2011. (Id. 81, 216.) The application
was denied (id. 143-46) and LeFlouria requested a
hearing before an administrative law judge
(“ALJ”) (id. 147-48).
September 16, 2015, the ALJ conducted a hearing, where
LeFlouria appeared and testified, represented by counsel. An
impartial vocational expert (“VE”) also
testified. (Id. 93-132.) On October 6, 2015, the ALJ
issued a written decision denying LeFlouria's claim.
(Id. 76-88.) On September 23, 2016, the Appeals
Council declined further review, rendering the ALJ's
decision final. (Id. 69-71.)
January 23, 2017, LeFlouria filed this lawsuit. In his brief
on the merits, LeFlouria presented two issues for review:
(1) Whether the ALJ's physical RFC finding is supported
by substantial evidence.
(2) Whether the ALJ should have called a medical expert or
ordered a consultative examination given the fact there were
no medical opinions of record.
(Pl. Br. on Merits [Doc. No. 15] at 1582.)
R&R concluded that there was no error and the
Commissioner's decision denying DIB should be affirmed.
Gamble objects to the R&R's conclusion with respect
to the second issue.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court's review of the Magistrate Judge's R&R is
governed by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), which requires a de
novo decision as to those portions of the R&R to
which objection is made. Judicial review is limited to a
determination of whether the ALJ applied the correct legal
standards and whether there is “substantial
evidence” in the record as a whole to support the
decision. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Longworth v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 402 F.3d 591, 595 (6th
Cir. 2005). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla but
less than a preponderance. Rogers v. Comm'r of Soc.
Sec., 486 F.3d 234, 241 (6th Cir. 2007) (citation
omitted). It is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”
Jones v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 336 F.3d 469, 475
(6th Cir. 2003) (quotation marks and citation omitted). If
there is substantial evidence to support the defendant's
decision, it must be affirmed even if the reviewing court
might have resolved any issues of fact differently and even
if the record could also support a decision in
plaintiff's favor. Crisp v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 790 F.2d 450, 453 n.4 (6th Cir. 1986).
“specifically objects to the R&R's conclusion
that [his] physical impairments are ‘fairly minor'
such that the ALJ could make a commonsense judgment about
[his] functional capacity without the aid of any medical
opinions.” (Obj. at 1632 (citation omitted).) This