United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Jason Michael Duvall, filed this action seeking review of a
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security
(“Commissioner”) denying his application for
Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”) under Title
II. The parties in this matter consented to the Undersigned
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Docs. 6, 8). For the
reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Statement of Errors
(Doc. 12) is OVERRULED, and judgment is
entered in favor of Defendant.
filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits on
July 6, 2016 under Title II, alleging disability beginning on
November 7, 2015. (Doc. 9, Tr. 152-58). His application was
denied initially and again on reconsideration, and after a
hearing held on August 29, 2018 (Tr. 35-57), Administrative
Law Judge Kevin Plunkett (the “ALJ”) issued an
unfavorable decision. (Tr. 15-23). The Appeals Council denied
Plaintiff's request for review making the ALJ's
decision the final decision for purposes of judicial review.
filed this action on June 4, 2019 (Doc. 1), and the
Commissioner filed the administrative record on August 13,
2019 (Doc. 9). Plaintiff filed a Statement of Specific Errors
(Doc. 12), and the Commissioner responded (Doc. 14). No.
reply was filed.
Relevant Medical Background
statement of errors concerns his alleged physical
impairments, particularly his spinal impairments. The ALJ
helpfully summarized the relevant evidence:
An MRI of the claimant's left hip was done on August 12,
2015 (1F/2). This showed unremarkable findings of the left
An MRI of the lumbar spine was performed on August 13, 2015
(1F/1). This demonstrated protrusions of disc material at
L4-5 and L5-S1 levels, greater in degree at L4-5.
Electrodiagnostic testing was performed on November 16, 2015
(3F/1). The results indicated left S1 radiculopathy without
significant axonal loss.
The claimant underwent lumbar surgery for L4-5 to L5-S1
decompression on February 23, 2016 (6F/7; 12F/20-22).
An Outpatient PT Progress Report dated May 19, 2016 indicated
that the claimant was experiencing increased pain in the left
lower extremity; decreased strength in core, low back, and
bilateral lower extremities; decreased range of motion of the
lumbar spine, and decreased sensation in the left lower
extremity. The claimant's physical therapist reported
that the claimant was unable to complete most physical
therapy activities secondary to pain (4F).
An MRI of the lumbar spine was done on June 15, 2016
(5F/1-2). This indicated postsurgical changes on the left
side at L4-5; enhancing soft tissue intensity of the left
side; and ...