United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
LARRY T. KRIEGER, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
Chelsey M. Vascura Magistrate Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER
D. Morrison United States District Judge.
Krieger (“Plaintiff”) brings this action under 42
U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c)(3) for review of a
final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) denying his application for
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits. This matter is
before the Court on the Plaintiff's Objection (ECF No.
13) to the Report and Recommendation (R&R) issued by the
United States Magistrate Judge on March 13, 2019 (ECF No.
12), recommending that the Court overrule Plaintiff's
Statement of Errors and affirm the Commissioner's
decision. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
OVERRULES Plaintiff's Objection,
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation, and AFFIRMS the
protectively filed an application for Title II Social
Security Disability Benefits on September 24, 2014. (Admin.
Record, 355-61, ECF No. 6) Plaintiff's claims were denied
initially on February 2, 2015, and upon reconsideration on
May 15, 2015. (Id. at 218-48). He filed a Request
for Hearing on June 2, 2015. (Id. at 268-69).
Law Judge Jeanine Lesperance (“ALJ”) held an
administrative hearing on April 18, 2017. (Id. at
103). On August 2, 2017, the ALJ issued an unfavorable
decision. (Id. at 79-98). Plaintiff requested review
of the administrative decision to the Appeals Council, which
denied his request on June 17, 2018, and adopted the
ALJ's decision as the Commissioner's final decision.
(Id. at 2-8; 353-54).
filed this case on August 15, 2018 (ECF No. 1), and the
Commissioner filed the administrative record on October 29,
2018 (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff filed a Statement of Specific
Errors (ECF No. 7), the Commissioner responded (ECF No. 10),
and Plaintiff filed a Reply (ECF No. 11). On March 13, 2019,
the Magistrate Judge issued her Report and Recommendation.
(ECF No. 12). After a thorough analysis, the Magistrate Judge
recommended affirming the Commissioner's non-disability
finding. On March 27, 2019, Plaintiff timely filed an
Objection to the Magistrate's R&R. (ECF No. 13).
Relevant Record Evidence 
represented by counsel, appeared and testified at the
administrative hearing. He testified that he had not worked
since 2010, and that he was unable to return to work because
of a constant dull ache in his knee. (Id. at 114,
121-22). Plaintiff stated that he had a “partial knee
joint put in” in October 2014. (Id. at 121).
Several months later, a doctor “went in and
scrapped” his ankle and he began getting injections in
his left hip. (Id.). Thereafter, he was able to sit
for three to four hours at a time with his left leg elevated
and could lift about 25 pounds. (Id. at 123).
Plaintiff testified that he could walk around for
approximately 45 minutes before he needed to sit again.
(Id.). Plaintiff recalled getting a cane in 2011
when a doctor mentioned to him “you know, maybe you
need to go get a cane.” (Id. at 124). However,
Plaintiff acknowledged that he was never given a prescription
for a cane. (Id.). Plaintiff also testified that
there were about six months after his ankle surgery where he
did not use a cane. (Id.). Plaintiff testified that
he drives about eight times a week and can take trips without
stopping for at least 45 minutes. (Id. at 112- 13).
Plaintiff also testified that he was able to help feed and
water his rat terriers, vacuum the floors, and load and
unload the dishwasher for short periods of time with adequate
rest between each activity. (Id. at 133-137).
Expert Eric Walter Pruitt (“VE”) also testified.
The VE classified Plaintiff's past relevant work
experience as electronics solderer (semiskilled, light work),
production solderer (unskilled, light work), forklift
operator (semiskilled, medium work), and plastic injection
mold setter (skilled, medium work). (Id. at 144-46).
The ALJ proposed a hypothetical regarding Plaintiff's
residual functional capacity
(“RFC”) to the VE, which limited Plaintiff to a
range of work between sedentary and light. (Id. at
147). The VE testified that, assuming the limitations of the
ALJ's hypothetical, Plaintiff could return to either of
his previous soldering jobs. (Id. at 148). When
asked to alter the hypothetical, the VE testified that there
were a limited number of other light, unskilled occupations
that Plaintiff would be capable of performing, including
facility rental clerk, garment tacking machine tender, and
label coder. (Id. at 148-49). The VE also testified
that were a number of sedentary, unskilled occupations that
Plaintiff could perform, including film touchup inspector,
document preparer, and circuit board touchup screener.
(Id. at 149-50).
September 3, 2014, Dr. Jason Hurst, M.D., a physician at
Joint Implant Surgeons, Inc., saw Plaintiff for a left knee
follow-up assessment due to complaints of a two-year history
of pain and sliding occurring intermittently. (Id.
at 454). Dr. Hurst noted that Plaintiff used a knee brace
given by the Veterans Association (“VA”).
(Id.). Dr. Hurst observed that Plaintiff could
ascend and descend stairs with the assistance of the handrail
and that he “requires the use of a cane to
ambulate.” (Id.). Dr. Hurst noted
Plaintiff's primary ...