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Gatti v. Commissioner of Social Security

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

March 15, 2017

DANIEL GATTI, Plaintiff
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          COLIN LINDSAY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Introduction

         Daniel Gatti moves for summary judgment. (DN 12.) Gatti challenges the Commissioner's denial of his disability insurance benefits claim. (DN 1 at ¶ 13.)

         The parties consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction over this matter, including entry of judgment. (DN 10.)

         For the reasons below, the Court will deny Gatti's motion for summary judgment. The Court will affirm the Commissioner's decision and dismiss this case, with prejudice.

         Background

         For clarity, the Court cites to the document number and Page ID number.

         On August 5, 2011, Gatti filed a claim for disability insurance benefits. (DN 9-3 at 134.) He alleged disability beginning on January 24, 2011. (Id. at 120, 135.) The Commissioner denied Gatti's initial application and request for reconsideration. (Id. at 133, 149.)

         On April 16, 2013, Gatti, represented by counsel, appeared at a hearing in front of Administrative Law Judge Arline Colon (the “ALJ”). (DN 9-2 at 64, 118.) Gatti testified. (Id. at 89 - 107.) Scott Brown, a vocational expert, also testified. (Id. at 107 - 118.) The ALJ issued a written opinion finding that Gatti is not disabled. (Id. at 78.)

         First, the ALJ found that Gatti met the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act. (Id. at 66.) Second, the ALJ found that Gatti has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since January 24, 2011. (Id.) Third, the ALJ found that Gatti “has the following severe impairments: tendonitis of hips; arthropathy of pelvis, femur, and hip; spondylosis of lumbar spine; restless leg syndrome; persistent insomnia; carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger; history of rotator cuff repair; and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (20 CFR 404.1520(c)).” (Id.)

         Fourth, the ALJ found that Gatti does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or equals the severity of a listed impairment. (Id. at 72.) Fifth, the ALJ found that Gatti:

has the residual functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b), except that he requires the flexibility to alternate between sitting for 15 minutes at a time and standing for 30 minutes at a time; he is limited to frequent climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling; occasional overhead reaching; frequent handling and fingering; and should avoid even moderate exposure to moving, mechanical parts and height.

(Id. at 73.) Sixth, the ALJ found that Gatti “is capable of performing past relevant work as a consultant, real estate sales agent, membership solicitor, and fast food services manager.” (Id. at 78.) Seventh, the ALJ found that Gatti was not disabled. (Id.)

         The Appeals Council denied Gatti's request for review. (Id. at 45 - 48.) After that final decision, Gatti filed this lawsuit. (DN 1.)

         Standard of Review

         The Commissioner's factual findings are conclusive if supported by substantial evidence. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). The Court should affirm the Commissioner's conclusion unless the ALJ failed to apply the correct legal standard or made fact findings unsupported by substantial record evidence. Kyle v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 609 F.3d 847, 854 (6th Cir. 2010). “Substantial evidence is such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Id. (internal quotation marks ...


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