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Marrero v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

September 3, 2019

LORA B. MARRERO, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          Karen L. Litkovitz Magistrate Judge.

          DECISION AND ENTRY ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE (DOC. 19) AND TERMINATING THIS CASE IN THIS COURT

          Timothy S. Black United States District Judge.

         This case is before the Court pursuant to the Order of General Reference to United States Magistrate Judge Karen L. Litkovitz. Pursuant to such reference, the Magistrate Judge reviewed the pleadings filed with this Court and, on June 19, 2019, submitted a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”), recommending that the non-disability finding by the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) be affirmed. (Doc. 19). Plaintiff filed objections (Doc. 22) and the Commissioner filed a response in support of the R&R (Doc. 24).

         Having conducted a de novo review, the Court finds that Plaintiff's objections are not well-taken.[1]

         Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate Judge failed to adequately consider evidence of Plaintiff's disability and, instead, relied upon information dating prior to Plaintiff's alleged onset date. As an initial matter, the Court disagrees and notes that the Magistrate Judge's citation to records from earlier appointments does not undermine the thorough and appropriate consideration given to the entirety of Plaintiff's medical history, beginning from the date of alleged disability (November 2014). Moreover, the Court's own independent review of the record, beginning from November 2014 onward, evidences ample support for the ALJ's non-disability determination. In comparison, the instances Plaintiff references in her objections, as well as other similar evidence in the record, is sparse and often offset by context (e.g., situational triggers or changes in medication).[2]

         Plaintiff further argues that the Magistrate Judge, like the ALJ, relied solely on evidence of Plaintiff's “good days” to affirm a non-disability finding, while failing to consider that “the objective record proves that Plaintiff had as many bad days as good….” (Doc. 22 at 3). Again, the Court disagrees. As previously noted, this Court's independent review of the record indicates substantial evidence in support of the ALJ's non-disability determination. Plaintiff's daily activities, as well as her responsiveness and progress with medication and therapy, are thoroughly documented in the medical records. And while the record also evidences Plaintiff's psychiatric diagnosis (which was considered by the ALJ and the Magistrate Judge), there is limited objective evidence to corroborate the severity of the resulting symptoms and impairment as Plaintiff alleges. Moreover, while there are consistent notes regarding Plaintiff's difficulties with coping and communication skills, there is no reference to these difficulties causing the severe impairment that Plaintiff asserts.

         In short, Plaintiff's continuing assertions that the record is replete with substantial evidence of her disability and that the ALJ failed to consider said evidence, is simply not borne by the record.

         As required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), the Court has reviewed the comprehensive findings of the Magistrate Judge and considered de novo all of the filings in this case. Upon consideration of the foregoing, the Court finds that the Report and Recommendation should be and is hereby adopted in its entirety. Accordingly:

         1. The Report and Recommendation (Doc. 19) is ADOPTED;

         2. The Commissioner's decision is AFFIRMED, as the decision is supported by substantial evidence; and

         3. The Clerk shall enter judgment accordingly, whereupon this case is TERMINATED on the docket of this Court.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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