United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM J. HAYNES, Jr., District Judge.
Plaintiff, Johnny Robert York, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking the judicial review of the decision of Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security that the Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act.
Before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for judgment on the record (Docket Entry No. 14) contending, in sum, that the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") erred by failing to give proper deference to the opinion of Carrie Brensike, Plaintiff's treating psychiatric nurse practitioner, and that the ALJ failed to include all of the physical limitations on Plaintiff's residual functional capacity to work. The Commissioner contends that the ALJ's decision is supported by substantial evidence.
After an evidentiary hearing and review of Plaintiff's medical records, the ALJ found as follows:
[Plaintiff stated that he is] unable to work because of high blood pressure, heart murmer, bipolar disorder and memory problems.
The evidence shows that [Plaintiff's] blood pressure, though higher than normal at times, has not seriously damaged your heart, kidney, or other vital organs.
Medical records show that [Plaintiff's] heartbeat and function are satisfactory for many normal activities.
Although [Plaintiff] may experience bipolar disorder and memory problems, your records show that you are able to communicate with others, act in your own interest and perform most ordinary activities.
We realize that [Plaintiff] can no longer perform the job of garbage collector driver as you described it. However, we concluded that [Plaintiff has] the ability to perform the job as most other workers describe it.
We have determined that [Plaintiff's] condition is not severe enough to keep you from working. We considered the medical and other information, your age, education, training, and work experience in determining how [Plaintiff's] condition affects [his] ability to work.
If your condition gets worse and keeps you from working, write, call or visit any Social Security office about filing another application.
(Docket Entry No. 12 at 75). After Plaintiff's request for reconsideration of that opinion, the Appeals Council upheld the ALJ's decision. Id. at 71.
A. Review of the Record
On June 8, 2009, Dr. Steven R. Nyquist diagnosed Plaintiff with major depressive disorder, Recurrent. (Docket Entry No. 12, Administrative Record at 232). Dr. Nyquist, however, found that Plaintiff's depression responded well to Cymbalta. When Plaintiff stopped his antidepressants for three months, Dr. Nyquist found that Plaintiff's "classic depressive symptoms" returned. Id. at 232. By June 8, 2009, Dr. Nyquist found Plaintiff feeling much better after resuming his medication, and that ...