United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S
ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR REMAND
M. DiGirolamo United States Magistrate Judge
Arturo Espanta seeks judicial review under 42 U.S.C. §
405(g) of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social
Security (“Defendant” or the
“Commissioner”) denying his application for
disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social
Security Act. Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment and alternative motion for remand (ECF No.
11), Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
16), and Plaintiff's “Reply Brief” (ECF No.
Plaintiff contends that the administrative record does not
contain substantial evidence to support the
Commissioner's decision that he is not disabled. No.
hearing is necessary. L.R. 105.6. For the reasons that
follow, Plaintiff's alternative motion for remand (ECF
No. 11) is GRANTED.
a hearing on December 29, 2016, Administrative Law Judge
(“ALJ”) Michael A. Krasnow found on February 7,
2017, that Plaintiff was not disabled from January 1, 2014,
through the date of the ALJ's decision. R. at 16-39. In
so finding, the ALJ found that, with regard to concentrating,
persisting, or maintaining pace, Plaintiff had moderate
limitation. R. at 25
Medical records indicate that prescription medications cause
no side effects. [Plaintiff] reportedly needs reminders for
grooming and hygiene, but [Plaintiff] drinks alcohol every
day and [Plaintiff] did not comply with prescribed treatment.
Even so, [Plaintiff] can pay attention for an hour, play
golf, drive a car in a major metropolitan area, and pay
attention for an hour at a time. Records evidence no more
than moderate limitation in this domain despite treatment
noncompliance and daily alcohol.
R. at 25.
then found that Plaintiff had the residual functional
to perform light work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(b) except
[Plaintiff] can never climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds but
can occasionally climb ramps and stairs and occasionally
balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. [Plaintiff] must
avoid concentrated exposure to hazards such as moving
machinery and unprotected heights. [Plaintiff] is limited to
jobs involving simple, routine, repetitive tasks with no
production rate for pace of work. [Plaintiff] is limited to
jobs involving frequent interaction with the general public.
He can tolerate noise at no more than moderate intensity
level as defined in the Selected Characteristics of
R. at 26. The ALJ then determined that, although Plaintiff
could not perform his past relevant work as a purchasing
agent and storekeeper, he could perform other work, such as a
marker, router, or non-postal mail clerk. R. at 33-34.
the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for
review, Plaintiff filed on June 2, 2017, a complaint in this
Court seeking review of the Commissioner's decision. Upon
the parties' consent, this case was transferred to a
United States Magistrate Judge for final disposition and
entry of judgment. The case then was reassigned to the
undersigned. The parties have briefed the issues, and the
matter is now fully submitted.
Determinations and Burden of Proof
Social Security Act defines a disability as the inability to
engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any
medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can
be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than
twelve months. 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A),
1382c(a)(3)(A); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1505, 416.905. A
claimant has a disability when the claimant is “not
only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering
his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other
kind of substantial gainful work which exists . . ...