United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
REGINA B. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
ANDREW M. SAUL,  Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
F. BIVINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Regina B. Davis (hereinafter “Plaintiff”), seeks
judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security denying her claim for a period of disability,
disability insurance benefits, and supplemental security
income under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act, 42
U.S.C. §§ 401, et seq., and 1381, et
seq. On April 10, 2019, the parties consented to have
the undersigned conduct any and all proceedings in this case.
(Doc. 18). Thus, the action was referred to the undersigned
to conduct all proceedings and order the entry of judgment in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 73. Upon careful consideration of the
administrative record and the memoranda of the parties, it is
hereby ORDERED that the decision of the
Commissioner be AFFIRMED.
protectively filed her application for benefits on July 14,
2015, alleging disability beginning March 15, 2014, based on
“asthma, HBP [high blood pressure], heart problems,
left leg swollen, sleep disorder, and acid reflux.”
(Doc. 13 at 156, 188, 193). Plaintiff's application was
denied and upon timely request, she was granted an
administrative hearing before Administrative Law Judge Paul
Reams on January 3, 2017. (Id. at 28). Plaintiff
attended the hearing with her counsel and provided testimony
related to her claims. (Id. at 34). A vocational
expert (“VE”) also appeared at the hearing and
provided testimony. (Id. at 54). On August 10, 2017,
the ALJ issued an unfavorable decision finding that Plaintiff
is not disabled. (Id. at 15). The Appeals Council
denied Plaintiff's request for review on June 26, 2018.
(Id. at 5). Therefore, the ALJ's decision dated
August 10, 2017, became the final decision of the
exhausted her administrative remedies, Plaintiff timely filed
the present civil action. (Doc. 1). Oral argument was
conducted on April 26, 2019 (Doc. 20), and the parties agree
that this case is now ripe for judicial review and is
properly before this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§
405(g) and 1383(c)(3).
Issues on Appeal
1. Whether substantial evidence supports the RFC for
a range of light work with the stated restrictions?
2. Whether the ALJ erred in failing to order a
consultative orthopedic examination?
was born on May 20, 1972, and was forty-four years of age at
the time of her administrative hearing on January 3, 2017.
(Doc. 13 at 34, 188). Plaintiff completed the twelfth grade
and trained as a certified nursing assistant. (Id.
at 35, 194).
worked as a certified nursing assistant from 1992 to
2014. (Id. at 38). At the
administrative hearing, Plaintiff testified that she stopped
working because of problems with dizziness and high blood
pressure. (Id. at 37-39).
Standard of Review
reviewing claims brought under the Act, this Court's role
is a limited one. The Court's review is limited to
determining 1) whether the decision of the Secretary is
supported by substantial evidence and 2) whether the correct
legal standards were applied.Martin v. Sullivan, 894
F.2d 1520, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). A court may not decide the
facts anew, reweigh the evidence, or substitute its judgment
for that of the Commissioner. Sewell v. Bowen, 792
F.2d 1065, 1067 (11th Cir. 1986). The Commissioner's
findings of fact must be affirmed if they are based upon
substantial evidence. Brown v. Sullivan, 921 F.2d
1233, 1235 (11th Cir. 1991); Bloodsworth v. Heckler,
703 F.2d 1233, 1239 (11th Cir. 1983) (holding substantial
evidence is defined as “more than a scintilla, but less
than a preponderance” and consists of “such
relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.”). In determining
whether substantial evidence exists, a court must view the
record as a whole, taking into account evidence favorable, as
well as unfavorable, to the Commissioner's decision.
Chester v. Bowen, 792 F.2d 129, 131 (11th Cir.
1986); Short v. Apfel, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10163,
*4 (S.D. Ala. June 14, 1999).
Statutory And ...